Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Piecing Together More Details on Trump and Russia

We’ve had a flurry of articles this week about the Trump/Russia story. I want to flag some details which are now apparent as we look at each of the articles together.

Let’s start with the news that Carter Page was surveilled by the FBI using a FBI warrant obtained in the summer of 2016. The Washington Post and New York Times stories on this tell a slightly different story on the precise timing of the first warrant. The Times says August. The Post at least seems to say July. I wouldn’t make too much of this disagreement. It’s possible the Post story is speaking loosely in one case or I over-interpreted a key sentence

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Nobody Could Have Known: Global Trade Edition

President Trump flipped on maybe half of his major campaign promises yesterday. That’s an issue in itself. But I want to zoom in on the specific issue of Trump’s out of nowhere about-face on designating China as a “currency manipulator” – a technical executive branch finding which brings lots of penalties in its wake.

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That Big Bomb

A brief note on that massive bomb the US Air Force just dropped in Afghanistan. For those of us who remember, the US made a lot of noise and threatened to use this bomb in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. That was likely as much psychological warfare as anything else. It was never used.

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Hiding in Plain Sight

Let me share a few thoughts on the latest developments in the Trump Russia story, or perhaps better to say, elements of it that don't seem to be getting a great deal of attention.

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Countdown

Update: t-16 days and counting until 100 Days ritual humiliation.

Trump Threatens to Torch More Republicans

There’s quite a lot going on at the moment. The President has two genuine international crises on his hands. But I wanted to note the latest developments on health care and so-called ‘tax reform’ because they are striking both for the President’s on-going failure to pass any legislation through Congress but also because of his seeming inability to grasp the new politics of health care he has in many ways created.

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Wow

The EPA has requested 10 security agents to provide a 24/7 security detail for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Some specific threat? No, to handle "continuing activities from the left to foment hatred" and from "hostility within the agency."

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Hard To Believe This Is Happening

A rogues gallery of voting rights restrictionists is urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resume some of the hiring practices that politicized the George W. Bush Justice Department during some of the darkest days in the department’s history. For longtime readers, this will be more than a little alarming. Voting rights advocates are warning about where this could head.

Just to give you some of the flavor of the how bad things were at DOJ back then, here’s a 2007 TPMMuckraker account, 10 years ago this month, of a veteran DOJ official who left the department after he “lost faith in the institution as it had become.”

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