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

Cleaning Up the Mess

Not long after The Washington Post published its blockbuster story about President Trump's tirade at the Australian Prime Minister, the State Department went into damage control mode.

Going Downhill Fast, Folks

This evening we learned that President Trump went on a rage bender in a call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, berated the PM, boasted repeatedly about the scale of his electoral win and hung up on Turnbull abruptly 25 minutes into what was scheduled to be an hour long conversation. In a similarly hostile call, Trump threatened to invade Mexico and have US military personnel secure the country if Mexico's military was afraid to do so.

Inside the Trump-CNN Phony War

Donald Trump's 'war' with CNN has been the most consistent media-bashing theme from him for the last 18 months. But it is as phony as they come. CNN has quite simply been more compliant with Trump than any other news organization. This isn't a knock at the journalists. Some of them recently have been quite good. And I wouldn't say, in general, that they've been worse than their cable news colleagues. But from the business and programming side they've been the most accommodating. Think about it. What other network has a permanent list of pro-Trump pundits on payroll?

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The Fight in the Borderlands

When we think about the politics of this moment and how we can predict, even in general outlines, what is to come, the most salient question is whether political gravity still exists and functions. By any historical standard, President Trump is almost catastrophically unpopular. Presidents enter office with high approval ratings, usually well over 60%. By most measures, Trump is already under 40%. Presidents seldom get more popular than they were at the outset.

By every standard, Trump is courting even greater unpopularity and sowing the seeds of an electoral backlash in two years. And yet, history shouldn't have allowed us to get here in the first place. By most conventional wisdom it should have been extremely difficult for Donald Trump to be elected President. And yet he was. So today people on both sides of the ideological divide - half emboldened, the other half demoralized - think that political gravity simply doesn't apply anymore.

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Ask your immigration Qs to Tom Jawetz, VP of Immigration Policy @ American Progress, today at 1 p.m.

Tom Jawetz is the Vice President of Immigration Policy at American Progress. He previously served as chief counsel on the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee and has advised members of Congress and congressional staff on all areas of immigration law and policy. Tom will join us in The Hive on Wednesday 2/1 at 1 p.m. EST for a discussion about immigration. Feel free to submit questions about immigration policy, legal issues, civil rights for immigrants and more. If you'd like to participate but don't have a Prime membership, sign up here.

This is The Big Story

For all the pyrotechnics at the Justice Department today, this may be the bigger story. There's been confusion over the last three days over whether Republicans on Capitol Hill were briefed, consulted or involved in writing President Trump's now infamous immigration executive order. The White House has said they were. Republicans on the Hill said the first they heard of it was in news reports.

Now we have an explanation.

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Ask your immigration Qs to Tom Jawetz, VP of Immigration Policy @ American Progress, tmw at 1 p.m.

Tom Jawetz is the Vice President of Immigration Policy at American Progress. He previously served as chief counsel on the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee and has advised members of Congress and congressional staff on all areas of immigration law and policy. Tom will join us in The Hive on Wednesday 2/1 at 1 p.m. EST for a discussion about immigration. Feel free to submit questions about immigration policy, legal issues, civil rights for immigrants and more. If you'd like to participate but don't have a Prime membership, sign up here.

Don't Keep Him Waiting

As a friend noted last night, this Times article about Steve Bannon is as much about Mike Flynn as Bannon. It's good news, bad news. Good news: Flynn is already being sidelined in his role as National Security Advisor. Bad news: he's being supplanted by Steve Bannon.

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