Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We're just getting word that federal law enforcement in Oregon is holding a press conference where they are going to release a video of the shoot out in which the ringleaders of the Oregon militia stand-off were apprehended. This is presumably to clarify how militant Robert "LaVoy" Finicum died. More shortly.

And here's the video.

* So Trump starts with basically saying, he was mistreated by Fox so they needed to be punished.

* Now he's explaining how they spent the day begging him to be nice to them, show up at the debate. Says he got an apology from Fox.

* The gist of Trump's comments are: Fox apologized but it was too late. I already have my veterans event.

* "I wanted to fight for myself, just like I'll fight for the country."

So a little overview of how we're going to approach this very weird debate night. By schedule the Donald Trump counter-event is supposed to start at 8 PM. And that will be preceded by an "exclusive" interview with CNN - probably a chit for their being the first network to announce they'd cover his speech live. The Fox debate gets underway at 9 PM. But of course, it's already 8:15 PM. And the 'exclusive' interview hasn't even started yet. So there's little doubt that Trump plans to let his extravaganza roll right into and maybe right through the gutted Fox debate. We will be covering both events, simultaneously, whenever they happen.

This would appear to be what we're in store for tonight ...

I hedged a bit on whether Trump could pull this off in my post last night on Trump's mastery of dominance/aggression politics. But I think this is going to be a long night for the folks at Fox News.

I wanted to make a couple related observations about this Donald Trump debate drama.

First, an admission.

When I heard last night that Trump was pulling out of the Fox News GOP primary debate I was quite certain he had every intention of finally attending tomorrow night's event. The point was simply to engineer 48 hours of cable news drama, begging by Fox News, all topped off by Trump finally deigning to attend the event after all the other players had been sufficiently humiliated. But unless the man is managing a far better bluff than I can imagine, that is clearly not the case. It also seems clear it was never the case. I see no evidence that Trump fumbled this gambit or boxed himself into a non-attendance he didn't intend. Being a no show was the plan.

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As luck or fate or random chance would have it, as the news about the Trump debate drama and the arrests of the Bundy-ites broke last night, I was out for a celebratory dinner with our New York City editorial staff to gear up for the many late nights of the primary season proper. So the DC team carried the ball and we here in New York tried to follow the sketchy developments as they emerged from Oregon on our iPhones. By the time I got home, we knew that one militant was dead and, a bit later, that it was Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, one of the most high profile of the militants and the one who'd openly said he'd prefer to die rather than be taken alive. Here's a look at who Finicum was.

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I'm not certain whether this is the last video of LaVoy Finicum. But it's a video published Tuesday by The Oregonian in which Finicum appears to discuss the meeting in John Day, Oregon that the militant ringleaders were en route to when they were apprehended and Finicum himself was killed. In the video, he explains that sympathizers in Grant County had invited his group to come and speak to them with the aim of joining their cause.

It is a testament to the sense of invulnerability into which the FBI lulled the group that Bundy, Finicum and others thought they could travel roughly one hundred miles on isolated rounds to what was a publicized meeting with impunity.

Video after the jump ...

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We've had unconfirmed reports for the last couple hours that the militants killed during tonight's arrest and exchange of gunfire was Robert "LaVoy" Finicum. That now appears to be confirmed. Finicum's daughter tells the Oregonian that authorities confirmed Finicum's death to her mother.

Aside from ringleader Ammon Bundy, Finicum was one of the most high profile members of the Oregon militants, giving colorful interviews and telling reporters he rather die than be arrested and sent to prison.

We are basically in a holding pattern as we wait for more details on just how tonight's rapid and violent end of the Oregon militia stand off unfolded and the identity of the person who died in the exchange of gunfire between the militants and federal law enforcement. For details up to the moment, see our current feature story. There are many unconfirmed reports; none solid enough to go on as yet. Here's the official statement from the FBI.

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