Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I guess I should thank CNN and the Times because my prediction that they would continue to ignore the Trump/Bondi story is feeling pretty vindicated at the moment. As I noted below, the Times mentioned the question in passing in an overnight piece but went with Trump's denial of any wrongdoing, unrebutted and unquestioned. Then just a short while ago CNN also did a package. If anything it was worse.

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I was curious to see whether there was any renewed attention to the Trump/Bondi story this morning. Alas, the answer appears to be: not really. There are some passing references to it. But it mainly seems limited to 'This came up. Trump says it's all good.' And on to the next story.

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We have two new horserace polls out this morning (perhaps more shortly). But before that I want to note a big issue that's been affecting the numbers in recent weeks: a major difference between the premium national phone polls and various online polls. The former have shown a relatively unchanged race, with Clinton holding a sizable lead, while the latter have shown a tight or even tied race. The problem is that the premium polls don't come out that often. And we haven't had many recently. Welp, this morning CNN/ORC has a poll out at it shows Trump 49%, Clinton 48%. In a four way race, Trump is up by two. There's also a NBC/SurveyMonkey poll out showing Clinton up by 6, more in line with what we've seen over the last month.

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President Obama embraces Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) after Lewis introduced the President at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday' at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in March 2015.

Lewis is the sole living member of the 'Big Six' organizers of the March on Washington and at this point really the only living high profile survivor of the flood tide era of the Civil Rights Movement. This is partly a testament to longevity but also the fact that Lewis was so young at the time. As for President Obama, as I've written at other times, we will not see his likes again.

On Twitter this afternoon I mentioned - in case anyone has forgotten - that Donald Trump has twice been accused of forcible sexual contact in sworn depositions. The first was by his former wife Ivana during their divorce proceedings where you accused her then husband of raping her. During the campaign, Ivana has tried to dismiss the incident. But contrary to many published reports, she has not in fact denied or recanted the very specific claim that arose in their divorce proceedings. I discussed that incident in this post in May. Then there's the case of Jill Harth, who accused Trump of what her lawsuit described as an 'attempted rape.' She too stands by her claims.

It's a bit ironic, given where we are now. But I think this point from TPM Reader PS at least deserves some discussion. It seems pretty clear that the word came down from Murdoch during that first debate that the moderators should rough Trump up - not because he was the emerging frontrunner and needed scrutiny but because he wasn't the Fox-preferred candidate. As I predicted that evening, it was quite likely to backfire. And it did. But that's at least problematic for someone lined up to host one of the presidential debates.

The most important thing in Gabriel Sherman's article about Roger Ailes, by far is actually not one of the five points listed by Katharine Krueger in her recent piece. (Does the American public really need to care that Ailes’s wife is about to leave him?)

The most newsworthy thing—and a genuinely astonishing finding—is that the moderator of the third scheduled presidential debate has already ‘thrown’ the questions for a televised debate at least once at the insistence of Rupert Murdoch, conveyed by Ailes, specifically in order to politically harm Murdoch’s least preferred candidate, Donald Trump.

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Some very interesting developments in the Trump/Bondi pay-to-play story. The indefatigable Sopan Deb (one of the reporter standouts of 2016) reports that Trump today flatly denied ever speaking to Bondi about his foundation's contribution to Bondi's campaign in 2013, just before her office decided not to join New York State's suit against Trump and Trump University.

Trump: "I never spoke to her" ... "Never spoke to her about that at all."

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Yesterday I pressed the point of the wildly dissimilar campaign coverage of Trump and Clinton, particularly the continuing saturation coverage of Clinton 'scandals' in which she's actually being exonerated and virtually no coverage of a pretty cut and dry pay-for-play story with Trump, his foundation and his efforts to protect himself legally from the fallout of the exposure of his real estate seminar scam business, 'Trump University'. But the case with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is more serious than that. We usually use the phrase 'pay-to-play' when talking about money for access, money for government contracts or friendly interventions in the legislative process. The Trump-Bondi case looks like money in exchange for killing an investigation and possible lawsuit against Trump. It would be like Hillary Clinton making a cash payment to Loretta Lynch or James Comey during the email probe.

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I wanted to let you know that next week I'm launching my own weekly podcast. It will be made up primarily of interviews and mainly about politics, except when it's not. In other words, like the Editor's Blog itself. As regular readers know, my real interest outside of this political journalism racket is history. Not the stuff I studied in graduate school and virtually never contemporary or recent history history but history from a least a couple centuries in the past.

The podcast will be for subscribers only. But we'll have a highlights version that will be available for everyone. So if there's some particular quote or exchange that's especially newsy or interesting we'll include it there.

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