Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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The Times has now published an article which covers similar ground to the one I noted below from the Post. But it adds this additional piece of information: "In addition, the Army has been investigating whether Mr. Flynn received money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, according to two defense officials."

This sounds very bad. And it may be very bad. But there's some important context here. Flynn has stated publicly that he was paid for his appearance at the RT banquet in Moscow in December 2015.

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The Washington Post article published less than an hour ago is devastating, and much less for Michael Flynn than his boss, President Trump. The post I published below suggested that the most obvious explanation of the progression of the Flynn story is that President Trump knew about the Flynn/Russia back channel all along.

Now we have a big new piece of the puzzle. On Monday January 30th, President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce his immigration executive order. Only days earlier, Yates and what the Post describes as a "senior career national security official" told White House Counsel Donald McGahn that Michael Flynn has lied about his communications with the Russian Ambassador and that he was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

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If you accept the public storyline, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's job now hangs in the balance because a) he discussed sanctions against Russia with Russian Ambassador Kislyak on the day President Obama imposed them (Dec 29th) and b) because he lied to Vice President Pence and possibly also Chief Of Staff Priebus about the topics discussed on those December 29th calls. Pence later put his own credibility on the line when he passed on Flynn's false assurances. But there are some pretty big problems with this account of events - and they all tie to whether President Trump knew about the Flynn/Russia back channel all along.

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We certainly do not know for a fact that President Trump knew about Mike Flynn's conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before the election. But why is anyone assuming Trump is only learning about that back channel now? That seems like a highly questionable assumption, given how close Flynn and Trump were during the election and how much Russia came up during the campaign. Remember, according to multiple published reports, Flynn was not just in communication with Kislyak at the end of December, when Trump was President-Elect. He was in on-going communication with him before the 2016 election too.

There's a side conversation occurring among Democrats today about whether protests are fueling momentum and organizing for a Democratic electoral comeback or diverting energy from it. For me, it's all of the above. I do not believe they're in opposition to each other at all. But for everyone who is worried, determined, angry or anything else to save the country from Trumpism, please focus on this. If all Donald Trump's nominees are confirmed by the Senate, which is quite likely, we will have in the next few months at least four House special elections for seats now held by Republicans. These contests are each critical for stemming the tide of Trumpism.

There are two elections I want to focus on today.

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Trump's net approval reaches -15 in latest Gallup poll.

Godwin's law notwithstanding, this is Goebbels-level stuff.

From White House policy chief Stephen Miller earlier this morning on Fox ...

The United States of America has a terrorism problem. We’ve had hundreds cases of foreign national[s] entering our country from other countries and plotting, attempting, or even carrying out terrorist attacks. We’ve spent countless dollars a year, and we have thousands of federal officers and investigators who do nothing but run around the country trying to stop terrorist attacks for no other reason because we make the mistake of letting people in who harbor hatred for this country.

Our immigration system should not be a vehicle for admitting people who have anything but love in their hearts for this nation and this Constitution.

There is no evidence for this whatsoever.

Last Updated February 14th, 2017, 9:39 AM ...

As the allegations surrounding National Security Advisor Michael Flynn escalate, I wanted to put together for my own use a timeline of key events in this story. The story, as I see it, is the pervasive evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election and widespread, though murky, evidence of ties between the Russian government the Trump campaign.

I've always been partial to timelines because ... well, we live in time. Chronology is the basic organizing principle of our existence. It allows us to get our heads around scatterings of facts in much the way a good chart allows us to synthesize numerical data. Of course, a timeline can create the impression of causation where none exists. It's important to keep that in mind. Still, it's helpful to get a lot of information in one place organized in time. It helps us bound what events can possibly be causally related as well as how they may or may not be related.

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Writing to you as readers, I've told you that we here at TPM plan to dramatically expand our original reporting capacity - particularly our investigative reporting capacity - as we move into this addled and antic new era in which corruption appears pervasive and the public trust is abused at seemingly every turn. Today I wanted to write again to fellow journalists.

We're looking to immediately hire three experienced investigative reporters to start filling out our expanded team. We plan to hire two to work from our Washington office and one to work from our New York headquarters. (The precise mix of where the three are stationed might shift depending on where we find the best people available.) For specifics on what we're looking for and how to apply, here's the listing. If you think you fit the bill, please apply. If you have questions, drop me a line directly at the site comments address linked just below the TPM logo at the upper left ( talk at talkingpointsmemo dot com ). I'd love to chat.

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