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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We've been talking over the last couple days about the apparent contradiction between Donald Trump's statement that he never talked to Pam Bondi about his contribution or Trump University. Now Politico has gone to Trump for clarification. And Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks says there's no contradiction. “His comments were in reference to any discussion about Trump University — not the donation,” Hicks told Politico.

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Last night TPM Reader AL sent in a timeline for the Trump/Bondi story in the key months from August to October 2013. I've verified the details and the links. So I'm including the timeline here after the jump.

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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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