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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Former Trump campaign advisor Michael Caputo went on MSNBC this afternoon and said George Papadopoulos was “stupid” and “had no business” being at that March 2016 foreign policy advisor meeting where he apparently talked up his ability to set up meetings with Russians or even with Vladimir Putin. He went on to say that Papadopoulos was only there because Donald Trump was getting slammed for not having any foreign policy advisors and a group was thrown together with basically zero idea of who the people even were.

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I have always had a great deal of respect for Donna Brazile. And I have tried to keep to a long time principle of not revising my view of a person simply because they do something I disagree with. I was stunned when I first read Brazile’s piece in Politico. But now having read it over a few times, I have a hard time not concluding that she’s done a serious disservice to the historical record and to all Democrats. Why this is the case, I truly don’t know. And there may be more facts to emerge that I’m not yet aware of. But here’s why I think this.

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I wasn’t terribly surprised when we reported a few weeks ago that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is tied to the ‘League of the South’, the pro-Southern secession/slavery apologism group that wants to lead the South in a second rebellion against the federal government in order to found a ‘white Christian republic.’ But I confess I was a bit surprised that Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is currently the leading Republican candidate to succeed Sen. Bob Corker, does too. In 2004, Blackburn invited the Rev. David O. Jones, a neo-Confederate, secessionist and slavery apologist, to give the opening prayer in the House. And it happened! Here’s the story.

President Trump asked about his March meeting with Papadopoulos and his then foreign policy team: “I don’t remember much about that meeting, it was a very unimportant meeting. Don’t remember much about it.”

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That must have been disquieting news for the Trump inner circle. The White House reportedly had no idea Sam Clovis had testified before Bob Mueller’s grand jury. The first they heard about it was from the same news reports that you and I heard it from. Nothing is more crippling to an administration than when people start to wonder who among them has already turned.

We are now hearing various versions of who knew what and who said what about the idea of George Papadopoulos arranging a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. All these points notwithstanding, let’s remember that the idea that a presidential candidate would hold a summit with a foreign head of state – especially Vladimir Putin – is completely crazy, even if you have a maximal take on the Trump/Russia scandal. In many ways, it’s crazy especially if you have a maximal take on the Trump/Russia scandal.

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