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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Last week I watched a conversation on MSNBC in which the anchor asked a guest whether it wasn't a problem that Buzzfeed had published the Trump 'dossier' because this would now give Trump some credibility in dismissing any reporting he didn't like as "fake news". There are plenty of grounds to criticize Buzzfeed's decision on standard journalistic grounds. But the idea seemed to be that because President-Elect Trump was already accusing prestigious journalism organizations of producing "fake news", Buzzfeed's decision might allow him to do it more.

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Most people in this country, certainly most members of the political class and especially its expression in Washington, don't realize what Donald Trump is trying to do in Europe and Russia. Back in December I explained that Trump has a plan to break up the European Union. Trump and his key advisor Steve Bannon (former Breitbart chief) believe they can promise an advantageous trade agreement with the United Kingdom, thus strengthening the UK's position in its negotiations over exiting the EU. With such a deal in place with the UK, they believe they can slice apart the EU by offering the same model deal to individual EU states. Steve Bannon discussed all of this at length with Business Week's Josh Green and Josh and I discussed it in great detail in this episode of my podcast from mid-December.

Now we have a rush of new evidence that Trump is moving ahead with these plans.

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Priebus warns ethics office director to "be careful" about criticizing Trump's conflicts of interest.

In an appearance on the ABC News Sunday morning show This Week, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus warned the Director of the Office of Government Ethics to "be careful" about criticizing President-Elect Trump's conflicts of interest.

On Wednesday Director Walter Shaub Jr. called Trump's plan to separate himself from his business "wholly inadequate" and "doesn't meet the standards" set by other presidents or even Trump's own nominees.

Said Priebus: "The head of the government ethics ought to be careful, because that person is becoming extremely political. Apparently, may have made a -- publicly supported Hillary Clinton as calling out the president with information on Twitter about our disentangle -- disentangling of the business over a month ago. So I'm not so sure what this person at Government Ethics, what sort of standing he has anymore in giving these opinions. I think Jason Chaffetz was correct to call for an investigation into the Government Ethics Department in the government for the positions that they've taken in this campaign."

Let us know if you see news coverage of townhall events or community meetings in your congressional district where Obamacare comes up. Even better if you attended yourself.

Years ago I was heavily involved in national security reporting. I learned to be almost infinitely skeptical of what I read in the British press. To some extent, this is just an imperfect familiarity with a foreign country, which affects all foreign reporting to some degree. But let's say also that the standards are just different. With that said, here are some choice nuggets from the latest report from The Independent ...

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There's a new Pew study out which covers a lot of different questions about Americans' views of key foreign policy questions and major countries around the world. One finding that is getting perhaps the most attention is about Democrats' views about Israel - specifically whether Democrats say they are more likely to sympathize with Israel or with the Palestinians. For the first time in the history of the Pew poll, "Democrats are about as likely to say they sympathize more with the Palestinians (31%) than with Israel (33%); 11% say they sympathize with neither, while 8% sympathize with both and 17% do not offer an opinion."

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The Post's David Ignatius has a column out tonight with a number of observations. But the big news is this ...

According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is, at a minimum, highly irregular and inappropriate. We don't know if it is more than that. It would be good to find out.

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