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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

This was implicit in my earlier post. But I wanted to make the point more explicit. Trump’s tweets this morning made Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit dramatically more viable.

Stormy Daniels is a public figure. She was a public figure all the way back to 2006 when the affair happened and before that. She was certainly a public figure when President Trump made his allegedly defamatory statements. But the earlier statements were general and rather vague – trash talk, if you will. Trump has considerable latitude for trash talk about a public figure. Indeed, one lawyer reader pointed out to me that Daniels’ suit was enough of a stretch that she even had some vulnerability to a successful SLAPP motion. That basically means a counter-claim that it’s a frivolous lawsuit and Daniels’ owes Trump compensation to cover his legal fees.

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I’ve heard from a lot of people this morning claiming that Rudy’s revelation last night was all by design, and a logical new legal strategy at that. Not likely.

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Giuliani went on Hannity this evening and stumbled into saying that President Trump paid Michael Cohen back the $130,000, something Trump has denied. Hannity tried to walk him back. But it didn’t go really well.

Keep an eye on the signs that the 2018 midterms will be fought on the Republican side as a battle to save the Trump presidency from attacks from the “deep state” and Robert Mueller. Just a few moments ago Sarah Sanders released a statement that read “Emmet Flood will be joining the White House Staff to represent the President and the administration against the Russia witch hunt.” We have become inured to hearing the President refer to the Special Counsel probe in this way. Seeing the Press Secretary matter-of-factly do so in an official statement marks another stage in the President’s open war with Mueller and, frankly, the rule of law.

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Nicole Wallace is reporting on MSNBC that Flood isn’t really coming in to replace Ty Cobb but rather to replace Don McGahn. Video after the jump.

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I had heard from a few people that during his somewhat notorious press conference back in January, Ronny Jackson had said that he didn’t have access to Trump’s medical records. From what I can tell this isn’t true – at least based on my review of the transcript. There is one point where Dr Jackson says “I have reviewed the president’s past medical records to the extent that they’re — have been made available to me and there’s nothing at all that’s concerning to me.”

This line is a bit ambiguous. It’s not obvious why you’d keep any records from your doctor. But in the course of the briefing, Jackson referenced various aspects of Trump’s medical history, earlier test results and so forth. So I see why people may have gotten this impression. Perhaps there’s something there. But I don’t see real evidence of it from the briefing. If you’re aware of some other reference to Jackson not having access to Trump’s records, please let me know.

We’ll have more on this over the course of the day. But I remain highly interested in yesterday’s story about Dr. Harold Bornstein and what he describes as a “raid” at his medical practice in early February of last year. Yes, we have all the color and nonsense that surrounds most stories of Trump and his various hangers-on and lickspittles. But this is more serious and I suspect will have more consequential legal fall-out. I’m searching for more information. But here are some key points for now.

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