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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The last we heard of Trump campaign tough guy Boris Epshteyn he was being booted from the White House communications office and being found a job elsewhere in the Trump administration. Apparently that didn’t pan out. He’ll now be joining Sinclair Broadcasting as “chief political analyst.”

Word out of South Korea and Northeast Asia generally is that people in the region are seeing all the Trump winning and are getting sick of all the winning. The AP reports that Trump is finding Asian allies cool to a preemptive strike and The Washington Post Tokyo bureau chief last night suggested on Twitter that people in the region are more worried about rash action from President Trump than North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which is really quite an achievement if you think about it. 

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It is what we might call ‘the consensus judgment’ that President Trump is a deeply ignorant man and perhaps a profoundly ignorant President. But it is worth stepping back and considering just what this means, the different kinds of ignorance that exist and how they differ.

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Yesterday CIA Director Mike Pompeo gave a speech harshly attacking Wikileaks as a hostile non-state intelligence agency which frequently works with adversary spy services like Russia to attack America. It was an attack not only on Wikileaks but the entire information campaign carried on against the Democrats in 2016. In other words, it was an attack on Russian information warfare.  There were none of President Trump’s professed doubts about who was behind the attacks, victim-blaming about the Democrats’ poor security and suggestions that the interference may somehow have been a good thing. The whole effort was somewhat belied by some quick online sleuthing which revealed that less than a year ago Pompeo gleefully tweeted out stolen emails published by Wikileaks. But that doesn’t change the aim of the speech or the larger campaign it seems to be a part of.

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We’ve had a flurry of articles this week about the Trump/Russia story. I want to flag some details which are now apparent as we look at each of the articles together.

Let’s start with the news that Carter Page was surveilled by the FBI using a FBI warrant obtained in the summer of 2016. The Washington Post and New York Times stories on this tell a slightly different story on the precise timing of the first warrant. The Times says August. The Post at least seems to say July. I wouldn’t make too much of this disagreement. It’s possible the Post story is speaking loosely in one case or I over-interpreted a key sentence

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President Trump flipped on maybe half of his major campaign promises yesterday. That’s an issue in itself. But I want to zoom in on the specific issue of Trump’s out of nowhere about-face on designating China as a “currency manipulator” – a technical executive branch finding which brings lots of penalties in its wake.

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A brief note on that massive bomb the US Air Force just dropped in Afghanistan. For those of us who remember, the US made a lot of noise and threatened to use this bomb in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. That was likely as much psychological warfare as anything else. It was never used.

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Let me share a few thoughts on the latest developments in the Trump Russia story, or perhaps better to say, elements of it that don't seem to be getting a great deal of attention.

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Update: t-16 days and counting until 100 Days ritual humiliation.

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