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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I wanted to share a few thoughts on the mounting atmosphere of crisis between the US and North Korea. This is really an extreme fast-forward and stupider version of what we saw in the 2001-03 era under George W. Bush.

Simply put, President Trump came into office asserting that he’d stop North Korea’s missile program in its tracks through some mix of will and threat.

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Last night on Twitter, along with urging various nations in Northeast Asia to go to war with North Korea, President Trump retweeted a gushing tweet from someone named Jacob Wohl, a name I hadn’t heard before. A quick look at his twitter profile shows Wohl presents himself as a financial management wunderkind and epic Trump supporter. He’s already a mini-star in conservative media and no doubt about to grow in such stardom with a retweet from the President. (It’s worth wondering, how did Trump find Wohl.) He also appears to be a veritable mini-Trump, racking up a reputation for defrauded investors, various boffo shenanigans and a batch of regulators on his trail.

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Cue the Mission Impossible music …

We have news out of the UK that coming off the G20 summit in Germany, President Trump may try to sneak into the UK for an unannounced quick meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, hoping that the lack of any advanced notice will foil the plans of any Britains who might want to make fun of him.

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We are coming up on the half way point in our annual Prime membership drive. And as I have been telling you with mounting urgency over the last week, we were pushing hard to meet our goal for the month of June, which was to reach a total of 22,000 total members. 

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This is big.

As you may have heard, this evening The Wall Street Journal published a major follow-up to its story from Thursday which described the work of a GOP money man and oppo research guy, the late Peter W. Smith, who was trying to get hacked emails from Russia and held himself out to be in contact with disgraced Trump advisor Michael Flynn. On its face, the big new break in this follow-up story is a new document from Smith. The document is from what is described as a package of recruiting materials Smith was using to enlist cybersecurity talent in his operation. The document listed key officials in the Trump campaign. These were apparently people Smith claimed he was in touch with or working with, though precisely how or why they were mentioned is not entirely clear.

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Some of you remember the 2006/07 US Attorneys firing scandal. What most people don’t clearly remember is that the US Attorneys scandal was really a voter suppression scandal. The US Attorney firings were just a secondary operation meant to root out US Attorneys who wouldn’t play ball with political appointees at the Department of Justice and the White House on the broader voter suppression operation.

What we have now with President Trump’s ‘Election Integrity’ Commission is a much more thorough-going, ambitious and open effort to do the same thing. It’s like an AUMF targeting non-white voters and secondarily anyone who votes for Democrats with any regularity. The people getting top positions on the Commission are basically the worst of the worst from the 2006/07 days. It’s really that bad. And they’re already trying to pull together all the confidential voter data from every state in the union.

You’ve no doubt seen the Wall Street Journal article about the GOP operative and money man who assembled a team to get a hold of Russia-hacked Clinton emails and claimed he was working in concert with disgraced Trump advisor Mike Flynn. From my read, this is one of those articles which is as interesting for what it doesn’t say as what it does. It raises all sorts of questions, a number of which the Investigations Desk will be digging into today.

Here are some basic questions I had.

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We’ve already seen, repeatedly, that when Donald Trump wants to attack women the first go-to is that they’re either stupid or crazy and likely both. In this he is hardly unique. But in today’s attack on Mika Brzezinski what stood out was his insistence that he refused to meet with her at Mar-a-Lago because “she was bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

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We have just 82 53 32 membership sign ups to go to get to 22,000 total subscribers, our goal for the end of June. If you’re thinking about subscribing, take a moment now and join us. Half my life is putting things off. I get it. But step aside from your routine for just two minutes. Sign up, get a better version of TPM with fewer ads and more features and help us build the next TPM. Click right here. Thank you.

Not long ago I was talking with my colleague David Kurtz. We agreed that in many respects the big mainstream media players – the ‘MSM’ – had exceeded our expectations in grappling with the novelty and strong-manism of President Trump and his entourage. Reporters aggressively press for access, normal on-camera press conferences and against raise a clamor at all the petty and sometimes trivial ways the Trump White House tries to put reporters and news organizations in their place. We now see major media outlets – newspapers and TV networks – cataloguing the President’s lies. And calling them ‘lies’. This isn’t remotely like anything we’ve seen before. My point here isn’t to say things are peachy and everything’s perfect. I’m as big a press critic as ever. But much of what one might have feared about a corporate, mainstream media normalizing Trump’s abnormal, unAmerican behavior actually has not happened.

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