Editors’ Blog

Umm Ok

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL): “IVF is something that is so critical to a lot of couples. It helps them breed great families.”

Introducing the British Deep State

Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss visited CPAC this weekend and announced that her record-breaking 50 day stint as Prime Minister had been brought to an early end by none other than the British “deep state.” It’s another illustration of how one of America’s many cultural exports, or soft power, is now Trumpism. In most ways early 21st century revanchist nationalism really began in Europe, building on existing parties like the French National Front but taking it in significantly new directions. But Trumpian branding, if not always the substance, has mostly won out.

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Face It: This is a Weak Showing for Trump in South Carolina

The networks announced Donald Trump’s victory tonight in South Carolina shortly after the polls closed. The headlines speak of a decisive victory. The Times reported Trump “trounced” Haley, landing a “crushing blow,” a “big win” over Haley who “lost decisively.” But as I write 87% of the vote is in and Donald Trump has 60% of the vote to Nikki Haley’s 39.4%.

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South Carolina Republican Primary

Polls will be closing soon in South Carolina, where Donald Trump is widely expected to demolish Nikki Haley in the state where she once served as governor. Read Kate Riga’s take on where things in today’s issue of the The Weekender.

Senators Now Defending IVF CoSponsored Bill to Outlaw It

Sen. Steve Daines (R) of Montana heads the Senate Republican campaign committee, which today sent out a memo to all its candidates instructing them to vigorously defend IVF fertility treatments which the Alabama Supreme Court just effectively outlawed in the state. Donald Trump put out a statement so wildly endorsing IVF that he appears all but ready to undergo IVF himself just to make the point. But Sen. Daines himself recently cosponsored (along with numerous Senate colleagues) a law based on precisely the same theory used by the Alabama court.

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Trump’s ‘Show Me the Money’ Campaign—Full YOLO in 2024 Prime Badge
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For weeks political observers have been having fun with Donald Trump’s decision to launch if not a hostile then what we might call an abusive takeover of the RNC. Of course, one might ask what was left to take over exactly. Since the day before his inauguration in 2017 the RNC has been under the management of Trump’s pliable toady Ronna McDaniel (née Romney McDaniel) who has served in that role for the unheard of span of seven years. But that was clearly not a tight enough bond to the Trump family. Trump wants to replace McDaniel with his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who has become an increasingly visible Trump political surrogate. Technically, it’s not just Lara Trump. They propose a kind of co-leadership with North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley and Lara Trump serving as cochairs. Presumably Whatley is there for the operational experience and management; Lara is there for the control. Trump campaign senior advisor Chris LaCivita will become the RNC’s COO.

Trump campaign sources tell pliant media outlets that this is to assure a “seamless operation,” uniting the campaign and the RNC. And there’s no arguing that point. They will become in effect the same organization. You can’t get more seamless than literally no seams. But I think we should not underestimate the odds that the takeover of the RNC is for reasons beyond the mere crony-fication of political institutions. Trump clearly needs the money. Certainly for legal expenses and quite possibly to pay legal judgements to the state of New York and E. Jean Carroll.

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Can DC Reporters Overcome Their Trumper Shock-Training? Prime Badge
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As I noted yesterday, the Alexander Smirnov news is either confirmation of what we already knew or else spurs a kind of mass outburst of incredulity about how it is we’re still as a country, as a media, as a national political conversation getting led around by the nose by these same transparent scams?

Let’s stipulate that these are rhetorical questions.

But let me note a tendency I’m already seeing in a lot of coverage. House Republicans seems surprisingly candid that their holy grail of Biden impeachment isn’t going to happen. Quite a few press reports are taking a different tack. Some are playing this as “the Smirnov news may undermine the whole Biden investigation.” (Who’s gonna tell ’em?) To others it’s like a hot start up that failed. It just didn’t pan out. Oh well.

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Listen To This: The Fraud Father

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Kate and Josh discuss the verdict in Donald Trump’s civil fraud case, the ongoing Fani Willis drama and the latest, Ezra-Klein-sparked round of fretting over Joe Biden’s age.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

A Bigger Story Than You Can Possibly Imagine Prime Badge
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I know that’s a big headline that promises a lot. But I think it’s true. David has a good rundown of the events in the Morning Memo. But I want to do my best to set them out on a larger canvas that goes back to the “Hunter Biden laptop” and really all the way back to 2015, a continuing Russian information operation that has been ongoing for almost a decade.

Let’s review recent events. First came the news that prosecutors in special counsel David Weiss’s office had decided that the confidential FBI informant who had been one of Biden’s top accusers had been lying and that they were charging him for lying to the FBI. That next step is critical. Informants lie to prosecutors all the time. They seldom get charged. It’s one standard to decide your informant isn’t telling the truth and/or won’t hold up at trial. It’s an entirely different one to think that you can prove they knowingly lied beyond a reasonable doubt. Clearly investigators felt they had caught Alexander Smirnov dead to rights. Yesterday came news that Smirnov has admitted that he got his false stories from Russian intelligence officers. Smirnov isn’t just at the center of the DOJ investigation, he’s at the center of what we have to generously call James Comer’s House inquiry, the premise for Joe Biden’s increasingly wobbly impeachment.

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