I’m getting a lot of new information about the AT&T/Time Warner acquisition and what the Trump White House is up to. If you know things, please contact me at our comment email address under our logo. I can also provide secure means of communication.

A lot of Flynn threads are emerging in rapid succession that suggests a much broader and wilder universe of criminal wrongdoing. Here’s my backgrounder (sub req) on what might be coming.

As I mentioned Thursday, we have four open positions we are currently hiring for at TPM, one an existing but vacant position and three new positions: Senior Editor, Prime Editor, Assistant Editor and a third reporter to join our Investigations Desk team. Today we’re posting our listing for our Assistant Editor position.

Listing after the jump.
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National Security Adviser Michael Flynn stands with K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser, before speaking during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Flynn said the administration is putting Iran "on notice" after it tested a ballistic missile. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

This new story about Michael Flynn possibly negotiating to kidnap a legal American resident and exfiltrate him to Turkey is wild and really requires close attention. We had heard some time ago that this idea of kidnapping Fetullah Gulen had been discussed or perhaps hypothesized. But now we are hearing that Michael Flynn and perhaps his son were actively negotiating with Turkish interests about doing this during the transition.
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Jim Zeigler is the Alabama State Auditor who has recast the core narratives of the Gospels as a sort of barely legal dime novel as a way to justify the alleged actions of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. “Zechariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
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CNN is now reporting that Robert Mueller’s Russia probe has now interviewed young White House advisor Stephen Miller. The focus seems to be on Miller’s knowledge of and possible involvement in the firing of James Comey. With this news, I want to remind everyone of Miller’s role on that pivotal weekend with Trump before the Comey firing and that still unexplained Air Force One incident on the Sunday night flight back to Washington. Here’s my report.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) laments that the GOP tax bill as currently written is a political disaster and Tuesday’s results prove it: “To me it’s about the most obvious message you can get. I just hope people listen. It’s just common sense. These aren’t [just] tough votes, they’re votes that go right against our constituents.”

Cameron Joseph on why the tax bill is now a heavier lift for vulnerable suburban GOPers.

TPM is currently hiring for four editorial positions, one existing position and three new positions: Senior Editor, Prime Editor, Assistant Editor and a third reporter to join our Investigations Desk team. I’ll be posting job listings for all of these positions shortly. But I wanted to start with the Senior Editor listing, an existing position based out of our New York office.

Listing after the jump.
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President Donald Trump meets with Russian Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017. At right is Russian Ambassador to USA Sergei Kislyak. President Donald Trump on Wednesday welcomed Vladimir Putin's top diplomat to the White House for Trump’s highest level face-to-face contact with a Russian government official since he took office in January. (Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP)

I noted yesterday (sub req) that I think that even if Trump had or has come to hate Russia and Vladimir Putin he must know he can’t cross them now because of the compromising information they could easily use against him.

Here’s something else that needs to be flagged.
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Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam walks onstage to celebrate his election at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

I was quite concerned that Ed Gillespie might win last night. The polls had tightened considerably over the last ten days. Gillespie had also significantly nationalized the race, explicitly getting behind President Trump’s most aggressive racist “nationalist” political symbols and messages. Had he won it would have been a big psychological blow to Democratic enthusiasm, confidence, and momentum. Beyond psychological impact, though gubernatorial races are never perfect proxies for national issues, it would have been a daunting substantive sign: that a conventional Republican candidate, running an aggressively Trumpite campaign, chockfull of racist cultural symbols and messages, could super-charge the GOP base and win, even with what appears to be historic levels of Democratic enthusiasm. I was not terribly worried that that was what a Gillespie win would mean in reality. But the perceived impact would have been immense and taken on a life of its own.
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Over the fierce objection of Gov. Paul LePage (R), Maine voters rose up and passed Medicaid expansion under Obamacare tonight, becoming the first state in the country to do so by ballot initiative.

Opponents of expansion fought it with a blitz of late misinformation, as Alice Ollstein reports.

A local newspaper quoted one canvaser for the measure, whose father has cancer and high out-of-pocket costs, “People have gotten used to having health care and they’re not just going to let it go. People are now realizing health care is an individual right.”

Results are trickling in from Virginia. Cameron Joseph is reporting for us from Ralph Northam’s election night venue at George Mason University in northern Virginia. Stay tuned.

Still early returns in Virginia. But the numbers crunchers I watch most closely show are pointing to a good night for Ralph Northam.

7:47 PM: Dave Wasserman is a numbers guy I watch closely. He’s pretty conservative in predictions. He just called it for Northam. I’d say that’s close to bankable.

7:55 PM: I mentioned that I have a list of numbers crunchers I watch. It seems unanimous. They’re all pointing to a Northam win and perhaps by a solid margin. The TV networks are being very conservative. But this seems done.

From the press pool …

News: President Trump attempted to make a surprise, unscheduled visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea this morning, but was foiled by a bad weather call and his helicopter, along with your pool, had to turn back and return to Seoul.

I’ve changed my mind on this. The news of the last week makes me think that President Trump is compromised and knows he can’t cross Russia or Vladimir Putin without risking an flood of damaging revelations revelations from 2016. Here’s my take (sub req).

I was in meetings most of this morning. I’m only now catching up on the reporting on Carter Page’s testimony before Congress. But I did read the first half of his testimony transcript last night. And I wanted to share a few initial impressions.
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President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on tax policy with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Over the last four days President Trump has made a series of statements demanding his Justice Department ‘investigate’ Hillary Clinton and other Democratic enemies. These demands aren’t entirely new. But by their specificity, repetition and speed they represent a new departure in demands for extra-legal action and rule. We should note that Trump is increasingly acting like a dictator or would be strong man. The only difference is that the machinery of government, seemingly up to at least some of his high level appointees, seems to be largely ignoring him. This is much better than the alternative. But it is still a bad, dangerous development.
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