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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

This is a remarkable passage wherein the President of France compares President Trump to Putin and Erdogan, as cheap bullies that need to be stood up to. Macron told a French paper: “my handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent.” It was rather a “moment of truth. One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either.”

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I have a slight trepidation about posting this. But with the passing last night of Zbigniew Brzezinski I wanted to share a brief remembrance.

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Though I wrote about the particulars yesterday afternoon, the picture only fully crystallized for me this afternoon. President Trump’s visit to Brussels/Europe wasn’t just another grab bag of impulsive aggression and gaffes. It wasn’t scattershot. It was quite clearly focused on destabilizing and perhaps eviscerating the NATO Alliance and somewhat secondarily, but relatedly, the European Union. This has been the strategic goal of Russia and before it the Soviet Union for decades. The sum total of everything that happened on this trip casts the entire Trump/Russia story in a decidedly more ominous light.

And the light was already quite ominous.

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We’ve just had some highly disturbing, vaguely surreal new information reported by CNN. Two days ago The Washington Post reported that James Comey’s decision not to notify the Department of Justice about his July Clinton emails press conference was driven in part by emails or documents describing emails the FBI had found in troves of Russian-hacked emails which appeared to compromise Attorney General Lynch’s independence. The gist of the Post story was that Comey may have relied on what was in fact an exquisitely successful disinformation operation to make what turned out to be a highly consequential decision affecting the 2016 election.

This new CNN story contains an important twist.

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It’s been a few months (actually back to February 12th) since I did my last full timeline trying to make sense of Michael Flynn’s and the rest of the Trump Entourage’s role in the unfolding Russia drama. We’ve learned quite a lot since early February, to put it mildly. Why timelines? We think and exist in time. It’s the premise and check on the key dynamic necessary to understand anything: causality. For all these reasons I’ve always found them a critical first step to help me synthesize scatterings of information. So I’m back to constructing another. There’s so much out there that I’m going to need your help putting it all together. I’m going to start with the key developments but once I have that in place, I’m going to ask for your help filling in the details. More soon.

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