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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As I mentioned yesterday, the biggest impact of the Helsinki Summit is a lot of the serious people, the big wigs, starting to think, “yeah, Putin must have something over Trump. Something just does not add up about any of this.” Even President Trump’s intel chief Dan Coats seemed to be feeling the ground moving under his feet yesterday.

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As I mentioned on Tuesday, I was very skeptical that President Trump’s stunning performance at Monday’s press conference would lead to any great shift on Capitol Hill or among core Trump voters. I remain skeptical. In fact, we’ve seen evidence from the Hill tending to validate that skepticism. Some Sens and Reps are blaming Trump critics for the last four days. Many more are accepting at face value the President’s would/wouldn’t nonsense or simply saying there’s nothing they can do.

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Yesterday President Trump gave an interview to Jeff Glor of CBS News. In a portion where he invoked his standard “no collusion” mantra, there was something more (emphasis added).

TRUMP: There’s no collusion. I didn’t deal with Russia. I had nothing to do with Russia with respect to my race. I won that race rather easily. And I can tell you that I think, frankly, 2020, I think it’s going to be even better than we did in ’16.

GLOR: But would you, are you more likely to sit an interview now?

TRUMP: My lawyers are working on that. I’ve always wanted to do an interview, because look, there’s been no collusion. There’s been no talk of Russia. There’s been no phone call. There’s been nothing. And it’s I call it a witch hunt. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a it’s a vicious witch hunt. And you know what? It’s very bad for our country. Very, very bad for our country.

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If you’re interested in what it means that the Russians got access to the DNC’s “analytics” you’re definitely going to want to listen to this episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast. There aren’t that many people who have a really high level understanding of how this works, what you could do with this info and has run this for a national presidential campaign. We talked to one of those people. Listen here or download at iTunes.

So reviewing the President’s trip to Europe – he succeeded in “raising vast amounts of money” at the NATO Summit.

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Last night I finally had a chance to read the criminal complaint against Mariia Butina (the double i is actually the correct spelling). It’s quite a document. Alexander Torshin, who has become a player of some note in U.S. politics, is her co-conspirator and clearly runs her as an agent. There are also two Americans who knowingly worked with her – U.S. Person 1 (who appears to be GOP operative Paul Erickson) and U.S. Person 2.

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The President gave an interview to Sean Hannity, apparently just after he concluded today’s joint press conference. The interview just aired on Hannity’s 9 PM show. Below are three notable clips. A lot of the discussion was a rehash of things we’ve been hearing for weeks or months. But though he didn’t say it directly, the clear import of his account is that a primary or perhaps the primary topic of their conversation was Robert Mueller’s investigation. Trump repeated that President Putin confirmed that there was no collusion. More notably, he said that in their private conversation Putin repeatedly lamented that the Mueller probe had driven the two countries apart and prevented them from doing great things for the world.

Video after the jump.

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About an hour ago the White House sent out a schedule for the tomorrow with a 2 PM meeting at the White House with “Members of Congress.” This is the first mention of such a meeting. So it seems to be new as of this afternoon or evening. Meanwhile Huffpo’s Jennifer Bendery reports on Twitter that she’s spoken to the offices of Ryan, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer and none of them know what it is about, who is invited or anything else. It’s not clear to me whether they don’t know what it is about or whether they literally haven’t been contacted about it by the White House at all. It seems like the latter.

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Russian foreign agent Maria Butina has been arrested for operating as an undisclosed foreign agent, tasked with infiltrating the NRA and other conservative political organizations in the US on behalf of Russia. It turns out her gun rights front group, Right to Bear Arms, paid for Sheriff David Clarke’s trip to Moscow.

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