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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The founding of the town of “Trump Heights” (Ramat Trump) was greeted with great fanfare. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American Ambassador David Friedman held a deluxe ceremony to celebrate the new town in the Golan Heights which President Trump officially recognized as part of Israel earlier this year. Trump himself thanked Israel for the honor in a celebratory tweet.

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According to the Times, the Pentagon’s cybercommand is taking newly aggressive steps to inject cyberweapons into Russian critical infrastructure. But they are withholding this information from the President because among other reasons they consider him a security threat and they fear he might countermand the orders or share the information with Russian officials.

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Yet more evidence that (now deceased) GOP consultant specializing in increasing voting power of white Americans was behind Census Bureau decision to add citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

TPM Reader JO has some thoughts on impeachment and accountability …

I admit that part of the reason I enjoy TPM is that it confirms my biases. I value the reporting, insight, and analysis more, but the other part is undeniably comforting. I find myself agreeing with your editorial writings on pretty much everything. But I just do not understand your position on impeachment. There are two parts to this.

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The current (as yet) low level crisis in the Persian Gulf is a good example of the consequences of extreme, chronic lying on the part of the US government. All government’s lie, as I.F.Stone put it. But they don’t all lie to the same degree or in the same way. The Trump administration lies at almost unprecedented levels even compared to the Bush, Nixon and Johnson administrations. Those three lied about intelligence and international incidents with far greater consequences (so far); but for pure willingness to lie and frequency, it’s just not even close.

With that said, you don’t need to assume irrationality or perfidy on the part of the Iranians for them to be behind this. We had a deal with the Iranians backed by all the global powers. We broke the agreement and are now trying to strangle the Iranian economy with new sanctions. By historical standards those actions are reasonably understood to be acts of war. Low level attacks on commercial shipping just under the level that might trigger direct US retaliation has a clear logic to it.

On the other hand, pretty much every regional adversary has a strong incentive to mount some kind of false flag operation, or rush to blame the Iranians. At least a couple have recent histories of reckless, high-risk gambits to advance their perceived goals. The obvious player here is Saudi Arabia and its de facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman. Others seem possible as well.

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Someone asked me this morning how it is that Don McGahn still refuses to testify to Congress even after Donald Trump is literally accusing him of committing a felony by lying under oath in his testimony to the Special Counsel’s Office. One point to note here: no one thinks that the White House can bind McGahn. The White House can arguably give him a rationale, legal reason to refuse to testify. But he’s definitely free to do what he wants. So why is he still doing Trump’s bidding?

The answer is as clear as it is depressing.

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Just so we’re clear on this. The President directly accused his former White House Counsel, Don McGahn, of lying under oath in his testimony to the Mueller investigators. His alleged lie was telling them about Trump’s demands to fire Robert Mueller. Why did he lie? “Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer.”

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Got any questions? Tomorrow at 12:30 PM Eastern I’m doing a Reddit AMA. If you’re not a Redditer that means Ask Me Anything. Open questions for me about anything and everything. I’ll be posting a link tomorrow morning.

Also, if you’re on Reddit, I wanted to let you know we have our own official TPM Reddit page right here. So it’s an easy way for you to find our stuff at Reddit.

I’ve been thinking about President Trump’s comments to George Stephanopoulos. Why did he say that? That he would do that doesn’t surprise me. But why would he say it?

One part of it is probably the most innocent explanation (everything is relative). For Trump to say he would not work with a foreign government against his domestic political enemies would suggest that he or his family members or staffers did something wrong in 2016. Maybe they didn’t commit a crime. Maybe they didn’t “collude”, whatever that means. But to say he wouldn’t do this in 2020 would be to concede what he has never conceded and cannot concede but which likely strikes most of us as obvious: he and his campaign did something deeply wrong by welcoming and making use of damaging information from a foreign adversary state.

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Trump tells Poland’s rightist/authoritarian President: “Much of the media unfortunately in this country is corrupt. I have to tell you that, Mr. President.”

Earlier Trump commented on protests in Hong Kong: “I hope that it all works out for China and for Hong Kong … I hope that they can work it out with China.”

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