Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We’ve now had Rudy Giuliani go on CNN and appear to concede that top campaign leaders met two days before the infamous Trump Tower meeting to prepare for how to handle the meeting with the Russian government lawyer. A couple hours later he appeared on Fox News and claimed that none of that was true, that he’d been denying Michael Cohen’s false claims. But there’s one big problem – key to what happened here – that is barely being discussed. In the first TV appearances, Giuliani listed a series of claims made by either Michael Cohen or Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis. Giuliani appeared to concede a lot but drew the line on whether President Trump attended any of these meetings or knew about them in advance. The problem is that neither Cohen or Davis has ever said any of those things.

So what on earth happened here? What is Giuliani talking about?

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Rudy Giuliani just went on Fox News and explained that actually he was denying that the pre-planning meeting took place. The walk back is just as convoluted as the original claims. So I’m going to just show you the video of what he said.

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Rudy Giuliani made two TV appearances this morning, one on Fox and one on CNN. Both are pretty convoluted and a bit hard to follow. So they’ve led to various interpretations. But there’s what I believe is one pretty big admission that is at least very new to me and I think a pretty big problem for Trump and Giuliani.

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, one of the oddities of Giuliani’s rolling defense of Trump in response to Cohen’s accusations is this: Giuliani says that the meeting where Trump allegedly learned about the Russia meeting never happened and he (Giuliani) has talked to the participants and they agree it never happened and Trump didn’t attend the meeting or know about the Russian offer. Now, there’s sort of a problem here. Cohen never said just what meeting he was referring to. And how can you be a witness to a meeting that never happened about what was said in that meeting?

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One of the things I have wanted for TPM for a very long time is a greater ability to visualize the story streams we focus on here at the site. This is a particular need for what we do precisely because we’re not a general interest publication. We’re focused on news about politics and political culture. But even within that purview, we tend to go deep and in a sustained way on a relatively few core stories we think are of particular importance and interest. Much of this you will recognize intuitively if you’re a core or longtime reader. I narrate some of these threads in my own commentary and analysis in the Editors’ Blog. But as the site has evolved over time that is not really sufficient. We’ve largely relied on these bigger pictures being clear in regular readers’ heads through repeat reading and immersion. But that’s not sufficient. 

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Trump threatens “consequences” for families who cross border illegally, says “many are just using children for their own sinister purposes.”

Last week Netflix surprised investors by reporting disappointing quarterly results. Specifically they noted that subscriber “acquisition growth was lower than we projected.”

This has happened before. And Netflix didn’t provide a clear explanation of why their subscriber growth numbers were soft. But I couldn’t help remembering that Netflix is a heavy, heavy user of Facebook advertising and marketing tools to keep growing their subscriber numbers. Remember, Netflix is a classic ‘direct to consumer’ marketer, even though people sometimes don’t think of them that way.

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A few days ago, I went back to that Kevin McCarthy quote from back in June 2016, when he told his leadership colleagues that he thought Vladimir Putin paid two people: Trump and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. As I noted, that came just after McCarthy and Paul Ryan had both met with the new (and current) Ukrainian Prime Minister, who had told them about Russian actions in Europe, funding right/nationalist parties, using propaganda operations to destabilize governments and so forth. But it turns out there’s more to that chain of events than I’d realized, more that makes McCarthy’s statement and Ryan’s secrecy more troubling and suspicious.

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