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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

As I mentioned below, when Robert Mueller spoke roughly 90 minutes ago I was out and offline. My initial comments were based on write-ups and clips. I’ve now listened closely to the whole 9 minute presentation. My big takeaway remains the same: Mueller needs to testify because it’s right that he should testify and answer Congress’s questions; and it’s up to them, not him.

But let me address what I think are some pretty significant points.

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I was out at a long scheduled meeting when Robert Mueller gave his statement a short time ago. Here’s Tierney Sneed’s write up. The upshot to me is that he has to testify in public. He’s made clear he doesn’t want to. But half of life is made up of things we’d rather not do. And my takeaway is that the Congress has to approach securing his testimony with the same determination and teeth they’re using with the bad-acting administration officials. That’s not because I see him as a bad actor. It’s simply because he has to testify, time is of the essence and the decision is up to Congress.

You’ve seen that Robert Mueller will issue some sort of televised statement at 11 am this morning. Reportedly, he will not take questions. Anything is possible. But I don’t expect much from this.

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I checked my email this morning and a number of you wrote in asking about some version of this oped by Steven Rattner in The New York Times. You flagged either the original piece or various other publications picking up the underlying studies or riffing on the Times article. If you haven’t read it, Rattner notes a number of economic models which have predicted election outcomes in the past. They tell us now that, contrary to the polls, President Trump is a solid favorite for reelection.

Is this true?

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For those of you who’ve been trying to make sense of the EU elections and especially the EU elections in the UK, I wanted to add a few thoughts. First, the results are a bit muddled and contradictory. But they’re also mired in a fair amount of misunderstandings and misleading spin and gloss. Rightwing parties did do well in a lot of EU countries. But in most they either underperformed expectations or fell from previous highs in the 2014 EU election. The big story overall is the decline or in some cases near collapse of the traditional parties of government – center-right and center-left – in lots of countries, particularly heartland EU countries like Germany, France, the UK, et al.

Let’s focus in on the UK.

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I should note that after a day of saturation coverage of those doctored Pelosi hoax videos Facebook continues to slow roll taking them down. Theyir current stance is still that they’ve been “enqueued” the videos for review by third party fact-checkers, a group that includes publications such as The Daily Caller among others.

For now they continue to derive ad and data revenues from the video and curry favor with the President of the United States by keeping it online.

For everyone who’s been worried about Attorney General Bill Barr’s lawless reign at the Department of Justice last night was the big moment. As you’ve likely already seen President Trump gave Barr blanket authority to access and declassify any and all classified information from the country’s dozen and a half intelligence agencies in his quest to “investigate the investigators” of the Russia scandal.There’s hardly any way to overstate just how big a deal this is or how dangerous it is in the hands of a corrupt official like Bill Barr.

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As Kate Riga reported earlier, someone has created a series of highly realistic and yet provably doctored videos running on Facebook which appear to show Nancy Pelosi slurring her speech or drunk. The Post was first on this, showing conclusively how the doctoring had happened and the real video it was based on.

This is a growing issue, the increasing ability to created phony videos which look very real and are very difficult to show are not real. They are referred to as “deepfakes” and they’re getting talked about more and more in media and intelligence circles.

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