Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

And … he just … tweeted it out.

The popular Twitter meme that originated from reporter Jared Sexton after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out his Trump Tower meeting email exchanges has come to encapsulate the Trump era — a rare moment in our political history in which saying the quiet part out loud is a routine line of defense.

In today’s case, the President didn’t tweet it out, but rather shouted it out over the roaring helicopter engine parked outside the White House while he prepared to leave for an event in Florida. All the same, on Thursday morning, President Trump not only openly admitted he wants Ukraine to open a “major investigation in the Bidens,” he also publicly urged the Chinese government to do the same.

“Likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said. “Because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

It’s news. But it’s not surprising.

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During a pool spray with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö shortly after his arrival at the White House, Trump let his vexation at Democrats and their impeachment inquiry unravel out in the open, raging at House Democrats, the whistleblower, former Vice President Joe Biden and the media.

Trump lobbed schoolyard-level insults at House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), arguing he wasn’t fit to carry Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “blank strap,” an apparent allusion to a “jockstrap.” Trump then suggested that Schiff’s behavior was “treasonous” — not a new line for the President.

Trump claimed that the whistleblower was “inaccurate” and later suggested that the identity of the individual who filed the complaint should be disclosed, calling the complaint about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president “dishonest.” He then launched into a rant about Pelosi spending too much time on impeachment instead of all the “needles and drugs all over the street” in her district.

That diatribe wormed it’s way into a tirade about the governor of California, the “corrupt” media and Trump’s Fourth of July military parade. He then returned to the whistleblower, arguing a whistleblower should only be protected if they’re “legitimate.” He also berated the Washington Post and the contents of a new book by New York Times’ reporters that disclosed his absurd requests for the border wall.

Trump also mocked Democrats for thinking he would “never in a million years” release the transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president, which is now the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“Here’s where I fooled them,” he said, claiming that Pelosi “went crazy” after she read the memo on the record of the call because, he argued, it didn’t outline the quid pro quo element discussed in the whistleblower complaint.

The president of Finland said nothing, except to acknowledge that Finland is a happy country.

The stunning rant in front of Finnish President Sauli Niinistö appeared to be the culmination of a morning of rage-tweeting for President Trump. House Democratic leaders held a press conference on Wednesday morning, just an hour before Niinistö was set to arrive at the White House. Trump spent that time live-tweeting expletives at Pelosi and Schiff.

Trump called Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “BULLSHIT” after deriding the “brains, honor and strength” of Schiff, whom Trump said was incomparable to his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump also mocked Pelosi’s opening remarks about prescription drug legislation and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal as nothing more than “camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment.”

The press conference functioned as an update on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. While the rest of Congress is on recess, several House committees will hear depositions from key figures in the ever-evolving Trump-Ukraine scandal, which is the basis of Democrats’ impeachment probe.

Schiff warned that Democrats would not take stonewalling from the White House lightly, threatening that any efforts to block the House’s subpoenas would be considered obstruction of justice.

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