Thursday, May 31, 2018


Trump really thinks the Attorney General is his personal lawyer and should shield him from legal troubles. Now he says picking Jeff Sessions was a mistake 


Trump’s contempt for the rule of law: It’s deeply troubling, and getting worse

Rudy goes off message, again
“Rudy Giuliani said that he can fully understand why Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations related to Russia and the presidential election and that he might have done the same, had he accepted that job, as Trump wanted” . . . “Giuliani said he would have had the same conflict of interest as Sessions because they were both major players in Trump’s campaign. . . .” 

The obstruction case grows
Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of James Comey, the New York Times reports. “In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.” “But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say. To Mr. McCabe, that seemed like possible evidence that Mr. Comey’s firing was actually related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and that Mr. Rosenstein helped provide a cover story by writing about the Clinton investigation.” 

[NB: Which helps to explain the absurdity at the time that Trump would fire Comey because he had hurt Clinton in the election. Of course, later Trump himself confirmed that it was actually because of Russia.]

Trump and Giuliani have done us the favor of making their impeachment strategy explicit 

Watch how Trump's lawyers have constantly moved the goal posts for conditions before he will testify  

What do viewers in Fox World think when credible Republicans tell them that "Spygate" is a bunch of nonsense?
President Trump’s “claim that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign for political purposes began to crumble Wednesday after a prominent Republican, as well as defenders of the president, said he might have the story wrong” . . .
Trump ‘spygate’ offensive loses steam 

Putin must be having a grand old time -- he helped elect a president who is damaging this country, undermining our democratic institutions, and alienating us from allies around the world

In other news . . .

There are recordings of Trump and Cohen -- and Michael Avenatti wants them
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, confirmed on Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s voice could be heard on tapes recorded by his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.. . . 

I hate this man
After Aide’s Morbid Joke, Trump Leads Nashville Crowd In Booing John McCain
Trump Smears Nancy Pelosi As 'The MS-13' Lover During TN Rally
Did I say "man"? I meant "child"
Trump: ABC Apologized To Jarrett, But Not For ‘HORRIBLE’ Things About Me! 

[NB: So the guy who has never apologized to anyone, ever, is all pouty because someone hasn't apologized to him.]

Hiring John Bolton is one of Trump's worst decisions -- and that's saying something
Bolton’s New NSC Chief Of Staff Served As VP Of Anti-Muslim Hate Group

Once again, a debate over whether to call Trump's lies "lies"

In another weird "defense," Trump advisor says people don't care about his corruption 

Despute all the scams, Trump's businesses are in decline
Oooh, The Princess wants to be a policy player, but doesn't want to accept the consequences of being publicly accountable
Ivanka Leaves Call With Reporters To Avoid Uncomfortable Questions 

The man who wants Paul Ryan's job

Partisanship is so bad that the Repubs want to punish a Dem for voting with them 

I have colleagues who can't start a sentence without saying, "I am concerned . . ." to be followed by a disingenuous and passive/aggressive accusation. Turns out there's a name for that: "concern trolling"

The stories covered in Fox World, and the ones ignored

GOP candidates pin their hopes on immigration

Trump hammers home nativist fear-mongering as the GOP's ultimate—and really only—midterm message

Bonus item: Roseanne Barr, after vowing to quit Twitter, comes back on after her show's cancellation to . . . make herself the victim
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Trump is taking over the duties of other White House officials. Their "job" now is to follow the lurches of his whims and false starts

America's Megalomaniac 

In yet another head-spinning reversal, now China tariffs are back on again

The art of screwing up the deal

No, North Korea won't denuclearize. Of course not. Trump's problem now is how to claim something far less than that as an apparent "victory'

For Trump and Kim Jong Un, the Summit Has Become an End in Itself

After spending the weekend obsessively posting one tweet after another about the Mueller investigation, Trump now says, I have better things to do!

[NB: Is that a promise?]

Hear the boom?
Trump told Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself in Russia probe: report

The confrontation, which has not been previously reported, is being investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as are the president’s public and private attacks on Mr. Sessions and efforts to get him to resign. . . . The special counsel’s interest demonstrates Mr. Sessions’s overlooked role as a key witness in the investigation into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry itself. It also suggests that the obstruction investigation is broader than it is widely understood to be — encompassing not only the president’s interactions with and firing of the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, but also his relationship with Mr. Sessions. 

[NB: Looks like Trump's own Attorney General is a major witness against him.]

A look ahead to what might happen when Mueller releases the report  

There is no end to Trump's hatred of Obama -- now the Russia story is all HIS fault


[NB: Trump likes to say, Obama did nothing about Russian meddling when he found out about it. That's not true -- and he would have done more if not for the refusal of Mitch McConnell to go along with it:

Trumo also says that no one told him about it at the time. That's not true either:]  

I've said it a hundred times: Trump will never testify voluntarily

Trump's "salami tactics" against the investigation

The Trump-Giuliani plan to discredit the investigation runs into a little speed bump
“If the spying was inappropriate, that means we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation,” Giuliani said. . .
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said on Tuesday that the FBI’s use of an informant for the Trump campaign in 2016 was appropriate, joining top Democrats in disputing President Donald Trump’s characterization of the informant as a spy. “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got . . .”

The "special master" in the Michael Cohen case has 250 out of 300,000 documents that Trump's lawyers claim are privileged

Trump has admitted, repeatedly, that he lies and expects to get away with it. HE SAYS SO

The man who rode to office on a massive, coordinated disinformation campaign, and who governs with daily lies and conspiracy theories, charges the press with "the most highly sophisticated & dishonest Disinformation Campaign in the history of politics"

In other news . . .

Crowd pleaser
Trump goads crowd at his rally into gleefully comparing some immigrants to animals
Trump bragged about classified Syria skirmish at fundraiser

How did that surge of National Guard troops to the border work out?

Missouri's GOP governor resigns  

Another GOPer who wants to blame school shootings on anything and everything except guns. Her culprit?  Porn

The Trump admin says only 64 people died in Puerto Rico's hurricane. Turns out it was closer to 4700

Trump calls it the most transparent administration in history. Then why aren't they sharing evidence requested by the GAO?

No credible news source runs stories without sourcing, and in serious stories multiple sources. Why does Trump constantly say they just make up their sources?

[NB: Of course, Trump ALSO says he's furious about leaks -- I mean, SOURCES.] 

Theocracy watch
An evangelical Christian university is helping make a film that implies God chose Trump

More pro-Trump media

Where is Melania?

Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet (not her first, by any means) -- and ABC instantly cancels her popular Trumpian show

The far right instantly jumps to her defense:

Can we fire him too?
Of Course Donald Trump Jr Retweeted Roseanne's Tweets  

[NB: So, it appears that we have higher standards for popular entertainers than we do for our political leaders.]

GOP candidates are tying themselves to Trump
“Republicans appear far more comfortable touting Trump’s leadership than Democrats do arguing against it.”

The Moral Compromise Republicans Made to Support Trump in 2016? It's Only Getting Worse

New polling shows fewer Republican voters care about 'moral leadership' in the Oval Office

California's weird primary system could hurt the Dems

I think a strong potential cross-cutting theme for the Fall elections is defending public education

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***