President Trump Admits Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Was Installed Over Robert Mueller’s Russia Probe

Jack Holmes writes:

‘The president just admitted, unprompted, that he fired the head of the Justice Department and installed a loyalist over a Justice Department investigation into him and his associates. This is obstruction. This is corrupt. This is an untenable assault on the rule of law in a democratic republic. And the Republican majorities in Congress—to say nothing of his base—will happily let him get away with it. …’

Source: Esquire

Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

Daily Caller interview transcript shows he has no clue

’In some ways, the friendliest Donald Trump interviews are the most revealing. Given the opportunity to ramble and free-associate without any pushback whatsoever, you can see what channels his mind naturally follows.

His latest interview with the Daily Caller shows a president who’s fundamentally out to sea. The sycophantic interviewers can’t get Trump to answer a policy question of any kind, no matter how much of a softball they lob at him. The only subjects he is actually interested in talking about are his deranged belief in his incredible popularity and how that popularity is not reflected in actual vote totals because he’s the victim of a vast voter fraud conspiracy.

It’s the kind of thing that would be a bit sad if it were just your elderly uncle ranting about his past glories, but Trump mixes it in with authoritarian asides and the fundamental reality that whether he cares to do the actual job or not, he is ultimately the president of the United States.…’

Via Vox

Related:

Donald Trump: incompetent or authoritarian? Both are scary. Reject journalist David Brooks’s false choice:

 

’While promoting an excellent article by Weekly Standard editor Jonathan Last about President Donald Trump’s tendency to be the vaporware president, New York Times columnist David Brooks offers an unfortunate false dichotomy, saying that Americans should fear Trump’s incompetence rather than his authoritarianism.

 

This is a frequent theme among intelligent conservative commentators who find themselves trapped between the bombast of the MAGA-maniacs and the ideological betrayals of the hardcore Never Trumpers. Ross Douthat wrote in January in the New York Times, for example, that “Trump so far is more farce than tragedy.” …

 

There are undoubtedly real examples of autocratic rulers who are also savvy, highly skilled technocrats who excel at devising and implementing public policy.

 

Singapore’s former leader Lee Kwan Yoo is the example one hears most commonly, but the likes of Paul Kagame in Rwanda, Deng Xiaoping in China, and Park Chung-hee in South Korea are also often said to fit the bill.

 

But a much more common situation is for authoritarians to appoint people to positions of authority based on considerations of loyalty and regime stability rather than competence…’

 

 

Via Vox

Trump’s latest lies: a linguist explains how the media should respond

Unknown’George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics and cognitive science at UC Berkeley and the author of the 2004 book Don’t Think of an Elephant, recently published an article laying out the media’s dilemma. Trump’s “big lie” strategy, he argues, is to “exploit journalistic convention by providing rapid-fire news events for reporters to chase.”

According to Lakoff, the president uses lies to divert attention from the “big truths,” or the things he doesn’t want the media to cover. This allows Trump to create the controversies he wants and capitalize on the outrage and confusion they generate, while simultaneously stoking his base and forcing the press into the role of “opposition party.”

I reached out to Lakoff to talk about Trump’s media strategy, but also, more importantly, about solutions. If the president has indeed turned journalistic conventions to his advantage, how can we, the media, respond constructively?…’

Via Vox

Jeff Flake says he’ll block judicial nominees until a Mueller protection bill gets a vote

973543570 jpg 0’Sen. Jeff Flake, the lame-duck Arizona senator who’s long clashed with President Donald Trump, is once again threatening to use his position to express concerns about executive power and the fate of the Russia investigation.

It’s not an empty threat. But it’s not yet clear to what extent he’ll follow through.

Flake said on Wednesday that he would oppose all judicial nominees coming through the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate floor until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts a bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller up for a vote.…’

Via Vox

Related:

McConnell just said there’s no need for a “protect Mueller” bill. Trump already made that look silly.

1027286420 jpg 0Trump rages against Robert Mueller:

 

’In an angry Twitter rant, Trump describes Mueller as “a disgrace to our Nation.”…’

 

 

Via Vox

Fox News ain’t what it used to be

Fox backs jim acostaFox backs CNN in lawsuit against Trump Administration:

’On Tuesday, CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for allegedly violating the First and Fifth Amendments when it revoked Jim Acosta’s press badge. Opinions on Acosta may vary among media professionals, though the general consensus seems to be that administrations shouldn’t bar journalists from the White House based on the content of their reporting. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who had tweeted a doctored video of the heated exchange between Acosta and President Donald Trump, described CNN’s lawsuit as “more grandstanding.” Fox News voiced support on Wednesday for CNN’s effort to restore the press pass of reporter Jim Acosta after it was revoked by the White House.…’

Via Big Think