All The Pieces Matter: Russiagate Breadcrumbs Galore! (Natasha Bertrand) The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released the transcript of the panel’s November interview with Glenn Simpson, the cofounder of the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The House investigators’ line of questioning Read More
Key Take-Away: As expected and speculated upon, he’s fully cooperating with Mueller and Team. I suspect the source is Mr. Burck.
Key Take-Away from Charles: And finally, we have to stop giving a pass to the people — whether elected official or average voter — who support and defend his racism. If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics.
As the brilliant James Baldwin once put it: “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” When I see that in poll after poll a portion of Trump’s base continues to support his behavior, including on race, I can only conclude that there is no real daylight between Trump and his base. They are part of his racism.
When I see the extraordinary hypocrisy of elected officials who either remain silent in the wake of Trump’s continued racist outbursts or who obliquely condemn him, only to in short order return to defending and praising him and supporting his agenda, I see that there is no real daylight between Trump and them either. They too are part of his racism.
When you see it this way, you understand the enormity and the profundity of what we are facing. There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency.
Key Take-Away from Graham: The refusal to read, and the resulting limits of Trump’s understanding of complicated issues, doesn’t mean that every decision he makes is bad. Indeed, it can be liberating—allowing him to act on instinct, even in the face of expert reservations. My colleague Krishnadev Calamur, for example, writes that the anger that led the White House to freeze aid to Pakistan this week is understandable. But the shaky grasp of the underlying currents means Trump is more likely to blunder on any given case, and Trump’s misstatements and missteps earn him mockery and undermine his stature around the world. Perhaps no single area better summarizes Trump’s strange tendency than his press shop. He was reportedly driven to distraction by Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s ill-fitting suits and bumbling demeanor, and eventually Spicer was pushed out in favor of Sarah Sanders, a calmer and more commanding force in the Brady Room. But in its written work, the White House press team continues to commit errors and gaffes and issue typo-flecked statements. While most problems faced by presidential administrations are incredibly complex, the solution to problems caused by a president who does not read is fairly simple: He ought to start reading. Simple and easy are very different matters, though, and expecting a man who has always preferred chatting and watching television to the printed word to become a reader at 71 would be foolish. There’s no Trump pivot, especially not to the bookshelf.
Key Take-Away from Cillizza: Let me remind you in case you have forgotten: This is the President of the United States we are talking about. The President of ALL 300 million people — not just the ones who voted for Trump and who might respond well to his “shithole” comments. The President of a country literally built on the idea of a melting pot of immigrants. The discussion of whether this will resonate with Trump’s base then is deeply cynical and totally misses the point. There need to be things that are right and things that are wrong, things that we can all agree we should do or not do. Whether or not these things have some political resonance with some group of people is immaterial. We are talking about the President of the United States here! Not some fringe talk radio host? Not some blogger. The single most powerful person in the country. The symbol of the United States to the rest of the world. Whether or not you voted for Trump, whether or not you still support him, whether or not you think this “shithole” comment will land well with his base, you need to acknowledge that voicing views like these is simply wrong. It is, quite literally, anti-American. Period. Full Stop.