Roll Call suggests the most likely indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — coming as soon as Monday — are Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page. The “long shots” are Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. “If Mueller is targeting the commander in chief, going after his son or son-in-law this early would be a way of getting Trump’s attention.”
Matt Miller, a former Obama Justice Department official, emails Mike Allen on reports of pending indictments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe: “I think it means this will be a rolling investigation. Rather than conduct his entire investigation and then wrap things up with indictments and possibly a report at the end, he is doing it in stages, the way the Justice Department might attack a drug cartel or a mafia family.”
He added that this “is a watershed moment for the politics surrounding the investigation.”
Trump's lawyers are scrambling to figure out what is going on and who might be indicted https://t.co/BsIBneSILB
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) October 28, 2017
While the White House lawyers scrambled Saturday to figure out as much as they could about the coming charges in the Russia investigation, President Trump’s morning had a familiar ring to it as he put on a baseball cap and went to the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia for the fourth consecutive weekend. That means the commander in chief has spent every single weekend in October at the 800-acre property, where he has not been shy about hitting the links. This was his 76th day at a golf club, 96th day at a Trump property as president.
The Atlantic’s ace Ronald Brownstein explores some of the reasons “Why the Virginia Governor’s Race Could Echo Across the Country.” Among Brownstein’s insights: “The Virginia gubernatorial contest has unexpectedly become a test case of the explosive politics of race in the Donald Trump era. The outcome could tug the Republican Party much further toward Trump-style racial provocation and polarization next year. Or it could warn the GOP that such positioning carries too high a political price among white swing voters and minorities…If minorities in Virginia fail to vote in higher numbers than usual, even after Gillespie’s racial provocations, more Republicans will undoubtedly feel emboldened to follow him down that road. Already, in New Jersey, GOP gubernatorial nominee Kim Guadagno, who’s been trailing Democrat Phil Murphy badly, is closing her campaign by unleashing her own attacks on sanctuary cities and warning of “illegal aliens” committing violent crimes. “The stakes are very high,” Torres said. “If they win in Virginia, it’s going to be very scary all around the nation.”
In his FiveThirtyEight post, “How Does Jeff Flake’s Retirement Change The Arizona Senate Race?,” Harry Enten argues that Democrats still have a good chance to win the U.S. senate seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, who just quit with a searing attack on his party’s leader. “…it won’t be easy for Republicans to hold the Arizona Senate seat. More Arizonans dislike Trump than like him, and midterm elections are almost always tough on the president’s party. Sinema, meanwhile, is probably the strongest candidate Democrats could have hoped for.”
American stocks are up a lot, but foreign stocks are up more. https://t.co/GYYmIOTosd
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 27, 2017
Hundreds of people came out to two white nationalist rallies held in Tennessee on Saturday, and, as has become the norm lately, the counter protesters vastly outnumbered the racists. The first rally of the day was held in Shelbyville, where some 200 white nationalists chanted in favor of deportations and closing the borders while almost double the number of people protested their presence. When someone from the National Socialist Movement (i.e. NAZI movement) took the microphone and tried to speak to the gathered demonstrators, the counter protesters managed to drown out his words by playing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“In remarks in Seoul with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo at his side, Mattis accused the North of illegal and unnecessary missile and nuclear programs — and vowed to defeat any attack,” the AP reports.
“Mattis said North Korea engages in ‘outlaw’ behavior and that the U.S. will never accept a nuclear North. He added that regardless of what the North might try, it is overmatched by the firepower and cohesiveness of the decades-old U.S.-South Korean alliance.”
Would "Medicaid for all" cure what ails our health-care system? An interview with Hawaii senator Brian Schatz https://t.co/jmWI6ViXE2
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) October 26, 2017
“Rank-and-file House Republicans are increasingly alarmed by the secrecy shrouding the massive tax bill their party leaders plan to ram through Congress next month,” Politico reports.
“Just days ahead of the legislation’s release, GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee are still in the dark on numerous details being ironed out by the powerful tax-writing committee’s chairman, Kevin Brady (R-TX), and his staff. And they’re blaming the panel’s top-down approach for the uncertainty.”
Facebook is bringing “dark posts” into the light in response to the election interference on social media last year, and the new rules will impact all advertisers, Ad Age reports.
“On Friday, Facebook revealed a new system of disclosing what groups and companies paid for ads on its platform: Any ads running on Facebook will be readily viewable by anyone.”
“That means no more so-called dark posts, ads that target only a particular set of people but are invisible otherwise because they never appear as posts on a brand or group’s page. The ads themselves will remain available—only now they’ll be visible to all.”
Democrats have a serious Sinclair Broadcasting problem. https://t.co/LzUzOwr6I2
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) October 28, 2017
Multiple outlets reported on Saturday that President Trump is likely to choose Jerome Powell as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve, a decision the president has said he will announce this week. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the president hasn’t made a formal decision and could still change his mind,” but that he has for now “settled” on Powell. CNN reported similar details.
Powell, a current member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors appointed by President Obama, has been a mainstay on Trump’s shortlist for the position, along with Stanford professor John Taylor and current Fed chair Janet Yellen. Two other candidates who had been in the running, ardent Fed critic Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, have reportedly been ruled out.
Trump’s billionaire Republican friends are mocking and souring on him: “[At a recent conference,] the mood was glum. Barry Sternlicht, a billionaire real-estate investor, hotel mogul, and self-described Trump friend and golf partner, seemed to have soured on the president. “I expected him to go to the middle, because I thought he wanted to be great,” he said of Trump, according to an audio of his off-the-record talk obtained by New York. “I played [golf] with Donald Trump and his golf game is like his presidency,” he said, eliciting guffaws. “He’s amusing as my friend, but he’s not very amusing as president of the United States. And I’m a Republican.”
Other conference participants sounded the alarm more loudly. Frequent GOP donor Seth Klarman, CEO of $30 billion Baupost Group hedge fund, had already warned his investors about Trump’s protectionist policies and the deficits his tax plan would produce. But at Robin Hood, Klarman — who is widely revered in investing circles — offered a much harsher assessment of Trump to his peers.
“The president is a threat to democracy. He has attacked journalists and he’s threatening to take away NBC’s license,” Klarman said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. “He’s attacking judges. He’s violating all sorts of democratic norms, from the emoluments clause to questioning the election and threatening to lock up his opponent. People don’t focus on this but Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution. It lasted all the way through, but democracy didn’t.”
Klarman continued: “The country is getting divided, whether it’s immigrants, whether it’s transgender people, whether it’s blacks, whether it’s Mexicans. It’s awful.”
Facts are important. pic.twitter.com/3pHf7fYBRI
— Shirley's Galaxy🐱🐾 (@ShirleyClowder) October 28, 2017
David Atkins: “The “I know you are but what am I” games of the last week are now over. Mueller’s sealed indictments will come open soon, and with them explosive information about the activities of Trump campaign associates, as well as pressure on those associates to flip on higher-ups. Trump himself will be tempted to initiate a Saturday Night Massacre by firing Rosenstein to get to Mueller.
As these dominoes start to fall, we can already guarantee that Fox News and most of the rest of the conservative media apparatus will fall in line behind the President no matter what. They created him, their programs are literally how the President gets most of his news, their viewership is fanatically loyal to him, and they’ll stick with him to the very bitter end.
The question is what Republicans of any dignity and patriotism will do. It’s tempting as an activist to shrug and declare that they no longer exist and that there is no room for them in the party. Senator Jeff Flake’s speech, for instance, was far too little too late from a man who is abandoning the field rather than standing and fighting, and who in any case ran as a hardcore Tea Partier and on the very day of his speech turned around and voted for a giant giveaway to Wall Street.
But the indictments raise the stakes. There is still time for persons of integrity to step forward, tell what they know, reveal the things only whispered closed doors, and put an end to this travesty. It’s not too late. Even for people who happen to be registered Republicans.”
Big names in conservative media are seeing major traffic declines over the past year—Breitbart is down 20%. https://t.co/ac9gcMn1JU
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 28, 2017