“Nineteen months into his presidency, there is no coherent Trump administration strategy to combat foreign election interference — and no single person or agency in charge,” NBC News reports.
“After terrorists struck on 9/11, the U.S. government passed laws, boosted funding, and reorganized itself with the goal of making sure such an attack could never happen again. But no such wholesale changes have taken place in the nearly two years since Russia sought to manipulate the 2016 election, cyber aggression that some lawmakers have called an act of war.”
Why Economic Growth Might Be Weaker Than It Looks https://t.co/B40oc5zEMC
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) July 27, 2018
“United States gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 4.1% in the second quarter, up from 2.2% in the first three months of the year. It was the strongest quarter of growth since 2014,” the New York Timesreports.
“The second-quarter acceleration was widely anticipated by economists, a result of a confluence of events unlikely to recur. Most economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year.”
“President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials,” the Washington Post reports.
“At various moments throughout his presidency, Trump has vented angrily to aides about what he considers disrespectful behavior and impertinent questions from reporters in the Oval Office and in other venues. He has also asked that retaliatory action be taken against them.” Said Trump: “These people shouting questions are the worst. Why do we have them in here?”
“Until this week, the officials said, Trump’s senior aides have resisted carrying out his directives.”
If there’s one person who’s less trustworthy than Michael Cohen, it’s Donald Trump, so when the two of them are at odds, believing Cohen isn’t crazy.https://t.co/Od0YmyMbtx
— Crooked Media (@crookedmedia) July 27, 2018
“Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he had invited Donald Trump to Moscow and that both he and the U.S. president want further summits, despite the uproar in Washington after the two leaders met in Helsinki last week,” Reuters reports.
“Putin did not say how Trump had reacted to the invitation to travel to Moscow. The last time Trump was in the Russian capital was in 2013, to attend a Miss Universe beauty pageant.”
And the con is fraying. https://t.co/DdTOPTQhek
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) July 27, 2018
Andrew Sullivan: “What this tiny glimpse into reality reveals is something quite simple. It’s not that it’s a shock that Trump has been lying about this incident from the very beginning. That has long been clear. But there’s something about listening to his voice acknowledging this in such a breezy, matter-of-fact tone that exposes the purity of the cynicism behind the lies. ‘We have no knowledge of any of this,’ Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks, had, after all, originally told The Wall Street Journal when it broke the story days before the 2016 election. The idea that Trump had had an affair at all, let alone organized hush money to the National Enquirer, was ‘totally untrue.’ And yet here, as the curtain is pulled back, we hear Trump himself figuring out how to finance its cover-up.”
“This is not a man embarrassed by something unusual in his private life, lying defensively in a panic. It’s a world-weary operator in sleaze and outright deception, dealing with an item of everyday business. The euphemisms — ‘info,’ ‘financing,’ ‘our friend David,’ etc. — are those of people who know they’re doing something shady. He even talks of ‘using’ a religious-right figure. It’s the tape of a con man, discussing the con with an underling in a kind of consigliere code. And this revelation is therefore dangerous. It demonstrates that Trump is, in fact, just another crooked pol — and does so in his own voice.”
“Con men usually know that a con has a life span, and not a long one. At some point, it will collapse because it is, in fact, bullshit. By then, the best con men have made the sale — think of ‘Trump University’ — and moved on. They also know that keeping the suckers sealed off from other sources of contrary information is essential until the deal is done. You have to maintain a fiction relentlessly, dismiss or delegitimize external information that might get your marks to think differently, and constantly make the sale. You have to humor and flatter and bullshit all the time, until you’ve sealed the deal.”
“And Trump is really, really good at this. In fact, it’s his chief skill, along with his instinct for the easy mark and another human being’s vulnerable spot.”
James Hohmann: “The freshest data reveals that there has been no surge in new Puerto Rican voters. During the nine months before the hurricane — January through September of 2017 — there were 343,000 people who registered to vote in Florida, and 18 percent were Hispanic… During the nine months after the hurricane — from last October through the end of June — there were 326,000 new registered voters. Just 21 percent were Hispanic. That’s a pretty small uptick — and not necessarily explained by Puerto Rican registration at all.”
Said Democratic strategist Steve Schale: “The concern I’ve had for a while is that … the Maria impact was probably not going to be as significant as people initially thought. We’ve got two-and-a-half months left for voter registration. But these numbers show it’s not going to happen organically.”
Why every Democrat should run for president in 2020: https://t.co/GIIssJcbKy
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) July 27, 2018
Molly Ball: “Describe someone as ‘commanding the room’ and you generally conjure an image of gravitas — a man, likely white, in a suit, emitting soaring oratory. Abrams is a big-boned, natural-haired, youthful-looking woman with a quizzical smile and a gap between her front teeth. She’s as likely to geek out about tax policy or Star Trek as she is to summon the spirit of justice.”
“Yet when she speaks, all kinds of people — from black folks in rural communities to yuppie ‘resistance’ moms around Atlanta to this crowd of rough-handed electrical workers — go quiet and listen. In a Democratic Party divided and desperate for fresh faces, Abrams is already becoming a national star.”
A new Axios-Survey Monkey tracking poll launched ahead of the 2018 midterm elections with a focus on five specific groups of voters.
“The most important group to watch will be the #NeverHillary independents — a group that narrowly disapproves of Trump’s performance… It’s also not a good sign for Republicans that Trump’s disapproval ratings are high among suburban white women. The other subgroups lean pretty much the way you’d expect.”
Cook Political Report: “With 102 days to go, Democrats remain substantial favorites for House control. A big reason: Republicans are defending 42 open or vacant seats, a record since at least 1930.”
“Of Republicans’ 42 incumbent-less seats, eight are in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and an additional 13 are in districts where President Trump received less than 55 percent. History is working against the GOP in many of those seats: we found that since 1992, in situations when a president’s party was stuck defending an open seat two years after the president failed to carry it, that party has batted zero for 23 keeping it in their column.”
“]n a wave environment, 42 seats is a dangerous level of exposure: If Democrats win even eight of the 42 (our current ratings pin eight as Lean/Likely Democratic and four more as Toss Ups), they’ll already be over a third of the way to a majority.”
Nixon's chances of political survival were looking sketchy almost a year before he was impeached. Could Trump be following in his footsteps? https://t.co/bbwoRkOHfJ
— Washington Monthly (@washmonthly) July 27, 2018
Daily Beast: “Two sources who have spoken to Trump about Cohen this week said the president was furious—hurling ‘expletives,’ per one confidant—after CNN revealed Cohen had covertly recorded at least one of their conversations.”
“After audio of the call surfaced, the president conveyed to those close to him that he felt betrayed by Cohen. He was particularly irate at being clandestinely recorded and that audio had found its way to, of all places, CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s tweets. Trump also vented his frustration that there are apparently other tapes out there, and that he doesn’t know exactly what could be on them, or when they’ll drop in the press.”
Said one source close to Trump, who also knows Cohen: “They’re dead to each other now.”
If Michael Cohen is really willing to start talking about Trump and Russia, it's time to revisit McClatchy's reporting about Cohen's alleged trip to Prague in the summer of 2016:https://t.co/XBmch15y5C
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) July 27, 2018
Town & Country: “It’s not just the toothy grin, the tall stature, and the shock of hair swept over his brow. With a disdain for highly paid consultants, a willingness to travel to unexpected places, and an inspiring message for an extraordinarily divided electorate, it’s hard to look at O’Rourke and not think of Bobby Kennedy in 1968. He has been to all of Texas’s 254 counties — including ones no Democratic candidate has seriously contested in decades. If he can meet every person, knock on every door, he thinks he can win.”
The deadline has passed for reuniting families separated at the border by the Trump administration.
The majority — over 1,400 — have been reunited.
But hundreds have not. https://t.co/XpIPOclDKA
— Vox (@voxdotcom) July 27, 2018
“Homeland Security officials may have neglected to give a choice to as many as three-quarters of all migrant parents removed from the United States about leaving their children behind, contradicting repeated public assurances from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen,” Politico reports.
“The Trump administration failed to document consent in most such cases… That lapse increased the number of departed parents whom officials must now find and contact about whether they wish to be reunited with their children, and, if so, figure out the logistics of how to bring them together.”
The '48 Dem platform holds up surprisingly well if you downplay the Cold War stuff and the inflation saber-rattling, and ignore the pledge to protect oleomargerine. https://t.co/LDTYUMEJpx
— Ed Kilgore (@ed_kilgore) July 27, 2018
“Donald Trump’s former chief adviser Steve Bannon has been in direct communication with former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, as both men plot new moves that could have a significant impact on European politics,” multiple sources told BuzzFeed News.
“A source who spent time with Bannon during the trip said Bannon was in private contact with Johnson while he was in Britain… A former UK government source told BuzzFeed News that Bannon and Johnson have known each other for some time, and exchanged text messages as far back as when Johnson was foreign secretary and Bannon worked in the White House.”
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) July 27, 2018