Michael Schmidt is a reporter for the New York Times.
Everything in his book is something he could have reported for the New York Times when it was timely. https://t.co/wBOpSkeVrZ
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) August 31, 2020
And the NYTimes is only too happy to cross-promote the ‘savvy’ of both their reporter and his employer:
… Schmidt, a New York Times correspondent in Washington who was part of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2018, including one for coverage of Trump’s Russian-inflected scandals, portrays an administration in which all aides may as well always have a resignation letter ready as a safeguard against an angry, flailing president detached from commonly accepted reality. This is a meticulously reported volume that clearly benefits from the author’s extraordinary access to many of the relevant characters, but also from his subjects’ tendency to record, in detail, their time around Trump…
The narrative is sometimes cinematic. It opens with Schmidt chasing down McGahn outside the White House’s front gates and eventually getting him to concede, “I damaged the office of the president; I damaged the office.” It’s a breathtakingly revealing admission from the White House’s chief lawyer and the architect of Trump’s effort to appoint as many conservative judges as possible. (Schmidt says, “I thought he was still understating the gravity of what he had done.”)
McGahn, a staunch libertarian, was frequently in over his head with the lawless president he nicknamed “King Kong,” and he struggled with his highly unusual extended contact with Mueller’s team. Still, despite getting close to resigning, McGahn stuck around far longer than his apparent misery and frequent attempts at principled stands would suggest, largely because of his judicial project’s success. It was only after Trump granted a woman clemency at Kim Kardashian’s request that McGahn knew he truly had to leave the White House. He could no longer abide the accumulation of Trump’s actions…
Lawlessness, meh. But Kim Kardashian?!? — ewwww!
… Comey was always deeply interested in maintaining his and his agency’s public credibility — especially after his wildly controversial intrusions into the 2016 campaign over Hillary Clinton’s emails. After he was fired by Trump, he text-messaged a friend: “I’m with my peeps (former peeps). They are broken up and I’m sitting with them like a wake. Trying to figure out how to get back home. May hitchhike.” It’s just one example of the clearly extensive access Schmidt had to Comey and his wife.
“Donald Trump v. the United States” is full of gritty details about what it’s like for a plugged-in journalist to report on Trump’s intrigue, ranging from the time Schmidt shepherded a valued source to and from the airport, to his learning, secondhand, about a Justice Department official soliciting dirt on Comey at a Cinco de Mayo party. At one point, Schmidt writes, he shattered his cellphone and didn’t fix it for a week because there was too much news; he ended up with pieces of glass in his hands.
More interesting, however, is the constant flow of shocking anecdotes: Schmidt writes that Mitch McConnell fell asleep during a classified briefing on Russia, for example…
But the journalistic stigmata! Such a cinematic detail!
Also from @nytmike’s forthcoming book!
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 30, 2020
Some tidbits from @nytmike's new book: McGahn, a staunch libertarian, was frequently in over his head with the lawless president he nicknamed “King Kong,” and he struggled with his highly unusual extended contact with Mueller’s team. https://t.co/OgHu47pnhw
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) August 31, 2020
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein concluded the FBI had not cleared the threshold needed to conduct a counterintel investigation into the president's ties to Russia. Rosenstein believed the FBI had acted far to hastily to open investigation as it grieved firing of director Comey.
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) August 30, 2020
Following up on Michael Schmidt's alarming account, on the bookshelves Tuesday, Rod Rosenstein is proven to have protected Trump from evidence he was a Russian agent. https://t.co/9Mv0KxC3jv
— Harland Gundlefinger (@Gundlefinger16) August 30, 2020
It sure seems as though the White House has been less than transparent about this episode and reporters should be asking a lot more questions about it. https://t.co/XTbOwT5AS8 pic.twitter.com/pQ0EEdzFVJ
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 31, 2020
Again, if this is actually in that book, it's not just unconscionable to wait to tell us…it's borderline treasonous. https://t.co/QqFoxc8Amz
— Greg Olear (@gregolear) August 31, 2020