Trump Had A Press Availability Today

Many people have complained that Donald Trump hasn’t gone before the press to answer questions. After today, those complaints may stop.

It’s…hard to know where to start.

Here’s the video:


The one thanking Putin has scrambled my brain to where it’s hard to look for more. If you’ve got more, I’ll add them. I would like to see a transcript, too. There should be one out soon.


Update: This is from earlier.

Also this



Bonus (This is good news, I think)

Open Thread: Supervising “President” Man-Baby

Q: Action movie screenplay, or real-life “governing”?

Raised voices could be heard through the thick door to the Oval Office as John Kelly – then secretary of Homeland Security – offered some tough talk to President Donald Trump.

Kelly, a whip-cracking retired general who was sworn in as White House chief of staff on Monday, had demanded to speak to the president alone after Trump complained loudly that the U.S. was admitting travelers from countries he viewed as high risk.

Kelly first tried to explain to Trump that the admissions were standard – some people had legitimate reasons to visit the country – but the president insisted that it was making him look bad, according to an administration official familiar with the exchange about a month ago.

Kelly then demanded that other advisers leave the room so he could speak to the president frankly. Trump refused at first, but agreed when Kelly insisted.

It was an early indication that Kelly, a decorated retired Marine general who served three tours in Iraq, is not afraid to stand up to his commander-in-chief.

Tapped to bring order to a chaotic West Wing, Kelly began to make his mark immediately Monday, ousting newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci and revising a dysfunctional command structure that has bred warring factions. From now on, said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, all senior staffers – including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief strategist Steve Bannon – will report to Kelly instead of the president.

Sanders said Tuesday that Kelly had spent his first day on the job speaking with members of Congress, getting to know White House staffers and working to put new procedures in place.

“It definitely has the fingerprints of a new sheriff in town,” said Blain Rethmeier, who guided Kelly through the Senate confirmation process for the Homeland Security post. Rethmeier said that what stood out about Kelly during the time they worked together was the way Kelly commanded respect from everyone he encountered – and the way he respected others….

A: C’mon — fiction has to be minimally plausible.

Late Night Open Thread: R.I.P., RNC PR BS (Requium for A Facilitator)

Looks like The Mooch accomplished one last insult — his spectacular flame-out today robbed poor Reince Priebus of the thumb-sucking accolades that would otherwise have filled this evening’s pundit-space. Somehow seems appropriate that, in the end, Priebus couldn’t even make the grade as a Trump victim

Saddest godsdamned ‘tribute’ I’ve read this month. Tim Mak, at Politico:

It’s not without irony that some will hold him responsible for Trumpism—Priebus should have kicked Trump out of the GOP debates, some critics suggest—seeing how the RNC chairman would have personally loved to see Scott Walker or Marco Rubio as the party’s nominee. Trump was the last choice of the party establishment, which Priebus embodied. It became clear, however, that Republican voters had other ideas—and Priebus made it his mission to ensure a level playing field. He ignored calls to remove Trump from debates after he threatened to run as an independent, and bent over backward to make the reality TV star feel welcome in the GOP. Priebus knew he would be accused of sabotaging the party, but he was unwavering in the belief that it was his job to be a facilitator and an ambassador, not a kingmaker.

His friends had mixed feelings about the chief of staff position, and some cautioned Priebus against taking it. After all, he had inherited a penniless, disorganized, technologically bankrupt Republican Party in 2011 and transformed it by 2016 into a financial behemoth with adequate field and data operations. On his watch, the GOP had kept the House, taken back the Senate and now won the presidency; why not ride into the sunset, spend time with his family and cash in on those triumphs?

The fateful answer: Because Priebus couldn’t just walk away. He felt a sense of loyalty to Trump, and more acutely, an enduring responsibility to the party and the country. Plus, the second-most prestigious office in the West Wing was beckoning. Priebus jumped at the job…

Monday Morning Open Thread: Nope, Can’t Nobody There Play This Game

(John Deering via

As a lifelong Democrat who grew up reading Finley Peter Dunne, I always assumed the Republican Party was doing its best to destroy our shared community. But I was never cynical enough to guess the GOP itself would end in the hands of a failed real estate developer shoving around a gang of nitwits and nihilists in a pathetic gated-community imitation of a cargo cult, where they build intricate non-working models of ‘legislation’ in the hopes that the kleptocrats will rain money and power down upon their upraised mouths in benevolent response. SAD!

Per the Washington Post:

Six months after seizing complete control of the federal government, the Republican Party stands divided as ever — plunged into a messy war among its factions that has escalated in recent weeks to crisis levels.

Frustrated lawmakers are increasingly sounding off at a White House awash in turmoil and struggling to accomplish its legislative goals. President Trump is scolding Republican senators over health care and even threatening electoral retribution. Congressional leaders are losing the confidence of their rank and file. And some major GOP donors are considering using their wealth to try to force out recalcitrant incumbents…

Winning control of both chambers and the White House has done little to fill in the deep and politically damaging ideological fault lines that plagued the GOP during Barack Obama’s presidency and ripped the party apart during the 2016 presidential primary. Now, Republicans have even more to lose.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans are increasingly concerned that Trump has shown no signs of being able to calm the party. What Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) called the “daily drama” at the White House flared again last week when Trump shook up his communications staff and told the New York Times that he regretted picking Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.

“This week was supposed to be ‘Made in America Week’ and we were talking about Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” Dent grumbled in a telephone interview Thursday, citing White House messaging campaigns that were overshadowed by the controversies…

It’d be a lot more fun watching them drill holes in the lifeboat, if only the rest of us weren’t sharing it with them.


Apart from staying #EverResistant, what’s on the agenda for the start of a new week?

Late Night Off-Off-Off-Broadway Open Thread: “Trumpism: To Seize the Production of Meaning”

Less David Mamet, more Samuel Beckett

twitter egg noun
(1) The default profile picture on Twitter.
(2) A person who uses the default profile picture on their Twitter account. The poor souls are not taken seriously by other users, and their picture is an easy target in any argument. – Urban Dictionary


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Point & Mock Open Thread: “Palace Intrigue”

Ancestral war cry: Confusion to our enemies!

The Trump-minions look pretty confused right now…

Lord of all the flies!


And as things fell apart, nobody paid much attention

Brian Beutler has a rather alarmist take on the seemingly inevitable constitutional crisis:

Should Trump fire Mueller, with the tacit assent of Republicans in Congress and the DOJ leadership, there will be little recourse. It is feasible (though difficult) to imagine a GOP House and Senate passing an independent counsel statute to restore Mueller to his job; it is nearly impossible to imagine them doing so by veto-proof margins. And should Trump pardon himself and his inner circle, it is dispiritingly easy to imagine Republicans reprising their familiar refrain: The president’s power to pardon is beyond question.

If this crisis unfolds as depicted here, the country’s final hope for avoiding a terminal slide into authoritarianism would be the midterm election, contesting control of a historically gerrymandered House of Representatives. That election is 16 months away. Between now and then, Trump’s DOJ and his sham election-integrity commission will seek to disenfranchise as many Democratic voters as possible, while the president himself beseeches further foreign interference aimed at Democratic candidates. Absent the necessary sweep, everything Trump will have done to degrade our system for his own enrichment and protection will have been ratified, and a point of no return will have been crossed.

I’m with Beutler up to a point, but I don’t think that foreign interference and disenfranchisement will have that much effect and that Democrats will retake the House if Trump fires Mueller and pardons everybody.

Here’s some questions I’d like to hear people’s take on, along with my answers to them. Some are recreational!

Will Trump fire Mueller? (Yes)
If so…
When? (Sometime in August)
Will some Republicans in Congress speak out? (Yes)
Will Congress impeach? (No)
Will Congress appoint a new prosecutor? (No)
Does Alan Dershowitz keep defending Trump? (Yes)
Does Glenn Greenwald keep defending Trump? (Yes)
Does Jonathan Turley keep defending Trump? (No)
Will we have more or less legitimate elections in 2018? (Yes)
Will Democrats take the House? (Yes)
Will Democrats take the Senate? (No)
Will our system of government survive? (Yes)