What could possibly go wrong?

The Atlantic’s Elaina Plott has a piece up today about Team Trump’s plan to respond to the Mueller report. The plan is, there is no plan. Aides know Trump would ignore any strategy they create anyway, so they aren’t bothering with it.

“We would always put together plans with the knowledge that he wouldn’t use them or they’d go off the rails,” one recently departed official told me. “And at this point, with Mueller, they’ve decided they’re not even going to do that.”

“It’s like, ‘Jesus, take the wheel,’” the source added, “but scarier.”

Okay then. There are some pretty salty quotes from Giuliani in the story. Here’s one on Trump drafting responses to Mueller’s questions a while back:

“Answering those questions was a nightmare,” he told me. “It took him about three weeks to do what would normally take two days.”

You don’t say. Here’s Giuliani, pretend lawyer, on trying to control the raging, overgrown toddler who pretends to be president:

Giuliani initially pushed back on the prediction that Trump would take center stage after the report drops. “I don’t think following his lead is the right thing. He’s the client,” he told me. “The more controlled a person is, the more intelligent they are, the more they can make the decision. But he’s just like every other client. He’s not more … you know, controlled than any other client. In fact, he’s a little less.”

Jesus, Rudy — you’re lucky Trump doesn’t read.

Here’s Giuliani on Trump’s busy schedule:

There was the sheer problem of finding time—Giuliani recalled one instance when they were working on the list and Chief of Staff John Kelly broke in to tell Trump about the migrant caravan, which grabbed the president’s attention immediately. And there was the specificity of the questions themselves: “He’s got a great memory,” Giuliani said. “However, basically we were answering questions about 2016, the busiest year of his life. It’s a real job to remember.”

Yeah, gotta drop everything to respond to the national threat posed by [dun-dun-DUN] The Caravan. Something tells me this isn’t the last time we’ll hear excuses for Trump’s failure to remember events that occurred in 2016.

Anyhoo, cool strategy, bro. I’m sure it’ll all work out.

Open thread!

Did I miss the Flynn sentencing memo?

Been waiting for my phone to DING with glad tidings of Muellermas, but so far, nothing. Maybe because Trump tanked the economy by lying about reaching a deal with China? Hmmph!

Here’s something amusing to divert us while we wait: Angela Merkel using one of my very favorite English words — SHITSTORM — in remarks that are otherwise in German:

Good to see evidence that the linguistic borrowing isn’t Einweg.

Anecdote: I was driving myself and two friends around Salzburg many years ago, and passing motorists kept waving at me and saying “Einbahn!” in a pleasant tone. I asked my friends, “WTF is Einbahn?” But they didn’t know either. I eventually figured out I was going the wrong way on a one-way street (when a policeman pulled me over and politely informed me, in English).

I couldn’t believe how nice they were about it! Pull that shit in America, and 10 people will flip you off and call you a stupid fucking bitch before you get a block down the road.

Open thread!

Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Murderers’ Balls

This high-five might’ve gotten more attention if GHWB hadn’t done his beloved GOP one last fortuitous favor, but don’t worry, we’ll hear more about the Russia-Saudi bro-fest as its implications multiply. Both Putin and MBS are kleptocrats in control of third-world shitholes entirely dependent on fossil fuels for their continued survival… but to date, as far as I know, the Saudis haven’t been able to get their hands on the kind of nuclear arsenal that keeps Russia ‘relevant’. Maybe MuhammedBoneSaw’s new BFF can help him with that, now!

And to think we might’ve had an actual President in the Oval Office, instead of the current Squatter-in-Chief…

Read more

That October Surprise From The New York Times

Given the new developments in what we know about Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia, some of us have been kicking around that “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” story that the New York Times served up on October 31, 2016.

Our own Tom Levenson has a theory:

James Fallows agreed.

Hillary Clinton tried to get the story out.

Here’s a more recent story on that connection to Alfa Bank.  Still ambiguous.

After the election, Times public editor Liz Spayd blasted the Times for that story. Editor Dean Baquet has given only short, weak responses like this one.

Here’s Southpaw:



Trump flips on…Trump

As we now know, Michael Cohen lied when he testified before Congress that the Trump Tower Moscow project ended in January 2016. Via The Post:

In a nine-page filing, prosecutors laid out a litany of lies that Cohen admitted he told to congressional lawmakers about the Moscow project — an attempt, Cohen said, to minimize links between the proposed development and Trump as his presidential bid was taking off.

Cohen falsely said efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, when in fact discussions continued through that year, the filing said. Among the people Cohen briefed on the status of the project was Trump himself, on more than three occasions, according to the document.

Cohen now says he pursued the Moscow project until the summer of 2016 and interacted with Putin’s office during that period. Here’s Trump’s response to this development from a short while ago:

Shorter Spanky: “I didn’t do it, but even if I did, it wasn’t wrong.”

I think the paper Trump is referring to in that clip — the document he says proves the deal was out in the open — is the proposal Cohen attached as an exhibit in his appearance before Congress, during which he now admits he lied. So, Trump is trying to create a smokescreen here. Nobody is saying the deal was 100% secret all along; the point is, Trump and Cohen lied about when the project ended.

Why? Because they’re guilty as fuck. A lot of “collusiony” things happened during the late spring and summer of 2016, including Cohen’s discussions with Putin’s assistant about setting up a meeting between Putin and Trump after the RNC, the pro-Russia change to the GOP platform (the sole change the Trump people requested at the RNC), the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians offering dirt, the conversations between Stone, Corsi, an intermediary and Assange, etc.

It looks damning because it IS damning. They’re lying because they’re guilty. And Cohen’s plea document hints that there’s plenty of evidence to corroborate his contacts with the Putin regime and Trump principals that summer.

Trump’s statement above was made as he was boarding Marine One on his way to the G20 summit in Argentina. He was originally scheduled to meet Putin there, but moments ago, Trump claimed he cancelled that meeting to protest Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships:

Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!

What a load of horse shit — he doesn’t care about the Ukrainian ships any more than he cares about the Saudis’ murder of a US-based journalist who worked for The Post. Trump is afraid of being exposed.

This is a surreal shit-show, friends, and I am so ready for the fucking credits to roll.