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'My Democratic friends are mad at me': Donna Brazile explains herself in deep-left San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — After publishing an unfettered memoir critiquing Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid, former Democratic Party leader Donna Brazile on Thursday doubled down on her criticism of the nominee before a receptive audience in deepest-left California.
Ex-FBI Official: Mueller Probe 'Has Penetrated The White House'
Last night, Chris Hayes spoke to ex-FBI official Frank Figluzzi, who served under then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. "What do you make of the actions Monday in terms of what you understand his strategy to be here?" Hayes said. Figluzzi said there's "clearly a pathway that he's got planned out." "One of the things that I think…
How big of an Election Night did Democrats have on Tuesday? And how rough was it for Republicans one year after Donald Trump’s surprising victory in 2016? Consider all of these results across the country:
- In the marquee gubernatorial contest in Virginia, Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by 9 points, 54 percent to 45 percent, marking Democrats’ biggest gubernatorial win in the state since 1985;
- Also in Virginia, Democrats swept the statewide races for lieutenant governor and attorney general, and they have a shot at winning control of the House of Delegates, which was unthinkable going into last night;
- In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy bested Republican Kim Guadagno by 13 points in that state’s gubernatorial race, 56 percent to 43 percent;
- In Washington state, it appears Democrats won control of the state Senate;
- In New Hampshire, Democrat Joyce Craig defeated incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas to become Manchester mayor, per New Hampshire political reporter Paul Steinhauser.
- In Georgia, Democrats picked up two state legislative seats in special elections;
- And in Maine, a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in the state easily passed.
Add it all up, and you can clearly see that the political winds are at Democrats’ backs right now, on the same day when two more House Republicans announced their retirements.
And while off-off year elections are hardly a guarantee to predict what will happen in the following midterms, remember that 1993 (when Republicans George Allen, Christine Todd Whitman and Rudy Giuliani won big) told us a lot about how 1994 would play out, and ditto 2009 (when Republicans Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie won) for the 2010 midterms.
What was extraordinary about last night was that it featured generic Democrats and Republicans — Northam vs. Gillespie in Virginia, Murphy vs. Guadagno in New Jersey, Medicaid expansion vs. not to expand it — and Democrats came out on top.
So last night was more than Virginia’s increasingly blue tint, or the power of the Northern Virginia suburbs. It was a drubbing across the entire country.
Trump tweets every few days about how she's the real Russian scandal.
Be smart: As Democrats try to figure out 2020, it's bad enough that they keep re-litigating the Clinton-Trump general election. But top Dems think it's horrendous that the party is now re-litigating the Clinton-Sanders primary.
- Clinton's former high command says none of this breaks through in real America. But party insiders know that if they're going to take back the House, Senate or White House, they need to look forward, not backward.
Below is a quick summary of the investigation’s major points — and it’s meant to be a small-c conservative summary. I understand why many people are ready to believe the worst about President Trump, but you will be able to follow the story more clearly if you avoid jumping to unproven conclusions.
|What we know:|
|A Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had extensive talks with people linked to the Russian government, about “dirt” and “thousands of emails” that Russia had on Hillary Clinton. The Russians told him they were “open for cooperation” with the Trump campaign, as Papadopoulos later told federal investigators.|
|Papadopoulos was more than the lowly volunteer that the White House is now making him out to be. In a March 2016 interview with The Washington Post, when Trump was bragging about the quality of his foreign policy advisers, Papadopoulos was the third person he named — “excellent guy,” Trump said.|
|But Papadopoulos does not appear to have been at the center of the presidential campaign. Rather than making decisions himself, he asked for guidance from more senior Trump campaign officials.|
|Some senior campaign officials were clearly willing to talk with the Russians. The documents released yesterday suggest as much. So does Donald Trump Jr.’s previously reported meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on Clinton.|
|For now, these conversations seem to be separate from the charges filed against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Rick Gates. Manafort and Gates were charged with secretly working as agents of a foreign (Russian-backed) government for years, hiding their income from that work and lying about it to federal investigators.|
|It’s certainly possible that Manafort also colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign. It’s also possible that prosecutors are using the other alleged illegal activity as leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the campaign investigations.|
|What we don’t know:|
|Did Trump campaign officials collude with Russian agents on the release of the emails? There is not yet any public evidence that the conversations between campaign officials and Russian agents led to actual coordination. Maybe Russia’s approaches to the Trump campaign went nowhere — and that Russia then released the emails anyway, for its own purposes. That would be a far less damning series of events for Trump and his aides.|
|Which senior Trump campaign officials were aware of — or participated in — Papadopoulos’s conversations with Russian agents? The Papadopoulos plea agreement includes multiple references to his exchanges with an unnamed campaign supervisor. “Great work,” the supervisor told him, about the conversations. How much more did top officials know, and what did they do?|
|What’s the relationship, if any, between the Papadopoulos conversations and Donald Trump Jr.’s later meeting with a Russian lawyer? The approach to Trump, which came later, didn’t seem to building off of the Papadopoulos talks, based on what we know so far. It seems to have been a fresh, separate approach. Is that because the Papdopoulos talks went nowhere?|
|What did President Trump know, and when did he know it? So far, the investigation has publicly linked Trump to the Papadopoulos conversations only through a single meeting involving multiple people. At it, Papadopoulos told Trump he could set up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. It remains unclear how Trump responded, if at all, and what else he knew about any of the links between his campaign and Russia.|
|What does Robert Mueller, the special counsel, already know that he hasn’t made public? The best guess seems to be: A lot.|
|Yesterday’s filings were full of new information, which suggests that Mueller is releasing information on his own timeline, rather than having it drip out through anonymous leaks — as The Times’s Nick Confessore noted. Daniel Alonso, a former federal prosecutor, tweeted: “Mueller/FBI/IRS are not leaking. Exactly as it should be.”|
|A campaign of ‘confusion.’ “Trump’s media allies downplay, deflect and deny stories that are trouble for the White House,” CNN’s Brian Stelter explained. “Instead, they tell viewers and readers to hate Hillary Clinton.”|
|“This is a campaign of confusion. It is one of the most important things happening in politics today,” Stelter said. And it was in full swing yesterday, as Trump’s media allies tried to shift attention toward fake Clinton scandals.|
|Fox News hosts talked about uranium (a non-scandal) and cheeseburger emojis (seriously), although Shep Smith was a notable exception, covering the news in a reasonably accurate way.|
|At RedState, a writer argued: “Today’s indictments were a huge disappointment to those hoping for a deus ex Mueller event to remove Donald Trump from the White House.” The charges against Papadopoulos, “a bit player in this whole sorry melodrama,” were “preordained at the very moment he agreed to be interviewed by federal agents because if they want you, they got you.”|
|On the Christian Broadcasting Network, the televangelist Pat Robertson said that Trump “has every right to shut Mueller down … He can grant a blanket pardon for everybody involved in everything and say, ‘All right, I pardon them all. Case closed. It’s all over.’ And I think that is what he needs to do.”|
Jared Kushner Doesn't Read, Former Employee Says
A former employee of Jared Kushner has claimed the senior adviser doesn’t read and calls his father “daddy.” Kyle Pope, who worked as an editor for the New York Observer while Kushner was publisher, has described his time working for Kushner in a tell-all article for the Columbia Journalism Review, where he is currently editor-in-chief and…