News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: First Blood, Who's Next and Much, Much More

Happy Halloween!

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will participate in a tax reform industry meeting.
  • In the afternoon, the president will participate in a legislative foreign policy lunch.
  • Later in the afternoon, the president will meet with Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan.

First blood

As I predicted yesterday, Paul Manafort, his deputy Rick Gates, and 30-year-old campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos (not this guy) were indicted on a series of charges that have nothing to do with a Trump campaign-RUSSIA alliance to interfere and influence the 2016 presidential election. Remember, the pretense of bringing in a special counsel was to discover the involvement of the RUSSIANS in our elections. We don’t have a special counsel to conduct a forensic accounting of Paul Manafort’s shifty business with the Ukrainians, or to determine how well he filled out the myriad of government forms associated with his foreign clients. We don’t have a special counsel to find which campaign volunteers repeatedly spoke with RUSSIANS or tried to set up meetings between Trump and the RUSSIANS (not even criminal, actually.) We were assured by the campaign losers/media that the Trump operation cheated the rightful victor of her victory because they “colluded” (not even criminal, actually) with the RUSSIANS. The media has been spinning this tale like a whirling dervish since election day 2016. And what have we got on that front? NOT A DAMN THING.

What we do know from the papers yesterday is that some guy named Papadopoulos, whom no one had heard of before, was rebuffed and blown off repeatedly for his attempts to set up a meeting between Putin and Trump. Even Manafort mailed his henchman Gates to make sure it was known there was going to be no meeting with “DT” and the RUSSIANS and to have a low-level person send the message to let them know the prospect was not seriously entertained.

So what exactly was done to influence the election? That’s a question we are no closer to answering. But it must be remembered that this is THE QUESTION as the media tries to blur the lines around scheming with a foreign country to affect the outcome of the election. Meeting with foreign government officials is not the same as conspiring to manipulate an election.

Read this interesting piece on the lobbying racket in D.C.

Who’s next on the docket?

According to USA Today’s Steve Reilly:

So who else is on the list? Put your suggestions in the comments.

One person who might be on the docket is Carter Page. “It [RUSSIA] may have come up from time to time, again, you know, there’s nothing major,” Page told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last night. Page says he is cooperating with authorities. “Papadopoulos has been cooperating since July; I’ve been cooperating since March. I want to get the truth out there,” Page added.

Tucker Carlson threatened

Last night on his Fox News show, Tucker Carlson announced he had received a “snarling legal threat” from Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta.

“The letter demands that this show ‘immediately cease and desist disseminating false and misleading reports about Mr. Podesta and the Podesta Group,'” Carlson said. “It demands we retract and delete all our prior reporting on the Podesta Group and warns that if we don’t do this ‘Mr. Podesta may pursue legal action, including for damages, in order to fully protect his rights.'”

At issue is the work Paul Manafort was doing with the Podesta Group on behalf of the Ukraine. Allegedly.

“It’s an effort to use fear to control press coverage,” Carlson said. “We’re not intimidated. We have ample evidence from Mueller’s indictment, from a number of confidential sources to paint a pretty clear picture of exactly what the Podesta Group was doing for years here in Washington.”

“If you’re looking for a summary of all this, here’s the one-sentence Cliffs Note to the whole affair: The chairman of one major presidential campaign colluded with the brother of the chairman of the other major presidential campaign to enrich themselves by secretly advancing the interests of a foreign adversary,” Carlson said. “That happened. That’s the swamp they told you needed to be drained.”

Tony Podesta has stepped down from leading the Podesta Group.

Other morsels:

Kelly reignites feud with Rep. Wilson

Democratic campaign ad implies Ed Gillespie supporters are Confederates who attack minority kids

Bryan Cranston says ‘f*** you’ to Americans who hope Trump fails

Army deserter Bergdahl apologizes to troops injured searching for him

Conservative opposition shuts down federal funding of Black Panther memorial

One dead at University of Utah shooting, police search for suspect

Evergreen State College president spent part of the summer talking to a psychologist

Rosie O’Donnell to Kevin Spacey: We all knew about you

‘Virtually all racists belong to the Republican Party,’ former Reagan adviser declares on MSNBC

Federal judge blocks part of Trump’s transgender military ban — here’s what you need to know

1 Million Lose Power After Fierce Storm Hits Northeast

FBI to release all of its JFK assassination files

Twitter suspends more than 2,500 Russian troll accounts

Neighbors help rescue deer stuck in fake pumpkin

U.S. forces capture key militant accused in Benghazi attacks during raid in Libya

Harvey Weinstein banned for life from Producers Guild of America

SoftBank reportedly calls off T-Mobile and Sprint merger

Parent finds meth among child’s trick-or-treat candy

Facebook to testify that 29M users were delivered content from Russian troll farm

‘House of Cards’ ending amid Kevin Spacey sexual harassment claim

McDonald’s is bringing back the McRib

2 University of South Dakota football players arrested, charged with rape

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!