News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Trump-RUSSIA Narrative Fires Up, the Fate of Alabama and Much, Much Moore

CORRECTS ID TO VIETNAMESE PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN XUAN PHUC - From left, Thai Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, do the "ASEAN-way handshake" on stage during the opening ceremony at the ASEAN Summit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Trump initially did the handshake incorrectly, and Medvedev is doing it incorrectly. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Good Monday morning!

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

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will participate in a photo opportunity with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.
  • The President will then participate in a welcome ceremony for the 31st ASEAN Summit.
  • Later in the morning, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull of Australia, followed by a bilateral meeting with President Duterte.
  • In the afternoon, the President will attend the 5th U.S.-ASEAN Summit which commemorates the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations.
  • Later in the afternoon, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India followed by an embassy meet and greet.
  • In the evening, the President will have dinner with Prime Minister Turnbull of Australia.

Media excited over opportunity to talk about Trump-RUSSIA again

We don’t see much coverage when Trump is overseas unless there is opportunity to beat him up, criticize him or embarrass him. The last kerfuffle follows on the heels of the koi fish fiasco, which ended up embarrassing the media as it was revealed they had edited footage of the president feeding koi fish with Japan’s President Abe. I can’t believe I just typed those words: a fiasco about the president feeding the fish improperly while overseas. This is what the fourth estate has become.

The latest “scandal” involves Trump’s remarks about his recent meeting with RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin. Business Insider describes Trump as “walking back” his original comments on the meeting.

On Saturday, Trump said that Putin insisted during a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that Russia did not interfere in the election, and that he believed the Russian leader meant it.

“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

He added that whenever they had met, Putin denied ordering Russia’s election meddling. “I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said. “But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

The remarks were spun to mean that President Trump believed Putin’s denials rather than Trump saying Putin appeared to believe his own denials. These are two different things but only one gets lots ‘o headlines. This kind of crap is why people do not believe the media any longer, especially when the media is always reminding us how smart and nuanced they are yet demonstrates a simpleton-like understanding of anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth.

Former intel clown-duo John Brennan and liar Jim Clapper appeared on the Sunday spin shows to go in for the kill.

Brennan told CNN host Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday that US intelligence agencies — particularly the CIA, NSA, and FBI, which are responsible for counterintelligence and analyzing Russia’s threat — have seen clear evidence that Russia meddled in the election.

“It’s puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it, and also push back hard against Mr. Putin,” Brennan said.


Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Tapper that it was “naive” for Trump to think Russia could be of help to the US on any of those issues.

“The likelihood that the Russians are going to pursue like interests with us is slim and none,” Clapper said. “And I think it’s very naive and perilous to this country to make an assumption that Russia is going to behave with the best interests of the world or the US in mind.”

And of course this:

Trump really knows how to play the media and they take the bait. Every time.

Hannity faces boycott

Last Friday, Sean Hannity spoke with embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces multiple allegations of “certain activity” with underage girls, on his afternoon radio show. He re-played his interview on the Hannity show on Fox News later that day. I happened to watch the show (normally I don’t tune in, but in this case watched the incident in question first-hand). Hannity gave Moore the opportunity to address the allegations against him. A panel followed the interview and all three people on the panel excoriated Moore. It was hardly a puff piece.

Five companies have said they will no longer buy advertisements on his show.

Keurig,, 23 and Me, Eloquii and Nature’s Bounty all pulled their ads from the television show, in response to Fox host Sean Hannity’s coverage of the sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Business Insider points out:

It’s unclear whether the decision by several advertisers to pull their ads will result in any serious repercussions for the show.

Hannity maintains some of the strongest ratings in cable news, and has weathered previous boycott calls by Media Matters partially by rallying his viewers and supporters.

On Saturday, the host retweeted several memes of users expressing support for him, and some Hannity fans have went even further, starting a #BoycottKeurig campaign and sharing videos of people destroying the coffee machines.

Will Moore retain his support in Alabama?

Several legislators have withdrawn their support for Moore.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Steven Daines of Montana have withdrawn their support. GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, meanwhile, has said Moore should “immediately step aside” from the election on Dec. 12, and Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted Saturday that he had never supported the controversial former judge.

We can add Toomey to that list.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said Moore should “step aside,” and he endorsed the idea of a write-in bid by current Alabama GOP Sen. Luther Strange. Toomey’s remarks represented yet another slap against Moore after theWashington Postreported last week that Moore pursued relationships with four teenage girls when he was in his early 30s.

Will the Alabama voters turn on Moore? Not necessarily: “I think most conservative Christians are going to vote for him because they believe in him,” Nancy Fluker of Wilsonville, Alabama, told ABC affiliate WBMA-TV in Birmingham. “They believe in his reputation. They believe in his record.”

Historical picture of the day:

While elderly Jews prayed in their synagogues, young Jews and sympathizers marched in protest through the West End of London, Nov. 13, 1938. As they neared the German embassy in Carlton House-Terrace London, they were held up by police but later their leaders were let through. They delivered a note addressed to the German ambassador, calling on Germany to end “these organized pogroms which rank with the worst crimes perpetrated by the tyrants of the middle ages.” (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core

Hundreds join Hollywood #MeToo march against sexual abuse

Get ready for the tax reform fight of November-December

McConnell responds to Bannon targeting him: ‘I laughed. Ha-ha.’

Dianne Feinstein Wants To Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again

Professors: It’s Not Okay To Be White

New CNN Series To Focus On ‘Challenges Facing The Media’

Top Democrats stage anti-Trump revolt at Bonn climate summit

Legendary New York gossip columnist Liz Smith dies at 94

Multiple people stabbed at Mall of America in botched robbery

DC Comics editor suspended after reports of forcible kissing, groping

Roger Goodell seeking private jet for life in next contract as NFL commish: report

Schumer calls for overhaul of TSA procedures after ‘highly concerning’ security lapses

Iraq-Iran earthquake kills at least 140, injures hundreds more, official says

Gary, Indiana, nightclub shooting leaves 7 injured

Army lifts ban on waivers for recruits with history of some mental health issues

Raw: Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves

Masturbating detainees menace attorneys at Chicago lockups, lawsuit alleges

George Takei denies sexually assaulting model in 1981

Heavy security blanketed Las Vegas Marathon in wake of shooting

Texas church holds first service since mass shooting

Biden leaves 2020 question open as book tour commences

US cities, states defy Trump, still back Paris climate deal

Turkey denies report of plan to kidnap cleric Gulen from US

Jeff Sessions sued by 12-year-old girl with epilepsy who wants to legalize medical marijuana

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