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Curating the madness


Time for one of these again:

(1) Trump has considered firing the man who found the whistleblower’s Ukraine complaint (which of course has since corroborated by numerous first hand sources) credible:

President Trump has reportedly discussed dismissing Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who informed Congress about a whistleblower’s complaint stemming from Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president. According to The New York Times, Trump talked about dismissing Atkinson when the whistleblower’s complaint became public in September and has continued to suggest his firing in recent weeks. Trump reportedly claims to not know why Atkinson informed Congress of the complaint—even though Atkinson found the complaint to be credible—and insists the inspector general has been disloyal. Two sources told the Times the president may have just been venting and denied Atkinson’s ouster was under consideration. The White House and inspector general’s office have not commented publicly on the matter.

(2) Even though Trump is a scummiest pathological liar who has ever disgraced any high political office in the United States (I’ll leave cross-national comparisons to the experts on that question) brave brave Nikki Haley has decided that he’s the most truthful, honest and wonderful man who ever grabbed a . . . microphone:

Nikki Haley—the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who quit the Trump administration last year—offered up an unequivocal defense of her former boss Tuesday morning, insisting President Donald Trump is a “truthful” leader who is perfectly suited to high office. Appearing live on NBC’s Today show, Haley told Savannah Guthrie she “never” had any reason to doubt the fitness of Trump to serve, his mental acuity, or ability to tell the truth. “I never had any concern on whether he could handle the job, ever… In every instance that I dealt with him he was truthful, he listened, and he was great to work with.” Haley also defended Trump as being “stronger on Russia than any previous president,” despite claiming in her new book that she was the only person in the administration who confronted Trump after his widely criticized press conference with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last year. “I said, ‘Look, this sounded soft,’ and he said, ‘Really?’ and John Kelly was in the room and he looked at John and said, ‘All of you guys said I did great.’”

What’s Haley’s angle here? Is she hearing rumblings that Pence might be shown the door? Is she laying the groundwork for 2024? This isn’t going to be that great for all the journalists who, in their unending quest to find the Yeti-like figure of the Reasonable Moderate Republican, had been training their sights on her, but apparently she has bigger fish to fry now.

(3) And then we have this:

In the midst of an impeachment inquiry that’s about to enter its public phase, President Trump somehow managed to make another dubious claim that has nothing to do with it.

During his speech at the Economic Club of New York, Trump took the opportunity to brag about how his administration has created nearly 7 million jobs (according to the AP, 6.25 million jobs have been created since Trump took office) — and how his daughter Ivanka has somehow, in his mind, managed to double that number.

“I’m very proud of my daughter Ivanka,” Trump said. “And when she started this, two and half years ago, her goal was 500,000 jobs.”
The President then went on to claim that his daughter has created 14 million jobs without citing where he got that specific figure from.
“She has now created 14 million jobs and they are being trained by these great companies, the greatest companies in the world because the government cannot train them,” Trump said. “It’s a great thing.”

Note how even a site like Talking Points Memo feels stylistically bound to characterize this North Korean-style assertion as “dubious,” as opposed to, say, delusional, absurd, impossible, obviously fabricated, or what have you.

It’s going to be a long 11.5 months.

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