Weekday Trumpdate gives you the latest on the ongoing catastrophe in the White House.
In a Tweet this morning Trump announced the coming departure of White House Counsel Don McGahn. McGahn was surprised to learn the news, according to The Washington Post:
McGahn, who has told many friends that he has wearily endured countless political and legal battles, saw Trump’s tweet as abrupt but typical of how the president acts — and it did not make him angry, according to two people familiar with his reaction. His reaction was, 'Of course it happened this way,' one person said.
White House attorney Emmet T. Flood, a veteran Washington lawyer whom McGahn recruited to join the West Wing in May, is seen by most Trump aides as a likely replacement due to his rapport with the president and his knowledge of impeachment proceedings.
In another Tweet, Trump claimed Florida gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee mayor, Andrew Gillum, allowed "crime & many other problems to flourish in his city." He didn't. Leon County has the highest crime rate in the state, but it dropped during Gillum's tenure.
If you'll allow me a digression, this gubernatorial race in Florida between a black progressive mayor and Trumpian shitlord is getting real racist, real fast:
"Monkey this up" is not a remotely common idiom. Only 17K Google hits, most of which refer to DeSantis's comments today. By contrast, "monkey around" gets more than 7 million hits. pic.twitter.com/QUmyclxLl7
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 29, 2018
More from the world of false Tweets: Trump claimed China hacked Hillary Clinton's e-mails. They didn't. He quoted Tucker Carlson repeating the lie that Obama "spied" on Trump's campaign. He didn't. Trump also Tweeted that anonymous sources "don't even exist." They do. Twitter has been having fun with Trump's hypocrisy on this count.
Trump directly attacked newspapers by imposing a tariff on newsprint from Canada. Today the International Trade Commission saved the day by overturning the tariff. The New York Times:
The decision will allow Canadian paper providers to stop paying tariffs on imports of newsprint, which had been in effect since January. Those tariffs have already caused widespread damage among the already-struggling newspaper industry.
In response to the tariffs, dozens of regional newspapers across the country cut staff, reduced the numbers of days they printed, and in some cases, closed entirely, unable to contend with the increased costs.
War games might be back on the menu in North Korea, according to The Guardian:
The US secretary of defence, Jame Mattis, has suggested the US and South Korea could resume large scale military exercises, as negotiations with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program stall.
President Donald Trump announced the suspension of drills, which have long drawn the ire of Pyongyang, in the wake of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June. But since that historic meeting, there has been little progress toward the US goal of North Korean denuclearisation.
Remember when Trump mocked Obama for bowing to King Abdullah and Republicans accused him of "groveling" before our Saudi overlords? Well, a bracing feature in Politico argues that Trump may as well be licking their boots:
Since Trump became president, the U.S. has enabled and supported a disastrous Saudi war in Yemen; watched as Riyadh launched a political and economic war against Qatar that’s split the Gulf Cooperation Council and enhanced Iran’s influence; virtually kidnapped the pro-American Lebanese Prime Minister in a bungled attempt to weaken Hezbollah; remained silent while the Saudis under the guise of reform cracked down on journalists, bloggers, businessmen and anyone else who dared criticize the 30-something crown prince; and said nothing as Riyadh battered Canada—a close U.S. ally that dared challenge Saudi human rights abuses.
In our 65-plus years of combined experience working inside and outside the State Department on U.S. Middle East policy, we have never seen anything like the Trump administration’s willingness to prostitute U.S. interests to Saudi Arabia.
It's the 586th day of Donald Trump's presidency, and I'd ask @jack to kick Trump off Twitter if I didn't think his timeline will eventually be used as evidence of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. electoral system.