— Where do we even start this morning? How about a speech Trump gave at a closed-door fundraiser that was meant to be private, but several outlets have received audio. In that speech, Trump said that he plans to meet with Kim Jong-un as a way to stick it to Obama and George W. Bush. “They couldn’t have met” with him, he said. “Nobody would have done what I did.”
But here’s the thing that Trump clearly doesn’t understand: North Korea has wanted to meet with a U.S. President for years, because North Korea believes that, by virtue of the meeting alone, they will have won because they will have gained the respect of the United States. G.W. Bush and Obama did not want to afford him that respect. Just by meeting with Kim Jong-un, Trump is basically giving the North Korean leader exactly what we wants: Legitimacy.
Trump also bragged about lying to Justin Trudeau; he threated to pull troops out of South Korea, he claimed that Conor Lamb won Pennsylvania because he’s “like Trump,” and — most bizarrely — he cited a Japan test that no one has ever heard of.
“It’s the bowling ball test. They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and drop it on the hood of the car,” Trump said of Japan. “If the hood dents, the car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible,” he said. It was unclear what he was talking about.
— Meanwhile, as more people leave and more are fired, according to Axios, White House staff believe it has never been more toxic inside their offices:
“This is the most toxic working environment on the planet. Usually tough times bring people together. But right now this atmosphere is ripping people apart. There’s no leadership, no trust, no direction and this point there’s very little hope. Would you want to go to work every day not knowing whether your future career was going to be destroyed without explanation?”
More shakeups are coming. More staffers are expected to be escorted out over security clearance issues, and as many as three more senior officials — H.R. McMaster, David Shultes, and Ben Carson — may be ousted soon.
— Trump has, however, found a replacement for Gary Cohn. Larry Kudlow, who actually disagrees with Trump on tariffs. Or did, before he decided to join the administration. I’d offer you a primer on him, but what’s the point? He’ll be gone in six months, anyway.
Larry Kudlow will be my Chief Economic Advisor as Director of the National Economic Council. Our Country will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labor force leading the way! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018
— I am not sure what to think of the Andrew McCabe situation. After a lot of pressure from Trump, he announced his retirement a couple of months ago, effective this weekend. However, the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility has recommended his firing, and Jeff Sessions may do it before the retirement is official, meaning this guy who has worked for the FBI since the 1990s won’t get his pension. I guess if he did something wrong, that’s appropriate, and according to the DOJ inspector general, he was not forthcoming in his answers about the investigation into the Clinton Foundation. I mean, if we’re gonna indict folks for lying to the FBI, it would be hypocritical to suggest that McCabe shouldn’t be kicked off the payroll for not being forthcoming. On the other hand, I just don’t know at this point if the DOJ inspector general is a bureaucrat or a Trump lackey, so I have no idea whether he should be trusted or not.
— The White House and Trump, meanwhile, continue to insist that Rick Saccone — running in +20 Trump territory — gained a 7 point advantage because Trump campaigned for him, but also that Lamb only won because he’s “like Trump.” But if the voters wanted someone “like Trump,” wouldn’t they have voted for the guy he campaigned for? And also, FYI: Lamb is nothing like Trump, although strategically he did avoid shitting all over the President during the campaign.
— “We will always have your back!” But not so much that we will take the time to actually learn to spell Corps.
— Hi Republican Senator John Kennedy. You know who else is family? KIDS. KIDS who are massacred in school shootings.
I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins. Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family.— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) March 14, 2018
Since 2010, about 160 kids have been killed in school shootings (plus, countless more injuries, both physical and emotional). In that same time, one dog has died in an airplane’s overhead bin. That dog’s death was tragic. But also, 158 CHILDREN have been killed. Priorities, motherfucker.
— Finally, we’ll end on more Stormy Daniels news, because this story is not going away. According to Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, multiple women are now looking to break their NDAs with Trump. Also, Stormy Daniels is raising money to pay the legal costs associated with breaking hers (and yes, also taking advantage of her situation). Make it rain mistresses!