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Morning Briefing: Donald Trump Lashes Out After Russia's Prime Minister Humiliates Him

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2017 |

Good morning! The Russian Prime Minister tweeted this yesterday.

That’s pretty rich from a Prime Minister whose only power is in steering legislation to combat smoking in public places. Still, Donald Trump clearly felt torched by the tweets, because now he’s blaming Congress.

How’s it going, General John Kelly? Got everything under control? Because last night, your boss called Golf magazine fake news after it reported the following re: Trump:

Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: “That White House is a real dump.” (A White House spokesperson denies this occurred.)

FAKE NEWS! Everyone knows that the only real news comes from TMZ and The National Enquirer:

— In other news of the strange and petty, the White House conceded yesterday that Donald Trump lied about receiving congratulatory phone calls from the leaders of the Boy Scouts and the President of Mexico. He didn’t receive phone calls, as he stated; rather, he had in person conversations. So easy to confuse! (Both leaders of the Boy Scouts and the president of Mexico deny having congratulated Trump on anything).

“I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump told The Journal, according to a transcript obtained and published by Politico.

An official with the Scouts said Wednesday that the organization was not aware of such a phone call. Last week, Michael Surbaugh, the chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts, wrote to parents that he “regrets that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”

— Meanwhile, Trump seems to have gotten a high on firing Anthony Scaramucci and Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, because now he’s lashing out at his military and threatening to fire more people. Apparently, Trump cannot settle on a military strategy in Afghanistan, and he’s lashing out at his military advisors, including Defense Secretary James Mattis. Mattis left a meeting visibly upset last week when Trump threatened to fire the general overseeing the war in Afghanistan and compared that war to renovations at the 21 Club in Manhattan:

Trump told his advisers that the restaurant, Manhattan’s elite ‘21’ Club, had shut its doors for a year and hired an expensive consultant to craft a plan for a renovation. After a year, Trump said, the consultant’s only suggestion was that the restaurant needed a bigger kitchen.

Apparently, Trump believes that the troops in Afghanistan should be in charge of devising a strategy instead of the generals, because they know better because they’re closer to it. I mean, I’m also for letting Private Pyle offer some input, but letting him devise the strategy for the entire war? DUDE.

He’s also pissed that China has mineral rights in Afghanistan while we’re spending money fighting the war. He wants to get rich off the war, because he is a transactional President who doesn’t give a shit about anything other than winning and money.

Anyway, rumor is he’s thinking about firing Gen. John Nicholson and replacing him with H.R. McMaster, and then replacing H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor with the current CIA Director, Mike Pompeo. So, he’s basically just rotating chairs.

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The good news is, at least H.R. McMaster is cleaning house in his department, having forced out four Mike Flynn/Stephen Bannon acolytes in the last month.

— In other good news, sort of, Trump has backed off of Jeff Sessions and General Kelly has given Sessions assurances that his job is safe. The good news is that Trump is not going to mess with the Bob Mueller investigation through Sessions, but the bad news is, we still have Sessions as the Attorney General, and Sessions is responsible for Stephen Miller.

— Finally, this can’t be good: Jared Kushner has been unofficially offering green cards to folks in exchange for investing $500,000 in his properties. He’s currently being subpoenaed over the Investment for Green card program. Can we just get rid of this guy already?

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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