Morning Briefing: Ladies and Gentleman, Your Dumbass President Pulled a Nixon Twitter
Donald Trump has no idea how to be a President. This is not news to any of you, but on Twitter last night and this morning, he offered more evidence of that:
NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
…There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
When you’re the President of the United States, you just can’t say sh*t like that. It prejudices any potential jury. It gives the defense an argument. They can say, ‘We can’t get a fair trial because the President of the United States has made it impossible.”
Fascinatingly, this is a defense that Charles Manson actually tried to use in his trial (and ultimately failed) after Richard Nixon stated that Manson was “guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.” Manson moved for a mistrial after that statement, suggesting that Nixon prejudiced the opinion of the jury. It was denied, but the judge overseeing the case was nevertheless “alarmed.” Nixon’s Press Secretary ultimately had to walk back those statements. (Manson himself had a pretty good line that he shared with his lawyers: “Here’s a man who is accused of hundreds of thousands of murders, accusing me of being accused of eight murders.)
Anyway, ultimately it’s probably not going to be dispositive, because we are living in different times where Constitutional norms have been knocked out of whack, but it was reckless and stupid of a President known for being reckless and stupid.
— The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the DOJ has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in the DNC hack, and they plan to prosecute. This is a big deal mostly because the DOJ is actually admitting that the Russians were involved in the hack (whereas the President still casts doubt on that). For the Russians actors, however, it’s unlikely that they will ever be arrested, but it will make life difficult for them, especially if they want to travel outside of Russia.
— You can add one more data point to the timeline I put together yesterday connecting the Trump campaign to Russian collusion: On July 14, 2016, George Papadopoulos actually sent an email saying that top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Related: The Daily Beast has revealed that Michael Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., and Kellyanne Conway were all pushing — through retweets — Russian troll accounts in the days before the election. In other words, they were amplifying Russian propaganda. Good job, Patriots!
— Meanwhile, on our side of things, Donna Brazile is accusing the Clinton campaign of internal corruption, because we are never going to move beyond 2016, apparently. Clinton did nothing illegal, but according to Brazile, it falls under the “unethical” category. I’ll grant that, but I’ll say this again: The DNC is a private organization; it had no legal obligation to Bernie (who isn’t even a Democrat). The DNC may very well have stacked the deck against Bernie, and that’s shitty, but within its legal rights.
Yeah, that Greenwald quote doesn’t really match the content of the piece (i.e., he took a “rigged” from one place in the article and applied it out of context). It sounds like Brazile was frustrated with the power that Hillary exerted over the party, but that Bernie wasn’t that bothered by it. Read the full article — it’s much less inflammatory than the tweet.
Bonus points for the first to connect the header image to substance of the morning briefing.
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