Morning Briefing: Stormy Daniels 'Physically Threatened' To Stay Quiet, and a Bloodbath Coming to the White House?
I don’t even know, you guys.
H.R. McMaster is out, but he’s not out yet, reports The Washington Post. Trump is apparently holding off on firing McMaster until he finds a replacement, and I suspect that as soon as he finds a replacement, McMaster will find out on Twitter what he already knows.
Ben Carson, David Shultes, Scott Pruit, Ryan Zinke, or even Betsy DeVos could also find out soon, on Twitter, that they have been fired.
Chief of Staff John Kelly apparently hastened the anticipated departure of H.R. McMaster, because he was upset that McMaster was undermining Tillerson, who John Kelly was trying to keep on. John Kelly was angry that Tillerson was fired, and he pressed Trump to get rid of McMaster. Meanwhile, Kelly himself is on thin ice with the President, because Kelly keeps undermining the President and he has offered a lot of pushback on tariffs.
“Who’s next?” Trump laughed in an Oval Office meeting with John Kelly and Mike Pence yesterday.
No one is safe, which is a great way to run a television series about the zombie apocalypse, perhaps, but it hardly seems befitting in the White House, where — honestly — most of these cabinet decisions barely matter anymore anyway because Trump is going to ignore all of their advice and listen to his gut. He’s not looking for good advisors. He’s looking for people who will validate his own thinking, which would be a lot less dangerous if he didn’t have shit for brains.
And of course, there are no non-disclosure agreements with any of these White House staffers Trump continues to fire, and at some point, they’re going to speak against him, which will invariably result in more chaos.
One person expected to speak against Trump very soon is James Comey, who has a book coming out, and according to Axios, he’s coming out “hot.” He’s already lined up three interviews with the networks, and in the book, he expects to compare Trump unfavorably with the other two Presidents he served under. He also expects to correct a lot of lies and misinformation. That will preoccupy at least another two days in the Trump news cycle.
The one guy who does seem to be safe, however, is General Mattis at Defense. Trump puts up with the fact that Mattis often disagrees with him because Mattis “looks the part.” However, there’s a possibility that Mattis may be embroiled in his own scandal. You know about Theranos, right? And the CEO Elizabeth Holmes, who perpetrated massive fraud? Yeah, Mattis was involved in that, too. From Thinkprogress:
Mattis not only served on Theranos’s board during some of the years it was perpetrating the fraud, after he retired from US military service, he earlier served as a key advocate of putting the company’s technology (technology that was, to be clear, fake) to use inside the military while he was still serving as a general.
It is unlikely, however, that anyone will push back on this — including Democrats — because Mattis may be the only guy standing between Trump and nuclear war.
Oh, and the by the way: Trump’s personal bodyguard, escorted off the premises last week, was fired because of a bad gambling habit.
A background investigation found that McEntee bet tens of thousands of dollars at a time, making him unsuitable for a sensitive position close to the president, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. There was no indication his gambling was illegal, but there was concern that the 27-year-old could be vulnerable to outside influence, the person said.
Cool, cool, cool.
One more thing: According to Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Trump’s people threatened “physical violence” against Stormy Daniels if she spoke out.
Her lawyer also says that six other women have come forward with stories similar to Stormy Daniels. Two have NDAs.
There is one very good piece of news today, however: Up here in Maine, an asshole state congressional rep who called Parkland high school student and gun reform advocate, Emma González, a “skinhead lesbian,” had been running unopposed in his district. That changed when 28-year-old hero Eryn Gilchrist filed her paperwork yesterday to run against him. She’s a Bates grad; works at a medical device company, and had zero interest in ever running for political office, but felt she had to provide some opposition. I hope she kicks Leslie Gibson’s ass.
(Yes, the header photo is of Stormy Daniels and Dane Cook. No, I don’t know why I used it.
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