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Morning Briefing: The Only 'Adult' In the White House Is Not a Very Smart Man

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 18, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 18, 2017 |

— One of President Trump’s personal lawyers, Ty Cobb — hired to assist Trump in the Russian probe — was caught suggesting a few weeks ago that he and General John Kelly were basically the only adults in the White House these days. That statement is all the more ironic today after a NYTimes ran an article this morning based on an overheard conversation between Ty Cobb and John Dowd. This picture was taken by the Times reporter who overheard them speaking loudly over lunch.

What did the reporter Kenneth Vogel overhear? Oh just that White House Counsel Don McGahn has been reluctant to release certain documents to Bob Mueller, including a couple he has stashed away in a safe. McGahn and Ty Cobb are in a dispute over how much information to release to Mueller with Cobb saying get it all out and exculpate Trump, while McGahn — Trump’s lifelong friend, who probably knows more about what’s really going on — showing some reticence. During the conversation, Cobb also suggested that McGahn has a spy in the White House, and that one of Cobb’s colleagues tried to have Kushner pushed out.

Adult, huh? Dumbass.

— The Republicans are pushing another ACA repeal bill again — the Graham-Cassidy Bill — and a lot of very respected folks in the media are saying, “Be afraid. Call your Senators. Don’t let the GOP sneak this past you.” And maybe we should be afraid, because the Graham-Cassidy Bill is not good — it basically turns Obamacare into block grants that are completely phased out by 2026. Rand Paul is against it. The bill would be really bad for Alaska and Maine, so I don’t see how Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins could flip. But they might, but I don’t see it (nor do I see the House Freedom Caucus going along with this anymore — they are even less loyal to Trump now than they were four months ago). We just have to survive this for 12 more days before repealing is no longer an option, so keep an eye out. Be wary, especially with Lindsay Graham pushing this thing hard on Breitbart.

— The North Korea situation is only growing more dire, after N. Korea launched another missile over Japan last week. But the options for the White House have not changed: Either try to pressure China to take a more aggressive stance against North Korea by applying sanctions against China — which would hurt us as much as it would hurt China — or the military option, which risks the lives of hundreds of thousands in South Korea and Japan. There’s no good answer. There’s no good solution. I mean, at this point, getting Dennis Rodman involved is a better option than the other two. One thing that’s NOT helping? Donald Trump giving Kim Jong Un a nickname.

— There were rumors this weekend that Trump might not pull out of the Paris Accord after all. Those rumors were bullshit.

— Here, take your mind off of impending nuclear war, environmental collapse, the repeal of healthcare, and the fact that Facebook helped the Russians give the election to Trump with this photo of Jon Hamm, who has the gleeful look of a man who just returned home after 4 years on the moon.

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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.