The Frothy Right Is Furious that Peter Strzok Pursued the Guy Leaking about Carter Page

Close to midnight on June 3, 2017, Lisa Page texted Peter Strzok to let him know that Reality Winner was in custody. Page used the same shorthand she and Strzok (and presumably, those around them) consistently use to describe leak investigations, ML, media leaks.

They used the term elsewhere, as when Strzok said “media leaks and what I do for a living” when responding to the first reports that Mueller was investigating Trump (and hypothesizing about who the WaPo’s likely sources were).

Significantly, they used the term on April 10, 2017, when trying to figure out how to respond to DOJ’s effort to increasingly politicize leak investigations.

Indeed, Strzok’s lawyer has issued a statement confirming this is how Strzok and Page used the term.

The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media. The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People.

In spite of all that context, Mark Meadows has the entire frothy right, from Sara Carter to Fox News to Don Jr to his dad, worked up about two newly produced texts, based on this letter to Rod Rosenstein, which gets just about every thing wrong.

Before I explain how wrong Mark Meadows’ letter is, let me point out two things.

Michael Horowitz has already investigated a media leak text and found no misconduct

First, Michael Horowitz is (with the possible exception of DOD’s Glenn Fine) the best Inspector General in government. His office spent over a year investigating the work of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; he wrote a 500-page report on it. And when he found evidence that even looked like impropriety, acted on it immediately and then formally, leading to Strzok’s firing. He has also spent a year investigating whatever calls went between FBI lines and reporters covering Hillary or Trump. He even drew pretty pictures showing each one of concern.

As part of both investigations, he examined a text in the series Meadows is concerned about (the April 10 one, above). And in spite of examining Page and Strzok, including a relevant text, at such length, Horowitz found no impropriety with the discussions about how to investigate leaks to the media.

We know the likely culprit for the leak the frothy right is blaming on Page and Strzok

The punchline of Meadows’ letter — as fed via the always-wrong Sara Carter — is a claim that Strzok and Page were the source for the WaPo story revealing that FBI obtained a FISA order on Carter Page.

The review of the documents suggests that the FBI and DOJ coordinated efforts to get information to the press that would potentially be “harmful to President Trump’s administration.” Those leaks pertained to information regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant used to spy on short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page.

Aside from how fucking stupid you’d have to be to believe that Strzok would go to great lengths to get a FISA order on Page and then tell the entire world about it, there’s another reason that the frothy right should know this is wrong: because we know the likely culprit for it.

As I noted in my first post on the James Wolfe indictment, that investigation appears to have started to (and focused on) finding the source for the WaPo story the frothy right now blames on Strzok and Page.

The government lays out clear proof Wolfe lied about conversations with three reporters. With Watkins and another, they point to stories about Carter Page to do so. The Watkins story is this one, confirming he is the person identified in the Evgeny Buryakov indictment. Another must be one of two stories revealing Page was subpoenaed for testimony by the Senate Intelligence Committee — either this one or this one.

I’m most interested, however, in this reference to a story the FBI raised with Wolfe in its interview, a story for which (unlike the others) the indictment never confirms whether Wolfe is the source.

During the interview, FBI agents showed WOLFE a copy of a news article authored by three reporters, including REPORTER #1, about an individual (referred to herein as “MALE-l), that contained classified information that had been provided to the SSCI by the Executive Branch for official purposes

The story suggests they don’t have content for the communications between Wolfe and Reporter #1, and the call records they’re interested in ended last June (meaning the story must precede it).

For example, between in or around December 2015 and in or around June 2017, WOLFE and REPORTER #1 communicated at least five times using his SSCI email account.

For that reason, I suspect this is the story they asked about — whether Wolfe is a source for the original credible story on Carter Page’s FISA order. The focus on Page generally in the indictment suggests this investigation started as an investigation into who leaked the fact that Page had been targeted under FISA, and continued to look at the stories that revealed classified details about the investigative focus on him (stories which he rightly complained to SSCI about).

The government didn’t charge Wolfe for that story — they just (appear to have) included his lies about whether he knew the reporters behind it among the lies they charged him for. But that’s a common strategy for FBI when dealing with a leak investigation the direct prosecution of which would require declassifying information, particularly with someone like Wolfe who could easily graymail the government. Moreover, the docket in his case has the look of one where the defense is considering a plea to avoid more serious charges.

Now consider how they got Wolfe. Not only did the government go after a trusted employee, not only did they very publicly access his Signal and WhatsApp texts, not only did they get Congress to waive speech and debate (which very rarely happens), but they also obtained years of Ali Watkins’ call records, both directly and via Temple University.

In other words, the prosecution of James Wolfe pushed prior protocols on leak investigations on a number of fronts: going after favored insiders, going after encrypted comms, going after employees of Congress, and going far more aggressively after a journalist and a college student than would seem necessary. That’s precisely the kind of thing that FBI and DOJ would debate as part of revising their strategy to more aggressively pursue media leaks.

So the James Wolfe case not only provides a likely culprit for the leak, but probably even evidence that shifts in the media leak strategy did happen, shifts resulting in far more aggressive pursuit of leaks than happened at the end of the Obama Administration.

Mark Meadows dangerously wrong

Which brings us, finally, to the many errors of Mark Meadows’ letter to Rosenstein. Once again, the premise of the letter is that two next texts (one of which obviously relates the one I posted above) create grave new concerns.

As you may know, we recently received a new production of documents from the Department providing greater insight into FBI and DOJ activity during the 2016 election and the early stages of the Trump administration. Our review of these new documents raises grave concerns regarding an apparent systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing investigations.

Review of these new documents suggests a coordinated effort on the part of the FBI and DOJ to release information in the public domain potentially harmful to President Donald Trump’s administration. For example, the following text exchange should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a since desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe.

April 10, 2017: Peter Strozk [sic] contacts Lisa Page to discuss a “media leak strategy.” Specifically, the text says: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

April 12, 2017: Peter Strozk [sic] congratulates Lisa Page on a job well done while referring to two derogatory articles about Carter Page. In the text, Strzok warns Page two articles are coming out, one which his “worse” than the other about Lisa’s “namesake.” [see update below] Strzok added: “Well done, Page.”

Meadows goes on to cite the WaPo story revealing Page’s FISA order and Andrew Weissman’s meeting with the AP (in which, per court testimony from the Manafort trial, the AP provided information useful to the investigation into Manafort, but which — significantly — led to the warrant on Manafort’s condo which may have led to the discovery of information that implicates Trump).

Meadows is just wrong. Both texts he already has and the Wolfe case “should lead a reasonable person” to understand that the same people who had long pursued leak investigations still were doing so, doing so in an increasingly politicized environment, but doing so with results that would employ more aggressive techniques and would find the likely culprit behind the WaPo story in question (not to mention send Reality Winner to prison for five years).

But all that’s just a premise to claim that because he imagines, fancifully, that Page and Strzok were leaking about ongoing investigations to the press (when in fact they were investigating such leaks), he should be able to get the FBI to talk about ongoing investigations.

During our interviews with Peter Strozk [sic] and Lisa Page, FBI attorneys consistently suggested witnesses could not answer questions due to the US Attorneys’ Manual’s policy for ongoing investigations. However, documents strongly suggest that these same witnesses discussed the ongoing investigations multiple times with individuals outside of the investigative team on a regular basis.

Not only is Meadows almost certainly wrong in his accusations against Strzok and Page, but he’s also ignoring that there are two ongoing investigations being protected here — both the general Russian investigation, but also the prosecution of Wolfe for behavior that likely includes the story he’s bitching about.

Meadows then uses what he even seems to admit are authorized media contacts as a transition paragraph.

Our task force continues to receive troubling evidence that the practice of coordinated media interactions continues to exist within the DOJ and FBI. While this activity may be authorized and not part of the inappropriate behavior highlighted above, it fails to advance the private march to justice, and as such, warrants your attention to end this practice.

The transition paragraph — which I’ll return to — leads to the whole point of the letter, Meadows’ demand that, because he has trumped up a false accusation against Strzok and Page, he should be able to interview FBI agents he believes will undermine the investigation into Donald Trump.

In light of the new information, our task force is requesting to review text messages, emails, and written communication from FBI and DOJ officials Stu Evans, Mike Kortan, and Joe Pientka between June 2016 to June 2017. To be clear, we are not suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Evans, Kortan, and Pientka–and, in fact, previously reviewed documents suggest that some of these individuals may share the committees’ same concerns. However, these additional documents, with an emphasis on communications between the aforementioned individuals and Peter Strozk [sic], Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and Andrew Weissman, would provide critical insight into the backdrop of the Russian investigation.

Meadows is looking, among other things, testimony that says Pientka didn’t believe Mike Flynn lied when he interviewed Trump’s National Security Advisor with Strzok. But he’s doing so specifically for a time period that ends before the evidence showing that Flynn did lie came into FBI (in part, when Mueller obtained Transition emails showing Trump closely directed Flynn’s conversations with Sergei Kislyak.

Now back to authorized media interactions. I happen to know something about how they work. I had a conversation with the FBI that pertained, in part, to whether there was a tie between Russian criminals and the President, one that also pertained to my perception of possible threats. Apparently Meadows thinks that such a conversation “fails to advance the private march to justice,” though it’s not clear what he means by that.  I mean, thus far, I have been very circumspect about the content of such conversations; is Meadows really asking me to air details before the midterms? I have thus far hesitated to share suspicions I had, believing it would be inappropriate for anyone besides Mueller and the FBI to air such things publicly, until they had corroborated my suspicions. But Meadows apparently believes it important to air investigative details before the election.

The better option — one that would put the rule of law and the security of the nation ahead of partisan obstruction — would be for Meadows to stop inciting hoaxes among the frothy right. Or maybe, at least, the frothy right can recognize that Meadows has serially embarrassed them as they credulously repeat whatever hoax he floats?

Update: After Jerrold Nadler and Elijah Cummings released a response noting some of Meadows’ errors, he fixed just one of the errors in his letter, admitting that the “well done, Page” language was actually from an April 22, 2017 text that reads, “article is out! Well done, Page,” and which obviously refers to this story on Jim Comey.

As I disclosed July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

61 replies
  1. Bruce Stewart says:

    Note the text says “media leaks *and* what I do for a living.” Not sure what that means, but I doubt it is the same as replacing “and” with “are.”

  2. SteveB says:

    Glad you did this post.

    Not only have you clarified the obvious flaws in Meadows et al partisan cherry picking of the Strzok/Page texts, and very helpfully linked in the detailed Horowiz report analysis, but demonstrating the relationship to the Wolfe/Watkins affair is extremely illuminating.

    A deep take with customary mastery of detail and relayed with erudition. Another exemplar of why you are a must read.Thanks

  3. Bob Conyers says:

    Hmm. Is there anything else about to happen in North Carolina that Mark Meadows ought to be focusing on? Any reason his constituents might think he doesn’t have his priorities straight?

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Tropical storm force winds are forecast for Western NC and there is the potential for rainfall measured in feet in the mountains.

        Meadows voted against funding for Sandy relief.

        • Trip says:

          @Bob, I’m not sure if you detected my sarcasm and reference to Trump’s own “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” stance with “Only 16 people died, that’s great!” (wherein he treated a major natural disaster like a gameshow, tossing paper towels to victims in Puerto Rico). If I recall correctly he also uttered something like “have fun” to them.

  4. Avattoir says:

    Drop the mic work here.

    [Might also have phrased that as Drop the Mike work here, but then I’d proly have to Mag.]

  5. Geoff says:

    The thing is, you hope these people will be embarrassed, but they are incapable of feeling that. Thus, they have no problem with acting (or actually being) obtuse, because it furthers their aim, which is to undermine popular support for the investigation. And with this crew you also have to remember that the ends always justify the means, so again, no reason to have any compunction about the way they act.

    It’s not a fair fight, and sometimes taking the high road or the high moral ground just means you lose (a lesson the Democrats seem incapable of learning as they get bullied, beat up and stomped on over and over.) These nefarious folks have to be dealt with beyond the usual “have you no sense of decency?” style of denunciation. That worked with McCarthy perhaps, but we live in a different world now, and ethics have clearly gone out the window. Somehow, these people have to pay an actual price for their constant lies. I just dont know when we are ever going to live in a world where these acts have any consequences. When you have a SC nominee who is participating in the denial of reality and living his life via evasion of honestly and consequence, what kind of precedent does that set?

  6. Trip says:

    You’re doing the right thing, Marcy. Don’t let them use you as a pawn in their BS defense. That’s what the charlatans want to do with meaningless phrases like “fails to advance the private march to justice”. The march to justice will and should be public after it has gelled and solidified.

  7. clairence says:

    Great post, as usual. I enjoy reading how the pieces fit (or might fit) together.
    I am still not clear on why these two people (Strzok and Page) continue to be representative of the entire FBI in this context. It’s obviously a Trump/Republican effort to use these two as ‘the face’ of the ‘enemy’ agency, but why is the media going along with it? Are there no other FBI communications available to broaden the conversation?

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      It’s all the right wing has as talking points.

      There is nothing else. FBI is not leaking anything.

      Tucker Carlson and Alan Dershowitz are completely all in on the right wing illogic.

      They simply can not read and comprehend.

  8. pseudonymous in nc says:

    The wonders of cause and effect: if the Dems hadn’t botched the 2010 midterms, NC wouldn’t have ended up with a Republican supermajority that then gerrymandered the congressional boundaries — unconstitutionally! — to turn a swingy district into one that Meadows could win easily and hold without needing to campaign or behave like less of an asshole.

    He’s not a member of House Intel. He’s not a member of House Judiciary. He is not the brightest bulb. So he’s the perfect useful idiot.

    • maestro says:

      Somewhat off topic, but there is absolutely nothing Democrats could have done to prevent the outcome of the 2010 elections.

  9. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Strzok lawyer statement: “The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media. The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People.”

    So, yeah.

  10. Ggovic says:

    Why is Mark Meadows pushing so vigorously this false narrative? How can he besmirch Strzok & Page and get away with it?

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      That’s the real question: is he just a conspiratorial fool — in the words of Boehner, “he’s an idiot. I can’t tell you what makes him tick.” — or is he being fed this by staffers and/or the White House?

      • orionATL says:

        boehner’s comment is revealing.
        i’d guess an “idiot” for boehner or any other sensible politician is someone who does not want to trade or to deal – give some, get some.

        meadows then might be characterized as a rightwing true believer, or as a demagogue. they’re not the same.

        i suspect meadows is a demagogue. i’ve often wondered wht one would see if one overlaid a map of rightwing christian clustering on each of the maps of the districts of meadows’ “freedom caucus” members.

  11. jonb says:

    If I lived in the Carolinas I would be very concerned about the government response to this storm.. since the president graded himself a 10 of 10 for the response to Hurricane Maria

  12. Kansas Watcher says:

    The only solution to current political behavior is a resounding defeat in Nov.

    throw the bums out.

    P.S.  I notice more attempts to derail your comments section.  I wonder if you have gained the attention of the Internet Research Types.

  13. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Smells like they have given up on the Rudy fishing trips, because he always came back with his bait.

    So, Meadows is now fishing.

  14. orionATL says:

    i think i detected an implied threat of disclosue. if i were these sons of bitches like mark meadows constructing quasi-legal confections, i would be very careful.

  15. Randy S says:

    Slightly OT. I’m not really expecting an answer…why are these Republican’s going to these lengths to subvert the investigation? It’s not rational. Why would they want to do DT’s dirty work? I get that the Republican base requires public endorsement of the president but why do they need to go to these lengths to protect him. The only rational reasons would be a) they know that DJT is innocent or b) they are somehow implicated in ConFraudUS and are trying to protect themselves as well. These actions are just bewildering to me.

    • maestro says:

      Sadly it makes pretty good sense when you view it from their perspective. They neither know nor care whether they’re helping to cover up real wrongdoing. Their calculus is entirely political: the GOP base strongly supports Trump, ergo the more forcefully they defend Trump in public, the more political points they win. Most of these guys are in safe seats so they have no need to appeal to swing voters or try to peel off Democrats—all their electoral incentives push them toward pleasing the base only.

      For most rank-and-file Rs, that’s all that is necessary. For guys like Meadows and Jordan, there is more to it than that and it centers around the internal dynamic and power struggles of the GOP House caucus. Their mission is to undermine and overthrow the current crop of GOP leadership and install themselves in its place. This whole crusade against the DOJ offers them a way to curry favor with the White House and put them in a position to gain leverage. The more they increase the salience of their crusade with base voters and donors, the more leadership is forced to entertain them and take them seriously. The end game is to force whoever winds up replacing Paul Ryan as head of the caucus next year to give Meadows, Jordan, and the HFC effective control of the floor.

      Edit: I should also add that these guys are wackos and probably truly believe that DOJ is secretly a hotbed of Democratic resistance to the president conspiring to overthrow him. But it doesn’t really matter because even if they didn’t believe that, they’re political sociopaths who would just invent it.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        I think you make good points, and I’d add that a good chunk of how they implement their support for Trump is driven by staff, who are plugged in to the heart of the Frothy Right.

        Many of the staff came from the Frothy Right, and many are probably hoping they can return. If November turns against them, there are a lot of staffers who will lose their jobs as bosses are defeated and committes switch to the Dems, and there is no way they will find jobs in the private sector. Some will burrow into the bureaucracy, but a lot are trying to ingratiate themselves with some shady right wing group or other.

  16. SteveB says:

    Re the phrase “fails to advance the private march to justice” :

    Meadows hypocrisy is bottomless – the phrase appears or purports to be an exhortation towards greater respect for the confidentiality of investigations, unsulled by leaking, or indeed authorised press briefing.
    It is significant perhaps that he frames this “confidentiality of investigations” as ‘private march to justice’ ie investigators owe a duty to maintain privacy, but cannot expect or require others to respect the confidentiality of ongoing investigations.

    Expect to see more similar reframings as Meadows et al continue to circle round Rosenstein and Mueller.

    • Avattoir says:

      Meadows is not particularly better at this framing game than Nunes or Jordan. From how his letters read and how he speaks, it appears that Meadows may well have the largest vocabulary of the 3 – and therefore larger still than Kevin McCarthy (who is, anyone can tell by just listening to him talk, functionally unintelligible in speech at least).

      However at the same time, Meadows seems clearly lacking in even the perverse levels of technical and arcane curiosity that Nunes and Jordan exhibit (thus, his sending out a second letter on the same day as the frame job, a classic no-no in the p.r. & propaganda rackets). So, I’m inclined to doubt he has the necessary berserking-level bravado that Nunes and Jordan have shown on more than one occasion, to sustain his lead position in this attack.

      These people are just not very bright.

      • SteveB says:

        Point taken :

        It’s Occam’s Razor, Stupid.

        The revision demonstrates that the craft I had imagined had gone into the first letter was the usual mix of malevolence tempered by incompetence.

        The curious ‘private march to justice’ is probably just clumsy, and my effort to understand what idea the author might be reaching towards, was just projection on my part that Meadows is actually someone concerned with how linguist choices shape understanding.

  17. viget says:

    Kinda, sorta OT, but did anyone see this article from last week’s NYT?:

    This article explains why Steele and Ohr may have been misled by Deripaska regarding the fallout wrt the Steele dossier. They thought he was a credible source!

    However, I still don’t understand how Ohr, at least, did not know that Deripaska was in cahoots with Manafort. Although, interestingly enough, around the time they were trying to “turn” him, he was having a very public feud with Manafort over the $60 mil. Maybe he played up that angle?

  18. Barry Wasserman says:

    I have an observation and question. The observation is that Team Mueller and Team Trump are engaged in asymmetrical warfare. Team Mueller is quietly and factually building a criminal case, while Team Trump is noisily and unfactually building a political case to discredit Team Mueller. And in my estimation, Team Trump is being more successful than I would have imagined possible. So for example when Rudy G et. al. spout nonsense on Fox News, it’s not nonsense. It’s an effective asymmetrical strategy when the facts are not your friend. Remember: the truth is not the truth! And who was it that suggested that Nixon would not have needed to quit if he’s had Fox News?

    My question is: What’s to stop Trump from firing Sessions ( as he is prepping the public to expect after the mid-terms) and then appoint a non-recused and loyal Acting AG who will assume the role as Mueller’s direct boss and do everything he or she can to constrain the investigation and limit what can be released at the end?

    • Rayne says:

      Why are you characterizing the act of investigation and law enforcement by Special Counsel’s Office and the USDOJ as “asymmetric warfare”?

      Why are you characterizing Trump’s manifold forms of obstruction of justice which may include

      18 USC 1503 Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally,
      18 USC 1504 Influencing juror by writing
      18 USC 1505 Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
      18 USC 1510 Obstruction of criminal investigations
      18 USC 1512 Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant
      18 USC 1521 Retaliating against a Federal judge or Federal law enforcement officer by false claim or slander of title

      as “asymmetric warfare”?

  19. Rusharuse says:

    Mueller should charge Page with “something” just to  shut-up these fucking jackels.

    Also, Page and Poppadadumbass- do they have the same Republican handler? Pap is smearing the investigators using very Pagian language (see today’s tweets). Was there a FISA for Page? He is going after Downer, comparing him to Steele, adding personal disparagements . . Downer is a cross dresser! Is Papa (loves mumbo) dancing with the “frothies”? Is he being groomed as the new Carter Page? The groom in big fat greek marriage of convenience!

    • Avattoir says:

      There appear to be lots of folks, including some who post comments on this website, who continue to misunderstand completely the difference between, on the one hand, what’ll I call ‘regular’ state law enforcement power wiretapping for the purposes of gathering evidence and intelligence in the context of investigating alleged crimes, and, on the other, what the FISA is all about.

      Page may well never have committed a single breach of a single even minor regulation that bears on his ongoing efforts to develop some sort of business or career opportunity in the fossil fuel business that engages Russian interests. And for all we know, the DoJ’s cointel section may indeed recognize internally that they lack even reasonable and probable grounds to suspect him of such.

      But that has little to nothing to do with why Page would be a legitimate candidate for targeting in a FISA context.

      And comments such as yours here, unfortunately, only serve to foster the opposite, and wrong, conclusion.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        And how Trumpian to suggest indicting and prosecuting someone, or threatening to, to force them to STFU so that you can eat a Big Mac and Fish Sandwich in peace.  SAD.

        • Trip says:

          @earl, this is the one time I can tell you that you are wrong. There is no peace in a Big Mac or fish sandwich. That represents metabolic and cardiac war. It’s treason, I tell ya, cavorting with the enemy.

  20. Warren Peese says:

    Sara Carter is the Greg Palast of the aughts, a partisan hack pretending to be an “investigative journalist”.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This is not a group of commentators that often watches Fox Noise.  Those who do watch it are routinely listed as among the least well-informed people in America.

  21. harpie says:

    Interesting timing:

    9:51 AM ET: 

    A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting  [Buzzfeed] Investigators are focused on two bursts of banking activity — one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election.  September 12, 2018, at 9:51 a.m. ET

    10:06 AM ET

    Trump Tweet: 7:06 AM – 12 Sep 2018 “I can say, as it relates to the Senate Intelligence Committee Investigation, that we have NO hard evidence of Collusion.”  Richard Burr (R-NC) Senate Intelligence Committee, Chairman

    • Trip says:

      Yep. Do we think Manafort was paid?

      And last night there was something about McMaster taking Russian propaganda out of Trump’s hands, but I can’t find any more detail today. I think it was in Woodward’s book.

      Also Derp Trump is channeling his inner Nazi on commentary about Woodward:
      “Don’t you think people look through the fact, you can write some sensational, nonsense book, CNN will definitely have you on there because they love to trash the president. It’ll mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels, at the behest of the American people, at the behest of our country, that’s doing a phenomenal job by every quantifiable metric. Is that really where we are?”

      I wonder if Dershowitz will defend him.

    • harpie says:

      Ryan Goodman is writing a thread about Burr being compromised as head of investigatory committee:

      It’s now important to recall Sen. Burr’s history with this investigation […] WaPo (@adamentous @gregpmiller) broke story that the White House enlisted Burr and Devin Nunes to counter NYT reporting on contacts between Trump campaign and Russians. / […] 

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    To paraphrase FEMA director Brock Long: If you’re relying on FEMA as your only defense to a hurricane, that’s not right. We’re not here to hold your hand or to hold back the tide.  You are master of your own fate.

    Our budget is as sound as the president’s tax returns.  Any claim to the contrary is playing politics.  We have all the money we need to do our job.  Like every other federal body, that job is to make the president look good.

    Nor do we count deaths that do not result from a hurricane knocking you dead in front of a medical examiner, whose flashlight, Swiss Army knife, and pad and pencil still work and allow her to do her job.  Any other COD is an act of god or fate.

    Of course, we accept reports only on-line, using a FEMA-issued computer, all of which we have safely stored in their original Apple Macintosh 128K packing cases at our warehouse in Missoula.  We’re ready to go, 115%!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      And for you folks in North Carolina, those pigs and that pig shit you see floatin’ by for days on end are not the state legislature.  They’re just pigs and pig shit.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That was it.  Long was in full blame the other guy mode – and a heinous form of not my problemo.

        The only thing he and his agency seems to have learned from its debacle in Puerto Rico is to get out in front of the news and pretend that success, success, success is all that’s on the menu in Trumplandia.

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