Trump Boasts of His Imaginary 87-Page Rebuttal Without Noticing Mueller Has Already Released 127 Pages

This is off-topic, but I wanted to share that I was on KPFA in the last few days and the host talked about how great this site is (!!), paying particular attention to the quality of the commenters. He’s right: you guys rock.

Yesterday, the Atlantic captured Rudy Giuliani’s despair, in fairly inexcusable language for a purported defense attorney, of being able to rebut an eventual Mueller report. Rudy himself ascribed his inability to prepare for a Mueller report to the difficulties he faced even getting the President to answer a few questions.

Giuliani said it’s been difficult in the past few months to even consider drafting response plans, or devote time to the “counter-report” he claimed they were working on this summer as he and Trump confronted Mueller’s written questions about the 2016 campaign.

“Answering those questions was a nightmare,” he told me. “It took him about three weeks to do what would normally take two days.”

He blames that difficulty not on the fact that his client is a compulsive liar, but on what looks like a staged interruption from John Kelly, who oh by the way is not in his office this morning, amid reporting that Mueller has already interviewed him.

There was the sheer problem of finding time—Giuliani recalled one instance when they were working on the list and Chief of Staff John Kelly broke in to tell Trump about the migrant caravan, which grabbed the president’s attention immediately. And there was the specificity of the questions themselves: “He’s got a great memory,” Giuliani said. “However, basically we were answering questions about 2016, the busiest year of his life. It’s a real job to remember.”

He also comes perilously close to admitting how uncontrollable this client is.

Giuliani initially pushed back on the prediction that Trump would take center stage after the report drops. “I don’t think following his lead is the right thing. He’s the client,” he told me. “The more controlled a person is, the more intelligent they are, the more they can make the decision. But he’s just like every other client. He’s not more … you know, controlled than any other client. In fact, he’s a little less.”

For Giuliani, letting Trump guide the response post-report may not be ideal, but “I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that can stop Donald Trump from tweeting,” he acknowledged. “I’ve tried.”

That may be necessary to excuse some of the more obvious explanations for Trump’s complaints about his epically corrupt campaign manager being held in protective custody.

The president has also devoted much of his energy to following Paul Manafort’s case rather than prepping for the full report. “The thing that upsets potus the most is the treatment of Manafort,” Giuliani said. When Trump learned that the former campaign chairman was in solitary confinement, Giuliani said, “he said to me, ‘Don’t they realize we’re America?’”

I mean, maybe Trump wants his former campaign manager to meet an untimely death in jail?

Rudy repeated some of the same comments to the WaPo.

Giuliani pronounced himself “disgusted” by the Mueller team’s tactics, complained about the length of time it took to complete written answers to questions from the special counsel’s team and said Mueller’s probe was essentially out of control.

“I think he crossed the line a while ago. I think it’s a situation badly in need of supervision,” Giuliani said. He’s “the special prosecutor of false statements.”

As Jonathan Chait (yes, I am linking Chait, it’s Pearl Harbor Day if you want to mark the date) noted, this despair from Rudy comes as his boasts about progress on a the report have dwindled from an almost-finished report to 58 pages to 45 to not started yet.

So we’ve gone from the first half alone being 58 pages, to the entire report being 45 pages, to “it’s difficult to even consider drafting” the report at all. This is like an episode of Matlock that lasts all season long and where the client is actually guilty and Matlock is going through early-stage dementia.

Meanwhile, others in the Atlantic article describe the problem posed by responding to a “report” that might include real allegations of impeachable offenses.

There have also been few frank conversations within the White House about the potential costs of Mueller’s findings, which could include impeachment of the president or the incrimination of his inner circle. Those close to Trump have either doubled down on the “witch hunt” narrative, they said—refusing to entertain the possibility of wrongdoing—or decided to focus on other issues entirely.


Attempting to plan “would mean you would have to have an honest conversation about what might be coming,” a former senior White House official, who requested anonymity to speak freely, told me.

So the White House is just going to follow the lead of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

“We would always put together plans with the knowledge that he wouldn’t use them or they’d go off the rails,” one recently departed official told me. “And at this point, with Mueller, they’ve decided they’re not even going to do that.”

“It’s like, ‘Jesus, take the wheel,’” the source added, “but scarier.”

Speaking of the Tweeter-in-Chief, very early this morning, Trump started wailing about the Mueller report, in what even for him is a long string of unthreaded (grr) tweets.

That rant was followed a few hours later by a specific denial of Rudy’s comments, followed by a boast (take that, Chait!) that he’s got 87 pages written.

A remarkably chastened Rudy followed up on Trump’s denial to complain that the media was misrepresenting his comments about how difficult answering a few questions was.

This morning at WaPo, I reprised an argument you’re all familiar with: that as Rudy and Trump focus their entire strategy on responding to a final Mueller report, he continues to produce his report in snippets in one after another “speaking indictment.”

Mueller has already been submitting his report, piece by piece, in “speaking indictments” and other charging documents. He has left parts of it hiding in plain sight in court dockets of individuals and organizations he has prosecuted.

Click through for my latest summary of what we’ve seen.

We may (or may not, given the Flynn precedent) see far more before the day is out, with Cohen reports and one Manafort report.

In any case, if you’re counting just the fragments we’re already seeing, Mueller has released the following details beyond what was legally required:

How Paul Manafort runs campaigns for his Russian paymasters: 38 pages (Manafort plea exhibits)

How Russians dangled a Trump Tower to entice Trump: 9 pages (legally superfluous Cohen plea)

How Russian assets dangled stolen emails to entice Trump: 14 pages (Papadopoulos plea)

How Russians hacked — and continued to hack, literally in response to Trump’s request — Hillary: 29 pages (GRU indictment)

How Russians magnified attacks on Hillary and fed disinformation: 37 pages (IRA indictment)

So Mueller has released 127 pages of reporting, much of it legally superfluous, even before charging anyone in the case in chief.

All that’s before Jerome Corsi leaked his 6-page draft statement of the offense, revealing how Roger Stone tried to cover up their advance knowledge of the timing and content of the stolen John Podesta emails. And before whatever we get in the Michael Cohen (which is unlikely to be very detailed) and Paul Manafort (which is) filings today.

Since I first started pointing out how much reporting Mueller was doing in these filings, a whole slew of people in the media have adopted the observation. And now I’ve stolen it myself for the WaPo (note, I didn’t write the headline; I in no way think Mueller has released “most” of his report).

But even with all that reporting, it seems half the Trump strategy still lies in plotting feebly in fearful anticipation of what Mueller might one day report, without noticing what he has already reported.

As I disclosed in 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. 

77 replies
  1. KayInMD says:

    paying particular attention to the quality of the commenters

    Before I go on to read this post, I just want to say I agree completely. One of the reasons it takes me so long to read one of your posts is because I feel like I can’t afford to skip a single comment. I learn almost as much in the comments section as in the main post!

      • Lulymay says:

        me too! and sometimes read several times.  I spend 3 months in the southern US (west side of the country) to escape our cold winters.  My parents raised their kids to be aware of politics not only in our own country, but our neighbour’s as well.

        I still clearly remember Mum and Dad chortling over our dinner of cremated sausages that Truman DID beat Dewey even if one of the major news outlets proclaimed otherwise. (Mum learned to cook from an English step-mother who firmly believed that if you didn’t blacken every piece of meat you’d get some dreaded disease.)

        • bawanderr says:

          Weeell, that certainly broadened my experience and understanding of this article. Glad to know your parents couldn’t cook and that you’re here for no apparent reason. Snark intended, btw, just in case you don’t grasp it….


    • Grandma with a Memory says:

      I always read both the post and the commenters.  The smart commenters know what Marcy is talking about and shine a light on all the nooks and crannies in her writing.  I mostly read and comment very little.  I always learn so much and I recommend this blog to people all the time.

      I have to say that the bouncer seemed really provoked in the post on the meaning of Cohen’s cooperation.  Please send him that rhubarb pie as a bonus.

  2. pendog says:

    Please don’t overlook the Americans for Prosperity (koch) and Art Pope connections and money

    beginning in 2013 (500,000) and their crowing about their efforts .

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Many thanks, again, for your great work, Marcy.

    Thanks also to Toddler Trump: he is a superb illustration that ignorance is curable, but stupidity is terminal.

  4. mister bunny says:

    Indeed, I frequently comb the comment section to see if bmaz has unleashed a Glengarry Glen Ross style tirade on someone for a haphazard reply button comment or generally making the site more stupid.

    (I kid, I kid!)

    • Fran of the North says:

      A bmaz rebuke is an initiation rite on the wheel. Thus I knew I had arrived when I got mine. Thankfully I haven’t been asked to leave for inanity (or insanity for that matter)  :o)

  5. Jockobadger says:

    I hit emptywheel as soon as I get to my office in the a.m.  Both content and comments comprise a terrific resource.
    I’ve experienced the lash of bmaz (I deserved it) so I refrain from commenting, other than something like this.  I’ve learned so much from Ms. Wheeler and from the folks participate in the comment section.  I’ve recommended it to friends, family, and colleagues.  Everyone is reading it.
    Keep up the Great Work and many thanks.
    *Dropped a check in the mail just so I could add this ps.

  6. BobCon says:

    I am onboard wih idea that Mueller has already issued much of his “report” in his official documents, and the rest of the case will go the same way. I would add, though, that I would like to see an official report, and it’s hard for me to see who could do a better job.

    I think there is a lot of value to a narrative and an explicit argument that accompanies the more specific filings he has made. There needs to be a document that an average person can pick up should they want a primer on what the hell happened in 2016. They won’t get that from talking indictments, and I’ve despaired of the ability of the media to produce it. Congressional Democrats could do it, but any document they produce will be viewed as tainted, even by officially neutral sources.

    I think you can argue for a series of highly detailed filings in other cases — say a repeat of a case like Enron’s collapse. But this may arguably turn out to be the biggest political drama of the past 150 years, and certainly the biggest in the past 45. The country needs a grounding document to help make corrections, assuming that we can stop the bleeding (not a sure thing).

    I’m sure Mueller wants to retire when the prosecutions are over, but I suspect he knows he’ll never stop being called upon to explain and clarify what happened. At a minimum, he should be available to provide extensive guidance to someone who is appointed to write it all up.

    • bmaz says:

      There needs to be a document that an average person can pick up should they want a primer on what the hell happened in 2016.

      The fear is that the public may never get a full view of any such document. Take the “Torture Report” as an analogy. It can be bottled up by a dishonest executive branch. That is why what is in the public filings (even if some are temporarily redacted or under seal) are so important.

      • Prairie Boy says:

        Bmaz, sorry for the stupid question, but wouldn’t whitaker have access to the unredacted version of the Flynn addendum?  So should we assume that team Orange already knows this info?

      • BobCon says:

        I agree about the strategic necessity of  first releasing via court filings the details that would go into a report.

        My hope is that once those are out, in excruciating detail, that the narrative that ties them all together can be published. I think it’s a semi-reasonable bet that once the details are out, the resistance will be broken to releasing a piece that explicitly connects the dots.

        I assume there will be congressional reports, but they’ll be divided by party and chamber and committee. I’d like to see a reference document that is authoritative enough that any cheesy NY Times political writer feels an obligation to acknowledge its version of events. Those dumb bells are finally figuring out that it’s not just obstruction – they need all the help they can get.

        Having said that, I realize it’s a ton of work, and Mueller needs to stay focused on all of his other work. But it’s still a valuable undertaking down the road.

        • Greenhouse says:

          Hey if Wapo has finally got a whiff of o’ what’s been blowin’ in the wind via this MT Wheel’s on Fire, and now they’re finally singing the tune “Speaking Indictments” (or call and response, what have you) that MT’s been blowin’ all along, then that’s a start. Me, the only report I’m waiting’ on is Marcy’s next book, Peace!

    • allison holland says:

      are you asking for a musical ?

      unless there is a movie i dont think the average uninformed person will want to grasp everything all at once which i think is necessary in order for them to understand that there is no coming back from this. trump must be washed out of the white house. there is money laundering, collusion, libel and defamation of character, lying to purposely mislead the public, bribery, and i believe straight out treason and then to add obstruction of justice and circumventing rather than defending the constitution. most people dont want to know all this. at least not here in texas. i live in a rather small unsophisticated town but they are mostly honorable and patriotic. they dont want to see what is in front of them yet. and its easy to dismiss this or that one at a time. but when it is put all together they will have a much harder time. i watched cornyn defend trump at every turn because i believe all he really cares about is getting misogynist racist pro business judges on the bench permanently and that is pretty much done. fifty more or less to add and his work is done. i think then he and other republicans who are narrowly focused on creating an alternate universe for the rich and manly will get rid of trump in a puff of patriotic smoke. i am just saying this so the brains in this collective understand the average view. i cannot add to your command of the law or interpretations of the goings on in indictments but i understand the mice in the maze. i am one too.

      • BobCon says:

        I’m sure Lin-Michael Miranda could a great job. Get him top secret clearance and set him to work. What rhymes with conspiracy and money laundering?

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        Thanks Marcy! Who do you think is the “rat” that has provided corroboration for the Mueller indictments? Gotta’ be someone close to the Dumpster fire.

        Also, Nobel Committee, are you listening? I know some of the members read this site…If Bob Dylan was nominated and received a Nobel Prize for literature, why not consider Marcy Wheeler? It’s time to update the prize listings to include an appropriate 21st century category. It’s not like the Nobel fund is short of money, with the entirety of world autocrats and despots attempting to kill people who disagree with their edicts. If research, publication and interpretation of spin are pre-qualifications for the new category of the “Nobel Prize for Truth in Media”, and they should be, I’d like to call your attention to what’s happening here.

        Also, not sure who will write the screenplay but Gary Busey ot Jeff Daniels will have to play Trump in the above referenced movie.

    • Kick the darkness says:

      The country needs a grounding document to help make corrections, assuming that we can stop the bleeding (not a sure thing)

      I imagine we are all hoping Mueller’s team gets the opportunity, in whatever form, to speak plainly, completely and in detail about their findings.  We shall see.  I guess it might depend on the extent to whether the political phenomenon of Trump is still walled off as a tumor in situ, or whether he is just the superficial manifestation of a more deeply invasive cancer.  Will the cure necessitate surgery or chemo?  Either way-painful in the short term but necessary for survival and, it is to be hoped, recovery.  I hope I’m wrong on the severity of that-maybe some form of coming together and healing can begin more immediately.

      In terms of getting an overall sketch of the big picture, I’m personally hoping the preface to a book Marcy may take under consideration in the aftermath of all this will serve such an admirable purpose.  “Anatomy of Conceit” perhaps.  I’ll buy it in hardback, and, if lucky, will find a quiet place to crack the cover.  I’ll ask myself, OK, let’s see.  How far does she feel it necessary to back up in order to tell the story properly?


      • Tom says:

        Perhaps one day we’ll see a multi-episode Ken Burns type documentary on this whole investigation and its background, or a dramatic series on Netflix or some other outlet.    I can imagine actors clamoring to play Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, and the rest of the scurvy crew.    Or we may have to wait for a 1000-page plus unauthorized biography, GREED: The Life and Times of Donald Trump for a thorough accounting of the 2016 election and its continuing aftermath.    Certain artifacts, such as Manafort’s ostrich skin jacket, Cohen’s $30,000 handbag, and Trump’s rumored (falsely) gold-plated toilet best sum up what these guys are all about.

        • Alan says:

          I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of other much more important things to be concerned about than jackets, handbags and toilets (which BTW, as Judge Ellis pointed out during Manafot’s trial, are not illegal in this country).

        • Tom says:

          The point I was trying to make is that Trump and those of his kidney are the sort who, as the saying goes, know the price of everything and the value of nothing.   They are materialists entranced with glitz and glamour and the allure of conspicuous consumption as opposed to the more important aspects of life, such as contributing to the greater good of society.   I’ll take the risk of quoting John Wayne from The Alamo:  “To be useful in this ol’ world, that’s what’s important …”   I didn’t intend to say that the baubles I itemized represent the crux of the current Russia investigation, and I’m certainly glad to hear that toilets are not illegal in your country!  : )

        • Kick the darkness says:

          I understand where you are coming from with the hand bag and Euro-dude jacket.  Humor and satire needs to be part of the telling of this.  A musical was mentioned earlier.  Perhaps something along the lines of the final 10 min or so of Blazing Saddles, culminating in the big Hollywood studio food fight scene.  That’s an order of Yankee beans, a side of Russian borscht and a 2016 tuna surprise.  The Ken Burns documentary could be interesting, picking up at Appomattox and telling the story of the 2016 election from the viewpoint of the latest battle in that continuing conflict.  As for Trump himself, for me he’s perhaps the least interesting part of it, but I thought Wayne Barrett’s book on him was a really good one.

  7. Jenny says:

    Marcy thank YOU.  I am amazed at how quickly you assemble the material.  I learn so much from your site.

    I am not a lawyer and do not play one on TV.  Your writings and comments are very helpful.  The level of consciousness rises when people respectfully speak their truth.  I look forward to reading people’s perspective whether I agree or not on


  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Some poor schmuck, probably several, will now have to make up an 87-page report, because the president tweeted that that much of a non-existent counter-report “has already been written”.

    I wish the press would stop calling this, “the new normal.”  It is not normal.  It will not be normal, any more than having a president under federal investigation for every day of his or her presidency would be normal.

    Or would that shift toward realism in reporting require taking Manufacturing Consent off the MSM’s banned books list and making it mandatory reading instead?

    • BobCon says:

      I am sure they have an intern from George Mason or Liberty U with a lot of experience playing around with font sizes, indentations, margins and other formatting tricks. They can turn 140 characters into 87 pages, no problem.

  9. jonb says:

    ot. under the everything is related theme…Just read that the justice department admitted it  has received an ethics request for Whittaker…..Trump announces a new ag..seems like Whitaker was going to have to recuse and we know the Kaiser would not be happy.  and the band played on

    • JD12 says:

      Does this mean they found out Whitaker’s appt was illegitimate so now they’re trying to pretend it never happened?

  10. Mark says:

    “There was the sheer problem of finding time…”

    Fat Ass has spent 154 days visiting gold clubs so far since the coup was installed.

    So, Rudy, you know what you can do with your lame excuses!

  11. bmaz says:

    Willis – This is NOT Dana Bash’s wheelhouse in the slightest, and she is going off of whatever idiotic shit Rudy are feeding her. It is a beyond useless report.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Ms. Bash’s work is unimpressive.  That cnn snippet, for example, is single-sourced to Rudy Giuliani and amounts to no more than his press release.  For a reporter, that’s negligence per se.  As for it being news, everybody thinks Manafort lied about most things, including anything said between he and Trump.  It’s not new.  It’s not news, either, because nothing backs it up beyond, “No comment,” from those who do know.

  12. jaango says:

    My Congrats!! to all the folks here at the website.

    It been quite some time that I have posted anything, and yet, I ‘read’ emptywheel on a regular basis since my particular is premised on natsec.

    And as to all the attention that’s been garnered onto the Trump investigation, Muellar should demonstrate a tad of political cojones by delivering a subpoena to both Trump and Pence for their testimony to the assembled Grand Jury.  Of course, both of these ‘constitutional’ officers would decline and use the judiciary to avoid their self-incrimination.  If so, their legal jeopardy would not alter the Final Report, but the behavior of each of these two,  would carry forth into the political arena, and where we, the voters can render our final decision, and regardless of history’s sake.


  13. Pete says:

    There are so many Road Runner cartoons that could perfectly apply to Trump, Rudy, Kelly, and the dream team with Bobby Three Sticks in the role of the Road Runner.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Lots of people are wondering about the legitimacy of Matt Whitaker’s appointment as acting AG and whether he is or should be overseeing the Mueller investigation.  Thing is, the DoJ has not yet officially reported to the appropriate authority that Sessions has departed.  Consequently, it hasn’t officially reported Whitaker’s new gig.  Both reports are legally required.  Both are a month late.

    How typical of Trump to avoid complying with the law.  How typical of him to do so as a way to avoid oversight, to avoid a judgment about whether his actions are legal or legitimate.  It does call into question, however, the legitimacy of every act purportedly taken by Whitaker as Acting AG over the past month.

  15. Trip says:

    You’re brilliant Marcy and finally getting the kudos you deserve.

    On another note, is today the biggest and longest sustained hissy fit tantrum that Trump’s ever had? The wheels have come off (his stroller), I think we’ve hit a record. He’s on to insulting Tillerson now.

  16. Mulder says:

    Trump: “Rudy! Get in here and bring a diet coke!”

    Rudy: (out of breath) ” Here you go, Mr. President. Anything else?”

    Trump: “Shut up! How many pages?”

    Rudy: “Uh, Uh, I think it’s up to 45, Mr. President.”

    Trump: “You idiot! You said 60 pages yesterday! How many?”

    Rudy: “The lawyers keep making me take things out! Pages of stuff.”

    Trump: “You idiot! You’re a lawyer. I want 87 pages by tomorrow!”

    Rudy: “Yes, sir. I’ll have it for you to read first thing!”

    Trump: “You idiot! I don’t want to read it. I just want it to be the biggest counter report in history! Now get out of the way. I can’t see the TV.”

  17. mister bunny says:

    With the recently reported info that Kelly has spoken with Mueller, does that line up with / contradict / not say much regarding EW’s hunch that Kelly was the hidden figure in the mystery appellant case?

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        Doesn’t the competence of the legal counsel in the mystery appellant case shrink the pool of possible recalcitrant subpoena recipients?

  18. Avattoir says:

    What a day of Playing Preznit this has completely coincidentally turned out to be for the fat old toad. Pulling multiple apps and noms out of every nook & orifice, he’s become Reality Show President Man, at once the POTUS answer to the Great Flydini: AND in essence an admission of inefficacy in resisting Mueller.

    (Also, it now appearing that one of my two predictions as to Whitaker’s fate has come true – i.e. that while he appears to have succeeded in his ambition to “be” acting AG, he never got internal departmental clearance to actually “do” anything AG – I now look forward to the drop of the other big shoe, wherein Whitaker gets his reward: presidential nomination for a lifetime job as a federal judge out of Iowa, able to cite in support of his confirmation this c.v. entry:

    ‘formerly acting U.S. Attorney General for a Republican president, 2018-19, never indicted, not even removed for misconduct’,

    in the manner of the Indian male in The Man Who Would Be King who entered a train compartment occupied by Rudyard Kipling and proceeded to introduce himself as

    “Mr. Clutterbury Das. Failed entrance examination, Calcutta University, 1863. Writer of correspondence for the illiterate general public.”


    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Peachy then threw him off the train so that he could return Kipling’s watch and Masonic emblem unobserved.  A needless rudeness, since Kipling already knew his watch was gone and that Peachy had taken it.

  19. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Please add my kudos and sincerest gratitude to those expressed.

    With regards to Mueller’s  sentencing memo on Flynn, could the “timely and first hand” references mean Flynn wore a wire ?  Might there be phone taps? What the heck, we tapped Merkel. ( I only half want it to be true because if it is, I will look like Woody Allen after he got stuck in the orgasmatron in Sleeper. (

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I bet Mueller personally sat eyeball to eyeball, soldier to soldier with Flynn, and told him that cooperation was his last shot to be a real hero, and then dropped him back again behind enemy lines.


    • AitchD says:

      Guys like Mueller, or Fitzgerald or the rednosed reindeer at the POTUS nicer ear, have to contain while they prosecute or defend. A very long time ago Petraeus expected and was expected to become POTUS, and had to have had encouraging people behind and in front of him. Who’s the Walrus, coup-coup-gotchoo?

  20. Alan says:

    SDNY’s sentencing memo for Cohen leaves little doubt that Trump should be indicted for campaign finance violations:

    Cohen’s Illegal Campaign Contributions
    On approximately June 16, 2015, Individual-1, for whom Cohen worked at the time, began an ultimately successful campaign for President of the United States….
    Cohen acted with intent to influence the election … coordinated with the campaign … acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1
    Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election. It is this type of harm that Congress sought to prevent when it imposed limits on individual contributions to candidates. To promote transparency and prevent wealthy individuals like Cohen from circumventing these limits, Congress prohibited individuals from making expenditures on behalf of and coordinated with candidates.

  21. skua says:

    “… he said to me, ‘Don’t they realize we’re America?’”

    Another reading of this is that Trump sees himself and his cronies as the imperial rulers of America.

    Given the tearing away of migrant children from their families and placing them in cages, an interpretation that relies on Trump feeling that “detention in difficult circumstances is un-American” fails.

    Two further possibilities are that Guiliani is lying, and that Trump is “telling Guiliani how it is and he will just believe it, he just does”.

  22. Peterr says:

    But even with all that reporting, it seems half the Trump strategy still lies in plotting feebly in fearful anticipation of what Mueller might one day report, without noticing what he has already reported.

    “Sure, Mueller has written 127 pages to Rudy’s 87, so he won in the popular court, but *I* won in the electoral court.”

    /Individual 1

  23. Alan says:

    A huge shot across the bow for anyone who assisted in Cohen’s false testimony to Congress:

    “The defendant’s assistance has been useful in four significant respects.
    “Fourth, Cohen described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries, while continuing to accept responsibility for the false statements contained within it.


  24. Kim Kaufman says:

    Hi Marcy –

    Do you remember what show at KPFA it was? Or approximate day and time? I always get more clarity from listening to you talk about this stuff. Thanks.

  25. Cicero101 says:

    William Barr as AG represents a completely new kind of threat to Mueller from anything hitherto. His CV is alarming, including CIA and his role in shutting down the Fitzgerald investigation into George H’s role there. I can’t imagine he’s been baking commercial cookies in the intervening period till now.

    It seems clear from The Atlantic article referred to in an above comment that there’s no White House plan to defend Trump. First, for the reason in that article ie Trump won’t follow a plan prepared by others. Secondly, because assisting in a plan would lead you into cover up crimes.

    So, if the Trump end can’t shut this down, then the DOJ end requires to be shut down. Enter stage right William Barr with form, motivation (belief in an imperial presidency) and skill. The preservation of democracy and the constitution don’t seem to be high on Barr’s priorities. That leaves a lot of freedom of action if the goals are the protection of the imperial presidency for the next GOP incumbent, the preservation of what remains of the GOP, and the removal of Trump without the GOP having to admit anything much. I suspect things are about to get a lot uglier.

    Heres The Atlantic article again for ease of reference

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