Flashbacks to the 2015 Campaign

Katy Tur at SXSW
[h/t nrkbeta Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) ]

Several years ago, I got Mrs Dr Peterr Katy Tur’s book Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. Tur had been the NBC reporter assigned to the Trump campaign in 2015 and 2016, and listening to the impeachment coverage yesterday and the coverage this morning, one episode she recounted in the book came flashing back . . .

In Dec 2015, three days before Trump announced his pledge to institute a Muslim travel ban, Trump got rattled at a rally in Raleigh NC where protesters coordinated their efforts and threw him off his game, interrupting his speech every couple of minutes from different parts of the arena. Disgusted, Trump abruptly left the podium and started shaking hands offstage, and Tur sent out a simple tweet describing what had happened.

Right before lunch the next day, Hope Hicks wrote her to say “Katy, Mr. Trump thought your tweets from last night were disgraceful. Not nice! Best, Hope.” Shortly thereafter, the media gets the word about the travel ban Trump intended to announce that night, and that becomes the big story of the day with Katy doing liveshots all afternoon. That evening, before a rally inside the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier-turned-museum in Charleston harbor), Trump blasted her with four attack tweets in the span of four minutes.

Tur says the rally’s specific location was a surprise, in that it wasn’t held on the carrier deck but inside the belly of the ship, with the media crowded into a pen.

Yes, we are in a pen: a makeshift enclosure made of bicycle racks and jammed full of desks, reporters, and camera equipment. We’re in the middle of the carrier, slammed against the right side wall. As usual, almost all of Trump’s supporters are white and a lot of them are looking at us, not exactly kindly. The campaign and Secret Service force us to stay inside the pen while Trump is onstage. They even discourage bathroom breaks. None of them have a good explanation for why we’re kept separate from the supporters. Are we the threat or are they?

Trump starts his rambling speech, and the crowd eats it up. Then Trump opens up on the media.

“The mainstream media,” Trump says. “These people back here, they’re the worst. They are so dishonest.”

Hoots and hollers.

And then I hear my name.

“She’s back there, little Katy. She’s back there.”

Trump then calls her a liar several times, and a third rate reporter several times as well, before pivoting to a more general attack on the media. Finally, once he’s got the crowd sufficiently whipped up, he formally announces the Muslim ban, and the crowd which she described earlier as looking at her like “a large animal, angry and unchained” went nuts.

She goes live with Chris Matthews as Trump leaves the stage, and when she’s done with that, Chris Hayes takes over and wants to keep her on the air for the lead story on his show that followed Matthews’.

[Trump] supporters are taking their time to leave. They’re still whipped up. I know someone is going to start yelling at me as soon as I start talking. So I do what I always do. I find the pinhole deep in the back of the lens and I tune everything else out.

A couple of minutes later, I’m done. The crowd that had gathered behind my live shot is gone except for a few stragglers, yelling at me. They’re five feet away, held back by those lousy bicycle racks. A Trump staffer shoos them away. MSNBC has cleared me and my bosses want [her cameraman/sound tech] Anthony and me to get out of there as quickly as we can. I don’t quite understand why until we pack up and start to head out. A Trump staffer stops me and says “These guys are going to walk you out.”

I look over and see two Secret Service agents. Thank goodness. They walk Anthony and me along the gangway back to our car. It’s pitch black and I’m nervous. We’re parked with the crowd.

Once we’re moving, I take a look at my phone. My mom has called. And called. And called. I dial her back. “Are you okay? Where are you staying? Can someone stay with you? You need security!? She is crying. And it hits me.

I’m a target.

On that day in December 2015, the security professionals of the US Secret Service recognized that Trump was dangerously inciting a mob, and stepped in to protect the target he had singled out.

On January 6, 2021, Trump again incited a mob, and this time there was no one to stop them.

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72 replies
  1. Eureka says:

    As van der Veen is speaking now, some background:
    More Philly lawyers are on Trump’s impeachment defense team and one sued the president last year
    Philadelphia lawyers Michael T. van der Veen, William J. Brennan join Trump impeachment defense team
    https://www.inquirer.com/politics/trump-impeachment-philadelphia-lawyers-van-der-veen-brennan-20210209.html

    As recently as two years ago, according to a former client, van der Veen described Trump as a “f—ing crook” — a statement the lawyer has since denied making.

    But in marketing emails for his firm last year, van der Veen railed about what he described as a campaign by Pennsylvania Republicans to “unfairly and illegally intimidate voters.” And in the run-up to the 2020 election, he represented a client suing Trump, arguing that the administration was suppressing mail voting with last-minute changes at the U.S. Postal Service.

    “Donald Trump doesn’t want you to be able to vote,” read one Aug. 20 email the firm obtained by The Inquirer. “It’s time to stand up for what’s right.”

    Justin Hiemstra, the 24-year-old former client who recalled van der Veen making the crude remark about Trump in an interview Tuesday, said it came while the lawyer was defending him against charges that he tried to illegally hack into a government database to steal the president’s tax returns.

    “I’m not sure if [those comments] were made to make me feel more comfortable, or if they were his actual opinions,” Hiemstra said. But “he definitely came off as fairly anti-Trump in the context that I knew him.”

    Van der Veen, 57, of Exton, didn’t respond to multiple texts and phone calls Tuesday and Wednesday seeking to verify Hiemstra’s recollections. But a day after this story was first published, a Trump surrogate emailed a letter, signed by van der Veen and addressed to another news outlet. “The comments about President Donald J. Trump being attributed to me by a former client in your story yesterday are false,” van der Veen said.

    (internal link removed)

    Par for the course.

    • Eureka says:

      As to Brennan:

      Still, he expressed reservations last month when it surfaced that one of his clients — Joshua Macias, the Virginia-based founder of Vets for Trump — had attended the Jan. 6 Trump rally that led to the Capitol attack that Trump was impeached for inciting.

      “What I saw inside the Capitol building was a disgrace,” Brennan said at the time, adding that his continued representation of Macias would depend on whether investigators uncovered evidence that he was involved in the insurrection.

      (internal link removed)

      More on Macias — one of the “Qanon Hummer” guys whose charges include interfering with an election (the vote counting in Philadelphia) — and his (Oath Keeper) affiliations here:

      https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/02/08/the-insurrection-affidavits-dont-show-where-the-insurrection-was-organized/#comment-881600

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      And Van Der Veen just finished his singularly un-stunning argument, which seemed to accuse “antifa” (again). Citizen Trump, you get what you (don’t) pay for when it comes to lawyering.

      • Eureka says:

        I about choked on my beverage when he later, up to bat again, distracted me from the important business of Justin’s “apology” to Janet and Britney by saying that Trump was telling his supporters to “fight” in the primary elections. [I will concede that there is some truth there as far as the myriad primaries-from-the-Qanon we’ve to look forward to, but that’s just a zombie expectation, understood.]

    • e.a.f. says:

      at one time I worked with a man who had been a criminal lawyer. He changed careers. As the new Union business agent he told me its like when I was a lawyer, You don’t have to love them, you just have to defend them.

      Here in B.C. back in the 1970s we had a child serial killer. Eventually he was arrested and brought to trial, but some one had to represent him, via legal aid. One of the most prominent lawyers took on the job. It was an extremely unpleasant experience for him. If our judicial system is going to work some one is going to have to represent the “beasts” as that child serial killer referred to himself as. The lawyer has disliked by many, but he did his job, just as the lawyers in the Trump case are doing. If only those who society liked were represented, we would not have very many “innocent/not guilty people”.

      • P J Evans says:

        I would submit that a lawyer whose main field is apparently personal injury is probably not who you want defending you in an impeachment trial.
        (Also, if you’re a lawyer for the defense, you probably shouldn’t make statements that are easily shown to be false.)

  2. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Peterr, thank you for this post. I live most of my life buried in research on media during the 2015-16 period. Katy Tur’s assignment to the Trump campaign proved invaluable to those of us seeking a reality check at the time, and her account remains among the most clear-eyed. While my focus isn’t hard news, the ways it presented/distorted the “first draft of history” play a critical role in answering my overall questions: Where are we? How did we get here? And where are we going?

    • BobCon says:

      It’s truly frightening how the top management at press outlets knew of the dangers faced by their people on the ground, and kept sending them in.

      It didn’t even fit the model of foreign correspondents being sent to dangerous countries where the reporters get a degree of freedom to follow their own leads and evaluate their danger level.

      Instead, Jeff Zucker and Pat Healy sent their reporters into a mob situation knowing that their employees were essentially stenographers for a liar and would be blocked from honest reporting by management’s ridiculous policies about balance and bothsidesism.

      There is still deep institutional reluctance by the press leadership to learn anything from 2015.

      • Peterr says:

        I remember when this happened, and there was a strong sense of “we don’t want to make ourselves the story, and feed into the lie Trump is pushing that we are taking sides” coming from the MSNBC folks. They reported it in the moment, but I don’t know that they ever referred back to it in the five years since then.

        • BobCon says:

          The creepy thing is that the official management attitude was completely contradicted by the actions of management. They kept inserting their reporters into the campaign’s cages and provided endless unstructured coverage of Trump, knowing that he would try to manufacture paranoia over any kind of reporting, and then they provided the coverage that fed the paranoia.

          They were played and I don’t think there was any justification after the first incidents that they didn’t know they were getting played. Management — editors, producers, execs — knew they were cast in the heel role, did the bare minimum to play the role, and then amplified the feud.

          Unfortunately news management is abetted by a lot of critics who uncritically parrot a line that they just did it for the ratings. I am not convinced Trump was great at expanding the news audience so much as cannibalizing it. When you dig into the numbers behind network press releases trumpeting amazing audiences, you see that the appetite for news is small and not expanding much, if at all.

          Management is just stuck in their tropes and doesn’t know how to do anything else.

          • cavenewt says:

            the appetite for news is small and not expanding much, if at all.

            Yet I’ve read many times that, for instance, New York Times subscriptions have increased by leaps and bounds since Trump was nominated.

            Shucks, I subscribed, because I can’t look away from this train wreck.

      • Peterr says:

        Individuals are always due a place to attempt to defend their actions, if charges are brought against them to a courtroom.

        It is also true that some actions are not defensible, no matter what kind of justification is offered by the perpetrator.

        These are two separate issues.

        • bmaz says:

          Should not the defense be allowed? There is a disconnect between the “this defense is shit” crowd, of which I am very much one, and the constraints on making a defense because it is absurd. The latter has to happen.

          • P J Evans says:

            I don’t think the defense should lie like this one has been doing. It doesn’t serve anyone. (Yes, it’s a sh1t defense. Even Trmp deserves better.)

            • cavenewt says:

              They couldn’t get away with lying in a real trial, correct? I’m hoping for a real criminal prosecution eventually.

      • harpie says:

        Yes, I know. And it’s a good and necessary thing for EVERYONE who is in a courtroom and before a Judge to have access to a good defense lawyer who can find and make a case for the defense.

        I meant to convey my opinion from outside a courtroom, that Trump’s actions and inactions seem to me to be not DEFENSIBLE.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Every one is entitled to a defense. Even if you know what happened is correct and the facts are all there. You go out and do the job, because that is your job and that is how our system works. If lawyers don’t, then where does it leave us a society. We have all seen enough cases where every one thought some one was guilty and 25 or 30 years later, it turns out they’re not. We’ve had enough cases like that in Canada, that it factored into my opposition to the death penalty as a kid.

          As to the cannibal, I actually argued something similar in social studies class debate. the school principle thought some of my arguments were interesting, so my teacher told me. of course what she didn’t say was not many agreed with me. I still believe my argument 57 years later.

            • Eureka says:

              I understand you loud and clear.

              For some reason I received a similar lecture on rights to a defense when my comment had nothing to do with that, either.

              e.a.f. is on a jag, perhaps.

              • Ginevra diBenci says:

                I understood you too. Trump’s conduct on and leading up to 6 January is indefensible.
                In our system, Trump as a person is entitled to a legal defense. But that doesn’t mean that his conduct is likewise entitled.

  3. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    Wow, that is dark as hell. Since Trump had her name on hand, it makes me wonder if him or the campaign intentionally moved the hate rally inside the belly of the ship to make the reporters feel trapped.

    “Mrs Dr Peterr Katy Tur’s book”

    I read that as Katy Tur was Mrs Dr Peterr and it took a while for the right meaning to sink in.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Very sad to read how Katy Tur was hounded and hunted in that fashion. (Typical treatment many women experience *daily* across the planet! — I’ve developed a technique of being aware of my surroundings but acting like I’m not paying attention.)

      ~~~~~~
      This from Michael Beschloss, is the U.S. Government paying for this too???

      …”Michael Beschloss
      @BeschlossDC
      ·
      44m
      “And now for something completely different:
      Quote Tweet
      Office of Melania Trump
      @OfficeofMelania
      · 1h
      “Mrs. Melania Trump is announcing the opening of The Office of Melania Trump. Please follow this account for news and updates.” …

      ~~~~~~
      Sudden feeling of nausea wafting over me! A woman who posed nude for cash thinks she is respectable now.

      • e.a.f. says:

        Not to defend Ms. Trump, but having known women who did pose nude, it was a living. Not the one they choose but it feed their kids, paid their rent, got some through school and into a better life. Respectablity has nothing to do with whether you take your cloths off for money or not. Having seen what some men do in corporations to make money, I’d suggest the women who take their clothes off for money are more respectable and more moral.

        • Bruce Olsen says:

          Same reason it doesn’t make sense to target the reprehensible Marjorie Taylor Green for her affairs. She has plenty of other targets on her back.

          Of course, the GOP is unlikely to return the courtesy for a D.

      • Eureka says:

        e.a.f. is right; there’s no need to shame Melanie or anyone for choices like that. It’s better directed towards any of her behavior which would have hurt others or enabled others to do so.

    • Peterr says:

      Re Mrs Dr Peterr = Katy Tur . . .

      I’m reasonably sure that Mrs Dr Peterr would laugh at that, but I won’t speculate on whether Katy Tur would laugh, too.

    • cavenewt says:

      “Mrs Dr Peterr Katy Tur’s book”

      I had to ask Alexa who Katie Tur is married to to sort that one out.

  4. e.a.f. says:

    What happened that day, in my opinion, was deliberate. it was meant to send a message to all media personnel who opposed Trump. He of course picked on some one female and not large. He even referances it, “little Katy”. That was deliberate, it was a “notice’ to his supporters they could hurt her without being hurt themselves. Fortunately those Secret Service people saw it.

    My take on it has always been in these situations, that Trump was not only trying to frighten the reporters but their families. \

    When I look back on the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina, there was Anderson Cooper floating around New Orleans in a smallish boat with a news crew reporting. It was dangerous. the water was polluted, you didnt’ know what was under the water, etc. yet there he was out there.

    there was the CNN reporters back in the day, in a hotel room while missles were being fired in that direction, they kept reporting.

    Now if I give those events a 7 or 8 in terms of danger, I would suggest what went on at some of those Trump rallies when Trump verbally assaulted reporters, journalists, etc. I’d give it a 8 or 9. Because in my opinion journalists had a “better” chance of being hurt than in New Orleans and the middle east than in Trump country. As a sibling said to me, while we watched a Trump attack on the media, I think I’d rather be in Baghdad.

    I suspect Trump changed how the media reported and perhaps even how large their life insurance policies are.

    Trump is a bully. It always amazed me none of the reporters actually were killed, because as I watched it on t.v. my impression that is what he was aiming for, to have the crowd turn on the media and assault them. My take on it is Trump was disappointed no one was killed on 6 Jan. Some one else of course would have done the dirty work because he is too much of a coward to do it himself.

    Thank you for writing this article. Its excellent and thank you to those in the media who continue to cover all of what goes on in the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Precisely!

        (Recalling the Jonathan Swan interview of Trump; Trump became most animated when talking about someone getting killed!)

        Trump is a textbook example of the wrong sort of individual — the wrong sort of personality to occupy the presidency of the United States!

        There are so many, many reasons.

        Trump must be stopped.

        People must see Trump for what he truly is.

        Can you imagine the day’s outcome if Pence, Pelosi, or Romney had been injured or killed?

        • madwand says:

          I agree, I think we got off lightly, it could have been much worse, with a hostage situation, executions and siege of the Capitol to throw the insurrectionists out. Trying to change a Trumpers mind is an exercise in patience that most of us don’t have. By experience I know you have to keep throwing up the contradictions between what they believe and Trumps actions and hoping something, anything sticks. How else to explain loyalty such as Pence when Trump didn’t care whether he lived or died? How else to explain McCarthy when he pleaded for help? Every Trumper you might encounter displays this dynamic, the ability to forgive all Trumps sins in spite of what his actual policies are doing to you personally, even possibly lethally. The rioters are no different, they will be thrown under the bus and happy to sacrifice their lives in jail sentences, as sort of martyrs to the cause. Changing that mindset is a daunting task.

    • timbo says:

      Just a point to think on (lest we forget). Some people were killed on Jan 6… and while it has not yet been finally decided in a court of law at this point, it certainly seems that Trump directly contributed to their deaths. (I assume you were referring to members of Congress and/or Pence being killed in your commentary above but just in case I mention this point.)

      As to his mental delight or disappointment about that day, etc, I think that’s immaterial when compared to his responsibility for being incapable of maintaining his oath of office, an oath to ensure all the pertinent laws were faithfully followed so as to minimize the danger to all persons at the mall and in the Capitol Building areas on Jan 6. Whether it was reckless disregard and/or criminal intentional disregard is a matter that should be adjudicated… hopefully soon, and with accuracy.

      • Stacey says:

        It would be worth pointing out to Trump insurrectionists that the highest likelihood of injury or death in their going after Mike Pence that day was actually that they, his peeps, would be killed or seriously injured. The Secret Service wasn’t going to pussyfoot around with these nutcrackers. Ashli Babbit can attest to that and it was a Capital Policeman, as I understand it that shot her, but if it’s the last barricade before protectees are exposed to dangerous people, the last barricade means lethal force.

        I know these guys were all “Hang Mike Pence!” in their hubris, but the likelihood that they would have met lethal force entering into a room where Mike Pence and his family were taken with several armed agents, is pretty near 100%. They had weapons, but I didn’t see AR15s in there or anything significant up against the SS.

        And how much concern did Trump tweet out about Ashli Babbit? Umhn, like zero?

          • Fran of the North says:

            I’ve got the same three as you. The gentleman in the lower right is visually familiar, but I can’t dredge up his name.

            The admiral might be McRaven (Sp??), but I’d think he’d be at JSOC, so perhaps it’s one of the joint chiefs. The AF Brigadier is probably the briefer and might have multiple feeds on his laptop with the ability to switch between them for the president.

            Alex, I’ll take the daily double for $200: Which was sung by Levon Helm and the Band: ‘The night they drove old Abbottabad down’?

          • madwand says:

            Biden, Obama, Mullin, Blinkin blinking over the left shoulder, Brennan, Clapper, and Clinton, and it’s gotta be Bin Laden’s assassination, anyway thats my guess.

    • cavenewt says:

      “what he was aiming for, to have the crowd turn on the media and assault them”

      And that’s why he put them in pens, so he would have an actual focus to point to when talking about the media. It would’ve been more difficult if the reporters were scattered amongst the crowd. He made them into a target.

  5. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Long-time Republican (now Independent) strategist Cheri Jacobus got buzz-sawed by the Trump team after she refused to be bought and then reported on Trump’s superpac–which he denied–in early 2016. His thugs threatened her and destroyed her career, but she fought back, and is taking on the clowns one at a time. She’s very good.

    https://twitter.com/CheriJacobus

  6. harpie says:

    New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/12/politics/trump-mccarthy-shouting-match-details/index.html
    Updated 6:50 PM ET, Fri February 12, 2021

    In an expletive-laced phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy while the Capitol was under attack, then-President Donald Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did.

    “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward by McCarthy.

    McCarthy insisted that the rioters were Trump’s supporters and begged Trump to call them off. […]

    • harpie says:

      […] As senators prepare to determine Trump’s fate, multiple Republicans thought the details of the call were important to the proceedings because they believe it paints a damning portrait of Trump’s lack of action during the attack. At least one of the sources who spoke to CNN took detailed notes of McCarthy’s recounting of the call. […]

      • Min says:

        It isn’t just Trump’s inaction during the breach of the Capitol that was an issue. Many among Trump’s base identify with Pence, who is, like them, a White evangelical or fundamentalist Christian. They may have been devoted to Trump as a powerful leader, but with testimony about Trump targeting Pence, many of them would have felt that Trump was targeting them. Many of them may feel that way now, or will come to do so in the near future. We may yet see support for Trump crumble. Maybe Pence will speak out about how he was loyal to Trump, but Trump betrayed him. Quien sabe?

  7. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Absent rallies and protest, where will Trump’s followers’ aggression manifest itself next? Town Halls? One thing to see this vituperation and vitriol on the TV. Another thing to see it unleashed in a school auditorium. One hopes this level of extremism does not play well when it starts being seen live disrupting main street conservative functions . Hopefully that dynamic plays a role in it’s demise. If you even try to discuss what’s truth you become a target. If you are not with them, you immediately become a target. Us and them is here to stay. Targets, keep voting.

    • cavenewt says:

      Well, it kinda worked for the Tea Party when they were disrupting town halls about Obamacare. A bunch of them got elected to Congress.

  8. Vinnie Gambone says:

    For Trump, when do you think the reality that his minions are dwindling finally sets in ? His my kingdom for a horse moment ? Every single person he looks at now wants to be paid. In his next set of trials, maybe Bruce Castor can do for Trump what he did for Cosby.

  9. Stacey says:

    It strikes me as thoroughly disgusting that these Republican Senators are participating in this award they are giving to Officer Eugene Goodman–not at all that they are giving him this award–but that the entirety of the effort serves as a kind of valor-washing for these same Republican Senators who are going to vote to acquit Donald Trump. Their acquittal will essentially all but guarantee that what Officer Goodman and his fellow officers had to do on the 6th they will have to do many more times. They will have to put their lives at risk to defend a group of people half of whom do not deserve to be defended from the monster they themselves have birthed, fed, coddled, and nourished for 5 years now!

    There is about 500 staffers who’ve signed an open letter to the Senate begging them to convict Donald Trump and disqualify him from office. I would very much like to see the Capital Police officers put forth a similar list that says something along the lines of “Thanking us for protecting you was fine the first time, but now that you’ve essentially signed a pledge that we will have to do so again and again under probably worse and increasingly dangerous conditions JUST so you can get whatever you’re getting out of it politically, is something we’re not signing up for. If you don’t convict Donald Trump, we the undersigned are resigning and you can find yourselves another group of cannon fodder toy soldiers to ‘protect’ you from your own stupidity.” Or words to that effect.

    I’m sure none of them are unemployable as police officers after being in their current roles, and I would not personally be ok with being the next Brian Sicknick and asking my family to go through what they’re going through to protect a bunch of short sited cowards like these. I’ve walked away from jobs for less than that! There should be some natural, real world consequences for these types of political calculations that are being made. It shouldn’t be ok to ask people to risk their lives for you when you are deliberately creating situations in which their life is in danger just so you can keep being an idiot!

  10. klynn says:

    Looks like there is a war between Lee and Pence.

    Lee seems awefully focused on his Trump call.

    And if the time of the call does not match up, that creates a whole host of problems for Trump.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Klynn — like to hear more about this “war between Lee and Pence” as it develops? Very interesting…

      ~~~~~~

      Almost missed this from Popehat!!!

      Senate has voted to subpoena witnesses!!!

      “IncitementToResurrectionHat Retweeted
      “Evan McMurry
      @evanmcmurry
      ·
      1h
      “BREAKING: Motion to subpoena witnesses in the second impeachment trial of former Pres. Trump passes 55-45. https://abcn.ws/2NrakmV ” …

  11. Fran of the North says:

    And now no witnesses. Complicit Cowards on the R side, and Well-meaning Cowards on the D side.

    “A plague on both your houses!”

  12. Jenny says:

    Thank you Peterr for this post. Trump incited mobs. A bully who demonizes people in order to discredit. His campaign rallies were proof.

    I read Katy Tur’s book when it first came out. She is gutsy and persistent. Insightful lengthy road trip with a “crazy” campaign, well written and “previews to coming attractions.”

    Rather symbolic about the media being caged at rallies. Trump belittling her and others plus his supporters abusing the media. Vicious cycle.

    I am impressed she lasted the entire campaign and grateful for documenting her personal experience.

  13. harpie says:

    TWO TRUMPs HOSTLE TAKEOVER of the GOP GQP:

    1/6/21
    10:23AM Donald TRUMP, JR.

    And it should be a message to all the Republicans who have not been willing to actually fight. (cheering) The people who did nothing to stop the steal. This gathering should send a message to them. This isn’t their Republican Party anymore. (cheering) This is Donald Trump’s Republican Party. (cheering) This is the Republican Party that will put America first. […] You have an opportunity today. You can be a hero, or you can be a zero. […]

    12:40 PM TRUMP, Sr.:

    [Ranting about Twitter, etc and shadow banning and]:
    I’ve been telling these Republicans, get rid of Section 230. (cheering) And for some reason, Mitch and the group, they don’t want to put it in there and they don’t realize that that’s going to be the end of the Republican Party as we know it. But it’s never going to be the end of us. Never.

    And when you’re a star, they let you do it! Grab ’em by the pussy! – Trump, Sr.

  14. Bruce Olsen says:

    Trump is raising his own Sturmabteilung. He’ll use them to provide security (cf. Altamont) at rallies and to intimidate anyone bringing him to justice. Look for armed posses posted up prominently as close to any courtroom as they can get.

    He’s been grooming them for 5 years. He ran a test that failed to LIBERATE VIRGINIA or LIBERATE MINNESOTA but was a spectacular success in MICHIGAN, where it led to the statehouse’s occupation and a bonus plot to kidnap Governor ThatWoman. And here we are.

    He won’t have to pay them; they’ll pay him. They’ll donate to the GOP (or maybe a new party) and jump at the chance to play militia for him. They’ll end up risking everything (like the Jan 6ers have) all for the privilege of ownin’ them some libtards, and hatin’ them some cuhlids, jooz, moozlumz, and wimmin.

    And of course, he’ll use the donated funds to cover his legal fees and pay down his massive loans. His cultists aren’t big on governance, so they won’t think about where the money went.

  15. dude says:

    After listening to the pundits and old pols talk today, I think Michael Steele has it about right. Mr. Garland’s DOJ and Mr. Biden’s political objectives converge on inaction. Any Federal criminal or civil prosecutions of Trump will be totally abandoned. To do otherwise will to be to get stuck on Republican flypaper. They will portray any such actions not as Mitch’s proclaimed substitute for conviction by impeachment, but as Democratic vendetta. They will rope-a-dope Biden’s program. The crowd that acquitted will be Re-Trumplicans for the foreseeable future.

    • skua says:

      The approach you outline would have America be seen as having taken no action what-so-ever against a fascist attempted coup leader ex-POTUS. Not an image condusive to business confidence, electoral stability or confidence in Civics 101 class attendees.

      If it can be argued soundly that letting Trump walk free will highly likely result in long-term stable governement for the nation then maybe the trade-off would be worth it. (I don’t know.)

      But I’ve seen no such argument. And with Trump having around a 85% approval rating amongst Repub voters, and with the GOP certain to be outraged, inflammatory and divisive no matter what Biden does, it would seem sensible for LE to investigate when the usual standards are met, and indict when the evidence is sufficient.

  16. Chris.EL says:

    From Twitter: reporter for Associated Press
    “Zeke Miller
    @ZekeJMiller
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump welcomes impeachment acquittal, says his movement ‘has only just begun.’
    1:06 PM · Feb 13, 2021” …

    This is exactly what I’ve been afraid of; more avoidance of accountability equals augmentation! Can you imagine the glee?

    Wonder what Mary Trump has to say!

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