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Editor's Blog





Updated: 2017-03-23T00:26:00Z

 



CNN: FBI Has Info That Trump Associates Did 'Possibly Coordinate' With Russia

2017-03-22T20:27:40-04:00

CNN digs in on what James Comey meant when he told Congress this week that the FBI is investigating whether there was "coordination" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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Here's The Latest On Obamacare Repeal

2017-03-22T18:44:28-04:00

It would appear that Paul Ryan still lacks the votes to pass the Obamacare repeal and replace bill (that also ends Medicaid as we know it) tomorrow. Reports are he will be putting the squeeze on individual members this evening, but in the meantime a deal of sorts is apparently being worked out to win over recalcitrant conservatives by promising to gut Obamacare's 10 essential health benefits, the bare minimums insurance plans must cover – not now, but later in the Senate. Alice Ollstein has the details.

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Bye for Now

2017-03-22T09:50:54-04:00

It's been pretty much nonstop since the conventions last year, so I'm off for one week of vacation, hopefully totally off the grid. We will try to keep you up to date with the very latest links in the editors blog to our team's essential reporting on Obamacare repeal, as well as the latest developments Trump/Russia and the seemingly limitless number of other stories we are tracking.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, please wish me a good send off by signing up for Prime. It is critical to our whole operation. And we have big things coming this spring.

I'll see you in a week.

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Insider the Alt-Right/All-Russia Nexus

2017-03-21T19:19:45-04:00

Now that we've learned that Breitbart and Infowars have somehow figured into the FBI's counter-intelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, I want to return to a topic we discussed late last summer and into the fall. At the time we saw a disconcerting pattern. Trump friends, associates and staffers would go on TV make some wild claim that no one had heard before. Then it would turn out that the only other place the story had appeared was on RT or SputnikNews or even some Russian language propaganda mill.

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Donald Trump, GoodFellas Edition

2017-03-21T18:09:01-04:00

So there was an FBI wiretap in Trump Tower! Just not placed there by Barack Obama and not targeting Donald Trump. Between 2011 and 2013 the FBI had a court approved warrant to eavesdrop on a Russian organized crime and money laundering operation out of the 63rd floor of Trump Tower.

Here's one interesting little nugget.

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The Real Story

2017-03-21T09:11:43-04:00

As we move toward Thursday's (likely) vote on the Ryan/Trump Obamacare repeal bill, we should remember that under the guise of repealing Obamacare, the House bill writers are actually going to great lengths to gut Medicaid.

Last week, TPM Reader EE gave us some indication of what that will entail.

I work in a nursing home and it seems that no-one is talking/asking questions about the devastating effect the medicaid cuts will have on nursing home residents and their families.

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What Did We Learn Today?

2017-03-20T18:22:00-04:00

Judged by time, today's House Intelligence Committee hearing was mainly an exercise in hypotheticals and 'no comments'. For those who hadn't gotten the full treatment until now, it was also an exposure to what we might term James Comey's militant earnestness.

What did we learn?

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This Actually Happened

2017-03-20T13:50:10-04:00

So a Republican member of Congress just suggested that articles in the Times and the Post reporting information about Russian ties to Trump associates may actually be using sources who pretend to be US intelligence or law enforcement officials but are in fact Russian agents. This kind of desperate nonsense makes it difficult to remain an entire skeptic about what may remain to be learned.

Quotes after the jump ...

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Such a Mystery

2017-03-20T13:36:20-04:00

Republican congressmen profess to be very worried that meeting with a foreign ambassador might put them at the center of a counter-intelligence probe. They're also worried that making a paid speech in another country might do the same - if not for them than people who they know. There's a pretty extreme effort to ignore the conclusion that for Trump associates at the center of a counter-intelligence investigation there was probably lots of different clues and developments which got them there.

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Remember

2017-03-20T13:32:55-04:00

It is worth remembering that with any other President, making up out of whole cloth false allegations of serious crimes on the part of his predecessor, would trigger at least talk of resignation.

In this case, most seem willing to move on since it's now been shown that the President was clearly lying.

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'No Information'

2017-03-20T11:20:46-04:00

FBI Director James Comey tells House Intelligence Committee that the FBI – and the Justice Department more broadly– have "no information" to support President Trump's claim that he was wiretapped on order of then-President Obama.

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Comey

2017-03-20T10:45:54-04:00

Comey: "I've been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."

The significance is all in the final clause. This is a continuing investigation - last issue is not resolved.

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Watch Live

2017-03-20T10:15:35-04:00

Watch the Comey hearing here live.

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Do We Have Lift Off?

2017-03-19T17:47:54-04:00

We've seen a few drop-offs in support for President Trump since he took office two months ago. But they've mainly rebounded to a relative stability with a high single digit deficit in public approval. This is his steepest dive to date. (image)

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Step Back for the Bigger Picture

2017-03-18T17:17:14-04:00

Two weeks ago today, President Trump went on Twitter and leveled a series of accusations against former President Obama, most notably that Obama had wiretapped his phones in Trump Tower. The claim has been roundly criticized ever since. Notably, it came on the heels of a new round of damaging revelations about ties between Trump's entourage and Russia. We've now had formal inquiries from the congressional intelligence committees, statements from the Department of Justice and the FBI, a follow on attempt by Trump and Spicer to redefine what the President actually said.

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Very Interesting

2017-03-17T13:09:30-04:00

This is a fascinating and significant development. John Podesta is supporting Tom Perriello over Lt Gov. Ralph Northam as Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia.

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Your Fault, Folks

2017-03-17T10:37:32-04:00

As Allegra Kirkland notes here, the remaining defenders of President Trump's preposterous Obama wiretapping claim now find themselves out on a limb. But let's also note the media's responsibility for perpetuating this farce. Even today, I continue to hear that there is "as yet no evidence" for Trump's claims. This is not remotely the normal way anyone discusses things like this.

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Women's policy & advocacy expert Lyric Thompson hosting Q&A in the Hive, Weds. @ 1:00 p.m.

2017-03-17T10:03:58-04:00

Lyric Thompson is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She leads the institution’s formulation of evidence-based policy recommendations and manages ICRW’s advocacy efforts with the US Government and internationally. Lyric serves as co-chair of the Girls Not Brides USA advocacy coalition working to end child marriage, on the steering committee of the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence Globally, the board of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, the Executive Committee of the Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and the board of the Community Center for Integrated Development of Cameroon.

Lyric will join us for a chat about all things relating to women's health and policy. Feel free to submit questions about policy changes at home, abroad, the future of women's health and her work on ending child marriage here by Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EST. If you'd like to participate but don't have TPM Prime, sign up here.

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Not Good

2017-03-16T17:50:59-04:00

Speaker Paul Ryan just gave two back to back live interviews on MSNBC (Meet the Press Daily) and CNN (Wolf Blitzer). He struck me as agitated and defensive, occasionally verging on sarcastic. They weren't great interviews. I'm tempted to call them meltdowns. But that's probably overstated; I'm going to wait to hear what others think. What I will say is that, having heard Ryan make his case, I think he and his bill may be in a worse position than I realized.

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Follow The Money, Donald Trump Edition

2017-03-16T15:08:01-04:00

There's a very good story out today from Bloomberg chronicling the flow of money from the former Soviet Union into real estate ventures built by or licensed with the name of Donald Trump. In this case most of what we are talking about is not investment in projects or loans to fund them but the purchase of individual apartments units - though sometimes in bulk - in Trump branded or owned buildings. This is a story we and others have told you. But this new article firms the story up considerably with a new level of detail.

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