Six weeks ( 44 days) into his presidency, Donald Trump, when left alone because Jared and Ivanka are observing the Sabbath, still bangs out tweets (with episodic misspellings) making wild accusations based on flimsy or nonexistent evidence. And not a single word you just read is disputable. Let that sink in.
Here's why even you Trump fans and White House officials should worry: The weekend tweetstorms have hit the courts, intelligence agencies and the media. One day soon, the president will need the public to trust the very institutions he's trying to discredit.
Joe Scarborough first noticed that many of Trump's wilder tweets (including the "so-called judge") cluster on Saturday mornings. Click here for a jaw-dropping roundup of the Saturday tweets, by Axios' Stef Kight: "Once upon a time, Saturdays were devoid of news beyond the boring presidential radio address. Now, they are wild affairs, featuring Trump Twitter tantrums."
This time, a Trumper tantrum started with Attorney General Sessions' recusal, apparently escalated in a huddle with top aides before the president left for Mar-a-Lago: He went "ballistic," per ABC's Jon Karl and Chris Vlasto. CNN has video, shot through a White House window.
Trump, furious about the cave by Sessions, left Bannon and Priebus back in D.C. And with the adults away, POTUS just had to play.
Why pols will be focusing more on the opiate epidemic ... Axios' Shannon Vavra plunges into a CDC report and discovers that the rate of drug-overdose fatalities is now higher than the rate for death by suicides, car accidents or guns.
Cover of WashPost Outlook, "You need to put your phone down. Here's why you can't" — A book review of "Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked," by Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU — Review by Tim Wu, author of "The Attention Merchants":
N.Y. Times Public Editor Liz Spayd, "The Declining Fortunes of Women at The Times":
"Maggie Haberman['s] byline, I'm told, drew more page views last year than any other reporter at The Times — an eye-popping 141 million."
At Trump's office suite in Trump Tower, he loves to show visitors a conference table stacked with magazine covers of himself. As you walk into Mar-A-Lago, you see framed newsmag covers of Trump. Now, there's another one for the collection. This Reuters photo from Thursday shows Trump's longtime security director, Keith Schiller, now Director of Oval Office Operations, carrying a copy of Fortune with Trump on the cover as he deplanes Air Force One at Andrews with Sean Spicer. (Check the snazzy jacket lining.)
Boston Globe front page, "Middlebury College reels after attack on speaker: Menacing crowd harassed racial theorist Charles Murray," by Laura Krantz in Middlebury, Vt.: "Students and professors at Middlebury College were ashamed and embarrassed after an explosive protest Thursday night that has forced the school to reconsider what it means to embrace free speech."
"Violence breaks out at pro-Trump rally in Berkeley," by L.A. Times' Peter King and Ruben Vives: "At least some of the counter-protesters appeared to be members of the so-called black bloc, a group that UC Berkeley officials blamed for many of the problems on campus last month. The self-described anarchists or anti-fascists have left school and law enforcement officials struggling to cope with their tactics."
Scoop by The Information ... "Uber CEO, Facing Multiple Controversies, Seeks No. 2 Exec," by Amir Efrati and Alfred Lee: "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's ability to share power will be tested shortly, once the executive finds a number two executive to serve alongside him. The proposed appointment appears aimed at calming critics of the company, enmeshed in multiple controversies over its culture and business tactics."
Bullish ... "Investors bet Trump-fueled tech rally far from over," by Reuters' Noel Randewich in S.F.: Investors are "expecting a wave of capital expenditures by U.S. corporations. Corporate tax cuts and reduced regulations planned by ... Trump will give companies reason to spend more on cloud computing, factory automation and smart connectivity."
Bearish ... "U.S. energy stocks, darlings last year, stumble in 2017," by Jessica Resnick-Ault and Lewis Krauskopf in N.Y.: "[E]nergy shares have been weak after peaking in mid-December, and are the worst-performing of the Standard & Poor's 11 stock sectors in 2017."
Vice President Pence, wearing a black tow tie: "[T]he end of the week was a little embarrassingfor me. Not that I had a personal email account when I was Governor, [but] to have millions of Americans learn that I'm one of the few people in this country who still has an AOL account. I guess it was good for my image, though. Now America knows I'm not stuck in the 1950s — just the 1990s."
Strong ending, with a serious defense of a free press: "All kidding aside, thanks for being here tonight at the 2017 Gridiron Dinner. It's been good to be with you for this lighthearted tradition. Humor is the great unifier. The president and I support the freedom of the press, enshrined in the First Amendment. For my part, I've long been an advocate of a free and independent press — I worked as a commentator in the '90s; I co-founded the World Press Freedom Caucus with Congressman Adam Schiff, who's here tonight; and I authored the federal Media Shield statute.
"But let me say, respectfully: With freedom comes responsibility. In this day and age, of a breathless news cycle, we sure could use more responsible, considered journalism in America."
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa): "It's great to see the vice president here. Do you realize he is just a heartbeat away from being second in command to Steve Bannon? ... Hillary refused to come here. She must think this is Wisconsin. ... Nate Silver isn't here. He said there was a 92% chance I wouldn't say his name. Wrong again!"
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Vice President Pence, it's good to see you this evening. Does the president know you're here, laughing it up with the enemies of the American people? It's OK, Mr. Vice President: People here can keep a secret. This isn't the White House."
"This White House has more drama among rich people than a Jane Austen novel. In fact, I'm told the Secret Service code names for President Trump and Bannon are 'Pride' and 'Prejudice.'"
"President Trump is considering a new plan for the First Amendment. It's called 'repeal and replace.'"