Aug 22, 2018

Trump turns his fire and fury to judge and jury

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump this morning said his former lawyer and campaign chairman, both now convicted felons, are actually guilty of little or nothing. 

Between the lines: Within an hour, the president seemed to open the possibility of a pardon for Paul Manafort — which would likely only increase suspicion of wrongdoing by the president. At the same time, he has both accused Michael Cohen of making up stories to clinch a deal as well as insisted that the campaign finance violations Cohen pleaded guilty to are not crimes.

While Trump started off his morning of executive time with a lower-key insult toward Michael Cohen, his tweets quickly turned into a full on tirade:

Be smart, regarding Trump's assertion that "President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!":

  • Obama's 2008 campaign did have to pay one of the largest fines of any presidential campaign for failing to give adequate notice of around 1,300 campaign contributions totaling more than $1.8 million, Politico reported at the time. That's a very different kind of violation than using campaign funds as hush money for women accusing the candidate of having an affair.

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Trump to install loyalist Ric Grenell as acting intelligence chief

Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

President Trump confirmed in a tweet Wednesday night that he will install Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany and a staunch defender of Trump, as the acting director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: The role, which was originally vacated by Dan Coats in August 2019, is one of grave responsibility. As acting DNI, Grenell will be charged with overseeing and integrating the U.S. intelligence community and will advise the president and the National Security Council on intelligence matters that concern national security.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What to watch in the Nevada debate

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Cengiz Yardages and Mario Tama/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's wealth will fuel rather than shield him from tests and attacks when he makes his Democratic primary debate debut on the stage tonight in Las Vegas.

The state of play: Bernie Sanders is still the front-runner. So the other candidates must weigh which of the two presents a bigger threat to their viability: Sanders, with his combined delegate, polling and grassroots momentum? Or Bloomberg, with his bottomless budget?

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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