THE FEED
ukraine scandal
ukraine scandal
Mick Mulvaney Struggles Not to Admit to Ukraine Quid Pro Quo Again
Mulvaney pretended he never said Trump withheld aid in exchange for an investigation into Dems — as Fox News played video of him saying just that.

If sucking up to Trump is wrong, he doesn’t want to be right

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s decision to move U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria, said on Sunday he now believed “historic solutions” were possible.


In an interview with Fox News Channel, Graham said a conversation he had with Trump over the weekend had fueled his optimism that a solution could be reached where the security of Turkey and the Kurds was guaranteed and fighters from Islamic State contained.


“I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years if we play our cards right,” Graham said.

Did Mick have a bone to pick?

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney faced internal efforts to oust him before House Democrats moved ahead with their impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, multiple sources tell CNN.


Top aides including Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner were in the process of reaching out to at least two potential replacements for the top West Wing job shortly before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in late September that she would move ahead with an impeachment inquiry.


These previously unreported efforts did not come to fruition, but underscore the weakness of Mulvaney’s position even before his headline-generating performance in the briefing room last week. One person familiar with Mulvaney’s thinking said the search came as Mulvaney himself was looking for an exit after ten months in the role, though people close to Mulvaney have denied he wanted to leave.

Diplomats aren’t doormats

In recent days, current and former Foreign Service officers have defied Trump administration orders and trudged to Capitol Hill to testify before House committees investigating whether to impeach the president. Colleagues inside the State Department and their allies in the broader foreign policy community are quietly hailing them as heroes, with special praise for those testifying despite still being on the government payroll. …


The defiance has risks: that it will deepen the rift between Trump and the State Department while fueling more global confusion over U.S. foreign policy positions. Many of Trump’s top aides view Foggy Bottom as a den of Democratic intrigue — a long- and widely held suspicion on the right with roots in the Cold War. For now, though, it feels pretty good to hit back.


“People are fed up,” said Laura Kennedy, a former U.S. ambassador who remains in touch with officials still in the State Department. “There’s a deep well of resentment that’s just bubbled toward the top.”


There’s also anxiety. Serving diplomats say the impeachment inquiry has become a constant source of questions from their foreign counterparts and overseas press, and that it’s a challenging issue to explain, especially given the State Department’s role.

politics
politics
The Popularity of Bernie Sanders Does Not Mean Identity Politics Are Over
The goal isn’t a world where identity no longer matters, but where it doesn’t hold anyone back.
vision 2020
vision 2020
AOC Credits Sanders for Her Political Awakening at Bernie’s Big Comeback Rally
Hoping to reinvigorate his campaign just weeks after a heart attack, Sanders rolled out Ocasio-Cortez, who linked her political origin story to him
just asking questions
just asking questions
Author Tom Mueller on the ‘Minefield’ Facing the Trump-Ukraine Whistle-blower
“If you don’t get the right path, you may blow up,” says Mueller, who argues in his new book that we’re living in a golden age of whistle-blowing.
impeachment
impeachment
Kasich Comes Out for Trump Impeachment
The former governor and 2016 candidate, like Mitt Romney, used to be a classic hardcore conservative. The GOP has changed a lot.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Gabbard Demands Clinton Enter 2020 Race, Calls Her ‘Queen of Warmongers’
The bizarre tweets follow the 2016 nominee’s implication that the current candidate is an agent of Russia.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Trump Believes He Has a Mandate for Tyranny
Given the vast powers Trump thinks voters gave him in 2016, what will he be like if he wins reelection? The mind reels.
the national interest
the national interest
Locating G7 Summit at Trump’s Own Property Is Genius, Conservative Argues
The Federalist columnist David Marcus argues that Trump is not only within his rights but brilliant for securing “home field advantage.”
democratic primaries
democratic primaries
Pete Buttigieg’s Chicago Fundraiser Debacle Won’t Help Him With Black Voters
He needs black support for his new strategy: capturing Biden supporters if the former vice-president falters.
facebook
facebook
The Zuck’s Speech
The Facebook CEO’s speech defending his right to not do anything and take no responsibility misses the point.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Bernie’s Back. And It’s Make-or-Break Time for His Campaign.
The senator and presidential candidate has made his return to the trail, buoyed by an endorsement for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What happens next?

Boeing only turned these messages over to the FAA on Thursday

Text messages between Boeing employees in 2016 indicate that the company was aware of major problems with an automated feature on the 737 Max jet that made the aircraft difficult to control, the messages show.


Safety investigators say the system, known as MCAS, had repeatedly pushed the noses of planes down in Indonesia and Ethi­o­pia, contributing to crashes that killed 346 people in the past year.


One text message with a misspelling said the feature was engaging “itself like craxy.” Another termed the problem “egregious.”


Another indicated that the Boeing employees misled the Federal Aviation Administration. “So I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),” read one message.


“It wasnt a lie, no one told us that was the case,” came the response.

the national interest
the national interest
Trump Writes Unhinged ‘Legal’ Letter Demanding That CNN Pay Him Money
Trump’s authoritarian side and his toddler side are both on display here.

Pompeo thinks its unfair that House Democrats won’t let State Department attorneys gather inside information on impeachment proceedings

Pompeo curtly declined to discuss Giuliani — “I have nothing to add,” he said — or Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted ambassador of Ukraine, who testified in the impeachment inquiry following a congressional subpoena. But America’s top diplomat took aim at the Democrats for what he sees as an unfair process, where state secrets are being put at risk and the department is being afforded little visibility into what its current and former employees are saying.


“They’re not letting State Department lawyers in the room … they have not let State Department lawyers be part of these hearings,” Pompeo said. “That’s unheard of … I haven’t seen you all report that.”

vision 2020
vision 2020
Late-Entry Third-Party Threats Haunt Democrats
The sudden talk about centrist billionaires and “Russian assets” entering the 2020 sweepstakes reflects Democratic nightmares and rivalries.
foreign interests
foreign interests
Boris Johnson’s Make-or-Break Saturday Session in Parliament
The U.K. Parliament will convene for a rare and historic weekend vote in what could be the climax of the Brexit saga.

Meanwhile, up in space

NASA reached a milestone on Friday morning when two Americans ventured out of the International Space Station to replace a power controller: The astronauts, Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, had undertaken the first all-female spacewalk.


Shortly before 8 a.m., live video of the event showed two bulky white figures — first Ms. Koch, then Ms. Meir — emerging slowly from the space station, which glowed against the blackness of space.


The women could be heard talking to each other, and a helmet camera showed Ms. Meir’s view as she clambered along the outside of the space station on the way to her work station.


At one point, she could be seen crossing beneath the dangling feet of Ms. Koch. “Right beneath your feet, so don’t move down,” she said.


The spacewalk was expected to last for more than five hours.

impeachment
impeachment
What We Know About Trump’s Potential Senate Impeachment Trial
Impeachment trial procedures are an amalgam of constitutional provisions, standing Senate rules, and ad hoc procedures controlled by McConnell’s GOP.

Trump stands to profit off the kind of bigotry presidents used to denounce

Another anti-Muslim group has scheduled a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, prompting the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group to again ask the Trump Organization to cancel an event sponsored by such a group.


The Center for Security Policy, a Washington, DC think-tank whose founder, Frank Gaffney once suggested President Barack Obama was a Muslim and that Sharia law threatens American society, intends to host its annual Flame Dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 23. Tickets for the event start at $650, according to the Center’s website.


Fred Fleitz, the Center’s president and CEO, said the group was not deterred by the Trump Organization’s abrupt decision on Oct. 6 to cancel an event hosted by another anti-Muslim group, ACT for America, after news of that group’s dinner plans grabbed national headlines and drew widespread criticism.


“We are honored to have this event at Mar-a-Lago,” said Fleitz, adding that he has dined at the club many times.

Former Defense Secretary Mattis saved his Trump jabs for the Al Smith dinner

Delivering the keynote address at the 75th Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, Mattis — a retired four-star U.S. Marine general — said he felt he had finally “achieved greatness.”


“I’m not just an overrated general, I am the greatest, the world’s most overrated,” he said to laughter.


“I’m honored to be considered that by Donald Trump, because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis continued. “So, I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals. Frankly that sounds pretty good to me.”


… “I earned my spurs on the battlefield … Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” he said in a reference to a medical deferment for bone spurs that kept Trump from serving in the military during the Vietnam War.

world view
world view
Trump Is Letting Turkey Bully the United States
The U.S. delegation got to announce a Syria cease-fire, but only after Ankara gave them a taste of the humiliation that weak nations endure regularly.
maga
maga
7 Unhinged Moments From Trump’s Dallas Rally
Trump said that forces in Syria need to “scrap a little” and that Hurricane Harvey made Texas a “fortune,” though it killed over 100 people.
federal courts
federal courts
As Trump Fumes, GOP Advances Party Goal of Appointing Lifetime Federal Judges
The Senate Judiciary advanced the nomination of a lawyer who has never tried a case, a reminder of why the GOP Establishment tolerates Trump.
trump impeachment
trump impeachment
Poll: Only a Minority of Republicans Are Sure Trump Is Innocent
New findings from Pew suggest there are more Democrats certain Trump committed impeachable offenses than Republicans who are certain he didn’t.
racism
racism
America Owed Better to Elijah Cummings
The congressman died trying to protect vulnerable Americans from Trump.
intelligencer chats
intelligencer chats
Is Annoying People the Right Way to Combat Climate Change?
Intelligencer staffers discuss the intentionally divisive tactics of an upstart movement.
climate change
climate change
Florida GOP Regrets ‘Lost’ Decade on Climate Change
The party is recovering from Rick Scott’s ban on using the phrase “climate change” ⁠— though isn’t quite ready to embrace climate policy.

Rikers Island is set to close, in a momentous change to New York’s prison system

One 886-bed jail will tower over shops and restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn. Another will be next to a subway yard in Queens. In the Bronx, a jail will replace a Police Department tow pound. And another jail will rise in the shadow of City Hall in Manhattan.


That is at the heart of a plan for a landmark overhaul of New York City’s corrections system, which will culminate with the closing of Rikers Island, the jail complex with nearly 10,000 beds that has become notorious for chronic abuse, neglect and mismanagement.


The City Council approved the proposal on Thursday, a decision that seemed nearly impossible just a few years ago and that supporters say immediately places New York City at the forefront of a national movement to reverse decades of mass incarceration that disproportionately affected black and Hispanic people.

You could also just say nothing

Sen CRAMER on holding the G7 at Trump Doral: “I don’t have any concerns about it other than just politically how it appears.”

“It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency,” he says.
@frankthorp
foreign policy
foreign policy
Pence Says Turkey Has Agreed to Cease-fire in Syria
Turkey has reportedly agreed to halt its invasion for five days so that Kurdish forces can peacefully withdraw from the contested region.

Another one bites the dust

Scoop: Energy sec Rick Perry notified the president in writing on Air Force One on the way to Texas that he will be leaving his post soon, sources tell me, @jendeben and @AriNatter.
@JenniferJJacobs
the national interest
the national interest
‘We Do That All the Time, Get Over It.’ Mulvaney Boasts About Ukraine Plot
Administration no longer denying the quid pro quo.

Always good when your own Justice Department contradicts you

Mulvaney: Ukraine $$ withheld over “whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our DOJ.”

DOJ Official: “If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us.”
@ktbenner

Correct sentiment from Mitt

“What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,” Romney says
@igorbobic
medicare for all
medicare for all
Biden’s Attacks on Medicare for All Undermine the Entire Democratic Agenda
There are ways to oppose single-payer without demonizing the very concept of tax-financed social programs. Biden’s picked one that does.