In the aftermath of a day after, the shit’s still with us — despite gains made in the election, the T-Rump continues.
Charles P. Pierce at Esquire this afternoon on news of the AG turnabout:
At the very least, this is the most serious threat that the Mueller investigation has faced since it was launched.
In addition, ever since the investigation was launched, the president* has been quite clear that he expected the Department of Justice to function essentially as his personal legal Praetorian Guard.
The president* now has cored out the upper echelons of the DOJ of anyone who even remotely could be referred to as being independent.
We are not at the point of a constitutional crisis, but we can see it from here.
(Illustration: MC Escher’s ‘Scholastica,’ found here).
Earlier today, the T-Rump axed Jeff Sessions — no big surprise, there — but his replacement might be an even bigger piece of shit than Jeffry, which has to be a real-big pile of shit. Matt Whitaker was handed a big promotion, sucked-up from just being Jeff’s chief of staff, and made “temporary” Attorney General of the US of A.
Via at CBS News:
Whitaker will also replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Whitaker was hired by Sessions to be his chief of staff in September 2017.
The month before, he wrote an opinion article for CNN criticizing Mueller. “It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel.”
In 2016, Whitaker wrote an article for USA Today arguing that the Justice Department should indict Hillary Clinton.
You can see the T-Rump written all over his ass. In a profile at NPR this evening: ‘He also worked on an earlier campaign in Iowa for one of Trump’s presidential campaign leaders, Sam Clovis, who has figured in the Russia investigation.
Clovis is believed to be one of the campaign officials who talked with a junior aide, George Papadopoulos, about the overtures Papadopoulos was getting from Russians in London.’
And from FiveThirtyEight the main vibe:
But the bottom line is this: Mueller’s investigation is on shakier ground than it was only a few hours ago, even though it’s not yet clear if — or how — Whitaker might try to constrain his work.
That said, the stakes are now considerably higher for whatever new findings come out of Mueller’s investigation, which is poised to move back into the spotlight now that the midterms are over.
Beyond the approaching constitutional crisis, the Trump showed his meaner, nastier side this afternoon at his first press conference following the election — asshole all the way.
An unhinged mess. An overview from The Hill:
In a roughly 90 minute press conference in the East Room, Trump regularly talked over reporters and cut them off as they sought follow-up questions.
He simultaneously voiced a desire for the country to unify following the midterms and blamed the media for existing hostilities.
The president renewed hostilities with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta after the reporter attempted to follow up a question about Central American migrants with a question about the Russia investigation.
“That’s enough. Put down the mic,” Trump told Acosta.
“I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” he said.
“You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
The president repeatedly told April Ryan, the Washington correspondent for National Urban Radio Network, to “sit down” after she attempted to ask about voter suppression.
“Sit down. I didn’t call on you,” Trump said, scolding Ryan for attempting to get a question in despite not being given a microphone.
Ryan, who is black, is another reporter who has clashed with Trump and Sanders at press conferences and briefings, often for attempting to ask a question before being recognized.
She has accused the president of treating women and minority reporters differently than he treats white men in the press corps.
Yamiche Alcindor of PBS Newshour asked Trump about his decision to describe himself as a “nationalist” in recent weeks, a label he had previously avoided explicitly using.
“You called yourself a nationalist, some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists,” Alcindor, who is black, began.
“There are some people that say now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric. What do you make of that?”
Trump quickly asserted that he has high poll numbers with African-Americans, before accusing Alcindor of asking a “racist question.”
“That’s such a racist question,” the president said.
“Honestly, I mean, I know you have it written down — let me tell you, that’s a racist question.”
“To say that, what you said is so insulting to me,” he added.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s press conference, Trump expressed hope that hostilities would cool in the aftermath of the midterm elections, but again pointed the finger at the media.
“Hopefully the tone can get better. Hopefully the tone can get a lot better. And I really believe it begins with the media,” Trump said.
The president said he has the “right to fight back” in response to what he perceives as unfair treatment.
“I’m fighting back, not for me, I’m fighting back for the people of this country,” he said.
We got the House, maybe a start, but this guy and his bunch need to go soon, according to Pinball: ‘“…Or as they say in Ebonics, “We be fucked.”‘