Monthly Archives: September 2018

Ivanka Speaks Up

After days of obsessing over the anonymous New York Times op-ed and Bob Woodward’s book Fear, Donald Trump’s mood was improving markedly last week as he watched Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination sailing toward a confirmation vote. “Everyone thought Kavanaugh was a slam dunk,” an outside adviser to the White House told me. In a phone call with Sean Hannity over the weekend, Trump even boasted he’d gotten past Woodward’s book—he told people it was a dud. But his reprieve would be short-lived. On Sunday, college professor Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh had allegedly attempted to rape her at a party when they were teenagers, thrusting Trump and the White House into a #MeToo crisis at a moment when they can’t afford to antagonize women voters ahead of the midterms.

According to three sources, Kavanaugh’s imperiled confirmation has unsettled Trump and the White House. “Everyone knows his predisposition is to punch back, but this is a different situation than an election,” a former West Wing official briefed on the strategy discussions said. In the past, Trump responded to allegations of sexual misconduct by channeling his mentor Roy Cohn: deny everything, and go on the attack. But he’s been surprisingly measured in his defense of Kavanaugh. In a news conference today, Trump told reporters, “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this,” but refrained from attacking Ford.

Courtesy Vanity Fair

 

 

Ivanka speaks up

Courtesy Vanity Fair

After days of obsessing over the anonymous New York Times op-ed and Bob Woodward’s book Fear, Donald Trump’s mood was improving markedly last week as he watched Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination sailing toward a confirmation vote. “Everyone thought Kavanaugh was a slam dunk,” an outside adviser to the White House told me. In a phone call with Sean Hannity over the weekend, Trump even boasted he’d gotten past Woodward’s book—he told people it was a dud. But his reprieve would be short-lived. On Sunday, college professor Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh had allegedly attempted to rape her at a party when they were teenagers, thrusting Trump and the White House into a #MeToo crisis at a moment when they can’t afford to antagonize women voters ahead of the midterms.

According to three sources, Kavanaugh’s imperiled confirmation has unsettled Trump and the White House. “Everyone knows his predisposition is to punch back, but this is a different situation than an election,” a former West Wing official briefed on the strategy discussions said. In the past, Trump responded to allegations of sexual misconduct by channeling his mentor Roy Cohn: deny everything, and go on the attack. But he’s been surprisingly measured in his defense of Kavanaugh. In a news conference today, Trump told reporters, “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this,” but refrained from attacking Ford.

 

Racist robo calls have begun.

Racist robocalls targeting Andrew Gillum, the first black nominee for Florida governor from a major party, have been placed to residents from an out-of-state white supremacist entity.

Mr. Gillum, 39, the Tallahassee mayor and a progressive candidate who won an upset victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, will face Representative Ron DeSantis, 39, a Republican who embraced the style and policies of President Trump, in the November election.

In the audio of one robocall placed on Friday and obtained by The New York Times, a man pretending to be Mr. Gillum can be heard talking in the exaggerated accent of a minstrel performer. “Well hello there,” it begins, “I is Andrew Gillum.” He then talks for a little over a minute about mud huts and unfair policing practices, and asks repeatedly for the listener’s vote. In the background are the sounds of drums and monkeys.

The recording, reported on Friday by The Tallahassee Democrat, ends with a man saying that the message was paid for by the Road to Power, an Idaho-based website and podcast with white supremacist and anti-Semitic content.