“Matt Drudge has huddled with Trump at the White House - and more juicy bits in POLITICO's 100 day story.” Hadas Gold is tweeting about The education of Donald Trump, the new piece by POLITICO's Josh Dawsey, Shane Goldmacher and Alex Isenstadt, which includes such choice quotes as this one, from a White House official: “I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here, but this shit is hard.” We also realize, as Philip Rucker explains it, “WH staff still talk to press about how they manage & trick the President of the United States as if he's a child.” Justin Miller calls it, “The only piece to read about Trump's first 100 days,” and Tim Fernholz says, “this politico story has so many good nuggets I can't decide which to tweet.” Daniel Dale’s takeaway: “Truly wild Politico story in which Trump adviser says their job is to keep him from doing ‘crazy’ things.” Setting up the piece, Dawsey tweets, “Scene in Oval: Trump called startled aides into interview they didn't know was happening to prove they get along.” As Jeremy B. White says, “As much as Trump professes to hate the media, he sure seems to care about how they perceive him.”
Not mincing words
In their piece for POLITICO, Republicans tell Trump to hold up on NAFTA withdrawal, Tara Palmeri, Adam Behsudi and Seung Min Kim write, “The Trump administration alarmed Republicans on Wednesday with its consideration of an executive order that could lead to the United States' withdrawal from NAFTA — with some lawmakers warning that such a move would be a ‘disaster.’” As Ben White tweets, “@SenJohnMcCain, not mincing words, says U.S. withdrawing from NAFTA would be ‘disgraceful and a disaster.’”
Oh, come on
In a new piece for The New York Times, Justices Alarmed by Government’s Hard-Line Stance in Citizenship Case (13,000+ shares), Adam Liptak shows how “Justices used humor to make serious points about government stance in citizenship case,” tweets Michael Tackett. Dan Gillmor points out, “Trump administration wants Supreme Court to make it trivially easy to strip citizenship from naturalized Americans.” Says Felix Salmon, “This is bonkers. Naturalized US citizenship shouldn’t be revocable on a technicality,” and Julia Ioffe observes, “This argument wouldn't bode well for a certain FLOTUS.” Matthew Robinson tweets, “Wow from a republican-appointed justice ‘your argument is demeaning the priceless value of citizenship,’” referring to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s response to Justice Department lawyer Robert Parker. How did Chief Justice Roberts respond to Parker’s argument? As Orin Kerr notes, “Reaction you would rather not get to your oral argument: ‘Oh, come on.’”
Rogue's gallery of friends and family
And here we have “Another nefarious connection in Trump's rogue's gallery of friends and family,” says Joe Mandese. Andrea Bernstein tweets, “Jared Kushner real estate empire has ties to diamond exec under fed bribery investigation, latest fr @jessedrucker,” linking to Jesse Drucker’s piece in The New York Times, Bribe Cases, a Secret Jared Kushner Partner and Potential Conflicts. As Justin Miller explains, “NEW: Kushner got $50M from a secret business partner whose uncle is under federal investigation.” To which Cyd King says (sounds familiar), “C'mon!!!” Stanley Pignal’s take: “Jared Kushner is in business with members of the Steinmetz family. Surprisingly unsurprising.” But, as Dan Gillmor notes, “Slowly, laboriously, journalists are prying loose some details about the Trump family's corrupt dealings.”
A peddler of snake oil
Meanwhile, at Buzzfeed, “@mitchprothero has written quite a story,” says Miriam Elder, referring to Mitch Prothero’s piece, The Hungarian Rise And Fall Of Sebastian Gorka, which details “how a Trump adviser failed upwards from Hungary to the White House.” Notes Matt Haber, “Failing upwards is kind of an administration-wide trait.” The story quotes a member of the Hungarian counter-intelligence service as saying, “Gorka is, how do you say in English — a peddler of snake oil.” Ben Smith highlights, “One reveal: Gorka was denied a *Hungarian* security clearance.” The last line, which Brad Esposito says, “hurts the most”: “I admit some Hungarians are asking questions about how someone who failed here could end up in the White House,” he joked. “It doesn’t look good for America.”
A devastating piece
“@jfagone has written a stunner,” says Greg Veis of the new Highline piece by HuffPost’s Jason Fagone, What Bullets Do to Bodies (14,000+ shares). A “piece on gun violence from the eyes of trauma surgeons,” as Ashley Luthern tweets, “this story is really something,” says Jessica Goldstein. Says Brian Stelter, “Best lede I've read this year. ‘The first thing Dr. Amy Goldberg told me is that this article would be pointless.’” Still, as Joel Mathis advises, “Again, read @jfagone's devastating piece about the realities of gun violence.”
Last blowhard standing
And then there was Hannity. In Felix Gillette’s new profile of Sean Hannity for Bloomberg, we learn “Lots of great details,” as Gerry Smith tweets, including the fact that “Sean Hannity's producer once bit him on the arm.” Gillette himself tweets, “bye, bye Bill O, hello Hannity! my feature on the inexorable rise of Fox News' towel-snapping, alpha anchor.” Dylan Byers calls it a “Very good @felixgillette profile of Sean Hannity, who, yes, did pull that gun on Juan Williams.” And: “Hannity's drink of choice is vodka and pineapple juice,” notes Dan Duray. Aaron Rutkoff says this is “Your must-read @BW story of the day: Sean Hannity is the last blowhard standing at Fox News. ‘It’s his network now.’”
More Thursday reads
CNN’s Manu Raju, Jim Sciutto and Tom LoBianco break the news this morning that the Pentagon warned Flynn in 2014 against taking foreign payments, writing, “The inspector general of the Department of Defense also opened an investigation of Flynn earlier this month, according to an April 11 letter released by the oversight committee Thursday.”
In an exclusive interview with Sarah Westwood and Byron York of The Washington Examiner, Trump says he is “absolutely” looking at breaking up 9th Circuit. Says Matt Ford, “Breaking up a federal circuit for purely partisan reasons would be a hell of a precedent to set.”
“This is incredible,” says Paul Adams. Gardiner Harris reports for The New York Times that State Department Understaffing Is Likely to Linger Into 2018, leaving many to tweet about “That time Rex Tillerson's communications aide referred to the State Department as the Titanic,” as Josh Rogin says.
“Let's pack up and go home,” tweets Matina Stevis. “ISIS foreign fighters leaving in droves via Turkey,” referring to Isis faces exodus of foreign fighters as its "caliphate" crumbles, new reporting by the Guardian’s Martin Chulov, Jamie Grierson and Jon Swaine.
“Ivanka - for 1st time -challenges a Trump policy in open, sets off internal WH crisis,” tweets Annie Karni, of Ivanka Trump Parts Ways With Her Father on Syrian Refugees, the new piece by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman in The New York Times.
- People Bombarded Trump's New “Criminal Alien” Hotline With Reports Of Space Aliens, reports BuzzFeed’s Brianna Sacks. As Steffani Cameron notes, “Apparently Trump & co are displeased.”
Brett Hein says Bryan Curtis’s piece in The Ringer, The Familiar Lousiness of the ESPN Layoffs, is “My favorite writing today on the ESPN layoffs.” Deadspin’s Tom Ley also weighs in with ESPN's Latest Layoffs Are Just A Way To Buy Time, which Ross Gianfortune says “is great and correct: This is a band-aid, at best.”
AP News reports IRS, postal inspectors raid Benny Hinn Ministries, tweeting, “Federal agents raid the Texas headquarters of TV evangelist Benny Hinn, leave with boxes.”
Jonathan Demme, Oscar-Winning Director of 'Silence of the Lambs,' Dies At 73. As IndieWire’s Eric Kohn and Zack Sharf report, the cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease.