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E.g., 8/24/2019
E.g., 8/24/2019

Housekeeping note, 8.12.19

08/12/19 08:00AM

I have some good news and some bad news. Let's start with the latter: I'm taking an exceedingly rare summer break for a few weeks, starting today. The usual publishing schedule will return to normal on Tuesday, Sept. 3, which is the day after Labor Day.

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Trump entertains idea of 'human sieve' Hoekstra for DNI

Trump entertains idea of 'human sieve' Hoekstra for DNI

08/09/19 09:55PM

Rachel Maddow reviews many of the times Pete Hoekstra was found to have leaked or otherwise publicly mishandled classified information, and marvels at the possibility that Donald Trump would consider him to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence, particularly after the humiliating withdrawal of his first pick, John Ratcliffe. watch

Friday's Mini-Report, 8.9.19

08/09/19 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The latest from El Paso: "The man accused of gunning down 22 people at an El Paso Walmart last week confessed to the grisly crime and admitted he was targeting people of Mexican descent, according to unsealed court documents Friday."

* A case we've been keeping an eye on: "A judge on Thursday ordered the publisher of a neo-Nazi website to pay a Jewish real estate agent $14 million for inciting his readers to harass her family with hundreds of threatening and anti-Semitic messages and calls."

* The latest in the Epstein case: "A chilling picture of how hundreds of girls and young women from around the world were trafficked for sex by Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, and a number of other powerful business and world leaders emerged Friday in court documents unsealed in New York."

* I'd love to see Trump's thoughts on stories like these: "For nearly two decades, the Trump Organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock walls at the company's winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.... For years, their ranks have included workers who entered the United States illegally, according to two former members of the crew."

* This was unfortunate: "In a jarring image tweeted from first lady Melania Trump's account, she and President Donald Trump grin, the latter flashing a thumbs up, as they pose with a baby orphaned by the mass shooting in El Paso."

* Richard Grenell's diplomacy isn't always diplomatic: "Washington could withdraw some troops from Germany unless Chancellor Angela Merkel's government answers repeated calls to boost its defense spending, the U.S. ambassador has warned."

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U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra R-Mich., March 8, 2016 file photo

Needing an intel director, Trump praises controversial former rep

08/09/19 03:10PM

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is on his way out. Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon was shown the door. Donald Trump's recent choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to serve as DNI ended in a humiliating fiasco.

So, who's next? Bloomberg News noted yesterday that Pete Hoekstra, who used to serve as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and who's currently serving as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, is in the mix.

Today, the president mentioned him by name.

Pete Hoekstra, the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and a former congressman from Michigan, is getting buzz about possibly becoming President Donald Trump's top intelligence adviser.

Speaking in Washington on Friday, Trump was asked by reporters about the possibility of Hoekstra being nominated to be the official director of national intelligence and the president has positive words for him.

"I like Hoekstra a lot," Trump said.

That being the case, let's take a stroll down memory lane.

If the Michigan Republican's name sounds at all familiar, it may be because Hoekstra became the butt of jokes in late 2017 after making some very strange claims about the Netherlands -- and then getting caught lying about it to a Dutch news outlet.

He might also be known for having run a failed gubernatorial campaign in 2010, and then a failed U.S. Senate campaign two years later.

But what I consider the most important part of Hoekstra's background was his nine-term tenure on Capitol Hill.

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Image: TOPSHOT-US-POLITICS-TRUMP

Trump says his base relies on him to 'tell them what's happening'

08/09/19 12:50PM

Donald Trump has made a variety of comments this week that suggest he's open to new reforms on national gun policy. It's an open question as to whether anyone should believe what the president has said -- Trump's truth allergy is well documented -- but his rhetoric rose to the level of receiving a warning from the NRA about going too far.

With this in mind, there was an interesting exchange this morning between Trump and a reporter during a brief Q&A on the White House south lawn.

Q: Does your base support background checks?

TRUMP: I think my base relies very much on common sense and they rely on me in terms of telling them what's happening.

The use of the phrase "what's happening" immediately brought to mind the assertion the president used last summer, when Trump told a group of supporters, "Just remember: what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

The implication at the time was that the president expected his base to look to him as the authority on truth, not what people might see and read.

Today offered an extension on the same thought: as far as Trump is concerned, his base will follow his lead, no matter the direction. As he put it, these are Americans who "rely on" the president to tell them "what's happening."

I'm not sure he's wrong.

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

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