Today’s edition of quick hits:
* Trump’s credulity continues to be a problem: “President Trump said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had again denied any knowledge of the fate of a Saudi dissident journalist, but would expand an investigation into his disappearance and suspected killing two weeks ago.”
* On a related note, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia today to meet with leading officials, and “the cameras that recorded the officials’ small talk ahead of the private meetings captured smiles and pleasantries, giving no hint that relations between the two countries are in crisis over [Jamal] Khashoggi’s disappearance.”
* The latest death toll from Hurricane Michael has reached “at least 28 across four states, with other deaths in Florida under investigation and officials still exploring some of the most ravaged areas.”
* Surveying hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia yesterday, Trump declared, “We are doing more than anybody would’ve done.” His instinct for self-aggrandizing rhetoric really is a sight to behold.
* He’s really not letting this go: “President Donald Trump doubled down on his criticism of the Federal Reserve on Tuesday, lambasting the independent agency and expressing frustration with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. ‘My biggest threat is the Fed,’ Trump said in an interview with the Fox Business channel.”
* The fact that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is holding judicial confirmation hearings in October, when most senators aren’t on the Hill and the chamber isn’t doing real work, is bothering Democrats for good reason.
* How not to govern: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke drew immediate flak Monday for proposing to use military bases on the West Coast to export coal and natural gas despite the opposition of environmentally minded state governments – with critics saying it just won’t work.”
* James Wolfe: “Former veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer James Wolfe pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of making false statements to federal agents…. Wolfe wasn’t charged with leaking classified or other sensitive information, a fact his lawyers repeatedly emphasized.”
* At a briefing yesterday, Trump said, “This country will never be a laughingstock when I’m running it.” Who wants to tell him?
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.