John Bolton’s Days Are Already Numbered

The Hill has a clip of John Bolton getting a big round of applause much to Trump’s dismay. Trump “jokes” about firing him if Bolton makes upstaging Trump into a habit. But:

  1. It’s a pretty shitty thing for a boss to make a joke about firing a subordinate. It’s a way of showing dominance and then jumping back behind the “I was just joking” shield when anybody calls him on it.

  2. Trump doesn’t joke. He has no sense of humor whatsoever. He doesn’t want to share the limelight with anybody. The moment that somebody in his administration starts getting press, his first instinct is to warn them off in this kind of passive aggressive way.

If Bolton doesn’t hide his moustache away from the press then we may not have to worry about him too much longer.

We really are in the stupidest of timelines possible.

Trump puts the brakes on new Russian sanctions, reversing Haley’s announcement

It’s almost as if the Russians have some kind of leverage over Trump that would make quite a splash if released:

President Trump on Monday put the brakes on a preliminary plan to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, walking back a Sunday announcement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that the Kremlin had swiftly denounced as “international economic raiding.”

Preparations to punish Russia anew for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government over the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria caused consternation at the White House. Haley said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” that sanctions on Russian companies behind the equipment related to Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack would be announced Monday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

But Trump conferred with his national security advisers later Sunday and told them he was upset the sanctions were being officially rolled out because he was not yet comfortable executing them, according to several people familiar with the plan.

Paul Ryan: Not ‘necessary’ to bring up bill to protect Mueller

My favorite subplot lately is the crowd who is clinging to hope that since Ryan has announced his retirement that he’s suddenly going to grow a spine and standup to Trump. Give up folks. Ryan is a terrible person and a coward.

WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul Ryan said he doesn’t believe there is a need for Congress to pass any kind of legislation aimed at protecting special counsel Robert Mueller from termination.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” the Wisconsin Republican said during an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when specifically asked whether he would bring such a bill to the House floor if it passed the Senate. “I don’t think he’s going to fire Mueller.”

Trump’s press secretary issues clarification after posting misleading photo

They can’t even lie competently:

Donald Trump’s press secretary issued a begrudging clarification on Sunday after being accused of posting a misleading photograph of the president online.

Sarah Sanders was criticised for a tweet on Saturday that appeared to show Trump busily directing missile strikes against Syria from the White House situation room, with Vice-President Mike Pence at his right hand.

“Last night the President put our adversaries on notice: when he draws a red line he enforces it,” Sanders wrote as a caption.

Keen observers promptly noted that the photograph could not have been taken on Friday as the attacks were mounted – because by then Pence had arrived in Peru to deliver remarks at the Summit of the Americas.

Trump’s Weekend Meltdown Continues

So, this headline happened: Mueller gives Trump’s legal team questions for potential interview:

Special counsel Robert Mueller has presented President Trump’s legal team with a list of questions as investigators seek an interview with the president.

The New York Times reported Saturday that the questions were a sort of starting point for Mueller, whose team is working to negotiate an interview with Trump as part of the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

Up to the point, Trump had never used Mueller’s name in a tweet. That changed immediately:

So Trump is now laying the groundwork for his case for firing Mueller.

I’m putting this link here. It’s from Move-On and has a list of rapid response protests if (or more likely when) Trump acts on firing the special prosecutor.

A Class Act

FBI’s Andrew McCabe is fired a little more than 24 hours before he could retire

Pure spite from the Trump Administration. Not surprising but I’m not sure it’s wise to keep pissing off the FBI again and again:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.

Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m., noting that both the Justice Department Inspector General and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

He said based on those findings and the recommendation of the department’s senior career official, “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

The move will likely cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, though it is possible he could bring a legal challenge. McCabe has been fighting vigorously to keep his job, and on Thursday, he spent nearly four hours inside the Justice Department pleading his case.