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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Team of Doofuses

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss the people surrounding Trump (The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.)
The choice of servants is of no little importance to a prince, and they are good or not according to the discrimination of the prince. And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them.
-- Machiavelli
Caitlin Yilek at The Washington Examiner:
Top White House aide Kellyanne Conway, describing herself as "a powerful woman," aggressively and disparagingly told a female reporter that it was improper to write about her husband and threatened to investigate the reporter's personal life.

This journalist, a breaking news reporter for the Washington Examiner, had written an article on Tuesday about President Trump considering Conway, counselor to the president, as his next chief of staff, based on reporting from Bloomberg News. Tom Joannou, Conway's assistant, contacted Caitlin Yilek on Tuesday evening to ask for her phone number without specifying why he wanted to talk. Joannou called Yilek on Wednesday morning.
Joannou requested that the conversation with him be off the record. This reporter agreed, but moments later, Conway took over the call, initiating a new conversation without any agreement that it was off the record. The Washington Examiner is publishing audio and a transcript of the full exchange.

Rich Shapiro at NBC:
Late in the evening on Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to this reporter.
The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that night for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group.

But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter.
The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep.
The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in his voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room.

Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it's difficult to discern the full context of the conversation.
Audio is available in the full story.

Note:  the need for caution is even greater when you are under criminal investigation.