Trumpster Diving

* Would that Jared Kushner’s take on the Mueller report were merely partisan. Would that he wasn’t self-servingly doubling down on the pathological lying of his father-in-law.

“It’s a terrible thing, but I think the investigations and all the speculation that happened for the past two years has had a much harsher impact on democracy than a couple of Facebook ads,” was how Kushner preposterously framed the upshot of Mueller looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign to the benefit of Trump. He really did say that. But Mueller, as we know, had categorically concluded that “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” In short, the Russians trafficked in a lot more than “a couple of Facebook ads.”

Kushner sounds more like the duplicitous, disingenuous son-in-law who had been caught meeting up with Russians over ostensible “dirt” on Hillary Clinton than some Administration hack. He doesn’t do bombast like Ivanka’s father, but he does do whatever is necessary to enable the family. Roy Cohn would be proud.

* According to Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un asked him at their summit to “inform the U.S. side of his position about questions he has regarding what’s happening on the Korean Peninsula.” But if Putin, whose agenda-driven veracity rivals that of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is telling the truth, it begs an obvious question. Why doesn’t Kim just say that directly to the one who “fell in love” with him?

* You never know what the “new normal” will bring in the era of Trump. It’s a daily given. But some observers seemed genuinely taken aback by revelations of the former chief of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, that the president–ever uber-sensitive to his election legitimacy–could not even be spoken to about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Such parallel-universe perversity, however, shouldn’t seem as shocking to Floridians, where former Gov. Rick Scott enjoined state officials to avoid referencing “climate change.”

* For those Dems wary about a moderate white male with some baggage representing the party in 2020, it would be prudent to remember that Joe Biden was vetted by Barack Obama. He found that Biden’s working-class roots and real-world experience in a dangerous world more than offset political liabilities.

* For those looking to Biden as the most likely Dem to confront and take down Donald Trump, the early polling looks positive, even if some of the other primary candidates are taking some shots. But it’s still very early. It’s hardly a precise parallel, but remember where we were in 2008 as the Republicans were sorting out their candidates. At this point in the calendar, Rudy Giuliani–still “America’s mayor”–was topping the field at more than 30 percent.

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