Category Archives: Verbatim

Trump’s Cabinet of Deplorables Looks Like One Ted Cruz Would Have Picked

If personnel is policy, most of Trump’s cabinet picks suggest he’ll govern more like a traditional, conservative Republican than a populist, big government or anti-establishment GOPer. Yes, senior advisor Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn, his pick for National Security Advisor, are controversial and potential bomb-throwers. But, the rest of his choice thus far are for more conventional. In fact, his cabinet picks thus far don’t look a whole lot different from those a President Ted Cruz would have chosen.

Amy Walter

McCain Remains Mum on Donald

I have not been commenting on Mr. Trump and I will continue not to comment on Mr. Trump.

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), when asked by CNN about Donald Trump’s call to revoke citizenship for flag-burners.

Fight Fake News with Media Education

The emergence of ‘fake news’ is a searing hot topic these days, as you’ve probably heard — a new, truth-free media to go with our new, truth-free politics…And the problem with cracking down on social media sites is that it’s a little like the war on drugs. You can try to stamp out the supply of garbage news, but the Web is a vast place, and as long as someone can make money off misinformation, it will always find a crack through which to seep…The answer doesn’t lie in hectoring tech companies into policing content, but rather in teaching our kids how to consume it. … Here’s a radical thought: If President Trump is looking for a bold and useful education initiative that might serve the incidental purpose of redeeming what’s left of his soul, media literacy would be a pretty good place to start.

Matt Bai

Gingrich: Romney’s Suck-Up to Trump Unprecedented

You have never, ever in your career seen a serious adult who’s wealthy, independent, has been a presidential nominee, suck up at the rate that Mitt Romney is sucking up.

— Newt Gingrich, quoted by the Daily Beast.

Warren Hits Trump Appointment

Donald Trump promised that he was not going to have a government that was going to work for Wall Street. He promised that he was not going to have a revolving door. And then he turns around in his first big economic appointment is to appoint a Wall Street insider.

— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), quoted by Politico.

Reverse Draining the Swamp?

President-elect Trump has said that he’s going to “drain the swamp” in Washington…but lately it’s gotten even more complicated: so far, Mr. Trump seems to be implementing a sort of “reverse-draining” technique. Perhaps he intends to overflow the swamp first, thereby draining it? This would be an incredible feat of politics, not to mention nature, physics, and logic.

— Recent newsletter from the On the Media radio show and podcast from WNYU. The comment comes as President-Elect Trump continues to pick Washington and Wall Street insiders and cronies to serve in his cabinet.

Why Change Horses When You’re Drowning in Mid-Stream?

Despite being out of power in the House for all but four of the last 22 years, the Democrats have not kicked out any of their leaders. While Speaker Jim Wright resigned in 1989 due to scandal, no other Democratic speaker or leader (either majority or minority) has been removed by the party or left early. After losing control in the House in 2010, Nancy Pelosi stayed atop the caucus as the Minority Leader. Her predecessor, Dick Gephardt, maintained his job despite continual failed elections. The same thing happened during Democratic losses of control in 1946 and 1952, with Sam Rayburn sliding from Speaker to Minority Leader.

Joshua Spivak

Hannity Suggests Shutting Down White House Press Office

People don’t need them any more. They’re done. I suggested the other day that if any of these organizations were involved in collusion with the Clinton campaign, why do they get a seat in the White House press office? Why does Donald Trump need a White House press office? He doesn’t. You know, you can have a pool person that’s standing by if, God forbid, there’s any bad news about the president that the country needs to know, but his own staff could tweet it out, for crying out loud.

— TV talking head Sean Hannity, telling Breitbart News Daily that President-elect Donald Trump should shut down the White House press office.

Flashback Quote: Romney on Trump

Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.

Mitt Romney, March 3, 2016

Donald Trump: Bad-Information President

As a candidate, Trump’s often unsubstantiated attacks on political opponents, foreign governments, election officials, law enforcement, a federal judge, news outlets and Muslims shattered political norms and sowed division. As president, his decisions will carry the full weight of White House policy, raising concerns about where he gets his information and whether he might act on false or flawed reports. Part of the problem in assessing Trump is that it’s not always clear what his motive is when he directs his followers to phony stories or unsubstantiated conspiracies.

Benjy Sarlin