Category Archives: Verbatim

Evangelical Preacher Says Bible Condones Trump Attacking North Korea

“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

— Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers who preached the morning of his inauguration, telling the Washington Post the president has the moral authority to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

McCain: Trump’s North Korea Threat a Mistake

“I take exception to the President’s comments because you gotta be able to do what you say you’re gonna do. In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt’s saying, which I think is something that should’ve applied because all it’s going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation. I think this is very, very, very serious. … The great leaders I’ve seen don’t threaten unless they’re ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act… It’s the classic Trump in that he overstates things.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), telling KTAR that President Trump’s threat to rain “fire and fury” down on North Korea was a mistake.

McConnell: Trump Has ‘Excessive Expectations’

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process. … Part of the reason I think people think we’re under-performing is because of too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality of the legislature which may have not been understood.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), offering “some of his toughest criticism yet for President Donald Trump in a speech Monday,” CNN reports.

Coast Guard Head Expresses Support for Transgender Troops

“We have made an investment in you and you have made an investment in the Coast Guard, and I will not break faith.”

— U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft, pledging he “will not break faith” with transgender personnel, “marking the strongest rebuttal yet by a leader of the armed forces to President Trump’s declaration that he wants to ban all transgender troops,” Politico reports.

August Is a Bad Month for Presidents

“For presidents of the United States, August almost always stinks. Whether it’s because key allies are out of town and unplugged, because the White House support network is thinner or because the nation’s woes seem a little more acute in Washington’s swampy August weather, presidents often get mired in controversies or crises — and often mishandle them — in the dog days of August.”

First Read

Message Board Hacked with Unsavory Trump Message

“Trump has herpes.”

— New message on an electronic traffic message board on Interstate 80 in California that was hacked, allowing someone to type a few words about President Trump, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Prudent Advice for the Trump White House

“Important White House ethics rule: don’t lie to a grand jury.”

— Bush White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, on Twitter.

Transcripts Reveal Trump Is as Stupid as He Appears to Be

“The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.”

Jonathan Chait</h2>

Medvedev: Trump Administration Is Impotent

“Trump’s administration has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way.”

— Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, quoted by the Washington Post, after President Trump signed new Russian sanctions into law.

Taibbi: Administration a Series of ‘Spasmodic Trump Failures’

“Some see in all these maneuverings an effort to purge GOP loyalists like Spicer and Priebus. Others see a Nixonian lunge to hire thugs in a crisis. This to me is all overthinking things. There is no strategy. This White House is just a succession of spasmodic Trump failures, with a growing line of people taking the fall for each of them. You can fall with honor, or without, entertainingly or not. But if you join this White House, fall you will. It’s only a matter of time.”

Matt Taibbi