Trump Is Getting More Dishonest Over Time

“President Trump’s words are getting more dishonest over time, the Toronto Star has found in the first detailed statistical analysis of his inaccurate statements in office.”

“The analysis relies on some subjective judgments, which we’ll explain in detail below. But it provides the most comprehensive picture yet available of what historians say is an unprecedented avalanche of serial lying.”

Should Democrats Have Saved the Filibuster?

New York Times: “Some members of both parties thought that prompting the fight would be rash and dangerous since Mr. Gorsuch was simply replacing another conservative, Antonin Scalia. Invoking the so-called nuclear option, they argued, could needlessly inflict new political damage on both the Senate and the court.”

“Centrist members in both parties held behind-the-scenes negotiations in hopes of avoiding that confrontation. But no deal came together, and Republicans went on to curb the filibuster and seat Mr. Gorsuch. Now, as the Senate faces another court vacancy — one that could tilt the court’s ideological balance and cement a conservative majority — the Democrats have few tools to fight the nomination. A different outcome last year could have had a huge effect on the more consequential battle now taking shape.”

Said Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO): “I never understood the strategy. We achieved nothing by filibustering Judge Gorsuch except giving Mitch McConnell the opportunity to strip us of our ability to filibuster a nominee who will cause a dramatic shift in the balance of the court.”

Top Intelligence Official Warns of More Attacks

“The nation’s top intelligence officer said on Friday that the persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the United States had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks,” the New York Times reports.

Said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats: “The warning lights are blinking red again. Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”

Ross Warned of Potential Criminal Violation

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “said he would sell all of his remaining stock holdings after the Office of Government Ethics faulted him for continuing to maintain investments — and enter into new ones — that he was required to divest,” the New York Times reports.

“In a strongly worded letter, the ethics office said Mr. Ross’s continued ownership of assets that his ethics agreement required him to divest — and his decision to open short sale positions while serving as Commerce secretary — could have placed him in position to violate criminal conflict of interest laws.”

Russia Says Indictments Were Meant to ‘Spoil’ Meeting

Russia’s foreign ministry denied that the 12 Russian officers indicted today were involved in the hacking of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential election, CNN reports.

The ministry said the “bogus story” aimed to “spoil the atmosphere” before Monday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Trump.

Said the statement: “It is regrettable that the duplication of false information in Washington has become the norm, and criminal cases are worked up for obvious political reasons. The question remains: how long will they continue to break this shameful comedy that disgraces the US?”

House Conservatives Plot to Impeach Rosenstein

“House conservatives are preparing a new push to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to three conservative Capitol Hill sources — putting the finishing touches on an impeachment filing even as Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election,” Politico reports.

“Democrats contend Republicans’ fixation on Rosenstein is really an effort to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller, who reports to Rosenstein and has been making inroads in his investigation of the Russian election interference plot.”

Former Lawmaker Says His Emails Were Hacked In 2016

Former Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE) claimed on Facebook that he was also a victim of hacking in 2016.

Said Ashford: “With indictments today, I can reveal that my campaign emails were hacked by Russian agents in 2016…. I didn’t want to sound sour grapes about it. I just didn’t feel it appropriate to say I think the Russians stole the election. I didn’t think it was appropriate to mention it until today.”

The Mueller indictments made reference to a congressional candidate asking for stolen documents from Guccifer 2.0, but it remains unclear who that is.

Schumer Calls on Trump to Cancel Putin Meeting

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called in a statement for President Trump to cancel his one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Said Schumer: “President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections. Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also came out against the meeting, writing that if Trump “is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”

How Did Trump Pay for His Money-Losing Golf Club?

Adam Davidson: “We do know that, over the past decade, wealthy oligarchs in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere have seen real-estate investment as a primary vehicle through which to launder money. The problem is especially egregious in the United Kingdom, where some have called the U.K. luxury real-estate industry ‘a money laundering machine.’ Golf has been a particular focus of money laundering. Although the U.K. has strict transparency rules for financial activity within the country, its regulators have been remarkably incurious about the sources of funds coming from firms based abroad. All we know is that the money that went into Turnberry, for example, came from the Trump Organization in the U.S. We—and the British authorities—have no way of knowing where the Trump Organization got that money.”

“The goal of laundering money is to take the proceeds of a criminal activity—government corruption, tax fraud, drug trade, or many others—and to disguise its origin. Many oligarchs in the former Soviet Union who made their money by expropriating the state’s wealth want to move their money into a more stable nation with greater rule of law. This presents a challenge: how can one insert illegally obtained funds into a system that requires due diligence? The answer, quite often, is to use shell companies to disguise the flow of funds. Although we cannot say that Trump, himself, knowingly engaged in money laundering, we do know with certainty that much of his business over the past decade was in the industries most known for money laundering, in the locations most conducive to money laundering, and with people who bear the key hallmarks of money launderers.”

Understanding Obama

Brian Abrams, author of Obama: An Oral History, joins Chris Riback for a discussion on the Obama years — and how understanding them are critical to understanding politics today.

Sign up for Chris’s free newsletter and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play to get new episodes automatically downloaded to your phone.

Thanks to the Cook Political Report for sponsoring this episode.

Pelosi Delays Leadership Elections

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday unexpectedly called for a delay in caucus leadership elections until after Thanksgiving,” Politico reports.

” Pelosi was trying to beat her own members to the punch, pushing out her letter first on Friday after word circulated that several rank-and-file Democrats had already drafted their own missive demanding a delay and were quickly gathering signatures in support.”

Jill Stein Using Recount Money to Pay for Russia Defense

“Money that Jill Stein raised to recount votes in 2016 swing states is being used by her campaign to pay for legal bills stemming from the investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential election,” the Daily Beast reports.

“In June, the Daily Beast reported that the the U.S. Green Party candidate’s campaign, which raised $7.3 million for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had in 2017 stopped disclosing its monthly spending with the Federal Election Commission. “

Grand Jury Indicts 12 Russian Intelligence Officials

The Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials accused of hacking into DNC and Clinton campaign computer networks, the Washington Post reports.

The indictments come just hours after President Trump once again called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” and a few days before the president is scheduled to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mueller has now brought indictments against 32 people and 3 companies. He’s obtained 5 guilty pleas so far, including from Trump’s national security adviser and deputy campaign manager. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is in prison awaiting trial.