US Attorney Preet Bharara’s firing made headlines throughout the weekend. The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Hong, Erica Orden and Peter Nicholas report Preet Bharara’s Probes Likely to Continue After His Exit. Nicholas tweets, “Trump called Preet 2 days before firing to wish him well and thank him for service, WH aide says.” About that unnamed aide? Bharara’s response—”one for the ages,” as Harry Siegel tweets—generated a “Bloooop,” by Anil Dash, a widely retweeted “OH SNAP!” by Yashar and lots of burn emojis: “It was my understanding that the president himself said anonymous sources are not to be believed.” Mark Berman assesses it: “Okay, this is pretty good form, good effort, stuck the landing, 7/10 overall.”
And there’s more. Jesse McKinley tweets, "’Preet is not your friend.’ Bharara targeted top NY pols (inc. @NYGovCuomo), may have paid price,” directing you to the piece by Benjamin Weiser, Ben Protess, Matthew Goldstein and William K. Rashbaum in The New York Times, Preet Bharara Shunned Politics. His End Was Tinged by Them. As for that quote/warning? Maggie Haberman tweets, “In the lead-up to the inauguration, Cuomo in passing told a Trump adviser that ‘Preet is not your friend.’" Says Vivian Yee, “Once again, Preet has come out looking like the enemy of the powerful.”
Gabriel Sherman’s piece for New York Magazine says the Winner in Trump’s Decision to Fire Bharara Might Be Murdoch. That’s because “Rogers Ailes' personal lawyer reportedly on shortlist to lead US attorney's office investigating Fox News,” explains Michael Calderone. In other words, says David Friend, “Literally the Fox in the chicken coop.” Sherman tweets, “According to sources briefed on Bharara's Fox investigation, probe is looking if Fox illegally obtained journalists’ phone records and committed mail & wire fraud by hiding financial payments to women who accused Ailes of sexual harassment.”
We’re still missing that extra hour of sleep, so, “Just in case you forgot that things are a mess,” as Jen Chaney puts it, Trump Lets Key Offices Gather Dust Amid ‘Slowest Transition in Decades. Michael Shear calls this a “Really important piece by @juliehdavis and @SharonLNYT about the vacancies in the federal government.” In it, Julie Davis and Sharon LaFraniere of The New York Times report that the president is months behind where experts say he should be in filling senior government positions. Tweets Michael Luo, “Fairly devastating picture.”
Jill Disis reports for CNN Money that Trump's budget director claims Obama was 'manipulating' jobs data. Gene Sperling clarifies: “A claim without an ounce of fact or foundation. And ‘jobs created’ focus? Over 15 million in less than last 7 years.” Says Ben Casselman: “This is just breathtakingly irresponsible.” Or as Justin Wolfers puts it: “This is just a bald-faced lie.” And a “Moment of truth for economists: anyone who doesn't speak up against this is complicit in a Big Lie,” Paul Krugman says.
Oh, and “Remember how Trump promised to donate his salary as POTUS? @AriMelber checked if that's happening. No answer.” Steve Kopack is referring to Ari Melber's piece for NBC News, After Pledging to Donate Salary, Trump Declines to Release Proof (46,000+ shares). Says Jeff Yang,“Given his history of fauxlanthropy—per @Fahrenthold—without receipts, any @realDonaldTrump donation claim is a lie.”
This just in from Kellyanne Conway: “Surveillance in a microwave? Really?” asks Keldy Ortiz. Mike Kelly reports that Conway suggests even wider surveillance of Trump campaign, including, as Kara Yorio tweets, “‘microwaves that turn into cameras.’ A microwave camera is not an oven-turned-camera. But, by all means, go on.” Says Tom Biro, “They just spew and spew and spew.” Maybe Ben Greenman's is the question we should really be asking: “Does our alleged billionaire president make lots of food in his microwave?” Also, seems necessary to point out, as Nathan Becker does: “Not the Onion.”
Josh Greenman is just going with it, on the news that the Trump Administration Is Said to Be Working to Loosen Counterrorism Rules, reported by Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt in The New York Times. Savage elaborates, “Trump opening throttle on drone strikes, raids & other CT use of force, accepting greater civilian casualty risks.”
Meanwhile, Mike Allen brings us the scoop in Axios that Trump will host Chinese President Xi at Mar-a-Lago next month. "But does #Xi golf?" asks Saša Petricic. Never mind: “No golf is planned during the meeting of the globe's two superpowers,” Saumya Vaishampayan notes. Henry Fountain just leaves it at this: "When the second sentence of a story about a presidential summit is 'No golf is planned.'"
Simon Ostrovsky is referring to the BBC News report, Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to ask for second referendum. “This is what brexiters voted for,” says Matthew Hughes. “Here we go again!” tweets Kevin Marshall.
And then there’s this: “Whoa. Looks as if ONS data is being leaked and insider trading is taking place based on it," says Sam Bowman, of the news reported by Michael Bird in The Wall Street Journal that Market Drift Suggests Some Investors May Be Trading on U.K. Economic Data Ahead of Release. Advises Chris Whittall, “Read @Birdyword's magnum opus: Do Investors Trade on UK Data Leaks? The Market Says Yes.”
Jake Silverstein says, “Subtext here: @pamelacolloff is so great it takes TWO nat'l journalism outfits to employ her.” He’s referring to the news that ProPublica and The New York Times have struck a deal to “share” Pam Colloff, who is leaving Texas Monthly after two decades. Tweets Mark Berman, "tfw you're so dope you cannot be contained by a single news org.” Or as Alex Yablon puts it, “the industry term for this is ‘extremely hot shit.’"
Russell Blair tweets, “Talented @washingtonpost reporter/blogger/social mediaer @TheFix heading to @CNN,” referring to Hadas Gold’s scoop in POLITICO that The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza is joining CNN Politics as a reporter and editor at large. Says Mark Joyella, “Dang, BIG hire by @CNN: @TheFix takes his multi-platform talents to @CNNPolitics.” As Olivia Messer notes, “Chris Cillizza is leaving behind the blog known as @TheFix he built at the Washington Post over more than a decade,” and Alex Weprin adds, “The Washington Post will continue ‘The Fix’ without Chris Cillizza.”
John Rogers reports that Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Nick Ut will retire this month after 51 years with The Associated Press. Ut was only 21 when he took the now-iconic Vietnam War photo of the terrified girl running naked down a country road after her village had been set ablaze by napalm bombs. He eventually went “from hell to Hollywood,” he says, taking photos of numerous A-list celebrities on the red carpets and in the courtrooms. Peter Bowes calls Ut “A great stalwart of the LA media world.”