Anatomy of a firing

Lots of leaking going on in the last 24 hours. “Accounts of more than 30 officials contradict official WH narrative of Comey being fired,” Trip Gabriel notes, referring us to the piece by Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker, Sari Horwitz and Robert Costa in the Washington Post, How Trump’s anger and impatience prompted him to fire the FBI director (20,000+ shares). “Wow, among very many other things, it seems almost like nobody in the White House can keep secrets,” says Mat Honan. Tweets Rucker, “Official WH account: Trump fired Comey over Rosenstein memo. Our reporting: Trump had long, growing personal animus.” He adds, “DAG Rosenstein threatened to resign after WH narrative cast him as prime mover to fire Comey, @SariHorwitz scoops.” Says Zerlina Maxwell, “It was obvious from the beginning that the deputy AG letter was pretext but it's always nice to have confirmation.” Craig Welch calls it “More spectacular WaPo work.”

And at The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush report ‘Enough Was Enough’: How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in His Firing (14,000 shares). We learn, as Julie Davis tweets, “Comey told associates Trump was ‘crazy;’ Trump told his there was ‘something wrong with’ Comey. Anatomy of a firing.” “Remarkable. Reeeemarkable,” says Sopan Deb.

Also, “This is a scoop,” says Jason Ukman, and Reyhan Harmanci hears “The sound of a thousand shoes dropping.” Days Before He Was Fired, Comey Asked for Money for Russia Investigation (40,000 shares), report Matthew Rosenberg and Matt Apuzzo in The New York Times. “Here come the leaks…” says Naomi Starkman. Or as Benjy Sarlin deadpans, “Looks like the Comey firing cleared that leak problem right up.”

Literally farcical

As for Comey’s replacement, Jennifer Jacobs at Bloomberg is reporting that Trump is said to be considering Mike Rogers, a former congressman and FBI agent from Michigan for the job. At The Daily Beast, Jana Winter and Betsy Woodruff write New FBI Boss Could Be More Controversial Than Comey. Tweets Woodruff, “Ashcroft's old DOJ spox is already calling for Andrew McCabe - the new interim FBI director - to step down.” Colin Jones highlights this: “FBI source: If Trump has declared war on the FBI he should expect ‘nothing less in return.’” And Del Quentin Wilber, Brett Forrest and Rebecca Ballhaus at The Wall Street Journal report As the FBI Reels, Candidates Emerge to Run Agency. This piece also reveals, as Willie Geist tweets, “Comey associates tell @WSJ Trump's claim that Comey told him he's not under investigation is ‘literally farcical.’”

Camelot: Trump edition

This week’s TIME cover goes Inside the White House With the President, as Michael SchererZeke Miller and Benjamin Rasmussen spend time with Trump after hours. In other words, “Trump plays HGTV host to @michaelscherer and @ZekeJMiller late night at the White House,” tweets Bryan Walsh. We learn some interesting tidbits, such as Trump’s feelings for TiVo (“This is one of the great inventions of all time—TiVo”) and the perks of being president (He gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with dessert instead of the single scoop everyone else gets. Pence gets a fruit plate.). “Camelot: Trump Edition,” says Dan Stewart. Abby Phillip notes that “Even in this Time interview, Trump is consumed by the Russia investigation.” Tweets Andrew Feinberg, “Great piece by @ZekeJMiller and company here. Read it.”

I just came up with it a couple of days ago

Meanwhile, it’s been at least a week since we’ve had one of these to share: another transcript of an interview with Donald Trump. This time it’s from an interview with Economist editor Zanny Minton Beddoes. Tweets Helen Joyce, “Our editor @zannymb talked to @realDonaldTrump. Check out her asking if his NAFTA deal would be 'huge'.” Tweets Michael Kruse, “Meanwhile, HERE'S THIS PART OF THE PRESIDENT'S INTERVIEW,” pointing to an exchange wherein Trump uses the expression “prime the pump” and says, “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.”

Part-time Florida man launches investigation

Scoop from Katherine Faulders and Alexander Mallin at ABC News today is that President Trump is expected to launch a commission on 'election integrity'. Tweets Faulders, “@POTUS expected to finally launch voter fraud investigation, via broader ‘Commission on Election Integrity,’” adding, “Will be a bipartisan commission studying ‘vulnerabilities’ in US voting systems & concerns about voter suppression.” Chester Soria checks the boxes for us: “☑️ Fire FBI director. ☑️ Blame the new guy. ☑️ Photos with Russian agency. ☑️ Bring up voter fraud (again.)” Tweets Craig Pittman, “Amid Russian scandal, Prez Part-Time #Florida Man finally launches investigation into voter fraud that didn't happen.”

No puppet...no puppet

And what about that Russian photo op? At POLITICO, Susan Glasser writes, of Russia’s Oval Office Victory Dance (10,000+ shares), that “The cozy meeting between President Trump and Russia’s foreign minister came at Vladimir Putin’s insistence.” Peter Gleick explains, “Only Russian media were allowed into this Oval Office meeting so they could airbrush away the marionette strings.” Yes, as Julie Davis reports in The New York Times, Trump Bars U.S. Press, but Not Russia’s, at Meeting With Russian Officials (29,000+ shares). Tweets Maud Newton, “Imagine if any other president -- ANY of them -- had done this under these circumstances.”

More normal stuff

“Remember the halcyon days when you could fly to Europe without checking luggage?” asks Felix Salmon. Well, those days are over. Clive Irving at The Daily Beast breaks the news that U.S. to Ban Laptops in All Cabins of Flights From Europe. “So basically no one will be able to work on transatlantic flights anymore,” notes Pamela Engel. “US to ban passengers in all cabins of flights from Europe,” tweets Saurabh Jha, which does seem like the next logical step. As Jonathan M. Katz says, just “More normal stuff.”

Well this is a story to brighten up your Thursday…

And thank goodness for that. James Masters refers you to The Girls Soccer Team That Joined a Boys League, and Won It, the new piece by Raphael Minder in The New York Times. Tweets Minder, “In Spain, women's football is a sideshow - until Lleida girls team win boys league with high skills and discipline.” Andrew Keh says, “Loved this by @RaphaelMinder, on a girls team that won a boys league in Spain, where support for women's sports lags.” And Andrew Das says, “Make sure you read to the end. The kicker is gold.”

Finally, some good news

“Finally, the good news America has been crying for: I MET @THEROCK,” tweets Caity Weaver, whose new piece for GQ, Dwayne Johnson for President! (13,000+ shares), is about “That time @caityweaver met @TheRock looking for a story...and instead found a best friend,” says Chris Gayomali. Says Emily Longeretta, “Thank you @TheRock. This interview + these photos just made my day.” Adds Julia Cooper, “we have done nothing to deserve this resplendent profile of The Rock by @caityweaver and yet, here it is!” Myles Tanzer calls it, “Probably the best profile I've ever read in my life.”

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