‘A holy f*cking sh*t kind of story’
First things first - we have GOT to talk about the piece everyone is sharing online today. It’s from the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza and reads: Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon. Here are some choice quotes from Scaramucci to Lizza, all on the record:
"I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”
“What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers."
"I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy.”
“I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock.”
Jessica Winter is “So proud to have [that last] sentence on @newyorker dot com today.” Thornton McEnery pointed out “This is a holy fucking shit kind of story.” Tal Kopan reacted rather appropriately with, “Hooooolllyyyy coooowwww.” While Natasha Mitchell added, “Blimey. WIld soap opera continues to distract world from everything else that really matters.”
For more on this madness, there’s “NEW: Machisimo, drama & suspicion--inside the West Wing's cinematic infighting,” as Philip Rucker tweeted. “An exploration of how the West Wing has become the political equivalent of a New York-accented reality show,” Jenna Johnson added. They’re talking about this latest from the Washington Post: White House tensions flare in the open as Scaramucci rips Priebus in vulgar tirade, which Rucker and Johnson wrote alongside David Nakamura.
The New York Times says the Scaramucci tweets on a leak that wasn’t lays bare clear White House divisions. Peter Baker wrote that piece. He also explained on Twitter: “Scaramucci says he and Priebus may be like Cain and Abel. Which one will live and which one will be killed?”
“Pretty clear what Breitbart is trying to do with this frame,” Oliver Darcy wrote. “Smart counterplay by Bannon here, trying to get @realdonaldtrump to fire Scaramucci out of spotlight jealousy,” Ben Shapiro tweeted. They’re both referring to this piece in Breitbart from Tony Lee that reads: The Scaramucci Show: New Communications Director Unloads Nasty Attack on White House Colleagues to Opposition Party.
And speaking of Steve Bannon, the Center for Public Intergrity’s Christina Wilkie writes: that Bannon has a shadow press office and it may violate federal law. “Woman who works w/ White House to speak on behalf of Steve Bannon also CEO of firm that speaks for @BreitbartNews,” Dave Levinthal tweeted. While Lateshia Beachum thinks Bannon’s “got some 'splaining to do.”
History last night on Capitol Hill
Now that we’ve covered that madness, let’s do right by Natasha Mitchell and get back to what really matters.
Over at Vox, Ezra Klein wrote: I do not know how to convey how appalling the GOP’s healthcare process or policy is. His piece continues with, “There is no analogue to it in modern politics.”
But early this morning, the AP had news that the Republican 'Obamacare' repeal is reeling after its Senate defeat. This Senate rejection dealt “a serious blow to President Donald Trump's agenda,” the wire service wrote.
Reporting from the historic Senate vote, CNN’s MJ Lee reports Cryptic phone calls, lip-reading and a thumbs-down. “I've been up for a day now but I got to see all of this happen and write about it,” she tweeted. “Reporters ‘let out a collective gasp and made a stampede exit for the wooden double doors ... to report the news,’” Karl de Vries wrote, quoting from Lee’s story.
Part of that defeat came thanks to what CNN’s Lauren Fox called John McCain's maverick moment. Christine Romans reacted appropriately: “Wow. Just wow. History last night on Capitol Hill.” Eugene Scott explained, “McCain killed his party's repeal bill not because he was opposed to dismantling the Affordable Care Act.” And Richard Allen Greene had a different name for what what happened: “McCain's Hollywood moment: Rising from his sickbed, flying cross country, killing Obamacare repeal.”
McCain's Hollywood moment
“Wait for the show,” is apparently what John McCain told reporters asking him how he was planning to vote. It was High drama and low voices in a long, weird night at the Capitol, Ben Terris called it in the Washington Post. Apparently it was a lot "Like the senior class all-night lock-in dance at your high school, but with senior citizens," Drew Harwell tweeted, quoting from Terris’ piece.
Also in the Washington Post, James Hohmann put the nail in the coffin of the skinny repeal with The Daily 202. In it, Hohmann writes that Trump’s hardball tactics backfire as “skinny repeal” goes down. “Lisa Murkowski will not be bullied. Trump's, um, strategy breaks down,” Laura Helmuth added.
If you need a longer explainer on what the hell happened, read How McCain upended Obamacare repeal from Politico’s Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett, Jennifer Haberkorn. “Ryan called McCain. Pence worked on McCain in the Senate chamber. Graham and Flake, too. Then Trump called. No dice,” Everett said.
“We know the past few days have been overshadowed by the remarks offered by the President of the United States,” reads a quote Matt Berman tweeted. It’s from the Boy Scouts, who have now weighed in on Trump’s visit to them last week. Here’s From the Chief: Our Perspective on the Presidential Visit. “The head of the Boy Scouts apologizes to scouting for the president's political rhetoric at the jamboree,” Bill Shea tweeted.
Trump Is Woody Allen Without the Humor, Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal. Erick Erickson reacted with: “Peggy Noonan does not mince words. Good.” While Scott Lincicome simply tweeted, “Oof.”
“The president's tweets don't change policy. DoD waiting for official word. This story keeps getting wilder,” Matt Nussbaum explained. And he’s right. Cause despite what President Trump tweeted, the Joint Chiefs told troops there will be 'no modification' to the U.S. military’s transgender policy.
Amid news from Vanity Fair that book critic Michiko Kakutani will step down after nearly four decades of dutiful reviewing, the New York Times has published 38 Years on Books: The Essential Michiko Kakutani Reader. “We paged through @michikokakutani's archive to gather these gems — prophetic, powerful and just plain fun,” Radhika Jones said.
The Emerson Collective Agreed to Take a Majority Stake in The Atlantic. And “full ownership [is] likely in [the] coming years,” Sydney Ember added. Michael de la Merced also tweeted: “(Some guy named @peterlattman is becoming vice chair.)”
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan was just removed from office, according to the New York Times. Salman Masood, who wrote the story, added on Twitter: “My news report on how Sharif arrived at a dead end.” Imran Khan reacted with, “Woah.”
The Russians Seizes 2 U.S. Properties and Ordered the U.S. Embassy to Cut Its Staff, Neil MacFarquhar reports, again in the New York Times.