Helen Thomas Still Hates Bush, Loves (John) Kennedy

Our Florida operative Lauren Selsky found White House correspondent Helen Thomas hanging out at Florida Atlantic University, which is Selsky's own school! What are the chances? Thomas, currently 87 years old, was known as the "Original Wonkette" when she started covering the JFK White House nearly a half-century ago. So how much does Helen hate George W. Bush?

Hi Ken - You told me to email you on Feb. 20 so that I can get paid for my "operative" work. Also, here are the the questions and answers from my talk with Helen Thomas, and pictures as well. Oh, and although she never officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, I kind of get the feeling that she is indeed on Team Hillary. A few times she noted that Hillary was a "powerful woman" but didn't really have much to say about Obama. She kind of just repeated stories that were in her books and repeated quotes people have heard or read a thousand times. That was the point of the lecture I guess, since most of the people probably had never heard her speak before. She also gushed over Kennedy and of course added her statement that "Everyone with a laptop thinks they're a journalist."

Hi Helen

Helen Thomas and Lauren Selsky, in matching outfits for some reason, at the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the Presidency, Boca Raton, Florida, on February 19.

On Hillary v. Obama: It's a tough competition and both are burning with ambition. They've been mean to each other, but let me tell you, he's not Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm either.

Do you think the Democrats in Congress will impeach Bush or Cheney? Republicans only impeach, Democrats don't have the guts.

What do you think of the conservative journalists like Bill O'Reilly or Ann Coulter? (LAUGHTER) Journalists? They aren't journalists. They are commentators and polemicists.

What will be Bush's legacy? Wiretapping, torture, and preemptive war. Bush feels that people in the future will judge him differently than the people of today do. There may be some revisionists down the line, but I doubt it.

John McCain as the GOP nominee? He's a hawk! He'll be Bush 3rd term! McCain is a hawk, he believes in this war and adding more troops. The guy was tortured, yet he seems to be okay with torturing others. John McCain has misread America. He has no vision of the future.

Your reaction when you found out that the Saudis sold UPI to the Moonies?

I had seen what had happened to children and people of that cult. To work for them would have meant that I had to compromise my beliefs, which was something I could not do.

So you don't believe Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah? No.

What about Fox News? It's the favorite channel of the White House -- that gives you pause.

Helen Thomas' latest book is Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public.

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Surprise, everybody! As we suspected, the Trump administration knew about the horrifying family domestic abuse stories in Patrick Shanahan's history, and they were trying to push through his Defense Secretary nomination anyway. We didn't assume they knew because the Trump administration is so very good at vetting people -- it clearly isn't. But, considering the enormity of the story, the question that kept bothering us yesterday when the Shanahan news broke was HOW IN THE HELL DID THEY THINK THIS WOULD STAY SECRET?

CBS News reports:

President Trump said as he departed for Florida Tuesday that he had only learned of Shanahan's family issues for the first time "yesterday."

But that is apparently a lie, or at least we should assume it's a lie, because we should always assume Trump is lying about each and every thing he says, in general. Anyway, whether El Dipshit was personally told, Trump admin people say ayup, they knew all about it:

One senior administration official told CBS News the White House was aware of the incident involving Shanahan's son, but didn't know about the 2010 confrontation. Another official said the White House knew about the 2011 incident dating back to when Bill Shine was White House communications director.

In case you need a quick refresher, the "2010 confrontation" is alleged domestic violence between Shanahan and his ex-wife, whose name is now Kimberley Jordinson, which was detailed in their divorce papers. (The ex-wife was arrested, not Shanahan.) The "2011 incident" is the one where Shanahan's 17-year-old son beat the shit out of his mom -- that same ex-wife -- with a baseball bat and left her in a pool of her own blood, and Daddy appears to have gone to great lengths to cover it up.

As CBS reports, some senators have been very curious as to why they were never informed of this way back in 2017, when Shanahan was nominated to be the deputy secretary of Defense. (He was confirmed.) Did the White House know then? Did Shanahan conceal it from everybody? Is that where the White House vetting process -- which is, again, just awesome, obviously -- went all wrong?

Or does the Trump administration just not think the nominee getting mutually fisticuffy with his wife, and trying to mount a coverup for his son when that son bludgeoned that wife with a baseball bat, is so bad, especially when you are trying to staff your administration with The Best People?

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