If it's a day, the New York Times is fucking shit up, but today, it fucked up BIGLY.
Fresh-faced access journalists Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt have just published what we can only describe as a drive-by shooting against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reads as some bullshit planted by the White House to give Donald Trump the pretext for his Saturday Night Massacre, if he wants it. (He does.)
Maybe the White House is tired of talking about the flailing nomination of Judge Maybe Rapey and how Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and the New York Times was more than happy to help!
Or maybe it was planted by former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just hours before his pension was set to kick in, and may have a serious axe to grind with DoJ officials and leaked a copy of his own memos. (His lawyer says that's not true, but he would say that, wouldn't he?)
Or maybe it's both, somehow! Or one of many other things!
Regardless, the news is that -- according to NYT's sources who are obviously telling the truth and giving all the important context that's fit to print -- Rosenstein talked about getting a group together to invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump last year after Trump fired James Comey. Also, Rosenstein VERY SERIOUSLY talked about how he should secretly record his conversations with Trump like a common Omarosa, to document how crazy Trump was, and that the dudes interviewing for the FBI job should do the same, because Trump was "failing to take the candidate interviews seriously."
Hey, Donald Trump! The New York Times is talking to you! Bet you don't think it's so "failing" right now, and we can't imagine you're upset about these anonymous sources!
The sources for the NYT piece appear to be McCabe's leaked memos, and also a combination of people (probably close to the White House) who heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another Rod Rosenstein's been messin' around.
Mr. Rosenstein was just two weeks into his job. He had begun overseeing the Russia investigation and played a key role in the president's dismissal of Mr. Comey by writing a memo critical of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But Mr. Rosenstein was caught off guard when Mr. Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that he feared he had been used.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein's actions and comments.
So in other words, "several people" heard some third-hand information by the water cooler from people who play Strip Jenga with people who have seen McCabe's memos, and all of them say Rosenstein is a very bad man who tried to 25A Donald Trump by the pussy and threatened to Omarosa the president with wire tapps. OH NO, IS ROD ROSENSTEIN THE RESISTANCE INSIDE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WHO WROTE THAT ANONYMOUS LETTER THAT ALSO APPEARED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES?
Adam Goldman and Michael Schmidt aren't saying he's not.
Rosenstein has issued a statement that vehemently denies this account -- without actually denying the specific details -- and confidently asserts that "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment." (LOL factcheck bullshit.)
Regarding those purported 25th Amendment conversations, Rosenstein isn't the only one getting thrown under this bus right now:
[Rosenstein told] Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.
MORE ENEMIES TO MAKE DONALD TRUMP A WHOLE BUNCH MORE MAD!
Regarding what Rosenstein supposedly said about doing wire tapps to Trump, the Justice Department released a statement that essentially says, "Guys, he was fucking around," according to somebody who actually heard him say it. The Washington Post also talked to somebody who was in the meeting in question, who confirms Rosenstein was being sarcastic, and adds that they didn't even talk about the 25th Amendment. In fact, let us read some reporting from the Post, which is a real newspaper:
That person said the wire comment came in response to McCabe's own pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president. To that, Rosenstein responded with what this person described as a sarcastic comment along the lines of, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"
THAT'S SOME HELPFUL CONTEXT THE NEW YORK TIMES FAILED TO PROVIDE.
But according to NYT's sources, he wasn't kidding even a little bit! He was very serious! NYT gonna editorialize right now about what a wild and crazy man Rosenstein is:
The suggestion itself was remarkable. While informants or undercover agents regularly use concealed listening devices to surreptitiously gather evidence for federal investigators, they are typically targeting drug kingpins and Mafia bosses in criminal investigations, not a president viewed as ineffectively conducting his duties.
That's NUTS! According to NYT's sources, this just shows everybody how "erratically [Rosenstein] was behaving" when he decided to go off and appoint a special counsel. The New York Times is JUST SAYING.
They are also JUST SAYING that Rod Rosenstein was very emotional at the time:
The extreme suggestions show Mr. Rosenstein's state of mind in the disorienting days that followed Mr. Comey's dismissal. Sitting in on Mr. Trump's interviews with prospective F.B.I. directors and facing attacks for his own role in Mr. Comey's firing, Mr. Rosenstein had an up-close view of the tumult. Mr. Rosenstein appeared conflicted, regretful and emotional, according to people who spoke with him at the time.
Good God, NYT, why don't you just say Rod Rosenstein had his period?
Weirdly, this was all happening around the time Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller. Did Rosenstein do that because of his EMOTIONS or because the president obviously was trying to obstruct the investigation and appointing a special counsel was the only way to protect the investigation? The New York Times is JUST ASKING.
Also, as Josh Marshall points out, Rosenstein comes off as REAL DUMB in the section about how he was just so shocked that maybe Trump used him to write that memo about Hillary Clinton's emails to give him a pretext for obstruction of justice:
The president's reliance on his memo caught Mr. Rosenstein by surprise, and he became angry at Mr. Trump, according to people who spoke to Mr. Rosenstein at the time. He grew concerned that his reputation had suffered harm and wondered whether Mr. Trump had motives beyond Mr. Comey's treatment of Mrs. Clinton for ousting him, the people said.
Really? Is Rod Rosenstein that much of a dipshit? We are skeptical. Also, people who know Rosenstein are skeptical:
Oh fuck you, Maggie Haberman, we don't have time or space in this post for your defensive horseshit about this steaming pile of shit your BFFs wrote.
So how will this land at the White House? Will Trump use it as a pretext to fire Rosenstein, as we expect might happen, either after work today or just after the midterms? Maybe yes of course no shit Sherlock!
Glad to know the White House is getting what it wants from the newspaper the president verbally abuses on a regular basis.
Rod Rosenstein, of course, is the only one protecting the Robert Mueller investigation. If he is fired, or if Mueller is fired, what do we do? Do we take to the streets? No, dears: we TAKE the streets.
Swear to God if he does it after work today, we are filing a fucking complaint against GOD.
Also, it's your open thread we guess, but you should probably mostly talk about THIS JESUS UGH FUCK!
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