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Trump didn’t take the cookies. Nope. Never. Why ask?

From The Washington Post, by George T. Conway III:

You’re looking for cookies? There are no cookies here.

I don’t have any cookies. I don’t even like cookies. Won’t eat them. Never had one in my life.

Never even seen one. Not once. Ever.

I like steak and hamberders — I mean, hamburgers. For dessert, I have ice cream. Vanilla. Two scoops. Sometimes on pie. Definitely NOT cookies.

And if I had cookies, they would only be the Best Cookies. Big, beautiful, gorgeous, magnificent cookies. Cookies like no one has ever seen.

And totally, totally hot. Not cold, ugly cookies like yours.

The cookies you’re looking for, they look and taste like sh–. … I mean, I didn’t try them; someone else did. The cookies were terrible, people are saying. MANY people.

These cookies weren’t my type.

What? You’re saying you have photos of me with cookies? That’s a Complete Lie.

Your pictures are FAKE — just like you are. This is a Another Complete and Total Hoax.

First, you made up the Russia Hoax. Then the Ukraine Hoax, and then the Election Hoax. It was Russia, Russia, Russia. Now it’s Cookies, Cookies, Cookies.

ALL FAKE NEWS.

I am NOT Cookie Monster! YOU are Cookie Monster!!

Maybe I had a picture taken with a cookie once. I don’t remember it. But it was with a Super Cookie.

People were saying — big, strong men with tears in their eyes — “Sir, where do you find these amazing Super Cookies?”

Way better than your lousy cookies. You can’t even afford a real cookie.

Cookie jar? What cookie jar? I don’t have a cookie jar because I don’t have any cookies.

If there’s a cookie jar, you put it there to frame me.

There were no cookies in the jar anyway.

You put the cookies in the jar. People saw you. It was on Fox News.

n fact, you ate the cookies.

But they weren’t really cookies; they were crackers or something.

Some of the cookies you put in the jar, planted in my house and then took back from me are in fact my special, “privileged” cookies, and I herewith demand their IMMEDIATE return.

I gave the cookies back to you when you first asked for them.

If only you had nicely asked for the cookies back, I would have given them to you. Instead, you broke into my cookie jar, and you rummaged through my wife’s clothes.

It’s my cookie jar, so any cookies in the jar are mine. In fact, I had a Standing Order that any cookies in the jar automatically became mine when they went into the jar.

The jar, and the cookies in them, are PERFECT.

ALL cookies are mine, no matter where they are, because I had an Article II that put me in charge of EVERY cookie.

And there was this Black guy who was here before me. He had a funny, foreign-sounding name. He took THIRTY MILLION cookies home!! Why aren’t you going after him??

And that woman who worked for him EMAILED cookies to HERSELF all the time!! LOCK! HER! UP!

People throughout the Country are very angry with you for going after My Cookies. Very, very angry! Be careful what you wish for!

Now I know why people plead the Fifth Amendment. WITCH HUNT!!!

On the advice of counsel, I invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Same answer.

Same answer ….

(Repeat 400 times.)

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Marjorie Taylor Greene mocked for suggesting solar and wind energy don’t work at night

I guess she never heard of batteries.

From Yahoo! Finance:

Marjorie Taylor Greene suggested that solar and wind energy don’t work at night, prompting online mockery.

The Georgia Republican was speaking in front of an audience when she suggested that if the US takes measures to move to the use of more renewable energy, including wind turbines and solar panels, it would lead to fridges, washing machines, and air conditioners becoming unusable.

She appeared to suggest that electric lights would only work during the day and that there wouldn’t be sufficient power for all the appliances in a modern home.

“Thank god for air conditioning. Let’s talk about refrigerators. I personally like my refrigerator. I know you all like yours. What about washing machines and dryers? Lord please God don’t make me scrub clothes in a bucket and have to hang them out on a line when we switch over to wind turbines and solar panels,” she said. “I’m gonna be really pissed off about that. I mean, how absurd is this? I like the lights on. I wanna stay up later at night. I don’t wanna have to go to bed when the sun sets. It’s so silly! I mean, all of this is insane.”

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy states on its website that “the United States is a resource-rich country with abundant renewable energy resources. The amount available is 100 times that of the nation’s annual electricity need”.

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Verrry Interesting….

From The New York Times:

In an appearance on Fox News on Friday night, the right-wing writer John Solomon, one of Mr. Trump’s representatives for interacting with the National Archives, read a statement from the former president’s office asserting Mr. Trump had a “standing order” during his presidency that “documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them.”

That claim would not resolve the investigation. Two of the laws referred to in the search warrant executed this week criminalize the taking or concealment of government records, regardless of whether they had anything to do with national security. And laws against taking material with restricted national security information are not dependent on whether the material is technically classified.

Mr. Bolton, who served as Mr. Trump’s third national security adviser over 17 months, said he had never heard of the standing order that Mr. Trump’s office claimed to have in place. It is, he said, “almost certainly a lie.”

“I was never briefed on any such order, procedure, policy when I came in,” Mr. Bolton said, adding that he had never been told of it while he was working there, and had never heard of such a thing after. “If he were to say something like that, you would have to memorialize that, so that people would know it existed,” he said.

What’s more, he pointed out, secure facilities for viewing sensitive material were constructed at Mr. Trump’s clubs in Florida and New Jersey, where he often spent weekends as president, meaning that the documents wouldn’t need to be declassified. And if they were declassified, Mr. Bolton said, they would be considered subject to public record requests.

He continued, “When somebody begins to concoct lies like this, it shows a real level of desperation.”

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Inside Trump’s chamber of secrets

From The Washington Post, by Matt Bai:

National security being what it is, we may never know the exact contents of the documents that FBI agents carried out of Mar-a-Lago this week. But we can already see what Donald Trump’s defense will be.

These documents can’t be classified, Trump and his allies are saying, because he unilaterally declassified them at some point, even if the feds still say they’re classified. It’s like he carries around a magic declassification wand. He’s Harry Potter in the House of Treason.

Let’s get a few things straight. If you’re president, as I understand it, you do have the right to declassify whatever documents you want. But there’s a process for doing so. You’re supposed to submit those documents to the appropriate agencies for review, and then they must be formally categorized as declassified.

This should go without saying, but since we’re not exactly killing it on basic civics these days, let me add that former presidents can’t declassify anything. That would be like Bill Clinton trying to retroactively issue a pardon.

By the way, if you were wondering just how desperate the once intellectually vibrant conservative movement has become, consider one Charles Stimson of the Heritage Foundation, who told NBC News that “there’s a rich debate about whether or not a document is declassified if a president has decided but not communicated it outside of his own head.”

Really. And where’s this rich debate on presidential telepathy taking place, exactly? The “Stranger Things” fan site?

But let’s leave aside this whole arcane question of what’s properly classified and what isn’t. We’ll find out more in the days ahead about why the FBI suspects Trump may have broken several national security laws, including the Espionage Act.

The larger point here is that the whole fiasco underscores the most disturbing thing about Trump’s term in the White House. Trump functioned as a president, more or less, but the underlying concept of the presidency somehow always eluded him.

Everyone who preceded Trump accepted the idea that the office is held in a sacred and temporary trust. The White House and everything that comes with it — the salutes and the planes, the couches and carpets, the weird things people gift you in foreign countries — belong to the country and its history, not to you. You’re just hired to manage the place for a while.

Even Richard M. Nixon, inventor of the so-called imperial presidency, was made to understand this in the end. He left Washington for the last time on something called Air Force One and landed in California on a flight re-designated as SAM 27000 (SAM standing for “special air mission”).

Somewhere in the skies, he lost the office and all the swag that accompanied it, including the plane’s special status.

Any American kid who’s seen “Hamilton” understands this concept of transient leadership, but Trump simply did not. Having come into office on the power of a popular uprising, Trump imagined he had been sent to Washington not to restore the institutions of government, but to replace them.

In Trump’s worldview, he acquired the office and the generals and the state secrets, just as he’d once acquired the Eastern Air Lines’ shuttle, and this whole idea that he was privileged to serve was a bunch of deep-state nonsense. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that he saw himself as an American Putin — elected, perhaps, but governing at the will of some stronger current than the public’s fleeting favor.

Other presidents, Joe Biden among them, have spoken often about the immense honor of holding the office, mindful of the predecessors they admired and the unfinished business they would leave their successors. You may correct me here, but can anyone remember any instance of Trump musing on his obligations to history?

No, Trump seemed oddly uninterested in all of that, dismissing even Abraham Lincoln’s impact as “questionable.” If Trump ever considered a future with a president other than himself, he gave no indication.

So, of course, Trump refused to leave the job until forced, and of course he held on to material that clearly belonged in public hands. When the presidency is an acquisition rather than an opportunity to serve, then everything that comes with it is rightfully yours to do with as you please.

Until this week, I wasn’t sure Trump would really run again and risk losing a primary, much less a general election. But now I presume he will, if only because he’ll want to regain control of the government forces that are fast arraying against him. When the feds broke into Trump’s chamber of secrets, they unleashed something dark and rapacious within.

It’s Trump or the democracy now. I have a hard time imagining how we’d end up with both.

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Question of the Day

Josh Marshall @joshtpm

One thing getting elided at the moment is that apart from the niceties of classification – which aren’t on Trump’s side – this is quickly coming down to: why’d you have that stuff? Why wouldn’t you give it back? And what were you doing with it?

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Tweets of the Day

Thor Benson: Sure stealing nuclear secrets is bad but have you considered the threat of a gender-neutral Mr. Potato Head?

The Recount: Some pretty notable people have been charged under the Espionage Act: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden.

Dan Rather: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. Nuclear codes?

Kashoggi’s Ghost: Today a 42 year old man threw his life away because he believed lies told by people who knew they were lying.

Jeff Tiedrich: Your reminder that Reality Winner took one document and spent four years in prison. one document. four years. no negotiations.

Rick Wilson: Good morning to everyone who doesn’t have stolen nuclear secrets in their homes.

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Let’s Just Remember That Donald Trump Was Pitched as the Better Steward of Classified Information

From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:

In 2016, Donald Trump ran as the candidate who would be the better steward of classified information. By his telling—and many others’—Hillary Clinton’s email protocol had proved she couldn’t be trusted with top-secret intel. Our best chance as a nation was to hand over the nuclear codes to the game show host with the fake foundation and the fake university and the fake life story of self-made success in Business.

By February 2017, you could find a random Mar-a-Lago member posting a picture to Facebook showing Trump reviewing possibly sensitive documents with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a table on the club’s back patio following a provocative North Korean missile launch. Opsec! White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the information wasn’t classified, and as we know you can take his word to the bank. But wait! The Guardian remembers there was more: “The same guest and Facebook member who had snapped Trump and Abe receiving the missile news also took a selfie with the presidential military aide carrying the ‘football,’ the black leather satchel carrying the codes, manuals and equipment that are all that Trump needs to order a nuclear weapon launch.”

And that same classy club was the site this week of another testament to Trump’s spycraft bona fides, as the FBI descended on his residence there in relation to a Justice Department probe of his handling of classified documents. His allies and lackeys have found themselves continually building lines of defense—it’s a witch hunt! why didn’t they just ask? or file a subpoena? release the warrant! no, not actually! so now a guy can’t keep nuclear intel in his basement?—and then having to abandon them and dig a new moat way closer to the castle.

new york, ny  may 16  mandatory credit bill tompkinsgetty images  donald trump, donald trumpr, jr and ivanka trump during the celebrity apprentice live season finale  on may 16, 2010 in new york city photo by bill tompkinsgetty images

The dream team. Bill Tompkins//Getty Images

We should be clear that at this point we don’t have much in the way of details about the information in question. Arms-control expert Jeffrey Lewis has cautioned that the term “documents relating to nuclear weapons” is still too vague to make a determination about just how dangerous Trump’s conduct here really was. But so far, the count is at least 25 boxes of shit that has been carried out of Mar-a-Lago by the Feds in two separate visits. At the very least, this guy would not take a break from hosting Saudi sportswashing tournaments to take a look around his basement and make sure everything was in order. In fact, the federales reportedly told Trump’s aides to put a padlock on the room in question back in June. It sounds to this layman like maybe the security protocols were not all that superior to Hillary Clinton’s email server setup.

Which is a reminder that this should all be a moment of reflection for our purportedly anti-Republican lamestream liberal media. The obsessive coverage of The Emails had as its subtext the idea that Donald Trump would be a more secure vessel for the United States’ most tightly held secrets, which include the details around weapons that have the capacity to wipe our civilization off the planet. No one said this explicitly, but they didn’t have to: the emails coverage was so deafening and constant—it got as much coverage in six days as actual policy issues did in 69—that the only reasonable takeaway for the kind of casual news consumer that makes up a huge part of the electorate was that anyone was more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton. In the relentless quest to show they were Tough On Both Sides, the mainstream media pitched Donald Trump for the job of Secrets Keeper. Unless it directly involves his self-preservation, he’s not an ideal candidate.

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Despite being able to release them himself, Trump says ‘Release the documents now!’

From The New York Times:

Former President Donald J. Trump announced late Thursday that he supported the Justice Department’s legal effort to release the search warrant executed at his residence in Mar-a-Lago — with bravado and the suggestion that it was somehow his idea in the first place.

“Release the documents now!” he said amid a flurry of revelations about the investigation into his handling of White House documents, including some involving what one person briefed on the matter said were highly sensitive national security materials.

If the judge orders the documents unsealed, they might first become available on the court’s online docket system, known as Pacer. If court officials are slow to docket the materials after an order to unseal, it is possible that the Justice Department could post the documents on its website or send them to reporters in an emailed news release.

And there is an important wild card: Mr. Trump has been free all along to release the documents without any redactions. But so far he has been choosing not to do so, despite the fact that he called for their disclosure.

That means Mr. Trump could release the documents via a news release of his own or by posting them for his followers on Truth Social.