Talking Points Memo


Roger Stone Is Sentenced

Trump’s longtime friend and political adviser, Roger Stone, will be sentenced today by Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Prosecutors initially suggested that he should serve 7–9 years in prison for   false statements to Congress and the other ways he meddled with the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation in 2017 and 2018. But the case has become a flashpoint for concerns of presidential influence over the Justice Department. The DOJ last week watered down its sentencing recommendation, ...
Tags: News, Congress, Russia, House Intelligence Committee, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Roger Stone, John Light, Amy Berman Jackson

How The Candidates Fared In A Bruising Nevada Debate

This Nevada Democratic debate came at a crucial time in the primary — and it showed. In perhaps the most striking departure from previous debate night strategies, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came out of the gate swinging and eager to engage the other candidates in fights over policy or past records. She trained much of her fire on former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, especially on reports that he encouraged and contributed to a sexually hostile work environment. She pushed him to release hi...
Tags: New York, News, Bloomberg, Joe Biden, New Hampshire, Warren, Nevada, Biden, Trump, Sanders, Democratic Debate, Tom Steyer, Sen Bernie Sanders, Klobuchar, NBC Wall Street Journal, Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg Hammered From All Sides At Debate, Offering Little To Defend Himself

Money can’t buy a good debate performance, as multibillionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg learned Wednesday. Bloomberg came into Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate with a target on his back. After skipping the early part of the primary race and then dumping nine-figures into a wave of nationwide television advertising, Bloomberg’s campaign released a memo Wednesday morning that portrayed four other candidates on stage as, essentially, political dead weigh...
Tags: New York, News, White House, New York City, Elizabeth Warren, America, Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Las Vegas, Donald Trump, George W Bush, Michael Bloomberg, Mike, Sen Bernie Sanders

What’s Warren Up To?

Elizabeth Warren started the night off with a slashing attack on Michael Bloomberg from which he doesn’t yet seem to have recovered. But in her next go around, Warren launched broadsides against Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and to a lesser extent Sanders, over their health care plans. She followed up with another sharp line of attack on Buttigieg and Klobuchar. There’s not enough to go on yet to say her strategy is to target Buttigieg and Klobuchar. But Warren is in a tough spot at this stage of the...
Tags: News, Elizabeth Warren, Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Sanders, David Kurtz, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Editors' Blog, Buttigieg Klobuchar

Quite A Twofer

Just returning quickly to the Elizabeth Warren evisceration of Michael Bloomberg: I’d like to talk about who  we’re running against.  A billionaire who calls women  fat broads and horse-faced  lesbians, and no I’m not talking  about Donald Trump, I’m talking  about Mayor Bloomberg. It’s quite a twofer. She gets to go toe-to-toe with Bloomberg, who was standing right next to her, and demonstrate exactly what she would do on stage with Trump in the general. And she did it while noting t...
Tags: News, Elizabeth Warren, Bloomberg, Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, Trump, David Kurtz, Editors' Blog

Mercy Rule?

Elizabeth Warren spent the first hour of the debate mopping the floor with Michael Bloomberg. She dunked on him for a while, then she started forcing him into making errors, like this one: “ None of them accuse me of  doing anything other than maybe  they didn’t like a joke I told.” Brutal. A moment later Bloomberg awkwardly used the word consensual when describing his company’s nondisclosure agreements. That came after further prodding by Joe Biden, but he was picking up Warren’s line...
Tags: News, Elizabeth Warren, Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Warren, David Kurtz, Democratic Party, Warren Warren, Editors' Blog, Michael Bloomberg She

Warren Goes Hard After Bloomberg And Rest Of Dem Field At Debate

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came out swinging during Wednesday’s Democratic primary debate, delivering a barrage of zingers at several of her competitors on stage, most notably former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Here are a few lines from the Massachusetts senator: On Bloomberg: I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: A billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,” and no I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg. Democrats ar...
Tags: New York, News, Massachusetts, Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Amy Klobuchar, Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, Joe, Amy, Sen Elizabeth Warren D MA, Buttigieg, Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Matt Shuham

Debate? Or Cross-Examination?

Warren goes after Bloomberg over NDAs concerning alleged sexual harassment at his company — TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) February 20, 2020 [Author: David Kurtz]
Tags: News, Bloomberg, Warren, David Kurtz, Editors' Blog

Bernie Sitting Pretty

A fascinating night with Michael Bloomberg on the stage for the first time and an inspired performance from Elizabeth Warren, but could the night have gone any better for Bernie Sanders? Bloomberg’s gambit is to rescue the Democratic Party from Bernie Sanders, but he barely laid a glove on him, mostly because he was hemorrhaging from the Warren attacks. What volleys Bloomberg was able to get off toward Sanders were almost comical. It’s Sanders’ fault that the tax code is skewed toward billion...
Tags: News, Elizabeth Warren, Bloomberg, Warren, Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Sanders, David Kurtz, Democratic Party, Bernie, Bloomberg Bloomberg, Editors' Blog, Buttegieg Klobuchar


We’re 10 minutes in, and Bloomberg is getting rocked. Elizabeth Warren got it going with a withering fusillade on Bloomberg’s treatment of women. Quickly, everyone else piled on. Bloomberg, for his part, did not take visible offense to Warren’s attack lines, and didn’t immediately respond. When he a chance to respond later, he let the charges against him for mistreating women go unanswered. You knew it would be a tough night for Bloomberg, but wow. [Author: David Kurtz]
Tags: News, Elizabeth Warren, Bloomberg, Warren, David Kurtz, Editors' Blog

Ready To Rumble

TPM’s team is covering tonight’s super-consequential debate right here. [Author: David Kurtz]
Tags: News, David Kurtz, Editors' Blog

READ: FSB Allegedly Coopted Mexican Researcher Into Spying On Government Informant

A member of a Russian government intelligence service coopted a Mexican researcher into spying on a confidential FBI source in Miami, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday evening in South Florida federal court. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a biotech researcher residing in Singapore, was charged with failing to register as a foreign agent in a scheme that allegedly saw the Mexican national attempt to surveil a confidential source who had “previously provided information” to the...
Tags: News, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Spying, Fbi, Moscow, Miami, Border Patrol, Fsb, South Florida, KGB, Fuentes, Muckraker, Josh Kovensky

LIVEBLOG: The Nevada Democratic Debate

We will be liveblogging the Democratic primary debate Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, ahead of this weekend’s caucuses in the state. Follow along below. [Author: Matt Shuham]
Tags: News, Las Vegas, Nevada, Liveblog, Nevada Caucus, Matt Shuham, 2020 Campaign

NYT: Trump To Name Richard Grenell Acting DNI

President Trump intends to name Ambassador to Germany and right-wing political operative Richard Grenell to the position of acting Director of National Intelligence, the New York Times reports. The job will give Grenell — a staunch Trump loyalist — an oversight role within the country’s intelligence community, after President Trump has spent years claiming to be the victim of the country’s intelligence services. Grenell is a longtime GOP political operative and former aide to Sen. Mitt Romney...
Tags: News, White House, Germany, Iran, Atlantic, Gop, Nato, Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Times, Un, Fox News, Intelligence Community, Trump, Bush, Breitbart, Dni

E. Jean Carroll Blames Trump For Elle Magazine Firing Her After Accusation

Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the mid-1990s, told the New York Times Wednesday that Trump’s onslaught of insults led to the publication’s decision to fire her. The “Ask E. Jean” columnist announced that she was fired from the magazine in a Tuesday tweet, blaming Trump for ridiculing her after she accused him last year of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room prior to his presidency. Carroll made t...
Tags: New York, News, New York Times, Times, Elle, Defamation, Elle Magazine, Carroll, Trump, Bergdorf Goodman, Jean, Roberta Kaplan, New York State Court, Summer Concepcion, Jean Carroll, E. Jean Carroll

Trump Blames Blagojevich’s Prison Sentence On Comey, Who Wasn’t At DOJ At The Time

As he was defending his commutation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s (D) prison sentence on Wednesday, President Donald Trump somehow managed to drag one of his favorite punching bags onto the scene – even though said punching bag had nothing to do with Blagojevich’s criminal case. Arguing that the disgraced ex-governor “did not sell” Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat (he was arrested before he could do so), Trump lamented Blagojevich’s eight years in prison. “He paid a big price,” T...
Tags: News, Obama, Senate, Barack Obama, Fbi, Lockheed Martin, Illinois, Donald Trump, Doj, Justice Department, James Comey, Trump, Roger Stone, Comey, Rod Blagojevich, Blagojevich

Trump Drags Comey Into His Griping About Blagojevich’s Prison Sentence

As he was defending his commutation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s (D) prison sentence on Wednesday, President Donald Trump dragged one of his favorite punching bags onto the scene. Arguing that the disgraced ex-governor “did not sell” Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat (he was arrested before he could do so), Trump lamented Blagojevich’s eight years in prison. “He paid a big price,” Trump tweeted. “Another Comey and gang deal!” It was the second time Trump blamed former FBI Directo...
Tags: News, Obama, Senate, Barack Obama, Fbi, Ed, Lockheed Martin, Department Of Justice, Illinois, Donald Trump, Justice Department, James Comey, Trump, Roger Stone, Fitzgerald, Comey

Assange Claims Rohrabacher Offered Him A Doozy Of A Pardon Quid Pro Quo

It’s one of the few areas where the President has nearly unchecked power. President Trump issued a raft of pardons this week, but news out of London on Wednesday raises questions about whether the tool has been a bargaining chip since the early months of Trump’s presidency. The question comes in the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, currently fighting extradition to the U.S. from London. In a court hearing on Wednesday, a lawyer for Assange reportedly told a British judge a bizarre st...
Tags: London, News, Sweden, Washington Post, White House, Russia, Dnc, Ukraine, Moscow, Julian Assange, Johnson, Wikileaks, Chuck Johnson, Wall Street Journal, Journal, John Kelly

Working All The Angles

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty but has managed to forestall actually being sentenced. He fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer, is trying to withdraw his guilty plea – and now his new lawyer is coming out with a new book. All while Flynn’s sentencing has been delayed repeatedly. “CONVICTION MACHINE: Standing Up to Federal Prosecutorial Abuse,” by Flynn attorney Sidney Powell and Harvey A. Silverglate, is due out March 17. The book goes Deep State hard, judging by a press release from its p...
Tags: News, Fbi, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Trump, David Kurtz, Sidney Powell, Flynn, Powell, Michael Flynn, Michael T Flynn, Editors' Blog, Harvey A Silverglate

Bloomberg Takes The Debate Stage With A Target On His Back

Thanks to a Democratic National Committee rule change, the ninth Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday will see the entrance of a new candidate to the stage: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Bloomberg has been lurking in the background of the first few contests with his name absent from the ballot, but being beamed into the households of voters in Super Tuesday states almost constantly. His virtually bottomless pockets have enabled him to blanket the cluster of states i...
Tags: New York, News, Nbc, Barack Obama, Bloomberg, Joe Biden, New Hampshire, Iowa, Warren, Fox News, Nevada, Biden, Msnbc, Donald Trump, Abc News, Michael Bloomberg

Big Decision

The 11th Circuit has swatted down the GOP-passed law in Florida that was designed to thwart Amendment 4, the ex-felon re-enfranchisement measure. [Author: David Kurtz]
Tags: Florida, News, Gop, David Kurtz, 11th Circuit, Editors' Blog

Mistakes Were Made

Tough to watch The Hill try to own up to being party to a historically significant misinformation campaign. [Author: David Kurtz]
Tags: News, David Kurtz, The Hill, Editors' Blog

WH Denies That Trump Is Ignoring Barr’s Plea With Incessant Tweets

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley insisted that President Trump isn’t ignoring Attorney General Bill Barr’s request that he stop tweeting about criminal cases, during an interview Wednesday on Fox News. The Washington Post first reported Tuesday night that Barr has privately told administration officials that he’s mulling a resignation in the wake of Trump’s tweets criticizing the DOJ’s sentencing recommendation in the Roger Stone case. However, Barr spokesperson Kerri Kupec deni...
Tags: Post, News, White House, Abc News, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Roger Stone, Barr, Trump Tweets, Kerri Kupec, Gidley, Bill Barr, Summer Concepcion, Fox News The Washington Post, Hogan Gidley

Family Of Pardoned Construction Exec Donated Over 200K To Trump’s Reelection Campaign

One of President Donald Trump’s pardons apparently came with a hefty price tag. On Tuesday, the White House announced a slew of pardons and commutations for various white-collar criminals, including Paul Pogue, the founder of Pogue Construction, who pleaded guilty in 2010 for cheating the government out of over $473,000 in taxes and was sentenced to three years of probation. Pogue made “significant charitable contributions,” according to the White House’s glowing praise of the now-pardoned fe...
Tags: News, White House, House, Paul ryan, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Pardons, Republican National Committee, Trump, Rnc, Ben, Donald J Trump, FEC, Ashleigh, Pogue, Cristina Cabrera

Where Things Stand: Barr’s Saving Face

Three prominent news outlets reported this morning, citing unnamed administration officials, that the attorney general is mulling resigning over President Trump’s tweets about the Roger Stone case. The Justice Department outright denied these claims, but it’s not the first time Barr has been publicly distanced from the President — whether by his own volition or not — since his department suddenly reversed its sentencing recommendation for Stone just hours after Trump tweeted criticism of the ...
Tags: News, California, Russia, Bloomberg, Cnn, House, Ted Cruz, Pentagon, Nevada, Donald Trump, Abc News, Doj, Michael Bloomberg, Justice Department, Trump, Tierney Sneed

Sanders Spox Walks Back Claim That Bloomberg ‘Suffered Heart Attacks’

Wednesday’s Nevada debate is still hours away, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Michael Bloombergs’ campaigns are already exchanging blows.  During an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning, Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray was asked whether Americans deserve to know more about the Vermont senator’s health following a heart attack late last year. Sanders said during a CNN town hall the night before that he has no plans to release further medical records. Gray responded that “the America...
Tags: News, Bloomberg, Cnn, Nevada, Faa, Michael Bloomberg, Vermont, Bernie Sanders, Gray, Sanders, Mike, Sen Bernie Sanders, Johns Hopkins University, TPM, 2020 Elections, Bernie Bernie

The Hill Goes Easy On John Solomon In Review Of Ukraine Disinfo Columns

The Hill held back from squarely addressing the actions of its former columnist John Solomon in a long-awaited review released Wednesday morning, declining to address factual inaccuracies in Solomon’s 2019 series on Ukraine. Instead, the D.C.-based news website turned its gaze towards an arguably less consequential aspect of the fourteen columns that Solomon published last year: the way the articles blurred the distinction between opinion writing and news writing. The Hill launched a review o...
Tags: News, Abc, Washington, Joe Biden, Ukraine, House, New York Times, Fox News, Biden, Trump, Sean Hannity, Hill, The Hill, Solomon, Solomons, Victoria Toensing

Barr Privately Says He May Resign Over Trump’s Tweets About Roger Stone Case

Attorney General Bill Barr has been telling administration officials that he’s thinking about resigning in wake of President Donald Trump’s meddlesome tweets bashing Roger Stone’s criminal case. Three unnamed administration officials told Washington Post about Barr’s private comments about Trump’s interference on Tuesday night. “He has his limits,” one of the sources said. The Associated Press and ABC News also reported Barr’s musings. Kerri Kupec, Barr’s spokesperson, denied the reports, wit...
Tags: News, Washington Post, Associated Press, Donald Trump, Abc News, Justice Department, Trump, Roger Stone, Barr, Trump Tweets, Cristina Cabrera, Bill Barr, Kerri Kupec Barr

Top Pentagon Official Who Issued Warnings About Ukraine Aid Freeze To Resign

A top Defense Department official who internally raised concerns about freezing military aid to Ukraine is stepping down, CNN and Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon John Rood authored emails pushing for the aid to be released, according to CNN. President Trump’s July order to halt the aid was the focus of the recent impeachment proceedings, which ended this month in a Senate acquittal vote. Rood is one of several administration officials c...
Tags: News, Senate, Defense, Ukraine, Cnn, Pentagon, National Security Council, Defense Department, Trump, Tierney Sneed, Bloomberg News, Rood, Impeachment, John Rood

Appeals Court Sides With Ex-Felons Who Challenged Florida ‘Poll Tax’ Law

A federal appeals court on Wednesday sided with ex-felons who sued Florida over a recent GOP law that undermined a 2018 constitutional amendment giving ex-felons the right to vote in the state. Previously, a district court temporarily halted the new law from preventing those ex-felons from voting because they had not paid back various court fees and were too poor to do so. The law, requiring that ex-felons pay off all court fees before they regain the right to vote, was passed by Republicans l...
Tags: Florida, News, Gop, Appeals Court, Tierney Sneed, 11th U S Circuit Court of Appeals, Felon Voting Rights