Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

'Morning Joe' pair: 'Donald Trump is not well'

Washington has become such a strange place. One morning, the president sends out messages to his millions about a pair of "unfair" journalists in 140-character increments. A fresh, still bleeding facelift is alleged on the part of the female member of the couple

The next morning, said pair of MSNBC journalists – former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski -- have an op-ed in the company town's local newspaper. From the Washington Post, under the headline “Donald Trump Is Not Well”:

President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, “Morning Joe.”

And about the claim of cosmetic surgery:

Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” That is also a lie. Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal.


And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift. If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching “Morning Joe” on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.

From today's show:


The great thing about being a cyberhub like Atlanta are all the bit parts that come your way. From the Wall Street Journal, emphasis ours:

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers.

In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.


“He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” said Eric York, a computer-security expert from Atlanta who searched hacker forums on Mr. Smith’s behalf for people who might have access to the emails.

Locally, York is listed as a “digital forensic expert.”


This is deadline day for Georgia candidates facing an important initial fundraising test in the 2018 races.

Candidates for governor and other statewide contests have scrambled over the last two months, raising piles of cash in order to send a message to other donors sitting on the sidelines -- as well as to their rivals -- that they're the ones to beat.

Republican Hunter Hill, a Republican state senator running for governor, got an early jump on Wednesday by proclaiming he has already topped $1 million. Expect Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who are in the same contest, to surpass that mark.

The deadline will be an important measure for down-ticket candidates -- and contenders in this year's crowded race for Atlanta mayor. It's also a key dividing line. A handful of potential office-seekers have delayed their entry into various contests until after Friday, avoiding the risk of a poor fundraising report.


Sen. David Perdue’s proposal for Senate leaders to cancel the upcoming August recess appears to be gaining steam. Nine fellow Republican senators joined the first-term lawmaker in a letter to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell urging him to cancel – or at least truncate – the annual five-week break. From Politico:

Spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, the bloc of 10 senators said the five-week break should be on the table if Republicans don't make progress on repealing Obamacare, passing a budget, averting a government shutdown at the end of September, avoiding a debt default and get to their top priority: Reforming the tax code.


"Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of the fiscal year. This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider truncating, if not completely foregoing, the scheduled August state work period, allowing us more time to complete our work." the senators wrote.

It’s highly unlikely Senate leaders will cave to the demands of Perdue and Co. The August recess is a near-sacred on Capitol Hill. Many lawmakers take work-related trips, vacation with family or check in on their districts. We have a feeling they’ll be more than hesitant to give that up for more – very public -- fighting on health care.

Here's another thought: 47 Democratic and one independent senator may actually want Republican colleagues to go back to their respective states to collect earfuls on the health care fight.


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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.