Chief of Staff, Cohen Sentencing, A Not Nice Photo Op, Huawei Arrest

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Trey is joined this week by Athena King. The two begin by looking at the ongoing developments in the roll of chief of staff. Several individuals, including this week Chris Christie, have turned down the position. Announced just before the show, Mick Mulvaney is named new chief of staff. Trey talks about the long-standing difficulty of the role. Both hosts question what Mulvaney hopes to gain and what we have learned about the White House through the chief of staff turnover.

Next Trey and Athena turn to Michael Cohen’s sentencing and the aftermath. The hosts explore Cohen’s statements on TV and President Trump’s Twitter response. It leads to a broader discussion of what comes next.

After the Cohen conversation the pair turn to the not so nice photo op. Trey firmly believes it was Trump at his best — taking control and understanding media better than his opponents. Athena thinks it was a mixed bag and the two argue a bit about who was best served by the exchange and if it marks a longer term change for strategy.

Finally, Trey and Athena discuss the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei. The talk about China’s retaliation against Canada, the ongoing trade war with China, and if recent changes to policy in China are a Trump win as he suggests.

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4 thoughts on “Chief of Staff, Cohen Sentencing, A Not Nice Photo Op, Huawei Arrest”

  1. At 38 minutes Athena King suggests the CEO of Huawei
    was arrested for “violating the security of the big 5 countries”, and then for “stealing secrets”.

    I think it would be much more accurate and inteligible to say she was arrested on suspicion of violating the Iran Nuclear deal.

    Iran is not mentioned at all in the podcast.

  2. I understand the impulse to believe that Trump has a rat cunning genius when it comes to the media (he’s managed to spin a career of endless, spectacular failure into an image of success on the back of a misrepresentative reality show and to dominate the news cycle in a way heretofore unseen), but I think it might be mistaking Machiavellian genius for the simple truth that the media cannot look away from a train wreck, or a person utterly immune to the concept of shame.

    Trump went into that meeting pushing the singular message that if there were any kind of shutdown then it would be the fault of the Democrats, and their petty obstructionist ways. He tried out that line repeatedly, trying to goad Pelosi and Schumer into owning it, but instead, simply by virtue of their not running with his line, he not only admitted he was too incompetent to make deals with the senate and house to legitimately forward his agenda, he then took complete responsibility for the shut down, and even declared it something he would be proud to do.

    No doubt his most baked in supporters can stomach that contradiction (after all, they accept his logical contradiction that we both NEED and ALREADY HAVE a southern border wall), but for anyone else it must have read as yet another self-own by a man child who can be goaded into a self-destructive tantrum on a whim.

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