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Opinion Morning Bits: Another rotten week for Trump

Another sign our defenses are lacking. “The campaign organization for House Republicans was the victim of a cyberattack that exposed email accounts to an unknown intruder during the 2018 election cycle, people familiar with the matter said.”

Instead of a tipping point or turning point, another metaphor is needed. “We need to stop thinking of it as a fragile structure waiting for the right poke to fall in on itself. Think instead of the myriad investigations and legal proceedings surrounding the president as a multi-front siege on a walled city that is, in fact, relatively well fortified.”

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Another powerful rebuke of the administration. A letter from more than 400 former Justice Department employees: “Mr. Whitaker has not been confirmed by the Senate, his qualifications to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer have not been publicly reviewed, and he has not been fully vetted for any potential conflicts of interest. … We therefore call on the President to follow the Constitutional process by nominating an Attorney General, and replacing Mr. Whitaker as Acting Attorney General with the Senate-confirmed official who is next in the line of succession by operation of federal law.”

Another rocky day on Wall Street. “The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points Tuesday and bond yields plummeted, as investors’ doubts over the trade truce struck between the U.S. and China renewed anxieties around the pace of economic growth. Investors broadly retreated from stocks, with industrial stalwarts like Boeing and Caterpillar suffering steep losses. Apple and other technology companies also slid, pulling the Nasdaq Composite back more than 10% below its August high.” Uh-oh.

Another speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another dent in our alliances. “Responses ranged from tepid to hostile. In addition to Mr. Trump’s regular criticism of NATO, the United States and the European Union are fiercely at odds over the Iran nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump has pulled out of while America’s main European allies seek to preserve it. … Mr. Pompeo’s challenge to the European Union was a surprisingly undiplomatic comment from America’s chief diplomat.”

Another rebuke, this one from a key figure. “With Congress [eyeing] to exit Washington in a few weeks, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the influential Judiciary committee, dismissed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that a major criminal justice reform bill could pass next year. … Grassley disputed McConnell’s math as well, tweeting Tuesday that more than half of the 51 Republican senators support the bill.”

Another attempt to bamboozle the public. “The president’s hyping of his trade deals echoes his nuclear diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim [Jung Un]. At a historic June summit in Singapore, Trump repeatedly described the document he and Kim signed as ‘comprehensive,’ and he hailed the North Korean leader’s commitment to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. But few meaningful details, such as a timeline, were ever provided.” He has been selling snake oil his whole life.