Steve M. makes a good point when he notes the contrast between how the Trump administration has performed in staffing up their administration (with a special emphasis on the vacancies at the State Department) with their intention to build a large rapid response team of “street fighters” to wage war against the Russian investigation.

Mike Allen reports:

West Wing officials are prepping for a years-long war with investigators and the bureaucracy, with plans to beef up legal, surrogate, communications and rapid-response teams as part of a “new normal” for President Trump — besieged.

“The White House is embracing the fight, which is going to last as long as Donald Trump is president,” said a Trump ally familiar with the preparations. “We’re getting street fighters ready to go.” …

* What’s next: Proposed war-room org charts have been prepared, and final decisions on the structure will be made after Trump returns this weekend.

* Jonathan Swan hears that comms/rapid response structures are being considered for both inside the White House and on the outside.

Meanwhile, out of the 559 key positions in government that require Senate confirmation, there is currently no nominee for 445, and only 36 have been confirmed. I’m not sure if the FBI director is even included in that list, but I notice that Joe Lieberman has withdrawn his name from consideration.

I have a thought, which is that fighting this investigation hasn’t worked so far and has, in fact, backfired in rather spectacular fashion. So, maybe it would be better, since they’re so innocent, to focus on cooperating with the investigation to make sure that they can be exonerated as soon as possible.

I know if someone accused me of committing a murder and I knew I didn’t do it that I would not want to be accused of obstructing justice, and I wouldn’t want the investigation hanging over me any longer than necessary. That’s why I offer this advice, because it’s solid advice for anyone who has nothing to hide.

This would also allow them to focus on staffing the positions that really matter rather than on building a giant machine for spinning bad news into bullshit.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at