Quick Takes: Trump and Friends Respond to Mueller Investigation

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Gabriel Sherman has the scoop on how Trump and a couple of his close confidants are responding the the Mueller investigation. First of all, here’s Trump:

Trump, meanwhile, has reacted to the deteriorating situation by lashing out on Twitter and venting in private to friends. He’s frustrated that the investigation seems to have no end in sight…According to two sources, Trump has complained to advisers about his legal team for letting the Mueller probe progress this far. Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller’s appointment, according to a source briefed on the call.

Here’s Bannon:

Bannon’s sense of urgency is being fueled by his belief that Trump’s hold on power is slipping. The collapse of Obamacare repeal, and the dimming chances that tax reform will pass soon—many Trump allies are deeply pessimistic about its prospects—have created the political climate for establishment Republicans to turn on Trump. Two weeks ago, according to a source, Bannon did a spitball analysis of the Cabinet to see which members would remain loyal to Trump in the event the 25th Amendment were invoked, thereby triggering a vote to remove the president from office. Bannon recently told people he’s not sure if Trump would survive such a vote.

And here’s Roger Stone:

Roger Stone believes defunding Mueller isn’t enough. Instead, Stone wants Trump to call for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s role in approving the controversial Uranium One deal that’s been a locus of rightwing hysteria (the transaction involved a Russian state-owned energy firm acquiring a Canadian mining company that controlled 20 percent of the uranium in the United States). It’s a bit of a bank shot, but as Stone described it, a special prosecutor looking into Uranium One would also have to investigate the F.B.I.’s role in approving the deal, thereby making Mueller—who was in charge of the bureau at the time—a target.

* This is a truly bizarre story from Noah Lanard.

Donning a round Afghan pakol hat and a keffiyeh scarf, the bearded man speaks straight into the camera. “This is message for the American devils,” Fuad Wasul declares in thickly accented English. “The enemies of Islam always ask the mujahedeen, like me, ‘Why is that we’re make jihad?’…We’re make jihad for to prepare the final earth judgment day of Allah!”

The gun-slinging man is not a terrorist. His Arab accent is fake. And the person pretending to be him, Frank Wuco, is now in charge of implementing the president’s executive orders at the Department of Homeland Security.

Since January 21, Wuco has served as the White House senior adviser at DHS. His job is to make sure the White House is aware of and able to support “Secretary-level activities,” according to DHS. Since April, he has also led the department’s Executive Order Task Force, Mother Jones has learned from a DHS employee list obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In case you’re wondering how a nut job like that got a job at DHS. This is a likely explanation:

While at CENTCOM, Wuco worked under Michael Flynn, who later became Trump’s national security adviser but was forced to resign in February after it came to light that he’d lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

* The House Ways and Means Committee was supposed to release their tax cut bill today. But…

House Republicans will delay releasing their tax bill until Thursday, it was announced Tuesday night.

The bill had originally been scheduled to be unveiled Wednesday. But speculation over a delay was rampant on Capitol Hill on Tuesday night, with representatives of House leaders pointing to the Ways and Means Committee for any final decision or announcement….

Republican members privately aired their frustration with a process that they feel cut out of, and some issues were still unresolved hours before the bill had been slated for release.

* Paul Glastris, editor in chief of the Washington Monthly, has written an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Let’s Waste College on the Old.”

Usually, when a demographic group is significantly underrepresented on elite college campuses, we consider it a problem. But there is one such problem that almost no one seems to notice or care much about. Nearly 30 percent of college undergraduates are adults, defined by the United States Department of Education as 25 years old or older. But at Stanford, the share of undergraduates who are adults is 1.2 percent; at Yale, 0.7 percent; at Princeton, 0.6 percent; at the University of Chicago, 0.2 percent.

This blatant discrepancy hasn’t drawn any sustained attention even from liberal elites who otherwise tend to notice these things. That’s a testament to the notion many of us carry around in our heads, often based on our own experience, that colleges are places filled with fresh-faced young people who recently graduated from high school. But outside of elite colleges that image is less and less accurate in higher education today.

* The Obama Foundation has been hosting their Global Summit yesterday and today. I thought you might enjoy a clip from #44 and the former First Lady.

Michelle Obama was talking about the important role that girlfriends have always played in her life when she got all up in the men’s business.

* Finally, open enrollment in Obamacare starts today. During his time in office, President Obama did a lot of fun things to encourage young people to sign up for coverage. But this one from Generation Progress for their #RockEnroll efforts was one of my favorites.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.