MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out Friday evening that there’s a hilarious reason why President Donald Trump “blinked” on his demand that the Justice Department declassify documents related to the Russia investigation so they could be publicized.
At the beginning of the week, Trump ordered the declassification of 20 pages of Russia documents after some of his allies suggested he do so. Maddow noted that he later revealed he hadn’t read the documents.
As the week wore on, warnings were raised about DOJ officials potentially being forced to resign when the declassification took place due to their commitment to protecting their sources — a side-effect that Maddow and others noted may have been the intended effect of the demand.
On Friday morning, the president announced that he’d reversed the decision after meeting with the DOJ and was instead referring it to the department’s inspector general.
I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018ADVERTISEMENT
….has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me – and everyone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
The host also pointed out that according to the Los Angeles Times‘ reporting on the reversal, Trump came to his decision after speaking with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Maddow suggested that, given bombshell reports that Rosenstein floated invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump, it would be ironic if the whole point of the “declassification gambit” was “to force a confrontation with Rod Rosenstein” resulting in his dismissal.
“The president appears to have blinked when it came to that confrontation,” the host said. “Rosenstein apparently told him no, you can’t let this stuff out.”
“I think the script they thought he was going to follow at Fox News was he would then stand up and say ‘well, you’re fired,'” she continued. Instead, “the president said, ‘okay, then I‘ll withdraw my request.'”
Watch below, via MSNBC:
Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight
A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."
It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.
The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.
The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.
Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank
Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.
The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.
Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.
Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.
Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns
Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.
In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.
The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.
"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."