"We did all this, it's out in the open, in no way secret, and there's nothing you can do about it," the White House seems to tell America and the world. It is a strategy of shamelessness that seeks to normalize bad behavior and questionable decisions – and makes it almost impossible for a conventional democratic governance system to respond.
What was once considered a violation simply becomes a new normal.
Washington buzzes over Donald Trump's cooperation with Ukraine, his efforts to fire from a crisis he started in Syria and his decision to use one of his Florida resorts for the G7 next year. This is how it developed throughout Thursday, according to some of the main characters:
"The president is a firefighter who later pretends to be a firefighter."
So is the rope. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee, responded to the agreement to pause Turkey's offensive in Syria for five days.
The Kurdish-led SDF has said that they are ready to follow the deal, and hopefully the agreement will save lives. But it requires the United States to help remove Kurdish warriors from the region – and hardly absolve Trump of charges he betrayed the US anti-ISIS ally.
"We got exactly what we wanted."
A senior Turkish official's very satisfied assessment of the Arms Guard meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence and State Secretary Mike Pompeo – considered by some as a face-saving drop by a US president exposed to his own wrong.
"This is not a weapons weapon"
Minutes after Mike Pence specifically said that a five-day arms deal had been agreed, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that it was not a weapons weapon " Pause."
"Get over it."
Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, basically confirmed the central accusation of the Democratic impeachment probe – that Trump used his power to promote his own self-interest. "There will be political influence in foreign policy," he added.
"It was not good"
It is the reaction of Trump's legal team according to a source familiar with the attorneys "The lawsuit against Mulvaney's barrister." I think people are a bit stunned. " "Egregious … corruption and self-management."
The Democrats promise an investigation after the White House looked at resorts and conference facilities across the country and decided that the absolute best place to hold a global summit was … was at the president's Florida golf retreat.
"Hosting G7 at Trump's failed Doral resort is one of the most ruthless examples of corruption and self-dealing in the most corrupt presidency of our history," said the Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.
World and America
Dancing with angels
Washington cannot afford to lose people like Elijah Cummings, a Maryland congressman who died Thursday, aged 68. Stupid, passionate and deeply involved in civil rights, democracy, justice and his beloved district in the Baltimore area, Cummings was a rare modern political titan who was loved even by his ideological enemies.
He was a Democrat and a key player in the current impeachment drama, but heartfelt grief and respect shot from the same Republicans who had clashed with him in hearings: "I am heartbroken. Really heartbroken." said North Carolina pro-Trump Rep. Mark Meadows, who Cummings defended when accused of racism this year.
"Elijah Cummings was one of the most powerful, beautiful, and compelling voices in American politics. Power and beauty came from his authenticity, his conviction, the sincerity with which he held his faith," former Republican Representative Trey Gowdy wrote in South Carolina, as a party as a conservative battler that exists.
Even Trump, who recently blasted Cumming's district as a "disgusting, rodent and rat-infested mess," canceled hostilities and said the congressman would be impossible to replace. Earlier this year, Cummings said he had met Trump only once and told him that their most important task was to preserve US democracy for the next generation.
He might have had his own death novel when he added "When We" when we dance with the angels, the question we will ask ourselves is: "In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the side and say nothing? " "
A lot of scallops
The dinner menu was enjoyed by European representatives and after a long day of Brexit discussion Boris Johnson had some searches for political symbolism embedded somewhere in the crab soup. .
Scallops with potimarron pump mouseline
Polish sauerkraut soup
Fried veal in a tonka bean sauce with green beans [FANTON] in puff pastry
What comes up
Thanks for reading. We'll be back on Monday.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for this news trend for the next three days:
And of course in this weekend's world sport, European football leagues open again after the international break. In the US, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros are fighting for the chance to face the Washington Nationals in the World Series. It's the quarter-finals weekend of the Rugby World Cup. England plays Australia, All Blacks take on Ireland, it's Wales against France and hosts Japan play South Africa. The men's ATP finals take place in London and India take South Africa in Ranchi in their third and final test match.