August 3, 2018

Tangling with the press

You probably heard about CNN’s Jim Acosta leaving the White House Press briefing in a snit because the Press Secretary (full disclosure: my daughter Sarah) refused his repeated demands to deny that the media are the “enemy of the people” (President Trump has pointed out that he was talking about the “fake news,” not the entire news media).

I don’t know what he thinks the job of Press Secretary entails, but just for his edification, it doesn’t mean you stand in front of reporters giving your own opinions, or contradicting the President, or “explaining” what he “really meant” when he’s not told you that he meant anything other than what he said.  It’s not her job to interpret what the President thinks based on her own preconceived notions or to substitute her personal opinions for the facts she’s supposed to be relaying to the American people.  That seems to be what Jim Acosta thinks his job is.

I think her answer was so perfect (it must’ve been if it got Jim Acosta to leave the room) that it deserves to be read word for word, so please click the link and do so.  I’ll wait here until you’re done reading (and, I assume, cheering.)

I believe my daughter put it so well, I don’t need to add a thing.  So instead of discussing this any further, let’s turn to another part of the newspaper, my favorite non-political section, the advice columns, where I spotted this very intriguing letter…


Dear Miss Mannerly,

I hold a very important career position – frankly, I believe the most important position in the world – yet I am having trouble getting the people I work around to show me the deference I expect.  Worse, my workplace is in the public eye, which makes these sleights all the more embarrassing and unacceptable. 

My chief problem is the woman who runs the daily meetings.  She always tries to keep the focus on what her boss thinks is important that day, instead of things I know to be more important, such as what a childish egomaniac her boss is.  Some of my colleagues (not all, thankfully) let her attempts to speak and answer questions on the topic at hand go unchallenged.  When the others refuse to insist that she change the subject to what she should be addressing, it always falls to me to “cut to the chase” and start shouting questions on the unrelated topic and telling her how to do her job. Often, she and the others ignore me, or ruder yet, try to talk over me, which forces me to shout even louder and repeat the same question multiple times.  Incredibly, my attempts to help her in this way seem to make her even less patient and more dismissive of me.

Despite my best efforts to refocus the meetings in the correct direction, and to be a shining example of our sacred First Amendment rights, I receive no gratitude.  Instead, I have actually been the target of criticism, even name-calling (“unprofessional,”“crybaby,” “jerk,” etc.)  Some have actually accused me of being the one who has lowered the tone of the meetings, can you imagine? Because these meetings are widely seen by the public, I have been subjected to outrageous insults from the rabble, such as cruel insinuations that I and the organization I represent “suck.” There has even been talk of barring me from future meetings. 

My question: how can I make these deplorable people I have to work around every day show me the level of respect that I deserve?

Outraged in DC




Dear Gentle Reader:

It is Miss Mannerly’s impression that they already do.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  Evening Edition - August 2

 Bad language

Here are two phrases you never want to see put together:

“Your Tax Dollars At Work (Warning, not suitable for children.)”


Commentary continues below advertisement

Fun Video

Fun video: CNN anchor tries three times to get a soybean farmer to badmouth President Trump and his hardball trade deal negotiations, but fails because the farmer obviously knows more about international trade in agricultural products than she does. 

You know, CNN, if you got out of your bubble and tried talking to farmers more often, you wouldn’t be surprised when you discover that they know more than CNN anchors.



 Read a book people

As a general rule, gun control advocates would be more persuasive if, when they talked about the thing they want to ban, they appeared to know something – anything at all – about it.  For instance, if you’re going to make a dramatic speech to the US Senate about banning guns made with 3D-printed plastic parts, it would be good to know that a large rifle made mostly of metal, loaded with bullets made of metal, is not “undetectable” to metal detectors.  And that’s only the beginning of his high-caliber fail.



 Better than Obama

Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Tracking Poll puts President Trump’s approval rating at 50%.  That’s five points higher than Obama at the 18-month point of his first term.  You’d think that with unemployment at near record lows, GDP growth double what it was when he took office, and foreign threats subsiding, it would be higher.  Although considering that over 90% of his media coverage is relentlessly negative no matter what he does, that 50% approval number might not represent how many people like Trump as much as it does the rising number of Americans who no longer pay attention to the mainstream press.



Threatening Scalise again

Wasn’t it just yesterday that one of Hawaii’s Democratic Senators was assuring us there are no crazy, threatening people on the left side of the aisle? No, they’re all just earnest policy wonks who would never do anything so uncivilized.

I suggested he tell that to Rep. Steve Scalise, who was nearly shot to death by a hopped-up Bernie bro.  But Scalise was probably too busy dealing with police, who were talking to him about the arrest of a New York liberal who allegedly left messages threatening Scalise’s children because he doesn’t like his political views. 

I must be getting old.  I remember when everyone agreed that merely criticizing an opponent’s children was reprehensible and off-limits.


 Hey, Mueller team: Here's what REAL Russian "meddling" looks like

Let’s take a little break from all the coverage of Mueller’s “Russia” investigation –- the mission of which seems to be setting President Trump on the road to prosecution or impeachment by putting his former campaign manager on trial for old loan fraud and tax charges –- and have a look at a very real example of high-level Russian spying on Americans.  This stunning new story from The Guardian reflects the kind of infiltration we SHOULD be investigating:  Russian spying that resulted in access to some of our most highly classified information, even the President’s daily schedule.  While the Mueller team is wasting time showing jurors pictures of Manafort’s expensive suits and threatening him with life in prison to get him to offer up his former boss on a platter, a story is emerging of very real Russian “meddling.”

But since it’s a huge embarrassment to the intelligence community and perhaps even an unwelcome distraction from the “get-Trump” narrative, having nothing whatsoever to do with Trump, we probably won’t be hearing much about it.

It’s the British press that uncovered this.  Investigative reporter Nick Hopkins has learned that that for more than a decade, a Russian national was working undetected as an alleged spy at the American embassy in Moscow.  She was hired by the Secret Service –- we still don’t have the details surrounding her hiring or how (if?) she was vetted –- and she didn’t come under suspicion until 2016, when the State Department’s Regional Security Office conducted a routine security sweep of the London, Paris and Moscow offices.  They made their report in January of 2017, but instead of launching an inquiry, which might have ended up making them look bad, the Secret Service just revoked her security clearance last summer and quietly let her go.

Her dismissal attracted essentially no attention at the time because it conveniently occurred when the Kremlin was demanding an expulsion of diplomatic personnel in the wake of new Washington-imposed sanctions.  Over 750 out of 1,200 employees lost their positions, and the downsizing was used as cover to make it it look as though she was just part of it.

According to the Guardian’s source, “The Secret Service is trying to hide the breach by firing [her].  The damage was already done but the senior management of the Secret Service did not conduct any internal investigation to assess the damage and to see if [she] recruited any other employees to provide her with more information.  Only an intense investigation by an outside source can determine the damage she has done.”

So, there may be more spying going on at our embassy in Moscow.  Oh, goody.

When the Secret Service was pressed for details, they released a statement downplaying the role this woman played.  “At no time,” it said, “in any US Secret Service office, have FSNs [foreign service nationals] been provided or placed in a position to obtain national security information.”

Right, and Peter Strzok voted for Donald Trump.  The State Department refused to comment on allegations related to intelligence or personnel matters, but acknowledged “that US government employees, by virtue of their employment with the US government, may be targeted by foreign intelligence services...when we identify an employee in violation of security directives, we take appropriate action at the appropriate time.”  In other words, this woman WAS in a position to gain information from Americans working at the embassy.  To admit that fact completely negates the lame attempt at reassurance offered by the Secret Service.

According to the source, this woman had a role that gave her insight into ongoing Secret Service investigations, and her position gave her access to the Secret Service intranet.  Through this official email system, she had access to the schedule of the Presidents (current and former), the Vice Presidents, and their spouses, including Hillary Clinton.  I would add that it probably included all immediate family members and anyone else who was receiving Secret Service protection.  (Hey, I've got a family member who has to have that!) 

The woman went against the rules by interacting with several embassy employees on her personal email.  There’s no telling what information she was able to glean from conversations with Americans.  She apparently operated with very little supervision and was having “numerous unsanctioned meetings and communications” with the FSB, Russia’s principal security agency, and that’s what aroused suspicion.

To top it off, once the Secret Service was on to her, the potential breach was not reported to any of the congressional oversight committees.  There needs to be a serious look at why the Secret Service hid what happened and failed to conduct an internal investigation.  Of course, the special counsel charged with investigating “Russian meddling” could look into it; they have all the security clearances and their mission, after all, is to investigate what the Russians are up to.  But Mueller is much too busy right now going after Donald Trum---I mean, Russian Facebook ads, as well as former campaign managers with pricey ostrich jackets.

I could have spent this time writing about the past couple of days at the Paul Manafort show trial.  That information will be everywhere; FOX News has been doing some excellent reporting on it and will keep you up to date.  (The important thing is that Judge Ellis knows exactly what is going on in his courtroom.)  But for now, it seems more important to put his trial in perspective by talking about a REAL story about a REAL intelligence breach involving a REAL Russian spy –- and the attempt to keep anyone from finding out about it.



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Comments 1-19 of 19

  • Helen Sustachek

    08/07/2018 12:44 AM

    I don't know if my comment went through or not. Just as I sent it the word Error flashed. So sorry to repeat if you did receive it. Please tell President Trump to tell Mueller he will think about answering his questions after Mueller interviews Hillary and all her people who worked with her, including the FBI people, who colluded with Russia. Thank you.

  • Arlene Hurley

    08/06/2018 01:00 PM

    I don’t seem to be getting your e-mails anymore?????????why

  • Barbara Besemann

    08/06/2018 08:21 AM

    Well, with Hillary selling uranium and Obama delivering billions like UPS, what is the harm in a little embassy
    office gossip?
    How about hammers and bleach bit? Well, at least she was fired.
    What do you want?

    PS Thanking God for your fabulous daughter. Thank you, Sara!!


  • Lois Yeager

    08/04/2018 09:48 AM

    If Acosta and all his cohorts would simple crawl back in the cave from whence they came WHAT A WONDERFUL BREATH OF FRESH AIR!!

  • Daniel Burke

    08/04/2018 07:52 AM

    Thank you for the excellent and very specific reporting on the Russian spy in the embassy. Sad, but so important to know about. Keep up the great work. Stay strong.

  • michael murphy

    08/03/2018 11:41 PM

    Thanks again, Michael, for the insight and the humor. I just plain love it when your daughter Sarah dishes on the Fake News minions. She is operating in the top of the first class echelon while Acosta is just trying to see what third class looks like. He is pretty clueless for an ostensibly "savvy" reporter. Maybe the pathological degree of hubris he bathes in will aid in his timely dismissal to a Frisco rag soon. They seem to enjoy a steady diet of kool-aid and unicorn milk there as well.

  • Amelia Little

    08/03/2018 10:52 PM

    Sarah Sanders has to be the most level-headed and least easily ruffled Press Secretary that I can remember. I think there are those in the WH press corps who have, because of past experiences, thought they could run the show. When I see reports of a press conference--there are quite a few (sorry, haven't counted them) reporters there, and the majority seem to be courteous, not only of the Press Secretary, but of each other. You know, acting professional. I can't imagine why some of them haven't stood up to ol' jim, tell his to sit down and shut up once he has had his turn with a question. You know, share the floor, jim! Others might have pertinent questions to ask. Maybe they should tell him that, just because he doesn't get the answer HE wants--doesn't mean he should just keep asking. I don't know what school of journalism he went to (or did he attend any?) but I hope they closed that school down if he is an example of what they turn out. No offense to Ivanka Trump, but, yes, most of the msm could be considered the enemy of the people--because of reasons Sarah mentioned. How about reporting NEWS (no opinion pieces added on, no sneers or whatever) just REPORT THE NEWS--instead of personal attacks. Maybe the msm networks are so out of touch with the real world (like hilary, pelosi, good ol' maxine for starters) that they don't realize the millions of people in the US of A who are educated enough to form their own opinions of what the news of the day really means (and it usually doesn't mean what the fake news reports try to tell us.)

    Kind of makes one sick to hear about the Secret Service hiding the fact that there was a Russian spy among their midst. Hopefully Kirstjen Nielsen can straighten out any improprieties in this organization. Hmmm...maybe some of the harassment of her is to distract her from her job?

  • Sarah Menne

    08/03/2018 10:38 PM

    DACA is unconstitutional because it was to be voted on and approved by Congress. Obama did not have the constitutional authority to create DADA. That's my understanding. Trump is not against DACA under fair guidelines, but he is also for the border wall. This federal judge has NO constitutional authority to order Trump to honor DACA. I'm truly sick of these federal judges making unconstitutional rulings and usurping the power of the President. How can one man who is appointed (by Obama) and not elected by American citizens be allowed more power than our President and Congress? There is something definitely wrong about this picture. Such judges who do not abide by the Constitution of the United States should not be allowed to continue in such positions. They shame America and to me their rulings are treasonous.

  • Anita Mae Barker

    08/03/2018 09:48 PM

    In re......the spy in the embassy. What craziness. And it seems we can't trust the Secret Service either. Is there anyone in d.c. we can trust aside from the President and Sarah?? And Mike's reporting. Go Sarah!!!!

  • Bob Ross

    08/03/2018 09:42 PM

    CNN Jim Accosta is a regular bully. He can dish it out, but cannot take a a punch back. Thanks for President Trump and YOU.

  • William Schlumpf

    08/03/2018 09:06 PM

    I have three things to say about your daughter's response to Jim Acosta yesterday:
    Well done!
    Its about time!
    Thank you!

  • Judi Fey

    08/03/2018 08:19 PM

    Keep it up, Mike. I read the daily news from you. Amazing how I can refute just about every sentence I head on any TV news network, and how NYTimes, WAPO, LATimes, etal. articles are either not true or half true with only the part that suits their agenda. The media is absolutely the enemy of the people!

  • Max Fowler

    08/03/2018 08:15 PM

    Gov. Mike;
    How can I contact Senator Blumenthal about those "ghost guns"? I want to buy a pickup load of them. I can sell them right outside DFW Airport! No one will ever know. Maybe he'll even help me find them?

  • John Samuel

    08/03/2018 07:47 PM


    You are a great American. Could you get a message to other politicians? Tell them the following please.

    I am tired of you politicians DEMANDING money! I SEE RED whenever I see an email that does nothing but demand money. I don't care whether you have made your "funding goal" for the month or not. It does not matter which political party it is, I still SEE RED.

    What I want you to do is tell me what is happening in Washington, or the state capital, what you are doing about it, and what you plan to do on that and other political topics in the future.

    If this email is from a PAC, tell me by party, name, and state which politicians you will support with PAC money.

    Put a link at the bottom of the email to a page for donations. If I like what I see then I may send in a donation.

    If you use this process, I am sure that you will get more donations then by demanding them. If a politician does not do this, I want him to take me off his mailing list.

    John Samuel, Irving, Texas

  • Thala J Susag

    08/03/2018 07:25 PM

    I retrieve your newsletter from my Spam box every day (Google puts it there??) and read all the news
    "fit to print" (that saying is now in the dustbin of history). I don't know what to make of modern-day
    politics in Washington, D.C. and anti-Trump antics of so-called journalists.
    Perhaps we should move the White House to the middle of the United States where U.S. citizens really
    appreciate President Donald Trump, and the way he is keeping his promises. The liberal elites could
    remain in their bubbles in Washington, D.C., New York City and other hangouts suitable for their parties.
    Congress has so little to do (or do so little), they take frequent recesses. Leave them in Washington??

    Thanks for the timeless Bible verse in each newsletter.

  • Suzanne A Gibbs

    08/03/2018 07:13 PM

    Good evening. Your Miss Manners column had me laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my chair. Very well done.

    One question, if I may, on another subject. I always heard(believed ) that DACA was a "temporary" measure. Now a judge is claiming it must continue. Why?
    Thanks and have a great evening.

  • Linda Keen

    08/03/2018 07:01 PM

    Your daughter Sarah is an inspiration. No matter how the Media try to trick her into answering questions, she is too smart for them. Wish I was more like her. So thankful she has this position.

  • George Strickland

    08/03/2018 06:54 PM

    Mike, I love your Evening Edition. Tonight's serving was particularly delightful. Your daughter is a remarkable lady, my wife (of almost 51 wonderful years) and I eagerly await her on the days when she is on FOX News (and you as well). She has extraordinary patience with a White House Press Corp that cannot comprehend the meaning of simple English words (I was going to say they were dumber than a bag of stones, but that would be unkind). Ms. Mannerly's reply to Outraged was extremely cogent. Thanks for being there for us. Have a blessed evening.

  • Judy Tarpley

    08/03/2018 06:48 PM

    PLEASE get someone from the Administration to make a statement that Russian meddling in our election IS NOT the same thing as President Trump referring to the “Russian Hoax” referring to the nonexistent collusion. I get so upset when so-called ‘journalists’ talk about these as if they’re the same thing. Driving me nuts!!