Trump’s Inner Circle Really, Really Doesn’t Like Mitt Romney

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Here is what the chattering classes are chattering about today:

Top advisers to President-elect Donald Trump escalated their attacks on Mitt Romney on Sunday, catapulting their long-simmering frustrations onto cable news in an extraordinary public airing of grievances.

In a series of interviews on the Sunday political talk shows, Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump aide, argued firmly against tapping Romney for secretary of state…“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position,” Conway said in an interview with CNN. “We don’t even know if Mitt Romney voted for Donald Trump.”

….Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich…“I think there’s nothing that Mitt Romney can say that doesn’t sound phony and frankly pathetic…I think we would be enormously disappointed if he brought Mitt Romney into any position of authority.”

This is pretty remarkable. Presidential staffs always have plenty of infighting, and often that infighting becomes public via anonymous leaks. But I can’t recall a transition team that literally went public in its bashing of a potential cabinet pick. So what’s going on?

  1. Conway and Gingrich want to influence Trump, and they know the only real way to get his attention is via TV.
  2. This whole thing has been orchestrated by Trump as a way of publicly humiliating Romney.
  3. The Trump inner circle is truly an out-of-control freak show.

I dunno. In the meantime, Trump’s cabinet-level appointees so far include a guy who created a platform for the alt-right; an ex-general with delusions of persecution; a deputy who thinks Hillary Clinton sent black helicopters after her; an attorney general who’s basically opposed to all laws protecting minorities; a governor with no background for her job; a CIA director who supports more torture and more black sites; a billionaire who wants to destroy public education; and Reince Priebus.

Priebus is probably unqualified to be White House chief of staff, but that’s about it. In Trump’s world, that makes him a superstar.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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