The Same Kind of People

“My fear is that this is probably the first time in my memory that it seems we have the same kind of people on both sides — in the Kremlin and in the White House. The same people. It’s probably why they like each other. It’s not a matter of policy, but it’s that they feel that they are alike. They care less for democracy and values, and more for personal success, however that is defined.”

The New Yorker: Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

Our Post-Factual World

Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.

Charles Sykes: Why Nobody Cares the President is Lying

A Useful Idiot

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Washington Post: Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

Furthermore, “Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack”

Not Going to Cut It

At the Pentagon, interviews with more than a dozen top generals revealed alarm over many of Mr. Trump's proposals for the use of American power, even among officers who said privately that they lean Republican. While no serving officer interviewed was willing to speak publicly about Mr. Trump — reasons ranged from wanting to maintain a distance between the military and politics to not wanting to criticize a potential commander in chief — a number of top-ranking admirals and generals said the military is governed by laws and rules of engagement that are far stricter than politicians may realize.

And justifications that troops would be “following orders” are unlikely to sway war-crimes courts, they said.

“We remember the Nuremberg trials,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, now retired, who was in charge of training the Iraqi Army in 2003. “Just following orders is not going to cut it.”

Trump Wants War Declared on ISIS and ‘Extreme Vetting’ of Immigrants

Great support!

Donald Trump remains overwhelmingly unpopular with Latinos, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll shows, with only about one in seven Latino voters say they support the presumptive GOP nominee.

A whopping 76 percent of the 300 Latino registered voters in the poll said they back Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head race, while just 14 percent said they back Trump.

What’s more, 82 percent of Latino voters say they have an unfavorable view of Trump, while just 11 percent view him positively.

NBC News: Clinton Beats Trump Among Latinos 76 Percent to 14 Percent

I guess Trump’s support among Latino voters has really cratered since July 7.

Not on the ballot this year

Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the sources said.

Several lawmakers said questions were raised about derogatory comments Trump has made about minorities and women, as well as his inability to stay on message.

Trump dismissed the issue and insisted he has great support from Hispanics, Dent said.

WaPo: Trump, seeking GOP unity, has tense meeting with Senate Republicans

Sounds about right.

Fighting the Slime in Real-Time

Yesterday, in a story about some of Trump’s remarks, CNN ran a chyron reading “Trump: I never said Japan should have nukes (he did)”. That kind of on-the-fly fact-checking is unusual, but Trump necessitates it because he tells such a spectacularly large number of lies. He also enables it because those lies are often repeated and obvious. So we’re beginning to see those corrections appear right in the body of stories: the reporter relays what Trump said, and notes immediately that it’s false.

Paul Waldman: The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it.

Accurate and Fair

But the durability of Trump's appeal creates a conundrum for many Republicans. For decades, some of us have argued that the liberal stereotype of Republicans as extreme, dim and intolerant is inaccurate and unfair. But here is a candidate for president who fully embodies the liberal stereotype of Republicans — who thinks this is the way a conservative should sound — and has found support from a committed plurality of the party.

Michael Gerson: The worst stereotype of the GOP is coming to life in the form of Donald Trump

You built that.

Three Ring Circus

And the tone of that politics — which I certainly have not contributed to — I don’t think that I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate, for example. I don’t remember saying, hey, why don’t you ask me about that. (Laughter.) Or why don’t you question whether I’m American, or whether I’m loyal, or whether I have America’s best interests at heart — those aren’t things that were prompted by any actions of mine.

And so what you’re seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive. He’s just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a half years.

And, in fact, in terms of his positions on a whole range of issues, they’re not very different from any of the other candidates. It’s not as if there’s a massive difference between Mr. Trump’s position on immigration and Mr. Cruz’s position on immigration. Mr. Trump might just be more provocative in terms of how he says it, but the actual positions aren’t that different. For that matter, they’re not that different from Mr. Rubio’s positions on immigration — despite the fact that both Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio, their own families are the products of immigration and the openness of our society.

So I am more than happy to own the responsibility as President, as the only office holder who was elected by all the American people, to continue to make efforts to bridge divides and help us find common ground. As I’ve said before, I think that common ground exists all across the country. You see it every day in how people work together and live together and play together and raise their kids together. But what I’m not going to do is to validate some notion that the Republican crack-up that’s been taking place is a consequence of actions that I’ve taken.

And what’s interesting — I’ll just say one last thing about this — there are thoughtful conservatives who are troubled by this, who are troubled by the direction of their party. I think it is very important for them to reflect on what it is about the politics they’ve engaged in that allows the circus we’ve been seeing to transpire, and to do some introspection.

Because, ultimately, I want an effective Republican Party. I think this country has to have responsible parties that can govern, and that are prepared to lead and govern whether they’re in the minority or in the majority, whether they occupy the White House or they do not. And I’ve often said I want a serious, effective Republican Party — in part to challenge some of the blind spots and dogmas in the Democratic Party. I think that’s useful.

President Barack Obama in response to a question from reporter Margaret Brennan