The Advocate Chat is a recurring series in which staff members tackle a topic in the news or otherwise of interest. The text below has been lightly edited.
dave.eisen (Managing Editor Dave Eisenstadter): It’s the return of the AdvoChat!!!
kristinpalpini (Editor-in-Chief Kristin Palpini): Welcome home!
cgoudreau (Staff Writer Chris Goudreau): Huzzah!
kristinpalpini: … and admitting it!
dave.eisen: And now I think we’re going to have to talk about Trump and Comey and divulging secrets to Russia (and admitting it) AND the latest on former national security adviser Michael Flynn AND the newly appointed special prosecutor.
kristinpalpini: Did anyone see that SNL skit with Alec Baldwin as Trump being interviewed by Lester Holt? “Did I get him?” “Is this over?” Hahahah.
kristinpalpini: Ah the special prosecutor, I had some positive feelings about him, but then Brian filled me in on his background.
dave.eisen: Oh, what is wrong with him?
kristinpalpini: Corporate shill for organizations like the NFL.
dave.eisen: His name is Robert Mueller, and he was director of the FBI for 12 years. He has support of both Democrats and Republicans. But NOT the Palpini clan. Which does alter my judgement.
kristinpalpini: Well … even after Brian told me that, I was a little bit still in Mueller’s corner. You can be a hack and nail trump — it’s possible.
dave.eisen: The fact that this is unraveling and happening so quickly is dizzying!
cgoudreau: And oh so satisfying!
dave.eisen: The blockbuster news of Trump firing Comey was just starting to settle in. I was mulling whether or not it was smart to get rid of Comey. And then suddenly Trump is inviting Russian media to cover his meeting without the U.S. press corps. And THEN suddenly it turns out he is divulging secrets to the Russians. And now it turns out that he was trying to block an investigation into Flynn, who is accused of colluding with the Russians! And of course, last night there was the confirmed remark in a closed door Republican meeting from Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that he thinks Putin is paying Trump and then House Speaker Paul Ryan telling everyone present to keep it a secret.
kristinpalpini: Dumping Comey was good. He needed to go after he used his position to tank Hillary in the election with the announcement that he was going to look into her emails a-GAIN! And then two days later, say he dropped it. Damage done, this all came out right before the election.
dave.eisen: At the same time, he was standing up to Trump, refusing to pledge loyalty or back down from investigating Flynn, at least that is what he says. It is complicated with Comey, I’m definitely looking forward to hearing his testimony before Congress.
kristinpalpini: Oh, yes, the testimony!!! That will be great! As far as firing Comey for investigating Trump, obviously that was no good. And yeah the Flynn thing just keeps getting worse and worse, too.
dave.eisen: The thing is that Trump is doing real damage all the time. During his presidency, he has stolen the Supreme Court, put refugees and immigrants on warning and deported many, considered backing out of the climate deal (climate change is here and it’s real by the way!), and that’s not to mention all of the Syria, Russia and North Korea madness!
kristinpalpini: AND he’s got this new order where countries that receive U.S. money to provide health care can’t get the money if they provide abortions in any of their programs. It used to be you couldn’t spend U.S. money on abortions. This is a whole new level of evil and hate for women. And then there’s trying to eliminate Obamacare and remove health insurance from 24 million people.
dave.eisen: Also, I have to say that I was skeptical that the NYTimes and the WaPo were getting too much in the weeds on some of this scandal stuff, mostly minutia that I didn’t think many would care about. But I have to credit them for really getting at the heart of many of these issues and forcing real change (i.e. this prosecutor being appointed, even if Kristin isn’t sold)!
kristinpalpini: Yeah, it is a lot to keep up with, especially with all of our media issues, but they’re holding the line. Also here’s Trump’s statement on Mueller: “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
dave.eisen: Some new Trump tweets from this morning:
With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
kristinpalpini: Here’s my crazy theory — Comey was working with Trump to get The Orange One elected, but then there was a double cross about something and they turned on each other shortly after Trump got into office. The love affair didn’t last long, and they do sound like ex-lovers threatening to expose their intimate conversations.
cgoudreau: I think the big question on everyone’s mind is when does the impeachment process start and will there be tickets?
kristinpalpini: Yes impeachment. Then we get Pence. Ugh.
dave.eisen: AND how much will those tickets cost! Only millionaires and billionaires will be able to afford them.
kristinpalpini: I’ve got an arm and a leg right here, boy-o!
dave.eisen: Heh, well I guess most people have those.
cgoudreau: Maybe they’ll live stream it? Haha.
kristinpalpini: Ooooh, yeah, thanks C-Span.
dave.eisen: Impeachment is tricky. Do we trust the Republicans in office not to just give Trump a pass?
dave.eisen: The leadership has certainly shown that they are willing to just back up Trump no matter what he says or does. And most of the rank and file go along with that too. The Rs have a pretty big majority in the House right now, and they would be the ones casting the votes on guilty or not guilty.
cgoudreau: I wouldn’t trust a Republican in office to take care of a goldfish, but you never know…
kristinpalpini: I think impeachment would take a long time to get going and wrap, though. It might take until the Dems get in in 2018.
dave.eisen: Did you lose a goldfish as a child?
kristinpalpini: No, lost one yesterday though. It jumped out of the tank and to its death. Take that any way you like.
dave.eisen: Kristin is secretly a Republican Congresswoman.
kristinpalpini: Woah, woah, woah! Hell no. I love abortion.
dave.eisen: OK, final thoughts: What does the prosecutor find? Go!
kristinpalpini: A lot of really old Russian porn under Trump’s mattress.
cgoudreau: Proof of golden showers? Haha
kristinpalpini: Oh, and of course, evidence that Trump did obstruct justice.
dave.eisen: I think there’s going to be this Scooby Doo ending where we find out that Donald Trump was actually Vladimir Putin the whole time!
Have an idea for an AdvoChat? Contact Dave Eisenstadter at firstname.lastname@example.org.