Al Franken (lefty), and Charlie Rose and Glenn Thrush (fake news) all appear to be headed for a fall. The House passed its version of Trump's tax reform. All things considered, things should be pretty rosy over at the White House. But that is, per usual, not the case. This week's power rankings begin with the slumlord wunderkind...
1. Jared Kushner
For a White House advisor who’s so young, Kushner sure does seem to have a lot of memory problems. The latest: his “forgetting” to turn over documents related to communications with WikiLeaks and about setting up backchannel communications with Russians. Though who among us hasn’t had such things slip our minds? Related: Vox has a helpful list of all the times Kushner’s forgotten to tell Congress something when prompted.
2. Donald Trump Jr.
According to the New York Times, “a senior Russian official who claimed to be acting at the behest of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia tried in May 2016 to arrange a meeting between Mr. Putin and Donald J. Trump.” Simple enough. Well, it turns out it ended up being Don Jr. who took the meeting, which was allegedly limited to the topic of firearms. The meeting came to light as part of the Senate’s admonishment of Kushner for not turning over documents related to the meeting request, and came just three weeks before Trump Jr. and Kushner met with a Russian lawyer to discuss obtaining dirt on the Clinton campaign.
3. Robert Mueller
This week, we learned the special investigator requested documents from the Department of Justice regarding James Comey’s firing and Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation. This would seem to indicated the investigation is looking into possible obstruction into the investigation.
4. Donald Trump
Trump refuses to discuss Roy Moore himself, instead sending out surrogates from advisor and spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway (makes sense) and budget director Mick Mulvaney (huh?) to make the case that, ‘hey, pedophiles may not make ideal candidates, but we need to pack the courts with conservatives and get tax reform done.’ Trump also suggested he should have left three college students in a Chinese prison on shoplifting charges when the father of one of the students declined to sufficiently praise Trump for his role in securing the release. Muy presidential. Also, with every blow struck in the battle to expose powerful men who also have a history of being sexual predators, things get a little uncomfortable for anyone who's been accused by 16 people or various related offenses.
5. Rick Gates
There’s a small chance Gates will get to leave his home for Thanksgiving for the first time since being indicted, which is great for him. There’s also a chance he’s going to lose his attorney because said attorney also represents a client facing fraud charges who could testify against Gates. Mueller’s looking into it.
6. Hope Hicks
Hicks was much higher up on the list last week, since it only became clear how crucial she could be to the investigation recently. This week, she awaits interview from Mueller. In the coming weeks, she could be shooting back to the top.
7. Carter Page
Last week we found out that “low-level volunteer” George Papadopoulous held suspicious meetings in Greece with Russian allies on behalf of the Trump campaign. This week, it’s “low-level” volunteer Page, who met in September 2016 with a close advisor to the Hungarian prime minister. Hungary is also regarded as a primary central European hub for Russian intelligence services.
8. H.R. McMaster
The national security advisor reportedly became the second high-level cabinet member (after secretary of state Rex Tillerson) to rip into Trump’s intelligence, when, according to Buzzfeed News, he “dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner” during a dinner with Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle. Harsh.
9. LaVar Ball
Can they both lose?
10. Roy Moore
To be fair, Moore’s existence should make all of us panic.