Abigail Tracy
Abigail Tracy
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“He Is Playing With Fire Now”: Why Mike Pompeo’s Postelection Trump Worship Carries Real Risks

“He Is Playing With Fire Now”: Why Mike Pompeo’s Postelection Trump Worship Carries Real Risks

If Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s during a press conference this week that there would be “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” was a joke, as some deduced by the smirk on his face, it wasn’t a good one. “Outrageous” and “absolutely disgraceful” are among the words diplomatic sources used to describe the moment, in which Pompeo appeared to troll reporters concerned by the very real possibility of unrest as Joe Biden takes the reins from Donald Trump. For the most part, however, diplomats were unsurprised. “Pompeo is always going to be a pompous ass,” said Brett Bruen, a...

Nov 13
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“Stephen Miller Is the Key to Understanding Chad’s Rise”: At DHS, Chad Wolf Is Playing a Political Game Within a Game

“Stephen Miller Is the Key to Understanding Chad’s Rise”: At DHS, Chad Wolf Is Playing a Political Game Within a Game

When Chad Wolf defended the Department of Homeland Security’s crackdown in Portland, Oregon this summer, his former colleagues were perplexed. To them, the man decrying the “violent anarchists” threatening “to burn down” a federal courthouse was almost unrecognizable. It wasn’t just the partisan nature of his comments, made before the Senate in August, but the aggression with which he delivered them. “That doesn’t match the guy I worked with,” a former senior DHS official told me. “It’s not his personality.” Wolf, like so many others before him, was plainly putting on a show for Donald...

October 23, 2020
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“We’re Watching Them Shoot Themselves in the Foot”: Trump’s COVID Circus Is Supercharging Democrats’ SCOTUS Strategy

“We’re Watching Them Shoot Themselves in the Foot”: Trump’s COVID Circus Is Supercharging Democrats’ SCOTUS Strategy

Senate Democrats have been preparing for this moment since May. That month the Supreme Court announced that the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had undergone treatment at Johns Hopkins for a gallbladder condition. She recovered, but the scare threw into focus how vulnerable Democrats would be if Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell aimed to fast-track a conservative SCOTUS nominee through the confirmation process. At the time Chuck Schumer’s office took inventory of the tactics Democrats might use to stop them. There wasn’t much. So he settled on the most viable strategy: of said nominee...

October 9, 2020
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“What’s Wrong With a Sweep?”: As Trump Falters, Democrats See an Expanding 2020 Senate Map

“What’s Wrong With a Sweep?”: As Trump Falters, Democrats See an Expanding 2020 Senate Map

In the aftermath of the first 2020 presidential debate, jaws dropped, norms crumbled, and words were used on television that had never been used before. Yet in terms of the election itself, its impact seems to have been negligible. Independent voters still claim to be torn, and polls still show Joe Biden with a over Donald Trump. “It’s been a remarkable cycle in its stability,” a Democratic operative told me. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, an economic recession, and mass protests against systemic racism, Trump’s approval has remained static. “He looks now like he looked six months ago,...

October 2, 2020
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“He Is Throwing Gasoline on a Fully Raging Fire”: Trump’s Kid-Glove Handling of White Supremacists Could Create a Homegrown Crisis

“He Is Throwing Gasoline on a Fully Raging Fire”: Trump’s Kid-Glove Handling of White Supremacists Could Create a Homegrown Crisis

“We have two pandemics,” said Nate Snyder, a former senior DHS counterterrorism official. One, of course, is the novel coronavirus. The other is the rising threat of domestic terrorism most recently exemplified by Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old arrested for allegedly fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse became an instant hero on the right, defended by the likes of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and adulated on extremist message boards: “Join your local nazis,” read a post featuring what...

September 8, 2020
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