THE NIGHT(S) BEFORE CHRISTMAS

From “Meet The Press’: SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-Utah) to CHUCK TODD on NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”: “I’m not going to psychoanalyze the president. But I think he feels that anything that suggests that Russia is being malevolent or not treating him with the respect he deserves, why, he obviously backs away from that. He doesn’t want to recognize Russia as the problem they are and the extraordinarily bad actor they are on the world stage. Because it reflects poorly on him, at least perhaps in his own mind.

QUOTE OF THE DAY … Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY to the NYT’S ANDREW KRAMER: “‘Joe Biden, it seems to me, knows Ukraine better than the previous president,’ Mr. Zelensky said in his first interview with an American news organization since the election. ‘Before his presidency, he had close ties to Ukraine, and he understands the Russians well, he understands the difference between Ukraine and Russia, and, it seems to me, he understands the Ukrainian mentality,’ Mr. Zelensky said. ‘It will really help strengthen relations, help settle the war in Donbas and end the occupation of our territory. The United States can help.’”

THE INSIDE STORy of how Trump’s denial, mismanagement and magical thinking led to the pandemic’s dark winter…” (WaPo)

BIRTHDAYS: Emanuel Macron is 43; Jane Fonda is 83.

FROM THE WAPO: Trump leaves behind a mess. Read about it HERE.

From the Daily Beast: Trump wants an airport named after him!! How about Crescent City? Read about it HERE.

After again pouring cold water on the notion of widespread voter fraud at a Monday press conference and saying that he didn’t believe a Hunter Biden special counsel will be necessary, Bill Barr stands to depart the office of attorney general with far less fanfare than he once enjoyed in right-wing media. Throughout Trump’s presidency, Barr has largely been celebrated for siding with Trump on various issues. But his refusal to back the claims being pushed in pro-Trump media about the election and Hunter Biden have turned a swath of the industry against him. Once a hero of the right-wing media universe, Barr will depart on Wednesday as a villain to many — a common theme among many who have served in the Trump WH…

SEN. JOHN THUNE, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told CNN’s MANU RAJU the effort by the House conservatives ( to overturn the election) is “going down like a shot dog.” “I just don’t think it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be.” Of course, logic may not sit well with this crew.

Merry Christmas, Everyone !

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