Anyone who’s not “on payroll” has accepted that Joe Biden is on track to win, Republican strategists told me.

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(IG: @clay.banks)

As President Donald Trump declares that he should “easily win” the 2020 election, Republican strategists outside the president’s orbit say they have accepted that the opposite seems increasingly likely.

Multiple Republican strategists told me Thursday night that they and others in their circles have accepted that Trump is on track to lose to former Vice President Joe Biden, given the way the numbers are trending in remaining battleground states.

Only “people on payroll” for Trump still think the president will win re-election, said an Arizona-based GOP strategist who requested anonymity to speak openly. …


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Credit: Dave Stokes

When I interviewed Carole Baskin for an article years ago, she made clear how she felt about people in the world of big cats. Public reporting of tigers was “based on the honor system,” she told me, “and we’re dealing with a lot of people that are really dishonorable.” She went into detail about one of these people: Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic.

Having reported on captive tigers in the United States, I watched “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” on Netflix with great interest. I had followed the feud between Baskin and Maldonado-Passage for more than five years. But the documentary series, while entertaining, failed to explore a crucial detail that helped cause the chasm between people such as Maldonado-Passage and Baskin — and, by the former’s own admission, contributed to his demise. …


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Credit: Mug Life

The smartphone and tablet application used to make a doctored GIF of former Vice President Joe Biden, which President Donald Trump retweeted Monday, cites praise from a Russian media outlet accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The GIF depicts Biden, Trump’s presumptive presidential opponent, raising his eyebrows and sticking out his tongue. A watermark on the GIF indicates its creator used Mug Life, an app that enables users to animate images of human and animal faces to make them three-dimensional. The app has 11,000 ratings on Apple’s App Store and more than one million installs from Google Play.

Mug Life was created in 2015 by two men in Texas and is owned by a limited liability company registered in Texas, according to a state filing. …

About

Max Kutner

Journalist covering politics, Justice Dept., Russia probes, 2020. Previously at Newsweek and Smithsonian Magazine.

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