Trump administration officials are being repeatedly tricked by email prankster

Given the caliber of White House staff Donald Trump has hired on, the only thing surprising about the news that an emailing “prankster” pretended to be Jared Kushner and was rewarded with the private email address of a Homeland Security Adviser is that it doesn’t happen all the time. Or, ya know, maybe it does.

“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake Jared Kushner on an Outlook account wrote to the official White House email account of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”

Bossert wrote back: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” (redacted).

A thought: Just where the hell were princeling Jared Kushner and Tom Bossert dining when they were supposed to be visiting U.S. troops in Iraq and, you know, sort out this whole Middle East thing? I don’t think anybody has been tempted into a “soiree” with promises of food just as good as that mess hall.

Anyhoo, this appears to be the same prankster that tricked now-out-on-his-behind Anthony Scaramucci into thinking he was a vengeance-seeking Reince Priebus, and tricked future Russian Ambassador Huntsman into thinking he was getting messages from Qusay Trump, and I think we can all see how there is potential here for us to be truly and thoroughly boned if anyone with more nefarious motives has been playing the same games with the pretzeldent’s men. (Another note: given how freely Poochie was in responding to the prankster, it may be that the problem is not White House leaks, but White House staff members gullibly telling pranksters every detail of inner White House workings under the apparent belief that they were communicating with other members of the staff.)

I seem to recall Donald Trump opining that if Democratic Party officials couldn’t stop Russian government-sponsored hackers from breaking into party systems then that was just their own damn fault. It appears the bar to hack into the Oval Office is, however, considerably lower.

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Dallas Keuchel on Astros’ deadline moves: ‘Disappointment is a little bit of an understatement’

Houston didn’t do much of anything at the trade deadline.

The Astros are just fine when it comes to making the postseason this year. They have a 16-game lead in the AL West, and are 11.5-games in front of the Yankees when it comes to the entire American League.

Yet even teams that have a postseason berth all but locked up, like the Dodgers or the Nationals, made some moves at the trade deadline. A few of those moves were big ones (hello, Yu!) and look to be immediately beneficial to the teams that took the plunge and upgraded their roster.

But the Astros didn’t make any major moves at the deadline, and in fact they barely made any moves at all. The only trade they took part in was acquiring the middling Francisco Liriano from Toronto for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez.

For a team that has the 24th-ranked bullpen by ERA right now, they definitely could have used some help there. And while they wanted to hold on to top prospects instead of going all-in for this season, that might backfire since they held on to everyone.

It could pan out, but right now one person is feeling let down by the Astros lackluster performance at the deadline.

In advance of Tuesday’s game, pitcher Dallas Keuchel told Brian McTaggart “I’m not going to lie. Disappointment is a little bit of an understatement.”

He went on to say that everyone in the clubhouse right now believes they can win it all, which is reasonable considering how they are doing in the regular season, but that something extra to shore up the team and improve weak spots during a playoff push would have been nice to see.

Players don’t always readily admit that teams “standing pat” in what could be a pivotal situation is disappointing to them, so this is some refreshing honesty in a tricky moment for Keuchel.

He also stated, “good teams can always be great, and great teams can always be legendary” so now it’s time to wait and see if the Astros disappointing deadline decisions prevent this team from rising to legendary status or if the players they are sticking with will do that without any outside help.

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