POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 87: PUTIN IS THE MASTER

Week 86: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 7, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-86-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-de0b294f224

“A piece of street art posted to the side of a Lithuanian barbecue restaurant is stirring up conversation on social media. According to The Washington Post the image erected earlier this week by the owners of Keule Ruke in Vilnius depicts GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin locked in a kiss. Created by artist Mindaugas Bonanu, the image is meant to draw similarities to an iconic Soviet-era art piece on the Berlin Wall of Leonid Brezhnev and East German president Erich Honecker kissing (based itself on photo).”

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This week Russia was front and center as a delegation of seven Republican Senators traveled to Moscow, without any Democrats or U.S. media along, for what was described as “conciliatory” meetings with their Russian counterparts. The meetings took place on the same day the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of helping Trump win.

As former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen publicly hinted he will cooperate and the Mueller probe continued to broaden, Trump seemed increasingly unhinged, attacking Democrats and Republicans, as well as the media and corporations. His rhetoric of “anarchy” and “better take it easy” and ICE “liberating” towns became increasingly hostile and inflammatory.

This week, as stories of migrant children being gravely mistreated continued to emerge, the regime was forced in court to admit it had underestimated the number of children in its care, and had no tracking system in place to reunify separated families. Meanwhile, the regime took additional steps to make America more white, setting up a denaturalization task force and discharging immigrants from the U.S. army. More everyday incidents of racism were reported across the country.

The Families Belong Together marches tallied over 400,000 protestors at over 750 locations. Participants were 71% women, compared with 85% at the 2017 Women’s March, and 84% had a BA degree or more.

Pew Research reported for the first time, the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world in 2017 — taking in 33,000, the lowest total since the years following the Sept. 11 when it resettled about 97,000.

On Monday, WNYC reported Trump’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is creating a new denaturalization task force to examine bad naturalization cases.

USCIS expects to hire dozens of lawyers and immigration officers in the coming weeks to find U.S. citizens they say were not properly naturalized, revoke their citizenship, and deport them.

AP reported the U.S. Army quietly and abruptly discharged dozens of reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship. The total number of discharges is not known.

Immigrants have served in the U.S. Army since 1775. More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving.

U.S. refugee resettlement is on pace to remain historically low in 2018 as the Trump regime lowered the refugee ceiling for fiscal 2018 to 45,000 refugees, the lowest cap since the Refugee Act was adopted by Congress.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he “never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill.” On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill.”

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he would not move forward on a new NAFTA deal with Mexico and Canada until after the midterms.

Trump also slammed our European allies, saying, “The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller. It’s terrible what they do to us.”

Trump also attacked Harley-Davidson, saying; “Everybody who ever bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump … and they are very unhappy about it,” adding, “I think they are going to take a big hit.”

Trump also said, “You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house,”adding, “They go into Long Island, they actually liberate towns.” This repeated claim is false.

Trump also threatened critics of him or his regime, saying, “I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy,” adding, “even some of the radical ideas, I really think they’re very bad for the country.”

Bartiromo’s interview was widely criticized for its lack of substance and her refusal to push back on lies. Fox Business president Brian Jones defended Bartiromo and said, “We are proud of her hard work.”

On Sunday, Axios reported on a leaked draft of a bill ordered by Trump in which the U.S. would effectively leave the World Trade Organization, and Trump could raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent.

The Hill reported that Trump tweeted the phrase “stock market” 46 times in 2017, almost once a week. In 2018, as the market rally has stalled, Trump has only mentioned the stock market two times.

On Tuesday, Trump again threatened Harley-Davidson, claiming “my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S.”

Trump also tweeted, “Harley customers are not happy with their move — sales are down 7% in 2017.” The move was announced in 2018.

Moog Music, the legendary synthesizer designer and manufacturer, said due to Trump’s China tariffs, the company may need to lay off workers or move some, if not all, of its manufacturing overseas.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort filed a request with the Department of Labor for 61 additional H-2B temporary visas for foreign servers and cooks.

On Sunday, the staff of the Capital Gazette released a letter thanking those who offer support, and calling out Trump without naming him, “We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people.”

On Monday, the Baltimore Sun reported Trump declined a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley last week to lower American flags in honor of the fatal shooting at the Capital Gazette last week.

On Tuesday, Trump reversed as press secretary Sarah Sanders called Buckley in the morning to say the White House had issued a proclamation ordering the flags lowered nationwide until sunset Tuesday.

On Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton told “Face the Nation,” relating to Trump’s upcoming meeting with Putin, “we’re going to have to see” if the U.S. eventually recognizes Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

On Saturday, in Paris, Rudy Giuliani addressed the National Council of Resistance of Iran which was once listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Europe, and called for regime change in Tehran.

AP reported Trump repeatedly pressed aides in August 2017 to invade Venezuela. Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster were reportedly stunned, and McMaster and others explained it could backfire and talked him out of it.

On Tuesday, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the Trump regime is temporarily letting ZTE resume some business activities while the U.S. weighs ending a seven-year ban on the company.

On Tuesday, in a court brief, nearly three dozen retired military officers and national security officials asked a federal appeals court to uphold an order blocking Trump’s transgender military ban.

On Monday, George Stephanopoulos reported on his 45-minute interview of Cohen, which took place Saturday evening at a Manhattan hotel where Cohen has been staying — Cohen’s first public interview since the FBI raid.

Stephanopoulos reported Cohen said, “My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” adding, “I put family and country first,” not Trump.

On Wednesday, July 4, Cohen scrubbed mention of Trump from his Twitter bio, and changed his Twitter header photo, deleting one that showed him standing behind a Trump campaign podium.

On Thursday, Cohen hired Lanny Davis, the attorney and PR man who led President Clinton’s public defense against multiple scandals in the 1990s. Davis was also a surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

On Sunday, NYT reported that sponsors of migrant children trying to reunite the children with parents face considerable red tape, and must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in airfare for the children.

On Monday, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia blocked the systematic, arbitrary detention of migrants who have shown credible evidence that they were fleeing persecution in their home countries.

The lawsuit noted that 1,000 asylum seekers had been denied parole in five ICE districts. Before Trump took office, more than nine out of 10 asylum seekers were granted parole.

The judge ordered the government to conduct individualized reviews to determine whether a person is a flight risk, poses a national security threat, or is a danger to the community before denying parole.

Bloomberg reported on a 15 year-old girl who said after fleeing El Salvador and forcibly separated from her mother, she was crammed into a windowless room with 60 other girls.

The room was divided by wire fencing into three cages, each holding 20 separated girls, some as young as 3 years-old. She said she was deprived of proper sleep or food for three days, and that “the place was freezing.”

Grassroots Leadership, a human rights organization, posted letters from immigration detention centers. One woman called the facility “la perrera,” the kennel, because of the chain-link cages she and others were held in.

She said for eight days after she was captured, she was not allowed to bathe or brush her teeth. She and other women slept on the floor under “aluminum paper” blankets, saying they were treated like “we were animals.”

Others described the anguish of being separated from their children. One woman wrote, “From then on, I didn’t know anything more about my children…They told us our kids would be adopted by other people.”

In protest of Trump’s family separation policy, Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis arranged baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statues in a chain-linked, enclosed cage on their lawn.

On Wednesday, NYT reported Trump’s inauguration fund collected $500,000 from two private prison companies, Geo Group and CoreCivic, which are involved in housing detained migrant families.

Defense Secretary James Mattis sits on a board of a housing contractor, and Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos provided funds to one of the groups. Some contractors employ GOP lobbyists with ties to Trump.

On Tuesday, Intercept reported that when Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen toured a detention facility housing women in Southern Texas, migrant mothers who were separated from their children were moved outdoors.

The mothers tried to yell their questions to Nielsen from a distant soccer field but were ignored. Reporters were also not given access to Nielsen during the visit.

On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump renewed his calls for deporting migrants without due process, tweeting, “they must be told to leave without our … Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial.”

Trump also tweeted, “Tell the people “OUT,” and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn,” and repeated his lie about needing to hire thousands of judges.

On Monday, BuzzFeed reported that Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the committee is in weekly conversation with Christopher Steele, author of the dossier.

On Monday, AP reported, according to internal memos and business records obtained, Konstantin Kilimnik was far more involved in formulating pro-Russia political strategy with Paul Manafort than previously known.

Memos date back to 2004, and show Kilimnik helped formulate Manafort’s pitches to clients in Russia and Ukraine, including Oleg Deripaska, and that he helped Manafort plan to influence Western politicians and media outlets.

On Monday, McClatchy reported Mueller’s team likely got access to the NRA’s tax returns, which would identify “dark money” donors, companies, and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of donations to Trump.

On Tuesday, Trump accused the NSA of violating privacy, tweeting, “The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages,” and trying to tie it to the unrelated Mueller probe: “The Witch Hunt continues!

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is tapping more prosecutors to help with new legal battles as the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election continues to expand.

Instead of adding to his staff, Mueller is making use of prosecutors from U.S. attorneys offices and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — and may hand off more cases as he did with Cohen.

On Friday, a newly released court document showed Manafort is being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day ahead of his July 25 trial, saying his safety cannot be otherwise guaranteed while in prison.

On Monday, the White House Twitter account — @WhiteHouse — falsely accused Sen. Kamala Harris of “supporting the animals of MS-13,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of “supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims.”

On Tuesday, the White House Twitter account attacked two House Democrats, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan, who announced last week they would introduce legislation to abolish ICE.

On Monday, an image with a fake quote by Rep. Maxine Waters, which read, “Waters: SCOTUS pick should be illegal immigrant,” was posted and spread around pro-Trump Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On Tuesday, Trump escalated his attacks on Rep. Waters, referring to her as “Crazy Maxine Waters,” and saying she is “one of the most corrupt people in politics.”

On Tuesday, Trump continued attacks on gangs as a proxy for people with brown skin and his support for ICE, tweeting, “we have an “infestation” of MS-13 GANGS,” and “who do we send to get them out? ICE!”

CNN reported that Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, falsely claiming Obama granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal negotiations, came from a story on the Fox News website.

ABC News reported Mark Harris, an insurgent Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina, had questioned in a 2013 sermon whether careers were ‘healthiest pursuit’ for women.

WAPO reported on a white woman in Maple Heights, Ohio who called the police on a 12 year-old black boy who was mowing her neighbor’s lawn, after he had slightly crossed onto her property line.

On Tuesday, a woman called the police on Rep. Janelle Bynum, a black Oregon state representative running for re-election, while she was going door-to-door campaigning and using her cellphone.

On Wednesday, the Daily News reported the principal at the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, New York refused to allow the school’s first black valedictorian give a graduation speech.

Instead, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren invited Jaisaan Lovett, who had served as her intern previously, the give his speech at City Hall. Warren said, “I think it was personal between Jaisaan and the principal.”

On July 4, a white man in North Carolina asked a black woman who was swimming in a community pool for her ID, then called the police. After a video of the incident went viral, he was fired by Sonoco.

On Friday, Larry Lappin, a white man in Petaluma, California apologized after a video of him cursing a neighbor on July 4 for playing Spanish-language music went viral, saying he had been drinking too much.

On Friday, the day after a video surfaced of Michael Miselis, a member of a white-supremacist group, attending the Charlottesville rally and pounding on a black man, he was fired from his job at Northrop Grumman.

The NAACP issued a new study showing a continued rise in hate crimes to “the highest level in a decade,” and said there is a direct relationship between the rise and “Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies.”

The report found racially-motivated crimes comprise nearly 60% of overall hate crimes. Overall, the report found, “Anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-Latino were the most common type of hate crimes.”

On Monday, Kentucky’s GOP governor Matt Bevin canceled dental and vision benefits for almost 500,000 people on Medicaid in his state, following a judge blocking the state’s Medicaid work requirements in Week 84.

On Tuesday, Trump’s Department of Education rescinded an Obama-era guideline that encouraged the use of race to promote diversity, directing schools and colleges to adopt race-neutral admissions standard

The regime instead reposted a W. Bush administration document strongly encouraging the use of “race-neutral” methods on the Department of Education website.

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions withdrew 24 Justice Department guidance documents, most but not all dating back to the Obama administration, including materials about affirmative action and the right of refugees.

NBC News reported Trump’s most recent financial disclosures reveal first lady Melania Trump earned between $100,000 and $1 million in 2017 from Getty Images for use of a series of images shot between 2010–2016.

At least a dozen news agencies paid to use the photos, which include a requirement photos be used only in positive coverage. Several agencies removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News.

On Tuesday, Scott Schools, a top aide to Rod Rosenstein resigned. Schools was a senior official and played a critical role as a strategic counselor on institutional norms and ethics. His exit follows Rachel Brand.

School’s role included recommending Andrew McCabe be fired for “lack of candor,” advising then acting AG Sally Yates about the boundaries of her congressional testimony, and getting regular briefings on the Mueller investigation.

CNN reported based on a mortality database which they and Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued Puerto Rico to obtain, 26 Puerto Ricans died from leptospirosis in the six months following Hurricane Maria.

On Tuesday, 75 protesters blocked the entrance to an ICE building in Philadelphia, refusing to allow anyone to enter or leave. Nearly 30 were arrested after a clash with police.

On July 4, Therese Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty in protest of Trump’s immigration policy of separating families. Police closed down and evacuated the Statue.

Okoumou was among 40 Rise and Resist protestors who earlier had hung a banner on the Statue calling for the abolishment of ICE.

Walmart stopped selling T-shirts and baby onesies that said “Impeach 45” after an social media outcry from Trump supporters who threatened to boycott the retailer.

In an op-ed, Alan Dershowitz said he was being “shunned” on Martha’s Vineyard for defending Trump, saying one good thing is finding out “who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were.”

On Thursday, actor and Trump supporter James Woods revealed his agent, Ken Kaplan, had dropped him in a message saying, “It’s the 4th of July and I’m feeling patriotic. I don’t want to represent you anymore.”

On Monday, CNN reported Trump is planning a one-on-one meeting with Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, before aides join their first formal meeting.

On Tuesday July 3, seven Senate Republicans met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow. The meetings were closed-door and the media was not given access, nor were any Democrats invited.

The senators struck a “conciliatory” tone. Sen. Richard Shelby told Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, “I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth, I’m saying that we should all strive for a better relationship.”

Among the Russian attendees were Sergey Kislyak, whose conversations with Michael Flynn led to Flynn’s firing, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The visit represents the most significant congressional visit to Russia in over a decade.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev raised Russia’s grievances about U.S. sanctions and seizure of Russian diplomatic properties. Kosachev was put under U.S. sanctions in April.

While some GOP senators had hoped to meet with Putin during the trip, a spokesperson said Putin “had no time for the visitors.” Kosachev later told Russia state TV the GOP lawmakers’ visit was a concession.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to aid Trump.

The report describes activity that goes far beyond the intelligence community’s initial January 2017 findings, and says Russia is continuing its efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.

The report also backed the intelligence findings that Russian intelligence services used digital operations to target both major political parties, as well as think tanks and lobby groups, in order to influence U.S. policy.

On Wednesday, London Metropolitan Police said two people found unconscious in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday were exposed to nerve agent Novichok, the same used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The U.K. Home Secretary accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison.” The Russian embassy called the assertions “merely speculative,” and said May’s government was subjecting them “to hell”.

On Friday, Sen. Ron Johnson, who was one of the seven GOP Senators in Moscow, told Sirius radio “The Big Picture,” that it was time to “evaluate” whether to lift sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

On Monday, WAPO reported two of Scott Pruitt’s top aides, both Trump appointees, have provided congressional investigators new details about his most controversial spending and management decisions.

Aides said Pruitt sought a job for his wife that would pay over $200,000, requested help from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord, and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel.

CNN reported that according to Kevin Chmielewski, a whistleblower, Pruitt and his aides kept “secret” calendars and schedules to hide controversial meetings or calls with industry representatives or others.

On Monday, a mother carrying her toddler son confronted Pruitt at a D.C. restaurant and asked him to resign before scandal pushes him out, saying her son loves animals, breathing clean air, and drinking clean water.

On Thursday, Pruitt resigned. WAPO reported the White House informed Pruitt that he had to submit his resignation. Trump tweeted shortly after that Pruitt did an “outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him.”

In his resignation letter, Pruitt wrote it had been “a blessing” to serve under Trump and undertake “transformative work,” and blamed “the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family.”

On Friday, in his final hours at the EPA, Pruitt granted a loophole allowing a major increase in the manufacturing of older diesel freight trucks which produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as newer trucks.

The newer technology reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide, which are blamed for asthma, lung cancer, and other ailments. The move was opposed by environmental, public health, industry players, and truck manufacturers.

Pruitt will be replaced by his deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who shares Pruitt’s zeal for undoing environmental regulations. Wheeler is a Washington insider who has spent years effectively navigating the rules.

The New Yorker reported on the record-setting turnover under Trump: as of the end of June, 61% of top-level advisers have turned under Trump. At the same point in, Obama’s turnover was 14% and W. Bush was 5%.

With Pruitt’s departure, Trump’s Cabinet has the fastest turnover rate of any Administration in a hundred years. Turnover is also alarming at lower levels, where positions are held by second and third waves of aides.

On Thursday, a federal judge in California rejected the Trump regime’s challenge to block three of the state’s sanctuary laws, allowing laws that restrict local law enforcement cooperation with ICE and require state oversight of facilities housing immigration detainees to stay in place.

A third law which could require employers to notify employees about upcoming workplace inspections will stay in place, but the judge struck down a ban on employers voluntarily giving access to employee records.

The ruling allows the California to keep in place its most significant legislative measures aimed at countering Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The judge called on Congress to pass immigration reform.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said nearly 3,000 — not the 2,047 number he gave to Senators last week — migrant children are in custody after crossing the southern border.

Azar said some of the children may have been separated before “zero tolerance,” and some children may not qualify for reunification because they were separated during their journey and not by U.S. border agents.

Of the roughly 3,000 migrant children still in federal custody, about 100 are under the age of 5.

DNA will be used to reunite families to meet the deadlines of the San Diego federal court ruling. Azar said the regime will soon start reuniting families in ICE detention centers while their asylum claims play out.

Immigration advocates and others raised concerned over how DNA collected by migrants would be used in the future, including DNA could be used to track undocumented immigrants indefinitely.

On Thursday, NYT reported that according to two Department of Homeland Security officials, records linking migrant children to their parents have disappeared or have been destroyed.

DHS has deployed hundreds of federal workers to comply with an injunction from a federal judge in San Diego under which families must be reunited by July 26, with a July 10 deadline for children under 5.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement had initiated procedures such as identification bracelets and registration numbers, but Border Patrol which handled the migrants for the first 72 hours, did not follow through.

PBS reported on a motion filed Monday by Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and D.C., which includes 900 pages of declarations and personal testimonies from parents, children, and other family members.

Olivia Caceres, separated from her 1 year-old son in November wrote, “(My son) is not the same since we were reunited,” adding “When I took off his clothes he was full of dirt and lice. It seemed like they had not bathed him the 85 days.”

An investigator for the Washington attorney general wrote, “The guards would wake all the girls up at 4 a.m. to count them by kicking on their mats.” Other stories were similarly excruciating.

In hundreds of cases, Border Patrol deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” leaving no record of how to reunite them.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar said the Trump regime “will comply” with the deadlines, though he criticized the judge’s timetable as “extreme.”

Late Thursday, according to court records filed late in the day, the Trump regime said it would not be able to meet a federal judge’s deadline to reunite all migrant families separated at the southern border.

Azur said HHS overall is caring for more than 11,800 minors through a nationwide network of shelters, overseen by ORR. More than 80% of the minors are teenagers, mostly males, who crossed the border alone.

Despite Trump’s zero-tolerance policy being in place for much of June, more than 42,000 were apprehended in June, nearly double the number in June 2017. Border crossings tend to slow in summer months.

On Friday, at a status hearing, the Trump regime said they cannot locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5: 19 were released from custody, whereabouts unknown, and the other 19 were deported.

When the judge asked about having counsel back over the weekend, the ACLU attorney said, “We will do whatever,” but the DOJ attorney said she could not attend because she had out-of-town dog-sitting responsibilities.

The judge said he would agree to delay the July 10 deadline if the government could provide a master list of all children and the status of their parents by 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday.

On Thursday, one week after five were killed at the Capital Gazette, Trump said of the media at a rally in Montana, “Fake news. Bad people,” and

“They’re so damn dishonest,” and “These are really bad people.”

Trump said he would donate $1 million if he could test Sen. Warren — who he called “the fake Pocahontas” — for Native American heritage, adding, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the MeToo generation.”

To chants of “lock her up,” Trump said of Hillary Clinton, “She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. … Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department.”

Trump also took aim at George HW Bush and his slogan on volunteerism, saying, “‘Thousands points of light’….What does that mean? I know one thing. ‘Make America Great Again’ we understand.”

On his way to the rally, when asked about allegations Rep. Jim Jordan overlooked sexual abuse during his time as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, Trump said, “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him.”

After the rally, Trump ramped up the rhetoric ahead of midterm elections, tweeting, “A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities,” and “Democrats want anarchy, they really do.”

Trump also tweeted that the MS-13 “take jobs and benefits away from hardworking Americans,” and repeated his false claim that ICE is “liberating communities from savage gangs like MS-13.”

On Thursday, Bill Shine was named White House deputy chief of staff for communications, where he will report directly to Trump and oversee both the press and communications teams. Shine also has close ties to Hannity.

The appointment of Shine, who was pushed out of Fox News over his mishandling of sexual harassment scandals at the network, met with protests from both advocates and some conservatives.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll found a huge gender gap in Trump’s approval — while his overall approval is 43%, just 32% of women approve compared to 54% of men.

On Friday, South Korea media reporting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bought a CD of ‘Rocket Man,’ along with a letter from Trump, as gifts for Kim Jong Un. Pompeo laughed off, and would not confirm or deny it when asked by U.S. media.

Pompeo met with Kim Jong Chol in North Korea to hoping to flesh out specifics, following evidence North Korea continues to build its nuclear program despite assurances given by Trump after the Singapore summit.

On Saturday, AP reported Pyongyang called the visit by Pompeo “regrettable” and accused Washington of making “gangster-like” demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

A statement from a North Korea spokesperson said, “We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust,” but those hopes were “naive” and “foolish.”

Protests are planned across London for Trump’s visit next week, including a giant ‘Trump Baby’ balloon set to be flown close to the UK Parliament. Over 10,000 people signed a petition in support of the balloon.

On Wednesday, donning a sombrero, Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Magid Magid announced “in solidarity” with Mexico, Trump will be banned from his city, “I further declare July 13th to be Mexico Solidarity Day!”

On Friday, Guardian reported according to Downing Street, Trump will almost entirely avoid London during his four-day U.K. visit next week, prompting accusations he is trying to avoid planned protests against him.

On Friday, Trump officially launched a trade war with China, imposing the first duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

Moments later, China fired back, accusing the U.S. of violating World Trade Organization rules setting off “the largest trade war in economic history to date.” China said it would retaliate.

Russia also said it would retaliate, imposing tariffs on U.S. products, and would be “joining the European Union, China, India and Canada in complaining to the World Trade Organization about the American action”

The owner of a Chinese factory told an NPR podcast he was making flags for Trump’s 2020 campaign. It is unclear if the Trump campaign or related businesses put in the order.

On Thursday, the Heritage Foundation tweeted a list of “Things to remember” countering Trump before his trip to Europe, including “Russia is the aggressor,” “Crimea belongs to Ukraine,” and Putin can’t be trusted.

On Friday, WAPO reported allies are worried that similar to the week of G7, Trump will blow up the NATO summit then offer concessions to another autocrat, NATO’s main adversary Russia.

At his rally in Montana, Trump railed against NATO, saying “you got to start paying your bills,” and “They kill us on trade,” while defending Putin, calling him “fine” at the event.

WAPO also reported that Trump gave out his personal cell phone number to a handful of foreign leaders shortly after taking office, and his White House is not informed of his calls, nor is there a typical public readout.

Aides have urged Trump to route all conversations with foreign leaders through the Situation Room, as required under federal records law, but Trump refuses, instead giving them a terse summary of his calls.

In conversations with Trudeau, May, and Merkel, Trump is sometimes assertive, brash and even bullying. With Putin, Trump takes a more conciliatory approach, often treating the Russian leader as a confidant.

White House aides worry that Putin is playing on Trump’s inexperience to gain the upper-hand, saying things like “fake news” and that U.S. foreign policy establishment, the “deep state,” is conspiring against them.

On Friday, NYT reported Trump’s attorneys set new conditions for a Mueller interview, saying Mueller needs to prove he has evidence that Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential.

This marks a shift to a more combative approach. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, 45% of Americans disapprove of how Mueller is handling the investigation, up from 31% in January 2018.

On Saturday, Trump again attacked the media, tweeting that Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts, and asking will that “include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post.”

In an op-ed, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist said Mueller “is under assault,” extolling, “No matter who is in the White House, we Republicans must stand up for the sanctity of our democracy and the rule of law.”

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4 thoughts on “POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 87: PUTIN IS THE MASTER

  1. So the Russians did what the US is already doing since … ever. And what did the Russians do? They revealed the slimy tactics of the Democratic leadership to derail Bernie’s candidacy. Has this helped Trump’s election? Yes, but to me it seems that the democrats are making an issue of pointing fingers at whom revealed this information instead of saying mea culpa. It’s a game of shooting the messenger instead of acknowledging the message.By consequence, the swing votes went for the only remaining non-establishment candidate.

    On Sun, Jul 8, 2018 at 12:56 PM, TOKIDOKI (NOMAD) wrote:

    > jacquelinemhadel posted: “Week 86: Experts in authoritarianism advise to > keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. July > 7, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-86-experts-in- > authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-y” > >

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read that ENTIRE list…it’s huge! And as you obviously saw in those 170+ items, not all of it’s related to the control Russia has over our country and the policies that are being made in its favor. You are an appreciated reader! Please tune in each week and you, yourself, have a GREAT week, and thanks again ~

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, he regrettably sticks to his campaign promises. However, Obama has tried for EIGHT years to close Guantanamo Bay, one of his key campaigning promises and didn’t succeed. What proves that the power a US president can wield is curbed by checks and balances. Those who stayed at home on election day, got the president they deserve, those who voted for Trump got what they wanted and the rest has the right and duty to oppose.

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