PRODUCT FOCUS: LEUCHTTURM1917 METALLIC EDITION ~ BULLET JOURNALLING

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The Metallic Edition for 2019. 

Happy 2019 ! To make a long story short, I spent a month in Frankfurt, Germany last year and as I wandered through various stationery shops, my eyes and hands kept going to the Leuchtturm journal displays. As an impassioned and committed journaller / world traveler, I am always looking for journals to record my life experiences in. I researched Leuchtturm first, before contacting them to see if they would sponsor me with some products for this glorious year, 2019, just to see what kind of company it was. It’s important that my principles align with companies I wish to use and promote. I liked what I saw immediately; a family-run company proud of over 100 years of service to the world. In each journal, you receive a signed note of appreciation for purchasing their products and information on how the company began and what it provides. Here’s a link to the US website: https://www.leuchtturm1917.us

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I’ve begun my first bullet journal a.k.a. BUJO, and because so many seasoned bullet journallers recommend Leuchtturm as the journal to use, this all aligned perfectly for me. Here’s a quote from https://littlecoffeefox.com/ultimate-bullet-journal-cheat-sheet/

LEUCHTTURM1917

This hardcover journal comes in blank, lined, squared, or dot grid paper. For bullet journaling, I always choose the dot grid first or the squared second. I never get lined paper for bullet journaling! This journal comes with a pocket, two bookmarks, pre-numbered pages, and a pre-built index. Plus there is a huge variety of colors, so you can always find something for your taste! I have bought this journal again and again, and I will always recommend it to newbies because it is worth every single penny.

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My gold metallic 2019 BUJO.
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I spiced up the front with images from the artist Orble, who is based in Berlin, Germany. https://www.instagram.com/orble_streetart/

I still have a lot to learn, and Bujo-ing is an ongoing process, but here are my monthly spreads for 2019 in progress:IMG_3029IMG_3023IMG_3031IMG_3032

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There is still a lot more to do as I figure out how I want to organize all of my goals and everything, plus, I haven’t gotten a hold of any stencils yet, to give the layouts a ‘sharper’ look, but at this moment, I am content with where I am.

A big thank you to Leuchtturm for doing 2019 with me and I strongly recommend Leuchtturm to you, for any of your journalling / life organizing needs. 

1JAN2019 from Cocoa Beach, Florida

 

 

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MIAMI, FLORIDA STREET ART & GRAFFITI: SMOG ONE

dec18 Wynwood Miami Florida

MIAMI, FLORIDA (WYNWOOD ART BASEL 2018) STREET ART & GRAFFITI: A SIGHTLESS SOUL MIGHT STRAY

dec18 Wynwood Miami Florida

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 112: “A SAD AND PATHETIC MOMENT”

Welcome to another week of Amy Siskind’s comprehensive list of facts paired with my political art finds from around the globe. I won’t say “Enjoy,” but rather, “Get informed.”

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Photo by StellaBella in NYC, DEC 2018

Week 111

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-111/

Increasingly, Trump stands alone. The generals are gone, much of his experienced and competent senior staffers have resigned or been fired. This week, in a tantrum over his decision to shut down the government, Trump stewed and tweeted and blamed and attacked from the White House, while the rest of Congress was home for the Christmas holiday. At one point on Christmas Eve day, as the stock market was plummeting, Trump bemoaned his self-imposed status, tweeting, “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House.” Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley called it, “a sad and pathetic moment.” As the week came to a close, Trump again complained: “I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats.”

This week the stock market continued wild gyrations, as Trump again publicly lashed out at his Federal Reserve Chair, and privately threatened to fire his Treasury Secretary. Parts of the government were shuttered during the holiday week, and the effects of the shutdown started to be felt. Trump took a surprise visit — his first — to a combat zone, but even that backfired and led to further criticism as he held a campaign rally-style event with U.S. troops at a military base in Iraq, and continued his partisan criticisms of Democrats and demagoguery about his wall and the shutdown while abroad. Iraqi politicians denounced Trump’s visit and demanded U.S. troops leave their country.

This week the crisis at our southern border intensified as a second child died in Border Patrol custody, and more than 1,600 migrants were dropped off without warning over the holidays at a Greyhound bus stop in El Paso. Incoming House Democrats promised to hold hearings on the treatment of migrants when they take control of committees, and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hired a distinguished former Department of Justice official as the new General Counsel of the House, as talks of investigations and impeachment continued.

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Not my photo. Artist LushSux in Bethlehem on the West Bank Wall/Barrier.
  1. On Saturday, WAPO reported that for two years seasoned advisers tried to tutor Trump on history, deliberation, restraint, and preparation, and tried to rein in his most reckless impulses. All of these advisers are gone or have failed.
  2. Trump enters his third year unchecked, with the country in disarray: the government is shut down, the stock market is in free-fall, and foreign allies are voicing alarm. Hostile powers like Russia are cheering.
  3. Republicans are for the first time sporadically openly critical, while Trump surrounds himself solely with sycophants, with Jared Kushner taking more power and Nikki Haley, John Kelly, and Jim Mattis about to depart.
  4. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week was “the most chaotic week of what’s undoubtedly the most chaotic presidency ever in the history of the United States,” citing senior level departures.
  5. On Saturday, in the evening, Trump attacked outgoing Defense Secretary Mattis, tweeting, “When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t.”
  6. Trump also tweeted, “Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.”
  7. Trump also attacked Brett McGurk, whom Trump claimed he did not know, even though McGurk was his anti-ISIS point man — adding “Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!”
  8. On Sunday, irritated by criticism, Trump announced he would push out Mattis two months earlier than planned. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Mattis of the decision.
  9. Mattis’ deputy will assume the role temporarily. The announcement brought additional instability to the Pentagon as it manages Trump’s sudden decisions to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
  10. On Sunday, Sen. Bob Corker told “State of the Union” Trump was to blame for the government shutdown. In two tweets, Trump attacked Corker, saying he did not run for re-election because his “poll numbers TANKED.”
  11. On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin phoned the chief executives of six of the country’s largest banks from his vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to ensure they had ample liquidity.
  12. Over the weekend, Trump’s advisers sought to assure investors that Trump will not fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, seeking to quell further speculation and calm the markets.
  13. Mnuchin said in a statement Trump had not suggested firing Powell and did not believe he could do so. Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “This Week” that Trump “now realizes” he cannot sack the Fed chairman.
  14. On Monday, the stock market plummeted again, in the worst day of Christmas Eve trading day in history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 653 points, and Standard & Poor’s 500 entered a bear market.
  15. Markets were spooked by Mnuchin’s calls, Trump’s threats to fire Fed Chair Powell, Mattis stepping down, and the uncertainty created by the government shutdown.
  16. On Monday, Trump spent Christmas Eve day mostly alone at the White House after canceling his trip to Mar-a-Lago. This was his third day holed up in the White House. Members of Congress have left for the holidays.
  17. Trump sent 12 tweets on a variety of topics. Trump tweeted, “Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence” until he suggested it. This claim is false.
  18. Trump also tweeted “To those few Senators who think I don’t like or appreciate being allied” with other countries, they are wrong, saying instead those “countries take advantage of their friendship.”
  19. Trump again attacked Mattis, claiming he “did not see this as a problem,” that our allies are “take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS,” adding “it is being fixed!”
  20. Trump also attacked Brett McGurk again, calling him an “Obama appointee,” who loaded up “airplanes with 1.8 Billion Dollars in CASH” to Iran, adding he was “approved by Little Bob Corker.”
  21. Trump also tweeted, “AMERICA IS RESPECTED AGAIN!”
  22. As the stock market was plunging, Trump tweeted, “The only problem our economy has is the Fed,” adding, “The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch — he can’t putt!”
  23. Trump sent one more tweet before noon, claiming reporting in Week 109 that he “‘lashed out’ at the Acting Attorney General…is a made up story, one of many, by the Fake News Media!”
  24. Shortly after, in a confusing tweet, Trump tweeted, “The Wall is different than the 25 Billion Dollars in Border Security,” claiming “The complete Wall will be built with the Shutdown money plus funds already in hand.”
  25. Trump also tweeted, “Saudi Arabia has now agreed to spend the necessary money needed to help rebuild Syria, instead of the United States. See?” Adding, “Thanks to Saudi A!”
  26. Trump ended the morning Twitter spree just after noon, tweeting “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal.” This tweet in particular drew shock and dismay.
  27. WAPO reported White House officials refused requests for comment about Trump’s tweets and activities. First Lady Melania Trump returned from Mar-a-Lago later in the day to join Trump at the White House.
  28. In the afternoon, Trump sent two more tweets. One included a photo in the Oval Office, saying “Christmas Eve briefing with my team working on North Korea…Looking forward to my next summit with Chairman Kim!”
  29. Trump also claimed that he “just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas.” It was unclear what he meant. He has repeatedly boasted falsely that parts of his wall have been built.
  30. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said, “It’s a sad and pathetic moment when on Christmas Eve the president of the United States is firing downer tweets…This is like Charles Dickens’s Scrooge on steroids.”
  31. In the evening, Trump and Melania participated in NORAD Santa Tracker calls with children. Trump asked a 7 year-old girl, “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”
  32. On Christmas, in an Oval Office appearance with reporters, Trump praised Mnuchin, but when asked if he has confidence in Powell, responded “Well, we’ll see. They’re raising interest rates too fast, that’s my opinion.”
  33. In the fourth day of the shutdown, Trump claimed of federal workers “many of those workers have said to me, communicated — stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall.”
  34. Trump also threatened to keep the government shut, saying “I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. It’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.”
  35. The president of the National Treasury Employees Union, representing 150,000 federal workers, called the shutdown “a travesty,” saying workers will have a hard time paying mortgages and buying Christmas presents.
  36. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported before Trump’s Oval Office comments, a person familiar said Trump had considered firing Mnuchin. Another said Mnuchin’s tenure may depend on how the stock market performs.
  37. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted “I hope everyone, even the Fake News Media, is having a great Christmas!” adding, “our Country is doing very well. We are securing our Borders, making great new Trade Deals…#MAGA.”
  38. The Department of Defense tweeted a Christmas message from Mattis taped the day before he resigned, praising troops for “keeping watch by night” during the season, noting they “carry on the proud legacy.”
  39. On Wednesday, Trump made an unannounced trip to Iraq to visit U.S. troops, his first trip to a conflict zone after months of public pressure and comparisons to his predecessors. He was accompanied by Melania.
  40. Trump told reporters he considered the safety risks in making his first trip to a war zone, claiming “I had concerns for the institution of the presidency. Not for myself, personally. I had concerns for the first lady.”
  41. Trump told U.S. service members al-Asad Air Base on the day after Christmas. “We’re no longer the suckers, folks.” Trump defended his decision to abruptly withdraw from Syria.
  42. Trump said the era of heavy U.S. intervention abroad was ending: “The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world…We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”
  43. Trump also continued to threaten keeping the government shut, telling troops in Iraq, “We need a wall” and falsely claiming “We have terrorists coming in through the southern border.”
  44. Trump falsely claimed to the troops that he had given them a 10% raise after they had not received a pay raise in more than 10 years. The actual raise was 2.6%, and the troops have received raises every year for decades.
  45. Trump’s speech to troops had the feel of one of his campaign rallies, with chants of “USA! USA!” and background music. Trump also made partisan attacks, and signed red “Make America Great Again” hats for the troops.
  46. On Wednesday, after the Christmas holiday break, roughly 400,000 federal employees will be furloughed, with another 400,000 deemed “essential personnel” required to stay on the job without pay.
  47. On Wednesday, Politico reported Trump and leaders of the House and Senate are not in negotiations. Also, there were no calls or meetings between House GOP and Democratic leaders scheduled.
  48. On Thursday, Trump resumed his attacks on Democrats, tweeting we “desperately need Border Security and a Wall,” and claiming of the shutdown, “most of the people not getting paid are Democrats.”
  49. On Thursday, Trump defended his turning the trip to Iraq into a partisan political event, tweeting “CNN & others within the Fake News Universe were going wild about my signing MAGA hats for our military.”
  50. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CNN the hats Trump signed in Iraq and at a military base in Germany where they stopped to refuel belonged to troops, and were not distributed by the White House.
  51. Trump also continued to face criticism for attacking incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference held in Iraq: “we have a problem with the Democrats because Nancy Pelosi is calling the shots.”
  52. Defense Department Directive 1344.10 prohibits troops from participating in political rallies, giving the appearance of endorsing a candidate or even displaying partisan political signs, posters, and banners.
  53. On Thursday, AP reported that Trump’s surprise visit infuriated Iraqi politicians, who called the visit “arrogant” and “a violation of national sovereignty,” and demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
  54. On Thursday, Trump lashed out at Democrats over the shutdown in a series of tweets, saying, “‘Border Patrol Agents want the Wall.’ Democrat’s say they don’t want the Wall (even though they know it is really needed).”
  55. Trump also tweeted the Democrats “don’t want ICE,” adding, “They don’t have much to campaign on, do they? An Open Southern Border and the large scale crime that comes with such stupidity!”
  56. Trump also again attacked the 9th Circuit for its role, tweeting “The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit,” adding “after ruling, Dems dropped deal.”
  57. Trump also compared the wall to Democrats slow-walking his nominees, tweeting “The Democrats OBSTRUCTION of the desperately needed Wall…is exceeded only by their OBSTRUCTION of 350 great people.”
  58. Later in the day, Trump tweeted “This isn’t about the Wall, everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly,” adding, “this is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win.”
  59. On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump threatened Democrats, tweeting, “We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall.”
  60. Trump has made similar threats before, but has not offered details on how his plan would work. When people seek asylum, the government is required to consider those requests regardless of border closures.
  61. Trump also suggested, without providing evidence, that shutting the border would improve U.S. trade with Mexico, tweeting “I would consider closing the Southern Border a ‘profit making operation.’”
  62. Trump also again threatened to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, tweeting “We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries — taking advantage of U.S. for years!”
  63. On Friday, Mexican President Lopez Obrador said: “We are always seeking a good relationship” with the U.S., adding on the wall funding dispute, “we have not commented on this issue, because it is an internal affair.”
  64. On Friday, incoming acting chief of staff Mulvaney told “Fox & Friends” that Trump canceled his New Year’s plans at Mar-a-Lago, and will remain in Washington, D.C. as the government shutdown continues.
  65. On Friday, Mulvaney accused Democrats of walking away from the negotiating table, saying they ignored an offer for border wall funding below Trump’s $5 billion request.
  66. A spokesperson for Pelosi said Democrats will not fund Trump’s “immoral, ineffective and expensive wall,” adding Trump “has changed his position so many times” he needs to publicly endorse a proposal.
  67. On Friday, WAPO reported since arriving back in the White House early Thursday, Trump has had no public events, and aides have given little details other than he is working and making phone calls.
  68. After canceling his trip to Mar-a-Lago, rather than engage in substantive negotiations on the shutdown, Trump has instead sent a rash of tweets blaming Democrats and casting immigrants as a threat to the country.
  69. Contrary to Trump’s threats on Twitter, aides say closing the border would cause an economic catastrophe. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found 47% of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown, 33% blame Democrats.
  70. On Friday, Trump dined with Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Mulvaney as the shutdown hit one week. Noticeably absent were the faces of experienced staffers to consult after the bevy of departures.
  71. On Sunday, NYT reported previously unreleased video shows the Proud Boys initiated the attack in Manhattan in Week 101. Ten Proud Boys have been arrested, and will be charged with riot and attempted assault.
  72. On Sunday and on Christmas Eve, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 400 migrants at the Greyhound bus station in El Paso. The community and shelters were not given warning or time to prepare.
  73. On Christmas Day, ICE released hundreds more migrant asylum-seekers at a park near a bus station in downtown El Paso. Unprepared shelters struggled to provide food and shelter to the deluge of migrants arriving.
  74. On Thursday, the Texas Tribune reported over the four-day period, ICE has dropped off a total of between1,600 and 1,700 migrants in El Paso. Immigration shelters are trying to keep up with the inflow.
  75. On Tuesday, AP reported an 8 year-old boy from Guatemala died in Customs and Border Protection just after midnight on Christmas Day, marking the second death of an immigrant child in detention this month.
  76. The boy was identified as Felipe Gómez Alonzo. Border Patrol’s El Paso sector, which had custody of Alonzo and Jakelin Caal, on Tuesday ordered immediate medical assessments on all 700 children in its custody.
  77. On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faulted the parents and “open border” supporters for Alonzo’s death,” adding, “Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk.”
  78. Nielsen also called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate an uptick in sick children crossing from Mexico, and on the U.S. Coast Guard medical corps to assess CBP’s medical programs.
  79. LA Times reported the government shutdown has caused Border Patrol agents and an estimated 44,000 active duty Coast Guard members to work without pay over the holiday week.
  80. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported ICE paid an estimated $807 million in fiscal year 2018 of taxpayer money to cover the costs of 19 private prison facilities which held approximately 18,000 migrants.
  81. At some detention facilities, migrants worked for pennies. One detainee at the Corley center who took the graveyard shift in the facility kitchen was paid $3 for 7 hours of work. Advocates say this borders on slave labor.
  82. The detainee also told The Daily Beast of the conditions, “It’s inhumane. It’s like a torture chamber,” adding “We don’t go outside. I don’t breathe fresh air, haven’t been outside since I’ve been in here.”
  83. The Corley facility is run by GEO Group, a private prison company which made over $281,000 in donations to Trump’s campaign and inauguration, and has seen its revenue rise since Trump took office.
  84. ProPublica reported on Long Island high schools that are embracing the Trump regime’s crackdown on MS-13 to target immigrants. Under Operation Matador, ICE has arrested 816 people suspected of gang affiliation.
  85. Of those, 170 came to New York legally as unaccompanied minors. ICE uses “administrative arrests” to pursue gang members and “gang associates,” who had no criminal records, are deemed a danger.
  86. ProPublica tracked the case of one teen named Alex, who was falsely assumed to be a gang member because of the color of his sneakers and a school mascot doodle. He was detained and then deported to Honduras.
  87. The Courier reported Jacob Dick and Owen Stewart, who worked in the county office outside Toledo, resigned after appearing in a video depicting a white doll with its face painted brown hanging from a noose.
  88. WJTV reported Lanekia Michelle Brown, 37, died in Madison County, Mississippi jail awaiting trial after a traffic stop. Brown, a Black woman, complained of stomach pains, and died before the nurse arrived.
  89. On Wednesday, a man at a Dallas-area Macy’s was captured in a video ranting at employees who spoke in Arabic to each other, saying “All the Arabs, all you Arabs and Democrats. Go back to where you came from…”
  90. On Thursday, the Buena Regional School District Superintendent said referee Alan Maloney, who in Week 110 forced a Black wrestler to cut his dreadlocks, will no longer be allowed to officiate matches in their district.
  91. In Oregon, Amber Rocco, a 39 year-old white woman, was captured in a video threatening a Black couple on Christmas Eve with a knife while shouting racist slurs at them, all because they parked their car crooked
  92. On Friday, the McMinnville Police Department, after seeing the video and receiving other information,arrested Rocco and charged her with intimidation, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, and harassment.
  93. In Portland, Oregon, Jermaine Massey, 34, a black man who was staying in a Doubletree hotel and called his mother from the lobby, was told by a white security guard that he was trespassing and escorted out by police.
  94. On Wednesday, Republican Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams, who infamously campaigned for governor using a “deportation bus,” reported to jail after being indicted on charges that include insurance fraud.
  95. On Friday, the North Carolina state elections board dissolved under a court order, two weeks before hearings to consider evidence of possible absentee ballot fraud in the Ninth District’s seat in Congress.
  96. No one has been charged yet in connection with the allegations. The dissolution means the seat could remain empty for weeks or months. Pelosi has said she will not seat republican Mark Harris unless the race is certified.
  97. On Friday, Hollywood Reporter reported Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, which regularly boasted upward of 40 corporate advertisements per night prior to recent comments, hit a low of 21 ads on Wednesday.
  98. NYT reported the children of Dr. Larry Braunstein, a podiatrist in Queens who was a tenant of Fred Trump,claim their father provided a bone spurs diagnosis for Trump, allowing him to avoid being drafted during Vietnam.
  99. Bloomberg reported Trump took out $340 million of variable rate debt between 2012–2015, meaning the recent Federal Reserve rate hikes have added roughly $5.1 million of debt service, lowering his net worth by 7%.
  100. On Wednesday, WSJ reported acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker lied on his resume and in government documents, saying he was named an Academic All-American while playing football at the University of Iowa.
  101. Whitaker made the false claim in the biography on his former law firm’s website and on a resume sent in 2014 to the chief executive of World Patent Marketing, and in a 2010 application for an Iowa judgeship.
  102. NYT reported on the impact on health from Trump’s rollback of environmental protections. In California, where the Trump regime rolled back an Obama-era ban on pesticides, farm workers are being sickened.
  103. In West Virginia, the regime halted two major water pollution rules on coal mines and power plants. In Texas, an estimated 300 will die prematurely from coal-power burning plants no longer needing to cut emissions.
  104. On Friday, the Trump regime’s EPA proposed major changes in the way the federal government calculates benefits, in human health and safety, of the release of mercury into the air.
  105. The proposal claims federal rules imposed on mercury by the Obama administration are too costly to justify,opening the door for coal mining companies, which have long opposed the rules, to challenge them in court.
  106. On Friday, Trump’s Interior Department, in a new proposal, sought to limit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests citing an “unprecedented surge” since Trump took office.
  107. The proposal would enable the agency to reject FOIA requests that it considers “unreasonably burdensome” or too large, and to impose limits on requests for individual requesters each month.
  108. On Wednesday, Justice Department attorneys representing Trump asked a federal appeals court to postpone indefinitely all further filings in an appeal related to an emoluments case, citing the government shutdown.
  109. The Justice Department is one of the government agencies lacking appropriations because of the shutdown. The government brief is not due until January 22, but the court agreed to put the case on hold indefinitely.
  110. On Wednesday, the California federal judge in the census question trial rejected the DOJ’s request to postpone, without explanation.
  111. On Thursday, the DC federal judge hearing the challenge to Trump’s asylum rules also rejected the DOJ’s request to postpone, noting there are enough CBP and ICE staffers working to effectively file the asylum claims.
  112. A subpoena for an unnamed, foreign government-owned company in a mystery court case became the first known legal challenge apparently related to Mueller’s investigation to make its way to the Supreme Court.
  113. On Sunday, Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily stayed a contempt citation against the company, as well as an escalating financial penalty imposed by a judge imposed for failing to comply with the subpoena.
  114. On Thursday, McClatchy reported a mobile phone traced to Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, in the height of the presidential election.
  115. The Steele dossier asserted that Cohen and one or more Kremlin officials met in Prague to plot ways to limit discovery of the close “liaison” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
  116. Additionally, in late August or early September, electronic eavesdropping by an Eastern European intelligence agency picked up a conversation among Russians, one of whom is heard saying Cohen was in Prague.
  117. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave differing answers for whether Trump would give Mueller more written answers, telling Fox News on Sunday, “I announced 10 days ago ‘over my dead body’ and I’m not dead yet.”
  118. Days later, Giuliani told Axios Trump “might agree,” then told NBC News he did not “anticipate” any additional written answers, then told The Daily Beast that negotiations for an in-person interview are “still open.”
  119. On Thursday, Concord Management and Consulting, a Russian firm owned by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, said in a court filing that a “nude selfie” is among the materials collected by Mueller’s team in his ongoing probe.
  120. The filing asks if the nude selfie could “really threaten the national security of the United States?” Concord was indicted for allegedly bankrolling efforts to disrupt the 2016 election.
  121. On Saturday, the Daily News reported Anibal Romero, an attorney representing undocumented immigrants who worked at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, has turned over documents to the New Jersey AG.
  122. Documents include fraudulent green cards and Social Security numbers that club management gave Victorina Morales and Sandra Diaz, who were interviewed in the NYT story in Week 108.
  123. Previously, Romero contacted Mueller’s team, for fear contacting former AG Jeff Sessions could backfire on his clients. Mueller’s team said the case was not in their jurisdiction, but referred it to an FBI agent in New Jersey.
  124. On Saturday, TIME reported Victor Boyarkin, who was put on the U.S. sanction list on December 19 as a former Russian intelligence officer, had links to Paul Manafort, then chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
  125. Boyarkin is accused of handling money and negotiations for Russian oligarchs. Boyarkin told TIME this fall that Manafort “owed us a lot of money,” and that “he was offering ways to pay it back.”
  126. Boyarkin said he was approached by Mueller’s team, but did not help. He said he was introduced to Manafort around 2006, when Oleg Deripaska asked both of them to help redraw the map of Eastern Europe.
  127. Manafort may have played a role in Montenegro’s 2016 elections, on behalf of pro-Russian opposition which sought to slow the country’s joining NATO. Deripaska also had business interests there.
  128. The pro-Russia candidate lost. In July 2018, Trump took issue with protecting Montenegro under NATO’s Article 5, calling it “a tiny country with very strong people,” adding “they are very aggressive people.”
  129. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “The Mueller Angry Democrats recently deleted approximately 19,000 Text messages between FBI Agent Lisa Page and her lover, Agent Peter S.” calling them “INVALUABLE to the truth.”
  130. The tweet follows Giuliani saying Friday that Mueller “should be investigated for destruction of evidence” for the texts being erased. The DOJ watchdog found the FBI did not intentionally destroy the messages.
  131. On Friday, House Speaker Pelosi appointed Douglas Letter as the new General Counsel of the House of Representatives. Letter worked for the DOJ for four decades, representing administrations of both parties.
  132. Letter “distinguished” himself as the DOJ’s Director of the Civil Division. He resigned from the DOJ in January 2018, reportedly over Trump’s repeated attacks on the agency.
  133. Conservative publication the Washington Examiner dubbed Letter, “the man who could impeach Trump,” calling him a guiding force in Democrats investigating and potentially impeaching Trump.
  134. Outgoing committee chairs Reps. Trey Gowdy and Robert Goodlatte asked their Senate counterparts to pick up their inquiry into the FBI’s handling of investigations of the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
  135. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a strong defender and ally of Trump, the incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Sen. Grassley agreed to step down early, said he would pick up some of the inquiries.
  136. Trump ally Rep. Goodlatte also issued a press release praising his committees’ accomplishments with the probe, including the firings of “multiple high-ranking Justice Department employees.”
  137. The stock market closed Friday after two week of wild gyrations, during which the S&P posted six moves of more than 1%, three of which were over 2%. The S&P posted just eight 1% moves in all of 2017.
  138. The Dow also rose 1,000 points in one day for the first time on Wednesday. Investment advisors called the movements “disturbing to investors,” noting conditions of “panic and fear.”
  139. On Friday, CNBC reported a member of the Trump regime reached out to at least one investor to ask for advice on stock markets after the plunge on Christmas Eve day and the recent market drubbing.
  140. Reportedly, Trump is determined to boost equities. The investor advised for Trump to end his criticism of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Twitter, stop senior staff turnover, and reach a trade deal with China.
  141. Reuters reported China’s soybean imports from the U.S. plunged to zero in November, marking the first time since Trump’s trade war that China has imported no U.S. supplies. China is importing from Brazil instead.
  142. On Friday, AP reported farmers are at risk of having some federal payments to growers hardest hit by Trump’s trade war with China, put on hold starting next week due to the government shutdown.
  143. The new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is set to go into effect tomorrow, a major 11-country agreement which will reshape trade rules among economic powerhouses including Japan, China, Canada, and Australia.
  144. The Obama administration had recognized the importance of remaining in the deal to counter China’s growing economic influence. In one of his first acts, Trump pulled the U.S. out in January 2017.
  145. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China,” claiming “deal is moving along very well,” and “big progress being made!”
  146. On Saturday, WAPO reported that instead of pivoting after midterm loses, Trump is instead focused on pleasing his most ardent supporters, in stark contrast to historical behavior of leaders after such losses.
  147. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security,” adding “they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment.”
  148. On Saturday, Trump also tweeted that “Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies” are at fault for the death of the 8 year-old boy this week, not Border Patrol.
  149. Trump also claimed Border Patrol was not at fault for the death of a 7 year-old girl, tweeting “The father of the young girl said it was not their fault,” and adding “Border Patrol needs the Wall and it will all end.”
  150. In Turkey, prosecutors opened a probe into two prominent actors for comments on a television program which were alleged to be insulting to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  151. WAPO reported a Russian bank gave far-right French candidate Marine Le Pen’s party a 9.4 million-euro loanfor the 2017 presidential election, another example of Russia’s influence operation abroad.
  152. Secretary of State Pompeo will head a U.S. delegation to Brazil for the inauguration of far-right incoming president Jair Bolsonaro, who has expressed admiration for Trump as a model of governance.

MIAMI, FLORIDA (WYNWOOD ART BASEL 2018) STREET ART: EMOTIONAL BLUE INDIANS by CRANIO

Fabio de Oliveira Parnaiba, better known as Cranio (“Skull” in English).

He was born in 1982 and grew up in Sao Paulo. It was in 1998 that Fabio began to cover the gray walls of his home town with his work and besides spray, he always carries a lot creativity and good humor in his backpack.

The trademark blue Indian was the result of his search for a a character that could show the indigenous people from Brazil. It could not have been chosen better. With their typical blue and distinctive shape, the indians finds themselves always in funny and curious situations, provoking the observer to think about contemporary issues like consumerism, corrupt politicians and the environment.

Cranio gets his inspiration from life, cartoons and the famous painter Salvador Dali. The artist has been improving his techniques, innovating in the context, but without losing the style he is known for.

http://cranioartes.com

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dec18. Wynwood, Miami, FL

 

MIAMI, FLORIDA (WYNWOOD ART BASEL 2018) STREET ART & GRAFFITI: PEACE FROM MIAMI

Golden 305
Key Detail

dec18 Wynwood Miami Florida

PRODUCT FOCUS: MY MOLESKINE’S 2018 INTERNATIONAL ARTIST SKETCH SERIES

Here are this past year’s artist contributions to My Moleskine Project:

 

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Cocoa Beach-based multimedia artist, David Rothman. https://www.instagram.com/davidrothmanart/

 

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Keith Haring by Miami-based artist, Tee Pop. https://www.instagram.com/teepopart/

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NYC-based Colombian stencil artist, Praxis. https://www.instagram.com/praxis_vgz/

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Miami-based artist, KoOL DriP. https://www.instagram.com/kool_drip/

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Venice, CA-based artist Muck Rock. https://www.instagram.com/muckrock/

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Miami-based artist, D-Bloc. https://www.instagram.com/dbloc_ilf/

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Los Angeles, CA-based artist, Angel Once. https://www.instagram.com/angelonce/
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Miami-based artist, KREST. 

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Colombian artist, DIAS. https://www.instagram.com/d1a5/

ARTIST/CURATOR INTERVIEW: PASCAL DOYTIER

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Pascal with international artists Studio Flop, Muck Rock, Seyo, and others during Art Basel 2018.

Quick Facts/Timeline

Name: Pascal Doytier                                                                                                                                           Born: Lyon, France                                                                                                                                       Moved to: Cannes at 18 to work in the restaurant business                                                                                                                       Honeymooned in: Miami in ’93                                                                                                           Decided: on the plane back to France to try to live in the U.S.                                                      Moved to Los Angeles: End of 1993                                                                                                                           “Earthquake!”: He was in the Northridge Earthquake of (January 17th) 1994 with his wife and young son. With a 6.7 magnitude and billions of dollars of damage, they were sufficiently freaked out and escaped to Texas almost immediately following the quake.                                   Nothing: worked out in Texas. Couldn’t find a restaurant job in Austin, El Paso, or Houston. Clearly wasn’t meant to be.                                                                                                    By March of 1994: had a job at a French restaurant and proceeded to work there for about a decade.                                                                                                                                     Since 2004: working at the restaurant in the Hard Rock Casino                                                Favorite Singer of All-Time: Janis Joplin. They share the same birthday, January 19th.  

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Pascal with artist Gomad from Holland, at Art Basel 2018. 

I’ve known Pascal for about 3 years now and we share a passion for art, obviously. But, I was wondering a few other things: WHY? WHAT? HOW? WHEN? WHERE?

Tokidoki: Pascal, you’re such a passionate promoter of art in the Miami area. HOW did you get into all of this?

Pascal: Well, I was actually more into photography early on. I took photography classes back in France, but it turned out school wasn’t really for me, so I stopped. Nevertheless, I still did photo shoots from time to time, and in 2012 while working with a local band, I drove through Wynwood for the first time. And I was just “WOW!”

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Pascal with Brazilian artist, Binho, during Art Basel 2018. 

TD: What “Wow?” What happened?

PD: Well, it was all so captivating, amazing! I’d never seen murals like that before and so much graffiti everywhere! I knew right then that I wanted to know more about the people behind the art. What’s their motivation? Why did they create this? What does it mean? So, I started to think about “How could I make that happen? …to get the artists to tell us more about themselves?”

(continuing)

PD: Shortly after, I saw a local magazine called “Pure Honey,’ about the local music scene and it was such a cool thing! There were show schedules and information on the musicians. Long story short, I knew I wanted a magazine just like this for the local art scene! That is where my magazine “Talking off the Wall” came from in 2014. I wanted to hear people telling me their story. The first artist to do my 5-question interview was Nobody a.k.a. TMNK (The Man Nobody Knew). He was a popular artist on the Miami scene at the time (R.I.P. – tragically passed away two years ago) and it was a great first interview. Unfortunately, the magazine only lasted for about a year and a half. It was too difficult to get advertising for what we wanted to do, how we wanted it to look.

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Pascal with Swiss artist, Seyo, at Art Basel 2018.

TD: Ok, so, street art made quite an impact on you in 2012. What was your connection to art before that? That couldn’t have been your first time…

PD: No, not my first, but growing up in Lyon and Ouillins (just outside of Lyon), the street art was limited, so I didn’t notice it that much. Except, there was a mural in Ouillins that my Dad loved: “The mural of the Renaissance in Oullins (Lyon Metropolis)” so I remember him taking me to it, and I did appreciate it, for sure, but then there wasn’t much after that until I left France. Photography, not art, was still kind of my passion at that time.

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The mural of the Renaissance in Oullins (Lyon Metropolis) – photog unknown

PD: Anyway, I must have learned everything I possibly could about the street art scene in 3-4 months! I went on people’s Instagram pages (artists and photographers alike) to get to know the names of the artists and then eventually, I was meeting them, myself. Now, I continue to promote both local and international artists whenever I can. I still do artist interviews on the radio and I oversee regular pop-up events (painted clothes, Christmas ornaments, album covers, name tags, wooden popsicles, etc.) that effectively connect the art-buying public with the artists as much as possible. 

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Pascal with artist PIMAX during Art Basel 2018. 

TDThanks, Pascal, for the chat. Any future events on the horizon?

PDNothing concrete as of yet, but I have lots of ideas and potential collaborations throughout 2019, so I’m excited for the new year!

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/talkingoffthewall/

 

 

                                               

MIAMI, FLORIDA (WYNWOOD ART BASEL 2018) STREET ART & GRAFFITI: LOST IN THE SAUCE

Dec18 Wynwood Miami Florida

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 111: SYRIA SWINGS

DECEMBER 22, 2018

Week 110

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-110/
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“As Syria swings in the balance…” by Miami-based, Colombian artist, Daniel Osorno. Miami. December 2018.
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Artist SacSix. New York City. November 2018.

This week Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, thought to be one of the sane and sober voices remaining in the regime, resigned in a public letter rebuking Trump’s treatment of allies and deference to authoritarians. Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was the last straw for Mattis, a decision reportedly made on a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the week before. Mattis’ departure elicited bipartisan concern, and placed the country on edge.

This week Trump’s beloved stock market continued to crater, as the markets entered a correction period with Dow Jones Industrial Average’s worst weekly performance in 10 years, and on track for the worst December since the Great Depression. By the week’s end, Trump was privately agitating about firing Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in what would be an unprecedented act.

In the final week Congress was in session ahead of the holidays, Trump abruptly changed his position on funding for his wall, bowing to pressure from the likes of commentator Ann Coulter and radio host Rush Limbaugh, precipitating a government shutdown Friday at midnight — the third this year, even as Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House.

Investigations under the Mueller probe and other jurisdictions progressed this week, as every part of Trump’s life is now under investigation. In a remarkable hearing, Judge Emmet Sullivan delayed sentencing for Michael Flynn, after castigating him for his role in working against U.S. interests. A pair of shocking reports made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee detailed Russia’s extensive interfering in the 2016 election in support of Trump, and another report by the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats indicated Russia was at it again in the 2018 midterms.

  1. Merriam-Webster chose “justice” as the 2018 word of the year, noting the word consistently bubbled into the top lookups on its website for uses such as obstruction of justice, social justice, and the Justice Department.
  2. A survey of more than 110 CEOs done by the Yale School of Management found 75% often had to apologize to international partners for Trump’s “embarrassing diplomatic messages” when traveling abroad for business.
  3. Also, 87% of CEOs agreed Trump’s negotiating style had cost the country the trust of allies. A senior associate dean added that “divisiveness of pitting people against each other…has worn the business community down.”
  4. WAPO reported in Trump’s first 700 days in office, he has made 7,546 false or misleading claims. In the first eight months, he averaged five per day — more recently, in October he averaged 39 per day and in November 29 per day.
  5. On Sunday, CNN noted Trump entities are the focus of at least six investigations, including the Trump campaign, transition team, inaugural committee, administration, foundation, and organization.
  6. On Sunday, Trump attacked SNL over the depiction of him in a sketch, tweeting “A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live.”
  7. Trump also tweeted, “Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?” Trump drew rebukes that he was again threatening the Constitution’s First Amendment protection.
  8. On Sunday, Trump also invoked mob slang tweeting, “Michael Cohen only became a ‘Rat’” after the FBI did something “absolutely unthinkable & unheard of” when “they BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE!”
  9. Trump also quoted WSJ’s Daniel Henninger, tweeting, “It looks here as though General Flynn’s defenses are incidental to something larger…to figure out if it can find a path to Donald Trump.”
  10. Trump also tweeted about “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, started as the “insurance policy” long before I even got elected,” adding, “they are Entrapping people.” This is false: the Mueller probe started in May 2017.
  11. A NBC-WSJ poll found 62% of Americans believe Trump has not been honest and trustworthy about the Mueller probe, up from 56% in August. Just 34% believe he is being honest and trustworthy.
  12. A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found 59% of Americans have “little or no trust” in Trump’s denial that there was collusion in his campaign with Russia, while just 24% have “a lot of trust.”
  13. On Monday, Reuters reported Maria Meza and her children, the mother photographed running with her daughters from tear gas at the U.S.-Mexico border in Week 107, began seeking U.S. asylum.
  14. On Monday, Reps. Nanette Barragán and Jimmy Gomez from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus live-tweeted about migrants’ attempts to apply for asylum, citing long wait times and migrants being ignored.
  15. On Tuesday, a local bank in the suburbs of Cleveland called 911 when Paul McCowns, a Black man, tried to cash his first paycheck. McCowns was asked for two forms of ID, which he provided.
  16. On Wednesday, a New Jersey high school wrestler was forced by referee Alan Maloney to cut off his dreadlocks minutes before his match or forfeit the competition. The wrestler, who is a Black teen, had to cover his hair.
  17. The state’s Interscholastic Athletic Association said in a statement they are recommending Maloney, who is white, not be assigned to referee any more matches until the matter has been thoroughly reviewed.
  18. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported four teen girls dropped letters at non-white homes praising Trump, Pence, and saying “there is now a law against filthy nutheads like you,” along with a death threat.
  19. High school students believe two of the teens who dropped off the letters are the same two youths posing in Ku Klux Klan hoods that circulated on Snapchat on Tuesday, and all are students at Strath Haven High School, in an affluent part of Delaware County.
  20. Detroit Free Press reported a noose was found in a boys’ locker room at Athens High School in Troy on Thursday. After an investigation, the student responsible was found and suspended. The principal called it a “cry for help.”
  21. On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected the Trump regime’s request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its plan to add a question regarding citizenship to the 2020 census, paving the way for a trial in January.
  22. Financial Times named George Soros the “Person of the Year” for 2018. The editorial board explained the pick“is usually a reflection of their achievements…his selection is also about the values he represents.”
  23. On Thursday, AP reported on the scope of the migrant children program under Trump, decades after the U.S. had stopped institutionalizing kids because large, crowded orphanages were causing lasting trauma.
  24. According to government data, of the 14,300 migrant children in government care, about 5,400 are sleeping in shelters with more than 1,000 other children, and 9,800 are in facilities with 100-plus kids.
  25. When Trump took office, the same federal program had 2,720 migrant children in its care, and most were in shelters with a few dozen kids or in foster programs.
  26. NPR reported nearly 15,000 migrant children are now held in government custody. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the national network of more than 100 shelters are 92% full.
  27. The largest migrant youth shelter are the tent cities in Tornillo, Texas, set up in a patch of desert. The heated tents can hold up to 3,800, but will require hiring more staff.
  28. On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee over the death of Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl.
  29. Rep. Hank Johnson asked Nielsen about the girl’s death, and how many other children had died in the custody of DHS. Nielsen responded, “I’ll get back to you on that figure. I’m not going to guess under oath.”
  30. Nielsen told the committee under the Trump regime’s new “Catch and Return” policy, some migrants will return to Mexico while their immigration proceedings go forward rather than remain in the U.S.
  31. Nielsen said the new policy will apply to both asylum seekers who entered the U.S. legally at border crossings, as well as those apprehended after entering the country illegally.
  32. The incoming Democratic chairs of the House Judiciary Committee and House Homeland Security Committee told Nielsen they would be conducting further oversight when they take over the committees.
  33. On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended his comments in Week 109, tweeting, “We spend a lot of time talking about the threat to free speech.” That day, three more sponsors dropped.
  34. Carlson doubled down on his show Monday, saying migrants make our country “poorer and dirtier.” As of Tuesday evening, more than 15 sponsors had dropped from the show.
  35. On Wednesday, Carlson’s show cut to fewer commercial breaks, as advertisers continued to flee. Contributor Alan Dershowitz appeared saying he felt “compelled” to say that he disagreed with Carlson’s comments.
  36. On Tuesday, a panel of judges in the 10th Circuit dismissed 83 ethics complaints against Brett Kavanaugh, citing he is no longer covered by the judiciary’s disciplinary process since he is on the Supreme Court.
  37. Chief justice of the 10th district Timothy Tymkovich refused to recuse himself despite claims that Kavanaugh advocated to get him his position. Tymkovich was on Trump’s short-list of candidates for the Supreme Court.
  38. On Wednesday, a federal judge again ruled against the Trump regime, blocking its new policy that bars asylum for those who cross into the country without authorization.
  39. On Monday, a pair of comprehensive reports made public by the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed Russian teams using social media platforms to influence the 2016 election, and cited efforts are ongoing.
  40. The Russian influence campaign in 2016 was run by Internet Research Agency (IRA). The reports cite an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans on social media in an effort to suppress Democratic voters.
  41. The reports indicated Instagram, owned by Facebook, generated responses on a scale beyond any of the others — with 187 million comments, likes, and other user reactions, more than Twitter and Facebook combined.
  42. The reports also cited that “pro-Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein content” were among the IRA’s go-to themes across other platforms. Throughout her campaign, Stein had called for a conciliatory approach with Russia.
  43. The reports also cited after Trump took office, Russian operatives targeted Robert Mueller, appointed in May 2017, seeking to neutralize what they saw as the biggest threat to Trump remaining in office.
  44. The NAACP called for a week-long boycott of Facebook, saying its business practices and spreading of “disingenuous portrayals of the African American community” should prompt further congressional investigation.
  45. The WAPO Editorial Board noted from the reports’ findings, “the Russia operation is staggering in its scale, precision and deceptiveness,” saying Russia’s support for Trump’s election is “no longer disputable.”
  46. On Tuesday, NYT reported according to Facebook internal documents, as the company raised a privacy wall, it also gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data.
  47. Personal data has become a prized commodity. Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the users’ friends without consent, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read users’ private messages.
  48. On Wednesday, the attorney general for the District of Columbia sued Facebook for allowing Cambridge Analytica to gain access to tens of millions users’ information without their permission.
  49. On Friday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats delivered a report, which details Russian internet propagandists tried to influence American voters ahead of the 2018 midterms, to the White House.
  50. Coats said that “Russia, and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns” to further their strategic interests here. The report is not yet publicly available.
  51. On Monday, Roger Stone settled a defamation suit brought against him by an exiled Chinese businessman seeking $100 million, admitting to publishing false and misleading statements on InfoWars.
  52. In lieu of money, the agreement requires Stone to run ads in national newspapers, including WSJ, apologizing and admitting he lied, as well as publishing a retraction of the false statements on social media.
  53. On Monday, two former business associates of Michael Flynn, Bijan Rafiekian (aka Bijan Kian) and Kamil Alptekin, were charged in a Virginia court with trying to influence U.S. politicians to extradite a Turkish cleric.
  54. In court papers, Flynn is referred to as “Person A,” although he is not charged in the case, and is instead cooperating with Mueller’s team.
  55. Kian and Alptekin, who lied about the involvement of Turkish government officials in the project, are charged with conspiracy and acting as agents of a foreign government; Alptekin is also accused of making false statements.
  56. Kian, a former official for Trump’s transition team, made a brief appearance in Virginia federal court. Alptekin, a dual Turkish-Dutch citizen living in Istanbul, remains at large.
  57. On Monday, Mueller’s office released notes of Flynn’s interview with FBI agents on January 24, 2017, ahead of his sentencing Tuesday in connection with his guilty plea.
  58. The notes show Flynn made false statements about his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition, and also lied about his ties to Turkey.
  59. On Monday, the GOP led House Intelligence Committee again interviewed James Comey behind closed doors. Transcripts of the interview revealed Comey was asked to defend the FBI’s interview of Michael Flynn.
  60. After, Comey told reporters, “People who know better, including Republican members of this body, have to have the courage to stand up and speak the truth, not be cowed” adding “their silence is shameful.”
  61. On Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Sanders criticized Comey and the FBI, telling reporters at the White House briefing, “the FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn”
  62. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted to Flynn in the morning, “Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn,” citing “tremendous pressure being put on him,” and adding of the campaign, “There was no Collusion!”
  63. On Tuesday, at an extraordinary sentencing hearing, Judge Emmet Sullivan made clear he was infuriated by Flynn’s conduct, including the suggestion by Flynn and his supporters that he had been duped by the FBI.
  64. Sullivan forced Flynn to admit publicly he knew he was lying to the FBI about conversations related to Russian sanctions, and berated the three-star general for his misdeeds, saying “arguably, you sold your country out.”
  65. Also citing Flynn’s clandestine work for the Turkish government, Sullivan asked a prosecutor with the special counsel’s office whether Flynn could be charged with “treason,” adding, “I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain.”
  66. Later, Sullivan walked back his treason questions, saying “I’m not suggesting” Flynn committed treason, adding “I was just trying to determine the benefit and the generosity of the government.”
  67. Mueller’s team said Flynn has “provided substantial assistance to the attorneys in the Eastern District of Virginia in obtaining that charging document,” relating to charges against Kian and Alptekin.
  68. Mueller’s team moved to sentence Flynn now because “the vast majority” of his cooperation was complete.Sullivan postponed sentencing for Flynn for 90 days. Flynn left the courtroom to chants of “lock him up!”
  69. On Sunday, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told CNN that a letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow had not been signed: “It was a real estate project. There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it.”
  70. On Tuesday, CNN obtained a signed copy of the letter of intent dated October 28, 2015 bearing Trump’s signature. The letter opened negotiations for Trump condominiums, a hotel and commercial property.
  71. On Wednesday, when asked about the signed copy, Giuliani changed his story, telling CNN, “I was wrong if I said it. I haven’t seen the quote, but I probably meant to say there was never a deal much less a signed one.”
  72. On Tuesday, the New York attorney general’s office announced the Trump Foundation has agreed to dissolve, following a court decision last month to allow the AG’s lawsuit to move forward.
  73. Attorney General Barbara Underwood accused the foundation of “a shocking pattern of illegality,” and saying it functioned “as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”
  74. Allen Weisselberg told state investigators of the foundation’s policies, “There’s no policy, just so you understand.” Underwood said the foundation’s remaining $1.75 million will be distributed to other charities.
  75. On Wednesday, Trump complained about his foundation being dissolved in three tweets, saying he is getting “slammed by (Gov. Andrew) Cuomo and the Dems” and that he would “never be treated fairly by these people.”
  76. Trump also attacked the former attorney general “sleazebag AG Eric Schneiderman,” saying he was “ head of New Yorkers for Clinton,” and claimed “the Trump Foundation has done great work.”
  77. A federal judge ruled in favor of BuzzFeed in a lawsuit brought by businessman Aleksej Gubarev, based in Cyprus, who said he and his companies were falsely linked in the Steele dossier to Russia hacking.
  78. Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that BuzzFeed cannot be found liable for publishing a document that had become the subject of official government conduct, adding BuzzFeed’s article was “fair and true.”
  79. On Wednesday, Oleg Deripaska agreed to cut his stake in Russian steel giant Rusal to below 50% in exchange for the Treasury Department lifting sanctions — a move expected to be closely monitored by the Kremlin.
  80. On Wednesday, the Center for Responsive Politics reported Trump’s 2020 campaign routed money through a secret LLC, used as a shell company to illegally coordinate ad buys with the National Rifle Association.
  81. Trump’s 2020 campaign continued to use the same individuals working for the firms as and make payments through Harris Sikes Media LLC, also at the center of the 2016 campaign’s illegal coordination with the NRA.
  82. National Media, Red Eagle Media Group, and American Media & Advocacy Group — which share staff, resources, and adjacent storefronts in Alexandria, Virginia — are also facing allegations of illegal coordination.
  83. A Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now, which in Week 109 was being scrutinized in the Mueller probe,is also alleged to have routed payments through National Media’s affiliates in a campaign coordination scheme.
  84. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported Russian agents sought sensitive financial information on its enemies through the U.S. Treasury, including backers of Hillary Clinton weeks before the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
  85. Officials at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said they reported the use of the back channel to Treasury’s counterterrorism unit and security office, and requested an investigation.
  86. FinCEN officials believed the Russian agency making the requests was Rosfinmonitoring, set up by Putin in 2001 and closely tied to Russia’s espionage apparatus. The group started cultivating civil servants in 2015.
  87. On Wednesday, there was a docket entry at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, which was sealed from public view and place in a vault, and was related to a criminal case against Michael Cohen.
  88. On Wednesday, WSJ reported testimony by Trump in 2000 as part of a regulatory investigation and in 1988for a government-integrity commission revealed he has a deep understanding of campaign-finance laws.
  89. Giuliani has argued that Trump has limited understanding of campaign-finance laws. Experts say his deep understanding could be critical if investigators ever pursue a case over directing hush money payments.
  90. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Mueller asked the House Intelligence Committee last Friday for an official transcript of Roger Stone’s testimony, a sign prosecutors could be moving to charge him with a crime.
  91. This marks the first formal request by Mueller’s team to the committee. Stone denied lying to Congress, telling WAPO, no “reasonable attorney who looks at it would conclude that I committed perjury.”
  92. The special counsel has had an unofficial copy of Stone’s testimony from September 2017 for weeks. Experts say prosecutors cannot bring charges without an original, certified copy of the transcript.
  93. On Wednesday, WSJ reported that William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, sent an unsolicited 20-page document to the DOJ criticizing aspects of the Mueller probe.
  94. The documents excoriated Mueller’s inquiry into obstruction of justice by Trump, saying it is based on a “fatally misconceived” theory that would cause lasting damage to the presidency and the executive branch.
  95. On Thursday, CNN reported acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker consulted with ethics officials at the DOJ, and has been advised that he does not need to recuse himself from the Mueller probe.
  96. A source said Whitaker has been in ongoing discussions since early November after his appointment. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is still managing the Mueller probe on a day-to-day basis.
  97. Hours later, the official who had said ethics officials had advised Whitaker did not need to recuse himselfretracted that description of events.
  98. WAPO reported a senior DOJ ethics official concluded Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe. Whitaker never asked DOJ ethics officials for a formal recommendation, nor did he receive one.
  99. Instead, days after being appointed, Whitaker tapped a veteran U.S. attorney to become part of a four-person team of advisers on his new job, including giving guidance on recusal from the Mueller probe.
  100. Whitaker met repeatedly with DOJ ethics officials to discuss the facts and the issues. A senior ethics official told Whitaker’s advisers on Tuesday that it was a “close call” but that Whitaker should recuse himself.
  101. Whitaker’s advisers disagreed, recommending to Whitaker on Wednesday not to recuse, saying there was no precedent. Whitaker ignored the ethic official’s advice, and had it not been leaked, it would not be public.
  102. On Friday, CNN reported Trump has lashed out at Whitaker at least twice in the past few weeks, angered that federal prosecutors referenced him in Michael Cohen’s crimes, starting just weeks into Whitaker taking the job.
  103. The first instance happened when Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, and second when Cohen implicated Trump in the hush-money scheme.
  104. Trump did not ask Whitaker to stop the investigations, but vented at what he felt was an unfair situation. Sources say Trump believes the attorney general should serve as his personal protector, and settle his scores.
  105. On Friday, NBC News reported Mueller is nearing the end of his team’s investigation of Russian election interference, and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February.
  106. On Monday, in an interview with MSNBC, Sen. Bob Corker would not say if Trump should be primaried, responding “What is happening right now is not the standard Republicanism that we’ve had in our country.”
  107. On Tuesday, Politico reported Trump is planning to launch an unprecedented structure for his 2020 reelection, streamlining the Republican National Committee and his campaign into a single entity.
  108. Trump’s reelection campaign and the RNC will merge their field and fundraising programs into a joint outfit, even sharing office space. Typically reelection campaigns work in tandem with the RNC.
  109. On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported the South Carolina Republican Party could cancel its early 2020 primary, usually third in the presidential nominating calendar, in order to protect Trump.
  110. On Wednesday, two more Kansas Republicans, state Sen. Dinah Sykes and Rep. Stephanie Clayton, switched parties to become Democrats.
  111. On Monday, CNBC reported the stock market is on pace for its worst December since the Great Depression, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 down 7.6% and 7.8%, respectively in December.
  112. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin downplayed Trump’s promise of a middle class tax cut ahead of the midterms, telling Bloomberg “I’m not going to comment on whether it is a real thing or not a real thing.”
  113. On Tuesday, a federal commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recommended rescinding Obama-era guidance meant to help reduce the racial disparity in school discipline.
  114. The commission claimed the guidance made schools reluctant to address unruly students or violent incidents, and recommended “partnering with local law enforcement in the training and arming of school personnel.”
  115. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the Veterans Affairs Department has spent just $57,000 of the $6.2 million available for suicide prevention outreach in fiscal year 2018 budget.
  116. The report also stated that the VA had identified suicide prevention as its highest clinical priority in 2018: an average of 20 veterans die by suicide per day.
  117. According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross failed to sell $15,000 in bank shares until October 2018, after signing ethics documents saying he sold the shares in 2017.
  118. CNBC reported Robert and Rebekah Mercer have disappeared from the political donor scene this election and donated less in 2018, after their involvement with Trump had cast them into the public spotlight.
  119. The Palm Beach Post reported after a five-year legal battle over the taxable value of Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, Trump will be getting a $10.6 million tax refund for taxes he overpaid.
  120. On Wednesday, Trump abruptly announced his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, reversing his position in September 2018, shocking people in the U.S. government and around the world.
  121. WAPO reported Trump made the decision on Tuesday, after a small meeting attended only by senior White House aides and the secretaries of defense and state, most of whom, if not all, sharply disagreed with him.
  122. Senior lawmakers from both parties were not informed in advance, nor were close U.S. allies who are members of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State. Defense Secretary Mattis was informed Tuesday night.
  123. Trump canceled a scheduled meeting with Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker in the afternoon, instead communicating via Twitter, sending a video of himself outside the Oval Office.
  124. On Wednesday, TASS reported Russia praised Trump for the withdrawal. A Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman called it a “milestone story which might evolve from this decision is a real prospect for a political solution.”
  125. AP reported Trump agreed to withdraw troops from Syria on a December 14 call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his Turkish counterpart.
  126. Pompeo was notified of Erdogan’s threat to launch a military operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in northeast Syria, where American forces are based. He then set up the call between the two leaders.
  127. Pompeo, Mattis, and others on the national security team prepared a list of talking points for Trump to use in his phone call, in order to tell Erdogan to back off; but instead Trump ignored the script and sided with Erdogan.
  128. National security advisor John Bolton stressed on the call that victory over the Islamic State had to be enduring, but Trump was not dissuaded, and quickly capitulated by pledging to withdraw, shocking both Bolton and Erdogan.
  129. Erdogan on the call cautioned Trump over a hasty withdrawal. Over the weekend, the national security team raced to come up with a plan that would reverse, delay, or somehow limit effects of the withdrawal.
  130. In addition, officials urged Trump to at least delay the decision to withdraw, in order to give the military and Kurdish forces time to prepare. Trump was unmoved.
  131. On Thursday, Trump attacked an ally for criticizing his plan, tweeting, “So hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$…Time to focus on our Country & bring our youth” home.
  132. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump ordered the start of a reduction of American forces in Afghanistan. More than 7,000 troops will begin to return home in the coming weeks out of 14,000 troops stationed there.
  133. The withdrawal coupled with more than 2,000 troops returning from Syria announced Wednesday, mark a dramatic shift in the U.S. approach to military engagement in the region.
  134. On Thursday, according to commentary published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, North Korea will not denuclearize until the U.S. completely eliminates “the American nuclear threat to North Korea.”
  135. On Thursday, just after 5 p.m., Trump tweeted “General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February,” adding, “A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!”
  136. NYT reported earlier in the day Mattis went to the White House with his resignation letter already written, but made one last attempt to persuade Trump to reverse his decision on pulling out 2,000 troops from Syria.
  137. After Mattis was rebuffed by Trump, he returned to the Pentagon and asked aides to print out 50 copies of his resignation letter and distribute them around the building.
  138. Mattis is the fourth member of Trump’s cabinet to resign or be forced out since the midterm elections, and the third in the last two weeks.
  139. With the resignations of John Kelly and Mattis, the last of Trump’s old-guard national security team, policy will be left in the hands of Pompeo, the second Secretary of State, and Bolton, Trump’s third NSA.
  140. Also notably, with Mattis’ resignation, what Trump once called the array of high-ranking military officers he appointed, “my generals” — including Michael Flynn, H.R. McMaster and John Kelly — are all gone.
  141. Mattis’s resignation letter was the sharpest, and most public rebuke from inside the regime over the Trump’s foreign policy, including rejection of the alliances and partnerships, and tending towards authoritarianism.
  142. In his letter, Mattis did not offer any praise of Trump in the letter, or thank him in any way; rather saying, “I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.”
  143. Mattis wrote we must be “clear-eyed” about threats from groups such as Islamic State, saying, “We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values.”
  144. Mattis also wrote about democratic allies: “our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength ofour unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships.”
  145. And warned we must be “resolute and unambiguous in our approach” to countries like China and Russia, who “want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model.”
  146. Mattis wrote, “Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”
  147. Mattis’ letter triggered a bipartisan chorus of concern, with Sen. Mark Warner saying “This is scary,” Sen. Chris Murphy calling it a “national security crisis,” and Sen. Ben Sasse saying it was “a sad day for America.”
  148. Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted the letter made it abundantly clear “we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances & empower our adversaries.”
  149. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who rarely challenges Trump publicly, said in a statement: “We must also maintain a clear-eyed understanding of our friends and foes, and recognize that nations like Russia are among the latter.”
  150. McConnell also said of Trump’s next Defense Secretary, “I urge him to select a leader who shares Secretary Mattis’s understanding of these vital principles and his total commitment to America’s servicemembers.”
  151. Mattis’ departure also left the Pentagon in a state of despair, with one official describing the mood in the building as “eerie, and another official saying “the building is in shock.”
  152. On Sunday, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told “Face the Nation” that Trump was “absolutely” willing to shut down the government if Congress does not authorize funding for his wall.
  153. On Tuesday, in an abrupt shift, press secretary Sarah Sanders backed off from the threat, telling Fox News, “At the end of the day, we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to shut down the border.”
  154. On Wednesday, the Senate approved a stopgap spending bill. Voting was pushed back to late in the day, and some senators sang Christmas carols in the chamber as they prepared to leave for the holiday break.
  155. On Thursday, Trump again abruptly changed course, informing House Republican leaders he would not sign a short-term funding bill that does not include money for his wall. Some senators flew back to Washington.
  156. Reportedly, Trump was rattled by accusations from conservatives like Rep. Mark Meadows, commentator Ann Coulter, and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh that he was caving on his promised border wall.
  157. Shortly after, Trump tweeted a video clip of him singing in a duet of the theme song to “Green Acres” from the 2006 Emmy awards, saying “Farm Bill signing in 15 minutes! #Emmys #TBT.”
  158. On Friday, in a series of nine morning tweets, Trump warned, “Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!” encouraging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “use the Nuclear Option and get it done!”
  159. Shortly after, several Republican senators, including Sens. Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander, said that they do not support doing away with the legislative filibuster, known as the Nuclear Option.
  160. The Senate could not get the 60 votes needed to move the House bill forward. Republicans conceded that one of their biggest hurdles was Trump’s unpredictability and proclivity for abruptly changing his mind.
  161. On Friday, in an attempt to claim victory, Trump tweeted he would accept money for a “Steel Slat Barrier” with spikes on the top, which he said would be just as effective as a “wall” and “at the same time beautiful.”
  162. Trump also tweeted a photo from the Oval Office of him saying “some of the many Bills that I am signing in the Oval Office right now.” Upon closer inspection, the piece of paper he is signing in the photo is blank.
  163. On Friday evening, with Trump unwilling to drop his demand for $5 billion of funding for his wall, the House and Senate adjourned with no spending deal. The government partially shut down after midnight.
  164. This marked the third shutdown of 2018, the first time in 40 years the government has been closed three times in a year.
  165. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who this week had been the subject of Trump’s Twitter ire, told Fox News of Democrats and the shutdown, “if he doesn’t break ’em now, it’s going to be a terrible 2019. So Mr. President, dig in.”
  166. A GoFundMe campaign started by Trump supporter Brian Kolfage, a disabled Florida veteran, raised $14 million from donors as of Saturday. The goal of the campaign is to raise $5 billion to fund the wall.
  167. On Friday, the Supreme Court said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had undergone surgery to remove two malignant growths in her left lung, discovered during tests after she fractured ribs on November 7.
  168. On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the block on Trump’s asylum ban, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the four liberal justices. NBC News reported Justice Ginsburg voted from her hospital bed.
  169. On Friday, the Dow Jones fell another 400 points, falling nearly 7% and ending its worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. A Fed rate hike, trade tensions with China, and a government shutdown weighed in.
  170. The stock market ended the final week of 2018 on the Dow Jones on brink of a bear market, and the NASDAQ down 22% from its highs. All stock market averages are now posting negative returns for 2018.
  171. On Saturday, Bloomberg reported Trump has discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, following this week’s interest-rate hike. Trump also blames Powell for the stock market losses.
  172. Advisers close to Trump are hoping his anger will dissipate, but reportedly he has repeatedly spoke of firingPowell in private conversations over the past few days.
  173. The Federal Reserve Act states governors may be “removed for cause by the President,” so it is unclear how much authority Trump would have for such an unprecedented challenge to the Fed’s independence.
  174. On Saturday, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group, resigned in protest of Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw from Syria. McGurk had served in the position since 2015.
  175. On Saturday, Politico reported Trump is facing a dangerous erosion of support among Republicans, following recent moves like backing Saudis in the Khashoggi killing, and his abrupt decision to pull out of Syria.
  176. Rank-and-file Republicans are also concerned that Trump is acting recklessly and hijacking the party, catering only to his base, and making moves like the government shutdown to please hard-liners.
  177. On Saturday, Trump canceled his scheduled flight to Mar-a-Lago, but the Capitol was largely quiet, with no meetings among House and Senate leaders scheduled, and most lawmakers gone for the holidays.
  178. GOP leaders are frustrated by how quickly things unraveled in the past 48 hours. There does not appear to be any deal in sight, or plans from leaders on how to move forward ahead of the holidays.

 

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis arrives for a closed intelligence briefing at the U.S. Capitol with members of the House of Representatives December 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. Mattis and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed House members on the death of Jamal Khashoggi. This week, Mattis resigned in a letter widely viewed as a sharp rebuke of Trump and his foreign policy.