POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 136: RESIGN & REMOVE

JUNE 15, 2019

Week 135

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-135/
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Artist: Andrew Spear. Can be read below: “press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.”

This week in an interview with ABC News, Trump suggested he would take damaging information from foreign governments on political adversaries without reporting it to the FBI, setting off alarm bells. The Chair of the Federal Elections Commissions took the unusual step of issuing a public statement reminding campaigns that taking foreign assistance is illegal. Nonetheless, Trump allies largely defended his statement, and continued to block measures to protect the 2020 election.

As this played out on a chaotic Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.

Trump sparred with the media over reporting on his supposed trade deal with Mexico, while conditions at the southern border continued to deteriorate. Notably, Trump has been linking economic and national security in his recent actions, allowing him to invoke Cold War era acts and bypass Congressional approval. The House voted on a resolution opening the door to contempt of Congress charges for members of the regime.

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Artist: Captain Eyeliner in Freeman’s Alley, NYC. 15jun19
DCIM104GOPROGOPR2449.
Various streets in NYC share this sentiment to passersby. Here’s a random one. JUNE 2019.
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Spotted in the East Village, NYC. 15jun19.
  1. On Monday, NYT announced it would stop publishing political cartoons, after more than a year of deliberating. In Week 128, the Times apologized for a cartoon in its international edition that was viewed as anti-Semitic.
  2. Le Monde reported the symbolic oak tree given by French Prime Minster Emmanuel Macron to Trump and planted at the White House last year has died, calling it a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it was.”
  3. On Tuesday, Guardian reported leaked documents reveal Russia’s efforts to exert influence in at least 13 African countries by building relations with leaders and grooming a next generation of leaders and undercover agents.
  4. The effort is being led by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef,” who was indicted in the Mueller probe for his roll in a troll farm that sought to bolster Trump on social media during the 2016 election.
  5. On Friday, the European Union said in a report that Russia conducted a “continued and sustained” disinformation campaign against Europe’s recent parliamentary elections that ran from May 23 through May 26.
  6. The report found the Russian campaign “covered a broad range of topics” and exploited “divisive public debates on issues such as of migration and sovereignty” seeking to influence voter behavior and suppress turnout.
  7. Although no hacking occurred as in the U.S. 2016 election, the report found an ongoing and significant effort by Russia to target Europeans with disinformation on a daily basis.
  8. On Saturday, the government of China blocked two more international news organizations, the Guardian and the Post, as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent known as the “Great Firewall.”
  9. On Saturday, NYT also reported much of what Trump claimed as concessions from Mexico in Friday’s deal were things Mexico agreed to months prior. It was unclear what new concessions Trump achieved.
  10. Mexico said in March it would deploy its National Guard to the U.S. southern border. Also, an arrangement to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico was reached in December.
  11. During the week of May 24, 5,800 migrants crossed in one day, a record, setting off Trump. His top advisers opposed tariffs, and he was criticized by global leaders, business executives, and lawmakers from both parties.
  12. On Saturday, Trump said he watched MSNBC, tweeting: “Such lies, almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth. Fake News!” adding, “No wonder their ratings, along with CNN, are WAY DOWN.”
  13. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “Another false report in the Failing @nytimes,” saying in his deal with Mexico there was “great cooperation,” adding, “something that didn’t exist for decades.”
  14. Trump also tweeted: “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail!” adding, “They are truly The Enemy of the People!”
  15. On Sunday, the Times responded in a statement, saying, “We are confident in our reporting,” and added that “calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”
  16. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “I know it is not at all “Presidential” to hit back at the Corrupt Media,” adding, “Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!”
  17. Trump also tweeted, “a National Holiday would be immediately declared” if Obama had made deals on immigration and the economy like he did, blaming the “Corrupt Media.”
  18. Trump also threatened Twitter, tweeting: “Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!”
  19. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “For two years all the Democrats talked about was the Mueller Report,” adding, “ because they knew that it was loaded up with 13 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, later increased to 18.”
  20. Trump also tweeted ahead of Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings, “they want a Redo, or Do Over. They are even bringing in @CNN sleazebag attorney John Dean. Sorry, no Do Overs — Go back to work!”
  21. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump is increasingly blurring the lines between America’s national and economic security. Trump has started trade disputes with Mexico, China, Japan, and Europe.
  22. By mixing the two, Trump has been able to harness Cold War era authority, including 1962 and 1977 provisions to inflict economic pain through tariffs, government blacklists, and other restrictions.
  23. Trump has used this strategy to avoid needing Congressional approval, and to circumvent trade rules put in place to prevent the U.S. and other countries from increasing barriers and entering into endless trade wars.
  24. In May, Trump signed a proclamation that auto imports threatened U.S. national security and could be subject to tariffs in six months, a move criticized by auto manufacturers, foreign governments, and U.S. lawmakers.
  25. On Monday, a senior official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told CNBC that Trump’s “weaponizing of tariffs” has created “uncertainty with our trading partners,” which is going to hurt the U.S. economy.
  26. After hearing the remarks, Trump called into CNBC for a rambling interview, saying business groups like the Chamber of Commerce protect corporate America, not the American people, and defended his tariffs.
  27. Trump falsely claimed China has “lost 15 to 20 trillion dollars in value” since he took office, and claimed the U.S. “got everything we wanted” out of negotiations with Mexico last week.
  28. Trump threatened action against France over the cost of wine, and claimed, without evidence, that U.S. technology companies “discriminate against me.”
  29. Trump criticized the Federal Reserve, saying, “We have a Fed that raises interest rates the day before a bond issue goes out,” adding we do not have a level playing field because the “Fed is very, very destructive to us.”
  30. On Monday, Trump returned to attacking the Times, tweeting, “When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD,” adding, “Sick Journalism.”
  31. On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed back at Fox Business for criticizing his tariffs. Trump specifically addressed show co-hosts and a guest on their show, tweeting “Maria, Dagan, Steve, Stuart V.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “When you are the big “piggy bank” that other countries have been ripping off for years…Tariffs are a great negotiating tool,” adding, “Companies will relocate to U.S.”
  33. On Monday, Guardian reported Cadre, a real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner, received $90 million of funding from an opaque vehicle offshore run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands.
  34. Security filings revealed the offshore vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017. The vehicle is managed by accountants in the Cayman Islands and is owned by an offshore Goldman Sachs entity.
  35. On Monday, WAPO reported John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, retired, following revelations he directed his staff to whitewash audits of disaster relief performance.
  36. An internal review revealed by the Post last week found Kelly overrode auditors’ findings of problems with FEMA’s response to several disasters, directing them to ignore most problems and write “feel-good reports.”
  37. Under pressure from House Republicans, the IG’s office retracted 13 faulty reports and purged them from its website in 2017 and 2018, after the reports did not meet federal auditing standards.
  38. On Monday, Politico reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao established a liaison in her agency to help with grant applications and other priorities for her husband Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state.
  39. Beginning in April 2017, Chao aide Todd Inman, a longtime Kentucky resident, served as an intermediary, and helped McConnell and local Kentucky officials with grants with special significance for McConnell.
  40. Inman helped with a grant for a highway improvement project in Owensboro, Kentucky, a McConnell political stronghold, that had twice been previously rejected, and another grant benefitting Owensboro.
  41. On Tuesday, McConnell shrugged off Politico’s reporting at his weekly news conference, saying, “I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” adding, “I hope we’ll do a lot better next year.”
  42. On Tuesday, Politico reported on the lack of diversity in the Treasury Department: of the roughly 20 officials, just three are women and one a person of color. Hiring of minorities fell to its slowest pace in five years.
  43. On Wednesday, the Trump regime signaled a renewed push to open land near the Grand Canyon for uranium mining, with Trump declaring uranium a critical element for national security purposes.
  44. Under Trump, the number of minerals listed as critical has expanded from 23 to 35. The Commerce Department also recently added uranium as a key component to nuclear weapons.
  45. On Wednesday, NBC News reported representatives of at least 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties, including golf clubs, hotels, and restaurants, in possible violation of the Constitution.
  46. The total amount spent is not publicly available. The Trump Organization has sent $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury for 2017 and 2018, but did not disclose data to support that figure.
  47. According to news and public records, at least nine countries have hosted events at a Trump property: Afghanistan, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
  48. At least nine have rented or purchased property owned by Trump businesses: Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Slovakia, Thailand, India, and the European Union.
  49. Five have stayed at Trump properties: Georgia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Romania, and Saudi Arabia; and eight have attended Trump gatherings: Brazil, Dominica, Georgia, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and Qatar.
  50. On Friday, Bloomberg reported, according to disclosures released by the White House, Ivanka earned $4 million from Trump hotel DC during 2018, and $1 million from her fashion line which she announced she is closing.
  51. On Saturday, WAPO reported some U.S. embassies are disregarding the advisory from the State Department and flying rainbow flags in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.
  52. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not issue a statement for Pride month, and for his second year in office did not attend the State Department’s annual Pride Day event — two of many slights according to LGBTQ employees.
  53. On Saturday, a man with a BB gun set off a panic at Washington D.C.’s Pride parade, sending hundreds fleeingover concern there was a mass shooter. No actual shots were fired.
  54. On Monday, the Detroit News reported police thwarted an attempt by a neo-Nazi group to spark a “Charlottesville 2.0” type riot at a gay pride festival in downtown Detroit for Pride over the weekend.
  55. The group also desecrated an Israeli flag that they brought along, urinating on it, and videoing the action. The group brought an attorney along hoping to bait police officers.
  56. On Saturday, Politico reported the Trump regime is moving to change U.S. policy by stripping naturalized U.S. citizens who are convicted terrorists of their citizenship and force them to be deported.
  57. On Sunday, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told “Fox News Sunday” Congress should amend asylum laws to allow the regime to detain families during their hearing process.
  58. Currently the limit is 20 days. McAleenan also asked for Congress to change the asylum system’s “credible fear” standard, saying 89% of detainees meet that hurdle, but only 10% are granted asylum in court.
  59. On Sunday, NBC News reported 24 immigrants have died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody under the Trump regime so far. The previous record was 32 in 2004, the first year records were kept.
  60. The tally does not include migrants in custody of other federal agencies, including five children. Employees at both DHS and ICE have raised concerns about lapses in medical oversight and neglect.
  61. Some facilities, like private contractor GEO Group’s Aurora facility, have recently expanded to take more immigrants from ICE, but problems with medical care and other issues have been found there too.
  62. Records obtained by NBC News found ICE lied about causes of death in some cases. ICE paroled transgender woman Medina Leon to a hospital so it would not have to issue a press release or conduct a review of her death.
  63. On Monday, Trump installed former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as acting director of ICE. The move sparked criticism from Democrat and Republican senators, saying his confirmation is doubtful.
  64. A union head said Cuccinelli’s appointment “spells the end of legal immigration as it currently exists.” Sen. Bennie Thompson called Cuccinelli an “anti-immigrant fringe figure.”
  65. On Monday, the International Boundary and Water Commission ordered the We Build the Wall organizers to keep the gate open indefinitely in the part of the wall the group had built using GoFundMe money.
  66. On Tuesday, Texas Monthly reported in El Paso, Border Patrol has resumed the practice of keeping migrants outdoors in cages for weeks on end to relieve overcrowding.
  67. A local college professor likened conditions to “a human dog pound” — with 100-150 men behind a chain-linked fence, huddled together using Mylar blankets and other scraps to shield them from the sun.
  68. Rep. Veronica Escobar said some detainees have been held more than a month outdoors, despite CBP policies which state migrants should not be held for more than three days at its facilities.
  69. On Tuesday, TIME reported the Trump regime plans to detain 1,400 migrant children at Fort Sill, an army base in Oklahoma once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
  70. AP reported CBP said its agents are overwhelmed, and do not have the funding or resources to deal with the influx of migrants. Families and children are being held in facilities meant to house single men.
  71. Families are regularly being kept in facilities for longer than the maximum 72 hours allowed. The Department of Health and Human Services, which takes unaccompanied children from CBP, told the AP their facilities are past capacity with over 13,000 kids.
  72. On Friday, Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” that he will install former acting ICE director and Fox News analyst Tom Homan in the position of “border czar” at the White House, reporting directly to Trump.
  73. Homan ran ICE for the first 18 months of the Trump regime, but retired after frustration over not being confirmed by the Senate. He is known to be an immigration hard-liner, and has praised Trump on Fox News.
  74. On Tuesday, the case for Scott Warren, a 36-year-old geography teacher in Arizona and volunteer for No More Deaths who was charged for leaving water for migrants on federal wilderness land, ended in mistrial.
  75. U.N. human rights officials called for charges to be dropped, and there were protests and petitions. Federal prosecutors claimed Warren conspired to transport the migrants and shield them from Border Patrol agents.
  76. On Tuesday, a coalition of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association sued the Trump regime over its “conscience protection” rule.
  77. The lawsuit claims the regime’s rule “encourages and authorizes discrimination” by granting “broad new rights to refuse to provide health care services and information,” and called it unconstitutional.
  78. On Sunday, WAPO reported along with the new abortion ban in Alabama with no exceptions for rape or incest, the state is one of two where rapists’ parental rights are also protected.
  79. On Monday, nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter calling abortion bans “bad for business.” The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the NYT with the subheader: “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.”
  80. On Tuesday, a report by the Missouri Attorney General found black drivers in the state are 91% more likely to be stopped than white drivers, the highest disparity in the 19 years the report has been conducted.
  81. NBC News reported a 10 year-old black boy with disabilities in Maryland was questioned by police for playing with toy money on a school bus. His mother believes he was targeted for being a minority.
  82. The case was brought to public attention after his mother gathered signatures on a petition. A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public School, which is 85% white, said police should never have been called.
  83. On Monday, Deutsche Bank acknowledged that an internal audit uncovered a lapse in its money launderingcontrols, but claimed it did not find cases of money laundering or breaches of international sanctions.
  84. On Monday, after weeks of tense negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ agreed to turn over evidence in the Mueller report on obstruction of justice, although the scope of materials was unclear.
  85. Chair Jerrold Nadler said documents would include “interview notes, firsthand accounts of misconduct and other critical evidence.” The deal resulted in his panel backing away from voting Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
  86. On Monday, the committee also held public hearings and called John Dean and others. Initially coverage was preempted by coverage of a helicopter crash. Republicans openly mocked the proceedings.
  87. Ahead of the hearings, Trump tweeted: “Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor,” adding, “Democrats just want a do-over.”
  88. Trump also told reporters at the White House, “John Dean’s been a loser for many years,” adding unlike past impeachments, “You can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong.”
  89. During the hearing, Dean compared several of Mueller’s findings to Watergate, and was buttressed by two former federal prosecutors who explained why the findings amounted to criminal obstruction of justice.
  90. On Monday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, in reference to Dean’s comparison of him to Richard Nixon, “He left. I don’t leave. A big difference.”
  91. On Monday, Rep. Justin Amash, the lone Republican to call for impeachment, resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group that he helped co-found more than four years ago.
  92. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters before leaving to campaign in Iowa, Trump showcased a “beautiful letter” from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying, “he’s kept his word … that’s very important.” This is false.
  93. Trump also said he read reports that Kim’s half brother was an asset of the CIA, saying his message to Kim would be, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” seeming to again side with a dictator over U.S. intelligence.
  94. Trump held up a letter, bragging it was part of a “very long and very good” secret agreement with Mexico, but refused to divulge details. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, denied the undisclosed deal existed.
  95. While Trump continued to insist he had forced Mexico to agree to an undisclosed deal to combat migrants, Ebrard said Mexico had a 45-day window to enact measures and another 45 days if they did not work.
  96. Trump also called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a mess” and criticized Democrats’ investigations, saying, “All they do is waste time where there is no obstruction, no collusion. And in the meantime, we can’t get anything done.”
  97. On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley told Politico on Trump’s threats to impose tariffs without seeking approval from Congress, “Congress has delegated too much authority to the president of the United States.”
  98. Grassley also said, “The constitutional crisis comes from the elected representatives of the people over the last 80 years making a dictator out of the presidency,” adding this is “about the balancing of power.”
  99. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that the White House will preview the Mueller evidence, and work with the DOJ to determine what is turned over to Chair Nadler’s committee.
  100. On Tuesday, in an interview, Speaker Pelosi said of impeachment, “it’s not off the table,” adding, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.”
  101. Ask about impeachment if the majority of Democrats want it, Pelosi said, “Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?” On Trump’s comments about her in Normandy, Pelosi said, “my stock goes up every time he attacks me.”
  102. When asked about her comment that she would rather see Trump in prison, Pelosi demurred, “conversations in our caucus they stay in our caucus,” and added, “Are they criminal? Many people think they are.”
  103. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution 229-191 empowering the Judiciary Committee to seek court enforcement against Barr and Don McGahn over noncompliance with requests for documents and testimony.
  104. In remarks on the floor, Pelosi said, “We are here today because the times have found us,” and quoted Thomas Paine saying, “we do recognize the urgency of the threat to our nation we face today.”
  105. The resolution gives Chair Nadler the authority to begin legal proceedings to force McGahn to cooperate with the panel’s probe on obstruction, and represented the House’s most aggressive oversight step taken yet.
  106. The resolution also gives authority to chairpersons of nearly every House committee to “initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding before a federal court” to enforce a subpoena without needing a floor vote.
  107. The vote stopped short of a criminal citation, but kept the House on the track favored by Pelosi and some top leaders. So far, 60 House Democrats and several 2020 candidates have called for impeachment.
  108. Shortly after the vote, Barr threatened to ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents requested by the House Oversight Committee unless the panel backed off from voting on contempt.
  109. On Wednesday, in a DOJ letter, Trump asserted executive privilege, moving to block Congress’s access to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.
  110. The letter came minutes before the committee convened to vote on civil and criminal contempt citations. Chair Elijah Cummings had offered to postpone the vote if the DOJ agreed to turn over a small batch of specific documents.
  111. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee voted 24-15, with Rep. Amash joining Democrats, to pass a resolution allowing Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt charges against Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  112. The committee vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, but the vote was postponed until later in the day so members could read the DOJ’s letter on Trump asserting executive privilege.
  113. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. met for three hours with the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing. When he emerged, he told reporters he was “not at all” concerned about perjury charges over past testimony.
  114. On Wednesday, a national Quinnipiac poll found 69% of voter said a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, while 24% do not. Also, 57% believe Trump committed crimes before taking office.
  115. The poll found 55% believe Trump was not cleared of wrongdoing in the Mueller probe, while 35% believe he was. On whether Congress should begin to impeach Trump, 48% said yes, while 49% said no.
  116. On Wednesday, Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors said they are developing a potential national security case against Yujing Zhang, the 33-year-old Chinese national charged with unlawfully entering Mar-a-Lago.
  117. The prosecution’s motion asked the judge to allow them to file “classified information” under seal, and indicated Zhang is part of a widening U.S. probe of possible Chinese espionage at Mar-a-Lago.
  118. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign,” claiming they “are the best numbers WE have ever had,” despite the “never ending Witch Hunt.”
  119. On Wednesday, while meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters, without evidence, that his campaign’s polling showed him ahead in every state. The opposite was true.
  120. Trump characterized reporting that he was in fact behind in internal polling as “fake news,” and “It’s made up by the newspapers,” adding “You need ideas more than polls.”
  121. Trump also walked back his comments Tuesday pledging not to use CIA informants to spy on Kim Jong Un, saying, “No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation.”
  122. Trump also held up Kim’s letter to him referenced Tuesday, and said, “He just wrote me a very nice letter,” adding, “Someday you’ll see what’s in that letter….Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks.”
  123. Trump also said it was “totally ridiculous” to have a census without a citizenship question, adding, “Can you imagine you send out a census and you’re not allowed to say whether or not a person is an American citizen?”
  124. Trump also cited the president of Poland speaking alongside him, saying “In Poland, they say they’re either Polish or they’re not.” A citizenship question has not been included in the U.S. census since 1950.
  125. Trump snapped at reporters when asked if he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin alone at the G20, calling them “untrusting” and sarcastically asking, “Would you like to be in the room?”
  126. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, when asked whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners or hand it over the FBI, Trump responded, “I think maybe you do both.”
  127. Trump said “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” adding, “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.
  128. Trump also disputed that taking information from a foreign government on a political opponent is election interference, saying, “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.”
  129. Trump also compared it to taking opposition research, saying, “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
  130. Trump also defended his son Donald Jr. taking the June 9 meeting with Russians, saying, “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?”
  131. Trump added, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life,” adding, “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”
  132. On Wednesday, the USA Today Editorial Board called out McConnell for burying bipartisan measures to protect U.S. elections, citing the Mueller report findings that Russia had penetrated 21 state election networks.
  133. On Thursday, the editorial board updated its op-ed, adding “The 2020 presidential election is the next target,” and “Trump stunningly asserted he’d accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign country.”
  134. On Thursday, Trump defended his comments, tweeting, “I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day,” citing recent examples of the U.K., France, Ireland, and Poland, adding, “Should I immediately call the FBI”?
  135. Trump also blamed ABC News for cutting his response, tweeting, “With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media,” adding, “They purposely leave out the part that matters.”
  136. Also in a series of morning tweet, Trump attacked Democrats, tweeting, “Unrelated to Russia, Russia, Russia(although the Radical Left doesn’t use the name Russia anymore since the issuance of the Mueller Report).”
  137. Trump added, “House Committee now plays the seldom used “Contempt” card on our great A.G. & Sec. of Commerce,” adding, “much tougher game than the Republicans did,” and, “Republicans will remember!”
  138. Trump also quoted Alan Dershowitz, tweeting: “Congress cannot Impeach President Trump (did nothing wrong),” adding, “Unless there is compelling evidence, Impeachment is not Constitutionally Permissible.”
  139. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi said, “once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong,” adding, “It’s a very sad thing, a very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong.”
  140. Pelosi called Trump’s comments “against any sense of decency,” adding, “everybody in the country should be totally appalled,” and repeated her belief he has participated in “a criminal cover up.”
  141. Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign…to inform the FBI and reject the offer.”
  142. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump, saying “When he was approached by this, he did what was right,” adding Trump “would not want any foreign government interfering in this election.”
  143. McCarthy sought to distract, saying “Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual,” and and the “the Democratic Party spend money to a foreign individual to try to drum” up “lies.”
  144. Earlier that morning, Trump tweeted of Chair Schiff, “Did he call the FBI, or even think to call the FBI? NO!” Chair Schiff responded to the false claims tweeting: “We called the FBI even before we took the call.”
  145. On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission Chair posted a notice reminding, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
  146. On Thursday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn blocked an effort by ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner to pass a bill requiring campaigns to alert the FBI to foreign assistance.
  147. On Thursday, Leader McConnell dismissed the outrage over Trump’s comments, telling Fox News, “They just can’t let it go,” adding, “the fundamental point is they are trying to keep the 2016 election alive.”
  148. On Wednesday, Michael Flynn retained Sidney Powell as his new attorney. Powell has been a fierce critic of the DOJ and the FBI’s investigation into the potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
  149. The move could signal a shift in strategy. Powell has claimed Flynn was spied on as part of an FBI “set-up,” and that his case should be “dismissed.” She has an online business based on attacking Mueller and his team.
  150. On Thursday, ahead of sentencing Trump tweeted, “General Michael Flynn, the 33 year war hero who has served with distinction” has retained a “GREAT LAWYER, Sidney Powell,” adding, “Best Wishes and Good Luck.”
  151. On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan set a June 24 hearing to discuss pushing off Flynn’s sentencing another 60 days, put forward by both sides, so he can continue to cooperate in ongoing matters.
  152. On Wednesday, federal watchdog group Office of Special Counsel recommended removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of work.
  153. The report sent to Trump noted Conway violated the Hatch Act repeatedly by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
  154. Special Counsel Henry Kerner told WAPO his recommendation for a political appointee of Conway’s level was “unprecedented,” adding “You know what else is unprecedented? Kellyanne Conway’s behavior.”
  155. The decision will be up to Trump. In a letter to Kerner, White House counsel Pat Cipollone requested the OSC withdraw and retract its report. The White House said the report violated Conway’s “constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
  156. On Thursday, Chair Cummings said Trump should “immediately” fire Conway, adding the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings and Conway will be invited “to answer for her violations” on June 26.
  157. Cummings noted his committee has additional concerns related to Conway’s use of private jets and role in the regime’s drug control strategy, adding the White House has not provided requested documents on either.
  158. On Thursday, Trump announced via Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would be leavingthe White House by the end of the month, adding, “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas.”
  159. Sanders was one of the last original Trump aides. It was unclear what she would do next. Sanders said at her exit press conference, “It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute.”
  160. CBS News reported many White House staffers found out about Sanders’ departure at a 3 p.m. meeting, on a day full of substantial breaking news events and crises. It was unclear who her replacement would be.
  161. A turnover survey by the Brooking Institute found with her departure Trump “has the record for White House staff turnover, for cabinet turnover and now for the highest turnover within a single department.”
  162. On Thursday, Pompeo, without evidence, said Iran was behind the attack of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran “categorically” rejected the “unfounded claim,” calling it “inflammatory.”
  163. The U.S. is now operating without allies after Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In Week 134 the regime offered to speak to the leader of Iran without preconditions, and that offer was rejected.
  164. On Friday, facing broad criticism of his remarks to ABC News, Trump said in a rambling 50 minute long interview with “Fox & Friends” on his 73rd birthday that he would “absolutely” report foreign campaign help.
  165. Trump said, “Of course, you give it to the F.B.I. or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that,” adding, “But of course you do that. You couldn’t have that happen with our country.”
  166. Later in the interview said of taking incriminating information, “Well, if I don’t listen, you’re not going to know,” adding, “Here’s the bottom line,” and, “They spied on my campaign and they got caught.”
  167. Trump pushed back on Pelosi claiming a criminal cover-up, citing a supporter, calling it a “fascist statement,” adding when Pelosi “makes a statement like that, she ought to be ashamed of herself. It’s a disgrace.”
  168. Trump also said he would not fire Conway, adding, “I think she’s a terrific person,” and “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.”
  169. On Friday, in additional parts of his ABC News interview released, Trump again criticized the Federal Reserve, saying the stock market would be “10,000 points higher” if the Fed did not raise rates.
  170. Trump also criticized his appointee Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying, “if we had somebody different” in charge of the Fed, the economy would be doing better, adding, “I’m not happy with what he’s done.”
  171. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said corporations are paying far less in taxes than projected in the GOP tax law: the Treasury saw 31% decline in corporate revenue last year, twice what the decline expected.
  172. On Friday, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart, Costco and Target wrote a letter to the White House, warning Trump of the impact of his tariffs and trade war with China.
  173. The group, including retailers, manufacturers, and tech companies said “Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies,” not China, and warned of the impact on the economy and consumers, and of job losses.
  174. Also in the ABC News interview, Trump also disputed McGahn’s testimony in the Mueller report, saying he “may have been confused” in that Trump tried multiple times to direct him to have Mueller fired.
  175. Trump said, “The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” defiantly adding, “I don’t care what [McGahn] says, it doesn’t matter.”
  176. When Trump was asked why he refused to testify under oath, he responded, “Because they were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements…what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair.”
  177. On Friday, Trump tweeted thanks to Sen. Masha Blackburn for blocking a bill requiring campaigns to notify the FBI, saying Democrats “continue to look for a do-over on the Mueller Report” and “will stop at nothing.”
  178. Trump also tweeted thanking Leader McConnell for “understanding the Democrats game of not playing it straight on the ridiculous Witch Hunt Hoax in the Senate.”
  179. As of Friday, 64 members of the House supported impeachment. Notably, the majority of the House Judiciary Committee members backed impeachment.
  180. On Friday, the DOJ released its legal rationale for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s refusal to release Trump’s tax returns, saying the demand was “unprecedented” and could “have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.”
  181. The DOJ memo argued the House Ways and Means Committee request was partisan politics, and an attempt to violate boundaries between the executive and legislative branches for short-term political gain.
  182. On Friday, NPR reported Julian Assange will appear before a British court in February for a hearing on whether he should be extradited to the U.S. Assange is being held at a maximum-security prison outside London.
  183. On Friday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by former campaign staffer Alva Johnson accusing Trump of forcibly kissing her and pay discrimination against women and Black employees, saying it was too laden with political claims.
  184. On Saturday, in a morning tweetstorm of tweeting and retweeting, Trump touted poll numbers by One America News Network showing his approval at 51%. OANN has been likened to pro-Trump propaganda.
  185. Trump also tweeted he was doing “great in the Polls” despite the “Greatest Presidential Harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest and want to destroy our Country.”
  186. Trump also warned of a stock market crash if he is not elected, tweeting, “if anyone but me takes over in 2020…there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”
  187. Trump also tweeted, “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go.” Economists are concerned about a recession. The stock market is up 27% since Trump took office, far less than under Obama.
  188. On Saturday, WAPO reported that Trump still owes D.C. more than $7 million in expenses from his inauguration, as he prepares for an unprecedented July Fourth gala.
  189. As a result, the city has been forced to dip into a special fund that covers annual costs for such things as protection from terrorist threats and demonstrations, and will be left in the red after July Fourth celebrations.

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

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Outgoing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks alongside Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 13, 2019. Trump on Thursday made the surprise announcement of the departure of spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who has been widely criticized for her performance in the White House.

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 135: USA or GILEAD ?

JUNE 08, 2019

Week 134

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-134/
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MY BODY, MY CHOICE by LEXI BELLA. Bushwick, Brooklyn, New Yor k25june19

This week Trump traveled to the U.K., where he was met with mass protests which he denied existed, then to his property in Ireland en route to the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremony in Normandy, where he attacked Robert Mueller and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In London, Trump and his children acted more as if a royal family than a head of state, and continued to intertwine their business dealings and the presidency.

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HEY YO, THEY CALL ME ‘INCOMPETENT.’ – from TOKIDOKI NOMAD BLOG. Near Union Square in New York City. 1june19 

Democrats in the House continue to clash over starting impeachment proceedings, as the Trump regime continued its stonewalling Congress for both witnesses and documentation related to the Mueller probe, the 2020 census citizenship question, and even the environment.

This week was notable for the escalation of broad-based attacks on women’s rights and protections, as an actress in “The Handmaid’s Tale” bemoaned how quickly the country is mirroring the fictional dystopian nation of Gilead. Conditions for migrants at the border worsened, with more deaths and army and oil-field worker facilities being requisitioned to house migrant children.

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TRUMP INTERNATIONAL DUMPSTERS. Spotted in Detroit, Michigan this week. *not my photo

  1. On Saturday, Trump announced the resignation of Emmet Flood, the White House lawyer during the Mueller probe, as of June 14, via a tweet, adding, “NO COLLUSION — NO OBSTRUCTION! Case Closed!”
  2. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that his “true friend” White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett is resigning. No reason was given, but speculation was his departure was related to Trump’s trade wars.
  3. On Sunday, WAPO reported informal briefings lasting five to six minutes on the White House driveway by Trump, press secretary Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and others have replaced formal daily press briefings
  4. The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room has become dusty, cobwebbed, and abandoned. The last formal press briefing was 83 days ago, a record period for not briefing the press.
  5. Members of the media have complained about the “gaggles,” citing their brevity, impromptu nature, and lack of set topics, and said it allows the regime to communicate on their terms, not as has been done traditionally.
  6. WAPO also reported the media has stopped giving Trump the benefit of the doubt in describing false statements as “falsehoods” or “baseless claims,” and is increasingly using the term “lies.”
  7. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech that the Trump regime was ready to negotiate with the clerical leaders of Iran with “no preconditions,” weeks after the regime threatened to go to war.
  8. On Sunday, before departing for his U.K. trip, Trump made an unannounced stop at the McLean Bible Church in Virginia, in order to, according to the White House, “pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach.”
  9. Trump came directly from Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia wearing khakis, a jacket over a polo shirt, and golf shoes. Neither Trump nor Pastor David Platt mentioned the shooting victims while on stage.
  10. On Sunday, in a statement posted on the church’s website, Pastor Platt said his prayer was not an endorsement of Trump or his policies, and expressed sympathy for church members “hurt” by Trump’s surprise visit.
  11. On Sunday, a cast member of “The Handmaid’s Tale” said the U.S. is now a “heck of a lot closer” to the fictional dystopian nation of Gilead than it was during filming of season one, adding, “which is terrifying.”
  12. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump did not know about the request to hide the USS John McCain, and said, “We think it’s much ado about nothing.”
  13. On Sunday, Rep. James Clyburn told “State of the Union” on impeachment, “we have to bring the public along,” adding we believe if “we sufficiently, effectively educate the public, then we will have done our jobs.”
  14. On Sunday, in an interview for “Axios on HBO,” when asked if he would alert the FBI if the Russia requested another meeting, Jared Kushner said I don’t know,” adding, “we were not given anything that was salacious.”
  15. On Saturday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in an op-ed the U.K. is “on the wrong side of history” with Trump’s visit, likening Trump to European dictators of the 1930s and 40s, and military juntas of the 1970s and 80s.
  16. On Monday, when asked by reporters before leaving for the U.K. if he would be willing to meet with Khan during his trip, Trump responded, “No, I don’t think much of him.”
  17. Trump also compared Khan to the New York City mayor, a Democrat who last month announced a 2020 presidential campaign, saying, “I think he’s — he’s the twin of de Blasio, except shorter.”
  18. En route, Trump attacked Khan, tweeting he “by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London,” and calling him a “stone cold loser” — just moments before landing in the U.K. for a visit.
  19. Trump’s tweet also alluded to his controversy over the weekend, where he denied calling Duchess Meghan Markle “nasty” despite an audio of him doing so, tweeting Khan was “foolishly “nasty”” to him.
  20. Hours later, as Trump arrived in the U.K. where Fox News is not aired, Trump tweeted, “The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available” from the U.S., calling it “unfair with such bad, Fake News.”
  21. Trump tweeted: “Why doesn’t owner @ATT do something?”and suggested a boycott of AT&T, tweeting if people “stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN.”
  22. Trump also tweeted, “Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!” Trump drew criticism for attacking free speech and U.S. companies, both while on foreign soil.
  23. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “London part of trip is going really well. The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic,” adding, “Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our country.”
  24. Trump also tweeted, “Haven’t seen any protests yet,” adding, “But I’m sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them.” Tens of thousands of people had signed up for protests in central London on Tuesday.
  25. On Monday, CNN reported Queen Elizabeth II formally invited just Trump and first lady Melania to the official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, however four of his five children, and two of their spouses, also showed up.
  26. Ivanka and Jared were set to attend in their capacity as formal adviser and part of the official U.S. delegation, but Trump also brought Donald Jr., Eric and his wife Lara, and Tiffany to mix with princes, dukes, and duchesses.
  27. On Tuesday, Mayor Khan responded to Trump, telling CNN it was “the sort of behavior I would expect from an 11-year old,” adding to respond in a like would be “beneath me to do childish tweets and name-calling.”
  28. On Tuesday, organizer of “Together Against Trump” estimated that 75,000 anti-Trump protestors turned outfor demonstrations in London. A 20-foot-tall, diaper-clad “Trump baby” blimp was flown above Parliament Square.
  29. At a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump again denied the protests, saying, “I don’t see any protests. I did see a small protest today when I came, very small. So a lot of it is fake news.”
  30. Shortly after the news conference, CNN aired footage of demonstrators, including a giant Trump robot sitting on a toilet and repeating, “fake news” and “witch hunt,” and others holding anti-Trump signage.
  31. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “If the totally Corrupt Media was less corrupt, I would be up by 15 points in the polls,” citing “tremendous success with the economy, maybe Best Ever!”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “If the Corrupt Media was actually fair, I would be up by 25 points,” adding, “Nevertheless, despite the Fake News, we’re doing great!” Notably these tweets were sent on the anniversary of D-Day.
  33. On Wednesday, in an interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, Trump said he was “making up for” not serving in Vietnam by spending billions on “rebuilding our military at a level it’s never seen before.”
  34. Trump said of the Vietnam war, he was “never a fan” of the conflict, adding “I thought it was a terrible war, I thought it was very far away, and at that time nobody ever heard of the country — today they are doing very well.”
  35. The interview was broadcast before Trump attended U.K. ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day. When asked if he would serve in another war, Trump said, “I would not have minded that at all.”
  36. On Wednesday, Trump flew to his money losing golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland for a two-night stay. From there, Trump flew to France and back Thursday, before departing back to the U.S. on Friday.
  37. The visit marked the third time Trump has paused an overseas trip to stop at his properties (including Waikiki and Turnberry). It was not clear how many from Trump’s large contingent would stay at the resort.
  38. The Irish Times reported Trump originally wanted to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at his golf club, but Varadkar suggested a nearby hotel. They settled on meeting at the VIP lounge at the airport.
  39. Weeks before the trip, Trump had threatened to cancel the stop in Ireland entirely and stop in Scotland instead amid the venue disagreement.
  40. WAPO reported Trump’s children also used the Europe trip to promote themselves and the family businesses. All the children used their social media accounts to promote their attendance at high-profile activities.
  41. Typically, family members participate in cultural events but not bilateral meetings; however, Trump children were present at the state dinner with the queen and a dinner at the residence of the U.S. ambassador, and more.
  42. It was unclear if American taxpayers would be paying the costs for the family’s travel. The Scotsman reported the trip cost the U.S. government close to $4 million, including $1.3 million for a five-star Qatari-backed hotel.
  43. The Irish Post reported during a pub crawl in Doonbeg, Donald Jr. and Eric ordered a round of drinks for locals, but failed to pay, saying they did not carry cash, and put it on the tab. The owner has not yet been paid.
  44. On Friday, despite the Trump Org’s 2017 pledge that “no communication of the Organization” would mention Trump, the Trump Doonbeg resort sent two tweets publicizing his visit. The tweets were later deleted.
  45. WAPO reported Trump has visited more than a dozen Trump-branded properties while in office. Trump has visited these properties every month in office except two: last December and January 2017 (when Trump was president for 12 days of the month).
  46. On Sunday, a CNN poll found support for impeachment rose from 37% last month to 41% — below the high of 47% in September 2018–54% do not support. The increase came from Democrats, with 76% in favor.
  47. On Saturday, an AirBnB host was taped asking black guests “which monkey is going to stay on the couch?” and then kicking them out in the middle of the night. This is the second racist AirBnB incident in recent months.
  48. On Saturday, Bishop Thomas Tobin drew ire after tweeting, “Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events” saying they “promote a culture and encourage activities” harmful for children.
  49. On Sunday, Tobin said he regretted the controversy his remarks, which came on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall riots, had created, but declined to withdraw the statement.
  50. On Monday, Mark Chambers, a mayor in Alabama, called for the killing of LGBTQ people on Facebook, saying, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out..without killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”
  51. Chambers later denied he wrote the post, then when confronted by the media defended his comments saying he did not say anything “killing out gays or anything like that.” On Tuesday, he apologized on Facebook.
  52. On Tuesday, three heterosexual men in Boston said they are making preparations for a possible “Straight Pride Parade” this summer. The organizers said they “feel we’re an oppressed majority.”
  53. On Friday, NBC News reported the Trump regime denied requests by U.S. embassies in in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia to fly pride flags on embassy flagpoles during LGBTQ Pride Month.
  54. The Obama administration made blanket grants for pride flags. Also, this year Secretary of State Pompeo did not approve a cable sent in past years giving encouragement to engage in outreach with local LGBTQ communities
  55. On Friday, Detroit police charged Devon Robinson, 18, for killing two gay men and a transgender woman. A Wayne County assistant prosecutor said the victims were targeted for being part of the LGBTQ community.
  56. On Wednesday, YouTube announced it will remove thousands of videos and channels that advocated for neo-Nazism, white supremacy, and bigotry that were used to “incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence.”
  57. On Saturday, AP reported in a vast expansion of the Trump regime’s screening, the State Department will require social media usernames, previous email addresses, and phone numbers from applicants for visas.
  58. The change, proposed in March 2018, will impact about 15 million applicants each year. In the past, only a small fraction of applicants identified for extra scrutiny were required to divulge this information.
  59. On Monday, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that a 40 year-old Honduran woman apprehended near the border in Eagle Pass, Texas died that morning shortly after being in their care.
  60. This marked the third death in three days near the U.S.-Mexico border: on Sunday a 33-year-old Salvadoran man died and on Saturday, Johana Medina Leon, 25-year-old transgender women, died in El Paso.
  61. On Monday, a federal judge rejected a House lawsuit to block Trump from spending billions on his wall, saying the House lacked legal standing to sue Trump for overstepping his powers by transferring funds to pay for it.
  62. The judge said the case “presents a close question,” but said the House has other levers to use includingdenying funds, passing other legislation, conducting hearings and investigations, or overriding a president’s veto.
  63. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Just had a big victory in Federal Court over the Democrats in the House on the desperately needed Border Wall,” adding, “A big step in the right direction. Wall is under construction!”
  64. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the Trump regime’s request for a swift hearing on its case to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. No judge dissented.
  65. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will “probably not” bring up a bill passed by the House passed to give dreamers 10 years of legal residence status if they meet certain requirements.
  66. On Wednesday, a Health and Human Services email obtained by WAPO showed the regime is canceling English classes, recreational programs, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors in federal migrant shelters.
  67. The regime cited funding and “a dramatic spike” in unaccompanied minors. The move could run afoul of a federal court settlement and state licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation.
  68. Attorneys said the move violated the Flores agreement that requires the government to provide education and recreational activities to migrant children in its care.
  69. Last week, attorneys also filed a motion claiming the regime is violating the Flores agreement by keeping migrant children at the Homestead facility for months in some cases, instead of releasing them within 20 days.
  70. On Friday, AP reported the Trump regime opened a new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas that can hold up to 1,600 migrant teens. The facility once housed oil field workers on government-leased land.
  71. The regime’s Office of Refugee Resettlement is also considering using Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana, and Oklahoma to house 1,400 more migrant children. The facilities are considered temporary.
  72. On Wednesday, the regime said it will sharply curtail federal spending on medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses, largely conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
  73. The move, which fulfills a top goal of anti-abortion groups, will affect research on finding cures for diseases impacting millions of Americans like cancer, H.I.V., Parkinson’s, and dementia.
  74. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin legislature passed four anti-abortion bills, including an alarmist measureimposing criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care to a baby born alive during an abortion attempt.
  75. Wisconsin’s Democratic governor said he planned to veto the bills, which Republicans will not be able to override. Trump touted the bills during a recent visit to the state, and mocked Gov. Tony Evers for his veto promise.
  76. On Wednesday, Dallas Morning News reported on a video of Arlington Rep. Ron Wright being used by anti-abortions group saying women “absolutely” should be punished for having abortions, “of course they should.”
  77. On Thursday, the LA Times reported on Missouri’s last abortion clinic, filled with patients sobbing and terrified that at any moment the judge could close the clinic, and doctors anxious and heartbroken.
  78. This week, Dr. Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri state health department questioned the clinic’s safety, and started requiring physicians to perform a pelvic exam at least 72 hours before every abortion.
  79. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board condemned the practice, saying the pelvic exams harasses women and doctors. One doctor who was forced to give a pelvic exam said, “It broke me as a physician to do this to her.”
  80. On Friday, the University of Alabama board of trustees voted to return a $26.5 million donation from top donor Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. after he called for students to boycott the school over the state’s abortion ban.
  81. Hours after Culverhouse’s statement on the ban, the university said it was considering giving back his donation, the biggest donation ever made to the school. His name was also removed from the law school.
  82. On Friday, in an op-ed, Culverhouse, an independent voter, noted the students who need financial aid will lose out, as will the university for “all the names that will never appear on their admissions rolls.”
  83. On Saturday, 42 attorneys in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas joined 38 elected officials including district attorneys and attorneys generals saying they will not prosecute health-care providers or women seeking abortions.
  84. On Friday, WAPO reported Scott Beierle’s mass shooting at a yoga studio in Week 104 was fueled by male supremacy. Hatred of women has become the new feeder network for white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups.
  85. The Southern Poverty Law Center has added “male supremacy” as a new category to its tracking list of U.S. hate movements, including men who view women as genetically inferior and needing to be sexually submissive.
  86. On Friday, lawyers for House Democrats questioned why the DOJ is not defending certain laws, including the department’s decision to walk away from defending a statute barring female genital mutilation.
  87. In defending the DOJ abandoning the first federal criminal prosecution for female genital mutilation in Michigan, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the department determined it lacked a “reasonable defense.”
  88. On Wednesday, retailer Sephora closed its U.S. stores for one hour to provide diversity training to its 16,000 employees, a month after R&B star SZA said a Sephora employee called security on her while shopping.
  89. On Wednesday, the Oregon senate passed a bill allowing victims of racially motivated 911 calls to sue for up to $250, following nationwide incidents of white people calling police on black people doing everyday activities.
  90. On Friday, Nicholas Wesley Rose, 28, pleaded guilty to an anti-Semitic plot targeting three congregations in Orange County. Rose had “kill lists” of prominent Jewish figures.
  91. On Tuesday, the Oregon House passed a bill granting the state’s electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. Oregon’s seven electoral votes would make 196 of the 270 needed. The bill now goes to the governor.
  92. On Monday, NYT reported on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s conflicts with her family’s shipping business. Her agency called to cut a program meant to stabilize the financially troubled U.S. maritime industry.
  93. The Chinese government has greatly expanded in the maritime industery. Both cuts were voted down in Congress. Her family’s gifts and donations have helped make her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the richest senators.
  94. A copy of Chao’s calendar showed 21 interviews or meetings in her first year with Chinese news orgs, including some related to her family company. In one, her father said he traveled on Air Force One and talked business with Trump.
  95. Her October 2017 trip to China as was abruptly canceled after media inquiries about her itinerary and companions, and ethics questions that were referred to the State and Transportation Departments.
  96. On Monday, George Nader, a key witness in the Mueller probe who served as liaison between Trump supporters, Middle East leaders and Russia in early 2017, was charged with transporting child pornography.
  97. Nader also helped arrange the Seychelles meeting in January 2017 between Erik Prince and a Russian official. Nader was charged on child pornography in April 2018. He pleaded guilty to the same charge in 1991.
  98. On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Kaine said the Trump regime gave a green light to U.S. energy firms to export technology and know-how to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 18, 2018, just 16 days after the Jamal Khashoggi killing.
  99. A second transfer was approved February 18. Sen. Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cited Department of Energy records and said the regime took months to answer when transfers occurred.
  100. On Wednesday, WSJ reported the State Department forced out deputy assistant secretary Charles Faulkner after he steered billions in contracts to defense company Raytheon, where he previously worked as a lobbyist.
  101. On Wednesday, research by cybersecurity firm Symantec found Russia’s manipulation of Twitter through the Internet Research Agency had more sway and reached more people than originally believed.
  102. The report found a “vast disinformation network,” in which large fake accounts played to both sides of the aisle and pretended to be regional news outlets, while a smaller subset amplified those messages.
  103. On Thursday, WAPO reported Nahro al-Kasnazan, a wealthy Iraqi sheikh who urged a hardline approach to Iran in letters to Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, stayed 26 nights in Trump Hotel DC suite.
  104. The unusually long visit, the longest of 1,200 VIP guests listed, was estimated to cost tens of thousands. Kasnazan told the Post that he normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel, but “just heard” about Trump Hotel DC.
  105. Kasnazan also told the Post that he is advocating for a U.S. military confrontation with Iran, and that he considers himself to be a viable candidate for president of Iraq. The White House did not comment.
  106. On Monday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler said his committee would hold a hearing titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” and call Nixon lawyer John Dean.
  107. On Monday, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said he was moving to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena seeking information on the 2020 citizenship question.
  108. Chair Cummings gave a Thursday deadline for turning over information and said in letters, “The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate.”
  109. On Thursday, the Justice and Commerce departments rejected Chair Cummings’ demand for more documents, saying documents are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be disclosed.
  110. The Commerce Department accused the committee of trying to interfere with ongoing litigation. After the missed deadline, Chair Cummings said, “They seem determined to continue the Trump Administration’s cover-up.”
  111. On Friday, Chair Cummings said his panel would vote next week on holding Barr and Ross in contempt. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said a vote would halt any ongoing cooperation with the committee.
  112. On Friday, according to a letter released, the White House tried to block Kris Kobach from testifying before the House Oversight Committee about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
  113. Kobach appeared before the panel Monday and refused 15 times to answer questions about his conversations with Trump or White House officials. White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the conversations are covered by executive privilege.
  114. On Monday, Politico reported House Democrats will hold a contempt vote against Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn for defying congressional subpoenas. The vote is expected on June 11.
  115. On Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in a notice that he accepted the DOJ’s explanation for not complying with his demand to make public transcripts of calls between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
  116. On Tuesday, CNN reported the White House directed Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.
  117. Pat Cipollone said in a letter the documents “remain legally protected from disclosure…because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
  118. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler said Hicks had agreed to turn over some documents to his committee, saying, “I thank her for that show of good faith.” It was unclear if she would satisfy Democrats’ sweeping demands.
  119. On Tuesday, NYT reported Paul Manafort is expected to be transferred in the new few weeks to Rikers Island jail complex in New York City where he will likely be held in isolation while facing state fraud charges.
  120. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal will not move ahead on getting Trump’s New York state tax returns under a new bill expected to be signed into law by the governor.
  121. Several of Neal’s House colleagues disagreed, saying the returns would answer questions on issues such as foreign holdings. Neal said he does not want to appear to be on a fishing expedition.
  122. Secretary Steven Mnuchin has turned down three requests to turn over six years of Trump’s tax returns, including after being subpoenaed by Neal’s committee, and is expected to end up in court.
  123. On Tuesday, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid changed his opinion and said the House should open an impeachment inquiry. Reid told USA Today, “It’s not the right thing to do nothing.”
  124. Reid said the most important goal is to “give the American people a view of what’s going on,” adding public opinion may change, “that’s one reason an inquiry should go forward, to find out how the public reacts to this.”
  125. On Wednesday, Politico reported in a meeting with five House committee Chairs, Speaker Pelosi clashed with Judiciary Chair Nadler who called for launching impeachment proceedings.
  126. This is the second request Chair Nadler has made in recent weeks. More than half (13 of 24) members of the House Judiciary Committee are for impeachment. Pelosi again turned down the notion of impeachment.
  127. Pelosi said she preferred to oust Trump at the ballot box: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.” Chairs Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, Richard Neal, and Eliot Engle sided with Pelosi.
  128. Earlier Wednesday, Pelosi said in a speech, “Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take.” So far, 60 House Democrats have called for impeachment.
  129. Pelosi also played down the disagreement saying “there is no controversy” within the caucus over impeachment. She later told reporters, “I’m not feeling any pressure.”
  130. On Thursday, CNN reported that at a private meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on May 20, more than a dozen of the 24 members pushed Chair Nadler to start impeachment proceedings.
  131. Nadler made the case his committee could look into Trump’s controversies and scandals and decide on whether to pursue articles of impeachment, freeing up the other committees to focus on the legislative agenda.
  132. On Thursday, Trump quoted Fox News host Sean Hannity on the coverage of his Europe trip, tweeting, “MSNBC Ramps up hateful coverage and promotes conspiracy theories during Trump’s trip to Europe.”
  133. Trump quoted Hannity, tweeting that he “received glowing reviews from the British Media.” This was false. Trump was criticized by The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, etc.
  134. On Thursday, in an interview with Fox News taped ahead of a ceremony in Normandy commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Trump said Mueller “made such a fool of himself” with last week’s public statement.
  135. Trump told host Laura Ingraham on Mueller, “what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong.” It was unclear what letter Trump was referring to.
  136. Trump also said of Mueller, He came out with a report with 13 horrible, angry Democrats who are totally biased against me,” adding, “A couple of them worked to Hillary Clinton.”
  137. On Russia, Trump said, “I think we can have a good relationship with Russia,” adding, “I think it’s hurt by the phony witch hunt. You know, I could have a good relationship with Russia.”
  138. Trump called Pelosi a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person,” adding, “I think she’s a disgrace. I don’t think she’s a talented person.” He said he tried to be nice to get deals done with her, but “she’s incapable of doing deals.”
  139. Trump also referred to Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” twice and said she should stop focusing on his misdeeds and instead on her district in San Francisco, which he said has “drugs and needles all over the place.”
  140. The interview was taped with graves of Allied service members as a backdrop. Trump noted people gathering for the ceremony, saying “what they don’t realize is that I’m holding them up because of this interview.”
  141. When the interview aired, Ingraham said, “Some of you may have heard or read that President Trump supposedly held up the entire D-Day ceremony in order to do this interview with me. That is patently false — fake news.”
  142. Pelosi, who was also in France for the D-Day celebrations refused to respond to Trump in an interview, saying “I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country. That’s my principle.”
  143. On Friday, while flying back to the U.S., Trump tweeted “Nervous Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace to herself and her family for having made such a disgusting statement, especially since I was with foreign leaders overseas.”
  144. Trump also tweeted of her comment, “There is no evidence for such a thing,” adding, “Nervous Nancy & Dems are getting Zero work done,” and they want a “fishing expedition to see if they can find anything on me.”
  145. Trump also called it “illegal & unprecedented in U.S. history,” adding, “There was no Collusion — Investigate the Investigators!” and, “Go to work on Drug Price Reductions & Infrastructure!”
  146. On Thursday, Michael Flynn fired his lawyers, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony, shortly before sentencing. No reason was given for the late dismissal, triggering speculation that he may seek to back out of his plea deal.
  147. Kelner and Anthony asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to withdraw, saying because only sentencing remained, the change in defense team would not harm the prosecution or defense.
  148. The judge denied Kelner and Anthony’s motion on technical grounds on Thursday, prompting them to refile it late Thursday. On Friday, the judge granted the motion for Flynn to remove them.
  149. On Thursday, new attorneys for Ekim Alptekin, the Turkish businessman who hired Flynn and was indicted in December but remains in Turkey, suddenly appeared to make a request to the judge overseeing the case.
  150. Flynn was not charged in the case against his former business partner Bijan Rafiekian and Alptekin, but was expected to be the star witness. Questions on cooperation arose with Flynn bringing on new counsel.
  151. Judge Sullivan also released the audio of John Dowd’s phone call with Kelner following release of the transcript. The contents of the voice mail were mostly quoted in the Mueller report.
  152. The DOJ also released a slightly less redacted version of Peter Strzok’s FBI notes, which said a top Russian official tried to set up a video teleconference between Trump and Putin on the day after Trump’s inauguration.
  153. On Friday, Politico reported former Roger Stone aide Andrew Miller turned over his text messages with Stone from October 2016 to March 2017, and the written agenda for the 2016 RNC, to a grand jury.
  154. On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of some sealed documents related to the mysterious legal battle between Mueller’s team and a state-owned foreign company by June 21.
  155. On Friday, in response to a lawsuit by CNN, a federal judge ruled that the FBI must un-redact more portions of former Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with Trump.
  156. The ruling will allow the names of countries and world leaders referenced in conversation between the two, when Trump described his dismay about how Flynn had handled the scheduling of calls from world leaders.
  157. On Thursday, senior House Democrats on the Appropriations subpanel that funds the Interior Department urged Trump to rethink his July 4 plans, saying the celebration should be “non-partisan and apolitical.”
  158. The lawmakers said in the letter Trump’s plans “could create the appearance of a televised, partisan campaign rally on the Mall at public expense” and asked to consider an earlier time or alternative location.
  159. On Thursday, in a letter to top officials, Senate Democrats asked the Federal Reserve to review Trump’s Deutsche Bank transactions, citing NYT’s reporting on possible money laundering in Week 132.
  160. On Thursday, House Democrats formally introduced a resolution to hold Barr and McGahn in contempt of Congress. The resolution authorizes any committee chair to go to civil court to enforce a subpoena.
  161. On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Examiner he would be leaving Trump’s legal team. Later in the day, he reversed himself tweeting “I’m here until Pres. doesn’t need me or needs something else.”
  162. On Monday, the manufacturing gauge, the Institute for Supply Management reading, dropped to 52.1 for May, the lowest level since October 2106, amid global trade tensions.
  163. On Wednesday, credit ratings agencies Fitch downgraded and Moody’s lowered the outlook for Mexico’s sovereign debt citing credit worries over Pemex and trade tensions with the U.S.
  164. On Thursday, when asked by reporters about tariffs on China, Trump said tariffs could “go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” adding, “But I think China wants to make a deal.”
  165. On Thursday, the Mexican government said it is willing to make asylum changes towards a coordinated approach to stem the flow of Central American migrants, but said they will redraw if Trump imposes tariffs.
  166. Mexican called for the regime to commit to programs that will ease conditions fueling migration. House Ways and Means Chair Neal said he would introduce a resolution of disapproval if Trump imposed tariffs.
  167. On Friday, the U.S. nonfarm payrolls for May increased by just 75,000, significantly lower than economists expectation of a gain of 180,000. March and April adds were also revised lower by a combined 189,000.
  168. On Friday, CNBC report the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, a network that historically only backed Republicans, in the era of Trump will expand its political engagement to backing Democrats in 2019 and 2020.
  169. On Friday, on his flight back from Europe, Trump tweeted there is a “good chance” we will be able to make a deal with Mexico, adding if not, “Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!”
  170. Later Friday, Trump tweeted they reached a deal and the U.S. would suspend tariffs “indefinitely,” saying Mexico agreed to “strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.”
  171. On Saturday, Trump attacked the media for “much false reporting” on the deal, “by the Fake and Corrupt News Media, such as Comcast/NBC, CNN, @nytimes & @washingtonpost. These “Fakers” are Bad News!”
  172. On Saturday, Speaker Pelosi said in a statement, “Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy,” saying Trump undermined U.S. leadership threatening “our close friend and neighbor.”
  173. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “Nervous Nancy Pelosi & the Democrat House are getting nothing done,” adding perhaps they could lead the way with USMCA, trade deal “that replaces NAFTA, the worst Trade Deal.”
  174. On Friday, Trump tweeted: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon,” saying they should be focused on bigger things “including Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”
  175. Months ago, Trump had set a goal to put humans back on the moon by 2024 and budgeted $1.6 billion to be taken from Pell grants to fund it. It was unclear if Trump was backing off his own plan or what he meant.
  176. WAPO also fact-checked Trump’s tweet and noted it was unclear what Trump meant when he called the moon “a part” of Mars. The moon is a satellite of Earth.
  177. On Friday, a Russian destroyer nearly collided with a U.S. warship in the Philippine Sea. The U.S. Navy called the incident “unsafe and unprofessional” and released video corroborating their version of events.
  178. Russian state-controlled media claimed the near collision was staged by the U.S. to coincide with a visit by China President Xi Jinping to Russia. Trump did not make a statement or tweet about the incident.
  179. On Friday, Guardian reported Russian journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested and severely beaten in police custody with injuries including broken ribs and a concussion, after covering state corruption and business interests.
  180. On Friday, NYT reported a raft of legislation meant to protect U.S. elections after Mueller’s warning of a “sweeping and systematic” Russian attack is being blocked by Senate Majority Leader McConnell.
  181. McConnell is facing pressure to act not only from Democrats, but also members of his party. It is thought he does not want to enrage Trump who views talk on interference as questioning the legitimacy of his 2016 win.
  182. The House is planning hearings to force his hand. On Friday, the Intelligence Committee said it would hold hearings on the Russian counterintelligence threat detailed in the Mueller report.
  183. On Saturday, WAPO reported the White House blocked the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from submitting testimony on climate change to the House Intelligence Committee.
  184. The written testimony noted, “absent extensive mitigating factors or events” human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic,” and laid out the implications of rising carbon emissions.
  185. Implications in the 12-page report obtained by the Post include rising global temperatures and acidifying of the world’s oceans, as well as contributing to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
  186. On Tuesday, an estimated 120,000 marched in Prague to protest Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who has been charged with subsidy fraud. The crowd was the biggest since the end of communism.
  187. On Wednesday, Australian police raided the offices of Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a prominent journalist seeking files related to stories known as the Afghan Files, raising concerns for press freedom.

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Anti-Trump protesters hold placards and balloons depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby as they gather in Trafalgar Square during a demonstration against the US State Visit in central London on June 4, 2019 the second day of the visit. — Trump turns from pomp and ceremony to politics and business on Tuesday as he meets Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of a state visit expected to be accompanied by mass protests.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 134: CLOWN REGIME

JUNE 01, 2019

Week 133

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-133/
IMG_8674
Clown images of Mueller and 45. Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. 1jun19. artist: https://www.instagram.com/degrupo/

This week, special counsel Robert Mueller addressed the nation for the first time since the start of his investigation. Notably, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” contradicting Attorney General William Barr’s statements, and Trump’s repeated proclamations of “no obstruction.” Mueller resigned and closed the special counsel office, and seemed to pass the ball to Congress on whether to pursue charges against Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demurred, but pressure built this week after Mueller’s appearance with 55 members of Congress backing an impeachment inquiry, up from 31 last week, including 13 of the 24 House Judiciary Committee members.

Trump exploded after Mueller’s appearance, seeking to discredit him and the investigation. Later, he shifted the narrative by starting a trade war with Mexico, invoking a decades old act to empower himself to impose tariffs over a so-called “national emergency” at our southern border. As the week came to a close, Trump’s Department of Justice thumbed its nose at a court order to produce documents related to Michael Flynn. The regime has now usurped both the legislative and judicial branch — seizing and consolidating power with increasingly authoritarian actions. Adding to the authoritarian feel were the continued attacks on the rights of marginalized communities and women, the stripping of protections for the environment, and a shocking discovery this week related to the 2020 census citizenship question. And yet, there has been no accountability or consequences for Trump, his family, and the remaining members of the regime.

IMG_8693
“P H O N Y.” Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. 1jun19.
  1. On Saturday, 2020 candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar told a crowd in Iowa that during Trump’s 2017 inauguration speech, the late Sen. John McCain “kept reciting” the names of dictators.
  2. On Saturday, during his trip to Japan, Trump sided with Kim Jong Un over his senior advisers, tweeting, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me.”
  3. Trump also tweeted: “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me,” and sided with Kim over Joe Biden, saying he “smiled” when Kim “called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse.”
  4. In Trump’s initial tweet, Trump misspelled Biden’s name, saying “Joe Bidan a low IQ individual.” Trump then deleted the tweet. Earlier in the week, North Korea had called Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile.”
  5. Members of the regime sought to downplay recent North Korea tests. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has yet to meet with Kim, and therefore relies on the U.S. as an intermediary. The U.S. has 54,000 forces in Japan.
  6. Japan is threatened by North Korea’s short-range missiles. Trump has downplayed North Korea’s tests, saying they do not violate his agreement with Kim, since short-range missiles do not directly threaten the U.S.
  7. On Sunday, press secretary Sarah Sanders told “Meet the Press,” of Trump and Kim, “I think they agree in their assessment” of Biden, adding Trump “doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden.”
  8. On Monday, Memorial Day, in a series of tweets during his visit to Japan, Trump said, “The Dems are getting NOTHING done in Congress!” adding, “they only want a Do-Over on Mueller!”
  9. Trump also tweeted, “Impeach for what, having created perhaps the greatest Economy in our Country’s history, rebuilding our Military, taking care of our Vets,” adding the “Dems are Obstructionists!
  10. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil,” adding Kim called him a “low IQ idiot,” but he relayed the Kim’s quote “as a much softer “low IQ individual.””
  11. On Tuesday, NYT reported that during Trump’s four-day trip to Japan, despite red carpet treatment, Trump focused on politics at home rather than diplomacy, tweeting at every opportunity he had.
  12. Past precedent is for American officials traveling abroad to leave domestic politics at home once they leave. Trump spent his time attacking Democrats, his 2020 rivals, and his national security adviser John Bolton.
  13. On Tuesday, AP reported the Navy is reviewing whether members violated Defense Department policy or regulations by wearing an arm patch with the words “Make Aircrews Great Again” during Trump’s visit to Japan.
  14. On Thursday, WSJ reported a May 15 email from a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials said the “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight” ahead of Trump’s visit to Japan.
  15. The official who made the request said it was the result of conversations between the White House Military Office and the Navy. Reportedly Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was aware of the concern.
  16. According to photos obtained by the Journal, a tarp was hung over the ship’s name ahead of Trump’s arrival, then the Navy used a barge to block the name and gave the sailors on the ship the day off.
  17. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan,” adding, “I loved being with our great Military Men and Women.”
  18. On Thursday, Trump reiterated to reporters, “I wasn’t involved. I would not have done that,” but said whoever kept the ship out of sight, “did it because they thought I didn’t like him. And they were well-meaning.”
  19. WAPO reported staffers did not want McCain’s name seen in photographs during Trump’s visit. Trump was not involved in the planning, but the request was reportedly made to keep him from becoming upset.
  20. Hours later, Trump discounted the story, tweeting: “The Navy put out a disclaimer on the McCain story. Looks like the story was an exaggeration, or even Fake News — but why not, everything else is!”
  21. On Thursday, Secretary Shanahan told reporters, “I would never dishonor the memory of a great American patriot like Sen. John McCain,” and “I’d never disrespect the young men and women that crew that ship.”
  22. The action was criticized by some Republican lawmakers. Meghan McCain tweeted: “It was named after my great grandfather and grandfather…and my father was added as namesake after he died. Get a life.”
  23. On Sunday, the Times drew criticism for a piece on Hope Hicks, featuring a glamorous photo of Hicks, and positing that she faced an “existential” question of whether she should comply with a congressional subpoena.
  24. On Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace challenged Sen. Lindsey Graham on “Fox New Sunday,” forcing him to watch clips of himself calling for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton for ignoring subpoenas.
  25. Graham said on “Fox News Sunday” that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s job is “very much at risk,” adding, “Nancy Pelosi is riding a bucking, wild bronco called the Democratic caucus.”
  26. On Sunday, Rep. Liz Cheney told “This Week” that the beginnings of Mueller’s investigation were suspect and needed to be investigated, saying, “That sounds an awful lot like a coup and it could well be treason.”
  27. Rep. Cheney specified texts exchanged by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that were critical of Trump, and named James Comey and Andrew McCabe for their roles in the investigation.
  28. On Monday, Trump tweeted a news article about Rep. Cheney’s remarks, adding, “Liz Cheney: Statements by agents investigating Trump ‘could well be treason.’”
  29. On Sunday, press secretary Sanders told “Meet the Press” there was an “outrageous amount of corruption that took place at the F.B.I. They leaked information. They lied,” and they wanted to take down Trump.
  30. On Sunday, Axios reported according to CrowdTangle, Trump’s Twitter interaction rate, a measure of the impact his tweets, has fallen precipitously, reaching a new low this month.
  31. Trump’s interaction rate, measured by retweets and likes per tweet, divided by size of following, has fallen from 0.55% in November 2016, to 0.32% in June 2017, and down to 0.16% in May 2019.
  32. The number of tweets sent has increased from 157 times per month during his first 6 months, to 284 times per month over the last 6 months. As of May 25, Trump is up to 343, sure to break his record in August of 348.
  33. Utah judge Michael Kwan was suspended for making anti-Trump comments in court and on Facebook, including referencing to the “Access Hollywood” tape and calling Trump’s time in office a “fascist takeover.”
  34. While Facebook continued to defend their choice not to remove altered videos of Speaker Pelosi, the platform banned artist Kate Kretz, who turned MAGA hats into symbols of hate such as a Nazi arm band or a KKK hood.
  35. On Tuesday, CNN reported Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg did not attend a hearing in Ottawa, ignoring a subpoena from Canadian parliament. The two risk being held in comtempt.
  36. On Wednesday, in her first interview on the matter, Speaker Pelosi said Facebook’s unwillingness to take the videos down shows its leaders were “willing enablers” of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  37. Pelosi also said, “We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” but added, of the altered video, “I think it’s wrong,” and “I can take it . . . But [Facebook is] lying to the public.”
  38. On Wednesday, Vox reported cybersecurity firm FireEye revealed Facebook and Twitter removed thousands of accounts linked to Iran, which were impersonating Americans and GOP candidates for Congress.
  39. On Sunday, Nolan Brewer pleaded guilty to vandalizing Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a synagogue in Indiana,with Nazi symbolism. Brewer was sentenced to three years in prison.
  40. Brewer detailed his road to radicalization to federal agents, including meeting with far-right group Identity Evropa, and being inspired by writings of former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro and the Nazi website Stormfront.
  41. On Sunday, the New York Post reported incoming college students are rejected schools in states with restrictive abortion laws. One admissions consultant had 61 clients remove Georgia and Ohio schools from their list.
  42. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood said Missouri’s health department refused to renew its annual license to provide abortion. PP will close the state’s last abortion clinic, effectively ending legal abortion in Missouri.
  43. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal of an Indiana law banning abortion on the basis of sex or disability, but upheld part of the same law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains.
  44. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion: “From the beginning, birth control and abortion were promoted as a means of effectuating eugenics.” Observers noted Thomas left the door open to outlaw birth control.
  45. Vice President Mike Pence applauded the Supreme Court expanding “protections for the unborn,” tweeting he was “proud” to have signed the bill into law, and calling it “a victory for life.”
  46. On Wednesday, the Louisiana state house passed a bill banning abortion once a heartbeat is detectable, with no exception for a pregnancy due to rape or incest. The Democratic governor is expected to sign it.
  47. On Friday, a Missouri judge granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order against the state pulling its license. Missouri would have become the only state without a clinic that provides abortion.
  48. On Wednesday, Rewire News reported some pregnant migrant mothers in U.S. Marshals Services custody are not receiving adequate services, and are shackled when accessing prenatal care, giving birth, and postpartum care.
  49. Some mothers are forced to give their children up to Texas DFPS. A spokesperson claimed the protection agency may request temporary custody of the child when a parent or relative is not available to care for a child.
  50. On Thursday, NBC News reported Customs and Border Protection agents rounded up 1,036 migrants illegally crossing near El Paso early Wednesday, the largest group ever encountered; the previous record of 424 was set last month.
  51. On Thursday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn that he was “going to do something very dramatic on the border” and it will be a “big league statement,” “my biggest statement, so far, on the border.”
  52. Trump also said he will not be closing the border, but that “the asylum procedures are ridiculous,” adding, “No place in the world has what we have in terms of ridiculous immigration laws.”
  53. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump is considering a draft proposal which would prohibit migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before arriving at the U.S. border.
  54. The proposal would effectively ban migrants from Central America from seeking asylum since almost all have had to undertake long journeys that traced through Mexico.
  55. On Friday, CNN reported an unannounced visit by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General to an El Paso, Texas Border Patrol processing facility found “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions.
  56. The IG found “standing room only” conditions at facilities with a maximum capacity of 125 migrants. On May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were “approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively.”
  57. The report stated, “We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets.” Cells held four to five times their capacity.
  58. The IG found Border Patrol managers were concerned about an “immediate risk to the health and safety” and faced decreasing morale, and stated the situation at the border is “an acute and worsening crisis.”
  59. On Tuesday, Rep. Steve King said at a town hall that not all cultures contribute equally to civilization, adding saying so is “devaluing” the Founding Fathers, and “It is not about race…It is about culture.”
  60. On Thursday, a white campground manager in Mississippi pulled a gun on a black couple setting up for a picnic, saying they did not have a reservation. After a video was posted on Facebook, the manager was fired.
  61. On Wednesday, Motherboard reported Twitter has started researching whether white supremacists should be banned from their platform, or be allowed to stay and have their ideas engaged.
  62. On Thursday, Politico reported the State Department quietly published a notice on the federal register that it will establish a new body called the Commission on Unalienable Rights to focus on human rights.
  63. The notice says the commission will provide “fresh thinking” where discourse has departed from “our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights” — raising alarm bells with LGBTQ advocates.
  64. On Thursday, New York City police said they were investigating an anti-Semitic message on a billboard at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn which read, “Hitler is coming.”
  65. According to the New York City Police Department, the city has seen a 67% increase in hate crimes from April 2018 to April 2019. Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the incident investigated as a hate crime.
  66. On Thursday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, countering Pelosi’s complaints about the altered video on Facebook, defended extremists who have been banned, including white supremacist Paul Nehlen.
  67. Nehlen describes himself as “pro-white,” and has said we need to “rid white lands of Jews.” After public outcry, Fox News defended Ingraham in a statement, saying she is “a fierce protector of freedom of speech.”
  68. On Friday, on Ingraham’s show, Rudy Guiliani claimed he canceled his trip to meet Ukraine’s new president, who is Jewish, because he is “surrounded by Soros people, Democrats, and people trying to set us up.”
  69. On Saturday, WAPO reported the Trump regime will end the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers program which trains disadvantaged young people for wildland fire fighting and other jobs in rural communities.
  70. Over 1,100 job center workers will lose their jobs at the soon-to-be-closed centers. WAPO reported the closings will result in the largest number of federal job cuts in a decade. No reason was given for the cuts.
  71. On Monday, NYT reported on the Trump regime hardening its attack on climate science. In the coming months, Trump will complete the rollback of federal efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions initiated by Obama.
  72. Trump is described as an “armchair naysayer” on climate change, and has been influenced by friends and donors including Carl Icahn, who owns oil refineries, and Harold Hamm, an oil-and-gas billionaire.
  73. Trump appointee James Reilly, director of the United States Geological Survey, ordered using computer models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, not the end of the century as was previously done.
  74. Scientists say this is misleading, since the planet is expected to warm at the same rate through 2050, but depending on carbon emissions levels, the rate of warming through is the end of the century is highly variable.
  75. The regime is also targeting the National Climate Assessment, a report that has been produced every four years since 2000. The next report, due in 2021 or 2022, will not automatically include worst case scenarios.
  76. The regime is setting up a climate review panel, led by a climate change denier, William Happer, who serves on the National Security Council, and along with John Bolton, has been funded by Robert and Rebekah Mercer.
  77. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s financial disclosure forms show she still owns shares of Vulcan Materials Co., more than a year after she said she would divest her stake.
  78. Bloomberg reported Kushner Cos got $800 million of financing backed by Freddie Mac to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia — the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.
  79. Prior to Kushner taking a White House role, Kushner Cos had roughly $500 million in loans from Fannie and Freddie. Trump appointed Joseph Otting, former CEO of Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank, to oversee the agency.
  80. Over Memorial Day weekend, the group We Build The Wall, through which veteran Brian Kolfage raised millions on a GoFundMe page, started construction of a private wall along the New Mexico-Mexico border.
  81. About half a mile of steel fencing was put up on land owned by American Eagle Brick Co. Fisher Sand & Gravel, the North Dakota company Trump has been pushing to build his wall, did the construction.
  82. On Tuesday, the town government of Sunland Park, New Mexico ordered the group to stop construction, saying it lacked necessary permits. We Build The Wall stopped construction on Wednesday.
  83. On Monday, Republican leaders in the Senate, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Corynyn, and Thom Tillis, vowed to quickly quash any impeachment charges. The three are up for re-election in 2020.
  84. On Tuesday, the Guardian reported a new book by author Michael Wolff claims Mueller prepared a three-count obstruction of justice indictment, but decided to shelve it. A special counsel spokesperson denied it.
  85. On Tuesday, in a 25-tweet post, Rep. Justin Amash accused Attorney General William Barr of using his post “to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people.”
  86. On Tuesday, at a town hall of 700 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amash was greeted by a standing ovation. Amash said, “I think it’s really important that we do our job as Congress. That we would not allow misconduct to go undeterred.”
  87. On Tuesday, Democrats in the House and Senate told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan they would like to pursue getting Trump’s personal financial records and corporate records in their emoluments lawsuit.
  88. Democrats claim they have not been able to consider and approve business proceeds from foreign governments, and are requesting documents from banks, the Trump Org, and his trust account beginning in late June.
  89. On Tuesday, Roger Stone tried and failed for a second time to get his criminal case moved to a new judge, citing his case was not related to a separate criminal case against Russian military officers.
  90. On Tuesday, bowing to a request by CNN, the DOJ agreed in federal court to publicly release lists describing hundreds of miscellaneous court actions, such as search warrants, used in the Mueller investigation
  91. On Tuesday, Trump cautioned Roy Moore, who is considering running for the senate again in 2020, tweeting: “Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama.”
  92. In his last run for Senate, Trump backed Moore, who is accused of seeking out multiple teen girls while in his 30s. Moore said Wednesday, “There’s a lot I have to offer,” adding, “Everything seems to be very favorable.”
  93. On Wednesday, Moore struck back at Trump, telling Politico: “The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama,” adding, “They know I’ll win. That’s why they’re upset.”
  94. On Tuesday, the new State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, said she would resume news briefings, saying she would answer questions almost every weekday when not traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  95. Since Eisenhower, State Department daily briefings were the norm. Under Trump, the briefings shrank to twice a week or less, some weeks none at all. The Department of Defense has gone almost a year without a briefing.
  96. On Wednesday, the DOJ announced Mueller would hold a press conference at 11 a.m. EST. Barr and Trump’s aides were notified Tuesday evening. Barr was in Alaska, and Trump watched from the White House.
  97. Mueller spoke to the public for the first time since his investigation began, and in remarks that lasted for just under 10 minutes, announced he was resigning and closing the special counsel’s office.
  98. Mueller said his office did not “make a determination,” saying DOJ policy prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime, seeming to counter Barr who said evidence was insufficient to warrant a prosecution.
  99.  Mueller seemed to pass the responsibility to Congress, saying “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
  100. Mueller also raised eyebrows by saying, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” This statement contradicted Barr’s public statements and Trump’s narrative.
  101. Mueller said he and Barr had disagreed over whether to release his team’s summaries, but said, “I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision,” and complimented him releasing the report.
  102. Mueller said he did not want to comment further in public, saying, “The report is my testimony,” and adding, “I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further.”
  103. Mueller opened and closed his remarks commenting on Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying there were “multiple, systematic efforts” and that “allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
  104. Shortly after Mueller finished, Trump tweeted, “Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” adding, “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”
  105. Press secretary Sanders said, “We consider this case closed,” and downplayed the appearance, saying Mueller “has closed his office and it’s time for everybody to move on.”
  106. Speaker Pelosi resisted calls for impeachment, saying, “You don’t bring an impeachment unless you have all the facts,” adding we need an “ironclad case that even the Republican Senate…will be convinced.”
  107. Speaker Pelosi said “the press makes more a of a fuss,” saying “it’s like 35…maybe its 38 out of 238” House members who are for impeachment, adding, “but we want to do what’s right and what gets results.”
  108. Mueller’s remarks also pushed three more Democratic 2020 presidential candidates to call for impeachment, making 10 out of 23. Rep. Amash said, “The ball is in our court, Congress.”
  109. Late Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats? WITCH-HUNT!”
  110. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Mueller referencing “the Greatest Presidential Harassment in history,” and falsely claiming Mueller spent “$40,000,000 over two dark years.”
  111. Trump also accused Mueller of having a personal vendetta against him, calling him “highly conflicted” and said he “would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!”
  112. Trump also tweeted: “Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax,” adding, “now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.”
  113. In an earlier version of the tweet that was deleted, Trump said, “I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.” This was his first public acknowledgment that Russia interfered expressly to help him.
  114. Trump also tweeted, “So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media, say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist,” and “Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either.”
  115. A half-hour later, Trump told reporters, “No, Russia did not help me get elected,”adding “You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all. Russia, if anything, I think, helped the other side.”
  116. Trump also told reporters that Mueller was “totally conflicted” and “a true never-Trumper,” adding, “Robert Mueller should have never been chosen” by former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
  117. Trump said Mueller was “totally conflicted” because he had discussions about the position of FBI director, and is friendly with James Comey. “He loves Comey. Whether it’s love or a deep like, he was conflicted.”
  118. Trump also cited an unidentified “business dispute” with Mueller. It has been previously reported that the White House alleges a dispute over membership fees at Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia.
  119. Trump said of Democrats advocating for impeachment, “It’s a dirty, filthy, disgusting word, and it has nothing to do with me,” adding, “There was no high crime, and there was no misdemeanor.”
  120. Afterwards, Trump tweeted, “Robert Mueller came to the Oval Office…seeking to be named the Director of the FBI,” and “I told him NO. The next day he was named Special Counsel — A total Conflict of Interest.”
  121. Trump’s use of “Russia, Russia, Russia” was widely mocked and referenced by Dictionary.com, which tweeted, “Palilogy is a word that describes the technique of repeating a word or phrase for emphasis.”
  122. CNN fact-checked Trump’s morning statements and tweets and found 21 lies and falsehoods about the Russia investigation, Mueller’s findings, the cost of the probe, and the legal restrictions that Mueller faced.
  123. As of Thursday evening, 50 House members were in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry of Trump, including five committee chairs, 11 members of the House Judiciary Committee, and one Republican.
  124. On Thursday, a Republican group, the Republicans for the Rule of Law, said it would hand-deliver copies of the Mueller report to every Republican member of Congress with sections highlighted.
  125. On Friday, “CBS This Morning” aired Barr’s first network interview. The interview was taped Thursday from Alaska the day after Mueller spoke publicly. Barr appeared in casual attire by a fireplace.
  126. Barr countered Mueller’s public statement, saying, “The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office,” but added Mueller “could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity.”
  127. Barr said Mueller “had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons,” but added he and Rosenstein “felt it was necessary” for them to make a decision on the issue.
  128. Barr also said he did not understand what Mueller meant when he seemed to refer the investigation to Congress, saying, “The Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress.”
  129. When asked about his reputation, “You’re now someone who’s accused of protecting the president, enabling the president, lying to Congress,” Barr responded, “I don’t care about my legacy,” adding,“I’ll be dead.”
  130. Barr added, “we live in a crazy, hyperpartisan period of time,” saying he would be “attacked because nowadays people don’t care about the merits or the substance, they only care about who it helps.”
  131. Barr also criticized the media for allegedly ignoring surveillance of the Trump campaign, saying, “Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is.”
  132. As of Friday, 55 House members were in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry, including 13 of the 24members of the House Judiciary Committee.
  133. On Thursday, just before the Supreme Court was set to rule likely in favor of adding a new citizenship question to the 2020 census, new evidence was found in the files of GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller.
  134. Hofeller, who was known as the “Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps” died last summer. His estranged daughter found the files while sorting through his personal effects.
  135. Hofeller urged Mark Neuman, his friend for decades and part of Trump’s transition team, to consider the census question. Neuman later became an informal adviser on census issues to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  136. Files cited his 2015 study which found adding a citizenship question would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to give a structural advantage to ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’
  137. Hofeller wrote a key part of the DOJ letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the rationale used by the regime for adding the question. The regime hid Hofeller’s involvement.
  138. The documents were included in a federal court filing on Thursday by opponents of the question, and represent the clearest evidence to date that the Trump regime added the question to advance Republican interests.
  139. The filing also sought sanctions against the defendants in the lawsuit, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who were accused of misrepresentations “on the central issues of this case.”
  140. On Friday, the NYT Editorial Board said in an op-ed that the Trump regime lied about the census, calling on the Supreme Court to see these actions as “a blatant attempt to rig a constitutional mandate.”
  141. On Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. subpoenaed Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and Trump Victory, a political fundraising committee, for records relating to donor Cindy Yang.
  142. Yang has drawn scrutiny for allegedly trying to sell Chinese citizens access to the Trump regime. Bing Bing Peranio and several others who had donated to Trump were also named in the subpoenas.
  143. Prosecutors also sought information on at least eight Trump-related events that Yang advertised to Chinese clients, including five that gave proceeds to Trump Victory for Trump’s re-election.
  144. On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson certified that the federal government now owns condo 43G in Trump Tower, which was seized from Paul Manafort as part of the Mueller probe.
  145. On Thursday, late in the day, Trump said he would impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports beginning June 10 unless Mexico stopped the flow of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. border.
  146. The White House added tariffs would increase to 10% on July 1, then an additional 5% on the first day of each month, reaching 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.”
  147. The White House cited the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers which gives Trump power to impose tariffs on countries if he cites a “national emergency,” as he did months ago for the southern border.
  148. WAPO reported White House officials were caught off guard by the announcement which seemed to escalateon Thursday afternoon, after Trump’s morning storm on Mueller.
  149. Some aides tried to talk Trump out of imposing tariffs, saying it would undermine passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, which was just sent to Congress.
  150. Republican senators also warned Trump Mexico tariffs could blow up the USMCA trade deal. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from farm state Iowa expressed concern about the impact on the agriculture community.
  151. In a harsh letter late Thursday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told Trump “social problems can’t be resolved through taxes or coercive measures,” adding, “The statue of liberty is not an empty symbol.”
  152. On Thursday, Costco’s chief financial officer said the retailer is starting to see the effect of Trump’s trade war with China, as consumers are beginning to see higher prices for goods like furniture, bikes, and luggage.
  153. On Friday, Trump brushed back criticism, tweeting: “In order not to pay Tariffs, if they start rising, companies will leave Mexico,” adding Mexico has taken “30 percent of our Auto Industry…come back home to the USA.”
  154. Trump tweeted tariffs are about “stopping drugs as well as illegals!” adding, “90 percent of the Drugs” come from Mexico and our southern border, and “80,000 people died last year, 1,000,000 people ruined.”
  155. CNBC reported Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and top trade advisor Robert Lighthizer opposed Trump’s surprise move to impose tariffs — it was pushed by Stephen Miller as a way to counter the surge in border crossings.
  156. On Friday, the Dow dropped more than 350 points, with shares of the Big three auto makers, railroads, and consumer goods companies dropping sharply. Mexico is one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners.
  157. On Friday, CNBC reported business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are considering legal options, including suing the White House over Trump’s new tariffs.
  158. On Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson advocated for Trump’s tariffs, saying, “When the United States is attacked by a hostile foreign power, it must strike back. And make no mistake, Mexico is a hostile foreign power.”
  159. On Friday, Trump said in a proclamation that the regime would end India’s special trade treatment, removing the country’s designation as a beneficiary developing country.
  160. On Friday, the deadline for Judge Emmett Sullivan’s order related to Michael Flynn, the DOJ turned over a voice mail recording, but failed to comply with turning over recordings of his calls with Russian officials.
  161. The DOJ cited as rationale that it did not rely on the recordings to establish Flynn’s guilt or in his sentencing. The DOJ also failed to release unredacted portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn as ordered.
  162. Sullivan had ordered that the materials be made public, including transcripts and recording of any conversations Flynn has with Russian officials, including his December 2016 conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
  163. Prosecutors provided only one item, a transcript of a November 2017 call between Trump attorney John Dowd and Flynn attorney Rob Kelner, much of which was already made public in the Mueller report.
  164. Dowd possibly obstructed justice saying, “I understand your situation, but let me see if I can’t state it in starker terms,” adding, if “there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue.”
  165. On Friday, in the criminal case against Flynn’s former business partner Bijan Rafiekian, a memo that was part of the Mueller probe revealed Flynn’s Turkish client complained about Trump’s stance during the campaign.
  166. Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman, paid Flynn $500,000 to advance Turkish government interests. The October 2016 memo says, “Start a strategic outreach campaign for the next President…regardless of party.”
  167. The memo also indicated that part of the work was investigating alleged financial ties between schools and supporters of Gulen, a cleric the Turkey wanted the U.S. to extradite, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
  168. On Monday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was ousted by parliament in a no-confidence vote, making the center-right politician the shortest-serving chancellor since 1945 with just 525 days in office.
  169. The ousting comes after Austria’s vice chancellor resigned in Week 131 after a video emerged showing him offering government contracts to a purported Russian investor in exchange for campaign donations.
  170. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as British Prime Minister, was ordered to appear in court to face summons on three counts of misconduct relating to alleged Brexit lies.
  171. On Wednesday, Israel’s Parliament voted to dissolve itself. The country will hold an unprecedented second election after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition.
  172. On Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in speech that Russia is “probably” not adhering to an international treaty banning nuclear weapons testing.
  173. Russia rebuked the accusation with Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign relations, saying, “Unfounded accusations from the mouths of the Americans have already become an absurd norm in international affairs.”
  174. On Thursday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported North Korea executed Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s special envoy to the U.S., along with three other foreign ministry officials over the failed Hanoi summit.
  175. Another official, Kim Jong Un’s top deputy, Kim Yong Chol, was sentenced to hard labor. The five were accused of spying for the U.S. for “poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions.”
  176. On Friday, Secretary of State Pompeo told reporters in Germany, “We’ve seen the reporting…We’re doing our best to check it out.” On May 5, Pompeo smirked when asked about the execution on ABC’s “This Week.”
  177. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that Trump is expected to face thousands of protestors when he visits the U.K. next week. Protestors are also planning to fly another giant balloon depicting Trump as an orange baby.
  178. On Friday, speaking to British tabloid The Sun, Trump said he was surprised Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, called him “divisive” and “misogynistic” in 2016, saying, “I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
  179. On Friday, Trump ally Alan Dershowitz said in an op-ed that the Supreme Court could overrule impeachmentif the House were to impeach Trump despite his not having committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
  180. On Saturday, Speaker Pelosi spoke at the California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco. A person in the crowd shouted, “Impeach!,” which soon became dozens shouting, then close to a hundred chanting.
  181. Pelosi said Congress would continue to aggressively investigate Trump and his regime, saying, “What is the president covering up?” adding, “We must investigate the president’s welcoming of the assault on our democracy.”
  182. Pelosi added, “Mueller warned us in the starkest terms that there was an attack on our election and an attack on our democracy,” questioning, “Why won’t the president defend us from this attack?
  183. On Saturday, beginning in the evening and ending on Sunday, New Neighborhood, Slightly Altered States, and other arts and media companies hosted a public reading of the Mueller report in Queens, NY.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement about the Russia investigation in his first public appearance on May 29, 2019 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 133: “ALARMING POWERS”

MAY 25, 2019

Week 132

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-132/
IMG_8126
“IMPEACH” sticker in Times Square, NYC. 23may19.

This week the first Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, came out for impeaching Trump. While Trump allies sought to attack and punish Amash to avoid further defections, momentum grew among the House Democratic caucus for impeachment hearings. Feeling the pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended staying focused on policy, but directly attacked Trump for a “cover-up,” leading Trump to storm out of a scheduled meeting with Democratic leaders, saying he refused to work with them until they stop investigating him. The two leaders publicly battled, as altered videos of Pelosi appeared online, a redux of false attacks on Hillary Clinton’s mental acumen used in 2016.

In authoritarian-type moves, Trump granted his attorney general alarming powers to investigate the investigators. Trump bypassed Congress, invoking a national emergency again to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, and “joked” about serving up to five terms in office. Trump continued to stonewall House oversight as Trump prevented Don McGahn from testifying, and appealed rulings thwarting his efforts to block the release of financial documents from Mazars USA and Deutsche Bank.

This week the war on women’s reproductive rights continued, while the regime quietly stripped protections from the LGBTQ community. A sixth immigrant was reported to have died in U.S. government custody in the last eight months — this, the second death hidden by the Trump regime until uncovered by the press. Speaker Pelosi noted in ten years not a single child died in custody at the border.

IMG_8165
A sticker depicting the TREASONOUS relationship between 45 and Saudi Arabia. New York City. 22may19.
IMG_8135
ILLEGITIMATE. Sticker in New York City. 22may19.
IMG_8142
Flag flying outside of a Firehouse in NYC. A solemn reminder of the courage and sacrifice of many, protecting a country which is being sold to the highest bidder by an incompetent con man. 24may19. 
  1. The Times tallied 29 open investigations related to Trump, including ten federal criminal investigations, eight state and local investigations, and 11 Congressional investigations.
  2. On Saturday, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash became the first Republican to say Trump committed impeachable offenses, and that Attorney General William Barr “deliberately misrepresented” the Mueller report.
  3. In a series of tweets, Amash said: “Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
  4. Amash tweeted, “Few members of Congress” read Mueller’s report, and “America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system” even when “personally inconvenient.”
  5. On Saturday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel slammed Amash for “parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia,” and subtly threatened a primary challenge in 2020.
  6. On Sunday, Trump attacked Rep. Amash, tweeting: “Never a fan of @justinamash,” calling him “a total lightweight” and “a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!”
  7. Trump also tweeted, “If he actually read the biased Mueller Report, “composed” by 18 Angry Dems who hated Trump” he would find “NO COLLUSION and, ultimately, NO OBSTRUCTION.”
  8. On Sunday, Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower said he would primary Amash, saying in a statement, “I am a Pro-Trump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2nd Amendment, Pro-Family Values Republican.”
  9. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused Amash of being a closet Democrat, while the WAPO Editorial Board celebrated him, saying, “Could this be … a Republican with backbone?”
  10. On Monday, Amash doubled down, saying in a 20 tweet thread
    “some of the president’s actions were inherently corrupt,” adding, “Other actions were corrupt — and therefore impeachable.”
  11. On Monday, in an evening vote, the House Freedom Caucus voted to formally condemn Amash, one of its founding members, but stopped short of kicking him out of the group.
  12. On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff told “Face the Nation” that impeachment hearings could be an “additional tool” to get information, adding the House is “gradually escalating the tactics.”
  13. On Sunday, Guardian reported U.S. prosecutors will be given open access by Ecuadorian officials to Julian Assange’s possessions during his time living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
  14. On Sunday, Trump threatened Iran, tweeting: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” It was unclear what prompted the tweet, perhaps Fox News segments.
  15. On Monday, when asked by reporters about Iran, Trump said he had seen “no indication that anything is happening or will happen,” adding, “But if it does it will be met with great force.”
  16. On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to reject a Democratic proposal to requirecongressional approval before Trump can take military action against Iran. Only GOP Sen. Rand Paul voted for it.
  17. On Sunday, NYT reported anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving Trump and Kushner be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.
  18. The transactions, including some by Trump’s foundation, set off computer systems alerts. Staffers prepared suspicious activity reports which should have been sent to the Treasury Department unit policing financial crimes.
  19. At least some transactions involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals. Staffers were overruled by executives and the SAR reports were never filed.
  20. Tammy McFadden, an experienced staffer in the bank’s Jacksonville office, said she found money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals, and wanted to report the transactions. She was later fired.
  21. Typically SAR reports are reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts. Instead the reports went to private banking relationship managers in New York who said McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and did not file SARs.
  22. Several anti-money laundering staffers who complained about the processes to the head of the bank’s financial crimes investigations division in Jacksonville were ignored and criticized for having a negative attitude.
  23. On Monday, is a series of five tweets, Trump attacked the Times for its reporting, saying, “The Failing New York Times (it will pass away when I leave office in 6 years),” adding, “keep writing phony stories.”
  24. Trump also tweeted, “When you don’t need or want money, you don’t need or want banks,” adding, “Fake Media only says this to disparage, and always uses unnamed sources (because their sources don’t even exist.)”
  25. Trump also tweeted, “The Mainstream Media has never been as corrupt and deranged as it is today,” adding, “FAKE NEWS is actually the biggest story of all and is the true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
  26. On Monday, Deutsche Bank shares fell nearly 3%, down 5% since the start of the year — hitting a record low amid downgrades.
  27. On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank management said it used faulty software to detect money laundering. The bank nonetheless maintained that no suspicious transactions had been missed as a result.
  28. On Monday, the White House counsel blocked Don McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee scheduled for Tuesday, citing a Department of Justice opinion.
  29. The 15-page legal opinion argued McGahn cannot be compelled to testify based on past DOJ legal opinionsregarding the president’s close advisers, and his immunity is broader than a claim of executive privilege.
  30. As a private citizen, McGahn was not bound by an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo to refuse to comply with a subpoena, but McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, said in a letter that McGahn would not testify.
  31. On Monday, Rep. David Cicilline, a member of House Democratic leadership who serves on the Judiciary Committee, said if McGahn does not testify, the panel should open an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
  32. On Monday, WAPO reported Michael Cohen told a House panel at closed-door hearings that Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow instructed him to falsely claim Trump Tower Moscow negotiations ended on January 31, 2016.
  33. Cohen testified in February and March 2019 before the House Intelligence Committee. Sekulow called Cohen’s claim “completely false.” The four lawyers Schiff sent requests to last week cited attorney-client privilege.
  34. On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee voted 12-7 to release Cohen’s testimony. Cohen said Jared and Ivanka’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, also reviewed his testimony and was aware of the “false” statements.
  35. Cohen said, through an intermediary, Lowell reached out to tell Cohen to edit his testimony to distance himself from Ivanka in the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations.
  36. Cohen also said he discussed the possibility of a pardon with Sekulow and Robert Costello, an intermediary for Rudy Giuliani. Costello wrote in an email to Cohen, “Sleep well tonight, you have friend in high places.”
  37. Cohen said in his testimony that Trump had read his written testimony, which was false, before it was provided to Congress, with Sekulow saying the client likes it and that is good.
  38. On Monday, federal judge Amit Mehta ruled Mazars USA, Trump’s accounting firm, must turn over Trump’s financial records to the House Oversight Committee — an early judicial test of Trump’s stonewall tactic.
  39. Mehta wrote, “It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct.”
  40. The judge also drew comparisons to former president James Buchanan, generally considered by historians to be one of the country’s worst leaders, who he said also complained bitterly about “harassing” congressional inquiries.
  41. The judge also denied Trump’s lawyer’s request that he issue a stay of his ruling until the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia completed its review of the case.
  42. Trump told reporters Monday he would appeal the ruling, saying, “totally the wrong decision by obviously an Obama-appointed judge,” adding it was “crazy” because “this never happened to any other president.”
  43. On Monday, Chair Jerry Nadler told CNN if McGahn does not show, the “first thing we are going to do is hold McGahn in contempt.” Nadler issued a letter to McGahn Monday evening saying he expected him to appear.
  44. On Monday, Politico reported during a closed-door leadership meeting in Speaker Pelosi’s office, Democrats clashed over impeachment, with Pelosi and her allies rejecting the call to move forward for now.
  45. Three leaders, Reps. Cicilline, Jamie Raskin, and Joe Neguse pushed to begin impeachment proceedings. Pelosi and her allies argued the majority of Democrats do not want impeachment.
  46. At a Steering and Policy Committee meeting, Rep. Steve Cohen called for impeachment. Pelosi said, “This isn’t about politics at all. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the strength we need to have to see things through.”
  47. Pelosi and her allies argue anti-Trump fervor is overwhelming messaging on their agenda, and most House members are against it. Also impeaching in the House and acquitting in the Senate would strengthen Trump’s hand.
  48. WAPO reported at least five members of Pelosi’s leadership team are pushing for impeachment, including four on the Judiciary Committee. Nadler met with Pelosi and made the case to start the inquiry.
  49. The Indianapolis Star reported dozens of graduates walked out in protest at a commencement address by Vice President Mike Pence at Taylor University. The school had debated the appropriateness of his appearance.
  50. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported Immigration and Customs Enforcement is detaining 52,398 migrants, a record high. Earlier in May, the average daily population was 46,873.
  51. On Monday, NBC News reported Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, a 16 year-old from Guatemala, died in Customs and Border Protection custody at the Weslaco Border Patrol Station in south Texas.
  52. Vasquez was diagnosed with the flu the day before, and was unresponsive Monday morning during a welfare check. He is the fifth migrant child to die in U.S. custody since December.
  53. On Wednesday, CBP temporarily closed the migrant facility, saying “a large number” of people in custody were found to have high fevers.
  54. On Wednesday, AP reported the Pentagon will build temporary shelter at the U.S.-Mexican border for at least 7,500 adult migrants in ICE custody, following a request by the Department of Homeland Security. The military will not operate the facilities.
  55. On Wednesday, CBS News reported a 10 year-old girl from El Salvador died in U.S. custody on September 29, 2018. Her death, the sixth known in the past eight months, was not previously reported.
  56. On Thursday, Speaker Pelosi said at a news conference, “It’s important to note that in the 10 years before this, not a single child died in custody at the border. Now, 6 children have died in the last several months.”
  57. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported the ACLU of Texas sued the U.S. government over the fatal CBP shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez González, a 20 year-old Guatemalan woman, in May 2018.
  58. On Monday, AL.com reported Alabama Public Television refused to air an episode of the animated series “Arthur” which featured a gay wedding, choosing to re-run an episode in the slot instead.
  59. On Monday, CNN reported Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman whose brutal assault was captured on video in April in a possible hate crime, was found dead by the Dallas police after being shot.
  60. On Tuesday, two dozen states, cities, and counties sued the Trump regime over its new rule which would shield health care workers who refuse medical procedures if it violates their “conscience.”
  61. The lawsuit argued the new rule would have dire effects for patients who depend on government assistance, particularly low-income people of color, women, and LGBTQ people
  62. On Wednesday, a HUD proposal would gut protections for transgender people at homeless shelters, allowing taxpayer-funded shelters “to consider a range of factors,” such as religious beliefs, for whom they admit.
  63. On Friday, the Trump regime’s Health and Human Services department moved to revoke transgender health protection by removing “gender identity” as protected under federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination in health care.
  64. The move is the latest in a series targeted at the LGBTQ community, including in the military, housing, and healthcare, and would reverse an Obama-era policy the regime is already not enforcing.
  65. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee the redesign of the $20 bill to add Harriet Tubman, announced in April 2016 by Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, will be delayed until 2028.
  66. Trump had said in 2016 of removing his hero Andrew Jackson, “ I think it’s very rough when you take somebody off the bill.” Mnuchin also said, “The $10 and the $50 will come out with new features beforehand.”
  67. CNN reported the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Aid Access, a European organization that provide doctor-prescribed abortion pills by mail, to stop deliveries.
  68. On Wednesday, NPR reported that anti-abortion groups, fueled by passage of the Alabama abortion ban, are reconsidering decades-old talking points on exceptions for rape and incest.
  69. In a letter to RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, one anti-abortion group wrote: “A child conceived in rape is still a child. We don’t blame children for other matters outside their control. Why should we do so here?”
  70. On Friday, a federal judge in Mississippi temporarily blocked a state law which would have banned abortion after six weeks. The same judge had blocked a ban at 15 weeks last November.
  71. On Friday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation banning abortion at eight weeks into law. The Missouri law has an exception for medical emergencies, but not for rape and incest.
  72. On Wednesday, Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley warned people to avoid Dayton’s downtown area on Saturday, as the city braced for a rally organized by a group with ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
  73. On Friday, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston apologized after students from a middle school where the majority are Latino or Black on a field trip were told by a staff member “no food, no drink, no watermelon.”
  74. After reviewing footage of the visit, the museum found other visitors made racist comments to the students. Those identified had their membership revoked or will be banned from visiting.
  75. On Monday, NYT reported Kris Kobach has given the White House a list of 10 demands if he is to become the regime’s “immigration czar,” including a jet on call, weekends off, and becoming secretary of homeland security.
  76. On Tuesday, the Nevada state senate voted to join 14 other states in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to pledge their electors to the candidate with the most nationwide popular votes.
  77. The measure now moves to the state’s Democratic governor who has not indicated if he will sign it. Nevada, with its six electoral votes, would bring the total to 195. Once 270 electors are pledged, the compact would kick in.
  78. On Monday, at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Trump joked about serving a fifth term: “if things keep going like they’re going — we’ll go and we’ll do what we have to do: we’ll do a three and a four and a five.”
  79. On Monday, the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General found Secretary Betsy DeVos used her personal email account for “a limited number of emails” — fewer than 100 — from January 2017 to April 2018.
  80. On Tuesday, at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, HUD Secretary Ben Carson confused a question about REO, or “real estate owned,” with the sandwich cookie, Oreo.
  81. After the hearing, Carson tweeted at Rep. Katie Porter who asked the question, “OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way!” with a photo of the cookies.
  82. On Tuesday, Rachel Maddow reported Wendy Vitter, the controversial judge confirmed in Week 130, was rushed through by Mitch McConnell weeks after her husband alerted him a big investment by Rusal for Kentucky.
  83. On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared Trump in a key meeting in Hamburg, Germany in 2017.
  84. Tillerson said what was supposed to be a exchange of pleasantries ballooned into a two-hour-plus meeting spanning the globe. A committee aide recounted that “Putin seized every opportunity to push what he wanted.”
  85. Tillerson also said Jared Kushner that should have consulted more often with State Department colleagues, saying his lack of knowledge of history exposed him to being outmaneuvered.
  86. On Thursday, Trump attacked Tillerson on Twitter, calling him “a man who is “dumb as a rock” and totally ill prepared,” and adding, “I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing!”
  87. On Thursday, WAPO reported Trump has repeatedly asked the Army Corps of Engineers to award a border wall contract to a Fisher Industries, a North Dakota construction firm whose CEO is a GOP donor and on Fox News.
  88. On a call made from Air Force One, Trump aggressively pushed Fischer to DHS leaders and the commanding general of the Army Corps. DHS and military officials are reportedly concerned by Trump pushing the company.
  89. Trump called the commanding general to the Oval Office on Thursday and again brought up Fischer first thing. Fischer sued the U.S. government last month after the Army did not accept its bid for part of the wall.
  90. Fischer is building fencing in New Mexico, and their machinery was seen in El Paso, Texas. The company’s CEO Tommy Fischer has gone on conservative media and met with members of Congress to push their services.
  91. Jared Kushner has also been pushing for Fischer. An aide said Trump was told the company was cheaper than others and could build the wall faster, and that he frequently sees Fischer on Fox News.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump’s attorney filed a notice of appeal for federal judge Mehta’s ruling on Mazars. The case will be heard by Merrick Garland, the chief judge at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  93. On Tuesday, ABC News reported Democrats on the House Judiciary are pushing back on a DOJ offer to have Mueller give a public opening statement and then answer committee questions behind closed door.
  94. Reportedly, Mueller is seek guidance from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to advice on what he can and cannot say. The House Intelligence Committee is also in talks with the DOJ to have Mueller testify.
  95. On Tuesday, CNN reported sources on Mueller’s team say he is hesitant to testify to Congress — not wanting to seem political. Mueller has been seen arriving at work every morning since submitting his report.
  96. On Tuesday, the New York state assembly passed a double loophole bill, allowing the state to prosecutepeople pardoned by Trump. The bill now moves to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign.
  97. On Wednesday, the New York state assembly passed a bill giving Congress the right to ask for Trump’s and his organization’s state tax returns. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Cuomo.
  98. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to former White House communications director Hope Hicks and to Don McGahn’s former chief of staff, Annie Donaldson.
  99. The subpoenas called for Hicks and Donaldson to produce requested documents by June 4, and for Hicks to testify June 19 and for Donaldson to appear for a deposition on June 24.
  100. On Tuesday, WAPO reported a confidential 10-page draft memo prepared last fall by the Internal Revenue Service said Trump’s tax returns must be given to Congress unless he invokes executive privilege.
  101. The memo states disclosure to the House “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested,” and exposed a break from the Treasury Department which refused to reply.
  102. The memo states the law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met,” contradicting Secretary Mnuchin.
  103. On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac Poll found Trump’s approval at 38%, while 57% disapprove, for a net approval of -19. That is down from May 2, when Trump’s approval was 41% and 55% disapprove, for a net approval of -14.
  104. Going into the 2020 election, 54% said that they “definitely” will not vote to re-elect Trump, historically strong opposition.
  105. On Wednesday, a Monmouth University survey found 60% say Trump should not be re-elected in 2020, while 37% said he should. Trump’s approval with Republicans remains high at 86%.
  106. On Wednesday, Chair Schiff said he would not enforce a subpoena against Attorney General Barr, after the House Intelligence Committee and DOJ reached an 11th hour deal on Mueller report materials.
  107. Under the deal, the DOJ will supply redacted material and underlying information, but in a staged manner. Schiff said the subpoena “will remain in effect and will be enforced” until materials are provided.
  108. On Wednesday, after a meeting with her caucus, Speaker Pelosi said Trump is engaged in a “cover-up,” adding, “we do believe that it’s important to follow the facts. We believe that no one is above the law.”
  109. Nearly a dozen out of the 24 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee voiced support for opening an impeachment inquiry. Other Democrats have come out in recent days to publicly voice their support.
  110. On Wednesday, Trump abruptly stormed out of a scheduled meeting with Democratic congressional leadersto discuss advancing legislation after three minutes, and marched to the Rose Garden to address reporters.
  111. Trump had walked into the Cabinet Room, shaken, did not shake Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s hands, and said “Speaker Pelosi said something terrible today and accused me of a cover-up.”
  112. Trump blasted Democrats, telling reporters, “Instead of walking in happily to a meeting, I walk in to look at people who said I was doing a cover-up,” adding, “I don’t do cover-ups.”
  113. Trump also said he cannot work on infrastructure “under these circumstances,” adding, “get these phony investigations over with,” and “we’re going to go down one track at a time.”
  114. Pelosi told reporters Democrats were ready to give Trump a signature accomplishment but “for some reason, maybe it was lack of confidence on his part…he just took a pass,” and, “it makes me wonder why.”
  115. Pelosi also called Trump’s actions an “orchestrated event — almost to an ‘oh, poor baby’ point of view,” and adding the visuals “obviously were planned long before” the meeting.
  116. Pelosi added, “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States, and I pray for the United States of America.” Schumer said “they came up with a very inelegant way to get out” of getting a infrastructure deal done.
  117. Later, at an event for a liberal policy group, Pelosi said, “The fact is, in plain sight in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,” adding, “that could be an impeachable offense.”
  118. At the same event, Chair Schiff likened Barr to a “personal attorney” for Trump, saying Barr has the “duplicity of Rudy Giuliani without all the good looks and general likability.”
  119. Later, in a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi accused Trump of throwing a “temper tantrum,” citing Trump’s threat to stop working with Democrats as being concerned only with his own job, not the American people.
  120. On Wednesday, in late night tweets, Trump said of Pelosi’s accusations he has a temper tantrum, “This is not true,” and “I was purposely very polite and calm,” adding, “Can be easily proven. It is all such a lie!”
  121. Trump also tweeted, “Zero is getting done with the Democrats in charge of the House,” adding, “All they want to do is put the Mueller Report behind them and start all over again. No Do-Overs!”
  122. On Wednesday, on the Fox News show “Hannity,” Sen. Lindsey Graham likened the two year investigation led by Special Counsel Mueller as a “political rectal exam.”
  123. On Wednesday, federal judge Edgardo Ramos rejected Trump’s request to halt House subpoenas, saying Deutsche Bank and Capital One may turn over financial documents related to Trump and his businesses.
  124. On Wednesday, NBC News reported nine banks have been subpoenaed by the House Financial Services Committee about their dealing with the Trump Organization. So far two, Wells Fargo and TD Bank, have complied.
  125. Chair Maxine Waters is especially interested in Trump’s business relationship with Russia and other foreign entities. Other banks include Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, and JP Morgan Chase.
  126. On Wednesday, NBC News tabulated that 31 of the 235 House Democrats have called for the start of an impeachment inquiry.
  127. On Wednesday, Sen. Christopher Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned Trump may use an obscure loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia, circumventing Congress.
  128. Murphy said in a tweet, “Arms control law allows Congress to reject a sale to a foreign country. But Trump would claim the sale constitutes an ‘emergency.’” Sen. Bob Menendez called it “a dangerous precedent.”
  129. On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency, citing tensions with Iran, as a means to bypass Congressional approval and sell over $8 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.
  130. The move angered members of both parties. Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Trump’s move could damage future White House interactions with Congress.
  131. On Wednesday, newly unsealed search warrants revealed Michael Cohen exchanged 230 telephone calls and 950 text messages with Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg between November 8, 2016 and July 14, 2017.
  132. On Thursday, on “Fox & Friends,” Donald Jr. slammed Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr, saying, “You have one Republican who’s too weak to stand up to the Democrats.”
  133. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump sought to portray Democrats as the obstacle to passing legislation like infrastructure, tweeting, “The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY!”
  134. Trump also tweeted, “The Democrats are getting nothing done in Congress,” adding, “All of their effort is about a Re-Do of the Mueller Report, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted.”
  135. Trump tweeted he “was extremely calm yesterday,” adding Democrats and “the Fake News Media” made it up and “so many stories about the meeting use the Rage narrative anyway — Fake & Corrupt Press!”
  136. On Thursday, in a closed-door meeting with House Democratic leadership, Speaker Pelosi reportedly said that Trump “wants to be impeached, so he can be exonerated by the Senate.”
  137. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi told reporters Trump wants to be impeached, saying, “The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” adding, “That’s why he flipped yesterday.”
  138. Pelosi also said, “I think what really got to him was these court cases,” citing the Mazars USA and Deutsche Bank rulings going against him, and added “he wants us to be” on a path to impeachment, but we are not.
  139. Pelosi said Trump’s storming out of the meeting was staged, calling him the “master of distraction,”and adding Trump “has a bag of tricks and the White House has a bag of tricks that they save for certain occasions.”
  140. Pelosi said Trump’s behavior, including “obstruction of justice, the things he’s doing, it’s clear. It’s in plain sight…Ignoring subpoenas, obstruction of justice,” adding, “Yes, these could be impeachment offenses.”
  141. Pelosi said she was concerned about Trump, “I pray for the President of the United States,” adding, “I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.”
  142. On Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders denied Trump’s walkout was pre-planned, saying he “absolutely” intended to stay for the meeting, and the placards on the Rose Garden podium “had been printed weeks ago.”
  143. On Thursday, during a meeting to support America’s farmers and ranchers in the White House, Trump went off topic and asked aides to step to the microphone and attest to his calm demeanor in the meeting yesterday.
  144. Trump had five members of the regime speak for him, including Kellyanne Conway, who said he was “very calm,” and economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who said “You were very calm” but Speaker Pelosi “lost it.”
  145. Trump also called Speaker Pelosi “crazy Nancy,” and added “she’s lost it.”
  146. The event was supposed to focus on announcing a $16 billion farm aid package to offset losses from Trump’s trade war. Trump falsely claimed the aid was offset by “the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China.
  147. On Thursday, Chair Nadler pushed House colleagues to empower committee chairs with the ability to hold individuals in contempt of Congress without going to the floor for a full House vote.
  148. Nadler cited the change could avoid clogging up the House floor given Trump’s all-out stonewalling of Congressional subpoenas. House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings supported the proposed change.
  149. A faction of House Democrats are also pushing to invoke Congress’ inherent contempt powers, which have not been used in nearly a century, to allow members to impose fines on those who defy a House subpoena.
  150. On Thursday, Chicago banker Stephen Calk was indicted in Manhattan on a charge that he arranged $16 million in loans to then campaign chair Paul Manafort in an effort to obtain a high-level position in the Trump regime.
  151. Calk made the loans in his position as chairman of Federal Savings Bank in hopes of a cabinet position like Treasury Secretary. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
  152. On Thursday, WAPO reported altered videos of Speaker Pelosi’s Wednesday speech, which make her sound as if she is drunk and slurring her words, rapidly spread around social media.
  153. A version of the video posted by the conservative Facebook page Politics WatchDog had over 2 million view by Thursday evening. The origins of the video is unclear, but it also appeared on Twitter, YouTube, and news sites.
  154. Rudy Giuliani tweeted the altered video, along with the comment, “What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi? Her speech pattern is bizarre.” Giuliani later deleted the tweet.
  155. On Thursday, Trump tweeted a heavily edited video of Speaker Pelosi meant to question her mental acuity, writing: “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE.”
  156. The clip was a segment on Fox News, and included derogatory remarks by commentator Gregg Jarrett GOP operative Ed Rollins, who opined, “I think she is getting worn down….I think she’s very inarticulate.”
  157. On Friday, Trump pinned the tweet to the top of his page. Giuliani told WAPO, “I have been noticing a gradual change in her speech pattern and gestures for sometime,” adding, “I’d like to see original video.”
  158. On Thursday, in a late evening directive, Trump directed the country’s sixteen intelligence agencies to fully cooperate with Barr in his review of the investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.
  159. The directive came hours after Trump was asked at an impromptu press conference, “Who specifically are you accusing of treason?” following his tweet in Week 131 referencing “this was TREASON!”
  160. Trump replied, “If you look at Comey; if you look at McCabe; if you look at probably people higher than that; if you look at Strzok; if you look at his lover, Lisa Page, his wonderful lover — the two lovers, they talked openly.”
  161. In the directive, Trump also delegated significant authority to Barr to declassify intelligence documents as he sees fit, after consulting with intelligence agency heads.
  162. The Times reported Barr wanted more information on what foreign assets the CIA had in Russia in 2016, and what those informants told the agency about how Putin interfered in the 2016 election.
  163. The DOJ confirmed Barr asked Trump to issue the directive to broaden his authority, and also extends to the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security. Experts raised red flags about the power given to Barr.
  164. Sarah Sanders said in a statement, the directive will “help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred…during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
  165. On Friday, Facebook refused to remove the altered videos, saying instead it would notify users independent fact-checkers had deemed it had been manipulated, and use algorithms to reduce the video’s prominence.
  166. Later Friday, Trump told reporters before departing for Japan that he can “absolutely” work with Speaker Pelosi, and denied knowledge of the fake videos, saying, “I don’t know about the videos.”
  167. On Thursday, federal prosecutors charged Julian Assange with an 18-count indictment for violating the Espionage Act, alleging he unlawfully obtained and disclosed national defense information.
  168. WAPO noted the charges raised new concerns for journalists who publish classified information, and could change the delicate balance in U.S. law between press freedom and government secrecy.
  169. First Amendment advocates expressed concerns that prosecuting Assange could set a dangerous precedent. The DOJ could not point to comparable charges which were successfully prosecuted.
  170. On Thursday, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. said it would expedite its review of Trump’s attempt to block Mazars USA from releasing information to the House, with oral arguments starting July 12.
  171. The ruling means the accounting firm will not hand over Trump’s business records to the House Oversight Committee while the case is pending. Since the case is likely to go to the Supreme Court, this likely will take into 2020.
  172. On Saturday, Trump lawyers also secured a deal with the House to delay disclosure of Trump records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One sought by the Intelligence and Financial Services committees.
  173. On Friday, Trump tweeted: “The Dems want a second shot at Bob Mueller, are very unhappy with the No Collusion Report,” adding, “no second chances — must get back to work. So bad for our Country!”
  174. On Friday, former GOP Rep. Tom Coleman wrote in an op-ed published in the Kansas City Star, that based on the finding in the Mueller report Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are illegitimate and should be impeached.
  175. On Thursday, DOJ lawyers argued in a D.C. court that the House cannot sue Trump to stop him from using military funds to build his border wall under his national emergency declaration.
  176. On Friday, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked parts of Trump’s wall from being built, saying the regime is acting illegally by shifting money from other programs without Congressional approval.
  177. U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr wrote shifting funds when Congress says no “does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic.”
  178. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us” on his wall, adding, “This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking.”
  179. On Saturday, during his visit to Japan, Trump again attacked the Federal Reserve, saying the stock market would be 7,000 to 10,000 higher and growth would have exceeded 3%, “but they wanted to raise interest rates.”
  180. On Saturday, Trump tweeted: “Can’t believe that Rolling Thunder would be given a hard time with permits,” citing the last year of the motorcycle ride due to permit costs, adding, “They love our Country…If I can help, I will!”
  181. The group’s leader said they were still planning to have this year’s ride be their last in Washington. The group has not had any contact with Trump or anyone from the regime.
  182. On Saturday, an estimated 500 to 600 people of all persuasions showed up in Dayton, Ohio to counter-protest a much feared Ku Klux Klan rally. Only nine people showed up for the KKK rally.
  183. On Friday, UK’s Theresa May resigned as prime minister, acknowledging she was unable to steer the country to deliver Brexit. Boris Johnson, a far-right, Trump-like figure is a leading contender to take her spot.
  184. In Australia, in a shocking upset, center-right Prime Minister Scott Morrison won re-election after almost every poll for three years showed him losing. Pundits warned Democrats to watch for same ahead of 2020.

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

THE LIST — weeks 1–52 of The Weekly List is out as a book! You can order your copy by clicking here.

Deutsche Bank was front and center this week, with reporting the bank failed to report transactions flagged by anti-money laundering specialists. Trump also lost his case to block the House subpoena of Deutsche Bank for his transactions as a bank customer.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 132: “CONGRESS, WHA DAT?”

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R E S I S T sticker on the back of a bank in Stony Brook, Long Island on 18may2019.

Week 131: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

May 18, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-131-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-ce28fa6a0c71

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Closeup of R E S I S T sticker. Stony Brook, Long Island. 18may2019.

This week, in a letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone issued a blanket refusal of records and testimony from Trump and dozens of current and former White House staff, saying Trump did not recognize Congress as a law enforcement body with the legitimate purpose to investigate. While the letter sent shock waves, Congress’s reaction was decidedly muted as House Democratic leaders sought to avoid impeachment, as other deadlines passed without cooperation.

This week Trump welcomed another far-right authoritarian to the White House, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whom Trump likened to a “twin brother.” Tensions escalated with Iran, and the regime issued conflicting statements and stances, and increasingly stood alone.

More troubling stories about atrocities being committed and contemplated against migrants surfaced, including a planned operational blitz to round up 10,000 migrants in 10 U.S. cities. Trump rolled out a new immigration plan, emphasizing skills over family ties, in an uncharacteristically low-energy Rose Garden speech that was met with a cool reception. Attacks on abortion rights were front and center of the national dialogue as Alabama passed the country’s most restrictive ban, setting up a possible challenge for Roe v. Wade. Other states are set to follow.

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“I think If you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, it should be done sometime before the fetus becomes Governor of Alabama.” – Jim Carrey

 

  1. This week, the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 spots on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list were the three different editions of the Mueller report.
  2. The White House has not held a press briefing for over two months, and only two so far this year. Briefings were a near-daily event in every recent administration going back to President Nixon.
  3. WAPO observed in the first part of 2018 the briefings got shorter and shorter, then during the summer, they began to disappear. The Pentagon and State Department have also almost entirely stopped briefings.
  4. The University of Virginia Center for Politics conducted a poll asking respondents whether the 2020 election should be delayed and Trump should get an extra two years in office.
  5. New data from the U.S. Social Security Administration revealed the popularity of the name “Donald” dropped to its lowest ranking ever in 2018 to number 526, down from the 487th most popular name for boys in 2017.
  6. The New York Post reported state Education Departments’ statistics show staffers flagged a record-high 5,875 incidents of harassment, discrimination, and bullying in 2017–2018, up 60% from the year prior.
  7. On Saturday, Trump attacked Don McGahn, tweeting: “I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller,” adding, “McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”
  8. On Sunday, on Mother’s Day, Trump sent more than 30 tweets and retweets — only one mentioning the holiday. Between Saturday and Sunday, Trump sent a total of nearly three dozen tweets and 62 retweets.
  9. Trump mocked Democrats, saying their “new and pathetically untrue sound bite is that we are in a “Constitutional Crisis,”” adding, “they and their partner, the Fake News Media,” say it “loud” and “often as possible.”
  10. Trump called Democrats “a sad JOKE!” saying, “We may have the strongest Economy in our history,” but “we have had a giant SCAM…a Witch Hunt, a Treasonous Hoax,” adding, “That is the Constitutional Crisis.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “Despite two years and millions of dollars spent, the Democrats are acting like crazed lunatics” since the Mueller report came out, and adding, “It is all a big Hoax, the biggest in American history!”
  12. Trump also claimed “the Dems have been working overtime to damage me and the Republican Party” since the report came out, adding, “issuing over 80 demands for documents and testimonies, and with NO REASON.”
  13. Trump also tweeted: “The “Constitutional Crisis” is the Democrats refusing to work.” Despite Republican efforts to move on from the Russia probe, that was the number one topic by far of Trump’s weekend Twitter activity.
  14. On Monday, Trump thanked “Fox & Friends” tweeting, “great show this morning and congratulations on your number one” and congratulated One America News Network (OANN) on “the great job you are doing.”
  15. OANN launched in 2013 and went all-in for Trump in 2016. The network amplifies right-wing conspiracy theories and propaganda originating from the Kremlin. Trump is a loyal viewer, so segments are a way to reach him.
  16. Gulf Coast Media, a media company that owns three Florida radio stations, will broadcast parts of Trump’s speeches every hour of every day until the 2020 election. The owner bought the stations in 2018.
  17. On Monday, in a series of tweets on space exploration, Trump said, “Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness,” adding he is upping the budget “so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”
  18. Later Monday, the Trump regime sent a budget amendment to Congress, saying the regime would use $1.9 billion in surplus Pell Grant money to fund other budget priorities, including a $1.6 billion NASA budget boost.
  19. On Monday, the stock market experienced a dramatic drop off of close to 2.5% as China imposed $60 billion in tariffs in retaliation for Trump’s move last week, and the trade war escalated.
  20. On Monday, Trump told reporters, “We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariffs. I love the position that we are in, we’ve gone up a lot since our great election.” There was no proof that this was true.
  21. On Monday, Sen. Tom Cotton told “CBS this Morning” on the farmers suffering, “There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that.” Arkansas farmers accused Cotton of mocking them.
  22. On Tuesday, Trump sent a series of tweets, saying “Our great Patriot Farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries” of his trade war, falsely claiming “This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid.”
  23. Trump also tweeted, “In one year Tariffs have rebuilt our Steel Industry — it is booming!” The jobs moving back in the steel sector are estimated to cost U.S. businesses and consumers $900,000 per year for each job.
  24. Trump also tweeted, “Billions of Dollars, and moving jobs back to the USA where they belong,” adding, “This should have been done by our leaders many years ago. Enjoy!” There is no proof for this claim.
  25. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting China “will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates,” adding if the Fed “ever did a “match,” it would be game over, we win!”
  26. Trump plugged Sen. Cotton’s book, tweeting: “Our great Senator (and Star)… has just completed a wonderful book,” adding, “On sale today, make it big!” The plug helped make the book a bestseller.
  27. Trump told reporters the trade war with China was “a little squabble,” and “We always win.” China state media said one person and his regime are threatening “the entire country and all the people of China.”
  28. WAPO reported some Republicans are expressing concern. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he planned to write Trump a letter and added, “I’m not sure if you talk to him face to face, he hears everything you say.”
  29. Republicans also expressed concern that Trump did not have a clear endgame. With Trump’s shift to imposing tariffs last Friday, GOP lawmakers have fielded angry phone calls from constituents.
  30. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the regime could make between $15-20 billion of aid available to farmers in a second round of assistance to offset losses from Trump’s trade war.
  31. Officials are considering funding the aid through an expansion of bailout funds from the Commodity Credit Corp, a division of the USDA that was created during the Great Depression.
  32. On Thursday, a National Farmers Union executive told Fox News on the impact of Trump’s trade war with China, “We’ve had a lot of farmers — a lot more bankruptcies going on, a lot more farmer suicides.”
  33. On Thursday, the Daily News reported the USDA purchased $62 million of pork from a U.S. company owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, wealthy brothers who have confessed to bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil.
  34. The purchase was made using funds from a $12 billion program meant for U.S. farmers harmed by Trump’s trade wars, and raised outrage from watchdog groups for helping bailout a Brazilian-owned company.
  35. On Thursday, the Trump regime defended the $62 million bailout, saying it will eventually trickle down to struggling U.S. farmers, adding the U.S. subsidiary owned by the Brazilian brothers was an “approved vendor.”
  36. On Thursday, Walmart’s CFO said Trump’s trade war with China will result in higher prices for consumers, adding the company will try ease the pain to consumers by trying to obtain products from different countries.
  37. On Monday, Trump said he will attend the G-20 summit in Osaka next month, and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping — the first mention of another meeting with Putin.
  38. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled his planned trip to Moscow and instead met with European Union allies in Brussels, as the Trump regime raised the possibility of a conflict with Iran.
  39. Shortly after Pompeo’s meetings, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, “it would be a very bad mistake” if Iran does anything, adding, “I’m hearing little stories about Iran. If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”
  40. On Monday, Trump hosted Hungary’s hard-right leader Prime Minister Viktor Orban, thumbing his nose at former presidents Obama and W. Bush who refused to host him. Orban also remains an outcast in Europe.
  41. Trump told reporters Orban has “done a tremendous job in so many ways” and has “kept his country safe,” adding, “respected all over Europe” and “probably like me a little bit controversial, but that’s okay.”
  42. Orban said he and Trump have “similar approaches” to many global issues. Trump failed to mention Hungary’s slide into authoritarianism, or its human rights and free speech abuses, or growing anti-Semitism.
  43. As their meeting ended, according to Hungarian media, Trump told Orban “It’s like we’re twins.” The White House defended criticism of the meeting, saying it was about defending “freedom and prosperity.”
  44. On Monday, at a meeting with his top security aides, Trump reviewed military plans that could send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East amid a possible escalation with Iran.
  45. The plans were ordered by national security adviser John Bolton, a long-time Iran hawk pushing for battle since working for President W. Bush. Trump. European allies worried tensions could boil over inadvertently.
  46. On Monday, Yleem Poblete, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, and noted as an Iran hawk, resigned after serving for one year in the regime. No explanation was given.
  47. On Tuesday, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon he saw no increased threat from Iran. Hours later, U.S. Central Command issued an unusual rebuke, citing “identified credible threats.”
  48. NYT reported several European officials privately expressed concern that Bolton and Pompeo are pushing Trump on a course that could lead the U.S. to war, reminiscent of faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq invasion.
  49. On Thursday, Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss used the Pentagon briefing room to address troops before visiting the White House. The White House did not comment on the reason for Simmons’ visit.
  50. On Monday, two Senators, a Democrat and a Republican, asked in a letter to the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary to turn over information on the treatment of migrant children in federally funded shelters.
  51. The senators demanded information related to “horrific and intolerable allegations of excessive compensation, self-dealing, and sexual abuse,” asking whether the ORR has failed to uphold its statutory duties.
  52. On Monday, WAPO reported before Trump’s purge at the Department of Homeland Security in April, officials had challenged a plan to arrest thousands of parents and children of migrants in 10 major U.S. cities.
  53. The regime sought to target families who had entered the country after Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, to show force and send a message the U.S. was going to be tough and detain and deport recent immigrants quickly.
  54. The plan would have targeted immigrants who did not show for their hearings. The initial target list of the blitz operation was 2,500 adults and children, seen as a first step to arresting and deporting 10,000 migrants.
  55. Then DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello fought against the plan, citing operational and logistical issues, but not moral concerns, about arresting families.
  56. The plan was strongly backed by Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence. Reportedly, Nielsen and Vitiello’s pushback was a factor in Trump’s decision to oust both.
  57. Non-partisan watchdog group CREW filed requested documents from DHS relating to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and CaliburnInternational, after recent reports Kelly joined the company’s board.
  58. On Wednesday, WAPO reported a fourth migrant from Guatemala, a 2 1/2 year-old boy, died three days after being apprehended by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border in the El Paso area.
  59. Guatemala’s Consul Tekandi Paniagua said the boy developed appeared to have developed a form of pneumonia, after spending three days in federal custody, but the death remained under investigation.
  60. CBP officials are required to notify Congress of a death in custody within 24 hours. The death occurred on April 6. When WAPO inquired if lawmakers were notified, an official said they would do so.
  61. On Wednesday, the White House announced Trump would unveil a plan to overhaul parts of the immigration system to emphasize immigrants’ skill over family ties. Jared Kushner spent months working on the plan.
  62. The plan would vastly scale back allowing immigrants to bring their spouses and children to live with them, and instead allow in immigrants who have specific skills, English proficiency, and educational attainment.
  63. The plan also calls for constructing some of the border wall, reducing the number of immigrants, but did not address the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  64. On Thursday, Trump rolled out the plan at the Rose Garden, but got a cool reception. Although Trump’s speech was meant to strike a centrist, conciliatory tone, Trump quickly went off script and started attacking.
  65. Trump attacked Democrats as being for “open borders, lower wages and, frankly, lawless chaos,” saying if they refused to support his “merit-based, high-security plan,” he would pass it after the GOP wins back the House.
  66. Trump was more low-energy than usual during the address, and his words seemed to drag and go off course at times. Trump also refused to take questions from the press.
  67. NYT reported Kushner had wanted to elevate the moment and have Trump speak at the Statue of Liberty. Instead, staff chose the Rose Garden so members of Congress and Trump’s cabinet could come and show support.
  68. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the plan “repackaged the worst of its past failed immigration plans” and described it as “dead-on-arrival,” and “not a remotely serious proposal.”
  69. On Friday a 4th Circuit federal appeals court ruled that the Trump regime acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it sought to end the DACA program without adequately explaining why.
  70. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling in Maryland last year, which Trump has praised on Twitter. The ruling will not have an immediate impact as other federal courts have already ruled against Trump.
  71. Politico reported Trump’s pick for ICE director, Mark Morgan, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this year that he could tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.
  72. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported that children born to LGBTQ parents who had them out of wedlock and then moved to the U.S. may be stripped of their citizenship rights.
  73. On Monday, the New Haven Fire Department chief said a fire at the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven, Connecticut was set intentionally. The blaze came during the month of Ramadan.
  74. On Friday, Massachusetts state officials said three fires at a Rabbi’s home and nearby Chabad Jewish Center just outside Boston were “intentionallyset.” Police say they are investigating the fires as a possible hate crime.
  75. On Sunday, International House of Pancakes stoked controversy when the chain tweeted a photo of a fake sonogram with a stack of pancakes in the womb, along with “Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms out there!”
  76. On Monday, former Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman submitted a court declaration as part of proposed collective-action lawsuit against Trump spearheaded by Alva Johnson for gender-based pay discrimination.
  77. On Tuesday, the Alabama state senate approved a measure that would effectively ban abortion, criminalizing the procedure for doctors, punishable by up to 99 years in jail.
  78. The measure includes an exception when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest. The bill was reportedly drafted with the hope of reaching the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.
  79. The Guttmacher Institute reported more than 300 proposals to restrict abortion were introduced in states from January to March, noting a shift in the strategy and moving toward “near-total and total abortion bans.”
  80. On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm Wendy Vitter to the U.S. District Court. Vitter said of Planned Parenthood “they kill over 150,000 females a year. The first step in promoting women’s health is to let them live.”
  81. On Friday, Missouri’s House passed a bill banning abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies, but not rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions could face 5–15 years in prison.
  82. GOP Gov. Mike Parson, who said “Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waiver in the fight,” is expected to sign the bill. The law only kicks in if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
  83. Missouri Rep. Barry Hovis said during a debate of granting exceptions for rape and incest, “Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes.” Hovis later apologized for using the term consensual rape.
  84. On Friday, Austin City Council member Leslie Pool said she is drafting a resolution for the city to boycott the state of Alabama over its extreme anti-abortion law, saying “Austin should help fight back.”
  85. On Saturday, Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said he is ready to sign an abortion ban bill awaiting one final vote in the state House, would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
  86. On Tuesday, the Maine state senate voted to join an interstate effort with 15 other states that will award presidential electors based on the winner of the national popular vote, not as is currently done in the Electoral College.
  87. On Tuesday, on a trip to a liquefied natural gas facility in Louisiana, Trump knocked the Green New Deal and windmills, saying, “you want to see a bird cemetery? Go under a windmill. You’ve got every type of bird.”
  88. On Wednesday, the Interior Department renewed two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Wilderness area in Minnesota, opening the wilderness area to copper mining despite heavy opposition.
  89. The move rolled back an Obama era moratorium. Conservation groups say the regime conducted an insufficient environmental review and ignored 39,000 comments during the 41 day review period.
  90. A U.N. pact to add plastic waste to the Basel Convention, a treaty which regulates movement of hazardous materials from one country to another, was approved by 187 countries, but not by the U.S.
  91. On Monday, prosecutors asked Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson to further postpone sentencing for Rick Gates, citing Gates “continues to cooperate with the government as required by his Plea Agreement.”
  92. Prosecutors said in their filing that Gates may be a trial witness against former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig and Trump ally Roger Stone. Judge Jackson approved their request.
  93. On Monday, NYT reported AG William Barr assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, a move that Trump has long called for — investigating the investigators.
  94. Durham’s inquiry will be the third into the origins of the investigation, along with John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah’s inquiry, and the DOJ inspector general’s examination of the use of wiretapping applications.
  95. Durham’s assignment complicates matters for three Senate committee chairs — Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson, and Chuck Grassley — who were also set to open their own investigations into investigators.
  96. On Tuesday, CNN reported Barr is also working in close collaboration withCIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to review the Russia probe origins.
  97. On Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham told “Fox News Sunday” that Donald Jr. should ignore the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena and not show up to a hearing.
  98. On Monday, Politico reported Senate Republicans were concerned about an ugly floor vote if Donald Jr. did not comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena, and hoped parties would work out a deal.
  99. On Monday, Chair Graham changed his stance, saying Donald Jr. should “just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with,” adding, “This whole thing is nuts,” and “To me, it’s over.”
  100. On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat, told CNN, “this is not the Lindsey I know,” adding, “Lindsey Graham has been a dear friend since I’ve been in the Senate. I can’t explain what’s going on right now.”
  101. On Tuesday, Donald Jr. reached a deal with the Senate Intelligence Committee to have him testify in mid-June, but the interview will be for only two-to-four hours and limited in scope to five-to-six topics.
  102. On Monday, in a court filing, Trump’s attorneys objected to Judge Amit Mehta’s intention to rule from the bench after Tuesday’s hearing on Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block the House Oversight Mazars subpoena.
  103. Lawyers cited they need more time to collect evidence and develop their cases, saying Trump’s rights were undermined by the accelerated timetable. Experts say Trump’s strategy seemed to be to stall the probes.
  104. On Tuesday, Judge Mehta raised doubts about arguments by Trump’s legal team that the subpoena was an invalid exercise of congressional power, adding Congress has a significant “informing function.”
  105. Although Trump’s lawyer argued Congress has no basis for investigating Trump’s financial disclosure, Mehta pushed back that investigations of such financial violations are “strictly” under Congress’ purview.
  106. The House Oversight lawyer pushed for a quick ruling, saying, “This Congress is limited in time…Any delay here undermines the House’s ability to do what the Constitution allows it to do.”
  107. Mehta’s ruling, expected Friday at the earliest, will be the first and could provide a blueprint for other judges deciding on Trump’s attempts to block or hinder other congressional investigations.
  108. On Tuesday, House Democrat committee chairs wrote letters to Cipollone and Barr demanding information on the regime’s decisions to call for the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, and if Trump was involved.
  109. On Monday, Serhiy Leshchenko, an Ukrainian lawmaker, told journalists Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko made up claims about possible 2020 foe Joe Biden in an alleged bid to curry favor with Trump.
  110. Leshchenko shared a parts of a letter send by Lutsenko through unofficial channels to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The prosecutor’s spokeswoman denied the letter came from him.
  111. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported Yuriy Lutsenko said that neither Hunter Biden nor Burisma, the company Biden sat on the board of, were currently the focus of an investigation, countering allegations by Giuliani.
  112. Lutsenko said he would turn over information to Barr about Burisma’s payments to Biden, but added, “I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of U.S. presidential elections.”
  113. On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters, “two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of election networks” during the 2016 election, but added no votes were manipulated or results altered.
  114. DeSantis got the information in an FBI briefing. While Sen. Marco Rubio said the Mueller report said Russia was in a position to manipulate voter registration data, DeSantis claimed the FBI told him that did not occur.
  115. On Thursday, NPR reported Florida lawmakers were angry after leaving an FBI briefing which left many of their questions on the 2016 hacking unanswered, and frustrated that they were not notified sooner.
  116. Lawmakers said even after the Mueller report and briefing, they do not know exactly what happened. A Republican lawmaker responded to a reporter asking if more than two counties were hacked, “It’s possible.”
  117. On Tuesday, at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Pompeo, Lavrov rejected claims of Russian election interference and accused the U.S. of interfering in Russian domestic policy.
  118. Lavrov said “The facts tell us that there is no proof of those trying to hype up this topic,” to which Pompeo responded with a smirk, “You can see we have some disagreements on this issue.”
  119. On Tuesday, NYT reported the House Intelligence Committee sent document requests to four lawyers who represented Trump or his familyon whether they helped obstruct the panel’s Russia investigation.
  120. Letters went to Jay Sekulow; Alan Futerfas, who represents Donald Jr.; Alan Garten, the top lawyer at the Trump Organization; and Abbe Lowell, who represents Ivanka. All were part of the joint defense agreement.
  121. Chair Adam Schiff’s letter suggested the four may have “shaped and edited the false statement” by Micheal Cohen and “engaged in discussions about potential pardons” in an effort to deter witnesses from cooperating.
  122. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee formally scheduled a hearing for former White House counsel Don McGahn on May 21. Chair Jerry Nadler said McGahn will be held in contempt if he does not appear.
  123. On Tuesday, NBC News reported some members of the House Judiciary Committee are expressing frustration and urging leadership to take a “second look” at impeachment as a tool to get the regime to comply.
  124. The committee had hoped that Mueller would testify on May 15, but members said Trump’s action were behind that not happening. The DOJ declined to comment on why Mueller has not yet agreed to testify.
  125. On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said House Democrats will not hold floor votes on contempt resolutions against Attorney General Barr or any other Trump regime officials until at least June.
  126. Hoyer added, “We don’t want to do it just individually.” There was a divide among Democrats, with Chairs Nadler and Jim McGovern and others pushing for more aggressive action.
  127. On Wednesday, in a letter to Chair Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Congress has no right to a “do-over” of the special counsel’sinvestigation, issuing a sweeping rejection of House demands.
  128. Cipollone’s letter issued a blanket refusal of records and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staff, rejecting Congress’s standing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
  129. Cipollone said Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate what it is pursuing, and without asserting executive privilege, said it would only consider narrow requests.
  130. The White House also said it is instructing the 81 Trump allies or Trump-related entities who received document requests from Chair Nadler in early March not to comply.
  131. Chair Nadler responded, “The American people ought to be astonished by a claim by the White House that the president cannot be held accountable, that he’s above the law, that he is in fact a dictator.”
  132. Nadler said of the 81 recipients, “We will subpoena whoever we have to subpoena. We will hear from Mueller, we will hear from McGahn…We will hold in contempt whoever doesn’t comply with subpoenas.”
  133. On Wednesday, Nadler said in an interview with CNBC that he believed Trump committed crimes while in office, and said of Barr, “Bill Barr is just a liar. And, he’s just representing the president.”
  134. When asked if we are heading for impeachment, Nadler said, “Probably, but I don’t know,” adding that Trump is making it “increasingly difficult” to avoid.
  135. On Wednesday, when he encountered Speaker Pelosi at at a law enforcement ceremony, Barr asked if she “brought your handcuffs.” Pelosi told Barr that the Sergeant at Arms was there should an arrest be needed.
  136. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence, Leader Mitch McConnell, and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts flew on Air Force Two to a funeral — notably unusual for the three to be together, especially on a flight.
  137. On Wednesday, WAPO reported despite Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with 20 congressional investigations, Speaker Pelosi told House members in a closed-door meeting to stick with policy, not focus on impeachment.
  138. On Wednesday, Trump granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, a billionaire friend who wrote a complimentary book about him. Black was convicted in 2007 on fraud charges, including embezzlement and obstruction.
  139. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats introduced legislation requiring hand-marked paper ballots and “statistically rigorous” cybersecurity audits. Sen. Ron Wyden, who is leading the legislation, accused the White House of taking insufficient steps.
  140. On Thursday, 20 House Democrats, led by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, did a public reading of the redacted Mueller report on a C-SPAN station starting at noon.
  141. On Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Schiff said his committee will hold hearings next week on whether to hold Barr in contempt for ignoring their subpoena of the unredacted Mueller report.
  142. In a letter to Barr, Chair Schiff wrote that the DOJ’s refusal “leaves the Committee no choice but to initiate action next week to enforce the subpoena.” The subpoena deadline was Wednesday.
  143. On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers with top roles on committees overseeing the Treasury Department sent a letter to Sec. Steven Mnuchin relating to Rusal’s investment in the Kentucky mill.
  144. Rusal’s board approved a a $200 million investment in an aluminum plant with Braidy Industries on Thursday, four months after Congress voted to lift sanctions on the company owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
  145. Braidy’s CEO told NYT his company did not discuss the Rusal investment before it was announced with the Trump regime or Kentucky’s senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. McConnell backed lifting sanctions.
  146. On Thursday, in response to a motion filed by WAPO earlier in the year, Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered prosecutors to publicly release conversations Micheal Flynn had with Russian ambassador in late 2016.
  147. Sullivan also ordered the government to provide a public transcript of a November 2017 voice mail from then Trump attorney John Dowd involving Flynn reminding him of Trump’s fondness for him.
  148. Per Mueller report, Dowd said it wouldn’t surprise him if Flynn cooperates but “[I]f… there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue [so] … we need some kind of heads-up.”
  149. In his order, Sullivan also ordered the government to provide him with a copy of all relevant recordings, including any calls Flynn made to the Russians, so he can review them.
  150. Sullivan also ordered still-redacted portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn be given to the court and made public. Newly unsealed court records show Flynn was a deep source of useful information to Mueller.
  151. Newly unredacted portions of the Mueller report also revealed Flynn told Mueller’s team that people linked to the Trump regime and Congress reached out to him in an effort to impact his willingness to cooperate.
  152. Prosecutors did not identify which member(s) of Congress reached out to Flynn. The Mueller report revealed Trump asked Reince Priebus and K.T. McFarland to reach out to Flynn and tell him to stay strong.
  153. On Friday, CNN reported in April 2018, Flynn sent a Twitter direct message to Rep. Matt Gaetz, saying, “You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now. Keep the pressure on.”
  154. The message was sent months after the December 2017 start of Flynn’s cooperation, and within an hour of Rep. Gaetz appearing on Fox Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” where he criticized the Mueller investigation.
  155. On Thursday, Barr told Fox News the public must know if the “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” in the early stages of the Mueller probe.
  156. On Friday, in an interview with WSJ, Barr said there may be rule changes at the DOJ in the wake of the Russia probe, saying, “Government power was used to spy on American citizens.”
  157. Barr also said, “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly,” adding, “we need to ensure that the government doesn’t use its powers to put a thumb on the scale.”
  158. On Friday, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said during an interview on “America’s Newsroom” that Barr “clearly is protecting” Trump, and “advocating his point of view.”
  159. Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano said in an op-ed we have lost sight of the basic constitutional norms. Napolitano said on Fox News Trump violated the separation of powers three times in the past week.
  160. On Friday, Trump sent a series of 13 morning tweets, many during the airing of “Fox & Friends,” including his campaign lines “DRAIN THE SWAMP!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  161. Trump also quoted “Fox & Friends,” tweeting, “What happened is that Donald Trump won. Down goes Comey.”
  162. Trump also tweeted: “My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics,” adding, “TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
  163. Trump also tweeted, “Will Jerry Nadler ever look into the fact that Crooked Hillary deleted and acid washed 33,000 emails AFTER getting a most powerful demand notice for them from Congress?”
  164. Trump also tweeted about Michael Flynn, saying it seems he “was under investigation long before was common knowledge,” adding, “It would have been impossible for me to know this.” This statement is false.
  165. Trump also tweeted, “the Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran,” calling it “made up” and “DANGEROUS.”
  166. Trump also tweeted, “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!”
  167. Bloomberg reported Trump was increasingly isolated on Iran, as the world saw confusion on U.S. strategy. Beyond Israel and Saudi Arabia, allied support is not forthcoming.
  168. A few hours later, Trump tweeted, “With all of the Fake and Made Up News out there, Iran can have no idea what is actually going on!”
  169. On Friday, at a speech to the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C. went off topic, criticizing the media’s coverage which claims he is at odds with top security officials in the regime on Iran.
  170. Trump said of the media using anonymous sources: “Everything is ‘a source says.’ There is no source. The person doesn’t exist. The person’s not alive. It’s bullshit, OK? It’s bullshit.”
  171. Trump also referred to journalists as “bad people,” complaining that he has to uses speeches and social media to get his message across, saying the media not him has led to confusion on U.S. strategy on Iran.
  172. On Friday, at the 5 p.m. deadline, the Treasury Department refused to comply with a House subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, saying in a letter “the Committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”
  173. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal said the law provides “clear statutory authority” for the committee’s request, and said he would consult with counsel “on how best to enforce the subpoenas.”
  174. On Friday, Chair Nadler told Politico that there is no Mueller hearing planned for next week. Nadler had set a new tentative date of May 23. Nadler said this could change if Mueller wanted to come in.
  175. On Friday, WAPO reported a group of House Judiciary Committee Democrats are growing impatient and have privately discussed ways to increase pressure on House leadership for impeachment.
  176. Some senior Democrats hope the courts will come to their rescue; but if Democrats choose to litigate all the cases of Trump stonewalling, it could take months or years — as Trump runs out the clock.
  177. Democratic leaders have backed the idea of bundling citations and scheduling one major contempt vote, before then taking them to court. But that process will take weeks more.
  178. On Saturday, AP reported some Democrats say Trump’s stonewalling leaves them almost no choice but to open an impeachment inquiry — not necessarily to impeach Trump, but as part of a legal strategy.
  179. Experts cited the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to impeach, and courts are wary of interfering. Impeachment inquiry may be the only way to get Trump to comply with requests for documents and testimony.
  180. On Saturday, WAPO reported an attempt by Stephen Miller to push for another DHS shake-up was thwarted by acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who threatened to resign if he was not given more time.
  181. Tempers flared when Miller urged Trump to elevate Mark Morgan, who Trump picked to be the new director of ICE to become the new commissioner of CBP instead, without McAleenan’s knowledge or consent.
  182. On Saturday, Austria’s far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned after a 2017 video surfaced, showing him promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.
  183. The video was filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza three months before the Austrian elections, and revealed Strache eagerly willing to promise Russia government contracts in exchange for campaign donations.
  184. The scandal and resignation come just ahead of next week’s elections for the European Parliament where far-right, populist leaders were campaigning to increase their share of power, benefiting Russia.

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Migrants, mostly from Central America, wait to board a van which will take them to a processing center, on May 16, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. — About 1,100 migrants from Central America and other countries are crossing into the El Paso border sector each day.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 131: A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

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“This week was also notable for the hostility towards women and women’s rights in several states, with new pieces of legislation with overtly misogynistic tones enacted or threatened…” San Jose, Cosa Rica. April 2019

Week 130: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

May 11, 2019

This week marked a subtle shift in House Democrats’ position on impeachment, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her committee chairs cited a “constitutional crisis,” and argued Trump was “goading” them and giving them no choice with his continued stonewalling. The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, and threatened the same for former White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump said he would block special counsel Robert Mueller from testifying, and later in the week backed off. Notably, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee served the first subpoena on a member of Trump’s family, Donald Trump Jr.

There was more reporting on Trump’s irreverence around norms and laws, including his attempts to have McGahn publicly state he did not believe Trump obstructed justice, and dispatching personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to spur investigations likely to help his re-election.

This week was also notable for the hostility towards women and women’s rights in several states, with new pieces of legislation with overtly misogynistic tones enacted or threatened, reminiscent of decades ago. By week’s end, actress Alyssa Milano called for women to protest Georgia’s heartbeat fill through a sex strike. The continued divisions in our country under Trump were also apparent when the World Series Champion Red Sox visited the White House: all the white players attended, while the coach and all but one of the black and Latino players skipped the visit.

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Orlando, Florida 7may19
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New York City November 2018
  1. On Sunday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 60% of Americans believe Trump has been dishonest in the Russia investigation, while 37% believe he has been honest, including 75% of Republicans.
  2. On impeachment, 48% are against it, while 49% believe Congress should hold impeachment hearings. Of those for impeachment hearings, 17% say now and 32% say if there is enough evidence in the future.
  3. In an interview with Rolling Stone, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis said, “I hate to say it, but I think we’re in deep trouble,” adding, “I have never been like this, even during the height of the civil-rights movement.”
  4. Rep. Lewis said, “Sometimes you’re afraid to go to sleep, to turn off the radio or the television or to pick up a book or a newspaper,” and during the civil-rights movement “there was a greater sense of hope and optimism.”
  5. WAPO’s Dana Milbank wrote in an op-ed that he had his White House credentials revoked, after covering four presidents over 21 years. Milbank said he was a part of a mass purge of “hard pass” holders.
  6. Milbank said seven other White House reporters for the Post similarly had their pass revoked, but were all later granted exceptions except him, adding, “I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic.”
  7. On Sunday, Trump threatened China with higher tariffs, tweeting: “the 10% will go up to 25% on Friday,” adding, “the Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
  8. CNBC reported if Trump imposes the new tariffs, the U.S. would be one of the most protectionist countries in the world, with the U.S. tariff rate rising above many emerging market countries.
  9. On Sunday, after saying in Week 129 he would let the attorney general decide, Trump tweeted “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” saying, “There was no crime, except on the other side.”
  10. Trump cited, “After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats& 49 FBI Agents,” the Mueller report found “NO COLLUSION.”
  11. AP reported as a private citizen, Mueller could decide whether to testify. When Mueller’s report was given to Barr on March 22, his spokesperson said Mueller would be “concluding his service within the coming days.”
  12. On Sunday, Trump retweeted a tweet by Jerry Falwell Jr. citing “no obstruction, no collusion” and saying “Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”
  13. Experts noted the pattern of Trump using trial balloons on extending his term, and writing them off as jokes. In Week 129, Speaker Pelosi expressed concern Trump would not accept a loss unless it was by a wide margin.
  14. Trump later tweeted, “Despite the tremendous success…including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY,” saying, “they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back.”
  15. On Monday, Michael Cohen reported to prison for a three-year sentence, after trying for months to push off the start of his sentence by dangling new incriminating information against others.
  16. Cohen told reporters he hope the “country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice and lies at the helm,” when he gets out, and added he had more secrets to share, saying, “There still remains much to be told.”
  17. On Tuesday, Reuters reported according to a tape Tom Arnold made of a conversation with Cohen in March, Jerry Falwell Jr. asked Cohen to help him handle racy photos that should be kept “between husband and wife.”
  18. Falwell enlisted Cohen’s help in 2015, the year Trump announced his candidacy. Cohen helped persuade Falwell to endorse Trump just before the critical Iowa caucuses in early 2016 — surprising many at the time.
  19. On Monday, NYT reported Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a contractor for Trump’s inaugural committee and former advisor to First Lady Melania Trump disputed the White House account of her departure.
  20. Winston Wolkoff said, “Was I fired? No. Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.” Her lawyer told inaugural officials last fall she is cooperating with federal prosecutors.
  21. On Monday, Trump tweeted Democrats are calling for impeachment because they “can’t win the election fairly,” adding, “You can’t impeach a president for creating the best economy in our country’s history.”
  22. Trump also tweeted “there are “No High Crimes & Misdemeanors,” No Collusion, No Conspiracy, No Obstruction. ALL THE CRIMES ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE,” and “the tables are turning!”
  23. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee said it will begin contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr after the DOJ failed to comply with a subpoena to turn over the full Mueller report by 9 a.m.
  24. Chair Jerry Nadler said his committee would vote Wednesday on holding Barr in contempt, despite DOJ efforts to negotiate. Nadler will meet with the DOJ Tuesday, after pushing back on their offer to meet Wednesday.
  25. A contempt citation would be the second in history after Republicans held President Obama’s AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012. Democrats are discussing punitive measures like levying fines against Barr.
  26. On Monday, Politico reported Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, want Mueller to testify in front of their committee, despite Trump’s opposition.
  27. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham said he will not hold a full hearing with Mueller, but is willing to hear testimony strictly on the issue of whether Mueller disputes Barr’s characterization of his findings.
  28. On Monday, three Senate Democrats asked the DOJ inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility director asking them to investigate if Barr shared the names of Mueller spinoff cases with White House staff.
  29. On Monday, more than 500 former federal prosecutors signed on a statement saying Mueller’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against Trump if he were not in office.
  30. Signatories included prosecutors who worked in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and directly rebutted Barr’s determinationthat evidence was not sufficient to establish Trump committed a crime.
  31. The letter also stated such conduct “would, in the case of any other person … result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.” By Thursday, the letter had over 800 signatories.
  32. On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said she sued the Trump Treasury Department and IRS for failing to respond to records requests as required by law on a change in donor disclosure requirements.
  33. James cited in July 2018 the agency eliminated disclosure requirements for tax-exempt groups for donations of more than $5,000, which impedes the AG’s ability to regulate those organizations.
  34. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the House Ways and Means Committee’s legal request for Trump’s tax returns, saying the request from Congress does not “serve a legitimate legislative purpose.”
  35. Mnuchin said he had consulted with the DOJ, and that they had concluded it would not be lawful to turn over the tax returns because of potential violations of privacy.
  36. Neither the Treasury Department or DOJ would provide the legal opinion to reporters. Legal experts said Mnuchin’s refusal was unprecedented sincethe power for lawmakers is written explicitly in a 1924 law.
  37. On Monday, a new version of the Mueller report was released due to BuzzFeed News and watchdog group EPIC FOIA requests, detailing information withheld because of ongoing law enforcement proceedings
  38. On Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sen. Marco Rubio knew about Russia hacking attempts in Florida in 2016 as early as May 2018, but claims he did not back Bill Nelson’s statement citing classified information.
  39. On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray said at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
  40. Wray said he does not consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be “spying,” and when asked if the FBI illegally spied, responded, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.”
  41. On Tuesday, according to a letter sent from Pat Cipollone to former White House counsel Don McGahn’s attorney, the White House instructed McGahn not to comply with a subpoena from House Democrats.
  42. In a second letter to Chair Nadler, Cipollone said, “McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties,” and said requests for documents should instead come to the White House.
  43. In a letter from McGahn’s attorney to Chair Nadler, he said McGahn was instructed not to produce documents “because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
  44. McGahn’s attorney said, “Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands…the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo” until an accommodation is reached.
  45. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to McGahn saying he too will be charged with contempt of Congress if he does not produce documents and show up to his public hearing on May 21.
  46. On Tuesday, CNN reported, according to newly released court records, Mueller’ team fought the public release of James Comey’s memo, for fear Trump and other witnesses would change their stories to match his.
  47. On Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor it is time to “finally end this ‘Groundhog Day’ spectacle,” saying the Trump-Russia conspiracy is “case closed.”
  48. McConnell also parroted Trump blaming Obama, saying, “Maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened. Maybe tampering with our democracy wouldn’t have seemed so very tempting.”
  49. Sen. Elizabeth Warren fired back, directly reading from the Mueller reportand saying, “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they’d be arrested and put in jail.”
  50. Warren also said, “We took an oath not to try and protect Donald Trump, we took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution,” adding, “the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president.”
  51. On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi said in a speech that Trump is “goading” Democrats to try to impeach him, saying, “That’s what he’s doing. Every single day, he’s just like taunting, taunting, taunting.”
  52. Pelosi also said Trump “knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care,” adding, “He just wants to solidify his base.”
  53. On Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings threatened in a letter to withhold salaries from Trump officials at the Interior and Commerce departments who have refused to testify.
  54. Chair Cummings sent the letter to seven officials who have declined or not responded to the committee’s request for an interview on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
  55. On Tuesday, NYT reported based on Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts obtained from 1985 to 1994, Trump suffered business losses of $1.17 billion over the decade.
  56. The Times found by comparing his results with other high-income earners, Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer in that time, and avoided paying any taxes in eight of ten years.
  57. In contrast to his father Fred who made steady money every year, Trump’s primary source of income changed each year, and any gains were always overtaken by losses in casinos and other projects.
  58. On Wednesday, Trump responded to the NYT story and defended himself, tweeting: “Real estate developers in the 1980′s & 1990′s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation.”
  59. Trump also tweeted: “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes” claiming, “almost all real estate developers did — and often re-negotiate with banks,” calling it “sport.”
  60. Trump also called the story, based on “very old information,” “a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!
  61. On Wednesday, “Fox & Friends” defended Trump from the Times story, saying it is all part of his “impressive” business career, with host Ainsley Earhardt adding, “It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”
  62. On Sunday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, said he will not visit the White House celebration of the team’s 2018 World Series win, citing Trump’s handling of the hurricane relief effort.
  63. On Monday, Trump tweeted a false claim he had previously stated, “Puerto Rico has been given more money by Congress for Hurricane Disaster Relief, 91 Billion Dollars, than any State in the history of the U.S.”
  64. Ahead of the visit, the White House misspelled the team’s name on its website, writing the “Boston Red Socks.” On the day of the visit, the White House mistakenly referred to the team as “World Cup Series Champions.”
  65. The Red Sox team visit was notably racially divided: every white player attended the White House visit, while all but one of the team’s black and Latino players skipped the visit.
  66. On Monday, Trump awarded golfer Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in honor of his Masters victory last month, following a decade-long drought after a serial philandering scandal.
  67. Trump has been cultivating Woods as a celebrity who could add sheen to his golf courses since Woods was 21. By honoring Woods, Trump leaves the appearance of using his office to reward a business partner.
  68. On Monday, the summary of a 1,500-page report on the environment approved by U.S. and 131 other countries found humans are speeding extinction and altering the natural world at an “unprecedented” rate.
  69. On Monday, students in Phoenix protested that Thomas Torres, a high school senior who had lived in the U.S. since he was a toddler and was scheduled to graduate on May 22, faced deportation to Mexico.
  70. Torres was taken into custody after a traffic stop by sheriff’s deputies and turned over to Border Patrol who placed him in detention awaiting deportation. Torres played football and worked several part-time jobs.
  71. On Monday, TYT reported according to police reports, a militia member at the Southern border asked why we are apprehending migrants not “lining them up and shooting them” and said we should “put them all in a gas chamber.”
  72. On Wednesday, at a rally in Panama City, Florida, Trump said of the influx of migrants at the Southern border, “It’s an invasion,” adding, on letting border patrol use weapons, “We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t.”
  73. When Trump asked, “How do you stop these people?” a supporter shouted “Shoot them!” The crowd laughed. Trump grinned and shook his head, and said, “Only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”
  74. A new Pew Research Poll found 47% of white Republicans say it bothers them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” For white Democrats, 18% felt the same.
  75. On Tuesday, WAPO reported the Trump regime has sent new guidelines to asylum officers, directing them to take a more skeptical and confrontational approach while interviewing asylum seekers.
  76. Asylum officers were instructed to be more aggressive, and make migrants provide detailed justifications to prove their claims of persecution before concluding they have a well-founded fear of harm if deported.
  77. On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit court ruled that the Trump regime can continue to enforce its “Remain in Mexico” policy that returns asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for turn in immigration court.
  78. On Wednesday, immigration legal group RAICES filed a formal complaint against the Trump regime, saying ICE is blocking detained immigrants from obtaining free legal help.
  79. On Tuesday, following a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado that afternoon, Trump tweeted 11 times after 9 p.m., but did not mention or express sympathy for the students killed or injured.
  80. On Wednesday, in the afternoon, Trump first addressed the shooting, tweeting “God be with the families and thank you to the First Responders for bravely intervening. We are in close contact with Law Enforcement.”
  81. On Tuesday, the Courier News reported a group of white supremacists interrupted a Holocaust remembrance event meant to honor survivors in Russellville, Arkansas, carrying Nazi flags and shouting racial slurs.
  82. On Wednesday, online retailer Redbubble apologized and removed items from its website after the Auschwitz Memorial condemned it on Twitter for allowing several products depicting scenes of the concentration camp.
  83. On Wednesday, the Florida Bar determined to proceed with further investigation into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz should face discipline for his tweet threatening Michael Cohen in Week 120.
  84. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted an article in conservative Breitbart News, saying “‘Forgotten Man’ Story: Under Trump,” adding, “Red Counties Economically Thrive” citing a Brookings Institute report.
  85. On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.
  86. On Tuesday, the Texas state senate passed a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks for “discriminatory abortions,” and removed exceptions for unviable pregnancies or if the fetus has “severe and irreversible” abnormalities.
  87. On Thursday, the Alabama state senate voted 23-6 on a bill to criminalize abortions, making preforming the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment. The bill was then tabled after a shouting match.
  88. Alabama Senate Republicans, all of whom are men, also tried to push through a measure making abortion for underage girls who are raped punishable by 99 years imprisonment. The vote will be next week.
  89. A bill considered in the Alabama House would criminalize false rape accusations, and make the accuser pay the accused’s legal bill if the accused is found not guilty.
  90. On Wednesday, Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada faced calls to resign after a scandal involving sexually explicit and misogynistic text messages with his chief of staff, who also admitted to using cocaine.
  91. On Friday, actress Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike, tweeting: “Our reproductive rights are being erased…JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.” #SexStrike trended on Twitter.
  92. On Wednesday, Bill Larion, a Michigan city worker, was fired over an anti-Muslim Facebook post mocking model Halima Aden, saying, “Cute picture. Should be on the cover of camels are us.”
  93. On Thursday, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the uninsured rate for ages 45-64 jumped to 10.3% in 2018 from 9.3% a year earlier — the first government study that has shown an increasing rate of uninsured Americans.
  94. The uninsured rate has been increasing since Trump took, due to his regime’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and add restrictions to Medicaid, after bottoming out in 2016.
  95. On Friday, the Pentagon shifted $1.5 billion in funding to support Afghan forces to build Trump’s wall, citing the need to support “higher priority items based on unforeseen military requirements.”
  96. A total of $2.5 billion of Pentagon funds have been shifted to Trump’s wall so far. Also, more than 4,000 troops and 19 aircraft are supporting Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border.
  97. On Tuesday, Politico reported economists in the Agriculture Department say the Trump regime is retaliating against them for publishing reports about how Trump’s trade tariffs are hurting farmers.
  98. Six economists quit in one day in late April over concern that Trump loyalist Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was reshaping the USDA’s research wing to bring reporting information directly under his control.
  99. On Tuesday, in a letter to Chair Nadler sent late in the evening, Barr threatened if the House committee proceeds with the contempt process, Barr will ask the White House to invoke executive privilege .
  100. On Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi said in a morning interview, “ I think that the attorney general should be held in contempt,” adding impeaching Barr is not “off the table.”
  101. Pelosi also said, “every single day, whether it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction — obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas,” adding Trump is “becoming self-impeachable.”
  102. On Wednesday, in an interview with NYT, Chair Cummings said, “It sounds like he’s asking us to impeach him,” while listing all the way Trump is stonewalling, calling it “far worse than Watergate.”
  103. Cummings also said on impeachment, “he puts us in a position where we at least have to look at it,” adding the regime “threw away the guardrails.” He said he sees a “constitutional crisis” our founding fathers did not envision.
  104. On Wednesday, Trump’s cabinet meeting at the White House, which was scheduled to be open to the press, was closed to the press just prior. Typically coverage is allowed.
  105. On Wednesday, as the House Judiciary Committee adjourned to begin contempt proceedings, the White House asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report, Trump’s first use of executive authority.
  106. On Wednesday, after six hours of debate, the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-16, along party lines, to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over the full Mueller report.
  107. At a press conference after, Chair Nadler said “there can be no higher stakes than this attempt to arrogate all power to the executive branch,” adding, “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”
  108. Nadler added, “Our fight is not just about the Mueller report…Our fight is about defending the rights of Congress, as an independent branch, to hold the president, any president, accountable.”
  109. Nadler told reporters Democrats plan to go to court, saying Trump’s claim of executive privilege is nonsense since much of the report has either been released publicly or shared with lawyers.
  110. On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee sent a subpoena to the DOJ for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence, as well as any counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials.
  111. On Friday, Politico reported the House Intelligence Committee showed a rare instance of bipartisanship, with Republicans praising Chair Adam Schiff for his efforts to obtain the full Mueller report and related documents.
  112. On Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary sent a letter to Chair Graham saying the committee would “benefit greatly” from having Mueller testify, requesting a broad hearing not limited in scope.
  113. On Wednesday, the New York state senate passed a bill 39-21 allowing the state Department of Taxation and Finance to release state tax returnsrequested by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee.
  114. The bill would apply to Trump’s New York state tax returns, and the state is also home for headquarters of his businesses. New York’s assembly and governorship are also under Democratic control, so sign-off is expected.
  115. The state Senate also passed a bill which would eliminate the “double jeopardy loophole,” which prevents New York prosecutors from bringing similar charges against someone who has been pardoned from Trump.
  116. On Wednesday at his rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, Trump also said “After two years, nothing — no collusion,” adding, “Democrats are saying, ‘We want more,’” and, “It’s time to stop this nonsense.”
  117. Trump said about the media, “In six years, they’re all going to be out of business, folks,” adding, “If we want to drive them crazy, I’ll say in 10 years. They’ll go crazy. ‘See, he is a despot. He is a despot.’”
  118. Trump also repeated his false claim that Puerto Rico was getting $91 billion in disaster aid after Hurricane Maria, despite being ungrateful to him, saying, “You’re getting your money, one way or the other.”
  119. On Wednesday, Trump derailed a bipartisan House bill opposed by ally Matthew Schlapp, tweeting: “Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren.”
  120. The bill to open casinos in Massachusetts was opposed by lobbyist Schlapp who represents casinos in neighboring Rhode Island, and whose wifeMercedes is the White House strategic communications director.
  121. On Thursday, Trump tweeted GOP lawmakers “should not vote for the BAD DEMOCRAT” aid package for Puerto Rico, then just before midnight tweeted, “Republicans must stick together!”
  122. On Friday, the House passed a disaster relief package 257-150, with 34 Republicans voting in support, for $19 billion in rebuilding assistance to communities hit by hurricanes, extreme flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires.
  123. On Wednesday, for the third time, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell broke precedent, confirming a judge on the Second Circuit, based in New York, without allowing “blue slips” from New York’s senators.
  124. On Wednesday, Axios reported the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Jr. to answer questions about his previoustestimony before Senate investigators on the Russia investigation.
  125. This marks the first subpoena of one of Trump’s children. Donald Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 he was “peripherally aware” of the Trump Tower Moscow project, which was refuted by Cohen.
  126. On Thursday, Republicans attacked Chair Richard Burr. Sen. Rand Paul tweeted, “Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed.”
  127. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in an interview, “To subpoena the president’s son and not at least get a heads-up is, let’s say, bad form,” adding Trump and his son are “two different people.”
  128. Burr’s fellow North Carolina senator, Thom Tillis, tweeted, “I agree with Leader McConnell: this case is closed,” after Donald Jr.’s friend Charlie Kirk made a threat to support Tillis’ 2020 primary opponent.
  129. WSJ reported before Majority Leader McConnell’s “case closed” speech, he privately conveyed his displeasure to Burr about the subpoena; although his spokesperson was careful to add McConnell did not direct Burr.
  130. On Thursday, Trump told reporters of the subpoena, “I was very surprised,” adding, “My son’s a very good person. Works very hard.” Trump declined to publicly say if Donald Jr. should fight the subpoena.
  131. On Thursday, Reuters reported that Donald Jr. likely would not comply with the subpoena by invoking his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination.
  132. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Speaker Pelosi said she agreed with Nadler the country is in a “constitutional crisis,” citing the regime “has decided that they are not going to honor their oath of office.”
  133. Pelosi said on timing of a full House vote to hold Barr in contempt, “we’ll just see because there may be some other contempt of Congress issues that we might want to deal with at the same time,” referencing McGahn.
  134. On Thursday, Trump backed off from his statement earlier in the week that Mueller should not testify, telling reporters, “I’m going to leave that up to our very great attorney general, and he’ll make a decision on that.”
  135. When reminded by a reporter that Barr has no objections, Trump added, “to me, it looks like a redo,” and changed his statement on obstruction, saying, “no collusion and essentially no obstruction.”
  136. On Thursday, on a CNN Town Hall, former FBI director James Comey said it “sure looks like” Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice and prosecuted if he were not in office, adding “there’s 10 different episodes.”
  137. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history,” adding, “almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED.”
  138. On Thursday, the judge overseeing the case involving Trump’s lawsuit to fight the House Oversight subpoena to Mazars USA for financial records, put the case on a fast-track with a hearing scheduled for May 14.
  139. On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case involving Roger Stone, ordered the DOJ to provide her with the unredacted portions of the Mueller report on Stone for her private review.
  140. On Tuesday, Trump hosted anti-immigrant extremist and populist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who like Trump has vilified journalists and fostered tension with the European Union.
  141. Orban joins the long list of leaders previously excluded due to anti-Democratic practices. Trump has also hosted or met with the leaders of Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, North Korea, China, and Russia.
  142. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump is complaining about being misled by national security adviser John Bolton on the U.S.-backed effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with a young opposition figure.
  143. Trump said reportedly in jest that Bolton wants to get him “into a war.” Maduro publicly mocked Trump for attempted a “foolish” coup last week by opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Trump called Maduro a “tough cookie.”
  144. Trump said Bolton has backed him into a corner. Trump said he discussed Venezuela with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. Russia backs Maduro and has sold him arms.
  145. On Friday, the State Department announced Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Russia to meet with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next Tuesday. Pompeo also met with Lavrov on May 6.
  146. The meeting comes after Pompeo had a confrontational meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, and abruptly canceled his meeting scheduled this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  147. On Thursday, South Korea said North Korea had launched two short-range missiles, the second launch in the past five days. The launches come two months after Trump’s second summit with Kim Jong Un.
  148. On Thursday, the U.S. seized a North Korean ship, the Wise Honest, which was violating American law and international sanctions by exporting coal. The move was sure to escalate tensions.
  149. On Thursday, the Miami Herald reported the FBI has opened an investigation into whether Li “Cindy” Yang illegally funneled money from China into Trump’s re-election or other campaign-finance violations.
  150. Investigators obtained a grand jury subpoena for records from Bing Bing Peranio, an employee of Yang’s family’s spa, asking for information on a 2018 donation of $5,400 and other contributions made since 2014.
  151. On Friday, Trump raised the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. According to the Trade Partnership Worldwide, the tariff increase will cost the average family of four $767 a year.
  152. China threatened retaliation, as Trump’s trade deal appeared to be falling apart. Despite his campaign promises, Trump has only completed one small trade deal with South Korea in his two years in office.
  153. On Thursday, Trump accused former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry of violating the Logan Act, saying, “John Kerry speaks to them a lot…That’s a violation of the Logan Act,” and added “frankly he should be prosecuted on that.”
  154. Kerry helped craft the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Trump exited. This is the first time Trump has publicly acknowledged that he asked members of his regime to look into whether they could prosecute Kerry.
  155. On Thursday, Sen. Kamala Harris demanded in a letter that Barr clarify if Trump or any White House staff have asked him to investigate anyone, after Trump made threats to prosecute Kerry.
  156. On Friday, NYT reported Giuliani was planning to travel to Ukraine to meet with the nation’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, to urge him to pursue investigations that could benefit Trump and help his re-election.
  157. The first is to push Ukraine to open an investigation that would call into question the origin of and seek to discredit the special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  158. Trump has claimed Ukrainian officials tried to help Hillary Clinton in 2016 by focusing attention on Paul Manafort’s business in Ukraine. He has also said he would like Barr to review material gathered by Ukrainian prosecutors.
  159. Trump also sought to target a 2020 foe, Joe Biden, by seeking an investigation into his role in stopping a Ukrainian prosecutor from investigating his son Hunter’s ties to a Ukrainian gas company.
  160. Giuliani is working with Victoria Toensing, a lawyer who was named last year, along with her husband, to help Trump in the Mueller investigation, but whose appointment was rescinded due to conflicts of interest.
  161. The couple frequently appear on Fox News and use social media to advance a claim that the Mueller investigation was part of the DOJ efforts to frame Trump. Toensing tweeted “the real collusion began in @Ukraine.”
  162. Giuliani and Toensing have both met with Yuriy Lutsenko, the Ukrainian prosecutor who pushed the investigations, including that Clinton was behind the release of documents on Manafort’s work in Ukraine pre-2014.
  163. Giuliani’s planned trip raised concerns that Trump was pressing a foreign government to help him win reelection, and seeking to discredit the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  164. On Friday, Trump told Politico it would be “appropriate” for him to speak to Barr about opening an investigation into Joe Biden or his son, adding, “but I have not done that as of yet. … It could be a very big situation.”
  165. Giuliani, who was set to leave Sunday, told Politico of his meeting with Zelensky, “I just want to tell him, ‘Don’t let these crooks talk you out of the investigation. There are real facts there they’ve got to investigate.”
  166. On Friday, Sen. Christopher Murphy sent a letter to the GOP chair of the Foreign Relations Committee asking him to open an investigation into Giuliani’s activities, which he called “private foreign policy engagement.”
  167. Late Friday, Giuliani canceled his trip, saying he was being “set up” by Ukrainians who were critical of his efforts, and by Democrats who said he was meddling in the election, calling it “ridiculous” and “spin.”
  168. On Thursday, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found support for impeaching Trump is rising: from 40% in mid-April to 45% in the new poll.
  169. On Friday, Chair Nadler told reporters Mueller will not testify May 15 as planned. Nadler declined to give a reason, but said, “He will come at some point. If it’s necessary, we will subpoena him and he will come.”
  170. On Friday, Politico reported some Democrats are reconsidering the idea of impeachment as a means of gaining access to the documents and testimony that the Trump regime is withholding.
  171. On Friday, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal issued subpoenas to both IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin for Trump’s tax returns.
  172. Neal gave a deadline of May 17 to turn over six years of returns, or is expected to go to court to enforce his request shortly thereafter. Other committee members have been frustrated with his measured approach.
  173. On Friday, WSJ reported Trump asked White House counsel Emmet Flood to reach out to McGahn within a day of the release of Mueller’s report to Barr to make a public statement defending Trump from obstruction.
  174. Trump wanted McGahn to release a statement saying he did not believe his interactions with Trump, including Trump’s calls for him to fire Mueller, amounted to obstruction of justice.
  175. McGahn declined. William Burck, McGahn’s attorney said in a statement, “We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister. It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”
  176. NYT also reported White House officials asked McGahn at least twice to publicly declare Trump never obstructed justice. Trump instructed the officials to make the request, and viewed McGahn as disloyal.
  177. One request was made to Burck before the redacted Mueller report was released but after it was given to Barr. McGahn entertained the request, but declined.
  178. A second request was made around the time Rudy Giuliani attacked McGahn’s credibility in April after the Mueller report was released. McGahn’s opinion as a witness does not determine obstruction.
  179. On Friday, CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin warned that America’s constitutional system “may simply be incapable of responding” to the threat posed by Trump’s defiance of Congress.
  180. Toobin wrote, “The Framers anticipated friction among the three branches of government,” adding, “But the Trump White House has now established a complete blockade against the legislative branch.
  181. On Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to resume fireworks on July 4th over the forest at Mount Rushmore, tweeting: “THE BIG FIREWORKS, after many years of not having any, are coming back.”
  182. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump may take over the Washington DC July 4th celebration, moving the fireworks away from the Mall and tentatively planing to address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
  183. Fireworks on the Mall has been broadcast live on television since 1947. Trump inserting himself raised concerns of turning a non-partisan holiday celebration into a campaign rally.
  184. On Saturday, Trump sent close to 60 tweets in 45 minutes, retweeting praise and affirmation of conservative commentators, Republican lawmakers, conservative websites, and his family.
  185. The topics included Hillary Clinton’s emails, security at the Southern border, the Mueller report, support for Trump’s trade war with China, and criticizing Chair Burr’s decision to subpoena Donald Jr.
  186. Trump also tweeted voters do not care about seeing his tax returns, saying he won in 2016 “partially based on no Tax Returns while I am under audit (which I still am),” adding, “Make it a part of the 2020 Election!”

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Michelle Disher, from Roswell, and others dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale”, protest outside the Capitol where Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, was to sign legislation, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Atlanta, banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they’re pregnant.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 130: THE “DEMOCRACY BARR” KEEPS GOING LOWER AND LOWER

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San Jose, Costa Rica. May 2019.

MAY 04, 2019

Week 129

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. This is AMY SISKIND’S LIST: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-129/ 

This week a leaked letter sent from special counsel Robert Mueller to Attorney General William Barr days after Barr released his four-page “summary” indicated Mueller did not believe that Barr captured the “context, nature, and substance” of his work. Mueller’s letter, leaked in part to the Post the day before Barr was set to testify before the Senate, shook the country and set off a firestorm, including allegations Barr had lied in previous Congressional testimony. His demeanor at his Senate testimony did little to mollify concern that Barr had acted in concert with Trump’s team to shape the narrative ahead of the redacted report’s release, and was continuing to protect Trump from its contents and repercussions.

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Jim Carrey May 1
“Watching William Barr testify is like getting caught in a monsoon of vomit. READY THE ARK!”

 

House Democrats sounded the alarms and escalated matters as Trump, his family, and regime all continued to stonewall Congressional demands, including a lawsuit to block Deutsche Bank from cooperating with House subpoenas and Barr being a no-show for House testimony. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wore the gravity of the situation in her demeanor at her weekly press conference, admitting she had trouble sleeping after watching the top law enforcement officer’s performance. Pelosi, who has been committed to avoiding impeachment, was reported to be losing patience.

Trump hit 10,000 lies and has ratcheted up the pace, and this week threatened social media companies and the “deep state” trying to remove him. New stories of corruption and kleptocracy were reported, but still Trump has suffered no consequences for his or his regime’s actions while in office. Trump closed out the week irreverently speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin privately, and saying they agreed about the “Russian Hoax,” while failing to mention Russia’s ongoing meddling.

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New York City November 2018
  1. WAPO reported Trump has told more than 10,000 false or misleading statements. For the first 5,000 lies, Trump took 601 days and told 8 lies a day. For the last 5,000 lies, Trump took 226 days, averaging 23 lies a day.
  2. At his Saturday campaign rally in Wisconsin, Trump told 61 lies. In Week 128, during his interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity and in a National Rifle Association speech, Trump told 45 lies and 24 lies, respectively.
  3. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found 60% say Trump’s use of Twitter is a bad thing, and 19% said it is a good thing. Also, 7 in 10 say he uses Twitter too much, while 14% said he uses it the right amount.
  4. In an op-ed, Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan, called on Republicans to stop using his name to justify their silence, warning the democracy her father swore to uphold is “being degraded and chipped away at.”
  5. Davis added, “if you are going to stand silent as America is dismantled and dismembered, as democracy is thrown onto the ash heap of yesterday, shame on you. But don’t use my father’s name on the way down.”
  6. On Saturday, Trump skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for the third time, and told his regime to skip as well. Instead of a comedian, historian Ron Chernow was featured at a more subdued dinner.
  7. Chernow said, “Like every future president, [George] Washington felt maligned and misunderstood by the press,” adding “But he never generalized that into a vendetta against the institution.”
  8. On Saturday, Trump held a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He opened by condemning anti-Semitism and hate crimes after the synagogue shooting, and a day after defending his “very fine people” comments.
  9. Trump spoke for 90 minutes, at the same time as the Correspondents’ Dinner, leading the crowd in chant of “Luck her up!” and “CNN sucks,” as well as going after the late senator John McCain over his healthcare vote.
  10. Trump said the “radical, liberal democrats put all their hopes behind their collusion delusion, which is totally exposed as a complete and total fraud,” while the “Republican Party is the party of all Americans.”
  11. Trump said the Russia probe was “greatest political hoax in American history,” adding, “this witch hunt was never really just about me. It was always about stopping you,” the “freedom-loving citizens.”
  12. Trump bragged about the plan to bus immigrants who cross illegally to sanctuary cities, saying he was proud “that was actually my sick idea.” He also called people “sick” who worry he will not leave at the end of his term.
  13. Trump also said the Jussie Smollett case is a “disgrace to our nation,” adding, “he said he was beat up by ‘MAGA country.’ Turned out to be a total lie.”
  14. Trump made the false inflammatory claim that in Wisconsin after a baby is born, doctors and mothers “take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully,” then they meet to decide whether to execute the baby.
  15. On Saturday, in tweets, Trump attacked Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano who said in an op-ed last week what Trump did was “unlawful, defenseless and condemnable,” and, “On obstruction, Barr is wrong.”
  16. Trump tweeted, “Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO,” adding, “Also asked for pardon for his friend,” and Napolitano is “a good “pal” of low ratings Shepard Smith.”
  17. On Sunday, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates told “Meet the Press” that Trump would likely be indicted on obstruction of justice if he were not president.
  18. Yates also said, “the bigger issue is not just whether or not this establishes a crime that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but is this the kind of conduct that we should expect from the president of the United States?”
  19. On Saturday, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings pulled back from plans to initiate contempt proceedings against former White House security clearance chief Carl Kline, calling on Kline to appear May 1.
  20. On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr warned Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that he will not show up to testify if they stick to the format proposed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
  21. Barr said he will only allow members of Congress, not House Judiciary Committee counsels to ask questions. Nadler responded, “the witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period.”
  22. On Monday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation letter, capping a tumultuous two years. In his letter, Rosenstein said the DOJ needs to remain nonpartisan, while jabbing at the media.
  23. On Monday, the Commerce Department reported personal income for farmers plunged in the first quarter by an annualized $11.8 billion, the most in three years, as a result of Trump’s trade wars.
  24. On Saturday, NYT reported New York attorney general Letitia James opened an investigation into the National Rifle Associations’s tax-exempt status, instructing the NRA in a letter to preserve financial records.
  25. The investigation is reportedly the cause of NRA leadership infighting. Allegations include illegallytransferring funds out of the foundation and transactions benefiting others which could threaten its nonprofit status.
  26. On Thursday, Democrats on the Senate Committee on Finance sent a letter to the NRA requesting letters, third-party audits, memos, and other materials related to alleged self-dealing and the NRA’s nonprofit status.
  27. On Saturday, San Diego police said according to his manifesto, the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooter drew inspiration from the Pittsburgh synagogue and New Zealand mosque shootings.
  28. On Saturday, a group of white nationalists interrupted author Jonathan Metzl at a Washington DC event discussing his book “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.”
  29. On Monday, court papers revealed that a U.S. Army veteran’s large-scale domestic terrorist plot in retaliationfor the killing of Muslims by a white supremacist in New Zealand was foiled by the FBI.
  30. On Monday, the White House hosted the winner of the Teacher of the Year award, Rodney Robinson, who is a black man. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did not attend, even though neither had a scheduling conflict.
  31. On Monday, Trump hosted the NCAA women’s tournament champion Baylor Bears at the White House, following criticism he had not hosted a women’s championship team alone in his 27 months in office.
  32. Trump asked Baylor coach Kim Mulkey if she would like a job at the White House, and she responded, “No.” Trump also commented about the players’ “beautiful arms,” which he said had “great definition.”
  33. On Monday, the White House pushed to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, imposing wide-ranging sanctions, after Trump agreed with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that it made sense to do so.
  34. The Waterford Daily Times reported a New York judge gave Shane Piche, a former school bus driver who admitted to raping a 14 year-old girl, no jail time, saying he had no prior arrests and there was only one victim.
  35. On Thursday, Michael Wysolovski, 33, pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty and was given probation in a Georgia court for allegedly for holding a teenage girl captive to have sex with him, at times in a dog cage.
  36. On Tuesday, Roy Moore sent an email to supporters, saying he is “seriously considering” a Senate bid in 2020, citing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the face of sexual assault allegations.
  37. On Wednesday, Stephen Taubert, who threatened to hang Obama and kill Rep. Maxine Waters in phone calls, was sentenced to prison. Taubert said at sentencing that he was provoked by the two’s public criticism of Trump.
  38. On Thursday, an Ohio high school student who posted a sign which read, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you for prom?” on social media, will not be attending the prom or graduation.
  39. On Thursday, the Trump regime rolled out a new conscience rule which shields health workers from providing services like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide, if they cite a religious or conscientious objection.
  40. The Department of Health and Human Services also changed the Office for Civil Rights’ mission statement, adding the office “protects that exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions by individuals and institutions.”
  41. On Monday, Trump ordered new restrictions on those seeking asylum on the southern border, adding an application fee for work permits and directing immigration cases be completed within 180 days.
  42. On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found 64% of Americans oppose Trump declaring a national emergency to build his wall (34% approve). On asylum, just 30% approve stricter rules.
  43. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that a 16 year-old unaccompanied immigrant boy died in custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, after becoming “noticeably ill,” including having a fever, chills, and a headache.
  44. On Thursday, emails obtained by NBC News revealed the Trump regime had “no way to link” migrant children separated from their parents, and no central database with location information about separated families during the regime’s “zero tolerance” policy.
  45. Although nearly 3,000 families were separated, the emails reveal the regime only had enough information to reconnect 60 parents with their children when Trump ended the policy in June 2018.
  46. On Friday, CBS News reported former White House chief of staff John Kelly joined the board of Caliburn International, the company operating Homestead, the largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children.
  47. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, the only private company operating shelters. Prior to working for Trump, Kelly was on the board of DC Capital Partners, which now owns Caliburn.
  48. Federal records show Comprehensive received $222 million to operate Homestead between July 7, 2018 and April 20, 2019, and could receive up to $341 million through December for growing and operating the facility.
  49. On Monday, the White House said it is reviewing past writing of Trump’s Federal Reserve nominee Stephen Moore, following reporting on his anti-women views. Typically such review would be done prior to a nomination.
  50. On Wednesday, Moore expressed regret over his 2016 racist statements about then President Obama, when he commented, “First thing Donald Trump does as President is kick a black family out of public housing.”
  51. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Moore was withdrawing from consideration. Hours earlier that morning, Moore had been boasting that he would be easily confirmed by the Senate.
  52. On Tuesday, WAPO reported at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, undocumented workers were told to clock out, then stay and work hours more without pay, known as “side work.
  53. The NY attorney general’s office confirmed it had received complaints from workers about conditions. Six employees who spoke to the NY AG told WAPO they were denied promotions, vacation days, and health insurance.
  54. The club was formerly managed by Dan Scavino, White House director of social media. Scavino told the Posthe was unaware of any violations, and questions were an “attempt to attack the President through me.”
  55. On Thursday, Univision News reported that in addition to undocumented workers at Trump golf courses, Trump vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia also hired workers without legal documents.
  56. Seven undocumented employees were interviewed by Univision. They detailed working from sunrise to sunset, without overtime pay or benefits, and were also asked to do personal chores for their supervisors.
  57. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled a lawsuit brought against Trump by House Democratsfor violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution can proceed.
  58. This, and another emoluments lawsuit by the attorneys general of D.C. and Maryland, represent the first time federal judges have interpreted and applied the clauses’ restrictions to a sitting president.
  59. On Monday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a request from a Roger Stone associate, Andrew Miller, to reexamine a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s appointment.
  60. On Tuesday, Politico reported the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office subpoenaed Roger Stone associate Randy Credico to testify in Stone’s case. The subpoena orders him to appear in court November 5, the first day of trial.
  61. On Monday, WAPO reported as U.S. national security officials are preparing to counter Russian interference in the 2020 election, Trump and his senior aides are seeking to downplay the threat.
  62. Trump’s rhetoric and lack of focus have made it more difficult for government officials to come up with a comprehensive strategy, and by not making a public statement against interference, Trump is inviting more.
  63. Despite the Mueller report, which security analysts viewed as an alarm call and a roadmap for how Russian operatives work, Trump continues to deny Russia changed a single vote so not to raise questions of his legitimacy.
  64. Trump also continues to insist it was not only Russia that interfered, has taken no leadership on protecting 2020, and told aides that in public statements they must emphasize that Russia did not influence his win.
  65. On Monday, Trump, three of his children, and business sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent the banks from responding to subpoenas from the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees.
  66. The lawsuit claimed the subpoenas “have no legitimate or lawful purpose,” and “were issued to harass” Trump, and it alleges, “No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one.”
  67. On Tuesday, Eric Trump, who is involved with the lawsuit against the banks, told “Fox and Friends” that “They want to harass Trump,” adding “it’s not just my father. It’s, ‘Eric, I want to see all your bank records.’”
  68. On Tuesday, House Financial Services Chair Waters said lawmakers would fight “tooth and nail” for the information, and how it plays out could inform the decision to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump.
  69. On Tuesday, NYT reported Deutsche Bank has compiled reams of materials to hand over to Congress, including multiple pages from each of Trump’s annual federal tax returns. The subpoena deadline was May 6.
  70. On Thursday, a federal judge in Manhattan paused the subpoenas pending the court case which will start May 22. Attorneys representing the House are now expected to fight the Trump lawsuit.
  71. On Wednesday, attorneys for the House Oversight Committee said Trump’s suit to block the subpoena of Mazars USA was an attack on constitutional checks and balances and on Congress’s oversight powers.
  72. On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Adam Schiff said his committee made a criminal referral to the DOJ for Erik Prince, saying Prince “knowingly and willfully” making false statements to Congress.
  73. Rep. Schiff cited six instances in which Prince allegedly misled the committee about his 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker tied to the Kremlin, saying it “impaired the Committee’s understanding.”
  74. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported Rep. Schiff has hired Patrick Fallon, former chief of the F.B.I.’s Financial Crimes Section, as work for the committee ramps up its investigation into Trump’s finances.
  75. On Wednesday, Julian Assange was jailed over a bail breach. Assange’s attorney said he was “gripped” by fear of rendition “as threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything.”
  76. On Wednesday, Trump’s DOJ filed its first full argument in the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for striking down the entire Affordable Care Act.
  77. The DOJ argued that the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to have coverage is unconstitutional, and therefore the entire ACA should be struck down. The case will be heard in July.
  78. On Thursday, WAPO reported the Trump regime sought to remove all mentions of climate change from an international statement on Arctic policy that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may endorse next week.
  79. The regime threatened a standoff in crafting principles among the eight Arctic nations next week, including wanting no reference to the Paris accord, but later softened its position when other countries disagreed.
  80. In preparing for the meeting, the White House devised a plan in February to challenge scientific consensusthat the burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change, and took control of the U.S. message.
  81. The EPA weakened a standard for cleaning up groundwater pollution caused by toxic chemicals which eventually will impact drinking water consumed by millions of Americans, after pressure from the Pentagon.
  82. Standards released last week eliminated a section that addressed how the EPA planned to respond to“immediate threats posed by hazardous waste sites.” The Pentagon had brought their concerns to the White House.
  83. On Thursday, in a symbolic vote, the House voted to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement, by a vote of 231-190 with three Republicans joining the Democrats. The Senate is unlikely to take up the measure.
  84. On Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland ruled that a revised set of lawsuits filed against Trump’s Muslim Ban, which were based on issues not already heard by the Supreme Court, could move forward.
  85. The lawsuits included data on how the regime has enforced the ban. The judge wrote the Supreme Court ruling does not “preclude a different determination at a later stage of the case on a more fulsome record.”
  86. On Thursday, Reuters reported the State Department allowed seven foreign governments to rent condominiums in New York’s Trump World Tower in 2017 without approval from Congress.
  87. The governments of Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand, and the European Union were approved in 2017, out of a total 13 notes sent to the State Dept seeking permission for rent or renew leases.
  88. Legal experts say collecting fees is a potential breach of the emoluments clause. Reuters obtained data through the end of 2017 though the Freedom of Information Act, and no data for 2018 or 2019 is yet available.
  89. On Thursday, the California state senate voted 27-10 to require presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of income tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
  90. On Tuesday, 12 Democratic Senators called on the DOJ inspector general to investigate Barr’s handling of the Mueller report, including his impartiality and whether he lied to the American public about it.
  91. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that according to Rep. Nadler, Mueller is willing to testify before House Democrats, but that the DOJ has been unwilling to set a date for it to happen.
  92. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Mueller sent a letter to the DOJ on March 27, three days after AG Barr released his four-page letter, saying it “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work.
  93. Mueller wrote, “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
  94. The letter also requested that Barr release the report’s introductions and executive summaries, and made initial suggested redactions, saying the redaction process “need not delay release of the enclosed materials.”
  95. The day after Mueller’s letter, the two spoke on the phone and Mueller said media coverage of the obstruction investigation, but not Russian interference, was misguided and creating public misunderstandings.
  96. Barr’s letter quoted only passages that the investigation found no conspiracy or coordination; however, the redacted report showed Mueller believed significant evidence existed that Trump obstructed justice.
  97. Mueller’s team worked with the DOJ to redact the report. Before it was released, Barr said he “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories” about what constitutes presidential obstruction of justice.
  98. Barr was scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr needed to bring a copy of the letter from Mueller that was partially leaked to the Post along.
  99. Rep. Nadler demanded a copy of the letter by 10 a.m. Wednesday. Nadler also questioned Barr’s April 10 testimony to his committee, where he said, “I don’t know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.”
  100. On Wednesday, Trump lashed out over the national firefighters union endorsing Democratic candidate Joe Biden, retweeting roughly 60 tweets that disagreed with the endorsement.
  101. Some of the accounts Trump retweeted appeared to be fake accounts. The barrage came just hours before Barr’s Senate testimony.
  102. Ahead of the hearing, Trump also tweeted a quote by Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs, saying, “No President in history has endured such vicious personal attacks by political opponents.”
  103. Trump tweeted: “Why didn’t President Obama do something about Russia in September (before November Election) when told by the FBI? He did NOTHING.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had blocked Obama.
  104. Trump also tweeted: “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION,” adding there “was there No Collusion (by Trump), but the bad actions were done by the “other” side?” and, “greatest con-job in the history of American Politics!”
  105. On Wednesday, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the Mueller investigation and report. Shortly before the hearing started, Mueller’s March 27 letter to Barr was publicly released.
  106. The March 27 letter indicated Mueller first reached out to Barr in a March 25 letter to express his concerns, and also at that time enclosed the introduction and executive summary for each volume to be made public.
  107. Chair Lindsey Graham said after all this time and money, “Mueller has concluded there was no collusion. For me, it is over.” Graham endorsed Barr not charging Trump, but admitted he had not read the full report.
  108. Barr said Mueller was in part to blame for the delayed release, saying his team should have pre-redacted it. In their phone call, Barr claimed Mueller was “was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report.”
  109. Barr said he was “surprised” Mueller had left the decision on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice to him, and confused that Mueller extended and expanded his probe to look into “additional episodes ”
  110. Barr said he has assigned investigators to review allegations of spying on the Trump 2016 campaign, he would report their finding to Congress, and Trump had not “waived executive privilege” to allow Don McGahn to testify.
  111. Barr disagreed with Mueller not determining if Trump obstructed justice, but said once Mueller submitted his report, Mueller’s task had ended, and then “It was my baby.”
  112. Barr said he was not familiar with bipartisan legislation to enhance the security of the election system, of which Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, “The White House made calls to stop this.” Barr said he would take a look at the legislation.
  113. Klobuchar reminded Barr he had previously said convincing a witness to change testimony could be considered obstruction of justice, and gave examples from the report of Trump doing so, while Barr dodged to answer.
  114. Barr said he “wasn’t interested” in honoring Mueller’s request to release the executive summaries, saying he “was not in the business of putting out periodic summaries.”
  115. Barr said, “I don’t recall” if he had conversations with the White House on the 14 cases spun out of the Mueller probe. Barr also said to stop using the process as a political weapon and “the job of the DOJ is now over.”
  116. Barr defended Trump, saying he was “falsely accused of colluding with the Russians and accused of being treasonous,” adding, but “to listen to some of the rhetoric,” you would think Mueller found the opposite.
  117. When asked by Sen. Kamala Harris whether anyone at the White House has “suggested” opening criminal cases, Barr paused in silence and struggled to answer the question, leaving himself wiggle room.
  118. Barr admitted he, Rosenstein, and his DOJ staff had not read the underlying evidence compiled by Mueller in coming to their judgment on whether there was sufficient evidence to charge obstruction of justice.
  119. Barr also said Mueller’s letter to him was a “bit snitty” and “was probably written by one of his staff people.” Merriam-Webster dictionary said look-ups for the word “snitty” spiked by 150,000% after Barr used the word.
  120. After his testimony, press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted, “AG Bill Barr served President George H.W. Bush honorably as AG,” and has so for Trump, adding, “Democrats only disgrace and humiliate themselves.”
  121. Trump told Fox Business’s Trish Regan that Sen. Harris and others running for president were hard on Barr for “political points,” and singled out Harris, who is a Black woman, calling her “very nasty.”
  122. Harris was one of many Democrats who called on Barr to resign, including 2020 candidates and many others in the House and Senate
  123. The WAPO Editorial Board wrote Barr “torched his reputation,” and his testimony “compounded the damage,” adding the DOJ should enable “Mueller to speak publicly and under oath at the earliest opportunity.”
  124. The board said Mueller should address “his substantive findings” not only on Trump’s misbehavior but also on Barr’s “manipulation of his work,” and not only should Trump should be held accountable, so should Barr.
  125. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to allow members of its staff to question Barr on Thursday. Some noted that Christine Blasey Ford was questioned by outside counsel in the Senate.
  126. On Wednesday, the DOJ said Barr will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, citing “Nadler’s insistence on having staff question” Barr, and calling it “inappropriate” and “unprecedented.”
  127. The DOJ also said it will not comply with the committee’s subpoena for Mueller’s full, unredacted report plus the underlying evidence and grand jury information, saying the request was “not legitimate oversight.”
  128. On Tuesday, Chair Cummings told reporters he could fine or hold former White House Personnel Security Director Carl Kline in contempt if he refuses to answer questions in a closed-door interview Wednesday.
  129. On Wednesday, Cummings told reporters Kline told his committee “the buck pretty much stopped with him,” but added, “There’s much more information that we need to dig into.”’
  130. Cummings also said members of Congress who favor investigations rather than an impeachment inquiry have become “very impatient,” adding, “I don’t know what the White House is trying to push or pressure us into.”
  131. On Wednesday, the White House also said it would not comply with the House Oversight Committee’s request for documents related to the security clearances of Trump regime officials.
  132. White House counsel Pat Cipollone said, “it is not within the authority of Congress to second guess” how Trump selects advisors, and the request showed a “total disregard for individual privacy,” and was “highly inappropriate.”
  133. On Wednesday, Roll Call reported House Democrats are considering reviving a congressional power not used since the 1930s to counter the Trump’s regime stonewalling called “inherent contempt.”
  134. The process would allow Congress to authorize its sergeant-at-arms to execute an arrest warrant against an official who refuses to comply with Congressional subpoenas or takes actions that obstruct their oversight.
  135. On Thursday, Chair Nadler convened the House Judiciary Committee. An empty chair marked Barr’s spot, and he was a no-show. Rep. Steven Cohen brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, calling Barr a chicken.
  136. Nadler warned Trump “is trying to render Congress inert,” adding if the House does not “stand up to him together today, we risk forever losing the power to stand up to any president in the future.”
  137. After, Nadler threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress if the DOJ does not provide access to the fully unredacted version of Mueller’s report, and will hold a vote possibly as early as Monday.
  138. On Thursday, press secretary Sanders said Nadler should quit, saying, “he and his committee aren’t capable of … asking questions themselves and need to staff it out,” adding, “seems like a pretty pathetic moment.”
  139. On Thursday, at her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Barr lied to Congress, adding, “Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States, and not the attorney general.”
  140. When asked by a reporter if Barr should go to jail, Pelosi responded, “There’s a process involved here, and as I said, I’ll say it again, the committee will act upon how we will proceed.“
  141. Pelosi called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the “grim reaper” for refusing to allow the Senate to vote on Democratic priorities including an infrastructure plan she and Schumer discussed with Trump.
  142. Before the press conference, Politico reported Pelosi told colleagues in a caucus meeting that she could not sleep Wednesday night after watching Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  143. WAPO reported Pelosi also spoke of impeachment at that caucus meeting, saying, “Ignoring subpoenas of Congress, not honoring subpoenas of Congress — that was Article III of the Nixon impeachment.”
  144. Pelosi said to the press, “I really lost sleep last night,” and, “How sad it is for us to see the top law enforcement officer in our country misrepresenting, withholding the truth from the Congress of the United States.”
  145. On Thursday, at a WAPO Live event, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused U.S. law enforcement of treason, saying, “Their actions are a coup,” adding, “I do not believe they were abiding by the rule of law.”
  146. On Thursday, Reuters reported on a five-page letter from White House lawyer Emmet Flood to Barr sent on April 19, in which Flood says Trump has the right to instruct advisors not to testify.
  147. The letter, sent one day before the redacted Mueller report was released, also said the report is deeply flawed, with Flood calling it “part ‘truth commission’ report and part law school exam paper.”
  148. The letter said it is one thing for a president to “encourage complete cooperation and transparency in a criminal investigation…It is something else entirely to allow his advisers to appear before Congress.”
  149. The letter says the report acts as a “roadmap” for evidence of the special counsel’s “refusal to follow applicable law,” and provided justification for an investigation of the investigators of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
  150. On Friday, Senate Judiciary Chair Graham invited Mueller to testify before the committee “regarding any misrepresentation” by Barr on the substance of their phone call. Days before Graham said he would not call Mueller.
  151. On Friday, when asked by reporters if he would allow Mueller to testify before Congress, Trump responded, “That’s up to our attorney general.”
  152. On Friday, Chair Nadler gave Barr until Monday at 9 a.m. EST to comply with the House subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence before moving to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.
  153. On Friday, WAPO reported notes taken by Annie Donaldson, White House counsel Don McGahn’s chief of staff, during meetings with Trump were cited more than 65 times in the Mueller report.
  154. Donaldson’s notes describe McGahn’s and others’ concern Trump could be accused of criminal obstruction. She was known for her careful tracking of details, and is reportedly dismayed her notes may be made public.
  155. Donaldson left the White House in December. House Judiciary Chair Nadler has already signaled he will subpoena Donaldson to testify. The precision of her notes drew comparison to the Nixon tapes in Watergate.
  156. On Friday, Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone for over an hour, without any third party listening in, and without providing a normal readout of the conversation.
  157. Trump said Putin assured him that “he’s not looking to get involved in Venezuela,” contradicting Secretary Pompeo who said Thursday “hundreds, if not more” Russians were working in Venezuela.
  158. On election interference, Trump told reporters Putin “said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse,” and “he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.”
  159. When asked by NBC’s Kristen Welker, “Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?” Trump responded, “Excuse me, I’m talking, I’m answering this question. You are very rude.”
  160. When pressed again by reporters on whether he raised the issue of election interference or warned Putin not to do it again, Trump responded, “We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it.”
  161. Shortly after, Trump tweeted about the call, saying, “As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
  162. Trump also tweeted, again dismissing interference in the 2016 election cited in the Mueller report, “We discussed Trade, Venezuela, Ukraine, North Korea, Nuclear Arms Control and even the “Russian Hoax.””
  163. On Friday, in a letter, Sen. Kamala Harris called on the DOJ inspector general to investigate if Barr had received or complied with any requests from the White House to investigate Trump’s “perceived enemies.”
  164. On Wednesday, attorneys for Covington teen Nick Sandmann filed a $275 million lawsuit against NBC Universal accusing the network creating a “false narrative” driven by its “anti-Trump agenda,” the third such suit.
  165. On Thursday, Talking Points Memo reported McClatchy, publisher of Fresno Bee, has not been served by Rep. Devin Nunes to take the case to trial, nor has Liz Mair, after Nunes threatened on Fox News on April 8.
  166. On Thursday, Facebook announced it is banning several far-right and anti-Semitic figures and organizations, including Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer for being “dangerous.”
  167. Facebook said the action to more aggressively enforce its hate-speech policies comes as bigoted violence is on the rise around the world, and its platform has been used by hateful groups and individuals.
  168. On Friday, Donald Jr. tweeted, criticizing the “silencing of conservatives by Facebook & the rest of the Big Tech monopoly men,” calling it a “censorship campaign,” adding, “ how long before they come to purge you?’
  169. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS,” adding, “we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH!” and threatening, “We are monitoring and watching, closely!!”
  170. Trump also tweeted, “The wonderful Diamond and Silk have been treated so horribly by Facebook,” and threatened, “we’re looking into. It’s getting worse and worse for Conservatives on social media!
  171. Trump also tweeted his disappointment that “Conservative thinkers like James Woods” were banned from Twitter. Woods was suspended for tweeting “‘If you try to kill the King, you best not miss’ #HangThemAll.”
  172. On Thursday, NYT reported that the FBI sent a woman posing as an research assistant to meet with George Papadopoulos in London as part of a counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
  173. The London operative, nicknamed Azra Turk, yielded no fruitful information in 2016 through her exchanges, but the FBI called the action legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances.
  174. Turk worked alongside a longtime informant, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper. The FBI’s actions are under scrutiny by the DOJ inspector general. Barr has said the results could be made public in May or June.
  175. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Finally, Mainstream Media is getting involved — too “hot” to avoid,” adding, ““Details effort to spy on Trump Campaign.” @foxandfriends”” and “This is bigger than WATERGATE, but the reverse!
  176. On Friday, Vice President Pence told Fox News, “We’ve got to get to the bottom of how all this started,” adding, “And as the attorney general said when he testified before Congress, there was spying.”
  177. On Friday, Trump’s re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale said, “There is a word for this in the English language: Spying,” adding, “As President Trump has said, it is high time to investigate the investigators.”
  178. On Thursday, Sen. Graham told reporters he planned to ask Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to look into the use of the FISA court in the 2016 election, saying Trump is “down” on the FISA court.
  179. As chief justice, Roberts appoints judges in the FISA courts. Experts noted it is highly unusual for a Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask a chief justice to “look into” the lower courts handling of cases.
  180. On Friday, prosecutors urged Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a filing to reject Roger Stone’s obscure challengeto their indictment based on Congress allowed the independent counsel statute to expire in 1999.
  181. Prosecutors said that Mueller’s appointment was valid. A hearing is set for May 30. Prosecutors also opposed a motion by Stone’s lawyers to be provided with a full, unredacted copy of the Mueller report.
  182. On Saturday, North Korea launched a short-range missile off its east coast. This is the second provocation by North Korea in recent weeks, and is likely to raise tensions in stalled denuclearization talks with the U.S.
  183. On Saturday, NYT reported on Speaker Pelosi’s concerns that Trump will not give up power voluntarily if he loses re-election by a slim margin, saying, “he’s not going to respect the election.”
  184. Pelosi said, “He would poison the public mind. He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat these people,” adding Trump will not respect the election results “short of an overwhelming defeat.”
  185. Trump feels energized and emboldened to goad Pelosi, believing the Republican Senate will be compliant. Pelosi has been committed to avoiding impeachment, but is losing patience.
  186. Trump remains respectful of Pelosi. She said, “Maybe he knows that I pray for him. I pray that his heart will be open for good things, to help people instead of taking babies out of the arms of their mothers, for example.”
  187. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Very good call yesterday” with Putin, adding “Tremendous potential…despite what you read and see in the Fake News Media,” and, “Look how they have misled you on “Russia Collusion.””

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A chicken rests near the empty seat for US Attorney General Bill Barr in the House Judiciary Committee room on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on May 2, 2019. US Congressman Steve Cohen placed it after Barr failed to show and the hearing was convened. 

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA POLITIKAL GRAFFITI: SERGIO ROJAS

“On March 18th, 2019, Sergio Rojas, a Bribri indigenous leader, was murdered after being shot 15 times in Yeri, Salitre area, in southern Costa Rica.
 
As a member of the National Coordination of the National Front of Indigenous Peoples (FRENAPI), Rojas fought for the restitution of ancestral lands and the conservation of native ecosystems.”
 
“FUE EL ESTADA. SERGIO VIVE!” = It was the State. Sergio Lives!
IMG_7423
San Jose, Costa Rica. April2019

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 129: DERANGED DONALD

IMG_7382
“45 Hearts Russia & North Korea” San Jose, Costa Rica 25Apr2019

APRIL 27, 2019

Week 128

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. The list is Amy Siskind’s: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-128/
IMG_7405
Here’s a sticker depicting the shameful exchange of $2 million dollars for Otto Warmbier who had already been made a vegetable by his captors. Another example of 45 being caught lying after having said repeatedly Kim Jong Un didn’t know anything about Otto. Anyone who knows anything knows that Kim Jong Un knows EVERYTHING that happens in NK and he definitely is the one who ordered Otto to be detained. It’s sick how much he fawns over Kim Jong Un. 45 knows NOTHING of this world and its history or politics. San Jose, Costa Rica. 26apr19.

This week Trump’s White House refused all requests by House Democrats to interview current or former members of the regime, or to turn over records, including those requested by subpoena. The NYT Editorial Board noted Trump “is effectively declaring lawmakers powerless over him. This, warn the experts, puts the nation in uncharted territory and threatens to erode its democratic foundations.” With Congress out of town for a second holiday week, the feeling of Trump’s omnipotence felt all the more palpable.

This week while the country grappled with the contents of the redacted Mueller report, Trump and his allies invoked a failed “coup” and threatened to investigate the investigator. They also sought to downplay Russian interference and its impact in 2016 — with Jared Kushner dismissing Russian efforts as “some Facebook ads.” Alarming reporting indicated Trump is refusing to work to safeguard the 2020 election, nor would his campaign pledge not to take stolen information again, even as FBI director Christopher Wray said Moscow’s interference in the past has been a “dress rehearsal” for the 2020 presidential contest.

IMG_7427
Great depiction here of “Deranged Donald,’ a perfect moniker given to him by George Conway this week on Twitter. San Jose, Costa Rica. 27apr19.
DCIM104GOPROG0042268.
“Komrade trump waving his favorite country’s flags” San Jose, Costa Rica. 26apr19.
IMG_7431
“Making deals and taking money from these two countries, as well as repeatedly defending them at the expense of our great nation…this true says it all: Russia + 45 + North Korea = TRAITOR” San Jose, Costa Rica. 27apr19.
DCIM104GOPROG0072337.
“Idiot in CHEIF.” (sic) That’s how he spells it. So stupid, it’s sad. San Jose, Costa Rica. 27apr19
  1. A Gallup study found a sharp increase in the U.S. from 2017 to 2018 of feelings of stress (from 49% to 55%), worry (40% to 45%), and anger (17% to 22%). All are at a record level since the poll started.
  2. The study also found Americans’ stress rate was one of the highest out of the 143 countries studied, beating the global average of 35% by 20 percentage points.
  3. On Sunday, as Trump’s team sought to shape the narrative on the Mueller report, Rudy Giuliani said on “State of the Union” that there is “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”
  4. Giuliani also said former White House counsel Don McGahn was not lying but “hopelessly confused” and “wrong.”
  5. Later Sunday, on “Meet the Press,” Giuliani said the decision to use information stolen by a foreign adversary “depends on where it came from,” and “depends on the stolen material.”
  6. On Sunday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler told “Meet the Press” that he would call McGahn to testify before his committee.
  7. Nadler also said some of Trump’s actions outlined in the Mueller report may warrant impeachment, saying “we may get to that, we may not,” adding his committee would “go where the evidence leads us.”
  8. On Sunday, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings told “Face the Nation” if the House voted to impeach but the Senate did not, “I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution.”
  9. On Sunday, in series of tweets, Trump touted a NYT op-ed, saying, “Do you believe this? The New York Times Op-Ed: MEDIA AND DEMOCRATS OWE TRUMP AN APOLOGY,” adding, “Well, they got that one right!”
  10. Trump also tweeted he went through “the worst and most corrupt political Witch Hunt” in U.S. history, adding, “when it was the “other side” that illegally created the diversionary & criminal event and even spied.”
  11. Just before attending an Easter service, Trump tweeted, “Despite No Collusion, No Obstruction, The Radical Left Democrats do not want to go on to Legislate,” adding, “only to Investigate and waste time.”
  12. Trump also tweeted, “How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats?” adding, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  13. On Sunday, after multiple bomb blasts in Sri Lanka that killed at least 138 people, Trump tweeted that “horrible terrorist attacks” had killed “at least 138 million people.” Trump later deleted and tweeted “nearly 140 people.”
  14. On Sunday, Daily Beast reported that Russia state media channels broadcasted segments from Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, which bashed “media hysteria” over the Russia investigation.
  15. On Monday, starting in the morning, Esquire reported that Trump tweeted 50 times in a 24 hour period, several of which included clips or quotes from Fox News, and retweets of allies like Rep. Devin Nunes.
  16. On Monday, Trump also retweeted a series of tweets by Tom Fitton, President of conservative Judicial Watch, including a list of names under “COUP UPDATE: Who needs to be investigated.”
  17. On Monday, Trump tweeted: “Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment,” adding there was “No Collusion, No Obstruction,” and “Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!”
  18. Trump also tweeted, “Isn’t it amazing that the people who were closest to me…were never even called to testify before Mueller.” AP fact checked this to be false, saying many were interviewed, including Trump’s family.
  19. On Monday, when asked by reporters during the White House Easter Egg Roll if he was concerned about being impeached, Trump responded, “Not even a little bit.”
  20. When asked if he was troubled that staffers did not follow his requests, Trump responded, “nobody disobeys my orders.” WAPO counted 15 instances of staffers disobeying Trump in the redacted Mueller report.
  21. On Monday, Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of the House Judiciary said he had reviewed a less-redacted version of the Mueller report, which he said reinforced “the principal conclusions made public last month.”
  22. On Monday, in a call with House members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said leaders had no immediate plans for impeachment proceedings: “This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy.”
  23. Reportedly, several House members pushed back on the leadership in the 90-minute call. Democratic leadership played down impeachment, but did not rule it out completely.
  24. On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi said in an interview, “Impeachment is one of the most divisive paths that we could go down in our country. But if the path of fact finding takes us there, we have no choice. But we’re not there yet.”
  25. On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the media. Trump attacked NYT economist Paul Krugman for his column saying Republicans no longer support American values, calling him “obsessed with hatred.”
  26. Trump tweeted, “I wonder if the New York Times will apologize to me a second time,” adding, “On this onethey will have to get down on their knees & beg for forgiveness” and “they are truly the Enemy of the People!
  27. Trump then tweeted, “Radical Left Democrats, together with their leaders in the Fake News Media, have gone totally insane!” adding, “the Republican agenda is working. Stay tuned for more!”
  28. Trump sent a fourth tweet at 6:27 a.m., saying “In the ‘old days’” a good economy would make a president immune from criticism, but under his “greatest economy in history” to the media, “it means NOTHING.
  29. Trump then attacked “Morning Psycho (Joe), who helped get me elected in 2016 by having me on (free) all the time,” saying his ratings had “nosedived,” adding, “Angry, Dumb and Sick.”
  30. Trump praised “Fox and Friends” calling it “by far the best of the morning political shows on television,” and quoted Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo for calling him “The best thing ever to happen to Twitter.”
  31. Trump tweeted a reference to Obama having “over 100 M” Twitter followers, adding his should be higher than that if “Twitter wasn’t playing their political games,” and “no wonder Congress wants to get involved.”
  32. Trump concluded the morning Twitter tirade which started at 5:59 a.m. at 7:47 a.m., tweeting his 2020 campaign slogan, “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
  33. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump met in the Oval Office with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. A significant portion of the meeting was spent on Trump complaints that Twitter has limited or removed some of his followers.
  34. WAPO reported that Dorsey also called Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday, and stood by Twitter’s decision not to take down Trump’s video that led to a flood of death threats to Omar, saying the tweet did not violate its rules.
  35. Motherboard reported that Twitter does not use a proactive, algorithmic solution to white supremacy like it does for ISIS, because the company is concerned it would ensnare and lead to the banning of some Republican politicians.
  36. On Monday, Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, wrote an open letter to RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, asking that the GOP pledge not to use “stolen information” in the 2020 campaigns.
  37. On Tuesday, as several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates committed to the same, the Trump re-election campaign refused to commit to rule out using hacked materials.
  38. On Tuesday, when asked if Trump will accept help from Russia in 2020, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said, “I don’t understand the question,” saying Trump has denounced Russian involvement in 2016.
  39. On Wednesday, when NBC News asked Vice President Mike Pence if he regretted using hacked emails or would pledge not to do so again, he sidestepped the question and said the Mueller report found no collusion.
  40. On Tuesday, Jared Kushner said in an interview at TIME’s 100 summit that the idea the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is “nonsense,” and all Russia did was buy “some Facebook ads” and “try to sow dissent.”
  41. On Wednesday, in an op-ed at Breitbart, Donald Jr. called the Mueller probe an “attempted coup,” adding “Russiagate” was “egged on by a wildly irresponsible media” and Democrats as “tax-funded opposition research.”
  42. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that shortly after the release of the redacted Mueller probe, a network of more than 5,000 pro-Trump Twitter bots railed against the “Russiagate hoax.”
  43. The bots were created last November and December, and had ties to previously pushed messages backing the government of Saudi Arabia. Twitter pulled down the accounts Sunday night, citing “manipulation.”
  44. On Wednesday, NYT reported in the months before she resigned, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was warned by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney not to bring up Russian election interference in front of Trump.
  45. Officials said Nielsen had become increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued activity during and after the 2018 elections, and was preparing for new and different types of interference in 2020.
  46. Mulvaney said raising Russian interference with Trump would question the legitimacy of his victory. Nielsen eventually gave up on a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect 2020.
  47. Nielsen instead pulled together her own meetings of cabinet secretaries and agency heads two times. She fumed when 45% of the cyberdefense workforce was furloughed during the government shutdown.
  48. On Wednesday, Facebook announced it expects to be fined between $3 to 5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations — by far the biggest fine yet by the agency.
  49. Facebook was accused of not protecting user data from being harvested without their consent by Cambridge Analytica, and also suffering a data breach which exposed personal information of 50 million users.
  50. On Thursday, Politico reported the FBI will meet with Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss the agency’s suspicion that Russians hacked at least one county in Florida during the 2016 election.
  51. Gov. DeSantis said at a press conference, “They won’t tell us which county it was, are you kidding me?” When former Sen. Bill Nelson raised the issue of hacking during the 2018 election, Sen. Scott called it “irresponsible.”
  52. On Friday, FBI director Christopher Wray addressed the Council on Foreign Relations, saying of Russia’s efforts to undermine American democracy “It’s pretty much a 365-days-a-year threat.”
  53. Wray also Russian efforts include, “fake news, propaganda, false personas, et cetera, to spin us up, pit us against each other, sow divisiveness and discord, and undermine Americans’ faith in democracy.”
  54. Wray said Russian efforts were “at full speed” during the 2018 midterm elections, and warned Russia keeps “upping their game,” and “2018 was just a dress rehearsal for 2020.”
  55. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the Mueller report, “despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money….($35,000,000),” found “I DID NOTHING WRONG.”
  56. Trump tweeted if Democrats tried to impeach him he would “first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” claiming there are no “‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ there are no Crimes by me at all.”
  57. On Wednesday, Politico reported Trump has so far tweeted about the Mueller probe more than 50 times since the redacted version was released last Thursday.
  58. In addition to tweets, Trump has made inflammatory statements about witnesses — both exposing him to further charges of witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and impeding a congressional investigation.
  59. Trump also tweeted, “I didn’t call Bob Costa of the Washington Post, he called me (Returned his call)! Just more Fake News,” in response to a tweet from Costa Tuesday saying, “Trump called me this evening.”
  60. On Monday, Trump issued a memo saying, based on a recent Homeland Security report, visa overstay rates are “unacceptably high” and a “widespread problem,” and instructed federal agencies to consider action.
  61. Trump gave the State Department four months to recommend sanctions against countries allowing overstays — focusing on rates, not the number of overstays. Of the 20 with the highest overstay rates, 13 are in Africa.
  62. Customs and Border Protection announced a new holding facility in El Paso will be operational by May 1. CBP awarded the contract to build the facility to Deployed Resources LLC in a program to limit competition.
  63. On Tuesday, CBS News reported Larry Hopkins, the head of the United Constitutional Patriots, told the FBI that his militia group was training to assassinate former president Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.
  64. The militia group was stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border where, according to their videos, they have captured and detained about 5,600 migrants who illegally entered the country in the past 60 days.
  65. On Tuesday, Union Pacific Police told the United Constitutional Patriots they would have to leave their campsite in Sunland Park, New Mexico by Friday, saying it is on private land. The group was there since February.
  66. On Tuesday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the regime’s family separation policy, while it did deter behavior, resulted in “losing public trust,” adding “ family separation is not on the table.”
  67. However, CNN reported according to a senior White House official, talk of reinstating family separation is in discussion at the highest levels, with Stephen Miller driving those discussions.
  68. On Thursday, CBS News reported DHS is exploring five cities for new locations to set up permanent shelters for unaccompanied minor children, as the agency prepares for an expected increase in apprehensions.
  69. On Friday, WAPO reported the Pentagon is preparing to loosen long-standing rules that prohibit military troops from interacting with migrants entering the U.S. as part of Trump’s operation along the Southern border.
  70. DHS has requested the Pentagon to provide 300 troops to work as lawyers, cooks, and drivers to assist with handling a surge of migrants along the border. This would be the second waiver of the policy under Trump.
  71. Experts worry using military lawyers with little or no experience with immigration cases could slow down proceedings. The case backlog is 850,000 cases now, up from more than 630,000 when Trump took office.
  72. On Tuesday, in a handwritten letter filed in the Southern District of New York, Cesar Sayor, who pleaded guilty to mailing explosive devices, said attending a rally for Trump “became like a new found drug.”
  73. On Tuesday, at a town hall in Iowa, Rep. Steve King compared his experience with being censured in the House with the suffering of Jesus, saying, “I have a better insight into what he went through.”
  74. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on Trump’s Census citizenship question. The five conservative judges seemed poised to allow the regime to add the question. The decision will be announced in June.
  75. Adding the question could have broad effects: an estimated 6.5 million people might not be counted, reducing Democrats’ representation and funding when Congressional districts are allocated in 2021.
  76. On Tuesday, a report by the Census Bureau found Hispanic turnout surged from 27% in the 2014 midterms to 40% in 2018, the largest increase of any group. Latino voters supported Democrats by wide margins.
  77. On Wednesday, the Florida House passed legislation requiring people to pay criminal fines and fees before they can vote. In the 2018 midterms, Florida had voted to repeal the state’s lifelong voting ban for felony convictions.
  78. On Tuesday, Andy McKean, Iowa’s longest-serving Republican lawmaker, announced he is switching to become a Democrat, citing Trump as “a poor example for the nation and particularly for our children.”
  79. On Tuesday, an Oregon judge granted a preliminary injunction blocking new federal restrictions by the Trump regime which bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers.
  80. On Thursday, a Washington state judge also temporarily blocked the Trump regime from implementing a banon abortion referrals at federally funded family planning clinics.
  81. On Wednesday, John Ducey, mayor of Brick Township in New Jersey apologized for telling people complaining about parks and beaches being “invaded” and “ruined” by “Hasidic and Orthodox Jews” to call the police.
  82. On Friday, BuzzFeed reported Trump’s Mar-a-Lago received 58 applications from U.S. workers from 2014 to mid 2018, but hired just one, instead bringing in more than 375 low-wage workers on short-term visas.
  83. On Saturday, HuffPost reported that the military is investigating four more servicemen for possible ties to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, raising the total under investigation to 11.
  84. On Monday, Trump said he would not nominate his “friend” Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, tweeting Cain, “a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him.”
  85. On Monday, CNN reported on a number of interviews with and columns by Stephen Moore from 2000–2003,in which he expressed extremely sexist views of women in sports. Moore said his statements were “a spoof.”
  86. On Tuesday, Moore invoked Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on a conservative radio show: “They’re pulling a Kavanaugh against me.” On Wednesday, he said he would bow out if he becomes a liability.
  87. On Tuesday, Trump reversed course on attacking Harley-Davidson after the company reported a 27% drop in first quarter profits in part due to his tariffs, vowing in a tweet, “So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!”
  88. On Tuesday, as Trump planned his next visit to the United Kingdom for June, a group of MPs called on British Prime Minister Theresa May and the government to rescind the invitation for a full state visit.
  89. On Wednesday the day after accepting an invitation for a state visit from Queen Elizabeth II, Trump tweeted a baseless accusation that the U.K. helped Obama spy on his 2016 campaign.
  90. Trump cited a claim by Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst and blogger, who has made past false allegations. U.S. and British intelligence vehemently denied the claim when it first surfaced two years ago.
  91. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General has opened investigations of six Trump senior department appointees over possible ethical misconduct.
  92. The complaint outlined how, despite a Trump executive order requiring employees to recuse themselves, the six continued to discuss policy matters with organizations that had employed them in the past.
  93. On Thursday, Interior Department Secretary David Bernhardt told the WSJ that the regime has indefinitely sidelined its plans to dramatically expand offshore drilling after a ruling by a federal judge in Alaska.
  94. On Monday, the Trump Organization sued House Oversight Chair Cummings and Mazars USA, seeking a court order to block the House subpoena for eight years of Trump’s financial statements.
  95. On Monday, the White House told Carl Kline, who formerly oversaw security clearances and now works in the Defense Department, not to comply with a subpoena from House Democrats to be interviewed.
  96. On Tuesday, Rep. Cummings said in a letter that the White House and Kline “now stand in open defiance of a duly authorized congressional subpoena” and he will consult “about scheduling a vote on contempt.”
  97. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed McGahn to testify on May 21 and requested documents related to several incidents detailed in Mueller’s redacted report be delivered by May 7.
  98. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal that he would miss the April 23 deadline for providing Trump’s tax returns.
  99. Mnuchin questioned the legitimacy of the request, while Trump’s attorney called it a politically motivatedfishing expedition. Mnuchin said he would make a final decision by May 6.
  100. On Tuesday, in an interview with WAPO, Trump said he is opposed to White House aides testifying in Congress, saying it was unnecessary since the White House had already cooperated in the Mueller probe.
  101. Trump said the White House Counsel’s Office has not “made a final, final decision” about asserting executive privilege, but he opposes cooperating with House Democrats, saying, “I don’t want people testifying to a party.”
  102. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump’s White House plans to fight the House Judiciary subpoena to have McGahn testify. McGahn was mentioned more than 150 times in the redacted Mueller report.
  103. McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, started discussions about testimony with the House Judiciary Committee. A friend of McGahn said, “He’s not eager to testify. He’s not reluctant,” but will cooperate with a subpoena.
  104. On Wednesday, the DOJ said deputy assistant Attorney General John Gore will not comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena to testify about the Trump regime’s addition of a citizen question to the Census.
  105. Chairman Cummings said Gore and the DOJ had not claimed “any legally valid privilege,” and could be held in contempt, and Gore’s behavior was part of a “massive, unprecedented, and growing pattern of obstruction.”
  106. On Wednesday, WAPO reported in a letter to Rep. Cummings, counsel Pat Cipollone said the White House will not allow Stephen Miller to testify before the Oversight Committee on the regime’s immigration policies.
  107. Cipollone offered to make “cabinet secretaries and other agency leaders” available instead. Democrats are concerned that although Miller has not been confirmed by the Senate, he is effectively in charge of immigration.
  108. On Wednesday, NYT reported the Mueller report also revealed Trump fixated on wanting former AG Jeff Sessions to target a political rival, Hillary Clinton, in ways not seen since Nixon’s presidency.
  109. The Mueller report revealed three times that Trump pressured Sessions, including calling him at home in the middle of the night in 2017 to order him to reverse his recusal and order the prosecution of Hillary.
  110. There is no evidence Sessions acted on Trump’s orders to reopen the FBI case, and it is not known what effect Trump’s orders will have on House Democrats’ decision to move forward on impeachment.
  111. On Wednesday, Giuliani warned on “Fox & Friends” that Hillary committed obstruction of justice during the investigation into her private email server, adding the days of “you cannot indict a Clinton” are over.
  112. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, it has been “incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media,” saying, “I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so.”
  113. Trump also tweeted, “If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself,” adding that he let the “illegal investigation (there was no crime), headed by a Trump hater” continue.
  114. On Thursday, Burck pushed back on Trump calling McGahn a liar, saying in a statement that McGahn’s conversations with Trump had been “accurately described” in Mueller’s report.
  115. On Thursday, when asked about the House subpoenaing McGahn, Trump told reporters “We’re fighting all the subpoenas. Look, these aren’t like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.”
  116. On Thursday, WAPO reported Trump’s attacks on McGahn are driven by his growing belief that Democrats will use McGahn’s testimony as a cornerstone of possible impeachment against him.
  117. Reporting also indicated that Trump is the one driving the standoff with Congress. Trump is watching television, and urging everyone around him, from Giuliani to Cipollone to take a hard line.
  118. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump allies are urging him to stop talking and tweeting about Mueller, calling his continued attacks “a complete and utter disaster” which will generate more negative news cycles.
  119. On Thursday, NBC News reported that as part of its counterintelligence mission, the FBI is continuing to investigate Russian attempts to influence the Trump regime before and after the 2016 election.
  120. The FBI will assess the national security damage caused by senior members of the Trump campaign and transition team meeting with a sophisticated foreign adversary. Democrats have demanded to be briefed.
  121. On Thursday, the LA Times Editorial Board noted Trump has declared himself immune from congressional oversight, adding we will soon find ourselves in a constitutional crisis like when Nixon resisted subpoenas for tapes.
  122. On Thursday, Trump called in to Fox New host Sean Hannity’s show. The two spoke in a rambling interview which lasted for 45 minutes.
  123. Trump called the FBI probe into his 2016 campaign and the subsequent Mueller probe “a coup,” adding, “This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government.”
  124. Trump said called the investigation “the greatest political scandal in the history of our country. Again, bigger than Watergate. Because it means so much this was a coup….This was an attempted coup.”
  125. Trump said Mueller went “hog wild to find something…which obviously wasn’t there,” calling the investigation a “one-sided witch hunt” by “angry Democrats” who are “very serious Trump haters.”
  126. Trump said the report found “No collusion and also no obstruction,” adding “the statement was made and the attorney general, you know, understood it very well…and made a decision right on the spot.”
  127. Trump said the report did not “mention Strzok and Page and McCabe and Comey and the lies and the leaksand overthrow and the whole thing with the Hillary Clinton got a win 100 million to 1, two lovers, two sick lovers.”
  128. Trump also threatened to declassify the FISA court applications related to the investigation of Russia’s meddling, saying, “Everything is going to be declassified and more, much more…It will all be declassified.”
  129. Trump told Hannity, “I watch you and Tucker and I watch Laura and your great guys in the morning with Steve and Ainsley and Brian. Brian came a long way. I kid him but he came a long way, and so many other people.”
  130. On Thursday, Abigail Slater, one of Trump’s top tech advisers, resigned to take a job at Fox Corp. as a senior vice president for policy and strategy.
  131. On Thursday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein fired back at critics of his handling of the Mueller report in a speech at the Armenian Bar Association, likely one of his last speeches as a senior DOJ official.
  132. Rosenstein said the information disclosed in the Mueller report “is only the tip of the iceberg of a comprehensive Russian strategy to influence elections, promote social discord, and undermine America.”
  133. Rosenstein defended his handling of the Mueller probe and report, saying, “It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”
  134. Rosenstein called out the Obama administration for not going public on Russian interference and “how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America,” and the FBI and Congress for leaks about the case.
  135. Rosenstein critiqued Congress, politics, and the media, saying “There is not Republican justice and Democrat justice. There is only justice and injustice,” and referred to Trump in a positive manner.
  136. Rosenstein attacked the media, “Some of the nonsense that passes for breaking news today would not be worth the paper it was printed on,” and defended his deadpan facial expression standing behind Barr last week.
  137. On Friday, WAPO reported on Rosenstein’s efforts to protect Mueller while keeping his job. Rosenstein repeatedly assured Trump he would be treated fairly, that he was not a “target,” and that he was on Trump’s team.
  138. After the NYT reporting that he had suggested wearing a wiretap, Rosenstein got teary-eyed ahead of the meeting with then chief of staff John Kelly saying, “I give the investigation credibility. I can land the plane.”
  139. Rosenstein, whose status in the White House had been fluid, reportedly begged Kelly, “I can go. I’m ready to go. I can resign. But I don’t want to go out with a tweet,” citing his long career at the DOJ and his reputation.
  140. On Friday, in the evening, White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee that Kline is available to testify May 1, but the scope “will be limited.”
  141. On Friday, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found 31% believe Trump is telling the truth about the Mueller investigation, 58% do not. On obstruction, 47% believe Trump obstructed justice, 41% do not.
  142. Nonetheless, support for impeachment was at just 37%, a new low, with 56% opposing it. Democrats support impeachment by 62%, while independents were at 36% and Republicans at 10%.
  143. On whether Russia undermined the legitimacy of the 2016 election, 42% said yes and 49% said no. On whether foreign interference threatens the legitimacy of the 2020 election, 53% said yes and 37% said no.
  144. The poll also found a large gender gap in Trump’s approval: with overall approve/disapprove at 39%/54%, with men approving by +1 (47%/46%) and women disapproving by -30 (32%/62%).
  145. Trump’s average approval rating of 38% through this point in the term is the lowest of any president in the poll. The other 12 presidents range from the second lowest, Ford, at 47%, to Kennedy at 73%.
  146. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un held their first summit. Putin said he will brief the U.S. and China, raising his profile in the stalemate over N. Korean denuclearization.
  147. On Thursday, WAPO reported the U.S. envoy sent to pick up Otto Warmbier in 2017 was given a $2 million bill for care of the comatose student. The envoy was instructed by Trump to sign an agreement to pay.
  148. CNN reported that the Trump regime did not pay the $2 million bill, and that North Korea did not raise the issue as it sought to ease tensions with the U.S. in 2018.
  149. On Friday, Trump tweeted the quote, ““President Donald Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator that I know of in the history of the United States.”” It was unclear who the quote was attributed to, if anyone.
  150. Trump also tweeted more of the supposed quote, ““20 hostages, many in impossible circumstances, have been released in last two years. No money was paid,”” and added, “Cheif [sic] Hostage Negotiator, USA!
  151. On Friday, a Gallup poll found 20% of Russians — a record — would like to move to another country, including 44% of those aged 15 to 29, with dislike for Putin being correlated to wanting to leave.
  152. On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving the White House, Trump said “I never told Don McGahn to fire Mueller. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I would have done it myself. It’s very simple. I had the right to.”
  153. Trump said “in the history of our country, there has never been a President that’s been more transparentthan me or the Trump administration,” adding, “I let White House Counsel McGahn testify. I let everybody testify.”
  154. Trump defended his “very fine people on both sides” comment on Charlottesville in response to a Joe Biden campaign video, saying, “If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly.”
  155. Trump told reporters, “I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general,” adding, “Whether you like it or not, he was one of the great generals.”
  156. On Friday, the National champion University of Virginia men’s basketball team declined Trump’s invitationto visit the White House, just hours after Trump’s statements on Charlottesville, where the school campus is located.
  157. On Friday, Trump spoke at the National Rifle Association convention, railing against the Mueller probe, the “corrupt” news media, and the “bad apples” at the Justice Department.
  158. Trump said the highest level of the government “tried for a coup, didn’t work out so well,” adding, “Didn’t need a gun for that one, did I?”
  159. Trump said Democrats are “obsessed with hoaxes, delusions and witch hunts,” instead of infrastructure and trade deals, and renewed his pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  160. Trump also announced the U.S. will withdraw from a United Nations arms treaty signed in 2013 which regulates conventional weapons including small arms, battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.
  161. Experts warned the withdrawal signals the U.S. is once again walking away from America’s leadership role. Trump said, “we will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” while the crowd chanted “USA! USA!”
  162. Shortly after Trump’s speech, WSJ reported Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s CEO, said in a letter to the board sent Thursday that he is being extorted and pressured to resign by the organization’s president, Oliver North.
  163. North also sent a letter to the board later Thursday saying his actions were for the good of the NRA, and that he was forming a crisis committee to examine financial matters. On Saturday, North involuntarily resigned.
  164. Campaign Legal Center Action, a gun safety group, sued the Federal Election Commission for failing to act on its complaints that the NRA improperly coordinated political spending with Trump and others.
  165. Any significant FEC investigation requires four commissioners to vote to approve the move. Under Trump,the six-member body has two vacancies, and partisan gridlock has halted actions.
  166. On Friday, the NYT Editorial Board said Trump is showing a new level of contempt, writing that, unlike his predecessors who invoked privilege in certain cases, Trump vows to “not cooperate with any congressional inquiry.”
  167. The Times Board added, “He is effectively declaring lawmakers powerless over him. This, warn the experts, puts the nation in uncharted territory and threatens to erode its democratic foundations.”
  168. On Wednesday, WSJ reported on a March 25 phone call with Michael Cohen taped by actor and Trump critic,Tom Arnold. Cohen, who begins a three-year prison sentence on May 6, said he remained “a man all alone.”
  169. Cohen walked back part of his guilty plea, saying “there is no tax evasion,” and said of charges and losing everything, “All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about.”
  170. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Deutsche Bank began the process of turning over Trump’s financial records to New York Attorney General Letitia James in response to a subpoena.
  171. On Thursday, a federal judge said Christopher Hasson, the Coast Guard officer who had been indicted on weapons and drug charges and accused of a terror attack plot, will be released from detention awaiting trial.
  172. On Friday, Rep. Maxine Waters, one of his Democratic targets, said in a statement: “There is no credible justification” for the judge allowing someone “clearly dangerous and unrepentant” to “walk free.”
  173. On Friday, Russian Maria Butina was given the maximum sentence of 18 months in prison for failing to register as a foreign agent and for conspiring to infiltrate Republican political circles for the Kremlin.
  174. After the hearing, a lawyer for Butina said he “disagreed strongly” with the sentence and said the case was marked by “complete and utter Russophobia.” Butina will be deported to Russia after her sentence.
  175. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian who plays a president on television, won the Ukraine presidential election by a landslide. Zelenskiy, who has never held public office, said he would fight corruption in the political system.
  176. On Friday, a spokesperson for the Council of Chief State School Officers, said Trump is not expected to attend this years National Teacher of the Year award ceremony.
  177. On Take Your Kids to Work Day, press secretary Sarah Sanders spent 28 minutes taking questions from children. WAPO calculated that so far in 2019, Sanders has spent 82 minutes briefing the White House press.
  178. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it will disentangle its brand from the GOP for the first time in 40 years, citing the party’s move to protectionism, nativism, and isolationism under Trump.
  179. On Saturday, Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to Nick Bosa on being picked number two in the NFL Draft.” Nick is white. The number one draft pick Kyler Murray is a black man and was not mentioned by Trump.
  180. Trump tweeted to Bosa, who is playing for San Francisco 49ers, “always stay true to yourself.” Bosa has had to apologize and delete past tweets about Colin Kaepernick, including one where he called him a “clown.”
  181. The AG in the Polish province of Jaroslaw opened a criminal investigation into an anti-Semitic activity over the Easter holiday which involved an effigy of a stereotypical Jew being hanged, beaten, and set on fire.
  182. On Saturday, the NYT issued an apology for using a cartoon in its international edition showing the Israeli prime minister as a weiner dog with Star of David dog collar leading around Trump wearing a skullcap.
  183. On Saturday, one died and three were injured during a shooting at a Passover celebration at Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego, exactly six months after the shooting in Pittsburgh.
  184. Police detained a white male, 19, for questioning. Leaving for a rally, Trump called the attack a “hate crime” and “hard to believe,” adding, “My deepest sympathies to all of those affected.”
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“Let’s all drink a toast to the new king of lies, and the minions who help him while democracy dies, and our kids who’ll be taught that the wicked are wise because Potus was Jack from ‘Lord of The Flies’. How much poison are you willing to swallow?!” Poem and artwork from Jim Carrey. Created on Apr 24
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Artist unknown, but tweeted with comment by

@RobinH2222 Apr 27                                                                                                                                             “We are NO LONGER A DEMOCRACY! We can’t enforce our House subpoenas & the GOP is refusing to uphold our Constitution. The Justice Dept. has been decapitated at the top & is in Trump’s pocket, with AG Barr, Trump’s fixer, protecting Trump & not the Rule of Law or our Constitution.”

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Russian President Vladimir Putin greets North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un during their meeting on April 25, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia. Reports have indicated that Pyongyang’s nuclear program will be at the top of the list of issues to discuss as the meeting between both leaders came soon after a failed summit between Kim and Trump in Hanoi, which ended without an agreement made.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 128: “I’M F***ED!”

APRIL 20, 2019

Week 127

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-127/
IMG_0805
I captured this in NYin November 2018.

This week Attorney General William Barr publicly released a redacted version of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, almost a month after he delivered it to Barr. The redacted report differed substantially from Barr’s March 24 letter, as well as from statements delivered by Barr at a press conference hours before the report’s release — casting Barr more as a defense attorney for Trump than an attorney general. Concerns grew further when it was revealed Trump’s White House attorneys had previewed the report in consultation with the Justice Department days earlier.

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Brooklyn, NY in October 2018

 

On Thursday, as the redacted report was released, Trump, who had expressed no interest in reading the report, seemed confident he had turned the corner and was in the clear. As the press and public finally dug into the contents of the redacted report and statements by current and former White House official witnesses, by Friday, Trump shifted back to anger and attack mode, starting by retaliating against former White House counsel Don McGahn. After reading the report, Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first 2020 contender to call for impeachment hearings.

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I found this in Miami, FL in December 2018. 

 

Trump’s attorneys continued to stonewall and seek to block requests from House Democrats for information, alarming even Senate Republicans who this week spoke out on his empowering his office at the expense of Congress. Republicans also for the first time publicly spoke out on Trump’s reliance on acting secretaries, with the regime shrinking, and power increasingly consolidating to Trump, his family, and a few trusted aides’ hands.

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 JIM CARREY THIS WEEK 
It’s not illegal for Trump’s head to spin around while he vomits copious amounts of green bile either, but he’s definitely not fit to be President, he’s definitely not exonerated and Barr definitely couldn’t go any lower.

 

  1. For the third year in a row, U.S. standing in Reporters Without Borders’ annual World Press Freedom Index declined. The U.S. fell three spots to 48th of 180 countries, just below Romania.
  2. For the first time since the index was established, the U.S. fell into the ranks of countries whose treatment of journalists is considered “problematic.” The group cited Trump’s rhetorical hostility.
  3. TIME reported it has been over 300 days since the Pentagon held a press briefing. Defense officials have also stopped identifying senior officials given prominent assignments.
  4. Part of the shift is from Trump’s penchant for surprises. There is also a reluctance to deal with the media. The role of Defense Secretary, vacated by Jim Mattis in December, remains with an acting secretary.
  5. White House daily press briefings have also been dramatically cut back: there have been just two briefings so far in 2019 — the last one took place 38 days ago.
  6. On Saturday, Trump tweeted the NYT story on him offering a pardon to his incoming Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan was “wrong on almost every fact,” adding the Times “will lie & cheat anyway possible.”
  7. Trump also tweeted the Times had to beg their fleeing subscribers for forgiveness in that they covered the Election (and me) so badly,” and, “they even apologized to me,” and, “now they are even worse, really corrupt.”
  8. Trump also tweeted the false claim that he “never ordered anyone to close our Southern Border, adding, “although I have the absolute right to do so, and may if Mexico does not apprehend the illegals coming to our Border.”
  9. Trump also sent a series of tweets about sending detainees to sanctuary cities, saying “The USA has the absolute legal right to have apprehended illegal immigrants transferred to Sanctuary Cities.”
  10. Trump also tweeted, “Democrats must change the Immigration Laws FAST,” adding if not, they should take care of migrants including “Gang Members, Drug Dealers, Human Traffickers, and Criminals of all shapes.”
  11. On Sunday, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told NPR Trump’s remarks are “not political retribution,” but rather recharacterized them, saying Democrats should consider the remarks “to be an olive branch.”
  12. On Sunday, reporter Jon Karl said on “This Week” that the White House has been briefed about the Mueller report and “there is significant concern on the president’s team about what will be in this report.”
  13. Karl also said “what worries them most is what Don McGahn told the special counsel.”
  14. On Sunday, as the country braced for release of the Mueller report, press secretary Sarah Sanders told Fox New Sunday, “We consider this case to be closed. There was no collusion. There was no corruption.”
  15. On Sunday, WSJ reported lawyers for Trump have been working on a counter report which is 140-pages long, but according to Rudy Giuliani, the lawyers plan to whittle down to 50-pages.
  16. On Sunday, NYT reported that since the Barr letter, Trump has felt emboldened, confident and liberated. As staffers brace for the redacted report to be released, Trump has no interest in reading the full report.
  17. Aides say Trump plans to act as if the redacted report is extraneous to the Barr letter, which in his mind said case closed. He is escalating his language to feed his base, and also to enrage the media and political rivals.
  18. On Sunday, Sanders on “This Week” denied Trump ordered McAleenan to close the border and would pardon him, saying Trump “is not asking anybody to do anything outside of those bounds.”
  19. Sanders also said of Trump’s attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar, that he wishes her “no ill will and certainly not violence towards anyone,” but added he is calling her out for her “history of anti-Semitic comments.”
  20. On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the extraordinary step of asking the U.S. Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms to work to “safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff.”
  21. An aide to Rep. Omar told Politicothere has been an increase in threats” against the Congresswoman since Trump’s Friday tweet. Omar’s office reported the threats to the FBI and Capitol Police.
  22. NYT reported Trump has stepped up his attack of Rep. Omar ahead of 2020 and has privately said his attacks on Muslims are being well received by his base — similar to his success with this line of attack in 2016.
  23. On Monday, Trump tweeted again about Rep. Omar, saying Speaker Pelosi should look at Omar’s “anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements,” adding, “she is out of control.”
  24. Later, Trump said in an interview with a local news affiliate in Rep. Omar’s home state, “She’s been very disrespectful to this country” and to Israel, adding, “She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad for our country.”
  25. On Monday, former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Fox News host Sean Hannity that Rep. Omar “is infatuated with al Qaeda, with Hamas, Hezbollah,” and that she “should be removed from Congress.”
  26. On Friday, federal authorities arrested a Florida man, John Kless, 49, for leaving voicemails threatening to kill Rep. Omar, the other freshman Muslim woman Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Eric Swalwell, and Sen. Cory Booker.
  27. Kless’s voicemails were laced with bigotry and profanity, including telling Rep. Tlaib, “It was your Taliban bitch, the one who opened up her fucking towel-head mouth…She’s lucky she’s just getting death threats, bitch.”
  28. Politico reported that Trump will not nominate anyone to serve on a United Nations committee on racism, continuing the regime’s retreat from international bodies that monitor human rights.
  29. On Sunday, AP reported a Wisconsin middle school gym teacher was placed on indefinite leave after she separated students by race and asked black students to research games enslaved children played.
  30. On Tuesday, the Advocate reported the California National Guard will not discharge transgender troops. Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers said, “as long as you fight, we don’t care what gender you identify as.”
  31. On Wednesday, Map Pesqueira, a student at UT-Austin, told NBC News he is set to lose his army scholarship following Trump’s transgender military ban, saying, “I’m so far into my transition, I’m unable to serve.”
  32. On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement reversed its decision to deport Jose Gonzalez Carranza, the spouse of a soldier killed in Afghanistan and parent of a 12 year-old, allowing him to return to the U.S.
  33. On Tuesday, in a lawsuit brought against DHS and ICE by two migrant families, a federal appeals court in the 4th District ruled detainees do not have to be held in the same state as their children.
  34. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported a draft report released to McAleenan by members of an advisory council recommended “emergency action” to implement what the report dubbed as the “Flores Fix.”
  35. The report recommended Congress enact emergency legislation to make it easier for the Trump regime to detain children with their parents indefinitely — calling for legislation to roll back the Flores agreement.
  36. On Thursday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that most of California’s “sanctuary” laws can be enforced, rejecting the bulk of a lawsuit brought by the Trump regime.
  37. The decision was authored by a Republican appointee. The panel refused to block California’s law prohibitingpolice from notifying federal immigration authorities of the release dates of immigrant inmates.
  38. On Thursday, a new Housing and Urban Development proposal rolled out by Secretary Ben Carson would evict families from public housing if just one member is considered to be undocumented.
  39. The current practice is to adjust families’ benefits, while the new policy would evict entire families. Carson tweeted, “Thanks to Donald Trump’s leadership, we are putting America’s most vulnerable first.”
  40. On Monday, as the centuries-old Notre Dame cathedral was engulfed in flames, Trump tweeted, encouraging France, “perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out,” adding, “Must act quickly!”
  41. The French government responded in a series of tweets in French and English, dismissing the suggestion, saying “The drop of water by air on this type of building could indeed result in the collapse of the entire structure.”
  42. Several far-right pundits and websites started conspiracies on what caused the blaze, with some attempting to blame racial or religious minorities for the outbreak of the fire.
  43. Later at a roundtable, Trump invoked conspiracy theories as the cause, saying “they think it was caused by — at this moment, they don’t know. But they think it was caused by renovation, and I hope that’s the reason.”
  44. On Saturday, NYT reported that although Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has denied Trump is influencing Fed policy, the central bank has largely moved in the direction that Trump wants in recent months.
  45. On Sunday, Trump again attacked and blamed the Federal Reserve, tweeting, “If the Fed had done its job properly, which it has not, the Stock Market would have been up 5000 to 10,000 additional points.”
  46. Trump also tweeted, “GDP would have been well over 4% instead of 3%…with almost no inflation,” adding, “Quantitative tightening was a killer, should have done the exact opposite!”
  47. On Monday, WSJ reported former Federal Reserve officials and foreign central bankers at the International Monetary Fund event expressed concern Trump has weakened the central bank and its global role.
  48. Officials expressed concern that Trump has interfered with the Fed’s independence, with his continued public criticism and nominating cronies who are extremists and loyal to him.
  49. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported the White House is talking to candidates to replace Stephen Moore and Herman Cain as Trump’s nominees for the Federal Reserve Board.
  50. On tax day CNN noted with changes under the GOP tax bill, the 10 states with the largest increase in refunds for 2018 were all red states in 2016, and the 10 states with the largest decrease in refunds were all blue states.
  51. On Wednesday, AP reported that Ivanka said Trump asked her if she was interested in the job of World Bank chief, but she passed on the opportunity, saying she was “happy with the work” she is doing.
  52. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he planned to hire Fox News contributor Monica Crowley as his spokeswoman. The hire comes as House Democrats demanded Trump’s tax returns.
  53. Crowley previously withdrew her nomination by Trump for a position at the National Security Council after allegations she plagiarized portions of her 2012 book and 2000 Ph.D. thesis, which she called a “political hit job.”
  54. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported Rick Perry is planning to resign as Energy Secretary in the coming weeks. Perry would become the 16th member of Trump’s cabinet to depart.
  55. On Monday, the Interior Department’s internal watchdog said in a letter that it has opened an investigation into ethics complaints against Secretary David Bernhardt, who was confirmed by the senate last week.
  56. On Monday, the House’s Intelligence and Financial Services committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and other banks for documents related to Trump and the Trump Organization’s finances.
  57. The committees also subpoenaed banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, and is also seeking information related to possible money-laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe.
  58. Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s lawyer, said the company is weighing trying to block the subpoena. While Deutsche Bank has been cooperative, its lawyers said they will consult with the White House.
  59. On Monday, Politico reported Trump lawyers William Consovoy and Stefan Passantino urged Mazars USA not to comply with a subpoena House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings issued Monday.
  60. The lawyers warned of potential legal action, putting Mazars “on notice,” and calling the subpoena a politically motivated scheme by Democrats to take down Trump.
  61. On Monday, CNN reported Republican lawmakers are concerned with the White House snubbing House Democrats, saying the failure to comply bolsters the power of Trump’s office at the expense of Congress.
  62. Several Senate Republicans also voiced concern with Trump’s growing reliance on using acting secretaries, circumventing the Senate process, and his threats to send migrants to sanctuary cities.
  63. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump’s attorneys are not planning to comply with Congressional requests for information, likely resulting in a protracted legal fight that could test the power of congressional subpoenas.
  64. Trump’s lawyers have already refused to turn over information on granting security clearances and meetings with foreign leaders. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is also preparing for legal battles over subpoenas.
  65. Protracted legal fights will drain lawmakers’ times and resources, and the cases could drag beyond the end of the Congressional session. Trump has told aides he is furious with the inquiries and does not want to cooperate.
  66. On Tuesday, Rusal, the aluminum company partially owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska which was recently removed from the U.S. sanctions list, announced it will invest in a Kentucky aluminum mill.
  67. Rusal will invest $200 million in a taxpayer-backed aluminum mill Braidy Industries plans to build in exchange for a 40% stake. Braidy would not have been able to form the partnership if sanctions were still in place.
  68. On Tuesday, Trump vetoed a resolution to end military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen — his second veto. Trump said the measure harms bilateral relations and interferes with his power as commander in chief.
  69. On Monday, the DOJ announced a redacted version of the Mueller report will be released on Thursday, the day before Passover and Easter Weekend, and during the two weeks when Congress is out of session.
  70. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “Since there was no Collusion, why was there an Investigation in the first place!” adding, “Answer — Dirty Cops, Dems and Crooked Hillary!”
  71. Trump also tweeted the report “was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters)…who SPIED” on his campaign and others “who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax.”
  72. On Tuesday, NBC News reported former and current White House officials are concerned the Mueller report will expose them as a source of damaging information on Trump, and his wrath will follow.
  73. Some officials and their attorneys sought clarity from the DOJ on whether names of those who cooperated would be redacted from the public version, but said the DOJ refused to provide a response.
  74. On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, in response to a lawsuit by BuzzFeed to release the full Mueller report said Barr has sowed public mistrust with his handling of the report.
  75. Judge Walton said Barr “created an environment that has caused a significant part of the public … to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency,” but denied BuzzFeed’s request.
  76. Monmouth polls found 28% say the country is headed in the right direction and 62% say things are on the wrong track. Trump’s net approval fell from -7 in March to -14 in April (40% approve/54 disapprove).
  77. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted the “FBI made 11 payments to Fake Dossier’s discredited author,” adding the “Witch Hunt has been a total fraud…brought to you by Dirty Cops, Crooked Hillary and the DNC.”
  78. On Wednesday, Trump said in an interview he is considering doing his own news conference after attorney general Barr, saying “Barr is going to be giving a news conference. Maybe I’ll do one after that; we’ll see.”
  79. Trump also said “You’ll see a lot of very strong things come out,” indicating he has apparently been briefed ahead of the news conference.
  80. Shortly after, the DOJ announced Barr would hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday ahead of the release of the report. Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein will join, but Robert Mueller and his staff will not.
  81. The DOJ said the press conference will take place before the release of the redacted report to the media and the public. Journalist noted the unusual nature of holding a press conference without providing materials.
  82. On Wednesday, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll found 38% believe Trump’s campaign was spied on. The spying allegations were revived in Week 126 when Barr testified to lawmakers he believed “spying did occur.”
  83. On Wednesday, NYT reported DOJ officials have had numerous discussions with White House lawyers about conclusions in the Mueller report in recent days.
  84. The talks have helped Trump’s legal team prepare its strategy and response. The discussions have added to concerns about how Barr has conducted himself since he received the Mueller report four weeks ago.
  85. There is also a sense of paranoia among Trump aides about his reaction, and that the report will provide a road map for retaliation by Trump against current and former officials who spoke to Mueller’s team.
  86. DOJ rules do not require Barr to make the report public. The House Judiciary Committee has already voted to authorize a subpoena of Barr to release the full report — which could be sent within a day.
  87. On Wednesday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler told reporters Congress will receive a copy of the redacted report hours after the press conference, adding he is troubled the White House has been briefed.
  88. In the evening, Rep. Nadler held an impromptu press conference, saying Barr “appears to be waging a media campaign” on behalf of Trump, “the very subject of the investigation at the heart of the Mueller report.”
  89. Shortly after, WAPO reported according to anonymous sources the DOJ will be releasing a lightly redacted version of the Mueller report, offering a granular look at the ways Trump may have obstructed justice.
  90. The DOJ also revealed in a court filing that a “limited number” of lawmakers would be allowed to review, in a private setting, part of the Mueller report related to the criminal case against Roger Stone.
  91. On Thursday, days after positive tweets by Trump about Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s Central News Agency said it test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon.”
  92. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported for the first time, Australian officials confirmed in a letter a meeting betweenformer high commissioner Alexander Downer and former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
  93. At the March 2016 meeting in London, Papadopoulos told Downer that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. The meeting led to the FBI opening an investigating into Trump’s links with Russia.
  94. On Thursday, ahead of Barr’s new conference, Trump sent a total of 11 tweets, some quoting Fox News shows hosts and conservative group Judicial Watch.
  95. Trump also tweeted, “The Greatest Political Hoax of all time! Crimes were committed by Crooked, Dirty Cops and DNC/The Democrats,” and, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”
  96. On Thursday, Barr held a news conference, hours before the Mueller report was released and without Muellerof a member of his team present. He said the report will be released to Congress between 11 a.m. and noon.
  97. Barr made repeated reference to the phrase “no collusion,” echoing language frequently used by Trump, even though collusion is not a legal term.
  98. Barr also said Trump was “frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency.” Journalists noted the tone sounded more like a defense attorney than a U.S. Attorney General.
  99. Barr said that he and Rosenstein “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law,” but that used their “legal framework.”
  100. Fox News host Chris Wallace said Barr “seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general, talking about his motives, his emotions…making a case for the president.”
  101. After Barr’s conference, Trump tweeted a “Game of Thrones” type image of him staring into the mist with the words, “No collusion, no obstruction … For the haters and the radical left Democrats … Game Over.”
  102. HBO rebuked Trump for using a “Game of Thrones” meme, saying in statement we “prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes.” Nonetheless, Trump pinned the tweet to his page for two days.
  103. Axios reported Jay Sekulow said he first saw the Mueller report on Tuesday afternoon, and that Trump’s legal team made two visits to the DOJ to view the report securely late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
  104. In a letter, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said they wanted testimony “as soon as possible” from Mueller. Rep. Nadler released a letter to Mueller seeking his testimony no later than May 23.
  105. There were several major inconsistencies between what was in the redacted Mueller report, and what Barrcited in his March 24 letter and news conference. WAPO gave Barr a “Three Pinocchios” rating.
  106. False statements included saying the White House “fully cooperated” with Mueller, saying Barr followed precedent releasing the report to Trump’s lawyer early, and indicating he and Rosenstein should have the last word.
  107. Of the 448-page redacted version report released, more than one-third of the Mueller report’s pages contain at least one blacked-out word. Some pages were almost entirely blacked out.
  108. The redacted report was released on April 18, almost a full month after Mueller delivered his report to Barr on March 22.
  109. Barr heavily redacted the sections relating to evidence of the Trump campaign’s outreach to WikiLeaks. Much of what was included in the unredacted report had been previously reported by the media.
  110. The report summarized Trump’s written responses to Mueller’s questions as “inadequate.” Trump said he either could not remember, could not recall or could not recollect a total of 36 times.
  111. Mueller said “we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grand jury subpoena” for Trump’s testimony, but chose not to because “of the substantial delay that such an investigative step would likely produce.”
  112. The report did not exonerate Trump on obstruction, stating “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
  113. The report found 10 episodes involving Trump potentially obstructing justice. The report also found a pattern of behavior by Trump to harm the Mueller investigation.
  114. Mueller did reach a conclusion on obstruction, citing under DOJ practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees.
  115. Mueller said “Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances,” adding, “no person is above the law.”
  116. The report said the term “collusion” does not have a settled definition in federal criminal law and was not used. Mueller instead looked for “coordination” between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
  117. The report found that in May 2017, when then AG Jeff Sessions told Trump a special counsel had been appointed, Trump responded, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
  118. Trump then said to Sessions, “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” adding something to the effect of, “You were supposed to protect me…This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
  119. The report found Trump told Corey Lewandowski to tell Sessions to curtail the investigation. Lewandowski set up a meeting but it never happened, then delivered the message to Sessions through an intermediary.
  120. The report found Trump also told then chief of staff Reince Priebus to secure Sessions’ resignation, but he did not follow through. Sessions carried a resignation letter whenever he visited the White House.
  121. Mueller found “numerous” links between the Trump campaign and Russian government as it carried out its social media influence and hacking campaigns, but evidence was not sufficient for criminal charges.
  122. The report found “several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions” and those lies “materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.”
  123. The report found the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” and that Internet Research Agency (IRA) began targeting the U.S. in early 2014.
  124. The report identified “two different forms of connections between the IRA and members of the Trump Campaign” — including with Donald Jr. and Eric — “linking, retweeting” or other reposting, and “communications.”
  125. The report found Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump campaign had received an explicit offer from Russia for help by releasing Hillary’s hacked emails.
  126. The report found Trump repeatedly asked campaign aides to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. As part of that effort, Michael Flynn reached out to GOP operative Peter Smith and former Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.
  127. The report found that Paul Manafort discussed with Konstantin Kilimnik a plan to let Russia control part of Ukraine, and discussed Manafort’s strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states.
  128. The report found Trump’s legal team told Michael Cohen to keep his Congressional testimony “short and tight, not elaborate, stay on message, and not contradict” Trump, but made no mention of Trump’s involvement.
  129. The report found Trump’s “efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful,” but largely because the people surrounding Trump “declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”
  130. The report found Erik Prince arranged his 2017 Seychelles meeting with Russian Kirill Dmitriev in advance with George Nader. Nader told Dmitriev, “This guy is designated by Steve [Bannon] to meet you!”
  131. The report found Trump directed White House counsel Don McGahn to lie to the media and say he had not directed him in June 2017 to fire Mueller. McGahn refused and took notes during the conversation.
  132. The report found Trump directed Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland to draft an internal lettersaying he had not directed Flynn to discuss sanctions with Russia ambassador Sergey Kislyak. She refused.
  133. The report found Trump’s personal lawyer told Flynn’s lawyer after he refused to share information about what Flynn was telling the special counsel that Trump would be informed of his “hostility.”
  134. The report found Trump tried to limit what was disclosed about Donald Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting, including his role in drafting a statement that the meeting was about adoptions. His lawyers denied he played a role.
  135. Days before the Trump Tower meeting, Donald Jr. said he was pursuing a lead to get negative information about the Clinton foundation. At the meeting were Rick Gates, Eric Trump, Manafort, Hope Hicks, Ivanka, and Kushner.
  136. The report found Sarah Sanders said she lied — calling it a “slip of the tongue” — to the White House press on two occasions saying “countless” FBI agents had told her they were thankful Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
  137. The special counsel found evidence of other crimes, and made 14 criminal referrals. Only two of the 14 — cases involving Michael Cohen and Gregory Craig in Week 126 — are publicly known.
  138. The report said in March 2017, after Comey briefed the “Gang of Eight,” Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr shared “information about the status of the FBI investigation” with the White House counsel’s office.
  139. As the report was released, Trump told reporters at the White House it was a “good day,” adding “this should never happen to another president again. This hoax should never happen to another president again.”
  140. Conservative media matched Trump’s take on the report, with Fox News writing “AG BARR: Special Counsel Found No Collusion,” and Breitbart writing, “MORE EXONERATION! NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION.”
  141. As the report was released, Georgy Borisenko of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s North America Department, said, “Not a single piece of evidence is there,” adding investigators “confessed they have nothing to report.”
  142. Rolling Stone rewrote Barr’s four-page letter to include full quotes from the Mueller report which Barr has selectively edited down to partial quotes. The meaning of several passages was dramatically different.
  143. The NYT Editorial Board called for the release of the uncensored Mueller report, saying Trump has not earned the benefit of the doubt, nor can people “depend on the word of Mr. Trump’s handpicked attorney general.”
  144. On Thursday, reporters waited at the White House South Lawn to ask Trump about the Mueller report as he left for the holiday weekend for Mar-a-Lago. Trump avoided his customary stop to take a few questions.
  145. White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway called Thursday the “best day since he got elected,” while Trump’s legal team decided not to publish a counter-report they had spent months compiling.
  146. Later Thursday, Trump tweeted “Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President,” adding Obama “did nothing,” but “the vote was not affected.”
  147. Mueller’s report covered possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but the team did not investigate whether Russian attempts to access voting systems, which occurred, were successful.
  148. Trump also tweeted a series of four quotes from Fox News hosts and contributors, including Jesse Watters saying “‘Donald Trump was being framed, he fought back. That is not Obstruction.”
  149. Trump added, “I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted. I chose not to,” adding, “I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn’t!
  150. Trump also tweeted a quote by Tucker Carlson, saying, “The Mueller Report is perhaps the single most humiliating thing that has ever happened to the White House Press in the history of this Country. They know they lied.”
  151. WAPO reported the Mueller report revealed how Trump bred an atmosphere of chaos, dishonesty, and malfeasance in the upper echelons of the regime, not seen since the Nixon administration.
  152. Trump spent months plotting to thwart the Mueller probe and enlist his senior aides to help — most refused orders. Trump repeatedly ask regime members to lie to the public, deny true stories, and craft false storylines.
  153. Bloomberg reported Trump grew angry by Friday, particularly at McGahn and former Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who both spoke extensively to Mueller. Aides wondered if Trump might seek retribution against the two.
  154. On Friday, Trump sent a series of angry tweets, saying that statements made about “in the Crazy Mueller Report,” which was “written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters,” are “fabricated & totally untrue.”
  155. Trump also “because I never agreed to testify” it was not necessary for him to respond to “statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit,” adding, “this was an Illegally Started Hoax.’
  156. Trump also tweeted “Watch out for people that take so-called “notes,” when the notes never existed until needed,” in apparent reference to McGahn and possibly his chief of staff Annie Donaldson.
  157. The report revealed Trump asked McGahn, “Why do you takes notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes,” and McGahn responded because he was a “real lawyer.”
  158. Trump then headed to play golf with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who defended Trump on his show saying, “It was an attempt at a coup. It was an attempt to…nullify the election results of 2016.”
  159. Eight hours later, Trump finished the series of tweets which had ended with “a….,” adding “big, fat, waste of time, energy and money — $30,000,000 to be exact,” adding, “This should never happen again!”
  160. Trump also threatened, tweeting, “It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason.”
  161. On Friday, Dmitry Peskov, the top spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the report “does not present any reasonable proof at all that Russia allegedly meddled in the electoral process in the U.S.”
  162. On Friday, Sanders tried to defend her Comey comment on “Good Morning America,” saying “Actually, if you look at what I said, I said the ‘slip of the tongue’ was in using the word ‘countless.’”
  163. When asked about her other false statement to the media that Trump did not dictate Donald Jr.’s Trump Tower statement, Sanders responded, “That was the information I was given at the time.”
  164. On Friday, Rep. Nadler’s committee issued a subpoena to the DOJ demanding access to the full Mueller report, including grand jury testimony and other material not made public, by May 1.
  165. On Friday, a DOJ spokesperson called the request “premature and unnecessary,” claiming Barr released the report with only “minimal redactions,” and would allow lawmakers to see a less-redacted version.
  166. On Friday, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer rejected a DOJ offer for 12 senior lawmakers to see a less-redacted version of the report, demanding all members of Congress be able to see the full report.
  167. On Friday, Rudy Giuliani pushed back on McGahn’s account, saying in an interview, “It can’t be taken at face value. It could be the product of an inaccurate recollection or could be the product of something else.”
  168. On Friday, the Trump campaign hired its own in-house attorney for its 2020 reelection bid, shifting the business away from Jones Day, the law firm where McGahn is a partner.
  169. Jones Day has represented Trump since his first run for president. Trump advisers said the switch was payback, with one commenting, “Why in the world would you want to put your enemy on the payroll?”
  170. On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney became the first GOP lawmaker to speak out, saying “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land.”
  171. Romney also said he was “appalled” that the Trump campaign welcomed help from Russia, and called the report “a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders.”
  172. On Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren became the first 2020 candidate to call for Congress to begin impeachment hearings after reading the redacted report and citing the “severity” of “misconduct” detailed.
  173. Warren warned of normalizing Trump’s behavior, tweeting, “To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country.”
  174. On Friday, Trump attacked the media, tweeting, “The Washington Post and New York Times are, in my opinion, two of the most dishonest media outlets around,” adding, “Truly, the Enemy of the People!”
  175. Trump also retweeted a post by a fantasy football league owner who slammed WAPO’s front page, adding, “This is why nobody but the @DNC circle jerk takes this seriously anymore.”
  176. On Friday, in the first poll conducted since the redacted Mueller report was released, Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s approval fell to 37%, down 3 points from an April 15 poll, and the lowest level in 2019.
  177. The same poll found Trump’s approval at 43% shortly after the Barr letter, which shared a much more flattering and limited version of the report.
  178. On Friday, lawyers for Maria Butina asked in a court filing that when she is sentenced next Friday, after spending nine months in jail for acting as a foreign agent of the Russian government, that she be sent back to Russia.
  179. On Friday, House Democrats said they will examine Prince’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017, which is different in several key respects from the Mueller report, for possible perjury.
  180. Inconsistencies include that Prince told Congress the meeting with Dmitriev happened by chance, and that he was not acting as a representative for the Trump transition team or the campaign.
  181. On Saturday, NYT reported the Mueller report revealed that contact by Russians like Dmitriev was part of the Kremlin’s outreach efforts during the campaign, which then shifted into high gear after Trump’s victory.
  182. The report revealed Putin sought back-channels of contact and influence with Trump’s team, and many Americans participated on topics from Trump’s desire to build a Moscow hotel to U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
  183. The report also revealed in December 2016, Putin convened an “all-hands” meeting of his top oligarchs to discuss the risk of the U.S. imposing further sanctions to retaliate for Russia’s interfering in the election.
  184. On Saturday, Trump attacked the Mueller report in a series of tweets, saying the report “should not have been authorized in the first place,” and “was written as nastily as possible”
  185. Trump added the report was written “by 13 (18) Angry Democrats who were true Trump Haters” including “highly conflicted Bob Mueller” but found “No Collusion, No Obstruction!”
  186. Trump also attacked the media, saying “The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to stir up and anger,” adding they seldom mention “there was NO COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA. The Russia Hoax is dead!”
  187. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “The end result of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. political history is No Collusion with Russia (and No Obstruction),” adding, “Pretty Amazing!”
  188. On Saturday, McGahn broke his silence on MSNBC, confirming that details within the Mueller Report were “accurately described.”
  189. The Congressional Budget Office estimated an increase of 1.4 million uninsured Americans from 2016 to 2018, with much coming from Medicaid where the Trump regime has imposed new work requirements.
  190. America Media Inc. sold The National Enquirer to James Cohen, the CEO of Hudson News, ending the publication’s longtime association with Trump and its efforts to promote him and bury embarrassing stories.

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A journalist reads a redacted court filing from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Paul Manafort case. The final report from Mueller’s Russia investigation released on April 18, 2019 left much of the public unsatisfied because it was heavily redacted, stripped of significant evidence and testimony that the investigators gathered.D4mkbXbXkAAAf-8.jpg-large