“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Christmas Eve, 2017. Cocoa Beach, FL
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Christmas Eve, 2017. Cocoa Beach, FL
This week Trump and the Republicans passed their first piece of major legislation, violating many democratic norms in the process: a wildly unpopular tax plan, which will massively redistribute wealth akin to an oligarchy. Polling shows the Republican Party could face a tsunami in 2018 as voters, especially women and voters under 35, are fleeing the party under Trump.
This week the Trump regime escalated their attacks on Mueller, the FBI, and the DOJ, seeking to discredit the probe and these institutions. The country braced for the very real possibility that Trump could fire Mueller, or replace Jeff Sessions or Rod Rosenstein as a way to do so indirectly. Many voices voiced concern about broken norms and our eroding democracy.
23dec17. Cocoa Beach, Florida
Very little needs to be said about the world’s premier stationery brand ~ Moleskine. I’ve been using them for years and in 2017, they sent me a selection of their notebooks to take on the road. I kept organized with their planner, took notes on artists and recorded random thoughts in their lined notebooks, and one of my favorite endeavors with Moleskine this year, was to do an international artist sketch series in their blank notebook. It was a great way for me to merge my passions of writing/traveling with street art, and at the same time garner some attention to these well-deserving artists.
2. Praxis ~ Bogota, Colombia-born and now based in New York City, he is one of the premier stencil artists circulating right now. He is a passionate vegan and his art is tied directly to spreading animal rights’ awareness. https://www.facebook.com/praxis.graff
3. CRiSP ~ Another premier stencil artist based in Australia, but really gained a following when living for years in Bogota, Colombia before returning to his homeland. He is very much anti – the 1%. https://www.facebook.com/Crispstreetart/
4. Fumero ~ “The intent has always been to be direct with his approach to painting. Fumeroism art is an extension of Fumero’s character, bold and uninhibited, assertive and unorthodox. He is a product of the late 20th and early 21st century’s contemporary-urban-expressionist movement. His personal road of artistic journey began with cartooning as a child, graffiti as a teenager, logo design in county college, and the art of the abstracted figure or caricature in art school. These are influences which all meet at the crossroads of a harmonious interaction and unification among line, shape and color to form a unique path of artistic exploration.” https://www.fumeroism.com
5. David Rothman ~ ‘David M. Rothman studied graphic art as a minor at Y-bor City community college and went on to receive a bachelor of fine arts from University of Tampa in 2006. Since then he has been an instructor for Prodigy Cultural Arts Program , exhibiting in Tampa and Miami galleries, and conducting curation and art history workshops in New York. Prodigy was a deviation process for at-risk youth. Rothman taught visual arts to ages 7-17 for five years, while doing so he discovered he would like to study further into Art Therapy and Social-Psychology; for means to facilitate a community based program to embrace unity. “I believe art is healing through the exploration of self.”‘ https://www.drothmanart.com
6. Izzy Izvne ~ Arguably the most prolific street artist in Chisinau, Moldova. Prefers animals to people. Heart of gold and a free spirit. She’s graff, street, and everything in between. https://www.facebook.com/izzyizvne
7. JODO ~ strong and fearless street artist with one of the most recognizable characters on the streets of New York City.
8. The Primate of NYC ~ Vandal Expressionist Joseph Meloy creates in the best of both worlds – his Primate is all over New York City making him one of the most prolific NYC street artists, and he is also a painter. https://www.josephmeloy.com
9. HiSS ~ “Hiss is a Queens based artist and illustrator who’s primary interests include cute animals and dead things.” http://hiss.storenvy.com
10. Ceteo ~ Bogota, Colombia-based artist. https://www.instagram.com/ceteo_1/
11. Baston ~ Filmmaker, photographer, and street artist in New York City. https://www.instagram.com/baston777/
12. Mitrooper ~ “The Mitrooper represents the fighting spirit in everyone who has been a “trooper” at some point in life. We all have stood strong through hard time and good times. Mi stands for me, and trooper is within you. The Mitrooper is a protective soul, guarding each individual and the universe. Mitrooper gives hope to the hopeless, courage to the doubtful, and and strength to the weak. At the end of each tunnel there is a light. Stay positive. Stay humble.” https://www.mitroopers.com
13. Tee Pop ~ Miami, Florida-based multimedia artist. https://www.instagram.com/teepopart/
14. Daniel Osorno ~ Medellin, Colombia-born artist now based in Miami, Florida. A good, authentic soul just beginning his domination of the streets as a mural artist (in the past, he was a prolific graffiti writer.) https://www.facebook.com/Trapism-the-new-Cubism-by-Daniel-Osorno-159175610798111/
15. FLUKE ~ Montreal-based multi-talented artist and member of the A-Shop Crew. https://www.facebook.com/fluke.art.1/about?lst=832465127%3A516752147%3A1513955408
16. SEEN ~ “Richard “Richie” Mirando, known as Seen UA, born 1961 in the Bronx, New York City, is one of the most well known graffiti artists in the world, often referred to as the Godfather of Graffiti, although he did not pioneer the movement. Seen first started to paint on New York City Subway system in 1973. His crew United Artists (or simply UA) quickly gained the reputation for producing full-color throw-ups on whole cars with members such as Duster, Sin, and his brother Mad.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seen_(artist)
17. JUS10 ~ Miami-based artist. https://www.instagram.com/jus10it/
18. Studioflop ~ “Fábio Panone Lopes aka “FLOP”, is Brazilian, and was born on November 13, 1985. Architect and artist, he has worked with urban art for 17 years. FLOP has a remarkable art. From the mixture of expressive lines of his profession of architecture, added to super colorful fills graffiti art, his works result in a style super differentiated, with native, indigenous and tropical themes.” https://aimfulcoloringbooks.com/?artist=flop
19. Mr. June ~ “Harmonizing graffiti, graphic design and abstract art.” http://www.mrjune.com
20. Apitatan ~ “Apitatán (Quito, 1987) is an artist who paints everyday stories. His sketches are inspired by fragments of conversations overheard throughout the city. They are a reflection of Latin American culture and featuring people with sharp, geometric outlines, often giving dark looks or wide smiles with missing teeth.” https://www.apitatan.com/bio
21. Monique Lassooij ~ “My vision is to maintain the integrity of my art while deleting as much superfluous detail as possible. Telling all of the story can be fun, but most of the time it is just distracting. I hone in to the details that inspire me to create.” Born in The Netherlands and now based in Miami, Florida. Greatest introduction I had all year. This woman’s work is PHENOMENAL. Check out more of her work here: https://www.facebook.com/moniquelassooijart/?timeline_context_item_type=intro_card_work&timeline_context_item_source=1562990066&pnref=lhc
22. Erni Vales ~ a.k.a. EVLWORLD ~ Nothing to do with ‘evil,’ everything to do with talent. Check him out at https://www.evlworld.com
23. ATOMIK! ~ Arguably the most prolific street artist in the 305 and that is saying A LOT, considering all of the hardworking artists hustling there! Miami-based Atomiko has created one of the most famous street characters that people from home or abroad can easily recognize. http://atomik.bigcartel.com
24. NERV ~ Los Angeles-based graffiti artist. http://nervfastlife.blogspot.com
My Moleskine Daily Planner on the move with me around the globe this year. Needless to say, it got FILLED:
My Moleskine travelled with me in 2017 to:
Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Timisoara, Romania ~ Salzburg, Vienna, Austria ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Munich, Frankfurt, Germany ~ London, England ~ New York City ~ Miami, Florida
Last December I was sitting in a cafe and got to thinking about what a friend had suggested to me ~ she said “since your blog is growing and you lead a rather unique existence traveling from city to city, country to country all year long, why not ask for some sponsors to help you along your journey?”
I didn’t know what to think of that because I don’t want a lot of stuff, I just need the essentials. In the cafe, I looked at what was in front of me: a coffee (Hey Lavazza, wanna sponsor me?) and a pen and my Rhodia pad. And I thought, since I’m always buying a supply of Rhodia pads once a year to get me through to the next — why not try to email them and see if I might be able to explain my history with their stationery and to see if I could get a few for my 2017 travels and to help promote their brand at the same time ~ the response came quickly and within a couple of weeks, I got my Rhodias for the year!
I use my Rhodia pads for trip planning, for artist interview notes, for anecdotes intended to go into a much larger written work at some point, and for general observations on my adventures.
I love my Rhodias because of the various sizes I can use, and because sometimes I want dotted, sometimes blank, and most of the time, lined paper to write on.
I took my Rhodia Pads all over the world with me this year to:
Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Timisoara, Romania ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Salzburg, Vienna, Austria ~ Munich, Frankfurt Germany ~ New York City ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Transnistria
Please check out their website for all of their stationery collections. There will be a collection that’s just perfect for you: https://rhodiapads.com
I’m a nomad. I’m a minimalist. I own a few things. My things will never own me. I do not want to travel the world with anything that I don’t need; that I don’t see as practical, useful, and light. For this reason, last December, I sought out a few companies that shared my philosophy about life, adventure, and travel. I found Nomad’s website and searched to see if there was anything I could use, and to reciprocate, if there was anything I could help promote.
Well, I don’t have a phone. I already told you I was a minimalist. So, that left out any need of their awesome accessories for smartphone cases or smartwatch straps. I’m a blogger and a photographer. I do need constant charging capabilities for my iPad and cameras with usb cables (preferably short with no messy wires.) I took a chance and let the guys know who I was, what I did, and what I would love from Nomad to take around the globe with me.
They gave me a Lightning carabiner that I still have and still use constantly, a carabiner for my GoPro (sad to say that was lost or stolen somewhere in Beirut – hey, that’s the life of a nomad, and hopefully someone else is out there using it,) and a rugged cable, which they say lasts at least five years, but I can’t imagine it not still working for me in a decade from now.
Take my word for it – my year’s experience with these products – if there was any problem at all, I would share it here, as I’m not guaranteed to get any more gear from them for 2018. I’m staying true to who I am and I want other minimalist adventurers to have the opportunity to travel as light and efficiently as possible, too.
My Nomad goods travelled with me in 2017 to:
Beirut, Lebanon ~ Cocoa Beach, Florida ~ Chisinau, Moldova ~ Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, and Timisoara, Romania ~ Salzburg and Vienna, Austria ~ Budapest, Hungary ~ Munich and Frankfurt, Germany ~ London, England ~ New York City, New York ~ Miami, Florida
and it kept my stuff charged up so that I could keep my blog going everywhere along the way!
If you are interested in checking out all of the minimalist gear that Nomad has to offer, please click on the link at the top of the page ~ Happy New Year!!
Miami, Florida. December 2017.
This week the country braced for radical actions by Trump relating to the Mueller investigation. Trump, his regime members, elected Republicans, and conservative media turned up the rhetoric and attacked the credibility of Mueller, the FBI, and the DOJ. In the seven months since Mueller was appointed, his special counsel has already charged four Trump regime members, with more expected from Trump’s inner circle.
Also of note this week is the broad-scale attacks on norms in our fragile democracy. Trump’s regime is actively deconstructing the agencies they run, stripping away rights and regulations, and making science and educational information disappear.
Week 56 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
December 9, 2017
This week, as Trump’s lawyers sought to maneuver around two unfolding stories that could engulf the regime — obstruction of justice and Mueller’s Deutsche Bank subpoena — Trump made radical, devastating moves. Trump forcefully backed an accused pedophile, signed off on the largest elimination of protected land in US history, and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — all while he continued to disparage the FBI, DOJ, and our free press.
Almost a year into office, Trump’s popularity continues to fall, and he has yet to move forward beyond campaign rhetoric. As his inner-circle continues to shrink, Trump takes actions which move our country towards isolationism, corruption, and kleptocracy.
The growing #MeToo movement of accountability for sexual misconduct led to the first political resignations this week. More are expected, as the drumbeat for accountability for Trump’s past actions grows louder.
Lots of art expressing dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in the USA at this year’s Art Basel in Wynwood, Miami, FL. Dec2017
On Sunday, in a tweet, Trump denied pressuring James Comey to stop investigating Flynn. Trump lawyer John Dowd claimed he drafted the Saturday tweet, and made a mistake about Trump’s knowing Flynn lied to the FBI.
On Monday, Dowd told Axios, a president cannot obstruct justice “because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”
WAPO reported 16 Republicans are on the record as saying a president can obstruct justice, including Jeff Sessions who said as senator on President Clinton, “such acts are high crimes, and equal justice requires that he forfeit his office.”
On Sunday, Diane Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told “Meet the Press” of her committee’s work, “I think what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.”
On Sunday, Billy Bush issued an op-ed, saying despite Trump’s denials in Week 55 that it wasn’t his voice on the “Access Hollywood” tape, Trump did say, “Grab ’em by the pussy,” in front of Bush and seven other men.
Bush also said he was highly critical of a Trump’s candidacy, recalling Trump had told him off-camera, “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you.”
The Atlantic reported after the “Access Hollywood” tape, Pence considered a coup to take the spot on the top of the ticket. Karen Pence was disgusted according to an aide: “She finds him reprehensible — just totally vile.”
NYT reported on emails among top officials in Trump’s transition team show Flynn was not acting alone, but rather was in close touch with other senior officials during his conversations with Sergey Kislyak on Russian sanctions.
On December 29, K.T. McFarland emailed a colleague that Obama’s Russia sanctions were a way to discredit Trump’s victory, and make cooperation with Russia “which has just thrown the U.S.A. election to him,” harder.
Her email was sent to Tom Bossert, Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor, who then forwarded the email chain on to six other Trump advisers including Flynn, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Sean Spicer.
On Monday, Sen. Cory Booker said he was concerned McFarland might have given “false testimony” to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in her answers about being aware of contact between Flynn and Kislyak.
When Booker asked McFarland in writing last July if she had ever spoke to Flynn about his contact with Kislyak , she had answered in writing, “I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above.”
On Tuesday, Democrats placed a hold on McFarland’s nomination to be ambassador to Singapore, pending her answering questions about her knowledge of communications between Flynn and Kislyak.
On Sunday, Newsweek reported Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role as a co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation, at a time the group funded an illegal Israeli settlement, on his financial records with the Office of Government Ethics.
On Sunday, Trump sent a series of tweets disparaging the DOJ and FBI, criticizing the agencies for not going after his political enemy Hillary, and saying the FBI, after being run by Comey “is in Tatters — worst in History!”
Comey, Sally Yates, and Eric Holder defended the FBI in tweets of their own. The FBI director sent an email to agents supporting them, saying he is “inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice.”
On Monday, the DOJ agreed to allow the House Intel Committee to interview a key FBI employee who served as the contact to Christopher Steele. The agreement comes after a public spat started by Rep. Devin Nunes and flamed by Trump.
Nunes and Trump had publicly accused the DOJ of stymieing the House investigation. In reality, the DOJ met with Nunes and his staffers, and they were given access to highly classified materials for the past two months.
NYT reported Trump’s catchphrase, “fake news,” is being used being used in Myanmar to justify ethnic cleansing. An officer in Rakhine’s state security ministry said of accusations, “It is fake news.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed the third version of Trump’s Travel Ban to take effect while legal challenges against it continue. This victory allows the regime to enforce restrictions against eight countries, six of which are predominantly Muslim.
The NAACP urged Trump to not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday, saying Trump’s attendance would be an “affront” to the movement commemorated by the museum.
On Thursday, Rep. John Lewis said he would not participate in the opening because of Trump’s presence, saying “Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.”
On Friday, the WH announced Trump will not speak at the public ceremony for the opening of the Mississippi’s Civil Rights Museum, but rather will participate in a separate private event.
On Friday, Trump ally Rep. Steve King tweeted, “Diversity is not our strength,” citing Hungarian PM Orban who said, “Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one.”
WAPO reported more than a half-dozen technology experts and former national security officials filed a brief to halt Trump’s Election Integrity Commission from collecting of voter information for a database.
Experts cite concerns the proposed voter database could be hacked by foreign adversaries. In Week 32, a Republican data firm left personal information on nearly 200 million voters unprotected online in 2016.
In Kansas, the home state of Kris Kobach, the vice-chair of Trump’s Election Integrity Commission, 23 disabled Americans lost their voting rights in the November 2017 election because Kobach’s SAFE Act was instituted.
On Sunday, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the US is walking away from UN migration and refugee pact, saying it “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent” with US policies.
McClatchy reported despite Trump’s vow not make any deals with foreign government entities while he serves, a construction company owned in part by the governments of Saudi Arabia and South Korea will build a Trump resort in Indonesia. This is the second violation.
The Trump regime closed the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, a group created by Obama in 2015 to help local officials protect against extreme weather and natural disasters.
Intercept reported Trump’s WH is considering set a of proposals developed by Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer to provide the CIA and WH with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official US intelligence.
The plan is being pitch as a way to counter “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community out to get Trump. Director Mike Pompeo allegedly does not trust the CIA bureaucracy, but this group would report just directly to him.
On Monday, the Department of Labor reversed Obama-era restrictions on tip-pooling, which allows employers to combine servers’ tips and share them with “back of the house” employees, such as cooks and dishwashers.
Nike, the Trump Organization’s biggest tenant in a single space, is vacating its iconic Niketown flagship store at 6 East 57th Street in NY. Trump’s political rhetoric played a role in the company’s decision.
On Thursday, the Trump regime rolled back an Obama-era rule which required trains carrying highly explosive liquids to install electronically controlled pneumatic brakes by 2021, to help prevent fiery train wrecks.
Reuters reported in a reversal from an Obama-era policy to prevent bank examiners from becoming sympathetic, Trump’s US Comptroller, Joseph Otting, said he would allow examiners to work in-house at banks.
On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee said Nunes had not violated laws or congressional rules on disclosing classified information, leaving Nunes free to resume his leadership of the House Intel Committee Russia probe.
Reuters reported DNI Dan Coats revealed tighter restrictions in a new “unmasking” policy. Critics fear the order would infringe on the political independence of the intelligence, and endanger work with allies.
Sessions’ DOJ moved to investigate Planned Parenthood, sending a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee requesting documents from the committee’s investigation of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices.
As part of Betsy DeVos’s changes to campus sexual assault policy, a House Republican higher education bill would allow colleges to delay or suspend their internal investigations if police or prosecutors ask them to do so.
POLITICO reported Ryan Zinke’s travel logs obtained under the FOIA show he spent more than $14K on government helicopters last summer for he and his staff to attend DC events, and to horseback ride with Pence.
Dina Powell, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, and a driving force behind Trump’s Middle East policy, is departing after serving one year. In Week 55, numerous departures from Trump’s WH are expected.
LA Times reported Mick Mulvaney is moving quickly to make changes at the CFPB, an agency he had criticized. He has installed some of his aides into bureau positions and is reviewing legal actions against financial firms.
Deputy director Leandra English continued her legal battle, and on Friday, 18 state Attorneys General signed on to the lawsuit challenging Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney as acting director.
Trump hit his lowest approval numbers in a new Pew Research poll, which found 32% approve. Trump is more unpopular than any modern-day leader at this point in his tenure.
WSJ reported although Chief of Staff John Kelly has established protocols for communicating with and having access to Trump within the WH, Trump has found loopholes to circumvent those protocols.
Trump calls WH aides to the private residence in the evening, where he makes assignments and tells aides not to tell Kelly — or he goes off-schedule to make calls. Contacts also reach out to him through Melania.
Zinke introduced Trump, saying, “Our public land is for the public to use and not special interests. This is about giving rural America a voice.”
Outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia said it planned to sue Trump, as the company’s home page read: “The President Stole Your Land,” adding, “This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history.”
Native American tribes and several environmental groups also filed suits. Outdoor clothing retailer REI’s home page read, “We Love Our Public Lands,” with an accompanying statement.
On Friday, the Twitter account for the House Committee on Natural Resources tweeted a meme: “Patagonia Is Lying to You. A corporate giant hijacking our public lands debate to sell more products to wealthy elitists…”
WAPO reported uranium company, Energy Fuels Resources played a major role in lobbying Zinke and his staff to shrink the Bear Ears National Monument, saying it would give the company easier access to deposits.
On Monday, Reuters reported Mueller’s team accused Paul Manafort of working with a Russian to draft an op-ed about his political work in Ukraine. Manafort had been working on the article as recently as November 30.
If Manafort’s piece had been published, it would have violated the court’s November 8 gag order. As such, the special counsel said the judge should reject Manafort’s request in Week 55 to change his bail deal.
On Monday, WAPO reported the special counsel said in a statement Manafort has been “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence — making him the first member of the Trump regime to have such ties.
On Tuesday, WAPO reported Oleg Voloshyn, a Ukrainian political pundit and former government official said Manafort did not ghost-write the piece. Rather, he emailed a draft to Manafort business partner Konstantin Kilimnik.
On Friday, Mueller’s team filed documents which showed not only did Manafort make extensive edits to the op-ed, he also contributed to the overall themes in the piece, attempting to paint himself in a positive light.
While Mueller’s team maintains Manafort violated the judge’s gag order, lawyers for Manafort claimed the special counsel is unfairly restricting his free speech, saying “all he has tried to do is to correct the public record.”
POLITICO reported on the dramatic FBI arrest of George Papadopoulos as he stepped off a plane late at night: using shock value as a way to flip a witness. The next morning Mueller’s team told a judge Papadopoulos was willing to cooperate.
POLITICO reported paranoia is enveloping the WH as the Mueller probe heats up and as Flynn agreed to cooperate. One source close to the WH said, “Everyone thinks they’re being recorded.”
On Tuesday, NBC News reported Natalia Veselnitskaya told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Donald Jr. had asked her at the June 9 Trump Tower meeting whether she had evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Veselnitskaya claimed in her 51-page statement after she said she did not have meaningful information on Hillary, Donald Jr. lost interest and the meeting petered out. She claimed to be there to discuss the Magnitsky Act.
On Tuesday, CNN reported Pence’s aides are nervous that Flynn pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and Pence will leave open the door for Mueller to question Pence, who continues to maintain he was out of the loop.
On Tuesday, German daily Handelsblatt reported Deutsche Bank received a subpoena from Mueller’s team, demanding the bank provide information on its dealings with the Trumps.
WSJ reported the subpoena is for documents related to people or entities affiliated with Trump, and people close to him — not Trump himself. Deutsche has lent more than $300 million to entities affiliated with Trump.
Reuters reported Deutsche Bank received the subpoena several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, and that the information has already been provided.
Deutsche Bank has lent Trump hundreds of millions over the past decade, while other banks have stepped back due to his numerous bankruptcies. In Week 19, Deutsche was fined for laundering Russian money.
Mueller’s team is also looking into whether Deutsche may have sold some of Trump’s mortgages or loans to Russian state banks VEB, VTB, Russian Agricultural Bank, Gazprombank, or Sberbank.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow denied Trump’s information has been turned over, saying, “No subpoena has been issued or received. We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources.”
Trump lawyer Dowd told Bloomberg that he had been told by Deutsche Bank that no such subpoena had been issued.
On Wednesday, Handelsblatt stood by their reporting despite denials by Trump’s legal team, saying Deutsche Bank was subpoenaed weeks ago. It remains unclear if the subpoena relates to Trump or a family member.
On Wednesday, Donald Jr. testified for eight hours in front of the House Intel Committee in a private session about the June 9 meeting, his communications with WikiLeaks and business of the Trump Organization.
Donald Jr. told the House Intel Committee he did not communicate directly with Trump when confronted with news reports of the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, but rather with Hope Hicks.
Donald Jr. refused to provide details of the call with his father on July 10, claiming the conversation was protected under attorney-client privilege because lawyers for both men were on the call.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said Donald Jr. acknowledged he had discussed the Trump Tower meeting by telephone with Trump. Schiff rejected Donald Jr.’s use of attorney-client privilege.
POLITICO reported the House Intel Committee is probing the European travel during and after the campaign of several Trump associates including Donald Jr., Michael Cohen, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Jeffrey Gordon.
Congressional investigators want to know if Trump aides met with Kremlin-linked operatives as part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Explanations for their trips have not been forthcoming.
NYT reported according to a whistleblower who contacted Rep. Elijah Cummings, during Trump’s Inauguration ceremony, Flynn texted a business associate that Russian sanction would “ripped away” as one of Trump’s first acts.
Flynn believed ending sanctions would allow a business venture with Russia to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East. He texted his former business associate to say the project was “good to go.”
Flynn was texting Alex Copson of ACU Strategic Partners, a company Flynn advised in 2015. Copson told the whistleblower Flynn’s text directed him to tell others involved in the nuclear project to continue developing their plans, adding “This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”
Cummings sent a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chose not to subpoena the whistleblower. He also informed Mueller’s team who asked him not to go public with it until “they completed certain investigative steps.”
On Friday, Papadopoulos’ fiancee, Simona Mangiante, told ABC News, he “set up meetings with leaders all over the world” for, and was “constantly in touch with” senior campaign officials, including Bannon and Flynn.
She added Papadopoulos will have a firm place in history as “the first domino in the Russia investigation,” saying he is loyal to his country, “He is already on the right side of history. I think he will make a big difference.”
On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee released Erik Prince’s closed-door testimony from November 30th. Prince claimed that when he met with the Russian banker, he was not acting on behalf of Trump.
Prince testified he was in Seychelles for business, and someone recommended he meet Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of RDIF, Russia’s $10 billion sovereign wealth fund. Prince claimed he had to Google for a photo of him.
Prince said they discussed US-Russia relations, including joint efforts to defeat Islamic terrorism together. Prince claimed he didn’t discuss Russian sanctions, or the prospect of doing business with Dmitriev.
Schiff issued a statement on Prince’s testimony, saying “Prince also could not adequately explain why he traveled halfway around the world to meet with UAE officials and, ultimately, the head of the Russian fund.”
As part of testimony, Prince also revealed he had interned for pro-Russian congressman Dana Rohrabacher. When asked if he spoke to Rohrabacher during the campaign, Prince said, “I don’t recall. No, I don’t think I did.”
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska dropped his appeal of a libel suit filed against AP. Deripaska’s suit claimed AP falsely implied he was paying Manafort for work aimed at advancing the goals of the Russian government and Putin.
In a status report filed in court by Mueller’s team Friday, the special counsel revealed it has issued 15 search warrants related to Manafort and his business and campaign aide Gates.
Special counsel has obtained more than 400K financial and corporate records, and emails — 116k are considered “particularly relevant,” and 2K considered “hot” documents containing information crucial to the case.
NYT reported the FBI warned Hicks of repeated attempts by Russians to make contact with her using email during the transition period, even after US intelligence had publicly warned about Russian interference.
NYT reported the Trump Organization will be a big beneficiary of the Republican tax bill, noting the real estate industry and real estate investment trusts were given special treatment on several provisions.
The CEO of Murray Energy, one of the country’s largest coal companies, ripped the Republican tax bill, saying it would “wipe out” coal mining jobs, and adding “We won’t have enough cash flow to exist.”
WAPO reported some of Trump’s wealthiest friends in NY asked him at fundraising event for changes to the Republican tax plan, complaining it will drive up their taxes and hurt his home state — and Trump is listening.
On Monday, Trump endorsed Roy Moore. Later that day, the RNC changed course and threw support behind Moore, despite additional allegations coming out during the day from a woman when she was 17 years-old.
On Tuesday, Republican Jeff Flake posted a photo on Twitter of his $100 check to Roy Moore’s democratic challenger Doug Jones, adding “Country over Party” in the memo line.
TIME named “The Silence Breakers” the 2017 Person of the Year, celebrating the voices that launched a movement to bring sexual assault and harassment into the light of day. Trump was the runner-up.
In their cover story, TIME mentioned harassment allegations by several women against Trump, noting these allegations were cited as one of the catalysts for many to speak out against the abuse of power.
On Thursday, Sen. Al Franken stepped down after 33 Senate Democrats called on him to resign over sexual harassment allegations, adding in his parting words, “I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.”
On Friday, Republican Rep. Trent Franks abruptly resigned as AP reported he had offered a former aide $5 million to act as a surrogate. The news invited comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale.
On Friday, new allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Trump, as former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy said he tried to kiss her on an elevator after he took her to lunch at Trump Tower in 2005.
A Quinnipiac poll found 70% of Americans believe Congress should investigate accusations of sexual harassment against Trump, 25% do not.
Sen, Jeff Merkley became the first Senator to call on Trump to resign over sexual misconduct allegations, saying of Trump “he certainly has a track record with more than 17 women of horrific conduct.”
NYT reported while in Puerto Rico, the USNS Comfort was prepared to support 250 hospital beds, but in its limited time at the island, admitted an average of only six patients a day, or 290 in total.
The ship was staffed with 800 personnel, costing $180K a day, yet the ship received an average of 36 people a day as outpatients or inpatients. On November 15, the ship left to restock. On November 17, it was sent home.
NYT reported the “official” death toll in Puerto Rico of 62, vastly understates actual deaths, which they estimate at 1,052 though the end of October, using past years’ mortality as a comparison.
WSJ reported Trump’s allies are urging a hardline against Mueller as the probe heats up and despite Trump’s attorneys assessment, will drag on into 2018. Allies say Trump should end his lawyers’ cooperative approach.
Allies cites as bias Peter Strzok, who had sent text messages that were critical of Trump during the 2016 election. Mueller dismissed Strzok upon learning about his texts last summer.
On Friday, ABC News reported that after Mueller dismissed Strzok, he brought on David Archey, a veteran FBI official briefly involved in the launch of the agency’s probe into Hillary’s private email server.
On Wednesday, Rep. Al Green read a resolution in the House to impeach Trump. The House overwhelmingly voted to kill the resolution (364 votes); however 58 Democrats voted for the resolution.
On Wednesday, Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announced plans to eventually relocate the US Embassy there, despite criticism from Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, and several close US allies.
WAPO reported Trump had made up his mind on Jerusalem months before seeking input from advisers, and that Trump didn’t “have a full understanding” of the issue or what he “could trigger by doing this.”
Trump’s move reverses seven decades of US policy. On Thursday, David Satterfield, an acting assistant secretary said the State Department has not yet said whether the US considers Jerusalem to be part of Israel.
While delivering his statement on Jerusalem, towards the end of the speech, Trump noticeably slurred and mispronounced words. On Thursday, at a press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s “throat was dry.”
Sanders also said Trump will undergo a physical examination at Walter Reed in the beginning of next year, and records will be released. Trump did not have a traditional medical examination as a candidate.
Captain Carri Weber of the Plainfield Police Department in Indiana was put on paid administrative leave on November 16, after telling a fellow officer he benefited from “white male privilege” during a training seminar.
On Thursday, after the suspension received national media attention from WAPO, the Plainfield Board of Police Commissioners reinstated Captain Weber, but a letter of reprimand will be kept in her permanent file.
On Tuesday, at a foreign policy conference in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said German relations with the US “will never be the same” after Trump, saying Trump sees Germany as a “competitor.”
On Friday, former President Obama urged voters to stay engaged, invoking complacency led to the rise of Nazi Germany, “You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly.”
On Thursday, Judge Rudolph Contreras, the judge who took Flynn’s guilty plea, recused himself from the case. No reason was given.
Catching Olympic leaders off-guard, ambassador Haley and press secretary Sanders said it was uncertain if the US would attend in South Korea, amid lingering tensions in the area.
On Friday, Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, FL with many of same themes are during his campaign over a year ago, including the crowd chanting “lock her up,” as Trump talked of the “rigged system.”
Trump also raised the theme of Chicago, a city he has invoked to attack people of color since his 2016 campaign: “What the hell is going on in Chicago? There are those that say Afghanistan is safer than Chicago.”
Politifact reported Trump’s speech was full of false statements, including in matters relating to his attacks on the media, Chicago, and other issues.
NYT reported before he took office, Trump told top aides to think of each day “as an episode in a television show” in which he vanquishes rivals. In office, he spends four, sometimes up to eight hours per day watching tv.
Insiders say part of Trump’s difficult adjustment is rooted in an unrealistic expectation of powers: he thought it would be more akin to imperial command than having to coexist with two other branches of government
Artist Ben Levy 9dec17 Miami, FL, USA 🇺🇸
This week, a brand new mural by legendary street artist Lady Pink was created at Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida for Art Basel week. I’m putting the piece up before the list because just by looking at each letter in the word “R E S I S T,” which she spelled out…you can see imagery that effectively represents the horror show, that we call 2017 in AmeriKKKa:
Week 55 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
This week marked further erosion to our failing democracy. Attacks on, and deconstruction of our free press is happening at an alarming rate, as conservative billionaires buy up media outlets, some of which are then precipitously shuttered. Republicans in the Senate passed a tax bill whose primary beneficiary will be people like Trump and regime members, without any debate, scoring, hearings, or even a chance for senators to read a bill which impacts one-sixth of the US economy.
This week Trump continued his bigoted attacks on marginalized communities, dividing us at home and embarrassing our country on the world stage. There was disturbing reporting on Trump’s mental health, including his continued belief in conspiracy theories. With events and his actions this week, Trump’s net approval gap (-29) matched an all-time low.
This week was the second bombshell in the Mueller probe, as Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate. Flynn’s testimony in court documents ties in Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Flynn’s ongoing cooperation will likely ensnare many higher-ups, including Trump.
Late Saturday, in retaliation for RT being told to register as a foreign agent in the US, Putin signed a law that allows the Russian government to list any foreign media operating in the country as a foreign agent.
Late Saturday, Trump tweeted Fox News is “MUCH more important” than CNN in the US, and “CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly.”
CNN Communications tweeted in response, “It’s not CNN’s job to represent the U.S to the world. That’s yours. Our job is to report the news.”
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden slammed Trump: “Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American President capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment.”
On Sunday, Time Inc. was purchased by Meredith with a $650 million equity investment from the Koch brothers. A former EIC of Time Inc. added of the Koch involvement, “there is no question that it’s a media influence play.”
On Monday, Trump tweeted attacks at CNN again: “We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted” in their coverage of Trump.
As per Week 54, Trump’s DOJ sued to block AT&T’s pending merging with Time Warner, saying CNN would need to be spun off first. Per Week 52, Rupert Murdoch has made approaches to AT&T’s CEO to purchase CNN.
WAPO reported Trump is obsessive in his tv-watching, including using a TiVo. On Monday when he sent the tweet, Trump did not have his daily intelligence briefing, which left him more time to watch television.
On Friday, the LA Weekly, the second largest publication in Los Angeles, issued its last print edition. The website was not updated, and the social media accounts were dormant. The media outlet was quickly shut down.
Walmart pulled a t-shirt offered on its online store, which read, “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED,” after a journalist advocacy group told the retailer it found the shirt threatening.
On Monday morning, Mick Mulvaney showed up at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offices with bags of donuts. Deputy Director Leandra English sent an email to her colleagues, saying she hoped everyone had a great Thanksgiving break, signed as “acting director.”
On Monday, English sued the Trump regime over its appointment of Mulvaney to head the CFPB. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the deputy director serves as acting director when the director role is open.
On Tuesday, US District Judge Timothy Kelly, recently appointed to the federal court by Trump, refused to block Mulvaney from taking over as acting director of the CFPB.
On Thursday, Mulvaney told Fox Business Network that the authority wielded by the CFPB “should frighten people,” adding “there is no accountability to Congress.”
Reuters reported in a Thursday evening email to her CFPB colleagues, English said of reports due in December “to be sure that these are still on track,” and signed the email, “Leandra English, Acting Director.”
On Monday, at an event to honor Native American veterans, Trump evoked his nickname for Warren: “…we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
John Norwood, general secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes, said Trump’s nickname “smacks of racism,” and that using the reference as a derogatory insult was “insulting to all American Indians.”
The National Congress of American Indians criticized Trump for making remarks during an event meant to honor “code talkers” — Native Americans that acted as communications specialists during WW2.
Trump was also criticized for standing before a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who is known for his harsh treatment of Native Americans as president, and who famously signing the Indian Removal Act.
Trump ally Betsy DeVos weighed in, and in a rare rebuke, said of Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ comment: “…I think that we can all do well to reflect on the things we say before we say them.”
NYT reported Trump is questioning the authenticity of the “Access Hollywood” tape. Shortly after he took office, Trump told a GOP senator he wanted an investigation, saying “We don’t think that was my voice.”
Since then, Trump has continued to suggest the voice on the tape is not actually him. Advisers say Trump continued to hold on to a series of conspiracy theories, including that he won the popular vote.
In recent months, Trump has also questioned the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate behind closed-doors, including telling at least one senator.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted about the 2001 death of a Scarborough aide: “…will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’…” This claim is false — the cause of death is known.
On Wednesday morning, Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right and ultra-nationalist political group. The videos purport to show Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary.
British PM May condemned Trump saying in a statement: “it is wrong for the president to have done this…Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions.”
The leader of the Church of England called on Trump to delete the retweeted videos, saying “It is deeply disturbing that the President of the United States has chosen to amplify the voice of far-right extremists.”
The Dutch government responded to Trump on Twitter, saying the child in in the video is not a migrant : “Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands.”
Multiple State Department officials warned the WH that Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets could increase threats at US embassies in the Middle East, which are already on high security alert.
Late Wednesday, at 1 a.m. GMT, Trump fired back at the leader of our closest ally, first tweeting at the wrong account, @theresamay, which is a private account with six followers.
Fourteen minutes later, Trump deleted the tweet and tweeted at PM May, “don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
NYT reported immigration arrests are up 40% under Trump, whose regime targets anyone living in the country illegally for arrest and deportation. Obama had focused on arresting serious criminals and recent arrivals.
In some states like Georgia and the Carolinas, arrests are up 80%. In Atlanta, neighbors try to warn each other as ICE cars patrol — leading many to miss work, keep their kids out of school, or not come home.
Chaos erupted in a Brooklyn, NY courthouse after ICE agents arrested Genaro Rojas Hernandez in the hallway. Hernandez is the fortieth individual taken into custody by ICE agents inside a NYC courthouse.
On Sunday, following a cascade of criticism, the NYT issued a semi-apology after readers accused the paper of normalizing a Nazi. The paper interviewed one the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville.
On Monday, the US District Court for DC ruled the Trump regime cannot ban new transgender recruits from enlisting while the case is being heard. The judge also blocked the ban on funds for gender reassignment surgery.
On Thursday, Trump wrote a proclamation to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1. Noticeably absent were any references to communities most at risk, including LGBTQ people and people of color.
Daily Beast reported Trump bragged to a reporter from Maximum Golf, “there is nothing in the world like first-rate pussy” while scanning the diners at Mar-A-Lago and spotting and a young socialite in 2000.
POLITICO reported WH ethics lawyer James Schultz resigned last week after almost a year in the WH, and plans to return to private practice.
Bloomberg reported the WH is weighing a ban for employees on using personal mobile phones, raising concerns for staff they will be cut off from family and friends. Trump has repeatedly complained about leaks.
On Monday, Maliz Beams, a top State Department official appointed by the Trump regime, resigned after just three months. Beams served as a special adviser to Rex Tillerson, and was closely involved in efforts to reorganize the agency.
WSJ reported as Trump’s one-year anniversary in the WH approaches, senior officials warn of “significant turnover,” saying there is a lengthy list of WH aides and cabinet members potentially on their way out.
BuzzFeed reported Trump’s WH and the CIA are considering a set of proposals to pay millions of dollars for former US intelligence officers to run privatized covert actions and intelligence gathering.
On Friday, reversing an Obama-era proposal, Trump’s EPA said it will not issue a rule requiring hard-rock mining companies to pay for the costs to clean up their mines when they’re finished.
On Friday, a federal judge ruled the Trump regime can’t delay an Obama-era immigration rule which lets foreign start-up founders into the US without a visa, after venture capitalists group and others sued.
In a letter, Sen. Chris Coons reminded Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein he had given them two weeks for an explanation of why Dana Boente was forced to resign. After no response, Coons demanded to have his question answered.
On Tuesday, Coons also called for hearings into possible presidential interference, citing reports last month that Trump interviewed candidates for positions with oversight in districts where he has business dealings.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported the Manhattan DA’s office is interviewing 10 to 20 of Paul Manafort’s work associates and lenders, including Stephen Calk, whose bank provided Manafort with three loans totaling $16 million.
Calk was named as an economic adviser to the Trump campaign in August 2016. In Week 36, the loans to Manafort represented 24% of Calk’s bank’s equity capital and typically the bank focuses on loans to military members.
Investigators are also examining real estate transactions involving Manafort’s immediate family and former son in law. Unlike federal charges, those found guilty of a state crime cannot be pardoned by Trump.
POLITICO reported lawmakers are scrambling to put any measures in place to help secure the nation’s voting system and prevent hacking in the 2018 election. Voters in Texas and Illinois have primaries in just three months.
Senators complained about the lack of urgency with proposed legislation yet to hit the floor, and the House companion bill in limbo. Trump has yet to acknowledge Russian hacking of the 2016 election.
WAPO reported Flynn’s role in Mideast nuclear projects, as cited in Week 44, could compound his legal issues. Flynn served as an adviser to two Washington-based companies pursuing Middle East deals in 2015.
ACU Strategic Partners proposed a partnership with Russia and IP3/IronBridge proposed working with China. In various filings in 2016 and 2017, Flynn did not initially disclose his connection to ACU.
In a presentation to King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, IP3 listed Flynn as Formidable US Leadership. Lawmakers were not informed of Flynn’s relationship with IP3 according to Rep. Elijah Cummings .
Intercept reported Erik Prince met with Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), on his trip to Seychelles cited in Week 21. The trip was allegedly to set up a back-channel between Trump and Russia.
Prince claimed he was in Seychelles on business. RDIF is under US sanctions, meaning Prince could have violated sanctions against Russia. Prince will testify to the House Intel Committee later this week.
Rachel Maddow reported that with the addition of the Dmitriev, so far, there have been 19 Russians identified as having met with Trump campaign officials.
BuzzFeed reported the Senate Intel Committee has requested information from Twitter on 45 Russia-linked accounts that tweeted propaganda about Trump, Brexit, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2016.
On Thursday, Reza Zarrab, who is now cooperating with US prosecutors, implicated Erdogan in a NY court, saying the Turkish PM personally authorized a transaction on behalf of Iran in a money laundering scheme.
Prior to cooperating, Erdogan had enlisted Flynn to get Zarrab released in exchange for a large payout in Week 53. In Week 20, Zarrab was represented by Rudy Giuliani who flew to Turkey to meet with Erdogan.
CNN identified radio host Randy Credico as the intermediary between Roger Stone and Julia Assange during the 2016 campaign season. Credico has been subpoenaed by the House Intel Committee to testify.
On Thursday, Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee, expressed concern that Sessions refused to answer if he was ever instructed by Trump to take any action he believed would hinder the Russia investigation, in a closed-door meeting with the committee.
NBC News reported Donald Jr. will meet with the House Intel Committee next week. Lawmakers want to know about the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower and his May 2016 encounter with Alexander Torshin at an NRA event.
On Wednesday, Russian state-funded RT had its US Capitol credential revoked. The Congressional Radio & Television Correspondents’ Galleries cited RT being forced to register as a foreign agent by the DOJ.
On Friday, in retaliation, the Russian government will consider the resolution next week which would ban American journalists from accessing the lower chamber of its parliament, the Duma.
On Thursday, Manafort struck a revised bail deal with prosecutors to pledge four properties worth $11 million as bail, clearing the way for him to be released from the house arrest.
On Thursday, NYT reported Trump urged senior Republicans in the Senate, including Richard Burr who chairs the Senate Intel Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Burr said Trump told him the investigation was overshadowing his first year and he wanted to see it come to an end. Burr also said committee members were approached by Trump, and shared their conversations.
Trump complained to Mitch McConnell and Bob Corker, who is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in phone conversations about the continuing investigations, and blamed McConnell as leader for not shielding him.
Trump called Sen. Thom Tillis, who in August introduced a bipartisan bill limiting the president’s power to dismiss special prosecutors, over the summer. Tillis said Trump “just asked me where my head was” on the legislation.
AP reported Bronze Star LLC, a newly-created Florida company, won $30 million in contracts from FEMA to provide emergency tarps and plastic sheeting for repairs to Puerto Rico.
Bronze Star had never won a government contract or delivered tarps or plastic sheeting before. These urgently needed supplies were never delivered, so FEMA cancelled the contract and will restart the process.
Vox reported two social science researchers concluded the death toll in Puerto Rico is closer to 1,085, 20 times the official count of 58, based on examining historical averages of deaths in September and October.
USA Today reported Trump’s actions have sparked an aggressive cottage industry of ethics watchdog groups, which are closing tracking and challenging his every move with lawsuits and filing requests.
CREW filed a complaint asking the DOJ to investigate whether Kris Kobach is improperly getting a financial benefit from serving as vice chair of Trump’s Election Integrity Committee. In Week 54, Donald Jr. campaigned for Kobach.
On Tuesday, a US District Judge approved a preservation subpoenas issued by the attorneys general of MD and DC to twenty-three Trump businesses including Mar-A-Lago, as part of an emoluments lawsuit.
POLITICO reported Trump gave Kellyanne Conway the approval to criticize AL senate candidate Doug Jones on tv. In Week 54, former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub filed an ethics complaint against Conway for this violation of the Hatch Act.
In an interview with Esquire, Sen. John McCain said of Trump, “I think he’s a person who takes advantage of situations,” adding “I don’t think he has the fundamental underpinnings of principles and beliefs.”
Dictionary.com announced its Word of the Year is complicit. Use of the word spiked on April 5 when Ivanka was asked if she and Kushner were complicit, and on October 24 when Sen. Jeff Flake said, “I will not be complicit.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer abruptly pulled out of a scheduled lunch with Trump and Republican leaders to discuss budget and immigration issues after Trump sent an abusive tweet about “Chuck and Nancy.”
Amid efforts to repeal net neutrality, FCC chairman Ajit Pai accused Twitter of having “double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users.” He did not specify which accounts he was referring to.
On Thursday, NYT reported Trump’s WH has developed a plan to fire Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. In turn, Pompeo would likely be succeeded by Sen. Tom Cotton. Trump has not signed off on the plan by Kelly.
CNN reported the reports that Trump would be replacing Tillerson were meant to express Trump’s deep displeasure with Tillerson and publicly shame him.
On Friday, Trump denied Tillerson is on his way out, tweeting, “The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon — FAKE NEWS!” Trump added in, “(I call the final shots).”
Bloomberg reported Tillerson is increasingly concerned about secret talks between Kushner and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, fearing the talks could backfire and leave the region in chaos.
Tillerson and senior officials in the State Department have been left in the dark on Kushner’s discussion to create Palestinian state or territory backed financially by a number of countries including Saudi Arabia.
On Wednesday, the House passed a measure which requires members, employees, interns, fellows, and other short-term staff, to complete a program that includes anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.
On Thursday, Trump’s FBI director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee his agency has taken steps to “get in front” of future threats from Russia. This is the first news or suggestion of this.
On Wednesday, Trump told a crowd in MO the Republican tax bill “is going to cost me a fortune.” This statement is false. NYT describes the proposal as “almost tailor-made to enrich the president and people like him.”
AP fact-checked Trump’s speech in MO and found numerous false statements, citing “Trump’s tax fiction” and “embrace of propaganda” relating to the anti-Muslim videos.
On Thursday, the Republicans brought a tax bill to the floor for a vote. There were no hearings or real debate on the bill, and members of the Senate did not have a chance to read this version before the vote.
After the vote was well underway and almost complete Thursday evening, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled a fiscal trigger, important to winning over Corker’s support, will not work under Senate rules.
On Thursday, the Treasury Department’s inspector general launched an inquiry into whether the department hid its analysis as referenced by Secretary Steven Mnuchin of the Republican tax bill, or whether no such analysis exists.
On Friday, Republicans again brought the tax bill up for a vote. Hours before the vote, Democrats were handed copies of the bill with handwritten changes scribbled in the margins.
Late Friday evening, Schumer’s motion to give the senators two days to read the 479 page tax bill was voted down 52–48. He tweeted, “in my long career in politics, I have not seen a more regressive piece of legislation.”
House Democrats have forwarded Mueller information on more than a dozen foreign contacts and overseas trips by Flynn which were not disclosed during the process of renewing his security clearances.
On Wednesday, CNN reported Mueller’s team has postponed grand jury testimony of public relations consultant hired by Flynn’s lobbying firm, another indication the parties are working on a plea deal.
CNN reported Mueller’s team met with Kushner earlier this month. Sources say the conversation lasted less than 90 minutes, and was primarily related to Flynn.
WAPO reported Trump feel confident the Mueller probe will be completed by year-end, and that he will be exonerated. Trump has taken comfort from lawyer Ty Cobb, who initially said the probe would be done by Thanksgiving.
One outside adviser warned if there was no statement of exoneration by year-end, Trump would “blow a gasket.”
On Friday, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Sergey Kislyak in December during the transition period. Flynn also became the first WH official to cooperate in the Mueller probe.
Flynn, who was especially known for vigorously leading “Lock her up!” chants at Trump rallies, emerged from the courthouse to chants by hecklers of “Lock him up!”
At lunchtime, the WH canceled an opportunity for reporters to question Trump about Flynn’s guilty plea. Reporters had hoped to pepper Trump with questions in passing, but instead were escorted to the press room.
Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak were an effort to undermine Obama on foreign policy before Trump took power. The transition team was led by Mike Pence, and senior members include Kushner, Reince Priebus and K.T. McFarland.
Flynn spoke to Kislyak on December 29 and asked that Russia not escalate after the Obama administration imposed sanctions. On December 30, Putin announced Russia would not take actions against the sanctions.
On December 30, Trump tweeted: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!” On December 31, Kislyak called Flynn to tell him no action would be taken, and Flynn called the transition team.
Court papers revealed Flynn was directed by a “very senior transition official” to contact foreign government, including Russia to discuss a UN resolution regarding Israeli settlements. The official was Kushner.
Bloomberg reported Kushner told Flynn he needed to get every foreign minister or ambassador from countries on the UN Security Council to delay or vote against the resolution, a possible violation of the Logan Act.
AP reported former deputy NSA K.T. McFarland is the person described as a “senior transition” official who Flynn contacted on December 29 to discuss what to communicate to Kislyak in response to Obama sanctions.
Flynn and Kislyak spoke five times on December 29. McFarland was in Mar-A-Lago at the time, as was Trump.
Trump lawyer Cobb sought to distance Flynn from Trump by stressing Flynn served as NSA “for 25 days,” and was a “former Obama administration official.”
The special counsel indicated the information provided to the court was a partial description of Flynn’s involvement: “these facts do not constitute all of the facts known to the parties concerning the charged offense.”
On Friday, Sen. Mark Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intel Committee issued a statement saying, “The Special Counsel’s probe has found illegal behavior stretching into the senior most levels of the White House.”
On Friday after the Flynn plea, Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the House Judiciary Committee has enough evidence to probe Trump for obstruction of justice.
On MSNBC, Michael Bechloss compared Flynn cooperating to when Dean turned on Nixon in Watergate, adding “There’s a very good chance that decades from now, we may look back on this day as a big day in history…”
ABC News reported in recent weeks, Flynn felt abandoned by Trump, and in the 24 hours before he agreed to cooperate, was concerned about the crippling legal costs if he decided to contest the charges.
On Friday, Washington Examiner reported Flynn will sell his house to offset legal costs from the Mueller probe.
On Saturday morning, Trump appeared before the media and expressed no concern about Flynn’s guilty plea. Trump told reporters three time that there was “no collusion” between his campaign and the Russians.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted he fired Flynn “because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies.” This possibly points to obstruction of justice since shortly after, Trump asked Comey to let it go.
On Saturday, Trump’s net approval fell to -29 at Gallup (approve 33, disapprove 62). This matches Trump’s widest disapproval gap.