POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 153: KURDISH “DELIGHT” a.k.a. “GENOCIDE”

OCTOBER 12, 2019

Week 152

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-152/
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The Fraudfather made Zelensky “an offer he couldn’t refuse”. – Jim Carrey

In addition to the number of not normal items surging since the start of the impeachment inquiry, Trump’s Twitter activity has proliferated — in one 25 minute span on Friday alone, he sent 33 tweets! In past weekly lists, we have covered that the potency of his tweets have had decreased, both in impact and visibility, as his time in office wears on. Also, notably, the media coverage of Trump’s frenzied tweeting has dropped off, making it harder each week to find sources that put what amounts to official pronouncements from the leader of our country into some context (and for me to link to for historical purposes).

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At Ocean Beach in San Diego, CA 8oct19

In the past two weeks, there has been a striking shift in the country’s sentiment towards impeachment — approval of not only an inquiry, but also removing Trump, has shifted in favor. Thus far, breaking news coming from our media has done most of the fact finding and informing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is keeping the focus of the inquiry narrow, but with reporting gushing out the scope of the July 25 Trump-Ukraine call has broadened in several different subplots which are commensurately unfolding.

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Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA 8oct19
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“Stay Woke” – San Diego, CA oct2019
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He has some supporters in San Diego. oct2019 – california

This week Trump abruptly pulled U.S. troops from Syria, enabling possible genocide by Turkey against the Kurds who fought alongside us, and allowing ISIS fighters to escape and regroup. It’s a calamity of our times — and yet few voices in the Republican Party, let alone the decorated military officials who served in the Trump regime, are willing to speak out. If anyone had doubts of how close we are to becoming an authoritarian state, this week’s list will remind you.

  1. On Saturday, Politico reported U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the White House to preserve records of all of Trump’s dealings with foreign leaders, including his interactions with Ukraine.
  2. On Saturday, Trump called for Sen. Mitt Romney’s impeachment, tweeting, without evidence, Utahnsconsider their vote for him “a big mistake,” and calling him “a fool” who plays into the hands of Democrats.
  3. Trump also tweeted, “So Crooked Hillary Clinton can delete and acid wash 33,000 emails AFTER getting a Subpoena,” adding, “but I can’t make one totally appropriate telephone call,” calling it a “Witch Hunt!”
  4. Trump also tweeted, “the first so-called second hand information “Whistleblower” got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench.” This claim is false.
  5. Trump also tweeted that the other ““Whistleblower” is coming in from the Deep State,” falsely claiming, “also with second hand info,” adding, “Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming!”
  6. On Saturday, Axios reported on a conference call with House Republicans on Friday, Trump said he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
  7. Trump claimed he did not want to make the call, signaling a new shift in strategy to distance himself. According to texts revealed in Week 151, Rudy Giuliani was the person pushing Trump to call. Perry is not mentioned.
  8. On Monday, AP reported businessmen and GOP donors used ties to Trump and Giuliani to install new board members at Ukraine’s massive state gas company Naftogaz under former president Petro Poroshenko.
  9. When Zelensky took office, Sec. Perry met with him and advanced a board slate for Naftogaz that included a past GOP donor from Texas. It is unclear if Perry’s efforts were coordinated with those of Giuliani’s allies.
  10. On Saturday, USA Today reported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is fundraising off impeachment in a new campaign ad on Facebook, saying “the way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority.”
  11. On Sunday, in an op-ed, Joe Biden said of Trump’s time in office, “It all comes down to the abuse of power. That is the defining characteristic of the Trump presidency,” adding, “You won’t destroy me” or my family.
  12. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Joe Biden, saying, “It is INCREDIBLE to watch and read the Fake News and how they pull out all stops to protect Sleepy Joe Biden” and his “thrown out of the Military son.”
  13. Trump tweeted Hunter Biden “was handed $100,000 a month (Plus,Plus) from a Ukrainian based company, even though he had no experience in energy” and got “1.5 Billion Dollars from China despite no experience.”
  14. Trump added, “The Biden family was PAID OFF, pure and simple!” calling on the “fake news” to “stop making excuses for something that is totally inexcusable.” All of Trump’s statements in the tweets are false.
  15. On Sunday, Trump accused the House Speaker of treason, tweeting, “Pelosi knew of all of the many Shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds” and “illegal meetings with a highly partisan “Whistleblower” & lawyer.”
  16. Trump added, “This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even Treason,” adding they must “be immediately Impeached!
  17. On Sunday, NBC News reported a second whistleblower has come forward, who, according to the attorney for the first whistleblower, “has first-hand knowledge” of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.
  18. The second whistleblower did not plan to file a separate complaint, and is entitled to legal protections for cooperating with the inspector general. On Sunday shows, Republicans brushed off the second whistleblower.
  19. On Sunday, Columbia Journalism Review reported the White House refused to send a representative on the Sunday talk shows. Host on major Sundays shows pushed back on Trump allies and their talking points.
  20. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” if the whistleblower allegations “are turned into an impeachment article,” he “will make sure” the whistleblower faces public questioning.
  21. On Sunday, in a contentious interview with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, Sen. Ron Johnson said he does not trust the CIA or FBI, and parroted Trump citing Ukraine helped Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
  22. ABC host George Stephanopoulos said to Rep. Jim Jordan on Trump’s asking of China, “You’re telling us not to believe what we’ve seen with our own eyes,” and “you still can’t say whether you think it’s right or wrong.”
  23. On Monday, House Democrats took the extraordinary steps to protect the whistleblower of considering testimony at a remote location and obscuring their appearance and voice, after repeated threats by Trump.
  24. Democrats are concerned that without precautions, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee could leak the identity. The whistleblower’s attorney is also in talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  25. On Monday, Vanity Fair reported although Sen. Romney will not primary Trump in 2020, his aides say he is casting himself as “the lone voice of conscience,” to sway other Republicans as impeachment unfolds.
  26. On Sunday, WSJ reported Attorney General William Barr is sparking discord with long-time allies Italy, Australia, and the U.K. by working outside the usual channels in his investigation of the investigators.
  27. On Barr, Sen. Graham said, “He is simply doing his job,” while ranking Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner warned, “This could put the Five Eyes relationship in jeopardy.”
  28. On Sunday, the Sunday Times reported British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in an unprecedented move, will challenge Queen Elizabeth II to fire him rather resign, in an attempt to drive through Brexit on October 31.
  29. Late Sunday, after speaking to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump for a second time in a year upended U.S. strategy in Syria, abruptly announcing the withdrawal of U.S. troops, abandoning Kurdish allies.
  30. Former defense secretary James Mattis resigned after Trump first threatened to pull out troops in December 2018 after his call with Erdogan. Mattis however did not speak out publicly this week.
  31. Some senior Pentagon officials were blindsided by Trump’s decision. In a White House statement Sunday and in Trump’s tweets Monday, Trump cited the U.S. shouldering too much of the cost of fighting ISIS.
  32. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” and, “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.”
  33. On Monday, AP reported State Department and Pentagon officials held out hopes of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. Kurds had fought alongside U.S. forces for years in taking on ISIS.
  34. Sen. Graham called it “a major blunder,” and “an impulsive decision.” Leader McConnell warned “a precipitous withdrawal” would benefit Russia, Iran, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and help ISIS regroup.
  35. Brett McGurk, the former U.S. envoy for the global coalition against ISIS who resigned with Mattis, tweeted Trump “is not a Commander-in-Chief,” and, “He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation.”
  36. Later Monday, Trump tweeted, “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” It was unclear what Trump meant.
  37. When asked about Turkey attacking the Kurds, Trump told reporters “I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane..they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy.”
  38. Later, responding to widespread Republican and evangelical Christian leaders’ criticism, Trump defended himself, saying he had “consulted with everybody,” and adding, “I could name other people who are thrilled.”
  39. On Monday, former secretary of state Republican Colin Powell said, “The Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself” as GOP lawmakers flocked to defend Trump, adding, our foreign policy is “in shambles right now.”
  40. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people,” adding, “Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner, has been very good.”
  41. Trump added, “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency.” On Tuesday night, Turkish forces were seen moving into the area.
  42. On Tuesday, Trump also tweeted, “Turkey is an important member in good standing of NATO,” adding Erdogan “is coming to the U.S. as my guest on November 13th. #ENDENDLESSWARS”
  43. On Tuesday, Sen. Graham threatened Turkey on Twitter with “sanctions from hell” if they move into Syria. Graham said he could gather a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
  44. On Wednesday, Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after U.S. troops pulled back. Erdogan announced the start of the campaign in a tweet.
  45. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East,” adding, “The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!”
  46. Trump also tweeted, “GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE … IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!” and “BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!”
  47. On Wednesday, Sen. Graham tweeted, “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration,” adding, “I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time.”
  48. Rep. Liz Cheney, also a reliable Trump ally prior, tweeted, “Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria is having sickening and predictable consequences,” adding lawmakers “must and will act.”
  49. On Wednesday, Gulnur Aybet, Erdogan’s senior policy adviser, told CNN Trump and Erdogan “reached an understanding over precisely what this operation is,” adding Trump “knows what the scope of this operation is.”
  50. On Wednesday, NBC News reported intelligence officials warn the 12,000 ISIS fighters being guarded by Kurds, the world’s largest concentration of terrorists, could escape, regroup, and attack America and Europe.
  51. Later Wednesday, Trump defended his decision to abandon the Kurds, telling reporters, “They didn’t help us in the Second World War; they didn’t help us with Normandy.” This statement is factually incorrect and nonsensical.
  52. Trump also said the Kurds battled alongside U.S. forces for “their land,” adding, “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds,” and said it will not be hard for the U.S. to form new partnerships: “Alliances are very easy.”
  53. Asked about ISIS fighters escaping prisons, Trump said “they are going to be escaping to Europe…they want to go back to their homes,” adding, Turkey and the Kurds have “hated each other for many, many years.”
  54. On Friday, BBC reported at least 11 Kurdish civilians along with dozens of fighters were killed as Turkey moved into northern Syria. Tens of thousands of civilians fled their homes.
  55. On Friday, Sen. Graham pleaded with Trump to “change course while you still can,” adding, “the reemergence of ISIS is on the way,” and the “ability to recruit partners to fight radical Islam…has been virtually destroyed.”
  56. On Friday, AP reported as Turkey captured more Kurdish-held villages in the border region, aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis, with nearly a half-million people at risk near the border.
  57. Kurdish forces guarding prisons holding more than 10,000 Islamic State members were forced to abandon their posts. Putin said he doubts the Turkish army has resources to control the prison camps, and warned of mobilizing.
  58. On Friday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed the Pentagon planned to send an additional 2,000 troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia, “to assure and enhance the defense of Saudi Arabia.”
  59. On Friday, Trump told reporters, “Saudi Arabia at my request has agreed to pay us for everything we are doing. That is a first,” and, “we appreciate that,” adding, “Saudi Arabia, and other countries soon now.”
  60. On Friday, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel drafted a resolution condemning Trump’s decision to pull troops. The four-page resolution does not rebuke Trump by name.
  61. On Friday, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed U.S. troops in the vicinity of Kobani, Syria came under fire from a Turkish incursion. Earlier an official told NPR troops were departing, as strikes were “too close for comfort.”
  62. On Saturday, AFP reported Turkey stepped up its assault in Syria, defying threats of sanctions from Europe and the U.S. The United Nations said the operation has already displaced 100,000 people.
  63. On Saturday, CNN reported the commander of the Kurdish-led forces told the Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, William Roebuck, on Thursday, “You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”
  64. On Monday, a federal judge in San Francisco warned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos she could send her to jail for ignoring a court order by continuing to collect debt payments from Corinthian Colleges students.
  65. On Tuesday, Leader McConnell’s re-election campaign touted a Politico report showing his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s record of granting meetings to Kentuckians, calling McConnell a “Kentucky Asset.”
  66. The Trump regime’s Bureau of Land Management announced it would make 725,000 acres of land in California’s central coast open to oil and gas lease sales, paving the way for more fracking after a five-year moratorium.
  67. On Wednesday, the Hill reported the Trump regime eliminated a decade-old, Obama-era advisory board that advised on smart grid innovation, as part of a Trump executive order to cut federal advisory boards by a third.
  68. On Friday, Sen. Gary Peters, the ranking member of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, criticized Vice President Mike Pence for not sharing requested information on his recent stay at Trump’s Doonbeg resort.
  69. On Monday, WAPO reported Trump’s company canceled an event for anti-Muslim group ACT for Americascheduled for November 7 at Mar-a-Lago. ACT of America said Trump’s company had “caved to the Left’s bullying tactics.”
  70. On Wednesday, Esquire reported a forthcoming book on Trump called “All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator,” includes 43 new accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump.
  71. One of the 43, Karen Johnson, told the authors Trump grabbed her vagina without her consent and forcibly kissed her at Mar-a-Lago resort in the early 2000s. She said she was afraid to come forward because of who he was.
  72. On Wednesday, a neo-Nazi killed two people on Yom Kippur, after unsuccessfully trying to force his wayinside a synagogue in Halle, Germany, while broadcasting his rampage on Twitch.
  73. The WAPO Editorial Board warned of the connection to mass murders at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, mosques in New Zealand, and a Walmart in El Paso, and called for resources and attention to “the enemy within.”
  74. On Tuesday, NYT reported Western security officials have concluded an elite unit inside the Russian intelligence system, known as Unit 29155, has led a campaign to destabilize Europe over at least the past decade.
  75. The unit underscores Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to use hybrid warfare including propaganda, hacking attacks, and disinformation — as well as military confrontation — in fighting the West.
  76. On Tuesday, the second report from the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee found Russians actively worked in 2016 to damage Hillary Clinton and bolster Trump, and that interference is likely again in 2020.
  77. The 85-page report, capping 2 1/2 years of work, urged lawmakers to take sweeping efforts to protect the 2020 election, including regulations that would require the disclosure of ad buyers on social media.
  78. The report found extensive Russian manipulation of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and other platforms. The goal was to divide Americans, suppress the African American vote, and help elect Trump.
  79. The report found “a vastly more complex and strategic assault on the United States than was initially understood,” citing in 2016 a “broader, sophisticated and ongoing information warfare campaign.”
  80. On Monday, CNBC reported Zelensky aides dined with former Trump officials, including Sean Spicer and former State Department and HHS officials, at the Trump Hotel DC, on April 16 to establish contacts.
  81. On Monday, the three Democrat House committee chairs subpoenaed the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget demanding documents pertaining to the delay in military funds to Ukraine.
  82. The committees gave until October 15, and warned failure to comply “shall constitute evidence of obstructionof the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you” and Trump.
  83. On Monday, former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker stepped down as the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, amid fallout of his role in Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.
  84. On Monday, NBC News reported a dozen House Democrats called on Gordon Sondland to resign as U.S. ambassador to the E.U. ahead of his Congressional testimony on Tuesday, citing his Trump-Ukraine texts.
  85. On Tuesday, the White House blocked Sondland from testifying. Sondland had flown to Washington from Europe, and House committee members had returned from a two-week recess to hear his testimony.
  86. Sondland’s lawyers told House staff members that a State Department official left Sondland a voicemail at 12:30 a.m. the night before directing him not to appear before Congress.
  87. Trump tweeted, “I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” adding, “but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court.”
  88. Shortly after, Chair Schiff told reporters of Sondland, “we are also aware that the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device which have been provided to the State Department.”
  89. WAPO reported the use of WhatsApp and other messaging services is fairly widespread at the State Department, but copies must be made. Officials noted the irony that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “went ballistic on Hillary Clinton for that.”
  90. Shortly later, at a news conference of Trump House allies, Rep. Matt Gaetz added, “this impeachment is a kangaroo court and Chairman Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.” It was unclear what he meant.
  91. In texts with Sondland and Volker, William Taylor wrote, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Sondland replied hours later, “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.”
  92. On Tuesday, CNN reported after Trump’s July 25 call, anxiety and concern spread among National Security Council staffers that what Trump had said, particularly on investigating Biden, had crossed the line.
  93. Trump made the call from the third-floor White House residence, where he watches television and makes calls before noon. A number of aides were not in the room, but were in the Situation Room, or on their own lines.
  94. About a week later, the CIA’s top lawyer contacted the top lawyer on the National Security Council. At least one National Security Council official alerted the White House’s national security lawyers.
  95. The White House lawyers later ordered the transcript would be moved to a highly classified server as part of an effort to keep most people from seeing it outside of the executive branch.
  96. On Tuesday, ABC News reported a two-page memo written by the whistleblower a day after Trump’s call said one White House official described the call as “crazy” and “frightening.”
  97. The memo also said, “The official, who listened to the entirety of the phone call, was visibly shaken by what had transpired and seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague within the U.S. national security apparatus.”
  98. Trump tweeted “the so-called Whistleblower” said the call was “crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance,” calling it “a very big Lie.” This is false: an official described the call to the whistleblower.
  99. Sen. Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, went on the offensive, calling Giuliani to testify. Democrats said they would welcome the opportunity. Giuliani said he had not decided if he would appear.
  100. On Tuesday, Trump had lunch with former GOP congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the House inquiry into Benghazi, about joining Trump’s legal team in the impeachment inquiry. It was unclear if Gowdy accepted.
  101. On Tuesday, a WAPO-Schar School poll found 58% approve of the House opening an impeachment inquiry, 38% disapprove — the first poll to find majority support. Notably, 3 in 10 Republicans support the inquiry.
  102. The poll also found that 49% say the House should take the step of impeaching Trump and removing him from office. Among independents, 57% support an inquiry and 49% say Trump should be removed.
  103. On Tuesday, an NBC/WSJ poll found 55% support an impeachment inquiry, the highest level this year. Just 39% say Congress should let Trump finish out his term, down from 50% in July.
  104. On Tuesday, the Trump regime declared war on the impeachment inquiry, saying in a letter to House Democrats it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
  105. The letter from White House counsel Pat Cipollone cited the inquiry violated precedent and denied Trump’s due process rights, and saying neither he or the executive branch would provide documents or testimony.
  106. The eight-page letter said the inquiry “violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent,” and the call transcript established “the call was completely appropriate and that there is no basis for your inquiry.”
  107. The letter said there is “no legitimate basis” for the inquiry Pelosi is calling “impeachment” already underwaybecause the full House has not voted. Trump however would not commit to cooperating if the House did vote.
  108. The letter added, “In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution” Trump and his regime “cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”
  109. The move marks a complete shift from last week when Trump said of the inquiry, “I always cooperate” saying allegations were meritless, and marks a potentially precedent-setting move to non-cooperation.
  110. Speaker Pelosi said in a statement, “continued efforts to hide the truth of the president’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction,” adding, “You will be held accountable.”
  111. The WAPO Editorial Board said of the letter, Trump “is asserting autocratic authority to ignore the people’s elected representatives and the Constitution,” calling it “a new stage in an already dangerous presidency.”
  112. On Thursday, in a letter, University of Chicago Law School classmates of Cipollone criticized him, saying by blocking material and witnesses from the impeachment inquiry, he “distorts the law and the Constitution.”
  113. Later Tuesday, Trump quoted a headline from conservative Washington Examiner, saying “The (big deal) Whistleblower had a ‘PROFESSIONAL TIE’ to 2020 Democratic Candidate,” calling it “A Witch Hunt Scam!”
  114. On Wednesday, Sen. Graham told “Fox & Friends” he planned to send a letter to Speaker Pelosi saying Republicans will not impeach Trump over the Ukraine call, adding, “They’re about to destroy the nation.”
  115. On Wednesday, Fox News cut ties with Gowdy as he accepted an offer to join Trump’s legal team for the impeachment inquiry. As a House Judiciary Chair, Gowdy had been an advocate of Congress’ oversight powers.
  116. On Wednesday, WAPO analyzed Republicans in the Senate on impeachment. To impeach, 20 Republicans would need to join Democrats. So far, 14 have expressed concerns, 39 support Trump unequivocally.
  117. On Wednesday, a Fox News poll found 51% believe Trump should be impeached and removed, 43% disagree — a 16 point net shift from July when 42% were for impeach and remove and 50% were against.
  118. On Thursday, Trump attacked Fox News, tweeting, “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” adding, “Whoever their Pollster is, they suck,” and
    Fox News “is also much different than it used to be in the good old days.”
  119. Trump also tweeted complaints about “people like Andrew Napolitano…Shep Smith, @donnabrazile…& others,” saying Fox News “doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.”
  120. On Thursday, NYT reported Barr met privately with Rupert Murdoch at Murdoch’s home in New York on Wednesday evening. It was unclear who else attended or what was discussed.
  121. On Friday, Fox News host Shep Smith abruptly resigned during his show, after 23 years at the network since its founding in 1996. Smith said the decision was his own, but gave no explanation of why he was leaving.
  122. On Friday, when asked about the departure, Trump told reporters, “Is he leaving?” Oh, that’s a shame…Is he leaving because of terrible ratings? If he’s leaving, I assume he’s leaving for bad ratings…Well, I wish him well.”
  123. On Wednesday, NYT reported on email correspondence within the State Department, in which officials were urged to “play down” the release of Ukraine aid when it was finally released, saying, “nothing to see here.”
  124. The emails also revealed diplomats’ frustration with the unexpected freezing of funds that Congress had already approved. Emails from senior officials did not explain why funds were being withheld.
  125. On Wednesday, Trump sought to discredit the whistleblower, tweeting their facts “have been so incorrect,” and citing, “The Whistleblower has ties to one of my DEMOCRAT OPPONENTS.”
  126. Trump also tweeted, “The Whistleblower’s lawyer is a big Democrat.” The lawyer, Mark Zaid responded, saying he is a registered Independent, and that the whistleblower spent their government career in apolitical roles.
  127. On Wednesday, Pence refused to give reporters a straight answer on what he knew about Ukraine, dodging repeated questions,. Notably, Pence has not been able to say he did not know about Trump’s true interests.
  128. On Thursday, 16 prominent conservative lawyers called for an “expeditious” impeachment probe, saying Trump’s asking for Ukraine and China to investigate his political opponent violates his oath of office.
  129. On Wednesday, the three House committee chairs requested in a letter that Trump’s former Russia adviser Fiona Hill appear in a deposition on October 14, as well as turn over documents dating back to January 2017.
  130. On Thursday, NBC News reported Hill will appear before Congress next week, and plans to testify that Giuliani and Sondland circumvented the National Security Council and the normal White House process.
  131. Hill will testify that the two also side-stepped then NSA John Bolton, to pursue a shadow policy on Ukraine. Hill is a Russian hawk, and had wound down her role before the July 25 call. Giuliani said he did not know her.
  132. On Friday, Sondland ignored State Department and White House instructions, announcing he would appear before House investigators under subpoena next week.
  133. On Thursday, a NPR-Marist poll found 52% approve of an impeachment inquiry, 43% disapprove. There was 19 point shift in independents, from 50–44% disapprove in late September, to 54–41% approve.
  134. On Thursday, CNN reported Trump is spending hours each day sending frenzied tweets and calling allies on Capitol Hill as impeachment looms. Trump called Leader McConnell three times a day to stress GOP unity.
  135. Aides are setting up campaign rallies in the coming weeks as a way to channel his frustration. He will appear in Minneapolis Thursday, then his campaign is looking for a venue in Louisiana for Friday.
  136. After Joe Biden came out for impeachment, Trump told reporters, reading from a script, “No American should ever face such persecution from their own government,” adding, “Except, perhaps, your President.”
  137. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the DOJ to drop a criminal case against Reza Zarrab, an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Giuliani.
  138. Others who attended the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office were shocked by Trump’s request. Tillerson refused, and repeated his objections to then Chief of Staff John Kelly in the hallway. The DOJ did not drop the case.
  139. On Thursday, WAPO reported Erdogan personally lobbied Trump to get the charges against Zarrab dropped when they met at the White House in May 2017. Giuliani also made a pitch to the DOJ to have the charges dropped.
  140. When Trump made the request to Tillerson, two of Zarrab’s attorneys, Giuliani and Michael Mukasey, were also in the room. The two proposed swapping Zarrab for an American pastor in Turkish custody.
  141. The case against Zarrab was launched by Preet Bharara, whom Trump abruptly fired. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to meet with Giuliani, and then AG Jeff Sessions did not drop the case.
  142. On Thursday, Politico reported Graham received a hoax call in August, from a person he thought was Turkey’s minister of defense, but turned out to be two Russian pranksters, with possible ties to Russian intelligence.
  143. Graham mentioned Trump’s interest in a “Turkish bank case,” apparently referring to the case of Reza Zarrab. Graham also labeled the Kurds as a “threat” to Turkey — contradicting his current public position.
  144. On Monday, Miami Herald reported Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Giuliani allies who peddled information about Ukraine corruption involving Biden and Hillary Clinton, will not respond to a deadline for documents.
  145. The two Florida businessmen are represented by former Trump attorney, John Dowd, who also said his clients do not plan to appear for depositions scheduled for this week. House Democrats plan to subpoena the two.
  146. On Thursday, WSJ reported Parnas and Fruman were arrested late Wednesday on criminal charges for their alleged efforts to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections and influence U.S. politics.
  147. The two, both U.S. citizens born in Ukraine when it was a Soviet republic, were arrested while awaiting an international flight out of Dulles Airport, the day before one of them was scheduled to testify before Congress.
  148. The 21-page indictment alleges the two engaged in political activities on behalf of one or more Ukrainian government officials, including lobbying, targeting a GOP congressman for help, and removing Marie Yovanovitch.
  149. The indictment also alleges their political giving was funded in part by an unnamed Russian donor, and the two set up a limited liability company, LLC Global Energy Producers, to disguise the money.
  150. In May 2018 the LLC gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC, and Fruman made donations of $400,000, misspelling his name “to evade the reporting requirements.” The two gave over $1 million to Republicans.
  151. Parnas donated to and sought help from former Rep. Pete Sessions in removing Yovanovitch. Sessions then wrote a letter to Pompeo, saying Yovanovitch was “bad mouthing” Trump in private conversations.
  152. Parnas and Fruman had dinner with Trump in May 2018. In July, Parnas and Giuliani had breakfast with Volker. According to Volker’s testimony, Giuliani mentioned investigating Biden and 2016 election interference.
  153. The two set up a meeting between Giuliani and Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general, Yuri Lutsenko. Trump and Giuliani claim Joe Biden tried to have Lutsenko fired. Lutsenko has said Hunter Biden “did not violate anything.”
  154. Since late 2018, the two had introduced Giuliani to several current and former senior Ukrainian prosecutors, and were a conduit to find dirt on the Bidens. The three had lunch at the Trump Hotel in DC on Wednesday.
  155. Giuliani, who identified the two as clients in May, told Fox News on Thursday he found their arrest “extremely suspicious,” and is not representing them. John Dowd did not respond.
  156. On Thursday, the Atlantic reported Giuliani was planning to fly to Vienna Thursday night. When Parnas and Fruman were apprehended Wednesday night at Dulles, they were also headed to Vienna.
  157. On Thursday, federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York formally announced federal campaign finance charges, and cited the importance of protecting U.S. elections from foreign influence.
  158. A DOJ official said Attorney General Barr was briefed on the investigation in February, and informed Wednesday night that the two were about to be arrested.
  159. On Thursday, shortly after the arrests were announced, the two were subpoenaed by the three House committee chairs for “key documents” that have not been produced as part of the impeachment inquiry.
  160. Hours later, the three House committee chairs also subpoenaed Sec. Rick Perry for documents related to the impeachment inquiry, giving him a deadline of October 18.
  161. On Thursday, Trump told reporters before leaving for Minneapolis that he hopes Giuliani does not get indicted, and that he does not know Parnas and Fruman, saying, “I don’t know those gentlemen.”
  162. Trump added, “it’s possible I have a picture with them, because I have a picture with everybody,” adding, “maybe they were clients of Rudy. You’d have to ask Rudy.” Trump is seen in several 2018 photos with the two men.
  163. Politico reported Parnas’ relationship with Trump may have begun earlier than previously reported. At Trump’s 2016 election night party, Parnas described himself as a friend of Trump who lived not far from Mar-a-Lago.
  164. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he would donate the $111,000 given by the two to the House Republicans’ main fundraising committee to charity. Five Republican campaign committees received nearly $500,000.
  165. On Thursday, Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born California businessman, was arrested in San Francisco on campaign finance violations and appeared in court. Kukushkin was named in the SDNY indictment.
  166. The fourth defendant named in the SDNY indictment is David Correia. The four are accused of disguising contributions to two Nevada state office candidates from a Russian businessman to obtain marijuana licenses.
  167. On Thursday, WAPO reported Barr visited Italy to investigate a conspiracy theory advanced by Trump and Giuliani that Joseph Mifsud was a Western intelligence plant working to discredit the Trump campaign.
  168. On Thursday, in an interview with Sebastian Gorka at the Daily Caller, Trump hammered his former attorney general Jeff Sessions, saying he was “a total disaster,” and “an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama.”
  169. On Thursday, WSJ reported lawyers for the whistleblower asked Congress if they can submit testimony in writing instead of appearing in person, citing safety concerns, and that their identity may be exposed.
  170. On Thursday, WSJ reported that NBCUniversal joined CNN in not running a Trump ad using an unsubstantiated claim Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion to fire the prosecutor investigating the company with ties to his son.
  171. The ad also accuses “media lap dogs” of aiding the Democrats with their impeachment efforts including CNN and MSNBC journalists. Facebook denied a request by the Biden campaign to take a similar ad down.
  172. On Wednesday, CNN reported Matt Drudge, an influential conservative journalist, is souring on Trump. His website has featured overwhelmingly negative news about Trump and impeachment in recent weeks.
  173. On Thursday, Rep. John Shimkus, who is retiring in 2020, said Trump’s decision to withdraw troops was “terrible and despicable,” adding he told his staff “to take my name off the I support Donald Trump list.”
  174. On Friday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan became the third Republican governor to support the impeachment inquiry.
  175. On Thursday, Michael Pillsbury, one of Trump’s China advisers, told the Financial Times, “I got a quite a bit of background on Hunter Biden from the Chinese.” Hours later on C-SPAN, he denied making the comment.
  176. FT’s Washington bureau chief tweeted an October 9 email from Pillsbury, saying exactly what was quoted. Later Thursday, Pillsbury later told the Post, “Most everything I learned was already public or well-known.”
  177. On Thursday, WAPO reported at least four national security officials were so alarmed by Trump’s actions toward Ukraine before and after the July 25 call that they raised concern with NSC legal adviser John Eisenberg.
  178. There is no inspector general equivalent in the White House. One official on the call went directly to Eisenberg. During the day, two more did. It is not clear if Eisenberg took any action after the call or from earlier reports.
  179. Also, within minutes of the call, senior officials including former NSA John Bolton were contacted by subordinates. Bolton and others scrambled to get a copy of the call transcript, which was already being “locked down.”
  180. On Thursday, Trump tweeted Zelensky said “Trump applied no pressure and did absolutely nothing wrong,” saying this should end the “Democrat Scam,” adding, “but it won’t, because the Dems & Media are FIXED!”
  181. On Thursday, CNN reported Trump’s new NSA, Robert O’Brien, told White House staff that he plans to cut the National Security Council staff by almost half, and increase the percentage of political appointees.
  182. On Monday, a federal judge rejected Trump’s lawsuit to block the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining his tax returns as part of an investigation into hush-money payments during the 2016 campaign.
  183. Judge Victor Marrero cited, “The Court cannot square a vision of presidential immunity that would place the President above the law,” and called the assertion Trump is immune from criminal inquiries “repugnant.”
  184. The judge also questioned the legal memos from White House lawyers in the 1970s that the DOJ had relied on, saying the arguments they made rely on “conjurings of remote prospects and hyperbolic horrors.”
  185. Trump’s lawyers appealed within minutes, saying, “For the first time in our nation’s history, a county prosecutor has subjected the sitting President of the United States to criminal process.”
  186. Trump tweeted the Democrats “have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democratic prosecutors” to go after him,” and, “A thing like this has never happened to any President before.”
  187. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court said Deutsche Bank does not have Trump’s personal tax returns. The bank does have returns “for individuals and entities named in the subpoenas,” however.
  188. NYT reported current and former Deutsche Bank officials had previously said the bank had portions of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. It was unclear when the bank stopped retaining those returns.
  189. On Friday, a federal appeals court voted 2-1 to reject Trump’s appeal of a House subpoena for his tax returns with a Trump appointee, Circuit Judge Neomi Rao the dissenting vote. Trump will likely appeal.
  190. Later Friday, Trump’s personal attorneys filed an appeal, again claiming he is immune from criminal investigation. The DOJ filed a supporting brief, but stopped short of supporting the assertion he has absolute immunity.
  191. On Tuesday, DOJ attorney argued against turning over Mueller grand jury materials to House Democrats, citing a 1974 ruling to release normally secret grand jury materials to the House was incorrectly decided.
  192. The materials handed over in 1974 were a roadmap to Nixon’s impeachment. U.S. District Court Beryl Howell said, “Wow,” and added, “As I said, the department is taking extraordinary positions in this case.”
  193. On Friday, a federal judge ruled that Trump violated federal law when he declared a national emergency in February to get millions for building a wall on the southern border, and called the proclamation “unlawful.”
  194. On Friday, a federal judge blocked a Trump regime policy set to go into effect Tuesday known the “public charge” rule, which would have denied legal residency to immigrants who rely on public welfare.
  195. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters NBA coach Steve Kerr was a “scared little boy” afraid to answer, for not giving an opinion on the on Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s comments on China and human rights.
  196. Kerr later responded, saying he has met five presidents, “And all I could think of last night was the contrast of what has happened in 35 years,” and, “It’s just sad that it’s come crashing down…and “we’re now living this.”
  197. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “So funny to watch Steve Kerr grovel and pander when asked a simple question about China. He chocked, and looks weak and pathetic,” adding, “Don’t want him at the White House!”
  198. On Tuesday, Trump attacked Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, after the mayor sought a $530,000 deposit to defray expenses of a Trump rally, calling him a “lightweight mayor,” and adding, “Dump Frey and Omar!”
  199. Frey responded, tweeting, “Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills” and suggested at a press conference that Trump should spend more time doing his job and less time “tweeting garbage out.”
  200. Later Tuesday, Trump again attacked the “Radical Left Dem Mayor of Minneapolis” saying he is “doing everything possible to stifle Free Speech,” adding, “despite a record sell-out crowd at the Target Center.”
  201. CNN reported the Trump campaign has not paid at least six cities for rally costs: El Paso, TX ($470k), Spokane, WA ($65k), Mesa, AZ ($64k), Eau Claire, WI ($47k), Lebanon, OH ($16k) ,and Burlington, VT ($8k).
  202. On Thursday, Trump held a campaign rally at Target Center. The rally drew thousands of protestors chanting “Lock him up!” and holding signs. Some protestors clashed with Trump supporters outside the rally.
  203. A new department policy banned off-duty police from wearing their uniform, so the police union made red t-shirt which said, “Cops for Trump.” Trump tweeted his support, “I LOVE the Cops for Trump shirts.”
  204. Trump attacked Biden and his family, saying Biden “was never considered smart. He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”
  205. Trump called Hunter “a loser,” saying he knows “nothing about energy,” and “nothing about China,” adding, “Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he?…I have an idea for a new T-shirt…Where’s Hunter?”
  206. Trump also spent six-minutes attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, as a photo of her wearing a headscarf flashed on jumbo screens, calling her an “America-hating socialist” and a “disgrace.”
  207. Trump also attacked Somali refugees, telling attendees he will “give local communities a greater say in refugee policy,” and, “You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods.”
  208. Trump also performed an impression of former FBI agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page having sex, saying, “I love you, Lisa,” and “I love you too, Peter” before moaning “Lisa, I love you, Lisa! Lisa! Oh, God, I love you.”
  209. On Friday, on a conference call with House Democrats, Speaker Pelosi said of Trump’s comments on Biden, he “has become a potty-mouth and children are listening,” adding, “this is beyond disgraceful.”
  210. On Friday, at his second rally in two days in Louisiana, Trump lashed out at Pelosi, calling her “Nervous Nancy,” saying she “hates this country,” and comparing the inquiry to a “nonstop battle to overturn your vote.”
  211. Trump also attacked impeachment, saying “The radical Democrats’ policies are crazy,” adding, “they know they can’t win on Election Day, so they’re pursuing an illegal … unconstitutional bullshit impeachment.”
  212. During the rally, Trump abruptly switched topics and aired his grievances, attacking Democrats, including Schiff who he said “made it up,” to creating an imaginary back-and-forth between Page and Strzok.
  213. Trump also defended his decision to pull troops from Syria, saying, “I am not president of the world. I am president of the United States of America,” adding, “We reject globalism. We embrace patriotism.”
  214. On Thursday, in an op-ed, 17 former Watergate special prosecutors said Trump should be impeached, citing “there exists compelling prima facie evidence that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses.”
  215. On Thursday, Michael McKinley, a career diplomat and senior adviser to Pompeo, resigned over plummeting morale at the department and Pompeo’s failure to support staffers ensnared in the Ukraine controversy.
  216. CNN reported one of the reasons McKinley resigned was over the silence in the top ranks at the State Department, who were not defending Yovanovitch.
  217. On Friday, Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors to House committees. She said a top State Department official told her Trump pushed for her removal, though the department believed she had “done nothing wrong.”
  218. Her opening statement said undermining loyal diplomats would embolden “bad actors” who will “see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system” and serve the interests of adversaries like Russia.
  219. She said allegations circulated by Giuliani allies that she was disloyal to Trump were “fictitious,” there was a “concerted campaign” against her, and the department had been under pressure from Trump to remove her.
  220. Yovanovitch said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan informed her Trump had lost confidence in her when she was recalled from Kiev. Later Friday, Trump nominated Sullivan to be U.S. ambassador to Russia.
  221. Yovanovitch said she had never inhibited efforts by Ukraine to combat corruption, and was not part of discussions on suspending aid, but said recent events would hamper Ukraine’s reform and defense against Russia.
  222. Yovanovitch warned private influence and personal gain could undermine U.S. interests, saying harm will come when “private interests circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good.”
  223. On Friday, the White House accidentally sent talking points on Yovanovitch’s deposition to Democrats, the second time it did so this month on matters relating to Ukraine.
  224. The talking points encouraged turning the table and attacking Chair Schiff, and reminded Republicans not to be concerned with any information shared by Yovanovitch, because Trump “did nothing wrong.”
  225. On Friday, AP reported White House aides are disappearing amid impeachment talk, including Sunday shows and beyond. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s last press gaggle was on September 27.
  226. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has yet to hold a daily press briefing. It has been seven months since the last daily briefing. Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley has also been absent.
  227. On Friday, Kevin McAleenan resigned as acting Secretary of Homeland Security, the fourth person to hold the position under Trump, who announced the departure on Twitter.
  228. McAleenan had become more isolated in recent week. He recently told the Post in an interview that he did not have control of “the tone, the message, the public face and approach” of his department.
  229. On Thursday, CNN reported the FBI and SDNY prosecutors are examining Giuliani’s financial dealings with Parnas and Fruman. Giuliani said he was not aware of any law enforcement scrutiny.
  230. On Thursday, when asked by CNN if Giuliani could be indicted, Trump said “I hope not,” adding, “You know, he’s got a lot of clients. So, I just don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy about it, I don’t know.”
  231. On Friday, when asked by reporters if Giuliani was still his attorney, Trump said, “Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney and he has been my attorney.”
  232. Later Friday, NYT reported Giuliani is also under investigation by federal prosecutors in the SDNY for violating foreign lobbying laws in his work in Ukraine. They are also examining his efforts to undermine Yovanovitch.
  233. Giuliani acknowledged he worked with Parnas and Fruman to collect damaging information on Yovanovitch and the Bidens, and shared materials with government officials and a Trump-friendly columnist.
  234. Federal law requires U.S. citizens to disclose to the DOJ contacts with the U.S. government or media at the direction or request of foreign politicians or government officials. Giuliani claimed he was working for Trump.
  235. Parnas and Fruman connected Giuliani to Lutsenko, Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who disliked Yovanovitch’s reform efforts and wanted her recalled, and saw Giuliani as a way to pass negative information to Trump.
  236. Parnas also told people Yovanovitch was blocking his efforts to pursue gas deals in Ukraine, and that one of his companies paid Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  237. On Friday, in the late afternoon, Trump announced from the Oval Office that he had reached the first phase of a trade deal with China. Previously, Trump had insisted on a full-blown trade agreement, not a piecemeal deal.
  238. Trump also criticized the Federal Reserve, and repeated his call that they should cut rates again, saying, “We have a great economy, but we have a Federal Reserve that’s not in step with the rest of the world.”
  239. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin pronounced from the Oval Office that the next round of tariffs would not go into effect. Wall Street initially cheered the partial deal, but soon cooled seeing no real resolution.
  240. On Saturday, USA Today reported a senior adviser to China’s government said the multiple delays in reaching a trade deal have been due in large part to actions by Trump, and his concerns about the 2020 election.
  241. On Saturday, Trump tweeted the deal with China is “by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country.” Both sides acknowledge a full resolution is a far way off.
  242. On Saturday, the Hill noted that after his remarks on Monday, Leader McConnell has refused to publicly comment on impeachment. He is also dealing with a growing number of GOP senators raising concerns.
  243. On Saturday, Trump tweed, “Schiff is a lying mess!” quoting a headline on “Fox & Friends” based on a Washington Examiner story that Schiff recruited two former NSC aides who worked alongside the whistleblower.
  244. On Saturday, Trump defended Giuliani, tweeting, “So now they are after the legendary “crime buster” and greatest Mayor in the history of NYC.” Giuliani formerly headed the SDNY, which is now investigating him.
  245. Trump also tweeted, “He may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes, but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer,” adding, “Such a one sided Witch Hunt going on in USA. Deep State. Shameful!”

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is surrounded by lawyers, aides and journalists as she arrives at the U.S. Capitol October 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. Yovanovitch was invited to testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees as part of the ongoing impeachment investigation against Trump.
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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 152: WITH IMPEACHMENT LOOMING…

OCTOBER 05, 2019

Week 151

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-151/

With impeachment looming, Trump started this week by attacking the credibility of House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and the whistleblower, both of whom he also endangered with his rhetoric. Midweek, Trump shifted strategy, openly soliciting foreign help from China and Ukraine in the 2020 election on national television, speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of White House. Republicans remained silent on Trump’s unprecedented request, which the head of the Federal Election Commission reminded the country, in a tweet, is illegal.

IMG_2756
“Trump/Pence MUST GO!” A “Refuse Fascism” sticker is posted by the sign to Mexico with “No USA Return” in San Ysidro, the border town (with Tijuana, Mexico) on 5oct19

This week others in the regime became ensnared in the inquiry, as reporting revealed the involvement of not only Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, but also Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and possibly Vice President Mike Pence, among others. Three House committee chairs sent subpoenas to Pompeo, Pence, and at the end of the week, the White House, and witnesses started to appear before House investigators in private hearings. Polling showed a dramatic shift in attitudes towards impeachment, with the majority of Americans now in favor.

IMG_2759
Here’s a portion of the BORDER WALL separating California and Mexico. 5oct19

As noted last week, I had always thought as we approached the end of Trump’s time in power, the lists would balloon: following last week’s 225 not normal items — 20 items longer than any previous list — this week we hit 240 items. In addition to the news on impeachment, this week’s list has many important stories on the continued degradation of American values and the regime’s cruelty, which got lost in the chaos of the news cycle.IMG_2754IMG_2758

  1. On Saturday, NYT reported the Trump impeachment battle will for the first time in our country’s history test the scope of what is acceptable for a president’s interactions with foreign countries.
  2. The Constitution does envision a showdown over foreign influence over a sitting U.S. president, in the emoluments clause. Trump’s entire time in office has been overshadowed by questions of foreign ties.
  3. On Saturday, WAPO reported the Trump regime is investigating email records of as many as 130 current and former senior State Department officials who sent emails to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  4. Former officials received emails saying they sent retroactively classified information that now constitute potential security violations. The investigation began 18 months ago and was dropped, then picked up again in August.
  5. Although a State Department official told the Post the investigation has nothing to do with Trump, the action appears to be part of a pattern of his using executive branch powers against perceived political adversaries.
  6. On Saturday, WAPO reported with impeachment looming, Trump has sought to portray himself as a victim, with the “deep state” out to get him — a core to his public persona and a strategy used by past authoritarians.
  7. On Saturday, Trump tweeted a video calling impeachment “the single greatest scam in the history of American politics,” adding, “It is disgraceful what the Do Nothing Democrats are doing (the Impeachment Scam).”
  8. Trump also tweeted, “How do you impeach a President who has created the greatest Economy in the history of our Country, entirely rebuilt our Military into the most powerful it has ever been, Cut Record Taxes.”
  9. Trump also tweeted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “told the Fake News” at the United Nations, “HE WAS NOT PRESSURED BY ME IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM,” saying that should bring an end to the “Witch Hunt.”
  10. On Saturday, CNN reported Trump is frustrated with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for not having a strategy in place for after the Ukraine call transcript was released. Sources say he is on shaky ground.
  11. On Sunday, Trump attacked House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff in a series of tweets, saying he “made up what I actually said by lying,” adding, “His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen” in Congress.
  12. Trump also tweeted that Schiff “wrote down and read terrible things,” adding he wants Schiff “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”
  13. Trump also demanded to meet the whistleblower, tweeting, “Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser,” adding he/she represented “a perfect conversation…in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way.”
  14. Trump also tweeted, “I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION,” but also “the person who illegally gave this information” which was “largely incorrect.”
  15. Trump also tweeted, “Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President?” threatening, “Big Consequences!” and added, “What is going on now is the single greatest scam in the history of American politics.”
  16. On Sunday, Trump’s first homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, told “This Week” he repeatedly told Trump there was no basis to the theory that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election on behalf of the Democrats.
  17. Bossert said he was “deeply disturbed” about Trump’s outreach to Zelensky, and condemned Rudy Giuliani, saying he and his team are “repeating that debunked theory to the president.”
  18. Giuliani told “This Week” of Bossert, he “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” and “Everything I did was to defend my client and I am proud of having uncovered what will turn out to be a massive pay-for-play scheme.”
  19. Chair Adam Schiff told “This Week” the inquiry was “moving forward with all speed,” and his committee plans to hear from the whistleblower “very soon.”
  20. On Sunday, AP reported Attorney General William Barr was “surprised and angry” to learn that Trump had lumped him in with his personal lawyer, Giuliani, on his call with Zelensky.
  21. On Sunday, host Chris Wallace reported on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump was working with two more personal lawyer “off the books” — Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing — to pressure Ukraine.
  22. On Sunday, a CBS News poll found 55% of Americans approve of an impeachment inquiry, while 45% disapprove. Notably, 23% of Republicans approve, along with 87% of Democrats and 49% of Independents.
  23. Also, 42% believe Trump deserves to be impeached over Ukraine, 36% believe he does not deserve it, and 22% say it is too soon to say.
  24. On Sunday, “60 Minutes” reported the whistleblower’s lawyers sent a letter to the acting director of national intelligence asking for “appropriate resources” to keep their client safe.
  25. They cited Trump’s threats and “certain individuals” offering a “$50,000 bounty” for their identity. “60 Minutes” reported the whistleblower is under federal protection because they fear for their safety.
  26. Shortly after, the attorney for the whistleblower tweeted, “no agreement has been reached with Congress on contact with the whistleblower.” CBS News said it “stands by its sources and reporting on the whistle-blower.”
  27. On Sunday, support for Austria’s far-right party plunged in the election. A covert video in May showed the party’s vice-chancellor offering a lucrative contract to a woman he believed was the niece of a Russian oligarch.
  28. On Sunday, Chair Schiff told “Meet the Press” that Congress is looking to obtain records of Trump’s calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid reporting that the White House has hidden his calls with foreign leaders.
  29. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of calls between Trump and Putin.
  30. On Monday, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch known as “Putin’s Chef,” for attempting to interfere in the 2018 U.S. election.
  31. On Wednesday, when asked by reporters if Russia plans to interfere in the U.S. election in 2020, Putin quipped, “I’m going to tell you a secret. Yes, sure. We’re going to do that. Don’t tell anybody.”
  32. Putin added, “We see that (the U.S.) is trying to use any pretext to attack Trump, and now they’re even trying to use Ukraine,” adding he has a good relationship with Trump “built on trust,” and did not interfere in 2016.
  33. On Monday, Trump again attacked the whistleblower, tweeting, “The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up,” adding, “The Whistleblower knew almost nothing, its 2ND HAND description of the call is a fraud!”
  34. Trump also tweeted a conspiracy theory from a right-wing website: “WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT?”
  35. Trump also tweeted, “Again, the President of Ukraine said there was NO (ZERO) PRESSURE PUT ON HIM BY ME,” adding, “Case closed!”
  36. Shortly after, Trump tweeted “if the so-called “Whistleblower” has all second hand information,” and “almost everything he has said about my “perfect” call” is wrong, “why aren’t we entitled to interview” them.
  37. Trump also tweeted he wanted to interview the whistleblower and “also the person who gave all of the false information to him,” adding, “It is just another Democrat Hoax!”
  38. Later Monday, despite legal protections guaranteed to whistleblowers, Trump told reporters “We’re trying to find out” the whistleblower’s identity.
  39. Trump also, despite not knowing the identity of the whistleblower, accused them of having political “bias” and being part of a “political hack job.” The whistleblower’s attorney said Trump is putting them at risk.
  40. Later Monday, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) sent a four-page statement saying the whistleblower used firsthand information and information from other sources in the August 12 complaint.
  41. The ICIG also clarified the complaint was processed under procedures put in place in May 2018, not, as Trump and his ally Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested, just before the complaint came forward.
  42. The ICIG also wrote, “the information provided as well as other information gathered and determined that the complaint was both urgent and that it appeared credible.”
  43. On Sunday, Trump quoted Pastor Robert Jeffress’s appearance on Fox News, tweeting: “If the Democrats are successful” in impeaching him from office, “it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation.”
  44. John Coates, a Harvard Law School professor, said Trump’s “threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power” is itself a basis for impeachment.
  45. On Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrinch, who led the impeachment against Bill Clinton, told “Fox & Friends” of the Trump impeachment, “What you are watching is a legislative coup d’etat.”
  46. On Monday, Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC that House Democrats have “declared war” on Trump.
  47. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People.”
  48. On Tuesday, starting with Fox News host Sean Hannity on his show at 9:30 p.m. EST, talk of a “coup” was mentioned nearly every hour on Fox News. Right-wing outlets like Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh also used “coup.”
  49. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a video made by his re-election campaign repeating the “coup” claim against a back-drop of grainy shots of House Democrats and Biden. The campaign will spend $8 million to air the ad.
  50. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked Chair Schiff, suggesting he should be arrested for treason, saying he “made up a FAKE & terrible statement” which “bore NO relationship to what I said on the call.”
  51. Later, at a swearing in ceremony for his new Labor secretary, Trump continued, saying, “Adam Schiff — representative, congressman — made up what I said. He actually took words and made it up.”
  52. Also Monday, Giuliani told Fox Business News that Schiff “stood in front of the American people with millions of people listening and he lied,” adding, “just like he lied when he said he had direct evidence of Russian collusion.”
  53. Also Monday, Eric Trump told “Fox & Friends” that Schiff “is exactly why we need term limits in this country,” adding, “He’s a total disgrace.”
  54. On Monday, Trump quoted a pollster on Fox News, tweeting the idea of impeachment started “once they saw the President’s numbers going up, they said ‘We gotta do something,’ so they made this whole thing up.”
  55. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News Media wants to stay as far away as possible from the Ukraine and China deals made by the Bidens,” adding, “A Corrupt Media is so bad for our Country.”
  56. On Monday, CNN reported the Trump campaign ran 1,800 ads on Facebook mentioning “impeachment” in the last seven days. The ads have been viewed 16-18 million times and cost $600,000 to $2 million.
  57. On Monday, Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, sent a letter to the DOJ asking Barr to investigate ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
  58. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNBC that the Senate would “have no choice” but to take up impeachment and hold a trial if the House votes to charge Trump.
  59. On Monday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee pressed committee chair Lindsey Graham to call Barr and other senior officials before the committee to testify on Ukraine.
  60. On Monday, former senator Jeff Flake called on his Republican colleagues to stand up to Trump in an op-ed, saying, “Trust me when I say you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.”
  61. On Monday, Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said he would retire. Rep. Chris Collins resigned ahead of a guilty plea, making 20 Republicans to exit in 2020.
  62. On Monday, the chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani about his interactions with Trump regime officials in his role as an intermediary with Ukraine.
  63. The letter from the three chairs cites “credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President.”
  64. Giuliani was given an October 15 deadline to turn over information. Three of Giuliani’s business associates: Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, and Semyon “Sam” Kislin were also scheduled to give depositions.
  65. On Monday, WSJ reported Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, tying the State Department more closely to the impeachment inquiry.
  66. On Monday, NYT reported in a recent phone call with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Trump pushed the leader to help AG Barr gather information for a DOJ investigation meant to discredit the Mueller probe.
  67. Trump’s call was made at the request of AG Barr. The White House curbed access to the call transcript to a small group of aides, similarly to what had been done with the Ukraine call.
  68. The discussion revealed Trump once again using the power of presidency to advance personal political interests. The call was specifically made to request Australia’s help in Barr’s investigation.
  69. Trump essentially asked Australia to investigate itself. The FBI started an investigation of the Trump 2016 campaign after an Australian official told the department about George Papadopoulos’s London meeting.
  70. On Monday, WAPO reported Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials to ask their help in the DOJ inquiry, hoping to discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Trump-Russia in 2016.
  71. In addition to the request to Australia, Barr made overtures to British intelligence, and traveled to Italy for a second trip last week with John Durham, who has been put in charge of “investigating the investigators.”
  72. Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm that the attorney general was personally investigating conspiracy theories and baseless allegations three years later.
  73. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Australian government said it has “always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation,” citing the conversation.
  74. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported Barr went to Rome with John Durham last week in an under-the-radar trip which was quietly announced just days prior, to look into events leading up to the Mueller probe.
  75. Barr and Durham were especially interested in what Italian intelligence knew about Joseph Mifsud, who allegedly offered George Papadopolous dirt on Hillary in London, and listened to a taped deposition he had given.
  76. On Wednesday, Sen. Graham asked in a letter for “continued cooperation” from Australia, Italy, and the U.K. in Barr’s investigation, including an Australian diplomat who he says was “directed to contact” Papadopoulos.
  77. Australia’s ambassador responded, tweeting, “We reject your characterization” of our diplomat’s role in the FBI’s 2016 investigation, adding we will work closely with Barr to “resolve any misunderstandings.”
  78. On Wednesday, the Times of London reported Trump called UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on July 26, the day after his call with Zelensky, and two days after Mueller’s testimony, to ask for help discrediting Mueller.
  79. The call also came just two days after Johnson took office. Trump asked Johnson to help accumulate evidencethat would discredit the Mueller investigation after it did not exonerate him.
  80. On Tuesday, the Hill reported former White House aide Sebastian Gorka, a contributor to Sinclair TV and a talk show host on Salem Radio Network, traveled with Pompeo to the Vatican as part of the limited press pool.
  81. On Tuesday, Hong Kong police shot a protestor in the chest, one of six live rounds filed by police, in one of the most violent days of protests, as China celebrated 70 years of Communist party rule.
  82. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!” — a communist government that has not held a free election.
  83. On Wednesday, Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, and the top U.S. sanctions chief, resigned to join the private sector.
  84. On Friday, CNN reported Trump promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that the U.S. would remain silent on Hong Kong democracy protests while trade talks continued, a remarkable backing away from human rights.
  85. Trump’s commitment to not talk about the protests necessitated then-U.S. general counsel in Hong Kong, Kurt Tong, to have to cancel a speech on the protests in Washington scheduled for June.
  86. On Monday, in a court filing, a lawyer for House Democrats said they believe grand-jury redactions in the Mueller report revealed Trump lied about his knowledge of his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks.
  87. The filing was made with the House Judiciary Committee seeking Mueller’s grand jury materials, saying, “The text redacted…and any underlying evidence to which it may point are critical” to the investigation.
  88. On Monday, in a letter to the judge, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said it is joining Trump in the lawsuit to block disclosure of his tax returns, saying the complaint “raises a number of significant constitutional issues.”
  89. The letter puts the U.S. attorney’s office up against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Vance’s office have said their subpoena is valid and any dispute should be heard in state court.
  90. On Thursday, the Manhattan District Attorney has asked a judge in a sharply-worded court filing to reject federal prosecutors from backing Trump, calling the DOJ decision to intervene on Trump’s side “audacious.”
  91. The filing also stated, “Until quite recently and for more than a year, DOJ prosecutors in this very District conducted a highly publicized grand jury investigation into some of the very same transactions and actors.”
  92. On Tuesday, WAPO reported a federal judge warned U.S. prosecutors that they needed to either charge former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe or to drop their investigation on whether he lied to investigators.
  93. The judge said the prosecutors’ indecision was undermining the credibility of the DOJ, and said if a decision was not made by November 15, he would order them to release internal FBI documents related to McCabe’s firing.
  94. On Monday, attorneys for Michael Flynn said in a filing that a judge’s decision to overturn a guilty verdict for Flynn’s business partner Bijan Rafiekian last week “renders meaningless” his December 2017 guilty plea.
  95. The filing suggests Mueller team prosecutor Brandon Van Grack bullied Flynn into a plea deal. Flynn is due for sentencing December 18, but if he is granted access to additional Mueller documents, it will likely be delayed.
  96. On Tuesday, ISM U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing, came in at 47.8%, the lowest level since June 2009, during a severe recession. Experts cited Trump’s escalating trade war.
  97. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, blaming the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, saying he “allowed the Dollar to get so strong,” and adding, “They are their own worst enemies, they don’t have a clue. Pathetic!”
  98. On Tuesday, WAPO reported officials in Montana are warning residents for the second time this year about mailers sent by the Republican National Committee which look like official census forms but are actually solicitations for money.
  99. The mailers say “2019 Congressional District Census” and urge recipients to send at least $15 to “help pay for the costs of processing [the] Census Document,” and add to the confusion around the citizenship question.
  100. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled against the Trump regime, saying Harvard University does not discriminateagainst Asian-Americans in admissions — the biggest legal challenge to affirmative action in years.
  101. The judge wrote, “Diversity will foster the tolerance, acceptance and understanding that will ultimately make race conscious admissions obsolete.” The regime is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  102. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Georgia temporarily blocked a new abortion law that outlawed abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, before many women realize they are pregnant, from going into law.
  103. On Tuesday, NYT reported at a meeting in the Oval Office in March on immigration, Trump was fuming and ordered advisers to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico by noon the next day.
  104. Trump also mused about fortifying the border by stocking a trench with alligators, adding electrified spikes that could pierce human flesh, and shooting migrants who cross the border in the legs to slow them down.
  105. People at the meeting included Kirstjen Nielsen; Pompeo; Kevin McAleenan; Stephen Miller; Jared Kushner, and other senior staffers. Trump said “I ran on this” and “You are making me look like an idiot!”
  106. White House advisers were able to convince Trump to give them a reprieve, and a week later Nielsen talked him out of it. Miller took it as an opportunity and saw to it that Nielsen and others were pushed out.
  107. On Tuesday, WAPO reported a Fairfax County police officer was suspended for turning over a driver involved in a traffic accident to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after finding they had an immigration violation.
  108. The Fairfax police chief said the officer violated a long-standing policy of not performing civil immigration enforcement for ICE, despite stepped-up enforcement by the Trump regime. The incident is under investigation.
  109. On Wednesday, NYT reported the Trump regime plans to collect DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of detained immigrants held in federal detention centers which currently hold more than 40,000 people.
  110. Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security said the DOJ was developing a federal regulation to give immigration officers authority to collect DNA. There is a 2005 exemption for collecting from immigrants.
  111. DHS officials plan to rollback the exemption in the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005, and would provide a comprehensive DNA profile. The results would also be shared with other law enforcement agencies.
  112. On Thursday, AP and FRONTLINE reported the Trump regime is shifting caretaking of migrant children to the private sector and contractors from religious-based non-profits, which traditionally cared for children.
  113. The only private company to care for migrant children so far is CHS, owned by Caliburn International Corp. Former Trump chief of staff John Kelly serves on Caliburn’s board and stands to financially benefit.
  114. Conditions inside Caliburn facilities were described as jail-like. The children wear matching grey pants and black sweatshirts, and are not allowed to touch each other. There are alarms on the windows.
  115. A citizen whistleblower complaint claimed Caliburn’s revenues could increase from $65 million in 2017 to $275-325 million per year based on the child detention business. The business was awarded on a no-bid basis.
  116. On Friday, WSJ reported the Trump regime will deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they have health insurance, or the ability to pay for medical costs once they become permanent U.S. citizens.
  117. Trump’s proclamation will go into effect on November 3. Trump cited, “immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”
  118. Stephen Miller and others in the regime are behind this latest move to limit immigration by placing financial burdens and obstacles on immigrants. Miller was also behind the recent “public charge” rule.
  119. On Friday, NYT reported the Agriculture Department moved this week to slice another $4.5 billion over five years from the food stamp program, trimming monthly benefits by as much as $75 for one-in-five families.
  120. The move, which changes how people’s income and expenses are calculated, marks the third time the regime has cut the program. Trump has used executive orders, since Congress would not comply.
  121. On Wednesday, Politico reported the House Oversight Committee is investigating two entities, a trade association and a foreign government, for booking a large block of rooms at Trump hotels and using few of them.
  122. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats asked the IRS Commissioner to strip the National Rifle Association of its tax-exempt status, after a senate report in Week 150 found it worked closely with Russians in the 2016 election.
  123. On Tuesday, Pompeo tweeted a letter accusing three House committee chairs of trying to bully State Department officials to testify, saying they were not given time to prepare or consult with department legal counsel.
  124. In response, the three chairs wrote, “Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress…is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”
  125. On Tuesday, WSJ reported House leaders plan to question former State Department officials: Kurt Volker will be deposed on Thursday and Marie Yovanovitch on October 11.
  126. On Tuesday, in a letter to the State Department, more than two dozen former U.S. diplomats and others experts said they were “disturbed” by reports linking Yovanovitch’s ouster to “absurd and unfounded allegations.”
  127. The letter also said Trump’s comments about her on the July 25 phone call “could be interpreted as a threat,” and “Such language and the broader attack on Ambassador Yovanovitch should be condemned unequivocally.”
  128. Also Tuesday, the State Department inspector general contacted several House and Senate committees, asking to brief their staffers on Wednesday on an undisclosed matter.
  129. On Tuesday, Politico reported in the spring of 2018 the Trump regime ordered an upgrade of the security of the National Security Council’s codeword system as part of an effort to ferret out and deter leaks.
  130. Part of the rationale for the upgrade of the system, known as NICE, or NSC Intelligence Collaboration Environment, was to prevent any leaks of the transcripts of Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders.
  131. On Tuesday, Giuliani hired Jon Sale, who served as an assistant special Watergate prosecutor, to represent him in the congressional investigation of Trump’s actions towards Ukraine.
  132. On Tuesday, Sen. Angus King told CNN that he and his staff had reconstructed the call between Trump and Zelensky using the memo, and determined more than two-thirds of the call time is unaccounted for.
  133. On Tuesday, Sen. Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, defended the whistleblower saying they followed protocol, and noted, “We should always work to respect whistleblowers’ requests for confidentiality.”
  134. On Thursday, a second Republican senator, Joni Ernst, also from Iowa, joined Grassley, saying, “I stand with Chuck Grassley on this. We have laws in place,” adding, “Whistleblowers should be protected.”
  135. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that Schiff “should resign from office in disgrace, and frankly they should look at him for treason,” also calling Schiff a “lowlife.”
  136. Later Wednesday, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy signed a censure resolution against Schiff introduced in Week 150 by Rep. Andy Biggs, the incoming chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
  137. On Wednesday, speaking to reporters alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisö, Trump called the whistleblower “fake” and “vicious” and into “some bad things” in a 40-minute press conference.
  138. A red-faced, enraged Trump also called the White House official who alerted the whistleblower a “spy,” said Schiff was guilty of “treason,” and said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies.”
  139. Trump sparred with a Reuters reporter for asking about Ukraine, glaring at him and saying, “Are you talking to me?” then telling him, “We have the president of Finland, ask him a question.”
  140. When pressed again on Ukraine and Biden, Trump responded, “I’ve answered everything. It’s a whole hoax. And you know who’s playing into it? People like you.” Trump also called the media “corrupt” and “fake.”
  141. Trump continued to air grievances while President Niiniso looked on, repeatedly using the terms “hoax” “scam” and “fraud.” Niiniso barely got to speak, at one point interjecting, “I think the question is for me.”
  142. A Finnish reporter asked Niiniso “I have to ask, what kind of favors has Mr. Trump asked from you?” to which Trump interjected, “I think you mean the other way around,” before Niiniso gave a thoughtful answer.
  143. Trump said of impeachment, “We’ll work together with shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them.” He also added of the call transcript with Ukraine, “There are those who think I am a very stable genius, ok?
  144. Finnish reporters described the conference to their readers back home with ridicule and concern, celebrating Niiniso’s dignity during Trump’s unhinged monologues, and criticizing Trump’s treatment of the press.
  145. Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet wrote: “Niinisto’s visit was overshadowed by Circus Trump — President Niinisto asked Trump to safeguard U.S. democracy.”
  146. On Wednesday, former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenk said in a statement to Bloomberg, Joe Biden never asked him to open or close any criminal cases, saying nothing improper was done related to his son.
  147. On Wednesday, NYT reported the three House committees are preparing to subpoena the White House by Friday if it does not comply with requests for documents related to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
  148. Speaking to reporters alongside Speaker Pelosi, Schiff said, “We’re not fooling around here,” adding the House will not let this “drag on months and months and months, which would be the administration’s strategy.”
  149. Schiff called Trump’s tweet demanding to “meet” the whistleblower “a blatant effort to intimidate witnesses” and “an incitement of violence,” adding, We will do everything in our power” to protect the whistleblower.
  150. As Schiff was speaking, Trump tweeted, “The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT,” adding he “got overwhelmingly elected.”
  151. Trump also tweeted, “Adam Schiff should only be so lucky to have the brains, honor and strength of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” calling Schiff a “lowlife” who “completely fabricated my words.”
  152. Trump also tweeted, “Congressman Adam Schiff should resign for the Crime” of “fraudulently fabricating a statement of the President of the United States and reading it to Congress,” adding, “he is sick!”
  153. Trump also live-tweeted as Speaker Pelosi spoke about working with Trump on legislation to lower drug prices, tweeting, “It is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment.”
  154. Pelosi said Trump asking Zelensky for “a favor” was sufficient reason to move forward, adding of the founders, “They never thought that we’d have a president who would kick those guardrails over,” calling it “sad.”
  155. On Wednesday, NYT reported Schiff learned about the outlines of the whistleblower’s concern before complaint was filed, showing how determined the whistleblower was to make their concerns known.
  156. The whistleblower approached a House Intelligence Committee aide after he had a colleague convey his concerns to the CIA’s top lawyer. In both approaches, the accusation was left vague.
  157. In a news conference after the NYT reporting, Trump waved a copy of the article and said, “Big stuff. That’s a big story,” falsely claiming that Schiff “helped write” the complaint, and calling it “a scam.”
  158. On Wednesday, an Economist/YouGov Poll found support for impeachment increasing to 45% from 37% in late July. Democrats’ support jumped by 20 points, and Independents rose eight points.
  159. On Friday, CNN reported support for Trump’s impeachment is unprecedented: with both Nixon and Clinton, impeachment actions started off with more opposing than supporting impeachment.
  160. On Wednesday, after much build-up and speculation, the State Department IG turned over a packet of news clipping, timelines, and interview notes on the Bidens given to them by Giuliani.
  161. Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was the only lawmaker to attend IG Steve Linick’s briefing, called it a “completely irrelevant distraction,” and “essentially a packet of propaganda and disinformation spreading conspiracy theories.”
  162. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Mike Pence in efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leader, at a time when Trump has using other channels to solicit information on his political opponents.
  163. Trump instructed Pence not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration in May, then months later Trump used to Pence to relay aid was still being withheld pending aggressive action on corruption ahead of Trump’s July 25 call.
  164. Officials close to Pence say he was not aware of Trump’s pressing for damaging information on the Bidens; although one of Pence’s top advisers was on the July 25 call, and there were visible signs of Trump’s strategy.
  165. Pence’s actions came as the U.S. ambassador to Kiev was abruptly recalled, Giuliani inserted himself into the U.S.-Ukraine relationship, and alarms were raised inside the White House about the whistleblower complaint.
  166. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Giuliani has consulted with Paul Manafort through the federal prisoner’s lawyer several times in recent months, in hopes of bolstering his story that Ukraine helped Hillary Clinton in 2016.
  167. Giuliani said he is looking into the existence of the black ledger obtained by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, which revealed cash payments to Manafort that led him to resign from Trump’s campaign.
  168. Giuliani claimed the ledger was used as a pretext for U.S. authorities to re-open a case against Manafort. The FBI already had a case open about his Ukraine work in 2013, and Mueller’s team did not mentioned the ledger.
  169. On Thursday, WAPO reported an IRS whistleblower filed a complaint saying he was told at least one Treasury Department political appointee acted to interfere with the annual audit of Trump or Pence’s tax returns.
  170. The Trump regime dismissed the complaint as flimsy because it was based on conversations with other government officials, but House Democrats were alarmed by the complaint which was flagged in a federal court filing.
  171. On Thursday, Pelosi told “Good Morning America” the Democrats’ investigation does not “hinge on” whether McConnell “has the guts to really do what the Constitution requires,” or “the impact” on the election.
  172. Pelosi added, “separate from that, the reelection of Donald Trump would do irreparable damage to the United States,” adding, “we have some serious repair and healing to do in our country for what he’s done so far.”
  173. On Thursday, Trump shifted strategy, snubbing his nose at impeachment and telling reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens.”
  174.  Asked what he hoped Zelensky would do after his July 25 call, Trump said, “If they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens” — seeming to underscore his claim he did nothing wrong asking.
  175. Schiff cited Trump “encouraging a foreign nation to interfere again,” telling reporters, “It endangers our elections, it endangers our national security, it ought to be condemned by every member of this body.”
  176. No Republicans condemned Trump. Instead, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy prodded Pelosi in a letter asking if the House would vote on an official impeachment inquiry and if the GOP could call witnesses.
  177. Pelosi responded in a letter, noting McCarthy’s request came “shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections.”
  178. On Thursday, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson defended Trump’s call on Ukraine and China, saying, “If there’s potential criminal activity, the president of the United States is our chief law enforcement officer.”
  179. On Thursday, CNN reported Johnson was a signatory to a February 2016 bipartisan letter to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to make “reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office,” similar to Biden’s request.
  180. On Thursday, Ellen Weintraub, the head of the Federal Election Commission, re-upped a June tweet of a memorandum stating it is illegal for anyone running for public office to solicit help from a foreign national.
  181. On Thursday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in an op-ed on Trump’s calling a foreign head of state to investigate his political opponent, “Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea.”
  182. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump ordered the removal of then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, saying she was undermining him abroad and obstructing his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden.
  183. State Department officials were told in the spring that her removal was a priority. Pompeo supported the move. Career officials told Yovanovitch they could not shield her from Trump and his allies.
  184. Giuliani told the Journal that Yovanovitch displayed an “anti-Trump bias” in private conversations, and had been obstacle to Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Giuliani said he alerted Trump of both.
  185. Giuliani gave Pompeo a document on March 28 detailing a timeline on the Bidens’ dealings with Ukraine, as well as allegations of impropriety against Yovanovitch, including that she was “very close” to Biden.
  186. Trump said of her on Thursday, “I don’t know if I recalled her or somebody recalled her but I heard very, very bad things about her for a long period of time.” Yovanovitch will testify before lawmakers on October 11.
  187. On Thursday, Trump again mocked 16 year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, quoting a tweet that referred to her as “an actress,” and telling the person who tweeted it, “Keep up the great work.”
  188. On Thursday, Fox News host Sean Hannity took a shot at his colleagues on his show, saying, “We have a few resistance people on the channel,” as the civil-war within the network continued to spill out publicly.
  189. On Thursday, Politico reported Energy Secretary Rick Perry is expected to depart from the regime in November. Unlike most in Trump’s cabinet, Perry had largely avoided controversies until the Ukraine investigation.
  190. Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed Perry for information about his May travel to Ukraine, and asked who asked him to attend Zelensky’s inauguration.
  191. Perry is also part of a House subpoena sent Monday to Giuliani on the inauguration, but has not been directly called to testify himself. He has frequently visited Ukraine, including meeting with Zelensky.
  192. On Thursday, Trump said in a speech in Florida the regime is looking at starting a news network, saying CNN is “terrible for our country, adding, “we ought to start our own network and put some real news out there.”
  193. Trump also said of CNN and other media, “they are so bad for our country,” adding, “I go out there and they say, ‘Boy, the media hates your country,’ and it’s just a shame. It’s just a shame. And we really are.”
  194. On Thursday, a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll found a plurality of Americans (45%) support impeachment, while 38% disapprove — a major shift in attitude since June when 32% supported impeachment, 61% disapproved.
  195. Shortly after, Trump tweeted as U.S. president, “I have an absolute right, perhaps even a duty, to investigate, or have investigated, CORRUPTION,” including “asking, or suggesting, other Countries to help us out!”
  196. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “As President I have an obligation to end CORRUPTION, even if that means requesting the help of a foreign country or countries,” falsely claiming, “It is done all the time.”
  197. Trump also claimed he is duty-bound to investigate corruption, tweeting “This has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens. This does have to do with their corruption!
  198. On Friday, CNN reported that Trump and Giuliani are taking charge of the narrative on the impeachment inquiry, sidelining White House officials and making it harder to defend Trump and hurting his case.
  199. White House officials say Jared Kushner and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are the two most focused on developing an impeachment strategy. It was unclear if one had the senior-most role.
  200. On Friday, Trump told reporters, “This is not about politics. This is about corruption,” adding, “if you look and you read our Constitution and many other things, I have an obligation to look at corruption.”
  201. On Thursday, former special U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker gave a 10-hour deposition to the House Intelligence Committee, along with texts sent relating to Trump-Ukraine.
  202. Volker, the first State Department official to testify, told House investigators he warned Giuliani against trusting information he was getting from Ukrainian political figures about Joe and Hunter Biden.
  203. Volker claimed he was never given an explanation for Trump extending an invitation to the White House to Zelensky that was later withdrawn, or for halting military aid, which deeply concerned Ukrainian officials.
  204. Giuliani told the Post he “did not recall” being told by Volker, saying, “I’m pretty certain he never said that the claims weren’t true,” he would have “asked him what kind of investigation he’d done and how he knew that.”
  205. On Thursday, NYT reported that Volker and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., worked on a statement in August for Zelensky that would have committed Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political opponents.
  206. Volker told Congress Thursday that Giuliani provided him and Sondland with critical elements of the language. The Ukrainians did not release the statement which would have given credence to allegations on Biden.
  207. On Thursday, in a letter to members of the three House committees from their Chairs, dozens of text messages from top State Department officials about a possible Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo were released.
  208. Late Thursday, Democrats publicly released text messages between U.S. and Ukrainian officials. The messages revealed how Trump tied the release of military aid to investigations that could help Trump’s 2020 campaign.
  209. The three committee chairs said the released text exchanges represented “only a subset of the full body of the materials” provided by Volker, and they hope to make the rest public later.
  210. Texts were sent by three U.S. diplomats: Kurt Volker; William Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine; and Gordon Sondland, a major GOP fundraiser and ambassador to the E.U.
  211. The texts revealed U.S. diplomats encouraged Zelensky to conduct a public investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for a visit with Trump at the White House, in what one diplomat called a “crazy” swap.
  212. The texts lay out the raw contours of a potential quid-pro-quo exchange. An adviser to Zelensky appeared to agree to an investigation of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board.
  213. Before the July 25 call, U.S. officials said Ukraine needed to open investigations in order for Zelensky to get a meeting with Trump, which was urgently needed by Ukraine given ongoing Russian aggression.
  214. U.S. officials said Trump would not set a date for a meeting until there was a “deliverable” — a publicly announced investigation. An aide to Zelensky said he understood a meeting was contingent on the investigations.
  215. In late August, Ukrainian officials became aware military aid was also being delayed. Taylor asked Sondland if other Americans knew of the delays in aid and a meeting, and added Russia must be pleased.
  216. On Friday, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said he would audit several cases handled by his predecessors, including a criminal case involving the company that employed Hunter Biden.
  217. The move sparked concern that Ukraine was bowing to political pressure from Trump. Ryaboshapka said he intended to review 15 cases, including one on the owner of the natural gas company Burisma Holdings.
  218. On Friday, Trump tweeted a headline by conservative Washington Times about the texts, falsely claiming, “Ukraine envoy blows ‘massive hole’ into Democrat accusations,” and adding, “Case Closed!”
  219. On Friday, WSJ reported Sen. Johnson said he was told by Sondland in late August that the hold-up in military aid to Ukraine was related to a desired investigation that Trump and his allies wanted.
  220. Johnson said when he called Trump the next day on August 31, Trump flatly rejected the claim: “He said, ‘Expletive deleted — No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?”
  221. On Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse said, “Americans don’t look to Chinese commies for the truth. If the Biden kid broke laws…that’s a matter for American courts, not communist tyrants running torture camps.”
  222. On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney became the second Republican to criticize Trump, tweeting Trump’s “brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”
  223. On Friday, Rep. William Hurd, who is retiring in 2020, said “it is terrible” for Trump to ask China to probe Biden, adding congratulating China “on 70 years of communism via a tweet” is also something he would not do.
  224. On Friday, intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson testified before the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. Atkinson received the whistleblower complaint.
  225. Atkinson, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, deemed the complaint an “urgent concern,” which requires the complaint be given to Congress, but acting DNI Joseph Maguire refused to on advice of the DOJ.
  226. On Friday, NBC News reported weeks before the whistleblower complaint became public, the CIA’s general counsel, Trump appointee Courtney Simmons Elwood, made a criminal referral to the DOJ about it.
  227. The move meant that she and other senior officials concluded that a crime had been committed, raising further questions about why the DOJ later declined to open an investigation in Trump pressuring Zelensky.
  228. On Friday, chairs of the three House committees requested a wide-ranging batch of documents from Pence in the impeachment inquiry, relating to Trump’s pressuring Ukraine and any role Pence played, by October 15.
  229. On Friday, WAPO reported senior staffers working for Trump have all along been worried about his calls with foreign leaders, citing his diplomatic blunders, making promises he could not keep, and asking for favors.
  230. Aides said in his first call with Putin, Trump said something like, “Oh my gosh, my people didn’t tell me you wanted to talk to me.” Trump has also been consistently cozy with other authoritarian leaders.
  231. Aides bristled on how Trump spoke to longtime allies, especially women leaders like Theresa May. Unlike past leaders, Trump has rejected much of the protocol and preparation associated with foreign calls.
  232. On Friday, the three House committee chairs subpoenaed the White House for Ukraine documents, after the regime failed to comply with repeated requests, marking the third subpoena sent since impeachment began.
  233. In a letter to Mulvaney, the three said, “We deeply regret that President Trump has put us — and the nation — in this position,” and gave until October 18 to respond. The White House called it political posturing.
  234. On Friday, NYT reported a second intelligence official who was alarmed by Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is considering filing his own report and testifying before Congress.
  235. The official has more direct information about the events, and was interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations in the first complaint.
  236. On Friday, Bloomberg reported Trump ordered a cut to national security staff as the White House confronts an impeachment inquiry. The stated reason was to make the council leaner under the new National Security Adviser.
  237. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “the so-called Whistleblower’s account of my perfect phone call is “way off,” not even close,” adding, “Schiff and Pelosi never thought I would release the transcript of the call…they got caught.”
  238. Trump also tweeted, “This is a fraud against the American people!” However, documents, firsthand witness accounts, and public statements by Trump over two weeks have bolstered the facts outlined in the complaint.
  239. Trump also attacked Sen. Romney, tweeting, “If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!” and calling him “a pompous “ass” who has been fighting me from the beginning.”
  240. After golfing, Trump tweeted, “Not only are the Do Nothing Democrats interfering in the 2020 Election, but they are continuing to interfere in the 2016 Election. They must be stopped!” It was unclear what he meant.

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

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Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2019.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 151: A COURAGEOUS WHISTLEBLOWER

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

Week 150

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-150/

This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump. I’ve always had the sense that when we were finally on the road to the end of the Trump regime, the weekly list would ramp up big time. Week 150 has 225 not normal items, 10% more than any other week — a sign of the bedlam we will face as the truth slowly drips out, and Trump uses every means possible to distract from it and remain in power.

The impeachment inquiry, although narrow in scope, has already turned over and intertwined troubling items from earlier weekly lists, which like so many in the chaos, were normalized and forgotten. Although the impeachment inquiry is focused on Trump’s conversations and actions towards Ukraine, we already have reporting of similar cover-ups of communications with leaders from Russia and Saudi Arabia. As the inquiry expands it is also ensnaring others, including Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr, whose repeated efforts to cover up for Trump are gradually being assembled into a mosaic of behavior unbefitting his office.

It is remarkable that it took 150 weeks for a courageous whistleblower to bring Trump’s actions into the light of day, after all the highly decorated and reputable officials who worked for the regime at one time or another allowed Trump to operate our government in the fashion of a mob boss, and left in silence without speaking out or exposing corruption and criminal activity for the good of the country.

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“Rise up! Rise up armies of darkness! Bring me the whistleblowers, that I might suck the marrow from their bones and build my border wall with their traitorous skulls!!! If you wanna call that witness intimidation, fine.” – JIM CARREY
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Yippie-ki-yay MF! – JIM CARREY
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GRETA  by Jody_artist in Bristol, UK
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I took this pic in Barrio Logan in San Diego, CA 21 sep2109

 

  1. On Sunday, WAPO reported so far 18 House Republican have announced plans to resign, retire, or run for another office in 2020, imperiling the GOP’s chances of taking back the House in 2020.
  2. Since Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, nearly 40% of the 241 Republicans who were in office then are gone or are leaving due to election loss, retirement, or quitting in disgust.
  3. On Monday, a report by the Brookings Institute on turnover of White House “A-Team” jobs found 78% of those senior positions have turned, and 31% having turned more than once.
  4. The author of the study, Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, told NBC News, “It’s historic, it’s unprecedented, it’s off the charts,” adding in 32 months Trump surpassed “all of his predecessors who served four-year terms.”
  5. On Monday, in an op-ed on the growing threat to journalism, NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger said Trump was ready to allow an NYT journalist to be arrested in Egypt. The reporter’s native Ireland got him out.
  6. On Saturday, WAPO reported Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which took place the day after Robert Mueller’s public testimony, revealed a leader convinced of his invincibility.
  7. Trump criticized Democrats for what he called “the Ukraine Witch Hunt.” Some Democrats expressed concern that House Democrats’ unwillingness to impeach Trump has only encouraged his lawlessness.
  8. On Sunday, Trump told reporters he discussed Biden on the call, saying it was “largely the fact that we don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.”
  9. Trump also told reporters the call was “absolutely perfect,” adding, “It was a beautiful, warm, nice conversation,” but added the Bidens “were involved in a lot of different things that took place in our country.”
  10. On Sunday, Sen. Mitt Romney was the lone Republican to speak out, tweeting if Trump “asked or pressured” Ukraine to investigate “his political rival” directly or indirectly “it would be troubling in the extreme.”
  11. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “This Week” that Trump 2020 rival Joe Biden should be investigated if he improperly intervened to protect his son from an investigation in Ukraine.
  12. On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told “Meet the Press” that “there was no connection” between military aid to Ukraine and and Trump’s interest in investigating the Bidens.
  13. When asked why Congress should not see the whistleblower complaint, Mnuchin said “I think that would be a terrible precedent,” and added, “I think things are being implied that just don’t exist.”
  14. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani made an unscheduled 11-minute rambling appearance on “Fox New Sunday,” calling out various Ukrainian officials and George Soros for being involved in a vast criminal conspiracy.
  15. Giuliani cited “Ukrainian collusion” aimed at influencing the 2016 U.S. election, saying of Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China, “When the rest of this comes out, this will be a lot bigger than Spiro Agnew.”
  16. On Sunday, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff told “State of the Union” if Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden, the only remedy may be impeachment, saying, “we may very well have crossed the Rubicon here.”
  17. Schiff added Trump “sought foreign assistance and welcomed foreign assistance in the last presidential campaign as a candidate, he is now doing the same thing again but now using the power of the presidency.”
  18. On Sunday, WAPO reported House Democrats are becoming frustrated with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unwillingness to move forward on impeachment, with one saying on oversight, “We’re been very weak.”
  19. Speaker Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter, sent on Sunday to Republicans and Democrats, “If the administration persists in blocking this whistle-blower…they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness.”
  20. Pelosi also signaled in her letter, “a whole new stage of investigation.” Meanwhile, NYT reported Trump told aides that the Democrats are overplaying their hand, and worked to focus public attention on Biden.
  21. Several freshmen House members conferred over the weekend, with one saying in an interview, “There are lines being crossed right now that I fear will be erased.” Influential Chair Schiff also shifted toward impeachment.
  22. On Sunday, an NBC/WSJ poll found 69% of voters say they do not like Trump personally, regardless of their feelings about his policy agenda. Just 29% say they like him personally, and 25% approve of his policy agenda.
  23. On Monday, Trump claimed the Nobel Peace Prize is rigged against him, telling reporters he “would get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things, if they give it out fairly, which they don’t,” adding Obama “had no idea why he got it.”
  24. On Monday, Facebook removed a patriotic “I Love America” page with 1.1 million followers, after discovering it was run by Ukrainians, and had become heavily into pro-Trump and conservative content in recent weeks.
  25. On Monday, WAPO reported Trump told acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to hold back almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine days before his call with Velensky.
  26. Officials at the Office of Management and Budget, which Mulvaney heads, relayed the orders to the State Department and Pentagon during a mid-July meeting, saying Trump had “concerns” about how money was spent.
  27. For two months, regime officials told lawmakers, who had given bi-partisan support to aid for Ukraine, that delays in the aid were due to an “interagency process.” The aid was finally released on September 11.
  28. GOP senators on the appropriations committee said aid was held up while Trump assessed if Zelenksy was pro-Russian or pro-Western. The ranking Democrat threatened to freeze spending if the money was not released.
  29. On Monday, a senior official said the money was held up over concerns about “a lot of corruption in Ukraine.” Trump repeated that his call was “a perfect phone call,” and said he was considering releasing the transcript.
  30. When asked about withholding aid in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens, Trump also told reporters, “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”
  31. Trump also said, “Joe Biden and his son are corrupt,” adding, “If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they’d be getting the electric chair right now.”
  32. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of trying to “politicize” the whistleblower complaint. Republicans largely remained silent about the complaint, except for Lindsey Graham.
  33. On Monday, seven freshmen Democrats who are veterans of the military, defense, and intelligence in swing districts wrote in an op-ed if allegations are true, “we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense.”
  34. The seven wrote, “We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country….we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution,” adding, we join to “uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters.”
  35. On Monday, WAPO reported Speaker Pelosi is quietly sounding out her caucus to gauge support for impeachment. On Monday night, 146 House Democrats backed impeachment.
  36. On Monday, at the United Nations summit in New York, Trump skipped key climate crisis talks, instead reserving a conference room and chairing his own meeting on religious freedom held in the same building.
  37. On Monday, Trump mocked 16 year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who spoke at the U.N. on dangers to the environment, tweeting, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
  38. On Tuesday, Fox News apologized for what it called a “disgraceful” comment about Thunberg by guest Michael Knowles who called her a “mentally ill Swedish child.” Fox said he will not be booked again.
  39. Fox News was silent on host Laura Ingraham likening Thunberg to a murderous cult of children from Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn,” saying, “I can’t wait for Stephen King’s sequel, ‘Children of the Climate.’”
  40. On Thursday, the Trump regime slashed the refugee cap to 18,000 for the coming year, down from 30,000 last year, 45,000 in Trump’s first year, and from 110,000 when Obama left office.
  41. Most of the 18,000 slots are reserved: the regime will reserve 4,000 for Iraqis in the U.S. military, 5,000 for those persecuted for religion, 1,500 for Central Americans, and 7,500 for family reunification.
  42. With the revised cap, the regime essentially eliminated all spots for people fleeing persecution or war. When Trump took office, the U.S. was the world’s leading destination for refugees.
  43. On Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League said in a new report it was classifying the ‘OK’ hand gesture as a hate symbol, along with several others, to its database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.
  44. On Friday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s efforts to detain migrant families indefinitely, preserving the the landmark 1997 settlement known as the Flores Agreement.
  45. Judge Dolly Gee wrote the Trump regime’s efforts failed “to implement and are inconsistent with” the Flores Agreement, adding, “The blessing or the curse […] of a binding contract is its certitude.”
  46. On Friday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s efforts to expand a program known as “expedited removal,” which fast-tracked deportations by sending recent border-crossers within 100 miles back to Mexico.
  47. The judge said the regime’s decision-making process appeared to violate federal law and appeared arbitrary. She also faulted the regime for not carrying out the notice-and-comment practice required to change federal law.
  48. On Friday, the American Medical Association, citing a wave of killings of at least 18 transgender people across the country, most of them transgender women of color, declared the killings an “epidemic.”
  49. On Tuesday, the U.K. Supreme Court’s 11 justices unanimously ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspending Parliament for five weeks ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline was illegal.
  50. The court ruled the suspension “void and of no effect,” and Parliament reconvened Wednesday. Amid calls for him to resign, Johnson, who was at the U.N. General Assembly said he “disagreed profoundly” with the ruling.
  51. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters before delivering his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Trump changed the story on why he halted aid to Ukraine, saying it was not about corruption but aid from European countries.
  52. Trump said, “I’ll continue to withhold [aid] until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine,” falsely claiming, “Because they’re not doing it; it’s the United States. We’re putting up the bulk of the money.”
  53. Trump said he authorized the release of the call transcript, saying, “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call,” adding, “NO quid pro quo!” and saying he is the target of the “most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
  54. Trump later said Pompeo had received permission from Ukraine for the release, tweeting, “they don’t know either what the big deal is.” One person familiar said of the release, “It’s an incredible miscalculation.”
  55. On Tuesday, Trump delivered his third U.N. General Assembly speech. Uncharacteristically, a subdued Trump read from the teleprompter with little inflection in his voice. World leaders remained quiet as he spoke.
  56. Trump delivered a 30-minute nationalist speech, saying the future belongs to “patriots” not “globalists,” citing illegal immigration and socialism, and criticizing other countries that he believed are treating the U.S. unfairly.
  57. In a 24-hour period, 57 House Democrats, including moderate Democrats who won in Trump districts, switched their position to supporting a formal impeachment proceeding, bringing the total to 197.
  58. Rep. John Lewis announced support, saying, “There comes a time when you have to be moved by the spirit of history to take action,” adding, “To delay or to do otherwise would betray the foundation of our democracy.”
  59. Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat joined the call for impeachment. Sens. Patty Murray and Debbie Stabenow, the No. 3 and No. 4 Democrats, have already come out for impeachment. Ten other senators joined as well.
  60. An NBC News analyst said Trump called Pelosi Tuesday morning, and asked, “Can we work something out” on the whistleblower complaint. She responded, “Tell your people to obey the law” and she was moving ahead.
  61. Pelosi told Trump, “You have come into my wheelhouse,” due to her 25 years in House Intelligence, including as chair. Pelosi and her leadership team considered forming a select committee to conduct the inquiry.
  62. On Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST, Speaker Pelosi took the extraordinary step of announcing a formal impeachment inquiry, speaking for five-minutes in front of American flags, saying that Trump had violated the Constitution.
  63. Pelosi said, “The actions of the Trump presidency have revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
  64. Pelosi said for the past several months House committees have gathered “all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article 1 powers” including “the utmost gravity of articles of impeachment.”
  65. Moments later, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “Such an important day at the United Nations,” adding, “the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage.”
  66. Trump also tweeted: “Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and, of course, Maxine Waters! Can you believe this?” adding, “They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!” and “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”
  67. Shortly after, Trump told reporters impeachment is a “continuation of the witch hunt” and will be “a positive for me in the election,” adding, “By the way, she hasn’t even seen the phone call. The phone call was perfect.”
  68. Trump , who was unusually subdued, alleged, without evidence that Biden and his son profited from dealings in Ukraine. He also insulted journalists, and accused WAPO of publishing a “fake article.”
  69. During his press conference, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut away to tell her viewers, “We hate to do this…But the president isn’t telling the truth.” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell said, “We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
  70. Trump’s campaign sent out a fundraising text after the announcement, raising $1 million in 3 hours, and according to campaign manager Brad Parscale’s tweet, bringing in $5 million in the 24 hours post announcement.
  71. Later Pelosi told reporters, Trump admitted he spoke to Zelensky “about something that would assist him in his election,” adding, “so, that has changed everything,” and “It’s really a sad day for our country.”
  72. On Tuesday, Politico reported Trump has approved and the White House is preparing to release the whistleblower complaint to Congress by the end of the week, reversing its position to withhold the document.
  73. On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed a non-binding measure urging Trump to release the whistleblower complaint. The measure was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
  74. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump’s moves with Ukraine began shortly after Zelensky was sworn in in April, and Giuliani saw him as a political neophyte and possible ally to go after Trump’s political opponents.
  75. After the Mueller probe ended, Giuliani focused on Ukraine, and pushed for personnel changes at the U.S. embassy, while deploying his own emissaries and seeking meetings with officials working for Zelensky.
  76. Giuliani targeted the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, a career official, falsely claiming she had a secret role in exposing Paul Manafort and was part of a conspiracy by George Soros. She was fired.
  77. WAPO also reported National Security Council officials feared, based on meetings before the July 25 phone call, that Trump was prepared to use U.S. leverage with Ukraine’s new leader for his own political gain.
  78. Officials described an atmosphere of intense pressure inside the NSC since the existence of the complaint became known. Trump tweeted of the whistleblower, “Is he on our Country’s side. Where does he come from.”
  79. On Wednesday, a Quinnipiac poll found 37% of voters said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 57% said he should not. The poll was conducted last Thursday through Monday.
  80. On Wednesday, the White House released a rough, five-page transcript of the call between Trump and the Ukrainian president, describing it as a memorandum of a telephone conversation that is not a verbatim account.
  81. The White House said the transcript reflects the notes and memories of those in the Situation Room during the call, and that a number of factors “can affect the accuracy of the record.”
  82. The call begins with Trump congratulating Zelensky, but quickly Trump pressed him to investigate his political rivals, including Biden and a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton’s email server is in the Ukraine.
  83. When Zelensky mentions buying more U.S. missiles, Trump says, “I would like you to do us a favor because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” adding, “The server, they say Ukraine has it.”
  84. Trump repeatedly said Zelensky should work with AG Barr or Giuliani to investigate Biden. Trump said, “I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.”
  85. Trump also told Zelensky, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution” of his son, adding, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution…It sounds horrible to me.”
  86. Zelensky responded “my candidate” for the prosecutor job “will look into the situation,” and noted he stayed at the Trump Tower during his last visit to New York City.
  87. In a statement, spokesperson Kerri Kupec said the DOJ’s criminal division “reviewed the official record of the call” and found “there was no campaign finance violation and that no further action was warranted.”
  88. Kupec also said Barr did not speak to Trump “about having Ukraine investigate anything related to former Vice President Biden or his son,” nor did Barr discuss “anything related to Ukraine” with Giuliani.
  89. Trump publicly acknowledged he asked Zelensky to investigate Biden’s son. Hunter Biden was not accused of any wrongdoing. Joe Biden and other Western officials did pressure Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.
  90. Shortly after the transcript was released, Trump claimed victory, telling reporters, “It’s the single greatest witch hunt in American history. Probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”
  91. Trump also said “There was no pressure,” and “the way you had that built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell,” adding people are instead saying, “I never knew you could be so nice.”
  92. Later in a joint appearance at the U.N., Zelensky told reporters “nobody pushed me,” and Trump added, “In other words, no pressure.” Trump also said Pelosi “lost her way” and had “been taken over by the radical left.”
  93. Trump also tweeted, “Will the Democrats apologize after seeing what was said on the call with the Ukrainian President? They should, a perfect call — got them by surprise!”
  94. Trump quoted “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy, tweeting, “Democrats have been talking” about impeachment since “before he was inaugurated,” and host Brett Baier, “You don’t see a direct quid pro quo in this.”
  95. On Wednesday, WAPO reported several Senate Republicans were stunned by the transcript, and questioned the White House’s judgment in releasing it, with one anonymously calling it a “huge mistake.”
  96. Sen. Romney said “It remains troubling in the extreme,” while aides for others fretted having to defend Trump. Loyalist Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, “What a nothing (non-quid pro quo) burger.”
  97. On Wednesday, Cindy McCain, wife of the late Sen. John McCain, Graham’s best friend, said the GOP is “excluding people for the wrong reasons” and is no longer “the party that my husband and I belonged to.”
  98. Axios reported some of Trump’s advisors thought the release was a mistake. White House counsel Pat Cipollone invited Trump’s most loyal lawmakers to come hear talking points in the morning before the release.
  99. Later Wednesday, the White House mistakenly sent Trump-Ukraine talking points to Democratic lawmakers and staffers, in an email titled, “What you need to know: President Trump’s call with President Zelenskyy.”
  100. Talking points included there was no quid pro quo, and what Trump talked about “was entirely proper,” and Trump did not mention Giuliani or Biden “until after President Zelensky had raised Giuliani first.”
  101. On Wednesday, Politico reported House Democrats discussed narrowing the impeachment focus in a morning meeting to Trump’s implicit threat to withhold military aid unless Ukraine investigated the Bidens.
  102. Democrats hoped to seize the public fervor and move to articles of impeachment by year-end or sooner. As of Wednesday morning, 208 House Democrats had come out for starting an impeachment inquiry.
  103. On Wednesday, WAPO reported acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire threatened to resign if he could not speak freely at his testimony Thursday before the House and Senate Intelligence committees about the whistleblower complaint.
  104. After the Post reporting, Maguire denied it, saying in a statement, “at no time have I considered resigning my position,” and the White House press secretary tweeted, “This is actually not true.”
  105. Later Wednesday, NBC News reported Trump allies are concerned about Giuliani’s exposure, given he has no official role. A senior official said his claim that the State Department “asked me” to look into Ukraine is false.
  106. The State Department, however, acknowledged one of its officials put Giuliani in touch with a senior aide to Zelensky, but said his claims that he worked through State to coordinate his talks is highly questionable.
  107. On Wednesday, NPR reported the Pentagon sent a letter to four congressional committees in May certifying that the government of Ukraine had taken reform steps, okaying $250 million in military aid.
  108. On Wednesday, the whistleblower complaint was delivered to Congress late in the day to a secure facility where senior intelligence lawmakers, known as the Gang of Eight, were able to view it.
  109. On Wednesday, the House voted 421-0 on a non-binding resolution calling on Trump to turn over the whistleblower complaint. The measure was amended to mirror the Senate version passed unanimously Tuesday.
  110. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to terminate Trump’s February declaration of a national emergency at the southern border. Eleven Republicans voted with Democrats.
  111. To date, the regime has reprogrammed about $6.1 billion of funds to build Trump’s wall. The Senate also voted to reject the emergency declaration in March, but the measure was vetoed by Trump.
  112. On Wednesday, at a pre-trial conference for Roger Stone, the defense revealed they may call Steve Bannon as a witness, and the judge deferred ruling on whether a clip from “The Godfather” can be used by prosecutors.
  113. On Wednesday, a federal judge issued a one-day stay of the Manhattan District Attorney’s subpoena for years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns, instructing lawyers to come to agreement on how to proceed.
  114. On Thursday, the Manhattan DA office said it “reached a temporary arrangement” to pause the subpoena until October 7 or two business days after the judge rules on whether it should be permanently barred.
  115. The letter also said Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, “will resume gathering and preparing all documents responsive to the subpoena,” and will begin “a rolling production” at the expiration of the arrangement.
  116. On Thursday, the Hill reported a group of scientists whose advisory panel was disbanded by EPA director Andrew Wheeler plan to form their own group to study air pollution without the backing of the government.
  117. A former director of the Science Advisory Board said, “This is the first time in the history of EPA where the credibility of the agency’s science review process has been so compromised” that an independent group is needed.
  118. On Wednesday, NYT reported in late August two top intelligence officials asked the DOJ if the whistleblower complaint should be forwarded to Congress, and were told no, the DOJ would handle the criminal referral.
  119. After four weeks, the DOJ decided Trump had not violated campaign finance laws. After the call transcript became public, the DOJ response furthered the perception AG Barr is acting as Trump’s ally and protector.
  120. A DOJ official said Barr did not know about the call until the DNI and IG sent the complaint; however the DOJ advised DNI Maguire not to forward the complaint to Congress and ruled out criminal conduct by Trump.
  121. At the behest of Trump, Barr is also overseeing a review into what role countries, including Ukraine, played in the FBI’s decision to start a counterintelligence investigation of Trump campaign in the 2016 election.
  122. On Thursday, Trump tweeted the “markets would crash” if he was impeached. On Tuesday, ahead of Pelosi’s announcement, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq had the worst day in a month, but rebounded on Wednesday.
  123. On Thursday, a declassified copy of the whistleblower complaint was publicly released, detailing Trump using the power of his office to try to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election by investigating Biden.
  124. The complaint showed the whistleblower was not just alarmed by the call, but also a four-month pattern of behavior, and this was “not the first time” a transcript was placed in a highly classified server to protect Trump.
  125. The complaint is based on months of conversations with colleagues “in the course of official interagency business.” The whistleblower was not a direct witness to many of the events described in the complaint.
  126. The complaint stated State Department official T. Ulrich Brechbuhl was in the room for the call. After the call, two senior State Department officials had to advise Ukrainian leaders on “how to ‘navigate’” Trump’s demands.
  127. The complaint cited multiple White House officials who were “deeply disturbed” about what they heard on the call, believing that likely “they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.”
  128. The complaint states Trump “sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions” to help his 2020 reelection bid, adding Giuliani was “a central figure in this effort” and Barr “appears to be involved as well.”
  129. The complaint by an intelligence official cited an attempted cover-up, saying “senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript.”
  130. The complaint stated the transcript was placed on an isolated computer system: “the President’s call with President Zelensky was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council.”
  131. The complaint added, “this set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call,” noting it is “customary” to keep transcripts of calls in the Situation Room.
  132. The complaint stated there were “approximately a dozen” White House officials listening to the call, and the whistleblower said “multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another.”
  133. The complaint said Trump made clear a future meeting or call with Zelensky would depend on whether he would “play ball” on investigating Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and other matters.
  134. The complaint says Trump “instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine” for Zelensky’s inauguration, saying it was “made clear” to them Trump wanted to see how Zelensky “chose to act.”
  135. The complaint cites a four-month pattern of actions and cover-up that “pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”
  136. On Thursday, the LA Times reported speaking at private breakfast in New York where he wound up U.N. events, Trump called reporters “scum,” and raged at Democrats and the whistleblower.
  137. Trump said the whistleblower “never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call,” and, “I want to know who’s the person” and who gave them the information, adding, “Because that’s close to a spy.”
  138. Trump also said of the whistleblower, “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
  139. Trump said of Biden, “you have Sleepy Joe Biden who’s dumb as a rock…and his kid, who’s got a lot of problems, he got thrown out of the Navy…and now this kid goes into Ukraine, walks away with millions of dollars.”
  140. On Thursday, Chair Schiff called Trump’s remarks “witness intimidation,” citing Trump’s “suggestion that those involved in the whistleblower complaint should be dealt with as “we used to do” for “spies and treason.”
  141. On Thursday, Pelosi told reporters, outlining information in the complaint, “This is a cover-up.” She also said her caucus had reached a consensus that impeachment would focus on “this allegation” related to Ukraine.
  142. On Thursday, acting DNI Maguire testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee for three hours — the first Trump regime member to speak publicly about the whistleblower complaint.
  143. Maguire defended his decision not to turn over the complaint to Congress, saying he consulted with the White House and DOJ and could not act until they resolved if it contained materials protected by executive privilege.
  144. Maguire said he consulted with the White House, then the Office of Legal Counsel. The OLC found the complaint was not of “urgent concern” under the whistleblower law, which mandates handing it over to Congress.
  145. Maguire expressed “support for the whistleblower,” who followed regular procedures for raising a concern with the inspector general, and whose identity he said he did not know.
  146. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “Adam Schiff has zero credibility. Another fantasy to hurt the Republican Party!” Schiff told reporters, “I’m always flattered when I’m attacked by someone” of Trump’s character.
  147. Trump also tweeted, “Liddle’ Adam Schiff” said that “the Whistleblower, even though he or she only had second hand information, “is credible.”” calling it a “Democrat Scam!”
  148. Shortly after, the NYT reported the whistleblower is a male who works for the CIA. Lawyers for the whistleblower refused to confirm, and said publishing information about him was dangerous.
  149. The Times also drew widespread public criticism for revealing information on the whistleblower. Dean Banquet, the executive editor, said the Times was right to provide information to let readers decide if he is credible.
  150. On Thursday, CNN reported Giuliani told them he has “no knowledge of any of that crap” in the complaint. Giuliani, who was in a room at Trump Hotel DC, could be heard listening to Maguire testify in the background.
  151. Giuliani also refuted that two State Department officials had spoken to him to “contain the damage,” saying he had a “nice little trail” of text message conversations with the top U.S. diplomat, Kurt Volker, to prove his story.
  152. On Thursday, Pompeo told reporters he had not fully read the whistleblower complaint, but said, “To the best of my knowledge” the actions undertaken by State Department were “entirely appropriate.”
  153. On Thursday, NYT reported in the complaint Trump told Zelensky Marie Yovanovitch, his former ambassador to Ukraine was “bad news,” adding, “She’s going to go through some things.”
  154. Yovanovitch, a decorated 33-year veteran of the State Department, was vilified by the right-wing news and called a “joker” by Donald Jr., for allegedly being disloyal to Trump and disparaging him behind his back.
  155. A former Ukrainian prosecutor claimed Yovanovitch blocked him and his team from getting visas to come to the U.S. and deliver damaging information about Joe and Hunter Biden to the FBI.
  156. Later Thursday, appearing on Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s show, Giuliani read a series of personal texts from his iPad to show how involved the State Department was in his actions with Ukraine.
  157. On Thursday, WAPO’s impeachment count tracker noted 218 House lawmakers now support an impeachment inquiry of Trump — a majority of the House.
  158. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton said in an interview with CBS News that Trump “knows he’s an illegitimate president,” and that “he knows” that he stole the 2016 election through “many varying tactics.”
  159. On Thursday, Morning Consult found support for impeachment is up 13 net points since the weekend, with support for impeachment up 7 points from 36% to 43%, and opposition dropping from 49% to 43%.
  160. On Thursday, Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont was the first GOP governor to back an impeachment inquiry. Later that day, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker became the second. Both have been openly critical of Trump.
  161. On Friday, Rep. Mark Amodei became the first Republican member of the House to back an impeachment inquiry, saying “I’m a big fan of oversight, so let’s let the committees get to work and see where it goes.”
  162. On Friday, the Connecticut Post was the first editorial board to call on Trump to step down, citing Trump’s behavior being “far outside the accepted norms of a democratic leader.”
  163. On Thursday, Vanity Fair reported on “management bedlam” at Fox News as Trump faces impeachment, even as allies put on a brave face and parrot talking points, concerns remain about the unraveling of his presidency.
  164. Reportedly, host Sean Hannity told friends the whistleblower allegations are “really bad,” and Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch is already thinking about how to position the cable network in the post-Trump era.
  165. Infighting has also broken out between the network’s news and opinion sides, with battles playing out on-air between Shepard Smith and Tucker Carlson for two days, while executives asked them to stop on day three.
  166. On Friday, Fox News host Chris Wallace clashed with fellow host Sandra Spin, saying, “The spinning that has been done by the president’s defenders over the last 24 hours since this very damaging” and “deeply misleading.”
  167. On Friday, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera told “Fox & Friends” the whistleblower is a “rotten snitch,” adding, “I’d love to wap him, but that’s another story.”
  168. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt said there is no proof that Trump did anything wrong in asking Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, falsely claiming, “we don’t have proof that the president was holding back” aid for the investigation.
  169. On Thursday, Politico reported that Chair Schiff told his committee the White House had “hijacked” the release of 53 witness interviews authorized by the committee under then Chair Devin Nunes over a year ago.
  170. The transcripts were delivered to the DNI for review, then in March when the office said it was ready to share, the White House intervened, holding them up for months to supposedly screen for executive privilege.
  171. On Thursday, Pelosi announced that the House Intelligence Committee will take the lead on the narrow impeachment inquiry. Pelosi said, “the focus now is on this allegation,” adding, “This is a coverup.”
  172. The Judiciary Committee will continue its probe of the Mueller findings and more, and the other four committees will also continue their ongoing investigations of Trump while the Ukraine investigation plays out.
  173. On Friday, Trump attacked Schiff in a series of tweets, saying, “To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing [sic] Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff.”
  174. Trump apparently was referencing a segment on CNN, but it was unclear what he meant. He also tweeted, “Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong.”
  175. Dictionary Merriam-Webster tweeted a clarification, “A hyphen is a mark-used to divide or to compound words. An apostrophe is a mark ‘ used to indicate the omission of letters or figures.”
  176. Trump also attacked Schiff for describing at the opening of the hearing him telling Zelensky “seven times” to “make up dirt on my political opponent,” tweeting Schiff, “fraudulently read to Congress.”
  177. Trump added “HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT” and “lied to Congress” and “attempted to defraud the American Public.” Trump called on Schiff “to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!
  178. Schiff responded, tweeting “You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country.” Trump responded, saying Schiff should be “investigated” and called him a “sick man.”
  179. Trump allies mocked Schiff on “Fox & Friends,” with Trump attorney Jay Sekulow likening it to a “‘Saturday Night Live’ routine,” and White House spokesman Hogan Gidley calling it “some type of crazy cosplay.”
  180. On Friday, House Freedom Caucus Chairman-elect Andy Biggs introduced a resolution to censure Schiff, saying his comments were an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling” that “had no relationship to the call itself.”
  181. On Friday, on MSNBC, Speaker Pelosi accused the White House of “a cover-up of the cover-up,” and said AG Barr has “gone rogue” with his handling of the controversy.
  182. Pelosi later told CNN, “I do think the attorney general has gone rogue,” and “He has for a long time now,” adding, “it’s curious that he would be making decisions about how the complaint would be handled.”
  183. On Friday, more than 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials said in a statement Trump’s action are a “profound national security concern,” and they support an inquiry to determine the facts.
  184. The statement, signed by officials who worked for administrations of both parties, said “there is no escapingthat what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings.”
  185. On Friday, WSJ reported Pence advised Trump not to release the transcript of the Ukraine call, raising concern of the precedent. He later sided with Trump who felt messaging had got away and it was his only option.
  186. On Friday, CNN reported Corey Lewandowski has had conversations with White House officials in recent days about taking a position within the regime as a lead in the impeachment team.
  187. Discussions, including a Thursday afternoon meeting at the White House revealed Trump does not yet have a strategy. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham denied an impeachment response team is in the works.
  188. On Friday, CNN reported the White House acknowledged regime officials directed that the call transcript be filed in a highly classified system, confirming allegations in the whistleblower complaint.
  189. The phone call did not contain intelligence secrets or military plans, which would merit moving it to a highly classified system. There is also no evidence of any wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.
  190. On Friday, NPR reported according to a newly released Senate report after an 18-month investigation, the National Rifle Association acted as a “foreign asset” for Russia in the period leading up to the 2016 election.
  191. The report also described how closely involved the NRA was in organizing a 2015 visit by some of its leaders to Moscow. Sen. Ron Wyden said the Senate investigation could have legal implications for the NRA.
  192. On Friday, NYT reported Trump met with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre at the White House to discuss prospective gun legislation, and whether the NRA could help Trump as he faces impeachment and a tough re-election.
  193. LaPierre asked Trump to “stop the games” over gun control legislation. Later that evening, the NRA issued a statement denying the Times’ reporting of a special arrangement pertaining to support.
  194. On Friday, WAPO reported the Fraternal Order of Police, an umbrella group of D.C. police unions, is holding its annual holiday gala at Trump Hotel DC, drawing criticism over costs and association with Trump.
  195. The head of three police unions said they were put off by the selection. Some are also upset over the choice given they went without pay for six weeks during the government shutdown in early 2019.
  196. On Friday, Kurt Volker, who served part-time as the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, resigned. House leaders announced Friday they would interview Volker as part of their investigation next week.
  197. On Friday, three House Democrat committees sent subpoenas to Pompeo, the first subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry, demanding he produce documents and a slate of witnesses relating to his dealings with Ukraine.
  198. The subpoenas from Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs stated: “Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.”
  199. Deposition requests also went to Yovanovitch; Volker; George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the EU.
  200. Democrats said, despite the two week recess starting Friday, more subpoenas were forthcoming, as well as possibly the first formal impeachment hearing next week before the House Intelligence panel.
  201. On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he hoped the U.S. would not release transcripts of the phone conversations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump.
  202. Peskov said “we would like to hope that it wouldn’t come to that in our relations, which are already troubled by a lot of problems.” He also called publication of the Trump-Zelensky call “quite unusual.”
  203. On Friday, WAPO reported at Trump’s 2017 meeting in the Oval office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, he said he was not concerned about Moscow’s 2016 election interference.
  204. Trump cited because the U.S. did the same in other countries. His remarks alarmed White House officials and prompted them to limit access to a memo summarizing the meeting to an unusually small number of people.
  205. The White House limited access to Trump’s calls with foreign leaders after remarks he made to leaders of Mexico and Australia appeared in the media. The Lavrov meeting memo was limited to an even smaller group.
  206. On Friday, CNN reported the White House also tried to restrict access to Trump’s calls with Putin and Saudi Crown Prince MBS. Reportedly aides took remarkable steps to keep the conversations from becoming public.
  207. For Trump’s calls with Crown Prince MBS, a transcript was never circulated to officials who ordinarily would have access. The call happened shortly after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  208. Access to the transcript of at least one call with Putin was also tightly restricted. It was not clear if aides also moved these calls to the highly secured electronic system cited in the whistleblower complaint.
  209. On Friday, WAPO reported Giuliani canceled a scheduled paid appearance on a panel at a Kremlin-back conference in Armenia next week that Putin and other top Russian officials are expected to attend.
  210. The conference was sponsored by Russia and Moscow-based Eurasian Economic Union, a counterweight to the European Union. Earlier Friday, Giuliani told the Post he still planned to attend, but canceled later.
  211. On Friday, WAPO reported in remarks to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on Thursday, Trump said he discussed Hunter Biden’s China work with Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone CEO and his China go-between.
  212. Trump alleges, without evidence, Hunter got the Chinese to put $1.5 billion into an investment fund. Investigators may now examine if Trump sought information on the Bidens in China. Schwarzman had no comment.
  213. Later Friday, Bloomberg reported a spokesperson for Schwarzman said, “Steve never spoke to the president about Joe Biden or his family, nor has he had any conversations with the Chinese about Biden or his family.”
  214. On Friday, a Hill-HarrisX survey found support for impeachment proceedings rose by 12 points from June to 47% support, 42% oppose — the second poll in two days to find a dramatic increase in support.
  215. On Friday, Deutsche Bank told a federal appeals court that it has the tax returns of two Trump family members, but did not disclose their identity. Capital One told the court it did not have any tax returns.
  216. On Friday, the chair of the Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub revealed in a series of tweets that GOP FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter took the unprecedented step of blocking publication of a weekly digest.
  217. The blockade came after Weintraub included a “Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals” on the FEC website. Hunter objected to it being added to the “Weekly Digest.”
  218. On Saturday, Politico reported Republican lawmakers are concerned about Giuliani’s public behavior and statements, with several saying he should stop speaking out, or go on vacation away from the public eye.
  219. Republican lawmakers are also privately expressing concern about Giuliani’s role in the Ukraine episode. Democrats are considering bringing him to testify after subpoenaing State Department documents.
  220. On Saturday, a third poll in three days showed growing support for impeachment: a NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist survey found 49% approval for impeachment, 46% disapprove — a 10 point jump.
  221. On Saturday, in a tweet, Trump explicitly singled out two Jewish members of Congress and four women of color, calling them “Do Nothing Democrat Savages.”
  222. Trump tweeted, “people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me,” adding, “Oh well, maybe next time!”
  223. Shortly after, Trump sent an additional three tweets, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” and “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
  224. On Saturday, Trump arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia for his 233rd day of golf at a Trump course, and 306th visit to a Trump property since taking office.
  225. As the week ended, 225 House members had come out for an impeachment inquiry, including 223 of the 235 House Democrats, one Independent, and one Republican.

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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, announces a formal impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump on September 24, 2019, in Washington, DC. — Amid mounting allegations of abuse of power by the US president, Pelosi announced the start of the inquiry in the House of Representatives, the first step in a process that could ultimately lead to Trump’s removal from office.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 149: “EMBOLDENED REGIME”

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Week 148

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-148/
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New York City, September 2019

As Congress returned to session, House Democrats had conflicting messages on impeachment. The Trump regime’s Justice Department seized on the divergence, saying lawmakers were not entitled to see the full Mueller report or grand jury information — the rationale used for seeking the documents. The emboldened regime also said it would pursue criminal charges against Trump opponent former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, and more stories emerged of the regime threatening agency officials in the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration. The Supreme Court again sided with Trump on an important anti-asylum decision, and Trump took new steps to roll back protections against the environment.

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New York City, September 2019

 

The Air Force said it would investigate crews’ stays at Trump’s property in Turnberry, Scotland, and almost 40 visits were identified. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thumbed their noses at the emoluments clause, headlining events at Trump Hotel DC. A federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that will allow a Emoluments Clause lawsuit to proceed.

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New York City, September 2019

 

This week, Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David days before the anniversary of 9/11. The invitation was canceled and days later he fired his third national security advisor, giving him the highest turnover in presidential history of senior foreign policy advisors and NSAs. The Taliban visited Moscow later in the week.

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New York City, June 2019. Artist: Captain Eyeliner
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Graffiti up high in New York City, June 2019: “Open All Borders”

 

  1. On Saturday, at the GOP California convention, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale predicted, “the Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades,” citing Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Jared Kushner.
  2. On Tuesday, Trump posted an image in Twitter and Instagram with a “TRUMP 2024” campaign banner, continuing his repeated musing that he will continue beyond the Constitution’s two-term limit.
  3. On Saturday, WAPO reported National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration staffers were ordered in a September 1 directive not to contradict Trump on his false claim that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama.
  4. On Saturday, Trump attacked NYT reporter Peter Baker, calling him an “Obama flunky,” and saying of his reporting “THIS IS NOT TRUE. I said, VERY EARLY ON, that it MAY EVEN hit Alabama. A BIG DIFFERENCE.”
  5. Trump also called it “FAKE NEWS,” and said he “would like very much to stop referring to this ridiculous story, but the LameStream Media just won’t let it alone,” saying they are “defrauding & deceiving the public.”
  6. On Saturday, just before midnight, Trump tweeted a bizarre video of himself holding a laser pointer in front of a Hurricane Dorian forecast map, and using it to distract a cat labelled CNN.
  7. On Sunday, Trump bragged about his work on criminal justice reform, and tweeted, “@johnlegend and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is — but I didn’t see them around when we needed help.”
  8. Trump also tweeted complaining black anchor “@LesterHoltNBC doesn’t even bring up the subject” when he interviewed him, adding “the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed.”
  9. Later Sunday, John Legend tweeted, “imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody, ANYBODY, will praise you. Melania, please praise this man.”
  10. Chrissy Teigen, who Trump blocked on Twitter two years ago, responded, “lol what a pussy ass bitch. tagged everyone but me. an honor, mister president.”
  11. On Monday, before departing for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump told reporters people were standing in line “trying to get into the arena” and are “soaking wet.” It was not raining in Fayetteville.
  12. On Monday, NYT reported Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire top employees at NOAA last Friday, after the Birmingham office contradicted Trump on Dorian hitting Alabama.
  13. Ross’s threat resulted in the unsigned NOAA statement issued in Week 147 disavowing the National Weather Service’s position, which resulted in widespread anger that the agency was being used for political purposes.
  14. The Commerce Department said Ross “did not threaten to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian.” The Commerce Deparment’s inspector general did not respond for comment.
  15. On Tuesday, NOAA released an internal memo sent by the agency’s acting chief scientist on Sunday, saying he will investigate why the agency backed Trump’s false claim about Dorian and Alabama.
  16. On Wednesday, NYT reported on Trump’s orders, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Wilbur Ross to have NOAA publicly “correct” the forecasters claiming that Dorian would not hit Alabama.
  17. A senior official said Trump told his staff to have the NOAA publicly “clarify” the forecasters’ position, leading to the unsigned statement on Friday.
  18. On Saturday, Trump said he canceled scheduled “peace negotiations” with Taliban leadership and separatelywith Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David after a U.S. service member was killed in Kabul.
  19. The meeting was scheduled four days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Trump tweeted, “Unbeknownst to almost everyone,” the leaders “were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday.”
  20. Trump also tweeted, “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?” adding, “If they cannot agree to a ceasefire…they probably don’t have the power to negotiate.”
  21. Trump pledged to end the war in Afghanistan and withdraw troops. However on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Meet the Press” that “any reduction in our forces will be based on actual conditions.”
  22. Pompeo refused to answer when he learned about the meeting with the Taliban, when he learned the meeting was canceled, or why they would host the Taliban days before the 9/11 commemoration.
  23. Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday,” the Defense Department has “full authority to do what they need to do” to protect U.S. forces. Trump was the main person pushing for the Camp David meeting.
  24. On Sunday, NBC News reported the meeting was first discussed on September 1 at a meeting in the Situation Room, and was vehemently opposed by national security adviser John Bolton and State Department officials.
  25. On Monday, Trump denied reporting that he had overruled Vice President Mike Pence and others when arranging the Taliban meeting, tweeting “This Story is False!” and blaming “the Dishonest Media.”
  26. Trump also tweeted, “I view much of the media as simply an arm of the Democrat Party,” calling them “corrupt,” and “extremely upset at how well our Country is doing under MY Leadership,” adding, “NO recession.”
  27. On Tuesday, Trump fired John Bolton, his third national security advisor, over disagreement in handling foreign policy in Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan. Trump announced the firing on Twitter.
  28. Trump tweeted, “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” adding, “I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning.”
  29. Shortly after, Bolton texted “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, saying he was watching the show and disputed Trump’s account, saying, “let’s be clear, I resigned.’”
  30. On Tuesday, NYT reported with Bolton fired, Trump has gone through more senior foreign policy and national security advisers than any other president, including those considered the experienced adults in the room.
  31. Experts said Bolton’s departure suggests Trump is essentially his own national security adviser. Regardless of who replaces him, it is unlikely to be an important position as Trump will make all decisions on his own.
  32. On Monday, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford announced he would primary Trump in the 2020 GOP primary. In Week 147, South Carolina was one of four states that said it would not hold a primary.
  33. On Monday, Trump mocked Sanford, tweeting Sanford said he was away hiking on the Appalachian Trail, “then was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend,” adding “sounded like his political career was over. It was.”
  34. On Monday, CNN reported on a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017 in which the U.S. extracted a top spy in Russia, over concerns Trump and his regime would mishandle classified intelligence and expose him.
  35. Concern about the duration of his and other spies’ cooperation with the U.S. started at the end of Obama’s time in office, and grew over the 2017 assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  36. The decision to extract the top spy came shortly after Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in which Trump disclosed highly classified information on Israel.
  37. NYT reported the midlevel Russian official had been cultivated over decades, and rose up the Russian government ranks, eventually landing a position in the highest levels of the Kremlin.
  38. When intelligence officials revealed the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the media picked up on details of the CIA’s source. The extraction took away one of the CIA’s most important sources.
  39. It also took away intelligence’s view inside the Kremlin on planned interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections. The asset was in Putin’s inner-circle, and was instrumental in confirming Putin ordered interference.
  40. Some foreign intelligence officials say Trump’s closed-door meetings with Putin and his tweets about delicate or classified information have concerned overseas sources.
  41. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Pompeo called reporting on extracting a spy from Russia “materially inaccurate” and “factually wrong,” without providing any information on supposed inaccuracies.
  42. On Tuesday, CNN reported Trump has repeatedly expressed opposition to using intelligence gathered by foreign spies, including spies that provide crucial information on what is happening in hostile countries.
  43. Trump has said privately that using foreign spies can damage U.S. relationships with the countries and undermine his personal relationships with foreign leaders. Trump also has doubted the credibility of spies.
  44. On Thursday, Facebook sanctioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s page for saying voters should oppose a government composed of “Arabs who want to destroy us all — women, children and men.”
  45. Facebook said the post violated its hate speech policy. Netanyahu denied writing the post, saying it was a staffer’s irresponsible mistake.
  46. On Sunday, Politico reported arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border plummeted to 51,000 in August, down more than 60% from the peak in August, after the Trump regime struck a deal with Mexico in June.
  47. Mexico agreed to the deal, which heightened enforcement by Mexican authorities and expands the program know as “remain in Mexico,” after Trump threatened tariffs.
  48. Trump tweeted a quote by the National Border Patrol president: “In 22 years of patrolling our Southern Border, I have never seen Mexico act like a true Border Security Partner until President Trump got involved.”
  49. On Sunday, hundreds of Hurricane Dorian survivors in Freeport, Bahamas facing dire living conditions, boarded a ferry heading to Florida. A crew member announced those without a U.S. visa had to disembark.
  50. Customs and Border Protection blamed the incident on the ferry operator. There was a bipartisan call by lawmakers to waive the visa requirement. Dorian left at least 44 dead in the Bahamas.
  51. On Monday, acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan claimed there was “confusion,” but that said this was a “humanitarian mission” so Bahamians would be allowed in “whether you have travel documents or not.”
  52. Morgan added, “we still need to vet you to make sure we’re not letting dangerous people in.” Later Monday, Trump told reporters we “have to be very careful,” adding, “everybody needs totally proper documentation.”
  53. Trump also told reporters, “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States — including some very bad people and very bad gang members.”
  54. On Tuesday, CNN reported the Trump regime will not grant temporary protected status, a form of humanitarian relief, to people from the Bahamas displaced by Dorian.
  55. A source said that Trump was at odds with senior administration officials who were for granting TPS. Mark Morgan told CNN people fleeing the Bahamas will be reviewed on a “case-by-case” basis.
  56. On Wednesday, the Texas Observer reported the Trump regime is conducting asylum hearings in makeshift tents by the ports of entry in Laredo and Brownsville and not allowing journalists access.
  57. The media is normally allowed to attend immigration hearings. After journalists were turned away, DHS issued a statement saying tent facilities “will not be open to in-person public access,” including media.
  58. On Wednesday, Newsweek reported ICE is building a “state-of-the-art urban warfare” training facility at Fort Benning, Georgia that will include “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes and buildings in Chicago and Arizona.
  59. On Monday, a federal judge issued a nationwide order barring the Trump regime policy which denies asylumto migrants crossing the border if they failed to obtain asylum in another country along the way.
  60. The regime’s new policy had effectively banned most Central Americans fleeing persecution and poverty. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said Trump’s DOJ had “sought relief” from the Supreme Court.
  61. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court, in a brief, unsigned order said the Trump regime can continue to bar asylum seekers while the legal fight plays out in the courts.
  62. This marks the second time the Supreme Court has allowed the regime’s immigration policies to move ahead, including using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money to be transferred in July to build Trump’s wall.
  63. The rules reverse longstanding asylum policies which allowed migrants to seek haven no matter how they got to the U.S. The case will likely return to the Supreme Court, and take months to do so.
  64. Trump celebrated the order, tweeting, “While congress continues to do nothing,” the regime is using “every tool in the toolbox to try and solve the crisis at our southern border.”
  65. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump regime officials toured an unused California facility once used by the Federal Aviation Administration as a possible place to relocate homeless people.
  66. Ahead of Trump’s visit to the state next week, he directed aides to conduct a major crackdown on the homeless, some living in tent camps, saying, according to an aide, “how the hell we can get these people off the streets?”
  67. As part of Trump’s directive, the regime is considering razing tents and creating temporary facilities or refurbishing government facilities. Some officials questioned government’s role in operating homeless shelters.
  68. On Wednesday, California lawmakers passed a bill banning private prisons, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, from operating in the state. The bill next moves to the Democratic governor.
  69. On Friday, WAPO reported Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and other top regime officials plan to visit California next week as part of Trump’s plan to crack down on the state’s homeless.
  70. Reportedly Trump has taken an interest in the state’s rising homeless as a way to blame Democrats of doing nothing to address the issue. Carson’s trip could coincide with Trump’s visit to California for fundraisers.
  71. On Wednesday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs warned on his show about the “pervasive” funding efforts of George Soros and said that the “tentacles” of the Jewish billionaire “work against sovereignty, work against our laws.”
  72. On Thursday, the city of Muskegon, Michigan fired Police Officer Charles Anderson after an investigation into Ku Klux Klan and Confederate memorabilia found at his home.
  73. On Friday, in a letter, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler and Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren demanded the regime consult with Congress on refugee admissions.
  74. The letter was sent to Secretary of State Pompeo, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and pointed to the law which mandates the regime discuss refugee admission with Congress.
  75. The letter cited the regime’s cut to possibly zero admissions would “undermine our nation’s core values, including our historic commitment to refugee resettlement, and critical foreign policy interests abroad.”
  76. On Monday, Trump praised activist shareholder Elliott Management which he said is “now involved with AT&T. As the owner of VERY LOW RATINGS @CNN,” adding, “perhaps they will now put a stop to all of the Fake News.”
  77. Trump also tweeted, “Also, I hear that, because of its bad ratings, it is losing a fortune,” and CNN “is bad for America.” He also said the media hates the U.S. and is “a fraudulent shame, & all comes from the top!”
  78. On Monday, CNN Business reported JP Morgan Chase created the “Volfefe Index”  — a mix of volatility and Trump’s “covfefe” tweet — to track the impact of his tweets on U.S. interest rates.
  79. On Sunday, the U.S. Air Force ordered a world-wide review of how it books overnight accommodations, following revelations in Week 147 of stops at Trump’s Turnberry resort.
  80. Additional times when the military stayed at Turnberry on stops have also been uncovered, including a stop on the way back from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in September 2018.
  81. The chief spokesperson for the Air Force told Politico, “lodging at higher-end accommodations, even if within government rates, might be allowable but not advisable. Therefore, we are reviewing all associated guidance.”
  82. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “I know nothing about an Air Force plane landing at an airport (which I do not own and have nothing to do with) near Turnberry Resort (which I do own)…NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.”
  83. On Monday, NYT reported documents obtained from Scottish government agencies under the FOIA reveal Trump and Trump Org had a direct dealing with setting up a deal between Turnberry and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
  84. Starting in 2014, the Trump Org entered into a partnership with Prestwick to increase private and commercial air traffic to the region. As part of the deal, the airport routinely sent crews to stay at Turnberry.
  85. Trump visited the airport in 2014, and promised to increase traffic. The Air Force told the Times on Monday they did not know how many military crews were sent to Turnberry, but they are going through vouchers.
  86. On Monday, Trump told reporters he was so wealthy military stays were inconsequential and dismissedPence’s stay at Doonbeg, as “Every time you find a person landing in an airplane within 500 miles of something I own.”
  87. On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended the military using Trump’s Turnberry as a stopover in Week 147, saying “ It’s just like any other hotel.”
  88. On Tuesday, the former FEMA deputy administrator in the Trump regime was arrested for allegedly taking bribes in the Hurricane Maria recovery from a company that got a $1.8 billion electric-grid contract.
  89. On Friday, Politico reported the Air Force released a preliminary tally showing crews stayed at Trump’s Turnberry up to 40 times, a number far higher than previously known.
  90. The tally does not include the number of crew members at Turnberry. House Democrats investigating the crews’ stays at Turnberry have not yet received any of the information they requested from the Pentagon.
  91. On Thursday, WAPO reported Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo were both scheduled to headline events for nonprofits that paid to rent the Trump Hotel DC on Friday.
  92. The speeches revealed Trump cabinet officials are willing to drive revenue to Trump and his family. According to documents, events in the hotel’s ballrooms have cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
  93. On Friday, WAPO reported Pompeo spoke at a private event for the Concerned Women for America, a conservative nonprofit group, at the Trump Hotel DC, and lavished praise on the hotel.
  94. Pompeo said, “I look around. This is such a beautiful hotel. The guy who owns it must have been successful somewhere along the way,” adding, “That was for The Washington Post,” and gesturing towards reporters.
  95. On Friday, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that an Emoluments Clause case against Trump can move forward, after a lower court had thrown the case out.
  96. The lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and others is the second emoluments lawsuit back on track — the other was filed by more than 200 members of Congress.
  97. The appeal court found that “Plaintiffs’ alleged injury meets the well‐established Article III threshold for economic competitors who allege that, because of unlawful conduct, their rivals enjoy a competitive advantage.”
  98. With the decision, Trump may be forced to open his business and personal finances to scrutiny in order to defend his actions and possible conflicts.
  99. Trump is also appealing two Washington federal court rulings which denied his request to dismiss the lawsuit brought by more than 200 members of Congress.
  100. On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found Trump’s approval dropped 6 points from a 44% peak in July, down to 38%, with 56% disapproving of the way he is doing his job.
  101. On handling of the economy, just 46% approve of the job Trump is doing, down from 51% in July, and just 35% approve of the way Trump is handling trade negotiations with China. Six in 10 say a recession is likely.
  102. On Tuesday, a new CNN poll found 60% of Americans do not believe Trump deserves a second term. Trump’s approval stood at 39%, same as it was in August, with 55% disapproving.
  103. On Tuesday, the Census Bureau reported for the first time since the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014, the share of Americans without healthcare increased from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% in 2018.
  104. The decrease in insured Americans was especially noteworthy given fewer Americans are living in poverty, and over that time frame the economy was strong.
  105. On Thursday, the heads of 145 companies sent a letter to Senate leaders demanding action on gun violence, calling it “simply unacceptable” for leaders to do “nothing about America’s gun violence crisis.”
  106. On Tuesday, Trump ally One America News sued Rachel Maddow, filing a federal defamation suit for $10 million after Maddow called it “paid Russian propaganda” on her July 22 MSNBC show.
  107. The suit contended Maddow’s comments were retaliation for OAN accusing Comcast of censorship for refusing to carry the channel. Maddow cited an OAN employee also worked for Russian-state media Sputnik News.
  108. On Tuesday, Republicans at a Senate Banking Committee hearing warned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under-capitalized, and the housing finance system is worse off today than it was on the cusp of the 2008 crisis.
  109. On Wednesday, the anniversary of 9/11, Trump sparked anger after his first tweets of the day were about his trade war with China, saying, “China suspends Tariffs on some U.S. products. Being hit very hard.”
  110. Trump later tweeting a photo of himself and First Lady Melania with the words, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET.” Critics criticized Trump for forgetting, and inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David days before.
  111. On Wednesday, a new WAPO-ABC News survey found Trump polling behind the five top Democratic 2020 challengers in head-to-head match-ups.
  112. On Wednesday, before attending a 9/11 commemorative service, Trump attacked the poll in a series of tweets, calling it “phony” and “done by one of the worst pollsters of them all, the Amazon Washington Post/ABC.”
  113. Trump also tweeted this is a “suppression poll, meant to build up their Democrat partners,” adding he is “constantly fighting Fake News like Russia, Russia, Russia.”
  114. Trump also tweeted, “If it weren’t for the never ending Fake News about me” he would be leading over “the “Partners” of the LameStream Media by 20 points,” adding, “Sorry, but true!”
  115. On Wednesday, speaking at the 9/11 memorial, Trump said if attackers “come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before.”
  116. Trump added, “I’m not even talking about nuclear power. They will never have seen anything like what will happen to them.” It was unclear what Trump meant.
  117. On Wednesday, Republicans in the North Carolina House voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto by a vote of 55-9, while Democrats were at a ceremony commemorating 9/11. There are 65 Republicans in the House.
  118. Republican House Speaker Tim Moore, who had said there would be no votes that morning, said he took the opportunity to override the veto as he had promised to do.
  119. On Wednesday, BBC reported Queen Elizabeth II will honor former British Ambassador Kim Darroch, who resigned after his calling Trump “inept” and other disparaging things became public, as a lord.
  120. On Wednesday, the Oregonian reported at a U.S. Armed Forces swearing-in ceremony during a National Women’s Soccer League game in Portland, fans booed when enlistees were asked to pledge to obey Trump’s orders.
  121. On Tuesday, Politico reported as House Democrats return to DC, their leadership offered differing views on where the party stood on impeachment with 137 for an impeachment inquiry and 98 against it.
  122. Privately, Democrats worried the mixed messages could hurt them in court over access to key witnesses from the Mueller report. Their position in court has been based pursuing potential impeachment of Trump.
  123. On Thursday, WAPO reported a group of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have begun mapping out a list of possible charges and articles of impeachment against Trump.
  124. The range of charges discussed included five possible areas of obstruction of justice, abuse of power by defying subpoenas, violation of campaign finance laws, and allegations of profiting off the presidency.
  125. Publicly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi still voiced opposition to impeachment, so articles may not move forward, but there is a growing move behind-the-scenes by Democrats to move ahead, even if the Senate does not convict.
  126. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was asked by reporters on Wednesday about the nature of what the House Judiciary is doing on impeachment, and appeared not to know, and later had to clarify.
  127. On Tuesday, WAPO reported senior government officials have privately expressed concern that Trump’s nearly $30 billion bailout for farmers suffering from his trade war with China needs stronger legal backing.
  128. Two Agriculture Department officials said the bailout could surpass the original intent of the New Deal-era Commodity Credit Corporation, which was used to create substantially more limited programs.
  129. On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey proposed blocking the White House request for paying farm bailout money. Timing of the payouts is tied to congressional approval.
  130. In legislation to fund the government in November, Lowey left off the White House request which would allow them to avert the $30 billion spending cap they are expected to hit this fall.
  131. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced the U.S. budget gap widened to $1.07 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, on higher military spending, rising rates, and Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.
  132. The deficit is the largest in seven years, during the last recession. A strong economy tends to narrow the deficit, but government spending grew by 7% over the period, while revenue grew just 3%.
  133. On Thursday, the Trump regime announced the repeal of Obama-era clean water protections which limited polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water.
  134. The rollback of the Clean Waters of the United States rule means polluters will no longer need a permit to discharge potentially harmful substances which will now be able to flow into waterways.
  135. On Thursday, Trump delivered a bizarre, incoherent hour-long speech at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, in which he made several comments that were false or self-refuting.
  136. Trump appeared to struggle at times with his speech, mispronouncing VP Pence’s name, calling him “Mike Pounce,” as he named some notable Republicans in the crowd.
  137. Trump attacked Baltimore again, saying the city has “been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule.” Trump said Los Angeles and San Francisco need to clean up their homelessness and he is addressing the issue.
  138. Trump claimed the Clean Waters Act “didn’t give you clean water,” falsely claiming, “by the way, today, we have the cleanest air, we have the cleanest water that we’ve ever had in the history of our country.”
  139. Trump also falsely and inexplicably claimed “there was nobody here” in America 25 years ago so “they probably had cleaner water.”
  140. Trump also railed against Obama-era energy-efficient light bulbs, saying, “What’s with the light bulb?” adding, “the bulb that we are being forced to use, number one…the lights no good I always look orange.”
  141. Trump also falsely claimed, “number two, it’s many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well and very importantly, I don’t know if you know this, they have warnings.”
  142. Trump also said, “And I said to one of the top people today, ‘Well they break a lot, don’t they?’ ‘Yes sir!’ ‘What do they do?’ ‘They just throw them away, they don’t care,’” and adding, “But they call it hazardous waste.”
  143. Trump also said of windmills, “If you happen to be watching the Democrat debate and the wind isn’t blowing, you’re not going to see the debate … ‘the goddamn windmill stopped!’” It was not clear what he meant.
  144. Trump also called MS-13 gang members “animals,” and hyperbolically added, “They take young women. They slice them up with a knife. They slice them up — beautiful, young.”
  145. Trump also mimicked deceased Sen. John McCain for voting against repealing Obamacare. Trump also told House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy he was “just like a cow” but “smaller.”
  146. The speech was dystopian and riddled with inconsistencies and lies, but Republicans mostly cheered, as they have done since he took office.
  147. On Thursday, after Beto O’Rourke said he would take away AR-15s at the Democratic debate, Texas Republican Representative Briscoe Cain tweeted, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”
  148. Cain’s tweet sparked widespread criticism on Twitter. Later Thursday, O’Rourke responded, “This is a death threat, Representative. Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15 — and neither should anyone else.”
  149. On Friday, Cain’s tweet was no longer visible. A spokesperson for Twitter said the company took it down because it violated its rule that “you may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”
  150. On Friday, CNN reported that O’Rourke’s campaign press secretary said the campaign planned to report Cain’s tweet to the FBI.
  151. On Friday, Media-ite reported at least one Sinclair broadcasting station aired an advertisement during the Democratic debate of a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez burning.
  152. On Friday, a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit filed by the parents of Seth Rich against Fox News for the cable TV network’s role in falsely linking Rich to the disclosure of DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
  153. On Friday, WSJ reported at last month’s G7 summit, Trump joked while waiting for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, “Where’s my favorite dictator?” to a room of Egyptian and U.S. officials.
  154. On Friday, USA Today reported the U.S. attorney in Washington, Jessie Liu, recommended moving forward with unspecified criminal charges against former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.
  155. McCabe is a frequent target of Trump’s ire. McCabe’s attorneys appealed the decision to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, but their request was rejected by Rosen on Thursday.
  156. On Friday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff issued a subpoena, after publicly accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of withholding an “urgent” whistleblower complaint.
  157. Schiff said a DNI has never prevented “a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the [IG] determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never.”
  158. Schiff also said, “this raises serious concerns” about whether White House, DOJ or other officials are trying to prevent “a legitimate whistleblower complaint” from reaching Congress, “to cover up serious misconduct.”
  159. Schiff said the complaint was filed last month, and was required by law to be shared with Congress nearly two week ago, saying it raises the specter of what is “being withheld to protect” Trump and other regime officials.
  160. On Friday, Trump’s DOJ told a federal court judge that House Democrats’ request made in July to have access to secret grand jury materials from the Mueller probe should be denied.
  161. The DOJ said Democrats have “come nowhere close to demonstrating a particularized need” for the information. House lawmakers said they need it to determine whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
  162. Lawmakers asked for access to the unredacted Mueller report, and transcripts of grand jury testimony related to Trump’s knowledge of Russian interference and links to members of his campaign.
  163. Lawmakers also want grand jury testimony on Trump’s knowledge of potential “criminal acts” by him and his associates. The DOJ called the requests an “extraordinary order” that was overly broad.
  164. The DOJ filing also seized on the ongoing debate among and conflicting statements by Democratic leaders in Week 147 over how to describe their impeachment inquiry — and relates to grounds for requesting information.
  165. On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats on impeachment, saying, “How do you impeach a President who has helped create perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our Country?”
  166. Trump added, “All time best unemployment numbers, especially for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians & Women,” and “Number 1 in World & Independent in Energy. Will soon have record number of Judges.”
  167. Trump also tweeted he had “done more than any President in first 2 1/2 years despite phony & fraudulent Witch Hunt illegally led against him. WIN on Mueller Report, Mueller Testimony & James Comey.”
  168. Trump also tweeted, “You don’t impeach Presidents for doing a good (great!) job. No Obstruction, No Collusion, only treasonous crimes committed by the other side, and led by the Democrats. Sad!”
  169. On Friday, NYT reported the DOJ will honor the team of lawyers who worked to defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process with one of its most prestigious awards.
  170. Attorney General Barr will present the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest award given by the department, to the group of lawyers.
  171. Then deputy AG Rod Rosenstein estimated he would need 100 lawyers around the clock to comb through Kavanaugh-related documents, and made a broad request for volunteers to U.S. attorneys.
  172. Some officials saw his outreach as an unusual insertion of politics into federal law enforcement. Typically, the Award for Distinguished Service is given to DOJ employees who worked on significant prosecutions.
  173. On Friday, AP confirmed Russian state news agency Tass reporting that the Taliban visited Moscow to meet with Russian officials, its first international trip days after Trump said his talk with the group are “dead.”
  174. On Saturday, Trump started his weekend of tweeting, saying, “A Very Stable Genius!” Thank you.” It was unclear what prompted his tweet.
  175. Shortly after, Trump attacked MSNBC weekend host Joy Reid, tweeting, “Who the hell is Joy-Ann Reid?Never met her, she knows ZERO about me, has NO talent,” adding, “Low Ratings. Fake News!”
  176. Trump then tweeted, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” and “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”
  177. On Saturday, BBC reported at a meeting in Washington on Friday between Brazil Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and Secretary of State Pompeo, the U.S. and Brazil agreed to promote private-sector development in the Amazon.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler talks to members of the news media after a news conference announcing the repeal of landmark Obama-era clean water regulation at the headquarters of National Association of Manufacturers, an industry group that had opposed the Waters of the U.S. rule, September 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. The move rolls back the 2015 measure that placed limits on chemicals that could be used near rivers, streams, wetlands and other bodies of water that had stirred opposition from developers, farmers and oil and gas drillers.

POLITICS OF GRAFFITI 147: CHEETO CHRIST STUPID CZAR

AUGUST 31, 2019

Week 146

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-146/
ECXHfIbVAAAtDx0
from Jim Carrey, August 19, 2019

This week Trump’s strange behavior towards Russia drew renewed concern as he advocated for adding Russia back at the Group of Seven summit in France, then held up military aid to Ukraine. A vacated seat unfilled by Trump at the Federal Elections Commission left the election watchdog group without a quorum ahead of the 2020 election, while voting irregularities were reported this week in Mississippi and Georgia.

Fresh signs of Trump’s authoritarian bent went unchecked, as reporting surfaced a loose network of his allies seeking to discredit journalists, and Trump offering pardons to aides if they break the law in fast-tracking his wall ahead of 2020. Concerns of a pending recession heightened, as Trump’s trade war with China continued to escalate, and for the first time while Trump has been in office, more Americans think the economy is getting worse than better.

This week there was public outcry as the regime continued to take steps to limit immigration, while troubling conditions at detention centers persisted, and the regime is considering DNA testing of migrants. As Hurricane Dorian headed towards Florida, for the second time in two weeks, Trump canceled a scheduled trip to visit European allies, supposedly to stay back and monitor the storm, but instead spent Saturday golfing.

IMG_8122
New York City, May 2019.
  1. On Sunday, NYT reported a loose network of Trump allies are planning an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to Trump by disclosing damaging information on journalists.
  2. The group has already released damaging information on journalists working for CNN, WAPO, and NYT in retaliation for reporting or covering allies consider unfair to Trump and his team, or harmful to his re-election.
  3. Operatives have examined a decade’s worth of public posts and statements made by hundreds of journalists. Only a small fraction has been made public. More will be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up.
  4. Operatives have also gathered information on journalists’ families, as well as liberal activists and political opponents. The White House claimed neither Trump or anyone in the White House was involved in or aware of the operation.
  5. On Sunday, NYT Publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a public memorandum, “A Campaign Targeting Our Staff,” “Their goal is to silence critics and undermine the public’s faith in independent journalism.”
  6. Sulzberger also wrote, “This represents an escalation of an ongoing campaign against the free press,” adding, operatives “are using insinuation and exaggeration to manipulate the facts for political gain.”
  7. On Monday, Mother Jones reported the Federal Election Commission will partially shut down. The FEC needs a quorum of four of the six members. A third member resigned Monday, while Trump has left two seats vacant.
  8. On Friday, NPR reported this was the last business day for the FEC. Former FEC officials raised concern over the ability to counter another attempt by Russia or other foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 election.
  9. Former officials also expressed concern Trump will leave the seat vacant through the 2020 election. The Merit Systems Protection Board, which investigates violations of federal personnel practices, also lacks a quorum.
  10. On Saturday, WSJ reported at the Group of Seven summit, during a contentious debate at a closed door dinner, Trump called for reinstating Russia. Other world leaders rebuffed the request, saying it was too soon.
  11. On Sunday, Trump accused the media of trying to hurt his re-election prospects, tweeting, “Just like they are trying to force a Recession, they are trying to “will” America into bad Economic times, the worse the better.”
  12. Trump tweeted, “anything to make my Election more difficult to win,” adding, “the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great — the talk of the world!”
  13. On Sunday, at a breakfast with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit, Trump acknowledged he had regrets about the escalating trade war with China, telling reporters, “Yeah, sure. Why not.”
  14. Shortly after, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump’s response was taken out of context, and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters Trump had trouble hearing the question.
  15. Later Sunday, at a bilateral news conference, Trump told reporters he had reached a trade pact “in principle” with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. However, Abe differed, saying more work remained to complete a deal.
  16. On Sunday, Kudlow told CNN that the trade deal with Japan would have major positive implications for the U.S., but could not offer precise details of the deal.
  17. On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he invited Iran’s foreign minister to the G7 “to mediate.” He praised Trump on U.S. sanctions while expressing concern about inflaming the region.
  18. On Monday, standing with First Lady Melania, Trump told reporters that Iran is a “country with tremendous potential,” and said North Korea has similar potential if it would disband its nuclear arms.
  19. Trump added he has gotten to know Kim Jong Un “extremely well,” and “the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un and I think she would agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential.”
  20. Later Monday, the White House issued a clarifying statement, saying, “Trump confides in his wife on many issues,” adding, “while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”
  21. On Monday, Trump skipped the session on climate, biodiversity, and oceans attended by other world leaders. His chair was symbolically empty during the portion of the session reporters attended.
  22. On Monday, when asked by reporters about his climate message at the G7, Trump falsely claimed, “we are right now having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.”
  23. On Sunday, Trump again attacked Fox News for their polling results in Week 145, tweeting their polls “are only getting worse!” and “Now @donnabrazile & others on Fox,” adding, “Not what it used to be!”
  24. On Sunday, Joe Walsh announced he will challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020, calling him “completely unfit,” and saying “everyone” in the GOP believes Trump is not fit for the job.
  25. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump has suggested multiple times to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the U.S.
  26. Reportedly at one meeting, Trump said “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” adding, “as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it.”
  27. On Monday, Trump tweeted from the G7 that the story that he “wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous,” adding, “I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!”
  28. Later Monday, Trump again tweeted about the story, saying he returned from “the very successful G-7,” and “the Fake News is still trying to perpetuate the phony story,” adding, “This is so ridiculous, never happened!
  29. On Monday, concluding the G7, Macron said there will be a meeting on the Ukraine conflict with the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France. Trump said he might invite Russia to the G7 in 2020.
  30. On Monday, Trump told reporters he will “probably” hold the 2020 G7 summit at his golf resort in Doral, Florida, saying the club is near the airport and has ample parking and the “biggest ballrooms in Florida.”
  31. Trump holding a summit of world leaders at his personal property where he would financially benefit would be unprecedented. The Doral has been “severely underperforming” according to company representatives.
  32. On Monday, Trump held a 68-minute news conference. Trump reiterated his support for Russia, saying, “A lot of people say having Russia, which is a power, inside the room is better than having them outside the room.”
  33. Trump also repeated the false claim Russia was dropped from the group because “President Putin outsmarted President Obama,” calling it “very embarrassing” for Obama. All G7 countries backed the decision.
  34. Asked why he continues to blame Obama for the annexation of Crimea by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS News, a black reporter, Trump said she had an ulterior motive. “I know you like President Obama,” he said, without answering her question.
  35. Asked about climate change, Trump responded, “I feel the US has tremendous wealth,” adding, “I’m not going to lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills — which, frankly, aren’t working too well.”
  36. Trump also claimed, “I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that,” adding, “I know more about the environment than most,” and “I want clean air. I want clean water. I want a wealthy country.”
  37. Trump claimed to have received “high-level calls” from Chinese officials seeking to negotiate a trade deal on Sunday night. Chinese officials said on Monday they were unaware of any such calls.
  38. Trump asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to back up his assertion. Instead, Mnuchin said there had been “communication,” but did not use the word “call.”
  39. Trump said he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “Now, is that based on fact or based on gut? It’s based on gut,” adding, “Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t. I say it all the time.”
  40. Trump described North Korea and Iran in terms of real estate potential, saying the two countries would want to deal with him because they sit on valuable land, while continuing to brag about his own properties.
  41. During a bilateral news conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump again mentioned his properties, incorrectly citing his Doonbeg golf and hotel resort as being in the U.K., not Ireland.
  42. Trump made another push for hosting the 2020 G7 at his Doral property, saying, “we have a series of magnificent buildings,” referencing bungalows, incredible conference rooms and restaurants, “it’s like such a natural.”
  43. On Tuesday, Miami Herald reporting on a 2016 lawsuit by an insurance executive claiming he was bitten by bedbugs in his room at Trump’s Doral club resurfaced. The suit was settled in early 2017.
  44. Trump tweeted, “No bedbugs at Doral,”adding, “The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI…spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!”
  45. On Tuesday, after Slate published a leaked internal memo “evidence of bedbugs” in the NYT’s office, Trump tweeted “A made up Radical Left Story about Doral bedbugs, but Bret Stephens is loaded up with them!
  46. Stephens, a conservative NYT columnist who is anti-Trump, admonished a college professor for likening him to a bedbug in a tweet. Trump tweeted, “He is now quitting Twitter after being called a ‘bedbug.’ Tough guy!
  47. On Saturday, Rep. Steve King doubled down on his comments that rape and incest not be factored in abortion decisions, tweeting: “their lives are as precious as any other, regardless of how they came to be.”
  48. On Sunday, calls for boycotting restaurant Olive Garden went viral on false rumors it was funding Trump’s re-election campaign. Olive Garden tweeted: “Our company does not donate to presidential candidates.”
  49. On Saturday, ABC News reported it took Immigration and Customs Enforcement eight days to realize they had left two children, ages 12 and 14, without either parent after the Mississippi raids.
  50. On Tuesday, the Miami Herald reported the Trump regime has quietly gutted the bulk of a “medical deferred action” policy, which removed the threat of immediate deportation for families facing serious illnesses.
  51. Denial letters from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service obtained by the Herald show the agency will now only accept applications and renewals from military members and their families.
  52. On Tuesday, the Harvard Crimson reported incoming freshman Ismail Ajjawi, 17, a resident of Tyre, Lebanon was deported after arriving at Boston Logan Airport and being subjected to hours of questioning.
  53. Immigration officers also searched his phone and computer before canceling Ajjawi’s visa. In a statement, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said CBP found Ajjawi “inadmissible” to the country.
  54. Politico reported Jimmy Aldaoud, a 41 year-old man from Detroit who came to the U.S. as a young child, died after being deported to Iraq, reportedly due to his inability to obtain insulin to treat his diabetes.
  55. On Wednesday, a lawsuit filed by 19 states against the Trump regime alleged detained migrant girls are being given limited access to basics like sanitary pads and tampons — in some cases only one per day.
  56. On Wednesday, according to a new USCIS policy, children born to U.S. service members and government employees overseas will no longer be granted automatic citizenship. The policy is set to go into effect in October.
  57. Instead, the Trump regime will require parents of the children, including those born on military bases, and children adopted, to apply for citizenship on behalf of their children before they turn 18 years-old.
  58. Following the announcement, amid widespread confusion, acting director of USCIS Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement, “this policy update does not affect who is born a US citizen, period,” adding, “born outside the US.”
  59. The move was also condemned by veterans groups, calling it “an abominable and antipatriotic position” and a “preposterous change,” adding, “Military members already have enough to deal with.”
  60. On Thursday, the Trump regime looked to clarify the new USCIS policy, after facing a political firestorm for saying it will affect the citizenship applications of “a very small” number of children born abroad.
  61. The regime claimed the issue arose from USCIS and the State Department having different policies. The State Department said in a statement Thursday that it had been working with USCIS “for some time to align” the policies.
  62. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported, according to the CDC, nearly 900 adult migrants had mumps in the past 12 months at 57 detention centers in 19 states. An additional 33 staff members also were infected.
  63. The first cases were identified at Texas detention facilities in December. Since then federal health agency has been working with ICE and other federal agencies to control the outbreaks, described as “striking.”
  64. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported, according to a draft of policy, the Trump regime wants to allow CBP officials to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in their custody.
  65. The regime estimated CBP officials will spend more than 20,000 additional work hours in its first year of implementation, testing hundreds of thousands of migrants if the policy is fully implemented.
  66. On Thursday, in letter to acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings said the Department of Homeland Security is blocking members of Congress from visiting detention facilities.
  67. Cummings said poor conditions persisted at the facilities, despite the House passing a $4.6 billion border aid package in June. Migrants complain of spoiled food and inadequate medical care.
  68. Cummings’ letter also cited cruelty: “One detainee alleged that a Border Patrol agent told a child who had spilled soup that the child would not receive more food unless the child drank the spilled soup off the floor.”
  69. On Tuesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a Missouri law banning most abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, less than 24 hours before the law was set to take effect.
  70. The judge did not however block a provision of the law prohibiting abortions on the basis of a fetus’s race, sex, or Down syndrome diagnosis, but noted plaintiffs would likely prevail in having that struck down too.
  71. On Thursday, the Rockland County Republican Party in New York removed an anti-Semitic video warning “a storm is brewing,” adding if “they” — the ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents — “win, we lose.”
  72. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement calling the video “the very definition of discrimination and antisemitism.” The chairman of the New York State Republican Party issued a statement calling it a “bad mistake.”
  73. On Tuesday, NBC News reported the Trump regime is pulling $271 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund to send to the southern border just ahead of the fall hurricane season.
  74. Funds will be used for temporary locations for court hearings for asylum-seekers along the U.S.-Mexico border, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement would get an additional $155 million.
  75. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico,” asking, “Will it ever end?” Trump again falsely claimed Congress approved $92 billion in aid to Puerto Rico, “an all time record.”
  76. On Wednesday, as Hurricane Dorian headed towards Puerto Rico, Trump lashed out, tweeting Puerto Rico “is one of the most corrupt places on earth.” He earlier insulted “the incompetent Mayor of San Juan” in a tweet.
  77. Trump also tweeted, “Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt,” adding, “Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time….and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!”
  78. On Thursday, as Dorian was expected to reach Category 4 in Florida, but spare Puerto Rico, Trump took a conciliatory tone, tweeting, “Puerto Rico is in great shape with Hurricane Dorian taking a largely different route.”
  79. Trump also tweeted, “Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night,” adding, “it will be a very big Hurricane,” and, without evidence, “perhaps one of the biggest!
  80. Shortly after, the Tampa Bay Times reported Mar-a-Lago is in the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. The storm was expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm on Monday.
  81. Later Thursday, Trump canceled his Poland trip to monitor Dorian, and sent Vice President Mike Pence instead, saying, “It’s something very important for me to be here…looks like it could be a very, very big one.”
  82. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House aide Rob Porter to testify about Trump’s efforts to impede the Russia investigation, citing him as the “most critical fact witness.”
  83. On Monday, NYT reported federal prosecutors are near a final decision on whether to seek an indictment for former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of Trump, on charges of lying to a federal agent.
  84. A prosecution would please Trump, who has made McCabe a central part of his aim to discredit the DOJ and FBI over the Russia investigation. Already two prosecutors have left the case over mishandling.
  85. On Monday, WAPO reported some of the video footage outside of Jeffrey Epstein’s jail call is unusable. It was not clear why the footage was too flawed for investigators to use. Video is considered critical to the inquiry.
  86. On Tuesday, attorneys for Jeffrey Epstein told a judge the evidence of his death is “far more consistent with assault” than suicide, and told the court they would provide evidence to support their assertion.
  87. On Monday, a Roanoke poll of the state of Virginia found Trump’s approval dropped to 27% — a new low in the poll — and down from 38% in February, while 53% say they disapprove.
  88. On Tuesday, a Morning Consult poll found that Trump’s net approval has dropped significantly in every battleground state, including Wisconsin (+6 in 2016, now -14), Michigan (+7, -11,) and Pennsylvania (+10, -8).
  89. On Tuesday, Deutsche Bank told a federal appeals court it has some of the Trump tax returns requested by congressional subpoenas related to Trump, his family, and his businesses, “in either draft or as-filed form.”
  90. Although in the letter to the court the identities of the people or organizations were redacted, bank officials told the Times the bank has portions of multiple years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns.
  91. Deutsche Bank also has returns for “immediate family” within the definition provided in the subpoenas, related to the parties. Capital One responded it does not have any tax returns in its possession.
  92. On Wednesday, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell retracted a story from his Tuesday show that Russian oligarchs had co-signed for Deutsche Bank loans to Trump, and apologized for not adhering to professional standards.
  93. Earlier Wednesday, a lawyer for Trump said in a letter to NBC Universal and O’Donnell that his “statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” and demanded he “retract, correct and apologize.”
  94. On Thursday, Trump attacked O’Donnell, tweeting “Crazy Lawrence O’Donnell” who he said “has been calling me wrong” since before his 2016 campaign, was “forced by NBC to apologize” which he did “while crying.”
  95. Trump added, “the most ridiculous claim of all, that Russia, Russia, Russia, or Russian oligarchs, co-signed loan documents for me,” adding, “Totally false, as is virtually everything else he, and much of the rest of the LameStream Media, has said,” and, “ALL APOLOGIZE!”
  96. Trump also tweeted, “The totally inaccurate reporting” by O’Donnell is “NO DIFFERENT than the horrible, corrupt and fraudulent Fake News that I…have had to put up with for years,” adding, “So bad for the USA!”
  97. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Attorney General William Barr booked a 200-person holiday party in December at the Trump Hotel DC, which is likely to deliver over $30,000 to Trump’s property.
  98. Barr booked the event last month, and is paying for it himself. According to a DOJ official, Barr picked Trump Hotel DC because other comparable hotels were already booked, not to curry favor with Trump.
  99. Even though Barr booked the hotel himself, and not the DOJ, the decision is also noteworthy given that the DOJ is currently defending Trump in lawsuits related to the emoluments clause.
  100. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to exempt Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from logging restrictions, after privately discussing it with the state’s governor.
  101. The restrictions known as “roadless rule” have been in place for nearly 20 years, created during Bill Clinton’s administration. If Trump’s plan succeeds it would impact 9.5 million acres, more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.
  102. On Thursday, Trump’s EPA proposed rolling back Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaksfrom many oil facilities, easing requirements on oil and gas sites to monitor leaks and plug them.
  103. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, said the proposed rule followed Trump’s directive to remove “unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry.”
  104. On Tuesday, NYT reported at an event with farmers, Sec. Perdue was peppered with complaints about the impact of Trump’s trade war with China. As the trade war escalates, some farmers are panicking.
  105. The impact has also started to hit manufacturers like Deere & Company, which cut its profit forecast for the second time this year, citing farmers delaying purchases of equipment on worries over exports.
  106. On Tuesday, Trump complained about the media covering 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s crowd size, tweeting they do stories on “Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren…my crowds, which are far bigger, get no coverage.”
  107. On Tuesday, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, tweeting, “The Federal Reserve loves watching our manufacturers struggle with their exports,” adding, “Our Fed has been calling it wrong for too long!”
  108. On Wednesday, a new Quinnipiac poll found Trump’s approval down to 38%, 56% disapprove, down from 40% approve, 54% disapprove a month ago. The poll also showed Trump far behind 2020 Democratic contenders.
  109. The polls also showed, for the first time since Trump took office, more voters say the economy is getting worse (37%) than better (31%). In June, just 23% said the economy was getting worse, 38% better.
  110. On Wednesday, Trump attacked the Fed, tweeting, “Our Federal Reserve cannot “mentally” keep up with the competition,” citing other countries keeping interest rates low, and adding, “No Clue Fed!”
  111. On Wednesday, Sen. Thom Tillis, who is up for re-election, sided with Trump in his feud with the Fed, calling on the Senate Banking Committee to investigate the Fed’s independence — a highly unusual move.
  112. On Wednesday, a letter by the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America signed by over 200 companies urged Trump to cancel his tariff hikes on China, saying it is tantamount to taxing the American consumer.
  113. On Thursday, Trump again attacked the Fed, tweeting, “The Economy is doing GREAT, with tremendous upside potential!” adding, “If the Fed would do what they should, we are a Rocket upward!
  114. On Friday, Trump attacked the Fed, tweeting, “If the Fed would cut, we would have one of the biggest Stock Market increases in a long time,” and “Badly run and weak companies are smartly blaming these small Tariffs.”
  115. Trump also tweeted, “We don’t have a Tariff problem (we are reigning in bad and/or unfair players), we have a Fed problem,” adding, “They don’t have a clue!”
  116. On Friday, Trump tweeted telling General Motors, which is “now one of the smallest auto manufacturers” in Detroit, to move its plants out of China, saying they moved there, “BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE.”
  117. On Friday, Trump again surfaced the idea of easing capital gains taxes, tweeting, “An idea liked by many?” to an article quoted by Sen. Ted Cruz. Last week Trump swore off the idea, saying it was “elitist.”
  118. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked Fox News, saying the network is “heavily promoting the Democrats” and the DNC Communications Director being interviewed was “spewing out whatever she wanted with zero pushback” from the anchor.
  119. Trump also tweeted, “Fox hires “give Hillary the questions” @donnabrazile, Juan Williams and low ratings Shep Smith,” saying, “HOPELESS & CLUELESS!” adding, “I will still find a way to Win.”
  120. Trump also tweeted “the New” Fox News “is letting millions of GREAT people down!” adding, “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!
  121. On Wednesday, several Fox News personalities pushed back. Senior political analyst Brit Hume tweeted, “Fox News isn’t supposed to work for you,” and contributor Guy Benson tweeted, “We don’t work for you.”
  122. On Wednesday, Beto O’Rourke’s campaign acknowledged it had ejected Breitbart reporters from an event, saying the right-wing publication walks a line “between being news and a perpetrator of hate speech.”
  123. Later Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump directed aides to fast-track billions in construction contracts, aggressively seize private land, and disregard environmental rules, in order to build the wall before the election.
  124. Trump has told aides he will pardon them of any wrongdoing if they break the law in building the wall quickly. Trump has promised crowds at his campaign rallies 500 miles of fencing by November 2020.
  125. In meetings, Trump has mentioned the loud cheers he gets from his crowds when he mentions his wall. So far, the regime has completed just 60 miles of “replacement” barrier during Trump’s time in office.
  126. Trump insisted the wall be painted black, making it hot to the touch, despite significant additional costs, and wants to remove the upper part of the fence which thwarts climbers because he finds it unsightly.
  127. WAPO noted that several of the 15 pardons by Trump so far, which he has granted unchecked, have carried an overtly political tone. Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee threatened an investigation.
  128. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist),” adding, “This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage — FAKE NEWS!”
  129. Later Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Amazon Washington Post and @CNN just did a Fake Interview on Pardons for Aids [sic] on the Wall, adding his wall is “vitally important. Will make a BIG impact. So bad!”
  130. Trump also tweeted, “There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt!” adding, “my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!”
  131. Later, after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the 2020 primary, Trump tweeted mocking her, saying “a sad day for the Democrats,” adding, “they never found out that she was the one I was really afraid of!”
  132. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court sided with the ACLU and others in upholding the block of an Indiana lawwhich would allow the immediate purge of voters with a duplicate registration in another state.
  133. On Tuesday, state officials in Mississippi confirmed at least three reports of voting machines changing votes in the GOP governor runoff. The issue emerged when a voter posted a video of a machine changing his vote.
  134. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported allegations of missing votes in the midterm election have been turned over to Congress. The anomaly appeared in electronic voting, but not paper ballots.
  135. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament in September, as way to limit Parliament’s ability to challenge his plan with a Brexit deadline of October 31.
  136. The explosive maneuver was immediately challenged as undemocratic and possibly unconstitutional, and likely to be challenged in court. Normally, in time of crisis, British leaders have convened Parliament.
  137. On Thursday, Johnson faced a growing backlash including strains within his Conservative party, protests in London and other cities, and an online petition against the action which garnered more than a million signatures.
  138. On Thursday, seven Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders were arrested ahead of the 13th consecutive weekend of protests. Police claimed the seven were arrested in connection with past protest-related offenses.
  139. On Friday, an eighth leader was arrested. Activists could face up to five years in prison. The arrests came as China said it was rotating fresh military troops to Hong Kong as part of a “routine arrangement.”
  140. On Wednesday, Politico reported Trump is holding up $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine. According to an aide, Trump is doing so in order to ensure the money is being used in the best interest of the U.S.
  141. Trump’s move irked lawmakers and advocates who say the funding is critical to keep a check on Russia. U.S. support of Ukraine has long been seen as a litmus test for leadership pushing back at Russia.
  142. CNN reported blocking the aid package was supported by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and some in the State Department and national security council. The State Department told CNN policy has not changed.
  143. Trump’s deference to Russia has alarmed bipartisan lawmakers and U.S. allies. At the G7 summit, Trump downplayed Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Rudy Giuliani has pushed Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
  144. On Thursday, Business Insider reported current and former U.S. intelligence officials are concerned about Trump’s fervent defense of Russia for aggression in Ukraine, and his lobbying to have them readmitted at the G7.
  145. Several officials compared Trump to a “Russian asset” noting his actions are “directly out of the Putin playbook.” Another official offered, “useful idiot is more like it.”
  146. On Thursday, the Hill reported House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerome Nadler has set up a post-recess showdown with Trump as his committee is set to call a series of subpoenaed witnesses to publicly testify.
  147. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on a call “the public isn’t there on impeachment,” however if Trump’s White House continues to block House subpoenas, she could face renewed pressure to back impeachment.
  148. On Friday, 135 of the 235 House Democrats supported starting an impeachment inquiry. Just two of the of the House members in the 31 districts that went for Trump in 2016 support the move.
  149. On Thursday, the DOJ inspector general said in a report James Comey violated DOJ and FBI policy by leaking one memo to a law professor friend after being fired in May 2017, but that the DOJ declined to prosecute.
  150. The report found “By not safeguarding sensitive information…and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees.”
  151. The IG however found “no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information.” Trump has repeatedly claimed that Comey released classified information.
  152. Shortly after, Comey tweeted, “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice.”
  153. Comey also tweeted, “And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’ — ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long,” including Trump.
  154. Hours later, Trump tweeted, “Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey” in the IG report, adding, “He should be ashamed of himself!”
  155. On Friday, Trump tweeted that he and his supporters should be “given our stolen time back” after the release of the IG report. It was unclear what Trump meant, but he frequently muses about extra time in office.
  156. Trump tweeted the report showed “how unfairly I, and tens of millions of great people who support me, were treated,” saying, “Our rights and liberties were illegally stripped away by this dishonest fool.”
  157. Trump also praised Barr, tweeting, “The fact that James Comey was not prosecuted for the absolutely horrible things he did just shows how fair and reasonable Attorney General Bill Barr is,” adding, “Comey got lucky.”
  158. On Friday, Trump tweeted a photo of an Iranian launchpad, which revealed the U.S. may be violating Iran’s airspace to spy on its missile program. The image appeared to have been taken from an aircraft.
  159. The image could have been taken from a surveillance drone, like the one shot down by Iran in June. Experts say the image is likely highly classified as it bears markings resembling those made by intelligence analysts.
  160. On Friday, Illinois Rep. John Shimkus announced he will not seek re-election, becoming the 14th Republicanto announce he will not run next year.
  161. On Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos finalized rules, scaling back an Obama-era program allowing federal loan forgiveness for students if their college defrauded them.
  162. On Friday, ABC News reported a digital data firm connected with Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump’s re-election, has received more than $900,000 in business from a pro-Trump super PAC.
  163. Parscale, who reportedly has recently spent lavishly, said reporting on his company, Red State Data and Digital, LLC, “are simply another attempt to smear President Trump by attacking those who work for him.”
  164. On Friday, prosecutors told a judge in a court filing that they are prepared for sentencing Michael Flynn as soon as October, citing “The defendant’s cooperation has ended.”
  165. Flynn’s lawyers erupted in a subsequent court filing, saying prosecutors had “engaged in even more malevolent conduct in the prosecution of Mr. Flynn” and withheld evidence.
  166. On Thursday, Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout, whose office sat in front of the Oval Officeand who has been with Trump since the start of his time in office, abruptly resigned.
  167. The departure came after Westerhout shared details about the president’s family and the Oval Office operations at a dinner with press at Trump’s Bedminster club. She was not allowed to return to the office on Friday.
  168. On Saturday, Politico reported Westerhout was fired over comments at an off-the-record dinner she and deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley held with reporters on August 17.
  169. Westerhout bragged that she was closer to Trump than his two daughters, adding Trump could not pick Tiffany out of a crowd and did not like being in pictures with her because he viewed her as overweight.
  170. Shortly after, Trump tweeted Westerhout has “a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement,” adding, “she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it.”
  171. Trump also tweeted, “She called me yesterday to apologize, had a bad night,” adding, “I fully understood and forgave her!” and, “I love Tiffany, doing great!”
  172. Trump also renewed his attacks on former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, saying he was suing people for violating confidentiality including “disgusting and foul mouthed Omarosa.”
  173. Trump also tweeted of Omarosa, “I gave her every break, despite the fact that she was despised by everyone, and she went for some cheap money from a book,” adding, “Numerous others also!”
  174. Trump also repeated his attacks on Comey, tweeting, “I was right about Comey, CROOKED COP!”
  175. Trump also tweeted that the “top shows” on Fox News “are those that are Fair (or great) to your favorite President, me!” Trump cited host Sean Hannity’s “shoe,” before deleting the tweet and tweeting show.
  176. On Saturday, after canceling his trip to Poland to monitor Hurricane Dorian, Trump went golfing at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, his 226th day of golf at a Trump golf property.
  177. On Saturday evening just after midnight, Trump’s 15% tariffs tax on Chinese-made products will take effect, impacting the price of shoes, televisions, diapers, and other products.

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Bags over the handles of gas pumps signal to customers that the station has ran out of gas on August 31, 2019 in Fort Pierce, Florida. Gas stations throughout much of Florida have been running out of gas as the area prepares for the impact of Hurricane Dorian. Dorian, once expected to make landfall near Fort Pierce as a category 4 storm , is currently expected to turn north and stay off of the Florida coast, lessening the impact on the area.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 146: THE CHOSEN ONE, MY ASS.

AUGUST 24, 2019

Week 145

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Amy Siskind’s List:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-145/

This week, renewed questions surfaced about Trump’s mental health, as he referred to himself as the “King of Israel,” the “chosen one,” and “hereby ordered” U.S. companies to change their dealings with China. Trump created another unprovoked international crisis with long-time ally Denmark, cancelling a trip he invited himself on, last minute, over the country’s unwillingness to discuss selling him Greenland.

As fears of a recession loomed and his approval rating weakened, Trump went on the attack of the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, as well as oddly blaming the media for being in cahoots with Democrats to hurt the economy ahead of the 2020 election. As conditions worsened, Trump doubled-down on his trade war with China, claiming presidential power from a 1977 Act which was not meant to address trade disputes.

More than two dozen mass shootingS were thwarted by law enforcement since the El Paso and Dayton shootings, yet Trump reversed himself on taking any action on gun control, and tweeted support of a white supremacist hate group at a rally in Portland. Trump’s paranoia, erratic behavior and authoritarian maneuvers seemed magnified by Congress being out of town for their long summer break. The narrative again this week was dominated by Trump and his never-ending series of shiny coins and not normal, authoritarian-like actions.

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Brussels, Belgium 24aug19
  1. On Saturday, far-right hate group the Proud Boys held a so-called “End Domestic Terrorism” rally in Portland, Oregon, with the purpose of getting antifa declared as a domestic terrorist organization.
  2. Trump tweeted support, saying, “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,”” adding, “Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!”
  3. At least 13 people were arrested in Portland. Joe Biggs, the organizer of the gathering, claimed victory, citing Trump’s tweet and saying, “He talked about Portland, said he’s watching antifa. That’s all we wanted.”
  4. The Proud Boys released a statement saying they would return monthly. Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, said such right wing groups are “impacting the entire nation,” adding, “We do not want them here in my city, period.”
  5. On Sunday, James Reardon Jr., 20, a white nationalist living in Ohio, was arrested after making threats to shoot up a local Jewish community center. Reardon was part of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
  6. While raiding the home of Reardon, also an avowed anti-Semite, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force found dozens of rounds of ammo, multiple semi-automatic weapons, a gas mask, and bulletproof armor.
  7. On Sunday, a WSJ/NBC News poll found 36% approve of the way Trump handled the two mass shootings last week, while 52% disapprove. 54% think Trump bears some responsibility due to his language and tweets.
  8. The poll also found that 68% are very or fairly worried about another mass shooting or attack by white nationalists, targeting people because of their skin color or country of origin.
  9. On Monday, CNN reported that two other mass shootings planned by white men were foiled over the weekend. All three, including Reardon, were brought to the attention of authorities through tips from the public.
  10. The other two were Brandon Wagshol, 22, of Connecticut who expressed interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook, and Tristan Scott Wix, 25, in Florida, who texted his ex-girlfriend about the same.
  11. On Thursday, CNN reported that in all, 28 people have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings in the weeks since the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings.
  12. Later Thursday, police arrested Jacob Cooper, a 20 year-old man in Tennessee, for threatening a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C. in social media posts.
  13. Cooper was the third man to be charged for threatening violence against Planned Parenthood in the past month. All three used iFunny, an online social platform known for white supremacist content.
  14. On Saturday, Trump tweeted or retweeted close to a dozen references to the size of the crowd at his rally in New Hampshire in Week 144, criticizing “Fake News Media” for hating to see his big crowd.
  15. On Saturday, Trump retweeted an edited Time Magazine cover showing him as president forever, and pinnedit to the top of his Twitter account. The tweet was originally sent and pinned June 26.
  16. On Sunday, speaking to reporters, Trump again complained about coverage of empty seats at his New Hampshire rally, saying, “You saw that room was packed,” adding, “they had thousands of people outside.”
  17. On Monday, Trump again tweeted about the crowd size in New Hampshire, saying, “Massive overflow crowds,” and adding, “Couldn’t get into packed SNHU Arena. Fake and Corrupt News would like you to believe otherwise.”
  18. Trump also defended the strength of the U.S. economy despite economic indicators, saying, “I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now, although that’s too big a statement.”
  19. On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow appeared on Sunday shows to defend the economy, telling “Meet the Press,” “Let’s not be afraid of optimism. I think there’s a very optimistic economy.”
  20. On Sunday, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro told “This Week” that “We have the strongest economy in the world. Money is coming here for our stock market.”
  21. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office,” adding they “have Zero credibility,” and falsely claiming they “are losing a fortune.”
  22. Trump also tweeted “Journalism” — in quotes — “has reached a new low,” adding, “It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party” and “reporting is so false, biased and evil.”
  23. On Sunday, hundreds of thousands peacefully marched in Hong Kong under umbrellas in the pouring rain, marching for the 11th week in a row, despite ominous threats of brute force from the Chinese government.
  24. March organizers claimed 1.7 million people marched — more than 20% of Hong Kong’s population. Hong Kong police claimed the number was 128,000, and said they were capable of handling the protests.
  25. On Monday, both Facebook and Twitter said they had taken action against China for using fake accounts as part of a “significant state-backed information operation” to sow discord during the Hong Kong protests.
  26. Twitter suspended nearly a thousand Chinese accounts and banned advertising by state-owned media companies. Facebook removed five accounts, seven pages, and three groups citing “deceptive practices.”
  27. On Monday, Popular Info reported Facebook has taken down multiple ads by the Trump campaign targeting women, saying they violate the company’s rules which prohibits ads that target “personal attributes.”
  28. One ad that was pulled said the “Trump Coalition needs the support of strong women like you!” Recent polls show that more than 60% of women disapprove of Trump.
  29. On Sunday, WAPO reported on Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, and his influence on the regime’s immigration policy. Miller has earned a lead role in shaping policy over loyalty and agreement with Trump on goals.
  30. Miller not only writes Trump’s speeches, which Trump accepts with little or no proofing, but also is obsessed with terminology and dictates how others in the West Wing talk about issues.
  31. Miller has survived longer in the White House than nearly any official other than family members. In recent months as he has faded from public appearances his influence has grown within the regime.
  32. Miller’s allies in the immigration restrictionist movement say he has done more to curb foreigners than anyone. He views his role as “saving American society,” and successfully steers Trump where he wants him to go.
  33. Bloomberg reported Miller was also a driving force behind an effort, starting back as early as 2017, to press cabinet and White House officials to devise a way to block migrant children from going to school.
  34. The push was part of an effort to stem the flow of immigration. Miller’s efforts would be crafted to bypass Congress. Miller abandoned the idea after being repeatedly told it ran afoul of a 1982 Supreme Court ruling.
  35. On Monday, a spokesperson from Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied separating Maria Domingo-Garcia from her breastfed baby during the raids in Mississippi. She is still being detained.
  36. ICE claimed Domingo-Garcia did not say she was breastfeeding during her medical screening. Her lawyer told CNN she had not been asked about breastfeeding, and she responded “yes” to having a 4-month-old.
  37. On Tuesday, CNBC reported Customs and Border Protection will not vaccinate migrant children in border detention camps against the flu, despite calls from doctors to boost efforts to fight the infection.
  38. At least three migrant children have died in recent months, in part from the flu while in U.S. custody. Before the Trump regime, the U.S. had gone a decade without any migrant children dying in government care.
  39. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the Trump regime is trying to reach a “safe third country” accord with Panama’s government, which would impact migrants who passed through the country en route to the U.S.
  40. The accord would allow the U.S. to reject asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and elsewhere who landed in South America before heading north to Panama, and send them back to Panamanian territory.
  41. On Wednesday, acting Department of Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan announced a new rule to lift the limit on detaining immigrant families, and hold them through their immigration proceedings.
  42. The rule could affect thousands of migrant families, and is likely to violate the Flores agreement which limits the time children can be detained to 20 days.
  43. The Flores agreement says facilities holding children for longer than 20 days must be licensed by states, but none are. ICE plans to work around this by claiming their facilities are licensed by ICE and hence compliant.
  44. On Thursday, Axios reported Andrew Meehan, a top aide and spokesperson for McAleenan, resigned over frustration with DHS’s handling of major policy rollouts and distrust of McAleenan and his inner circle.
  45. On Friday, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli defended the new rule, telling CNN indefinite detention will be “a deterrent” from migrants wanting to the cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
  46. Cuccinelli said targeting the Flores agreement, which he called “one of the main motivators for the crisis,” is a “critical part of the solution,” saying migrants are released “for us to never see them again.”
  47. On Thursday, Trump told reporters he is “very seriously” looking at ending birthright citizenship, saying you “have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. … It’s frankly ridiculous.”
  48. On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit saying Ramon Torres, a Honduran-born U.S. citizen, was held illegally in a Louisiana jail for four days because of his Latino name and skin color.
  49. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported an email sent by the Justice Department to all immigration court employees this week included a link to a blog post from VDare, a white nationalist website, in its morning news briefing.
  50. A spokesperson for the union said the link had content that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges,” including “racial and ethnically tinged slurs” and references that are “deeply offensive and Anti-Semitic.”
  51. The DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review briefings also included links to right-wing websites the Daily Caller and Breitbart News, even though the content of emails is meant to be neutral.
  52. On Thursday, James Dyer, a British journalist, said he was stopped by a Customs and Border Protection agent at Los Angeles International Airport and questioned by an agent over “being part of the fake news media.”
  53. Dyer tweeted after presenting his journalist visa, the agent “wanted to know if I’d ever worked for CNN or MSNBC or other outlets that are “spreading lies to the American people.””
  54. The agent told Dyer, “journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy.” Dyer said the experience was “unsettling,” adding the agent “let me go after I said that I was just here to write about Star Wars.”
  55. On Monday, parents of a 13 year-old black teen in Texas filed a lawsuit, saying teachers forced him to color his hair with a black Sharpie when he got a “fade haircut with a design line.” He was ridiculed by other students.
  56. On Monday, the Trump regime issued its abortion “gag rule.” Planned Parenthood said it will leave the federal Title X program that helps low-income people access contraception, rather than stop abortion referrals.
  57. The regime’s rule affects the 50-year-old program, which provides $286 million to healthcare providers each year for family planning services such as birth control. Planned Parenthood served 1.5 million low-income under the Title X program.
  58. On Tuesday, Trump backed away again from gun control, after lunch with the head of the National Rifle Association. Trump cited a “great appetite” for tightening background checks in the aftermath of Dayton and El Paso.
  59. On Tuesday, two prominent board members stepped down from the NRA — country music singer Craig Morgan and NASCAR team owner Richard Childress — making a total of seven board departures since May.
  60. On Friday, the Trump regime’s DOJ filed amicus briefs in two cases involving gay workers and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, supporting a position that would allow workers to be fired for being LGBTQ individuals.
  61. The regime argued courts should stop reading civil rights law to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender workers from discrimination, saying it was not originally intended to do so.
  62. On Saturday, WVTM reported Holley Gerelds, a high school senior in Springville, Alabama had her portrait marked as “Not Pictured” in the yearbook after she got the photo taken wearing a tux instead of a drape.
  63. On Monday, Anthony Scaramucci told CNN that he is assembling a team of former Trump cabinet members to speak out against Trump and find a Republican to primary him for the 2020 election.
  64. Shortly after, Trump attacked Scaramucci on Twitter, calling him “ a highly unstable “nut job,”” adding, “I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence-made a fool of himself,” and he is “bad on TV.”
  65. Trump also claimed Scaramucci “Abused staff, got fired,” and “Wrote a very nice book about me,” adding, “Said his wife was driving him crazy, “something big” was happening with her. Getting divorced.”
  66. On Monday, Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz made a call for civility and said he must do better on social media in a radio interview. Gaetz told listeners in his district he was not meeting them on advice from Capitol Police.
  67. On Thursday, Joe Walsh, a conservative radio show host and former Tea Party congressman from Illinois who in a op-ed in Week 144 called Trump a “racial arsonist,” said he is considering challenging Trump for 2020.
  68. On Thursday, former South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford said he would head to early voting state Iowa next as he weighs a decision for a 2020 presidential run.
  69. On Sunday, Trump repeated his claim, without evidence, of voter fraud, telling reporters, “many, many people voted that shouldn’t have been voted,” adding, “some people voted many times.”
  70. On Monday, Trump falsely claimed in a tweet, “Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” citing conservative Judicial Watch.
  71. Trump also tweeted, “Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!” Trump incorrectly cited a study by Robert Epstein which claims, without evidence, Google bias shifted votes to Clinton.
  72. On Monday, a Google spokesperson said, “This researcher’s inaccurate claim has been debunked since it was made in 2016.” In 2017, Google told WAPO it is “nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.”
  73. On Monday, FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub rebuked Trump, calling his repeated claims of voter fraud “damaging to our democracy,” and saying, “There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2016.”
  74. On Monday, Hugh Hurwitz, the acting director of the Bureau of Prisons was quietly removed from his position by Attorney General William Barr, following the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in his prison cell.
  75. On Monday, WAPO reported White House officials are discussing instituting a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to keep the economy from going into a recession.
  76. The White House later released a statement disputing that a payroll tax cut is under consideration. Quietly, the regime is scrambling for ideas to reverse public concerns about a recession and boost business confidence.
  77. On Monday, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve and its Chair Jerome Powell in a pair of tweets, saying, “Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed.”
  78. Trump also claimed “the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election,” and pressured the Fed to cut rates, saying, “The Fed Rate…should be reduced by at least 100 basis points.”
  79. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters the economy is “doing fantastically,” adding the word recession is an “inappropriate” term, used by “certain people and the media…because they’d love to see a recession.”
  80. Trump also said “payroll taxes is something I have been thinking about. Many people would like to see that,” despite the White House asserting that a payroll tax was not being considered.
  81. Trump also said he would respond “very favorably” to a motion that would bring Russian into the G7, saying, “It should be the G8, because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia.”
  82. Trump made similar remarks last year before the Group of 7 meeting. French President Emmanuel Macron told Russia President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Russia could rejoin if they ended the conflict in Ukraine.
  83. Trump also said, responding to a question on negotiations with the Taliban, “Nobody can be trusted,” adding, “In my world, in this world, I think nobody can be trusted.”
  84. Trump also said on global threats, “Nothing keeps me up at night,” adding “I’ll tell you, we could wipe out anything we want.”
  85. On Wednesday, Trump again attacked Powell in a series of tweets, saying, “Doing great with China and other Trade Deals. The only problem we have is Jay Powell and the Fed. He’s like a golfer who can’t putt, has no touch.”
  86. Trump again pressured Powell for a rate cut, tweeting: “Big U.S. growth if he does the right thing, BIG CUT — but don’t count on him! So far he has called it wrong, and only let us down.”
  87. Trump also tweeted, “So Germany is paying Zero interest…while the U.S., a far stronger and more important credit, is paying interest,” adding, “WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?”
  88. Trump also attacked the media, saying, “the Fake News LameStream Media is doing everything possible the “create” a U.S. recession,” adding, “They would be willing to hurt many people, but that doesn’t matter to them.”
  89. On Wednesday, a new CNN poll showed Trump’s approval dropped to 40%, after holding at 43% since April 25. The poll also showed the first significant drop in perception on the economy since he took office.
  90. On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office said the annual U.S. deficit will come close to hitting $1 trillion in 2019, an unusually high number during a period of economic growth, driven by the GOP tax cut.
  91. The deficit is set to expand by $800 billion more than previously expected over the next decade. Economists noted the size of the deficit limits the tools available to policymakers to bolster the economy in a recession.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump again offered, without invitation, to mediate in Kashmir, saying it “is a very complicated place. You have the Hindus, and you have the Muslims, and I wouldn’t say they get along so great.”
  93. On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stepped down, possibly setting the stage for deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, who has questionable ties and backing from Russia, to take power.
  94. On Tuesday, Trump attacked Rep. Rashida Tlaib for crying at a news conference, tweeting, “Sorry, I don’t buyRep. Tlaib’s tears,” and “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite.”
  95. Later Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump again attacked Rep. Tlaib for crying, saying, “I don’t buy it for a second,” adding at his rallies she was “was violent and vicious and out of control.”
  96. Trump also asked, “Where has the Democratic Party gone?” defending Reps. Tlaib and Omar, adding any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat are showing “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
  97. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and Jewish organizations pointed out that Trump’s use of the word “disloyalty” echoed anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of dual allegiance.
  98. On Monday, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking Latino, and the number 4 House Democrat, announced support for an impeachment inquiry, bringing the count to 127 Democrats.
  99. On Thursday, the WAPO impeachment tracker counted 132 House Democrats for impeachment, including 17 of the 24 members of the House Judiciary Committee.
  100. On Thursday, buoyed by fresh support from House Democrats, Rep. Al Green said he would try for the fourth time to push for impeachment when Congress returns to session in September.
  101. On Tuesday, a motion filed by the House Ways and Means Committee asked the judge to summarily order the Treasury Department to turn over Trump’s tax returns to the committee, citing a tip from a whistleblower.
  102. Chair Richard Neal says he got a tip from a Federal employee on July 29 “setting forth credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct,’” citing ‘“‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program.”
  103. On Thursday, WAPO reported House Democrats are unlikely to get Trump’s tax returns for the 2020 election, and the legal process moves slowly and Chair Neal refuses to pursue Trump’s state tax returns.
  104. On Wednesday, NYT reported that Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is making a renewed push for Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s opponents, after canceling his trip there months back.
  105. Giuliani has spoken on the phone and met in Madrid with a top representative of Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Zelensky, to push for an investigation on Joe Biden, the leading Democrat 2020 candidate.
  106. Giuliani told the Times he was working on his own as a private citizen with assistance from the State Department. He would not say if Trump is aware of his efforts.
  107. On Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark announced in an internal letter that the DOJ will no longer use an enforcement tool to get states and localities into compliance with environmental laws.
  108. The DOJ letter, obtained by E&E News, claimed the tool, regularly used in the Obama administration, went “beyond what is required under federal, state, or local laws.” Republicans have complained enforcement takes away revenue from certain industries.
  109. On Sunday, Trump confirmed his interest in potentially purchasing Greenland, saying, “Strategically, for the United States, it would be nice,” and adding of Denmark, “It’s not №1 on the burner.”
  110. Larry Kudlow told “Fox News Sunday” that “Greenland is a strategic place up there and they’ve got a lot of valuable minerals,” and noted President Truman offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100 million in 1946.
  111. On Tuesday, the White House canceled Trump’s September visit to Denmark, citing Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments that she would not entertain his proposal to purchase Greenland.
  112. Trump tweeted, “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people,” adding because the prime minister has “no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled.”
  113. Trump also tweeted PM Frederiksen “was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct.” He also canceled his scheduled dinner with Queen Margrethe II.
  114. On Wednesday, PM Frederiksen told reporters it is with “regret and surprise” that she received the news of Trump canceling, adding, “I had been looking forward to the visit. Our preparations were well under way.”
  115. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted a quote from a non-Jewish conservative radio host, calling Trump “the best President for Israel in the history of the world,” and claiming Jews in Israel “love him like he’s the King of Israel.”
  116. Trump also quoted Allyn Root saying, “They love him like he is the second coming of God,” adding “But American Jews…don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore.” “King of Israel” trended on Twitter.
  117. Later Wednesday, Trump lashed out at PM Frederiksen, telling reporters at the White House that she had made a “nasty” comment about his desire to purchase Greenland, having called it “absurd” over the weekend.
  118. Trump also said, “I thought it was not a nice statement, the way she blew me off,” adding, “She shouldn’t treat the United States that way. . . . She said ‘absurd.’ That’s not the right word to use.”
  119. Trump has used the term “nasty” to describe several high profile women, including his 2020 challengers Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, his 2016 challenger Hillary Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  120. Trump also used “nasty” to describe Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. Trump rarely uses the term “nasty” to describe men.
  121. Trump also defended his trade war with China and its impact on the economy, saying, “Somebody had to do it,” then, looking skyward, Trump said, “I am the chosen one.”
  122. Trump also denied he is considering a cut in the payroll tax, saying there is no need to do so because the economy is fine. On Tuesday, Trump had confirmed a payroll tax cut was under consideration.
  123. Trump also doubled-down on his criticism of American Jews who support Democrats, saying, “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.”
  124. Trump also continued to brag about the job he is doing in office, saying, “I was put here by people to do a great job, and that’s what I’m doing,” adding, “And nobody’s done a job like I’ve done.”
  125. Later Wednesday, Trump again attacked Denmark, this time on defense spending, tweeting, “Denmark is only at 1.35% of GDP for NATO spending,” adding, “they are a wealthy country and should be at 2%.”
  126. On Wednesday, Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said she would not be able to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his scheduled stop in September due to “prior commitments.”
  127. Historian Thor Whitehead called the snub “unprecedented for an Icelandic prime minister.” Jakobsdottir, a member of her country’s Green Party, supports abortion and LGBT rights, and climate change activism.
  128. Later Wednesday, during a speech at the 75th annual national convention of American Veterans in Kentucky, Trump mused that he wanted to give himself a Medal of Honor: “I wanted one, but they told me I don’t qualify.”
  129. Trump said that he asked his aides, “Can I give it to myself anyway?” and they responded, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Trump never served in the military and was granted five draft deferments.
  130. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported that no formal invitation had been extended by Denmark to Trump, but rather he had invited himself. Over the subsequent days much planning was put in before Trump canceled.
  131. On Thursday, answering Danish press on the use of the word “absurd,” Frederiksen said, “I’m not going to get into a war of words with anyone, including the American president,” adding Greenland said it is not for sale.
  132. NYT reported Trump has also joked with an aide last year about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, after he sparred with Puerto Rican politicians, including Carmen Yulín, who he calling “corrupt.”
  133. On Thursday, a new AP-NORC poll found Trump’s approval dropped to 36%, while 62% disapprove. Trump got poor grades for his handling of immigration, health care, foreign policy, and guns.
  134. Trump’s approval has remained in a band of 32% to 42% in the poll since he took office. No other president has stayed within so narrow a ban. AP-NORC noted the consistency suggests Trump’s weak standing “ is calcified.”
  135. On Thursday, NYT reported the exodus of advertisers for Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show continued, with several companies leaving in the past two weeks over his rhetoric, and calling white supremacy a “hoax.”
  136. Carlson has lost dozens of advertisers in the past year over comments about women, immigrants, and race. His show Monday, the first after returning from vacation, had 13.5 minutes of commercials, versus 16 minutes of ads a year ago.
  137. On Thursday, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders joined Fox News as a contributor, the latest example of the revolving door between the White House and the conservative cable network.
  138. On Thursday, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced he would be joining the 2019 cast of “Dancing with the Stars,” in what appeared to be an effort to rehabilitate his reputation.
  139. On Thursday, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, resigned saying he was “far too controversial” after revealinghis three-year romantic involvement with Russian agent Maria Butina, who is serving 18 months in jail.
  140. Byrne also said he had been aiding the FBI, whom he called “the Men in Black,” in their “deep state” investigation into the 2016 election, including their “Clinton investigation” and “Russia investigation.”
  141. On Friday, facing a lawsuit by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine over protecting user data, Facebook tried to publicly clarify in a post when it first knew about Cambridge Analytica’s use of data.
  142. The company claimed it learned of data scraping in September 2015, and that Aleksandr Kogan sold data to Cambridge Analytica in December 2015. Cambridge Analytica was not suspended until March 2018.
  143. On Friday, Trump tweeted a poll by Zogby putting his approval rating at 51%, roughly 10 points above the average of other polling, adding, “This despite the Fake News and Polls!” Zogby is not a reliable pollster.
  144. Earlier in the week, when asked about a Fox poll that showed him behind 2020 Democratic candidates, Trump told reporters, “There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”
  145. This week six polls showed Trump’s approval declining, including AP-NORC (36%), Fox New (43%), Gallup (41%), Monmouth (40%), NBC News/WSJ (43%) and CNN/SSRS (40%).
  146. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Economy is strong and good,” adding, “Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party” trying to convince people we are going into a recession.
  147. Trump added they are willing to “lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election,” adding, “But it won’t work because I always find a way to win.”
  148. Later Friday, just before Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech, China announced it would hike tariffs on U.S. products in response to Trump’s tariffs. Trump tweeted, “Now the Fed can show their stuff!
  149. Delivering annual remarks to central bankers in Jackson Hole, Chair Powell pledged to try to keep the economic expansion going, while acknowledging tariffs and other factors are causing growth to slow.
  150. He also spoke of challenges the Fed now faces, saying there is “no recent precedents to guide any policy response to the current situation,” adding, “we are asking whether we should expand” our monetary policy toolkit.
  151. Powell added monetary policy “cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade,” and gave no clear guidance on whether there would be future interest rate cuts.
  152. Shortly after, Trump attacked Powell, tweeting, “As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!” adding, “It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing.” The Fed is supposed to be independent.
  153. Trump also tweeted, “We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed,” then in another tweet, said, “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?
  154. Trump also tweeted, “We don’t need China.” Trump then tweeted that he “hereby ordered” U.S. companies to immediately look for an alternative to China for supply chains or move their operations to the U.S.
  155. Moments after Trump’s tweet of “hereby ordered,” which overshadowed Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 420 points.
  156. As the market plunged, Trump appeared to joke about it, tweeting, “Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!”
  157. The Dow closed down 632 on the day due to Trump’s “order” for manufacturers to find alternatives to their operations in China. Apple led the way, down 4.6%.
  158. Trump told reporters on Wednesday that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is a “great executive because he calls me” whenever he has a problem, adding, “Others go out and hire very expensive consultants.”
  159. Friday’s down day in the stock market followed a number of sharp moves lower: the Nasdaq has fallen morethan 1% six times this month, while the Dow has fallen more than 1% five times.
  160. Later Friday, Trump said he would raise tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods from 25% to 30%, and tax an additional $300 billion of goods at 15% as of October 1, in a fit of rage against both China and Powell.
  161. Trump announced the move on Twitter, saying, “China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!)” adding, “Thank you for your attention to this matter!”
  162. NYT reported Trump’s series of tweets on Friday caught his advisors and staff by surprise. Some privately expressed concern that the new escalation could derail negotiations with China.
  163. With members of Congress on recess, there was little pushback from Republicans to Trump’s flurry of pronouncements. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had yet to comment or issue a statement.
  164. On Friday, Hong Kong protestors formed a 28-mile human chain across 39 train stations, inspired by the 30th anniversary of the “Baltic Wave.” The human chain was a show of solidarity and a plea for international support.
  165. Protestors have expanded their demands from scrapping the extradition bill to now include greater democratic freedoms, the resignation of Lam, and an investigation into claims of excessive use of force by police.
  166. On Friday, Taylor Swift told the Guardian, Trump is “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America,’” adding, “I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy.”
  167. On Friday, ahead of the G7 summit in France, French President Emmanuel Macron called on world leaders to place the massive fires destroying Brazil’s Amazon rainforest at the top of their agenda.
  168. Macron tweeted, “Our house is burning. Literally,” noting the Amazon rain forest “produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen.” Germany and Norway have also weighed in, threatening to withhold funding for Brazil’s forests.
  169. Brazil’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, accused Macron of trying to “make personal political gains” with his “sensationalist tone” in a tweet, calling it “an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries.”
  170. Later Friday, Trump tweeted he had just spoken to Bolsonaro and “our future Trade prospects are very exciting and our relationship is strong,” adding if the U.S. can help with the fires, “we stand by ready to assist!”
  171. On Friday, CNN reported that as Trump left for the G7 summit, aides say he has questioned why he must attend over the past weeks, saying he does not view summits with world leaders as a productive use of his time.
  172. On Friday, before leaving for the summit, Trump told reporters, “I’m not happy with Jay Powell,” adding, “I don’t think he’s doing a good job at all,” and “I don’t think he’s much of a chess player, but I’ve got him so…that’s what I have.”
  173. When asked if he wanted Powell to resign, Trump responded, “Do I want him to resign? Let me put it this way, if he did I wouldn’t stop him.”
  174. When asked about him claiming he was the “chosen one,” Trump attacked the reporter, saying, “you know exactly what I meant. It was sarcasm. It was joking,” adding, it was “just fake news. You’re just a faker.”
  175. Trump also called Danish PM Frederiksen a “wonderful woman,” saying, “We had a great conversation. We have a very good relationship,” adding, “she was very nice. She put a call in, and I appreciated it very much.”
  176. When asked about North Korea’s projectile launches, Trump said Kim Jong Un “likes testing missiles,” adding the agreement does not cover short-ranged missiles, and Kim has been “pretty straight with me I think.”
  177. On Saturday, Trump claimed he does have the power to “hereby” order companies to leave China, tweeting,“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers.”
  178. Trump also tweeted, as he arrived in France for the G7, “try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” adding, “Case closed!”
  179. Trump appeared to be referencing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, a law which enables a president to isolate criminal regimes. The Act is not meant to deal with issues with trading partners.
  180. Trump also tweeted, “When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said “I am the chosen one,” at a press conference two days ago… little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a “Messiah complex.””
  181. Trump also tweeted the media “knew I was kidding, being sarcastic,” adding, “They knew the TRUTH…And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news.”
  182. On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that Trump believes Macron is structuring the G7 summit into niche areas in a way to isolate and embarrass him, while raising his political standing at home.
  183. U.S. officials claimed France has ignored their input on focusing on economic issues, to instead focus on climate change and inequality, and then blamed the U.S. for blocking consensus.
  184. On Friday, CNN reported the new White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, has yet to hold a daily briefing since she started her position on July 1. It has been 165 days since the last White House press briefing.

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Counter-protesters chase a group of people called the Three Percenters during an alt-right rally on August 17, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. Anti-fascism demonstrators gathered to counter-protest a rally held by far-right, extremist groups.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 143: #ELPASOSTRONG #DAYTONSTRONG #ENTERNEXTCITYSTRONG

AUGUST 03, 2019

Week 142

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-142/
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Brussels, Belgium 4aug19

This week started with Trump’s attacks on Black leader House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, whose panel has several ongoing investigations targeting Trump and his family. Trump used dehumanizing language like “rats” and “infest” to disparage Cummings’ home district of Baltimore, then broadened his attack during the week to other prominent Black men including Al Sharpton, who he called a “con man” and CNN host Don Lemon who he called “dumb.” Trump refused to back off, escalating his racist attacks — gaslighting the country that he is not the racist, but Cummings is — as news of hate-based shootings and instances of overt racism spread in an anxious and increasingly divided country.

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A wheat paste depiction of him near the Palais de Justice in Brussels, Belgium July 2019

A new label for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — Moscow Mitch — struck a nerve with the leader, and as the media and Democrats questioned his unwillingness to secure the country’s election, his other ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Headwinds for impeachment continued post Mueller’s testimony as over half the House Democrats formally called for the start of an impeachment inquiry, while Trump continued to deny Russia interference happened or is happening now. Trump pushed out the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, one of the few remaining voices who stood up to Trump on foreign policy, and perhaps the last non-partisan stop-gap to future Russia interference.

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No Borders – Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium 27jul19

The future of the Republican Party came into question this week, as Rep. Will Hurd, the only Black American member of the House for the GOP, became the ninth Republican to say he will not seek re-election in 2020. Among the nine are also two of the 13 GOP women, including Rep. Susan Brooks, who was meant to recruit more women to run.

  1. On Monday, a group of Christian leaders warned in a statement about the rise of “Christian nationalism,” saying “America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.”
  2. The group warned “Christian nationalism” seeks to bind Christianity and American citizenship in a way that “provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation,” citing “intimidation and distortion of scripture.”
  3. On Tuesday, the faith leaders of the Washington National Cathedral released a statement saying “Have We No Decency?” in response to Trump, asking elected officials, “When does silence become complicity?”
  4. The leaders said we “believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us.”
  5. On Sunday, Santino William Legan shot and killed three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. Legan, a 19 year-old white man, had connections on his Instagram account to white nationalist literature.
  6. On Sunday, a shooting outside a North Miami, Florida synagogue left one injured, and is being investigated by police as a hate crime. The shooting marked the third synagogue shooting in less than a year.
  7. On Sunday, NPR reported that Alexei Navalny, a leader of the opposition movement and longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was hospitalized with an “allergic reaction” four days after being arrested.
  8. On Sunday, the son of Vladimir Kara-Murza tweeted that his father, a “historian, TV journalist, one of the founders of the ‘old NTV,’” had died. Kara-Murza was a prominent Kremlin critic. He was 59 years-old.
  9. On Tuesday, an international group of researchers found a radioactive cloud that blanketed a large part of Europe in 2017 started in Russia. The release likely originated in the Mayak reprocessing plant.
  10. On Wednesday, China’s army released a video showing soldiers practicing shooting protestors, as the top Chinese military official in Hong Kong called protests there in recent weeks “absolutely intolerable.”
  11. WSJ reported on the rise of “disrupters” being elected globally, including Trump, Boris Johnson in the U.K., Narendra Modi in India, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Matteo Salvini in Italy.
  12. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump plans to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence, saying Ratcliffe’s performance questioning Robert Mueller raised his chances for the spot.
  13. Later Sunday, Trump announced on Twitter that Coats would step down. Coats was one of the few remaining national security officials willing to contradict Trump on matters such as Russia and North Korea.
  14. Rep. Ratcliffe has no intelligence background or experience, but has embraced Trump’s theories on the Russia investigation. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr called him too political.
  15. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters, on Ratcliffe’s appointment, “we need somebody strong” that can “really rein it in,” saying the intelligence agencies “have run amok. They’ve run amok.”
  16. On Tuesday, NYT reported Ratcliffe’s aides were sent scrambling after he overstated several parts of his biography in various prosecutorial roles in order to bolster his resume.
  17. Ratcliffe falsely claimed he tried suspects accused of funneling money to the Hamas, touted his role as U.S. attorney though he was only an interim appointee, and falsely claimed he oversaw terrorism investigations.
  18. On Saturday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board wrote in response to Trump’s Twitter attacks on House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, “Better to have a few rats than to be one.”
  19. The editorial board wrote Cummings has been “a thorn” in Trump’s side, adding Trump “sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics,” adding it “warms the cockles of the white supremacists.”
  20. On Saturday, Barack Obama, who rarely comments on politics, tweeted an op-ed written by 149 African Americans who served in his administration, criticizing Trump’s attacks on the four congresswomen.
  21. Obama wrote, “I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better.” The group wrote “racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia” by Trump and others is “poisoning of our democracy.”
  22. On Sunday, Trump defended himself, tweeting there is “nothing racist” in his attacks on Cummings who has done “a terrible job” in his district, and “Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts.”
  23. Shortly after, Trump tweeted again, calling Cummings a “racist,” adding he should “focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district,” adding, “His radical “oversight” is a joke!”
  24. NYT reported that Chair Cummings’ House Oversight Committee had voted to last Thursday along party lines to approve subpoenas for Jared Kushner and Ivanka’s White House emails sent from private accounts.
  25. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump on “Face the Nation,” saying “everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” but that “doesn’t mean that it’s racist.”
  26. On Monday, Trump attacked Cummings and civil rights leader Al Sharpton. Trump tweeted, “I have known Al for 25 years,” calling him a “con man,” and a “troublemaker” who “Hates Whites & Cops!”
  27. Trump also tweeted that Baltimore “has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action!” and “same old Bull,” and adding, “Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest.”
  28. Later Monday, Trump tweeted, “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!” adding Democratic 2020 candidate Bernie Sanders “must now be labeled a Racist.”
  29. Trump also tweeted, “Baltimore can be brought back,” but not by “King Elijah and that crew,” adding that when Baltimore wants to see the city rise again, “I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!”
  30. On Monday, WAPO reported House Republicans will hold their yearly retreat in Baltimore in September, despite Trump calling the city a “very dangerous & filthy place” where “no human being would want to live.”
  31. On Monday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board wrote, “Cummings didn’t cause Baltimore’s woes; it was people who profited from racism. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump?” citing Trump’s federal housing discrimination suit.
  32. The editorial board also noted Chair Cummings’ time is being occupied by the investigations into Trump’s wrongdoing, including conditions at the border, private email accounts, and profiting off his time in office.
  33. On Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy encouraged Trump critics to unfollow Trump’s Twitter account, citing attacks on Chair Cummings, and saying Trump’s “feed is the most hate-filled, racist, and demeaning” he followed.
  34. Sen. Rand Paul said in a interview with conservative Breitbart News that Rep. Ilhan Omar is “ungrateful,” adding, “I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia. I think she can look and maybe learn.”
  35. On Monday, Sen. Steve Daines, who last week defended Trump from accusations of racism for his “go back” to other countries tweets, introduced a resolution to formally condemn socialism.
  36. On Monday, in response to a request by Chair Cummings and other Democrats, the State Department’s inspector general reported Trump spent $234k on his trip to his property in Turnberry, Scotland in July 2018.
  37. On Tuesday, a report by Chair Cummings’ House Oversight Committee raised concerns about Trump insiders using access to the White House to promote their own commercial interests.
  38. Thomas Barrack, who oversaw Trump’s inaugural committee, used access to push dozens of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia while lobbying to avoid restrictions on the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to the Saudis.
  39. The report also found, according to emails obtained, Trump aides submitted drafts of Trump’s “America First” energy speech delivered during the 2016 campaign to the United Arab Emirates first for edits.
  40. On Tuesday, at an event in Jamestown commemorating the 400th anniversary of Virginia’s first legislative assembly, Trump’s speech was interrupted by a Muslim lawmaker yelling “You can’t send us back!
  41. Trump brushed off the encounter with delegate Ibraheem Samirah, which uncharacteristically stopped his speech, saying the event was “fantastic.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus boycotted Trump’s speech.
  42. On Wednesday, Trump attacked CNN debate moderator Don Lemon, who is also a Black man, tweeting Lemon is “the dumbest man on television” and “too dumb (stupid} to understand.”
  43. Trump tweeted Lemon asked “a debate “question” that I was a racist, when in fact I am “the least racist person in the world,”” adding, “No wonder CNN’s ratings (MSNBC’s also) have gone down the tubes.”
  44. On Wednesday, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of segregationist George Wallace, said Trump’s tactics are even worse than her father’s, saying, “I’ve never seen anything like it,” and “We cannot go backward.”
  45. On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac poll found that 51% say Trump is racist, 45% say his is not. White voters say 46% he is and 50% he is not, while Black voters say 80–11% say he is racist, and Hispanics 55–44%.
  46. The polls also found 60–32% say Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings, although support for starting impeachment is 61–29% among Democrats and 66–23% among Black voters.
  47. On Wednesday, WAPO reported a North Carolina billboard advertisement for a gun shop, Cherokee Guns, compared the four Congresswomen in the Squad to the “4 Horsemen,” calling them “Idiots,” and “Signed, the Deplorables.”
  48. In a Facebook post, Cherokee Guns took credit. Rep. Rashidi Tlaib tweeted Wednesday, “How the hell is this not inciting violence?” and asked Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows, whose district it was in, to “do the right thing.”
  49. The owner of the gun shop, Doc Wacholz, told the Citzens-Times, “They’re socialists, from my point of view,” adding, “I also feel a couple of them, being Muslim, have ties to actual terrorists groups.
  50. On Thursday, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted photos of her visiting “Mother Africa” with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to affirm the U.S.’s partnership with Ghana.
  51. On Thursday, Speaker Pelosi, a Baltimore native, defended Cummings, saying Trump “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” and adding Trump should ask Kushner, “who’s a slumlord there,” about “rodent infestations.”
  52. On Thursday, Baltimore Police said they were investigating a burglary at the home of Chair Cummings last Saturday night at 3:40 a.m. The incident took place hours before Trump Twitter attack that started in Week 141.
  53. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!” The tweet drew some limited pushback from Republicans.
  54. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “the Dems are now coming out of shock from the terrible Mueller performance” and talking impeachment, saying, “How sick & disgusting and bad for our Country.”
  55. Trump added, “We gave Nadler and his Trump hating Dems the complete Mueller Report,” adding, “Nothing will ever be good enough for them,” and “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, TOTAL EXONERATION.”
  56. Later that evening, Trump tweeted, quoting from a guest on Fox News, that the biggest thing from Mueller’s testimony was “he was asked, was there ANYTHING that impeded your investigation, the answer was a clear…NO.”
  57. Trump also tweeted just before midnight, “the Mueller Report itself, was a disaster for this illegal Democrat inspired Witch Hunt,” adding, “They can’t help themselves, they are totally lost, they are Clowns!”
  58. On Sunday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler told “This Week” that Mueller’s testimony “broke the lie” Trump and AG William Barr have been using, no collusion, no obstruction and total exoneration.
  59. Nadler added information gleaned from the petition to release grand jury information in Week 141 will be used to determine if impeachment resolutions before his committee will be brought forward to the House.
  60. On Sunday, Nadler told “State of the Union” of Trump, “My personal view is that he richly deserves impeachment. He’s done many impeachable offenses.” 107 Democrats supported impeachment, 45% of the caucus.
  61. On Sunday, Sen. Patty Murray, the number 3 Senate Democrat, called for impeachment proceedings to begin. On Monday, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the number 4 Democrat, also called for impeachment.
  62. On Sunday, on “Meet the Press,” Sen. Rick Scott, who was governor of Florida at the time of Russia hacking his state, admitted he has not read the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference.
  63. On Sunday, the Coalition for Good Governance accused Georgia election officials in a federal court filing of destroying evidence of “hacking, unauthorized access, and potential of manipulation of election results.”
  64. The brief stated officials “almost immediately” began destroying evidence after a 2017 lawsuit alleging voting machines were outdated and vulnerable to hacking in the Handel-Ossoff Congressional run-off race.
  65. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his decision to block election security bills in a speech on the Senate floor, calling criticism against him “modern-day McCarthyism.”
  66. NYT reported McConnell is incensed by the label “Moscow Mitch” and being called a “Russian asset” in a WAPO column. McConnell is also facing question back in his home state of Kentucky where he faces re-election.
  67. On Tuesday, Trump came to McConnell’s defense, telling reporters “Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump…And I know nothing.”
  68. Trump also said “Mitch McConnell loves our country. He’s done a great job,” adding the Post “is a Russian asset by comparison,” and “ought to be ashamed of themselves, and they ought to apologize.”
  69. On Wednesday, Politico reported according to a lobbying disclosure, two former top staffers to McConnell lobbied Congress and the Treasury Department for a Kentucky mill backed by Russian aluminum giant Rusal.
  70. The two work for lobbying firm Akin Gump, and were hired by Rusal’s partner, Kentucky-based Braidy Industries, in May to help lobby for the $1.7 billion project.
  71. Democrats called for a review of Rusal’s $200 million investment, citing concern the mill will supply the Defense Department, and McConnell’s role in blocking a congressional effort to stop the investment.
  72. On Friday, Politico reported Braidy Industries hired RunSwitch PR, a public relations firm co-founded in 2012 by Scott Jennings, a former McConnell aide, to boost PR ahead of Democrats’ call for an investigation.
  73. Braidy claimed the aluminum will be used for the food and auto industries. Democrats are pushing for investigation into the Treasury Department’s lifting of sanctions against Rusal in January.
  74. On Thursday, WAPO reported during the last week before summer break, McConnell continued his singular focus of the judiciary, leading the Senate in confirming 13 more of Trump’s judicial nominees.
  75. Since Trump took office, McConnell has pushed through 144 judicial appointees, reshaping the courts and their decisions for decades. Trump has nominated 1 in 5 judges on the appellate bench.
  76. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump’s new defense secretary, Mark Esper, is putting a $10 billion contract with Amazon on hold, after Trump suggested the Defense Department’s process may have been rigged.
  77. Trump told reporters on July 18 that there had been “tremendous complaints” about the contracting process. Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
  78. On Friday, the WAPO Editorial Board wrote the bipartisan Deter Act is a “smart way to keep Putin out of our election,” saying to McConnell, “there is no excuse for refusing to punish a country that attacks U.S. democracy.”
  79. On Saturday, WAPO columnist Dana Milbank wrote of McConnell and his “new posture toward Moscow,” citing his blocking election security and helping Rusal, saying “McConnell was a Russia hawk for decades.”
  80. Milbank also noted McConnell’s tepid support for investigating Russia, adding, “If Americans don’t have confidence our elections are free and fair, nothing else in our democracy has value.”
  81. On Thursday, in a raucous session before summer break, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham skirted committee rules to push through a bill that would increase the time migrant children can be detained.
  82. Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein called it “a new precedent that will denigrate this committee and the institution of the Senate.” Sens. Mazie Hirono called it “unconstitutional” and Sheldon Whitehouse “illegitimate.”
  83. On Thursday, alongside #MoscowMitch, #LeningradLindsey trended for Graham forcing the controversial asylum bill through his committee, breaking protocol even though it likely will not pass in the full senate.
  84. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr changed the rules of asylum claims, saying immigrants fearing persecution because of threats against a family members are no longer eligible for asylum.
  85. On Tuesday, the ACLU told a federal judge in San Diego that the Trump regime has separated 911 migrant children from their parents since the judge ordered a stop to border separation on June 26, 2018.
  86. Lawyers said children were taken from parents for having a dirty diaper, for malicious destruction of property of $5, and for a speech impediment that made it hard to answer Custom and Border Patrol agents’ questions.
  87. The ACLU also said statistics provided by the government though legal proceedings show 20% of separations were of children under the age of 5. Neither the DOJ or Department of Homeland Security commented.
  88. On Tuesday, artist James Baldwin installed three pink seesaws at the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by a drawing from Ronald Real’s book depicting children on either side of the border wall seesawing with each other.
  89. On Friday, WGBH reported Boston artist Karyn Alzayer put chicken wire cages around the iconic “Make Way for Ducklings” statues in the Boston public gardens, separating the mother from her baby ducklings.
  90. Each duck was also swaddled in a shiny emergency blanket. Alzayer said, “The Mallards are Boston’s quintessential immigrant family,” adding, “In the book they moved here for a better life.”
  91. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order ending two Obama-era United States Citizenship and Immigration Services programs that allowed Filipino and Haitian veterans to bring family members the U.S.
  92. The programs allowed veterans to bring in family members before their green cards were available. The regime ended the programs to “ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the law.”
  93. On Friday, Politico reported on emails released under the FOIA which revealed White House adviser Stephen Miller aggressively pushed the Department of Homeland Security to move faster to limit immigration.
  94. Miller pushed to limit green cards, barring legal immigrants from obtaining them if they receive certain government benefits, and called DHS officials an “embarrassment” for not acting faster.
  95. On Friday, a federal judge in D.C. vacated the Trump regime’s initial asylum ban from November, which barred migrants from claiming asylum if they did not enter the U.S. through designated ports of entry.
  96. On Thursday, Yahoo News reported a May 30 FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorism threat, and called it a growing threat.
  97. The 15-page document lists a number of related arrests, including some that are not yet public, and specifically mentions QAnon, a conspiracy theory network which believes in a deep state conspiracy against Trump.
  98. On Monday, WAPO reported Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell may be preparing to cut interest rates, a move noted to be risky by many economists for the economy, seeming to bow to pressure from Trump.
  99. On Tuesday, Trump attacked the Fed, telling reporters, “I’m very disappointed in the Fed,” adding, “I would like to see a large cut, and I’d like to see immediately the quantitative tightening stop.”
  100. Trump added, “The Fed moved, in my opinion, far too early and for too severely. It puts me at a — somewhat of a disadvantage,” but “Fortunately I’ve made the economy so strong that nothing’s going to stop us.”
  101. On Wednesday, the Fed lowered its benchmark rate by a quarter point, the first interest rate cut since 2008. Legendary investor Leon Cooperman accused Trump of trying to boost stocks ahead of the election.
  102. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported 54% of the Trump regime’s $8.4 billion of trade-war aid for farmers went to the biggest farms, just one-tenth of recipients. Advocates say farmer who needed aid the most got very little.
  103. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump cited unsuccessful trade talks with China, and announced he would be “putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products.”
  104. Trump tweeted, “my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl” to the U.S., saying “this never happened, and many Americans continue to die!” but he looks forward to a “bright” future with China.
  105. Trump had agreed in June after meeting with Xi and agreeing to resume trade talks, not to impose more tariffs. He told reporters at the White House, “Until such time as there is a deal, we’ll be taxing them.”
  106. On Friday, the Dow dropped another 300 points on fears of a trade war with China, heading into the worst week of 2019. A spokesperson for China said countermeasures will be taken if Trump imposes tariffs.
  107. On Monday, after signing a bill to fund the care of 9/11 responders, Trump told reporters, “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there.”
  108. Trump’s claim is false. Trump has also made false statements about how Muslims reacted to the attack. On the day of the attack, he falsely claimed in an interview that one of his buildings was now “the tallest” downtown.
  109. On Monday, the Senate failed to override Trump’s vetoes of legislation passed in the House and Senate which would have blocked the sale of certain weapons to Saudi Arabia. Five Republicans voted with Democrats.
  110. On Monday, an inspector general report found Eric Blankenstein, a Trump appointee at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “may have abused his authority” to try to defuse a WAPO article about a past racist statement.
  111. On Tuesday, Trump lashed out at MSNBC co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, tweeting, “Morning Joe & Psycho ratings have really crashed,” adding, “Very small audience.”
  112. Trump also tweeted, “People are tired of hearing Fake News delivered with an anger that is not to be believed,” adding, “they helped get me elected. Thanks! Was on all the time. Lost all of its juice!
  113. Trump tweeted “Morning Joe & Psycho” were in his room the night he won New Hampshire, and that Mika lied saying Trump wanted to preside over their marriage, saying, “They were married by Elijah, King of Baltimore!
  114. On Tuesday, in an interview with C-SPAN, asked about his tweets, Trump responded, “if I got fair coverage I wouldn’t even have to tweet. It’s my only form of defense. If the press covered me fairly I wouldn’t need that.”
  115. Trump blamed the media for 80% of Black Americans viewing him as racist, saying, “If the press did treat me fairly, I’d have tremendous support from the African American community,” naming several celebrities.
  116. When asked if he ever regretted a tweet, Trump said, “Not much. I sent the one about wiretapping, in quotes, and that turned out to be true.” Trump sent that tweet for several weeks, and it is a lie.
  117. When asked about his typical day, Trump responded, “Well, I stay up late, I like to read a lot, which people don’t understand that…I watch a lot of Fox. I tend to not watch too much of CNN.”
  118. On Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed the Democrat National Committee lawsuit against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government which claimed they conspired in the 2016 election.
  119. The judge found Trump officials were shielded under the First Amendment, and Russia could not be in the courts for election interference and should face actions like sanctions instead.
  120. Trump celebrated the ruling, tweeting a judge dismissed a lawsuit “against our historic 2016 campaign for President,” calling it “yet another total & complete vindication & exoneration,” adding, “The Witch Hunt Ends!
  121. On Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel became the 114th House Democrat to come out for impeachment, the second major committee chair. Currently 48% of the caucus is for an inquiry.
  122. Engel said Mueller’s testimony “provided ample evidence that the president committed obstruction of justice.” A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi did not comment on what will happen if the 50% threshold is met.
  123. On Wednesday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey became the 117th of 235 House Democrats, one below the majority threshold. By Thursday, Democrats for impeachment were the majority.
  124. On Thursday, Rep. Ted Deutch became the 17th of 24 Judiciary Committee and 118th House member to back impeachment in a Sun Sentinel op-ed, titled “No more debate. Impeachment inquiry is underway.”
  125. On Wednesday, the DOJ and House Judiciary Committee agreed to a two month timetable for court filingsrelated the committee’s request in Week 141 for Mueller’s grand jury materials.
  126. The DOJ has until September 13 for its first brief, and the House until September 30 for its response, meaning a ruling from Chief U.S. District Court of D.C. Judge Beryl Howell in October at the earliest.
  127. On Monday, a federal judge ordered attorneys for Trump, House Democrats and New York to come up with a compromise by Tuesday over Trump’s request for a restraining order on release of his state tax returns.
  128. On Tuesday, the attorneys wrote in a joint filing “the parties are unable to reach agreement.” House Democrats urged the judge to reject Trump’s request for a restraining order.
  129. On Thursday, the judge temporarily blocked New York from sharing Trump’s state tax returns. New York officials contended the federal court in D.C. does not have jurisdiction over them, and should be heard in NY.
  130. Later Thursday, the federal judge in D.C. agreed to hear a challenge to his jurisdiction in the matter. The hearing is set for August 29.
  131. On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new election law, requiring all presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be included on the state’s primary ballot, becoming the first state to do so.
  132. On Tuesday, Politico reported Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas said he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the fifth Republican to announce their retirement in the past two weeks.
  133. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Montana overturned an IRS rule which shielded political nonprofit donorsto 501(c)4 groups from having their identities made public.
  134. The ruling is a blow to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said the rule protected donor privacy. Groups such as the National Rifle Association and Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers’ group, could be impacted.
  135. On Thursday, three NRA board members, who had raised concerns about reckless spending and mismanagement by the group’s leaders and were then stripped of committee assignment, resigned from the board.
  136. On Thursday, the DOJ said it will not prosecute former FBI director James Comey, despite its internal watchdog referring Comey for leaking some of his memos to NYT after Trump fired him in May 2017.
  137. The Hill reported the DOJ rationale was although Comey’s action was a technical violation, the department did not want to make its first case against the Russia investigators “with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive.”
  138. On Thursday, Trump’s EPA moved to finalize a rule that would make it easier to obtain air pollution permits, arguing the process under the Clean Air Act, known as New Source Review, is too burdensome.
  139. On Thursday, as senators left for summer break, Sen. Susan Collins called the mood in D.C. “constant chaos,” with Trump diverting attention from policy. Sen. Mike Rounds welcome getting back to “sanity” back home.
  140. On Thursday, Rep. Will Hurd, the sole black Republican in the House, said he will not seek re-election, becoming the third Texas Republican announcing a retirement this week, and the sixth in the past two weeks.
  141. In an interview with WAPO, Hurd said of Trump, “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back…you’re implying they’re not an American…and they have less worth than you.”
  142. Hurd is the ninth Republican to announce they will not seek re-election in 2020. Among the nine are two of the 13 House GOP women, including Rep. Susan Brooks who was slated to recruit more GOP women to run.
  143. On Friday, NYT reported that Kiron Skinner, the State Department’s top policy planner and the highest-ranking African-American woman in the department, has been forced out of her job.
  144. Her group was tasked with countering the rise of China. Officials claimed she was fired over her “abusive” management style. She is the first departure from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s small inner circle.
  145. On Thursday, Facebook announced it had found and taken down a covert campaign by the government of Saudi Arabia on Facebook and Instagram to prop up the kingdom and attack its enemies.
  146. On Thursday, the Manhattan D.A.’s office issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization for documents related to $130,000 in hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, reviving an investigation into the company’s role.
  147. The inquiry will examine whether senior executives at the Trump Organization filed false business records about the payments — a state crime. The Manhattan D.A. also subpoenaed America Media Inc.
  148. On Wednesday, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone. The White House released a two sentence readout on the call later that night, hours after Russia had given public notice of the call.
  149. The readout said Trump “expressed concern over the vast wildfires afflicting Siberia” and the leaders “discussed trade between the two countries.” No other details of the call were released.
  150. On Thursday, when asked if he discussed election interference with Putin on a call Wednesday, Trump told reporters at the White House on interference, “You don’t really believe this. Do you believe this?”
  151. Trump said on election interference, “We didn’t talk about that,” adding instead they discussed wildfires in Siberia, telling reporters, “I think he appreciated it. We would be able to help them.”
  152. On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia for the poisoning of a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury, U.K.
  153. Lawmakers on both sides had criticized Trump’s delay in imposing sanctions. On Monday, the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter threatening legal action.
  154. On Thursday, Trump held a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio which 17,500 attended. Trump mocked “left-wing extremists,” and Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren who he continued to call “Pocahontas.”
  155. Donald Jr. warmed up the crowd, saying, “It’s sad that using ‘racism’ has become the easy button of left-wing politics.” Trump supporters held up t-shirts saying “TRUMP & Republicans Are Not RACIST.”
  156. Trump invoked his 2016 opponent, saying, “Do you remember when Hillary used the word ‘deplorable’?” adding, “not a good day for Hillary. Crooked Hillary. She is a crooked one.” The crowd chanted, “Lock her up!
  157. Protestors briefly interrupted the rally two times, one for close to four minutes as they were led out of the arena. One protestor held a sign that read “Immigrants Built America,” which Trump supporters tore away.
  158. Trump blamed the mayor, “Do you have a Democrat mayor? Well, that’s what happens,” then brought up homicide rates in Baltimore and Chicago, saying they support illegal immigrants rather than their own communities.
  159. Trump said Baltimore’s homicide rate “is significantly higher than El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala,” then asked the audience, “Gimme a place” for others, and repeated, “I believe it’s higher than Afghanistan.”
  160. Trump also again attacked two familiar targets in California, saying Los Angeles had “horrible, disgusting conditions” and San Francisco is now all “deplorable.”
  161. Trump promised to “very shortly” cure pediatric cancer and AIDS, without offering details, and said, “Our nation is stronger today than ever before,” adding, “We’re finally putting America first. It’s about time.”
  162. Trump mocked environmentalists and clean-energy advocates, saying “We’ve ended the war on American energy.” He also attacked windmills again saying they are “noisy” and “kill birds.”
  163. Later Thursday, WCPO Cincinnati reported Dallas Frazier, a 29 year-old Trump supporter, was charged with assault after getting out of a pick-up truck and punching an anti-Trump protester outside the Trump rally.
  164. On Thursday, a nationwide committee of federal judges concluded that 83 ethics complaints filed against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during and after his confirmation process will remain dismissed.
  165. The ruling by Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability confirms a late 2018 ruling by a panel of judges. As there is no appeal option, the only way Kavanaugh could be investigated further would be in Congress.
  166. On Wednesday, CNN reported North Korea launched at least one projectile into the Sea of Japan, the third launch in the past week. The tests violate a United Nations Security Council resolution.
  167. On Thursday, Trump played down the test, telling reporters “short-range missiles” are “very standard,” and “We never made an agreement on that,” adding “I think it’s very much under control, very much under control.”
  168. On Friday, Trump again defended Kim Jong Un, tweeting his “friend” Kim “does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust,” adding, “the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited.”
  169. On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he would drop his plans to nominate Rep. Ratcliffe for DNI, tweeting: “Our great Republican Congressman…is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media.”
  170. Trump added, “rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people,” he will “stay in Congress.”
  171. Trump later told reporters outside the White House, that he likes for the press to vet his nominees, saying, “I like when you vet, no, no, you vet. I think the White House is a great vetting process. You vet for me.”
  172. Ratcliffe is the 62nd nominee withdrawn by Trump, an unprecedented number. Politico reported White House officials have blamed Trump’s lack of judgement and impulsiveness.
  173. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump ally Sen. Kevin Cramer demanded to see the Army Corps’ border wall contracts, after the companies owned by Tom Fisher, his preferred vendor by him and Trump, did not get selected.
  174. Cramer put a temporary hold on the confirmation of Michael Wooten for a senior post at the White House Office of Management and Budget in an attempt to get sensitive information on the contracting bids.
  175. Fisher’s company is based in Cramer’s home state of North Dakota. He and his family have donated thousands to his campaign. Cramer mused in a interview that Trump had deputized him to deal with the bidding process.
  176. On Friday, Brian Karem, the chief White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, said his press pass was suspended for 30 days over an argument he had with Sebastian Gorka at Trump’s Social Media Summit last month.
  177. The White House said wrote that Karem “failed to abide by basic norms of decorum and order,” and was rude to Gorka, “a guest of the president.” Playboy called Karem’s suspension “incredibly concerning.”
  178. Karem told WAPO he believes the move was in retaliation for tough questioning, as the suspension came hours after Trump had fielded several of his questions. His attorney will appeal the suspension on Monday.
  179. On Friday, the Fresno Bee reported Rep. Devin Nunes is suing a group of people in his district who called him a “fake farmer,” claiming they were coordinating with “dark money” groups to hurt his campaign.
  180. One of the defendants, fruit grower Paul Buxman said he had never heard of the term “dark money” and had voted for Nunes in every election but one. Nunes also sued a parody Twitter cow account in Week 123.
  181. On Friday, according to a pair of letters released by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the Trump regime warned Sweden of the “negative consequences” if rapper ASAP Rocky was not released.
  182. On Friday, Rocky was released from jail, pending a verdict, and landed back in the U.S. on Saturday. Trump tweeted on Friday, “It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!” A final judgment is expected on August 14.
  183. Trump’s unusual intervention in the case left tensions between the two countries. Trump weighed in on the assault case last month after a public outcry by celebrities, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West.
  184. On Friday, after weeks of mass protests, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello stepped down. His successor Pedro Pierluisi was sworn in temporarily until Wednesday when the Senate will hear his nomination.
  185. On Saturday, Trump retweeted a racist attack on London mayor Sadiq Khan by British far-right activist Katie Hopkins, saying “The nipple-height Mayor of Londonistan has NEVER been so unpopular.”

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Virginia state delegate, Ibraheem S. Samirah is escorted out after holding up a sign while Trump speaks at Jamestown Settlement on Tuesday July 30, 2019 in James City County VA. Tuesday July 30th marks the 400th anniversary of the convening of the first General Assembly that took place at a church on what is now Historic Jamestown.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 142: “TROUBLING SIGNS OF ERODING NORMS”

JULY 27, 2019

Week 141

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-141/
DCIM107GOPROGOPR3106.
“BaltiMore is a plague. No one wants to visit it. Also, Jared does business there.” Brussels, Belgium 28jul19

This week Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about his 448 page report. The testimony was the first glimpse many Americans had of its findings, especially Mueller’s stark warnings on Russia’s past and ongoing interference, and Trump’s and other regime members’ financial and other conflicts. While the media quibbled over whether Mueller was made-for-television articulate, the House Judiciary Committee took the first steps to effectively start an impeachment investigation, as over 100 House members have now come out in favor of impeachment. Despite testimony by Mueller and FBI director Christopher Wray, as well as a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee sounding alarms about Russia’s ongoing efforts at election interference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued to halt efforts by Congress to counter Russian meddling.

IMG_8158
NYC, June 2019

Troubling signs of eroding norms and Trump seizing power at an alarming rate continued. Trump ramped up attacks on the media, calling them “fake” and “the enemy of the people,” and saying the press has lost all credibility. Trump continued his diatribe on the Federal Reserve and targeted U.S. companies with his ire. A disturbing Supreme Court ruling allowed Trump to take funds from the Pentagon to build his wall, while he continued to push to end asylum and ramp up rhetoric on deportation — further fanning the flames of “us” versus “them” in America.

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Wind-up whiny toy in the window of a shop in Brussels, Belgium. July 2019.
  1. On Saturday, more than 20,000 gathered in Moscow demanding free and fair elections, a continuation of protests from Week 140 over opposition candidates not being allowed on the ballot for local elections in September.
  2. On Saturday, Trump showed up at a wedding being held at one of his properties, the National Golf Club Bedminster. The bride and groom were ardent Trump fans and invited him. The crowd chanted, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
  3. On Saturday, Trump mocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the city’s police department Twitter account was hacked, tweeting: “With the incompetent Mayor of London, you will never have safe streets!”
  4. On Sunday, WAPO reported on the political crisis created by Trump’s racist tweets in Week 140. Reporting was based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers, and others.
  5. Aides said Trump did not fully understand the impact of his racist tweets sent before golfing. Trump had acted alone, and created a crisis that he continued to flame on his own during the week, despite advice of aides.
  6. The White House feared close to 50 Republicans might vote with House Democrats on the resolution of disapproval. Trump was obsessed with the vote tally, and he and other aides labored to keep the GOP caucus together.
  7. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the WAPO story “with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News,” saying people were only talking about “the record setting crowd and the tremendous enthusiasm” at his rally.
  8. Trump then tweeted, “Presidential Harassment!” and then in another tweet added, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  9. Trump also tweeted, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” calling them “weak & insecure” and adding, “They should apologize to America (and Israel).”
  10. On Monday, Trump again attacked WAPO, tweeting, “the Amazon Washington Post” reported “total Fake News,” adding, “It is a made up story meant to demean & belittle,” and “The Post had no sources.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “the Mainstream Media is out of control,” claiming “they constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out,” adding, “they have gone bonkers.”
  12. Trump also again invoked enemy of the people, tweeting, “Fake News Equals the Enemy of the People!
  13. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon slipped in revealing that it is conducting a secret Army “emerging classified flight mission” involving Black Hawk helicopters flying over the Washington D.C. area.
  14. The operation was disclosed as part of the Army’s $2.5 billion request this month to Congress to “reprogram” funds, including $1.5 million for aircraft maintenance, air crews, and travel in support of the mission.
  15. On Sunday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler told “Fox News Sunday” that the Mueller report presents “very substantial evidence” that Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense.
  16. On Sunday, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff told “Face the Nation” the Mueller report contains “a pretty damning set of facts,” adding of Mueller’s upcoming testimony, “Who better to bring them to life.”
  17. On Sunday, when asked about Trump’s racist statements on “Fox News Sunday,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said Democrats “try to silence and punish and suppress” people by using the term “racist.”
  18. Miller said “the core element” of Trump’s philosophy is “America First.” When asked about Trump saying the U.S. was “crippled” and a “laughingstock” under Obama, he said it was “out of love” for the country.
  19. On Sunday, when asked on “This Week” if Trump is a racist, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said he “tried to give him the benefit of the doubt,” adding, “I believe he is. Yes, no doubt about it.”
  20. On Sunday, the president of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association apologized for the group posting a meme on their Facebook page of the four congresswomen, calling them “The Jihad Squad.”
  21. The text of the meme, which was posted on Friday and later taken down, read, “POLITICAL JIHAD IS THEIR GAME. IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU’RE RACIST.”
  22. On Sunday, the Times Picayune reported Charlie Rispoli, a police officer in Gretna, Louisiana posted on his Facebook page that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot: “This vile idiot needs a round…”
  23. On Monday, Rispoli was fired, along with officer Angelo Varisco, who liked his post. Gretna’s police chief said, “To insinuate a violent act against a seated U.S. congresswoman” is “completely irresponsible and intolerable.”
  24. On Monday, Trump tweeted the four congresswomen are “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” and “against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!”
  25. On Monday, WAPO obtained talking points for Trump’s re-election campaign: “The President loves America. He will stick up for this country, our flag, and the men and women who serve this country in uniform.”
  26. On Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib was introduced at the NAACP annual convention as “one of the four women who was told to go back home.” She said, “Yeah, I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president.”
  27. On Monday, amid calls for Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign over a scandal, Trump insulted him and his adversary San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz who was not involved in the scandal, calling them “grossly incompetent.”
  28. Trump said Cruz is “so bad for her people,” and repeated the false claim that the island received $92 billion in aid. Trump also said “we did a great job” and “I’m the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.”
  29. On Tuesday, the NAACP leadership voted unanimously at their annual convention to support impeachment. Derrick Johnson, the group’s president, said Trump is “unfit to serve this country.”
  30. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani said in a radio interview that Mueller “shouldn’t really [testify],” adding, “He’s already commented more than any prosecutor has ever commented about a case he didn’t bring.”
  31. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple,” saying it will be “bad for him and the phony Democrats” who are wasting time on “this ridiculous Witch Hunt.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!” and asked why “Clinton’s people” were “given immunity,” and why texts messages between “Peter S and his lover, Lisa Page” were “deleted and destroyed.”
  33. Later, Trump told reporters at the White House that he does not plan to watch Mueller testify: “I’m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple.”
  34. Trump repeated false claims about Mueller: “There’s a lot of conflicts…He wanted the job of the FBI director, he didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said no, and I would say that he wasn’t happy.”
  35. Trump said Democrats have “gone off the deep end” and “They’re not doing anything,” adding, “All they care about is a phony investigation. They’re wasting their time.”
  36. On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Trump has “zero concerns” about Mueller testifying, calling it “a do-over of the do-over of the do-over” and an insult to the American people.
  37. On Monday, the Justice Department instructed Mueller in a letter to significantly limit his congressional testimony, and “not go beyond” the public unredacted version of the report.
  38. The letter also prohibits answering questions on matters that could be covered by executive privilege, a broad, vague category given Trump was investigated while working in the executive branch.
  39. The letter also reminded Mueller that Roger Stone and a separate case still await trial, and that it is the DOJ’s “longstanding policy not to discuss the conduct of uncharged third-parties.”
  40. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler called it “incredibly arrogant” to try to “instruct” Mueller on what to say, calling it “part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.”
  41. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Newest Poll: Only 11% in favor of starting ridiculous impeachment hearings” — a number is not close to any real poll. Trump also accused Democrats of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
  42. On Tuesday, Trump told teenagers at the Turning Point USA summit of Mueller’s testimony, “These people have gone totally crazy,” calling it a “witch hunt” and saying the report found “no collusion, no obstruction.”
  43. Trump again repeated the claim that Article II of the Constitution gave him power to “do whatever I want as president.” Article II grants the president “executive power,” but does not give him total power.
  44.  Trump also told the teens, “we have our best poll numbers today that we’ve ever had, can you imagine how good our poll numbers, with all the things we’ve done…if we had a fair media?” One teen yelled “100 percent.”
  45. On Tuesday, Mueller asked the House Judiciary Committee to allow Aaron Zebley, one of his top deputies and counsel, to testify with him Wednesday. The move went against the DOJ wishes, and created an air of uncertainty.
  46. In a statement, ranking Republican Rep. Douglas Collins accused Democrats of an 11th hour trick, and accused Chair Nadler of “again allowing the committee’s business to devolve into chaos.”
  47. Rep. Collins cited an “unprecedented decision” to allow a witness’s counsel to both advise him privately and testify alongside him, adding it could jeopardize whether the hearing “complies with the rules of the House.”
  48. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted about the “last minute change,” saying “What a disgrace to our system. Never heard of this before,” and adding, “VERY UNFAIR, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. A rigged Witch Hunt!”
  49. On Monday, Trump again attacked the “very misguided” Federal Reserve, saying, “With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries.”
  50. Trump also claimed if interest rates were lower the “GDP & our Country’s wealth accumulation” would be “much higher,” adding, “Such a waste of time & money,” and the Fed “missed it (Big!). Don’t miss it again!”
  51. On Monday, WAPO reported Judy Shelton, Trump’s nominee to fill an open seat of the Federal Reserve Board, plans to push for a rate cut, saying in an email, “I would have voted for a 50-basis-point cut at the June meeting.”
  52. On Monday, Politico reported on dysfunction at the Commerce Department under Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying Ross does not hold regular meetings with senior staffers and is rarely in the building.
  53. Ross reportedly is disengaged, falls asleep in meetings, and spends most of his time kissing up to Trump. Sources also said there is constant infighting among top officials, and departures of senior staffers without explanation.
  54. On Monday, Politico reported Kelly Craft, Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, spent seven of her 20 months as ambassador to Canada back at her U.S. homes, including 60 personal days.
  55. On Monday, while meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, Trump offered to mediate the long-running Kashmir conflict. Less than an hour later, India rejected Trump’s offer.
  56. Trump also said the duration of the Afghanistan war is “ridiculous,” adding he could “win that war in a week,” but “Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to kill 10 million people.”
  57. On Monday, according to a new set of rules published in the Federal Register, the Trump regime will expand its power to speed deportations of undocumented immigrants who have entered in the past two years.
  58. The rules allow the regime to fast-track the deportation process, bypassing immigration judges, which the regime claimed is a “necessary response” to the influx, although southern border apprehensions fell in June and July.
  59. On Wednesday, the White House praised a federal judge in the District of Columbia who ruled against blocking the regime’s new restrictions saying migrants are ineligible for asylum if they pass through another country.
  60. Later Wednesday, a second federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Trump regime to continue to accept asylum claims from all eligible migrants, and preventing the regime’s rules from being carried out.
  61. On Monday, the Dallas Morning News reported Francisco Erwin Galicia, an 18 year-old born in Dallas, was picked up by Border Patrol, and according to his lawyer, was detained for three weeks and may be deported by ICE.
  62. On Tuesday, after reporting by the newspaper, Galicia was released. His mother said an ICE official called and said they had found his documents and citizenship to be valid. Both ICE and CBP refused to comment.
  63. Galicia told MSNBC of his time at a Texas detention facility, “We couldn’t breathe or brush our teeth,” saying, “we were about 60 people in one small room,” and calling the conditions “inhumane.”
  64. The teen said he lost 26 pounds during his 23 days in custody, saying, “It was more psychological,” adding, “They said they were going to charge me. They would insult me so I would sign my deportation order.”
  65. On Monday, WTVF-Nashville reported a group of people in Hermitage, Tennessee formed a human chain around a man and his 12 year-old son to protect them from ICE for four hours. Eventually, ICE left.
  66. On Tuesday, ICE revealed in the deportation raids touted by Trump as targeting 2,000 migrant families, just 35 have been arrested, including 18 family members and 17 who were encountered during the operation.
  67. Trump had touted the raids as “very successful.” Advocacy groups had handed out flyers to prepare for the raids, and although the raids were not successful, they have instilled fear into the immigrant community.
  68. On Tuesday, Trump threatened Guatemala, tweeting: “Guatemala, which has been forming Caravans and sending large numbers of people, some with criminal records…has decided to break the deal they had with us.”
  69. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales postponed a meeting with Trump last week after the country’s court blocked the “safe third country” accord, requiring migrants to seek protection there, not continue to the U.S.
  70. Trump tweeted, “we are looking at the “BAN,” Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” adding, “Guatemala has not been good. Big U.S. taxpayer dollars going to them was cut off by me 9 months ago.”
  71. On Wednesday, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that she was a member of the racist Facebook group “I’m 10–15,” saying, “I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”
  72. On Wednesday, Nancy Goodman, a white woman in Raleigh, North Carolina called two women the “N-word” at a confrontation in a restaurant. Goodman said she would do it again, saying, “I used that word because they forced me to.”
  73. On Thursday, Daniel Leonard, a member of the Toms River school board faced calls to resign after posting on Facebook that his “life would be complete” if Rep. Rashida Tlaib were dead.
  74. Leonard also called Rep. Ilhan Omar a “terrorist,” and posted a meme calling her “Sharia Barbie,” showing a Barbie doll with a black and blue eye, which read “Comes with Jihab, Bruises & Quran.”
  75. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson won the race to be the Tory leader and become the next British prime minister, replacing Theresa May. Johnson has been one of the most vocal proponents of Brexit.
  76. WAPO reported Sens. Ted Cruz and Bill Kennedy introduced a nonbinding resolution that would label antifascists as “domestic terrorists,” in step with Trump’s attacks on so-called “radical” activists.
  77. Antifascists, or “antifa,” are a collection of groups and individuals who support aggressive opposition to activists on the far right, in some cases leading to violence. Conservative media has referred to them as terrorists.
  78. On Tuesday, lawyers for Cesar Sayoc said in a defense filing he became obsessed with Trump as a “surrogate father” and believed an “alternative reality” that Democrats were working to hurt him and other supporters. Sayoc sent mail bombs to prominent Democrats, including the Obamas and Hillary Clinton.
  79. Sayoc’s lawyers said Fox News also helped radicalize him, saying he began “watching Fox News religiously,” watching “Fox & Friends” in the morning and Sean Hannity in prime time. He actively followed Trump on Twitter.
  80. On Tuesday, PEN America called for the State Department to disband the new Commission on Unalienable Rights, citing “serious concerns” over the commission’s purpose, process, and membership.
  81. On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee the FBI has recorded about 100 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects in the past nine months, and most involve white supremacy.
  82. Wray also testified the Russians “are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections,” and said they have not been deterred by sanctions: “My view is until they stop they haven’t been deterred enough.”
  83. Wray said he was cooperating with Attorney General William Barr in his inquiry on the origins of the of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and said the bureau has instituted new policies and training to ensure impartiality.
  84. Wray also admitted when asked by Sen. Mazie Hirono if he read the Mueller report, that he had not, saying, “I’ve — I’ve reviewed it, I wouldn’t say I’ve read every single word.”
  85. On Tuesday, Politico reported that Rep. Devin Nunes met with Trump and other senior White House officials last week to discuss replacements for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
  86. Some on Capitol Hill and in the intelligence community speculated that given Trump and Nunes’ similar views on intelligence issues, Nunes could be under consideration for DNI or another intelligence position.
  87. One member of Congress told Politico that Trump “would certainly consider Devin Nunes for the director’s position.” The notion has provoked some anxiety at the top level of ODNI.
  88. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported two unofficial envoys, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who reported to Rudy Giuliani, met with top officials in Ukraine to lobby the Ukrainian government to help Trump win 2020.
  89. The two pushed prosecutors to investigate allegations against 2020 candidate Joe Biden, and to open a probe into whether Ukrainian officials sought to help Hillary Clinton win 2016 by leaking evidence on Paul Manafort.
  90. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury convicted Bijan Rafiekian, a former business partner of Michael Flynn and Trump transition adviser, on two foreign-agent felony counts for work he and Flynn did for Turkish interests.
  91. The verdict in Alexandria, Virginia was from a case started by Mueller’s team, and came despite Flynn being dropped as a witness under his new legal representation. Rafiekian faces up to 15 years in prison.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on the four congresswomen, tweeting he will win Minnesota in 2020 “because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar,” and called the four “a Nightmare for America!”
  93. Later, at the Turning Point USA summit, addressing a group of teenagers, Trump railed against the four, calling Rep. Rashida Tlaib “vicious” and “a crazed lunatic.” The teens chanted, “One Squad Under God.”
  94. Trump again repeated his conspiracy theory on illegal voting, saying Democrats won in “California and numerous other states” are “rigged” because undocumented immigrants vote “many times — not just twice.”
  95. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Freedom of Information Act bill to counteract an EPA policy and a Supreme Court ruling which make it easier for the Trump regime to withhold information.
  96. On Tuesday, Trump’s private lawyers sued New York State officials and the House Ways and Means Committee to block congressional Democrats from obtaining his state tax returns under a newly enacted New York law.
  97. AG Letitia James of New York said her office had “all the confidence that this law is legal” and pledged to “vigorously defend” it. A spokesman for House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal declined to comment.
  98. On Wednesday, ahead of Mueller’s testimony, Trump tweeted, “why didn’t the highly conflicted Robert Mueller” investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted and acid washed” emails, saying, “She must have GREAT lawyers!”
  99. Trump asked why “Mueller & his band of 18 Angry Democrats” did not investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin’ & Leakin’ James Comey, Lisa Page and her Psycho lover, Peter S, Andy McCabe…and many more.”
  100. On Wednesday, Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and the House Intelligence Committees. Mueller said in his opening remarks he would not address the origins of the investigation or Steele dossier.
  101. Mueller also said, “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.”
  102. Mueller testified to the House Judiciary Committee that despite Trump’s repeated proclamations, the report does not exonerate Trump, and did not conclude that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.
  103. Mueller said DOJ rules say a sitting president cannot be indicted, but that Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice after he leaves office. Mueller also said Trump refused to be interviewed by his team.
  104. When asked if the Russians perceived a benefit from a candidate, Mueller said, “It would be Trump,” and confirmed that Manafort gave polling data to an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.
  105. Democrats tried to systematically walk through Volume 2, the obstruction of justice charges, including when he attempted to have Mueller fired, reading parts of the report out loud and Mueller responding with short affirmations.
  106. Mueller did say there was a sufficient factual and legal basis for further investigation, and that Trump had a motive to impede the Russia investigation, countering Barr who said Trump was merely frustrated.
  107. Republicans repeatedly asked about the origins of the investigation and the Steele dossier. Mueller refused to roughly 200 questions posed to him, frequently saying, “I’m just going to leave it as it appears in the report.”
  108. Despite saying he did not plan to watch, Trump live-tweeted the testimony, including quoting Fox News host Chris Wallace: “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”
  109. Mueller refused to address the issue of impeachment. Republicans accused Mueller and his team members of being biased against Trump. Mueller pushed back, saying he never asked about the political affiliation of his team.
  110. Six Trump aides were charged with crimes in the Mueller probe including Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone.
  111. Mueller was more forceful in testimony before the intelligence committee. Chair Schiff accused Trump of “disloyalty” to the country, while ranking Republican Nunes compared the probe to the search for the Loch Ness monster.
  112. Mueller corrected morning testimony where he said did not indict Trump because of the OLC opinion on indicting a sitting president, saying, “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
  113. Mueller said the Russia probe is “not a witch hunt” or a hoax. He also said Russia interfered in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign appeared to welcome that help. Several members of the campaign lied to his team.
  114. Mueller affirmed that Trump’s foreign dealings, including efforts and conversations on Trump Tower Moscow, could expose him to being blackmailed by Russians. Same with other regime members.
  115. Mueller gave his most pointed criticism on Trump for his praising of WikiLeaks, saying, “Problematic is an understatement…it displays of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal behavior.”
  116. Mueller said it is not acceptable to take help from foreign governments, saying, “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is,” adding, “We don’t use the word collusion,” but there may have been a conspiracy.
  117. When asked if his team found evidence to suggest Russia would try to interfere in future elections, Mueller said, “They’re doing it as we sit here,” adding, “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”
  118. Mueller said he decided not to subpoena Trump for testimony, saying Trump would have fought it and would have extended the investigation for a “substantial period of time.”
  119. Mueller also said of Trump’s written answers, “he wasn’t always being truthful.” Mueller agreed that accepting foreign help is “unpatriotic,” and agreed when government officials lie it can open them up to blackmail.
  120. Notably, ranking member Nunes did not use his closing time to pose any questions to Mueller. In the afternoon session, one Republican did ask Mueller how to stop election interference in the future.
  121. Aaron Zebley, who served as a sort of chief of staff to Mueller during the probe and was sworn in for both hearings, did not speak. Republicans objected to him being there however.
  122. When Mueller’s testimony ended at approximately 3:30 p.m., Trump tweeted: “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!”
  123. The Republican National Committee said in a statement the testimony was “a disaster for Democrats,” and, “After three years, millions of taxpayer dollars…There was no collusion and no obstruction. Case closed.”
  124. Trump emerged to speak to reporters, saying had a “very good day,” adding Mueller did “horrible” job and said the investigation was “phony,” and said it was a “devastating day” for Democrats.
  125. Trump also said, “This has been a very bad thing for our country,” and “three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country,” adding Mueller did not have the right to “exonerate.”
  126. When asked about Mueller saying he could be indicted after leaving office, Trump lashed out calling it “a very dumb and unfair question,” and telling the reporter, “you’re fake news, you’re one of the worst.”
  127. On Wednesday, Politico reported during a closed-door meeting of House Democrats after the hearings, House Judiciary Chair Nadler pushed to launch impeachment proceedings, but was rebuffed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  128. Nader cited even though polls showed limited support for impeaching Richard Nixon when the House began impeachment hearings in 1973, public support grew as more evidence came out about Nixon’s behavior.
  129. Democrats had a lengthy discussion on impeachment, with rank-and-file lawmakers asking technical questions, including whether it would require a full vote of the House or if it could be initiated by the Judiciary Committee.
  130. In a press conference after the meeting, Speaker Pelosi seemed to soften on starting an impeachment inquiry, telling reporters, “If we have a case for impeachment, that’s the place we will have to go.”
  131. Pelosi said she wanted to build “a strong case” based on “the facts and the law,” adding, “The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook.”
  132. Pelosi added if the “cone of silence and the obstruction of justice and the coverup in the White House prevents us from getting that information,” it will be “even more grounds to go forward” with impeachment.
  133. Nadler told reporters, “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people,” adding, “we face a time of great danger,” and “This cannot go on. And it’s up to Congress to safeguard the Constitution.”
  134. Chair Cummings told reporters, “I’m begging the American people to pay attention,” urging listeners not to accept Trump’s conduct, or that of AG Barr or Republican lawmakers, as “normal.”
  135. Cummings added, “if you want to have a democracy intact for your children and your children’s children and generations yet unborn, we have got to guard against this moment. This is our watch.”
  136. On Wednesday, the House passed a measure which endorsed all Trump-focused subpoenas, past and future, after a Trump appointed judge questioned whether the House voted to authorize its investigations.
  137. On Wednesday, the DOJ said in a letter to Speaker Pelosi it will not bring charges against AG Barr and Sec. Ross after the House voted in Week 140 to hold them in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
  138. On Wednesday, Trump vetoed three joint resolutions that had bipartisan support in the House and Senate, which would have prohibited arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  139. On Wednesday, Bernie Madoff asked Trump to commute his 150-year sentence, filing a petition for clemency with the DOJ. Madoff has served ten years in prison and is 81 years-old.
  140. On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the first of its five-part report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which found Russia’s “directed extensive activity” started back in 2014.
  141. The report found that Russia targeted the election systems of all 50 states, and described “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” as part of an effort to find vulnerabilities.
  142. The report also found “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in the Illinois voter database. The report, including key findings, were heavily redacted at the behest of U.S. intelligence agencies.
  143. The report found Russia did not change votes or manipulate voting machines, but warned of an ongoing threat, and gave a series of public recommendations for 2020, much of which was redacted.
  144. The report recommended ensuring a paper trail for voter machines and paper backups for registration system, as well as strategic steps and opening discussions with U.S. allies on how to deter cyberattacks.
  145. The report also found widespread intelligence failure in countering Russian efforts, saying the scope was underestimated, warnings were inadequate, and state officials under-reacted or resisted federal help.
  146. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats from pushing forward a bill which had passed in the House and would authorize additional funding for the state election systems.
  147. McConnell also blocked a second bill that had passed in the House mandating the use of paper ballots, claiming, “This is partisan legislation from the Democratic House of Representatives.”
  148. A WAPO columnist compared McConnell to “a Russian asset,” saying Russia “is attacking us today…Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell…blocks us from defending ourselves.”
  149. CNN reported Election Systems & Software, the largest U.S. election equipment manufacturer, has been quietly lobbying to require all voting equipment to create a paper trail, a sharp departure from its past position.
  150. On Saturday, AP reported a federal judge could force Georgia to use an interim voting system, finding its current voting system is “way too old and archaic” and its machines are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking.
  151. On Thursday, AG Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to reinstate the death penalty, after 16 years without executions, and to schedule the execution of five death row inmates.
  152. On Thursday, North Korea tested a new type of short-range ballistic missile, launching two missiles,according to the South Korean government, expanding the North’s ability to deliver nuclear warheads.
  153. On Thursday, WAPO reported that during Trump’s speech at Turning Point USA’s student summit on Tuesday, he was standing in front of a doctored presidential seal which included a Russian symbol.
  154. A closer examination of videos from the event revealed rather than the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” the seal says “45 es un títere,” a Spanish phrase that translates to “45 is a puppet.”
  155. The fake seal, which was meant to poke fun at Trump’s love of golf and ties to Russia, also showed the eagle clutching cash in its right talons. Turning Point USA fired the person on the video team who displayed the fake seal.
  156. On Thursday, Vox reported the Trump regime is planning to crack down on “broad-based categorical eligibility,” which enables states to enroll people who have applied for other low-income programs to get food stamps.
  157. The move would bump roughly 3.1 million people off food stamps, roughly 8% of those currently on the program, and would allow the Trump regime to bypass Congress.
  158. On Thursday, CNN reported that Monica Crowley, Trump’s pick for Treasury spokesperson, had repeatedly spread a smear that Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim, saying, “Can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?”
  159. On Thursday, a total of five additional House Democrats came out for impeachment, including Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus and the highest-ranking Democrat to join the effort.
  160. On Thursday, Trump called in to Sean Hannity’s show to talk about Mueller’s testimony, calling it a “very poor performance” and saying people watching “couldn’t believe when they saw what was going on.”
  161. Trump also called it “a disgrace to our country,” saying he “watched a little bit at the very beginning and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” even though he was tweeting about the testimony throughout.
  162. Trump called the Mueller probe “a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again,” adding, “This was treason. This was high crimes,” and the press lost “all credibility.”
  163. Trump also said, “It’s fake news,” repeating the press is “the enemy of the people,” and added on firing Mueller, “I had the absolute right to fire him but I didn’t,” and this was a coup attempt, in my opinion.”
  164. On Friday, Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire became the 99th Democrat to come out for impeachment, bringing the total to 100 members of Congress. Later, Rep. Chris Pappas of a swing district in NH made it 101.
  165. On Friday, Politico reported with Democrats moving closer, Pelosi said she has “no complaint,” adding, “I’m willing to take whatever heat there is. The decision will be made in a timely fashion. This isn’t endless.”
  166. On Friday, Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama announced she plans to retire at the end of the term, the third Republican to announce their resignation this week. Roby is one of only 13 Republican women in the House.
  167. On Friday, Trump attacked Fox News in a pair of tweets, saying, “@FoxNews is at it again. So different from what they used to be during the 2016 Primaries, & before — Proud Warriors!”
  168. Trump also tweeted about “new Fox Polls, which have always been terrible to me (they had me losing BIG to Crooked Hillary),” complaining about a poll which showed Trump down by 10 points to Biden.
  169. Trump blamed it on “three year vicious Witch Hunt, perpetrated by the Lamestream Media in Collusion with Crooked and the Democrat Party,” saying no way he can lose “with the greatest Economy in U.S. history.”
  170. The day before Trump had celebrated Fox News in a series of tweets, over their polls showing his approval rating higher, tweeting: “President Trump’s Approval Rating on Economy is at 52%.”
  171. Trump also tweeted, “There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said there was no concern on Wednesday.
  172. Trump also attacked Apple, saying the company “will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China.” Apple shared dipped slightly on the tweet.
  173. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting that second quarter GDP up 2.1% was “Not bad considering we have the very heavy weight of the Federal Reserve anchor wrapped around our neck.”
  174. Trump also attacked France for a new tax law targeting U.S. technology giants like Apple, tweeting, “We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly.”
  175. On Friday, in a petition to the court over the Mueller probe, the House Judiciary Committee asked the federal judge to unseal grand jury secrets related, saying the panel is considering articles of impeachment.
  176. Chair Nadler told reporters, “Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting president,” the House “is the only institution of the federal government” that can hold “Trump accountable.”
  177. The House application states, “the House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise all its full Article I powers,” including “recommendation of articles of impeachment.”
  178. Chair Nadler stood with other House Judiciary Committee members (pictured below), several of whom told reporters the application indicates the start of an impeachment investigation.
  179. On Friday, Trump told reporters from the Oval Office that “it’s a disgrace” that Democrats continue to investigate him, adding, “they want to go fishing and I watched Bob Mueller and they have nothing.”
  180. Trump threatened Obama, saying, “Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me … they could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.”
  181. On Friday, a federal judge dismissed the $250 million defamation lawsuit brought by Covington student Nicholas Sandmann against WAPO, saying its coverage was protected by the First Amendment and deemed opinion.
  182. On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump can proceed with plans to use Pentagon funds for construction of his wall, overruling a lower court which found reallocating Pentagon funds would violate federal law.
  183. The unsigned ruling split along ideological lines, 5 to 3, with Justice Stephen Breyer proposing a compromise which others did not sign, and came after an emergency filing by the regime during the court’s summer recess.
  184. Speaker Pelosi said in a statement the decision allows Trump “to defy the bipartisan will of the Congress and proceed with contracts to spend billions of dollars on his wall undermines the Constitution and the law.”
  185. On Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, urged Chair Lindsey Graham to back down from a threatened rules change in order to vote on a bill to change the Flores settlement.
  186. Feinstein said in her letter, “Your announcement to disregard these rules…and change the rules unilaterally in a partisan manner is deeply concerning,” saying it would “set an unfortunate precedent for the future.”
  187. On Friday, NBC News reported U.S. troops are stationed inside the Border Patrol’s holding facility in Donna, Texas, a move close to violating a federal law forbidding troops from being in direct contact with migrants.
  188. The troops are not armed, and are monitoring migrant adults and children from just a few feet away and are supposed to report any problems to CBP officials rather than interact.
  189. Rep. John Garamendi said the regime is “teetering on the edge of the Posse Comitatus law,” a 1878 federal law that prohibits the government from using military forces to act as a police force within U.S. borders.
  190. On Friday, the National Institutes of Health issued new strict requirements by the Trump regime for researchers seeking federal funding grants for research using fetal tissue.
  191. Going forward, grant applications and renewals must provide a detailed justification for using tissue collected from elective abortions, and document why no alternative methods could accomplish the same.
  192. On Friday, the Senate Armed Services Committee said it would move forward with confirmation hearings for Gen. John Hyten, Trump’s nominee to be the number two general, despite sexual assault accusations.
  193. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Chair Cummings, who is a Black American, calling him a “brutal bully,” accusing him of “shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol.”
  194. Trump claimed Cummings’ district of Baltimore “is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” than the border, and “considered the Worst in the USA,” and “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
  195. Trump also tweeted Cumming’s district is the “worst run and most dangerous,” asking, “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen?” and threatening, “Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
  196. Cummings tweeted back, “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” adding, “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
  197. An hour before Trump’s attack on Cummings, “Fox & Friends” ran a segment questioning, “How do living conditions in Rep. Cummings’ Baltimore district compare to those at the border?”
  198. On Saturday, CNN reported Raj Shah, the former White House deputy press secretary, took a job at Fox News, continuing the revolving door between the cable network and Trump’s White House.
  199. On Saturday, Moscow police arrested more than 1,000 protestors in continuing protests over the fairness of upcoming city elections. Protestors yelled, “We love Russia! They love money!”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and fellow Democratic members of the committee hold a news conference about this week’s testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Nadler said that the hearing was an “inflection point,” because Mueller testified that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign welcomed assistance from Russians and that Trump “was not exonerated.”

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 141: SEND HIM AWAY

JULY 20, 2019

Week 140

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things

subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. This list is from: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-140/ and the art is either pics taken by me, or found on social media during the week.

“Nothing about the platforms or the characters of the four members of Congress (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib) suggest that they hate America. In fact their deep commitment to a vision of an America based on equality and fairness and healthcare for all people shows exactly the opposite. You can disagree with their ideas and their politics if you like, but if you say that they hate America you are either dishonest, ignorant, stupid or a Nazi.” – Samuel Dylan Clayton, a friend and America ex-pat currently residing in Berlin, Germany.

This week, in a shocking display of racism, Trump tweeted that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from. Amid Republican silence, rather than backing off, Trump ramped up his attacks, leading to a mid-week rally where his supporters chanted “send them back.” At first Trump seemed to distance himself from his supporters’ chants, but the next day doubled-down, calling the supporters “incredible patriots,” while escalating his attacks on the congresswomen further. Still, by week’s end, no Republicans publicly criticized Trump, rather backing him or seeking to redirect his racist comments to a discussion of political ideology.

This week as the House voted to condemn Trump’s racist tweet, and to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on the citizenship question — yet both votes were symbolic gestures, having no real impact. Questions were raised by members of Congress about Barr’s involvement with dismissing charges against the police officer who allegedly strangled Eric Garner to death, and in ending the Southern District of New York’s investigation into campaign finance violations over hush-money payments to silence two women. The House also entertained an impeachment resolution from Rep. Al Green, which 95 House Democrats voted to advance — the highest level of support so far — as Robert Mueller prepares to testify next week.

1 On Saturday, AP reported the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide will be using Windows 7 or an older operating system, no longer supported by Microsoft, for voting in the 2020 election.

2 Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on January 14, leaving the systems vulnerable to hacking. States impacted include Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, and Georgia.

3 On Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee sent out an alert to presidential campaigns warning the popular face-transforming app called FaceApp was created by developers in St. Petersburg, Russia.

4 The DNC told staffers “delete the app immediately.” The app was launched in 2017 by the St. Petersburg-based company Wireless Lab, and has been used more than 80 million times.

5 On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it has detected more than 740 infiltration attempts by nation-state actors of U.S.-based political parties, campaigns, and other democracy-focused organizations in the past year.

6 Microsoft did not publicly reveal how many infiltration attempts were successful, but noted similar targeting occurred in the early stages of the 2016 and 2018 elections.

7 Politico reported Jonathan Karl, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, asked press secretary Stephanie Grisham to resume daily White House briefings. The last briefing was on March 11.

8 On Saturday, Trump’s ICE launched raids targeting migrant parents and their children. Although reporting and Trump claimed last week 2,000 would be targeted, NYT reported there were only a handful of arrests.

9 Authorities told the Times more arrests would instead take place during the week, saying the operation was changed last minute because news reports had tipped off immigrant communities.

10 On Sunday, CNBC reported fear of ICE raids has caused some American citizens, largely Latinos, to carry their passports to avoid being mistakenly detained by ICE.

11 On Sunday, Trump tweeted at four congresswomen, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley to “go back” to the countries they came from. Only Rep. Omar was not born in the U.S.

12 Trump tweeted the four “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt,” adding, “if they even have a functioning government at all.”

13 Trump also tweeted the four are “viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth,” how to run our government.

14 Trump also tweeted the four should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” adding, “then come back and show us how it is done,” and “you can’t leave fast enough.”

15 Trump also tweeted, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” citing Democratic party infighting. His tweets stopped infighting, and unified Democrats.

16 Trump’s attacks mirrored rhetoric on Fox News, including host Tucker Carlson telling Somali-born Rep. Omar to return to her birth country, citing her “undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people.”

17 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that Trump “reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again,” adding, “diversity is our strength,” and “Stop the raids.”

18 On Monday, Trump continued attacks, tweeting, “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used.”

19 Trump also tweeted, “So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!,” adding the four are “very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen.”

20 Trump also sent a series of tweets quoting Sen. Lindsey Graham, calling the four a “bunch of Communists,” adding “they are Anti-Semitic, they are Anti-America,” and “their policies will destroy our Country!”

21 On Monday, at a “Made in America” event at the White House, Trump told reporters “these are people who in my opinion hate our country,” adding, “All I’m saying is, if they’re not happy here, they can leave.”

22 Trump said Rep. Omar “hates Israel” and “hates Jews, hates Jews,” adding, “I mean, I look at the one, I look at Omar. I mean, I don’t know, I never met her, I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda.”

23 Reporters at the event shared photos of Trump’s handwritten notes, where he spelled al Qaeda as “Alcaida,” and people as “peopel.” Last week, Trump blamed Twitter misspellings on “fingers aren’t as good as the brain.”

24 On Monday, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian John Meacham told MSNBC that Trump “has joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history.”

25 On Monday, WAPO reported a full day after Trump’s “go back” tweets, no prominent Republicans had publicly disagreed, indicating they agree with him or Trump has consolidated power and they are disinclined to dissent.

26 On Monday, the four congresswomen held a press conference to respond to Trump’s attacks, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them was an attempt to distract from his corruption and inhumane policies.

27 Just before they took to the podium, Trump tweeted, “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” adding, “This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country.”

28 Trump tweeted, “They are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda, and comment on the 9/11 attack, “some people did something,”” adding, “Detention facilities are not Concentration Camps!” and “America has never been stronger.”

29 The four told reporters the agenda of white nationalists had gone from chat rooms to the White House garden, and condemned Trump’s treatment of migrants at the border and his calls for deportations.

30 They also said Trump could not defend his policies, so he attacked them personally, and called on their colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings. They added, “ we love all people in this country.”

31 On Sunday and Monday, world leaders and senior politicians condemned Trump’s tweets. Outgoing conservative British PM Theresa May said “the language used to refer to these women was completely unacceptable.”

32 On Monday, a WAPO media columnist wrote that similar to the media’s reluctance to use the word “lies” while reporting on Trump, not referring to him as racist “is a betrayal of journalistic truth-telling.”

33 Later Monday, Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said, “The ‘go back’ trope is deeply rooted” in the history of U.S. racism, adding, “we have concluded that ‘racist’ is the proper term to apply to the language he used Sunday.”

34 On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks, tweeting, “the Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said,” adding, but “they get a free pass.”

35 Trump also tweeted, “Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful,” adding, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!”

36 On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee parroted Trump’s attacks, saying in an email to reporters, “the squad…regularly use vile, hateful, anti-Israel, and anti-American rhetoric.”

37 Later Tuesday, at a meeting with his cabinet, when asked by reporters if the four should leave, Trump responded, “It’s up to them,” adding, “Go wherever they want, or they can stay. But they should love our country.”

38 Trump also said, “They shouldn’t hate our country,” adding, “You look at what they’ve said, I have clips right here — the most vile, horrible statements about our country, about Israel, about others.”

39 After Trump spoke, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the only black person in Trump’s cabinet, praised Trump, thanking him for his “incredible courage,” saying Trump is “not a racist,” and “I think God is using you.”

40 On Tuesday, ahead of House Democrats voting on a resolution to condemn Trump’s tweets, he tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”

41 Trump also called the vote a “con game,” adding, “Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap” and the vote should be on “the filthy language, statements and lies” by the Democratic Congresswomen.

42 Trump also misrepresented a poll, tweeting that the congresswomen, “based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%,” adding “See you in 2020!”

43 Later Tuesday, when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was asked by a Jewish White House reporter about Trump’s racist tweets, she asked, “What’s your ethnicity?”

44 The reporter, Andrew Feinberg responded, “Uh… why is that relevant?” Conway responded, “My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.” Conway later tried to distance herself from her own remarks.

45 On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to quell fallout from Trump’s tweets, saying Trump is “not a racist,” and “political rhetoric has really gotten way, way overheated all across the political spectrum.”

46 On Tuesday, CNN drew criticism for hosting Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who was a featured speaker at the deadly 2017 Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally, on their network to discuss Trump’s racist tweets.

47 On Tuesday, the Editorial Board of the Charlotte Observer asked, “Are you OK with a racist president, Republicans?” saying every Republican lawmaker should speak out on Trump’s “dangerous, destructive behavior.”

48 On Tuesday, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll showed Republican support for Trump was up 5 points to 72% after his racist attacks. His support with Democrats dropped 2 points, and 10 points with independents.

49 On Tuesday, the House floor was thrown into chaos during a move by Democrats to vote on a resolution to condemn Trump’s racist tweets due to Speaker Pelosi’s use of the term “racist” in her remarks.

50 Pelosi said, “Every single member of this institution.. should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.” Republicans sought to strike her use of “racist” from the record as it went against House rules.

51 After review, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Pelosi’s comments were “out of order.” The House then voted along party lines to allow Pelosi’s remarks to remain in the Congressional Record.

52 The House voted 240-187 on the resolution, with four Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash joining Democrats. Many Democrats pushed House leadership for a harsher punishment for Trump.

53 Ahead of the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had mirrored Leader McConnell’s statement, saying Trump “is not a racist.” McCarthy also said, “This is all about politics and beliefs of ideologies.”

54 After the vote, Trump tweeted, “so great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote,” saying they should look at the “horrible things” the four congresswomen said about “our Country, Israel, and much more.”

55 On Tuesday, speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, GOP Sen. John Kennedy called the four congresswomen the “four horsewomen of the Apocalypse,” and “whack jobs” who are “destroying the Democratic Party.”

56 On Wednesday, a Pew Research poll found 62% of Americans say openness to people from around the world is “essential to who we are as a nation,” down from 68% in September because of a shift in Republicans.

57 The poll found 57% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say if the U.S. is too open to foreigners, “we risk losing our identity as a nation,” and increase from 44% in September. Democrats stayed constant.

58 On Wednesday, the House voted 332-95 to table the impeachment resolution drafted by Rep. Al Green over Trump’s racist attacks. Among Democrats, the split was 137 to table, 95 to advance.

59 Politico reported that 27 Democrats who have not publicly come out for impeachment yet voted to advance the measure to impeach Trump. Before the vote, 85 Democrats were for impeachment.

60 Committee chairs including Reps. Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler, Eliot Engel, Raúl Grijalva, Bennie Thompson, Frank Pallone Jr, Nita Lowey, Jim McGovern, and Nydia Velázquez also voted to advance Green’s resolution.

61 On Wednesday, before heading to his campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump repeated a far-right conspiracy theory, telling reporters there’s “a lot of talk” about Rep. Omar being married to her brother.

62 Trump claimed, “I know nothing about it,” but added, “You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.”

63 On Wednesday, warming up the crowd in Greenville before Trump spoke, Lara Trump said, “If you don’t love our country, the president said it, ‘You can leave.’”

64 At the rally, Trump told the crowd, of the four congresswomen, “They don’t love our country,” adding, “I think, in some cases, they hate our country. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.”

65 Trump reeled off several controversial comments made by Rep. Omar, including repeating a false claim that she is sympathetic to Al Qaeda. The crowd started chanting “Send her back.”

66 Trump spent a little time on the economy, but most of the evening was devoted to attacking “the squad,” and Democratic 2020 candidates who he said want “radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream.”

67 Trump also bragged that Rep. Green’s articles of impeachment had been voted down, calling it “an overwhelming vote against impeachment, and that is the end of it,” and telling Democrats to “go back to work.”

68 On Thursday, NYT reported Trump allies, including House Republican leaders, flooded his team with expressions of concerns about the nativist chants of “send her back,” warning Trump was on dangerous ground.

69 While Republicans denounced the chant — with Minority Leader McCarthy saying “Those chants have no place in our party or our country” — Republicans continued to refuse to publicly criticize Trump.

70 On Thursday, CBS News reported Trump also took heat from First Lady Melania and Ivanka over the chants at the rally, as well as from Vice President Mike Pence.

71 On Thursday, House Democrats expressed outrage that Trump’s comments have put Rep. Omar and her family in “imminent danger,” with senior Democrats calling for authorities to evaluate her security.

72 Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also said she has concerns for her safety, and is discussing with Democrats whether to add additional security. Speaker Pelosi said she spoke to the Sergeant-at-Arms office Wednesday night.

73 Later Thursday, Trump tried to distance himself from the chants, telling reporters he was “not happy” with the chant, and falsely claiming he tried to stop the chant saying, “I think I did — I started speaking very quickly.”

74 WAPO fact checkers gave Trump’s claim that he tried to stop the chants Four Pinocchios, noting his comments led to the crowd’s chant, and he stood silent for 13 seconds waiting for the chant to die down.

75 Once it did, Trump started up again, saying of the congresswomen, “They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, ‘Hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave,’…They’re always telling us how to run and how to do this.”

76 Later Thursday, Trump retweeted a video of conservative Mark Levin on Fox News slamming the four congresswoman, calling them “anti-Semite bigots,” adding, “their families really have done nothing for this country.”

77 Shortly after, the official Twitter account for the White House, a tax-payer funded feed, also tweeted the five-minute video, as did Trump’s official @POTUS account.

78 On Thursday, Majority Leader McConnell told Fox Business that Trump is “on to something” with his attacks, adding, “we’re in a big debate now and next year about what we want America to be like,” citing socialism.

79 On Thursday, the Palm Beach County GOP disinvited Anthony Scaramucci from addressing its annual fundraiser, after he told the BBC on Tuesday, on Trump, “maybe you weren’t a racist, but now you’re turning into one.”

80 Scaramucci repeated his criticism on cable news interviews, and theorized attacking the four congresswomen could help Trump win 2020. An adviser told Politico Scaramucci’s criticism on cable TV has left Trump “furious.”

81 On Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board wrote, “Congressional Republicans shame themselves with their silence on Trump’s racism,” saying their response “continues to be … nothing.”

82 On Thursday, ESPN host Dan Le Batard broke from company policy of avoiding politics, saying Trump was instigating “racial division,” and calling the network “cowardly.” Le Batard is the son of Cuban immigrants.

83 On Friday, in a series of morning tweets, Trump returned to attacking the congresswomen, including “ Foul Mouthed Omar.” Notably, Trump frequently uses profanity, and drew criticism for saying “goddamn” twice at his rally.

84 Trump also attacked the media, tweeting, “it is amazing how the Fake News Media became “crazed” over the chant “send her back”” but is “calm & accepting” of “vile and disgusting” statements by the congresswomen.

85 Trump tweeted the media “has lost all credibility” and “become a part of the Radical Left Democrat Party,” and said he would win Rep. Omar’s state in 2020, saying “they can’t stand her and her hatred of our Country.”

86 Trump also referred to the “three Radical Left Congresswomen.” WAPO reported a White House spokesman did not respond to their query about the change from four to three.

87 Trump attacked NYT columnist Thomas Friedman, who called him a “racist, divisive, climate-change-denying, woman-abusing jerk,” saying he is not a racist and calling Friedman “a weak and pathetic sort of guy.”

88 On Friday, speaking to reporters from the Oval Office, Trump backtracked from disavowing chants of “send her back” at his rally, saying of his supporters, “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots.”

89 Trump continued his obsession with crowd size, saying the rally was a “record crowd” and he could have filled the arena ten times over, after tweeting in the morning it was “a packed Arena (a record) crowd.”

90 Trump also attacked the congresswomen, saying, “I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things,” adding, and “a different congresswoman, can call our country and our people garbage.”

91 Trump also said, “I’m unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says, I’m going to be the president’s nightmare,” adding, “She’s lucky to be where she is” and “the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country.”

92 Before leaving the White House, Trump told reporters, “I don’t know if it’s good or bad politically — I don’t care,” adding, “I can tell you this: You can’t talk that way about our country, not when I’m the president.”

93 Trump also responded to CBS News reporting that his family spoke to him about the “send her back” chants, saying “We — I talked about it, but they didn’t advise me,” and called the story “fake news.”

94 On Friday, WAPO reported Trump has been publicly criticizing the U.S. for year, often praising foreign dictators and himself while doing this. Trump has also repeatedly questioned the notion of American exceptionalism.

95 On Friday, the NYT said it had asked its readers if they had been told to “go back to where you came from” as Trump told the four congresswomen, and received 16,000 responses, some of which they published.

96 On Friday, Erica Thomas, a black lawmaker in Georgia, said a middle-aged white man called her vulgar names and told her to “go back where you came from” at a supermarket, while her 9 year-old daughter looked on.

97 On Monday, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer assumed the role of acting defense secretary, becoming Trump’s third acting so far this year. Mark Esper stepped down for the Senate confirmation process.

98 On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled Esper on his past position as a top lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon. Warren asked if he would recuse himself from all matters involving Raytheon, and Esper said no.

99 On Wednesday, Acting Defense Secretary Spencer sent 2,100 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing the total force at the border to 6,600 active duty and Texas National Guard soldiers.

100 On Monday AP reported the Trump regime plans to end all asylum protections for most migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, reversing decades of U.S. policy.

101 According to the regime’s plan, migrants who pass through another country, in this case Mexico, on their way to the U.S. would be ineligible for asylum. Some migrants from Africa, Cuba, and Haiti also pass through Mexico.

102 Mexico voiced disagreement with the plan. Attorney General William Barr said the U.S. is a “generous country” but “overwhelmed” and the rules are aimed at “those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry.”

103 On Tuesday, a coalition of immigration advocacy groups challenged the new rule in court, seeking an injunction to block it. The Trump regime has claimed the spike in migrants crossing the border is a crisis.

104 On Friday, Politico reported at a meeting of security officials on refugee admissions, officials discussed cutting back the number of refugees admitted to zero for fiscal year 2020.

105 The regime had already cut the level from 110,000 under Obama to 50,000 in 2017, then down to 45,000 in 2018 and then 30,000 for 2019. Advisers aligned with Stephen Miller are pushing for the zero cap.

106 On Monday, NPR reported Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas told a 3 year-old Honduran girl to pick a parent to stay with her in the U.S. and the other would be deported in an attempted family separation.

107 The move is part of Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, or “remain in Mexico.” In court, advocates asked that the family be removed from MPP, citing the girl’s having a heart condition, and had suffered a heart attack.

108 On Tuesday, dozens of Jewish protestors from the group “Never Again is Now” staged a sit-in in the lobby of ICE’s headquarter building in Southwest Washington. Ten were arrested.

109 On Thursday, in a day dubbed “Catholic Day of Action,” 70 Catholic sisters, clergy, and parishioners were led away in handcuffs from the Senate office building, protesting ICE and overcrowded migrant detention camps.

110 Hundreds of protestors gathered, carrying photos of migrant children who died in federal custody. Five protestors laid on the floor in the shape of a cross, while the group recited the children’s names.

111 On Thursday, at a House Oversight hearing on family separation, Chair Elijah Cummings erupted at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, after demanding improvement, and McAleenan saying we are “doing our level best.”

112 Cummings responded, “What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower? Come on, man…They are human beings.” Cummings also accused McAleenan of having an “empathy deficit.”

113 On Tuesday, a new NAACP report charged Trump is filling the courts with judges to undermine voting rights, saying, “This administration is weaponizing the federal judiciary to restrict the vote.”

114 On Monday, a second GOP candidate governor candidate in Mississippi, former MS Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr., said he follows the “Billy Graham rule” and will not be alone with a woman who is not his wife.

115 On Monday, CNN reported according to a survey conducted by the union representing them, the vast majority of the 540 USDA research employees whose jobs are being moved D.C. to Kansas City are likely to resign.

116 On Monday, anti-Semitic flyers saying the Holocaust was “fake news” were found at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Rabbi David Meyer called it “distressing,” adding “the political climate is one of divisiveness.”

117 On Monday, a Charlottesville circuit judge sentenced James Fields Jr. to a second sentence of life in prison for killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others when he rammed his car into a group of protestors.

118 On Tuesday, the DOJ said it would not to move forward in prosecuting NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for fatally choking Eric Garner. A video showed Garner had said “I can’t breathe” 11 times while in a strangle hold.

119 Attorney General Barr made the final decision not to prosecute Pantaleo, siding with the DOJ team from New York over the Civil Rights division which recommended prosecution.

120 On Tuesday, in a letter, Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded answers from Barr on the DOJ’s decision not to press charges.

121 On Monday, WAPO reported nearly a quarter of a million households will receive 2020 Census forms which include a citizenship question. The test questionnaire was sent two weeks before Supreme Court ruling.

122 The questionnaire was meant to provide the Census Bureau data on how the public would react to the question “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A total of 480,000 were sent, half with and half without the question.

123 On Tuesday, the ACLU and other plaintiffs filed a complaint asking Judge Jesse Furman to impose penalties on the Trump regime for allegedly providing “false or misleading” statement about the citizenship question.

124 The complaint noted “the misconduct appears to have been perpetrated by senior Commerce and [Justice Department] officials — not the career DOJ attorneys who litigated this case.”

125 On Wednesday, the House voted 230-198 along party lines to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for failing to provide documents related to the citizenship question.

126 The vote was largely symbolic since those found guilty are referred to the DOJ for prosecution, and the DOJ would not prosecute itself. The White House said Democrat’s “shameful and cynical politics know no bounds.”

127 On late Monday, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice, saying it was immediately enforcing a new rule as part of Title X which would cut funding for health clinics that give abortion referrals.

128 The rule is the first of its kind since Title X was established in 1970, and impacted $260 million of funding to 90 recipients. Maine Family Planning and Planned Parenthood of Illinois dropped out of the program Tuesday.

129 On Tuesday, the board of Planned Parenthood voted to oust president Leana Wen, saying the organization needed a more aggressive political leader to combat the current efforts to roll back access to abortion.

130 On Friday, the Trump regime said it may delay its ban on funding for clinics that provide abortion referrals, amid widespread confusion about the new restrictions.

131 On Wednesday, a November 1992 tape released from the NBC archives showed Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at a party at Mar-a-Lago. Trump also grabbed a woman towards him, and patted her behind.

132 On Wednesday, James Troiano, the New Jersey judge who recommended leniency for a 16 year-old boy accused of rape in Week 138 because he was from a “good family,” resigned.

133 The state’s Supreme Court announced new mandatory training for judges on Wednesday, following a nationwide outcry. Elected officials and protestors had called on Troiano to resign, and he received death threats.

134 LGBTQ Nation reported every member of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, announced in Week 139, has a history as an academic or activist against the LGBTQ community.

135 On Thursday, the LA Times reported Homeland Security has quietly gutted multiple programs in the past two years created after September 11, 2001 established to prevent terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

136 DHS has also canceled dozens of training exercises, and lost scores of scientists and policy experts. Thirty current and former DHS officials voiced concern that the changes have put Americans at greater risk.

137 On Thursday, Trump nominated Eugene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, for Labor Secretary. Scalia has represented corporations in pushing back at unions and for tougher labor laws.

138 On Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler rolled back an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide which experts say is tied to serious health problems in children.

139 The EPA said data supporting objections to use were “not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable” — a victory for the chemical industry. This marks the second move by the regime this year to roll back chemical safety rules.

140 NYT reported the EPA is also preparing to weaken rules in place for the last quarter century, which allow advocates in communities near power plants and factories to appeal against EPA-issued pollution permits.

141 On Friday, new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed June 2019 was the hottest June on record around the globe in the 140 years the group has kept records.

142 Economist Art Laffer, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Week 136 by Trump, told CNBC the Federal Reserve should not be independent, but should be controlled by the president and Congress.

143 On Monday, the White House Office of Management and Budget, in its midyear review, projected the federal deficit will exceed $1 trillion this year, the first time it has exceeded $1 trillion since the Great Recession.

144 On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason,” adding that on “Fox & Friends” Thiel accused “Google of working with the Chinese Government.”

145 Thiel said on the show, “Google employees that are ideologically super left wing,” are “working with communist China but not with the U.S. military.” Trump tweeted: “The Trump Administration will take a look!”

146 On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, noting its “faulty thought process,” adding, “our interest costs are much higher than other countries, when they should be lower. Correct!”

147 Trump also praised New York Fed President John Williams for saying “the Fed “raised” far too fast & too early,” and said we are “winning big but it is no thanks to the Federal Reserve,” adding, “Don’t blow it!”

148 On Friday, WAPO reported Trump told aides to expect big spending cuts if he wins a second term, a dramatic shift from the big-spending approach of Trump’s first 30 months, sowing confusion about the regime’s direction.

149 On Monday, CNN reported on new surveillance reports which reveal Julian Assange received in-person deliveries during the 2016 U.S. election during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

150 The deliveries build on the Mueller report which said couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy. The surveillance report showed he used the embassy as a command post for meddling in the U.S. election.

151 On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defied a Congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for a House Oversight Committee hearing on her violations of the Hatch Act.

152 In a letter to Chair Cummings, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone again asserted again that Trump’s advisers are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony.

153 Chair Cummings said, “We are requiring her to testify…about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds,” and threatened to hold Conway in contempt if she does not testify before July 25.

154 On Monday, Chair Cummings demanded in a letter to Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos that she turn over all emails from her personal account related to official government business.

155 Cummings cited a May report by the Office of the Inspector General which found 78% of department officials used personal emails, but did not preserve them. Cummings has sent multiple letters without a response.

156 On Tuesday, Trump appointed former Fox News contributor Monica Crowley to be the Treasury Department spokesperson. Crowley currently serves as Treasury’s senior adviser for public affairs.

157 On Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson barred Roger Stone from posting on social media platforms, saying, “Once again I am wrestling with behavior that has more to do with middle school than a court of law.”

158 Prosecutors accused Stone of violating the court’s gag order. Judge Berman also prohibited public statements made by “surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers” of Stone.

159 On Wednesday, Politico reported House Democrats’ strategy is to slowly and meticulously building a record of the Trump regime’s stonewalling their investigations to persuade a court to break the blockade.

160 The team of House lawyers is overstretched, and Democrats fear an adverse ruling. The slow pace and lack of results from House Democrats has fueled criticism from progressive lawmakers and activists.

161 On Thursday, a federal judge said he is considering throwing out the case against Michael Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, saying evidence presented at trial this week has been “very, very circumstantial.”

162 The biggest hole in the prosecutors’ case was testimony from Flynn. With his new attorney, Flynn told prosecutors he could no longer say under oath he intentionally made a false filing, and was therefore cut as a witness.

163 On Wednesday, the DOJ said it was ending its inquiry into hush money payments Trump made to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet in the months before the election.

164 Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Michael Cohen, asked why he was the only one “to be prosecuted and imprisoned” when “virtually all” of the admitted crimes “were done at the direction of and for the benefit” of Trump.

165 On Thursday, a federal judge in New York ordered court records related to the case be unsealed. Federal prosecutors did not reveal why they had ended their investigation.

166 The newly unredacted 2018 Cohen search warrants revealed then-candidate Trump communicated repeatedly with his then-lawyer Cohen about keeping Trump’s affairs quiet ahead of the election.

167 The documents revealed, starting the day after the “Access Hollywood” recording became public, Hope Hicks, Trump, and Cohen spoke to formulate a plan to pay $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet.

168 Hicks told the House Judiciary Committee last month said she was “never present” when Cohen and Trump discussed Daniels, and said she “had no knowledge” of Daniels other than her shopping around her story.

169 The committee is investigating whether Hicks lied in her testimony. Chair Nadler demanded Hicks appear before the panel to explain discrepancies in her testimony and the unsealed documents.

170 The documents also showed Cohen paid Daniels on November 1, 2016 and called Trump and Kellyanne Conway that day but did not get through. Records show Conway called him back and they spoke for six minutes.

171 Documents show before WSJ’s story Nov. 4 on Karen McDougal, Cohen spoke to Hicks and Dylan Howard, a National Enquirer executive, and texted AMI’s David Pecker, “The boss just tried calling you. Are you free?”

172 On Friday, USA Today reported a person familiar with the case said the DOJ’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted factored in to prosecutors’ decision to end the investigation.

173 On Friday, in a letter to the deputy U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, House Oversight Chair Cummings asked whether prosecutors had identified evidence of criminal conduct by Trump.

174 Cummings also sought information on whether the DOJ opinion had played a role, noting this would be the second time (Mueller), and, “The Office of the President should not be used as a shield for criminal conduct.”

175 On Friday. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Congress must hold a public hearing on “whether the White House or AG Barr has interfered in any way in this investigation.”

176 On Friday, the Daily Beast reported George Nader, a key witness in the Mueller probe, faced new federal charges of sex trafficking, child pornography, and obscenity in Virginia.

177 On Friday, federal justice Emmet Sullivan temporarily halted congressional subpoenas of Trump’s financial records in the emoluments case, after an appeals court said to re-examine separation-of-powers.

178 On Sunday, about 1,000 protested in an unsanctioned rally in Moscow over the city election commission’s decision to keep several opposition candidates off the ballot. More than 25 were detained by police.

179 On Tuesday, in a statement, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned North Korea may resume nuclear missile tests, citing the U.S. and South Korea moving forward with planned military exercises.

180 On Wednesday, the House voted to block Trump from bypassing Congress and selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Only four Republicans and Rep. Amash joined Democrats, setting up a likely veto of the resolutions by Trump.

181 On Thursday, senior defense officials said U.S. Marines jammed an Iranian drone in the Straight of Hormuz, bringing it down and destroying it. The incident is part of a series of tense interactions between the countries.

182 Trump told reporters, “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” saying the drone was threatening a U.S. ship and was “immediately destroyed.”

183 On Friday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi denied Iran lost a drone, mockingly tweeting, “I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!”

184 On Friday, Trump reiterated, “We shot it down.” National security adviser John Bolton added there is “no question” it was an Iranian drone and that it presented a threat.

185 On Friday, as the governor of Puerto Rico faced protests over a scandal facing his administration, Trump tweeted, “The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person.”

186 Trump claimed Congress gave Puerto Rico $92 billion, adding, “much of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again.” Congress allocated $42 billion to Puerto Rico, but just $14 billion has been received.

187 On Friday, WAPO reported when Trump met with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad in the Oval Office, he avoided eye contact with her, and was unaware of her story or the plight of the Yazidis.

188 When Murad told Trump she wanted to go home, but ISIS had murdered her mother and six brothers, Trump responded, “Where are they now?” Murad repeated, “They killed them. They are in the mass grave in Sinjar.”

189 On Thursday, Gallup polling said Trump’s 10th quarter approval was 42.7%, his highest approval since taking office. His approval has remained in a band of 36.8% to 42.7% since he took office.

190 Trump’s approval had dipped to 40% in May when details of the Mueller report emerged, and during his trade war with China, then rebounded to 44% in early July. Polling did not include his racist tweets this week.

191 On Friday, the number of Democrats for impeaching Trump rose to 92–39% of the caucus — including 15 of the 24 Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee. Independent Rep. Amash is also for it.

192 On Friday, Trump told reporters he does not plan to watch Mueller’s testimony on July 24, saying, “At some point they have to stop playing games. They’re just playing games.”

193 Trump said of Green’s impeachment vote, “It’s a disgrace. No other president should have to go through it,” and, “they already took their impeachment vote, adding, it was “lopsided” and “a massive victory.”

194 House Democrats hope to use Mueller’s five-hour appearance next week as an opportunity to educate the American people by using his testimony to tell a compelling narrative about his report, which few have read.

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Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) speaks as Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN)(L), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hold a press conference, to address remarks made by US President Donald Trump earlier in the day, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on July 15, 2019.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 140: “THE CHAOS OF OUR LIVES”

JULY 13, 2019

Week 139

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Amy Siskind’s Weekly List:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-139/ and my photos/art picks from all over the world:
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“Jeffrey Epstein and Alex Acosta are great guys.” Antwerp-Berchem, Belgium 13jul19

This is the longest week so far, and it felt that way. The chaos of our lives has obfuscated the damage and extremes under Trump, as each week blurs into the next week’s crises and unprecedented actions. This week’s turmoil centered on Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the 13th Cabinet member to depart the regime — next week there will certainly be new plot lines to engage and exhaust the American people.

IMG_9694
Located in the front of the Palais de Justice in Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

IMG_9695 

This week the Democrats seemed to take a step back, amid party infighting. Notably, the Trump regime continues to successfully stonewall all the House efforts at accountability, and seemingly Democratic leadership is taking a slight uptick in Trump popularity as a rationale to back off in tone, while in actuality, the lack of action by the Democrats has normalized the previously unthinkable of accepting foreign help and obstructing justice. While the country eagerly awaited Robert Mueller’s testimony on July 17, that too evaporated and became a moving target.

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If there’s any question whether or not he is a joke to other countries…here’s a postcard in a shop window in Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

 

Trump careened from one rage to another this week, but notably, he is largely getting his way. When things go against him, he finds new ways to re-center and seize the narrative. His central message of immigration continues to be front and center and Fox News seized on the theme of “these are not our children” to dull the news on conditions at detention centers, as deportation raids were set to start. Trump continued to repeat his themes that the media is “the enemy of the people,” that he will serve more than two terms, and that Democrats are enabling millions of “illegal aliens” to vote — all setting the stage for an unpredictable 2020 election.

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And this. Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

 

  1. On Saturday, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by federal agents at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after arriving from Paris. Agentsnalso broke down the door of his Manhattan townhouse to execute search warrants.
  2. Daily Beast reported Epstein was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force on charges of sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. He will appear in court Monday.
  3. On Monday, Politico reported the White House was closely watching the media coverage of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s involvement with the 2008 plea deal with Epstein, but Trump was sticking with him for now.
  4. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters of Epstein, that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” adding, “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his.”
  5. On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters that Trump “hasn’t talked or had contact with Epstein in years and years and years — and over a decade at least,” while defending Acosta.
  6. NYT reported in 1992, a Florida businessman flew in 28 girls for a “calendar girl” competition at Mar-a-Lago. He told the Times the event meant for VIPs was only attended by Trump and Epstein.
  7. Epstein was photographed at Mar-a-Lago in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he was not a member. Trump later distanced himself from Epstein, reportedly over a failed business arrangement between them.
  8. WAPO reported Epstein’s black book contained 14 phone numbers for Trump; Melania; his personal assistant, Norma Foerderer; his houseman; his security officer; his brother Robert and his wife; Ivana; and Ivanka.
  9. During the week, an additional 14 women came forward, saying Epstein sexually assaulted them as children. Epstein’s lawyers asked that he be released from prison to stay at his $77 million mansion awaiting trial.
  10. On Sunday, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup. It took Trump several hours to send a congratulatory tweet, hours after former president Obama and others leaders had done so.
  11. On Tuesday, the team was honored at a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan. Captain Megan Rapinoe said the team accepted an invitation from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to visit, but has not heard from Trump.
  12. The team was the third, along with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, to have an invitation rescinded after players publicly criticized Trump or indicated they did not plan to attend.
  13. Rapinoe told Trump on CNN, “Your message is excluding people,” adding, “You have incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person,” and “you need to do better for everyone.”
  14. On Thursday, ABC News reported the NYPD is investigating vandalism of eight posters of Rapinoe in the New York subway which were defaced with various homophobic statements as a possible hate crime.
  15. On Saturday, in memos dating from 2017 to present leaked to the Daily Mail, U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Ambassador Kim Darroch, a top British diplomat, described Trump as “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent.”
  16. Darroch wrote Trump’s White House was “uniquely dysfunctional,” and unlikely to “become substantially more normal” and warned Trump could be indebted to Russians, and his career could end in “disgrace.”
  17. The British government defended the ambassador, saying in a statement “The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country.”
  18. On Monday, Trump tweeted he will no longer deal with Darroch, saying, “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US.” Despite his claim, Trump has met Darroch several times.
  19. Trump also tweeted, “The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister,” adding he “thoroughly enjoyed” his recent visit, and was most impressed by the Queen.
  20. On Tuesday, Trump again attacked Darroch, calling him “the wacky Ambassador, “a very stupid guy,” and “a pompous fool,” adding, “tell him the USA now has the best Economy & Military.”
  21. Trump also attacked Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit, tweeting, “I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done,” adding, “A disaster!”
  22. On Tuesday, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended PM May, responding to Trump, tweeting: “these comments are disrespectful and wrong to our Prime Minister and my country.”
  23. PM May stood by Darroch in a statement, calling the leak “unfortunate,” adding the “selective extracts” leaked “do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.”
  24. On Wednesday, Darroch, after facing days of intense criticism from Trump including Trump calling him a “pompous fool,” resigned, saying he could not be an effective ambassador if the Trump regime would not deal with him.
  25. Lawmakers from both parties, including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mark Warner expressed disappointment. The Daily Mirror headline said, “Traitor Boris backs Trump not Britain,” citing Johnson who is likely to replace May.
  26. On Wednesday, another ambassador told the Times, “It could have been any of us,” saying disdain for Trumpis almost ubiquitous, with almost all foreign officials describing living in something of a black hole in D.C.
  27. On Thursday, German, French, and European Union ambassadors held a breakfast for Darroch’s departure, showing solidarity and their support for him, including tweets noting who “our true friends are.”
  28. On Sunday, acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli told “Fox New Sunday” that he expects a citizenship question to be on the 2020 Census, saying Trump “has expressed determination.”
  29. Cuccinelli also criticized House Democrats visiting detention facilities, calling it “the height of hypocrisy,” saying they “come down and complain” but are “not helping fix the problem.”
  30. On Sunday, acting secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told “This Week” that reporting on conditions at detention centers are “unsubstantiated,” claiming “there’s adequate food, water,” and showers.
  31. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media, in particular the Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers.”
  32. Trump tweeted, “people should not be entering our Country illegally…We should be allowed to focus on United States Citizens first,” adding, “Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job.”
  33. On Sunday, the Times defended their reporting in Week 138, issuing a statement saying, “We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting on the U.S. Border Patrol’s detention centers.”
  34. On Sunday, Trump also attacked Fox News in a series of tweets, saying, “Watching @FoxNews weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams.”
  35. Trump complained, “@FoxNews, who failed in getting the very BORING Dem debates, is now loading up with Democrats,” adding, “& even using Fake unsourced @nytimes as a “source” of information.”
  36. Trump also tweeted Fox News “is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there!” and complained about Democrat Donna Brazille, “she is all over Fox” and Shep Smith, “by far their lowest rated show.”
  37. On Monday, AP reported Trump was upset at the network airing a scene at a sports bar in France during the United States women’s World Cup Championship, where the crowd was chanting “Fuck Trump!”
  38. Fox News also angered Trump, airing two segments on Sunday which cited NYT reporting on child detention centers in Texas, with a commentator from a liberal watchdog group calling it “the stuff of nightmares.”
  39. A poll by YouGov Blue and Data for Progress tested the impact of the phrase “These are not our children,” used repeatedly by Fox News to defend Trump’s immigrant policies.
  40. When asked whether they agree with the statements that migrant detention centers have “unacceptable conditions” or that migrants are “not our children,” the split was 40%/60% for Republicans, and 92%/8% for Democrats.
  41. On Tuesday, NBC News reported according to accounts collected by Department of Homeland Security case managers, migrant children held at a border station in Yuma, Arizona alleged sexual assault and retaliation by CBP agents.
  42. The 30 accounts collected between April 10 and June 12 include being touched inappropriately by agents, and being retaliated against for complaining about unsanitary conditions, hunger, and overcrowding.
  43. One child stayed in soiled underwear for 10 days because he was afraid to ask for a clean pair. All of the children interviewed had been held at the border station longer than the 72 hours allowed under the law.
  44. On Tuesday, 18 Jewish protestors from the Never Again Action group were arrested by Capitol police in D.C. as they protested the regime’s immigration detention camps and called for the defunding of ICE.
  45. On Wednesday, Yazmin Juarez, the mother whose toddler died weeks after they were released by ICE, testified before the House Oversight Committee, saying, “I watched my baby girl die, slowly, and painfully.”
  46. In the hearing on the treatment of migrant children, Juarez described seeing a number of sick children in the detention center where they were held. Juarez has filed a wrongful death claim against the Trump regime.
  47. An attorney advocate told the panel she interviewed hundreds of immigrant children who complained about “open” toilets, saying they are embarrassed to use the toilets. One boy said he tried not to eat to avoid it.
  48. On Friday, the House released a report based on testimony and subpoenaed information on child separations under Trump, with new information on 2,648 children who were separated from their parents.
  49. The report found at least 18 migrant children under the age of two were separated from their parent, and “kept apart for 20 days to half a year.” Also, children were kept at Border Patrol facilities longer than 72 hours.
  50. On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence visited a migrant detention facility in McAllen. WAPO reported he saw 400 men crammed behind chained fences in sweltering heat, without enough room to lie down on the concrete floor.
  51. When reporters arrived the migrant men screamed they had been held there for 40 days or longer, were hungry, had not been able to brush their teeth, and had to ask permission to go outside to get drinking water.
  52. The patrol agent in charge admitted many of the men had not showered in 10 to 20 days. Pence said, “I was not surprised by what I saw,” adding, “I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed,” and “This is tough stuff.”
  53. Pence blamed Democrats, saying they need to “step up, do their jobs, and end this crisis,” and gave a more positive view than Democrats and news reports, “Every family I spoke to said they were being well cared for.”
  54. Pence also said, “What you saw today was a very clean facility,” adding, “it was just a few short weeks ago that Congress finally acknowledged the crisis and gave us an additional $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid.”
  55. Pence also praised employees at the facilities, saying, “I was deeply moved to see the care that our Customs and Border Protection personnel are providing,” saying they are “doing a tough job in a difficult environment.”
  56. On Friday, the Intercept reported Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was a member of the secret Facebook “I’m 10-15,” discovered in Week 136, which is under investigation by Homeland Security.
  57. On Friday, Adweek reported Ogilvy’s leadership team looked to address staff concern over its work for CPB, which had not been previously reported. Many agency staffers were unaware of the relationship.
  58. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a new Commission on Unalienable Rights, which he said would present him with “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy.”
  59. On Thursday, 22 countries including our former allies Britain, France, Canada, and Germany issued a joint statement condemning China’s mass detention of Uyghur and other minorities. The U.S. was not a signatory.
  60. On Monday, William Latson, a principal at a Florida high school, was reassigned to an administrative position over a 2018 email exchange in which he said the Holocaust was not “a factual, historical event.”
  61. On Tuesday, WAPO reported while the Senate has confirmed Trump’s judicial picks to circuit courts at a record pace — 1 in 5 seats on the appellate bench— not one of the 41 judges is Hispanic or black.
  62. On Tuesday, Mississippi Today reported Robert Foster, a Republican candidate for governor, denied a woman reporter access to his campaign, saying being alone with a woman could be used to smear him.
  63. Foster said, “I put my wife and my Christian beliefs above anyone else’s feelings or opinions.” As the story gained national attention, Foster refused to back down, saying, “perception is reality in this world.”
  64. On Tuesday, a panel of judges on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sharply questioned attorneys defending the Affordable Care Act, signaling the panel may throw away part of the law.
  65. The case could be the third to head to the Supreme Court. The DOJ, which typically is charged with defending the nation’s laws, declined to discuss the litigation.
  66. On Wednesday, a Catholic high school teacher who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage sued the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, saying it “illegally interfered with his contractual and employment relationship.”
  67. On Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he had a change of heart over his tweet to “withdraw all financial incentive dollars” from Nike following the Betsy Ross sneaker controversy, and would welcome a new Nike plant.
  68. On Friday, the District’s attorney general issued subpoenas to the National Rifle Association and its foundation “as part of an investigation into whether these entities violated the District’s Nonprofit Act.”
  69. On Sunday, Rep. Justin Amash, who last week left the Republican Party, told “State of the Union” that high-level Republicans have privately thanked him for supporting impeachment.
  70. On Monday, Rep. Amash resigned from the House Oversight Committee. He had been the sole Republican joining the panel’s Democrats in efforts to investigate Trump.
  71. On Sunday, Rep. Peter King said on a radio interview, “there was severe, serious abuses that were carried outin the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA” against candidate Trump, adding it is “going to come out.”
  72. On Sunday, an ABC News/WAPO poll found Trump reached a career-high approval rating of 44%, 2 points better than the prior peak, while 53% disapprove.
  73. The poll also found 37% are for impeachment, steady from April; however opposition to impeachment has grown to a new high of 59%. By party, 61% of Democrats, 37% of independents, and 7% of Republicans are for it.
  74. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Times, Trump “would rather not be impeached,” adding, “he every day practically self-impeaches by obstructing justice and ignoring the subpoenas.”
  75. Asked if Trump had pressured her on the issue, Pelosi said, “He may have one time said something like, ‘I’m glad you’re not doing this impeachment because there’s nothing there,’” adding, “But that means nothing to me.”
  76. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported multiple House Democrats, including several moderates, who are for starting an impeachment inquiry said it was based on feedback from their constituents.
  77. On Monday, Trump retweeted a two-year old tweet with a fictitious quote by Ronald Reagan predicting Trump would be president. The account who first sent the quote had 13 followers.
  78. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, saying he violated the First Amendment, in a case that could have broad implications for public officials.
  79. Trump had blocked seven of the people behind the lawsuit while the case was appealed. A spokesperson for the DOJ, which is defending Trump, said we “are exploring possible next steps.”
  80. On Saturday, CNN reported Trump’s U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended data collection for Honey Bee Colonies, part of an Obama-era focus on protecting pollinators whose populations have plummeted.
  81. The annual survey was suspended for the third since Trump took office. Budgetary concerns were cited. The USDA also moved key research units from Washington D.C. to Kansas City, sparking an exodus of experts.
  82. On Monday, as environmental issues gained traction in the 2020 race, Trump delivered a speech defendinghis record on the environment. WAPO reported Ivanka had also pushed him to address the environment.
  83. Speaking from the White House, Trump said, “We want the cleanest air, we want crystal clean water, and that’s what we’re doing,” adding the regime is pursuing “technologies and processes” to make production cleaner.
  84. Trump said the U.S. “does not have to sacrifice our own jobs to lead the world on the environment,” saying the regime is working “harder than many previous,” maybe all of them, and mocked the Green New Deal.
  85. Trump was joined by three Cabinet secretaries overseeing energy, two of whom are former lobbyists for the coal and oil industries (Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt), and did not mention climate change.
  86. Trump nonsensically claimed no one had heard of “forest management” to prevent wildfires until he took office, saying, “you don’t have to have any forest fires” if you clean the forest, like they do in “forest nations.”
  87. Environmental advocates described Trump’s speech as a “1984” moment. Federal data showed air quality has significantly worsened under Trump, with carbon dioxide emissions having their biggest increase since 2010.
  88. Fox News, uncharacteristically, cut into Trump’s speech to fact-check him live. Host Shepard Smith said on air that Trump’s policies have been “widely criticized by environmentalists and academics.”
  89. On Tuesday, CNN reported a whistleblower said he was pressured to reverse an environment finding that Mike Ingram’s proposed housing and golf course project in Arizona desert would threaten endangered species.
  90. The decision came after Interior Department Sec. Bernhardt met with Ingram at a Montana hunting lodge, which was not listed on Bernhardt’s official calendar. Ingram is also a donor and fundraiser for Trump.
  91. Whistleblower Steve Spangle, a 30-year veteran of the Fish and Wildlife Service, was overruled by higher ups. The meeting was one of at least 11 Ingram had with top officials at the Interior and the EPA.
  92. On Wednesday, WSJ reported Rod Schoonover, a State Department intelligence analyst, resigned after the White House blocked part of his testimony to Congress on climate change and its threat to national security.
  93. Schoonoever’s testimony cited scientific journals and intelligence reports, and concluded climate change could cause increased humanitarian crises, competition for resources, and risk of political instability.
  94. On Sunday, WAPO reported in response to their inquiry on if career attorneys would withdraw from the case on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the DOJ said in a statement it was changing lawyers.
  95. Reportedly, at least some of the career attorneys had legal or ethical concerns over Trump’s orders. It is a nearly unheard-of move to switch legal teams in the midst of such a case.
  96. The DOJ said new lawyers will be part of the department’s Civil Division and Consumer Protection Branch. Analysts say the new team will be proceeding on increasingly shaky legal ground.
  97. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said in an interview that he believes there is a legal path for the regime to add the citizenship question, but declined to give details.
  98. Barr said Trump is “right on the legal grounds,” adding, “I felt the Supreme Court decision was wrong.” He also acknowledged that some of the career attorneys did not want to continue working on the case.
  99. On Monday, Speaker Pelosi said she planned to schedule a full House vote “soon” to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for defying House subpoenas related to the citizenship question.
  100. On Tuesday, Trump quoted a “Fox & Friends” co-host, tweeting, “There should be a question about Citizenship on the Census,” adding, “Working hard on something that should be so easy. People are fed up!
  101. On Tuesday, a federal judge in New York rejected the DOJ’s request to change lawyers in the 2020 census case, saying, “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons.’”
  102. Judge Jesse Furman said to change its legal team, the DOJ must meet the legal requirement of satisfactorily explaining the existing lawyers’ departure and showing the switch would not impede the case,
  103. On Wednesday, a second federal judge, Judge George Hazel in Maryland said he shared the concern of the federal judge in New York, and denied the DOJ’s bid to withdraw the attorneys from the 2020 census case.
  104. Judge Hazel wrote he was concerned that “a shift in counsel at this late stage may be disruptive to an already complicated and expedited case,” but with assurances was “inclined to ultimately permit the withdrawal.”
  105. On Monday, in an interview with the AP, Barr accused Democrats of trying to create a “public spectacle” by subpoenaing Robert Mueller to testify. There is no indication Mueller does not want to testify before Congress.
  106. Barr also said the DOJ would seek to block any attempts by House Democrats to subpoena members of the special counsel’s team.
  107. On Monday, Barr told reporters he is recusing himself from the Epstein case, saying, “I am recused from that matter because one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm I subsequently joined.”
  108. During his Senate confirmation hearing, when asked if he would conduct an investigation of the DOJ’s handling of the Epstein case, Barr responded, “I have to recuse myself from Kirkland & Ellis matters, I am told.”
  109. On Tuesday, the DOJ said Barr would not recuse himself from the SDNY prosecution of Epstein, but he will remain uninvolved in the DOJ’s review of the handling of Epstein’s 2008 plea deal in Florida.
  110. O