POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 45: “PEOPLE REALLY F@&@ING HATE ME”

Week 44 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

September 16, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-44-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-7fbc1a8d7e01

Front and center this week were reports on Russia’s use of social media to influence the US election, possibly with help from the Trump regime. As well, a slew of reporting continued to build the evolving mosaic of connections and quid pro quo between members of the Trump regime and Putin allies.

Trump’s short-lived pivot ended abruptly late in the week when he again evoked “both sides” on Charlottesville, then started an embarrassing tweet storm about a tragic bombing in London. An interview by Rachel Maddow of Hillary on her new book, provided a momentary pause and wake up call for how much our country has changed — both our global standing and government competency — under a leader who admires, and aspires to authoritarianism.

  1. When asked about Hurricane Irma, Trump took the opportunity to compliment the Coast Guard’s branding: “If you talk about branding? No brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard.”
  2. Axios reported according to an adviser, Trump finally realized: “People really f@&@ing hate me.” The adviser noted Trump’s need for affirmation may have led to his sudden embrace of Schumer and Pelosi.
  3. WH social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted then deleted a video, which he incorrectly attributed to Miami Airport during Hurricane Irma.
  4. FP reported on growing concerns within the CIA that due to his personal beliefs, Trump ally Pompeo is rolling back the agency’s diversity mandate.
  5. In June, senior CIA management abruptly canceled an event with the Matthew Shepard Foundation, in honor of their late gay son. Shepard’s death led to some of the country’s first federal hate crime laws.
  6. On Sunday, Trump announced his sixth wave of US Attorney nominations: 41 of the 42 were men.
  7. On Monday, Trump nominated six to become US attorneys. All six where white men.
  8. Trump’s NASA nominee Bridenstine was quoted as saying the agency should be reorganized, and “expansion of human knowledge” about space and Earth should be removed from NASA’s objectives.
  9. The UNC Board of Governors approved a ban on litigation which effectively ended the civil rights center work benefitting low-income and minority groups at UNC’s law school.
  10. ICE arrested a 34 year-old father of two in Santa Fe, using his younger brother, who was in HHS custody, as bait.
  11. Phoenix New Times reviewed ICE arrest records and found that employees at two Motel 6 locations in predominantly Latino neighborhoods were alerting ICE on undocumented guests.
  12. After an outcry on social media, Motel 6 said it would stop sharing guest lists, but has yet to acknowledge if this was only done at the local level, and to explain why employees were collaborating with ICE.
  13. NYT reported the Trump regime is considering lowering the refugee quota to below 50k, the lowest level since 1980, and less than half the 110k admitted by Obama in 2016.
  14. An ABC News affiliate reported DACA recipients are being detained for hours at Texas border checkpoints, with no explanation as to why. Border Patrol claim it’s new protocol.
  15. A federal judge in Chicago blocked DOJ’s rules under Sessions which required sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to get public safety grants, like the COPS program in Week 43.
  16. In the wake of Charlottesville, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. The resolution called Heyer’s murder a “domestic terrorist act.”
  17. The resolution urges Trump and his regime to speak out against hate groups, and called on the DOJ and federal agencies to use all resources to improve data on hate crimes, and address growth of hate groups.
  18. On Tuesday, the House unanimously approved the resolution, and on Wednesday, press secretary Sanders said Trump “ looks forward” to signing the resolution.
  19. Instead, on Thursday, Trump claimed that both sides were to blame in Charlottesville, repeating his charge that those who resisted the neo-Nazis and white supremacists were as much to blame as the alt-right crowds.
  20. WAPO reported POLITICO’s editors warned staff on topics like physical attacks on journalists and white supremacy: “Try to stay away from those things because some of them are partisan.”
  21. Trump nominated Eric Dreiband to lead the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Dreiband testified against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and represented UNC in banning transgender people from using the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
  22. In her book “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History,” reporter Katy Tur detailed an unwanted kiss from Trump while covering his campaign. Tur said she was “mortified.”
  23. Axios reported that according to an internal memo, the CDC is cracking down on employees communications with the press. The memo says not to speak to reporters, “even for a simple data-related question.”
  24. On Monday, Trump’s DOJ said in a court filing that a judge should erase her finding that Arpaio violated a court order and was guilty of criminal contempt — a symbol of vindication.
  25. Two legal advocacy groups filed challenges to Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, saying it was unconstitutional because it undermines the power of the judicial branch.
  26. Salon reported Trump has formed at least 49 new businesses since he announced his run for presidency, and continuing since he took office. He has done almost nothing to separate himself from his businesses.
  27. McClatchy reported despite Trump’s pledge not to work with foreign entities, a construction company owned by the Chinese government was hired to work on Trump’s new golf club development in Dubai.
  28. BuzzFeed reported Trump International Beach Resort in Florida has asked the government for permission to hire more temporary foreign workers. Trump has sought more than 380 H-2 visas since June 2015.
  29. Florida AG Pam Bondi will start next week on Trump’s commission to combat the opioid crisis. In April, an ethics commission cleared Bondi of accepting a $25k donation from Trump at the same time she received a complaint on Trump University for fraud, which her office dismissed.
  30. In a September report on executive branch agency waivers and authorizations, the OGE noted the WH has refused to provide information requested and to answer follow-up questions on secret WH waivers.
  31. The Secret Service released just 22 of the visitor names to Mar-a-Lago in response to an April FOIA filing by CREW and two other groups. All 22 names were all related to Japanese PM Abe’s February visit
  32. The limited disclosure violated a federal judge’s order to turn over all visitor names from Jan 20 — March 8, 2017. Trump has spent 25 days at Mar-a-Lago. CREW promised to head back to court.
  33. WAPO shared a receipt sent to “National Security Council” from Mar-a-Lago, showing taxpayers were billed the “rack rate” of $1,092 for a two-night stay. Mar-a-Lago is 99% owned by Trump’s revocable trust.
  34. Derek Harvey, the controversial former Mideast chief for the NSC who was fired by McMaster, is going to work for Nunes.
  35. At Trump’s behest, McConnell is considering making the blue slip, a way for individual senators to block a nominees from their home states, advisory instead when it comes to appeals court nominees.
  36. POLITICO reported, in a reversal of internal policy, OGE said WH staffers may accept anonymous donations from lobbyists to legal defense funds.
  37. Late Friday, after scrutiny from the POLITICO story, OGE clarified its rules, saying contributions to legal defense funds from anonymous donors, as well as those from lobbyists and foreign governments, are unacceptable.
  38. ABC reported Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife to their honeymoon in Europe, prompting an “inquiry” by the Treasury Dept’s Office of Inspector General.
  39. CREW sued the Treasury Dept for documents relating to Mnuchin’s use of a government plane to travel to Kentucky with his wife Louise Linton. The Treasury Dept failed to respond to a prior request for disclosure.
  40. Trump’s Election Integrity Comm convened its second meeting in NH. Of note, the list of witnesses included no people of color or women, but instead allies of Kobach and tarnished academics.
  41. Gizmodo reported on a document obtained from the DOJ which shows Sessions was lobbied by Heritage Foundation to exclude Democrats, mainstream Republicans, and academics from Election Integrity Comm.
  42. The author of the letter from Heritage, Hans von Spakovsky, participated in Kobach’s NH meeting, on a panel. Spakovsky has led the charge for strict voter ID laws for more than a decade.
  43. In a statement, Alan King, a Democratic judge from Alabama on Trump’s Election Integrity Comm, criticized the commission for overzealous effortsto purge people from voter rolls in favor of more affluent voters.
  44. ProPublica investigated the Election Integrity Comm’s use of emails and found no instructions or training has been given. Some commission members are using private email which violates federal law.
  45. On Monday, Mexico withdrew its offer of aid to help Hurricane Harvey victims, noting Trump failed to send condolences to Mexico for a magnitude 8.1 earthquake and hurricane.
  46. NYT reported that in a WH meeting, Kelly likened Mexico to Venezuela under the leadership of the Chávez regime, and suggested it was on the verge of a collapse which would have repercussions for the US.
  47. Despite an ongoing DOJ investigation into Malaysian PM Najib Razak for misappropriating billions of dollars from a government fund he controlled, Trump invited him to the WH for a friendly visit.
  48. Najib has also been criticized for human rights violations under his leadership. He and his entourage stayed at the Trump Hotel DC.
  49. Yahoo reported Russian news agency, Sputnik, is under investigation by the FBI into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
  50. Andrew Feinberg, Sputnik’s former WH correspondent, turned over emails to the FBI. Feinberg said supervisors regularly “would say, ‘Moscow wants this or Moscow wants that.’
  51. Feinberg also told MSNBC many of the popular articles from right-wing media outlets like Breitbart, Infowars and Gateway Pundit and were prominently featured on Sputnik’s website.
  52. RT, the Russian state-owned outlet, said it will be required by the FBI to register as a foreign agent in the US, signaling their content will be viewed as propaganda of Moscow.
  53. Russian journalist Latynina fled Russia with her family following a series of attacks. Latynina writes for an independent newspaper and Friday received a prize for defending human rights and freedom of the press.
  54. Priebus and McGahn both hired lawyer William Burck to represent them in the Mueller Russia probe.
  55. POLITICO reported lawyers for former and current Trump aides are advising clients not to lie for Trump. Lawyers are also warning clients that being connected to Trump won’t protect them from criminal charges.
  56. WSJ reported some of Trump’s lawyers concluded earlier this summer Kushner should step down. Among their concerns were undisclosed meeting with Russians, and mentioning Mueller probe to other WH staff.
  57. Also knowing the June 9 meeting was yet to come out publicly, lawyers had prepared talking points for Kushner’s resignation, blaming the toxic political environment and him being used as a weapon against Trump.
  58. Russian politician Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the Duma, said on live TV that Russia stole the US presidency. The TV show focused on the US’s diminishing power on the world stage.
  59. Daily Beast reported Russia used Facebook’s event-management tool to remotely organize and promote political protests, including an August 2016 anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rally in Idaho.
  60. The event was hosted by “SecuredBorders,” outed as a Russian front in March. When their Facebook page was taken down last month, the group had 133k followers.
  61. Former FBI agent Clint Watts noted this group is an example of the next step in Russian influence: “The second part of behavior influence is when you can get people to physically do something.”
  62. In the months leading up to the Idaho rally, there were dozens of stories on right-wing websites like Infowars and Breitbart implying immigrants were taking over Twin Falls.
  63. Business Insider reported on another Russian-link Facebook group: “Heart of Texas,” which had over 225k followers, and was taken down by Facebook last week.
  64. The group started by posting anti-Hillary memes, then became shifted as Election Day neared. Starting in November, “Heart of Texas” organized a series of anti-immigrant, anti-Hillary rallies across Texas.
  65. ProPublica reported Facebook enabled advertisers to target ads towards users who expressed interest in categories like “Jew hater” and “How to burn jews.” After ProPublica contact them, Facebook took these down.
  66. Bloomberg reported that Russia’s effort to influence US voters through Facebook and other social media is a “red-hot” focus of Mueller, as well as possible links in that effort to the Trump campaign.
  67. WSJ reported Facebook has given Mueller more details on Russian ad buys, including copies of the ads and details about the accounts that bought them and the targeting criteria they used.
  68. While Congress has the power to subpoena Facebook for “basic subscriber records” and to call witnesses, Mueller’s search warrant compels Facebook to disclose much more detailed information.
  69. Vanity Fair reported that Congressional investigators and Mueller are focused on whether any Americans helped Russia target social media to impact crucial swing districts and wavering voter demographics.
  70. In an interview with Forbes after the election, Kushner bragged about the Trump campaign’s online efforts, and said he had a technology expert “give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting.
  71. Questions also emerge about possible ties between Kushner and Parscale to data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, whose major investor is Robert Mercer, a patron of Bannon.
  72. Senate Intel Comm ranking members Burr and Warner said they are likely to ask representatives from Facebook to publicly testify on Russia’s activity on their platform during the 2016 election.
  73. Sen Warner tweeted that groups linked to Russia which used Facebook to meddle in the 2016 election paid in Rubles.
  74. A campaign finance reform group, headed by the former chair of the FEC Trevor Potter, said Facebook was an “accomplice” in a Russian influence scheme, and called on the company to publicly release Russian ads.
  75. BuzzFeed obtained a proposal delivered by a Putin diplomat to Trump three months into office detailing a wholesale restoration of diplomatic, military, and intelligence channels between Russia and the US.
  76. Members of the WH and State Dept did not dispute the authenticity of the proposal. Delivering the proposal meant Russia believed Trump would not hold alleged 2016 election interference against them.
  77. Daily Beast reported the Trump campaign has begun turning over documents to Mueller. The Mueller probe is broad, and it is treating the WH, transition team, and campaign as separate legal entities.
  78. At a press briefing Tuesday, Sanders said the DOJ “should certainly look at” prosecuting Comey, claiming he had leaked privileged information to the media and offered false testimony to Congress.
  79. On Wednesday, Sanders again said Comey, essentially a political opponent, should face criminal charges for leaking a memo to the NYT.
  80. Sanders also said ESPN reporter Jemele Hill should be fired for her Monday tweet referring to Trump as “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”
  81. NYT reported after Trump was told that Mueller was appointed, he berated Sessions in the Oval Office. Trump called Sessions an “idiot,” and said picking him for AG was the “worst decisions he had made.”
  82. Trump blamed the Mueller appointment on Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the DOJ Russia investigation, and said Sessions should resign. Sessions said he would quit and sent a resignation letter.
  83. Sessions later told associates the way Trump publicly demeaned him was his most humiliating experience in his decades of public life.
  84. Flynn refused a new request to appear in front of the Senate Intel Comm. Flynn has offered to testify before both the Senate and House Intel Comms in exchange for immunity, but neither committee accepted the offer.
  85. Top Democrats on the House Intel and Foreign Affairs wrote in a letter that Flynn concealed more than a dozen foreign contacts and overseas tripsduring the process of renewing his security clearances in 2016.
  86. The foreign contact information came from three private companies advised by Flynn which were pursuing a joint venture with Russia in 2015 and 2016 to bring nuclear power to several Middle Eastern countries.
  87. WSJ reported Flynn continued promoting the project after he took the position of NSA in the Trump regime, even after NSC ethics advisers directed Flynn to remove himself from the project.
  88. Even after Flynn was fired by Trump, he continued to lobby the Trump regime on the project, including Cohn and Barrack, Jr. ahead of their May trip to Saudi Arabia.
  89. NBC reported Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn is the subject of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The inquiry is based at least in part on his work with Flynn Intel Group.
  90. CNN reported the DOJ refused the Senate Judiciary Comm’s request to interview two top FBI officials — Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – on the firing of Comey, citing Mueller’s ongoing investigation.
  91. NYT reported Senate Judiciary Comm ranking members Grassley and Feinstein are considering subpoenaing members of the DOJ in their inquiry on Trump’s firing of Comey.
  92. CNN reported Susan Rice privately told the House Intel Comm that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the UAE came to New York late last year.
  93. The New York meeting (reported in Week 21) took place last December, and was attended by Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. In an unusual breach of protocol, the UAE did not advise the Obama administration in advance.
  94. Shortly after in January, Erik Prince, brother of Betsy DeVos, attended a secret meeting in Seychelles, arranged by the UAE, with a Russian close to Putin, allegedly to set up a back-channel for communications.
  95. WAPO reported DHS ordered all federal agencies to ban the use of a Kaspersky security software. Co-founder Eugene Kaspersky graduated from a KGB-supported school and worked in Russian military intelligence.
  96. The moves comes after the GSA removed the company from its approved vendor list, suggesting a vulnerability exists with Kaspersky that could give the Kremlin backdoor access to the systems the company protects.
  97. BuzzFeed reported that Flynn, Bannon and Kushner met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in NY days before Trump was inaugurated to push a deal which Flynn was advising on: nuclear power plants in the Middle East.
  98. An eye witness said at least half-a-dozen other people were with the trio at the Four Seasons bar. Flynn failed to disclose the meeting in security clearance forms, and Kushner disclosed it only in his amended forms.
  99. As part of the for-profit deal, reactors would be built by US companies and security would be provided by the Russian state-owned firm Rosoboron. Congressional approval would have been needed.
  100. In February, Abdullah visited the WH and met with Trump, Kelly and Mattis. A statement afterward underscored that the US “is committed to strengthening the security and economic partnership with Jordan.”
  101. Bloomberg reported at the time Veselnitskaya met with Donald Jr. at Trump Tower, she also represented real-estate company Prevezon, which was under criminal investigation for a money laundering case.
  102. In 2013, Bharara filed a civil suit against Prevezon. Sessions abruptly settled the case three days before trial in May for just $5.9mm. There was no mention of the ongoing criminal investigation.
  103. Democratic lawmakers want to know if the Trump team members put pressure on Sessions to settle the case after Bharara was fired.
  104. Bloomberg said in the criminal case several countries and banks including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS and TD have supplied documents to the US to track more than $200mm that left Russia after a massive fraud.
  105. Business Insider reported that in the Prevezon criminal case, grand-jury testimonies are at a key stage. Prevezon is owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official.
  106. POLITICO reported Kyle Freeny, an attorney working on the DOJ’s highest-profile money laundering case, is joining Mueller’s team.
  107. Democrats flipped two very pro-Trump districts in special elections: there was a 28-point swing in NH, and a 31-point swing in OK.
  108. Benevity tracked a shift in donations made by Fortune 1000 US workers: ACLU went from #87 in 2015 to the top spot in 2017. SPLC went from #230 in 2015 to #17 in 2017.
  109. Early Friday morning, Trump took to Twitter after a bombing in London: “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” and “Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner.”
  110. UK PM May publicly alluded to Trump’s tweet, saying she never thinks it’s helpful to “speculate” on “an ongoing investigation.” Friday, McMaster tried to clarify the tweets, saying Trump was speaking “generally.”
  111. Bloomberg reported PM May complained directly to Trump, saying she was unhappy with his response when he called to offer condolences.
  112. Joining his classmates at Yale, 185 of Mnuchin’s high school classmates from Riverdale Country School classmates called on him to resign.
  113. WSJ reported Rohrabacher contacted the WH trying to broker a “deal” that would end Assange’s US legal troubles, in exchange for a computer drive or other data-storage device that he said would exonerate Russia.
  114. Kelly intercepted the call and advised Rohrabacher the deal “was best directed to the intelligence community.” Kelly did not make Trump aware of Rohrabacher’s message.
  115. AP reported that despite a pledge by the Trump inaugural committee to give leftover funds to charities, nothing has been donated. The group has helped pay for redecorating the WH and the Pence’s residence in DC.
  116. Trump’s inaugural committee raised $107mm, a record amount and double what Obama raised for his well-attended inauguration. The amount of times to close out the books is also unusual.
  117. Pence’s press secretary Marc Lotter resigned. It was unclear what his next move will be. Pence recently replaced his chief of staff.
  118. In an Atlantic article, “How Trump Is Ending the American Era,” Eliot Cohen described the damage Trump has done, and continues to do to America’s global standing.
  119. On Friday, the Pentagon issued new guidance clarifying that transgender troops currently in the military can re-enlist in the next several months. This is yet another example in past weeks of Mattis going against Trump.

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VIENNA, AUSTRIA: EINBAHN

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St. Stephens Cathedral in all of its Gothic Glory

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Wustenrot is an insurance company that happens to be housed in a gorgeous architectural wonder in the city center. The statue in front is of Johannes Gensberg, a.k.a. Gutenberg, the inventor of the modern printing press.

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Mozarthaus, Mozart’s House 1784-1787

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Josef is a political prisoner who was jailed in 2014. He was arrested in an anti-fascist demonstration against the right-wing group Akademikerball. 

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He lives!

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It’s not just Vienna. It seems like just about every city throws up this slogan somewhere. 
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Mozart lived in this building between 1784-1787
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Older piece from Puerta Rican artist Alexis Diaz, standing the test of time off of Favoritenstrasse.
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From Colombian street artist, Stinkfish.
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A Space Invader spotted up high
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The wear and tear brings even more character to this piece by Miami-based Evoca 1.

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Happy Pez next to a brooding image.

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11&12Sep2017 Vienna, Austria

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 41: EVIL MONKEY

Week 40 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

August 19, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-40-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-eb3a830375a9

This week’s list is not the longest, but it is certainly the most heartbreaking. Trump’s comments on Charlottesville legitimized the worst of us, and spawned a watershed moment for our country. His remarks were met with widespread condemnation and reactions, and precipitated a mass exodus of corporate CEOs, wiping away any lingering doubts that Trump’s goals were ever truly linked to job creation. For the first time, real questions about fitness for office were raised out loud by both sides.

This week in Trump’s shrinking, chaotic regime it became even clearer that Trump answers to no one but himself. He continues to attack and attempt to intimidate Republicans into submission, as part of his continuing efforts to consolidate power.

  1. In an impromptu news conference on Charlottesville late Saturday afternoon, Trump said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.
  2. White supremacists and neo-Nazi leaders cheered Trump’s “on many sides” comments, taking his words as a defense, or even as a tacit approval, of their action.
  3. On Sunday, the WH issued a statement to “clarify” Trump’s Saturday comments, saying Trump condemns all forms of “violence, bigotry and hatred” while naming white supremacists, KKK, and neo-Nazis.
  4. 32 year-old Heather Heyer was killed Saturday after a car driven by James Fields rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville. Nineteen others were injured.
  5. Daily Caller and Fox News deleted a post titled, “Here’s A Reel Of Cars Plowing Through Protesters Trying To Block The Road,” which included a video encouraging people to drive through protests.
  6. Two state troopers, Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper Bates, who were keeping watch on the demonstrations in Charlottesville, were killed when their helicopter went down.
  7. On Sunday, a candlelight vigil planned for Heather Heyer in Charlottesville was cancelled due to a “credible threat from white supremacists.
  8. Neo-Nazis disparaged Heyer, and the KKK celebrated her death. Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer was taken down after activists, led by my Sunday tweet, contacted domain hosts Go Daddy, Google, etc.
  9. After US hosting companies refused to host The Daily Stormer, the website briefly relocated to Russia, for which they thanked Trump, before being kicked off there too. China rebuffed them too.
  10. In the wake of Charlottesville, numerous tech companies including Facebook, Google, Spotify, Uber, Squarespace and many others took action to curb use of their services and platforms by alt-right groups.
  11. A Unite the Right organizer was disavowed by his family. Several marchers who were identified on social media lost their jobs. Others were asked to denounce their activities or were expelled by colleges.
  12. On Sunday, Trump’s popularity hit a new low at Gallup with 34% approving and 61% disapproving (-27).
  13. On Monday, Sessions said the car ramming into Heather Heyer and 19 others “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism” under US law.
  14. On Monday morning, Merck’s CEO resigned from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council saying as a “matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
  15. Later Monday, Trump tweeted @Merck is a leader in “higher & higher drug prices,” and “taking jobs out of the U.S.
  16. Later Monday and Tuesday, four more CEOs resigned from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council over his handling of Charlottesville.
  17. Trump countered, “I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on.” Trump offered no new names publicly.
  18. On Wednesday, NYT reported the CEOs on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum held a morning conference call to discuss whether to disband the policy forum. The Manufacturing Council planned a call that afternoon.
  19. Before the policy forum, and possible manufacturing council could formally disband, midday Wednesday Trump tweeted “rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople,” he was ending both.
  20. On Thursday, the WH announced the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, would not move forward.
  21. On Monday, Trump said he is “seriously considering” a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying, “He’s a great American patriot.”
  22. In the aftermath of Charlottesville, the Phoenix mayor called on Trump to delay his planned rally next week, saying Trump’s plan to pardon Arpaio could “enflame emotions and further divide our nation.”
  23. Minutes after the Phoenix mayor’s statement, Trump tweeted a link for tickets to his Phoenix event.
  24. Advocates said there has been a spike in reports of anti-LGBTQ violence since Trump took office. As of August, there are already more hate-related homicides than in all of 2016, excluding Pulse.
  25. A Virginia high school sent a letter to parents saying selection for AP and Honors classes would at least partly based on race.
  26. On Monday, the Holocaust memorial in Boston was vandalized for the second time this summer.
  27. On Monday, reading from a teleprompter, Trump gave his third version of comments on Charlottesville, calling the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists “repugnant” and saying, “racism is evil.”
  28. On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted then deleted an image of a train running over a CNN reporter.
  29. On Tuesday at Trump Tower, with Mnuchin, Chao and Cohn by this side, Trump turned what was supposed to be remarks about his infrastructure plan into an “off-the-rails” news conference on Charlottesville.
  30. Reversing himself for the fourth time in four days, Trump said “I think there’s blame on both sides” — insinuating that the “alt-left” was just as much to blame as white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
  31. Trump claimed not all the white supremacists and neo-Nazis were bad people, “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
  32. When asked about Bannon, Trump said “He’s a good man. He’s not a racist,” and that the press treats him, “frankly, very unfairly.”
  33. Trump claimed alt-right protestors had a permit, but counter-protesters “came charging in without a permit” and “were very, very violent.” WAPOgave the claim that counter-protestors had no permit 4 Pinocchios.
  34. Trump equated taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville to taking down statues of Washington (“George Washington was a slave owner”) and Jefferson (“Because he was a major slave owner”).
  35. Trump’s staff, expecting brief remarks on infrastructure, were stunned by his action. One senior WH official told NBC, Trump “went rogue.”
  36. POLITICO reported Trump was “in good spirits” Tuesday night, and felt the “new conference went much better” than his Monday speech.
  37. Alt-right leaders praised Trump’s Tuesday comments. Richard Spencer said he was “really proud of him,” and David Duke tweeted, “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth.”
  38. Axios reported within the Trump WH, Bannon unapologetically supported Trump’s instinct to blame “both sides,” and that he and Trump “instinctively searched for “their” people in that group of protesters.”
  39. Mnuchin’s Yale classmates wrote an open letter calling on him to resign immediately, saying Trump “declared himself a sympathizer with groups” whose values are antithetical to Yale and decent human beings.
  40. In a Republican primary in Alabama Tuesday, Trump’s chosen candidate Luther Strange, who he very publicly supported, came in second.
  41. On Wednesday, Pence cut his international trip to Central and South America short to come home. The stated reason was to join a national security meeting on Friday, although rumors flew with other theories.
  42. On Wednesday, Fox News’ Shep Smith said his show “reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today” and couldn’t find a single one willing to come on and discuss Trump’s Tuesday comments.
  43. In a letter, fmr CIA director Brennan told CNN’s Blitzer Trump’s comments on Charlottesville were “despicable,” and that Trump “is putting our national security and our collective futures at grave risk.
  44. On Wednesday, the Generals of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard tweeted to condemn the racist violence in Charlottesville, declaring the nation’s armed forces unequivocally against hatred.
  45. Sen Corker, one of Trump’s first senate supporters who was also under consideration for VP, said Trump “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence” to be a successful leader.
  46. European leaders, including Merkel and May, denounced Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. Martin Schulz of German said Trump “is betraying our Western value.”
  47. Rep Steve Cohen of TN, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, introduced articles of impeachment in response to Trump’s comments on Charlottesville.
  48. On Wednesday, Sessions told NBC News that the Charlottesville car attack may be considered a “hate crime.
  49. USA Today Editorial Board called on Congress to censure Trump for his “shocking equivocations about the white-supremacist,” challenging Republicans to “stand up for American values” or be Trump enablers.
  50. On Thursday, the Cleveland Clinic pulled their 2018 Florida gala from Mar-a-Lago. Cleveland Clinic had held their event there for eight years.
  51. By Friday evening, 16 charities had pulled their events from Mar-a-Lago, costing the Trump Organization hundreds of thousands, or possibly millions in lost revenues.
  52. Citing violence at Charlottesville, Texas A&M and the University of Florida cancelled scheduled speaking appearances by white supremacist Richard Spencer, both citing safety concerns.
  53. On Thursday, Michigan State University denied a request by Spencer to rent space on the campus for a September event.
  54. Students and graduates of Lehigh University students petitioned trustees to revoke Trump’s honorary degree, citing Trump’s “both sides” remarks.
  55. Thousands gathered at UVA on Wednesday night for an unannounced candlelight vigil. They chanted “love wins,” and sang “We Shall Overcome” and “Amazing Grace.”
  56. At a funeral for Heather Heyer mother, Susan Bro said, “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Bro told NBC Thursday she has received death threats from hate groups.
  57. Bro said she will not meet with Trump after he blamed “both sides” for violence in Charlottesville. She also has not picked up his phone calls.
  58. Trump continued to tweet about Confederate statues after his news conference, “can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
  59. The great-great grandchildren of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson called for Confederate statues to be removed. They also condemned the white supremacist and violence in Charlottesville.
  60. They also suggested statues be moved to museums. Bertram Hayes-Davis, great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis suggested, “In a public place, if it is offensive and people are taking issue with it, let’s move it.”
  61. In the days following the Charlottesville alt-right rally, 13 US cities and Duke University said they would remove Confederate monuments. Several other cities are considering same.
  62. After a terrorist attack in Spain, Trump tweeted about what General Pershing did when terrorist were caught: “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” Politifact rated Trump’s claim, Pants on Fire.
  63. Trump continued to do battle with Republicans, targeting Flake who he called “toxic” and “WEAK on borders, crime and a non-factor in Senate,” and Graham who he said “can’t forget his election trouncing.”
  64. Countering Trump, McConnell offered his “full support” for Flake.
  65. James Murdoch donated $1mm to the Anti-Defamation League in the wake of Charlottesville. As many of social media noted, Fox News played a major role in stoking the hate of far-right extremists.
  66. According to government documents published by one of Murdoch’s newspapers Tuesday, Australian authorities denied a bid by Trump to build a casino in 1988 due to his ties to the mafia and organized crime.
  67. HuffPost reported on Trump aide Katharine Gorka’s role in helping to pull DHS funding for Life After Hate, a group dedicated to countering neo-Nazis and white supremacists, as noted in Week 33. Of note: also in Week 33, the State Dept’s anti-Semitism monitoring office was shuttered.
  68. In an interview Thursday, former VP Gore said if he could give Trump one piece of advice, it would be to resign.
  69. On Friday, the 17 remaining members of Trump’s presidential arts and humanities panel resigned Friday in protest over his Charlottesville comments.
  70. Trump’s WH responded late Friday, saying Trump was going to disband the arts and humanities panel anyway.
  71. Trump and Melania said they will not attend this year’s Kennedy Center Honors in December. According to Huckabee Sanders, the decision is meant to allow “honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”
  72. The decision was made after numerous honorees announced their intentions to skip or protest if Trump attended. After Trump’s cancelation, event organizers said, “We are grateful for this gesture.”
  73. NBC called this week Trump’s “worst week yet,” and said he was more isolated than ever.
  74. Hope Hicks took over as the interim WH communications director, as Trump continued his search to replace Scaramucci. Hicks is the fourth person in that role.
  75. Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd forwarded an email with secessionist Civil War propaganda. The email also stated the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”
  76. Trump’s DOJ issued a warrant to DreamHost demanding the company turn over all IP addresses related to DisruptJ20.org, a website used in planning actions to interrupt Trump’s inauguration.
  77. A week after the inauguration, the DOJ had asked for information such as people’s physical and email addresses and DreamHost had complied. DreamHost’s lawyers called the latest request a “complete overreach.
  78. NYT reported Mueller, for the first time, is seeking to interview past and current members of Trump’s WH beyond Manafort, including members of the communications team.
  79. Mueller is interested in interviewing Priebus about what occurred during the campaign and in the WH, especially as it relates to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and the Comey firing.
  80. During a press conference on his visit to Columbia, Pence told reporters he “never witnessed” any evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, and that he was “not aware” of it ever having occurred.
  81. WAPO reported Trump aid George Papadopoulos, starting in March 2016 with an email headed, “Meeting with Russian Leadership — Including Putin,” repeatedly tried to get Trump aides to meet with Russians.
  82. Experts on Russian intelligence speculated his email chain offers further evidence that Russians were looking for entry points into the Trump campaign. Papalopoulos said he was acting as a Russian intermediary.
  83. NYT reported on an investigation by Ukrainian investigators and the FBI of a Ukrainian malware expert named “Profexer,” for his part in a network of hackers allegedly engaged by Russia to hack the US election.
  84. Also under investigation is a Russian government hacking group, Advanced Persistent Threat 28 or Fancy Bear, believed to be involved in the DNC hacking. Much of the work was outsourced to private vendors.
  85. In the first know hitch, Mueller’s special counsel lost a top FBI investigator, Peter Strzok. It is unclear why Strzok stepped away.
  86. A US District court judge ruled that as part of a libel suit brought by Webzilla CEO Aleksej Gubarev against Buzzfeed, Steele could be questioned about the funding and sourcing of the dossier.
  87. Rep Rohrabacher, an advocate for the Kremlin, said he plans to brief Trump on his meeting with Assange. Assange told Rohrabacher that he was not behind the DNC hack, and that the Russians were not involved.
  88. Assange is trying to strike a deal so he can stop living in asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In Week 23, Sessions said the DOJ was preparing charges against Assange whose “arrest is a priority.”
  89. The National Parks Service reversed a ban on plastic water bottles at national parks. The move came after confirmation of Trump’s Deputy Interior Secretary, who previously represented Deer Park Water.
  90. In a tweet, the Trump Organization featured a photo with the caption, “From our Presidential ballroom to intimate historic room,” to advertise meeting and event space.
  91. Raising ethical concerns, Justice Gorsuch is scheduled to address conservative groups at Trump Hotel DC in September, less than two weeks before the court will hear arguments on Trump’s Muslim Ban.
  92. Mattis’ DoD parted ways with senior media adviser, Steve Warren. Pentagon reporters have complained about lack of access to Mattis, and some recently being kicked off Mattis’s Middle East trip last minute.
  93. On Friday, Trump friend and ally Carl Icahn resigned as a special adviser to Trump, although Icahn had done nothing in that role. The WH said Icahn had been fired on Monday.
  94. Icahn resigned hours before The New Yorker published a piece on his conflicts of interest (see Week 20). The head of a watchdog group said, “This kind of self-enrichment and influence” was “unprecedented.”
  95. Trump tweeted photos from Camp David of him signing the Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act. Of the 14 people at the signing, there was only one woman and not a single person of color.
  96. In an interview with The American Prospect on Wednesday, a venting Bannon referred to white supremacists as “clowns” and “losers.
  97. Contradicting Trump, Bannon said on N. Korea, “there’s no military solution here, they got us,” and added, “it’s just a sideshow.”
  98. In new interviews, Bannon said he viewed the post-Charlotte racial strife and turmoil as a political winner for Trump.
  99. On Friday, Trump fired Bannon. According to Bannon allies, he submitted his intention to leave the WH on August 7.
  100. Axios reported Bannon met with the billionaire Mercer family for five hours Friday in New York and “together they will be a well-funded force on the outside.”
  101. Bannon told Bloomberg that he would be returning to run Breitbart, and that he would be “going to war for Trump against his opponents — on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.”
  102. Bannon told the Weekly Standard, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” saying Trump will not achieve his campaign promises. Bannon vowed to continue the fight from the outside.
  103. In an op-ed titled, “I Voted for Trump, And I Sorely Regret It,” past avid supporter Julius Krein wrote of his disillusionment with Trump, and the realization that Trump would not achieve his stated goals.
  104. Right-wing radio host Limbaugh backed white nationalists and told his 26 million listeners that America is on the “cusp of a second civil war,” blaming international financiers who are trying to bring down America.
  105. On Saturday, Boston hosted a Free Speech Rally organized by conservatives and libertarians at Boston Commons. Friday, Mayor Walsh said 500 police officers would be there, and urged people to stay away.
  106. Thousands of counter-protestors marched through downtown Boston to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Police estimated 15k peacefully marched.

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 39: INCOMPETENT & UNWORTHY HE IS

Week 38 of trump’s presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

August 5, 2017 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-38-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-4730486b719a

This week, as his popularity hit new lows, Trump and his regime’s white nationalist push became more conspicuous and aggressive. Trump continues to irreverently lie — one such false statement on Donald Jr.’s June 9 meeting could directly implicate him in covering up the Russia scandal, which entered a new phase as Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington DC.

As a continuation of a theme over the past two weeks, the Republicans are finally pushing back on Trump, as Congress took steps to keep him in check. Trump seems prepared to fight Congress, along with battles he is already waging against the judicial branch and the media.

  1. On a Fox News interview, Conway advised WH staffers not to address Trump by his first name, and to treat him with “deference and humility.”
  2. On his Sunday show, Fareed Zakaria cautioned with Trump in power, the US faces something worse than being feared or derided — the US is “becoming irrelevant.”
  3. On Sunday, Putin ordered the US diplomatic missions in Russia to reduce their staff by 755 personnel, the single largest forced reduction, comparable only to the months after the Communist revolution in 1917.
  4. The Trump regime had no response to Putin’s order on Sunday, or for the entire week.
  5. ProPublica reported Customs and Border Protection is set to jumpstart Trump’s wall in a Texas national wildlife refuge. The agency will use money allotted by Congress for other purposes.
  6. A spokesperson for Pruitt’s EPA told WAPO the agency will make changes to the EPA Museum. For example, the exhibit on Obama’s Clean Power Plan will be removed, and coal may be added.
  7. CBN News reported nearly all of Trump’s cabinet officials attend Bible lessons with a pastor who compares Trump to biblical heroes.
  8. In a statement released Tuesday, 56 retired generals and admirals came out against Trump’s transgender military ban, arguing it would be disruptive and degrade military readiness.
  9. CBC News reported Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is being used to house a surge in asylum seekers crossing from the US. More than 1k crossed from the US into Quebec in July alone.
  10. The NAACP issued its first-ever travel advisory for a state. NAACP cited Missouri legislation making discrimination cases harder to win, recent racist incidents, and racial disparities in traffic enforcement.
  11. Kobach appealed an order requiring him to answer question under oathabout two documents containing plans for changes to US election law.
  12. A top EPA official, Elizabeth Sutherland, resigned after 30 years at the agency. In a scathing letter, she wrote, “The environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”
  13. The Trump regime will redirect resources of the DOJ toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies, which the regime claim discriminate against white applicants.
  14. ProPublica reported Candice Jackson, DeVos’s pick to head the Civil Rights Office, said she faced discrimination for being white while at Stanford because of a help section reserved for minority students.
  15. WAPO reported Lizandro Claros Saravia, a standout soccer player who had a scholarship to play college soccer, was deported to El Salvador along with his brother after going to ICE to report he got into college.
  16. Documents released to the Daily Beast under the FOIA show high-level DHS officials ordered staff to stiff-arm members of Congress and treat lawyers with deep suspicion in the first hours of Trump’s Muslim Ban.
  17. In an ICE press release, the agency admitted in Kelly’s final sweep as DHS head, designed to catch Central Americans who had come to the US as family unit, 70% of those captured were not people being targeted.
  18. Tillerson’s State Dept is considering eliminating the promotion of democracy from its mission statement.
  19. Amateur hackers at the DefCon conference in Las Vegas were able to exploit vulnerabilities in five voting machine types within 24 hours.
  20. POLITICO reported that by firing of Priebus, Trump severed one of his few remaining ties to the Republican Party.
  21. In a bombshell story, WAPO reported Trump dictated Donald Jr.’s misleading statement claiming Russian adoption was the rationale for the June 9 meeting, while flying back from the G20.
  22. While at the G20, the NYT asked for comment on their pending story. Ivanka, Trump and Kushner met on the sidelines with advisers, who recommended telling the truth. Trump disregarded all advice.
  23. WAPO further reported Kushner’s lawyers first learned about the June 9 email trail while researching their response to Congressional investigators weeks prior. Advisers and lawyers for Trump, Donald Jr. and Kushner had mapped out a strategy for disclosing the information.
  24. WAPO further reported that with this misleading statement, Trump is now directly implicated in trying to cover up Russia scandal.
  25. The day after reports that Trump crafted Donald Jr.’s statement, CBS reported Congressional investigators requested Donald Jr.’s phone records around the time of the June 9 meeting.
  26. Trump ally former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court for defying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.
  27. Phoenix New Times reported Arpaio was a no-show for his pre-sentencing hearing on Thursday.
  28. Ahead of his first cabinet meeting with Kelly as chief of staff, Trump referred to the Cabinet Room as a “board room.
  29. Sec of Interior Zinke told GQ in an interview that Rick Perry was didn’t understand what his position is about, “I think he thought his department was more about energy than…science. Mostly, it’s science.”
  30. WAPO reported lobbyists are taking credit in the Trump era for writing bills to protect their industry that are passed in Congress with minimal input from the public, and little of no discussion in Congress.
  31. NYT reported Lewandowski has a new “advisory” business, which again is testing the ethical boundaries of Trump giving significant access and power to friends and loyalists not on the government payroll.
  32. WAPO reported Secret Service vacated its command post inside Trump Tower following a dispute over terms of the lease for the space. The post has been relocated to a trailer on the sidewalk.
  33. Six months after leaving office, Pence handed over state-related emailstransmitted from his personal AOL account. Some requests for Pence’s emails are more than a year old.
  34. Pence’s attorney, also a top fundraiser for Trump and Pence, determined which emails to release, raising concerns from watchdog groups.
  35. A US Court of Appeals ruled that 17 states and DC could pursue the Trump regime for their efforts to sabotage Obamacare.
  36. Ivanka said, “We are committed to supporting the American worker,” as 100% of her companies’ goods are manufactured overseas, and the Trump Organization and Eric’s winery seek to bring in foreign workers.
  37. WSJ reported the US attorney issued subpoenas to Kushner Cos. Employees and Kushner family members have allegedly been offering green cards in exchange for $500k investments in their properties.
  38. Kelly asserted his authority as chief of staff on Monday, firing Scaramucci immediately.
  39. Kelly’s first priority will be to gain control of the information that reaches Trump, with a goal of cutting out backchannels and bad information.
  40. Kelly reportedly called Sessions to tell him his job is safe.
  41. CNN reported Kelly was so upset about the handling of Comey’s firing, Kelly called Comey afterward and said he was considering resigning.
  42. On Tuesday, bowing to criticism on transparency, Tillerson held his first press briefing, saying he is not “very happy” with Congress’ vote to sanction Russia.
  43. Tillerson acknowledged the understaffed State Dept: 22 of 24 assistant secretary slots are either unfilled or staffed by Obama holdovers.
  44. On Tuesday, Greg Andres, a former DOJ official, became the 16th member of Mueller’s team. Andres has vast experience with white-collar crime, including fraud and illegal foreign bribery.
  45. On Tuesday, a story on Golf.com recounted a scene at Trump’s Bedminster golf club, in which he tells members the reason he stays away from Washington is because the White House is a “real dump.
  46. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” and referred to Golf.com as “Fake News.”
  47. On Thursday, Golf.com responded with a podcast about the story, saying at least 8 people heard Trump call the WH a dump.
  48. At a tense July 19 meeting with generals, Trump complained about the options in Afghanistan, saying, “We are losing.” Trump also compared US efforts to the renovation of the 21 Club, infuriating the generals.
  49. Trump complained the US wasn’t getting a piece of Afghan’s mineral wealth, and said he was considering firing Gen. Nicholson.
  50. As Kelly established an organizational structure, McMaster fired two Bannon loyalists from the NSC: Rich Higgins and Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
  51. As the turf battle heated up between McMaster and Bannon, rumors circulated that Trump may send McMaster off to Afghanistan to replace Nicholson.
  52. On Thursday, McMaster cleared Susan Rice and said she will keep her top-secret security clearance. Circa reported Trump was not aware of McMaster’s decision.
  53. Conservative media turned on McMaster, calling him a “sycophant” and “deeply hostile to Israel and Trump.” A new app that tracks Russian troll activity also found “firemcmaster” as the most tweeted item.
  54. NPR reported on a lawsuit that alleges Fox News and Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Trump supporter, with the knowledge of the WH, created a fake story about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump deflect from Russian involvement.
  55. The story started May 10, the day after the Comey firing. A few days later, Butowsky texted Wheeler, the expert suing for being inaccurately cited in the story, that Trump “wants the article out immediately.”
  56. ABC reported Spicer met with two Fox News contributors about the Seth Rich story at the WH, and asked to be “kept abreast of developments.”
  57. Yahoo reported the lawyer who is suing Fox News on behalf of Wheeler will seek to depose Trump and Spicer.
  58. Reporter Andrew Feinberg, who worked at Sputnik, said he was pushed to cover the Seth Rich story: “It’s really telling that the White House is pushing the same narrative as a state-run Russian propaganda outlet.”
  59. Newsweek reported Russia is using LinkedIn to target critics by damaging their reputations and chances for employment, and possible exposing them to physical harm beyond social media.
  60. On Wednesday, flanked by senators Cotton and Perdue, Trump introduced a bill to slash immigration levels in half over the next decade.
  61. Trump said the bill, named the RAISE Act, will favor green card applicants who speak English, financially support themselves, and contribute to the economy.
  62. AP fact checked Trump’s speech and found it was full of false statements.
  63. The bill was sharply rebuked by Democrats and Republicans. Catholic Bishops issued a strong statement against RAISE, saying it will weaken family bonds and impact ability to respond to those in crisis.
  64. At a contentious press briefing after the RAISE Act announcement, Stephen Miller said the 1883 “huddled masses” poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty doesn’t matter since it was “added later.
  65. Miller also acted aggressively towards a NYT and CNN reporters. Miller said CNN’s Jim Acosta, son of Cuban immigrants who did not speak English, had a “Cosmopolitan bias.
  66. ‘Cosmopolitan’ is an anti-Semitic term used by 20th century authoritarian regimes.
  67. The Anne Frank Center tweeted that Nazis found Anne Frank on August 4, 1944, after her family was denied entrance to the US in 1941, for “Reasons refugees hear now.
  68. Trump told the WSJ the head of the boy scouts called him to say his jamboree speech was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.” The Boy Scouts denied any call from national leadership was made.
  69. Trump also told the WSJ that Mexican president Peña Nieto called him and told him fewer people were crossing the border. This is also a lie.
  70. WH press secretary Sanders revised Trump’s statements to say an individual Boy Scout leader called Trump, and the statement from Peña Nieto took place in a conversation at the G20.
  71. On Wednesday Trump signed the Russia sanctions bill behind closed doors and with no press coverage. Trump criticized Congress, but said nothing of Russia interference or the 755 US embassy members removed.
  72. In a statement, Trump called the measure “significantly flawed.” Trump also said it “encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” adding, “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars.”
  73. On Thursday, Trump again attacked Congress, tweeting, “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low,” and you can thank “the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”
  74. McCain responded, “You can thank Putin for attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies” for the dangerous low.
  75. Russia PM Medvedev said the Trump regime “has demonstrated full impotence.” He also tweeted the Trump regime has shown its “total weakness” in handing power to Congress “in the most humiliating way.”
  76. On Wednesday, Trump approval dropped to new lows: Rasmussen (38 approve), Gallup (36–60) and Quinnipiac (33–61). Trump used to cite Rasmussen as his favorite when his approval there reached high 50s.
  77. Quinnipiac also found American voters say 54–26 that they are embarrassed to have Trump as a leader.
  78. On Thursday, two bipartisan pairs of senators (Graham/Booker, Tillis/Coons) released legislation to block Trump from firing Mueller without good reason.
  79. Buzzfeed reported the RNC has instructed staff not to delete or modify any documents related to last year’s campaign, given “the potentially expansive scope of the inquiries and investigations.”
  80. WSJ reported Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, a sign his inquiry is growing in intensity. Trump’s special counsel Cobb, was not aware.
  81. A grand jury is already impaneled in Alexandria, VA to investigate Flynn. The second grand jury and recent hires shows the investigation has entered a new phase. The location gives Mueller’s team easy proximity.
  82. Reuters reported grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection to the June 9 meeting between Donald Jr., Veselnitskaya and others.
  83. On Thursday, Trump held a campaign rally in WV in which he called the Russia investigation a “hoax,” and presided over cheers of “Lock her up!”as he called for an investigation into Hillary’s deleted emails.
  84. Also of note at the rally, the supporters standing behind Trump as he spoke, a group typically carefully selected by staffers, was 100% white.
  85. As the Senate adjourned for the summer, WAPO reported this is a historically unproductive period of governance as Republicans had no major legislative achievements despite controlling Congress and the WH.
  86. The Senate unanimously agreed to a “pro forma” sessions before leaving for break, meaning Trump cannot make recess appointments. Murkowski, attacked by Trump in Week 37, did the wrap-up.
  87. The Interior Dept’s Office of the Inspector General launched a preliminary investigation of Zinke’s threats to the Alaska senators in an apparent effort to sway Murkowski to vote for the Obamacare repeal.
  88. NBC reported SCL Group, a private British behavioral research company related to Cambridge Analytica, was awarded several contracts by the State Dept.
  89. On their website, SCL Group advertised “our methodology has been approved by” with the State Dept and NATO logos. After NBC’s report, NATO and the State Dept asked that their logos be removed.
  90. AP reported Flynn will file an amended public financial filing to show he entered into a consulting agreement with SCL Group, a subsidiary of Cambridge Analytica.
  91. Cambridge Analytica is funded by Trump ally the Mercers, and per Week 26 is under investigation for possible interference in both Brexit and the 2016 US election.
  92. Flynn’s amended filing will also include $28k from the Trump transition team, and $5k as a consultant for an aborted Middle East nuclear power deal. Per Week 32, that Middle East deal was a venture with Russia.
  93. CNN reported that one year into the FBI’s Russia investigation, now headed by Mueller, the probe has expanded to focus on possible financial crimes, some of which are not connected to the 2016 elections.
  94. Investigators are looking into whether financial laws were broken, and whether Trump dealings could put members of the regime in a compromising position with Russia.
  95. Further, the FBI noticed a spate of curious communications between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence in the summer of 2016,including contact with Manafort on information damaging to Hillary.
  96. CNN also reported Page has been under a FISA warrant since 2014.
  97. VOX reported that as many as 10 or more senior intelligence officials, including Comey and McCabe, are likely to be interviewed as part of Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation.
  98. WAPO released the transcripts of Trump’s phone calls with Mexican President Peña Nieto and Australian PM Turnbull during Trump’s first week in office.
  99. When Peña Nieto said Mexico would not pay for the wall, Trump responded, “You cannot say that to the press,” acknowledging talk about the wall was more about image management than economic policy.
  100. Trump told Peña Nieto he won New Hampshire (a lie) because the state is “a drug-infested den.”
  101. Despite Trump claiming early on that reports of him berating Turnbull on the call were “fake news,” the transcript does confirm this. Trump told Turnbull he had a more pleasant call earlier with Putin.
  102. Trump balked at taking refugees from Australia as required in a deal struck by Obama, saying he hates taking these people, and they could “become the Boston bomber in five years.”
  103. As Trump departed for a three-week vacation at this golf course in Bedminster, GQ labelled him “the laziest president in American history.
  104. Likewise, the cover of Newsweek referred to Trump as “Lazy Boy” and pictures him a chair watching television and eating junk food. The accompanying article refers to him as “America’s boy king.
  105. Staffers of Republicans on the House Intel Comm traveled to London to track down Steele, author of the dossier. POLITICO reported growing tensions as Democrats on the House Intel Comm, Sen Intel Comm members, and Mueller were not notified.
  106. In a press conference Friday, Sessions threatened the DOJ may prosecute journalists over suspected leaks. Sessions also said he is reviewing the DOJ’s policies affecting media subpoenas.
  107. NYT reported Mueller’s special counsel made its first formal request to the WH to hand over documents. Mueller seeks information on the financial dealing of Flynn related his company’s work for Turkey.
  108. Flynn was paid $530k. Investigators want to know if the Turkish government was behind the payments, and if Flynn Intel Group made kickbacks to Ekim Alptekin, for concealing the source of the money.
  109. Flynn’s now third version of financial disclosure forms list $1.8mm in income, $400k more than in his prior forms.
  110. Failing to register as a foreign agent is a felony, and trying to hide to source of money by routing it through a private company, and using kickbacks to a middle man, could lead to criminal charges.

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