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.

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

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.
Advertisements

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 135: USA or GILEAD ?

JUNE 08, 2019

Week 134

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-134/
IMG_8597
MY BODY, MY CHOICE by LEXI BELLA. Bushwick, Brooklyn, New Yor k25june19

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

IMG_8581
HEY YO, THEY CALL ME ‘INCOMPETENT.’ – from TOKIDOKI NOMAD BLOG. Near Union Square in New York City. 1june19 

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

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

IMG_8780

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

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

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

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 65: IMPEACH!

Week 64 of this presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

February 3, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-64-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-6d8d62a0e4b5

The news this week was dominated by the Devin Nunes memo, which, following high drama and despite calls to withhold it from US intelligence leaders including Trump appointee Christopher Wray, was released on Friday. Trump suffered no consequences for making highly classified information public, nor for pushing out Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, almost assuring he will irreverently continue to take steps to undermine the Mueller probe, likely dispensing with Rod Rosenstein next. With few exceptions, Republicans remain silent and complicit.

This was also the week of Trump’s first State of the Union address which was a blur in the bedlam of Week 64. Critical stories about Russia’s slow creep into our country and Trump’s refusal to impose sanctions were the most alarming stories this week, yet received little attention. Nor did the stories about the continued dismantling of our executive branch agencies, and ICE ramping up their heinous activities, unchecked.

IMG_8153
New York City, January 2018
  1. On Sunday, Alexey Navalny, an anti-corruption opponent of Putin was dragged violently into a van while protesting in central Moscow. He was later released, pending trial. The US issued no statement on the arrest.
  2. On Monday, CIA director Mike Pompeo told BBC News that there has beenno significant diminishing of Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US, and that Russia will likely target the US midterm elections.
  3. On Monday, a Russian jet buzzed an American spy plane over the Black Sea, in what the State Department characterized as an “unsafe” flyby. The encounter was first reported by Russia’s RIA news agency.
  4. On Tuesday, Russian news agency TASS first reported that Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (or SVR) visited the US for consultations with US counterparts to discuss the war on terror.
  5. On Wednesday, WAPO reported two Russian spy chiefs, Naryshkin and Alexander Bortnikov, who runs the FSB, came to DC to meet with Pompeo. A senior US intelligence official was called back from Moscow for the meeting.
  6. The head of Russia’s military intelligence also came to DC, but it is not clear if he met with Pompeo. The meetings raised concerns that the Trump regime is willing to move beyond the issue of election interference.
  7. Naryshkin is currently under sanctions imposed by the Obama administration for his alleged role in Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. SVR is also thought to have played a key role in US election interference.
  8. On Friday, CNN reported the CIA followed a multi-agency legal process to give Naryshkin access. In a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, Pompeo defended the meeting saying he and others met with Russians “to keep Americans safe.”
  9. Schumer said Pompeo’s meeting represented “a serious national security issue,” noting Pompeo did not directly acknowledge that he met with Russian counterparts, and his “refusal to answer that question is deeply troubling.”
  10. On Monday, the Trump regime announced it would not implement new sanctions against Russia, despite a law that passed almost unanimously in Congress in August to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 election.
  11. Monday was the deadline to impose sanctions on anyone doing business with Russian defense and intelligence sectors. A State Department spokesperson said, “the mere threat of sanctions will deter Russia’s aggressive behavior.”
  12. On Tuesday, Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended the Treasury Department’s decision to delay implementation of Russia sanctions to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, vowing “there will be sanctions.”
  13. On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported the Treasury Department lifted their list of Russian oligarchs from Forbes magazine’s ranking of the “200 richest businessmen in Russia 2017.” Treasury officials did not deny the charge.
  14. Democratic lawmakers blasted Trump for holding off on Russian sanctions, while Republicans stayed silent with the exception of Sen. Susan Collins who called the move “perplexing.”
  15. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the Treasury Department memo argues imposing sanctions on Russia would slow Russian growth and provoke retaliation, and “could hinder the competitiveness” of US asset managers.
  16. Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Politico that in late 2017, his committee received “extraordinarily important new documents” on the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
  17. Warner noted, “We’re seeing this coordinated effort to try to impede the investigation.” The Senate Intelligence Committee, however, has remained functional. Warner added, “Mueller is getting closer and closer to the truth.”
  18. Daily Beast reported that Julian Assange messaged a Twitter account he thought was Sean Hannity inviting him to send a message through other channels, offering, “Have some news about [Sen Mark] Warner.”
  19. On Monday, NBC News reported the day after James Comey was fired, Trump called Andrew McCabe demanding to know why Comey was allowed to fly back from DC on a FBI plane. Trump was enraged Comey took a FBI plane.
  20. McCabe said he hadn’t been asked, but said he would have authorized it. Trump then attacked McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser. McCabe responded, “OK, sir,” and hung up.
  21. On Monday, facing pressure from the Trump regime, conservative media and Republicans in congress, McCabe abruptly and unexpectedly announced he would step down as deputy FBI director.
  22. On Monday, Carl Bernstein slammed the “enablers” putting Trump ahead of the country, calling McCabe’s departure a “Monday Night Slaughter,” referencing Nixon’s famous Saturday Night Massacre.
  23. On Sunday, in an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan on Britain’s ITV, Trump also shared he sometimes tweets from bed, adding he is “very busy during the day, very long hours.”
  24. Trump said, “I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist,” but rather for all people. Trump also said women “really like” our military, adding “I think they want to be safe at home.”
  25. Trump dismissed global warming, saying that ice caps were going to melt but instead “they’re at a record level.” He also pushed back on global warming and climate change saying it’s “getting too cold all over the place.”
  26. The US Travel Association reported spending by international visitors fell sharply in 2017: through November 2017, spending dropped by 3.3%, which translates to $4.6 billion less spent and 40,000 lost jobs.
  27. Axios reported, according to National Security Council documents, the Trump regime is considering paying for and building a centralized nationwide 5G network, an unprecedented federal takeover of a historically private infrastructure.
  28. On Monday, Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai spoke out against the regime’s plan, saying he would oppose, “any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network.”
  29. Arizona Capitol Times reported that Trump supporters targeted a Navajo lawmaker, staffers, and children protesting congressional efforts to pass immigration reform, telling them “go home” and “get out of the country.”
  30. Boston Herald reported that illegal immigrants married to US citizens who are seeking to gain legal residency are being swept up by ICE. One spouse was arrested at his USCIS interview, an initial step for obtaining a green card.
  31. Chicago Tribune reported that Miguel Perez Jr., who served two tours in Afghanistan and has lived in the US since age 8, began a hunger strike to avoid deportation to Mexico, where he said he would face certain death. Perez was diagnosed with PTSD after serving, and had a felony drug conviction.
  32. Kansas City Star reported that ICE detained Syed Ahmed Jamal, a 54-year-old chemistry professor who has lived in the US for 30 years, as he was leaving his front-yard to take his seventh-grade daughter to school.
  33. Washington will no longer require residents to provide their place of birth in obtaining a license after the state’s licensing department was found to have been providing personal information of residents to ICE officials.
  34. The day after Harry Pangemanan took shelter from ICE at the Reformed Church in NJ, his two US-born daughters returned home to find the door-frame crushed and house ransacked.
  35. Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale said the home of Arthur Jemmy and Silfia Tobing, an Indonesian Christian couple who also entered sanctuary at Reformed Church to escape deportation in October, has also been ransacked.
  36. Arizona Legislature expelled GOP Rep. Don Shooter who was accused of sexually harassing several women around the state capital. At least a half dozen Arizona lawmakers have resigned or been forced out over sexual misconduct.
  37. VICE News reported Trump’s head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Scott Lloyd, discussed using so-called “abortion reversal,” a controversial, scientifically unproven method, on an undocumented teen in the custody of his agency.
  38. Paul Nehlen, a Republican running for Congress in WI, tweeted a list of names of his “mostly Jewish” critics including phone numbers and email addresses, saying of his critics, “74 are Jews, while only 7 are non-Jews.”
  39. Boston Globe reported the Koch Brothers are ramping up spending on college campuses from $35 million in 2014 to $100 million in 2017, to promote far-right values and ideas and to invite conservative speakers.
  40. A new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found the amount of white supremacist propaganda targeting college students has increased by 258 percent between fall 2016 and fall 2017.
  41. The ADL counted 346 incidents of hate propaganda spread on 216 college campuses in 44 states and DC since September 2016. ADL’s CEO said, “White supremacists are targeting college campuses like never before.”
  42. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke named Paul Daniel Smith director of the National Park Service. A 2006 investigation found Smith “inappropriately used his position” to “circumvent NPS procedures,” allowing a NFL owner to cut down trees.
  43. On Tuesday, Politico reported Trump’s CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald bought shares of a tobacco company one month into her role which includes reducing tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death.
  44. On Wednesday, Fitzgerald resigned. The tobacco stock was among at least a dozen purchases she made after taking the role as CDC head.
  45. WAPO reported, based on information obtained under the FOIA, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was warned by agency officials that sending his son on a listening tour may violate ethics rules by “using his position” for private gain.
  46. Saying the immediate humanitarian emergency has subsided, as of January 31 FEMA said it will “officially shut off” the mission of providing potable water and food to residents of Puerto Rico.
  47. Nearly a third of Puerto Rico is still without electricity, and many residents, especially in remote areas, depended on FEMA for a steady supply of food and drinking water.
  48. The Environmental Defense Fund said, based on records obtained under the FOIA, Trump’s EPA head Scott Pruitt was personally involved in removing climate change web pages from the agency’s website last April.
  49. On Tuesday, a February 2016 radio interview surfaced in which Pruitt said of Trump, if elected, he would “use executive power to confront Congress in a way that is truly unconstitutional.” Pruitt was asked about the comments this week at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he stated he didn’t recall making the comments. Later that day, the EPA sent out a statement from Pruitt lavishing praise on Trump.
  50. Vox reported on ways Pruitt is slowly “strangling his agency,” including rolling back regulations on companies he is meant to regulate, and halting or delaying implementation of laws and cleanup of Superfund sites.
  51. On Wednesday, after being overruled by the Supreme Court in the regime’s efforts to repeal the Obama era Clean Water Rule or Waters rule, Pruitt’s EPA announced instead it would delay implementation by two years.
  52. On Thursday, Tom Shannon, the third-ranking official at the State Department announced he was stepping down. Shannon, the most senior career diplomat at State with 34 years of experience, cited personal reasons.
  53. Bloomberg reported that with Shannon’s departure, seven of the nine top jobs at the State Department are vacant. Those roles oversee trade policy, nuclear weapon proliferation, refugee issues, and countering human trafficking.
  54. Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), requested zero funding for the second fiscal quarter of 2018. Mulvaney is known to want to dismantle the agency he now runs.
  55. A DC Circuit judge ruled the structure of the CFPB complies with the Constitution, a rebuke to the Trump regime which claimed having independent directors who Trump couldn’t fire without grounds robbed him of his constitutional powers.
  56. The Intercept reported Mulvaney stripped a CFPB office devoted to lending discrimination of its enforcement power, transferring the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity to a department under his purview.
  57. Mulvaney claimed the restructuring was an effort at streamlining, saying the office will now instead focus on consumer advocacy and education. Staffers say the office had taken on important cases of discrimination.
  58. On Friday, Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, in one of his first acts after being sworn in, granted Indiana permission to add work requirements to its Medicaid program, becoming the second state to do so.
  59. On Friday, K.T. McFarland withdrew her nomination to be ambassador to Singapore. Her confirmation stalled after senators asked if she answered truthfully about her knowledge of contacts between Michael Flynn and Sergey Kislyak.
  60. Trump appointed the husband of a former Trump household aide as an EPA official, the latest example of Trump appointing people with close ties to his family or businesses rather than those with relevant experience.
  61. Reversing the Obama-era push to reduce the US nuclear arsenal, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis unveiled a new nuclear strategy which includes two new types of weapons. Experts and Americans remain concerned about Trump’s volatility.
  62. An op-ed in South Korea daily Hankyroeh claimed White House NSC director Matthew Pottinger said in a closed-door meeting with Korean Peninsula experts a “bloody nose” strike on the North Korea “might help in the midterm elections.”
  63. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced she will not attend Trump’s first SOTU, as did ten members of the House, including Trump targets during 2017: Reps. John Lewis, Frederica Wilson, and Maxine Waters.
  64. On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, an immigration hardliner, announced he has asked the US Capitol Police and Jeff Sessions to check the identification of all State of the Union attendees, and arrest any illegal immigrants.
  65. Official tickets distributed for Trump’s State of the Union misspelled union as “uniom.” Trump’s WH blamed the sergeant-at-arms for the mistake, the sergeant-at-arms did not return a request for comment.
  66. On Monday, in a fundraising solicitation, Trump offered those willing todonate $35 or more to his reelection campaign the opportunity to see their name displayed during a live-streaming of the State of the Union.
  67. In a break from long-standing tradition, Melania rode to the State of the Union with her invited guests, arriving separately from Trump. The two have not been publicly seen together since New Year’s Eve.
  68. Also breaking tradition, Trump repeatedly clapped for himself during the State of the Union. Some found the non-stop clapping to be a distraction, while others questioned why Trump was repeatedly clapping for himself.
  69. Politifact reported that of the ten statements Trump made during the State of the Union, four were “Mostly False” and two “Half True.”
  70. After a State of the Union billed as a “unifying” speech to bridge a partisan divide, Trump’s first two tweets after on Thursday blasted Democrats, “Resist, Blame, Complain and Obstruct — and do nothing.”
  71. On Thursday, Trump claimed in a tweet that he had “the highest number” of viewers for his State of the Union in history. This claim is false — the 45.6 million viewers puts his speech in ninth place.
  72. Twitter notified the Senate Judiciary Committee that among its findings,Russian bots retweeted Trump almost half a million times in the final weeks before the 2016 election.
  73. Wired reported Mueller’s team has interviewed at least one Facebook employee who was involved Trump’s campaign. Questions may have involved whether the Trump campaign helped Russia target ads.
  74. Facebook embedded staff with the Trump campaign’s San Antonio–based digital team and sold more than 3,000 Facebook and Instagram ads to accounts linked to the Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency.
  75. On Tuesday, CNN reported Trump’s lawyers are arguing Mueller has not met the high threshold to introduce Trump in-person. Discussions are ongoing, and lawyer John Dowd said he would make the final decision.
  76. On Tuesday, NBC News reported Trump is privately telling friends and aides things are going great. Trump is convinced Paul Manafort will not flip, and he is sure tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks will get him re-elected.
  77. Trump reportedly has a two-track strategy for Mueller: either he will be let off with no charges, or he will discredit the investigation and the FBI without removing Mueller and ask Sessions to prosecute him and his team.
  78. On Wednesday, NYT reported that Mark Corallo, a former spokesperson for Trump’s legal team, plans to tell Mueller about a previously undisclosed conference call between him, Hope Hicks, and Trump on Donald Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting.
  79. During the call, Hicks said that emails written by Donald Jr. before the meeting “will never get out” because few people have access to them, leaving Corallo concerned she was contemplating obstruction of justice.
  80. Corallo reportedly was not only alarmed by what Hicks said, but also thatshe had said it with Trump on the phone without a lawyer, and therefore the conversation could not be protected by attorney-client privilege.
  81. Corallo contemporaneously shared his account with three colleagues, who later told the Times. He also immediately notified the legal team and jotted down notes to memorialize it. He also shared his concerns with Steve Bannon.
  82. On Wednesday, Mueller’s team filed a report seeking a 90 day delay in Flynn’s sentencing hearing. AP reported it is common for sentencing to be delayed until the government believes a person has fully cooperated.
  83. On Thursday, three lawyers for Rick Gates informed a federal court they are withdrawing from representing him in the Mueller probe. In Week 63, Gates hired attorney Tom Green, a sign that he may be seeking to cooperate.
  84. NYT reported that Trump’s re-election campaign raised $15.2 million in the last three months of last year, and about 25% went to legal fees, including fees in the Russia probe for Michael Cohen and the campaign.
  85. The Office of Government Ethics unofficially okayed a legal defense fund, the Patriot Legal Expenses Fund Trust, which will raise money from donors to pay the legal expenses of the members of the Trump regime in the Mueller probe.
  86. WAPO reported Trump broke from his own Justice Department, calling for the release of the Nunes memo. In Week 63, the DOJ said in a statement the release without official review would be “extraordinarily reckless.”
  87. Trump’s wishes were conveyed to Sessions by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in two conversations. Reportedly, Trump is frustrated and angry that he can’t issue orders to “my guys” at what he sometimes calls the “Trump Justice Department.”
  88. Trump has also been complaining about Rosenstein, who Trump refers to as “the Democrat from Baltimore,” (Rosenstein is not a Democrat), saying he should be fired for not properly supervising the Mueller probe.
  89. On Monday, Bloomberg reported Trump erupted on the flight back from Davos after learning the Department of Justice’s Stephen Boyd has issued a statement saying releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless,” saying it undermined him.
  90. Trump met with Sessions and Wray at the White House last Monday. Kelly held separate meetings and calls with senior DOJ officials, adding a disclaimer that the White House isn’t expecting officials to do anything illegal or unethical.
  91. On Sunday, NYT reported Trump has long been mistrustful of Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller. Reportedly, Trump considered firing Rosensteinlast summer, and has recently told associates he is frustrated with him.
  92. Fox News’s Sean Hannity and Republicans have recently ramped up attacks on Rosenstein, including Sessions in Week 63 as he said in a speech investigators must be free of bias.
  93. On the Sunday talks shows, Sen. Lindsey Graham said firing Mueller “would be the end” of Trump, and Sen. Collins said it “wouldn’t hurt” to protect Mueller through legislation. All other Republicans were silent.
  94. On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to make the Nunes memo public, citing transparency. Current and former intelligence officials expressed concern that releasing the memo could harm national security.
  95. Nunes has not reviewed the classified information underlying the memo, which was prepared by Republican staff. The committee also voted along party lines not to release the Democrat’s 10-page rebuttal memo.
  96. Using an obscure committee rule to make classified information public for the first time in the panel’s 40-plus-year history, Trump has five days to decide whether to release the memo, or if no decision, it will be released.
  97. The Nunes memo reportedly claims the FBI abused the FISA over its use of the dossier to get a FISA warrant on Carter Page. It cites the roles of McCabe and Rosenstein who appears to be the regime’s next target.
  98. WSJ reported Carter Page was on the US counterintelligence radar as far back 2013, well before the dossier. Page was interviewed by the FBI after he met Victor Podobnyy, a junior attaché at the Russian consulate in NYC.
  99. In March 2016, Trump named Page to WAPO as one of his five on his foreign policy advisory committee, along with Papadopoulos. Page had many unexplained trips to Moscow during 2016 and after the election.
  100. On Tuesday, at his weekly press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan backed making the Nunes memo public and investigating the FBI, “Let it all out, get it all out there. Cleanse the organization.”
  101. On Tuesday, WAPO reported both Rosenstein and Wray made a last-ditch plea to Kelly at the White House on Monday about the dangers of releasing the Nunes memo, saying the release could jeopardize classified information.
  102. Rosenstein also said the DOJ was not convinced the memo accurately describes its investigative practices. Kelly said Trump was still likely to release the memo. On Tuesday, Trump claimed he had still not read it.
  103. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that when Nunes was asked by Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley if his staff had talked to the White House on the memo, as had been the case with Nunes’s March claim of surveillance, Nunes refused to answer.
  104. On Wednesday, CNN reported in December 2017, Rosenstein went to the White House to ask for Trump’s help in fighting off document demands from Nunes. Instead Trump asked about the status of the Mueller probe.
  105. Rosenstein was reportedly caught off guard by Trump’s question, and demurred on the Russia investigation. Trump asked Rosenstein if he was “on my team,” to which he answered, “Of course, we’re all on your team.”
  106. On Wednesday, CNN reported, based on emails they obtained, FBI agent Peter Strzok co-wrote the first draft of the controversial Comey letter sent to Congress on newly uncovered Clinton emails just days before the 2016 election.
  107. Strzok also supported reopening the Clinton email investigation when the emails were discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Republicans have in past weekly lists been painting Strzok as having been biased against Trump.
  108. On Wednesday, a transcript of the contentious Monday House Intelligence Committee meeting was released. Nunes said of the FBI and DOJ, “we are not going to be briefed by people that are under investigation by this committee.”
  109. Also in the transcript, as reported by the Daily Beast, Nunes refused to answer whether the Republican staffers who wrote the memo worked with the White House, and cut off Quigley during questioning on that subject.
  110. On Wednesday, Wray’s FBI said in a statement, after a limited opportunity to review the memo, “we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact” its accuracy. Trump appointed Wray.
  111. On Wednesday night, Reuters reported an official of the Trump regime said the Nunes memo is likely to be released on Thursday. Rumors also circulated that Wray could quit if the memo is released.
  112. Late Wednesday night, Rep. Adam Schiff tweeted that he discovered Nunes had made material changes to the memo he sent to the White House, and therefore the White House is reviewing a document the House Intelligence Committee did not approve for release.
  113. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee say five changes were made to the memo, Republican say there were only two, which they described as “ “accommodations,” but not initiated by the White House.
  114. CNN reported in recent phone calls, Trump has told friends he believes the Nunes memo will expose bias at the FBI’s top ranks, thereby making it easier to argue that the Mueller probe is prejudiced against him.
  115. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi sent letters to Ryan asking him to intervene in the Nunes memo’s release. Pelosi called Nunes’ actions “dangerous” and “illegitimate,” and said he should be removed as committee chair.
  116. The WAPO Editorial Board wrote that Speaker Ryan’s handling of the Nunes memo had tarnished the House, “Mr. Ryan bears full responsibility for the deterioration of congressional oversight of intelligence operations.”
  117. On Thursday, Comey defended his former colleagues from Republican attacks, tweeting “American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up.”
  118. On Friday, ahead of the memo release, Trump attacked “top Leadership and Investigators” of the FBI and DOJ, both of whom he appointed, for having “politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats.”
  119. Former CIA director John McLaughlin said, “the bargain is the intelligence community gives congressional intelligence committees everything in exchange for impartiality, but the GOP has broken that trust.”
  120. On Friday, Sen. John McCain issued a statement criticizing Trump’s attacks on the FBI, saying “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”
  121. On Friday, Trump approved release of the memo without redactions, saying from the Oval Office, “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. . . . A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.”
  122. When asked by reporters whether he has confidence in Rosenstein, Trump said, “You figure that one out.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a briefing earlier this week Rosenstein would remain in the regime “until Trump saw fit.”
  123. Friday afternoon, the DJIA closed down 666 points on market jitters related to the release the Nunes memo. This marks the biggest drop in the Dow since 2008, except for the day after the Brexit vote.
  124. AP reported information disclosed in the memo “ is extraordinary because it involves details about surveillance of Americans, national security information the government regards as among its most highly classified.”
  125. The memo accuses those who approved the FISA application of Page — a group including Comey, Sally Yates, McCabe and Rosenstein — of being politically motivated and relying on the dossier paid for by the DNC.
  126. The FISA application on Page was granted and renewed three times. Even without the dossier, this renewal would only have been granted if the judge believed surveillance was yielding information about the target.
  127. Ironically, the memo’s conclusion states: “The Papadopoulos information triggered” the FBI opening a counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 into the Trump campaign and Russia — not the dossier.
  128. Conservative media outlets, including Fox News and the Washington Examiner, were given key points from the Trump regime before the Nunes memo was released to the public.
  129. Despite being recused from the Russia investigation, Sessions weighed in backing Trump on the memo in a statement: “I have great confidence in the men and women of this Department. But no Department is perfect.”
  130. On Friday evening, Nunes admitted on Fox News that he did not read the application for surveillance which was the basis for his classified memo. Nunes admitted he relied on the review of committee member Trey Gowdy.
  131. On Wednesday, Rep. Gowdy became the latest Republican who chairs a committee to announce he will not seek reelection. So far, 41 RepublicanHouse members have announced they will not run for Congress in 2018.
  132. On Friday, Democratic leadership including Pelosi, Schumer, top leadership in both chambers, and top Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees wrote in a letter to Trump that firing Rosenstein would spark a “constitutional crisis.”
  133. On Friday, Weekly Standard reported that Nunes says there will be more memos coming, adding “We are in the middle of what I call ‘Phase Two’ of our investigation, which involves other departments,” including State.
  134. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction,” calling it an “American disgrace.”
  135. Trump also cited in a tweet a bump up in his polling numbers atRasmussen where his approval rating is up to 49%. Trump approval numbers also improved to 42% in a Monmouth poll this week.
  136. In an op-ed “Why I Am Leaving the FBI,” Josh Campbell, a former supervisory special agent, said “relentless attacks on the bureau undermine” not just the premier law enforcement agency, but also “the nation’s security.”
  137. Citing Trump’s extreme abuse of norms, Preet Bharara and Christine Todd Whitman announced a bipartisan project to review informal rules and recommend which should be enshrined into law.
  138. WSJ reported that in Trump’s first months in office, while Melania and Barron were living in New York, Melania took 21 flights on Air Force jets in a three-month span at a cost of more than $675,000 to taxpayers.
  139. Palm Beach Post reported that Trump sued the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser over the valuation of his Trump National Golf Club. The county sent a bill for $398,315. Trump responded by suing and paying $296,595.
  140. Sen. Ron Johnson, who in Week 63 said he had an informant about a non-existent “secret society,” requested the DOJ turn over texts and emails from 16 additional FBI and DOJ employees, including Comey and McCabe.

Graffiti on the streets in New York City in November 2017:

IMG_3771IMG_3770IMG_3768