POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 121: COWARDLY CRIMINAL FAWNING OVER MURDEROUS DICkTATORS (AMERICA IS ASHAMED)

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Jim Carrey, Feb 27
If Trump makes a nuclear deal w/ North Korea, it’s a FRAUD: China and Russia trying to keep their Prize Pony in the White House. When there’s a Nobel Prize for cowardice and moral desolation Trump will be the first to receive it.

MARCH 02, 2019

Week 120

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-120/

This week the country was riveted by the public testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer, before the House Oversight Committee — the first public testimony in the new Democrat-controlled Congress. Cohen’s testimony overwhelmed the spectacle of Trump’s second summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un in Hanoi — which produced no concrete results, despite a pre-planned joint signing ceremony. Cohen, who said he is now in “constant contact” with federal prosecutors, gave seven hours of testimony, offering an insider’s perspective and many new details which, by week’s end, were already leading Congressional investigators to call more witnesses and open new areas of inquiry.

As Cohen was testifying and Trump meeting with Kim, Jared Kushner met with the Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince MBS, then Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Just as Kushner stayed silent during his Saudi visit on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Trump sided with another dictator, saying he believed Kim played no part of the brutal torture and death of American college student Otto Warmbier, before trying to reverse himself the next day. During Kushner’s trip, the Times reported Trump had ordered officials to grant his son-in-law top-secret security clearance, overruling concerns by U.S. intelligence and former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Trump returned from his rough week abroad to a hero’s welcome at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a conference which notably had been a forum for conservative debate, but under Trump has evolved into a pro-Trump cult-like setting, and giving center stage to those who previously were fringe players of the Republican Party.

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Miami, FL Dec 2018
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Miami, FL Dec 2018

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Jim Carrey,  Feb 28
Know how you can tell when an admitted liar is being truthful? When he has CORROBORATING EVIDENCE! Like this hush money check to Michael Cohen signed by his boss…CROOKED DONALD TRUMP!!!

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Jim Carrey,  Feb 21
If u can still support this repugnant oaf, while ignoring 17 investigations, 34 indictments, 7 guilty pleas, 9000 lies, child imprisonment, money laundering, racism, misogyny, infidelity, environmental rape, and high treason, you’re not just misinformed… you’re a Sith.
  1. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that in the era of Trump, eight Republicans with openly white supremacist, nativist, anti-LGBT or anti-government ties won seats in Congress in the midterms.
  2. Additionally, ten other Republicans, who also courted hate and extremism, won their primaries, but lost in general elections.
  3. On Saturday, WAPO reported ahead of the second summit with Kim Jong Un, Trump has changed the definition of success from denuclearization to “no rush,” as long as North Korea maintains a testing moratorium.
  4. Trump also claimed success in ratcheting down rhetoric with North Korea, which he had inflamed. Reportedly, he may look to create a spectacle to distract from Michael Cohen’s public Congressionaltestimony Wednesday.
  5. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th,” adding, “fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite President, me!”
  6. It was unclear what Trump meant as a major 4th of July parade already takes place in D.C. each year. A spokesperson for Washington’s mayor told CNN, “Like you, we are still assessing what will be different.”
  7. Trump also tweeted, “The only Collusion with the Russians was with Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee,” adding, “And, where’s the Server that the DNC refused to give to the FBI?”
  8. Trump also retweeted an earlier tweet saying, “Highly respected Senator Richard Burr, head of Senate Intelligence, said… “WE HAVE FOUND NO COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA.””
  9. On Sunday, House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff told “This Week” Democrats will do whatever is necessary to make the Mueller report public, including subpoenaing the report and calling Mueller to testify.
  10. On Sunday, Steve Bannon told “Face the Nation” that 2019 “will be the most vitriolic year in American politics since before the Civil War,” citing the SDNY investigations and Democrats weaponizing the Mueller probe.
  11. On Sunday, House Judiciary chair Jerrold Nadler said in a radio interview that Trump and his conduct are “the greatest threat to the democratic system and to the constitutional government since the Civil War.”
  12. On Sunday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn tweeted a quote by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who had ties to socialism. Cornyn later tried to play it off as critique of the Democratic-socialists.
  13. On Sunday, Reuters reported Russian state television listed U.S. military facilities Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, adding that with weapons being developed, Russia could hit them in less than five minutes.
  14. On Monday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told a Russian news agency that Trump has asked for Moscow’s advice in dealing with North Korea at the second summit this Wednesday and Thursday.
  15. Lavrov, who is also visiting Vietnam this week, added “the U.S. is even asking our advice, our views on this or that scenario of how the summit in Hanoi could pan out.”
  16. On Monday, BBC reported concerns have been raised that Elizaveta Peskova, daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, is interning for a right-wing French politician Aymeric Chauprade at the European Union.
  17. On Monday, in an interview with CNN, former Senate leader Harry Reid said in the age of Trump, he wishes for George W. Bush “every day,” saying, “he and I had our differences, but no one ever questioned his patriotism.”
  18. Reid said he did not think the Senate would go along with impeaching Trump, but added, “I don’t think there would be a backlash because the vast majority of the people know something’s wrong with Trump.”
  19. Reid also said former FBI director James Comey did not do enough to stop Russia in 2016: “I watch [Comey] in the halls…being so self-righteous I almost wanted to shout, ‘Where were you when we needed you?’”
  20. On Monday, Trump attacked Reid tweeting he got thrown out and is “working hard to put a good spin on his failed career,” adding he “led through lies and deception,” and was replaced by “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer.”
  21. On Monday, Trump tweeted: “Oil prices getting too high,” urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, “please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike — fragile!”
  22. On Monday, in a radio interview, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Trump shows a “lack of understanding” of basic economics, citing his stance on reducing trade deficits with China and others.
  23. Yellen also noted that Trump pressuring the Fed is unhealthy, saying: “I think it does have the impact, especially if conditions in the U.S. for any reason were to deteriorate, it could undermine confidence in the Fed.”
  24. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected the DOJ’s attempt to overturn AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. Trump’s DOJ had wanted Time Warner to spin off CNN, the frequent target of Trump’s ire.
  25. On Monday, Politico reported two House committees, Finance and Intelligence, will target Trump’s personal finances, crossing Trump’s stated red line of examining his personal finances.
  26. The committees will examine why Deutsche Bank would lend to the Trump Organization when other banks would not, and given Deutsche’s ties to laundering Russian money, whether Russia was involved.
  27. On Saturday, several University of Mississippi basketball players kneeled on the court during the national anthem to show solidarity with counter protestors amid a rally in support to a monument for the Confederacy.
  28. On Sunday, while accepting an award at the Oscars, Spike Lee said of the 2020 election, “Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!”
  29. On Monday, Trump tweeted in response, “Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes…when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans…than almost any other Pres!”
  30. AP reported Elecia Dexter, a black woman, will replace Goodloe Sutton as publisher and editor of the Democrat-Reporter. Sutton, who had been in that role since the 1960s, will retain ownership of the newspaper.
  31. On Monday, Maryland Democrat Del. Mary Ann Lisanti apologized to the Maryland Black Caucus for using the n-word to refer to Prince George’s district while out after-hours with colleagues at a cigar bar.
  32. On Tuesday, Virginia first lady Pat Northam handed out raw cotton to two eighth-grade students on a mansion tour, and asked them to imagine being enslaved and having to pick the crop. She apologized Wednesday.
  33. On Wednesday, Detroit Free Press reported a police officer Gary Steele was fired after posting a racially insensitive Snapchat video after stopping a 23 year-old woman for an expired license plate.
  34. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported Marc Short, VP Pence’s incoming chief of staff, in a college column maligned people living with HIV and AIDS, saying it spread largely as the result of “repugnant” homosexual intercourse.
  35. Fairbanks, Alaska mayor Jim Matherly vetoed a measure passed by the city council, which would have which extended protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations to the LGBTQ community.
  36. On Monday, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, requiring doctors to provide care to infants who “survive an abortion or attempted abortion,” got 53 votes, 7 shy of the 60 needed to advance in the Senate.
  37. On Monday, Alva Johnson, an event planner on Trump’s 2016 campaign, said in a lawsuit that Trump kissed her on the lips without her consent before a rally in Tampa on August 24, 2016.
  38. More than a dozen women have publicly accused Trump of touching them in an inappropriate way; Johnson is the first new charge since he took office. In the news chaos, the accusations got very little media attention.
  39. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement the accusation was “absurd on its face,” and “This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts.”
  40. On Tuesday, an attorney for lawyer Alan Dershowitz asked in a letter to the U.S. District Court of Appeals that the Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse case be held behind closed doors, and without the media having access.
  41. On Monday, Axios reported according to Department of Health and Human Services documents, thousands of unaccompanied migrant children have reported being sexually assaulted in U.S. custody.
  42. The Office of Refugee Resettlement received a 4,556 complaints from October 2014 to July 2018, with a record number of complaints, totaling 514, for the second quarter of 2018.
  43. On Thursday, in a letter to the DHS’s Inspector General and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, three immigration advocacy groups claimed infants as young as five-months old are being detained by ICE.
  44. The groups said there have been “an alarming increase in the number of infants” in ICE custody at the Dilley, Texas, facility, now at least nine under the age of one, and urged the departments to “intervene immediately.”
  45. On Friday, ten members of the Proud Boys appeared in a New York Supreme Court, facing charges of assault and rioting for an attack outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan in Week 101.
  46. Prosecutors recommended as much as a year in jail. Two Proud Boys have already pleaded guilty. In Week 119, the new head of the Proud Boys was named a volunteer by Roger Stone and stood behind Trump at a rally.
  47. On Saturday, Politico reported Qatar hired Stuart Jolly, a former Trump campaign staffer, as a D.C. lobbyist. Qatar also has former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s firm on monthly retainer.
  48. On Monday, NBC News reported the number of Americans taking the State Department exam to become diplomats has declined in the first two years of the Trump regime, and is now at its lowest level since 2008.
  49. On Monday, 58 former U.S. national security officials, both Democrat and Republican, said in a letter to the Trump regime they are aware of “no emergency that remotely justifies” diverting funds to build a border wall.
  50. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Eric Miller as a judge on the country’s most liberal appeals court in Washington State without the consent of either home-state senator, known as “blue slips.”
  51. This is the first time a nominee had been confirmed without the support of at least one home-state senator. Sen. Patty Murray called it a “dangerous first” and accused the GOP of “bending to the will” of Trump.
  52. Miller will sit on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the frequent subject of Trump’s ire for its left leaning and decisions against him, as well as the court likely to hear the appeal of his national emergency.
  53. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and D.C. insider to lead the E.P.A., along party lines. Wheeler had been the acting administrator since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics violations.
  54. In his time serving, Wheeler has sought to repeal environmental regulations, undoing much of the Obama-era legacy, and promoted coal. The regime described it as an effort to combat regulatory overreach.
  55. On Wednesday, McCrae Dowless, the North Carolina political operative who worked for Republican Mark Harris in 2018, was indicted on seven felonies amid allegations of ballot-tampering in the 9th Congressional District.
  56. On Friday, Politico reported that state officials are opting for 2020 voting machines in Georgia, Delaware, Philadelphia and other jurisdictions which pose unacceptable risks, and could be hacked by Russia or China.
  57. The new machines print out a slip of paper with the vote displayed in plain text and embedded in a barcode.Security experts warn hackers could manipulate the barcodes without voters noticing.
  58. Politico reported Democratic Party chairs in four early states want 2020 candidates to sign a pact to avoidwaging social media disinformation warfare against each other, citing reports of disinformation in Week 119.
  59. On Monday in an interview with MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Jim Walden, the attorney for former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser said when she spoke to Mueller’s team, they asked her extensively about data and data mining by the company.
  60. He also said that the RNC and NRA exported their voter data to Cambridge Analytica to use in analyzing the last six percent of voters, but that the Trump campaign did not want to be publicly associated with the company.
  61. Kaiser flew to New York to meet with then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Bannon, who was a stakeholder in Cambridge Analytica along with the Mercers, did coordinating with the Trump campaign.
  62. On Monday, WSJ reported the Trump Organization donated $191,000 in profits from foreign governmentsto the U.S. Treasury, a 30% increase from the $150,000 in 2017. It was unclear how profits were calculated.
  63. On Monday, WSJ reported the House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Matthew Whitaker perjured himself in his Week 117 testimony on if Trump asked him to put Geoffrey Berman in charge of the SDNY investigation.
  64. On Monday, in federal court in D.C., Paul Manafort’s attorneys asked for leniency on sentencing, in light of his age (he turns 70 on April 1) and health concerns, adding he is not a hardened criminal.
  65. On Friday, in federal court in Virginia, Manafort’s attorneys again asked for leniency, saying Manafort is a loyal, compassionate, idealistic man who has learned a “harsh lesson.”
  66. On Tuesday, prosecutors asked the federal judge in the Maria Butina case to delay her sentencing, saying she is still cooperating. The judge agreed to wait until March 28 to decide the date for a sentencing hearing.
  67. On Tuesday, the House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena the Trump regime over family separations at the southern border, in what will be the first subpoenas of the new Congress.
  68. The Justice Department, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services will be subpoenaed. Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings said committee members have been seeking documents for seven months.
  69. On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously against Roger Stone associate Andrew Miller, finding no flaw in deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller.
  70. On Tuesday, Twitter permanently suspended Trump supporter and far-right activist Jacob Wohl after he told USA Today he planned to set up fake accounts in an attempt to manipulate the 2020 presidential election.
  71. Wohl told WAPO Tuesday that creating a false account was largely an “intellectual exercise” to gauge whetherthe account could be used to impact liberal women.
  72. On Tuesday, Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted a threat at Cohen the day before his Congressional testimony, saying, “Hey @MichaelCohen212 -Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?”
  73. Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted a statement, “I encourage all Members to be mindful” of comments on social media and to the press warning, “efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated.”
  74. Later Tuesday, Gaetz tweeted, “Speaker, I want to get the truth too,” around “liars” like Cohen, adding, “it was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did. I’m deleting the tweet” and “I’m sorry.”
  75. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported the Florida Bar opened an investigation into whether Gaetz violated professional conduct rules by threatening Michael ahead of his Congressional testimony.
  76. A staff writer for the Atlantic reported Gaetz took a call from Trump in Hanoi to discuss the Cohen testimony: “I was happy to do it for you. You just keep killing it,” Gaetz was heard telling him.
  77. On Tuesday, Cohen met behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senators from both parties said the testimony made a strong impression on them.
  78. Ranking Democrat Mark Warner said: “When this investigation started I said it may be the most important thing I’m involved in…. Nothing that’ve I heard today dissuades me from that view.”
  79. On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton, who worked as an attorney for the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment inquiry, advocated for more public hearings to help the public understand what happened.
  80. On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi said before voting to block Trump’s national emergency, “The resolution is not about politics. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about patriotism. It’s about the Constitution.”
  81. Pelosi also asked, “Is your oath of office to Donald Trump or is it to the Constitution of the United States?”The resolution of disapproval passed 245 to 182, with 13 Republicans voting along.
  82. On Tuesday, the White House press corps was evicted from its workspace at the Melia Hotel. NBC News reported a Vietnamese security officer barked “You must go now!” at members of the press corp in the lobby.
  83. The move was highly unusual since the White House had approved of and supported the use of the space. It was unclear who was behind it — North Korea, Vietnam, the U.S., or a combination of those governments.
  84. On Wednesday, in an evening interaction with the media, when a reporter asked Trump for his reaction to Cohen’s written testimony, Trump did not respond and simply shook his head. Other reporters asked as well.
  85. Shortly after, the White House banned four journalists from covering Trump’s dinner with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, in what WAPO called “an extraordinary act of retaliation.”
  86. Press secretary Sanders said reporters from the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, the Los Angeles Times, and Reuters were excluded over “sensitivities over shouted questions in the previous sprays.”
  87. Sanders had tried to exclude all reporters and only allow photographers and television crew, but reversed after loud pushback, allowing just one reporter from Robert Murdoch-owned WSJ to attend.
  88. On Wednesday, from his hotel room in Hanoi at roughly 4 p.m. ICT/4 a.m. EST, Trump attacked Cohen, tweeting: “Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also.”
  89. Trump also tweeted that Cohen “was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump,” adding, “he is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!”
  90. Trump also attacked a Democrat: “I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut” adding, “his war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud.”
  91. As Cohen’s testimony got underway, it overwhelmed the spectacle of Trump’s second summit, which received little attention. Trump had urged his team to respond to Cohen even before he touched down Tuesday night.
  92. On Tuesday, in the late evening, Cohen’s opening testimony was made public. Cohen asked the House Oversight Committee to protect his family from Trump’s threats, sharing copies of tweets he found threatening.
  93. Cohen said he was ashamed of his failings, and called Trump a “racist,” “conman,” and “cheat,” adding as a candidate he knew Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of DNC emails.
  94. Cohen provided copies of financial statements for 2011–2013 Trump gave to banks like Deutsche, and a copy of a check Trump wrote from his personal bank account in April 2017 to reimburse hush money payments.
  95. Cohen also provided a second check signed by Donald Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. The monthly payment checks for $35,000 each were written after Trump took office.
  96. Cohen also provided letters he wrote on Trump’s behalf that threatened Trump’s high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores ahead of the campaign.
  97. Cohen also said Individual #1 is Trump, and that he ran for president to promote his brand, but did not think he would win, saying Trump called the campaign the “greatest infomercial in political history.”
  98. Cohen said, as Trump arrived in Vietnam 50 years later, he helped him cover up his service record. He saw Donald Jr., who Trump said had the worst judgment, whisper “the meeting is all set” just before June 9.
  99. On Wednesday, with the country watching the public hearings, Cohen said that he was willing to tell all now out of fear that if Trump were to lose the 2020 election, “there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”
  100. Republicans on the committee spent the day attacking and trying to discredit Cohen as a liar and a grifter seeking to cash in on a movie or book deal. Rep. Paul Gosar scolded Cohen, saying, “liar, liar, pants on fire.”
  101. Cohen testified Trump knew in advance that WikiLeaks planned to release emails damaging to Hillary Clinton, saying he overheard a July 2016 call from Stone saying the group would publish a “massive dump” within days.
  102. Cohen said he briefed Trump on Trump Tower Moscow’s progress, and also gave updates to Donald Jr. and Ivanka. He also talked to former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about possible business travel to Russia.
  103. Cohen also said Jay Sekulow and other members of Trump’s legal team made “several” changes to his false statement to Congress, including changing the length of time the “project stayed and remained alive.”
  104. Cohen also said he did not travel to Prague, had no knowledge of the salacious tape mentioned in the Steele dossier, and lamented lying to First Lady Melania Trump to cover Trump’s affairs with other women.
  105. As Rep. Mark Meadows defended Trump as not being a racist, Lynne Patton, a political appointee at HUD who is a Black woman, stood behind him. The GOP members on the committee were all white.
  106. Rep. Rashida Tlaib called it “insensitive” and possibly racist “to use a black woman as a prop.” Patton has become one of the few, and most prominent, Black American officials in the Trump regime.
  107. Rep. Cummings closed out the hearing, saying, “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, ‘In 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?’ Come on now! We can do more than one thing. And we have got to get back to normal.”
  108. During the testimony, Roger Stone wrote in a text message to BuzzFeed News: “Mr. Cohen’s statement is not true.” A spokesperson for the special counsel declined to comment on whether Stone had violated his gag order.
  109. On Wednesday, Fordham University confirmed Cohen had sent the school a letter in May 2015, threatening legal action if Trump’s academic records became public. The school also received a call from a campaign staffer.
  110. On Thursday, Rep. Cummings told reporters his panel will look to interview several of the people Cohen mentioned in his testimony, including Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Allen Weisselberg.
  111. Other names mentioned by Cohen in his testimony included Trump’s longtime assistant Rhona Graff, Stone, Corey Lewandowski, Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani, and several others who worked at the Trump Organization.
  112. On Thursday, Cohen gave his third day of testimony for 7.5 hours before the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. Committee chair Schiff said Cohen would return to testify on March 6.
  113. Rep. Schiff also said the committee plans to make Cohen’s testimony public at some point, and that Felix Sater, who Cohen said worked with him on the Trump Tower Moscow project, will publicly testify March 14.
  114. On Wednesday, a White House statement revealed Jared Kushner met with King Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince MBS in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to discuss a Mideast peace plan and “economic investment.”
  115. The White House readout did not specify if the three discussed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It was unclear what “economic investment” referred to.
  116. The White House also said Kushner met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, also to push a Mideast peace plan.
  117. On Thursday, NYT reported Trump ordered former chief of staff John Kelly to give Kushner top-secret security clearance last May, despite concerns from intelligence officials and White House counsel Don McGahn.
  118. Kelly was so troubled, he wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” by Trump. McGahn also wrote an internal memo detailing the concerns that had been raised about Kushner.
  119. In January, Trump said he had no role in Kushner’s security clearance. Last May, Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell had claimed Kushner went through the standard process for clearance, as did Ivanka three months ago.
  120. The full scope of intelligence concerns was not clear. The Kushner family’s business has ties to foreign governments and investors in, and Kushner had unreported contacts with, countries including Israel, the UAE, and Russia.
  121. A spokesperson for Lowell told the Times, “In 2018, White House and security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner’s security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone. That was conveyed to the media at the time, and new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time.”
  122. On Thursday, Rep. Cummings said his committee had launched an investigation into Kushner’s security clearance process, and threatened to subpoena if the White House continues to not cooperate.
  123. On Friday, in a letter, Rep. Cummings wrote on the request for information on Kushner’s security clearance, “I am now writing a final time to request your voluntary cooperation with this investigation.”
  124. On Friday, a spokesperson for Lowell issued a new statement: “Mr. Lowell was not aware of nor told of any request for or action by the President to be involved in the security clearance process. Again, officials affirmed at the time that the regular process occurred without any pressure.”
  125. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on corruption charges following a two-year investigation. Netanyahu faces one count of bribery and three counts of breach of trust.
  126. In a televised statement Netanyahu dismissed the charges as a politically motivated “witch-hunt,” adding, “there is nothing to these (allegations).”
  127. On Thursday, Trump defended Kim over the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, saying “he tells me he didn’t know about it” until after the fact, and “I take him at his word.”
  128. Warmbier’s family, who said their son was brutally tortured, won a $501 million judgement against North Korea in December. In defending him, Trump said Kim “feels badly about it.”
  129. Trump drew bipartisan criticism for his remarks. In the past year, Trump has also sided with Putin, taking his word that did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and with Crown prince MBS over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  130. On Thursday, Trump abruptly canceled a working lunch amid a standoff over North Korea demanding the U.S. remove all economic sanctions without North Korea completely ending its nuclear program.
  131. Trump told reporters “Sometimes you have to walk,” adding, “This wasn’t a walk away, like you get up and walk out. No, this was very friendly. We shook hands. . . . There’s a warmth that we have, and I hope that stays.”
  132. Trump also told reporters Cohen’s testimony was “shameful” and false, and that “having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing.”
  133. Trump carved out one area, “He lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn’t lie about one thing; he said no collusion with the Russian hoax,” adding of that one part, “I was actually impressed.”
  134. Trump left Hanoi empty-handed, despite the White House having scheduled a joint signing ceremony where Trump and Kim were meant to triumphantly conclude their two-day summit.
  135. On Friday, in a rare news conference in the middle of the night, North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho disputed Trump’s account of why the summit ended, saying Kim demanded only partial sanctions relief.
  136. Ri also told reporters North Korea had offered to put a permanent halt of the country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests in writing, adding Trump wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.”
  137. Later, a State Department senior official then clarified the U.S. position saying that the North Koreans“basically asked for the lifting of all sanctions.”
  138. The official acknowledged the North’s demand was for lifting of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed in 2016, and not sanctions imposed earlier when the North conducted its first nuclear test.
  139. Later, North Korea state-run media took a softer tone than Ri, not mentioning Trump’s decision to walk away without any agreements, and indicating the North was looking ahead to more talks.
  140. On Friday, in a series of five morning tweets, Trump attacked Cohen over his testimony, tweeting: “Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote a “love letter to Trump” manuscript for a new book that he was pushing.”
  141. Trump also tweeted, “Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictionsagainst his Thursday testimony,” adding, “Like a different person! He is totally discredited!”
  142. Trump also tweeted, “Cohen’s book manuscript shows that he committed perjury on a scale not seen before…What does Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, say about this one. Is he being paid by Crooked Hillary.”
  143. Trump also tweeted, “Oh’ I see! Now that the 2 year Russian Collusion case has fallen apart… they say, “gee, I have an idea, let’s look at Trump’s finances and every deal he has ever done” and follow “discredited” Cohen.
  144. Trump also tweeted, “No way, it’s time to stop this corrupt and illegally brought Witch Hunt,” adding “time to start looking at the other side,” and “Republicans have been abused long enough. Must end now!”
  145. A new Hill-HarrisX poll revealed 37% of respondents found Cohen credible, while 25% did not and 39% had not yet formed an opinion.
  146. Cohen’s credibility was split along party lines: with 58% of Democrats finding him credible, 11% do not; while just 15% of Republicans found him credible, 48% do not.
  147. On Friday, Warmbier’s parents issued a statement saying, “Kim [Jong Un] and his evil regime are responsiblefor the death of our son Otto,” adding, “No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”
  148. On Friday, Trump sought to clarify his comments on Warmbier’s death, tweeting, “I never like being misinterpreted,” and saying “Of course I hold North Korea responsible.” This is not what Trump said Thursday.
  149. Trump also tweeted: “Remember, I got Otto out along with three others. The previous Administration did nothing,” adding, “Otto Warmbier will not have died in vain,” and, “I love Otto and think of him often!”
  150. On Wednesday, NYT reported the attorney general for the District of Columbia subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee, the third government body to do so after New York and New Jersey.
  151. The subpoena sought documents related to payments to the Trump Hotel DC and the Trump Organization, including any communications related to “the pricing of venue rentals.”
  152. The subpoena also named Fairmont Hotel and AccorHotels, which was paid $1.56 million for a block of rooms, and also requested information on the role Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric played on the committee.
  153. On Thursday, House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters she was given a lead that may result in her opening an investigation into the Trump Foundation. Cohen mentioned the foundation in his testimony.
  154. Rep. Waters also said Deutsche Bank is “now being cooperative,” adding, “they had not been,” and, “they have offered to cooperate and my staff have just started to work with them to get the documents.”
  155. On Thursday, Republican senators urged Trump not to move forward with his national emergency declaration, saying there is support for a resolution to disapprove to pass in the Senate.
  156. The House has already passed a resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration. This would necessitate Trump invoking his veto power for the first time. There is not enough support to override a veto.
  157. On Friday, Mueller’s team told federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a new filing that it expects its case against Stone to take five to eight days in court.
  158. On Friday, in a late evening filing, Judge Berman Jackson ordered Stone’s attorney to explain why they did not tell her about the imminent publication of a book that could violate his eight-day old gag order.
  159. In the order, the judge asked the attorneys why they had not told the court about the book in a court filing or during the February 21 hearing, saying Stone “should not be talking about this Court” or the special prosecutor.
  160. On Friday, the day of the March 1 deadline for Trump to dramatically increase tariffs on China, Trump tweeted, “I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs” on U.S. agricultural products.
  161. Trump also tweeted “I did not increase their second traunch of Tariffs to 25% on March 1st,” adding “this is very important for our great farmers.” American farmers have been suffering from Trump’s trade wars.
  162. Trump made the request “based on the fact that we are moving along nicely with trade discussions” with China. It was unclear what progress has been made. China has imposed retaliatory tariffs.
  163. On Friday, WAPO ran a story titled “In America, talk turns to something unspoken for 150 years: Civil war,” citing many of the examples chronicled in The Weekly List as well or use of the term or similar in recent times.
  164. The 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) focused on the threat of socialism. The conference used to be forum for conservative debate, but has reportedly evolved into a pro-Trump event.
  165. A 16-foot high painting of Trump’s face in front of the American flag titled ‘Unafraid and Unashamed’ by artist Julian Raven hung in the CPAC exhibition hall. The painting was first unveiled at a Trump rally in 2015.
  166. The CPAC speaker roster was full of Trump loyalists who previously were considered on the fringe of the GOPlike YouTube duo Diamond and Silk, and activist-provocateur James O’Keefe.
  167. Conservative radio host Erick Erickson said CPAC was “filled with speakers, grifters, and performance artists, while never-Trump conservative Bill Kristol tweeted: “Some future. Some party.”
  168. On Friday, Matt Schlapp, chairman of the CPAC, defended nationalism in an interview with Fox News, saying “there’s nothing wrong with nationalism,” while defending the call for stronger borders.
  169. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “93% Approval Rating in the Republican Party,” adding “Not bad considering I get the most unfair (BAD) press in the history of presidential politics! And don’t forget the Witch Hunt!”
  170. Despite his rough week, Trump arrived to CPAC on Saturday to a hero’s welcome to a sea of red ‘MAGA’ hats, chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “four more years.”
  171. As Trump walked on stage, he hugged an American flag as “God Bless the USA” played over the speakers. As he started to speak, chants of “Lock her up!” from attendees erupted.
  172. Trump’s meandering, off-script speech lasted over two-hours — his longest. He attacked Mueller, Democrats, socialism, climate change, and a supposed caravan at the southern border full of “stone cold killers,”
  173. Trump told the crowd he was joking when he asked Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, and criticized the “fake news” for taking him seriously, “So everybody is having a good time, I’m laughing, we’re all having fun.”
  174. Trump also said of the media, “These people are sick, and I’m telling you, they know the game and they play it dirty, dirtier than anybody has ever played the game.”
  175. Trump mocked former attorney general Jeff Sessions for recusing himself, using a southern accent, saying “And the attorney general says ‘I’m gonna recuse myself,’” as the crowd booed.
  176. Trump invited conservative activist Hayden Williams, 26, on stage, and said he will sign an executive order “very soon” requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want to receive federal grants.
  177. On Saturday, Trump tweeted about one of his Scottish golf courses, “Very proud of perhaps the greatest golf course anywhere in the world. Also, furthers U.K. relationship!” — using his Twitter account to promote his business interests.
  178. Experts noted Trump is meant to be walled off from his business while in office. Additionally, concerns were raised over tying his family business interests to U.S. foreign policy.
  179. Trump also retweeted a tweet promoting his 2020 campaign merchandise, “Get your OFFICIAL campaign merchandise” with the website link, adding, “if you’re at @CPAC, check out our Official booth!” #TeamTrump.”

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.

Michael Cohen, former lawyer for Trump, testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 84: DICKTATOR (“He’s tough. I want my people (?!) to stand up for me the way Kim Jong Un’s do for him.”) WOW ~Wake up, AmeriKKKa ! !

The content of that paraphrase above is what freaked me the fuck out this week as I observed from abroad, the tightening grip his preposterous lies and mentally ill despotic behavior are having on his gullible, violent base. America is unrecognizable… 

Week 83: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

June 16, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-83-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-aa4da2f1782a

This week the atrocities at our southern border finally garnered widespread attention, as stories on the scope and the devastating impact of the Trump regime’s zero-tolerance policy were reported. Sessions invoked the Bible to justify the regime’s practice of separating migrant children from their parents, and exacerbated the crisis by ordering immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. Amid widespread condemnation, Trump repeated false claims blaming Democrats for the border crisis — continuing his pattern of constructing an alternative version of reality to feed his base.

Trump held a well choreographed summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, which received media attention on the scale of a Super Bowl, but resulted in little in the way of substance. Trump continues his pattern of ignoring human rights abuses abroad, while cozying up to dictators and alienating former democratic allies. Trump’s capacity and culpability for human rights abuses at home may explain why.

This week Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was sent to jail, pending his trial, and Trump insider Michael Cohen lost his legal representation, amid persistent rumors that he may cooperate. As the week came to a close, Rudy Giuliani bragged that Trump would clean things up by issuing pardons.

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“PLAYED LIKE A FIDDLE.” How “unprecedented” is an agreement by North Korea to end its nuclear program and cease hostilities? 1985: North Korea signs Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty 1992: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#1) 1994: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#2) 1999: North Korea signs historic agreement to end missile tests 2000: North Korea signs historic agreement to reunify Korea! Nobel Peace Prize is awarded 2005: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2005: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program and “denuclearize”! (#3) 2006: North Korea declares support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2006: North Korea again support for “denuclearization” of Korean peninsula 2007: North Korea signs historic agreement to halt nuclear program! (#4) 2007: N&S Korea sign agreement on reunification 2010: North Korea commits to ending Korean War 2010: North Korea announces commitment to “denuclearize” 2010: North Korea again announces commitment to “denuclearize” 2011: North Korea announces plan to halt nuclear and missile tests 2012: North Korea announces halt to nuclear program 2015: North Korea offers to halt nuclear tests 2016: North Korea again announces support for “denuclearization” (source: D. Neal) *To be clear: THIS WAS NO DEAL. China is reaping the benefits of a photo op (AND NOTHING MORE) by 45. Oh, 45 mentioned some hotels he’d like to see on the beaches there. So, again, a business deal for him, A DESTRUCTION DEAL FOR AMERICA. WE ARE SO FUCKED. 
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Artist and location unknown, but this popped up somewhere in the world this week. AMERICA IS A JOKE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD, if you haven’t realized it yet. 
  1. Late Saturday, after departing the G7 summit early, Trump announced that he was backing out of the joint communique, repeating his mantra, “We must put the American worker first!”
  2. Late Saturday, while aboard Air Force One, Trump lashed out at Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau in a tweet, calling him “Very dishonest & weak.”
  3. On Sunday, Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to Trump, further escalated the rhetoric against Trudeau on “Fox News Sunday,” saying, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy.”
  4. On Sunday, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told “State of the Union” that Trudeau “stabbed us in the back,” saying, “He did a great disservice to the whole G7.”
  5. On Monday, Kudlow was hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack.
  6. On Sunday, other G7 leaders issued statements in support of Trudeau, with Britain’s Prime Minister May saying she is “fully supportive of Justin Trudeau,” and France and Germany issuing similar statements.
  7. On Sunday, NYT reported Trump did not want to go to the G7, but aides pushed him to do so. He rebelled by showing up late and leaving early, as well as by acting out by crossing his arms and swiveling in his seat.
  8. On Sunday, Axios reported that at a White House visit in April, French President Macron told Trump that France and the U.S. should work together on their “China problem,” Trump said the European Union is “worse than China.”
  9. Rep. Louie Gohmert told “Fox & Friends Weekend” that Mueller is “covering up” for Hillary Clinton, and “he’s trying to have a coup against” against Trump.
  10. On Sunday, NYT reported while Trump was at the G7 summit, burned-out White House staffers are considering resigning, including chief of staff John Kelly and one of his deputies, Joe Hagin. Turnover is at 51%.
  11. Trump does not mind people leaving, and is comfortable removing barriers that might challenge him. Trump believes he can function as his own chief of staff, communications director, and HR manager.
  12. Trump is re-energized, and feels he gained ground in dictating the narrative of news coverage. He continues to be paranoid about leakers — aides seeking his favor try to identify people who could be disloyal.
  13. On Monday, Canada’s House of Commons unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Trudeau by Trump and his surrogates.
  14. AP conducted a fact check of Trump’s statements on trade, and found hisexamples to be factually incorrect, adding Trump glossed over the parts of the economy “that don’t support his faulty contention.”
  15. On Tuesday, amid growing tensions with Canada, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security announced a “strengthened” Northern Border Strategyto help “combat terrorism” and “help facilitate travel and trade” at its border.
  16. WAPO reported on mass trials in courtrooms packed with parents in the Southwest who were separated from their children after crossing the border. The number of defendants has soared under Trump’s new crackdown.
  17. Migrant parents face the decision of pleading guilty and hoping to be reunified with their children, or pleading innocent and waiting days or weeks for trial without their children.
  18. In McAllen, Texas alone, 415 children had been separated from their parents between May 21 and June 5. In one day in court, the judge sentenced 100 people, including 28 parents.
  19. On Sunday, WAPO reported that 206 undocumented immigrants were transferred last week to the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, 174 of which were women. The women were kept in three concrete pods.
  20. Rep. Pramila Jayapal said half the women said they were forcibly separated from their children. Some said children as young as 12 monthshad been taken away — some heard their children screaming for them in the next room.
  21. The women were fleeing threats of rape and gang violence in Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. ICE confirmed it has moved 1,600migrants to federal prisons due to the surge of illegal crossings and implementation of the zero-tolerance policy.
  22. On Monday, Jeff Sessions ordered immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence, continuing the regime’s efforts to change immigration laws to make them less friendly.
  23. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there was a backlog of 311,000 asylum claims in late January. Immigration attorneys said a substantial portion fall under the categories Sessions targeted.
  24. WAPO reported the Honduran father, Marco Antonio Muñoz, who killed himself in Week 82 after being separated from his wife and son, was seeking asylum after the murder of his brother-in-law in Honduras.
  25. The parents also have a older son who is an American citizen who they put in a plane to flee, while the couple went by land with the younger son.
  26. AP reported U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency which oversees immigration applications, will focus on identifying Americans suspected of cheating to get their citizenship and seek to strip them of it.
  27. Up until now, the agency pursued cases as they arose, but not through a coordinated effort. The new steps come as the regime cracks down on illegal immigration and looks to reduce legal immigration to the U.S.
  28. On Tuesday, McClatchy reported the Trump regime is looking to erect tent cities at military posts around Texas to shelter the growing number of children separated from their parents crossing the border.
  29. Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services confirmed they are looking at the Fort Bliss site along with Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo to hold between 1,000 and 5,000 children.
  30. The Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS is responsible for the care of more than 11,200 migrant children and growing. The approximately 100 shelters designated for children are 95% full.
  31. CNN interviewed an attorney in McAllen, Texas who said an undocumented immigrant from Honduras said federal authorities took her daughter while she was breastfeeding in a detention center.
  32. When the mother tried to resist, she was handcuffed. An assistant public defender in Texas said some parents also claim they have been told their children are being taken to be bathed or cleaned up, then disappear.
  33. On Thursday, images inside a migrant children center at a former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, revealed a large mural of Trump with a quote — in English and Spanish — from his 1987 book The Art of the Deal.
  34. DHS said the mural is one of 20 depicting U.S. presidents at shelters. Theothers feature inspiring quotes about immigration, while Trump’s quote reads, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
  35. On Thursday, NBC News reported the regime will house the overflow of migrant children in tents in Tornillo, Texas. The DHS will erect a “tent city” full of large tents, which are estimated to hold 450 beds for children.
  36. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported that MVM Inc., a scandal plagued defense contractor company, is set to benefit from the migrant children detention centers. The company is advertising to hire all sorts of personnel, in fields not in their expertise.
  37. MVM bills itself as an “extensive domain expertise in counter-narcotics, criminal and civil investigations, public safety, and national security,” and has no relevant experience with the care of migrant children.
  38. On Thursday, WAPO reported House Republicans are circulating a proposal to limit Trump’s policy of separating migrant children. The policy has been criticized by human rights groups, clergy, and lawmakers on both sides.
  39. On Thursday, Sessions continued to defend the policy in a speech in Indiana, saying the previous policy amounted to “a declaration of open borders,” and the short-term separation was “not unusual or unjustified.”
  40. Sessions countered a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church who called the policy, “immoral,” by citing Romans 13 in the Bible: “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”
  41. On Friday, DHS revealed that in the six weeks since Sessions’ zero tolerance policy took effect, 1,995 children have been separated from 1,940 adults.
  42. On Friday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a nonpartisan fact-finding agency, issued a letter asking Sessions and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsento halt the family separations, saying the policy raises “grave concerns” about due process and coercive tactics.
  43. On Friday, in a speech in Scranton, PA, Sessions criticized Philadelphia and its mayor over the city’s ‘sanctuary’ status, saying the city is coddling dangerous criminals and refusing to turn them over to ICE.
  44. On Friday, NPR reported pediatricians are sounding the alarm, saying migrant children separated from their parents suffer “irreparable harm,” including “toxic stress” that disrupts a child’s brain development and harms long-term health.
  45. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who saw a young girl crying, was told by staff that federal regulations prevented them from touching or holding the child to soothe her.
  46. Antar Davidson, an employee of Southwest Key, which operates more than two dozen shelters for migrant children from Texas to California, quit his job, saying staffers are not trained to handle the influx of younger, more traumatized children.
  47. Davidson said the breaking point was when he was called over the radio and asked to translate for two siblings, ages 6 and 10, that they couldn’t hug each other after being separated from their parents.
  48. The U.S. is expected to quit the U.N. human rights panel when sessions open on Monday. The U.S. had long played a “leadership role” in the council, which was set up in 2006.
  49. The ACLU highlighted Tiana Smalls, who reported that on a Greyhound bus to Las Vegas, as the bus approached an agricultural checkpoint at the Nevada state line, the bus driver said, “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request.”
  50. Smalls stood and said, “This is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights… We are not within 100 miles of a border.” She used Google translate to repeat her message in Spanish. The agents left.
  51. On Tuesday, Rep. Steve King linked to an anti-immigrant tweet by Mark Collett, Britain’s most high-profile white supremacists, and added, “Europe is waking up… Will America… in time?”
  52. Bloomberg reported that according to advocacy group Alliance for Justice, so far 88% of Trump’s additions to the federal bench are white and 76% are male. There is only one Hispanic justice.
  53. During Obama’s presidency, just 38% of judicial nominees were white males. Trump’s picks are the least diverse in 24 years — since Ronald Reagan was in office.
  54. On Monday, Politico reported Steven Cheung, a senior communications directed, resigned. Cheung was one of the last remaining campaign-era Trump aides still working at the White House.
  55. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Joel McElvain, who has worked at the Justice Department for more than 20 years, resigned last Friday, the morning after Sessions notified Congress the agency will not defend the ACA.
  56. Sessions defended himself, saying he acknowledged the executive branch “has a long-standing tradition of defending the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes,” but said the move is not unprecedented.
  57. CBS News reported both press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah are planning to resign. Sanders has told friends she plans to leave at the end of the year. Shah has not settled on a date.
  58. Politico reported Trump’s White House is hosting a jobs fair amid the exodus of employees. The “Executive Branch Job Fair” was advertised with an email that was blasted out widely to Republicans on the Hill.
  59. Politico reported despite requirement under the Presidential Records Act that the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails, and papers that Trump touches, Trump has a routine habit of ripping every paper up.
  60. Solomon Lartey, a career government official, and his colleagues have hadto tape together large piles of shredded paper and send them to the National Archives to be properly filed away.
  61. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that Ohio can purge voters from voter rolls if they fail to return a card sent after their first missed election. Other conservative states are expected to follow.
  62. On Tuesday, Trump praised the ruling from Singapore, tweeting, “Just won big Supreme Court decision on Voting! Great News!”
  63. According to financial disclosure forms released Monday, Jared Kushner and Ivanka brought in at least $82 million during 2017 while serving as senior White House advisers.
  64. Ivanka earned almost $ 3.9 million from the Trump Hotel DC. The couple earned immense sums from other enterprises, which ethics experts say could create conflicts of interest.
  65. Acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney changed the name of the agency founded by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to BCFP, which stands for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
  66. Foreign Policy reported Mari Stull, a former food and beverage lobbyist recently hired as a senior adviser in the State Department, is quietly vetting career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to determine if they are loyal to Trump.
  67. Sources say Stull is gathering intel and making lists. She has the full support of her boss, Kevin Moley, who was appointed by the White House in January. One State Department official said, “Everyone is looking to bail.”
  68. NPR reported the Commerce Department released 1,320 pages of internal memos, emails and other documents as part of a lawsuit related to Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
  69. A July 2017 email reveals “at the direction of Steve Bannon,” Kris Kobach and Ross spoke on the phone. Kobach told Ross including “aliens” in census numbers for congressional reapportionment is a “problem.”
  70. On Friday, WAPO reported that Pence’s VP office is a gateway to influence the Trump regime. Under Pence, twice as many companies and other interests hired lobbyists contacted the office than under Biden or Cheney.
  71. Lobbyists, who rake in millions for access, also donate to Trump or advocates for Pence, in one case helping him get on the ticket. Actions taken by Pence and his staff as a result of lobbying are not disclosed in federal filings.
  72. On Wednesday, WAPO reported last year Scott Pruitt enlisted Samantha Dravis, a top aide, to contact Republican donors to help his wife find a job. Pruitt’s wife landed a temporary position with conservative group.
  73. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Renzi Stone, founder of public relations firm Saxum, asking for documentation on how he helped Pruitt get tickets for the Rose Bowl.
  74. Saxum, which is based in Oklahoma, represented Plains All American Pipeline LP, a company which has a petition pending before the EPA.
  75. On Friday, the Office of Government Affairs Director David Apol said in a letter he is considering “formal corrective action proceeding” regarding alleged improper behavior by Pruitt, an unprecedented step against a sitting Cabinet member.
  76. Apol urged the EPA’s in-house watchdog to expand its ongoing investigations to review the latest allegations about Pruitt, including that he used EPA resources to find a job for his wife.
  77. On Monday, McClatchy reported in addition to Alexander Torshin and Maria Butina, other prominent Russian officials — Dmitry Rogozin and Sergei Rudov — met with NRA representatives, mostly in Moscow, during the 2016 campaign.
  78. The NRA reported $30 million in donations to the Trump campaign, $21 million from its lobbying arm which does not disclose donors. NRA insiders said the group spent $70 million overall, including field operations and online advertising.
  79. The NRA also spent $24.4 million to back Republican candidates for Congress in 2016.
  80. It is a crime to donate or use foreign money in U.S. election campaigns.Mueller’s team and the Senate Intelligence Committee are both investigating whether Russian money was donated to Trump’s campaign.
  81. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported that within the next month, Mueller is reportedly planning to deliver his findings in the obstruction of justiceinvestigation to Rod Rosenstein, and per sources, “Donald is very worried.”
  82. According to a source, Michael Cohen has told friends he expects to be arrested any day now. Trump is concerned that Cohen might flip. In the meantime, Trump is enjoying acting on his impulses, unchecked.
  83. Kushner reportedly is also flaunting his status in front of Kelly since he had his security clearance restored. Republican sources say Kushner recently stood up and walked out of a meeting that Kelly was leading.
  84. On Tuesday, Mueller’s team filed a motion to limit evidence-sharing in its case against 13 Russians and three Russian entities, citing the risk of revealing the identities of “uncharged co-conspirators.”
  85. The motion also indicates the investigation is far from over, mentioning “uncharged individuals and entities” which are believed to be “continuing to engage in interference operations” in the U.S.
  86. On Tuesday, Fox News reported that according to two unnamed House Intelligence Committee staffers, at a January 2018 meeting, Rosenstein threatened to use the power of his office to subpoena Devin Nunes and the committee.
  87. CNN reported according to a DOJ staffer, Rosenstein plans to “request that the House general counsel conduct an internal investigation of these Congressional staffers’ conduct” when he returns from a foreign trip.
  88. On Wednesday, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll showed Mueller’s public image was at an all-time low after months of attacks by Trump, with 36% of voters seeing him unfavorably.
  89. By party, 53% of Republicans, 24% of Democrats and 33% of Independents see Mueller unfavorably. The biggest spike came from Republicans, with unfavorable up 26% from July.
  90. On Wednesday, ABC News reported Cohen’s legal team from McDermott, Will & Emery LLP are expected to leave the case. A source familiar said the change in counsel is due to a fee dispute. No replacement has been named.
  91. On Thursday, WSJ reported federal prosecutors are investigating whether Cohen illegally engaged in secret lobbying. Prosecutors have contacted companies that hired Cohen as a consultant, including AT&T and Novartis.
  92. On Thursday, CBS News reported sources say Cohen is feeling increasingly isolated and believes Trump and his allies are turning on him. Cohen is especially upset over statements made by Rudy Giuliani.
  93. On Friday, CNN reported Cohen has expressed anger at his treatment by Trump, and indicated to family and friends he is willing to cooperate with federal investigators to alleviate pressure on himself and his family.
  94. Cohen has not yet met with prosecutors to discuss a deal. He is currently trying to find a new legal team, as his current lawyers have until Friday at noon to complete the review of 3.7 million files seized in the FBI raid.
  95. On Friday, federal prosecutors told the court they have reassembled 16 pages of shredded documents and recovered 731 pages of encrypted text messages seized in the Cohen raid.
  96. On Friday, a federal judge revoked Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail to await trial, citing charges that Manafort tried to influence testimony of two government witnesses.
  97. Judge Amy Berman said Manafort cannot remain free, even under the strictest conditions, saying, “This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone.” Manafort’s first trial is scheduled for next month.
  98. Two hours later, Trump tweeted that jailing Manafort was a “tough sentence” and “very unfair.”
  99. Trump also tweeted that he “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob,” and then continued his attack on Comey, “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others?”
  100. Trump also tweeted that Manafort “represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns.”
  101. On Friday, when asked about Manafort, Giuliani told the New York Daily News, “When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons.”
  102. Giuliani also said he didn’t understand “the justification” for putting Manafort in jail, adding the Mueller probe “should not go forward,” and “It’s time for Justice to investigate the investigators.”
  103. On Monday, the repeal of net neutrality, which had required internet service providers to offer equal access to all web content, took effect.
  104. As of late May, 29 state legislatures had introduced bills to ensure net neutrality. Two governors have signed executive orders to force net neutrality, and Washington state has signed net neutrality into law.
  105. On Monday, George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, penned an op-ed defending the constitutionality of the Mueller probe, after Trump tweeted “the Special Councel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”
  106. On Tuesday, Trump met with Kim Jong Un in Singapore. All major U.S. media attended the well choreographed event, which was dubbed “historic,” with non-stop coverage on every major outlet.
  107. As Trump and Kim both declared the summit a success, the two sides differed on what was agreed to publicly, and their agreement was summarized in a short document which lacked details.
  108. Trump said in a series of tweets, “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” adding, everybody “can now feel much safer than the day I took office” and people could “sleep well tonight!”
  109. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the regime expected “major disarmament” before the end of Trump’s first term. Kim described the beginning of a “step-by-step and simultaneous” process towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  110. As Trump and Kim were signing the document in front of reporters, CNN’s Jim Acosta asked, “did he agree to denuclearize?” Trump responded, “We’re starting that process very quickly.” Acosta then asked if Trump and Kim had discussed Otto Warmbier. Trump did not respond.
  111. On Tuesday, Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign manager, tweeted, “Jim @Acosta should immediately have his press credentials suspended. He is an absolute disgrace!”
  112. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos after the summit, Trump said of Kim Jong Un, a brutal dictator, “His country does love him. His people, you see the fervor. They have a great fervor.”
  113. On Tuesday morning, in a stunning concession, Trump said the U.S. will halt joint military exercises with South Korea, an announcement which baffled allies, military officials, and lawmakers from the GOP.
  114. Reuters reported leaders of U.S. ally South Korean were caught by surprise. The South Korean presidential office said “we need to find out the precise meaning or intentions” of Trump announcement.
  115. A January 2018 WSJ article noted Trump may have gotten this idea from a conversation with Putin: “If the U.S. stopped joint military exercises with the South Koreans, it could help moderate Kim Jong Un’s behavior.”
  116. KPNA, North Korea’s official news agency, described the summit as an “epoch-making meeting,” and asserted Trump had “expressed his intention” to lift sanctions when nukes are no longer a factor.
  117. On Tuesday, Trump held his first official solo press conference in 16 months.
  118. As reporters waited for Trump to come on stage, two huge screens came down instead, with a movie type production portraying North Korea as a paradise. The film lasted four minutes. Reporters thought it was North Korean propaganda
  119. The film then looped and played in English. The film was made in America, by or on the orders of his White House, for the benefit of Kim. Trump then came on stage and said, “I hope you liked it. I thought it was good.”
  120. Trump said Kim, “is very talented. Anybody that takes over a situation like he did, at 26 years of age, and is able to run it, and run it tough.” An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 people are imprisoned in North Korea.
  121. Trump also lauded North Korea’s “great beaches,” and said he told Kim, “You know, instead of doing that (develop nuclear weapons), you could have the best hotels in the world right there.”
  122. On Wednesday, upon returning to the U.S., in a series of tweets, Trump called the press America’s “biggest enemy” — singling out “Fake News, especially NBC and CNN” for downplaying his deal with North Korea.
  123. On Thursday, Trump faced a backlash after he was seen in a 42-minute video of the summit, first broadcast by North Korea’s state news channel, saluting a North Korean general. Sanders called it a “common courtesy.”
  124. Military and intelligence experts said U.S. leaders typically do not salute military officials from adversarial nations. U.S. ally South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea.
  125. On Sunday, at the Tony Awards, actor Robert DeNiro said expletives about Trump, “First, I wanna say: ‘F — — Trump.’ It’s no longer ‘down with Trump,’ it’s ‘f — — Trump.’”
  126. On Tuesday, Trump attacked DeNiro in two tweets, calling him a “very Low IQ individual,” who has “received to many shots to the head by real boxers in movies,” adding, “Wake up Punchy!”
  127. On Tuesday, after GOP leaders blocked a vote on legislation which would give Congress veto power over certain Trump tariffs, Sen. Bob Corker accused the GOP of cowering to Trump, “let’s don’t do anything that might upset” him.
  128. On Friday, Trump unilaterally imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products. Within an hour, the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing pledged to erect trade barriers of the “same scale and the same strength.”
  129. On Thursday, the New York attorney general filed a civil lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, accusing the campaign and family of violating campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.
  130. The lawsuit seeks to dissolve the foundation and bar Trump, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric from serving on nonprofit organizations. The attorney general also sent referrals to the IRS and FEC for further action.
  131. The lawsuit gives numerous examples of Trump using foundation monies to win political favor or settle legal claims against his various businesses, as well as pay off his legal bills and promote Trump hotels.
  132. The lawsuit also claims that $2.8 million raised by the foundation at an Iowa event in 2016 was allocated by senior campaign officials to veteran groups, making it an “improper in-kind contribution” to the campaign.
  133. NY AG Barbara Underwood tweeted, “Our investigation found that the Trump Foundation raised in excess of $2.8 million in a manner designed to influence the 2016 presidential election.”
  134. On Thursday, the Justice Department inspector general issued a report rebuking James Comey for breaking FBI and Justice Department protocolin his handling of the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
  135. The 568-page report by IG Michael Horowitz found Comey was not motivated by political bias when he cleared Hillary Clinton of criminal wrongdoing.
  136. Horowitz wrote Comey acted “unilaterally” and outside the scope of his authority when he held the July 2016 press conference, and rebuked Comey for sending a letter to Congress in late October 2016.
  137. The report also included previously unreported text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok in which Page asked, Trump’s “not ever going to become president, right?,”and Strzok responded, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
  138. Horowitz wrote Strzok, Page, and three other bureau staffers were being passed on to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility for possible disciplinary action. Strzok is still with the FBI. Page left last month.
  139. On Friday, Trump told reporters that he is “totally exonerated” by Justice Department IG report. He also accused the FBI of “plotting against my election,” saying Comey was the ringleader in a “den of thieves.”
  140. Trump also claimed the Mueller investigation “has been totally discredited,” by the report. The Mueller probe was not mentioned in the report.
  141. On Friday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is vying to win House leadership when Paul Ryan resigns, told “Fox and Friends” that “I think the Mueller investigation has got to stop,” citing the texts.
  142. On Friday, in a wide-ranging surprise interview with “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy on the North Lawn of the White House, Trump said he opposes the immigration bill cobbled together by House Republicans.
  143. Trump’s opposition caught House Republican leaders by surprise. Ryan had told members he had been briefing Trump on their legislative strategy, and Trump was on board.
  144. The bill would have provided $25 billion for Trump’s border wall and a new visa program to give Dreamers a path to residency and citizenship, but would have ended the regime’s practice of separating migrant children from parents.
  145. Trump also said, “I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.” Sanders had also blamed the Democrats at the daily briefing on Thursday. These statements are untrue.
  146. Later Friday, the White House changed positions, saying Trump “fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill,” saying Trump has misunderstood the question by Doocy.
  147. Later Friday, the White House issued a statement by Trump on “Democrats’ Dangerous Immigration Policies,” blaming “CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS’ FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY.”
  148. On Saturday, for the fourth time in 24 hours, Trump falsely blamed Democrats for “their forced family breakup at the Border,” and accusing them of “High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!”
  149. Trump also told Doocy that Kim Jong Un is a “strong head” of his country, adding of Kim, “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
  150. When pressed on his comment, Trump insisted it was a joke and attacked the media, saying, “I’m kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm. Hey, who are you with? …You’re with CNN? Hey, you are the worst.”
  151. Trump also said “Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign,” adding that he felt “a little badly” that prosecutors were targeting the longtime Republican operative, “He worked for many other Republicans.”
  152. After naming other Republicans (Reagan, Dole, McCain) Trump said Manafort worked for him “for 49 days or something? A very short period of time.” Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for 114 days.
  153. Trump also said of Michael Flynn, “Some people say [Flynn] lied and some people say he didn’t lie.” Flynn pled guilty to lying.
  154. On Friday, Trump also told a CBS News reporter who was asking questions to “quiet” at least five time. He also said to reporters, “She’s so obnoxious.”
  155. MSNBC host Katy Tur detailed a total of 19 lies or misleading statements in Trump’s interview with Doocy on her show Friday.
  156. AP reported at least four former Cambridge Analytica employees affiliated with Data Propria, a new company specializing in voter and consumer targeting work, have been quietly working for the 2020 Trump campaign.
  157. In a conversation overheard by AP, Matt Oczkowski, who led Cambridge Analytica data team, said he and Parscale were “doing the president’s work for 2020.” Parscale is a part owner of Data Propria’s parent company, Cloud Commerce.
  158. Cloud Commerce is also paying Parscale other amounts. A former FEC chair said it was unusual for an incumbent’s campaign to direct large amounts of business to outside firms tied to his campaign manager.
  159. On Thursday, Rob Rogers, who joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as an editorial cartoonist in 1993 and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1999,was fired, as the paper has shifted to the right.
  160. Rogers cartoons had appeared in the paper roughly five times a week, but around Memorial Day, started disappearing. Rogers said in the past three months, 19 cartoons or proposals for cartoons were rejected.
  161. On Saturday, in an op-ed, Rogers said he was fired for making fun of Trump. He said starting in March, management said his cartoons on Trump were “too angry” and said he was “obsessed with Trump.”
  162. Russian news agency TASS reported that according to a White House spokesperson, Moscow and Washington are exploring “the opportunity of a meeting” between Putin and Trump, with Austria as a possible venue.
  163. On Saturday, WAPO reported Trump is planning to meet with Putin in July, after months of prodding by Trump, who has faced resistance from senior political aides and diplomats questioning the value of a meeting.
  164. A U.S. official said after meeting with Kim Jong Un, Trump said he wanted to invite Putin to the White House. The official said, “We ignored it.” Trump has become a strong public advocate for engagement with Russia.
  165. According to a new Ipsos poll, for Global News and Reuters, Americans approve of how Trudeau is handling the trade dispute over Trump, by a 57–37 margin.
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You should hope NOT. My photo of a sticker on the streets of Chisinau , Moldova, on 10June2018.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 74: DOUCHES & DUNCES

Should have known we could count on Los Angeles street artists to have an opinion on the current political situation in our slowly (or, rather quickly) unraveling democracy. All over the LA streets yesterday, I found these brilliant “Douche” and “Dunce” stickers. I don’t know the artist behind them, but would love to give credit where credit is due, if anyone knows. 

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What happens when you take a joke too far? The 45th president of the Divided States of America.

Another important point to note this week, as it has come out that the regime is collecting data on journalists and bloggers, I understand, and have always understood, that my blog may eventually hit their radar. TOKIDOKI is quite ‘small potatoes,’ compared to actual political blogs, but I have always understood the risk of this weekly post and I feel it’s my duty as an an American to stand up for what I believe in and to help keep the masses informed, no matter how much they want to close their eyes and cover their ears. We won’t be silenced. This quote from Martin Niemöller is my inspiration:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Week 73 of this godforsaken presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

April 7, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-73-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-fcd309a62b9b

This was an alarming week simply for all that happened in what should have been a quiet holiday week with Congress out of town. As in recent weeks, Trump is not seeking to work with the input of Congress, nor does the Republican Party seem to have a policy plan; rather Trump is governing unilaterally.

This week, after a Mar-a-Lago weekend where Fox News hosts told him he was viewed as softening on immigration, Trump spent the week creating a crisis to demonize and take actions against immigrants — using the shiny coin of “caravans” to energize his base around the hatred of others.

Trump is acting against the advice of his dwindling pool of senior staffers, and gyrating on issues like withdrawing troops from Syria and tariffs. But again, Trump is calling the shots and choosing the focus. As departures continue, Trump stayed with loyalist Scott Pruitt as scandals engulfed his EPA chief — a story which consumed a great portion of our media’s attention, despite a myriad of alarming developments, including the regime starting a database to track journalists and bloggers.

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A fact about Mike Pence: “Campaign finance records from the 1990 effort showed that Pence, then 31, had been using political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.” Although, NOT illegal at the time (it IS now), it stunned voters because of the hypocrisy. And this is what the GOP continues to do to its supporters, behaving like “Do as I say, not as I do,” and it’s truly frustrating and heartbreaking to watch my fellow Americans SWINDLED and made to LOOK LIKE FOOLS. The people they vote for laugh at them and run all the way to the bank. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mike-pence-used-campaign-funds-to-pay-his-mortgage–and-it-cost-him-an-election/2016/07/15/90858964-49ed-11e6-bdb9-701687974517_story.html?utm_term=.40b05a075219
  1. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security will monitor 290,000 news sources around the world, and compile a database of journalists, editors, foreign correspondents, and bloggers to identify top “media influencers.
  2. WAPO reported that in reaction to Trump, tens of millions of Americans are joining protests and getting political. One in five Americans have protested or participated in rallies since the beginning of 2016.
  3. Of those participating, 19% said this was their first time marching or joining a political gathering. About one-third saying they intend to volunteer or work for a 2018 congressional campaign.
  4. The number of women who have filed to run for US House seats in November 2018 continued to swell. So far, a record 309 women have filed to run in both parties, breaking the record of 298 in 2012.
  5. In a letter addressed to the Republican chair and ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, more than 200 former diplomats expressing alarm over the slide in US leadership in the world.
  6. In what one former undersecretary described as a “cry from the heart,”diplomats urged senators to grill Mike Pompeo about his plans to reverse the corrosion of the State Department at his confirmation hearing.
  7. Politico reported Rex Tillerson spent $12 million while Secretary of State to hire an army of consultants, mostly from the consulting firm Deloitte, to make the State Department leaner and modernized to the standards.
  8. Congressional officials, who for months have been unsuccessfully trying to get information on Tillerson’s project, said it would be a subject in the Senate confirmation of Pompeo.
  9. Russian bots tweeted their support of Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who in Week 72 disparaged a Parkland student: #IstandwithLaura jumped 2,800 percent in 48 hours and was the top trending hashtag for the bots.
  10. On Easter Sunday, shortly after tweeting “HAPPY EASTER,” Trump sent a series of tweets venting on immigration and vowing “NO MORE DACA DEAL!”
  11. Trump blamed Mexico and Democrats, warning “Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming,” and threatened Mexico, tweeting “They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA.”
  12. On Monday, CNN reported that over the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, Trump heard from allies, some of whom work for Fox News including Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity, that his base believes he is softening on immigration.
  13. Trump’s tweet about “Caravans” was related to a segment aired extensively on Fox News about Central Americans trekking from the Mexico-Honduras border into the US. His tweet followed a segment Sunday on “Fox & Friends.
  14. On Monday, at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, Trump spoke to the crowd of roughly 30,000 parents and children on a variety of topics including bragging about his handling of the economy, “We’re going to make it bigger and better and stronger.”
  15. Trump also touted the military, “So just think of $700 billion, because that’s all going into our military this year,” and said of the DACA kids, “Democrats have really let them down. It’s a shame…”
  16. In a report titled, “Hate in the White House,” the Southern Poverty Law Center enumerated the many groups and individuals associated with hate groups and extremist ideology that are part of the Trump regime.
  17. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright penned an op-ed, “Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late?” warning, “fascism poses a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II.”
  18. On Monday, WAPO reported according to new DOJ directives, the Trump regime will pressure US immigration judges to process cases faster by imposing a quota system tied to their annual performance reviews.
  19. Immigration judges will be expected to clear at least 700 cases a year to receive a “satisfactory” performance rating. Their union called the quota an “unprecedented” step that risks undermining judicial independence.
  20. WAPO reported ICE ignored a directive from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis saying that noncitizen troops and veterans should not be deported, moving to deport Xilong Zhu, 27, who came from China in 2009 to attend US college.
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“Mitch McConnell is the Republican majority leader who will always put the fate of his party over the functioning of government. As Barack Obama’s tormentor, his legislative achievements were nonexistent, but he succeeded in stifling much of the Democrats’ agenda. Now he is in full bloom as an obstructionist, even with his own party in power.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/11/mitch-mcconnell-republican-party-trump-russia
  1. Zhu enlisted in the Army and was caught in an immigration dragnet created by the DHS. Zhu’s case comes as the Trump regime has pressured immigration judges to speed up deportation proceedings.
  2. The Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project reported a webpage that focused on breast cancer was scrubbed from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. Information on insurance for low-income people was also removed.
  3. Bob Nonini, a Republican lieutenant governor candidate in Idaho, softened his stance Tuesday, a day after saying saying punishments for women who get an abortion should include the possibility of the death penalty.
  4. BuzzFeed reported that in at least 18 cases, Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education has failed to inform colleges that complaints were filed against them relating to campus sexual assault.
  5. DeVos’ department is still, almost a year later, working on an overhaul of Title IX regulations dealing with handling of sexual misconduct, but under the Clery Act, the department is required to track and disclose crimes reported on campus.
  6. Dayanna Volitich, a Florida middle school teacher, resigned after it was revealed that she is responsible for a white supremacist podcast and Twitter account full of racist and anti-Semitic posts.
  7. On Monday, the Trump regime said it will roll back an Obama-era car pollution standard in California. The EPA’s statement was notable in suggesting the regime would take on California’s authority to set its own rules.
  8. On Thursday, San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera sued Jeff Sessions, asking a federal court to overturn his December decision to revoke legal guidance designed to protect minorities, the indigent, and disabled.
  9. On Thursday, NBC News reported Puerto Rico’s Department of Education will close 283 of the island’s 1,100 schools this summer, following a sharp drop in enrollment amid the economic slump and departure of families.
  10. On Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Trump’s White House is considering using “rescission,” an obscure 1974 law that allows presidents to try to cancel spending approved by Congress, to slash from the budget bill approved last week.
  11. On Tuesday, DJ Gribbin, Trump’s top infrastructure aide, resigned after Trump acknowledged this week that his public works program wouldn’t happen before the midterm elections this fall.
  12. NPR reported Kentucky lawmakers signed a measure preventing federally-certified radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung compensation claims, leaving it to physicians who typically work for the coal companies.
  13. Deadspin compiled a shocking video of news anchors at networks owned by Sinclair Broadcasting spliced together reciting propaganda-type scripts provided and required by the company.
  14. The script includes paradoxically warning viewers about “troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country,” and warns about “false news” and “fake stories.”
  15. Sinclair Broadcasting currently owns or operates 193 stations, and that number will rise to more than 230 if its proposed merger with Tribune Media goes through, which is highly likely under the Trump regime.
  16. Krish Vignarajah, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Maryland, is boycotting Sinclair-owned stations after Sinclair forced affiliate stations to read statements decrying “fake news” from other news stations.
  17. David Smith, executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast, wrote in emails to New York that the entire print media “serves no real purpose,” adding it is reality-distorting tool of leftists that has “no credibility” and no relevance.
  18. On Wednesday, CNN reported a Sinclair producer in Nebraska resigned on March 26, citing corporate mandates for the past year and a half, and saying promos warning of “fake” news were just the final straw.
  19. A new study by researchers at Ohio State University found fake news played a significant role in the 2016 election: about 4% of Obama supporters were dissuaded from voting for Hillary by fake news.
  20. Among the top fake news stories that Obama supporters believed were that Hillary was in very poor health, Pope Francis endorsed Trump, and that Hillary approved weapons sales to Islamic jihadists, including ISIS.
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“House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), among all elected Republicans, may be faring the worst during the Trump era. By defending, rationalizing, excusing and ignoring President Trump’s egregious behavior and attack on democratic norms, Ryan has gone from respected wonk to disgraced toady.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/08/22/why-paul-ryan-defender-of-the-indefensible-should-just-stop-talking/?utm_term=.f3523c2a164c
  1. Jill McCabe, the wife of Andrew McCabe wrote in an op-ed, “it’s time to set the record straight,” saying Trump and others attacked her reputation with “such destructive lies,” in an “effort to vilify us to suit their needs.”
  2. ProPublica reported on a Trump project in Mumbai, where the Trump Organization had licensing deals, had its permits revoked after investigators found “significant irregularities.”
  3. In Week 67, Donald Jr. made an “unofficial” business trip to India to deliver a foreign policy speech on at an event with Indian PM Modi. ProPublica reported that while there, he tried to get the decision overruled.
  4. On Tuesday, a lawsuit filed by nonprofit watchdog group Democracy Forward claims the Trump regime has failed to provide information on Jared Kushner’s meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last May in Riyadh.
  5. On Thursday, Daily Mail reported Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bragged Kushner handed him US classified intelligence that the crown prince used as part of a purge of ‘corrupt’ princes and businessmen.
  6. NYT reported David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer, took Kacy Grine, a French businessman who advises one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men and sometimes Crown Prince MBS, to meet with Trump in the Oval Office and then to briefly meet with Kushner.
  7. The New Yorker reported on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to remake the Middle East, and his connections to Jared Kushner — “They became close very fast,” according to a former US official who see MBS periodically.
  8. New Yorker also reported a financial analyst present at a meeting between Charles Kushner and Qataris, said Kushner’s father pitched a huge renovation of 666 Fifth Avenue, “He asked for just under a billion dollars.”
  9. Charles Kushner has maintained he attended the meeting only out of politeness and did not talk business. The financial analyst also said Charles Kushner hosted a follow-up meeting the next day at 666 Fifth Avenue.
  10. The New Yorker also reported SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, had been retained by the Emirati government. In Week 30, Trump sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in a blockade of Qatar. In Week 31, the US ambassador to Qatar resigned.
  11. On Friday, Bloomberg reported an investment group that includes Kushner Cos, will receive $600 million in financing from JPMorgan Chase to build a residential tower in Brooklyn. A source said approval of the deal took months as it was run up the chain of command at JPMorgan.
  12. On Sunday, China announced its plan to counter Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum, levying duties that will take effect Monday on more than 128 US goods exported to the country.
  13. On Monday, Trump attacked Amazon for the fourth time this week tweeting, “Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon,” adding, “not a level playing field!”
  14. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 759 points, closing down more 450 points over fears of trade wars with China and Mexico (NAFTA). Amazon was another down day, falling 5.2%.
  15. Amazon is the 17th company Trump has attacked since the election, often driving down their stock price. According to historians, unlike past leaders, Trump’s attacks are not about policy, but rather to “discredit his perceived opponents.”
  16. The stock market is having its worst second quarter since the Great Depression due to trade tariffs imposed by China and Trump’s public lashing of Amazon.
  17. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported China is targeting their tariffs at American farmers in swing-states like Ohio and Iowa in a way that could impact the midterm elections.
  18. On Wednesday, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow sought to tamp down fears of a trade war with China, saying Trump’s tariffs “are all proposals” right now, adding “we’re putting it out for comment.”
  19. On Thursday, Trump said he instructed the US Trade Representative toconsider an additional $100 billion of tariffs on Chinese products. The representative expressed support for the move, calling Trump’s response “appropriate.”
  20. On Friday, Kudlow again cautioned “this is not a trade war,” adding no new duties have been implemented, and talks with China will continue for several months before anything is done.
  21. Clothing is exempted from the tariffs providing a big break to American clothing companies that hold trademarks in China, including Ivanka’s clothing companies which manufacture in China.
  22. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview that Amazon’s tax-collecting doesn’t make sense, calling it “unfair” and saying infrastructure is “very, very important for the states’ economies.”
  23. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged another 500 points on fears of Trump’s trade war with China, and possibly Mexico. Also, job adds for March came in at 103,000, well below the 193,000 expected.
  24. On Sunday, Trump’s lawyers filed an appeal, asking a New York state appeals court to throw out, or freeze a defamation lawsuit by Summer Zervos while Trump is in office.
  25. On Monday Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen filed papers in a federal court in Los Angeles asking that their case with Stephanie Clifford be heard by a private arbitrator in lieu of a jury.
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Sean Spicer. “He was dreadful as press secretary. Perpetually flustered and easily aggravated, his briefings were chiefly characterized by panicky cycles through whichever members of the press corps he happened to spot in a given moment, moving at a clip that left him garbling words, offering up rhetorical gems like “Holocaust centers,” and lashing out at reporters. His job was never going to be an easy one, what with a staff-jockeying president intent on speaking for himself and not through his communications team. But Spicer was exceptionally, mesmerizingly bad at it.” https://www.theringer.com/2017/7/21/16078116/politics-sean-spicer-resignation-donald-trump-anthony-scaramucci-white-house-a009b1d6bc3d
  1. On Thursday, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he didn’t know Cohen paid Stephanie Clifford $130,000 days before the election. This is his first public response to questions about the payment.
  2. Clifford’s lawyer said Trump’s statement would be shown to be untruthfulif he is deposed. The statement also raises questions of whether the hush agreement is valid, given one party did not know about it.
  3. Trump’s comments also have implications for the complaint filed by Common Cause with the FEC and DOJ, claiming the argued that the payment was made to influence the election but not publicly disclosed.
  4. On Monday, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported Trump called Egypt’s President al-Sisi to express his “sincere congratulations” on his re-election victory. Al-Sisi won 97% of the vote.
  5. On Monday, WSJ reported Mueller is investigating an August 4, 2016 email by Roger Stone in which he claimed he had met with WikiLeaksfounder Julian Assange: “I dined with Julian Assange last night.”
  6. The email was addressed to Trump adviser Sam Nunberg. The next day, Stone praised Assange on Twitter. Stone claims the email was a joke, and that he never had contact with Assange in 2016.
  7. On Wednesday, CNN reported the day Stone allegedly sent the email to Assange, he appeared on the InfoWars radio show and predicted “devastating” upcoming disclosures about the Clinton Foundation.
  8. On Monday, Yuri Ushakov, the Kremlin foreign policy adviser said in Moscow that during Trump’s March 20 call with Putin, Trump proposed the two meet at the White House in the near future, and that Putin would like to take him up on the suggestion.
  9. On Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that a White House meeting was discussed on the call, but played down the prospect, saying, “We have nothing further to add at this time.”
  10. A visit would be a significant gesture to Russia: Putin has not been invited to visit the White House since 2005. Amid expelling diplomats, Trump has yet to directly criticize Putin, and Russian state-owned news outlets have not criticized Trump directly.
  11. On Tuesday, the State Department told CNN the US and Russia can replace diplomats in each other’s countries who were expelled last week, describing the process as standard practice.
  12. On Tuesday, the Mueller probe notched its first prison sentence: attorney Alex van der Zwaan was sentenced to 30 days in prison, a $20,000 fine, and two months of supervised release.
  13. On Tuesday, Mueller’s team disclosed a memo from Rod Rosenstein in response to Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss charges, contending Mueller was authorized to investigate only matters arising from the main subject of the investigation.
  14. The Rosenstein August 2017 memo was written to clarify his initial public order, and says Mueller was tasked with examining allegations that Manafort, in particular, committed a crime by “colluding with Russian government officials.”
  15. After the memo was revealed, Rosenstein became the subject of attacks by Fox News pundits, including Andrew Napolitano, and Joe DiGenova who told Sean Hannity that Rosenstein’s conduct “has been a disgrace legally and every other way.”
  16. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Mueller’s team told Trump lawyers in early March that Mueller is continuing to investigate Trump, but views him as a subject of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, not a criminal target as of now.
  17. The special counsel is preparing a report about the Trump’s actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice. Mueller reiterated the need to interview Trump to complete his probe.
  18. On Wednesday, Facebook acknowledged that Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed information on 87 million people, 71 million of whom were Americans.
  19. The company said overall, “malicious actors” took advantage of search tools on its platform — now disabled — to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide. The scam started on the so-called “Dark Web” where criminals posted stolen information.
  20. Facebook suspended Canadian tech firm AggregateIQ from its platform. AggregateIQ has been linked with Cambridge Analytica, and is under investigation for whether it broke privacy laws or used unauthorized data.
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“Donald Trump Jr. is a terrible asshole and a person with the voice and demeanor of a terrible asshole. There are no doubt other men in the United States who inherit vast wealth from their families, spend their time liking social media posts accusing the teenage survivors of a school shooting of being paid actors, and believe people in deep poverty should smile more…” https://splinternews.com/why-does-donald-trump-jr-sound-like-such-a-terrible-as-1823194010
  1. Open Secrets reported that in the final weeks leading up the 2016 election,Robert Mercer donated to Secure America Now, a group that used Facebook and Google to target anti-Muslim ads at swing voters.
  2. On Wednesday, CNN reported Mueller is questioning Russian oligarchs who travel into the US. At least one oligarch was stopped and his electronic devices searched when his private jet landed at a New York area airport.
  3. At least two other oligarchs have been questioned as well, all relating to whether wealthy Russians illegally funneled cash donations directly or indirectly into Trump’s presidential campaign and inauguration.
  4. On Thursday, McClatchy reported Mueller’s team questioned an associate of the Trump Organization who was involved in overseas deals with Trump. Investigators showed up at his home with subpoenas compelling electronic records and sworn testimony,
  5. Investigators were particularly interested in the associate’s interactions with Cohen, who has been involved with Trump Organization business deals in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
  6. On Friday, the Treasury Department imposed major sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs and the 12 companies they own, as well as 17 senior government officials, a state-owned weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank.
  7. Included in the sanction list are Putin’s son-in-law, Kirill Shamalov, Oleg Deripaska, who once had close ties to Manafort, oil executive Igor Rotenberg, and Aleksandr Torshin, who courted NRA leaders and Trump.
  8. Trump made no public comment, nor did he send any tweets about the Russian sanctions.
  9. On Friday, CNN reported Trump has begun informal preparation for a possible interview with Mueller’s team, a sign his legal team is considering allowing an interview, even though they have not formally agreed to it yet.
  10. On Friday, CNN reported Joseph Schmitz, a Trump adviser, played a key role in trying to get the FBI and other government agencies to review materials from the dark web in the summer of 2016, which he wrongly thought were Hillary’s deleted emails.
  11. On Monday, CNN reported the US military has been working on plans to send dozens of additional US troops to northern Syria. Trump’s remarks on possibly withdrawing all troops have puzzled many at the Pentagon.
  12. CNN reported in a meeting with his national security team on Tuesday, Trump became irritated when his top military leaders warned him of the risks of withdrawing from Syria, saying it would be unwise.
  13. On Tuesday, Trump escalated his anti-immigrant rhetoric, floating the idea of sending the military to the US-Mexico border. Trump said at a news conference he would soon meet with Mattis to discuss having the military deployed.
  14. WAPO reported Trump was briefed on the possibility of sending troops by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and that White House aides loved the idea, including senior adviser Stephen Miller who has been involved in the planning.
  15. On Tuesday, Trump threatened to cut off foreign aid to Honduras as he continued to complain about the caravan of roughly 1,000 migrants, primarily from Honduras, traveling through Mexico.
  16. Trump also threatened Mexico with NAFTA: “Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen.” Mexico had taken steps late Monday to break up the caravan.
  17. On Tuesday, the Mexican ambassador to the US warned Trump’s call for the US military to guard the US-Mexico border is an unwelcome one, saying the Mexican government is still trying to clarify what Trump meant. The US ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, resigned in Week 68.
  18. On Wednesday, Trump signed a proclamation directing the national guard to be deployed to the US-Mexico border. The strategy will require the cooperation of border-state governors who oversee their respective National Guard operations.
  19. Although George W. Bush and Obama had also deployed National Guard personnel, Trump’s proclamation comes at a time when the number of people crossing illegally is at its lowest level since 1971, although there was an uptick in March.
  20. Later Tuesday, Trump hosted the leaders of three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — who are concerned about Russian aggression. Trump told the leaders of himself, “Nobody has been tougher on Russia”
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“Does anyone make an easier target than Kim Jong Un? He’s Fatboy Kim the Third, the North Korean tyrant with a Fred Flintstone haircut—the grinning, chain-smoking owner of his own small nuclear arsenal, brutal warden to about 120,000 political prisoners, and effectively one of the last pure hereditary absolute monarchs on the planet. He is the Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Great Successor, and the Sun of the 21st Century.” https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/02/kim-jong-un-north-korea-understanding
  1. At a joint press conference following the meeting, Trump called US immigration laws “horrible” and “very unsafe,” saying he is calling on Congress to “get their act together” to change them, adding “we don’t have laws. We have catch and release.”
  2. Trump encouraged Latvian President Vējonis to pick a Baltic, not US, reporter because they are “real news, not fake news.”
  3. Also at the joint news conference, Trump reiterated his intent to pull US troops out of Syria, “I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation.”
  4. As Trump held the joint press conference with heads of three Baltic states, a White House reporter noted it has been 411 days since Trump held a solo news conference, his only. This is far fewer than his predecessors.
  5. Later Tuesday, in his last public remarks as Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster denounced Russia for its increased aggression around the world, and declared the US has “failed to impose sufficient costs.”
  6. The three Baltic leaders were present for his remarks, and McMaster lauded their to counter Russia. McMaster said, “Russia has used old and new forms of aggression to undermine our open societies and the foundations of international peace and stability.”
  7. On Wednesday, the day after Trump’s joint news conference, Russia tested missiles in the Baltic Sea, just outside of NATO territorial waters.
  8. On Thursday, at a speech in West Virginia to talk about the new tax law,Trump read the first lines of the speech, then threw the pieces of paper it was written on into the air, and instead preceded to give a rambling speech.
  9. Trump alleged without evidence that people voted multiple times, “in many places, like California, the same person votes many times,” adding, “Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people.”
  10. Politifact tweeted a fact-check story from November 18, 2016, which found that Trump and far-right media’s claims of three millions illegal votes was false.
  11. Trump also ranted about immigration policies like catch-and-release and family based migration, and repeated a claim from his campaign kickoff speech that immigrant women “are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before.”
  12. It was unclear what Trump was referring to, although this week he has been frequently mentioning caravans. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Trump was referring to “smugglers in general.”
  13. On Wednesday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown said in a series of tweets she will refuse to send her state’s National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, adding “I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”
  14. On Friday, Arizona and Texas were poised to send hundreds of National Guard personnel to the US-Mexico border. Trump’s Wednesday memorandum does not specify how long or in what capacity the troops will serve.
  15. Late Friday, Secretary Mattis approved using Defense Department money to pay for as many as 4,000 National Guard personnel to perform border security missions, meaning the federal government will foot the bill.
  16. Late Friday, Trump signed a memo ending a policy known as “catch-and-release,” under which immigrants without proper paperwork are released from detention while awaiting a court hearing on their status.
  17. As part of Trump’s memo, he asks Mattis to come up with a list of military facilities that could be used to detain illegal immigrants, and Sessions and Nielsen to identify any other resources or steps that may be needed.
  18. On Tuesday, Trump bragged about hitting 50% approval at the “honest polling” Rasmussen, saying it was higher than “Cheatin’ Obama” with the same pollster at the same point in office.
  19. Former White House communications director Jen Psaki told CNN Trump’s use of “Cheatin’ Obama” may have “racial undertones,” referring to Trump’s birther claims that Obama “shouldn’t have been president.”
  20. On Tuesday, Judge Rebecca Dallet won a bitter race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, 56–44. Democrats in Wisconsin had not won an open Supreme Court seat election since 1995.

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  1. On Wednesday, Judith Giuliani filed a contested divorce against Rudy Giuliani in Manhattan Supreme Court. This follows the divorce filings in recent weeks by the wives of Donald Jr., and White House aide Dan Scavino.
  2. Juli Briskman, the Virginia cyclist who was fired after flipping off Trump, sued her former employer Akima, saying “I believe that Americans should not be forced to choose between their principles and their paychecks.”
  3. In a statement Friday, the White House announced Trump will again skip the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, sending press secretary Sanders instead.
  4. On Friday, NPR reported evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with Trump on June 19 at the Trump International Hotel DC, over concern his sex-scandals and divisive rhetoric could suppress evangelical turnout in November.
  5. On Thursday, AP reported Mick Mulvaney gave big pay raises to the deputies he has brought in to help him run the bureau, even as he has requested an budget of zero funding for the agency in Week 62.
  6. Mulvaney has hired eight appointees, paying four $259,500 a year and one $239,595 — more than members of Congress and cabinet secretaries. The top salary under the general federal government pay scale is $134,776.
  7. On Thursday, Simon Edelman filed a complaint with the US Office of Special Counsel, the government agency that protects federal employees, including whistle-blowers from reprisals.
  8. In Week 62, Edelman was fired after leaking a photo of Secretary Rick Perry embracing Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy. Edelman’s lawyer said he leaked a photo for the “reasonable belief that he was reporting evidence of criminal corruption, obstruction of justice, and ethics violations.”
  9. ABC News reported the Environmental Protection Agency paid $2,460 to a Capitol Hill condo association after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s security detail broke down the door after being unable to reach him by phone on a weekday afternoon. He had been napping.
  10. On Tuesday, The Atlantic reported after the White House denied his request to give two aides large raises, Pruitt used a hiring loophole within the Safe Drinking Water Act to grant the raises.
  11. Despite an encouraging phone call Trump gave Pruitt on Monday, White House insiders indicated Trump and the regime are displeased with the ethical issues Pruitt has found himself embroiled in.
  12. On Monday, WAPO reported last year Pruitt considered leasing a private jet on a month-to-month basis to accommodate his travel needs. The estimated cost came in at $100,000 a month.
  13. On Monday, NYT reported that in March 2017, the EPA signed off on a Canadian energy company’s pipeline-expansion plan, a client of Williams & Jensen, whose owner is renting Pruitt his condominium for $50 a day.
  14. On Monday, Daily Beast reported that the same condominium was used to host at least three GOP fundraisers during the time Pruitt was renting; although Pruitt was not invited or present during the events.
  15. On Monday, amid calls for Pruitt to resign, Trump called his embattled EPA chief to tell Pruitt to “keep your head up” and “keep fighting,” because the White House has “got your back.”
  16. On Thursday, the EPA’s top ethics watchdog Kevin Minoli clarified his earlier statement that Pruitt’s rental arrangement had not broken the federal gift rule, saying at that time, he didn’t have all the facts.
  17. Minoli’s clarification came after being sent a series of questions by former head of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub. Minoli will examine the use of a second room by Pruitt’s daughter as a gift, and whether Pruitt violated the impartiality rule by meeting with people from the landlord’s lobbying firm.
  18. On Thursday, Samantha Dravis, the associate administrator of the EPA’s office of policy, resigned. Dravis formerly worked as Pruitt’s policy director and general counsel at the Republican Attorneys General Association.
  19. On Thursday, CNN reported that Trump floated the idea of replacing Sessions with Pruitt as recently as this week, despite the brewing scandals.
  20. On Thursday, on a flight returning from a speech in West Virginia, Trump defended Pruitt to the media, saying he is doing “a fantastic job,” and that Pruitt is a “fantastic person.”

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  1. On Thursday, CBS News reported Pruitt wanted to use his vehicle’s lights and sirens to get to his official appointment. When his security detail toldhim sirens could be used only in emergencies, the agent, a 16-year veteran was removed from his detail.
  2. Despite Pruitt claiming that the lobbying firm run the condominium owner has no business before the EPA, Daily Beast reported, based on lobbying disclosure forms and publicly-listed EPA records, there is a long list of companies that do.
  3. On Thursday, NYT reported at least five officials at the EPA, four of them high ranking and one a Trump appointee, were reassigned or demotedafter raising concerns about Pruitt’s spending and management of the agency.
  4. On Thursday, Politico reported Pruitt fell behind on his $50-a-night payments for the condominium, forcing his lobbyist landlord to pester him for payment.
  5. On Friday, Politico reported that the couple who owned the condominium had originally agreed to allow Pruitt to rent it for six weeks until he got settled, but when he wouldn’t leave, they changed the locks.
  6. On Friday, Trump tweeting defending Pruitt, saying he is doing a “great job but is TOTALLY under siege,” and decrying reporting that Pruitt may replace Sessions as attorney general by the “honest and corrupt” media.
  7. On Friday, WSJ reported, according to a White House aide, John Kelly urged Trump last week that Pruitt should step down, citing negative reports about Pruitt’s spending habits and management style.
  8. On Friday, AP reported that Pruitt’s total security costs approach $3 million, including travel expense such as flying first-class to avoid unpleasant interactions, security overtime, and a soundproof phone booth in his office.
  9. On Friday, in a letter, 64 Democrats in the US House urged Trump to call on Pruitt to resign. Three Republicans in the House have also called on Pruitt to resign.
  10. On Friday, Trump met with Pruitt to discuss the controversies. Conservative groups are rallying behind Pruitt, warning Trump getting someone as dogged as Pruitt though the Senate would be impossible.
  11. On Saturday, Rep. Trey Gowdy, chair of the House Oversight Committee, said he would probe the actions of Pruitt, saying “I don’t have a lot of patience for that kind of stuff.”

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