POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 152: WITH IMPEACHMENT LOOMING…

OCTOBER 05, 2019

Week 151

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 2, 2019.
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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 151: A COURAGEOUS WHISTLEBLOWER

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

Week 150

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 150: THE WHISTLE HAS BLOWN, WE MUST IMPEACH

SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

Week 149

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll rememberhttps://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-149/
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45 visited San Diego this week and I couldn’t make it to the protests. These photos are by Emily Conner, 18sep2019.

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La Mesa, California. 21sep19.
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Downtown San Diego, California. 15sep19.

On Saturday, ten-thousand protestors gathered in Washington D.C. and at solidarity marches around the country as part of the “We the People March,” to remind Congress that they work for the people, and to demand that the Trump regime be held accountable.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 149: “EMBOLDENED REGIME”

SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Week 148

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

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

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New York City, September 2019

 

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

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New York City, September 2019

 

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

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

 

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 148: MENTAL HEALTH

SEPTEMBER 07, 2019

Week 147

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-147/

This week is not the longest list with Congress out on summer break for the sixth and final week, but it is perhaps the most alarming in terms of the irreverent authoritarian actions by Trump, who continues to push boundaries having suffered no consequences for anything yet. Examples of his power base expanding were reported, including the Pentagon refusing to cooperate in a probe of spending at Trump’s Turnberry resort, the Justice Department filing a bogus anti-trust case against four auto companies cooperating with California to cut emissions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration backing Trump over its own scientists. Even the Republican Party continues to fold to Trump, as four states canceled their GOP 2020 presidential primaries, while those unhappy with the tone or direction of the party continued to retire rather than speaking out. Trump is also ramping up attacks on the free press, journalists, and now, social media companies ahead of the 2020 election.

Reporting this week also signaled continued concern about Trump’s mental health, and he spent the week fixated on a false statement made Sunday about Alabama being in the path of Hurricane Dorian, and continued on the story until Friday. As the economy weakens, and having no real accomplishments over the summer, Trump was likened to a bull seeing red, and again spent the week as much of his summer striking out at familiar and random targets. Court filings this week indicated Trump has no plans to cooperate with House Democrats when they return next week.

Meanwhile, news in Europe indicates that far-right populism there may have peaked as Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered setbacks, and far-right Matteo Salvini was pushed out of Italy’s new government. China acquiesced to protestors’ demands in Hong Kong, following 13 weeks of protests.

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“IMPEACH” by NYC artist Ramiro Studios, 3sep19. East Village, New York City

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  1. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump’s campaign plans to make allegations of social media bias a core part of its 2020 strategy, hoping to turn his supporters against social media companies, as he does with the press.
  2. On Monday, as part of a long series of tweets, Trump tweeted, “Our real opponent is not the Democrats….our primary opponent is the Fake News Media,” adding, “They are now beyond Fake, they are Corrupt.”
  3. WAPO reported Trump’s continued attacks on the media are working with his base: a Gallup poll finds them deeply distrustful of national newspapers (25%) and CNN News (20%), while 69% trust Fox News.
  4. On Tuesday, Axios reported Trump’s war on the media is expanding, with allies targeting to raise $2 million to investigate reporters and editors at top media outlets like NYT, WAPO, and others ahead of the 2020 election.
  5. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Belgium for meetings with global leaders, withouttaking any members of the press along — not even a pool reporter. The move was highly unusual.
  6. On Saturday, four weeks after the El Paso mass shooting, a white man in his 30s committed a daylight drive-by mass shooting in West Texas that began at a traffic stop, killing seven and injuring 21.
  7. In the chase that followed, the gunman drove from Midland to Odessa on the highways and streets, while firing bullets on residents, motorists, and shoppers. The gunman’s motive was not known.
  8. On Saturday, in an op-ed marking 80 years since Nazi Germany invaded Poland, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called Trump the “global poster-boy for white nationalism,” and warned on forgetting the lessons of World War II.
  9. On Sunday, when asked by reporters if he had a message for Poland on the 80th anniversary of being invaded, and after canceling his scheduled visit, Trump responded, “ I just want to congratulate Poland.”
  10. When asked about the mass shooter in West Texas, Trump called the shooter “a very sick person,” and added, “it could’ve been worse.” Trump later tried to change the topic when asked about gun violence.
  11. On Sunday, WAPO reported on Trump’s “lost summer,” saying while aides claim victory, Trump’s summer was filled with self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities.
  12. Other than finally getting his July 4 military parade, Trump focused on attacking four Congresswomen of color and the Federal Reserve as the economy faltered, Baltimore, and a series of mass shootings.
  13. A Republican operative told the Post the mood of staffers is “exhaustion, fatigue, wake us when it’s over.” Others lament that Trump could have used the summer to ramp up for the 2020 election, but did not.
  14. On Monday, a federal holiday for Labor Day, Trump lashed out on Twitter, sending more than a dozen tweets before 8:30 a.m. attacking familiar targets like Democrats and the media.
  15. Trump tweeted the “Amazon Washington Post” did a story on his “racist attacks against the “Squad,”” saying they have “brought racist attacks against our Nation” and Democrats are “the Party of the Squad!”
  16. Trump also tweeted, “The LameStream Media has gone totally CRAZY!” adding, “They write whatever they want, seldom have sources,” and “never do ‘fact checking’ anymore.”
  17. On Tuesday, the WAPO Editorial Board asked in an op-ed, “How many more names will be added to the list before McConnell acts on guns,” listing the names of those killed in mass shootings, including the seven in West Texas.
  18. On Tuesday, Walmart said it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would only bring legislation to the Senate floor that Trump would sign.
  19. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association as a “domestic terrorism organization.”
  20. The resolution was first introduced after the mass shooting in Gilroy, California in Week 142. Before the vote, the “carnage across this country,” was noted including recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and West Texas.
  21. On Thursday, CVS and Walgreen joined Walmart and Kroger is halting in-story open carry, citing the recent mass shootings.
  22. On Friday, the chairwoman of the Republican Party in Arizona said in an email that the GOP is going to stop pro-gun-control Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly — spouse of Gabby Giffords — “dead in his tracks.”
  23. On Saturday, Trump attacked former intelligence officials who criticized his tweeting a classified image of Iran in Week 146, tweeting: “Being scolded by failed former “Intelligence” officials, like James Clapper.”
  24. Trump added, “Sadly for the United States, guys like him, Comey, and the even dumber John Brennan, don’t have a clue,” adding, “They really set our Country back,” but “We are winning again, and we are respected again!”
  25. On Sunday, NPR reported amateur satellite trackers believe the image Trump tweeted came from one of America’s most advanced spy satellites. Almost everything about the satellite remains highly classified.
  26. On Sunday, Trump quoted an appearance by Jason Chaffetz on “Fox & Friends,” tweeting of Comey, thank goodness for Trump, “BECAUSE IF HE WASN’T ELECTED, THESE PEOPLE WOULD STILL BE IN POWER.”
  27. Trump also tweeted of Comey, “But where is the Supreme Court. Where is Justice Roberts? If you lie to a court, you should be held in contempt. So, if you abused the FISA, you must be held accountable.”
  28. Trump also quoted a WSJ writer, tweeting: “The vindication belongs to the President for firing James Comey. It was clearly the right thing to do. You don’t want an FBI Director with Jim Comey’s ethics.”
  29. Trump also attacked actress Debra Messing for demanding a list of attendees at his Beverly Hills fundraiser, saying when the Apprentice “became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup” she “profusely thanked me.”
  30. Trump added Messing “even calling me “Sir.” How times have changed!” Messing noted Trump was tweeting in the aftermath of a mass shooting and while Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 storm.
  31. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted of Dorian that “South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Alabama is not in the path of the storm.
  32. Later Sunday, Trump made a similar misstatement to reporters on the South Lawn, saying, “We don’t know where it’s going to hit,” mentioning Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and “Alabama to get a bit of a beat down.”
  33. Later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham tweeted a correction: “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”
  34. Later, from FEMA headquarters, Trump told reporters Category 5 storms are unprecedented, saying, “I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a Category 5.” There have been four such hurricanes since he took office.
  35. On Wednesday, in a video released by the White House, Trump held up a National Hurricane Center “cone of uncertainty” forecast, which was doctored with a black sharpie to show a path that included Alabama.
  36. When asked about the altered hurricane forecast, Trump told reporters his briefing included a “95 percent chance probability” that Alabama would be hit, and when asked if the map had been altered said, “I don’t know.”
  37. Later Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley confirmed the drawing was made using a black Sharpie, while criticizing the media for focusing on it: “Watching the media go ballistic.”
  38. Later Wednesday, Trump defended his use of an altered map, tweeting an earlier version of raw computer data from a week ago of the “originally projected path,” and adding, “I accept the Fake News apologies!”
  39. The WAPO’s Capital Weather Gang noted falsifying a weather report is a violation of 18 U.S. Code 2074, and the code says those who do “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.”
  40. On Thursday, the White House issued a lengthy statement from Trump’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser defending Trump and his use of a days-old map.
  41. The statement said Trump’s comments on Sunday to the press “were based on that morning’s Hurricane Dorian briefing, which included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”
  42. On Thursday, WAPO reported it was Trump who used a black Sharpie to add to the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map on Wednesday, according to an anonymous White House official.
  43. On Thursday, Trump also sent a series of tweets, saying, “Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit,” along with a week-old map that showed a low probability of winds in a small corner of Alabama.
  44. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News denies it!” He also tweeted, “What I said was accurate! All Fake News in order to demean!” adding: “I accept the Fake News apologies!”
  45. Trump also later tweeted, “I was with you all the way Alabama. The Fake News Media was not!” along with a tweet sent by the Alabama National Guard last week.
  46. On Thursday, CNN reported, according to an email from Fox News correspondent John Roberts, Trump called him into the Oval Office to insist that it is “unfair to say Alabama was never threatened by the storm.”
  47. A White House aide said Trump also complained about Fox News host Shepard Smith’s reporting on the hurricane and Alabama, and told Roberts to “to hit back at Shepard Smith” for his coverage.
  48. On Friday, for the 6th day, Trump continued to defend his Alabama hurricane claim in a series of tweets, blaming “the Fake News Media” for being “fixated” on what he “properly said.”
  49. Trump also tweeted, “They went Crazy, hoping against hope that I made a mistake (which I didn’t). Check out maps,” adding, “This nonsense has never happened to another President.”
  50. Trump also tweeted, “four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology,” adding, “the LameStream Media and their Democrat partner should start playing it straight,” saying it would be better for our country.
  51. Later Friday, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration came to Trump’s defense, tweeting a statement denouncing its Birmingham branch which tweeted there was no storm threat to the state posed by Dorian.
  52. In providing Trump cover, the NOAA’s unsigned statement said Birmingham’s tweet gave “absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities” and differ from what was communicated to Trump.
  53. On Friday, Trump’s re-election campaign started selling Sharpie-gate markers. Campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted this marker “has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy!”
  54. On Saturday, WAPO reported the NOAA’s backing of Trump over its own scientists led to an uproar in the broader weather community. Forecasters inside and outside the government spoke out against the action.
  55. Reaction called the NOAA statement “disgusting,” “disingenuous” deplorable,” and raised concern that there will be damage to the public trust in meteorologists.
  56. On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence, visiting Poland in Trump’s place, criticized Russia, citing “its efforts to meddle in elections across Europe and around the world,” saying now is the time to “remain vigilant.”
  57. Breaking from Trump’s conciliatory tone at the G7 summit, Pence also noted “Russian forces still illegally occupy large parts of Georgia and Ukraine,” and said Russia is trying to divide the U.S. alliance with Poland.
  58. On Tuesday, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, told reporters Trump made a “suggestion” that Pence — along with his wife, sister, and mother who are traveling with him — stay at his resort in Doonbeg after his trip to Poland.
  59. Pence and his family stayed at Doonbeg, rather than Dublin where he is scheduled for a full day of meetings and events with Irish officials. Pence flew an hour between Doonbeg and Dublin each way.
  60. Later Tuesday, Pence’s office released a statement blaming “misreporting,” and saying it was not Trump’s idea for Pence to stay at Doonbeg, rather it “was solely a decision by the Office of the Vice President.”
  61. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters “I heard he was going there, but it wasn’t my idea for Mike to go there,” adding, “Mike went there because his family’s there. That’s my understanding of it.”
  62. On Friday, NYT reported that House Democrats, furious over Trump’s promoting of his brand while in office, said they would investigate Pence’s stay at Doonbeg and Trump promoting Trump Doral at the G7 summit.
  63. House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service, and the Trump Organization.
  64. In both cases, Democrats say Trump stands to financially benefit from U.S. taxpayers’ dollars and foreign funds — citing a possible violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
  65. In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “Trump is violating the Constitution by making money off his lavish, ritzy resort properties…prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people.”
  66. Later Friday, Politico reported an Air National Guard crew making a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies in the spring, stopped off at Trump’s Turnberry resort, which was not routine.
  67. The inquiry of part of a broader probe of military expenditures at Turnberry, also included cut rate rooms and free rounds of golf. Turnberry lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue increased by $3 million in 2018.
  68. On previous trips, the crew used a U.S. air base in Germany or Naval Station Rota in Spain to refuel. Instead, the military spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, the nearest airport to Turnberry.
  69. The House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew made the unusual stop on the way to Kuwait and on the way back since April, but they have not received a single document from the Pentagon.
  70. In addition to Prestwick being out of the way and more expensive, the airport also has long been debt-ridden, since the Scottish government bought it for £1 2013. The airport is integral to the success of Turnberry.
  71. In June, the Scottish government put publicly-owned Prestwick up for sale. A former official told Politicochoosing to refuel at Prestwick and staying private property would be unusual for such a mission.
  72. The Scotman reported Trump had in the past collaborated in a “working party” formed by Glasgow Prestwick Airport to help “pitch” the money-losing airport to prospective new airlines.
  73. On Tuesday, in a radio interview, Senate Majority Leader McConnell denounced political opponents who refer to him as “Moscow Mitch,” calling the nickname “over-the-top” and “modern-day McCarthyism.”
  74. On Tuesday, former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp told CNBC, “Liberal democracy across this globe is under attack,” adding, “I think it (Hong Kong) clearly is our business. It’s the worlds business.”
  75. On Tuesday, during a speech by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Conservative MP Phillip Lee crossed the House of Commons to be seated with the Liberal Democrats, putting Johnson’s party in the minority.
  76. On Tuesday, Johnson lost a key vote in the House of Commons 328–301, with 21 members of his Conservative Party rebelling and supporting the motion to block the U.K. from leaving the European Union without a deal.
  77. On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that within the past 48 hours, over 110,000 in the U.K. applied to vote, with young people, who tend to be more liberal-leaning, making up the bulk of the surge.
  78. On Thursday, Boris’s brother Jo Johnson resigned from Parliament, saying in recent weeks he has been “torn between family loyalty and the national interest,” and calling it on Twitter, “an unresolvable tension.”
  79. On Wednesday, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said the government would withdraw the contentiousextradition bill that ignited months of protests.
  80. On Thursday, Pence was met with rainbow Pride flags as he arrived in Höfði House in Reykjavík, to meet with Iceland’s president, Guðni Jóhannesson. President Jóhannesson also wore a rainbow bracelet
  81. On Thursday, as Italy swore in its new government after an early election, far-right leader Matteo Salvini, who also had ties to Moscow, was ejected as two other parties formed an unlikely alliance.
  82. On Thursday, an op-ed at Politico Europe asked, “Has Europe Reached Peak Populism?” citing events in Italy, Britain, France, Spain, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic which suggest the tide is turning.
  83. On Friday, Britain’s House of Lords approved a bill blocking Johnson’s plan to leave the European Unionwithout a deal in place, forcing Johnson to ask the EU to extend the Brexit deadline to January.
  84. On Saturday, the U.K.’s former director of public prosecutions said in an interview that Johnson could be jailed if he refuses to ask Brussels for a Brexit extension.
  85. On Saturday, AP reported a series of rallies in Moscow over excluding candidates from the September local election are the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin in his seven years as leader.
  86. The protests are also causing divisions among Putin’s top lieutenants. Police have violently cracked down on some of the rallies that were not sanctioned. Putin backed the crackdown.
  87. On Saturday, far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos led a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston, while protestors held “2020 Trump” and “Build The Wall” signs. Counter-protestors vastly outnumbered marchers. 36 were arrested.
  88. On Saturday, WAPO reported Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III described Trump’s 2017 visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, saying Trump did not “want to see anything difficult.”
  89. Also during the visit on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2017, Bunch describes in his memoir when he explained the Dutch role in the global slave trade, Trump said, “You know, they love me in the Netherlands.”
  90. On Saturday, the East Bay Times reported Isabel Bueso, 24, who graduated from California State University East Bay with honors, faces deportation to Guatemala despite needing treatments for a rare disease.
  91. Bueso’s doctor said in a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that she receives a daily enzyme treatment unavailable in Guatemala, and if deported she would have “severe symptoms” that would “lead to death.”
  92. On Saturday, NYT reported the body of Jimmy Aldaoud, 41, was returned to the U.S. He died over lack of insulin, after being deported to Iraq by the Trump regime after living in Detroit since he was 6 months old.
  93. On Monday, following backlash over the decision to immediately deport immigrants who face life-threatening illnesses, the Trump regime announced it would reconsider eliminating the “deferred action” program.
  94. USCIS eliminated the program on August 7, without public notice. The Department of Homeland Security told immigrants with life-threatening illnesses they must leave the country within 33 days, or face deportation.
  95. USCIS told the Times the agency is taking “immediate corrective action to reopen previously pending cases for consideration,” adding whether a “very limited version of deferred action will continue” is under review.
  96. On Monday, Ismail Ajjawi, who in Week 146 was denied U.S. entry, arrived at Harvard after staff from boththe school and AMIDEAST, a scholarship organization sponsoring Ajjawi’s education, worked with federal officials.
  97. On Tuesday, Bloomberg Law reported Trump’s appointee to the Department of Labor, Leif Olson, resigned after a Facebook post he wrote in 2016 surfaced, suggesting the Jewish-controlled media “protects their own.”
  98. On Wednesday, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, migrant children separated under Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” showed more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
  99. The report found while some were angry and confused, or cried inconsolably, “Other children expressed feelings of fear or guilt and became concerned for their parents’ welfare.”
  100. The children have suffered from night terrors, separation anxiety, and trouble concentrating. A child psychiatrist foresaw “an epidemic of physical, psychosomatic health problems,” and called it “a vast, cruel experiment.”
  101. A second IG report found thousands of childcare workers were given access to children before completing background and fingerprint checks. The report also found mental health professionals were overwhelmed.
  102. On Wednesday, 400 priests, nuns, and lay Catholics protested outside an an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New Jersey, calling for the end of the Trump regime’s detaining migrant children and families.
  103. On Thursday, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 86, and his wife Rabbi Phyllis Berman were among those arrested for blocking an ICE office in Philadelphia over the Trump regime’s treatment of migrant children.
  104. On Friday, NYT reported the Trump regime is considering drastic cuts or completely gutting admitting refugees who are fleeing war, persecution, and famine from coming to the U.S. under a decades old program.
  105. With influence from Stephen Miller, the Trump regime has cut the cap on refugees admission. When Obama left office the cap was 110,000, in Trump’s first year it was down to 45,000, and then to 30,000 last year.
  106. The regime is proposing to further cut entries again, down to a discussed range of 10,000 to 15,000. Another option being considered is to make the number zero, with flexibility for Trump to admit some in an emergency.
  107. The president of Refugees International said, “At a time when the number of refugees is at the highest level in recorded history, the United States has abandoned world leadership.” The regime is meeting to decide Tuesday.
  108. On Saturday, HuffPost reported the Trump regime has not funded legal aid for migrant children, some under the age of 5, at three detention facilities, in violation of federal law.
  109. The regime claims it is funding legal aid, but multiple legal aid attorneys said this is not true, causing children to go through complex legal proceedings alone and at a greater risk of being deported.
  110. If a migrant children misses their initial court hearing, they are given a deportation order. A representative of RAICES said the regime “is attempting to systematically dismantle every framework of support.”
  111. On Friday, Jamie Riley, dean of students at the University of Alabama, who is black, resigned after Breitbart published three tweets from 2016 and 2017, saying police are racist and the flag represents a “history of racism.”
  112. On Monday, despite Trump cancelling his trip to Denmark in Week 145, several Danish groups protested Trump’s “sabotage of the global fight against climate change and his racist and discriminatory policies.”
  113. On Monday, WAPO reported the House Judiciary Committee plans to launch an inquiry into Trump’s role in the alleged scheme to silence Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 election.
  114. The committee will hold hearings in the fall. Although federal prosecutors did not indict Trump, House Democrats believe there is enough evidence to name Trump as a co-conspirator on campaign finance charges.
  115. When the House returns to session next week, the committee plans to focus on five possible counts of obstruction of justice. Hush money payments would be the sixth possible impeachment charge.
  116. On Tuesday, Stormy Daniels signaled she is ready to testify, tweeting, “I have no fear of being under oath because I have been and will be honest.” A committee aide said the panel is not planning to bring Daniels in.
  117. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Trump regime must immediately restore the press credentials for Brian Karem, a Playboy columnist and CNN political analyst.
  118. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote in his opinion, “Karem has shown that even the temporary suspension of his pass inflicts irreparable harm on his First Amendment rights.”
  119. On Tuesday, Trump pressed China to make a deal soon in a series of tweets, saying, “they would love to be dealing with a new administration,” adding, but if he wins, “Deal would get MUCH TOUGHER!”
  120. Stocks fell sharply on Trump’s tweets which were sent before the stock market opened, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 250 points, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 0.7%.
  121. Shortly after, Trump defended his trade war with China, tweeting, “For all of the “geniuses” out there,” saying we have been “taken to the cleaners” by China,” adding, “the EU & all treat us VERY unfairly.”
  122. On Wednesday, a Hill-HarrisX poll found Trump’s approval with Midwest voters dipped amid his escalating trade war with China: dropping 5 points to 39% in late August, down from 44% the week prior.
  123. On Friday, Trump again attacked the Federal Reserve, tweeting: “China just enacted a major stimulus plan…In the meantime, our Federal Reserve sits back and does NOTHING!”
  124. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump appointee Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved freeing up $3.6 billion from the Pentagon budget for Trump’s border wall by defunding 127 military construction projects.
  125. The monies will come from projects approved by Congress, using an obscure statute in the federal code, which allows Trump in his role as overseeing the military to tap funds for other purposes.
  126. The regime said the 127 projects — half within the U.S. and its territories and half foreign — will be “deferred” until Congress can pass additional funding to “backfill” and fund them again.
  127. On Friday, NYT reported one of the programs impacted was a middle school set to be constructed at Fort Campbell Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, where units are deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
  128. Leader McConnell’s office told the Times he is “committed to protecting funding” for the middle school project.” A January op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal had praised McConnell for his part in securing funding.
  129. On Wednesday, Rep. Bill Flores announced he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the 5th Republican in Texas, and the 15th Republican overall, saying he will retire to spend more time with his family.
  130. Later Wednesday, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a mainstay in the GOP who began his public service in 1968, announced he would retire and not seek re-election in 2020.
  131. On Wednesday, the Trump regime rolled back requirements for energy saving light bulbs, by preventing new efficiency standards from going into effect on January 1 under a law passed by Congress in 2007.
  132. The move could contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The move to more efficient light bulbs started under the George W. Bush administration and had bipartisan support.
  133. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Joe Balash, a Trump appointee in the Interior Department as assistant secretary for land and minerals, resigned to join a foreign oil company that is expanding operations in Alaska.
  134. Balash is the third senior Interior Department Trump appointee to head to an industry it regulates: Scott Pruitt went to work for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III, and energy counselor Vincent DeVito went to Cox Oil Offshore.
  135. On Friday, the Trump regime opened a new front in its legal battle with California, as Trump’s DOJ opened an antitrust probe into four automakers that are cooperating with the state’s clean air goals.
  136. The regime also notified the state that its attempts to circumvent the regime’s rollback of Obama-era pollution standards for automakers is illegal, as it sought to strip away the state’s authority to regulate itself.
  137. On Friday, former California governor Jerry Brown tweeted, “This smacks of Stalinism and bureaucratic thuggery at its worst,” adding, “Congress, stop this perversion of America’s legal system.”
  138. On Friday, the NYT Editorial Board said the Department of Justice under Trump “has been reduced to an arm of the White House,” citing the DOJ opening an investigation into the four auto companies.
  139. The editorial board wrote that the DOJ “is supposed to prevent companies from acting in their own interest at the expense of the public,” adding, “the four automakers, by contrast, are acting in the public interest.’
  140. The editorial board called the investigation Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Honda, “an act of bullying, plain and simple: a nakedly political abuse of authority,” and “an embarrassment.”
  141. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the DHS for documents connected to Trump’s reported offer to pardon officials who broke the law to carry out building his wall.
  142. Trump continues to deny reporting on making an offer to pardon. His allies claim comments made behind closed-doors were make in jest. Democrats want to see records as they weigh the possibility of impeachment.
  143. On Wednesday, Politico reported Andrew Miller, the longtime associate of Roger Stone who battled testifying in the Mueller probe, was subpoenaed and will testify in about his former boss in November.
  144. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported Trump’s summer schedule is extremely light. This week, other than his daily intelligence briefing and meetings with cabinet members, Trump has just one event on his schedule.
  145. Instead, Trump was consumed with sending a myriad of tweets and golfing. As Dorian approached, Trump golfed Saturday and Monday and sent more than 100 tweets as the storm ravaged the Bahamas.
  146. Former White House officials said Trump’s unscheduled days are highly unusual, and lend to the aimlessness of this regime. A former Trump Org executive noted Trump is working less now than when he took office.
  147. On Thursday, Trump again attacked Messing, tweeting “Bad “actress” Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water. She wants to create a “Blacklist” of Trump supporters,” adding she is “being accused of McCarthyism.”
  148. Trump also tweeted Messing is “also being accused of being a Racist,” adding, “If Roseanne Barr said what she did, even being on a much higher rated show, she would have been thrown off television.”
  149. Trump also tweeted, “Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue?” adding “ABC fired Roseanne. Watch the double standard!” The Saturday tweet by Messing that Trump referred to was already deleted.
  150. Later Messing tweeted a New Yorker article highlighting Trump’s various Twitter targets over the past month, and adding “I truly hope his family gets him the help he needs. Sad.”
  151. On Thursday, NPR reported a new report by the Government Accountability Office found 99% of applications for the new Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program were rejected.
  152. The report covered the program’s first year from May 2018 to May 2019, and found the Department of Education approved 661 of roughly 54,000 requests, spending $27 million of the $700 million set aside by Congress.
  153. On Thursday, the White House announced that Avi Berkowitz, a 30 year-old administrative assistant to Jared Kushner, will become U.S.-Middle East peace envoy. The role was previously filled by Trump’s real estate lawyer.
  154. Berkowitz, who joined the regime to work for Kushner in 2016, has no foreign policy experience. In a 2017 profile of Berkowitz, Hope Hicks said his main duties were “getting coffee and coordinating meetings.”
  155. On Thursday, the WAPO Editorial Board said in an op-ed it had been “reliably told” that Trump is withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine in “an attempt to extort” help in the 2020 election.
  156. The editorial board writes Trump is “attempting to force” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to “intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation” of 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
  157. Trump claimed he held up the aid to Ukraine in order for it to be reviewed; however CNN reported the Pentagon has already completed its study of military aid, and recommended that the hold be lifted.
  158. On Friday, Reuters reported the House Financial Services Committee investigators have identified possibly failures in Deutsche Bank’s money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs.
  159. The congressional inquiry found evidence of bank staffers in the U.S. and elsewhere flagging new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, and those concerns being ignored by managers.
  160. Congressional investigators are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated funneling illegal funds into the U.S. in its role as a correspondent bank processing transactions for others.
  161. On Friday, Politico reported four states — South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas — are expected to cancel their 2020 GOP presidential primaries and caucuses. Trump’s challengers cried foul.
  162. Former congressman Joe Walsh said, “We also intend to loudly call out this undemocratic bull on a regular basis.” Republican National Committee officials said they played no role in the states’ decisions.
  163. The move demonstrated Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party apparatus, and revealed his allies efforts to silence any potential nuisance or public embarrassment on the way to his renomination.
  164. On Friday, Politico reported the House Judiciary Committee will vote shortly after returning next week to explicitly define the parameters of what Chair Nadler calls an ongoing “impeachment investigation.”
  165. Democrats hope that explicitly defining the investigation in a resolution will strengthen their hand to call witnesses to testify. Advocates for a formal impeachment inquiry have clamored for a clearer definition.
  166. On Friday, Business Insider reported Trump aides and confidants are increasingly concerned about his mental state, following erratic behavior, outbursts, and his fixations.
  167. One source said, “His mood changes from one minute to the next based on some headline or tweet,” making it impossible to keep a schedule, while another noted, “No one knows what to expect from him anymore.”
  168. Aides were also concerned about his fixation on Dorian and Alabama, saying his frustration has been compounded by the stress of the 2020 election and the weakening economy.
  169. As of Friday, Trump had sent 15 tweets along with five maps in attempt to prove his original false tweet was correct. Trump also attacked several other targets including actress Messing and other familiar targets.
  170. On Friday, Anthony Scaramucci told the Toronto Global Forum, “I think the president is in severe mental decline,” adding he is not saying it as an adversary, “I’m saying that objectively just looking at what’s going on.”
  171. On Friday, in an evening court filing, Trump’s attorneys asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the House Ways and Means Committee to force him to turn over his federal tax returns.
  172. Trump’s lawyers claimed the House cannot use the courts to enforce its subpoenas, saying the court does not have jurisdiction over the matter, citing “the separation-of-powers principles that inform them.”
  173. Trump’s lawyers claimed only the executive branch can decide whether to go to court to enforce Congressional subpoenas, and Chair Richard Neal’s lawsuit was not properly authorized since the entire House did not vote on it.
  174. On Friday, the IRS proposed scrapping a donor-disclosure requirement for some 501(c) nonprofits, after a federal court found in July that the agency’s rule of not disclosing names violated the law.
  175. The change would also include donors to politically active “dark money” groups” like the National Rifle Association which made uncharacteristically large contributions to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
  176. On Thursday, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham and deputy secretary Gidley responded to WAPO’s “lost summer” op-ed with an op-ed in the Washington Examiner titled “The Washington Post’s lost summer,” claiming “media bias.”
  177. The op-ed claimed Post reporters “pushed their own personal political narrative” on Trump, and falsely claimed that WAPO did not report on certain stories that it actually did cover.
  178. On Saturday, Trump tweeted about “The Washington Post’s @PhilipRucker (Mr. Off the Record) & @AshleyRParker,” calling them “two nasty lightweight reporters.”
  179. Trump also tweeted the two WAPO reporters “shouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the White House,” citing “their reporting is so DISGUSTING & FAKE.”

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Trump references a map while talking to reporters following a briefing from officials about Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office at the White House September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump was briefed by (L-R) U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor Peter Brown and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

POLITICS OF GRAFFITI 147: CHEETO CHRIST STUPID CZAR

AUGUST 31, 2019

Week 146

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 145: IF YOU ARE WARNED NOT TO PROTEST, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. YOU KNOW THAT, RIGHT?

AUGUST 17, 2019

Week 144

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-144/

IMG_1286

Pic from Brick Lane Art, August 2019. Artist: SubDude London. 

This week Trump’s beloved economy faltered under pressure from his trade war with China, a ballooning U.S. budge deficit, and other global factors. An anxious Trump, realizing a strong economy is essential to his re-election, lashed out at the Federal Reserve, while confiding in allies his plan to blame any downturn on Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Meanwhile his shrinking inner-circle of sycophants assured him forecasts were wrong.

“The Mooch is right. I’m a FAT FUCK.” Liege, Belgium. 17aug2019

Trump held two rallies this week, one at a Shell Chemical plant outside Pittsburgh, where later it was revealed union employees were mandated to attend — “No scan, no pay” —  and warned not to protest. At a second rally in New Hampshire, Trump rambled, veering off script and repeating points he made earlier in the speech.

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Brussels, Belgium. August 2019

Channeling Obama, a 45 supporter makes a statement, and a reminder that our election system is corrupted. New York City. June 2019

This week the concerns of an uprising and mainstreaming of white nationalism continued, while Trump regime officials continued to make blatantly racist and xenophobic statements, and defend cruel and inhumane treatment of people of color. The Republican Party remained silent, instead seeking to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats. Trump urged his authoritarian ally in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deny entry for two Muslim members of Congress — an unprecedented thwart of democracy. Protests heated up in Russia and Hong Kong.

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“LOVES the NRA.” Lier, Belgium. 15aug19. 
  1. WAPO reported Trump crossed 12,000 false or misleading claims on August 5, his 928th day since taking office. He has averaged 20 lies per day since crossing the 10,000 mark on April 26.
  2. About one-fifth of his lies relate to immigration, and the percentage has grown since the government shutdown over his wall. Trump also lies frequently about trade, the economy, and the Russia investigation.
  3. On Monday, the Twitter account for the House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “We are considering all Article I remedies to Presidential misconduct, including articles of impeachment.”
  4. The panel added, “We will continue our investigation. We will hold @realDonaldTrump accountable. This is America. And no one is above the law. Not even the President.”
  5. On Saturday, Trump retweeted conspiracy theories, tying the death of Jeffrey Epstein to the Clintons, and spreading an unsubstantiated claim that Epstein was on suicide watch, in contrast to his regime’s statement.
  6. On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump on “Fox News Sunday,” saying Trump“just wants everything to be investigated,” and criticizing those connecting Trump to Epstein.
  7. On Sunday, the New York City medical examiner’s office said it had completed an autopsy of Epstein, but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death.
  8. NBC News reported that the FBI, which does not normally look into suicides at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, is also looking into the case out of an “abundance of caution.”
  9. On Sunday, NYT reported that Epstein was supposed to be checked every 30 minutes, but that protocol was not followed. Also procedure for a recent suicide attempt is to have a cellmate, but Epstein’s was transferred out.
  10. WAPO reported Epstein’s guards, who were working overtime, had not checked on him for “several” hours. Also his cellmate, a former police officer in custody on murder and narcotics charges, was not present.
  11. On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins launched a bipartisan inquiry into the circumstances of Epstein’s apparent suicide.
  12. On Saturday, Trump attacked his former press secretary and friend, Anthony Scaramucci, tweeting he “was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling.”
  13. Trump also tweeted of Scaramucci’s television appearance criticizing him, “he knows very little about me,” adding, “Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV.”
  14. On Sunday, Scaramucci responded, tweeting he had supported Trump until he “said things that divide the country,” adding, “eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.”
  15. On Monday, Scaramucci told CNN that Trump should be replaced as the GOP presidential candidate in 2020, citing “the racially charged comments, the divisive tweeting,” saying Trump’s rhetoric “is not helping the country.”
  16. On Monday, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told PBS that during Trump’s visit in Week 143, Trump chastised him, “You’re a RINO” (Republican in Name Only) when Margo corrected Trump about crime statistics in the city.
  17. On Wednesday, former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh apologized for helping elect an “unfit con man” in an NYT op-ed, and made the case for someone on the right to launch a 2020 primary challenge against Trump.
  18. Walsh said of Trump, “We’ve had enough of your lies, your bullying, your cruelty, enough of your insults, your daily drama, your incitement, enough of the danger you place this country in every single day.”
  19. On Sunday, Trump attacked MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch, tweeting, “So funny to watch Little Donny Deutsch on TV with his own failing show,” saying he and CNN’s Erin Burnett would call and “BEG” to be on “The Apprentice.”
  20. Trump added, during the 2016 election “I would watch as Joe Scarborough & his very angry Psycho wife(?)” push Deutsch “to the point of total humiliation,” but he did not fight back because “he wanted to stay on TV.”
  21. On Tuesday, Trump attacked CNN host Chris Cuomo over threatening a man who called him “Fredo,” tweeting, would Cuomo “be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” and “He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon.”
  22. Trump seemed to be making a mocking reference at “red flag” laws which grant authorities the power to remove guns from those who have been deemed unstable. Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “He’s nuts!”
  23. Ivanka has called for stricter background checks and “red flag” laws. Donald Jr., who the WSJ reported Trump called his “my gun expert” at a recent fundraiser, is against both. Trump has taken no action on guns.
  24. Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “I thought Chris was Fredo also,” adding, “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.” Trump retweeted attacks on Cuomo and CNN from his allies and family all day Monday.
  25. Later Monday, Trump also tweeted, “When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News,” adding, “We never learn!”
  26. Later Monday, Trump also attacked CNN, tweeting, “Without being stuck at an airport, where CNN buys (at a big price) an uninterested audience, they’ve got nothing going,” adding CNN “is BAD for America!”
  27. On Monday night, CNN stood by Cuomo. On Tuesday, before heading to a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump told reporters that Cuomo’s behavior is like “a totally out of control animal,” and that he “spews lies every night.”
  28. Trump also defended his promoting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death, telling reporters the retweet “was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit. So I think it was fine.”
  29. When asked if he truly believes the Clintons are involved in Epstein’s death, Trump responded “I have no idea” and highlighted Bill Clinton’s relationship with Epstein, adding he is demanding a “full investigation.”
  30. On Saturday, tens of thousands of Russians protested in Moscow over Putin’s refusal to allow a slate of independent candidates on the city council elections ballot for September.
  31. Unlike past protests, this was an authorized rally, which featured speakers and entertainers. Some among the crowd shouted, “Putin is a thief.” Heavily armed police detained 135 people.
  32. On Monday, NYT reported U.S. intelligence officials are scrambling to understand an explosion that released radiation off the coast of Northern Russia during testing of a new type of nuclear-propelled cruise missile.
  33. The incident killed seven Russians, marking one of the worst nuclear accidents in the region since Chernobyl. The Pentagon and other agencies have described the nuclear missile as a potential new kind of threat.
  34. On Monday, thousands of anti-government protestors stormed the Hong Kong International Airport. The protest began in June over legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
  35. The protest led to over 150 flights being canceled. The government of China said protestors had “begun to show signs of terrorism,” also citing previous actions including a gasoline bomb.
  36. On Tuesday, when asked by reporters about the Hong Kong protests, Trump called it a “tough situation,” and said he hopes the situation will work out “for everybody, including China.”
  37. Demonstrations turned violent Tuesday as protestors at the airport clashed with police. Trump has been criticized for not commenting on the protests and defending democracy as other lawmakers on both sides have done.
  38. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted U.S. intelligence informed him “the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” adding, “Everyone should be calm and safe!
  39. On Wednesday, Trump defended the leader of China, tweeting, “I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people,” and “He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’”
  40. Trump also offered to meet with Xi, tweeting, “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
  41. Trump also tweeted Wednesday, then retweeted Thursday, that China is “eating the Tariffs” while “The American consumer is fine,” adding, “China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”
  42. On Sunday, NYT reported the El Paso shooter’s 2,300 word manifesto echoed words used by conservative commentators, including “invasion” and “replacement” — words used in the right-wing fringes until recently.
  43. The Times analysis found 300 Fox News programs in the past year have referenced an immigration “invasion,” and found a “shared vocabulary of intolerance” between conservative commentators and the manifesto.
  44. On Sunday, WAPO reported Trump, who considers himself a branding expert, has been unable to shake the label of “racist” — which makes him furious. He has lashed out on Twitter and in public comments to no avail.
  45. On Sunday, NYT reported officials in the Department of Homeland Security have felt that they cannot broach the topics of domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence with Trump because he is not interested.
  46. Reportedly, former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sought a regular meeting with Trump to brief him on domestic terrorism and other topics, but her proposal was rejected by the White House.
  47. Instead the department has been told to focus on foreign terrorism and immigration, and to pay little attention to domestic extremism. Incidents of white supremacist propaganda have increased 182% in 2018.
  48. On Sunday, Richard Clayton, 26, a white supremacist, was arrested after making online threats about a shooting at a Walmart in Florida, saying “3 more days…then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”
  49. On Sunday, NYT reported that Taylor Dumpson, the first African-American female student body president of American University, won a $725,000 judgment over neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin for inciting trolls to target her.
  50. The judgment is the third against Anglin, publisher of the website The Daily Stormer, in the last three months. In all, Anglin owes more than $20 million to three people, but has yet to pay a cent.
  51. On Saturday, NYT reported the Trump regime has taken steps to revoke the certification of an outspoken immigration judges’ union which has been critical of some of the regime’s policies, in an effort to muffle dissent.
  52. The regime filed a petition claiming the National Association of Immigration Judges should be decertified, saying its members are considered “management officials” ineligible to collectively organize.
  53. On Saturday, the American Bar Association took the unusual step of raising alarms that judges are receivingintensified personal threats, which have been further amplified by social media.
  54. On Sunday, thousands of Jewish Americans marked the holiday of Tisha B’Av, an annual day of mourning, by protesting in D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and more over the Trump regime’s immigration policies.
  55. The protestors organized around “Never Again.” In NYC, dozens of protestors, including some rabbis, were arrested after conducting a prayer service outside the Amazon store in downtown Manhattan.
  56. On Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus demanded answers on the Mississippi raids, saying its “purpose is to instill fear in Latino and immigrant communities,” adding, “Latinos are already living in terror.”
  57. The Hispanic Caucus tweeted data showing Immigration and Custom Enforcement “has increased their total number of detention beds to over 55,000. This is well above what Congress appropriated for beds.”
  58. On Monday, the Trump regime issued a new rule, called the “public charge” rule, which would enable officials to deny green cards to migrants they believe will receive public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.
  59. Starting October 15, the new rules will allow customs and immigration officers not only to consider whether an applicant currently receives benefits, but also make a determination on whether they will in the future.
  60. On Monday, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, defended the ruleon NPR, saying it was part of Trump “keeping his promises” to reduce the “burden on the government.”
  61. Cuccinelli twisted Emma Lazarus’ words on the Statue of Liberty, saying, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
  62. On Tuesday, Cuccinelli defended his statement, telling CNN the Statue of Liberty poem is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
  63. On Tuesday, two California counties filed lawsuits challenging the regime’s “public charge” rule, calling it “arbitrary and capricious,” and saying it “flouts federal law, and seeks to usurp Congress’ authority.”
  64. On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on CNN of Cuccinelli’s rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem, “I’ve been a refugee twice. … I think that it is one of the most un-American things I’ve heard.”
  65. On Wednesday, 13 states filed a lawsuit against DHS over the new “public charge” rule. States included Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Jersey.
  66. On Tuesday, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence defended Mississippi raids that left children abandoned, saying, “The parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible.”
  67. Albence said of a video showing a young girl crying, “Many officers, on a daily basis — when an officer goes in to arrest somebody for a crime of domestic violence, one of the children in there is going to be crying.”
  68. On Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she has “no intention” of accepting unaccompanied migrant children for shelter in her city, in reaction to a request by a federal contractor, Dynamic Service Solutions.
  69. Similarly, top local officials in Northern Virginia also pushed back at Department of Health and Human Services request to house unaccompanied migrant children there, citing the unacceptable policy of family separation and other issues.
  70. On Wednesday, Ohio AG Dave Yost suspended facial-recognition databases for law enforcement officers, following a report by the Post which found FBI, ICE, and other federal agencies were mining data without permission.
  71. On Wednesday, NBC News reported ICE records obtained by a government watchdog group show the number of detainees put in solitary confinement rose by 15.2% during the first 15 months of Trump’s time in office.
  72. The watchdog group the Project On Government Oversight also found of those in solitary, “a strikingly high proportion have mental illness.” The trend of the data indicated the level of solitary confinement will continue to rise.
  73. On Wednesday, at a Never Again Action protest at Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island, Thomas Woodworth, a correctional officer, drove his pickup truck into a crowd of protestors. The facility works with ICE.
  74. The group of protestors included children and a protestor in a wheelchair. When protestors blocked Woodworth’s truck from making it through the gate, other guards surrounded protestors and fired pepper spray.
  75. In a statement, the Rhode Island attorney general’s office and the Rhode Island State Police said they are investigating the incident. Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
  76. On Thursday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs defended the driver, saying he was “within his rights” to plow into ICE protestors on his way to work, and telling his viewers it “must just gladden your heart.”
  77. On Thursday, a federal appeals panel ruled that the Trump regime must provide edible food, clean water, soap, and toothpaste to migrant children as required under the 1977 Flores settlement.
  78. The panel tossed out the Trump regime’s challenge to a lower court, saying the regime was not required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, as part of the Flores requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary.”
  79. A legal advocate for child welfare at the National Center for Youth Law, said, “It should shock the conscience of all Americans to know that our government argued children do not need these bare essentials.”
  80. On Thursday, the Clarion Ledger reported ICE separated a 4-month-old breastfed baby from its mother. The mother was arrested while working at Koch Foods, where she had worked for four years, as part of a mass raid in Week 143.
  81. The father is now raising three young children on his own. He too faces possible deportation under the Trump regime, as part of proceedings stemming from an earlier arrest.
  82. On Friday, a federal appeals court delivered Trump a partial victory, narrowing the injunction on the asylum ban by allowing the regime to enforce the policy in New Mexico and Texas, two of the busiest stretches.
  83. On Monday, federal prosecutors charged Justin Olsen, an 18 year-old white man in Ohio, with making threats against law enforcement. Olsen wrote, “in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight.”
  84. Olsen’s writings online expressed support for mass shootings, and also was for attacks on Planned Parenthood. He lived in a house with 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
  85. On Tuesday, a viral-video showed Michigan police stopping and questioning a black man who was walking into a restaurant, after a white woman called police to say he looked suspicious.
  86. The man was stopped by an officer, then three more responded to the scene and questioned him for almost an hour. On Thursday, the Royal Oak Police Department launched an investigation and apologized.
  87. Race Imboden, a member of the U.S. fencing team who earned a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games, took a knee on the podium during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.
  88. On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported Rep. Steve King asked a group in an argument to ban abortion, if we pulled out rape and incest from family trees, “Would there be any population of the world left?”
  89. King also told the crowd, “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society? I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
  90. On Friday, WAPO reported Jerri Kelly, a 46 year-old white woman in Wynne, Arkansas, held four black teenswho were going door-to-door to raise money for their football team, by gunpoint.
  91. Before the four knocked on her door, Kelly emerged with a gun, forced them to lie down, spread their legs and place their arms behind their backs. Kelly was charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
  92. On Monday, the Trump regime said it will change the way the Endangered Species Act was applied, making it easier to remove species from the list and harder to protect species from threats like climate change.
  93. The new rules allow regulators to conduct economic assessments to deciding if a species should be protected, and clears the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development where protected species live.
  94. On Monday, a study released by the American Meteorological Society found greenhouse gases reached record levels in 2018, and their global warming power is now 43% stronger than in 1990.
  95. Other findings included that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, following behind 2015, 2017, and 2016 the warmest. Glaciers melted at a concerning rate for the 30th straight year, and sea levels for the 7th year.
  96. On Tuesday, a coalition of 29 states and cities sued to block the Trump regime from rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The challenge is led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
  97. The Obama-era rule required states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2022 by closing heavily polluting plants. AG James said “the science is indisputable” and called the Trump regime’s plan a “do-nothing rule.”
  98. The case, which could go to the Supreme Court, could weaken future presidents’ power to regulate carbon dioxide pollution, and make it harder for the U.S. to tackle climate change.
  99. Trump selected William Perry Pendley as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley does not believe that government should have public lands, and has spent his professional life fighting it in court.
  100. On Wednesday, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule which would grant businesses with federal contracts “religious exemption” in hiring and firing, impacting employees who are LGBTQ and others.
  101. Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella said the rule will “ensure the civil rights of religious employers are protected.” About one-quarter of U.S. employees work for an employer that has a contract with the government.
  102. On Monday, at a town-hall meeting with staff, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said the Times can do a better job covering Trump, race, and politics, and called the headline mistake from last week a “fucking mess.”
  103. On Tuesday, the Times demoted editor Jonathan Weisman, citing “serious lapses” on social media. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Weisman “Should have been Fired! Totally biased and inaccurate reporting.”
  104. Trump also tweeted of the Times on Thursday, “the paper is a Fraud, Zero Credibility. Fake News takes another hit, but this time a big one!”
  105. On Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland became the 123rd House Democrat to call for an impeachment inquiry. Including Rep. Amash the total count stood at 124.
  106. On Monday, government figures showed the U.S. budget deficit is up 27% from a year ago, bringing the deficit through July to $867 billion from $684 billion last year, and on track to top a trillion for the fiscal year.
  107. On Tuesday, Politico reported that over the past few days, economists at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America warned that Trump’s trade war with China has led to a rising risk of a recession.
  108. On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the Trump regime would delay imposing some tariffs on China, saying it was not a trade concession to China, but a decision to help the American consumer.
  109. Ross claimed the “analytical work began well before” Trump imposed additional tariffs, and the market fell off July’s all-time highs.
  110. On Wednesday, Trump quoted a commentator on Fox Business in a tweet, saying “The Fed has got to do something! The Fed is the Central Bank of the United States, not the Central Bank of the World.”
  111. Trump also tweeted, “Correct! The Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late.” Trump also quoted Fox Business, saying of China tariffs, “but you can’t tell me that it has hurt our economy.”
  112. Later Wednesday, Trump again attacked the Fed shortly before the stock market close, tweeting, “China is not our problem, though Hong Kong is not helping. Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast.”
  113. Trump also tweeted, “we are winning, big time, against China,” but “our problem is with the Fed,” and attacked the Fed Chair, “THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell,” and the “CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!”
  114. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 800 points, its worst percentage drop of the year and fourth-largest drop of all time, on fears of a recession.
  115. On Wednesday, a new Fox New poll found Trump’s disapproval rating jumped 5 points from a month ago to 56%, one point below his record disapproval of 57% in October 2017.
  116. On Thursday, Trump blamed the media for the faltering economy, tweeting, “the Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”
  117. Trump offered no evidence to back his claim. He also tweeted that thanks to him, “the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”
  118. On Thursday, WAPO reported that Trump is worried that a recession could imperil his re-election — his campaign counted on a strong economy. Regime members admitted they had not planned for a recession.
  119. Rather than officials in the regime making plans to stave off a recession, Trump’s economic advisers have been delivering an upbeat message on the economy, arguing it is stronger than many forecasters are predicting.
  120. Trump tweeted the U.S. economy is “the Biggest, Strongest and Most Powerful Economy in the World,” but privately he is anxious. Trump also has a conspiratorial view, telling allies he distrusts statistics in the media.
  121. Trump has privately told allies and aides that Fed Chair Powell will be a scapegoat for a recession. In addition to Trump’s trade war with China and exogenous factors, the regime’s economic message has been muddled.
  122. On Wednesday, Trump held an event at Royal Dutch Shell’s Complex outside Pittsburgh where he was scheduled to deliver a speech on the regime’s energy policies, but turned into a campaign speech.
  123. Trump took full credit for the construction of the plant he spoke at, saying “It was the Trump administration that made it possible,” even though it was initially approved in June 2016, while Obama was in office.
  124. Trump told the construction workers at the event that without him, they would be without a job, and claimed, without evidence, that his time in office was costing him $3 to $5 billion.
  125. Trump again mused about not leaving office after two terms, telling the crowd that to drive the press “totally crazy,” they should use “hashtag third term, hashtag fourth term.”
  126. Trump attacked his 2020 rivals, referring to “Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe,” and went off on a tangent on the Academy Awards, saying no one watches because they got sick of celebrities “disrespecting the people in this room.”
  127. On Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the large union crowd at Shell’s plant was given the option of showing up to Trump’s rally at 7 a.m. to get their card scanned and stand for hours, or not get paid for the day.
  128. In addition to the “No scan, no pay” warning, workers were informed if they missed Trump’s speech, they would not be paid overtime rates routinely built in for extra time during the week.
  129. Union workers were also ordered not to protest: “No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated…the event is to promote good will from the unions.”
  130. On Thursday, Bloomberg reported the Department of Labor abruptly canceled apprenticeship contracts with labor and business groups this week, prompting an outcry from unions that had supported Trump.
  131. On Friday, acting Labor Secretary Pizzella walked back the decision. A spokesperson did not reply to Bloomberg on what caused the reversal of course.
  132. On Wednesday, after a suspect shot six police officers in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney said, “Our officers need help. They need help…They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
  133. On Thursday, Kellyanne Conway attacked Kenney, a Democrat, tweeting, “What Philly sorely needs is a competent mayor who sufficiently respects and resources our brave men and women of law enforcement.”
  134. On Wednesday, 2020 Democrat candidate Julian Castro ran an ad on Trump favorite “Fox & Friends” blaming Trump for the mass shooting in El Paso, saying, “Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists.”
  135. On Wednesday, in a speech at an Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association, Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited “Moscow Mitch,” who “is the grim reaper” in listing all the House measures he has blocked.
  136. On Wednesday, two GOP committee chairs released a memo showing a prolonged investigation by staffers and intelligence could not prove China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server, a 2016 conspiracy theory.
  137. On Thursday, Politico reported a 34-page report by the State Department inspector general’s office found Trump appointees in the departments engaged in “disrespectful and hostile treatment” of career staffers.
  138. The report also found Trump appointees harassed staffers whom they viewed as “disloyal” due to their suspected political views. One employee was forced out and others stripped of their duties.
  139. The report singled out two senior Trump appointees, Kevin Moley and Mari Stull, saying they have “frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff.”
  140. Stull told Foreign Policy the report is “politically motivated payback” for her efforts to implement “Trump’s agenda over the resistance of Deep State bureaucrats,” and said it contains “false and misleading information.”
  141. On Thursday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, who had been advocating for the report’s release, called the report findings “offensive” and said that Moley should “resign or be fired.”
  142. On Wednesday, CBS News reported corrections officers may have falsified reports saying they checked on Epstein as required by protocol. One source said he may have been dead two to three hours before he was found.
  143. On Thursday, WAPO reported an autopsy found multiple breaks in Epstein’s neck bones, including the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such fractures have sparked controversies in contentious deaths.
  144. Jonathan Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Post a hyoid break is more commonly associated with homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging.
  145. On Friday, the New York City medical examiner concluded Epstein’s death was a result of suicide by hanging. He hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bunk bed.
  146. On Thursday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed himself and sided with Trump over Democratic leaders, prohibiting Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel.
  147. Hours before the decision, Trump tweeted “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed the two to visit, saying “they hate Israel & all Jewish people,” and adding, “They are a disgrace!”
  148. Democrats said blocking U.S. lawmakers for practicing free speech is unacceptable and unprecedented. Trump views attacking the two, who are for a boycott movement against Israel and poll poorly, as smart politics.
  149. Several prominent Democrats and organizations who have been critical of the two’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, urged the Israeli government to change course and allow them to visit.
  150. Like Trump, Netanyahu has reasons to sow discor: he is politically weak and facing an election on September 17, which if he wins, could keep him out of jail on corruption charges. He also presides over a declining democracy.
  151. Later Thursday, Trump doubled-down, tweeting: “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”
  152. On Friday, Israel reversed course and said Rep. Tlaib would be admitted to see her 90 year-old grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank, citing a letter saying it might be her last chance to see her.
  153. Later Friday, Rep. Tlaib said she would not travel to Israel under “oppressive conditions,” which would have included a pledge in writing not to “promote boycotts against Israel” while there.
  154. Rep. Tlaib tweeted, “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal” is not what her grandmother wants for her, adding, “It would kill a piece of me.”
  155. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called it “outrageous,” saying he was not aware of any member of Congress being asked to agree to preconditions to visit Israel.
  156. On Friday, Trump attacked Tlaib again, tweeting, “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her “grandmother”” — putting grandmother in quotes.
  157. Trump also tweeted Tlaib, “grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup?” adding, “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
  158. Trump also tweeted, “Like it or not, Tlaib and Omar are fast becoming the face of the Democrat Party. Cortez (AOC) is fuming, not happy about this!” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded with a laughing emoji.
  159. On Friday, Reuters reported her grandmother has not seen Tlaib since 2006, and her uncle said “She was going to slaughter a sheep” to make Tlaib’s favorite food. Tlaib’s grandmother said, “May God ruin Trump.”
  160. On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke, former congressman for El Paso and 2020 candidate said of Trump, “I’m confident that if at this moment, we do not wake up to this threat, then we as a country will die in our sleep.”
  161. On Thursday, Trump promoted another conservative book on his Twitter account, saying, “Go out and get Andrew McCarthy’s new book, “Ball of Collusion.” The book asserts there was collusion, but not involving Trump.
  162. On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Rick Dearborn, a former White House aide, to publicly testify before the panel.
  163. The subpoena calls for the two to appear on September 17, and testify about actions taken by Trump relating to obstruction of justice, as part of House Democrats decision on whether to move forward on impeachment.
  164. The panel has already approved subpoenas for ten additional witnesses, including Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, John Kelly, and Jared Kushner.
  165. On Thursday, Chair Nadler also received a letter from attorneys for Hope Hicks, saying despite the proximity of the calls with Michael Cohen, she was not aware of hush money payments, consistent with her testimony.
  166. On Friday, Lewandowski said he was “happy” to testify before Congress, telling Fox News, “I am an open book. I want to go and remind the American people that these guys are on a witch hunt, right?”
  167. On Thursday, Trump doubled-down on re-electing him for a strong economy, telling a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire even Americans who hate him “have no choice but to vote for me.”
  168. Trump mocked his 2020 rival while bragging about the economy even as it falters, saying, “Oh great. ‘Let’s vote for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren” — again using a racial slur — “We have the best numbers we’ve ever had.”
  169. Trump also repeated many of the themes from his 2016 campaign, attacking Hillary Clinton, the media, Democrats, and U.S. allies in Europe. He also all but endorsed Corey Lewandowski in his 2020 run for senate.
  170. The Times described Trump’s hour and a half long speech as “rambling,” and “veering on and off script.” Trump also repeated points he had made earlier in the speech, as if not remembering he made them.
  171. Trump also mocked a man at his rally, saying, “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” as several protestors were escorted out of his rally, and, “Go home. Start exercising.”
  172. Trump also said of the man, “Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do,” adding, “Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?’”
  173. Later Thursday, aboard Air Force One on his way back to his Bedminster golf course, Trump called Frank Dawson, the man he mocked, to apologize, after learning Dawson was a supporter.
  174. Dawson told Fox News that evening, that Trump “didn’t see me rip the signs away from those three people that were sitting near us, adding, “I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn’t. I was the good part of it.”
  175. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland, a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, with various degrees of interest, at dinners and in conversation with aides.
  176. People outside the White House describe it as an Alaska-type acquisition that would be part of Trump’s legacy. Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark next month.
  177. On Friday, leadership of Greenland responded, with Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger telling Reuters, “We are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
  178. Other lawmakers responded with bewilderment, ridicule, and anger over Trump’s deeply inappropriate suggestion. In a formal statement, Greenland’s government said, “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.”
  179. By Friday, 126 House Democrats supported starting an impeachment inquiry. Of those, only one, Rep. Chris Pappas, is from a district that went for Trump in the 2016 election.
  180. An online petition to rename the street in front of Trump Tower as Obama Avenue was signed by more than 300,000 people; however, the local community board has moratorium against renaming streets.
  181. On Friday, hundreds came to the funeral of Margie Reckard, a victim of the El Paso shooting, after her companion of 22 years, Antonio Basco, invited the public saying he felt heartbroken and alone and had few relatives.
  182. On Friday, a memo of talking points being circulated among Congressional Republicans that was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, revealed the GOP strategy is to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats.
  183. The memo falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left,” and gave arguments against gun control, and whataboutisms to counter questions.
  184. On Friday, Scaramucci told Vanity Fair that Trump is a “jackass” who is “crazy” and “narcissistic,” adding Trump “has got the self-worth in terms of his self-esteem of a small pigeon. It’s a very small pigeon.”
  185. Scaramucci also called Trump a “paper tiger,” cited his increased mental problems, and predicted he would drop out of the 2020 presidential race by March 2020.
  186. On Friday, an appeals court declined to halt the Trump regime’s rules to prohibit clinics that receive Title X federal funds from referring patients for abortions, meaning the rules will go into effect Monday.

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5000 union contractors listened to Trump speak at the Shell Chemicals Petrochemical Complex on August 13, 2019 in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It was later reported that workers were mandated to attend or be docked the day’s pay, and were told not to protest.POLITIKS

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 144: TRAVEL ADVISORY WARNING ~ USA

AUGUST 10, 2019

Week 143

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-143/
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Brussels, Belgium 4aug19

This week has the most incidents of violence, attempted violence, and acts of hate inspired by Trump and his rhetoric since I started keeping track. The week started with two deadly mass shootings — one directly linked to the language used by Trump and Fox News — and rather invoking the role of consoler, Trump instead further stoked division and hate. What many may have missed in Week 143 is the amount of close calls by other white men — seemingly activated by Trump’s rhetoric and gaslighting on white supremacy and hate — that could have led to even more bloodshed. Or the remnants of racism and xenophobia that Trump has brought into the mainstream with his actions and words.

The Republican Party saw further defections of House members retiring in 2020, but still lawmakers refused, with few exceptions, to condemn Trump’s mishandling of the mass shootings, his continuing divisiveness and hate, or his blocking of the FBI and other agencies’ attempts to confront domestic terrorism carried out by white supremacists. This week once again there was a bevy of resignations from key roles, as power continues to consolidate into the hands of Trump and his band of sycophants. A mass raid in Mississippi, the largest in U.S. history, produced images of children crying as their parents were taken by ICE agents from places of work. Again, not a peep from the Republican Party.

This week House Democrats quietly escalated what appears to be the start of a stealth impeachment inquiry, suing to have former White House counsel Don McGahn appear for public testimony. While Congress is away for six weeks — a noticeable hiatus given Trump’s now unfettered control of the narrative and acting seemingly unchallenged — court cases filed by House panels continued to move forward.

The week closed with the shocking revelation that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell, allegedly by suicide, the day after court documents were unsealed, revealing other powerful men involved in his ring of sex trafficking and rape of girls. Conspiracy theories, some fanned by Russian-backed bots, exploded shortly after, seeking to distract from the strange occurrence of Epstein’s death.

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Ostende, Belgium July 2019
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Artist: Captain Eyeliner. New York City, June 2019
  1. On Saturday, Patrick Crusius, a 21 year-old white man from Allen, Texas, drove 10 hours to a Walmart five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, and shot and killed at least 20 and injured dozens more.
  2. Minutes before the shooting, Crusius posted a 2,300 word manifesto titled “The Inconvenient Truth” on 8chan, which spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and warned white people were being replaced by foreigners.
  3. The attack followed the pattern of the attacks in New Zealand in March and Poway, Calif. in April where aggrieved white men turned to mass murder against immigrants, Jews, and others perceived to be a threat to the white race.
  4. Much of the language in the manifesto mirrored Trump’s words before and while in office, including “invasion” and “invaders.” At a May rally in Florida, Trump had mused about shooting “these people” to stop them.
  5. The manifesto used words in Trump’s tweets like Democrats “intend to use open borders” to make Texas “a Democrat stronghold,” and language used by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and White House adviser Stephen Miller.
  6. On Sunday, watchdog group Media Matters reported Trump has run roughly 2,200 Facebook ads using the word “invasion” since May 2018, almost all of which reference immigration.
  7. On Saturday, George P. Bush, the Texas General Land Office Commissioner, issued a statement denouncing “white terrorism,” calling it “a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
  8. On Saturday, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported white nationalist leaders and bloggers expressed solidarity with the El Paso shooter on online platforms, praising the El Paso massacre and mocking the dead.
  9. Hours after the shooting, Trump crashed another wedding at his Bedminster golf resort. Photos on social media showed Trump smiling and waving at wedding guests who shouted, “USA! USA!”
  10. On Sunday, just after midnight, Trump tweeted the shooting in El Paso was “an act of cowardice,” and “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act.”
  11. On Sunday, an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald titled “US in the midst of a white nationalist terrorism crisis” was published, citing the “flames Trump fans with his dehumanising discourse.”
  12. On Sunday, the NYT Editorial Board wrote “We have a white nationalist terrorist problem,” adding while here for a while, “white nationalism has attained a new mainstream legitimacy during Mr. Trump’s time in office.”
  13. On Sunday, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas said it was treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case, and is weighing hate crime charges. The mass shooting was the deadliest since November 2017.
  14. On Sunday, Mexico threatened to take legal action against the U.S. for failing to protect its citizens. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the massacre a “terrorist act against innocent Mexicans.”
  15. On Monday, ABC News reported law enforcement said Crusius cased the Walmart before his rampage, looking for Mexicans to target. Of the 22 killed, 8 were Mexican citizens, and 9 Mexicans were wounded.
  16. On Sunday, shortly after 1 a.m., Connor Betts, a 24 year-old white man opened fired with a high-capacity riflein the nightlife district in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine, including his sister, and injuring 27.
  17. On Monday, CBS News reported Betts kept a “hit list” of those he wanted to kill, and a “rape list” of girls he wanted to sexually assault in high school. He was suspended after his hit list was found on a bathroom wall.
  18. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported Betts was the lead singer in Menstrual Munchie, a “pornogrind” band, a genre defined by its themes of gore and violence, specifically sexual violence towards women.
  19. On Sunday, in the wake of the massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News video games are partly to blame for mass shootings.
  20. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “This Week” on the shooting, “I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president,” adding, “they are sick, sick people.”
  21. On Sunday, Candice Keller, an Ohio GOP state representative, was criticized for blaming the Dayton shooting on “the breakdown of the traditional family, gay marriage, violent video games” and other things.
  22. On Sunday, CNN reported FBI director Christopher Wray ordered offices around the country to undertake a new threat assessment to thwart future mass attacks, amid concern that violent extremists could be inspired to act.
  23. WAPO reported a former FBI supervisor cited concern that FBI agents may be hamstrung by reluctance to start investigations that target what Trump perceives as his base, calling it a no-win situation.
  24. On Wednesday, CNN reported the Trump regime rebuffed efforts by the Department of Homeland Security for over a year to make combating domestic terrorism, such as white supremacists, a greater priority.
  25. An official said the Trump regime wanted to focus on only on the jihadist threat. Officials also noted fighting the white supremacy aspect of domestic terrorism was not in the regime’s fiscal 2020 budget.
  26. On Thursday, Yahoo News reported the Trump regime blocked Congress from access to a DOJ report which allegedly reveals white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism incidents in 2018.
  27. On Monday, Rep. Kenny Marchant said he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the 11th House Republican to retire, and the fourth House Republican from Texas in recent weeks.
  28. On Monday, Venezuela and Uruguay issued travel warnings to their citizens about traveling to the U.S., citing violence and hate crimes, and the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.”
  29. On Wednesday, Amnesty International issued a global travel advisory to those traveling to the U.S. to “exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan” and avoid spots where large groups congregate.
  30. The advisory also said “depending on the traveler’s gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence.”
  31. On Monday, former congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso (a 2020 Democratic candidate) said of Trump, “connect the dots about what he’s been doing…He’s not tolerating racism; he’s promoting racism.”
  32. O’Rourke also expressed exasperation with the media when asked if Trump could do better, saying “What do you think?…I don’t know, like, members of the press: What the f — -?”
  33. On Monday, Rep. Veronica Escobar said Trump is “not welcome” in her district, saying he came into “one of the safest communities in the nation” and months later, so did a gunman.
  34. On Monday, Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister accused Trump of stoking racism and his party of “enabling white supremacy,” saying, “When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.”
  35. On Monday, Trump blamed the media for the shootings, tweeting, “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” saying coverage must improve or it will “only get worse!”
  36. Trump also tweeted “Republicans and Democrats must come together” suggesting pairing “strong background checks” legislation “with desperately needed immigration reform.” It was unclear what he meant.
  37. Hours later, reading from a teleprompter, Trump spoke of “the inherent worth and dignity of every human life,” saying, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.”
  38. Trump cited a link between the mass shootings and violent video games, mental illness, and internet bigotry, but did not address guns. He called for the death penalty for “those who commit hate crimes and mass murders.”
  39. Trump did not mention the idea in his morning tweet of linking immigration legislation to background checks. NYT reported aides argued the linkage was a bad idea and urged Trump to drop it.
  40. At one point, Trump went off script, blessing the memory of “those who perished in Toledo,” not Dayton or El Paso. The official White House transcript of his speech crossed out “in Toledo” from the text.
  41. WAPO noted Trump’s words read from the teleprompter were a sharp departure from his time in office in which he engaged in “name-calling, demonizing minorities and inflaming racial animus,” mostly on Twitter.
  42. Hours later, former president Barack Obama called on the country to reject words “coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that feed fear and hatred, saying, “It has no place in our politics and our public life.”
  43. Obama also noted such language has been root of most human tragedy, from slavery to the Holocaust to the Rwandan genocide. Obama did not mention Trump by name, but noted his campaign’s inflammatory rhetoric.
  44. On Monday evening, amid a widespread backlash, the NYT changed its front page headline on Trump’s speech from “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS” for the second edition.
  45. On Tuesday, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times told the Columbia Journalism Review it was a “bad headline,” adding that “It didn’t have enough skepticism of what the president said.”
  46. On Monday, top Democrats called on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel August recess and return to vote in gun control measures passed in the House. McConnell fell and fractured his shoulder on Sunday.
  47. On Monday, Democrat Amy McGrath, who is challenging Leader McConnell in 2020, criticized a photo tweeted by his campaign of gravestones, including one that read “R.I.P. Amy McGrath.”
  48. On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confronted Leader McConnell after a photo of seven young white men in ‘Team Mitch’ t-shirts groping and choking her cutout appeared on social media.
  49. On Wednesday, Twitter froze McConnell’s campaign account for posting a video of protestors screaming obscenities outside his home. Twitter will not unlock the account until the video is removed.
  50. On Wednesday, Politico reported the White House is circulating drafts of an executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies — a frequent complaint by Trump.
  51. On Friday, Twitter reversed, unlocking the McConnell campaign account, looking to defuse a growing controversy with the Republican establishment.
  52. On Monday, Cesar Sayoc, a super-fan of Trump who mailed explosives to prominent Democrats and media figures who are Trump critics, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  53. On Tuesday, the FBI said it had launched a domestic terrorism probe into the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Week 142, after discovering the shooter had a list of other potential targets.
  54. On Tuesday, the FBI said it is investigating the “violent ideologies” of the Dayton shooter. The Dayton police chief said Betts had an “obsession” with violence and “had expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.”
  55. On Wednesday, Thomas Bartram, a 21 year-old white Trump supporter, was detained by police for making threatening comments and brandishing a knife outside the immigrant center in El Paso. He was later released.
  56. On Friday, Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, sparked panic at a Walmart in Missouri when he walked in wearingbody armor and fatigues. He was detained at gunpoint by an off-duty firefighter
  57. On Friday, police arrested Conor Climo, a 23 year-old white Vegas man who worked as a security guard and was plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a bar catering to LGTBQ customers.
  58. On Friday, Timothy Ireland, Jr., 41, was indicted in at a federal court in Toledo on making interstate threatsagainst Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the four congresswomen targeted by Trump.
  59. On Monday, NBC News reported Brian Kozlowski, a white man in Michigan, was sentenced to just 60 weekend days in prison for trying to poison his wife after she filed for divorce.
  60. On Monday, a 16 year-old white teen was banned from a private school in Columbia, South Carolina as he faces criminal charges after posting a racial-slur-laden video of him shooting a box representing black people.
  61. On Tuesday, the Galveston, Texas police apologized after a photo surfaced of horse-mounted white officers leading a handcuffed black man, who had been arrested on a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge, by a rope.
  62. On Wednesday, WOIO reported an explosion at a Cleveland, Ohio home is being investigated as a possible hate crime, after police found spray-painted racial slurs and swastikas. The FBI is aware of the incident.
  63. On Thursday, Michigan Live reported when Rob Mathis, a Black man, and his wife looked to buy a home in Holton, Michigan owned by a police officer, they found Confederate flags and a KKK application.
  64. The officer, Charles Anderson of the Muskegon Police Department, who is white, was placed on indefinite leave pending an investigation.
  65. On Thursday, the lawyer for Curt James Brockway, a 39 year-old white man who slammed a 13 year-old boy’s head to the ground for not removing his hat during the national anthem, said Trump’s rhetoric was partly to blame.
  66. A letter from National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer named three “left-wing radicals” that “bought control of Congress for the Democrats.” George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are Jewish, as is Tom Steyer’s father.
  67. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 760 points, the worst day of 2019, as the trade war with China intensified, with China retaliating against Trump’s tariff announcement in Week 142.
  68. After the stock market close, the Treasury Department declared China as a currency manipulator, a historic move that no White House had exercised since the Clinton administration in 1994.
  69. Later Monday, China suspended its purchase of U.S. agriculture products. The loss of China, the fourth largest market for U.S. farm products, was a devastating blow to the already struggling U.S. agriculture market.
  70. On Monday, in a WSJ op-ed, former Federal Reserve Chairs Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Janet Yellen said, “America needs an independent Fed” which is “free from short-term political pressures.”
  71. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, saying, “Our problem is not China…Our problem is a Federal Reserve that is too proud to admit their mistake,” adding, “I was right.”
  72. Trump also tweeted the Fed “must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW,” adding, “Incompetence is a terrible thing to watch.”
  73. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked the Fed, saying “The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is…making it more difficult for our great manufacturers.”
  74. Trump also tweeted, “with substantial Fed Cuts” it will be “possible for our companies to win,” adding the Fed “called it wrong at every step of the way…imagine what would happen if they actually called it right?”
  75. On Sunday, France and Germany criticized Russian police’s crackdown on protestors, calling it an “excessive use of force,” and that it “violated Russia’s international obligations.” The U.S. made no statement.
  76. On Monday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that North Korea fired two projectiles for the third time in the past two weeks. The North denounced the U.S. and Seoul over the start of their joint exercises.
  77. On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler told MSNBC that his panel could decide whether to move forward with articles of impeachment in the “late fall perhaps — in the latter part of the year.”
  78. Nadler said his panel will probably get the court decisions on Mueller grand jury evidence by the end of October, and “we will have hearings in September and October” for witnesses and “do it through the fall.”
  79. Nadler added, “The Mueller report was the summary of the evidence, we don’t have the evidence,” and said on holding hearings, “We will get the support of the American people or we won’t. I suspect we will.”
  80. On Monday, District Judge Reggie Walton appeared on several occasions to side with BuzzFeed and nonprofit EPIC in their lawsuit seeking to uncover all the redactions from the Mueller report.
  81. The judge said Trump’s public statements “seem to be inconsistent with what the report itself said,” and that AG William Barr’s four-page letter “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance” of the report.
  82. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to enforce the panel’s subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn, and to compel him to testify about his tenure at Trump’s White House.
  83. The suit asked the judge to strike down the Trump regime’s claim that top aides are “absolutely immune” from its subpoenas, signaling more was at stake than a single witness. The suit mentions impeachment 16 times.
  84. The suit states the committee is “now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president based on the obstructive conduct described by the special counsel.”
  85. On Thursday, WSJ reported major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have handed over documents to congress relating to Trump.
  86. Thousands of pages relating to Trump and his family and businesses’ ties to Russians have been given to the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees, with more expected in coming weeks.
  87. Some of the banks have also turned over documents related to the Trump Organization to New York Attorney General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena issued earlier this year.
  88. On Thursday, NPR reported that 120 members of the House are now for impeachment. Twenty-five of the lawmakers announced support for impeachment after Robert Mueller’s testimony in Week 141.
  89. On Thursday, Chair Nadler told CNN “this is formal impeachment proceedings,” adding “we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment…or we won’t.”
  90. WAPO reported Democrats have begun an impeachment inquiry without people noticing or without fanfare. During the House’s six week break, the action will be in the courts, and then testimony when they return.
  91. On Monday, Lewis Ziska, one of the country’s leading climate change scientists, resigned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the Trump regime tried to bury his groundbreaking study.
  92. Ziska’s study revealed rice is losing nutrients because of rising levels of carbon dioxide, a concern for 600 million who depend on rice for most of their calories. Ziska said “it feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.”
  93. On Monday, the USDA inspector general said the White House violated the law with plans to relocate hundreds of workers in the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Kansas City.
  94. The IG findings cannot stop the relocation, but could be used in congressional or court battles over the USDA’s plan. Many economists and researchers have already said they will quit rather than relocate.
  95. Chief of staff Mulvaney said last week in a speech at a South Carolina Republican Party gala that the relocation was “a wonderful way to sort of streamline government,” bragging, “more than half the people quit.”
  96. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler and Rep. Hank Johnson, a subcommittee chair, in a letter asked the National Archives and Records Administration for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records.
  97. The letter seeks records from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary and in the White House counsel’s office under George W. Bush, including all emails sent or received as well as the “textual records” in his office files.
  98. On Thursday, the Phoenix New Times reported Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford for Senate GOP at Kavanaugh’s hearing, was given a top prosecutor job in Maricopa County.
  99. On Tuesday, the ACLU sued the Trump regime to block a rule that went into effect on July 23, and would expand the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to fast-track deportations.
  100. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked the state’s 18-week abortion ban from going into effect, saying it would cause “irreparable” harm to women seeking abortion.
  101. The judge also blocked new laws banning women from terminating a pregnancy based on a diagnosis the fetus has Down syndrome, and a law requiring providers to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
  102. On Monday, Roger Stone asked an appeals court to overturn his pre-trial gag order, which he described as a “total speech ban,” claiming the order violates both his and his family’s First Amendment rights.
  103. On Tuesday, the DOJ sided with Trump in a battle over a congressional subpoena for his financial records, saying, “The House’s lack of responsibility is sufficient reason…to declare this subpoena invalid.”
  104. The DOJ said “at an absolute minimum,” the court should require the House Oversight Committee to provide clarity on the legislative purpose of seeking eight years of records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.
  105. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the State and Defense departments to release thousands of pages of records related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, in response to a lawsuit by Open Society Justice Initiative.
  106. On Tuesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade defended using the term “invasion” as used by the El Paso shooter, saying, “If you use the term ‘this is an invasion,’ that’s not anti-Hispanic. It’s a fact.”
  107. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a whataboutism quote by Kilmeade, saying, “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign.”
  108. On Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said there is no white supremacy problem in America, saying, “the whole thing is a lie,” adding, “This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory.”
  109. On Thursday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Carlson calling white supremacy a “hoax” and getting widespread criticism, saying his comment was getting “outsized coverage…versus all forms of hate.”
  110. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted his displeasure with the NYT changing a headline “after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY!” adding, “Fake News — That’s what we’re up against.”
  111. Trump also tweeted, “After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!” and quoted Tucker Carlson, saying, “This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before.”
  112. Trump also tweeted the Dayton shooter “had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA” per One America News, adding he hopes “other news outlets will report this.”
  113. On Wednesday, before heading to Dayton and El Paso, when asked if his words embolden white supremacists, Trump said the Dayton shooter supported “Bernie Sanders…antifa…Elizabeth Warren.”
  114. Kellyanne Conway started pushing the false equivalency on Tuesday, telling Fox News that she is “hopping mad” that she sees little coverage of the Dayton shooter being “supportive of Warren, Sanders.”
  115. Trump also told reporters, when asked if he regretted his language being used in the El Paso manifesto, “I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally.”
  116. Trump also said his opponents are “looking for political gain” by tying his comments to the shooting, adding, “I don’t think my rhetoric does at all. I think my rhetoric brings people together.”
  117. As Trump left for Dayton and El Paso, CBS News wrote Trump “will be assuming the role of consoler-in-chief.” The network later scrubbed reference to consoler-in-chief from the title and body of the article.
  118. Although Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal, as would be a traditional role for the country’s leader, he instead attacked opponents and was unable again to show empathy.
  119. In Dayton, Trump visited a hospital only, and spoke briefly with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown, who later complimented him for coming, but criticized his rhetoric and lack of action on gun control.
  120. Once aboard Air Force One, Trump tweeted he had “ a warm & wonderful visit,” adding, “Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place.”
  121. Trump also tweeted, “Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” adding, “It bore no resemblance to what took place.” Director of Social Media Dan Savino tweeted, “They are disgraceful politicians.”
  122. Mayor Whaley later responded on CNN, calling Trump “a bully and a coward,” and adding, “It’s fine that he wants to bully me and Senator Brown. We’re okay. We can take it.”
  123. Trump also tweeted a criticism about 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s speech, calling him “Sleepy Joe Biden” and “Sooo Boring!” adding “The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy.”
  124. Trump also attacked Fox News host Shepard Smith, tweeting, “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show,” adding he turns on One America News, “whenever possible.”
  125. In El Paso, Trump faced thousands of protestors. After visiting a hospital, Trump told reporters, “We had an amazing day… The love, the respect for the office of the presidency — I wish you could have been in there to see it.”
  126. Trump said of Whaley and Brown, “They shouldn’t be politicking today,” calling them “very dishonest people,” and adding that is why Brown got “about zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.”
  127. After leaving El Paso, Trump attacked Joaquin Castro, brother of 2020 candidate Julian, who tweeted the names of major Trump donors in Texas. Trump initially deleted a tweet that misspelled Joaquin as Juaquin.
  128. Trump called Joaquin “the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himselfevery time he opens his mouth,” saying he is “not the man that his brother is,” and his brother is “not much.”
  129. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work,” adding, “The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see,” and “Sad!”
  130. Trump tweeted, “The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon…they never cease to use when they are down…RACISM!” adding he will put out “a list of all people who have been so (ridiculously) accused!”
  131. Later, back at the White House, Trump tweeted, “Just watched a world class loser, Tim O’Brien, who I haven’t seen or spoken to in many years” on “Lyin’ Brian Williams Trump Slam Show.”
  132. Trump also tweeted, “so amazed that MSNBC & CNN can keep putting on, over and over again, people that have no idea what I am all about,” adding “how did that work out for the Haters and Losers. Not well!”
  133. Later Wednesday, WAPO reported that none of the eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting being treated at University Medical Center agreed to meet with Trump during his hospital visit.
  134. In a video released of Trump’s hospital visit, he is heard bragging to staff members about his El Paso rally three months ago, saying, “That place was packed. … That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside.”
  135. On Friday, NYT reported Trump was furious that the media coverage of his trip was more focused on his attacks on political opponents than the cheery reception he received when he arrived at the Dayton hospital.
  136. There was also widespread coverage of Trump in El Paso giving a thumbs up while the first lady, Melania Trump, cradled a 2-month-old baby who lost both parents in the shooting — the mother died shielding him from bullets.
  137. Trump started to see the negative headlines while flying back from El Paso on Air Force One. Reportedly, Trump screamed at his aides to produce videos proving that in El Paso people were happy to see him.
  138. On Wednesday, a Pew Research poll found 51% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say it would be too risky to give presidents more power, down from 70% in March 2018.
  139. On Wednesday, as Trump was visiting Dayton and El Paso, Trump’s Immigration and Customs and Enforcement conducted the largest immigration sweep in a single state in U.S. history.
  140. ICE targeted seven different workplaces in six different cities in Mississippi. With the help of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, ICE rounded up 680 undocumented immigrants.
  141. ICE acting director Matthew Albence said the raid involved the mobilization of nearly 650 federal agents from around the country, and was planned long before the shootings, “and we intended to carry it out.”
  142. On Wednesday, the Clarion Ledger reported the Scott County superintendent said he knew of at least six students in the district that had a parent caught up in the ICE roundup, and expected the number of rise.
  143. The raids occurred in small towns near Jackson, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie, and Sebastapol, where most of the workforce is made up of Latino immigrants.
  144. Children at the scene of the raid were seen waving goodbye to their parents as adults were taken into custody. As of 3:30 p.m., adults rounded up were still being screened and processed.
  145. A video of a teary-eyed 12 year-old girl named Angie showed friends of her mother taking her to a food-processing plant to say goodbye. ICE told one friend she could take her back to school or wait until he mom gets out.
  146. A video showed 11 year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio begging ICE to release her father: “Governments please put your heart. Let my parent be free. I need my dad by me. My dad didn’t do anything. He is not a criminal.”
  147. WJTV reported many of the children relied on neighbors and strangers to pick them up outside their homes after school. Some of the children of detained parents slept at a community gym.
  148. On Thursday, KTLA reported Mississippi residents rallied around terrified children left with no parents. Later that morning, about 300 of the 680 were released after being taken to a military hangar.
  149. On Thursday, WAPO reported those temporarily released to take care of children will be free until their court date, but under the Trump regime if undocumented will likely be deported, regardless of criminal history.
  150. On Friday, WAPO reported of the seven plants owned by five companies, including Koch Foods, federal authorities have not yet announced criminal or civil charges against any company, despite a year-long investigation.
  151. The Post has not found any evidence of ICE audits or raids at Trump properties, either before or during his time in office. The DOJ has not charged the Trump properties with violating immigration laws.
  152. On Friday, WAPO reported for two decades the Trump Org has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to work as construction crews for its winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.
  153. Edmundo Morocho, an undocumented worker, said he was told by a Trump supervisor to buy fake identity documents on a New York street corner. Morocho hid at a Trump golf course from visiting labor union officials.
  154. Although Eric Trump told the Post in January that Trump Org was “making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents,” workers say nothing has changed.
  155. On Tuesday, Jon Huntsman sent a letter to Trump announcing he will resign as U.S. ambassador to Russiaafter serving two years, and return to his home state of Utah in October.
  156. On Thursday, Kimberly Breier, the assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, resigned over the level of control exerted by the Trump regime over immigration, trade relations, and other matters.
  157. On Thursday, Sue Gordon, the country’s number 2 intelligence official as deputy director of national intelligence, resigned. Gordon will step down on August 15, the same day as her boss, DNI Dan Coats.
  158. Gordon was in line to replace Coats, at least in an acting capacity, until Trump nominated his successor. Gordon’s resignation letter said, “I offer this letter as an act of respect & patriotism, not preference.”
  159. On Thursday, Foreign Service Officer Chuck Park resigned in an op-ed saying he can “no longer justify” to his son born in El Paso, “or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration.”
  160. On Friday, House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel said he was “fed up” with the State Department, citing suspicions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is blocking release of an IG report on whether Trump appointees mistreated career staffers.
  161. On Friday, CNN reported the EPA will drop Obama-era protections of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, allowing a controversial mining project, which the EPA said in 2014 could result in a “complete loss of fish habitat.”
  162. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” adding, “They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite,” and, “They are the true Racists.”
  163. Trump was referencing a morning segment on “Fox & Friends” about an upcoming move called “The Hunt.” On Saturday, Universal Pictures canceled the movie’s release after the right-wing uproar.
  164. On Wednesday, Stephen Ross, the owner of Equinox and SoulCycle, faced outrage and boycotts over hosting a fundraiser for Trump. Ross said he has known Trump for 40 years and strongly disagrees on some issues.
  165. At Ross’s Hamptons fundraiser, attendees will give up to $100,000 for a picture with Trump and $250,000 to listen in on a roundtable discussion. Ross moved ahead with the fundraiser despite calls to cancel it.
  166. On Friday, Trump threatened undefined retaliation against countries and organizations that have issued travel warnings over gun violence in the U.S., telling reporters, “If they did that, we’d just reciprocate.”
  167. Trump also told reporters before leaving for vacation, the shootings were a mental illness problem, saying, “The gun doesn’t pull the trigger — the mind, a sick mind, pulls the trigger.”
  168. Asked what he would say to children going back to school, Trump said, “study hard and someday you’ll grow up and maybe be President of the U.S. or do something else that’s fantastic. They have nothing to fear.”
  169. Leader McConnell has blocked all gun control legislation, but Trump told reporters McConnell is willing to work with Democrats when they return in September, “I talked to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He’s totally on board.”
  170. On Friday, AP reported Trump left for a 10-day vacation at his Bedminster golf course. Aides say Trump will focus on golf, cable news, and Twitter, while raising concern of potential outbursts when he is away from D.C.
  171. Trump leaves with several domestic and foreign crises, including his uneven handling of his role after this week’s shootings, his trade war with China, rising tensions with Iran and North Korea, and other trouble areas.
  172. Aides say his re-election strategy will be to focus on white grievances and immigration, designed to activate his base, an approach not seen by a sitting American president in the modern era.
  173. Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Trump is “going on vacation feeling smug,” citing the economy, winning the trade war with China, and viewing Democrats not being a threat.
  174. On Friday, Axios reported the Trump re-election campaign sees the Democrat’s charge of white supremacy as a political benefit for the 2020 race — making “white supremacist” the new “deplorables.”
  175. As several Democrats running for president in 2020 call Trump a white supremacist, the campaign believes the label will help him with his most hardcore base while bringing more moderate Republicans.
  176. On Friday, Pope Francis warned against the rise of white nationalism, saying, “I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934. Us first. We …We …These are frightening thoughts.”
  177. On Saturday, Trump sided with North Korea over the U.S. military, tweeting a letter from Kim Jong Un “complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” referring to joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea.
  178. Trump also asserted Kim’s letter was “a small apology for testing the short range missiles,” saying testing would stop when the military exercises end, adding Kim “would like to meet and start negotiations” when exercises end.
  179. Trump also lashed out on El Paso, tweeting “Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals,” adding, “I didn’t want the Fake News inside.”
  180. Trump also tweeted, “Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt!” adding, “We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media.”
  181. Trump also tweeted that the press has “gone totally CRAZY, adding, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  182. Trump also retweeted far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins, a voice against migrants and Muslims, on Thursday for the fourth time in four weeks. He also invoked her tweet hours before the El Paso shooting.
  183. On Friday, thousands of pages of court documents were unsealed in the defamation lawsuit brought after Jeffrey Epstein by accuser Virginia Giuffre, revealing names of several men involved.
  184. Among the prominent men named in the documents were Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
  185. On Saturday, Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his jail call at 6:30 a.m. EST at a facility in New York. The death initially was reported as an apparent suicide. The FBI is investigating.
  186. ABC News reported law enforcement officials said Epstein was found hanging in his cell, although it was not clear by what means. He was transported in cardiac arrest to the hospital and died at 6:39 a.m.
  187. ABC News reported Epstein was placed on suicide watch on following an attempted suicide on July 23, but was no longer on suicide watch at the time of his death.
  188. Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee said, “It is inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch. These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court.”
  189. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement he was “appalled” to learn of Epstein’s “apparent suicide while in federal custody,” saying his “death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
  190. Conspiracy theories erupted almost immediately after the reporting of Epstein’s death, some blaming the Clintons, and with the help of Russian-back bots, are trending on Twitter.

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People react and embrace each other during an interfaith vigil for victims of a mass shooting which left 22 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in the city which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 26 people were wounded.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 143: #ELPASOSTRONG #DAYTONSTRONG #ENTERNEXTCITYSTRONG

AUGUST 03, 2019

Week 142

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 139: 4th OF JULY, ANOTHER CHANCE TO LIE

Week 138: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 6, 2019 List from Amy Siskind https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-138-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-a5a6bc70b06d and photos either taken by me somewhere in the world, or found on my social media during the week…

This week, two years after visiting France for Bastille Day and admiring its military display, Trump hosted a “Salute to America” on July Fourth, replete with an expansive array of military hardware and troops. The scenes of tanks rolling into the nation’s capital drew comparisons to other authoritarian regimes who flaunt their military might through public displays, including North Korea, where Trump paid a surprise visit as the week began.IMG_0336This week, Trump thumbed his nose at the Supreme Court’s decision in Week 137 not to allow a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The Justice and Commerce Departments, after stating the questionnaire was being printed without the citizenship question, completely reversed themselves 24 hours later following a single tweet by Trump. By weeks’ end, the DOJ said it would, at Trump’s behest, try to put forth a new argument in court justifying the question, while Trump mused he had four or fives options to get his way. Notably, Trump has now challenged the authority of both the legislative and judicial branches — including the nation’s highest court — to counter his unilateral power. And the Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General William Barr has been rendered a tool to help his efforts.

IMG_5686
Brussels, Belgium 7july19

Reports by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General revealed dire conditions at immigrant detention facilities at the border. Trump defended the facilities and Border Patrol agents, as protests and uproar from Democrats continued. Republicans remained silent.

  1. A study by the University of Tennessee found American voters were probably influenced by Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. Trump’s popularity correlated closely with activity by the Internet Research Agency.
  2. The study found that for every 25,000 re-tweets by Russian troll and bot accounts associated with the IRA, Trump’s poll numbers moved up by 1%. The IRA was a key weapon in Russia’s attack on social media.
  3. A new poll by Associated Press-NORC Center found Trump’s approval rating is 38% (60% disapprove), despite what almost two-thirds describe as a “good” economy. Just 17% say they benefited from the GOP tax cut.
  4. A new poll by Gallup found support for impeaching Trump at 45%, while 53% oppose. Support for impeachment is higher than it ever was for Bill Clinton (high of 35%), and close to the high mark for Richard Nixon (46%).
  5. Record temperatures hit parts of the U.S., with mussels frying to death in California, roads buckling in South Dakota, and 90 degree temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska. Last month was the hottest June on record in Europe.
  6. On Saturday, at the G-20 summit, Trump invited North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to meet, tweeting, “if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
  7. Trump told reporters “I just thought of it this morning,” and, “I don’t know where he is right now; he may not be in North Korea,” although he would know from his daily briefing. A Kim aide called the offer “interesting.”
  8. On Sunday, Trump made an unscheduled visit after the G-20 summit to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and crossed briefly into North Korea.
  9. Trump and Kim walked up to the line dividing North and South Korea and shook hands. Kim then invited Trump to the North Korea side, saying, “I never expected to see you in this place.” Trump said it was “my honor.”
  10. Trump was the first sitting U.S. president to visit North Korea. Trump and Kim met privately for 53 minutes. Afterwards he told reporters, “this was a great day. This was a very legendary, very historic day.”
  11. Trump said of their talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, “Very big stuff, pretty complicated, but not as complicated as people think,” adding the media has “no appreciation for what is being done. None.”
  12. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was bruised after pushing North Korean security officials out of the way to allow American journalists through to cover the meeting between Trump and Kim.
  13. Later at a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump falsely claimed, “Obama wanted to meet, and Chairman Kim would not meet him. The Obama administration was begging for a meeting.”
  14. On Sunday, while traveling as a guest of the White House, Fox News host Tucker Carlson told “Fox & Friends” part of “what it means to lead a country” is “killing people” when asked about Trump meeting with Kim.
  15. On Monday, Fox News aired an interview Trump did with Carlson from Osaka. Trump noted clean Japanese cities, but said U.S. cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are filthy, adding he may “intercede.”
  16. Trump also made reference to “junkies” and homelessness, which he said is “a phenomena that started two years ago,” calling it “disgraceful.” U.S. homelessness has remained steady for the past three years.
  17. On Sunday, a viral video showed Ivanka Trump at the G-2 awkwardly joining a conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron, IMF director Christine Lagarde, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
  18. Lagarde, who nodded while May spoke, looked puzzled by Ivanka’s comment and pursed her lips. The video raised concerns about Ivanka’s role in U.S. foreign policy given that she has no expertise or experience.
  19. Ivanka also attended Trump’s meeting with Kim, posing for photos, giving news interviews, and parroting her father’s talking point. The trip represented Ivanka’s step onto the world stage, and she asserted herself.
  20. NYT reported the G-20 trip showed Ivanka’s unchecked ascent in the White House, as critics who spoke out no longer remain. Trump said to troops at a military base in South Korea, “She’s going to steal the show.”
  21. On Monday, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp abruptly resigned over rumored tension with Grisham over leaks. Schlapp will work on Trump’s re-election campaign.
  22. On Tuesday, Politico reported one of the reasons Trump held off on bombing Iran in Week 136 was seeing Jack Keane, a retired Army general, say on Fox News that the downing of the drone may have been a fluke.
  23. On Sunday, cartoonist Michael de Adder was dropped by Brunswick Newsin Canada after a drawing of Trump standing over the two drowned migrant bodies with a golf club asking, “Do you mind if I play through?”
  24. On Sunday, 36 Jewish activists were arrested, as part of a 200 person protest blockading an ICE detention facility in New Jersey. The group protested conditions in the facility, holding signs that read, “Never Again.”
  25. On Tuesday, 1,000 Jewish activists shut down traffic in the heart of Bostonchanting, singing, and drumming to protest immigrant detention centers in the city and around the country.
  26. Protestors started at the New England Holocaust Memorial and ended at a detention center where 18 were arrested for blocking the entrance. The protest was organized under the principal “Never Again.”
  27. On Monday, ICE confirmed that Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, a 30 year-old Honduran migrant, was found unresponsive at the Houston Contract Detention Facility. The cause of death was undetermined.
  28. On Monday, NBC News reported an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General revealed border agents at a border station in El Paso were concerned about riots due to poor conditions.
  29. The May 30 report found agents were arming themselves and staying in holding areas, contrary to the Trump regime’s assertion that charges of poor conditions were “unsubstantiated.”
  30. The report said there were four showers for 756 migrants, and that cells meant for 35 where holding 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink, and so little space the men count not lie down to sleep.
  31. The report noted health risks, including lice outbreaks and agents trying to quarantine outbreaks of flu, chickenpox, and scabies. The facility also did not have clean clothing for children or soft mats for them to sleep on.
  32. On Monday, a group of House Democrats visited detention facilities in Clint and El Paso. The Clint facility was down from 700 migrant children in May to just two dozen. Several hundred migrants were at El Paso.
  33. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus organized the trip after outrage over the Clint facility. Lawmakers said they saw hundreds of sick and dirty children without parents, and inconsolable toddlers in the care of other children.
  34. In El Paso a group of migrant women were crowded into a cell with no running water and going without showers for weeks. One woman told lawmakers Border Patrol officers told them to drink out of the toilet.
  35. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered lawyers representing detained migrants and CBP to promptly determine if detention facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley are safe for migrant children.
  36. Last week a group of doctors and advocates warned the judge of major health and hygiene problems. One doctor who interviewed 39 children likened the conditions at the detention centers to “torture facilities.”
  37. On Tuesday, NBC News reported the number of migrant children in Border Patrol custody dropped from 2,350 on May 30 to under 300 due to a 25% decline in undocumented immigrants crossing from May to June.
  38. On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s policy of keeping thousands of asylum-seekers locked up indefinitely while they pursue their legal cases, saying the Constitution entitles them to a bond hearing.
  39. In April, as part of the regime’s efforts to deter migrants, AG William Barr said the government would no longer allow bond hearings. The ACLU and another group sued to block the policy set to go into effect on July 15.
  40. On Tuesday, NPR reported Trump’s DHS sent out a batch of notices to immigrants they say are here illegally saying, “It is the intention of ICE to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777.”
  41. ICE claimed the Immigration and Nationality Act grants it the right to impose fines of no more than $500 per day on persons who violate the act. Immigration lawyers said they have never seen the fine used this way.
  42. On Monday, ProPublica reported that in a secret Facebook group of roughly 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents, members jokedabout migrant deaths, and posted disparaging content on members of Congress.
  43. The group was named “I’m 10-15,” referencing Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody,” and was created in August 2016. ProPublica linked the profiles to profiles of Border Patrol agents and at least one supervisor.
  44. In one post, members joked about the 16 year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May. Another was a graphic image depicting a smiling Trump forcing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s head to his crotch.
  45. Another post joked about a video of a migrant man carrying to carry a child through a rushing river in a plastic bag, with comments, “At least it’s already in a trash bag,” and “Sous-vide? Lol,” referencing cooking in a bag.
  46. Later Monday, ProPublica reported a spokesperson for the CBP agency said the agency immediately informed investigators with the DHS’s Office of Inspector General and initiated an inquiry into the Facebook group and its posts.
  47. On Tuesday, in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings said the posts “appear to violate Facebook’s Community Standards,” particularly on hate speech.
  48. On Wednesday, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a series of tweets that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the Facebook group, calling it a “disturbing & inexcusable social media activity.”
  49. McAleenan added, “These statements are completely unacceptable, especially if made by those sworn to uphold the @DHSgov mission, our values & standards of conduct.”
  50. On Wednesday, Politico reported, according to one DHS official, Border Patrol leadership has known about the Facebook group since 2016, when agents reported offensive posts. No actions were taken.
  51. On Tuesday, the DHS Inspector General issued a follow up report to the one of May 30 as House Democrats spoke about observations of their visit. The inspectors visited five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
  52. The report found overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread than initially reported. When inspectors visited some facilities, migrants banged on cells and pressed notes to windows begging for help.
  53. The report said “some single adults were held in standing-room-only conditions for a week,” adding, “both ICE and HHS are operating at or above capacity.” One senior manager called it a “ticking time bomb.”
  54. The report also found many migrants were given only wet wipes to clean themselves, and bologna sandwiches to eat, causing constipation and health problems. One migrant held up a sign that read, “Help.”
  55. Children at two of five facilities were not given hot meals. Also, 826 of the 2,669 children detained at the facilities were held longer than the allowed 72 hour period.
  56. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement the report “provides a shocking window into the dangerous and dehumanizing conditions,” and “The inhumanity at the border is a challenge to the conscience of America.”
  57. The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees both announced hearings next week on the conditions at detention centers. The House was on break this week for the July Fourth holiday.
  58. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump defended border agents and instead blamed Democrats, saying, “Our Border Patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors or nurses,” and “Great job by Border Patrol”
  59. Trump also tweeted, “The Democrats bad Immigration Laws, which could be easily fixed, are the problem,” adding, “Many of these illegals aliens are living far better now than where they came from,” and “safer.”
  60. Trump tweeted, “No matter how good things actually look, even if perfect, the Democrat visitors will act shocked & aghast,” adding, “Just Pols. If they really want to fix them, change the Immigration Laws and Loopholes.”
  61. Trump also tweeted if we really want to fix the crisis at the southern border, “ tell migrants not to come into our country unless they are willing to do so legally, and hopefully through a system based on Merit.”
  62. Trump also tweeted, “Mexico is doing a far better job than the Democrats on the Border. Thank you Mexico!” The Mexican government has been busing home Central American migrants from Ciudad Juarez.
  63. Under a new Trump regime policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” asylum seekers are sent back to Mexico to await their asylum hearings, sparking criticism they have been unfairly returned and should have been accepted.
  64. Later Wednesday, Trump also tweeted, “If Illegal Immigrants are unhappywith the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come,” adding, “All problems solved!”
  65. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Trump regime plans to replace in-court interpreters at initial immigration court hearings with videos informing asylum seekers about their deportation rights.
  66. The regime cited cost cutting measures and the bogged down immigration court system. Advocates expressed concern the new system could jeopardize migrants’ due-process rights and add confusion.
  67. On Wednesday, in a letter to the White House,