POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 92: ENTRENCHED IN THE SWAMP

Week 91 of this administration: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

August 11, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-91-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-1fe8c655810b

This was a week of widespread and outrageous corruption in the Trump orbit — from Congressman Chris Collins and insider trading, to Secretary Wilbur Ross and grifting, to Secretary of State Kris Kobach miscounting votes, to the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” controlling the Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. The phrase “drain the swamp” has disappeared from Trump’s vernacular, as he and his apostles appear to be squarely inside the swamp.

As Paul Manafort’s trial sped along, several associates of Roger Stone were subpoenaed, suggesting he is a point of focus in the Mueller probe. Trump and his surrogates continued to ramp up attacks on the Mueller probe, and related areas like the FBI — and several plan to focus on a new shiny coin: Bruce Ohr. A surreptitiously taped and leaked audio of a Republican fundraiser revealed House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ plans to protect Trump at all costs, including the possible impeachment of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Themes of white nationalism were front and center this week with a diatribe by Fox News host Laura Ingraham on changing demographics, and the regime’s continued efforts to whiten America, while ignoring brown lives lost in Puerto Rico and inhumanely separated at our Southern border. As the week came to a close, on the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville, Trump condemned “all types of racism,” in simpatico with white nationalist leader Jason Kessler who stated, “White people should be able to have the same rights as other groups.”

Below: “Doomsday Donald” by UK artist Chris Czee Tampin. August 2018. https://www.czee13.com/czee13

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  1. On Saturday, at a rally in Ohio, Trump staked out a new position on U.S. elections interference, saying, “It’s a lot of people…Russia is there, China is there. We are doing well with North Korea, but they’re probably there.”
  2. Trump said the meddling will “happen really big now” because the U.S. is “taking our wealth back.” Trump also criticized the media and the “elite” class, saying “it drives them crazy” that he won the presidency.
  3. On Sunday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar told “Meet the Press” that she is very concerned the midterm elections could come under digital assault, adding Trump is still “undermining this on national TV” and saying “it’s a hoax.”
  4. Klobuchar also said the Russians are not stopping with election interference, saying she would “love to see” concerns “broadened out” to discuss the threats to our power grid system and our financial system.
  5. On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said Russian operatives have “penetrated certain counties in the state” ahead of the midterms, and “they now have free rein to move about.”
  6. Nelson and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter in July to 67 county election supervisors about potential threats. Nelson is running for re-election against Gov. Rick Scott, who denied knowledge of the allegations.
  7. Sen. Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement, “Russian activities continue to pose a threat…I hope all state and local elections officials, including Florida’s, will take this issue seriously.”
  8. Security activists filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia that included exhibits from activists and voters who experienced a series of irregularities in the 2016 election and May 2017 primary.
  9. The lawsuit comes amid swelling public concern for the security of Georgia’s voting systems. Mueller’s July 2018 indictment indicated that Russian operatives visited county election websites in Georgia.
  10. Cybersecurity experts warned there were security flaws on the state election website leading up to the 2016 contest that permitted the download and manipulation of voter information.
  11. On Monday, Sen. Rand Paul led a U.S. delegation to visit Moscow in what he characterized as a continuation of Trump’s diplomatic outreach to Putin. Paul met with members of the Russian Council.
  12. Paul met with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the council’s foreign policy panel, who was put under U.S. sanction for Russia’s actions againstthe U.S. government in April 2018.
  13. Paul said Monday he invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington. When asked by CNN whether the issue of Russian interference came up, Paul said he had “general discussions about a lot of issues.”
  14. Paul was joined by Texas State Sen. Don Huffines, and his twin brother Phillip who ran unsuccessfully for a Texas state senate seat. On Tuesday, Sen. Huffines took to Twitter to defend his visit to Moscow.
  15. On Wednesday, Paul delivered a letter from Trump to Putin that Paul said “emphasized the importance of further engagement” between the two leaders on issues such as countering terrorism.
  16. On Saturday, WAPO reported Trump is privately brooding about the widening fallout of the Russia probe, and fretting that he is not getting enough credit for what he claims are political triumphs.
  17. Trump is concerned the Mueller probe could ruin the lives of what he calls “innocent and decent people,” including Donald Jr. who he believes may have inadvertently wandered into legal jeopardy with the June 9 meeting.
  18. On Sunday, Trump tweeted about the WAPO story, saying the “Fake News” is reporting “a complete fabrication” about the meeting “my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower.”
  19. Trump also admitted, “this was a meeting to get information on an opponent,” and falsely claiming it was “totally legal and done all the time in politics.” Trump also added, “I did not know about it!”
  20. Trump also tweeted, without evidence, “Mueller and the 17 Angry Democrats” are biased, saying, “This is the most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country,” calling it again a “Rigged Witch Hunt.”
  21. On Sunday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told “This Week” that he made a mistake by denying Trump was involved in a misleading statement last year on Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting, saying he had “bad information.”
  22. Hope Hicks, who was reportedly visiting Ivanka and Jared at Trump’s Bedminster golf club, ended up joining Trump aboard Air Force One on Saturday to attend his rally in Ohio that evening.
  23. Hicks’ presence sparked speculation she might rejoin the regime, but also noted was her role in July 2017 in helping Trump draft a misleading statement on Air Force One about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting.
  24. On Saturday, First Lady Melania Trump issued a statement in support of LeBron James, saying he is doing “good things on behalf of our next generation,”after Trump disparaged James in Week 90.
  25. On Sunday, Portland, Oregon’s police chief ordered a review of her officers’ behavior at a far-right rally Saturday, after accusations the police were heavy-handed in their crackdown against anti-fascist protesters.
  26. On Wednesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham complained that changing U.S. demographics have been “foisted” on the American people, saying “it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.”
  27. Ingraham also said of the demographic changes, “none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like,” adding, “much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.”
  28. On Thursday, Ingraham tried to distance herself from the white supremacists cheering her comments, saying her comments had “nothing to do with race or ethnicity” but a “shared goal of keeping America safe.”
  29. On Friday, Trump slammed the NFL players who knelt during preseason games, tweeting, “the NFL players are at it again — taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem.”
  30. Trump suggested players who “make a fortune doing what they love” should “Be happy, be cool,” adding, “Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!”
  31. On Sunday, Trump again attacked the media, tweeting “it’s true” that they are “the Enemy of the People,” saying they “purposely cause great division & distrust,” can also “cause War,” and they are “very dangerous & sick!”
  32. On Sunday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace challenged national security adviser John Bolton about Trump’s tweet, asking “What wars have we started?” Bolton avoided the question, and said media bias has been around for a long time.
  33. Newseum issued an apology for selling “You Are Very Fake News” t-shirts in its gift shop and online, saying, “ A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people.”
  34. On Monday, GOP strategist Karl Rove told Fox News that Trump should “tone down” his attacks on the media, comparing Trump’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to that of Stalin against his enemies.
  35. Politico reported the networks are boosting security staff for the first time to protect reporters at Trump’s rallies. Reporters say at recent events there is a sense that violence could easily break out at any time.
  36. Guardian reported the Trump regime rescinded an Obama-era ban which prohibited farmers from planting biotech crops engineered to resist insects. The pesticides are linked to declining bee populations.
  37. Rolling Stone reported the EPA is evaluating allowing asbestos, enacting the Significant New Use Rule, which allows the government to evaluate use on a case-by-case basis. Trump has long supported the use of asbestos.
  38. Not included in the evaluation process are the potential effects of exposure to chemicals in the air, ground, or water, allowing the EPA to circumvent an Obama-era law for evaluating potentially dangerous chemicals.
  39. Until recently, 95% of asbestos used in the U.S. came from Brazil, with the balance from Russia. Brazil recently banned asbestos, leaving Russia. A Russian asbestos company shared an image featuring Trump on Facebook.
  40. On Friday, NYT reported, according to internal emails, the EPA’s in-house scientists and lawyers objected to the agency’s new rules on a measure to review applications for using asbestos in consumer products.
  41. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading an effort among Democratic state attorneys to fight the asbestos plan. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other ailments.
  42. Reuters reported that the second annual ‘America First Energy Conference’ this week was attended by some of the country’s most vocal climate change doubters, as well as by a handful of Trump administration officials.
  43. The presence of Trump officials gave a boost to outlandish ideas such aspumping carbon dioxide into the air makes the planet greener, and the United Nations produces fake science to control the global energy market.
  44. On Friday, Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education released a document outlining a proposal to scrap an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting students from career training programs.
  45. The “Gainful Employment” regulations required programs at for-profit-colleges that prepare students for careers to prove graduates were earning enough to repay the debt they incurred to complete the program.
  46. On Sunday, WSJ reported Canadians, upset with Trump over tariffs and treatment of their prime minister, are boycotting products made in the U.S. and buying Canadian.
  47. On Monday, South Carolina TV-maker Element Electronics said it will close its Winnsboro plant in response to tariffs imposed by Trump.
  48. On Monday, NBC News reported the limited number of H-2B visas being issued by the Trump regime is leaving companies that depend on foreign seasonal workers, like landscaping and crabbing businesses, struggling to stay afloat.
  49. Small business owners are losing revenue, saying American workers don’t want temporary jobs, leaving them unable to fill positions. The Trump family continues to use H-2B visas for their businesses.
  50. First lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, were sworn in as U.S. citizens, obtaining citizenship through a path referred to by Trump as “chain migration,” which Trump is currently trying to eliminate.
  51. The Knavses were eligible for green cards and to apply for citizenship because their daughter Melania is a citizen, the most common way immigrants to the U.S. get green cards and eventually become citizens.
  52. Trump’s paternal grandfather and mother, who migrated from Germany and Scotland, also used chain migration to become citizens, as did Ivana, Trump’s first wife and mother to his three oldest children.
  53. On Tuesday, NBC News reported that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is working on a plan to limit the number of migrants who obtainlegal status in the U.S. His plan would circumvent Congress.
  54. According to a draft, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have used, or whose households have used, popular public welfare programs like Obamacare or food stamps would be blocked from becoming citizens.
  55. On Tuesday, the ACLU sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others over policies instructing asylum officers that claims based on domestic or gang violence will not establish the basis for asylum or refugee status.
  56. The ACLU claims asylum seekers will be deported to places where they face grave danger. The Trump regime claim the asylum process is exploited by immigrants to pass credible fear screenings and be released into the country.
  57. The Texas Observer reported an ICE transport company van transporting eight Central American mothers separated from their children under “zero-tolerance” crashed in July. ICE denied the incident happened.
  58. When pressed further by the Observer, citing a San Marcos Police Department report on the accident and significant injuries to migrant mothers, ICE changed the story to the incident being a “fender bender.”
  59. On Thursday, Helen Aguirre Ferré, the White House director of media affairs for Latino and African-American news outlets, quietly resigned. The White House did not comment on her reason for leaving or her future.
  60. The Trump regime still does not offer a Spanish version of the White House website, available under the W. Bush and Obama administrations. The Spanish site was supposed to launch in late 2017.
  61. On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington halted a deportation of a woman and her daughter while a hearing appealing their deportations was underway, and threatened to hold Sessions in contempt of court.
  62. The ACLU said government attorneys in another case informed them that the pair was on a flight to El Salvador. When Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington was informed, he ordered the government to “turn the plane around.”
  63. WAPO reported, according to government data, the number of migrant families taken into custody along the border remained nearly unchanged from June to July, suggesting separating families did not deter migrants.
  64. WAPO reported, as of August 9, 559 of the 2,551 children separated from their parents remain separated. Since the July 26 deadline imposed by the court, the Trump regime has made almost no progress in reunificiations.
  65. The latest figures provided by the Trump regime show just 34 migrant parents waived the right to be reunified with their children, compared with the 120 that the government reported a week prior.
  66. On Thursday, NYT reported in a report to Congress, the Puerto Rico government acknowledged that Hurricane Maria killed an estimated 1,427, far more than the official death toll of 64.
  67. The estimate comes from comparing deaths in the last four months of 2017 to previous years. Officials say they await the outcome of the George Washington University study to provide certainty around final numbers.
  68. On Monday, Trump quoted Dan Bongino on “Fox & Friends,” saying “Collusion with Russia was very real,” and repeating his false claims that “Hillary Clinton and her team 100% colluded with the Russians.”
  69. Trump also parroted Bongino’s claim without evidence,“so did Adam Schiff,” saying he tried to collude with Russians “to obtain compromising material on DJT,” and adding “ we should demand a full investigation.”
  70. On Monday, Bloomberg reported the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe is likely to extend beyond the midterms, longer than chairman Richard Burr had hoped, for the panel plans to interview more witnesses for its final report.
  71. On Monday, at the Manafort trial, Rick Gates testified he and and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts which were not disclosed to the federal government. Gates said they also did not submit required forms at Manafort’s direction.
  72. Gates testified he committed crimes alongside and at the direction of Manafort. Gates said Ukraine former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych’s backers moved money from accounts in Cyprus to Manafort.
  73. Gates also testified he cheated Manafort out of “several hundred thousand” dollars by submitting false expense reports. The monies were taken out of some of the undisclosed foreign bank accounts in Cyprus.
  74. On Tuesday, Gates admitted on cross-examination to having an affair, as Manafort’s defense team continued to try to hammer Gates’ credibility. Gates denied using company money for his affair.
  75. Gates testified that Manafort was paid $4 million a year to help Yanukovych govern after he was elected president in 2010. Yanukovych pivoted towards Moscow, which led to protests and his ouster in 2014.
  76. On Wednesday, the forensic accountant showed Manafort controlled or had a stake in 31 bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and the U.K., opened by Manafort, Gates, and Konstantin Kilimnik.
  77. On Wednesday, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said Judge T.S. Ellis has shown “an extraordinary bias” against prosecutors in the Manafort trial, and added, “He’s making too much of the case about him.”
  78. On Thursday, Judge Ellis apologized to jurors after berating prosecutorsfor allowing a witness to watch the proceedings, despite having given his earlier approval, saying, “It appears I may well have been wrong.”
  79. On Thursday, in a court filing, Mueller’s team asked to keep a discussion between trial attorneys and the judge regarding a question to Gates secret,signaling Gates may also be assisting in Mueller’s Russia probe.
  80. On Friday, for the second time in two days, prosecutors asked Judge Ellis to take back a critical remark directed at them in front of the jury, saying it could “sow confusion among the jurors about the merits of that charge.”
  81. On Friday, Dennis Raico, a former senior vice president at Federal Savings Bank, testified CEO Steve Calk “expedited” approval of $16 million in loans for Manafort, adding it “made me very uncomfortable.”
  82. On Friday, there was an unexplained five-hour delay in the Manafort trial. Before the lunch break, Judge Ellis stressed to jurors the importance of not discussing the case and told them to “keep an open mind.”
  83. NBC News reported Kristin Davis, the “Manhattan Madam” is scheduled to testify this week before Mueller’s grand jury in Washington. Davis said in July she believed it was in regard to her relationship with Roger Stone.
  84. On Thursday, MSNBC host Ari Melber reported Mueller’s office had “indicated” it plans to subpoena Randy Credico, the associate of Stone who was his alleged connection to Wikileaks during the 2016 election.
  85. On Friday, Credico said that he had received a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference on September 7, and said he did not plan to fight it.
  86. On Friday, U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell found Andrew Miller, a Stone associate, in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury. Miller’s attorney plans to appeal the decision.
  87. According to a June court transcript, the subpoena of Miller seeks information about Stone and key figures in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and the release of Democrats’ emails by Wikileaks.
  88. On Friday, Stone told the NYT, “the ongoing attempt to interrogate themappears to be an effort to fabricate some other ‘crime’ to pressure me into testifying” against Trump, adding, “It really has the smell of a witch hunt.”
  89. On Friday, BuzzFeed reported FBI agents and congressional investigators are examining a series of transactions which GOP operative Peter W. Smithmade as his effort to procure Clinton’s emails heated up.
  90. A day after he finished a report saying he was working with Trump campaign officials, he transferred $9,500 from an account to fund the email project to his personal account, and withdrew $4,900 in cash.
  91. Responding to an FBI subpoena, Smith’s bank, Northern Trust turned over documents showing 88 suspicious cash withdrawals totaling about $140,000 between January 2016 and April 2017.
  92. On Wednesday, Politico reported, according to a Russian document, Putin presented Trump with a series of requests in Helsinki, including new talks on controlling nuclear arms and prohibiting weapons in space.
  93. Russian officials, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov complained about the document being leaked. U.S. officials have yet to be fully briefedby Trump on the contents of his two hour meeting with Putin.
  94. On Wednesday, more than a month past a statutory deadline and after being called out by Republican members of Congress, the Trump regime issued new sanctions against Russia for the U.K. Skripal poisoning.
  95. The U.S. had joined European countries in publicly blaming Moscow within days of the March attack, but the Trump regime had yet to issue the formal determination that triggers automatic sanctions in a 1991 law.
  96. The Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 will impose sanctions in two tranches: the first has little impact, the second, if Russia does not provide “reliable assurances” will be substantial.
  97. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the White House is drafting a sanctions order to punish foreign interference in U.S. elections, in an effort to appear serious about combatting Russian disinformation and hacking.
  98. The draft order is meant to stave off aggressive legislation introduced in the Senate in Week 90, and to answer continuing criticism that Trump has sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence on Russian hacking.
  99. In an effort to make the order palatable to Trump, Russia is not singled out, and reference is made to past attempts by the “Soviet Union” to interfere in U.S. elections. The draft grants Trump discretion on sanctions.
  100. A recent Gallup Poll found 40% of Republicans regard Russia as an ally or at least as a country friendly to the U.S., double the percentage from 2014.
  101. A new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsos found 43% of Republicans said that they believed Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Just 36% disagreed.
  102. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted congratulating “Troy Balderson on a great win in Ohio, and took credit for the win. The race remains undecided at the week’s end in a traditionally safe GOP district that Trump won by 11 points.
  103. On Tuesday, after election primary victories, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan was poised to become the first Muslim woman in Congress, and Sharice Davids of Kansas the first Native American. Davids is also openly gay.
  104. On Wednesday, Corey Stewart, the neo-Confederate Republican nominee for Senate in Virginia tweeted about Michigan gubernatorial candidateAbdul El-Sayed who lost her primary, calling her an “ISIS commie.”
  105. On Wednesday, in a tape obtained by “The Rachel Maddow Show” of a July GOP fundraiser, Rep. Devin Nunes said impeaching Rosenstein would delay the Senate’s ability to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
  106. In the audio from fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Nunes said “Rosenstein deserves to be impeached,” and added, “if Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones.”
  107. Nunes also suggested the Republicans must keep the House majority to protect Trump from the Mueller probe, saying, “We have to keep all these seats…We have to keep the majority.”
  108. Nunes also said, hypothetically, if a campaign received and released stolen emails from a foreign government — using an example of McMorris Rodgers and the country of Portugal — “Well, if that’s the case, then that’s criminal.”
  109. On Tuesday, Forbes reported on numerous allegations against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from his business days which have sparked lawsuits, reimbursements, and an SEC fine of more than $120 million.
  110. Mother Jones reported ex-Trump campaign aides Jason Osborne and Mike Rubino are lobbying for a Russian-backed Serbian separatist party in Bosnia, whose leader has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department.
  111. The two registered with the Justice Department to lobby for the political party of Milorad Dodik. Party officials have met with Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowski, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
  112. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Michael Cohen is under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible tax fraud, for underreporting income for his taxi-medallion business in federal tax returns.
  113. Prosecutors also are looking into whether any employees at the Sterling National Bank, which provided financing for Cohen’s taxi-medallion business, allowed Cohen to inflate collateral value to obtain loans.
  114. ProPublica reported three of Trump’s Palm Beach cronies — Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, Bruce Moskowitz, and Marc Sherman — have had significant influence in shaping veteran’s policies.
  115. None of the three have any military or government experience. VA insiders refer to them as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd.” Trump has been a powerful ally — speaking on the phone and dining with Perlmutter frequently.
  116. Hundreds of documents obtained under the FOIA reveal the three hovered over public servants without transparency, accountability, or oversight, and have been calling the shots at Veterans Affairs since Trump took office.
  117. An analysis done by NBC News of revenue at Trump Hotel DC based on public filings and social media found substantial spending at the hotel by federal agencies, Trump’s political allies, and foreign governments.
  118. Trump took in more than $40 million in revenues from the hotel in 2017, and Ivanka took in $3.9 million. Trump loyalists and senior aides like Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Larry Kudlow, and Lewandowski frequent the hotel.
  119. PACs and GOP campaigns have spent the most at the hotel. Religious groups and lobbyists for the petroleum and banking industries have held events there, as have foreign governments like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
  120. On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Collins, the first member of Congress to endorse Trump in February 2016, was charged with insider trading. In Trump‘s early days, Collins served as an informal liaison to Congress.
  121. A video was uncovered of what appears to be Collins calling his son to tell him to sell stock in Australian biotech company Innate while at the White House picnic on June 22, 2017.
  122. On Saturday, Rep. Collins reversed course and suspended his bid for re-election in 2018, saying he had decided it was “in the best interests” of his district, the Republican Party, and Trump’s agenda.
  123. On Wednesday, Reuters reported the Trump regime cut 40 jobs at the Office of Financial Research, a government agency tasked with identifying looming financial risks, created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
  124. On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer called on his opponent Secretary of State Kris Kobach to recuse himself from vote counting after multiple counties reported voting totals on the secretary of state’s website were inaccurate.
  125. Kobach was ahead by just 191 votes on election night, but at least two known errors had cost Colyer roughly 100 votes. Late Thursday, Kobach agreed to recuse himself.
  126. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the former “Apprentice” star who followed Trump to the White House, has secret recordings she made of Trump — the contents of which will be in her upcoming book.
  127. Omarosa said the tapes reveal Trump frequently used the word “nigger” while he was the host of the reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice,” although she did not personally hear him use the word.
  128. On Friday, WAPO reported Omarosa was offered a $15,000-a-month contract by Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump to stay silent after being fired from her job as a White House aide in December 2017.
  129. The West Hollywood city council unanimously approved a proposal to remove Trump’s star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, citing costs of acts of vandalism and demonstrations.
  130. On Thursday, Tribune Media terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, and sued the owner, alleging it failed to make sufficient efforts to get their $3.9 billion deal approved by regulators.
  131. After over a year of supporting the merger, Trump’s FCC Chair had soured on it in Week 88. The Hollywood Reporter noted Fox News, a competitor to Sinclair, was the big winner of the deal not going through.
  132. On Thursday, NYT reported senior American national security officials pushed to complete the NATO deal before the July 11 summit in Brussels began, to protect from Trump blowing up the deal while at the summit.
  133. National security adviser Bolton communicated through U.S. ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison. On July 4, NATO’s secretary general toldambassadors the usual infighting over the agreement had to be dropped.
  134. The new agreement, completed in advance of the summit, gives American national security officials the ability to assure the public and skittish allies, even while Trump continues to publicly bash NATO.
  135. On Wednesday, the 45th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, Giuliani told Fox News host Sean Hannity in contrast to Nixon’s downfall, this time the wrongdoing is on the side of the investigator, not the president.
  136. Giuliani said, “In this case, the investigation was much worse than the no-crime,” and called the Mueller probe “Corrupt investigations through and through,” that is “going to lead to some very big reforms.”
  137. On Thursday, Trump lashed out, tweeting the Mueller probe is “an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt run by people who are totally corrupt and/or conflicted,” and ended his tweet with a foreboding, “Stay tuned!”
  138. On Thursday, the special master appointed after the Cohen raid said she “has concluded her review” of four million items to determine what is subject to attorney-client privilege.
  139. In the last batch of items reviewed, Cohen claimed 4,808 were privileged, while the special master agreed with the designation for about half. The documents have been turned over to federal prosecutors in New York.
  140. The Hill reported House Judiciary Committee chair Bob Goodlatte is preparing to subpoena people connected to the Steele dossier, including DOJ official Bruce Ohr, his wife Nellie Ohr, and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
  141. Bruce Ohr is under GOP scrutiny for his contacts with Simpson and Steele during the 2016 election, while Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS at that time. The committee will also go subpoena former FBI and DOJ officials.
  142. Sekulow and Nunes are also speaking out. Sekulow told “This Week” on Sunday that Ohr’s ties to Steele and Fusion GPS “concerned” him, and Nunes said Monday on “Hannity” that Ohr’s involvement is troubling.
  143. It is unclear why Ohr has become the focus of attention from Trump allies. Ohr was removed from the Deputy Attorney’s office when his ties to Steele came to public light. Most of the allegations have been public for months.
  144. On Friday, Sekulow and Giuliani hosted Sean Hannity’s afternoon radio show. The lawyers criticized Mueller’s Russia investigation, with Giuliani claiming Mueller’s investigation was “born in corruption.”
  145. WAPO reported although on vacation this week in Bedminster, New Jersey,Trump continued to actively tweet about the Mueller probe, and ancillary subjects such as the FBI and collusion, sending 10 tweets as of Friday.
  146. On Friday, Trump quoted Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on the Mueller probe, tweeting, “No evidence to launch even an investigation into potential collusion…and here we are, a year and a half later.” This is false.
  147. Trump also quoted Jenna Ellis of the Washington Examiner, tweeting, “FBI thought they wouldn’t get caught because they thought that Hillary was going to win. There is overt bias…a double standard that needs to stop.”
  148. On Saturday, Trump attacked the FBI’s handling of Andrew McCabe’s text messages in a pair of tweets, asking “What are they hiding? McCabe wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people…..”
  149. Trump threatened he may “get involved,” and asked, “Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover… FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!”
  150. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. posted a poll graphic to his Instagram account which doctored Trump’s approval from 40% up to 50%, ahead of Obama’s 45%, backing his father’s claim that he has better approval than Obama.
  151. After the doctored post was reported on, Donald Jr. deleted it on Friday, but not until after tens of thousands of people had seen, shared, or endorsed the false 50% approval rating.
  152. On Thursday, Vice President Pence laid out Trump’s plans for the Space Force, which would become the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, equal to the other five. The new branch needs to be approved by Congress.
  153. Shortly after Pence’s speech, Trump tweeted, “Space Force all the way!” and his campaign sent supporters an email asking them to vote on a Space Force logo, and to consider making a campaign donation.
  154. States of emergency were declared for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville at the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally and counter-protests that turned deadly last year.
  155. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” and, reminiscent of his “both sides” remarks, said he condemns, “all types of racism and acts of violence.”
  156. Jason Kessler, a white nationalist leader who is organizing the Unite the Right 2018 rally in Lafayette Square on Sunday, said, “White people should be able to have the same rights as other groups.
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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 91: ENEMY OF THE STATE

Week 90 of this policymaker: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

August 4, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-90-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-9a61f5ac66b9

Artwork: Mueller’s investigation is tightening and 45 is going insane. By Jim Carrey.

This week Trump’s battle with the media escalated as he ramped up his “enemy of the state” rhetoric, and his staffers and supporters followed his lead. The United Nations Human Rights office issued a statement condemning Trump’s media attacks, which this week put a CNN reporter in danger at a Trump rally in Tampa, Florida.

As the first trial for Paul Manafort got underway, Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller probe. Even as his top national security officials took the unusual step of appearing together and briefing the press on the ongoing Russia cyber threat, and as social media companies and experts revealed ongoing attacks, Trump continued to label the Russian investigation as a hoax, and took no leadership steps to address the threat and protect our country.

As the Senate held hearings on Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, stories continued to surface about the inhumane treatment of migrants. The Trump regime took the position that the reunification was complete — even as hundreds of families remain separated. Kleptocracy, incompetence, and corruption continued to plague the regime, but in the daily chaos, got little attention or coverage.

WAPO reported Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in his first 558 days. His lies are escalating: now averaging 7.6 false or misleading claims per day, up from 4.9 claims per day in his first 100 days.

On July 5, Trump reached a new high of 79 false or misleading claims in a single day. June and July 2018 ranked first and second overall, with 532 and 446 claims — roughly 16 false or misleading claims per day.

By topic, Trump has told the most lies about: economic issues, trade deals or jobs (1,293), followed by immigration (538), trade (432), the Russia probe (378), and taxes (336).

On Sunday, Trump tweeted about a meeting with NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger, saying they discussed “the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’”

On Sunday, in a statement, Sulzberger said he accepted Trump’s invitation for a July 20 meeting to raise his concerns about Trump’s “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” saying, “the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful.”

Sulzberger said he told Trump “his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” warning, “inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”

Sulzberger said overseas, governments are using Trump’s words as justification to crack down on journalists, and warned that Trump’s attacks were “putting lives at risk” and “undermining” our democratic ideals.

On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “I will not allow our great country to be sold out by anti-Trump haters in the dying newspaper industry,” including the “failing” New York Times and Washington Post.

Trump added, “the media-driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome..truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk!” and called the media “very unpatriotic!

On Tuesday, Trump continued his battle with the media, tweeting, “The Fake News Media is going CRAZY,” accusing the media of being “unhinged,” and of ruining the lives of “innocent and decent people.”

Trump also tweeted that in 7 years, when he is out of office, media “ratings will dry up and they will be gone!” Trump continues to target CNN, NBC News, WAPO, and NYT as “fake news” for coverage he deems unfair.

On Tuesday, Trump renewed his government shutdown threat, tweeting, “I don’t care what the political ramifications are,” adding, “Border Security is National Security,” and saying a shutdown “is a very small price to pay.”

On Tuesday, Trump held a rally in Tampa, Florida. Ahead of the rally, Trump supporters crowded around CNN’s Jim Acosta, threateningly, giving him the middle finger, and leading chants of “CNN sucks.”

Trump repeated his anti-immigrant rhetoric, promising “tremendous border security that’s going to include the wall,” and claiming, without evidence, that Democrats were encouraging undocumented immigrants to vote.

Trump made a case for the need for voter IDs to prevent voter fraud, falsely claiming, “You know if you go out and you want to buy groceries you need a picture on a card. You need ID.”

After the rally, Acosta tweeted a video of Trump supporters attacking him, saying, “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt.”

After the rally, Trump retweeted a video tweeted by Eric Trump, with the caption, “WATCH: Supporters of President Trump Chant ‘CNN Sucks’ During Jim Acosta’s Live Spot at Florida Rally.”

At the rally, there were sighting of “QAnon” related signs and t-shirts. QAnon is an internet conspiracy cult claiming to have access to top security clearance information about an alleged deep state plot against Trump.

On Thursday, at an event hosted by Axios, Ivanka said she has had “my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate,” but she said, she does “not consider the media the enemy of the people.”

Ivanka said she considered the low point of her tenure at the White House to be Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, saying, “That was a low point for me…I am very vehemently against family separation.”

At the daily press briefing, CNN’s Jim Acosta, who had been harassed at a Trump rally, asked press secretary Sarah Sanders if she agreed with Ivanka that the press is not the enemy of the people. Sanders refused to answer.

Sanders also defended the mob scene in Tampa as “freedom of speech,” and said the media “continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against” Trump and the regime. After her non-answer, Acosta left the room.

On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights office issued a statement condemning Trump’s attacks on the media, saying they violate basic norms of press freedom and human rights.

The statement cited Trump’s labeling of the media as the “enemy of the American people,” “very dishonest,” or “fake news,” and accusing the media of “distorting democracy” or spreading “conspiracy theories.”

On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump lashed out at Mueller, claiming without evidence or explanation that Mueller has conflicts of evidence, tweeting, “Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest.”

Trump tweeted of Mueller, “we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI.” Rod Rosenstein has testified that he knows of no disqualifying conflict of interest with Mueller.

Trump also tweeted, “There is No Collusion,” falsely claiming the “Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt…was started by a fraudulent Dossier,” paid for by Hillary and the DNC, and, “Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!”

Trump also falsely claimed the Mueller probe is a “Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17…Angry Democrats,” and again falsely claimed the probe “was started by a fraudulent Dossier.”

On Sunday, Trump tweeted he is “willing to ‘shut down’ government” if the Democrats do not give him votes for his wall, adding, “Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”

On Monday, Attorney General Sessions announced the formation of a “religious liberty task force” within the Justice Department which he claimed will help protect religious communities from discrimination.

Sessions warned of a “dangerous movement” that he said was eroding protections for religious Americans, and falsely claimed “nuns were being forced to buy contraceptives” — a reference to Obama’s health care policy.

Civil rights groups and LGBTQ advocates condemned Sessions’ task force, saying it is not consistent with religious freedoms, and that the guidance would encourage private groups to discriminate with government funds.

A synagogue in Carmel, Indiana was vandalized with spray-painted Nazi images, including a swastika. The synagogue has not been attacked before.

The Boston Globe reported that someone called the police to report a black woman eating lunch in a campus common room “seemed out of place.” The woman is a rising sophomore at Smith College working on campus.

NYT reported Peter Wright, Trump’s nominee to head the EPA’s Superfund program, was a lawyer at Dow Chemical when the company submitted disputed data, misrepresented scientific evidence, and delayed cleanup.

On Monday, NYT reported the Trump regime is considering granting a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, through the Treasury Department changing the definition of “cost” for calculating capital gains.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview at the Group of 20 summit that his department was studying such a move, bypassing Congress, if it can’t get done through the legislative process.

On Wednesday, the Trump regime took another step to hobble the Affordable Care Act, widening the availability of skimpy health plans designed for short-term use that do not cover pre-existing conditions.

The health insurance industry, hospitals, doctors, and patient advocacy groups warned that consumers with these plans would be stranded when they need care, and defections would drive up costs in the ACA marketplaces.

On Thursday, the Trump regime said it would freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency requirements for cars and trucks, which were meant to improve public health and combat climate change, through the year 2026.

Trump’s plan would also revoke California’s legal waiver to set its own tailpipe restrictions, which the state has used to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, and restrict other states from following California’s lead.

Automakers had a mixed reaction to the move, but oil and gas interests cheered it. The plan is part of the Department of Transportation’s deregulatory efforts, arguing for affordability and safety.

On Sunday, Charles Koch expressed “regret” over his network’s past support for some Republican candidates who are not standing up to Trump’s policies, and threatened to hold them to account.

On Monday, the Kochs announced they would not support the Trump-backed Republican candidate to take on Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, warning that siding with Trump will carry a political cost with their network.

On Tuesday, Trump dismissed criticism by the Koch networks of his trade and immigration policies, tweeting they have “become a total joke in real Republican circles,” and “I don’t need their money or bad ideas.”

On Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel warned GOP donors in a memo to steer clear of the Koch political network, escalating a fight between Trump’s allies and the Kochs.

On Monday, the Treasury Department predicted the U.S. government’s borrowing needs in the second half of this year will jump to $769 billion, the highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

On Wednesday, Trump escalated his trade war with China, instructing U.S. trade representative to look into increasing tariffs on many Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.

On Friday, China announced it would retaliate by imposing $60 billion of tariffs on U.S. products if Trump follows through on his threats.

On Monday, two University of Virginia history professors, William Hitchcock and Melvyn Leffler, resigned in protest over the school’s decision to offer a paid senior fellowship to former Trump official Mark Short.

They claim Short attacked the free media and truth, backed rhetoric and policies that have empowered white supremacists, undermined the FBI and our intelligence agencies, and disenfranchised millions of voters.

On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.” Politifact rated his claim as “false” using several measures.

On Monday, WAPO reported U.S. spy agencies see signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the U.S.

The satellite images indicate work is underway at the Sanumdong factory, which produced two of North Korea’s ICBMs, including the first with a proven range that could allow it to strike the U.S. East Coast.

Although Trump tweeted North Korea was “no longer a Nuclear Threat” following his summit with Kim Jong Un, North Korea has made few tangible moves signaling an intention to disarm.

On Thursday, Trump thanked Kim Jong Un for returning the remains of 55 soldiers, tweeting, “I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter — l look forward to seeing you soon!”

Remains of 55 were returned, while about 5,300 American war remains are still in North Korea. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis cautioned the remains could be non-U.S. soldiers: “We don’t know who’s in these boxes.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced the city will end a major data-sharing contract with ICE, citing misuse of information, and ICE detaining undocumented immigrants who are not accused of any crime.

Guardian reported the Trump regime plans to rescind Obama-era work permits for spouses of holders of H-1B visas, effectively confining spouses, mostly women, to home and stripping their families of a second income.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ordered the Trump regime to stop administering psychotropic medications to migrant children without first obtaining consent or a court order.

Judge Gee said the regime has been medicating children at a Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Texas without consent. She ordered the children be moved from the facility, except those posing a “risk to harm” to themselves or others.

On Tuesday, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, senior officials from Border Patrol, ICE, HHS, and the DOJ said they learned about Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy in April when Sessions publicly announced it.

Officials said because they did not get advance warning, they did not put protocols in place to eventually reunify families. They also did not challenge lawmakers’ assertions that the initiative was a failure.

Matthew Albence, the number two official at ICE, described family detention centers as “more like a summer camp,” saying migrants have food, water, and educational and recreational opportunities.

Cmdr. Jonathan White from the department of Health and Human Services said he warned his superiors that separating children from parents carried a “significant risk of harm” and could inflict “psychological injury.” He was assured the regime would not implement separation.

The acting head of Border Patrol, Carla Provost said, “The initiative was a prosecution initiative, and our focus was on the prosecution element only.” Several senators called for Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “A highly respected Federal judge” said ““Trump Administration gets great credit” for reuniting illegal families.” About one-third of families separated under Trump’s policy remain apart.

On Wednesday, NYT reported the Trump regime is considering a second sharp reduction in the number of refugees admitted to the U.S., a program meant to offer protection to the world’s most vulnerable people.

Last year the regime set the cap at 45,000 — a historic low. This year, as Stephen Miller has installed allies in key positions, in one plan being discussed, no more than 25,000 refugees could be resettled.

HuffPost reported at a federal prison complex in Victorville, California, which staffers warned was not equipped to handle the influx from ICE, there have been infectious disease outbreaks and an attempted suicide.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Tuesday over the “inhumane conditions” at Victorville, saying they violated the constitutional rights of immigrants detained there. There is one doctor for 4,300 inmates and detainees.

On Thursday, in a 2–1 decision, the U.S. appeals court struck down a key part of Trump’s contentious effort to crack down on “sanctuary cities,” saying an executive order threatening to cut funding was unconstitutional.

In a letter addressed to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a group of U.S. historians demanded that the regulatory body stop ICE from erasing records of the agency’s treatment of immigrants.

Historians sent the letter July 25, after learning ICE had sought permission from NARA to begin destroying years’ worth of data, including information on sexual abuse, solitary confinement, and in-custody deaths.

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 14 senators sent a letter to Sessions, Nielsen, and HHS Secretary Alex Azar demanding information on the status of separated families, including those where the parents have been deported.

On Thursday, in a court filing, the DOJ said the ACLU, which represents plaintiffs in lawsuit over family separations, should “use their considerable resources and their network” to take the lead on finding deported parents.

The Trump regime also suggested that the ACLU should find out whether the deported parents want to be reconnected with their children, or whether they waive that option.

Politico reported that per a Trump regime official, an estimated three-quarters of deported parents who left the country alone left no record behind that they ever consented to leave their children in the U.S.

On Friday, Judge Dana Sabraw rejected the Trump regime’s request to make the ACLU primarily responsible for locating migrant parents who were deported, saying the government bears “100 percent” of the burden.

The judge also scolded the regime for moving so slowly to track down the deported parents, calling it “just unacceptable” that an estimate of only about 12 of close to 500 parents have been located.

Sabraw suggested the regime appoint a person to lead the reunification process, saying, “for every parent who is not located there will be a permanently orphaned child.” He will hold another hearing next week.

On Friday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be fully restored, and gave the Trump regime a 20-day deadline to do so.

Judge John Bates said the regime has failed to justify its proposal to end DACA. The Justice Department is expected to appeal. A case being tried in Texas is expected to be decided next week in agreement with the Trump regime.

California and New York courts have ruled the regime cannot end DACA, but only ordered the regime to continue renewing existing applications. Bates’ ruling goes further, ordering the program reopened in its entirety.

On Tuesday, a federal judge temporarily blocked public availability of blueprints that provide instructions for making guns using 3-D printers, hours before the documents were expected to be published online.

Hours before, Trump had tweeted about the 3-D plastic guns, “Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” Sen. Chuck Schumer tweeted, “Your administration approved this…And to check with the NRA?”

The Trump regime had suddenly settled a 2013 case with Cody Wilson on June 29, allowing public availability of the instructions. Twenty-one attorneys general asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sessions to withdraw from the settlement.

A CBS poll asking strong Trump supporters who they trust for accurate information found: 91% trust Trump, 63% trust friends and family, and just 11% trust the mainstream media.

The poll also found 70% of Republicans call the Russia investigation a “witch hunt,” while 77% of Democrats call it a “critical” matter of national security.

A billboard in a heavily Republican Grand Junction, Colorado replaced the “O” in the word “GOP” with a Soviet-era communism symbol. The resident behind it is upset with Trump’s actions on Russia, immigration, and tariffs.

On Sunday, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen told “Face the Nation” her office has been the subject of at least one phishing attack by Russians targeting email accounts and social media profiles.

Activist Emma Best published 11,000 WikiLeaks Twitter direct messages. The messages reveal WikiLeaks wanted the GOP to defeat Hillary Clinton, who was described in a message as a “well-connected, sadistic sociopath.”

On Tuesday, Facebook announced it had uncovered and removed “sophisticated” efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to manipulate U.S. politics by sowing discord, ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

Facebook did not directly name Russia, but said 32 fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram were involved in “coordinated” and “inauthentic” political behavior. One page alone had close to 300,000 followers.

One page promoted “No Unite the Right 2” march, a planned counter demonstration, and another to amplify “Abolish ICE.” Facebook noted the efforts mirror Internet Research Agency moves before the 2016 election.

On Tuesday, at a cybersecurity summit in New York, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen issued her strongest warning to Russia, saying, “Mark my words: America will not tolerate this meddling.”

She warned that there is an “urgent, evolving crisis,” warning of “online” attacks, like a small bank in Blacksburg, Virginia which was a target of Russian hackers who stole $2.4 million over the course of two weekends.

On Wednesday, social media and technology experts testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying Russia and other foreign actors have not slowed their efforts to spread misinformation and propaganda.

Central to this third hearing was Russia’s exploited tech companies’ hesitation to regulate what is posted on their platforms. Experts and senators said companies no longer have an excuse for not taking action.

Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the committee, said of Russian interference efforts: “Some feel that we as a society are sitting in a burning room, calmly drinking a cup of coffee, telling ourselves ‘this is fine.’ That’s not fine.”

On Wednesday, the Senate rejected a Democratic proposal to provide states with more election security funding ahead of the midterms, by a 50–47 vote. Sen. Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote in support.

BuzzFeed reported on a cash trail left by Maria Butina and Paul Erickson, the Republican consultant, at Wells Fargo Bank, whose anti-money laundering team started tracking their bank activity in early 2017 after an FBI referral.

Suspicious transactions include $89,000 passed between Erickson’s US accounts and Butina’s account at Russia’s Alfa Bank, a $45,000 payment to an undisclosed law firm, and various cash withdrawals.

WAPO reported in the weeks before the 2016 election, Butina socialized with Trump aide J.D. Gordon, who served as the campaign’s director of national security until August 2016, then joined Trump’s transition effort.

According to documents and testimony provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the two exchanged emails in September and October 2016, and Gordon invited Butina to a concert and his birthday party.

A Yahoo Finance/Survey Monkey poll found 11% of Republicans say it would be appropriate for Russia to intervene in U.S. midterms on behalf of Trump and Republicans, and 29% say it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Starting Sunday, Rudy Giuliani made a series of erratic TV appearance to push back on Michael Cohen’s assertion that Trump knew about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting. Giuliani said Cohen has “lied all his life.”

On Monday, appearing on “Fox & Friends,” Giuliani said he had been “looking in the federal code,” and “my client didn’t do it, and even if he did it, it’s not a crime,” adding, “collusion is not a crime.”

On Monday, Giuliani told CNN there was a “planning meeting” to prep Donald Jr. for June 9, which was attended by Kushner, Manafort, Rick Gates, who is cooperating, and others. Giuliani later reversed himself.

On Tuesday, Trump sided with Giuliani, tweeting, “collusion is not a crime,” and reasserting, “but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!”

On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported Trump thinks Giuliani is “saying too much.” Chief of Staff John Kelly wants to get rid of him, and reportedly White House counsel Don McGahn “hates Rudy with intensity of 1,000 burning suns.”

On Tuesday, the trial in federal court for Manafort in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges began. A jury of 6 women and 6 men were selected. Manafort’s attorneys are seeking to place blame with Gates.

On Wednesday, Trump called on Sessions to end the Mueller investigation, tweeting Sessions “should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further.”

Trump called the Mueller investigation a “terrible situation, and repeated his false claim, tweeting, “Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

When asked about Trump’s tweets to end the Mueller investigation in Wednesday’s press briefing, Sanders said, “It’s not an order, it’s the president’s opinion…[Trump] wants to see it come to an end.”

Trump’s attorneys also tried to downplay his tweets, with Giuliani saying Trump “carefully used the word, ‘should,’” and Jay Sekulow saying Trump “has issued no order or direction to the Department of Justice on this.”

Trump also tweeted that Manafort “worked for me for a very short time. Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation,” adding “These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion — a Hoax!”

Trump also compared Manafort’s treatment to that of Al Capone, tweeting, “who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer…or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling.”

On Wednesday, WAPO reported in a letter sent Monday, Mueller renewed negotiations with Trump’s legal team about terms for an in-person interview with Trump, following an extended standoff since March.

Mueller reportedly said he is willing to accept some answers in written form, reducing the number of questions his investigators would ask Trump in an interview.

NYT reported Trump is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing. Reportedly Trump believes he can convince Mueller’s team that their own inquiry is a “witch hunt” and end the inquiry.

Trump’s legal team were preparing to tell Mueller there would be no interview and risk a court fight over a subpoena that could drag through midterms, but Trump pushed them to continue negotiating.

According to NYT, the scope of the questioning includes whether Trump associates and Russia coordinated in election interference and whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation.

On Thursday, Manafort’s bookkeeper, Heather Washkuhn, said his lavish lifestyle continued until 2015 when he ran out of cash, then he and Gates began trying to fudge numbers to secure loans.

Washkuhn testified she did not have access to all of Manafort’s transactions. She also did not have any records of the foreign accounts Manafort used to pay for clothes, cars, real estate and home remodeling.

Washkhun undercut Manafort’s defense that Gates was to blame, characterizing Manafort as a “very knowledgeable” client, and saying, “He was very detail-oriented. He approved every penny of everything we paid.”

On Friday, Cindy Laporta, one of Manafort’s accountants who was granted immunity, testified that in 2015 she went along with falsifying his tax records, not wanting to confront a longtime client.

Laporta said Gates told her Manafort could not afford to pay his taxes, and instructed her to misrepresent $900,000 in income as a business loan. She estimated she saved Manafort at least $400,000 in taxes.

Laporta testified she helped Manafort obtain millions of dollars of loans fraudulently, including listing a rental property as a second home, sending a forged loan-forgiveness letter, and lying about a large future payment.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington ruled Andrew Miller, a former assistant to Roger Stone, must testify before the special counsel’s grand jury on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Miller worked for Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign, and is one of at least six of Stone’s associates to be called to testify in the Mueller probe. Stone has accused Mueller’s team of harassing his associates.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that according to Russian agencies citing senior lawmaker Konstantin Kosachov, Sen. Rand Paul will lead a U.S. delegation to Moscow and will meet Russian members of parliament on August 6.

On Thursday, top national security officials made a rare appearance in the White House briefing room to warn that Russia continues to target the U.S. election system, and vowed to combat interference.

No new details about attacks or policies were announced, but there was a show of unity of top officials, for the first time appearing together, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and NSA Director Paul Nakasone.

Although each security official acknowledged attacks by Russia and said their agency would take steps to counter, there is no leadership from the White House, and Bolton eliminated the top cybersecurity job in Week 79.

Also at the conference, Coats acknowledged two weeks after Helsinki, he still is “not in a position” to “fully understand” what occurred during that meeting, raising questions about why Trump is keeping him in the dark.

The joint appearance follows the first meeting of the National Security Council led by Trump on election security, last week. The meeting lasted less than an hour and resulted in no new orders.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced what Sen. Lindsey Graham called the “bill from hell” to punish Russia for election interference, and activities in Syria and Ukraine, by imposing new restrictions and sanctions.

The measure also expresses strong support for NATO, and would require two-thirds of the Senate to vote in order to leave the alliance. The measure would need to pass the House and Senate, and be signed by Trump.

On Thursday, NYT reported at his campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Trump made 15 inaccurate claims on things like highway spending, immigration, crowd size, and legislative accomplishments.

Trump also lied that U.S. Steel Corporation “is opening up seven plants” — they are not opening any. He again repeated false claims about NATO members being “delinquent” and that “funding was going down.”

Despite his press conference by his top security officials earlier in the day, Trump falsely claimed “Russia is very unhappy that Trump won,” and that diplomatic efforts with Putin “are being hindered by the Russian hoax.”

On Thursday, at a screening for Dinesh D’Souza’s new documentary, Donald Jr. compared the Nazi platform in the early 1930s to the DNC platform today, adding, “It’s the exact opposite of what you’ve been told.”

On Thursday, Jerry Falwell Jr. grouped Hitler as a “progressive elite,” tweeting, “the future will be progressive elites (… ⁦@HillaryClinton⁩, Hitler, Soros) v freedom loving average Americans!”

On Thursday, WSJ reported a major Trump donor, Franklin Haney, gave a $10 million contract to Cohen in early April, shortly before the April 9 raid, to help his efforts to complete a pair of nuclear reactors in Alabama.

Cohen was paid a monthly retainer in addition to the $10 million success fee. Authorities are investigating whether Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in his work for corporate clients, including AT&T and Novartis.

WAPO reported that room revenue at Trump International Hotel in Manhattan rose 13% in the first quarter of 2018, due to providing rooms for accompanying travelers of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Four Democratic senators called for an investigation into tours on Air Force One, after BuzzFeed obtained an invitation revealing members of Trump’s Florida clubs were invited for tours last year.

On Friday, WSJ reported the Kushner family closed a deal to unload 666 Fifth Avenue, an investment made by Kushner at the top of the market in 2007, and which has been not been financeable for years.

Kushner Cos. will lease the property to Brookfield Asset Management for 99 years, paid upfront, in an amount that will allow the Kushner family to pay off the $1.1 billion of debt on the building and buy out its partner.

In Week 87 it was noted that a unit of Brookfield is awaiting approval from the Trump’s Committee on Foreign Investment for its acquisition of the nuclear-power company Westinghouse Electric.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat who served on Trump’s voter fraud commission, in a lawsuit won access to and then published a trove of documents on Friday revealing no signs of voter fraud.

Dunlap said Trump’s repeated claims that millions of people voted illegally were false. In a letter Dunlap wrote, “these documents show that there was…a pre-ordained outcome…without any evidence to back it up.”

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not delay hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to wait for records from Kavanaugh’s time as as staff secretary in the Bush White House from 2003–2006.

On Thursday, the National Archives warned that it would not be able to fulfill the GOP’s request for documents on Kavanaugh until late October. McConnell’s unwillingness to wait on documents breaks longtime norms.

Poynter Institute reported the Newseum is selling Trump “Make America Great Again” hats and t-shirts that say “You are very fake news,” on their website.

On Friday, just before midnight, Trump tweeted, “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” Lemon’s show is on CNN.

Journalist Dan Rather blasted Trump for his “racist” criticism of James, calling it a “disgrace.” Trump has continually attacked black athletes, and made disparaging comments about the intelligence of black Americans.

The Guardian reported U.S. counter-intelligence investigators discovered a suspected Russian spy had been working in the U.S. embassy in Moscow for more than a decade, undetected.

In her role, the Russian national had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a window into highly confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president.

The U.S. Department of State’s Regional Security Office sounded the alarm in January 2017, but Secret Service let her continue in her post for months, possibly to avoid potential embarrassment.

WAPO reported she worked as a local investigator in the U.S. Secret Service office at the embassy since 2001. She was fired in August 2017 after investigators surveilled her meetings and communications with FSB agents.

Protesters remained outside the White House for a third straight week, since Trump’s Helsinki summit with Putin. One night, protesters held giant letters spelling “TREASON” and other signs calling Trump a traitor.

The day-to-day rallies have been dubbed, “Kremlin Annex,”and have morphed into a mix of demonstrations, roasts and dance parties. Organizers plan to keep protesting until Trump is out of office.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 90: TRULY ORWELLIAN

George Orwell’s 1984: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

and 45 this week: “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,”

Week 89 of this: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 28, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-89-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-f710c1092ba

These are all of the images that passed through my feeds this week. The first one is by Jim Carrey. The second one is by Oddo Personnosrep from London, England.

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This week there were dramatic developments in several areas which could be perilous trouble for Trump: a federal judge ruled an emoluments clauses lawsuit can proceed; Michael Cohen asserted Trump knew about, and approved, the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hillary; Trump’s decades-long bookkeeper was subpoenaed to testify in the Southern District; leaked tapes revealed Trump knew about the payments to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal just before the election — all as the trial of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is set to kick off Tuesday.

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Seeking to counter these closing walls, Trump continued to promote his alternative version of the truth, telling a crowd in Kansas City, “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” and pushing a new storyline that Putin wants to help Democrats win the midterms. Trump reportedly is living in his own reality as well, admonishing staffers that only Fox should be on televisions, and retaliating against those who are critical of him, including exploring revoking security clearances and banning a reporter from a Rose Garden press briefing.

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As a court deadline for reuniting migrant families arrived on Friday, 711 out of 2,551 children ages 5 to 17, and 46 children of 103 children under 5 have yet to be reunited with their parents, while the Trump regime claimed their work is done.

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  1. On Saturday, Trump accused the Mueller probe of trying to hurt Republicans in the midterms, tweeting “the Rigged Witch Hunt…seems intent on damaging the Republican Party’s chances in the November Election.”
  2. Trump also tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction,” adding, “13 Angry Democrats…want this Witch Hunt to drag out to the November Election,” saying the GOP needs to “get smart fast and expose what they are doing!
  3. On Sunday, Rep. Trey Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that “It can be proven…that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us,” adding Trump regime members should consider quitting over Russia.
  4. On Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio said he wants a vote on the bipartisan DETER Act in which the DNI would be required to conclude if any foreign nations interfered in elections, and if so, sanctions would be imposed.
  5. On Saturday, the Justice Department released a 412 page redacted copy of the FISA application seeking a warrant against Carter Page, along with three renewals, to news organizations that had filed FOIA lawsuits.
  6. The application says Page was “the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government” to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law.”
  7. The application also revealed that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government,” and efforts are being “coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign.
  8. On Sunday, Page told “State of the Union” the FISA warrant accusations are “so ridiculous,” “misleading,” and “a complete joke.” Page said “I sat in on some meetings, but to call me an adviser I think is way over the top.”
  9. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump claimed, without evidence, to be vindicated, tweeting that the warrants are “ridiculously heavily redacted.”
  10. Trump also tweeted there is “little doubt that the Department of “Justice” and FBI misled the courts” — putting the word Justice in quotes. Trump called it a “Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!”
  11. Trump tweeted, without evidence, his campaign “was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC,” adding, “Republicans must get tough now. An illegal Scam!”
  12. Trump also quoted Fox News’ Pete Hegseth and Andrew McCarthy, tweeting, “This is so bad that they should be looking at the judges who signed off on this,” and, “Page was just the foot to surveil…ILLEGAL!”
  13. Lawfare reported the four judges who signed off on the FISA warrants were nominated by Republican presidents, and then and appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by a conservative.
  14. Lawfare also reported there are “long-term, programmatic consequenceslong after we’re finished” with Trump — of allowing a FOIA request to apply to a highly-confidential FISA warrant.
  15. The redacted warrant also dispels a claim by Rep. Devin Nunes and Trump that there was not proper disclosure that dossier author Christopher Steele was paid by Democrats: not only is this in a footnote, but also more than a full page in the applications.
  16. Later Sunday, Trump tweeted “Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it?” Trump answered himself, tweeting, “Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why.”
  17. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “I had a GREAT meeting with Putin,” blaming the “Fake News” for using every bit of their energy to “disparage it,” and adding, “so bad for our country!”
  18. AP reported Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested at a roundtable discussion in 1999 that the 8–0 ruling in 1974 that forced Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes may have been wrongly decided.
  19. WAPO reported documents released by the Interior Department under the FOIA on July 16, and retracted a day later reveal in Secretary Ryan Zinke’s quest to shrink national monuments last year, important evidence was dismissed.
  20. Zinke and aides ignored information that public sites boosted tourism and spurred archaeological discoveries, focusing instead on logging, ranching, and energy development that would be unlocked.
  21. On Tuesday, federal labor mediators advised the Education Department that it had engaged in “bad-faith bargaining” when it implemented a contract this year that gutted compensation and benefits provisions.
  22. The department also limited its 3,900 employees’ ability to carry out union duties during the work day. Mediators said curtailing workers’ protections and access to union representation is in violation of federal law.
  23. On Wednesday, Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos proposed ending Obama-era policies which eased access to loan forgiveness for students defrauded by for-profit colleges.
  24. The Trump regime’s new rules would require borrowers to prove they have fallen into deep financial distress to file for debt relief, or to prove the higher education institutions they attended had intentionally misled them.
  25. On Thursday, a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that the largest of the six lawsuits against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department over the new citizenship question on the 2020 census can move forward.
  26. Huffpost reported, based on applications obtained through a FOIA request, the federal government has issued more than three dozen permits allowing hunters to import lion trophies from Africa since 2016.
  27. WAPO reported Trump has yet to nominate a science adviser to lead the Office of Science and Technology. Every administration since Eisenhower has named a science adviser by their first October, except Trump.
  28. WAPO reported documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) show the EPA worked to “discredit employees who sounded the alarm as they left the agency” in 2017.
  29. A report by the nonpartisan Brennan Center found nine states with a history of racial discrimination are aggressively removing voters from their rolls, following the Supreme Court’s decision for Ohio purging in Week 87.
  30. Fox News reported that several Republican candidates who are Nazis and anti-Semites have won their primaries, creating a headache for the Republican Party.
  31. On Monday, hundreds of protestors, including many women dressed in the red cloaks and white bonnets of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” protested Vice President Pence during his visit to Philadelphia.
  32. On Thursday, WKXW-FM hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco in New Jersey were kicked off the air after calling Gurbir Grewal, the nation’s first Sikh attorney general, “turban man.”
  33. On Tuesday, Rep. Maxine Waters’ office in Los Angeles was evacuated after receiving a package labeled “anthrax.” The item was determined not be a danger.
  34. On Tuesday, while addressing the conservative high school students at Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit, Attorney General Jeff Sessions briefly joined students in chants by students of “Lock her up!
  35. On Thursday, Sessions said “I perhaps should’ve taken a moment to advise them of the fact you’re presumed innocent until a case is made.” Chants of “Lock her up!” are still popular at Trump rallies and conservative events.
  36. Guardian reported Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy has turned thewindowless basement beneath the federal courthouse in San Diego into a pop-up “dungeon” like meeting place for lawyers and migrant clients.
  37. Lawyers have three hours to introduce themselves, discuss why their clients crossed the border, and to explain the intricacies of plea deals and misdemeanors, before the clients are herded into court for a mass hearing.
  38. On Monday, in a court filing, the Trump regime said 463 migrant parents separated from their children have already been deported, and said that number is still “under review,” meaning the number could be higher.
  39. The regime has reunited 879 parents with their children out of 2,551 as of Monday, with the deadline for reunifying all by Thursday looming. The judge temporarily suspended deportations of families that have been reunited.
  40. Texas Tribune reported in court filings, hundreds of migrants describe inhumane conditions in federal custody including cramped, cold conditions, and tearful separations of children and mothers.
  41. Migrants also described rotten sandwich meat turned green or black, drinking water that smells like chlorine, and being told by border agents, “they don’t want stupid people like me here bothering their country.”
  42. On Tuesday, the Justice Department instructed U.S. attorneys offices in an agency-wide email not to use the term “undocumented” immigrants and instead refer to someone illegally in the U.S. as “an illegal alien.”
  43. In 2013, The Associated Press Stylebook changed its terminology to not describe a person as illegal, only actions. The DOJ said the goal is “to clear up some confusion and to be consistent in the way we draft our releases.”
  44. The Nation reported a 6-year-old girl from Guatemala separated from her mother under Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy was sexually abused while at an Arizona detention facility run by Southwest Key Programs.
  45. The girl was forced to sign a statement confirming that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her abuser, and was instructed to “maintain my distance from the other youth involved.”
  46. On Wednesday, PBS reported in 100 pages of testimony provided in court,migrant parents they were pressured by immigration officials to sign forms waiving their reunification rights in a “coercive and misleading manner.”
  47. On Thursday, the Trump regime said in a court filing they had reunited1,442 families with children ages 5 to 17, and said an additional 378 children have already been released under “appropriate circumstances.”
  48. Of the 711 still in government custody, the regime maintains that it could not or should not have reunited all of those children because their parents were deported, or declined to be reunified or have criminal histories.
  49. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported 123 asylum-seekers being held at a federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon, many of whom are Sikh and Hindu,are being denied religious items and time and space for prayers.
  50. On Friday, NYT reported on children left behind after parents were misled and deported. One father from Guatemala said, “the official told me, ‘Sign here, and you will be deported together.’” He was deported alone.
  51. Of the 711 children still in custody, 431 parents were deported; 120 have parents who waived the right to reunification; 79 have a parent here who has not been found; 94 have a parent whose location is under “review;” 67 have a parent who raised a “red flag.”
  52. The Trump regime claimed it had met the San Diego court’s deadline, saying the 711 remaining children are not “eligible” to be given back.
  53. The Trump regime continues to face immigration lawsuits across the country, including a case in Seattle filed by 17 states on family separations and how the government handles claims for asylum for children in detention.
  54. A federal judge in Los Angeles she would appoint an independent monitor to evaluate conditions for migrant children housed in border processing centers. Advocates say children are being medicated for convenience.
  55. WAPO reported according to her testimony to the Senate in April, Maria Butina received financial support from Russian billionaire Konstantin Nikolaev for a pro gun rights group in Russia from 2012–2014.
  56. Nikolaev’s fortune came from port and railroad investments in Russia. He is on the board of American Ethane, a Houston company showcased by Trump at an event in China last year. He claims he has not met Trump.
  57. Nikolaev’s son Andrey, who is studying in the U.S., volunteered for Trump’s 2016 campaign. Nikolaev was spotted at the Trump Hotel DCduring Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.
  58. Nikolaev’s net worth matches the description in the court filings last week for the billionaire “funder” of Butina’s activities — a “known Russian businessman with deep ties to the Russian Presidential Administration.”
  59. Nikolaev has also invested in Silicon Valley companies, including Grabr. Alexey Repik, a Russian pharmaceutical executive who attended Trump’s inauguration and had access to exclusive events, is also a Grabr investor.
  60. On Sunday, Reuters reported that in April 2015, Butina traveled to the U.S. with Alexander Torshin, then the Russian Central Bank deputy governor,for separate meetings with Stanley Fischer and Nathan Sheets.
  61. Fischer was then the Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Sheets a Treasury undersecretary. The meetings were arranged by the Center for the National Interest, a D.C. think tank supportive of improving U.S.-Russia relations.
  62. On Thursday, ABC News reported that one of the “friendship and dialogue dinners” with influential Americans that Butina held was in February 2017 at Bistro Bis with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
  63. Rohrabacher also attended a meeting Butina helped arrange two years earlier in St. Petersburg, Russia which also included her mentor, Kremlin-connected banker Torshin.
  64. On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry demanded Butina be released, saying, “Her arrest is motivated solely by the motives of the U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and therefore she is a political prisoner.”
  65. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump called for the end of the Mueller probe, falsely claiming the “Fake Dirty Dossier” was “responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!”
  66. Trump also cited Tom Fitton on “Fox & Friends,” tweeting “misconduct by the FBI and the Justice Department” using the Dossier to get a search warrant on Page was “a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump…
  67. On Monday, WSJ reported at a briefing, the Department of Homeland Security for the first time publicly revealed that last year Russian hackers got inside the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities where they could have caused blackouts.
  68. DHS said some companies still may not know they have been compromised, because the attackers used credentials of actual employees to get inside utility networks. Their goal is to be disguised as employees.
  69. Hackers stole confidential information, such as how utility networks are configured, what equipment was in use, and how it was controlled. They familiarized themselves with how the facilities were supposed to work.
  70. On Tuesday, offering no evidence, Trump tweeted, “I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election,” adding “they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats.”
  71. Putin acknowledged that he wanted Trump to win at the Helsinki summit joint news conference. The Atlantic noted the White House transcriptinitially did not include this question in their transcript.
  72. The discrepancy involved a question from a Reuters reporter, “Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?” Putin says, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did.”
  73. After the “Rachel Maddow Show” and The Post also raised the issue of the discrepancy in the transcript, the White House ultimately updated it to include the missing question on Thursday.
  74. On Thursday, Daily Beast reported Russia’s GRU intelligence agency behind the 2016 election hacking targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill, a vulnerable Democrat, as she began her 2018 re-election campaign.
  75. McCaskill has been highly critical of Russia. In August 2017, around the time of the attempted hack, Trump traveled to Missouri and attacked McCaskill, telling the crowd to “vote her out of office.”
  76. McCaskill later released a statement: “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated…Putin is a thug and a bully.”
  77. On Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Trump is “looking to take away” security clearances for six former senior national security and intelligence officials who were critical of him over his Helsinki summit.
  78. The officials, who served under W. Bush and Obama, include former CIA directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, former FBI director James Comey, former NSA Susan Rice, former DNI James Clapper, and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
  79. Comey and McCabe already lost security clearance when they were fired. Experts said while Trump probably does have the authority to unilaterally suspend or terminate a security clearance, no president has ever done so.
  80. On Wednesday, the White House banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from attending a press event with Trump in the Rose Garden. Sanders claimed Collins “shouted questions and refused to leave.”
  81. Hours earlier, Collins peppered Trump with questions about Michael Cohen and the Helsinki meeting with Putin, while Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude sat for pictures, typical for pool reporters.
  82. CNN said in a statement, “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
  83. The President of Fox News said in a statement, “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press.”
  84. White House Correspondents’ Association President said, “This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak. It cannot stand.” Reporters ask questions to hold people in power “accountable.”
  85. On Monday, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis delayed the start of Paul Manafort’s case to July 31. Ellis will begin meeting jurors this week, as scheduled. The jury will consist of 16 people.
  86. The judge also granted immunity for the five witnesses requested by Mueller: James Brennan, Donna Duggan, Conor O’Brien, Cindy Laporta, and Dennis Raico. Manafort appeared in court wearing a green jumpsuit.
  87. Two of the witnesses, Brennan and Raico, worked at the The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, the bank led by Stephen Calk which gave Manafort a $16 million loan, a significant portion of the bank’s capital.
  88. Mueller’s team asserts Calk knew Manafort submitted a fraudulent loan application but approved it anyway because he wanted to be appointed by Trump as Secretary of the Army.
  89. On Monday, in a court filing, U.S. prosecutors were given access to 12 audio recordings seized at the April Cohen raid. According to the retired judge Barbara Jones, “the parties” no longer object to the government listening.
  90. According to sources, Trump’s legal team had originally asserted privilege, but later dropped their claim. Cohen attorney Lanny Davis tweeted, “The tapes will speak for themselves — spin can’t change facts.”
  91. Vanity Fair reported according to Cohen allies, it’s not the recordings that are valuable, but the backstories. Sources say Cohen has discussed the content of the June 9 meeting at Trump Tower.
  92. Sources also say Rudy Giuliani, who had claimed the tapes were “exculpatory,” may have waived privilege to undercut Cohen, who could have potentially used the tapes as a bargaining chip to cut a deal with prosecutors.
  93. On Tuesday, Cohen’s attorney Davis gave CNN a copy of a recording of Cohen and Trump discussing how they would buy the rights to Karen McDougal’s story about an alleged affair Trump had with her years earlier.
  94. The recording reveals Trump had contemporaneous knowledge of a proposal to buy the rights to the story. Cohen told Trump about his plans to set up a company and finance the purchase of the rights from AMI.
  95. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the release came as a surprise to prosecutors handling the Cohen case. Former prosecutors found it off that someone angling for a plea deal would make potential evidence public.
  96. Inside the White House, Trump reportedly raged about the release. Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted, “What kind of lawyer would tape a client? So sad!” His surrogates have attacked Cohen’s reputation.
  97. Sources say the government seized more than 100 recordings that Cohen made of his conversations on his iPhone with people discussing matters that could relate to Trump and his businesses, and with Trump talking.
  98. On Wednesday, WSJ reported federal investigators are examining the years-long dealings of Cohen and AMI. The DOJ is investigating whether AMI at times acted like an extension of Mr. Trump and his campaign.
  99. Prosecutors subpoenaed AMI on the same day in early April that the FBI raided Cohen. Investigators subpoenaed AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker separately, and delivered a subpoena to AMI for information on the payment to McDougal.
  100. On Monday, Politico reported Trump advisers have quietly begun planning for when Sanders departs. Bill Shine has been asking around for recommendations, and a short-list of replacements has already emerged.
  101. On Tuesday, Ivanka announced she is shutting down her fashion brand, a year after stepping away from leading the business, claiming she wanted to avoid the appearance of profiting off her father’s presidency.
  102. Ivanka’s brand had faced a consumer backlash, and retailers including Marshall’s, Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx, and Hudson’s Bay Company had stopped selling her products. Trump fans bought her products however.
  103. Ivanka was also criticized amid Trump’s America first mantra for her products being manufactured in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, where low-wage laborers have limited ability to advocate for themselves.
  104. On Thursday, Axios reported Ivanka and Kushner plan to stay at the White House for the long-term. They have gained power, having eliminated their adversaries including Steve Bannon and Rex Tillerson, and John Kelly is sidelined.
  105. Trump told CNBC that stock market gains since the election give him the opportunity to fight trade wars, saying, “This is the time. You know the expression we’re playing with the bank’s money.”
  106. Trump also said, “I would have a higher stock market right now. … It could be 80 percent if I didn’t want to do this.” Market gains have slowed with Trump’s tariffs, with the benchmark index up just 4.9% in 2018.
  107. On Tuesday, Harley Davidson announced Trump’s tariffs will cost the company $50 million in profit this year, and an addition $100 million in 2019 — wiping out almost all the company’s 2019 projected profits.
  108. On Tuesday, Whirlpool’s stock plunged 14.5%, the biggest loss since 1987, as Trump’s tariffs caused the prices of steel and aluminum used in the manufacture of the company’s products to substantially rise.
  109. On Tuesday, at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City,Trump told farmers caught in his escalating trade war to be “a little patient” and they would be “the biggest beneficiaries” of his policies.
  110. Trump told the crowd of 4,000, “stick with us,” adding, “don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news.” Some veterans in the crowd then pointed, booed and hissed at journalists at the event.
  111. Trump also told the crowd, “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” invoking comparison on social media to George Orwell’s book, “1984.”
  112. Trump’s heavily partisan remarks were unusual for an address to the nonpartisan VFW. After the event, the national headquarters for the VFW issued a statement of support for the media, and condemning the boos.
  113. On Wednesday, the Trump’s regime announced $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers caught in Trump’s trade war. The aid is designed to help farmers facing tariffs in China, Mexico, and other countries retaliating.
  114. The regime will largely rely on a 1933 program called the Commodity Credit Corporation, a division of the Agriculture Department created during the Great Depression to reimburse farmers for lost business.
  115. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked critics of his tariffs, tweeting, “every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs…I wonder, what can they be thinking?”
  116. Trump also tweeted, “Are we just going to continue and let our farmers and country get ripped off?” saying, “negotiations are going really well, be cool,” and “China is targeting our farmers” and “being vicious.”
  117. On Wednesday, automakers Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler scaled back their 2018 earnings due to rising prices for raw materials. GM stock fell 8% and Fiat Chrysler 16% intraday — the worst plunge in years.
  118. On Wednesday, Reuters reported the European Union is readying a package of tariffs on $20 billion of U.S. goods if Trump imposes trade levies on imported cars, as threatened.
  119. On Wednesday, after a meeting with European Commission President Junckner and Trump backing off his EU tariff threat, and declared “very big day for free and fair trade,” despite the fact no deal was agreed to.
  120. NYT reported that Trump was upset when Melania’s television aboard Air Force One was tuned to CNN. He raged at this stuff for violating a rule that the White House entourage should watch Fox.
  121. Trump is increasingly living in a world of select information, abetted by aides who insulate him from the outside world, and he bends the truth to his own narrative. For now, his approval with Republicans remains high.
  122. Axios reported Trump has been frustrated and has complained that some of his recent TV appearances have not had the production values of the prime time TV shows he watches daily. Bill Shine will help.
  123. On Thursday, Facebook’s market value fell by $119 billion or 19%, thelargest one-day loss in market value by any company in U.S. stock market history, after releasing a disastrous quarterly report.
  124. On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac poll showed Trump’s approval dropped from 38 approve, 58 disapprove in July 24, compared to 43 approve, 52 disapprove on June 20. Just 31% of women approve of Trump (64% disapprove).
  125. American voters believe 51–35 percent “that the Russian government has compromising information” on Trump, and 68% are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about Trump’s relationship with Russia.
  126. On Wednesday, a NBC News/Marist poll found Trump’s approval sagging in three Midwest states: Michigan 36 approve/54 disapprove; Minnesota 38/51: and Wisconsin 36/52.
  127. Also in those states, the majority do not believe Trump deserves to be re-elected versus try someone new: Michigan 28/62; Minnesota 38/60; Wisconsin 31/63.
  128. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Maryland said he will allow plaintiffs to proceed with their case, which says Trump has violated the emoluments clauses, little-used anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution.
  129. The marks the first time in U.S. history that a federal judge has interpreted those constitutional provisions and applied their restrictions to a sitting president.
  130. The opinion says the Constitution’s ban on emoluments could cover any business transactions with foreign governments where Trump derived a “profit, gain or advantage.” Trump has not divested of his business empire.
  131. On Wednesday, Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, two top Trump-allies in the House, filed articles of impeachment to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the overseer of the Special Counsel investigation.
  132. Meadows however sidestepped a procedural move that could have forced the issue to a vote as the House prepared to leave for a five-week summer recess, and will not return until September.
  133. On Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan firmly rejected the effort to impeach Rosenstein. Later, conservatives said Ryan agreed to give the DOJ “one last chance” in August to turn over the documents lawmakers have subpoenaed.
  134. On Thursday, NYT reported Mueller’s team is examining Trump’s tweets and negative comments about Sessions and Comey as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into possible obstruction of justice.
  135. Mueller’s team has told Mr. Trump’s lawyers they are examining the tweets under a section “Tampering With a Witness, Victim, or an Informant,” suggesting they may be investigating Trump for witness tampering.
  136. Investigators want to interview Trump about tweets he wrote about Sessions and Comey, and why he has continued to publicly criticize Comey and McCabe, another possible witness against Trump.
  137. On Thursday, WSJ reported Allen Weisselberg, a longtime bookkeeper for Trump, has been subpoenaed to testify as a witness before a federal grand jury in the criminal probe Cohen. It is not known if he has appeared yet.
  138. Weisselberg, has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at the Trump Organization for decades, and has been described as “the most senior person in the organization that’s not a Trump.”
  139. Weisselberg is prized by Trump for his loyalty. He worked for Trump’s father, Fred’s, real-estate firm in the 1980s. For years, at least through the financial crisis, Weisselberg prepared Trump’s tax returns.
  140. He has been linked to the payments made to Stephanie Clifford and McDougal, and is mentioned in the recording released by Cohen this week, “I’ve spoken with Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up.”
  141. On Sunday, WAPO reported that since Kim Jong Un’s summit with Trump, North Koreans have canceled follow-up meetings, demanded more money, and failed to maintain basic communications with the U.S.
  142. Even as Trump told the media last week, “Discussions are ongoing and they’re going very well,” North Korea maintains a testing facility Trump said would be destroyed, and is hiding key parts of its nuclear program.
  143. Trump has vented his frustration to staffers over lack of progress, as North Korea fully engages with South Korea and China. Trump said Russia would help, but UN ambassador Nikki Haley said Russia is abetting illegal smuggling.
  144. On Sunday night, Trump tweeted there would be “consequences” if Iranian President Hassan Rouhani continues threatening America: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
  145. Trump added, “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” The threat was similar to those made to Kim Jong Un.
  146. On Monday, Bolton doubled-down on Trump’s threat in a statement to reporters, saying he spoke to Trump and “if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before.
  147. On Tuesday, Reuters reported the Kremlin was reticent on the idea of a second summit in Washington D.C. Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov suggested the two could possibly meet at the G20 in Argentina in late November.
  148. On Tuesday, CNN reported the White House has suspended the practice of publishing public summaries, known as “readouts,” of Trump’s phone calls with world leaders, breaking a long-time precedent of both parties.
  149. Trump has had at least two calls with foreign leaders in the last two weeks, including Turkish President Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The calls were reported first by foreign media.
  150. On Wednesday, Bolton announced that Trump will postpone the second summit with Putin until next year, saying Trump believes the second meeting “should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over.”
  151. Republican leaders Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had said Putin would not be welcome for meetings on Capitol Hill, which customarily occur when a foreign head of state visits Washington.
  152. On Friday, Putin said he is ready to go to Washington D.C., and for Trump to come to Moscow, saying, “He has this invitation already and I told him about it,” adding but there “has to be necessary conditions.”
  153. It is not clear when Putin first invited Trump to Moscow — details from their meeting remain unknown. On Friday, Sanders said Trump is open to visiting Russia if Putin extends a formal invitation.
  154. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Trump’s meetings with Putin and Kim Jong Un. Pompeo was defiant, sparring with senators from both sides.
  155. Ahead of his testimony, knowing Pompeo would be grilled on Crimea, the State Department issued a “declaration” stating the U.S. rejects Russia’s annexation of Crimea and calling on Russia to end its occupation.
  156. In three hours of testimony, Pompeo dodged questions from frustrated senators on both sides asking for more information on Trump’s meeting with Putin, saying, “Presidents are entitled to have private meetings.”
  157. Committee chair Bob Corker said senators have “serious doubts” about Trump’s foreign policy, saying the White House “is making it up as they go,” and intentionally creates distrust in institutions like NATO.
  158. Sen. Robert Menendez said the takeaways are the regime “is increasingly not transparent” and on North Korea, “we have no agreements on anything.” Pompeo said North Korea has a different definition of denuclearization.
  159. On Thursday, Trump tweeted “we will look into…‘SHADOW BANNING’” Republicans — suppressing their content on Twitter. Twitter acknowledged the issue, calling it unintentional and saying it was not targeting Republicans.
  160. On Thursday, CNN reported Cohen says Trump knew in advance about the June 9 meeting where Russians were expected to give his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, and is willing to make that assertion to Mueller.
  161. Cohen alleges he was present, along with several others, when Donald Jr. informed Trump about the Russians’ offer. Cohen claims Trump approvedgoing ahead with the meeting with the Russians.
  162. On Friday, Trump responded to Cohen’s allegations, tweeting, “I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr.” Giuliani also continued to try to discredit Cohen, saying he is not credible.
  163. Trump also lashed out at Cohen, tweeting, “Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer.”
  164. Trump also repeated his false statement, tweeting, “the only Collusion with Russia was with the Democrats,” adding, “the rigged Witch Hunt continues! How stupid and unfair to our Country…”
  165. On Thursday, AP reported Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian said to have promised Donald Jr. dirt on Hillary, worked more closely with senior Russian government officials than she previously disclosed.
  166. Scores of emails, transcripts, and legal documents obtained through Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s London-based investigative unit, portray Veselnitskaya as a well connected attorney.
  167. On Friday, at a community forum in West Hollywood, Michael Avenatti claimed he is now representing three additional women who had relations with Trump and were “paid hush money prior to the 2016 election.”
  168. VICE reported Anastasia Vashukevich, who claims to have hours of tapes of conversations with Oleg Deripaska, will give the tapes to Deripaska. FBI investigators have tried to speak with her, but were rebuffed by Thai authorities.
  169. TMZ first reported Kristin Davis, known as the “Manhattan Madam,” wassubpoenaed by Mueller’s team as part of the Russia probe. Davis worked for Roger Stone for over a decade and the two are close friends.
  170. Lori Stegmann, a devout Republican commissioner in northwestern Oregon became a Democrat, saying “I cannot condone the misogyny, the racism, and the unethical and immoral behavior” of the Trump regime.
  171. Stegmann, an orphan and an immigrant, said, “I feel like I struck a nerve because so many people told me ‘That’s what I’m feeling,’ and ‘You’re right, the Republican party I joined has changed.’”

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 89: ‘HELL’SINKI

Week 89: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 21, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-88-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-c4edff1d80a2

This week it was hard to believe what was happening right before our eyes: Trump stood on stage in Helsinki, after a two hour, private meeting with Putin, and sided with our former foreign adversary over the U.S. intelligence community. The free-world looked on in horror, and there was bipartisan outrage back at home — even concern raised that Trump may be compromised — and yet, as the week came to a close, Trump suffered no real consequences. The Republicans even rewarded him by inexplicably backing his partial ban of Chinese telecom company ZTE.

Trump stumbled defiantly through the rest of a shocking week: shifting his positions on backing U.S. intelligence, considering an offer to allow Russian intelligence to question the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve, and threatening his former fixer Michael Cohen who had taped their conversations.

Russian Maria Butina was arrested and indicted on charges of spying — the 26th Russian to be indicted but first Russian to face charges in U.S. court for interfering in the 2016 election. As Butina’s ties to the NRA surfaced, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin took steps to change existing rules and allow dark money donors to remain anonymous. Shockingly, as the week came to a close, Trump has still yet to admit it was Russia who interfered in the 2016 election.

IMG_1187
Los Angeles, CA ~ March 2018
  1. On Sunday, British PM Theresa May told BBC that when she met with Trump, he advised her to sue the European Union, not go into negotiations. May noted this was in contrast to what he said at their new conference, “don’t walk away.”
  2. The White House canceled National Security Adviser John Bolton’s scheduled interview for Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that a CNN reporter had “disrespected @POTUS & PM May.”
  3. On Sunday, NYT reported British investigators believe the nerve agent attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter was likely carried out by GRU, the same Russian military intelligence indicted in the Mueller probe.
  4. On Sunday, in an interview on “CBS Evening News,” when Trump was asked about our biggest global foes ahead of Helsinki, he responded, “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade.”
  5. On Sunday, en route to Helsinki, Trump tweeted he was looking forward to his meeting with Putin, while mocking critics, “I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!” and calling the media “the enemy of the people.”
  6. As Trump and Putin were set to arrive, Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat financed 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit which read, “Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press.”
  7. On Sunday, Daily Mail reported that Morry Matson, a CVS in manager in Ohio and former Trump delegate, called the police on a black woman for trying to use a coupon at his store. Matson was dubbed “Coupon Carl.”
  8. The Toledo Blade reported a woman spray-painted “Hail Trump” and the N-word on a neighbor’s home, just hours before Toledo’s annual African-American Parade. Patricia Edelen, 47, was arrested.
  9. The mayor of Wilmington, Delaware apologized after Muslim children from the the Darul Amaanah Academy summer camp were asked to leave a public pool because of their religious clothing.
  10. Cal Poly rescinded a scholarship for pro-Trump wrestler Bronson Harmonafter video surfaced of him yelling an anti-gay slur and making an obscene gesture during a counter-protest to a Families Belong Together march.
  11. The Tennessean reported on a record number of Tennesseans using Confederate flag license plates: there were 3,273 active plates in June 2018, up 72% from June 2015.
  12. A HuffPost/YouGov survey found 85% of Trump voters believe MS-13, the gang Trump frequently conjures to defend his immigration policy, is a very serious or somewhat serious threat to the entire U.S.
  13. On Sunday, Trump’s Health and Human Services Department submitted revised plans to reunite families, after Judge Dana Sabraw accused the regime using safety concerns as “cover” to avoid meeting his July 26 deadline.
  14. Judge Sabraw said the government “has an absolute 100 percent obligation to meet these deadlines and to do it safely.” The regime will use methods other than DNA testing to verify parentage for older children.
  15. On Sunday, WAPO reported that experts say migrant children being reunited with parents may be deeply traumatized. Some children suffer nightmares, others have trouble trusting their parents again.
  16. A ten-year old described seeing an out-of-control kindergartener get injected with something after he misbehaved in class. She added, “They told us to behave, or we’d be there forever.”
  17. On Thursday, NBC News reported that as the court imposed July 26 deadline nears for the regime to reunify the 2,551 migrant children over 5 years old, in a court filing the regime said they have just unified just 364 so far.
  18. Of 1,607 parents eligible to be reunited, 719 have final orders of deportation, leaving them with the choice of bringing their child back to a violent country or leaving them behind in the care of the U.S. government.
  19. The judge temporarily halted the regime from deporting reunited migrant families, accepting the ACLU argument that many of who plan to seek asylum need time to file claims.
  20. On Friday, the Trump regime told the court that the federal government has reunited 450 children ages 5 to 17 years old. Judge Sabraw said, “I am very impressed with the effort that is being made.”
  21. On Monday, hours before his one-on-one summit with Putin, Trump sent two tweets calling the Mueller probe a “Rigged Witch Hunt” twice, and again blamed Obama for doing nothing.
  22. Trump also tweeted, “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity,” and falsely claimed the probe was headed by Peter Strzok.
  23. The Twitter account for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affair, headed by Sergey Lavrov, tweeted, “We agree.”
  24. On Monday, Germany’s foreign minister said Europe could no longer rely on the U.S. after Trump called the European Union a “foe,” urging Europeans to close ranks and readjust its partnership with the U.S.
  25. Putin arrived late, and the summit at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki started about an hour after schedule. In a short public greeting, Trump declared he expected to have an “extraordinary relationship” with Putin.
  26. Trump and Putin started by speaking alone, with only interpreters, for two hours — longer than the 90 minutes allotted on Trump’s daily schedule. After, the two held a 46 minute news conference.
  27. Unlike his adversarial tone with NATO allies, Trump refused to challenge Putin in any way, including his claim that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election, saying, “I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia.”
  28. Trump made no mention of the Justice Department’s 12 indictments, and when pressed said, “I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” but Putin was “extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
  29. When asked if he would hold Russia accountable at all, Trump said, “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish,” adding, “the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it’s kept us apart.”
  30. Trump declined an invitation by an AP reporter, with the world watching,to warn Putin not to interfere again, instead deferring to Putin who said, Russia “has never interfered and is not going to interfere” in U.S. elections.
  31. Putin suggested what Trump described as an “interesting idea” — Mueller’s investigators could come to Moscow and question the Russian suspects, so long as Russians could come to Washington D.C. to do the same.
  32. Trump insisted his campaign did not collude with Russia, and then rattled off conspiracy theories. When Putin was asked if he had compromising information on Trump, he said, “It’s hard to imagine greater nonsense.”
  33. Former intelligence chiefs condemned Trump. Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted Trump’s performance “exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors,” calling it, “nothing short of treasonous.”
  34. Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Trump “failed America today.” Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Trump “essentially capitulated and seems intimidated” by Putin.
  35. Sen. John McCain and several Democrats spoke out forcefully. McCain called the summit “a tragic mistake,” adding Trump delivered “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.
  36. On Monday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a statement saying U.S. intelligence has been “clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”
  37. On Monday, Trump played down his earlier comments, tweeting, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,” adding, “to build a brighter future,” the two largest nuclear powers, “must get along!”
  38. On Monday, other Republicans reacted, but mainly in muted ways, defending the U.S. intelligence community and their assessment, but offering muted criticism of Trump and his behavior.
  39. Reuters reported Russian establishment viewed the summit as a win for Putin, noting the symbolism of a U.S. leader sitting down with Putin after four years of international isolation triggered by the annexation of Crimea.
  40. Russia state TV reported “Trump is ours,” and joked the U.S. lawmakers came to Russia “to make deals with our hackers” for midterms. They report Putin will run circles around “political neophyte” Trump.
  41. After the summit, in an interview with Sean Hannity that aired Monday night, Trump praised Putin: “I thought President Putin was very, very strong,” adding, “I think we’re doing really well with Russia as of today.”
  42. Late Monday, Trump returned from Helsinki to face protests at the White House. Protestors chanted, “Putin’s puppet” and “traitor” and carried giant letters that spelled out “liar.”
  43. On Tuesday, Motherboard reported Election Systems and Software, the top voting machine maker, admitted in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden that it installed remote-access software on election-management systems.
  44. The company says it provided remote connection software “to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” contradicting earlier statements, and raising concern about the security of their systems.
  45. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported Trump was surprised by the outrage about his summit. By time he landed back in Washington D.C., Trump “was enraged there was a lack of people out there defending him,”
  46. Reportedly, chief of staff John Kelly was irate about Trump’s comments at the summit, and called around to Republicans on Capitol Hill, giving them the go-ahead to speak out against Trump.
  47. On Tuesday, amid widespread criticism and condemnations, Trump tweeted, “While I had a great meeting with NATO…I had an even better meeting” with Putin, blaming “the Fake News” for misreporting.
  48. On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said he is concerned Trump got “taken advantage of” in his private session with Putin, saying, “We sure as heck need a briefing.”
  49. On Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan said the House may consider new sanctions on Russia. Ryan also said there is “no question” Russia interfered in 2016 election and “is not our ally.”
  50. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before Bob Corker’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 25. Although the hearing was scheduled on North Korea, he is expected to be grilled on Trump’s meeting with Putin.
  51. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP leaders used their weekly press conference to support U.S. intelligence findings on Russian interference, and to reassure Europe about America’s commitment to its allies.
  52. McConnell said the Senate might move forward with new sanctions against Russia in the wake of Trump’s remarks, mentioning the bipartisan bill from Sens. Marco Rubio and Chris Van Hollen, which would impose new penalties.
  53. Facing pressure, reading from a prepared statement, Trump said he misspoke in Helsinki, saying, “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”
  54. Trump claimed as he read the written statement, “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative,” in explaining his shifting position.
  55. Trump then ad-libbed and contradicted himself, “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there,” and added, “There was no collusion at all.” This jibes with Trump’s unwillingness to call out Russia.
  56. Photos of the note Trump was reading surfaced. At the top was an addition in black marker which read, “THERE WAS NO COLUSION,” and Trump crossed out the words, “Anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”
  57. A few hours later, Trump seemed to reverse course again, tweeting, “The meeting between President Putin and myself was a great success,” and blamed the media, “except in the Fake News Media!”
  58. A CBS poll found just 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the Helsinki summit, including 68% of Republicans. Seven in ten believe the U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the elections.
  59. On Monday, the Justice Department disclosed that Maria Butina was arrested Sunday and appeared Monday in court.
  60. Butina is accused of trying to cultivate relationships with American politicians over a two-year period. Butina twice tried to set up secret meetings between Trump and Putin during the 2016 campaign.
  61. In June 2015, as Trump announced his campaign, Butina wrote a column in a conservative U.S. magazine, suggesting that only by electing a Republican could the U.S. and Russia hope to improve relations.
  62. In July 2015, at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, she asked Trump about his foreign politics relating to Russia at a public event. He answered, “I know Putin and I’ll tell you what, we get along with Putin.”
  63. According to charges, at the behest of Alexander Torshin, a Russian government official, Butina made connections through the National Rifle Association and religious organizations to steer the GOP towards pro-Russia positions.
  64. Butina is the 26th Russian to face charges in the Russia investigation, and the first to be arrested. Charges were filed by the DOJ, which already had an investigation underway, and worked parallel to the Mueller probe.
  65. In May 2016, Torshin and Butina proposed a meeting between Trump and Putin during the annual NRA convention in Kentucky. Kushner shot the idea down, and instead Donald Jr. met the two at the NRA dinner.
  66. The charges also say an American operative met with Butina in Moscow and helped identify political, news media, and business officials to target — the most explicit evidence yet of an American aiding Russian efforts.
  67. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury approved a criminal indictment of Butina with two charges, conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent. Her lawyer denied she was an “agent of the Russian Federation.”
  68. On Monday, Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. Treasury would no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the NRA, to report dark money donors.
  69. Butina, who once posed with guns in Russian GQ magazine, pleaded not guilty to acting as a covert Russian agent working with Torshin in a plan that “was calculated, patient, and directed by the Russian Official.”
  70. Authorities said Butina used a student visa to attend American University, and through a pro-gun organization set up in Russia, got in contact with GOP operative Paul Erickson and other top NRA officials as early as 2013.
  71. Authorities also alleged Erickson had “involvement” in Butina’s efforts to establish a “back channel” line of communication between the Kremlin and the Republican Party through the NRA.
  72. On Tuesday, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee tweeted Democrats wanted to interview Butina, but “GOP members of HPSCI refused our request to bring her and others in.”
  73. On Tuesday, in a court filing, Mueller asked the judge to grant immunity from prosecution for five potential witnesses whose testimony Mueller may want to compel in the upcoming Paul Manafort trial.
  74. Mueller said the potential witnesses have not been identified publicly in connection with the case, and asked the judge to seal from public view the court motions detailing the witnesses’ identities.
  75. On Tuesday, CNN reported the MP leading a British investigation into online disinformation said data collected by Professor Aleksandr Kogan on behalf of Cambridge Analytica had been accessed from Russia and other countries.
  76. On Wednesday, CNN reported prosecutors from Mueller’s team met with attorneys representing Andrew Miller, a former Roger Stone associate, and spent almost 90 minutes in a sealed court proceeding before Chief Judge Beryl Howell.
  77. The meeting signals Stone is still under investigation by Mueller team. Howell oversees matters related to the federal grand jury that has indicted in Week 87, led to the indictments of 12 Russians.
  78. On Wednesday, Mueller’s team published nearly 500 pieces of evidence for the Manafort trial, which begins next week. Exhibits include Manafort’s homes, cars, a $21,000 watch, and high-end clothing.
  79. There will also be photographs of the putting green at his home in the Hamptons, as well as email communication between Manafort and Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant, who worked for Ukrainian President Yanukovych.
  80. On Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced he has serious concerns about Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media, saying he would put the deal through a lengthy administrative process, likely dooming it.
  81. AP reported Trump will be the first sitting president to skip the All-Star Game in Washington D.C., citing his preference for friendly crowds.
  82. NYT reported Trump has yet to award the National Arts Medals, an award created by Congress in 1985 to recognize the country’s greatest artists, which typically goes to about a dozen artists each year.
  83. On Tuesday, the Scotsman reported U.S. government spending records show Trump’s Turnberry firm was paid £52,477 to cover the accommodation bill for his weekend stay at his resort.
  84. In an op-ed Beck Dorey-Stein, a White House stenographer from 2012 to 2017, a staffer position that stays through changing administrations, saidTrump uniquely refused to be recorded and have a record of his words.
  85. In an interview, Dorey-Stein said “I quit because I couldn’t be proud of where I worked anymore,” adding, “I felt like President Trump was lying to the American people.”
  86. On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo opened the door to a possible criminal case against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, saying the state will provide a criminal referral if Attorney General Barbara Underwood asks for it.
  87. CNN reported on a 2016 panel in which Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, when asked what one decision should be overturned,said he would “put the nail” in the ruling which upholds independent counsels.
  88. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump loyalists at the Department of Veteran Affairs are taking aggressive steps to purge or reassign staff members disloyal to Trump ahead of Robert Wilkie’s likely confirmation.
  89. On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Trump’s 23rd circuit court judge, breaking a record set by George H.W. Bush who got 22 confirmed.
  90. On Wednesday, anti-Trump protestors, joined by lawmakers, held a candlelight vigil in front of the White House to protest Trump’s refusal to denounce Russian interference, and to show support for Mueller.
  91. Protestors chanted, “Hell naw Kavanaugh,” and “Trump is not above the law!” According to organizers, similar protests took place in 200 cities around the country.
  92. On Wednesday, Politico reported the Interior Department’s internal watchdog opened a full investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Secretary Ryan Zinke and Halliburton Chairman David Lesar.
  93. Under the arrangement, Lesar would be building a parking lot to benefit a major redevelopment project that could raise the land value of Zinke’s nearby properties. Zinke has oversight over issues impacting Halliburton.
  94. On Thursday, the Trump regime’s Interior and Commerce departments announced a joint proposal which would strip the Endangered Species Act of key provisions, weakening a law enacted 45 years ago.
  95. If approved, protections for threatened plants and animals would be made on a case-by-case basis. The proposal would also strike the phrase “without reference to possible economic or other impacts” from the Act’s language.
  96. Conservationists decried much of the proposal, including the removal of a requirement compelling federal agencies to consult with scientists and wildlife agencies before approving permits for ventures such as drilling.
  97. Daily Beast reported Michael Barry, the senior National Security Council director for intelligence programs, is leaving the White House to rejoin the CIA, creating another in the growing list of vacancies in Bolton’s NSC.
  98. On Wednesday, James Comey, a Republican, urged votes for Democrats in the midterms, tweeting, “This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that “Ambition must..counteract ambition.”
  99. On Tuesday, in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Trump said he’s bothered by Article 5 provisions of NATO that require the U.S. to come to the defense of other member countries.
  100. Carlson mentioned the small country of Montenegro, to which Trump responded, “They’re very strong people, they’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive and, congratulations, you’re in World War Three.”
  101. Russia has made clear they view the region as part of their sphere of influence, and said the country would “regret” joining NATO in 2017. Article 5 has only been invoked once, after the U.S. was attacked on 9–11.
  102. On Wednesday, Trump continued to defend his Helsinki performance in a series of tweets, saying, “So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki.”
  103. Trump added, “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting,” saying even compared to the NATO summit, his meeting with Russia “may prove to be, in the long run, an even greater success.”
  104. Trump also said, “Some people HATE” that he gets along well with Putin,” adding, “They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
  105. On Wednesday, when asked by a reporter whether Russia is still interfering in U.S. elections, Trump answered, “no,” contradicting Coats, and his declaration Tuesday that he believes U.S. intelligence on Russia.
  106. On Wednesday, at the Aspen Security Forum, FBI director Christopher Wray said he has threatened to resign. Wray reaffirmed that “Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and…continues to engage in malign influence.”
  107. On Wednesday, press secretary Sanders held a White House daily briefing for the first time in over two weeks.
  108. Sanders covered for Trump’s “no” answer, claiming it was in response to taking further questions from the press, saying the regime is “working very hard to make sure that Russia is unable to meddle in our elections.”
  109. Sanders refused to rule out the Kremlin’s request to question Americans, saying Trump is open to the idea of having former U.S. ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul questioned by Russia, and Trump is “going to meet with his team” to discuss the offer.
  110. That Trump was considering turning over Americans drew astonishment and outrage from current and former U.S. officials. The proposition is unheard of. McFaul served as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012–2014.
  111. On Thursday, the Senate planned a resolution introduced by Democrats to block Trump from allowing Americans, such as McFaul, from being questioned by Russian intelligence.
  112. Shortly after, press secretary Sanders announced Trump disagreed with Putin’s proposal, which she said had been “made in sincerity.” Trump initially had described the idea as an “incredible offer.”
  113. The Senate’s resolution passed 98–0. WAPO reported Trump did not understand the massive diplomatic and security implications of turning Americans over to an autocratic regime that jails and kills dissidents.
  114. On Thursday, WAPO reported as Russian officials describe “important verbal agreements” in Helsinki, at the most senior levels across the U.S. military, officials are scrambling to determine what Trump agreed to.
  115. Press officers at the Pentagon are unable to answer media questions. As Moscow suggests a new arrangement regarding Syria, the U.S. General in the region was scheduled to brief media and did not yet know details.
  116. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did not attend Trump’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and has not appeared in public this week, or been available for comment.
  117. While Trump continued to tweet about the “big results” from the summit,State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the regime was “assessing . . . three takeaways,” which she characterized as “modest.”
  118. On Thursday, Trump-ally Devin Nunes blocked Rep. Schiff’s motion to subpoena the interpreter at Trump’s Helsinki summit with Putin to testify in closed session before the House Intelligence committee.
  119. On Thursday, in a speech on the House floor, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called on Republicans to bring up an amendment providing additional funding for election security, as House Democrats chanted “USA.”
  120. On Thursday, Trump criticized the European Union again, using the excuse of an EU fine on Google, tweeting, “I told you so!…They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!”
  121. Trump blamed the media for outrage over his Putin summit, which he said was “a great success,” and again said referred to the media as “the real enemy of the people,” and “the Fake News Media.”
  122. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News Media is going Crazy,” and accused the media of lying, saying, “Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction.”
  123. Trump accused the “Fake News Media” of wanting “so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war,” tweeting they hate “that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”
  124. Trump also tweeted, “The Democrats have a death wish, in more ways than one,” saying Democrats want to abolish ICE.
  125. On Thursday, Putin warned there are certain political “forces” in the U.S. — a reference to what he views as an anti-Russian cabal within U.S. national security — trying to undermine his successful summit with Trump.
  126. Putin again invoked this deep state notion, saying consider the efforts of a “quite powerful” group in Washington that seeks to undermine good relations between the U.S. and Russia.
  127. On Thursday, Sanders tweeted Trump had asked national security adviser John Bolton to issue an invitation to Putin to come to “Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”
  128. Sander’s tweet was sent hours after Trump had tweeted that he was looking forward to “our second meeting” with Putin, and defended his Helsinki summit performance.
  129. On Thursday, in an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, DNI Coats told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he still does not know what happened in Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Putin.
  130. Coats said he hopes to learn more about the meeting, adding of the summit, “If he had asked me how that ought to be conducted I would have suggested a different way, but that’s not my role, that’s not my job.”
  131. Coats also warned of a “cyber-9/11,” saying there are threats, “every day, against our institutions, against our military, against our financial services, against our critical infrastructure.”
  132. Coats said he felt the need to “correct the record” when he issued a statement Monday reaffirming that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered, after Trump’s statement at the summit.
  133. Coats also said he was not made aware of until it was made public that Sergey Kislyak and Lavrov met with Trump in the Oval office in May 2017. Coats noted with a long sigh that it was probably not the best thing to do.
  134. During the interview, Mitchell read Coats the tweet by Sanders on a second summit with Putin in Washington. Coats said, “Say that again?” and then added, “Okaayyy, that’s gonna be special.”
  135. Coats was also asked if he is considering resigning, to which he responded, “That’s a place I don’t really go to publicly.”
  136. Earlier at the Aspen Security Forum, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security and trust, said the same Russians who hacked the DNC have targeted at least three 2018 Congressional campaigns.
  137. Burt declined to name the candidates or their party, citing privacy concerns, but said they are notable candidates running for reelection. Trump’s DHS has said they’ve seen no sustained campaign against election systems.
  138. Also at Aspen, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said the DOJ will inform American companies, private organizations, and individuals if they are being covertly attacked in order to affect elections or the political process.
  139. Rosenstein said focusing on a single election misses the point, adding Russian threats are “pervasive,” and “meant to undermine America’s democracy on a daily basis,” whether it is election time or not.
  140. Also at Aspen, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen refused to say whether Russian interference in 2016 helped Trump, saying she had not seen “any evidence” interference was to “favor a particular political party.”
  141. When asked about Trump’s comment that there were “fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, Nielsen also blamed both sides, responding, “It’s not that one side was right and one side was wrong.”
  142. On Thursday, Republicans in the House voted down a Democratic effort to increase election security spending.
  143. Politico reported based on a survey of all 50 states, most states’ election offices have failed to fix their most glaring security weaknesses, and few have plans for how to use their share of election security funding.
  144. On Thursday, breaking long-standing practice, Trump criticized the Federal Reserve for raising rates, telling CNBC, “I am not happy…all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”
  145. On Friday, Trump ratcheted up criticism of the Fed, tweeting, “China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower… taking away our big competitive edge.”
  146. Trump also tweeted the U.S. “should not be penalized because we are doing so well,” saying the U.S. should be able to “recapture what was lost due to illegal currency manipulation and BAD Trade Deals.”
  147. On Friday, Trump tweeted a 2010 video of Hillary Clinton in an interview with Russia state television, calling for a strong and stable Russia. Trump added, “Will the Dems and Fake News ever learn? This is classic!”
  148. On Friday, NYT reported Michael Cohen secretly taped a conversation with Trump two months before the election discussing payments to Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump. The FBI seized the recording in their raid.
  149. The recording undercuts the Trump campaign’s denial of any knowledge of payments to McDougal. Days before the 2016 election, Hope Hicks called McDougal’s claim of an affair “totally untrue.”
  150. Rudy Giuliani told the Times that Trump had discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen in person on the recording, and said Trump did not know in advance about the payment American Media Inc. made to silence McDougal.
  151. CNN reported Cohen had other recordings of Trump in his records that were seized by the FBI. Giuliani dismissed the other recording as mundane. A source told CNN that is not true.
  152. In the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to that contract from AMI. CNN reported when informed about the recording, Trump said, “I can’t believe Michael would do this to me.”
  153. WAPO reported in the recording, Cohen advised Trump to consider buying the rights to McDougal’s claims to better “control” the story, reportedly saying, “I think we need to bring this in-house.”
  154. On Saturday, Trump suggested there could be consequences for Cohen secretly recording him, tweeting, “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client — totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
  155. On Saturday, Cohen attorney Davis responded, tweeting, “The strategy of @realdonaldtrump @potus @RudyGiuliani is flawed; just as is #Trump’s false #Twitter statement made against @michaelcohen212 this morning.”
  156. On Friday, in an op-ed, GOP Rep. Will Hurd, a former undercover CIA officer, said Trump is being manipulated by Putin, writing that Trump, “standing idle” while Putin “spouted lies” should “concern all Americans.”
  157. On Friday, Reuters reported Mnuchin is open to lifting sanctions from Russian aluminum giant Rusal, owned by oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Mueller is investigating financial ties between Deripaska and Manafort.
  158. On Friday, Republicans agreed to water down legislation in reconciling bills designed to punish Chinese telecom company ZTE, delivering a victory to Trump. The Senate version would had restored a full ban.
  159. On Friday, Trump again complained about being criticized by the “Fake News Media,” tweeting, “In the Old Days they would call it Diplomacy. If I was loud & vicious, I would have been criticized for being too tough.”
  160. On Friday, Trump also tweeted “The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again — can’t believe it.” On Thursday, the NFL halted enforcement of anthem rules while working out a solution with players.
  161. Trump tweeted, “Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?” It is not. He also called on the Commissioner, “First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”
  162. On Saturday, WSJ reported at the end of a turbulent week, Trump is taking an increasingly defiant approach, tired of being told he can’t do things like criticize the Fed or the intelligence community.
  163. Trump’s comments on the Fed ricocheted through currency and bond markets, leaving the White House to clarify his comments and say Trump respects the Fed’s independence.
  164. Reportedly before the summit, Trump had authorized the Justice Department to release the indictments against 12 Russians, agreeing it would strengthen his hand with Putin in bringing up election interference.
  165. Trump’s plan, formulated with his aides, was for him to “shove it in Putin’s face and look strong doing it.” Trump did the exact opposite, siding with Putin and saying he saw no reason why Russia would have interfered.
  166. Russian associated social media accounts urged the U.S. to free Butina. On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a call to action on its Twitter account to mobilize a digital “flash mob,” including changing profile photos.
  167. On Saturday, TASS reported Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told Secretary of State Pompeo that U.S. actions against Russian citizen Butina were inadmissible, and said she should be released as soon as possible.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 88: UNHINGED

Week 87 of this administration: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 14, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-87-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-3bca5cb50820

This week Trump continued his ramped up level of lying and unhinged behavior as he once again made a spectacle of himself on the world stage at the NATO Summit in Brussels. Trump continued his pattern of hostility towards allies, while maintaining an overtly collegial tone towards Putin, even as the Mueller probe indicted 12 members of Russian military intelligence on charges of hacking and disrupting the 2016 U.S. election and Director of National Intelligence Coats warned, “warning lights are blinking red” for further attacks.

At home, Trump and his allies are taking every possible step to discredit the Mueller probe and attempt to preview FBI information. This week Trump continued his hostility towards the free press and his attacks on free markets, while taking steps to consolidate power. Important developments, like Trump’s executive order doing away with non-partisan administrative law judges and the confirmation of Brian Benczkowski to a top Justice Department position, got very little notice in the chaos.

Trump views immigration as the winning issue for Republicans in the midterms. This week he continued his indifference towards the plight of separated migrant families, while his regime quietly carries out inhumane and alarming tactics to make America more white. Trump also preached his anti-immigrant message on his trip abroad, while hundreds-of-thousands marched in protest of his visit and message.

Photo by KHyal, Megaglamster. In Detroit , Michigan . July 2018 .

WAPO released a fact check of Trump’s Montana rally in Week 86 and found of his 98 factual statements, 76% were false, misleading, or unsupported by evidence.

The Toronto Star charted a sharp increase in the number of daily lies Trump is telling, starting in Week 85 and continuing.

After his Moscow trip, Sen. Ron Johnson told the Washington Examiner on election interference, “We’ve blown it way out of proportion.” He also questioned the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions on Russia.

On Sunday, the British woman who in Week 86 was exposed to the Russian nerve agent Novichok died.

On Saturday, outside Bristol Bar & Grille in his hometown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was confronted by angry protestors for a second time in two weeks over immigration, asking “Where are the children?”

On Monday, WAPO reported other Trump aides have also faced protest in Washington D.C. A protestor confronted Kellyanne Conway at a supermarket and said, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Go look in the mirror!”

Stephen Miller was confronted after picking up $80 of takeout sushi, when a bartender followed him out and yelled “Stephen,” then raised both middle fingers and cursed at him. Miller threw the sushi out.

On Sunday, NYT reported the Trump regime stunned world health officials this spring when at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly the U.S. delegation opposed a resolution encouraging breastfeeding.

The U.S. delegation, embracing infant formula manufacturers, threatened Ecuador that if they refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid.

On Monday, Trump tweeted “The failing NY Times Fake News story… must be called out.” The Times defended the reporting, tweeting, “Our report is accurate. You can read it here.”

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported Sinclair Broadcasting is planning to launch a free TV streaming service which would house a 24/7 channel, creating a new competitor for Fox News.

On Sunday, Giuliani told “This Week” he advised Trump not to publicly discuss pardoning Michael Cohen until the investigation concludes, but does not believe Trump should rule out a pardon in the future.

Giuliani also said Cohen “should cooperate with the government. We have no reason to believe he did anything wrong,” adding, “I have no concerns that Michael Cohen is going to do anything but tell the truth.”

On Monday, Cohen’s newest attorney Lanny Davis shot back, tweeting, “Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron,” and adding, “Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters.”

On Monday, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote presidents should be immune from criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as personal civil suits, while in office.

On Wednesday, Davis told Hill.TV that a president lying, such as “lying about asking Michael Flynn not to be prosecuted,”is an abuse of power and “could be an impeachable offense.”

Davis also said of Cohen’s telling George Stephanopoulos that he would “not be a punching bag” for Trump’s defense strategy was part of his “declaration of independence two days before July 4.

On Sunday, Sacramento Bee reported 91 year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez was beaten with a brick on July 4 and told, “Go back to your country” by a mother after bumping into her toddler daughter on the sidewalk.

On Tuesday, the mother, 30-year-old Laquisha Jones was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Rodriguez has been hospitalized since the attack.

Michael Selyem of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office was put on leave after posting about Rep. Maxine Waters, “Being a loudmouthed c#nt in the ghetto you would think someone would have shot this bitch.”

On Tuesday, “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin said she was harassed in the Hamptons on July 4, saying about 20 kids ran in front of her home, yelled the N-word, and said, “This is America…this is our holiday.”

On Tuesday a video went viral showing Timothy Trybus berating a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt in at Caldwell Woods in Chicago, saying “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.”

A Cook County Forest Preserve District officer ignored her calls for help. A police report of the incident did not include any mention of the woman’s request for assistance.

On Thursday, prosecutors filed the two Class 3 felony hate crime charges against Trybus. The officer was initially reassigned to desk duty pending the investigation. He resigned on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Boston Globe reported a Martha Vineyard’s bus driver was fired after driving past a passenger trying to flag the bus down, and later admitted it was because the passenger was black.

In Columbus, Ohio, a woman called the police on a 12 year-old black boy who was helping his mother deliver newspapers. The police who showed up and asked what they were doing said race did not play a role.

On Monday, Politico reported Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner disclosed earnings from a fund that owns Correct Care Solutions, a for-profit healthcare provider that profits off ICE detention center contracts.

On Tuesday, WAPO reported Giuliani continues to work for foreign clients, both individually and through his security firm while serving as Trump’s attorney, a departure of standard practice and possible conflict of interest.

Giuliani works with Brazil, Colombia and other countries, and delivers speeches for dissident groups as he did in Week 86, but he has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients.

Giuliani has lobbied Trump to promote his son Andrew, a low-level White House aide, before becoming Trump’s attorney, and according to sources, continued to lobby Trump after he became Trump’s attorney.

On Thursday, WAPO reported Kushner does not have the security clearance level required to review some sensitive materials, which could complicate his ability to handle a foreign policy portfolio

In late May, Kushner was granted only “top secret” status. He has not yet been approved to review “sensitive compartmented information,” which involve U.S. intelligence sources and surveillance methods, by the CIA.

NYT reported Brookfield Asset Management is close to completing an investment of up to $700 million in the Kushner Cos’ 666 Fifth Avenue, a boon to the Kushner family for this over-leveraged property.

Simultaneously, a unit of Brookfield is awaiting approval from the Trump regime’s Committee on Foreign Investment for its acquisition of the nuclear-power company Westinghouse Electric. Brookfield is headquartered in Canada.

WAPO reported last week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross informed the Office of Government Ethics of a tardy sale: on June 11 he sold shares of Air Lease Corp., saying he had overlooked the shares held in a separate account.

On Friday, a report produced by Senate Democrats revealed Novartis sent Cohen a list of proposals to lower drug prices. Several proposals were included in the Trump regime’s “blueprint” to lower drug prices in May.

Democrats say Cohen capitalized on his ability to offer companies access to Trump regime officials. Cohen’s attorney Davis challenged the findings, saying Cohen “provided strategic advice to his client.”

On Sunday, AP reported migrant children as young as 1 year-old separated from their parents under Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy are appearing before immigration judges and going through deportation proceedings.

Hundreds of separated children are appearing, many of whom do not know why their family fled. Some will be reunited in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador, the violence-plagued countries they escaped.

On Monday, a federal judge denied the Trump regime’s request to alter the Flores consent decree which limits detention of immigrant children to 20 days, calling the regime’s legal arguments, “tortured.”

Trump’s executive order was based on detaining families indefinitely. The judge suggested the regime reconsider “their current blanket policy of family detention,” and instead reinstate prosecutorial discretion.

On Monday, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, a Trump ally, expressed frustration with the government’s “lack of information” on separated families, calling it “unsatisfactory.”

Johnson said, “These are human beings… It boggles my mind,” adding “I just would assume…the reunification would have been a relatively simple matter.” Johnson said he may hold hearings if questions are not answered.

On Tuesday, the court deadline for the Department of Health and Human Services to reunite migrant children under 5 with their parents, just four out of 102 children had been reunited according to the joint filing submitted by the government and the ACLU.

On Tuesday, when Trump was asked about the missed deadline for reuniting migrant children under 5, he responded, “Well, I have a solution. Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution.”

On Monday, BuzzFeed reported pregnant women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care. Some women have been shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities.

Advocates say at an ICE run facility in Texas, an officer promised to bring pregnant women to off-site medical professionals but never did. A woman from El Salvador miscarried due to lack of care, and was left to bleed out.

The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board wrote our treatment of refugee children is a national disgrace, contrasting the regime’s actions to the rescue of 12 children and their soccer coach in Thailand.

The editorial board added, “This is the kind of behavior that, when carried out by non-superpowers, gets people hauled before the International Criminal Court or some special war crimes tribunal.”

On Tuesday, NYT reported migrant toddlers who were recently reunited in Phoenix after months of separation did not recognize their mothers.

On Tuesday, Texas nonprofit RAICES announced it will symbolically offer the government $20 million to post bonds for 2,500 separated families, and demanded immigrant mothers be released from detention centers.

KETV-7 reported posters have been spotted around the Omaha metro area which read, “It is your civic duty” to report “illegal aliens,” adding “they have broken the law.” ICE claimed they had nothing to do with the posters.

Miami Herald reported Trump’s DOJ is seeking to denaturalize Norma Borgono, a 63-year-old secretary who immigrated from Peru in 1989, volunteers weekly at church, and raised two children on $500-week.

Borgono had a minor role in a fraud scheme over a decade ago. She worked two jobs, she paid off her restitution and was relieved of her sentence early. The DOJ rarely pursued such cases in past decades.

In addition to Citizenship and Immigration Services denaturalization task force in Week 86, DHS plans to spend $207.6 million to look for such cases and ICE will be hiring more than 300 new agents and scores of staffers.

On Tuesday, the Daily Beast reported that according to a shelter in El Paso, TX that houses women, government officials told four immigrant women they must pay for their DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children.

On Wednesday, ABC News reported Margarito Silva and Concepcion Barrios were taken into custody by ICE when they went to visit their pregnant daughter and son-in-law who live on Fort Drum in New York.

The couple presented a New York City identification card for entry, which had worked in the past, and their Mexican passports. The couple has no prior criminal record and no prior interactions with ICE.

On Thursday, Customs and Border Protection alleged in a letter that NYC mayor Bill De Blasio crossed the border illegally on foot while visiting a detention facility for youth in El Paso, Texas.

A report by tech watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation found some shopping malls in California are scanning license plates and sending that data to The Irvine Company, a surveillance vendor that works with ICE.

On Friday, San Diego federal justice Dana Sabraw praised the government’s “substantial” efforts in reuniting 57 of the 103 migrant children under 5. The court deadline had been Tuesday.

With the next deadline looming, the judge ordered the government to carry out an orderly process for the larger group, estimated at 2,551 older children over 5. The government says it will reunite 200 children a day.

The judge also signaled he was inclined to accept the ACLU request that the government shoulder the travel costs for reuniting families, even though the government attorney called it a “huge ask” not in the budget.

On Monday, Trump’s personal driver for 25 years, and registered Republican, Noel Cintron sued the Trump Organization for overtime, saying it didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary only twice in 15 years.

On Monday, Trump attacked Pfizer and other drug companies, tweeting they “should be ashamed” for raising drug prices, adding the companies are “taking advantage of the poor & others who can’t defend themselves.”

Trump also threatened, “We will respond!” Trump had promised to lower drug prices as part of his 2016 campaign, but took no concrete steps other than saying there would be a “voluntary, massive drops in prices.”

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Just talked with Pfizer CEO” and HHS secretary Alex Azar, saying, “Pfizer is rolling back price hikes.” Pfizer subsequently announced it would defer raising prices.

On Tuesday, Trump signed an executive order giving agency heads greater discretion over hiring and firing administrative law judges, replacing non-partisan career judges, who make legal rulings on regulatory actions.

On Tuesday, Trump threatened to broaden his trade war with China, announcing a list of $200 billion tariffs on Chinese goods. The tariffs will undergo a two-month review process.

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a nonbinding measure 88–11 asserting “a role for Congress” when Trump imposes tariffs. The measure has no teeth, and GOP advocates said there wasn’t backing for a strong bill.

The order will make it easier for the Trump regime to compel the 2,000 regulatory judges to follow its anti-regulatory policies, or to fire them if they do not, allowing Trump to further consolidate power.

On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski as director for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, which oversee parts of the Mueller probe and Cohen investigation.

Benczkowski has no prosecution experience and has never tried a case. He told lawmakers he supports Mueller’s investigation, but would not promise to recuse himself from issues involving Russia.

Benczkowski was nominated by Trump in June 2017, but his confirmation was stalled because he represented Alfa Bank, a Russian bank, even after it was a subject of the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

A new bill introduced by House Republicans titled the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018,” says Antifa activists could be jailed for up to 15 years for wearing masks.

On Thursday, Marc Short, a top Trump aide and director of legislative affairs, resigned. Short declined to comment on the reason.

On Thursday, the NYT reported a Federal Emergency Management Agency report found the agency was sorely unprepared for 2017 hurricane season, which was the most destructive on record.

The report, scheduled to be released Monday, was made public after the NYT obtained a draft. The final version removed a paragraph noting that FEMA’s hurricane plans had so underestimated disaster impacts.

The report found FEMA had thousands fewer workers than it needed, and many of those it had were not qualified to handle major catastrophes. FEMA had to borrow workers from other agencies to try to keep up.

As Puerto Rico braces for hurricane season, 10 months after Hurricane Maria, roughly 1,000 households are without power, and the management of the island’s government-owned electric utility, Prepa, is in turmoil.

On Tuesday, 70 education leaders sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking them to not remove Obama-era guidance meant to eliminate racial disparities in school discipline.

On Tuesday, the Trump regime decreased grants for grassroots groups that help Americans get Affordable Care Act insurance from $62.5 million in 2016 to $10 million for the enrollment period that starts in November.

Also new, instead of choosing solely between ACA plans, the groups receiving grants will now also offer health plans that bypass ACA’s consumer protections and required benefits.

On Thursday, watchdog group Sunlight Foundation reported the Trump regime removed entire sections about the ACA from the official Medicaid.gov site, its hub for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

On Thursday, the Daily Beast reported a database known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which includes 20 years of critical medical guidelines, has been scheduled by HHS to “go dark” on July 16.

On Tuesday, Lisa Page canceled her appearance before the House Judiciary Committee for Wednesday. Her attorney said they were not shown any of documents that were subject of the hearing after waiting more than three hours.

On Tuesday, aboard the flight to NATO, Trump tweeted, “hear reports that the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting cold feet on testifying about the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by 13 Angry Democrats.”

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena,” adding, “Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt.”

On Wednesday, Speaker Paul Ryan threatened Page with contempt charges, saying the House will “do what we need to do to protect this branch of government” and that he stands behind committee chair Robert Goodlatte.

On Friday, Page met with the House Judiciary Committee privately. Without offering specifics, Republican lawmakers claimed she provided new information that further convinced them of political bias at the FBI.

On Thursday, Strzok went before the House Judiciary Committee in a 9.5 hour contentious hearing that turned into a circus-like setting with insults, fighting, shouting, character assassination, and partisan bickering.

Strzok expressed “significant regret” for the way his texts to Page had hurt his family and the FBI. He smirked most of the hearing as lawmakers battled each other, Republicans attacked and Democrats defended him.

During the hearing, GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy threatened Strzok with contempt, Louie Gohmert attacked his infidelity and character, Darrell Issa made him read his own texts, and Paul Gosar said he could read Strzok’s body language as a former dentist.

On Monday, Madeleine Albright and 15 other former foreign ministers urged Trump in a letter to shore up America’s “deteriorating relationship” with its Western allies, and not ignore the threat posed by Putin.

On Tuesday, by a vote of 97–2, the Senate approved a motion of support for NATO on the day Trump arrived in Brussels for the NATO summit, amid concern of Trump’s ambivalence towards the alliance.

On Tuesday, Trump told the media as he was leaving for his weeklong trip to Europe that his summit with Putin “may be the easiest” of the meetings he has scheduled.

On Tuesday, the Guardian reported that the US embassy in London warned Americans in London to “keep a low profile” during Trump’s visit, saying large demonstrations against Trump could turn violent.

On Tuesday, Trump pardoned the Oregon ranchers, Dwight Hammond and his son Steven Hammond who were the inspiration behind the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

The Hammonds were sent to prison in 2012 on arson charges for a series of fires to hide evidence of killing a herd of deer on their ranch that spread to federal land, and were imprisoned for a second time in 2015.

On Wednesday, as the NATO summit got underway in Belgium, Trump launched a clearly planned attack on Germany, saying the country is “a captive to Russia” because it imports much of its energy from Russia.

Trump’s comments shocked NATO allies. Norwegian prime minister Stoltenberg was reportedly reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies have always traded with Russia.

Trump also ripped into NATO allies for not having reached 2% of their GDP’s on defense yet, although the guidance is by 2024, and later at a closed-door meeting said allies should instead pay 4% of GDP on defense.

Trump also credited himself for getting NATO allies to pay more on Twitter after his last visit, “at my request,” but said, “it isn’t nearly enough,” adding, “They pay only a fraction of their cost.”

On Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker said Trump’s comments about NATO have been “damaging” to American leadership in an apparent effort to “tear apart” a critical alliance.

On Thursday, Trump showed up late to the NATO summit, skipping meetings with at least two world leaders and prompting the secretary general to call an emergency meeting.

After the meeting, Trump recommitted to NATO, but warned uneasy allies “I’ll do my own thing” if their spending did not rise quickly enough. Allies also remain concerned about Trump’s ties to Putin.

Following the summit, Trump held a news conference in which he said of Putin, “I think we’ll get along well,” adding “he’s a competitor,” but “not my enemy,” and “Hopefully some day, maybe he’ll be a friend.”

Politifact reported the statements made by Trump during the NATO summit news conference related to NATO spending, Wisconsin, U.S. farmers’ export to the EU, and other items were mostly false or misleading.

On Wednesday, CNN reported that according to a source familiar with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang last week, the White House felt it went “as badly as it could have gone.”

On Thursday, Trump tweeted a letter dated July 6 from King Jong Un praising Trump as “your excellency,” a title often reserved for royalty. Trump called it a “very nice note,” adding, “Great progress being made!”

On Thursday, during his first visit to the UK, while PM May rolled out the red carpet to Trump, a Murdoch-owned London tabloid published an explosive interview in which Trump blasted May’s Brexit compromise.

In the interview, Trump also praised May’s archrival, Boris Johnson, as a potential future prime minister, and attacked London’s Muslim mayor, for being soft on crime and terrorism.

On Thursday, the Scotsman, Scotland’s national newspaper, wrote as Trump was about to arrive that he “is a racist, a serial liar, and either a sex abuser or someone who falsely brags about being one.”

On Friday, in a joint news conference, Trump vaguely apologized to PM May for his The Sun interview, saying, “I didn’t criticize the prime minister; I have a lot of respect for the prime minister.”

Trump said “fake news” had omitted his praise of May. The Sun released a cover story and audio of the interview. When a reporter asked if his comments helped Putin, he said, “That’s such dishonesty reporting.”

Trump said May is doing “a terrific job,”and called her “tough” and “capable,” but said she should have taken his advice on Brexit, and continued to praise her main political adversary Johnson.

When asked about the Mueller probe, Trump said, “in the United States we have this stupidity going on — pure stupidity,” adding, “Anything you do, it’s always going to be, ‘Oh, Russia, he loves Russia.’”

Trump also warned European leaders “better watch themselves” because immigration is “changing the culture” of their societies, adding, “ I think it is a very negative thing for Europe.”

When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump a question, he called the network “fake news,” and instead called on Fox News’ John Roberts, saying, “Let’s go to a real network.” Roberts asked an easy question, Trump answered.

NYT fact-checked the news conference and found Trump told 10 lies or exaggerated statements on topics including American troops abroad, NATO spending, and his prediction of the Brexit vote.

On Friday, nearly 250,000 protestors marched against Trump in central London. Protestors carried signs, and a giant balloon, which depicts Trump wearing a diaper and carrying a mobile phone in tiny hands.

Trump then visited with the Queen of England, where he had many social miscues including walking in front of the queen, walking briskly and ahead of her at times, and shaking hands instead of bowing or curtsying.

As Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, most networks went split-screen, and then broke away to coverage of a news conference with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein announced 12 Russian military intelligence officers (GRU) were indicted in the Mueller probe on charges they hacked Democrats’ computers, stole data, and published files to disrupt the 2016 election.

The 11-count, 29-page indictment gave granular detail on how the Russian government hackers implanted malware, and spread stolen information DC Leaks, Guccifer 2.0 and others to influence voters.

The indictment notes on July 27, 2016, then-candidate Trump said at a news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails.” That same day conspirators attempted to spearphish email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office for the first time.

The indictment notes in August 2016, “the conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress,” and sent the candidate stolen documents on their opponent.

The indictment also says GRU successfully hacked “test applications related to the DNC’s analytics,”and stole that data from the DNC, giving insight into the Clinton campaign’s analysis and plans.

Rosenstein said GRU hacked a state election board website and “stole information about 500,000 voters,” They also hacked the computers of a software supplier used to verify voter registration information.

Rosenstein also said, “The conspirators corresponded with several Americans,” although there is no allegation in these indictments that they “knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers.”

Rosenstein closed by warning the US is still under attack by Russia, saying “We need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable, and… protect against future interference, and defend America.”

On Friday, shortly before Rosenstein’s news conference, Giuliani resurfaced on Twitter for the first time since December 2016.

After Rosenstein spoke, Giuliani tweeted, the indictments “are good news..The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved,” and called on Mueller to stop pursuing Trump, and to say he is “completely innocent.”

After the indictments, Democrats and Sen. John McCain called on Trump to cancel his upcoming one-on-one summit with Putin. The White House announced Friday afternoon that the summit is still on.

As Rosenstein announced the indictment, House conservatives were putting on the final touches on a filing to impeach him. Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said they could file the document as soon as Monday.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump on the allegations “earlier this week.” Trump made no statement after the indictments, but at his morning news conference with May, he called the Mueller probe a “rigged witch hunt.”

On Saturday, Trump blamed the Obama administration for the Russian election meddling, tweeting, “Why didn’t they do something about it….Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”

On Saturday, after denying it Friday, Roger Stone admitted to ABC News that he is the “US person” mentioned in the Mueller indictment who “was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign.”

On Friday, director of national intelligence Dan Coats said persistent danger of Russian cyberattacks today was akin to the warnings the U.S. had of stepped-up terror threats ahead of the September 11 attacks.

Speaking to a Washington DC think tank, Coats said, “the warning lights are blinking red again,” and warned, “digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.”

On Friday, Maryland state officials said the FBI informed them that their voter registration system, ByteGrid LLC, was purchased in 2015 by AltPoint Capital Partners, whose fund manager is a Russian.

The largest investor in AltPoint is Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. The FBI did not indicate a breach occurred. Maryland officials asked the DHS Election Task Force to assist with any corrective action deemed necessary.

A new poll from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center found 71% of Russians view Trump unfavorably, 77% say he is “self-centered,” 16% say he is “trustworthy,” and a majority describe him as “dangerous.”

On Tuesday, Michael Flynn was back in court for the first time since his guilty plea. The judge did not set a sentencing date, but scheduled to receive an update on the case from prosecutors and Flynn’s lawyers by Aug. 24.

On Tuesday afternoon, WSJ reported Flynn had taken a new job, launching a consulting firm, Stonington Global LLC with Nick Muzin and Joey Allaham. Flynn’s bio appeared on the company’s website.

Stonington will provide consulting and lobbying services for U.S. and foreign clients. Later Tuesday, Flynn’s lawyer said he is no longer joining the consulting firm, and that he did not personally issue a statement.

On Tuesday, in an interview on “VICE News Tonight,” Emin Agalarov said he spoke to Donald Jr. three times prior to the June 9 Trump Tower meeting. Donald Jr. told Congress he could not recall.

CNN reported Facebook gave Mail.Ru Group, a Russian internet company with links to the Kremlin, an extension which allowed them to collect data on unknowing users of the social network after a policy change.

Twitter announced that starting Thursday, the platform will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts in its battle against fake accounts. The company plans to remove roughly 6% of users.

On Tuesday, Paul Manafort’s attorney asked the Virginia judge to delay the July 25 hearing, saying the jury pool was tainted by the intense media coverage and Manafort needed more time to review thousands of documents.

On Wednesday, a motion filed by Mueller’s team revealed prosecutors had been listening in on Manafort’s phone calls, in which Manafort told people he’s being treated like a “VIP” at the Virginia prison

“Unique privileges” include a private bathroom and shower, a personal telephone and daily access to a workspace where he can meet with lawyer and prepare for trial. The judge did not allow the trial delay.

On Wednesday, Mueller’s team also asked the federal court to issue 100 blank subpoenas to potential witnesses in the upcoming Manafort trial.

On Thursday, Manafort was moved to an Alexandria jail. Manafort’s attorney tried to prevent the move, which the judge called “surprising and confusing” in light of their complaints. A mugshot was made public.

The jail in Alexandria is a past home for spies and terrorists, including FBI agent-turned-Soviet mole Robert Hanssen and Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person tried in a U.S. court for involvement in the September 11.

On Thursday, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who attended the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, sued Putin critic Bill Browder, alleging Browder defamed him by labeling him as a Russian intelligence operative.

On Thursday, NYT reported the White House ordered that lawmakers be given access to classified information about an informant the FBI used in 2016 to investigate possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

FBI files will be available to all members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, not just the Gang of Eight. U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials have expressed concern on broader sharing.

On Thursday, a Fox News poll found 53% think Trump is not tough enough on Russia, including 32% of Republicans.

Support for Mueller probe is down from 55 approve/27 disapprove in June 2018, to 48/40 now; although 54% say Mueller should take his time, while just 34% said he should wrap it up.

On Thursday, shortly after midnight, Stephanie Clifford was arrested after being accused of squeezing patrons’ and undercover police officers’ faces between her bare breasts at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus, Ohio.

Shortly after, Clifford’s attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted Clifford was performing the “same act she has performed across the nation, adding, “This was a setup & politically motivated.” Charges were dropped on Thursday.

On Thursday, Trump’s DOJ filed to appeal the AT&T-Time Warner merger. The deal won approval without conditions from a federal judge in June. Time Warner owns CNN.

On Saturday, Trump attacked CNN, tweeting, “I just checked out Fake News CNN,” adding “they are dying in the ratings,” to see “if they covered my takedown yesterday of Jim Acosta (actually a nice guy).”

Trump also mocked CNN’s president Jeff Zucker, “Remember, it was Little Jeff Z” who said Trump could not win the election, adding “I got 306! They were sooooo wrong in their election coverage. Still hurting!”

On Friday, Hudson Bay, Canada’s oldest department store, dropped Ivanka’s fashion line from its website, and said it will be phasing out the line from its stores, citing the brand’s “performance.”

On Friday, Iceland was elected to the take the spot vacated by the U.S. on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

On Saturday, Trump golfed at his money-losing Turnberry golf course in Scotland. Watchdog group CREW said of the visit, Trump is using it as “a forced subsidy of an infomercial for his properties.”

Protest against Trump continued during his trip to Scotland. Organizers say 60,000 protested Trump in Edinburgh, and during his golf round he was booed by demonstrators gathered at the perimeter

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 87: PUTIN IS THE MASTER

Week 86: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 7, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-86-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-de0b294f224

“A piece of street art posted to the side of a Lithuanian barbecue restaurant is stirring up conversation on social media. According to The Washington Post the image erected earlier this week by the owners of Keule Ruke in Vilnius depicts GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin locked in a kiss. Created by artist Mindaugas Bonanu, the image is meant to draw similarities to an iconic Soviet-era art piece on the Berlin Wall of Leonid Brezhnev and East German president Erich Honecker kissing (based itself on photo).”

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This week Russia was front and center as a delegation of seven Republican Senators traveled to Moscow, without any Democrats or U.S. media along, for what was described as “conciliatory” meetings with their Russian counterparts. The meetings took place on the same day the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of helping Trump win.

As former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen publicly hinted he will cooperate and the Mueller probe continued to broaden, Trump seemed increasingly unhinged, attacking Democrats and Republicans, as well as the media and corporations. His rhetoric of “anarchy” and “better take it easy” and ICE “liberating” towns became increasingly hostile and inflammatory.

This week, as stories of migrant children being gravely mistreated continued to emerge, the regime was forced in court to admit it had underestimated the number of children in its care, and had no tracking system in place to reunify separated families. Meanwhile, the regime took additional steps to make America more white, setting up a denaturalization task force and discharging immigrants from the U.S. army. More everyday incidents of racism were reported across the country.

The Families Belong Together marches tallied over 400,000 protestors at over 750 locations. Participants were 71% women, compared with 85% at the 2017 Women’s March, and 84% had a BA degree or more.

Pew Research reported for the first time, the U.S. resettled fewer refugees than the rest of the world in 2017 — taking in 33,000, the lowest total since the years following the Sept. 11 when it resettled about 97,000.

On Monday, WNYC reported Trump’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is creating a new denaturalization task force to examine bad naturalization cases.

USCIS expects to hire dozens of lawyers and immigration officers in the coming weeks to find U.S. citizens they say were not properly naturalized, revoke their citizenship, and deport them.

AP reported the U.S. Army quietly and abruptly discharged dozens of reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship. The total number of discharges is not known.

Immigrants have served in the U.S. Army since 1775. More than 5,000 immigrants were recruited into the program in 2016, and an estimated 10,000 are currently serving.

U.S. refugee resettlement is on pace to remain historically low in 2018 as the Trump regime lowered the refugee ceiling for fiscal 2018 to 45,000 refugees, the lowest cap since the Refugee Act was adopted by Congress.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that he “never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill.” On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill.”

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he would not move forward on a new NAFTA deal with Mexico and Canada until after the midterms.

Trump also slammed our European allies, saying, “The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller. It’s terrible what they do to us.”

Trump also attacked Harley-Davidson, saying; “Everybody who ever bought a Harley-Davidson voted for Trump … and they are very unhappy about it,” adding, “I think they are going to take a big hit.”

Trump also said, “You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house,”adding, “They go into Long Island, they actually liberate towns.” This repeated claim is false.

Trump also threatened critics of him or his regime, saying, “I hope the other side realizes that they better just take it easy,” adding, “even some of the radical ideas, I really think they’re very bad for the country.”

Bartiromo’s interview was widely criticized for its lack of substance and her refusal to push back on lies. Fox Business president Brian Jones defended Bartiromo and said, “We are proud of her hard work.”

On Sunday, Axios reported on a leaked draft of a bill ordered by Trump in which the U.S. would effectively leave the World Trade Organization, and Trump could raise U.S. tariffs at will, without congressional consent.

The Hill reported that Trump tweeted the phrase “stock market” 46 times in 2017, almost once a week. In 2018, as the market rally has stalled, Trump has only mentioned the stock market two times.

On Tuesday, Trump again threatened Harley-Davidson, claiming “my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S.”

Trump also tweeted, “Harley customers are not happy with their move — sales are down 7% in 2017.” The move was announced in 2018.

Moog Music, the legendary synthesizer designer and manufacturer, said due to Trump’s China tariffs, the company may need to lay off workers or move some, if not all, of its manufacturing overseas.

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort filed a request with the Department of Labor for 61 additional H-2B temporary visas for foreign servers and cooks.

On Sunday, the staff of the Capital Gazette released a letter thanking those who offer support, and calling out Trump without naming him, “We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people.”

On Monday, the Baltimore Sun reported Trump declined a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley last week to lower American flags in honor of the fatal shooting at the Capital Gazette last week.

On Tuesday, Trump reversed as press secretary Sarah Sanders called Buckley in the morning to say the White House had issued a proclamation ordering the flags lowered nationwide until sunset Tuesday.

On Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton told “Face the Nation,” relating to Trump’s upcoming meeting with Putin, “we’re going to have to see” if the U.S. eventually recognizes Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

On Saturday, in Paris, Rudy Giuliani addressed the National Council of Resistance of Iran which was once listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Europe, and called for regime change in Tehran.

AP reported Trump repeatedly pressed aides in August 2017 to invade Venezuela. Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster were reportedly stunned, and McMaster and others explained it could backfire and talked him out of it.

On Tuesday, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg, the Trump regime is temporarily letting ZTE resume some business activities while the U.S. weighs ending a seven-year ban on the company.

On Tuesday, in a court brief, nearly three dozen retired military officers and national security officials asked a federal appeals court to uphold an order blocking Trump’s transgender military ban.

On Monday, George Stephanopoulos reported on his 45-minute interview of Cohen, which took place Saturday evening at a Manhattan hotel where Cohen has been staying — Cohen’s first public interview since the FBI raid.

Stephanopoulos reported Cohen said, “My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” adding, “I put family and country first,” not Trump.

On Wednesday, July 4, Cohen scrubbed mention of Trump from his Twitter bio, and changed his Twitter header photo, deleting one that showed him standing behind a Trump campaign podium.

On Thursday, Cohen hired Lanny Davis, the attorney and PR man who led President Clinton’s public defense against multiple scandals in the 1990s. Davis was also a surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

On Sunday, NYT reported that sponsors of migrant children trying to reunite the children with parents face considerable red tape, and must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in airfare for the children.

On Monday, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia blocked the systematic, arbitrary detention of migrants who have shown credible evidence that they were fleeing persecution in their home countries.

The lawsuit noted that 1,000 asylum seekers had been denied parole in five ICE districts. Before Trump took office, more than nine out of 10 asylum seekers were granted parole.

The judge ordered the government to conduct individualized reviews to determine whether a person is a flight risk, poses a national security threat, or is a danger to the community before denying parole.

Bloomberg reported on a 15 year-old girl who said after fleeing El Salvador and forcibly separated from her mother, she was crammed into a windowless room with 60 other girls.

The room was divided by wire fencing into three cages, each holding 20 separated girls, some as young as 3 years-old. She said she was deprived of proper sleep or food for three days, and that “the place was freezing.”

Grassroots Leadership, a human rights organization, posted letters from immigration detention centers. One woman called the facility “la perrera,” the kennel, because of the chain-link cages she and others were held in.

She said for eight days after she was captured, she was not allowed to bathe or brush her teeth. She and other women slept on the floor under “aluminum paper” blankets, saying they were treated like “we were animals.”

Others described the anguish of being separated from their children. One woman wrote, “From then on, I didn’t know anything more about my children…They told us our kids would be adopted by other people.”

In protest of Trump’s family separation policy, Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis arranged baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statues in a chain-linked, enclosed cage on their lawn.

On Wednesday, NYT reported Trump’s inauguration fund collected $500,000 from two private prison companies, Geo Group and CoreCivic, which are involved in housing detained migrant families.

Defense Secretary James Mattis sits on a board of a housing contractor, and Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos provided funds to one of the groups. Some contractors employ GOP lobbyists with ties to Trump.

On Tuesday, Intercept reported that when Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen toured a detention facility housing women in Southern Texas, migrant mothers who were separated from their children were moved outdoors.

The mothers tried to yell their questions to Nielsen from a distant soccer field but were ignored. Reporters were also not given access to Nielsen during the visit.

On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump renewed his calls for deporting migrants without due process, tweeting, “they must be told to leave without our … Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial.”

Trump also tweeted, “Tell the people “OUT,” and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn,” and repeated his lie about needing to hire thousands of judges.

On Monday, BuzzFeed reported that Sen. Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the committee is in weekly conversation with Christopher Steele, author of the dossier.

On Monday, AP reported, according to internal memos and business records obtained, Konstantin Kilimnik was far more involved in formulating pro-Russia political strategy with Paul Manafort than previously known.

Memos date back to 2004, and show Kilimnik helped formulate Manafort’s pitches to clients in Russia and Ukraine, including Oleg Deripaska, and that he helped Manafort plan to influence Western politicians and media outlets.

On Monday, McClatchy reported Mueller’s team likely got access to the NRA’s tax returns, which would identify “dark money” donors, companies, and wealthy individuals who financed $21 million of donations to Trump.

On Tuesday, Trump accused the NSA of violating privacy, tweeting, “The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages,” and trying to tie it to the unrelated Mueller probe: “The Witch Hunt continues!

On Thursday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is tapping more prosecutors to help with new legal battles as the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election continues to expand.

Instead of adding to his staff, Mueller is making use of prosecutors from U.S. attorneys offices and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — and may hand off more cases as he did with Cohen.

On Friday, a newly released court document showed Manafort is being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day ahead of his July 25 trial, saying his safety cannot be otherwise guaranteed while in prison.

On Monday, the White House Twitter account — @WhiteHouse — falsely accused Sen. Kamala Harris of “supporting the animals of MS-13,” and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of “supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims.”

On Tuesday, the White House Twitter account attacked two House Democrats, Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan, who announced last week they would introduce legislation to abolish ICE.

On Monday, an image with a fake quote by Rep. Maxine Waters, which read, “Waters: SCOTUS pick should be illegal immigrant,” was posted and spread around pro-Trump Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On Tuesday, Trump escalated his attacks on Rep. Waters, referring to her as “Crazy Maxine Waters,” and saying she is “one of the most corrupt people in politics.”

On Tuesday, Trump continued attacks on gangs as a proxy for people with brown skin and his support for ICE, tweeting, “we have an “infestation” of MS-13 GANGS,” and “who do we send to get them out? ICE!”

CNN reported that Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, falsely claiming Obama granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal negotiations, came from a story on the Fox News website.

ABC News reported Mark Harris, an insurgent Republican candidate for Congress in North Carolina, had questioned in a 2013 sermon whether careers were ‘healthiest pursuit’ for women.

WAPO reported on a white woman in Maple Heights, Ohio who called the police on a 12 year-old black boy who was mowing her neighbor’s lawn, after he had slightly crossed onto her property line.

On Tuesday, a woman called the police on Rep. Janelle Bynum, a black Oregon state representative running for re-election, while she was going door-to-door campaigning and using her cellphone.

On Wednesday, the Daily News reported the principal at the University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, New York refused to allow the school’s first black valedictorian give a graduation speech.

Instead, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren invited Jaisaan Lovett, who had served as her intern previously, the give his speech at City Hall. Warren said, “I think it was personal between Jaisaan and the principal.”

On July 4, a white man in North Carolina asked a black woman who was swimming in a community pool for her ID, then called the police. After a video of the incident went viral, he was fired by Sonoco.

On Friday, Larry Lappin, a white man in Petaluma, California apologized after a video of him cursing a neighbor on July 4 for playing Spanish-language music went viral, saying he had been drinking too much.

On Friday, the day after a video surfaced of Michael Miselis, a member of a white-supremacist group, attending the Charlottesville rally and pounding on a black man, he was fired from his job at Northrop Grumman.

The NAACP issued a new study showing a continued rise in hate crimes to “the highest level in a decade,” and said there is a direct relationship between the rise and “Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and racist policies.”

The report found racially-motivated crimes comprise nearly 60% of overall hate crimes. Overall, the report found, “Anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-Latino were the most common type of hate crimes.”

On Monday, Kentucky’s GOP governor Matt Bevin canceled dental and vision benefits for almost 500,000 people on Medicaid in his state, following a judge blocking the state’s Medicaid work requirements in Week 84.

On Tuesday, Trump’s Department of Education rescinded an Obama-era guideline that encouraged the use of race to promote diversity, directing schools and colleges to adopt race-neutral admissions standard

The regime instead reposted a W. Bush administration document strongly encouraging the use of “race-neutral” methods on the Department of Education website.

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions withdrew 24 Justice Department guidance documents, most but not all dating back to the Obama administration, including materials about affirmative action and the right of refugees.

NBC News reported Trump’s most recent financial disclosures reveal first lady Melania Trump earned between $100,000 and $1 million in 2017 from Getty Images for use of a series of images shot between 2010–2016.

At least a dozen news agencies paid to use the photos, which include a requirement photos be used only in positive coverage. Several agencies removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News.

On Tuesday, Scott Schools, a top aide to Rod Rosenstein resigned. Schools was a senior official and played a critical role as a strategic counselor on institutional norms and ethics. His exit follows Rachel Brand.

School’s role included recommending Andrew McCabe be fired for “lack of candor,” advising then acting AG Sally Yates about the boundaries of her congressional testimony, and getting regular briefings on the Mueller investigation.

CNN reported based on a mortality database which they and Centro de Periodismo Investigativo sued Puerto Rico to obtain, 26 Puerto Ricans died from leptospirosis in the six months following Hurricane Maria.

On Tuesday, 75 protesters blocked the entrance to an ICE building in Philadelphia, refusing to allow anyone to enter or leave. Nearly 30 were arrested after a clash with police.

On July 4, Therese Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty in protest of Trump’s immigration policy of separating families. Police closed down and evacuated the Statue.

Okoumou was among 40 Rise and Resist protestors who earlier had hung a banner on the Statue calling for the abolishment of ICE.

Walmart stopped selling T-shirts and baby onesies that said “Impeach 45” after an social media outcry from Trump supporters who threatened to boycott the retailer.

In an op-ed, Alan Dershowitz said he was being “shunned” on Martha’s Vineyard for defending Trump, saying one good thing is finding out “who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were.”

On Thursday, actor and Trump supporter James Woods revealed his agent, Ken Kaplan, had dropped him in a message saying, “It’s the 4th of July and I’m feeling patriotic. I don’t want to represent you anymore.”

On Monday, CNN reported Trump is planning a one-on-one meeting with Putin at the start of their July 16 summit in Helsinki, before aides join their first formal meeting.

On Tuesday July 3, seven Senate Republicans met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow. The meetings were closed-door and the media was not given access, nor were any Democrats invited.

The senators struck a “conciliatory” tone. Sen. Richard Shelby told Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, “I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth, I’m saying that we should all strive for a better relationship.”

Among the Russian attendees were Sergey Kislyak, whose conversations with Michael Flynn led to Flynn’s firing, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The visit represents the most significant congressional visit to Russia in over a decade.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev raised Russia’s grievances about U.S. sanctions and seizure of Russian diplomatic properties. Kosachev was put under U.S. sanctions in April.

While some GOP senators had hoped to meet with Putin during the trip, a spokesperson said Putin “had no time for the visitors.” Kosachev later told Russia state TV the GOP lawmakers’ visit was a concession.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to aid Trump.

The report describes activity that goes far beyond the intelligence community’s initial January 2017 findings, and says Russia is continuing its efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.

The report also backed the intelligence findings that Russian intelligence services used digital operations to target both major political parties, as well as think tanks and lobby groups, in order to influence U.S. policy.

On Wednesday, London Metropolitan Police said two people found unconscious in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday were exposed to nerve agent Novichok, the same used on Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The U.K. Home Secretary accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison.” The Russian embassy called the assertions “merely speculative,” and said May’s government was subjecting them “to hell”.

On Friday, Sen. Ron Johnson, who was one of the seven GOP Senators in Moscow, told Sirius radio “The Big Picture,” that it was time to “evaluate” whether to lift sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

On Monday, WAPO reported two of Scott Pruitt’s top aides, both Trump appointees, have provided congressional investigators new details about his most controversial spending and management decisions.

Aides said Pruitt sought a job for his wife that would pay over $200,000, requested help from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord, and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel.

CNN reported that according to Kevin Chmielewski, a whistleblower, Pruitt and his aides kept “secret” calendars and schedules to hide controversial meetings or calls with industry representatives or others.

On Monday, a mother carrying her toddler son confronted Pruitt at a D.C. restaurant and asked him to resign before scandal pushes him out, saying her son loves animals, breathing clean air, and drinking clean water.

On Thursday, Pruitt resigned. WAPO reported the White House informed Pruitt that he had to submit his resignation. Trump tweeted shortly after that Pruitt did an “outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him.”

In his resignation letter, Pruitt wrote it had been “a blessing” to serve under Trump and undertake “transformative work,” and blamed “the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family.”

On Friday, in his final hours at the EPA, Pruitt granted a loophole allowing a major increase in the manufacturing of older diesel freight trucks which produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as newer trucks.

The newer technology reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide, which are blamed for asthma, lung cancer, and other ailments. The move was opposed by environmental, public health, industry players, and truck manufacturers.

Pruitt will be replaced by his deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who shares Pruitt’s zeal for undoing environmental regulations. Wheeler is a Washington insider who has spent years effectively navigating the rules.

The New Yorker reported on the record-setting turnover under Trump: as of the end of June, 61% of top-level advisers have turned under Trump. At the same point in, Obama’s turnover was 14% and W. Bush was 5%.

With Pruitt’s departure, Trump’s Cabinet has the fastest turnover rate of any Administration in a hundred years. Turnover is also alarming at lower levels, where positions are held by second and third waves of aides.

On Thursday, a federal judge in California rejected the Trump regime’s challenge to block three of the state’s sanctuary laws, allowing laws that restrict local law enforcement cooperation with ICE and require state oversight of facilities housing immigration detainees to stay in place.

A third law which could require employers to notify employees about upcoming workplace inspections will stay in place, but the judge struck down a ban on employers voluntarily giving access to employee records.

The ruling allows the California to keep in place its most significant legislative measures aimed at countering Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The judge called on Congress to pass immigration reform.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said nearly 3,000 — not the 2,047 number he gave to Senators last week — migrant children are in custody after crossing the southern border.

Azar said some of the children may have been separated before “zero tolerance,” and some children may not qualify for reunification because they were separated during their journey and not by U.S. border agents.

Of the roughly 3,000 migrant children still in federal custody, about 100 are under the age of 5.

DNA will be used to reunite families to meet the deadlines of the San Diego federal court ruling. Azar said the regime will soon start reuniting families in ICE detention centers while their asylum claims play out.

Immigration advocates and others raised concerned over how DNA collected by migrants would be used in the future, including DNA could be used to track undocumented immigrants indefinitely.

On Thursday, NYT reported that according to two Department of Homeland Security officials, records linking migrant children to their parents have disappeared or have been destroyed.

DHS has deployed hundreds of federal workers to comply with an injunction from a federal judge in San Diego under which families must be reunited by July 26, with a July 10 deadline for children under 5.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement had initiated procedures such as identification bracelets and registration numbers, but Border Patrol which handled the migrants for the first 72 hours, did not follow through.

PBS reported on a motion filed Monday by Democratic attorneys general in 17 states and D.C., which includes 900 pages of declarations and personal testimonies from parents, children, and other family members.

Olivia Caceres, separated from her 1 year-old son in November wrote, “(My son) is not the same since we were reunited,” adding “When I took off his clothes he was full of dirt and lice. It seemed like they had not bathed him the 85 days.”

An investigator for the Washington attorney general wrote, “The guards would wake all the girls up at 4 a.m. to count them by kicking on their mats.” Other stories were similarly excruciating.

In hundreds of cases, Border Patrol deleted the initial records in which parents and children were listed together as a family with a “family identification number,” leaving no record of how to reunite them.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Azar said the Trump regime “will comply” with the deadlines, though he criticized the judge’s timetable as “extreme.”

Late Thursday, according to court records filed late in the day, the Trump regime said it would not be able to meet a federal judge’s deadline to reunite all migrant families separated at the southern border.

Azur said HHS overall is caring for more than 11,800 minors through a nationwide network of shelters, overseen by ORR. More than 80% of the minors are teenagers, mostly males, who crossed the border alone.

Despite Trump’s zero-tolerance policy being in place for much of June, more than 42,000 were apprehended in June, nearly double the number in June 2017. Border crossings tend to slow in summer months.

On Friday, at a status hearing, the Trump regime said they cannot locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5: 19 were released from custody, whereabouts unknown, and the other 19 were deported.

When the judge asked about having counsel back over the weekend, the ACLU attorney said, “We will do whatever,” but the DOJ attorney said she could not attend because she had out-of-town dog-sitting responsibilities.

The judge said he would agree to delay the July 10 deadline if the government could provide a master list of all children and the status of their parents by 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday.

On Thursday, one week after five were killed at the Capital Gazette, Trump said of the media at a rally in Montana, “Fake news. Bad people,” and

“They’re so damn dishonest,” and “These are really bad people.”

Trump said he would donate $1 million if he could test Sen. Warren — who he called “the fake Pocahontas” — for Native American heritage, adding, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the MeToo generation.”

To chants of “lock her up,” Trump said of Hillary Clinton, “She gets special treatment under the Justice Department. … Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. She gets special treatment under the Justice Department.”

Trump also took aim at George HW Bush and his slogan on volunteerism, saying, “‘Thousands points of light’….What does that mean? I know one thing. ‘Make America Great Again’ we understand.”

On his way to the rally, when asked about allegations Rep. Jim Jordan overlooked sexual abuse during his time as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University, Trump said, “I don’t believe them at all. I believe him.”

After the rally, Trump ramped up the rhetoric ahead of midterm elections, tweeting, “A vote for the Democrats in November is a vote to let MS-13 run wild in our communities,” and “Democrats want anarchy, they really do.”

Trump also tweeted that the MS-13 “take jobs and benefits away from hardworking Americans,” and repeated his false claim that ICE is “liberating communities from savage gangs like MS-13.”

On Thursday, Bill Shine was named White House deputy chief of staff for communications, where he will report directly to Trump and oversee both the press and communications teams. Shine also has close ties to Hannity.

The appointment of Shine, who was pushed out of Fox News over his mishandling of sexual harassment scandals at the network, met with protests from both advocates and some conservatives.

A new Washington Post-Schar School poll found a huge gender gap in Trump’s approval — while his overall approval is 43%, just 32% of women approve compared to 54% of men.

On Friday, South Korea media reporting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bought a CD of ‘Rocket Man,’ along with a letter from Trump, as gifts for Kim Jong Un. Pompeo laughed off, and would not confirm or deny it when asked by U.S. media.

Pompeo met with Kim Jong Chol in North Korea to hoping to flesh out specifics, following evidence North Korea continues to build its nuclear program despite assurances given by Trump after the Singapore summit.

On Saturday, AP reported Pyongyang called the visit by Pompeo “regrettable” and accused Washington of making “gangster-like” demands to pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

A statement from a North Korea spokesperson said, “We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust,” but those hopes were “naive” and “foolish.”

Protests are planned across London for Trump’s visit next week, including a giant ‘Trump Baby’ balloon set to be flown close to the UK Parliament. Over 10,000 people signed a petition in support of the balloon.

On Wednesday, donning a sombrero, Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Magid Magid announced “in solidarity” with Mexico, Trump will be banned from his city, “I further declare July 13th to be Mexico Solidarity Day!”

On Friday, Guardian reported according to Downing Street, Trump will almost entirely avoid London during his four-day U.K. visit next week, prompting accusations he is trying to avoid planned protests against him.

On Friday, Trump officially launched a trade war with China, imposing the first duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

Moments later, China fired back, accusing the U.S. of violating World Trade Organization rules setting off “the largest trade war in economic history to date.” China said it would retaliate.

Russia also said it would retaliate, imposing tariffs on U.S. products, and would be “joining the European Union, China, India and Canada in complaining to the World Trade Organization about the American action”

The owner of a Chinese factory told an NPR podcast he was making flags for Trump’s 2020 campaign. It is unclear if the Trump campaign or related businesses put in the order.

On Thursday, the Heritage Foundation tweeted a list of “Things to remember” countering Trump before his trip to Europe, including “Russia is the aggressor,” “Crimea belongs to Ukraine,” and Putin can’t be trusted.

On Friday, WAPO reported allies are worried that similar to the week of G7, Trump will blow up the NATO summit then offer concessions to another autocrat, NATO’s main adversary Russia.

At his rally in Montana, Trump railed against NATO, saying “you got to start paying your bills,” and “They kill us on trade,” while defending Putin, calling him “fine” at the event.

WAPO also reported that Trump gave out his personal cell phone number to a handful of foreign leaders shortly after taking office, and his White House is not informed of his calls, nor is there a typical public readout.

Aides have urged Trump to route all conversations with foreign leaders through the Situation Room, as required under federal records law, but Trump refuses, instead giving them a terse summary of his calls.

In conversations with Trudeau, May, and Merkel, Trump is sometimes assertive, brash and even bullying. With Putin, Trump takes a more conciliatory approach, often treating the Russian leader as a confidant.

White House aides worry that Putin is playing on Trump’s inexperience to gain the upper-hand, saying things like “fake news” and that U.S. foreign policy establishment, the “deep state,” is conspiring against them.

On Friday, NYT reported Trump’s attorneys set new conditions for a Mueller interview, saying Mueller needs to prove he has evidence that Trump committed a crime and that his testimony is essential.

This marks a shift to a more combative approach. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, 45% of Americans disapprove of how Mueller is handling the investigation, up from 31% in January 2018.

On Saturday, Trump again attacked the media, tweeting that Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts, and asking will that “include the Failing New York Times and propaganda machine for Amazon, the Washington Post.”

In an op-ed, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist said Mueller “is under assault,” extolling, “No matter who is in the White House, we Republicans must stand up for the sanctity of our democracy and the rule of law.”

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 86: VIOLENCE

I’m watching from abroad and all I can see is a violent nation tearing itself apart. Weekly List from Amy Siskind and art by Jim Carrey.

Week 85 of disastrous 45: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

June 30, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-85-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-d581acd7874e

This was a devastating week for our country. People — especially women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people — are legitimately scared. Much is at stake as our country shows increasing signs of sliding towards authoritarianism.

While some voices on the left called for civility, Trump ramped up threats and attacks on members of Congress, a restaurant owner, a publicly-traded US corporation, and our media on his Twitter account and at campaign rallies. The week of stoked up rhetoric and hatred flamed culminated with a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, where five employees were killed.

Early in the week, Trump celebrated a Supreme Court victory for his Muslim Ban, and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy — giving Trump the power to potentially reshape our highest court and place issues like abortion and civil rights, gay marriage, and healthcare in jeopardy.

Americans took to the streets again this week to protest Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and to call for the abolishment of ICE — a rallying cry that is picking up support. Migrant families remained separated as the rest of the world looks on in horror.

In all this chaos, progress of the Mueller probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia was overshadowed, but there were many developments this week, as Trump prepares for a summit with Putin, continues to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election, and continues to work to undermine the investigation.

A bipartisan poll commissioned by George W. Bush and Joe Biden revealed half of Americans think the United States is in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.”

The polls also found 55% see democracy as “weak,” and 68% believe it is “getting weaker.” Eight in 10 Americans say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the condition of democracy here.

For the first time, the U.S. was listed among Thomson Reuters’ list of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, the only Western nation to appear in the top 10.

The U.S. ranked 3rd for “sexual violence,” which includes domestic rape, rape by a stranger, and lack of access to justice in rape cases, and 6th in “non-sexual violence,” including domestic, physical, and mental abuse.

On June 23, the Department of Homeland Security issued a fact sheet asaying 522 children who were in custody of Border Patrol have been reunited with their families . 2,053 migrant children remain separated.

As the week closed out, only 6 of the 2,053 migrant children in custody of the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) had been reunited with their parents: 2,047 remained separated.

NBC News reported the Obama-era Family Case Management Program, launched in early 2016 with the aim of keeping asylum-seeking families together and out of detention, was canceled by Trump one year ago.

Miami Herald reported according to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at least 10 migrant babies and toddlers, ranging in age from newborns to 5 year-olds, are being housed in “tender-age shelters” in Miami-Dade County.

On Saturday, NYT reported Border Patrol agents shut down stretches of highway along Interstate 95 in New Hampshire and Maine last week, and asked people traveling in cars, “What country are you a citizen of?

On Sunday, WAPO reported migrant children are held all over the US, far away from parents who do not know the location of the their children. The children, before arriving, had already gone through hellish journeys.

Migrant children held in a converted Walmart in Brownsville, Texas each morning are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in English. US authorities are compiling mug shots, many of children in tears.

HHS has more than 100 shelters in 17 states housing separated migrant children. Locations are based on space availability, accommodations, demographics of the children and proximity to potential sponsors.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted “all of these people to invade our Country” should be deprived of their due-process rights: “we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”

On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump reiterated his call to turn people away, saying immigrants should “simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally.”

Trump tweeted, “Hiring many thousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go.” This is a lie: there are 335 judges nationwide, with the budget for 150 more.

On Monday, at a White House event, Trump told the press, “We want a system where, when people come in illegally, they have to go out,” adding, “a nice simple system that works.”

On Monday, Trump also attacked the restaurant in Virginia that asked press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave in Week 84, tweeting “Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies.”

Trump wrote, “if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” CNBC reported Virginia Department of Health found no violations at the property, but Mar-a-Lago had 78 infractions in three years.

On Tuesday, a man was arrested by police for throwing what appeared to be a large quantity of chicken dung at the restaurant. Protestors also carried pro-Trump and anti-LGBTQ signs.

On Wednesday, the White House announced Sanders would receive Secret Service protection.

On Saturday, at a Nevada rally for Sen. Dean Heller, Trump mocked Sen. John McCain for his thumbs down on the Republican plan to repeal ObamaCare, saying, “It’s alright, because we’ve essentially gutted it anyway.”

Trump also called Rep. Jacky Rosen who is running against Heller, “Wacky Jacky,” and noted she is campaigning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas.”

On Saturday, Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged supporters to “absolutely harass” Trump’s Cabinet officials. On Monday, in a tweet, Trump called Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person.”

Trump also tweeted, Waters “has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement,” adding a veiled threat, “Be careful what you wish for Max!

On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on Rep. Water, tweeting she and Nancy Pelosi are “the face of the Democrats,” who want “Open Borders and Unlimited Crime” and “pick Crooked Hillary for Pres.”

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Waters’ “crazy rants have made her” and Pelosi “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party,” and that they will “Make America Weak Again,” but have no fear, he is not going anywhere.

On Wednesday, at a rally in North Dakota, Trump make several false and inflammatory statements, including on Rep. Waters, “Maxine. She’s a beauty. I mean, she practically was telling people the other day to assault.”

On Thursday, Waters canceled two events, saying she has faced increased threats, this week, including a serious death threat on Monday.

On Sunday, Politico reported Sen. Mark Warner said at a DSCC retreat “If you get me one more glass of wine,” I’ll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know,” adding “If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up.”

On Monday, Trump tweeted Warner was in a “near drunken state,” asking why “only he and Bob Mueller, the leader of the 13 Angry Democrats” know the information, “Isn’t this highly illegal. Is it being investigated?”

On Monday, ABC News reported Mueller is digging deeper into Erik Prince, reviewing communications on his phones and computer, a sign he may be looking for potential inconsistencies in his sworn testimony.

Prince says he has spoken voluntarily with Congress and cooperated completely with the Mueller probe. The further scrutiny could signal Mueller is pressuring Prince to turn into a witness against other targets.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is accelerating his probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, with an eye towards conclusion and possible indictments by fall.

Suspicious contacts with Russians includes at least 13 people associated with the Trump campaign: Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Jared Kushner, Michael Caputo, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Donald Jr., Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, J.D. Gordon, Rick Gates, and Prince.

On Tuesday, Judge Kimba Wood said prosecutors can have access to the over 4 million files seized in the raid on Cohen, with the exception of 22,000 documents from the Trump Organization under review until of July 5.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported an unsealed search warrant application by a FBI agent in July 2017 revealed Manafort’s tax returns show a $10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Oleg Deripaska.

Mueller has been investigating financial links between Manafort and Deripaska, who also financially backed Manafort’s consulting work in Ukraine when it started in 2005–2006.

The application also confirmed Mueller is investigating Manafort’s role in the June 9 Trump Tower meeting. The application sought “communications, records, documents and other files” from attendees.

On Monday, Trump quoted Fox News analyst Judge Napolitano, tweeted, “Was there a conspiracy in the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI” to prevent Trump from becoming president,” and “was Strzok at the core.”

On Wednesday, Strzok testified before the House Judiciary Committee for 11 hours. Despite a request from Rep. Ted Lieu that the hearing be public, the Republicans decided to keep it private.

On Thursday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray were questioned in a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing. Rosenstein was the primary target of a berating by Republicans.

Republicans urged Rosenstein to end the Mueller probe, and accused him of not cooperating and turning over information they requested, although over 880,000 documents have been redacted and turned over.

The hearing was paused so the House could vote on a measure to publicly rebuke Rosenstein. The resolution calling on the Justice Department to “comply with requests including subpoenas” by July 6 passed 226–183.

On Thursday, WAPO reported Mueller’s team and UK investigators are looking into the “Bad Boys of Brexit,” a group of wealthy British donors who cultivated ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign.

Contact started in August 2016 as Arron Banks, a wealthy British businessman met with Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. Banks also knew Steve Bannon, a fellow Brexit supporter.

Bannon had just become chief executive of Trump’s campaign. Less than a week later, Banks and Nigel Farage came to Jackson, Mississippi where both met with Trump and Farage spoke onstage at a Trump rally.

Both inquiries are examining Russia’s involvement in seismic political events that have shaken the world order. Mueller’s team is looking into whether Brexit leaders serve as a conduit between the Kremlin and Trump.

On Thursday, ABC News reported Mueller is examining the presence of several billionaires with deep ties to Russia who attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Trump’s inauguration festivities.

On Thursday, Andrew Miller, a former aide to Stone, was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury hearing evidence in the Russia investigation. Miller worked for Stone around the time of the Republican National Convention.

Miller’s appearance was postponed after a lawyer, Paul Kamenar, filed a motion. Kamenar said the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit organization, was paying for his services.

On Thursday, Mueller’s team said they were ready for a sentencing hearing for Papadopoulos who pled guilty to lying and then cooperated in the Russia probe. Papadopoulos will be sentenced on September 7.

On Friday, Mueller’s team asked a federal court for an additional postponement in scheduling a sentencing hearing for Flynn. The delay suggests Flynn is still actively cooperating with Mueller’s team.

On Friday, a federal judge in Virginia said he would not dismiss charges against Manafort based on allegations that prosecutors leaked grand jury information. Jury selection is scheduled to start July 25.

WAPO reported Facebook convened a meeting last month between tech companies and FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials who are responsible for protecting elections ahead of the midterm elections.

Trump and Putin will hold their first summit in Helsinki on July 16. NBC News reported Russia once again announced the news before the White House. John Bolton met with Putin Thursday ahead of the planned summit.

On Thursday, before details of the meeting were announced, Trump tweeted about the Mueller probe, “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election!

Trump has yet to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election despite agreement by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, Republican head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Politico reported Chinese leaders are “absolutely confused” about Trump’s demands on trade, saying he has raised many different issues and there is no clear U.S. strategy, making concessions and negotiation difficult.

On Monday, Harley-Davidson announced the company will move some production out the U.S. to avoid European Union import duties of 25% on U.S. products, imposed after Trump started a trade war.

On Monday, Trump attacked Harley-Davidson, saying the company was “the first to wave the White Flag,” after he “fought hard for them.”

On Monday, the Dow closed dropped more than 300 points, closing below its 200-day moving average, a key technical level, for the first time since June 2016, as investors braced for Trump’s trade actions.

On Tuesday, Trump threatened Harley-Davidson, tweeting “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end,” adding, “they will be taxed like never before!”

Trump also tweeted this false statement: “We are getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers that have been unfairly used.” Other countries are retaliating against his actions.

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office said that U.S. government debt is on track to hit historically high levels, and that debt-to-GDP will reach 78% by the end of the year, the highest ratio since 1950.

On Tuesday, Everett Eissenstat, a key trade adviser, resigned from Trump’s economic team. Eissenstat had worked with both the National Economic Council and the National Security Council.

On Thursday, Trump again threatened Harley-Davidson, saying, “build those beautiful motorcycles in the United States,” adding, “Don’t get cute with us…your customers won’t be happy if you don’t.”

On Tuesday, Trump announced, “U.S. Steel just announced they’re expanding or building six new facilities.” This is the third reference Trump has made to this expansion. The statement is not true.

On Friday, Canada’s Foreign Ministers announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum products, as well as foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup, and whiskies, saying “We will not escalate and we will not back down.”

On Friday, Axios reported Trump repeatedly threatens to withdraw from the World Trade Organization, a move that would throw global markets into turmoil. People around him are not taking his threat seriously.

A viral video showed a white woman confronting Esteban Guzman as he was doing yard work and calling him a rapist “because you’re Mexicans,” adding “Even the president of the United States says you’re a rapist.”

Alison Ettel, the woman dubbed “Permit Patty” for threatening to call the police on an 8-year-old black girl selling water on the street, resigned as CEO of TreatWell Health after area companies dropped her products.

Dennis Hof, the Nevada brothel owner featured in HBO’s series “Cathouse” who won a GOP primary for state lawmaker credits Trump for inspiring him: “I’m riding the Trump wave. He’s Christopher Columbus.”

On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Review reported Hof was accused of raping a prostitute at one of his brothels in 2005, according to a newly released report from Lyon County Sheriff’s Department.

On Tuesday, Fox News suspended ex-Trump aide David Bossie after a “Fox & Friends Weekend” appearance in which he said to Joel Payne, a black American Democratic strategist, “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”

A report by the Anti-Defamation League found the amount of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses rose sharply: 292 occurrences in the District and 47 states, a 77% increase from last year.

The propaganda appeared on stickers, posters, banners, and fliers, and uses white supremacist words and images to attack Jews, Blacks, Muslims, nonwhite immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.

On Sunday, WAPO reported that emails released under a FOIA lawsuit by the Sierra Club, reveal J. Steven Hart and his wife, Vicki pushed for the EPA to hire Jimmy Guilliano, while Scott Pruitt was renting their condo.

Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department announced a plan to allow private landowners kill critically endangered American red wolves in North Carolina that stray onto their property from a protected federal wildlife refuge.

On Friday, a federal judge in Kentucky blocked the Trump regime from instituting the first-ever Medicaid work requirements, a blow to the regime’s efforts to scale back the health care program for the poor.

On Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported migrants at a detention facility outside Houston have been told they can reunite with their children at the airport if they agree to sign a voluntary deportation and not seek asylum.

On Monday, Kevin McAleenan, the top border security official, said his agency has temporarily stopped handing over migrant adults with children for prosecution, undercutting claims “zero tolerance” is still in place.

Because ICE does not have enough detention space for the surge of families coming across the border, McAleenan will revive the “catch and release” approach used during the Obama administration.

On Monday, “The Rachel Maddow Show” shared a video of migrant children at Cayuga Centers in East Harlem, including a sobbing girl asking for her mother, leaked by an employee, who resigned.

The employee said she started seeing a “huge influx” of much younger children coming in, and realized was due to the Trump regime’s family separation policy. The facility was under-staffed and over-crowded.

On Tuesday, at a news conference in El Paso, Texas, migrant parents no longer facing charges told stories of separation. One mother who reached her son by phone said, “He’s mad at me. He thinks that I abandoned him.”

A father cried as he shared that as he was separated from his 5 year-old daughter, she told him, “Dad, you’re going to jail and I’m going I don’t know where.” She is in Chicago now.

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General released a report which found, “Neither the inspections nor the onsite monitoring ensure consistent compliance with detention standards.

On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported an immigration lawyer said an ICE officer in Kansas City, Missouri broke her foot and locked her in a room when she dropped off a 3-year-old Honduran boy to be reunited with his mother.

On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, whose agency has custody of 2,047 migrant children, told Congress the children will not be reunited with parents who are still in custody.

Azar said the regime will reunite children with their parents only if the parents drop their claims for asylum in the U.S. and agree to be deported. The process of seeking asylum can take months or years.

Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, will participate in the “Break Bread Not Families” hunger strike to protest Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. The strike will last 24 days, symbolizing the 2,400 migrant children.

On Tuesday, 17 states, including Washington, New York, and California, sued the Trump regime in federal court in Seattle to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the border.

Late Tuesday, a federal judge in San Diego ordered border authorities to reunite migrant families within 30 days, or 14 days if the child is younger than 5, and issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations.

The judge also blasted the Trump regime for what he called “a chaotic circumstance of the Government’s own making,” saying no adequate planning had been done before officials separated families.

On Wednesday, Texas Tribune reported migrant children as young as 3 years-old are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in several states.

Children detained under the new “zero tolerance” policy face immigration proceedings without their parents. Advocates say often the parent might be the only one who knows why they fled.

An advocate said a 3 year-old climbed up on the table during the hearing. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics called the practice “grossly inappropriate,” adding “I’m ashamed that we’re doing this.”

On Wednesday, VICE shared a tape of a conversation between a distraught 7-year old held in an ORR shelter and his mother in Guatemala. The boy crossed the border with his father a month ago and hasn’t spoken to him.

On Thursday, Pompeo and Ivanka unveiled a new 68-page report on international human trafficking, which decreed harmful effects of family separation, saying it puts children at additional risk of human trafficking.

On Thursday, PBS reported that under Trump federal judges are setting unusually large bonds, as high as $25,000, for detained immigrants, including separated parents — $1,500 is the minimum required by law.

On Friday, WAPO reported a 12 year-old migrant boy from Mexico was described in his file as showing signs of depression brought on by “being kept from his family,” who had crossed the border before him.

When his condition deteriorated, he was transferred to a psychiatric facility in Texas and put on antidepressants. ORR refused to release him to his adult sister, saying he is not yet “psychologically sound” for release.

On Friday, responding to and citing the San Diego judge’s ruling to counter the Flores agreement, the regime said it will detain migrant families together in custody indefinitely rather than release them.

The new filing does not explicitly say the regime will hold families beyond 20 days, but that it will detain them “during the pendency” of immigration proceedings, which in many cases can last months.

Texas Observer reported 19 special agents in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigative (HSI), the branch responsible for national security, organized crime, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking, sent a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen asking for the elimination the agency.

HSI officials wrote thst “the perception of HSI’s investigative independence is unnecessarily impacted by the political nature” of ERO, the branch that carries out immigration arrests and deportations.

Williamson County in Texas voted to terminate its contract with ICE at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in January 2019. The detention center houses 500 women, 40% of whom were separated from their children.

On Tuesday, 28 year-old Latina Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in a primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez is a democratic socialist, and has called for the abolishment of ICE.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Extremist Democrat politicians have called for the complete elimination of ICE,” saying, “these radical protesters want ANARCHY.”

On Thursday, CBS News reported James Schwab, a former ICE spokesperson now a whistleblower, had a surprise visit from agents from the DHS Inspector General’s Office three months after he resigned.

The agents questioned Schwab if he had been in contact with Oakland’s mayor — the subject he was asked to lie about. Schwab said he was “completely shocked” and it was “absolutely” an intimidation technique.

Intercept reported Thomson Reuters Special Services is providing ICE with “a continuous monitoring and alert service that provides real-time jail booking data, as well as access to a vast license-plate scanning database.

On Thursday, several hundred mostly-female protestors from 47 states, along with Democratic lawmakers, protested Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy and called to the elimination of ICE on Capitol Hill.

Protestors marched from Freedom Plaza to Capitol Hill. When walking past the Trump Hotel DC, protestors yelled, “Shame,” then burst into boos and demanded, “Where are the children?

Protestors staged a sit-in, wrapping themselves in mylar blankets like the ones being used at detention centers. Capitol Police arrested 575 including Rep. Pramila Jayapal and charged them with unlawfully demonstrating.

On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand became the first US senator to call for elimination of ICE. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also said ICE should be disbanded, as have Reps. Mark Pocan and Jayapal.

On Friday, acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan retired, after 16 months of serving. Homan was viewed as the most controversial deportation chief in the agency’s brief history.

Homan told Congress in June 2017 of his budget increase, “If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable. You should look over your shoulder.”

On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats over immigration and defended ICE, calling it “one of the smartest, toughest, and most spirited law enforcement groups.”

Trump also claimed, “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations.” This is a false statement.

On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Travel Ban by a 5–4 vote. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision was no better than Korematsu v. United States, the decision that endorsed internment camps.

The ban impacts eight countries, six of them with Muslim majorities, including Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Trump does not have properties in any of the countries.

Trump’s White House issued a statement, calling the ruling a “vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians.”

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who for 10 months kept the Republican-controlled Senate from voting on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, tweeted a picture of him shaking hands with Justice Neil Gorsuch.

On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy shocked the country by saying he would retire. Kennedy, who had been a swing vote for many social issues, left Trump opening to reshape the highest court.

On Thursday, NYT reported that Trump had worked quietly to assure Kennedy of his judicial legacy and build a connection with him — for example stopping to say, “Say hello to your boy. Special guy.”

Kennedy’s son Justin rose to become Deutsche Bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and over a decade lent Trump more than $1 billion at a time when others banks would not lend to him.

This fall the Supreme Court will consider whether the double jeopardy clause bars states and the federal government from separately trying the same person for the same criminal offense.

The case would have implications whether a Trump pardon from federal prosecution will shield someone from state prosecution even if that state retains its dual sovereignty loophole, for example Cohen in New York.

A new NBC News/Marist poll found voters in three battleground states — Arizona, Florida, and Ohio — prefer the next Congress to be a check on Trump rather than a booster for his policy priorities.

Most voters said Trump did not deserve to be re-elected: Arizona (35% deserves to be re-elected/57% does not), Florida (37%/54%) and Ohio (34%/58%).

A Monmouth poll found six months in support for the Republican tax law has fallen from 40% approval in April to 34%.

On Tuesday, the Toronto Star reported that Trump made a record 103 false claims last week, on average 15 per day.

On Monday, NBC News reported in recent months, Trump is relying less and less on the advice of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one of the longest-serving cabinet members, instead making decisions on his own.

Mattis has been excluded from decisions on Iran and North Korea, and was blindsided when Trump overruled him by publicly directing the Pentagon to create a sixth military branch overseeing operations in space.

Satellite images taken by 8 North, a Pyongyang-monitoring website, revealed North Korea is upgrading a major nuclear research facility despite Trump’s claim that Kim Jong Un vowed to disarm.

On Thursday, Trump’s appointment for U.S. ambassador to South Korea, retired Navy Adm. Harry Harris, was confirmed by a Senate voice vote. The key diplomatic post had been vacant since Trump took office.

On Friday, NBC News reported U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months.

Officials say Kim Jong Un has been producing surreptitiously while seeking concessions from Trump. One officials said there is “absolutely unequivocal evidence” that Kim is trying to deceive Trump.

On Friday, the UN snubbed Trump by rejecting the U.S. pick for the position of director general of the International Organization for Migration, a position that has been held by an American since the 1960s.

James Melville Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Estonia, a U.S. diplomat for 33 years and ambassador to Estonia since 2015, resigned Friday amid a string of controversial comments Trump made about U.S. allies in Europe.

On Monday, in a rally in South Carolina, before Trump got up to speak his supporters yelled “CNN fake news” began chanting for CNN’s Jim Acosta to leave. A woman pointed at him and said, “Take him out.”

As Trump started the rally, he attacked the press and calling media outlets gathered at the rally “fake news,” and repeated another common refrain of his about the media, “The enemy, the enemy of the people I call ’em.”

On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five and injuring others before being taken into custody.

On Thursday, NYPD and Chicago police were deployed to major media outlets in their outlets. NYPD said the deployment was “out of an abundance of caution, and not based on any specific threats.”

Within minutes of the shooting, Fox News host Sean Hannity blamed Rep. Waters for the shooting, saying he knew “something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine?”

On Thursday, Milo Yiannopoulos said his call for “vigilante squads to start gunning journalists”on Tuesday was just a “troll,” insisting he “wasn’t being serious.”

On Thursday, before departing for Wisconsin, Trump tweeted, “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”

When Trump returned, reporters tried to question him on the shooting, NBC News asked “Can you please talk to us about the dead reporters in Annapolis?” Trump walked away from reporters and refused to answer.

On Friday, Trump told the press the shooting “shocked the conscience of our nation,” and that, “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.”

Trump did not address gun control, or the current climate of hostility towards journalists. Police have described the shooting as a “targeted attack.” The shooter had sued the paper for defamation six years ago.

ProPublica reported since Trump declared his candidacy in late 2015, the Trump Organization has had revenues of more than $16 million from his campaign, Republican organizations, and government agencies.

On Wednesday, Bill Shine, a former Fox News co-president accepted a role as White House communications director, which has been vacant since Hope Hicks resigned in March.

Shine was close to Roger Ailes, and was fired from Fox News last spring amid the network’s sexual harassment scandals. Shine was accused in lawsuits of covering up for Ailes and dismissing women’s concerns.

On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Zinke deleted a tweet with a photo of him wearing socks with Trump’s face and the slogan “Make America Great Again,” after several watchdog groups said he was violating federal law.

On Thursday, Politico reported Maggie Cordish, a close friend of and top adviser for Ivanka, resigned. There are no plans to replace her, signaling Ivanka will stop her efforts to get Congress to pass a paid family leave bill.

In Week 66, Cordish’s husband Reed, a friend of Jared, also resigned from the White House Office of American Innovation. Trump had sued his father, David Cordish in 2004, but later they became friends.

On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump is consulting with advisers about his next chief of staff pick. Kelly has reportedly told colleagues he does not plan to stay beyond the one-year mark, which is July 31.

The top frontrunners are said to be Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Mick Mulvaney. A White House spokesperson called the article “fake news.”

On Friday, Vanity Fair reported that Hope Hicks is also being discussed as a possible chief of staff. Reportedly, Hicks has she has told people she is open to the job if Trump asked.

On Friday, Trump fed the speculation, telling reporters en route to his golf club in Bedminster that Hicks could return to the White House in some sort of role, saying, “I think everybody misses it.”

CNN reported Andrew Veprek, a Trump appointee to deputy assistant secretary for refugees and migration at the State Department, tore into standard UN documents that condemn racism as a threat to democracy.

Veprek disputed the idea that leaders have a “duty” to condemn hate, and repeatedly rejected use of the words nationalism, populism, and xenophobia — but said populism and nationalism are not dirty words.

On Saturday, tens of thousands participated in “Keep Families Together” marches across the country to protest Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and to demand families be reunited.

Over 600 marches took place across the country, with over 30,000 people in New York City and Washington DC. Immigration advocates said they had never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 85: BOLD-FACED LIES

Week 84 of this presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

June 23, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-84-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-96e5879c7a32

Generations from now will mark this week as the moment Americans realized we were losing our country as we have known it.

This week the world looked on in horror as the atrocity of separating families at our southern border was finally exposed by widespread media coverage. That coverage was limited as the press and even members of Congress were denied access to detention centers and newly constructed tent cities. Other than audio that was leaked to ProPublica of a young child wailing for her mother, there are almost no videos or photos of girls, toddlers or babies. The AP reported on “tender age” shelters — three already built and a fourth coming soon.

Amid harsh condemnation domestically and worldwide, Trump signed an executive order, purportedly ending family separation, but the regime laid out no plan to reunite families already separated at the southern border, and other forms of separation continue to be carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement throughout our country. Curiously, after the order, the regime was still laying out plans to construct temporary housing for another 20,000 migrant children and 119,000 migrant adults.

This week Trump and his regime continued to bold-face lie to and obscure facts from the American people. The repetition of lies was noted by the WAPO in Trump’s ramped up Twitter activity. Propaganda TV also played a role with disinformation promulgated by Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting, which backed Trump’s alternative version of reality on immigration.

Although last week Trump was able to garner normalizing, Super Bowl-type coverage of his Singapore summit, this week revealed it was all stagecraft, no substance. The regime also quietly rolled out a government restructuring plan to consolidate power, take away safety nets and sell off government properties en masse.

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“Trump Hotel” on Hollywood Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA. Artist: Plastic Jesus

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Shoreditch, London, UK. June 2018. Photo: Oddo P.
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“All About CON-servation of the Rich” by Praxis in New York City. June 2018. 
  1. WAPO reported Trump has ramped up his tweeting to the fastest rate since he took office, posting an average of 11.3 messages per day. Experts say repetition is an effective tool for convincing people of the veracity of false claims.
  2. This week, Trump tweeted false or misleading information on the same topic, repeatedly: as of Wednesday, at least seven times on immigration and at least six times on the Department of Justice inspector general report.
  3. On Saturday, WAPO reported Manuel Padilla Jr., Border Patrol chief for the Rio Grande Valley, overseeing the busiest stretch of the Southwest border, said family separations could double.
  4. Padilla Jr. said his agents separated 568 parents from children as young as five since the zero-tolerance policy was announced, adding, “We are trying to build to 100 percent prosecution of everybody that is eligible.”
  5. NYT reported Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior policy adviser and anti-immigrant hardliner, has been behind the continued push to separate migrant families, even when others in the regime had misgivings.
  6. On Tuesday, NYT was under fire from journalists and watchdogs for acceding to the demands of the White House that their audio interview with Miller not be publicly released.
  7. Intercept reported Border Protection agents in El Paso, Texas are turning away asylum seekers multiple times and for days on end, telling them there is “no room.”
  8. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, immigrants have the right to request asylum and be immediately processed. Reportedly Border Patrol is pushing them to cross illegally, thereby having an excuse to separate families.
  9. On Sunday, WAPO reported in May 2016, Roger Stone met with a man who called himself Henry Greenberg and offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The meeting was arranged by Michael Caputo.
  10. The man wore a “Make America Great Again” hat and had a Russian accent. The man wanted $2 million for the dirt. Stone said Trump “doesn’t pay for anything.”
  11. On May 29, in a series of texts, Caputo wrote, “How crazy is the Russian?” Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied, “waste of time.” The meeting was not previously disclosed by Stone or Caputo.
  12. On Monday, Stone told NBC News he forgot to tell investigators about his contact with the Russian national who goes by Henry Greenberg. He claimed his recollection was refreshed when Caputo mentioned it to him.
  13. On Sunday, Trump encouraged WAPO staffers to strike, saying in a tweet, “because Bezos isn’t paying them enough.” He also repeated his false claim the WAPO is a “registered lobbyist.”
  14. On Sunday, in a series of tweets capping off Father’s Day, Trump asked why the FBI was giving “so much information to the Fake News Media,” repeating his claim that the media is the “enemy of the people.”
  15. Trump also questioned why Peter Strzok, whom he called the “FBI’s sick loser,” was working on the “totally discredited Mueller team of 13 Angry & Conflicted Democrats,” calling it a “Witch Hunt!”
  16. Trump also tweeted that Strzok worked with “Slippery James Comey and that Comey is best friends with Robert Mueller,” adding “A really sick deal, isn’t it?”
  17. Strzok, the FBI agent singled out in the DOJ inspector general report and frequent target of Trump’s ire, said he would testify before Congress without immunity, saying he wants to clear his name and tell his story.
  18. On Monday, FBI director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse if a lawyer can obstruct justice on behalf of their client, Wray answered, “Absolutely.”
  19. On Monday, Rudy Giuliani said he was just bluffing last week when he called for the Justice Department, after the inspector general report came out, to suspend Mueller’s investigation within 24 hours.
  20. On Sunday, in a WAPO op-ed titled “Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart,’” former First Lady Laura Bush called Trump’s zero-tolerance policy “cruel” and “immoral.”
  21. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen denied that a family separation policy existed, claiming “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,” and instead blamed the media.
  22. By Monday, all four living first ladies — Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama — had publicly condemned the Trump regime’s practice of separating parents and children.
  23. On Monday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called Trump’s family separation policy “unconscionable” for deterring parents “by inflicting such abuse on children.”
  24. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump falsely claimed “crime in Germany is way up.” Trump tweeted it was a “big mistake” in Europe to let in immigrants “who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”
  25. Trump also continued to blame Democrats for being “weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime,” and warned about “crime being caused by gangs and thugs, including MS-13.”
  26. On Monday, NBC News reported the Trump regime first discussed the idea of separating migrant mothers from their children as a way to deter asylum seekers at a meeting on February 2, 2017.
  27. On Monday, the WSJ Editorial Board warned the GOP is in danger of losing control of the House and Senate because of “internal feuding” over immigration, citing “separating immigrant children from their parents.”
  28. On Monday, AP reported on an old warehouse in McAllen, Texas, where hundreds of children wait in a series of cages. One cage had 20 children inside. More than 1,100 people were in the dark facility.
  29. A 16 year old said she was helping care for a 2 year old in her cage for three days because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. The teen said she had to show others how to change the girl’s diaper.
  30. On Monday, ProPublica released shocking audio of children inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility crying after being separated from their parents, screaming Mami” and “Papá” over and over again.
  31. With little content from within detention facilities publicly available due to the Trump regime’s restricted access, this audio along with Border Patrol-provided photos and videos were looped on most major media.
  32. On Monday, Politico reported Trump aides are planning more crackdowns on immigration before the midterms. Ideas include tightening rules on student visas and limiting visas for temporary agricultural workers.
  33. On Monday, Trump addressed the media on family separation, saying the United States “will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility … not on my watch.”
  34. Trump blamed Democrats and lack of immigrant reform, saying, “What’s happening is so sad.” Democrats accused Trump of using children separated from their families as leverage to pass his immigration agenda.
  35. On Monday, the daily press briefing scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. was postponed four hours. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not address the press but rather waited for Nielsen to be flown in from Louisiana.
  36. Nielsen repeated the false claim that only Congress could fix family separation, blaming “loopholes in our federal immigration laws” and saying the regime had no choice but to enforce the law.
  37. Nielsen dodged question on photos of children in cages and the lack of photos of girls, instead complaining about false narratives that ignore crime, opioids, smugglers, and people who are killed by gang members.
  38. No other daily press briefings were held by the White House during the week amid the family separation crisis.
  39. On Tuesday, AP reported Trump sees his hard-line immigration stance as a winning issue for midterms, saying “You have to stand for something.” Miller has urged Trump to make immigration his defining issue.
  40. Steve Bannon said of Trump, “I think this is one of his best moments. I think this is a profile in courage. This is why America elected him. He will not back down on core principles.”
  41. On Tuesday, Trump further ramped up the rhetoric, tweeting “Democrats are the problem,” saying they want migrants to “infest our Country,” adding, “so they view them as potential voters!”
  42. On Tuesday, Axios reported Donald Trump Jr. canceled plans to headline a fundraiser in New York for George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush, due to the Bush family’s opposition to Trump’s policy of separating families.
  43. On Tuesday, in a joint statement by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the regime announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council, blaming anti-Israeli sentiment.
  44. On Wednesday, Israeli officials expressed concern about the U.S. pulling out from the council, saying it will make it harder to block anti-Israeli initiatives, which U.S. membership helped to soften or fend off.
  45. On Tuesday, HHS told Detroit Free Press it has “a network of approximately 100 unaccompanied alien children’s program(s) across 17 states” with 3,280 females in care and 8,506 males.
  46. The hashtag #WhereAretheGirls trended during the week, as photos issued by the government showed only boys. When asked why on Monday, Nielsen answered, “I don’t know.”
  47. MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff tweeted that he asked the HHS to see photos of girls and toddlers and was offered photos from 2016.
  48. On Tuesday, McClatchy reported based on the review of federal data, the Trump regime likely lost track of nearly 6,000 unaccompanied migrant children, not the 1,475 number given to lawmakers last month.
  49. HHS had told reporters 14 percent of calls to sponsors were not returned, but HHS reached out to only 7,635 children and their sponsors. It placed more than 42,497 unaccompanied children with sponsors in fiscal year 2017.
  50. Trump has been watching the coverage on television with increasing anger, saying the media is deliberately highlighting the worst images — the cages and screaming toddlers — to make him look bad.
  51. On Tuesday, WSJ reported the Mexican government criticized Trump’s policy, citing a 10 year old with Down syndrome who was separated from her mother and 10-year-old brother as they attempted to enter the U.S.
  52. On Tuesday, on Fox News, when the topic of the 10-year-old girl came up, Corey Lewandowski mocked her saying, “Womp Womp.”
  53. On Wednesday, Lewandowski was dropped by Leading Authorities, one of Washington DC’s top speakers bureaus.
  54. On Tuesday, governors from at least eight states, including two Republicans, said they would withhold or recall National Guard troopssent to the southern border, citing Trump’s family separation policy.
  55. On Tuesday, The Daily Mail reported Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, a Guatemalan national seeking asylum in the U.S., sued six federal agencies and 10 top officials, the first legal challenge to the regime’s policy.
  56. Officials “forcibly” separated her from her 7-year-old son after they crossed the border and refused to tell her his whereabouts. Mejia-Mejia was never indicted for illegally entering the country.
  57. On Friday, Mejia-Mejia was reunited with her son at Baltimore Washington International Airport, more than a month after they were detained and separated.
  58. On Tuesday, the former head of ICE told NBC News that despite claims from the Trump regime and allies that family separations would be “temporary,” many will be permanent as parent are deported.
  59. On Tuesday, Nielsen was heckled at a Mexican restaurant by protestors shouting, “Shame!” The restaurant said in a statement, “Our staff, most of whom are Hispanic, have been with our restaurant family for years.”
  60. That evening, Nielsen retweeted a message from Trump saying she did a “fabulous job” at a news conference on Monday. She also tweeted that she would “work tirelessly until our broken immigration system is fixed.”
  61. On Friday, protestors gathered outside Nielsen’s home in Virginia, holding signs and blasting the ProPublica audio of children crying.
  62. On Monday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called the left the “ruling class” and said it doesn’t really care about migrant families, adding “they care far more about foreigners than their own people.”
  63. On Monday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham compared detention facilities for migrant children to “summer camps,” or, as the San Diego Union-Tribune described them “basically boarding schools.”
  64. Ingraham also hosted Attorney General Jeff Sessions on her show to defend Trump’s policy. He falsely claiming a surge of “15,000 illegal entries to 75,000” immigrants due to Obama policies, saying “this is a huge loophole in our system.”
  65. Sessions also denied that children are being abused or kept in inhumane conditions and rebuked comparisons to Nazi Germany, making the odd assertion of Nazis that “they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country.”
  66. More than 600 United Methodist clergy and church members brought church law charges against Sessions for the zero-tolerance policy of separating migrant families, accusing him of violating the Book of Discipline.
  67. Sessions is charged under church law with child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.”
  68. On Wednesday, longtime Republican strategist Steve Schmidt said he is leaving the GOP, saying it “is fully the party of Trump,” adding the family separation is “connected to the worst abuses of humanity in our history.”
  69. Schmidt encouraged the “repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers in the 2018 election by electing Democratic majorities.” On Friday, conservative George Will penned an op-ed, “Vote against the GOP this November.
  70. On Thursday, a spokesperson for IAC confirmed the media and internet company will no longer run ads for HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List on Ingraham’s show over her migrant comments.
  71. Politico reported that millennials in Washington DC who work or worked for Trump are finding themselves ostracized, heckled on the street and struggling to get a dates. They instead gather in a small social circle.
  72. On Friday, press secretary Sanders was asked to leave Red Hen, a restaurant in Virginia. Sanders tweeted that she was asked, “to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left.”
  73. On Tuesday Brad Parscale called for the firing of Sessions and the end of the Mueller probe, tweeting “You can’t obstruct something that was phony against you The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all.”
  74. On Wednesday, Trump held a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, reminiscent of his 2016 campaign rallies, including crowd chants of “Build that wall!” and “Lock her up!” and “USA! USA! USA!” and “Drain the swamp!
  75. Trump aired his grievances of being wronged by the media, saying he deserved more credit for a long list of items including the North Korea summit, the size of his crowds and the economy.
  76. According to a NPR fact checks, Trump told false or misleading statements on a number of topics including immigration, North Korea, trade, the economy and the Justice Department inspector general report.
  77. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Kansas tossed out Kris Kobach’s proof-of-citizenship voter laws, saying it is unconstitutional to require people to prove their U.S. citizenship before they can vote.
  78. The judge also sanctioned Kobach, ordering him to take a legal class on the rules of evidence or procedure. Kobach represented his office and was the lead attorney in the case.
  79. On Tuesday, deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin said he is leaving the White House. Hagin has served in every GOP administration since Ronald Reagan’s and played a key role in organizing Trump’s Singapore summit.
  80. On Tuesday, Trump rescinded an Obama-era policy that protected oceans and the Great Lakes, instead putting a new emphasis on “industries” that use the oceans, particularly oil and natural gas drilling.
  81. On Tuesday, the Rhode Island State Senate voted 34–3 for a bill to require candidates on a presidential ticket to release tax returns going back five years. The bill now goes to the House.
  82. On Tuesday, Pompeo abruptly canceled a Senate briefing scheduled for Wednesday on the North Korea deal struck by Trump and Kim Jong-un, which Trump had hailed as a breakthrough.
  83. On Friday, in a letter to Congress, Trump said North Korea’s “provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions…continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat,” reversing his statements of last week.
  84. AP reported that nine months after Hurricane Maria thousands of people in Puerto Rico are still living under tarps or plastic sheets. FEMA and local agencies do not know how many roofs still need to be replaced.
  85. On Wednesday, Intercept reported that, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt has spent $4.6 million on security, an increase of $1.1 million from a disclosure one month ago.
  86. On Monday, CNN reported a bus company employee in Maine told passengers they needed to be U.S. citizens in order to ride the bus after Customs and Border Protection agents spoke to bus company employees.
  87. On Sunday, Dallas Morning News reported Jose Nunez of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department was arrested for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening her mother with deportation if she told authorities.
  88. On Tuesday, the DHS said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month. In Friday of Week 83, DHS had given a number of 1,955.
  89. On Tuesday, AP reported the Trump regime is sending babies and young children forcibly separated from their parents to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas.
  90. A fourth shelter planned for Houston would house up to 240 children in a warehouse previously used for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The shelters are operated by contractor Southwest Key Programs.
  91. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. Experts warn separation can cause permanent damage.
  92. Michelle Brane, director at the Women’s Refugee Commission said, “There is no model for how you house tons of little children in cots institutionally in our country. We don’t do orphanages, our child welfare has recognized that is an inappropriate setting for little children.”
  93. On Tuesday, following a tip, NY1 shot video at 12:45 a.m. of five girls, accompanied by two Spanish-speaking women, being led into the building where Cayuga Centers, a foster agency in East Harlem, is housed.
  94. On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there are 239 immigrant children separated from their parents now in the custody of Cayuga Centers in East Harlem. The youngest is 9 months old.
  95. De Blasio said the children need mental health assistance and physical help. Some children arrived with lice, bedbugs, chicken pox and other contagious illnesses — and have not been in touch with their families.
  96. On Tuesday, Houston Chronicle reported flight attendants say they were unknowingly transporting migrant children. One observed children ages four to 11 with faces full of fear, confusion, sadness and exhaustion.
  97. Another flight attendant was lied to by an ICE agent who said the children on the flight were part of a soccer team. When pressed, the agent finally admitted that they were being relocated to assigned camps.
  98. On Wednesday, Texas Tribune reported children held at the Shiloh Treatment Center, a contractor that houses immigrant minors, described in a lawsuit being held down and forcibly injected with drugs.
  99. On Wednesday, Detroit Free Press reported a foster care program received more than 50 “petrified” migrant children who landed in the middle of the night after being separated from their families.
  100. The average age of the children was 8 years old and included babies. Some have not been able to speak to their parents for more than 30 days. The program has received children since 2017, but since zero-tolerance there are more children and they are younger.
  101. On Wednesday, the Red Cross responded to questions on why it was not helping at the southern border, tweeting the Trump regime has not given the organization “access to places of detention for migrants.”
  102. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters “We have to maintain toughness, or our country will be overrun by people, by crime,” but his wife felt strongly about separating families, saying “Anybody with a heart would feel this way.”
  103. Trump spoke to reporters from a room where he was discussing migrant family separations. Trump drew criticism as reporters shared the photo of all white men at the table (one women was in the room, not at the table).
  104. Later on Wednesday, following a firestorm of protest from opponents and allies, Trump signed an executive order ending his regime’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents.
  105. The executive order was published online at WhiteHouse.gov, then taken down after the public noticed the word ‘separation’ was misspelled: “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Seperation.”
  106. Trump has previously in Week 83 and this week repeatedly falsely claimed that Democrats were to blame for separating families and said they were separated because of “Congress’s failure to act” and “court orders.”
  107. The executive order requires the detention of whole families together and directs Sessions to file a request to modify the Flores Settlement to allow migrant children to be held longer than 20 days.
  108. On Thursday, reminiscent of Trump’s Muslim ban, confusion ensued as federal agencies were left to interpret the sudden changes in the executive order and to figure out how to implement them.
  109. On Thursday evening, officials held a meeting to grapple with the different understandings of how to proceed. Sources said Trump’s main goal was to lessen the public controversy surrounding separated families.
  110. On Thursday, WAPO reported although government officials say they have given detained parents a flier with a toll-free number for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, lawyers say none of their clients have received one.
  111. Lawyers say they have called the number and often no one answered. When someone did pick up, the person refused to offer details of where children had been taken or offered only vague statements like within the U.S.
  112. Lauren Dasse, an immigration lawyer and advocate, said she saw a five-month-old baby held in immigration detention with three of his siblings. The mother is in a detention center several states away.
  113. On Wednesday, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland of human rights watchdog Council of Europe, citing events on the U.S. southern border, said Trump is “no longer the moral leader of his country or the world.”
  114. Council of Europe is an international human rights organization with 47 signatory states. Jagland is also one of the five members of the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize, an award Trump has openly coveted.
  115. On Wednesday, Sen. Bill Nelson accused the Trump regime of trying to hide what’s going on, after he was denied access to a detention facility in his home state of Florida and told he needed to give two weeks’ notice.
  116. On Thursday, at least 10 states led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they plan to sue the Trump regime over the separation of migrant children as a result of its zero-tolerance policy.
  117. On Thursday, the governor of Virginia ordered an investigation of abuse claims by children at Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, an immigration detention facility, after AP reported on a federal lawsuit against the center.
  118. In six sworn statements, Latino youths held for months or years at the said they were beaten while handcuffed, locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, and left nude and shivering in concrete cells.
  119. The children were accused of belonging to violent gangs, including MS-13. A manager told Congress the children did not appear to be gang members and were suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma endured in their home countries.
  120. On Friday, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade showed his support from Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, saying “these aren’t our kids,” adding, “it’s not like he’s doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.”
  121. AP reported after a threat for ransom or his life in El Salvador, Blanca Orantes-Lopez and her 8-year-old son came to the U.S. She is now in a prison in Seattle and he is in the custody of a children’s home in upstate New York.
  122. She did not get to say goodbye and has not been able to talk to or see him. DHS claims they must remove children before they can prosecute the parents, but many like Orantes-Lopez remain separated long after being convicted.
  123. NBC News reported according to HHS, the cost of holding migrant children in newly created “tent cities” is $775 per person per night, more than placing them in permanent structures or keeping them with their parents.
  124. On Thursday, WAPO reported that according to lawmakers and a Defense Department memo, HHS officials asked the Pentagon whether it can provide housing for up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children.
  125. The housing would be on military bases and “for occupancy as early as July through December 31, 2018.” Per the memo, the sites would be run by HHS employees or contractors working with them.
  126. The facility used by ICE in Portland, Oregon was shut down after days of protests and a blockade in response to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy. One person was arrested.
  127. On Tuesday, Vanity Fair reported Michael Cohen hired Guy Petrillo, who served as the chief of the criminal division in the Southern District of New York from 2008 to 2009, to represent him in his criminal case in the Southern District,
  128. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Cohen filed to foreclose on a $3.8 million loan to a French investor who bought him out of a Manhattan condominium transaction on October 18, 2016, two weeks before it was due.
  129. At the time, Cohen was trying to come up with $130,000 to pay Stephanie Clifford for her silence. Cohen was supposed to pay Clifford on October 14. He eventually paid her on October 27 through Essential Consultants.
  130. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Cohen has told associates he wants Trump to pay his legal fees, saying he is frustrated Trump is not and that the fees are “bankrupting” him. Cohen says Trump owes him for his years of loyalty.
  131. On Wednesday, Cohen resigned as deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, citing not being able to give “attention and dedication” with the Mueller and SDNY investigations.
  132. Cohen also criticized Trump’s policy of separating families, saying, “children should never be used as bargaining chips,” for the first time distancing himself from Trump.
  133. On Wednesday, WSJ reported Manhattan federal prosecutors have subpoenaed American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer for records related to its $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal.
  134. Investigators are probing potential efforts by Cohen to suppress damaging information about Trump during the presidential campaign and whether he coordinated with AMI to not publish her account.
  135. On Thursday, WAPO reported National Enquirer executives sent digital copies of the tabloid’s articles and cover images of Trump and his political opponents to Cohen during the presidential campaign, before publication.
  136. Trump and David Pecker, owner of AMI, are very close. Trump reportedly suggested stories to Pecker on a regular basis, including one about Hillary Clinton’s health. AMI also publishes Us Weekly, the Globe and Star.
  137. On Friday, an order by Judge Gregory Woods in the SDNY said of the 300,000 items reviewed so far, 161 are privileged and seven are communications between Cohen and a client, confirming findings of the special master.
  138. Roughly 3.7 million items seized from Cohen are still under review. Judge Woods ordered Cohen’s lawyers to identify for the special master by June 27 any remaining items they believe are privileged.
  139. Miami Herald and McClatchy reported buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 purchases totaling $109 million at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City,
  140. The purchases were made in cash and almost all were purchased by using shell companies designed to obscure their identities — both factors raising concern of possible money laundering.
  141. On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied a request by Manafort to suppress evidence seized by Mueller’s team from a storage unit.
  142. On Friday, Manafort’s attorney asked Judge T.S. Ellis III in Virginia to bar any mentions of Manafort’s ties to Trump, arguing his alleged crimes happened before working for him and that it may influence jurors.
  143. On Friday, Mueller’s team asked the judge to bar Manafort from arguing he’s a victim of vindictive prosecution and from telling jurors that the government investigated Manafort years ago, saying both are false.
  144. Guardian reported Adam Waldman, a U.S. lobbyist for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska since 2009, visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London during 2017, more than any other visitor.
  145. On Thursday, the White House proposed a radical overhaul of the federal government in a 132-page plan. The Trump regime said it plans to shake up what one official called a “nonsensical” bureaucracy.
  146. Under the plan, the Departments of Education and Labor would merge, other agencies’ responsibilities would consolidate, and there would significantly less regulation of industries.
  147. The plan also proposes to privatize the U.S. Postal Service and Federal Aviation Administration, eliminates more than a third of the U.S. Public Health Corps and would result in a massive sale of government properties.
  148. There would also be a consolidation of safety-net programs, placing every domestic program for poor families and children under a single welfare authority. Foreign aid and development programs would restructured.
  149. On Friday, in a tweet, Trump threatened to impose 20 percent tariffs on all cars imported from the European Union. Trump’s tweet sent shares of BMW, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and Mercedes-maker Daimler all lower.
  150. On Thursday morning, before a vote on a House immigration bill, Trump questioned the purpose of it, tweeting nine Democrats in the Senate would be needed, and “Dems are only looking to Obstruct.”
  151. The House then voted down an immigration hardliner bill by Bob Goodlatte 193–231, which included funding for Trump’s wall but no path to citizenship. There are 42 more Republicans than Democrats in the House.
  152. On Thursday, first lady Melania Trump boarded a plane on her way to Texas to visit a detention center for migrant children, wearing a coat that read, in white capital letters on the back, “I really don’t care. Do U?
  153. In response to the negative reaction, Trump tweeted that the words on the jacket refer “to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!”
  154. On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed Republicans to delay voting on the second immigration bill, saying “Republicans should stop wasting their time” until after midterms, saying “Dems are just playing games.”
  155. Rep. McCarthy said the House will vote on an immigration compromise bill next week, despite Trump’s tweets. Another member of the House noted Trump “changes his mind often” so it makes sense keep working.
  156. On Friday, Trump also tweeted to buy Fox News host Jeanine Pirro’s new book, “’Liars, Leakers and Liberals, the Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy,’” which is fantastic. Go get it!”
  157. On Tuesday, in an open letter, more than 100 Microsoft employees said the company should stop working with ICE, which has been separating migrant families, calling the practice “inhumane.”
  158. The National Park Service approved an initial request for a second “Unite the Right” rally to take place across the street from the White House in August. Last year’s rally Charlottesville resulted in a death and injuries.
  159. On Thursday, a Pentagon official told WAPO that HHS requested the military make room for up to 20,000 migrant children on military bases“for occupancy as early as July through December 31, 2018.”
  160. On Friday, TIME reported according to a copy of a draft memo obtained for the Navy Secretary’s approval, the U.S. Navy is preparing plans to construct sprawling detention centers to house migrants.
  161. Housing for roughly 119,000 migrants is proposed, including “temporary and austere” tent cities to house 25,0000 at abandoned airfields just outside the Florida panhandle near Mobile, Alabama.
  162. The memo also proposes a camp for roughly 47,000 people at former naval weapons station near San Francisco, and 47,000 people at Camp Pendleton, the Marines’ largest training facility in Southern California.
  163. On Thursday, Sessions told CBN News “the American people don’t like the idea that we are separating families. We never really intended to do that.” When Sessions announced zero-tolerance on May 8, he promised separation.
  164. Sinclair Broadcasting’s “must run” segment on family separation showed Boris Epshteyn saying the media and Trump opponents are claiming those who “are tough on immigration are somehow monsters.”
  165. Epshteyn told viewers “a lot of it is politically driven by the liberals in politics and the media” and credited Trump’s executive order for ending family separation, without mentioning Trump was responsible for it too.
  166. On Friday, Trump held an event at the White House with Angel Families, his name for “the American victims of illegal immigration,” who stood behind him holding poster-sized photos of their deceased relatives.
  167. Trump told the media, “you never hear this side,” and said, “These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones…Permanently…Because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens.”
  168. After the event, Trump autographed the photos of deceased young peoplebeing held up by Angel Families who stood behind him.
  169. Studies of immigration patterns reveal a large majority of areas have many more immigrants today than they did in 1980 and fewer violent crimes.
  170. On Friday, Fox News tweeted “Migrant Children & Gang Membership — Oct 2011-June 2017,” from Border Protection officials citing, “.02% of all children detained (56 out of 250,000) had ties to MS-13.”
  171. On Saturday, Intercept reported on Debora Barrios-Vasquez, who lived in Mamaroneck, New York but took sanctuary in a church in New York City with her 2-year-old daughter for fear of being separated by ICE
  172. Barrios-Vasquez addressed reporters at the church to highlight that ICE is ripping parents away from young children every day all across America at home, in court, while working and at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services marriage-based interviews.
  173. On Friday, the U.N. Human Rights office said Trump’s new executive order, “may lead to indefinite detention of entire families in violation of international human rights standards.”
  174. The office also said the new policy does not go far enough, saying placing immigrant children in detention centers harms their development and “may amount to torture.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 83: CONTINUING TO DIVIDE THE COUNTRY

While Fox (Faux) News (Opinions) reported on Meghan Markle’s off-the-shoulder dress, here’s what actually happened, and matters, in our country (and to the world) this week ~ 

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Week 82 of this presidency: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

June 9, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-82-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-e77db1301d3b

This week started with Trump pushing yet another norm, saying he could pardon himself. This comes after a string of recent pardons, and Trump bragging to reporters that he is considering 3,000 more — crowning himself the arbiter of what is fair, not the judicial branch. In two moves that alarmed legal experts, Sessions’ Justice Department sided with a frivolous lawsuit instead of defending the Affordable Care Act, and seized phone and email records from a New York Times reporter.

Trump continued to divide the country, creating controversy by disinviting the NFL champions the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House, and later in the week, the NBA champions. The regime continues its cruel Zero Tolerance policy at the southern border, which has drawn international outcry and lawsuits.

Trump continues to act as if he is solely in charge, attending the Group of Seven summit in Toronto where he arrived late, left early, delivered a harsh, toothless speech, and complained Russia wasn’t invited — further alienating our former allies and achieving nothing before leaving for his summit with Kim Jong Un next Tuesday. However, this week, the Republican Party showed signs of standing up to Trump on several issues including trade, the FBI informant, ZTE and protections for “dreamers.”

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  1. On Sunday, Sen. Jeff Merkley posted a video showing he was denied entry to a former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas used as a detention center for migrant children who had been separated from their parents.
  2. The facility in Brownsville is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. Merkley tweeted, “Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor — he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us.”
  3. On Monday, Ray Zaccaro, a spokesperson for Merkley, added that on Sunday, in a separate visit to a Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas, “Senator Merkley and his staff saw children in cages.”
  4. On Monday, deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley accused Merkley of “irresponsibly spreading blatant lies” and “smearing hardworking, dedicated law enforcement officials.”
  5. On Tuesday, in one of a series of 13 tweets, Trump also attacked Merkley and Democrats, tweeting, “Separating families at the Border is the fault of bad legislation passed by the Democrats.” This statement is false.
  6. On Tuesday, the United Nations human rights office called on the Trump regime to “immediately halt” its policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the U.S. border with Mexico.
  7. A U.N. spokeswoman said, “The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles,” adding, “the child’s best interest should always come first.”
  8. On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions defended separating migrant parents and children, telling conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them.”
  9. Sessions also likened the practice to what happens in the U.S., saying when an American “gets prosecuted” for a crime, “American citizens, and they go to jail, they’re separated from their children.”
  10. On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced for athird month in a row, U.S. border agents made more than 50,000 arrests in May, triple the amount in May 2017, despite the Trump regime separating children from their parents.
  11. NYT reported police departments in several cities with large Hispanic populations are seeing a decline in reports of domestic violence and sexual assault. Police blame fear of being deported.
  12. Cities experiencing a decline include Los Angeles, Denver, San Diego, andHouston, which saw a decline from 7,460 reports from Hispanics in 2016, to 6,273 in 2017.
  13. WAPO reported about 200 ICE officers blitzed two locations of Corso’s Flower and Garden Center in Ohio in an immigration raid. They arrested 114 workers thought to be illegal and loaded them on buses to be taken to ICE detention centers.
  14. Local activists say dozens of children were left stranded at daycare centers and with babysitters. ICE plans to charge the undocumented workers with identity theft and tax evasion. ICE is also investigating the employer.
  15. This marks third mass round-up conducted by ICE. In April, 97 immigrants were arrested at a meat-processing plant in rural Tennessee, and in January, ICE raided 98 7-Eleven stores.
  16. Daily Beast reported Honduran native Martina Blasina Romero, the mother of Ronal Francisco Romero, an undocumented immigrant who died of bacterial meningitis while in ICE custody, is preparing to sue.
  17. Border Patrol arrested Romero on May 9 as he illegally entered the U.S. He died May 16. Advocates say the facility where Romero was held is severely lacking in medical assistance, one saying it is “virtually nonexistent.”
  18. On Wednesday, a U.S. District Judge in San Diego denied a motion made by the Trump regime to dismiss an ACLU lawsuit which argues that splitting up families at the border violates their due process rights.
  19. The judge wrote that allegations that the government “arbitrarily tears at the sacred bond between parent and child,” if true, “is brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.”
  20. Intercept reported that the ACLU estimates between 1,500 and 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents at the southern border, with the number escalating with Sessions’ Zero Tolerance policy.
  21. According to a police report obtained by WAPO, a Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell on May 13.
  22. The Starr County sheriff’s deputy reports quotes Border Patrol agents. Thedeath of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security.
  23. The Des Moines Register reported Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco, who was scheduled to graduate high school in Des Moines last month, died a brutal death in Mexico three weeks after being escorted out of the U.S. by ICE.
  24. Cano Pacheco had been granted DACA status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but it was revoked over a speeding ticket. He was the oldest of four siblings.
  25. For a second year in a row, Trump failed to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month. Shortly after his inauguration, the Trump regime removed references to LGBTQ people from a number of federal government websites.
  26. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple was discriminated against by a Colorado agency which displayed religious bias when it sanctioned him.
  27. The narrow Supreme Court ruling did not address whether businesses can refuse service to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. Trump fanned misinformation, tweeting, “Big Supreme Court ruling for Baker just out!”
  28. On Monday, following the ruling, state Rep. Michael Clark of South Dakota wrote on Facebook that businesses should be able to turn away customers based on race. He later apologized.
  29. Following the ruling, Jeff Amyx, owner of a hardware store in Tennessee,displayed a sign which read, ‘No Gays Allowed.’ Amyx said, “Christianity is under attack…this is not the end, this is just the beginning.”
  30. Amyx had first posted the sign in the store window in 2015 when gay marriage became legal, but later removed it after facing a sharp backlash.
  31. On Thursday, an Arizona appeals court ruled that a Phoenix-based calligraphy business cannot refuse service to same-sex couples.
  32. After the White House drew fired in 2017 for not hosting an Iftar dinner to commemorate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, this year the regime hosted a dinner, but failed to invite any Muslim-American leaders or activists.
  33. NYT reported on a 20-page confidential letter sent to Robert Mueller on January 29 from Trump attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow, making the untested assertion that Trump cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the Russia investigation.
  34. Trump’s lawyers argue it is impossible for him to obstruct justice by shutting down a case or firing a subordinate, no matter his motivation,since the Constitution gives him power to supervise the executive branch.
  35. Trump’s attorneys are looking to head off a subpoena for fear that if he answers questions in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.
  36. To counter Mueller, Trump and his lawyers are attacking James Comey’s credibility, and have started a public-relations campaign to discredit the investigation to preempt a potentially damaging special counsel report.
  37. Trump’s lawyers also disclosed in the letter that Trump “dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son” relating to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians.
  38. Shortly after the NYT article came out, Trump tweeted, “Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?” adding “When will this very expensive Witch Hunt Hoax ever end?”
  39. This statement contradicts multiple public statements made by both Sekulow and press secretary Sarah Sanders in the past year, both who asserted to the press that Trump did not dictate the misleading statement.
  40. On Monday, at the daily briefing, when asked about her past false statements, Sanders refused to explain, saying, “You’re referencing a letter that came directly from outside counsel and I would refer you to them,”
  41. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani told “This Week” that Trump has the ability to pardon himself, but said it is “unthinkable” he would pardon himself, saying, “He has no intention of pardoning himself.”
  42. On Sunday, Giuliani told HuffPost, “In no case can he be subpoenaed or indicted,” claiming Trump’s Constitutional powers are that broad.
  43. On Sunday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to take over House leadership when Paul Ryan retires, told “State of the Union” regarding theMueller probe, “if there is no collusion, it’s time to wind this down.”
  44. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself,” adding “ but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”
  45. Trump also called the Mueller probe “the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats,” and said, “The appointment of the Special Counsel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”
  46. In a scathing op-ed “Mourning America,” by Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Davis accused Trump of “sullying” the American dream,” and called out Republicans in Congress for refusing to stand up to him.
  47. WAPO reported that in Trump’s first 497 days, he has made 3,251 false or misleading claims. In his first 100 days, Trump averaged 4.9 false claims a day. Now, Trump is up to 6.5 false claims each day.
  48. On Monday, the Pentagon inspector general issued a statement, saying the watchdog has “initiated an investigation into allegations” against Trump’s former personal physician, Ronny Jackson.
  49. U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell told Breitbart London he wants to “empower other conservatives” to rise up against “elites.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Grenell should be recalled if political statements continue.
  50. Trump nominated Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and close Steve Bannon ally, to lead the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency which oversees U.S.-funded media outlets, including Voice of America.
  51. WSJ reported the Trump regime has put the search for the Justice Department’s number 3 position on hold, after failing to lure several candidates, who would take over the Mueller probe if Rod Rosenstein were fired.
  52. The Justice Department has been a frequent target for Trump. Thedepartment lacks permanent, appointed leaders to oversee at least five high-profile units, including the criminal, civil, and tax divisions.
  53. On Tuesday, Trump continued to attack Sessions, tweeting, “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself,” adding, “So much time and money wasted.”
  54. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Mick Mulvaney fired the 25-member advisory board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, after 11 of its members Monday publicly criticized his leadership of the agency.
  55. Carl Higbie, a former Trump appointee, resigned from Trump-aligned America First Policies after companies said they would no longer donate due to his racist comments, like black women “think that breeding is a form of government employment.”
  56. On Thursday, in a big victory for the chemical industry after heavy lobbying, Trump’s EPA is scaling back the way the government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals.
  57. According to documents released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency, testing will now exclude potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, and instead focus on direct contact with a chemical.
  58. Politico reported Trump has considered Judge Jeanine Pirro for a senior job in the regime. The two speak by phone frequently, and Trump watches her Fox News show every Saturday night, sometimes calling in.
  59. On Monday, WAPO reported Scott Pruitt had aides do various personal tasks, including having the EPA’s chief’s director of scheduling call the Trump International DC to inquire about purchasing one of its used mattresses.
  60. Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club reveal Pruitt tried twice to get a job for his wife. Federal ethics laws bar public officials from using their position or staff for private gain.
  61. On Wednesday, a second top Pruitt aide, senior adviser Sarah Greenwalt, resigned from the EPA and said she is returning to Oklahoma to work at a state agency.
  62. On Thursday, WAPO reported Pruitt enlisted his 24/7 security detail to run errands for him, including picking up his dry cleaning and picking up his favorite moisturizing lotion.
  63. Documents obtained by The Hill under the FOIA reveal Bob Murray, CEO of coal company Murray Energy, offered six suggested executive orders on coal to the EPA and Department of Energy. In Week 62, a photographer was fired for leaking a photo of Rick Perry hugging Bob Murray.
  64. The executive orders would have halted and repealed rules on coal pollution. Although Trump did not sign the orders, the regime has started to implement many of those policies.
  65. On Friday, Trump said he continues to back Pruitt despite the growing list of ethical scandals, saying Pruitt is “doing a great job.”
  66. Documents obtained by BuzzFeed in a FOIA lawsuit reveal that as head of DHS, John Kelly instructed an official not to email staffers for fear of scrutiny of the FOIA. At the time, the agency’s main focus was immigration.
  67. WAPO reported that in early 2018, China hacked the computers of a Navy contractor, stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data, including secret plans to develop a supersonic anti-ship missile by 2020.
  68. On Thursday, the House voted 210–206 to rescind $15 billion in unspent funding that had been approved, including $7 billion for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which covers low-income children.
  69. Late Monday, Mueller’s team accused Paul Manafort of witness tampering by contacting two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps, and asked a federal judge to consider revoking or revising Manafort’s release.
  70. Mueller’s team said Manafort and an unnamed associate linked to Russian intelligence repeatedly contacted two members of a public relations firm and asked them to falsely testify about secret lobbying.
  71. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Manafort to respond by Friday to Mueller’s request to revoke or revise his release, and set a June 15 hearing date.
  72. On Thursday, Reuters reported Bruce Baldinger, a longtime lawyer for Manafort hired Marc Garfinkle, a New Jersey ethics attorney, to advise him.
  73. On Friday, Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national, were indicted by Mueller on charges of obstructing justice: trying to influence two witnesses relating to the failure to register as foreign lobbyists.
  74. Manafort and Kilimnik allegedly began reaching out in February and Apriland tried to convince former colleagues to lie that Manafort’s lobbying work was done exclusively in Europe, and not in the U.S.
  75. Kilimnik has worked with Manafort since 2005. Mueller’s team claimed in a court filing this year that the FBI believes Kilimnik still has “ties to a Russian intelligence service.”
  76. Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner, who is cooperating in the probe, has said Kilimnik is a former officer of Russia’s foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU.
  77. With these indictments, the year-old Mueller probe has thus far resulted in20 individuals and three businesses having been either indicted or pled guilty, and a total of 75 charges have been filed.
  78. On Tuesday, Simona Mangiante, wife of George Papadopoulos, changed her previous account of her husband’s intentions, and asked Trump on Fox News to pardon him.
  79. On Tuesday, Alex van der Zwaan, the first person to serve prison time in the Mueller probe, was deported to the Netherlands.
  80. On Wednesday, Speaker Ryan said he agreed with Rep. Trey Gowdy’s initial assessment that there is no evidence the FBI spied on the Trump’s campaign.
  81. Shortly after, Sen. Richard Burr also said he agreed with Gowdy. So farGowdy and three of the four Republicans (Mitch McConnell, Ryan, Burr) in the Gang of Eight agree there is no evidence. Only Devin Nunes differs.
  82. On Wednesday, the Guardian reported according to visitor logs, Brittany Kaiser, then a director at Cambridge Analytica, visited Julian Assange in February 17, 2017 to discuss what happened in the U.S. election.
  83. Kaiser also claimed to have channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations, given to her by a third party, to WikiLeaks. In a tweet Wednesday, WikiLeaks said, “WikiLeaks has no knowledge of donations.”
  84. According to emails reviewed and sources, BuzzFeed reported during the campaign Ivanka emailed with former Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, who offered to introduce Trump to Putin to facilitate a Trump tower in Moscow.
  85. Ivanka connected Klokov with Michael Cohen. Reportedly congressional investigators have reviewed the emails and questioned witnesses, as has Mueller’s team.

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  1. Late Monday, Trump abruptly disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from a White House Super Bowl celebration, saying in a statement, “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem.”
  2. The regime claimed 70 Eagles had promised to come, then 10 to 12 said they would attend Monday. Aides said Trump deemed the smaller crowd unsatisfactory. No Eagles knelt during the national anthem last season.
  3. On Tuesday, Fox News’ reporting on the canceled trip featured images of Eagles players down on a knee. The players were praying, not protesting. Fox News later apologized.
  4. On Tuesday, the White House issued another statement saying, “the vast majority of the Eagles decided to abandon their fans.” The White House claimed 81 players had last week committed to come.
  5. On Tuesday, in lieu of welcoming the Eagles, Trump held a “Celebration of America” event at the White House. Trump appeared alongside U.S. flags and military troops.
  6. The event, which Trump hailed as a “beautiful, big celebration,” lasted about 10 minutes. At the ceremony, Trump struggled with lyrics to “God Bless America,” and took the opportunity to talk about the economy.
  7. On Tuesday, AP reported stars from the teams in the NBA finals, Stephen Curry and LeBron James, said they will not go to the White House. James said “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway.”
  8. AP also reported Trump did not invite the WNBA champions the Minnesota Lynx to the White House to celebrate their most recent title. LeBron James called this “laughable.”
  9. On Thursday, Yahoo Sports reported Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to subpoena to compel testimony from Trump, Pence, and other officials familiar with Trump’s agenda on protesting NFL players.
  10. As part of the lawsuit, lawyers will seek information on the Trump regime’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests.
  11. On Friday, ahead of the NBA championship game, Trump told reporters that he will not invite the NBA champions to the White House.
  12. On Wednesday, Trump gathered his cabinet at FEMA headquarters for an annual briefing. Trump praised his entire cabinet except Sessions.
  13. While at FEMA, Trump made no mention of the revised death toll estimates in Puerto Rico, and gave no indication the regime was reviewing its response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico.
  14. First Lady Melania Trump also appeared with Trump at FEMA — her first time in public in nearly a month. Trump said, “The people of our country love you. So thank you, honey.”
  15. Trump chastised the media, saying, “The Fake News Media has been so unfair, and vicious, to my wife.” Kellyanne Conway called the media’s coverage of Melania “conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact.”
  16. On Friday, when asked why Melania did not accompany him to the G7 summit and Singapore, Trump said, “Can’t fly for one month, the doctors say. She had a big operation, that was close to a four-hour operation.”
  17. Medical experts said it would be unusual for the procedure Melania received to last four hours, and that doctors don’t typically curtail flying after an embolization procedure, if it went normally as described.
  18. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell canceled three of the four weeks of August recess. Democrats are defending 26 seats in November to Republicans’ nine, and would typically use that time to campaign. The House, however, will recess for the entire month.
  19. On Tuesday, the LA Times reported 118,522 voters were accidentally left off the voting rosters in California’s primary due to a printing error. About 35% of L.A. County’s 4,357 precincts were affected.
  20. Santa Clara County residents voted 59–39 to recall Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, the judge who presided over Brock Turner’s sexual assault case. He is the first California judge to be recalled in more than 85 years.
  21. On Tuesday, CNN reported Kelly Sadler, the White House communications aide who made disparaging comments about Sen. John McCain and refused to publicly apologize, is no longer working at the White House.
  22. On Tuesday, in tweets, Trump criticized “numerous delays” in release of the report on Clinton emails: “What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey.”
  23. On Thursday, Trump again urged the Justice Department to investigate his political enemies, tweeting, “Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook,” adding “Where is Server? Really bad!”
  24. Trump also accused the Obama administration of “trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system,” and using his new term for Mueller’s team, the “13 Angry Democrats,” telling them to investigate.
  25. On Wednesday, Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender. In Week 81, Kim Kardashian West visited Trump in the Oval Office to make this request.
  26. On Friday, Trump told reporters he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including Muhammad Ali.
  27. Ron Tweel, an attorney for Ali, who died in 2016, said in a tweet, “a pardon is unnecessary.” Ali’s conviction was overturned in 1971.
  28. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Trump can be deposed in the Summer Zervos defamation lawsuit. Zervos’ attorneys have already issued a subpoena to the Trump campaign related to other women accused.
  29. Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said before the case moves forward, the issue of whether or not a sitting president can be sued in state court should be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  30. On Wednesday, Stephanie Clifford’s attorney filed a lawsuit saying Cohen “colluded” with her then-lawyer, Keith Davidson, in an attempt to get her to go on Fox News’ “Hannity” in January and deny she had an affair with Trump.
  31. On Wednesday, at an investment conference in Israel, Giuliani told the audience why the summit with North Korea was off, then on: “Well, Kim Jong Un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it.”
  32. Giuliani said of Mueller’s team, “They are a group of 13 highly partisan Democrats” who are “trying very, very hard to frame” Trump. He also repeated his claim that Trump could pardon himself of any federal crimes.
  33. Giuliani also said derogatory things about Clifford, including “I’m sorry I don’t respect a porn star,” and a woman who respects herself, “isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.”
  34. Giuliani also he finds Clifford to be unattractive and therefore not credible, saying Trump’s three wives are “Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? Pfft.”
  35. Giuliani drew sharp rebukes from many, calling him sexist and misogynist. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said his comments were a slur and “an insult to every woman in this country.”
  36. On Friday, when asked about Giuliani’s comments, Trump said, “I’m not going to disagree with him on that.” Trump has appeared in three Playboy videos between 1994 and 2001.
  37. On Thursday, Sessions’ DOJ filed a brief supporting an obscure lawsuit brought by conservative states, led by Texas, arguing the protections for people with preexisting conditions under ACA should be invalidated.
  38. If those protections are invalidated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 52 million Americans under the age of 65 could lose access to health care.
  39. Legal experts expressed shock that the DOJ sided with a frivolous lawsuit. Law professor Nicholas Bagley wrote,“the Justice Department has a durable, longstanding, bipartisan commitment to defending the law.”
  40. On Thursday, James Wolfe, a former Senate Intelligence Committee director of security, was arrested and charged with lying repeatedly to FBI investigators about his contacts with three reporters.
  41. The DOJ seized records of a Times reporter, Ali Watkins, who had been in a three-year relationship with Wolfe. This is the first known instance of Trump’s Justice Department going after a reporter’s data.
  42. Watkins’s data, which was seized without her being notified, included phone records from her time working at BuzzFeed and Politico. She disclosed her personal relationship with Wolfe to all three employers.
  43. Wolfe was responsible for safeguarding classified and sensitive information. Court documents describe Wolfe’s communications with four reporters, including Watkins, using encrypted messaging applications.
  44. On Thursday, the Times denounced the seizure of Atkins’ phone and email records, saying the move “will endanger reporters’ ability to promise confidentiality to their sources and, ultimately, undermine the ability of a free press.”
  45. On Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists also expressed concern about the seizure, and called the move “a fundamental threat to press freedom.”
  46. On Friday, Trump applauded the arrest, saying, “I’m a very big believer in freedom of the press, but I’m also a believer that you cannot leak classified information.” Trump has been pressuring Sessions to take action.
  47. On Friday, Jim Jordan, a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, said he was “very nervous” about the DOJ’s surveillance of a NYT reporter, and said he may hold hearings.
  48. On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that at about 6 a.m., the Trump regime “executed a definitive agreement with ZTE.” China lobbied the Trump regime for a compromise on ZTE.
  49. On Thursday, senators, including Trump ally Tom Cotton, said they would introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act whichwould restore penalties on ZTE for violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea.
  50. The amendment would also ban government agencies from buying or leasing equipment and services from ZTE and Chinese telecom company Huawei, citing national security concerns about spying.
  51. On Friday, the Chairman of ZTE apologized to staff and customers in a memo, saying the company had agreed to pay a $1 billion fine and overhaul its leadership. ZTE said it will restart restart operations.
  52. On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Corker, along with eight Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, introduced a bill to check Trump’s tariff authority, rebuffing a personal request from Trump to back off.
  53. This marks the first time Republicans have stood up to Trump on trade. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries backed the bill, but McConnell said he would not bring it to the floor as a stand-alone bill.
  54. On Thursday, a group of two dozen moderate House Republicans broke from Trump, demanding a vote to reinstate deportation protections for “dreamers” taken away by the regime.
  55. On Thursday, former House Speaker John Boehner said at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan, “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”
  56. CNN reported on a testy conversation between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on May 25, in which Trump invoked the War of 1812 to justify tariffs, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” That was British troops.
  57. On Thursday, ahead of the G7 meeting in Toronto, France’s Prime Minister Macron tweeted, the will to have a text “signed by 7 countries” must not overcome the content, adding, “we must not rule out a 6+1 agreement.”
  58. On Thursday, Trudeau tweeted an article detailing an “even closer collaboration” with France.
  59. Trump responded in a series of tweets, saying, “Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs,” and accusing Trudeau of “being so indignant.”
  60. Late Thursday, the White House announced Trump would leave the G7 summit early, after sparring with Macron and Trudeau on the issue of trade.
  61. On Friday morning, before heading to the G7 summit, Trump told reporters Russia should be reinstated in the group, saying “Russia should be in this meeting…They should let Russia come back in.”
  62. Russia was suspended from the then G8 in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea, the first violation of a European country’s borders since World War II. Trump’s statement signals the growing divide with former allies.
  63. On Saturday, Trump arrived late to the G7 summit breakfast on empowering women, and walked in after Trudeau had welcomed everyone to the session.
  64. On Saturday, Trump delivered his most defiant trade threat yet, telling the G7 summit that they must dramatically reduce trade barriers, “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing. And that ends.”
  65. Trump asked the six countries to remove every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods and in return, he would do the same for products from their countries. Else, they risk severe penalties.
  66. He also said of trade wars, “We win that war a thousand times out of a thousand.” WAPO reported before Trump had grumbled about having to attend the G7, and had considered sending Pence in his place.
  67. Trump also again called for readmitting Russia to the G7, and said “Crimea was let go during the Obama administration…I might have had a very different” response.
  68. Trump departed early Saturday, skipping meetings on climate change, energy policy and oceans. The White House Trump will leave early to prepare for his summit in Singapore on June 12 with Kim Jong Un.
  69. On Thursday, Politico reported National security adviser John Bolton has yet to convene a cabinet-level meeting to discuss Trump’s upcoming summit with Kim Jong Un, a striking break from decades of precedent.
  70. On Thursday, when asked about preparation by reporters at the White House before a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, Trump said “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude.”
  71. On Tuesday, New York Post reported former NBA player Dennis Rodman will be in Singapore for the Trump-Kim summit. Sources say Rodman may play some part in the negotiation, and “One thing’s for sure the ratings will be huge.”
  72. On Thursday, Trump said that Rodman had not been invited to the summit but called him a “nice guy.” Trump added that he did not know about Rodman’s intention to be in Singapore during the summit.
  73. On Friday, Rodman confirmed on Instagram that he’s heading to Singapore to “give whatever support is needed to my friends, President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong Un.”

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