NEW YORK CITY: SCENES FROM A TIME

East Village
Chinatown
Fuck your phone, keep your head up.
Basquiat’s old house; a former stable owned by Andy Warhol.
Baston
Zero Cents. Nada. Don’t be a dick.

June2019. New York City, NY

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NEW YORK CITY STREET ART: THE POSTMAN COMETH, Pt. 3

June2019. New York City.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 136: RESIGN & REMOVE

JUNE 15, 2019

Week 135

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-135/
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Artist: Andrew Spear. Can be read below: “press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.”

This week in an interview with ABC News, Trump suggested he would take damaging information from foreign governments on political adversaries without reporting it to the FBI, setting off alarm bells. The Chair of the Federal Elections Commissions took the unusual step of issuing a public statement reminding campaigns that taking foreign assistance is illegal. Nonetheless, Trump allies largely defended his statement, and continued to block measures to protect the 2020 election.

As this played out on a chaotic Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.

Trump sparred with the media over reporting on his supposed trade deal with Mexico, while conditions at the southern border continued to deteriorate. Notably, Trump has been linking economic and national security in his recent actions, allowing him to invoke Cold War era acts and bypass Congressional approval. The House voted on a resolution opening the door to contempt of Congress charges for members of the regime.

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Artist: Captain Eyeliner in Freeman’s Alley, NYC. 15jun19
DCIM104GOPROGOPR2449.
Various streets in NYC share this sentiment to passersby. Here’s a random one. JUNE 2019.
IMG_0042
Spotted in the East Village, NYC. 15jun19.
  1. On Monday, NYT announced it would stop publishing political cartoons, after more than a year of deliberating. In Week 128, the Times apologized for a cartoon in its international edition that was viewed as anti-Semitic.
  2. Le Monde reported the symbolic oak tree given by French Prime Minster Emmanuel Macron to Trump and planted at the White House last year has died, calling it a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it was.”
  3. On Tuesday, Guardian reported leaked documents reveal Russia’s efforts to exert influence in at least 13 African countries by building relations with leaders and grooming a next generation of leaders and undercover agents.
  4. The effort is being led by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef,” who was indicted in the Mueller probe for his roll in a troll farm that sought to bolster Trump on social media during the 2016 election.
  5. On Friday, the European Union said in a report that Russia conducted a “continued and sustained” disinformation campaign against Europe’s recent parliamentary elections that ran from May 23 through May 26.
  6. The report found the Russian campaign “covered a broad range of topics” and exploited “divisive public debates on issues such as of migration and sovereignty” seeking to influence voter behavior and suppress turnout.
  7. Although no hacking occurred as in the U.S. 2016 election, the report found an ongoing and significant effort by Russia to target Europeans with disinformation on a daily basis.
  8. On Saturday, the government of China blocked two more international news organizations, the Guardian and the Post, as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent known as the “Great Firewall.”
  9. On Saturday, NYT also reported much of what Trump claimed as concessions from Mexico in Friday’s deal were things Mexico agreed to months prior. It was unclear what new concessions Trump achieved.
  10. Mexico said in March it would deploy its National Guard to the U.S. southern border. Also, an arrangement to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico was reached in December.
  11. During the week of May 24, 5,800 migrants crossed in one day, a record, setting off Trump. His top advisers opposed tariffs, and he was criticized by global leaders, business executives, and lawmakers from both parties.
  12. On Saturday, Trump said he watched MSNBC, tweeting: “Such lies, almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth. Fake News!” adding, “No wonder their ratings, along with CNN, are WAY DOWN.”
  13. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “Another false report in the Failing @nytimes,” saying in his deal with Mexico there was “great cooperation,” adding, “something that didn’t exist for decades.”
  14. Trump also tweeted: “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail!” adding, “They are truly The Enemy of the People!”
  15. On Sunday, the Times responded in a statement, saying, “We are confident in our reporting,” and added that “calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”
  16. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “I know it is not at all “Presidential” to hit back at the Corrupt Media,” adding, “Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!”
  17. Trump also tweeted, “a National Holiday would be immediately declared” if Obama had made deals on immigration and the economy like he did, blaming the “Corrupt Media.”
  18. Trump also threatened Twitter, tweeting: “Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!”
  19. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “For two years all the Democrats talked about was the Mueller Report,” adding, “ because they knew that it was loaded up with 13 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, later increased to 18.”
  20. Trump also tweeted ahead of Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings, “they want a Redo, or Do Over. They are even bringing in @CNN sleazebag attorney John Dean. Sorry, no Do Overs — Go back to work!”
  21. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump is increasingly blurring the lines between America’s national and economic security. Trump has started trade disputes with Mexico, China, Japan, and Europe.
  22. By mixing the two, Trump has been able to harness Cold War era authority, including 1962 and 1977 provisions to inflict economic pain through tariffs, government blacklists, and other restrictions.
  23. Trump has used this strategy to avoid needing Congressional approval, and to circumvent trade rules put in place to prevent the U.S. and other countries from increasing barriers and entering into endless trade wars.
  24. In May, Trump signed a proclamation that auto imports threatened U.S. national security and could be subject to tariffs in six months, a move criticized by auto manufacturers, foreign governments, and U.S. lawmakers.
  25. On Monday, a senior official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told CNBC that Trump’s “weaponizing of tariffs” has created “uncertainty with our trading partners,” which is going to hurt the U.S. economy.
  26. After hearing the remarks, Trump called into CNBC for a rambling interview, saying business groups like the Chamber of Commerce protect corporate America, not the American people, and defended his tariffs.
  27. Trump falsely claimed China has “lost 15 to 20 trillion dollars in value” since he took office, and claimed the U.S. “got everything we wanted” out of negotiations with Mexico last week.
  28. Trump threatened action against France over the cost of wine, and claimed, without evidence, that U.S. technology companies “discriminate against me.”
  29. Trump criticized the Federal Reserve, saying, “We have a Fed that raises interest rates the day before a bond issue goes out,” adding we do not have a level playing field because the “Fed is very, very destructive to us.”
  30. On Monday, Trump returned to attacking the Times, tweeting, “When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD,” adding, “Sick Journalism.”
  31. On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed back at Fox Business for criticizing his tariffs. Trump specifically addressed show co-hosts and a guest on their show, tweeting “Maria, Dagan, Steve, Stuart V.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “When you are the big “piggy bank” that other countries have been ripping off for years…Tariffs are a great negotiating tool,” adding, “Companies will relocate to U.S.”
  33. On Monday, Guardian reported Cadre, a real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner, received $90 million of funding from an opaque vehicle offshore run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands.
  34. Security filings revealed the offshore vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017. The vehicle is managed by accountants in the Cayman Islands and is owned by an offshore Goldman Sachs entity.
  35. On Monday, WAPO reported John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, retired, following revelations he directed his staff to whitewash audits of disaster relief performance.
  36. An internal review revealed by the Post last week found Kelly overrode auditors’ findings of problems with FEMA’s response to several disasters, directing them to ignore most problems and write “feel-good reports.”
  37. Under pressure from House Republicans, the IG’s office retracted 13 faulty reports and purged them from its website in 2017 and 2018, after the reports did not meet federal auditing standards.
  38. On Monday, Politico reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao established a liaison in her agency to help with grant applications and other priorities for her husband Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state.
  39. Beginning in April 2017, Chao aide Todd Inman, a longtime Kentucky resident, served as an intermediary, and helped McConnell and local Kentucky officials with grants with special significance for McConnell.
  40. Inman helped with a grant for a highway improvement project in Owensboro, Kentucky, a McConnell political stronghold, that had twice been previously rejected, and another grant benefitting Owensboro.
  41. On Tuesday, McConnell shrugged off Politico’s reporting at his weekly news conference, saying, “I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” adding, “I hope we’ll do a lot better next year.”
  42. On Tuesday, Politico reported on the lack of diversity in the Treasury Department: of the roughly 20 officials, just three are women and one a person of color. Hiring of minorities fell to its slowest pace in five years.
  43. On Wednesday, the Trump regime signaled a renewed push to open land near the Grand Canyon for uranium mining, with Trump declaring uranium a critical element for national security purposes.
  44. Under Trump, the number of minerals listed as critical has expanded from 23 to 35. The Commerce Department also recently added uranium as a key component to nuclear weapons.
  45. On Wednesday, NBC News reported representatives of at least 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties, including golf clubs, hotels, and restaurants, in possible violation of the Constitution.
  46. The total amount spent is not publicly available. The Trump Organization has sent $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury for 2017 and 2018, but did not disclose data to support that figure.
  47. According to news and public records, at least nine countries have hosted events at a Trump property: Afghanistan, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
  48. At least nine have rented or purchased property owned by Trump businesses: Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Slovakia, Thailand, India, and the European Union.
  49. Five have stayed at Trump properties: Georgia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Romania, and Saudi Arabia; and eight have attended Trump gatherings: Brazil, Dominica, Georgia, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and Qatar.
  50. On Friday, Bloomberg reported, according to disclosures released by the White House, Ivanka earned $4 million from Trump hotel DC during 2018, and $1 million from her fashion line which she announced she is closing.
  51. On Saturday, WAPO reported some U.S. embassies are disregarding the advisory from the State Department and flying rainbow flags in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.
  52. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not issue a statement for Pride month, and for his second year in office did not attend the State Department’s annual Pride Day event — two of many slights according to LGBTQ employees.
  53. On Saturday, a man with a BB gun set off a panic at Washington D.C.’s Pride parade, sending hundreds fleeingover concern there was a mass shooter. No actual shots were fired.
  54. On Monday, the Detroit News reported police thwarted an attempt by a neo-Nazi group to spark a “Charlottesville 2.0” type riot at a gay pride festival in downtown Detroit for Pride over the weekend.
  55. The group also desecrated an Israeli flag that they brought along, urinating on it, and videoing the action. The group brought an attorney along hoping to bait police officers.
  56. On Saturday, Politico reported the Trump regime is moving to change U.S. policy by stripping naturalized U.S. citizens who are convicted terrorists of their citizenship and force them to be deported.
  57. On Sunday, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told “Fox News Sunday” Congress should amend asylum laws to allow the regime to detain families during their hearing process.
  58. Currently the limit is 20 days. McAleenan also asked for Congress to change the asylum system’s “credible fear” standard, saying 89% of detainees meet that hurdle, but only 10% are granted asylum in court.
  59. On Sunday, NBC News reported 24 immigrants have died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody under the Trump regime so far. The previous record was 32 in 2004, the first year records were kept.
  60. The tally does not include migrants in custody of other federal agencies, including five children. Employees at both DHS and ICE have raised concerns about lapses in medical oversight and neglect.
  61. Some facilities, like private contractor GEO Group’s Aurora facility, have recently expanded to take more immigrants from ICE, but problems with medical care and other issues have been found there too.
  62. Records obtained by NBC News found ICE lied about causes of death in some cases. ICE paroled transgender woman Medina Leon to a hospital so it would not have to issue a press release or conduct a review of her death.
  63. On Monday, Trump installed former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as acting director of ICE. The move sparked criticism from Democrat and Republican senators, saying his confirmation is doubtful.
  64. A union head said Cuccinelli’s appointment “spells the end of legal immigration as it currently exists.” Sen. Bennie Thompson called Cuccinelli an “anti-immigrant fringe figure.”
  65. On Monday, the International Boundary and Water Commission ordered the We Build the Wall organizers to keep the gate open indefinitely in the part of the wall the group had built using GoFundMe money.
  66. On Tuesday, Texas Monthly reported in El Paso, Border Patrol has resumed the practice of keeping migrants outdoors in cages for weeks on end to relieve overcrowding.
  67. A local college professor likened conditions to “a human dog pound” — with 100-150 men behind a chain-linked fence, huddled together using Mylar blankets and other scraps to shield them from the sun.
  68. Rep. Veronica Escobar said some detainees have been held more than a month outdoors, despite CBP policies which state migrants should not be held for more than three days at its facilities.
  69. On Tuesday, TIME reported the Trump regime plans to detain 1,400 migrant children at Fort Sill, an army base in Oklahoma once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
  70. AP reported CBP said its agents are overwhelmed, and do not have the funding or resources to deal with the influx of migrants. Families and children are being held in facilities meant to house single men.
  71. Families are regularly being kept in facilities for longer than the maximum 72 hours allowed. The Department of Health and Human Services, which takes unaccompanied children from CBP, told the AP their facilities are past capacity with over 13,000 kids.
  72. On Friday, Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” that he will install former acting ICE director and Fox News analyst Tom Homan in the position of “border czar” at the White House, reporting directly to Trump.
  73. Homan ran ICE for the first 18 months of the Trump regime, but retired after frustration over not being confirmed by the Senate. He is known to be an immigration hard-liner, and has praised Trump on Fox News.
  74. On Tuesday, the case for Scott Warren, a 36-year-old geography teacher in Arizona and volunteer for No More Deaths who was charged for leaving water for migrants on federal wilderness land, ended in mistrial.
  75. U.N. human rights officials called for charges to be dropped, and there were protests and petitions. Federal prosecutors claimed Warren conspired to transport the migrants and shield them from Border Patrol agents.
  76. On Tuesday, a coalition of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association sued the Trump regime over its “conscience protection” rule.
  77. The lawsuit claims the regime’s rule “encourages and authorizes discrimination” by granting “broad new rights to refuse to provide health care services and information,” and called it unconstitutional.
  78. On Sunday, WAPO reported along with the new abortion ban in Alabama with no exceptions for rape or incest, the state is one of two where rapists’ parental rights are also protected.
  79. On Monday, nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter calling abortion bans “bad for business.” The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the NYT with the subheader: “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.”
  80. On Tuesday, a report by the Missouri Attorney General found black drivers in the state are 91% more likely to be stopped than white drivers, the highest disparity in the 19 years the report has been conducted.
  81. NBC News reported a 10 year-old black boy with disabilities in Maryland was questioned by police for playing with toy money on a school bus. His mother believes he was targeted for being a minority.
  82. The case was brought to public attention after his mother gathered signatures on a petition. A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public School, which is 85% white, said police should never have been called.
  83. On Monday, Deutsche Bank acknowledged that an internal audit uncovered a lapse in its money launderingcontrols, but claimed it did not find cases of money laundering or breaches of international sanctions.
  84. On Monday, after weeks of tense negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ agreed to turn over evidence in the Mueller report on obstruction of justice, although the scope of materials was unclear.
  85. Chair Jerrold Nadler said documents would include “interview notes, firsthand accounts of misconduct and other critical evidence.” The deal resulted in his panel backing away from voting Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
  86. On Monday, the committee also held public hearings and called John Dean and others. Initially coverage was preempted by coverage of a helicopter crash. Republicans openly mocked the proceedings.
  87. Ahead of the hearings, Trump tweeted: “Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor,” adding, “Democrats just want a do-over.”
  88. Trump also told reporters at the White House, “John Dean’s been a loser for many years,” adding unlike past impeachments, “You can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong.”
  89. During the hearing, Dean compared several of Mueller’s findings to Watergate, and was buttressed by two former federal prosecutors who explained why the findings amounted to criminal obstruction of justice.
  90. On Monday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, in reference to Dean’s comparison of him to Richard Nixon, “He left. I don’t leave. A big difference.”
  91. On Monday, Rep. Justin Amash, the lone Republican to call for impeachment, resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group that he helped co-found more than four years ago.
  92. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters before leaving to campaign in Iowa, Trump showcased a “beautiful letter” from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying, “he’s kept his word … that’s very important.” This is false.
  93. Trump also said he read reports that Kim’s half brother was an asset of the CIA, saying his message to Kim would be, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” seeming to again side with a dictator over U.S. intelligence.
  94. Trump held up a letter, bragging it was part of a “very long and very good” secret agreement with Mexico, but refused to divulge details. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, denied the undisclosed deal existed.
  95. While Trump continued to insist he had forced Mexico to agree to an undisclosed deal to combat migrants, Ebrard said Mexico had a 45-day window to enact measures and another 45 days if they did not work.
  96. Trump also called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a mess” and criticized Democrats’ investigations, saying, “All they do is waste time where there is no obstruction, no collusion. And in the meantime, we can’t get anything done.”
  97. On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley told Politico on Trump’s threats to impose tariffs without seeking approval from Congress, “Congress has delegated too much authority to the president of the United States.”
  98. Grassley also said, “The constitutional crisis comes from the elected representatives of the people over the last 80 years making a dictator out of the presidency,” adding this is “about the balancing of power.”
  99. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that the White House will preview the Mueller evidence, and work with the DOJ to determine what is turned over to Chair Nadler’s committee.
  100. On Tuesday, in an interview, Speaker Pelosi said of impeachment, “it’s not off the table,” adding, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.”
  101. Ask about impeachment if the majority of Democrats want it, Pelosi said, “Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?” On Trump’s comments about her in Normandy, Pelosi said, “my stock goes up every time he attacks me.”
  102. When asked about her comment that she would rather see Trump in prison, Pelosi demurred, “conversations in our caucus they stay in our caucus,” and added, “Are they criminal? Many people think they are.”
  103. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution 229-191 empowering the Judiciary Committee to seek court enforcement against Barr and Don McGahn over noncompliance with requests for documents and testimony.
  104. In remarks on the floor, Pelosi said, “We are here today because the times have found us,” and quoted Thomas Paine saying, “we do recognize the urgency of the threat to our nation we face today.”
  105. The resolution gives Chair Nadler the authority to begin legal proceedings to force McGahn to cooperate with the panel’s probe on obstruction, and represented the House’s most aggressive oversight step taken yet.
  106. The resolution also gives authority to chairpersons of nearly every House committee to “initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding before a federal court” to enforce a subpoena without needing a floor vote.
  107. The vote stopped short of a criminal citation, but kept the House on the track favored by Pelosi and some top leaders. So far, 60 House Democrats and several 2020 candidates have called for impeachment.
  108. Shortly after the vote, Barr threatened to ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents requested by the House Oversight Committee unless the panel backed off from voting on contempt.
  109. On Wednesday, in a DOJ letter, Trump asserted executive privilege, moving to block Congress’s access to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.
  110. The letter came minutes before the committee convened to vote on civil and criminal contempt citations. Chair Elijah Cummings had offered to postpone the vote if the DOJ agreed to turn over a small batch of specific documents.
  111. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee voted 24-15, with Rep. Amash joining Democrats, to pass a resolution allowing Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt charges against Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  112. The committee vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, but the vote was postponed until later in the day so members could read the DOJ’s letter on Trump asserting executive privilege.
  113. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. met for three hours with the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing. When he emerged, he told reporters he was “not at all” concerned about perjury charges over past testimony.
  114. On Wednesday, a national Quinnipiac poll found 69% of voter said a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, while 24% do not. Also, 57% believe Trump committed crimes before taking office.
  115. The poll found 55% believe Trump was not cleared of wrongdoing in the Mueller probe, while 35% believe he was. On whether Congress should begin to impeach Trump, 48% said yes, while 49% said no.
  116. On Wednesday, Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors said they are developing a potential national security case against Yujing Zhang, the 33-year-old Chinese national charged with unlawfully entering Mar-a-Lago.
  117. The prosecution’s motion asked the judge to allow them to file “classified information” under seal, and indicated Zhang is part of a widening U.S. probe of possible Chinese espionage at Mar-a-Lago.
  118. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign,” claiming they “are the best numbers WE have ever had,” despite the “never ending Witch Hunt.”
  119. On Wednesday, while meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters, without evidence, that his campaign’s polling showed him ahead in every state. The opposite was true.
  120. Trump characterized reporting that he was in fact behind in internal polling as “fake news,” and “It’s made up by the newspapers,” adding “You need ideas more than polls.”
  121. Trump also walked back his comments Tuesday pledging not to use CIA informants to spy on Kim Jong Un, saying, “No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation.”
  122. Trump also held up Kim’s letter to him referenced Tuesday, and said, “He just wrote me a very nice letter,” adding, “Someday you’ll see what’s in that letter….Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks.”
  123. Trump also said it was “totally ridiculous” to have a census without a citizenship question, adding, “Can you imagine you send out a census and you’re not allowed to say whether or not a person is an American citizen?”
  124. Trump also cited the president of Poland speaking alongside him, saying “In Poland, they say they’re either Polish or they’re not.” A citizenship question has not been included in the U.S. census since 1950.
  125. Trump snapped at reporters when asked if he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin alone at the G20, calling them “untrusting” and sarcastically asking, “Would you like to be in the room?”
  126. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, when asked whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners or hand it over the FBI, Trump responded, “I think maybe you do both.”
  127. Trump said “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” adding, “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.
  128. Trump also disputed that taking information from a foreign government on a political opponent is election interference, saying, “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.”
  129. Trump also compared it to taking opposition research, saying, “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
  130. Trump also defended his son Donald Jr. taking the June 9 meeting with Russians, saying, “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?”
  131. Trump added, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life,” adding, “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”
  132. On Wednesday, the USA Today Editorial Board called out McConnell for burying bipartisan measures to protect U.S. elections, citing the Mueller report findings that Russia had penetrated 21 state election networks.
  133. On Thursday, the editorial board updated its op-ed, adding “The 2020 presidential election is the next target,” and “Trump stunningly asserted he’d accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign country.”
  134. On Thursday, Trump defended his comments, tweeting, “I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day,” citing recent examples of the U.K., France, Ireland, and Poland, adding, “Should I immediately call the FBI”?
  135. Trump also blamed ABC News for cutting his response, tweeting, “With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media,” adding, “They purposely leave out the part that matters.”
  136. Also in a series of morning tweet, Trump attacked Democrats, tweeting, “Unrelated to Russia, Russia, Russia(although the Radical Left doesn’t use the name Russia anymore since the issuance of the Mueller Report).”
  137. Trump added, “House Committee now plays the seldom used “Contempt” card on our great A.G. & Sec. of Commerce,” adding, “much tougher game than the Republicans did,” and, “Republicans will remember!”
  138. Trump also quoted Alan Dershowitz, tweeting: “Congress cannot Impeach President Trump (did nothing wrong),” adding, “Unless there is compelling evidence, Impeachment is not Constitutionally Permissible.”
  139. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi said, “once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong,” adding, “It’s a very sad thing, a very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong.”
  140. Pelosi called Trump’s comments “against any sense of decency,” adding, “everybody in the country should be totally appalled,” and repeated her belief he has participated in “a criminal cover up.”
  141. Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign…to inform the FBI and reject the offer.”
  142. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump, saying “When he was approached by this, he did what was right,” adding Trump “would not want any foreign government interfering in this election.”
  143. McCarthy sought to distract, saying “Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual,” and and the “the Democratic Party spend money to a foreign individual to try to drum” up “lies.”
  144. Earlier that morning, Trump tweeted of Chair Schiff, “Did he call the FBI, or even think to call the FBI? NO!” Chair Schiff responded to the false claims tweeting: “We called the FBI even before we took the call.”
  145. On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission Chair posted a notice reminding, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
  146. On Thursday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn blocked an effort by ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner to pass a bill requiring campaigns to alert the FBI to foreign assistance.
  147. On Thursday, Leader McConnell dismissed the outrage over Trump’s comments, telling Fox News, “They just can’t let it go,” adding, “the fundamental point is they are trying to keep the 2016 election alive.”
  148. On Wednesday, Michael Flynn retained Sidney Powell as his new attorney. Powell has been a fierce critic of the DOJ and the FBI’s investigation into the potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
  149. The move could signal a shift in strategy. Powell has claimed Flynn was spied on as part of an FBI “set-up,” and that his case should be “dismissed.” She has an online business based on attacking Mueller and his team.
  150. On Thursday, ahead of sentencing Trump tweeted, “General Michael Flynn, the 33 year war hero who has served with distinction” has retained a “GREAT LAWYER, Sidney Powell,” adding, “Best Wishes and Good Luck.”
  151. On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan set a June 24 hearing to discuss pushing off Flynn’s sentencing another 60 days, put forward by both sides, so he can continue to cooperate in ongoing matters.
  152. On Wednesday, federal watchdog group Office of Special Counsel recommended removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of work.
  153. The report sent to Trump noted Conway violated the Hatch Act repeatedly by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
  154. Special Counsel Henry Kerner told WAPO his recommendation for a political appointee of Conway’s level was “unprecedented,” adding “You know what else is unprecedented? Kellyanne Conway’s behavior.”
  155. The decision will be up to Trump. In a letter to Kerner, White House counsel Pat Cipollone requested the OSC withdraw and retract its report. The White House said the report violated Conway’s “constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
  156. On Thursday, Chair Cummings said Trump should “immediately” fire Conway, adding the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings and Conway will be invited “to answer for her violations” on June 26.
  157. Cummings noted his committee has additional concerns related to Conway’s use of private jets and role in the regime’s drug control strategy, adding the White House has not provided requested documents on either.
  158. On Thursday, Trump announced via Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would be leavingthe White House by the end of the month, adding, “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas.”
  159. Sanders was one of the last original Trump aides. It was unclear what she would do next. Sanders said at her exit press conference, “It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute.”
  160. CBS News reported many White House staffers found out about Sanders’ departure at a 3 p.m. meeting, on a day full of substantial breaking news events and crises. It was unclear who her replacement would be.
  161. A turnover survey by the Brooking Institute found with her departure Trump “has the record for White House staff turnover, for cabinet turnover and now for the highest turnover within a single department.”
  162. On Thursday, Pompeo, without evidence, said Iran was behind the attack of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran “categorically” rejected the “unfounded claim,” calling it “inflammatory.”
  163. The U.S. is now operating without allies after Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In Week 134 the regime offered to speak to the leader of Iran without preconditions, and that offer was rejected.
  164. On Friday, facing broad criticism of his remarks to ABC News, Trump said in a rambling 50 minute long interview with “Fox & Friends” on his 73rd birthday that he would “absolutely” report foreign campaign help.
  165. Trump said, “Of course, you give it to the F.B.I. or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that,” adding, “But of course you do that. You couldn’t have that happen with our country.”
  166. Later in the interview said of taking incriminating information, “Well, if I don’t listen, you’re not going to know,” adding, “Here’s the bottom line,” and, “They spied on my campaign and they got caught.”
  167. Trump pushed back on Pelosi claiming a criminal cover-up, citing a supporter, calling it a “fascist statement,” adding when Pelosi “makes a statement like that, she ought to be ashamed of herself. It’s a disgrace.”
  168. Trump also said he would not fire Conway, adding, “I think she’s a terrific person,” and “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.”
  169. On Friday, in additional parts of his ABC News interview released, Trump again criticized the Federal Reserve, saying the stock market would be “10,000 points higher” if the Fed did not raise rates.
  170. Trump also criticized his appointee Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying, “if we had somebody different” in charge of the Fed, the economy would be doing better, adding, “I’m not happy with what he’s done.”
  171. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said corporations are paying far less in taxes than projected in the GOP tax law: the Treasury saw 31% decline in corporate revenue last year, twice what the decline expected.
  172. On Friday, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart, Costco and Target wrote a letter to the White House, warning Trump of the impact of his tariffs and trade war with China.
  173. The group, including retailers, manufacturers, and tech companies said “Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies,” not China, and warned of the impact on the economy and consumers, and of job losses.
  174. Also in the ABC News interview, Trump also disputed McGahn’s testimony in the Mueller report, saying he “may have been confused” in that Trump tried multiple times to direct him to have Mueller fired.
  175. Trump said, “The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” defiantly adding, “I don’t care what [McGahn] says, it doesn’t matter.”
  176. When Trump was asked why he refused to testify under oath, he responded, “Because they were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements…what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair.”
  177. On Friday, Trump tweeted thanks to Sen. Masha Blackburn for blocking a bill requiring campaigns to notify the FBI, saying Democrats “continue to look for a do-over on the Mueller Report” and “will stop at nothing.”
  178. Trump also tweeted thanking Leader McConnell for “understanding the Democrats game of not playing it straight on the ridiculous Witch Hunt Hoax in the Senate.”
  179. As of Friday, 64 members of the House supported impeachment. Notably, the majority of the House Judiciary Committee members backed impeachment.
  180. On Friday, the DOJ released its legal rationale for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s refusal to release Trump’s tax returns, saying the demand was “unprecedented” and could “have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.”
  181. The DOJ memo argued the House Ways and Means Committee request was partisan politics, and an attempt to violate boundaries between the executive and legislative branches for short-term political gain.
  182. On Friday, NPR reported Julian Assange will appear before a British court in February for a hearing on whether he should be extradited to the U.S. Assange is being held at a maximum-security prison outside London.
  183. On Friday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by former campaign staffer Alva Johnson accusing Trump of forcibly kissing her and pay discrimination against women and Black employees, saying it was too laden with political claims.
  184. On Saturday, in a morning tweetstorm of tweeting and retweeting, Trump touted poll numbers by One America News Network showing his approval at 51%. OANN has been likened to pro-Trump propaganda.
  185. Trump also tweeted he was doing “great in the Polls” despite the “Greatest Presidential Harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest and want to destroy our Country.”
  186. Trump also warned of a stock market crash if he is not elected, tweeting, “if anyone but me takes over in 2020…there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”
  187. Trump also tweeted, “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go.” Economists are concerned about a recession. The stock market is up 27% since Trump took office, far less than under Obama.
  188. On Saturday, WAPO reported that Trump still owes D.C. more than $7 million in expenses from his inauguration, as he prepares for an unprecedented July Fourth gala.
  189. As a result, the city has been forced to dip into a special fund that covers annual costs for such things as protection from terrorist threats and demonstrations, and will be left in the red after July Fourth celebrations.

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Outgoing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks alongside Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 13, 2019. Trump on Thursday made the surprise announcement of the departure of spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who has been widely criticized for her performance in the White House.