Dissidents who have lived through autocracies, like Russian author Masha Gessen, caution us that autocratic regimes are difficult to resist in the long term, and quickly become normal. They advise that we keep a list of things that are “not normal” and document changing norms. Several activists are compiling lists and we are aggregating them here so they’re all in one place.
Activist Valerie Aurora has created a Signs of Fascism spreadsheet to score things as they occur. Follow her for more on her work and for updates to the spreadsheet.
Amy Siskind is keeping a fantastic, and very thorough weekly list over on Medium.
MARCH 27, 2017
Ivanka Trump, daughter to 45, will be given unprecedented access to the white house, including classified information, without actually having a job there.
"The Trump team decided to forgo ethics training for senior White House staff, Cabinet nominees and other political appointees," which has lead to myriad ethics violations.
45 was briefed by the special investigator who has been tasked with investigating the administration’s ties to Russia, calling into question the legitimacy of that investigation.
- Internet privacy protections took a blow last week when Congress voted to strike down protections put in place by the Obama administration.
MARCH 20, 2017
Increasing spending on defense and adding a $2 billion border wall all while slashing arts funding and the EPA are just a few of the biggest nopes about Trump’s proposed budget.
A bill is before Congress that could require people to disclose genetic information to potential employers in order to assess their health risks.
After a group of fourth graders won a robotics competition in Indianapolis, Indiana, they were met in the parking lot by chants of “Go back to Mexico” from some of the opposing teams and their parents.
Trump has been very vocal about getting rid of the alternative minimum tax and after his tax return from 2005 was leaked, and we see why -- he paid $38 million because of it.
- The U.S. State Department sent two groups to a UN Conference on women’s rights that were labeled “hate groups” because of their opposition to expanding rights and funding for women and the LGBTQ community, with one group using violent rhetoric to do so.
MARCH 13, 2017
- Trump is set to remove the majority of Obama era climate change policies that regulated things like methane emissions and required businesses to consider the “social cost of carbon.
- Despite the White House confirming the numbers from the released 2005 tax returns, Trump cries “fake news”.
- Press Secretary Sean Spicer walks back Trump’s wiretapping claims by saying he didn’t mean wiretapping when he said “wiretapping”. He also said that Trump didn’t mean Obama when he said “Obama”.
- American citizens are being stopped by border patrol and having their cellphones checked.
March 7, 2017
Republicans are hiding the ACA repeal bill from Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, as well as the press.
- President Trump’s announcement of DHS initiative Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), mentioned in last week’s Nope, produced audible gasps during his address to Congress; Teen Vogue shares five things you need to know about it.
February 26, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Despite Trump saying he would not enter any new overseas deals once he took office, Donald Jr. and Eric announced the opening of a Trump-branded golf course in Dubai. US taxpayers continue to pay the cost for the security detail that covers Trump’s sons on such trips.
At Trump’s campaign rally in Florida, he referenced a Swedish terrorist attack that never happened as a rationale for his anti-immigrant policies.
When questioned about his source, Trump tweeted he learned about the Sweden attack that never happened by watching Fox News.
DHS’ Kelly ordered the creation of a new office in ICE named VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement), and ordered all resources set aside to advocate for “illegal aliens” moved over to VOICE.
The NYT reported on a back-channel plan, originally handed in a seal envelope by Cohen to Flynn, for a Ukraine and Russia ‘peace plan’ (with new leadership in Ukraine), in exchange for US lifting sanctions. Other Ukraine connections mentioned Artemenko, Manafort and Sater.
The Ukraine lawmaker, Artemenko, who allegedly worked with two Trump associates on the back-channel plan, faces a treason inquiry.
TPM reported on the significance of Sater’s involvement, and his ties to Russia and Trump, dating back to the Trump SOHO Hotel.
Daily News reported that as Trump’s Muslim Ban faced court challenges in NY after the rollout, Stephen Miller called the Brooklyn US Attorney at home and told him how to defend it.
The WSJ reported that the Trump regime is using unrealistically rosy growth forecasts to hide that his plan would lead to a soaring deficit.
The WSJ also reported that the Trump regime is considering changing the way the US trade deficit is calculated — again to hide reality.
The NYT reported on struggles within the WSJ between journalists and owner Murdoch over the direction of the paper, and coverage of Trump.
The Kremlin is preparing a psychological dossier on Trump for Putin. Preliminary findings are that Trump is “risk taker” who can be “naive.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee is looking at possible collusion between Russia and Trump staff, including Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair.
The Senate Intelligence Committee sent letters to a dozen intelligence agencies, organizations and individuals demanding they preserve communications related to Trump’s possible ties to Russia.
In the past two months, there have been 69 threats at 54 JCC’s in 27 states. Also, this week 170 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri were vandalized.
Bowing to pressure, and perhaps a tweet by Hillary, Trump finally blandly responded to the alarming rise of anti-Semitism, calling it “horrible,” but offering no actions or solutions.
The Ann Frank Center issued a harsh statement, including, “The President’s sudden acknowledgment is a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration.” Spicer scolded the Ann Frank Center for their statement.
The NSC spokesperson resigned over Trump’s disturbing and repeated attempts to undermine US intelligence.
Republicans home for break and attending town halls all over the country were greeted by overflowing rooms of angry constituents, questioning them on repealing ACA and holding Trump accountable. Chants of “do your job!” were heard at many meetings.
By the end of the week, numerous elected Republicans disappeared or refused to meet with constituents. Rep Gohmert blamed his refusal on the Gabby Giffords shooting, to which she replied, “Have some courage. Face your constituents.”
After Trump’s announced Muslim Ban, interest in trips to the US has declined, likely to cost jobs in the tourism sector.
A NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found that 2/3 of Americans fear the US will become involved in another war.
The Trump regime issued new immigrations enforcement policies, which included, among other things, hiring 10,000 additional ICE officers, and expanding the definition of crimes to include charged but not convicted.
The NYT Editorial Board called Trump’s ‘deportation force’ an assault on American values.
Horrific and heartless stories of deportations continued, including a 26 year-old woman with a brain tumor who was taken from a hospital.
WAPO reported Deputy NSA K.T. McFarland was once accused of violating voter registration laws by being registered to vote at two different addresses. In NY, this is a felony offense.
More than one million people signed a White House petition — a WH petition record — requesting that Trump release his tax returns.
PM Trudeau said Canada will continue to accept asylum seekers from the US.
The Air Force said it cannot account for the $1 billion in savings alleged by Trump on two new Boeing airplanes.
Mexico rejected Trump’s immigration plan to deport migrants illegally crossing the US border, including non-Mexicans, to Mexico
Trump touted his immigration raids, referring to them as a ‘military operation.’ While visiting Mexico to assure our seemingly former ally, Kelly attempted to clarify that it wasn’t really a military operation.
WAPO reported that Tillerson has largely been offstage, and not given power, decision-making or been included in meetings by Trump.
The State Department continues to be dysfunctional, including no daily briefings.
The State Department issues a warning to its employees on leaking — which was promptly leaked.
Trump rescinded rules that had provided protection for transgender individuals to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.
The US Interagency Council on Homelessness’s page on LGBT youth homelessness was taken down.
HuffPost reported additional detail on Trump’s activities during the failed Yemen raid. As the raid went awry, putting Navy SEALS and civilians at risk, Trump was at dinner with Bannon and Kushner, and later tweeting and deleting and tweeting about an upcoming show on CBN.
In another case of nepotism, Eric Trump’s brother-in-law has been appointed to a key position at the Department of Energy.
POLITICO reported that while serving as Trump’s campaign manager, Manafort faced a blackmail attempt by a Ukrainian parliamentarian to expose him and the Trump as Russian-friendly .
The NYT reported McMaster may reorganize the NSC, and that Trump didn’t understand the significance of the EO which elevated Bannon, and took the intelligence director and Joints Chief chairman off the council.
At CPAC, Bannon was openly hostile to the media whom he referred to as “corporatist, globalist media,” and “the opposition party.”
Bannon also vowed a daily fight for “deconstruction of the administrative state.” This comes as only 34 out of 700 open positions in the executive branch which require Senate confirmation have nominees.
The WH assigned DHS to work with intelligence to write a report to back his Muslim Ban, and the danger caused by the 7 countries. Sources said intelligence is concerned, including about the veracity of the claim.
The DHS report was later leaked out — it found there is not a threat from the 7 countries targeted by Trump’s Muslim Ban.
WAPO’s The Fix calculated that Trump has lied an average of 4 times per day since taking office. He has not yet had a day in office without a lie.
A shocking op-ed, “I Was a Muslim in the Trump White House,” described a woman working for the NSC who lasted for 8 days under Trump — and described how diversity was viewed as a weakness.
The remnants of a Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp was set ablaze by opponents, as the government deadline came for getting off the land.
CNN reported that Priebus tried to get the FBI publicly refute recent reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia. The FBI refused. Such communication is problematic because of decade-old restrictions.
The WH confirmed conversations between Priebus and the director and deputy director of the FBI, but denied there was anything wrong with these conversations occurring.
Trump continued his gaslighting strategy of deflecting to the leaks, while not acknowledging the growing evidence of his ties to Russia.
The Russian ambassador to the UN died suddenly in NYC. Churkin was the fifth Russian ambassador to die in the past three months.
A group of law professors filed a misconduct complaint against Conway. The letter said Conway should be “sanctioned for violating government ethics rules” and “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”
Border patrol agents stopped travelers on a domestic flight from San Francisco to New York, and asked passengers deporting the plane to show identification.
In protest, ABC and TIME chose not to attend the briefing, and the WSJ issued a statement objecting and saying they will not participate in closed briefings in the future.
At CPAC, a section of the audience waved Russian flags until staff came and took the flags away.
At CPAC, Trump delivered yet another dystopian speech, but failed to acknowledge actual hate crime happening in our country, including a Kansas bar shooting, where a white man yelled “get out of my country,” at two Indian American men, before shooting into a crowd and killing one.
The father of the slain man appealed to parents in India not to send their children to the US, saying, “There is a kind of hysteria spreading that is not good because so many of our beloved children live there.”
WAPO reported that in addition to the Trump regime’s efforts with the FBI to discredit news on their ties to Russia, they also sought the help of senior intel officials, and GOP leaders Sen Burr and Rep Nunes, who head the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.
A NBC/WSJ poll found that 53% of Americans want Congress to look into Trump’s ties to Russia, only 25% do not.
Breaking with Trump, McMaster advised his staff that use of the label “radical Islamic terrorism” is not helpful. Nonetheless, Trump continued to use the term in his CPAC speech.
Some Things We’ve Already Normalized:
Our economy and economic policy is being run predominantly by former employees of Goldman Sachs.
US taxpayers are footing the bill for 3 Trump residences: the WH, NYC and Mar-a-Lago.
Meanwhile, Melania does not appear to be conducting much if any of the typical FLOTUS duties.
Power is continuing to consolidate into the hands of few.
February 19, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Trump was tested in his first national security incident, as N. Korea launched intermediate-range ballistic missiles. Trump, at Mar-a-Lago hosting PM Abe, conferred with a small circle of aides AND Abe, using a flashlight app that could have been compromised. Trump then proceeded to stop by a wedding for a photo-op at his club.
The public exchange was captured by a member of the Mar-a-Lago club, who posted it publicly on his Facebook page.
After staying mum about Flynn over the weekend, Trump spokespeople went from saying Flynn “enjoys the full confidence,” to Trump is “evaluating the situation” on Monday. That evening, Flynn “resigned.”
Flynn became the third Trump advisor to resign over inappropriate ties to Russia (others are Manafort and Page).
After firing Flynn, Trump pivoted to blaming the media and intelligence for leaks. He referred to intelligence in quotes, again. Trump also denied any wrongdoing by Flynn.
The NYT reported that several Trump campaign aides had repeated contact with Russia in the year before the election. CNN reported in fact, Trump aides were in constant contact with Russian officials.
Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, chose to investigate leaks, but not Trump and his regime’s connections to Russia.
AG Sessions refused to recuse himself from investigations into Trump and his regime’s ties to Russia, despite his ties to Trump during the campaign.
As Trump’s battle with intelligence agencies intensified, he brought in loyalist, billionaire hedge fund manager Feinberg to lead a broad review of the intelligence agencies.
The FBI released 400 pages of records from their race discrimination probe of Trump’s real estate company in the 1970s.
The WSJ reported that the Pentagon has no records of approving Flynn’s Russian-TV payment.
WAPO reported that Trump staffers are so scared of being accused of leaking to the media, that they are now using an unsecured secret chat app called Confide to communicate.
After her Senate confirmation, DeVos removed a website for disabled students. After outrage by Democratic senators and the public, it was restored.
A Gallup poll found that Americans see US world standing as the worst in decades. Only 29% think world leaders respect Trump.
The Windsor, Ontario school board cancelled all student trips to the US, citing ‘safety and equity’ concerns.
Trump picked a longtime friend for the post of Ambassador of Austria because Park is a big fan of the ‘Sound of Music.’
WH senior policy advisor Miller was awarded “bushels of Pinocchios” for a series of lies told on Sunday talk shows. Pundits compared his tone, demeanor and content to that of propaganda minister.
In one of his first actions as AG, Sessions signaled he would not pursuestates that refused to enforce Obama’s transgender policy.
The list of stores dropping Trump lines continued to grow.
In joint press conferences with heads of state from Japan, Canada and Israel, Trump took two questions each time from only friendly news sources, and refused to take any from the major media present.
Bloomberg reported that while Trump was making calls about the cost of Lockheed’s F-35, the CEO of rival Boeing was in the room.
SoS Tillerson irked his Russian counterpart in their first meeting, when he made journalists leave the room before his opening remarks. “Why did you shush them out?” Lavrov said.
A federal judge in Virginia granted an injunction against Trump’s Muslim Ban. By the end of the week, Trump said he would not appeal.
Trump’s efforts to deport immigrants broadened to include a Dreamer, and detaining a woman who was seeking a protective order against an abusive boyfriend. ICE refused to respond to inquiries by Democrats, as deportations escalated.
The Pentagon may propose sending troops to Syria in response to Trump’s order to come up with proposals to fight ISIS.
After meeting with Trump, Canadian PM Trudeau urged deeper EU-Canadian ties due to Trump’s isolationist policies.
The director of the Office of Government Ethics said there was a “strong reason” to think Conway violated rules, and that disciplinary action is warranted for her on-air comments to buy Ivanka’s brand.
In a room of all white men, Trump signed the repeal of transparency rules for oil companies to disclose foreign payments.
The 23 Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee voted not to require Trump to release his tax returns.
Russia dealt Trump several provocations including: placing a ship outfitted with spying equipment 30 miles off Connecticut’s coast; deploying a cruise missile, in violation of an arms control treaty; and buzzing a US warship in the Black Sea.
Meanwhile, Russian backed forces continued to escalate violence in Ukraine.
Russian-TV’s coverage of Trump started to become less flattering.
The WSJ reported that Trump appointee for Commerce, Ross, wants to keep his stake in 11 entities that he would affect as commerce secretary.
The week after Trump announced he would support China’s “One China” policy, China awarded Trump valuable rights to his name in the form of a 10-year trademark for construction services.
When asked about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in the US during his press conference with Netanyahu, Trump shifted to bragging about his electoral college victory.
The WSJ reported that US intelligence agencies are withholding information from Trump, citing concerns that information would be leaked or compromised. The DNI and CIA denied this is happening.
Sos Tillerson was conspicuously absent from Trump’s meetings with heads of state. Tillerson also did not invite the customary press corp to accompany him on a truncated trip to a Group of 20 meeting.
POLITICO reported on the frustration of Tillerson, Mathis, Kelly and Pompeo for being left out decision making. Kushner is described as a “shadow Secretary of State,” running his own foreign policy.
The already gutted State Department conducted additional layoffs, a sign that key foreign policies will be made at the WH.
Mother Jones reported on a classified memo for intelligence on how to prepare Trump’s Daily Brief: “less material, less nuance, less dissent.”
Rachel Maddow reported in the Kushner’s family to desire to buy the Marlins, as the owner who is selling the team is considered by Trump for the plum job of Ambassador to France.
Six of Trump’s staffers were escorted out of the WH after failing their FBI background checks.
Newsweek’s Eichenwald reported that US allies in Europe are conducting their own intelligence operations to assess Trump ties to Russia.
Ten members of Trump’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders resigned citing, “portrayal of immigrants, refugees, people of color and people of various faiths as untrustworthy, threatening, and a drain on our nation.”
Trump hosted an unhinged, lie-ridden, impromptu 80 minute press conference. A GOP Senator texted CNN’s King, ‘He should do this with a therapist, not on live television.’
Also at the press conference, Trump insulted reporter April Ryan when she asked if he planned to arrange a meeting with the CBC. Trump replied, “Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?”
Also when asked by a Jewish reporter about anti-semitism, Trump called him a liar, told him to sit down, and said anti-Semitism was coming from “the other side.”
WAPO reported that Flynn lied in a January 24 FBI interview, denying sanction discussions with Kislyak. Lying to the FBI is a felony offense.
Petraeus also bowed out of consideration for NSA, citing the inability to pick his own staff.
Kushner met with Time Warner executives to complain about CNN’s coverage of Trump. Time Warner has a pending merger with AT&T, which requires governmental approval.
Trump held his first 2020 campaign event today in Florida. A Craigslist ad, which offered money for enthusiastic attendees, was taken down.
Germany’s Minister of Defense warned the US against hurting European cohesion, abandoning core Western values and cozying up to Russia.
After a closed door meeting between Comey and the Senate Intelligence Committee before leaving for recess, Rubio tweeted, “I am now very confident Senate Intel Comm I serve on will conduct thorough bipartisan investigation of #Putin interference and influence.”
The cost of protecting Trump and his family is staggering. Obama averaged $12mm a year, while Trump’s 3 weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago alone cost $10mm, and the guards at NYC Trump Tower $183mm/year.
Rep Barbara Lee introduced legislation signed by 70+ House Democrats urging the removal of Bannon from the NSC.
PBS, Americorps, Legal Service Corp and the National Endowments for the Arts are all set to be eliminated in Trump’s preliminary budget.
Some Things We’ve Already Normalized
Trump continues to financially benefit from his businesses, AND to gain additional revenues from his position of power (#35, China)
Very few open positions in the executive branch are getting filled.
Trump has still not come to agreement on the lease of his DC hotel on federal land.
Without an official government role, Ivanka Trump continues to attend meetings with heads of state and leaders of corporate America.
February 12, 2017.
Trump threatened the judiciary with political consequences if they choose to come down against his travel ban.
Melania Trump is attempting to use her position as first lady to benefit financially with a launch of her own product line.
- Kellyanne Conway violated federal ethics rules by telling Americans to purchase Ivanka Trump products.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
In a Fox News interview, when O’Reilly referred to Putin as a “killer,” Trump responded, “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”
The NYT ran a disturbing story describing Trump first two weeks. Like the WAPO story cited in Week 10, Trump is reportedly still isolated — going upstairs alone at 6:30 pm, and maintaining a small inner-circle.
The NYT also reported that Trump wasn’t fully briefed on the EO he signed giving Bannon a National Security Council seat. Trump tweeted that he calls his own shots, and referred to the story as fake news.
The WSJ reported that arrests of Russian intelligence officers are likely linked to Russia’s US hacking.
Pelosi called on the FBI to probe Trump’s personal and financial ties to Russia, to explore whether Russia may be blackmailing him.
By the end of the week, 6 NE Patriots said they would not attend the Super Bowl celebration ceremony at the White House.
McClatchy reported on efforts to silence public opinion: the WH comment line is shut down, signatures aren’t being counted on petitions, and Federal agencies are no longer allowed to respond to requests.
On SNL, Melissa McCarthy delivered a devastating portrayal of Spicer. Days later, Trump is reportedly rattled, and rumored to be seeking a replacement.
Spurred into a consideration by a petition signed by 1.5 million citizens, UK officials announced that Trump would not be allowed to address the UK Parliament during his upcoming visit.
As of this week, key roles in the Executive Branch are empty. Of the 658 positions that are open and require Senate confirmation, Trump has appointed only 35 (8 are confirmed, and 27 await confirmation).
Trump continued to assert that the “very dishonest press” doesn’t report terrorist attacks. At first, the source of his claim appeared to be InfoWars. The WH later released a list of attacks, with several misspellings (all attacks on the list had in fact been covered).
The White House is still not open to the public. Tours typically resume shortly after the new president takes office.
As part of her lawsuit against Mail Online, Melania mentioned the “once-in-a-lifetime” merchandising possibilities she envisioned as FLOTUS.
Republicans in a House committee voted to eliminate the agency charged with protecting voting machines from being hacked.
Without explanation or warning, the USDA purged a page on animal welfare from it’s website.
Trump attacked the federal judge's ruling on his Muslim Ban, and questioned the independence of the judicial branch, saying, “The courts seem to be so political,” and threatening that any terrorist attacks would be the fault of these judges if they don’t rule his way.
Trump also referred to federal justice Robert, a W. Bush appointee who ruled against Trump’s Muslim Ban, as a “so-called judge.”
Trump nominee for the SCOTUS called Trump’s remarks, “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” Trump refuted, saying Gorsuch’s comments were misrepresented. In response, a spokesperson for Gorsuch said it was true.
During a debate on the confirmation of Sessions, Warren was formerly silenced by McConnell and Republicans for reading a letter by Coretta Scott King, in a refrain that will go into the history books: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” The rule cited by McConnell, Rule XIX, was not used on GOP men like Cruz.
A HuffPost story seemed to call Trump’s mental health into question, citing via leaks that Trump called Flynn at 3 a.m. to ask him about a weak dollar and the economy. A member of W Bush NSC added, “I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.”
In response to Trump’s failed raid in Yemen, according to the NYT, Yemenis withdrew permission for US antiterror ground mission. More stories came out questioning Trump’s decision-making process and truthfulness on the Yemen raid.
WSJ reported that Trump’s appointee to acting SEC Chair is seeking to get rid of the requirement under Dodd Frank that companies disclose the pay gap between CEO’s and their employees.
Trump tweeted, from both his personal account and the POTUS account, that Nordstrom has treated his daughter unfairly. He included a veiled threat, “She’s a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing.” Nordstrom cited lagging sales, and their stock rose 4.1% that day.
Trump’s attack against Nordstrom was widely condemned by ethics experts as a clear violation of federal ethics rules.
Chaffetz, head of the House Oversight Committee, called Conway’s statement, “wrong, wrong, wrong.” Next day, Conway made a snide remark about Chaffetz’s stormy town hall.
France’s spy agency, the DGSE, said Russia is actively working to get Le Pen elected. Le Pen announced that if she wins, Jews would have to leave France if they did not give up their Israeli citizenship.
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would require congressional approval for Trump to lift sanctions on Russia.
A Hitler’s Valentine’s Day card was handed out by a the College Republicans at Central Michigan University. Nationwide, anti-semitism incidents continue to escalate since Election Day.
Reuters reported that Trump did not get briefed prior to his phone call with Putin, and had to ask aides about the New START treaty.
Breaking 7 decades of presidential precedents, Trump said he will not rely on White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Democrats in the House moved to force a debate on Trump’s Russia business conflicts and ties.
Rachel Maddow reported in order to shield himself from having to pay for the clean-up of a failed SC business formerly owned by his son, Trump claimed to have no relationship to former owner.
Townhalls hosted by Republicans in Utah, Tennessee and others states had huge crowds show up and vociferously show their displeasure.
A national poll conducted by PPP found that 51% of Trump supporters think the “Bowling Green massacre” — a lie put forward by Conway in Week 12 — is justification for Trump’s Muslim Ban.
Courts again turned back Trump, this time in his efforts to scale back an Obama-era consumer protection designed to avoid conflicts of interests when brokers give retirement advice.
FLOTUS Trump again broke with tradition, not hosting the FL of Japan during her tour of Washington DC.
WAPO broke that despite his earlier denials, Flynn did indeed have conversations with Russia’s ambassador about sanctions while Obama was still in office. Flynn changed his version to having “no recollection.”
Aids for Pence, who had vouched for Flynn on Sunday tv, said Flynn had lied to Pence, and Flynn was his only source. When asked about this story, Trump feigned ignorance, despite WAPO having it on page 1.
In a meeting with Senators, Trump again asserted voter fraud, citing alleged busses of Massachusetts people who voted in New Hampshire.
Trump has still not come to an agreement with Federal officials over his Trump DC hotel’s violation of lease.
After a conversation with the leader of Taiwan in Week 3, an action not taken by an American president in decades, Trump asserted his bumble was to show strength to China. Unceremoniously this week, Trump changed course, and said he would honor the ‘One China’ policy.
Without notice, days after Sessions is confirmed, federal agents started conducting mass immigration raids in at least six states. Citizens reported seeing check-points in several major cities.
Gallup found that only 29% of Americans think Trump is respected in the world. 67% believe he is not.
Trump continued to actively lie this week. Protests and marches continued nationwide.
Some Things We’ve Already Normalized:
The first family is not living in the White House.
Trump is not receiving daily intelligence briefings.
Trump remains an Executive Producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Media coverage of Trump includes images of his tweets.
Our Secretary of State is a former CEO of Exxon, who has close ties to Putin, and no government or diplomatic experience.
February 5, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Innumerable horrid stories about the impact of the Muslim ban surfaced during the week. Spicer minimized its impact. Presidents of 598 colleges and universities wrote a letter of concern about the Ban.
Trump promoted Bannon, under a reorganization of the National Security Council, to a regular seat on the principals committee. Criticism and outrage of this move was widespread. Democrats proposed a bill to remove Bannon from the NSC.
A Federal Judge in NY issued a temporary order, blocking Trump’s EO from deportation of arrivals. Next morning, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement that they would not abide by the court order, and would continue to enforce Trump’s EO. Four other Federal Judges issued similar temporary orders.
An op-ed, “Trial Ballon for a Coup?”, which included a diagram showing an almost completely gutted State Department, trended for an entire day.
In just 12 hours, more than 875k people in the UK signed a petition, demanding Trump’s state visit to Britain be canceled.
Germany’s Merkel, per her spokesperson, had to explain the Geneva Convention, and the requirement for the international community to take in war refugees on humanitarian grounds, to Trump.
Books topping the Amazon list included, “1984,” “It Can’t Happen Here,” and “Brave New World.”
Trump continued to say his Executive Order should not be termed a “Muslim Ban.” Trump insider Rudy Giuliana told Fox News, Trump had called him seeking advice for a ‘Muslim Ban’ and how to do it legally.
According the Sen Rubio, the State Department was instructed not to speak to Congress about Trump’s Muslim Ban.
On a day when the NYT described Bannon’s elevation and Michael Flynn stumbling, Flynn’s Twitter account was taken down.
AP reported the voter fraud expert chosen by Trump to conduct his voter fraud investigation, is registered to vote in three states.
POLITICO reported that several House Judiciary Committee aides secretly worked on Trump’s Muslim Ban. Their bosses were not aware of the EO or their staffs’ involvement.
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates directed the Justice Department not to defend Trump’s Muslim Ban, citing the ban not being legal.
WSJ reported that Trump’s tax plan, counter to changes proposed by Congressional Republicans, would preserve millions in tax benefits for Trump companies.
Days after Trump’s phone conversation with Putin, Russia escalated hostilities in the Ukraine. Among the chaos of the Muslim Ban, etc., few in the US noticed.
Six were killed in a mosque shooting in Quebec. The perpetrator was a white man, who “liked” Trump’s Facebook page. The next day, the Eiffel Tower went dark overnight in support. Trump, however, said nothing publicly about the attack.
The WH publicly stated that any State Department employees who disagree with Trump’s Muslim Ban should resign.
As Trump prepares to name his Supreme Court pick, for the first time in decades, no one is bothering to advocate for diversity anymore.
In relatiation for their coverage, Trump said he would no longer send his spokespeople to appear on CNN. On reporter noted, “They’re trying to cull CNN from the herd.”
Trump announced his Supreme Court nominee in reality-tv show type format, claiming he had invited both finalist to the prime-time announcement.
Trump’s sons, who are running his business supposedly walled-off, sat in the front row for the Supreme Court announcement, and mingled with politicians, including the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
WAPO reported that Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay in January for the Trump Organization, cost tax-payers nearly $100,000 in hotel rooms for Secret Service and embassy staff.
For a second day in a row, Trump personally attacked Schumer on Twitter: “Fake Tears Chuck Schumer.”
Trump canceled a trip to Milwaukee, where he was scheduled to deliver an economic address, due to the threat of protests.
The House Oversight Committee stopped accepting calls relating to investigating Trump.
Trump’s first overseas raid ended in failure. Among the dead were a Navy SEAL and 15 women women and children, including an 8 year-old American. Trump has relaxed Obama’s stance on protecting civilians.
The Yemen raid garnered little media attention for days, until Reuters reported via US military officials that Trump “approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.”
Spicer admitted that Trump was not in the Situation Room during the Yemen raid. He issued the green light while at dinner, and during the raid itself, Trump was busy sending unrelated, incendiary tweets.
In the third wave of mass disruption in January, 17 Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s) received bomb threats.
FLOTUS Melania Trump said she and Barron may never move to the WH.
Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief announced that their reporters would cover the Trump adminisration as an authoritarian regime.
On the day Tillerson was confirmed, the House killed a transparency rules which required oil companies to report payments to foreign governments. As Exxon CEO, Tillerson had lobbied against this provision.
Later that night at 10:55 pm, Trump tweeted Obama had agreed “to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia.” This is a lie: Obama accepted 1,250 refugees. Next day, McCain called Turnbull to express US support. Hoyer also issued a statement of support.
Trump opened his remarks at the National Prayer Service by attacking Arnold Schwarzenegger for “The Apprentice” getting low ratings. Trump continues to hold the role of Executive Producer of the show.
Later at the National Prayer Service, Trump promised to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which forbids churches from political activity in order to maintain their tax-exempt status.
Virginia filed a contempt motion against Trump over his Muslim Ban, asking the US District Court to make sure that the federal government complied with the temporary restraining order.
At the hearing, the Justice Department said over 100,000 visas have been revoked as part of Trump’s Muslim Ban. The State Department later said the number was closer to 60,000.
NBC reported, via a FOIA request, that emails reveal Ethics officials warned Trump against an ‘unprecendented’ efforts to staff his cabinet without ethics vetting. Trump aides rebuffed OCE efforts.
As per the Week 11 List, Trump issued a Holocaust statement without mentioning Jews. This week, POLITICO reported the State Department’s draft statement did reference Jewish victims, but Trump team took it out.
A poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP) revealed that 40% of registered voters support impeaching Trump. Polls asking during Nixon years, didn’t reach this level until 16 weeks into the Watergate scandal.
A former PM of Norway was detained for hours at Dulles Airport because his passport showed a visit to Iran in 2014.
Conway continued telling outright lies, citing a fabricated Bowling Green Massacre as a rational for Trump’s Muslim Ban.
Trump said he would be “cutting a lot out of Dodd Frank” since his friends with “nice businesses” are having a hard time borrowing money, because of rules and regulations.
NPR reported that Trump faces 55 lawsuits in his first two weeks— as compared to 5 for Obama, 4 for W. Bush and 5 for Clinton.
The New Yorker and Vanity Fair canceled their involvement with White House Correspondents’ Dinner parties.
- As the week came to a close, a federal judge appointed by President Bush ruled that Trump’s Muslim Ban EO be halted, nationwide, immediately.
January 28, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
The revised tally for the Women’s March, came in between 3 and 4 million, making it the largest protest march in US history.
Hundreds of protesters coming to the Women’s March from Canada, were turned away at the US border.
Trump defensively responded with outright lies about his inauguration crowd. Spicer said, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.” When pressed on this lie on NBC, Conway said Spicer’s false claims were, “alternative facts.”
In true authoritarian form, Trump declared his inauguration day to be the National Day Patriotic Devotion.
On the Monday after he was sworn in, a group of Constitutional scholars, Supreme Court litigators and WH ethics lawyers filed a suit claiming Trump violated the Constitution by receiving foreign payments.
The WSJ reported that Flynn — in addition to Page, Manafort and Stone — is under investigation for links to Russia.
Days after his inauguration, Trump called the National Park Security, reportedly upset about a retweet of a side-by-side photo of his inauguration next to Obama.
The WH comment line switchboard no longer has a person answering the phone.
Breaking decades of precedent, Conway said Trump would never release his tax returns, saying the American public is not focused on this, (ABC poll last week showed 74% of Americans want his returns released).
Despite Trump’s proclamation of having a “great meeting” and “long standing ovations” at a meeting with the CIA, it turned out that Trump’s paid employees were the ones cheering, and his relations with the intelligence may be getting worse.
Without explanation, the CDC cancelled a Climate and Health Summit, scheduled to take place in Atlanta.
Massive leaks coming from the WH staff portrayed Trump as impulsive and childish, in stories published by the NYT and WAPO.
The State Department’s statement of apology for past LGBT discrimination was scrubbed from the official website.
Trump signed an executive order, reinstating AND expanding to an unprecedented degree, the Global Gag rule. He signed the order in the company of all white man (see photo below).
Days after being sworn in, Trump told lawmakers that 3–5 million illegal ballots cost him the popular vote. Next day, Spicer repeated the same lie.
Trump froze EPA grants.
Trump banned EPA employees from providing information to reporters or on social media, about new contracts or grants.
Later, Trump banned multiple federal agencies from communications with members of Congress and the media.
Trump threatened to send Federal Troops to Chicago, citing false claims about crime rates.
Republican legislators around the country proposed a series of bills, which would make criminalize peaceful protests.
There were public stories of multiple arrests, disappearances and deaths of Russian intelligence agency officers for leaks related to Trump’s dossier and interference with US election. There was also news of a possible public trial.
Trump’s AG nominee, Sessions, said he would not commit to recusing himself from Trump related investigations. This is counter to requirements of DOJ rules.
Advisors for Germany’s Merkel said they were still struggling to open communications channels with the Trump administration days after the inauguration, and that they have “given up” on him acting “presidential.”
On Wednesday, the WH released an email to the press, titled, “Praise for President Trump’s Bold Action.”
Trump ordered billions of funding cuts to UN agencies, and took action towards pulling us out of treaties, including Climate Change.
Mother Jones reported that some of Trump’s foreign business partners attended his inauguration, and were given VIP treatment.
Trump mandated that EPA scientific studies undergo a review by his political staff, before being released publicly.
At his CIA speech, Trump said of Iraq, “We should’ve kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.” He kept that mantra alive during the week, endangering our troops serving in Iraq.
In a bizarre interview with ABC, Trump continued his false claim about voter fraud, and also fixated on the crowd size of inauguration, showing David Muir a photo, and also saying, “We had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.”
The Economist downgraded the US on its democracy scale, to a “flawed democracy.”
The entire senior staff of the State Department left. It was unclear if they resigned or were fired, ahead of Trump’s incoming nominee, Tillerson, who has no diplomatic or government experience, taking office.
Trump signed an executive order to build The Wall. The Mexican President said Mexico would not be paying for The Wall, and canceled a previously scheduled trip to meet with Trump in DC.
The WSJ Editorial Board slammed Trump for his treatment of Mexico, and for floating a 20% tariff, calling him a “foreign-affairs neophyte.”
Bannon said the media should “keep its mouth shut,” and referred to them as “the opposition party.”
NPR reported that Trump signed a record number of executive actions in his first week; but unlike his predecessors, none about ethics.
Trump replaced the leader of a federal agency which overseas the use of Federal land, including the controversial Trump hotel in DC.
Business Insider reported on a memo between Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state oil company, and Trump ally, Carter Page, offering a stake in the Russia’s state oil company, in exchange for lifting of US sanctions.
Trump issued a statement on Holocaust Memorial Day that did not mention Jews, breaking a precedent of past Democrat and Republican presidents.
Same day, Trump signed an executive order banning citizens from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for the next 90 days. Trump also announced plans to increase the number of countries.
Trump said Christian refugees would be given preference, a clear violation of our constitution.
Trump immigration ban did not include countries in which Trump has business interests.
Trump hinted at dropping US sanction against Russia in the lead up to his first official call with Putin. In response, McCain said if Trump lifts sanction, Congress will restore them.
- Much of Trump’s foreign policy is be decided and carried out by two men, Bannon and Kushner.
January 21, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
The Sunday Times reported that Trump’s first meeting, as president, will be with Putin.
In interviews with the Times of London and Germany’s Bild, Trump referred to NATO as “obsolete.”
Next day, the front page of Le Monde showed Trump standing with his back turned, and a title, “Trump Contre L’Europe” (translates, Trump Against Europe).
Trump’s war of words with Rep Lewis continued for four days.
Trump canceled his plan to visit Museum of African American History on MLK Day. Spicer said Monday, Trump never planned to be in DC, after Conway said the prior Friday, Trump was going.
A dossier provided to US Intelligence alleges that Trump agreed to sideline the issue of Russian intervention in Ukraine after Russia promised to feed the emails it stole from prominent Democrats’ inboxes to WikiLeaks.
Trump ally Rep Rokita is considering legislation that would allow Trump to fire federal employees for no cause.
Trump publicly traded barbs with outgoing CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan said Trump,”does not yet” fully appreciate what embracing Russia might mean, and called Trump’s response, “repugnant.”
After saying that the American people don’t care about his tax returns at his press conference, an ABC poll found 74% of Americans want Trump to release his returns.
In a 2014 interview, Trump identified Russia as the US’s “biggest problem” and greatest geopolitical foe.
On Sunday talk shows, Preibus and Rep Chaffetz warned and attacked the director of the Office of Governmental Ethics, who has publicly challenged Trump’s conflicts of interests.
In a speech, Putin defended Trump, and said the Obama administration was trying to undermine Trump’s legitimacy.
Michael Flynn’s son tweeted an article from a Kremlin-funded website which said Flynn should take control of the 16 US Intelligence agencies.
A disturbing WAPO article detailed Trump’s isolation at Trump Tower, including his leaving the building only once over several days, and interacting with very few people.
In Greenwich, CT, a Republican official grabbed a woman by her genitals, bragging “I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct.” He was caught on tape, and later arrested.
SOS nominee Tillerson’s disclosure says he intends to stay away from State decisions benefiting Exxon for only one year.
Media was banned from Trump’s DC hotel in the days leading up to his inauguration. Trump did, however, stop by his DC hotel, and Spicer told the press, “I encourage you to go there, if you haven’t been.” Trump still benefits financially from the hotel.
Passwords used by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s incoming cybersecurity advisor, and 13 other Trump team staff, were leaked in a mass hack.
Trump bragged about “displaying our military,” including possible military parades in major US cities.
Trump also had tried to include tank and missile launchers in his inaugural parade.
McClatchy reported that the FBI and 5 other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been investigating how money may have covertly moved from Kremlin to help Trump win.
Nearly 70 members of Congress and SOS Kerry boycotted Trump’s Inauguration.
Rep Cummings who did attend, explained, “members of Congress have a lot of information that the public does not have,” and eventually the American people would understand the boycotts.
The day before his inauguration, Trump asked 50 Obama administration officials to stay on in their roles.
As Trump takes office, the State Department says they have not been instructed on whether to attend upcoming peace talks.
The Trump team tried an additional form of suppressing the media, serving CNN with a retraction request, which the network is forced to responds to, for a routine story.
In a parting interview, VP Biden told Vanity Fair, he is worried Trump might destroy Western civilization.
The NYT reported law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining communications and financial transactions between Russian officials and Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone.
Despite his efforts to promote ticket sales through a heavily advertised online video, Trump Inauguration and events were poorly attended, and no well known celebrities agreed to perform.
The Guardian’s Editorial Board described Trump’s Inaugural speech as, “bitter, blowhard and banal,” and said, in contrast to FDR’s speech of overcome fear, Trump “told the world to be very afraid.”
The streets along with Inaugural parade had thin crowds, and the entire stands were empty (see video below).
Trump team banned the Department of Interior from Twitter, after the department retweeted photos of small crowds on Inauguration Day. A National Park Spokesperson apologized.
Within hours of Trump being sworn in, all mention of climate change, civil rights and LGBT were removed from the White House webpage.
Upon taking office, Trump was likely already in violation of the federal lease with his Trump hotel DC property.
- An estimated 2.5 million Americans marched in the Women March, ten times more than showed for Trump inauguration. AP reported that 500,000 marched in DC alone, doubling the expected attendance.
January 14, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
The Office of Government Ethics director publicly lamented, “we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election.”
Three vendors have placed liens on the Trump hotel in DC for unpaid bills of over $5 million, in total.
Sean Hannity endorsed a tweet which said “Make Russia Great Again” with the word, “Amen.” Hannity later deleted his tweet.
Meryl Streep used her Golden Globes lifetime of notable work speech to eloquently attack Trump, without mentioning his name.
Trump responded via a tweet that Streep is an “over-rated” actress, and denied he had mocked a disabled reporter.
Trump appointed Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to a top WH post, possibly violating the 1967 federal anti-nepotism statute.
Trump told the NYT that all the dress shops in DC are sold out for his inauguration. This was a lie.
Trump team dismissed the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy, responsible for maintaining our nuclear arsenal, as of January 20. Trump also dismissed the commanding general of the DC national guard.
Cory Booker became the first US Senator to speak out against a fellow sitting senator at a confirmation hearing (Sessions for AG).
CNN reported a bombshell — Intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump that Russia had gathered information to blackmail him (the dossier).
Same day, BuzzFeed published contents of the dossier, which apparently had been in the hands of the FBI and some in the media since the summer. Contents include the infamous golden shower.
Trump denied having been briefed, and said the contents of the dossier were confirmed by intelligence to be fake. DNI Clapper issued a public statement indicating the dossier’s contents are still being verified (not fake), and media reported that Comey met with Trump one-on-one to review the dossier the prior Friday.
Trump held his first press conference since July. Trump packed the room with paid employees, who applauded him, and jeered at reporters.
At presser, Trump said he had no plans to release his tax returns, or resolve conflicts of interest, saying, “I have no-conflict situation because I’m president.”
Trump bullied reporters at two news outlets, calling them “fake news,” and used other news outlets as evidence.
Rep Barbara Lee said she would not attend Trump’s inauguration. During the week, the list grew to 12 members of Congress.
Trump encouraged his followers in a tweet to “buy L.L. Bean,” in violation of a WH policy prohibiting the endorsement of products.
The Justice Department inspector general opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the FBI and Comey, leading up to the election.
C-Span’s online broadcast was interrupted by Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, while Rep Maxine Waters was speaking. Waters has said she will not meet with Trump. The broadcast was also interrupted that morning when a Senator discussed Russian hacking.
WAPO reported that Michael Flynn, Trump’s NSA, spoke to Russia’s envoy on Dec 29th, the day Obama announced sanctions on Russia. Trump team initially denied this, then later, said they spoke only once that day. Reuters reports they spoke 5 times that day.
Trump continued to deny Russian hacking, and to use quotes around Intelligence in his tweets.
Trump appointed a sixth Goldman Sachs (past or present) employees to a major role in his administration.
After Congress was briefed by Intelligence chiefs, Rep John Lewis said, “I don’t see Trump as a legitimate president.”
Next morning, Trump tweeted a disparaging attack on Lewis, on MLK weekend, saying he was all talk.
Democrats in Congress were furious with FBI director Comey’s unwillingness to answer their questions and fully brief them.
UK media broke that the former agent who gathered the info in the dossier, had shared his findings with the FBI, starting in the summer, and had become concerned that a cabal within the FBI was compromised and attempting to cover-up information.
The Senate announced hearings on possible Russia-Trump ties, and said subpoenas would be issued if necessary.
The FEC sent Trump a letter listing 247 pages of illegal contributions to his campaign.
In the wake of the Trump dossier becoming public, Russia’s cybersecurity head is out of a job.
Human Rights Watch issued its annual report of threats to human rights around the world. For the first time in 27 years, the US is listed as a top threat because of the rise of Trump.
- A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump’s favorability ratings continuing to slide to historic lows for modern day presidents: only 37% of Americans view Trump favorably.
January 7, 2017.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Trump announced he will make major policy announcements via Twitter.
Trump’s executive producer credit appeared in the “Celebrity Apprentice” premiere.
On New Year’s Day, Trump promised a revelation on hacking, either Tuesday or Wednesday. This was a lie — it never came.
Trump appointed yet another Goldman Sachs executive to an economic leadership position, this one overseeing markets (SEC Chair). GS stock is up 35% since Election Day.
WSJ Editor Gerard Baker said his paper would not refer to Trump’s lies, as “lies.”
Trump repeatedly dismissed US Intelligence agencies’ findings on Russian hacking, and referred to them in quotes: “Intelligence.”
Trump announced his will appoint Pam Bondi, the former Florida AG who received an illegal payment of $25k from Trump Foundation in exchange for not investigating Trump University, to a top White House spot.
Senator McCain held a publicly televised Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian hacking of our election. For the first time, Americans got to hear from intelligence leadership.
Sen McCain and Graham said they had given up on efforts to push Leader McConnell for a special panel on Russia interference.
Trump falsely took credit for jobs at a Ford plant. Ford CEO publicly stated the rationale for choosing the US over Mexico was not related to Trump.
WAPO announced the launch of a weekly column on what Trump got wrong on Twitter each week.
House GOP took a secret vote to take power over the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. After public outcry and calls to representatives by voters, the plan was scuttled. Trump had tweeted he was for the change, but against the timing.
Trump started referring to Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer as a “clown.”
House GOP revived an obscure 1876 rule that allows them cut the pay of federal workers to $1.
Trump said he would ask the American taxpayers to pay for his infamous Wall on the Mexican border.
Trump promised to downsize intelligence agencies, including the CIA and Office of DNI, saying both were politicized.
Ex CIA-director James Woolsey resigned from Trump’s transition team, saying he did not want to “fly under false colors” any longer.
Breaking decades of precedent, Trump said he would recall all Obama overseas envoys immediately on Jan 20th, before their replacements have been appointed.
Trump tweeted his apparent displeasure with the rating of “Celebrity Apprentice” under Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying he got “swamped” compared to when Trump hosted the show.
Report cited that 50 Trump electors were allegedly illegally seated. Rep Maxine Waters and other Democratic representatives, stood to protest, but couldn’t find a single Senator to join them.
After meeting with the heads of the DNI, CIA and FBI, Trump continued to deny the Russian hacking, and instead pressed for a congressional investigation of leaks to NBC (something congress doesn’t investigate). Trump said there was no impact on the election.
Later that day, an Intelligence report was made public detailing Putin’s desire to hurt Clinton and help Trump, and the many ways Russia interfered. The report did not assess if there was an impact on the election (another Trump lie).
Trump blamed the DNC and Democrats for being hacked. The Intelligence report also indicates Republicans were hacked, although that info was not leaked.
- Trump continued to side with Wikileaks and Russian, and against Intelligence. Even after learning Russia had hacked our election, he called intelligence a “political witch hunt,” and next day tweeted only “stupid” people or fools would think having a good relationship with Russia was a bad thing.
December 31, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Trump continued to side with Wikileaks and Russian, and against Intelligence. Even after learning Russia had hacked our election, he called intelligence a “political witch hunt,” and next day tweeted only “stupid” people or fools would think having a good relationship with Russia was a bad thing.
Trump continues to take credit for jobs he didn’t create — this week with Sprint’s 5,000 jobs. Companies looking for things — like Sprint with an upcoming merger — have started to play into this for favor.
Obama announces sanctions of Russia. Trump tweets in support of Putin, and pins that tweet. Trump also uses “V. Putin,” which is the Russian convention for writing names.
Same day Putin says Russia will not expel US diplomats, Russia hacks the U.S. power grid through an electric utility in Vermont.
Trump continues to deny Russian hacking, saying we should “get on with our lives,” and dismissing it with, “I think the computers have complicated lives very greatly.”
157 days since Trump held a press conference (the one where he encouraged Russia to hack more American emails).
Trump sends a congratulatory tweet to himself for higher consumer confidence numbers, he had nothing to do with.
Paul Ryan introduced rules banning lawmakers from taking pictures or videos of procedures on the House floor.
Mar-a-Lago sold hundreds of tickets at $500+ for a New Year’s celebration attended by Trump and his family.
Simon & Schuster gave a $250k advance for a book by alt-right author and troll Milo Yiannopoulos. In reaction, the Chicago Review of Books said they would not review any S&S books during 2017.
The RNC sent out a Christmas message, comparing Trump to Jesus.
John McCain announced he would hold hearings during the first week of January, before Trump takes office, on Russian hacking — which Trump denies.
A second round of FOIA were filed to gain access to FBI emails relating to Comey letter, to see if there were ties to Giuliani or Flynn.
Neo-nazis in Whitefish, Montana — hometown of alt-right leader Richard Spencer — plan an armed march to harass Jews.
Trump sent out a bizarre New Year’s tweet, chastising his enemies.
- After a morning tweet about Obama not cooperating on transition, Trump appeared with Don King that evening, and said the opposite.
December 24, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Trump will keep his private security force while in office. This is unprecedented, and potentially dangerous.
Upon winning the Electoral College, Trump’s first official statement was a lie (electoral landslide).
The FBI search warrant used to gain access to Huma’s computer was made public. Most legal experts agreed, no probable cause. Nate Silver released additional data showing major moves in final days in swing states to Trump, around the time of the Comey letter. Almost no media follow up on this story. No politicians either.
A Politico article claims Trump was browbeating fellow Republicans into silence, by targeting those who speak out via Breidbart and his tweets.
On air, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said, “The left wants power taken away from white establishment….”
A Jewish family in Lancaster, PA was targeted by Breidbart and Fox with a false claim that they were behind the cancellation of an elementary school Christmas play.
Teen Vogue reported Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, met with the head of Austria’s neo-Nazi party.
Gingrich suggested Trump should pardon his advisors who break the law.
The Embassy of Kuwait cancelled their longstanding reservation to host their National Day celebration at Four Seasons, citing political pressure, and changed it to Trump’s Hotel in DC.
Trump met the CEO’s of Lockheed and Boeing, after tweeting false/negative information that caused more their stocks to crater.
A senior executive at Oracle resigned over that company’s CEO participation on Trump’s transition team.
Eric and Donald Jr. offered a $1 million hunting trip, which included access to their dad, via a Foundation. Upon calls of conflict of interest, and investigation into the Foundation, the offer was cancelled.
Trump’s team instructed the State Department to turn over a list of “gender-related staffing, programming, and funding.”
Trump tweeted a planned build up of our nuclear arms, reversing three decades of disarmament.
- Days later, he and Putin shared admiring letters exchanges. Putin publicly castigated Hillary as a “sore loser,” and Trump agreed via a tweet. No US elected officials responded to either.
December 17, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
from Trump over their findings on Russian interference, while his team threatens to bring in new leadership.
Trump press conference, scheduled for 12/15 to discuss dealing with his conflicts of interest, was “postponed” indefinitely.
WSJ reporter later reveals Trump will not divest of his businesses — excuse given is the price would be a fire sale.
Vanity Fair issues a scathing review of Trump Grill. Trump responds with a Twitter attack, saying of VF, “Way down, big trouble, dead!” Same day, VF picks up a record number of subscriptions.
Trump team accounts they plan to change the traditional daily WH briefings.
Ivanka will be taking a WH office, typically reserved for first ladies.
Conway says Trump is looking at way to get around nepotism rules so he can include Ivanka and Jared in his administration.
Trump continues to deny Russian hacking of the election. Says it could have been China or a 400 pound man.
The RNC meanwhile says they were not hacked by “Russia.”
A battles opens between Obama’s press secretary, and Trump and his team, threatening a smooth transition of power. Conway says Obama would end this feud if he loved “the country enough.”
FBI and CIA and all intel reach agreement that Russia interfered with our election, with a goal of getting Trump elected.
The GSA told Trump he would violate his DC hotel lease “the moment he takes office.” Word spreads that Trump will replace the leadership of the GSA.
Ivanka auctions off a coffee date, with a $50k floor. As rumbling of conflict start to stir, the website posting mysteriously disappears.
Trump continues his “Thank You” tour to only states he won. He stands before Christmas trees only-no reference to other religions.
Trump issues a negative tweet on Lockheed, just before the market open. Like Boeing, the stock craters. It is discovered that traders are starting to anticipate Trump’s tweets, by taking long or short positions.
Trump continues to pick white men for his cabinet — many of whom have no experience with the area they are about to lead. His cabinets the least diverse since 1989.
Trump holds a meetings with tech leaders at Trump Tower, and includes his three children, but excludes the CEO of Twitter for his unwillingness to produce a “Crooked Hillary” emoji.
- Huma Abedin joins lawyer, E. Randol Schoenberg’s calls to release the FBI search warrant that led to the Comey letter.
December 11, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
This was the week of Trump silencing dissent:the arts (comedy) — a tweet attacking Baldwin, and calling SNL “unwatchable.”
corporate America — Trump sent a false tweet about the cost of Air Force One after Boeing’s CEO spoke out against starting a trade war with China. Boeing stock cratered.
private citizens — Trump’s tweet at union leader Chuck Jones, after Jones spoke out on the Carrier deal, led to death threats against Jones.
protest march — Trump tried to squash the Million Women March by changing permitting. A new location was found.
- Variety reported that Trump will continue in his role as Executive Producer of Celebrity Apprentice. 2 days later, Trump called it “fake news” and blamed CNN.
NBC, host of Celebrity Apprentice, also had refused to release tapes of Trump rumored to be damaging during the election.
WAPO reported on a CIA report which claimed Putin interfered in our election to help Trump win. Trump’s response amounted to defending Russia, and questioning the CIA’s capabilities.
According to WAPO, Mitch McConnell had refused to allow the CIA report out before the election. McConnell’s wife was appointed by Trump to a cabinet position.
The next day, Trump appointed Exxon CEO Tillerson as SoS. Tillerson has no experience with government or diplomacy, but has a close relationship with Putin.
In responding to why he has availed himself of only 4 of 31 intelligence briefings, Trump responded, “I’m, like, a smart person.”
Attacks against Muslim Americans were reported nationwide, including a Congresswoman in DC, and a teenager in New York.
An Atlantic article titled, “Are Jews White,” drew a response by former KKK leader, David Duke.
Trump is seeking ways to include both his daughter and son-in-law in his administration, despite laws to the contrary.
Trump appointed 3 generals into leadership positions in his cabinet — a disturbing trend, indicative of authoritarian leadership.
Trump appointed another Goldman Sachs executive into a major leadership role. GS stock is up 33% since election day, and composes 1/3 of the DJIA’s rise.
Trump invited celebrity types on the environment — Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio — for well-promoted, reality-tv-like meetings at Trump Tower, while appointing an EPA head who doesn’t believe in climate change.
The RNC will hold it’s holiday party at a Trump Hotel (and pay him for it). Several GOP appendages are doing the same.
Trump continues to keep full ownership of his businesses, brushing off the need to explain conflicts of interest.
Trump economic team is all men and all white. Five of the 13 are named Steven or Stephen.
Mark Burnett will help Trump plan the inauguration, with a reality-tv type build-up.
Rudy Giuliani “withdrew” his candidacy for a cabinet position, and the lawyer of “Woman in Gold” fame, filed under the FOIA for Giuliani’s connection to the FBI’s search warrant.
Trump changed his iconic hat from, “Make America Great Again” to simply “USA.” Said hat is sold exclusively by Trump for $40.
Trump put out his first policy related post on Facebook.
Trump continues his Victory Tours in states he won.
- Trump, with the help of the GOP apparatus, shut down the recount efforts in MI, where he won by 10k votes out of 4.8 million cast, with many anomalies. Efforts to do the same in WI, failed. Efforts in PA also have led to recount efforts being stifled.
December 3, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
SPLC issued a startling report on the profoundly negative impact of the election results on our schools and children. This in addition to 867 cases of hate attacks in the 10 days post election, and 892 active hate groups.
Reports nationwide, including our college campuses, of women being grabbed by the genitals, and being told a variation of “it’s no big deal.”
Trump continues to be disinterested in availing himself of daily intelligence briefings.
Our news cycles now being led by Trump’s Twitter account. Our media seems unable to do anything but follow along.
Trump sent a total of 13 tweets on Jill Stein’s recounts, the most consecutive tweets on any subject. Still not a single tweet condemning nationwide hate crimes carried out in his name.
Trump retweeted a 16 year-old’s tweet attacking a CNN reporter. The 16 year-old complained that Trump edited his tweet.
Kellyanne Conway scolded a 17 year-old, in response to the girl’s question about working for a man with a history of sexual assault.
Unprovoked by events or any reason, Trump suggested — again via a tweet - consequences for burning the American flag: “perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
Trump’s campaign held a cyber Monday sale on Trump merchandise at its online store.
Russia claimed to be in talks with several people on the Trump team regarding Syria, before Trump takes office.
After spending the entire general election criticizing Hillary’s email practices, Trump considers Gen Petraeus for SoS- despite a requirement that the General notify his probation officer in order to leave North Carolina (fortunately, there’s no travel entailed in the SoS position).
Trump continued to conduct his SoS selection like episodes of The Bachelor. Romney was shamed into a public apology-lite remarks after feasting on frog legs, only to find days later, the current and former CEOs of Exxon had been added to the contestant list.
Under continued pressure, Trump tweeted he would leave his businesses, but offered little detail or comfort this would be anything but having his children run things. Hardly arms-length.
Eight members of the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote a letter to President Obama, urging him to declassify information related to Russia’s interference with our election. Although 17 intelligence agencies have said Russia was involved in hacking, the public is aware of no response or actions that have been taken.
Bahrain — the same Bahrain that Trump falsely chastised Hillary for allegedly accepting donations to the Clinton Foundation — booked space at the Trump International Hotel in DC for a reception.
Even Trump loyalists (see image below) rebelled at Trump’s appointment of Goldman Sachs execs to his cabinet and inner circle. Since election day, GS stock has rallied by 23%, or a 347% annualized return.
Seemingly unaware or disinterested in the fact the campaign is over, Trump embarked on a “Victory Tour” — later, rebranded as a “Thank You Tour”- visiting only the states he won. His first rally in Cincinnati was half empty.
At the Cincinnati rally, after being egged on by Trump, supporters chanted, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” and Trump did nothing to stop them. Same night, Trump loyalist Cory Lewandowski told a panel that NYT editor Dean Baquet should be imprisoned.
In kicking off the tour, Trump and Pence engineered a populist saving of 1,000 American jobs, at a cost of $7mm to Indiana taxpayers. A WSJ editorial referred to the ploy as “Trump’s Carrier Shakedown.”
In a 48 hour period, Trump did incredible damage to our country’s global standing, conducting conversations with foreign leaders without being briefed by or consulting with the State Department.
Pakistan government readout of Trump’s phone conversation with Pakistan PM Sharif: described the PM as “a terrific guy” who made him feel as though “I’m talking to a person I have known for long.”
Trump invited Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte to the WH, and congratulated him on handling the drug war, the “right way.”
- Trump became the first US leader to have a phone conversation with Taiwan, since diplomatic ties were cut in 1979. Trump explained it away in 2 tweets. China promptly responded in protest.
November 26, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Trump became the first US leader to have a phone conversation with Taiwan, since diplomatic ties were cut in 1979. Trump explained it away in 2 tweets. China promptly responded in protest.
The First Family-elect will not be living in the White House.
Melania’s Wiki bio changed overnight to reflect she did not go to college.
Donald Jr. met with Russian representatives in Paris to discuss Syria during the election.
Putin has moved missiles into Kaliningrad “in response to NATO aggression” — within striking distance of Germany.
Russian propaganda was the source of much of the “fake news” during the campaign.
Trump has selectively been meeting with the media and grooming them by yelling at them. They all showed up for this.
Next day he met with the NYT at their offices, and their coverage totally normalized his porous positions and outrageous actions so far.
Trump has been furthering his business affairs and using his presidency to get licenses and other favors.
Trump openly stated that he doesn’t care about conflicts of interest, and he does not feel compelled in any way to separate his business dealings from his role as president.
Trump admitted to breaking the law! He signed off on Trump Foundation’s tax statement and now has admitted the Foundation was in violation of tax laws.
In Wisconsin, 5k of Trump’s 27k vote lead have been proven to be fake votes.
In true dictatorial form, Trump demands Mitt Romney publicly apologize if he wants the position of Secretary of State.
CNN airs a segment with subline, “Are Jews People?”
Hate crimes continue nationwide against Muslims, Jews, women, Black, LGBTQ and Hispanic Americans. On a Delta flight, one Trump supporter screamed at Hillary bitches, and didn’t get kicked off.
- Steve Bannon received $376k from a small Foundation in Tallahassee to pay a salary for his work at Breidbart.
November 20, 2016.
Update from the ever-thorough Amy Siskind:
Steve Bannon received $376k from a small Foundation in Tallahassee to pay a salary for his work at Breidbart.
Acts of hate — for the first 400 per SPLC, I could name many that I had seen covered by the media. Then I noticed the count exceeded 700, and I realized I knew very little about those additional 300.
Reporters critique their own paper’s coverage of Trump, then delete it (see below tweet which disappeared overnight, after 2k+ retweets).
A president-elect is openly (on Twitter!) trying to take away our freedom of expressions, First Amendment rights: targets this week include SNL, NYT and Hamilton.
The media, including traditional media, covered an alt-right conference and published their demands, which included a ban on immigration for 50 years of anyone not white, and an all white nation.
Major media following Trump’s reality show storylines, instead of reporting as traditional media/journalism.
Democrats advocating for a Mitt Romney appointment to SOS — a man with whom we agree on almost nothing on policy, but because he is competent and not a racist or a bigot.
The pace of untraditional, unorthodox acts, and conflicts of interest by Trump are coming so fast and furious, they’re barely getting coverage.
Utter outrage by the left at the complacency and largely silence of our elected leaders. Watch of a Tea Party-esque type uprising.
A request for tolerance for, and understanding of, white supremacists.