I’m trying to do this every week, and though it’s only the second week since I started, I nearly couldn’t finish. Please try to read this whole thing. If you can’t, or if you’re annoyed, please remember that is the White House’s whole strategy.
So. In no particular order:
1. Running update: Trump’s promise of a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the country” is still on his campaign page. The court decision indicated Trump’s tweets and previous statements could be used as evidence the “travel ban” is indeed intended to target a religious group.
reported that during Trump’s unrecorded phone call with Putin, “When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was.” Trump, upon knowing what Putin was talking about, denounced it as a bad Obama deal. Trump also talked about his own popularity again.
3. Unrelated: Putin ordered Russia’s air force to prepare for a “time of war” and said NATO doesn’t stand a chance right now.
4. Unrelated: The top US military commander in Afghanistan testified that Russia was legitimizing the Taliban in order to undermine the US and NATO.
5. Unrelated: Trump spontaneously tweeted “I don’t know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy. Yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!” Trump isn’t going “tear up” the Iran deal as promised, but hasn’t offered any new ideas about it.
The New York Times
dropped a long piece at halftime during the Super Bowl with the harmless title, “Trump and Staff Rethink Tactics After Stumbles.” In it they reveal a White House collapsing on itself, Trump wandering the halls late at night in a bathrobe, calling advisers at all hours of the night, watching “too much” cable, and a whole lot of internal conflict. Must read.
7. At a meeting with a group of sheriffs and police chiefs on Wednesday, Trump called the court hearing about his travel ban “disgraceful.” He also told law enforcement officials the judges couldn’t grasp concepts “a bad high school student would understand.”
8. Senator Sidney Blumenthal said DJ Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, told him the president’s attacks on judges were “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”
9. In response, Trump attacked Senator Blumenthal, saying he “misrepresented” Gorsuch’s remarks. He also brought up Blumenthal’s misrepresentation (from 2010) of his Vietnam service and called the interview “fake news” because the interviewer, Chris Cuomo, didn’t ask the Senator about Vietnam.
10. Cuomo responded by tweeting, “sadly, potus is just wrong about the facts. it was my first point to the senator, about his having misrepresented military career.”
11. But Gorsuch’s remarks were confirmed on the record by a White House adviser who was assigned to work on the Gorsuch appointment.
12. Senator Jeff Sessions, a racist, was confirmed as our next attorney general.
13. The official @POTUS account re/tweeted about it fourteen times.
14. During Sessions’ confirmation, Senator Elizabeth Warren was formally silenced by Mitch McConnell for reading Corretta Scott King’s statement about Sessions. The statement was part of the official congressional record.
15. That move backfired.
16. During his first speech in front of the military, Trump claimed terrorist attacks go “unreported” in the media.
17. Sean Spicer clarified the President meant to say “under-reported.”
18. The White House then released a list of 78 of those “under-reported” terrorist attacks. The New York Times defended its coverage, and PolitiFact found that only one of those 78 attacks didn’t have media coverage—and that attack (in Egypt; not one of Trump’s seven banned countries) didn’t kill anyone and has never been confirmed.
19. The mother of a victim killed in one of the listed attacks posted a letter to Trump, saying her daughter’s murder had “no connection” to terrorism. Australian police had ruled out terrorism too.
The Washington Post, in a truly great piece of reporting, noted the list left out many horrific attacks where Muslims were killed.
21. Trump’s refugee ban was blocked by a federal appeals court.
22. In a tweet, Trump told the court he’d “SEE [THEM] IN COURT.” A comma splice made the tweet read as if President Trump were threatening someone named THE SECURITY OF THE NATION IS AT STAKE!
23. Trump said he wouldn’t immediately appeal to the Supreme Court, but that he was considering “a lot of other options,” including writing “a brand new executive order.”
24. Trump attacked John McCain again, calling him a loser in a tweet.
25. Spicer called the Yemen attack “absolutely a success.”
26. Former US ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche said the raid “turned out to be as bad as one can imagine it being.”
27. Trump was sued for his “2 for 1” executive order about government regulations.
28. Marine Le Pen, radical right-winger, the leading candidate for President of France, open admirer of Trump and and inspiration to the Quebec City mosque shooter backed Russia and its invasion of Crimea.
29. European intelligence officials are afraid Russian state-backed hackers will try to help get Le Pen elected.
30. Trump attacked Nordstrom in a tweet for treating Ivanka “unfairly” and pulling her brand off the shelves.
31. It later was calculated that Trump composed this tweet about 20 minutes into his intelligence briefing.
32. Sean Spicer defended the tweet.
33. Kellyanne Conway also defended the tweet, going so far as to say in a blatant and possibly illegal ethics violation on Fox & Friends that, “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
34. Spicer said Conway was “counseled” for the ethics violation.
35. Conway contradicted this and said Trump has her back.
36. This seems to be accurate, because AP reported that “the president appeared to take issue with his own press secretary’s depiction, telling staff that he believed it was unfair to Conway and made it sound like she was in trouble.”
37. Nordstrom said the reason it pulled Ivanka’s products was because they weren’t selling and that it had actually told Ivanka about the decision a month ago.
38. Ivanka promised she’d divest from her brand as part of taking a job as an adviser to her father, but she still hasn’t filed the paperwork.
39. Phew. Done with that story.
40. Gambling houses are offering nearly even money that Trump will be impeached. Trump has been President for three weeks.
41. It was reported that Louvre attacker Abdullah Reda al-Hamahmy sympathized with the Islamic State but did not pledge allegiance to them or carry out the attack under the group’s orders. He’s from Egypt, which is not on Trump’s list of seven banned countries. Trump had tweeted about the attack as justification for his travel ban.
42. A poll of 10,000 people in 10 European countries revealed the majority of Europeans support Trump’s travel ban. The biggest supporters are (surprise!) old, rural, and undereducated.
43. Amnesty International reported that the Assad government secretly hanged 13,000 people in a Syrian prison. Trump tried to ban all Syrian refugees being terrorized by Assad from entering the US.
44. Assad said Trump’s idea of establishing safe zones in Syria “won’t work.”
45. #GOODNEWS: Subway riders in New York City found anti-semitic graffiti inside a car and broke out the Purel to scrub it clean. I had no idea most hate crimes in the US target Jews, despite the fact Jews make up only two percent of the population.
46. The US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology said (based on shaky evidence) that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “manipulated climate records.” It’s a disingenuous report.
47. A White House official said the administration will keep saying “fake news” until the media “realizes attitude of attacking the President is wrong.”
called Democrats “the party of the KKK.”
49. A poll revealed the Trump administration is more trusted than the media.
50. The official @potus account retweeted the following from Trump’s personal Twitter account:
- “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”
- “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”
- “The failing @nytimes writes total fiction concerning me. They have gotten it wrong for two years, and now are making up stories & sources!”
- “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person, always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
- And they retweeted all the president’s remarks about judges, including this one: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
51. Trump said he’d be cool with privatizing the air traffic control system. He said the current system was “totally out of whack.” Since 2009, the FAA has been developing a new multibillion-dollar air traffic control system (NextGen) and has already been rolling it out in stages. It’s scheduled to be completed in 2025.
52. The Iraqi Prime Minister, in his first phone call with DJ Trump, asked the President to lift the ban on Iraqis entering the US. Trump initiated the call.
53. A new report said Trump’s border wall will cost $21 billion to build. This is more expensive than funding NASA for a year.
54. A Spanish paper “accidentally” printed a picture of Alec Baldwin impersonating Trump instead of Trump himself. The picture was next to a picture of Putin.
55. Trump warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani he “better be careful.” Trump was flying to Mar-a-Lago with the Japanese Prime Minister.
56. Trump told a meeting of sheriffs and police chiefs that the crime rate is at a 47-year high. It’s not.
57. Trump dropped the government’s defense of its policy ensuring transgender students have access to facilities that correspond with their gender identity.
58. Parts of the infamous “Golden Memo” (the dossier of Trump’s collaboration with Putin to undermine the US election) have been corroborated. The dossier is gaining more credibility with law enforcement officials.
59. For the record: I bet a great deal of the dossier is accurate and that Trump did in fact commit treason.
60. DJ Trump told a meeting of Senate Democrats that “Pocahontas is now the face of your party.” Trump calls Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” because he doubts her claims that she’s part Native American, saying she only has high cheekbones. In the same meeting Trump restated his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the election.
61. ICE began deporting undocumented immigrants who’ve committed crimes. Democrats say many arrested in the raids, taking place across the country, haven’t committed any crimes.
62. Trump defended the raid in an early-morning tweet from his Florida resort, saying the crackdown on “illegal criminals” (yes, he typed that) was “merely the keeping of my campaign promise.”
63. A legal permanent resident living in Texas, Rosa Ortega, was sentenced to eight years in prison (!!!) for voting illegally. Ortega had a green card and thought that entitled her to vote. She was a registered Republican who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and then for Ken Paxton for Texas Attorney General in 2014. Paxton won that election and was the prosecutor who gave Ortega eight years. Ortega didn’t vote in the 2016 election.
64. The national security law site, Lawfare (which Trump in a tweet quoted out of context as supporting his case for the travel ban, clearly taking the line from a Morning Joe screen graphic without bothering to read the article, which concurred with the ruling and condemned the executive order), published analysis showing that since January 2015 “the FBI has arrested more anti-immigrant American citizens plotting terrorist attacks on Muslims in the U.S. than they have arrested refugees from the barred countries in Trump’s order.”
65. Trump has expressed displeasure with his national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, who was outed last week for discussing US sanctions with the Russian ambassador a month before Trump was inaugurated. For over a month Flynn denied he had spoken about the sanctions in the call, and Vice President Michael Pence backed his story. The call with the ambassador came on the same day Obama announced the sanctions and three days after a former KGB-chief linked to the Golden Memo was found dead in the back of his car.
66. DJ Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago. The White House called the retreat a “gift.” Mar-a-Lago has doubled its membership fee since Trump was elected. Journalists traveling with Trump and Abe to Trump’s golf course were told not to take pictures or video because “it’s a private club.”
67. While Trump was having dinner with Abe at Mar-a-Lago, North Korea carried out an intermediate-range ballistic missile test. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe conferred right there in the dining room, where Trump and his team prepared a written response and took phone calls about the international emergency within earshot of club members eating dinner.
68. The world leaders then held an emergency joint press conference. Abe spoke for about two minutes, during which he condemned the launch as “absolutely intolerable” and demanded that North Korea comply with UN Security Council regulations. Abe added that President Trump “assured me that the United States would always stand with Japan, 100 percent.” Prime Minister Abe handed the mic to DJ Trump, who said, in full, “I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 percent. Thank you.” A prepared speech that actually mentioned the missile launch went ignored on the lectern. Trump left without taking any questions.
69. After almost condemning the first North Korean nuclear provocation of his Presidency, Trump headed straight to a wedding reception in the resort’s Grand Ballroom where he posed for some photos with the bride and bridesmaids and delivered his second impromptu speech of the evening. “I saw them out on the lawn today,” Trump said of the lucky couple. “I said to the Prime Minister of Japan, I said, C’mon, Shinzo, let’s go over and say hello.” The President added, “They’ve been members of this club for a long time. They’ve paid me a fortune.”
70. The next morning Trump tweeted, “After two days of very productive talks, Prime Minister Abe is heading back to Japan. L”
71. Twenty minutes later, Trump attacked Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban in a tweet, saying Cuban wasn’t “smart enough” to be president and claimed Cuban (who encouraged Trump at first but ended up supporting Clinton) backed Trump “big-time.”
72. I found this picture.