Well, here we are again. I need strength. I need my own personal Gene Huber.
First off, I cheated. I couldn’t do the whole week. In this list, I’ve left off the entire Michael Flynn narrative, and all but a few moments that can’t go ignored from Trump’s rally in Florida and his wack-ass mid-week press conference.
1. UPDATE: Trump’s campaign site still hasn’t taken down the DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT ON PREVENTING MUSLIM IMMIGRATION.
2. Oklahoma state attorney general and climate change denier Scott Pruitt was confirmed to head the agency he sued 14 times. In his first interview as head of the EPA, Pruitt said he would repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan without waiting for the courts to rule on it. On Tuesday, however, an Oklahoma court will release 3,000 of Pruitt’s emails with energy companies. The GOP reportedly isn’t looking forward to that.
3. Mr. Stephen Miller—a noted nationalist and Trump surrogate who looks like a toe—began making media appearances last weekend. He said too many insane things to remember, let alone list. One that stood out, though: “The media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” For the CliffsNotes, here’s what late night TV had to say about Mr. Miller.
4. Mr. Stephen Miller, much like Mr. Ted Cruz, was revealed to have been so unlikeable that his high school classmates made a short documentary about him, featuring a disastrous student government campaign speech in which Mr. Miller mocked the school’s janitors and got booed off the stage by 4,000 students. Mr. Miller is the speechwriter for the President of the United States of America.
5. Mr. Stephen Miller, age 31, was revealed to have for some reason started a Terrorism Awareness Project while he was a student at Duke University. This was less than 10 years ago. Apparently conceding that folks in America already seemed pretty well aware of terrorism at that point, Mr. Miller sharpened his pseudointellectual focus and launched Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week: “The week the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever.” Here’s a promotional poster for the week, which was coincidentally punctuated by a 3:50 a.m. terrorist attack on the Mexican Consulate in New York City, wholly unrelated to “Islamo-Fascism” and likely tied to an anarchist working alone in the US.
6. Mr. Stephen Miller, who for some reason said on record less than a month before he entered the White House that when he was at Duke, less than ten years ago, he was a “mentor” to noted white supremacist and moral outhouse Mr. Richard Spencer, who in time somehow managed to become an even shittier person than Miller, was publicly outed by his own family as being fairly despicable and likened to Goebbels.
7. Mr. Trump congratulated Mr. Miller on his performance on the “various Sunday morning shows. Great job!”
8. Eric Trump and his older brother DJTJ took a trip to Dubai to open the brand new Trump luxury golf club there. Damac, the developer of the new Trump golf course, offered Trump a TWO BILLION-DOLLAR development deal A MONTH AGO that Trump turned down to avoid a “conflict of interest” with the head of that company, whom Trump calls “a good friend.”
9. Mr. Trump spent his second and third consecutive weekends at Mar-a-Lago, which he calls the “Winter White House.” American taxpayers have so far paid about $10 million in order for our President, a self-professed billionaire who pays no taxes to the country he’s now running, to spend three weekends in a row on vacation at a resort he owns and from which he hasn’t divested himself, so that technically, yes, he’s making money off of trips that in three weekends have cost you and me twice as much as Trump paid for the place to begin with.
10. Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago have also cost the local economy hundreds of thousands of dollars.
11. Mr. Trump held a terrifying “campaign” rally in Melbourne, Florida. I’m just going to count this as three crazy things and move on. Please watch it.
14. Well, not just yet. In the middle of the rally Trump called a Trump superfan (who had been waiting since 4:00 a.m. to get into the rally) up on stage (yes) to testify while Trump walked around approving (yes) of the good things the fan, shaking and almost crying with religious fervor (yes), said about his dear leader. That was terrifying, like an evangelical revival. After the rally the fan took an interview with CNN, during which he spent a full 18 seconds talking about how he would salute a “cardboard box” of the President “every single day. Every single day I do that, I salute the President, except he’s cardboard, heh heh.” He ended the interview by telling CNN to be “nicer” to the President.
15. Trump tweeted that the press was “the enemy of the American people. SICK!” Trump deleted that tweet and posted another one in its place that added more networks to its hit list.
16. Trump is asking his supporters for money so he can better attack the press.
17. Wait, just one more. During the rally, Trump went off-prompter and referred to some sort of terrorism-related event that had happened in Sweden the night before. Now everyone’s arguing about rape statistics in Sweden. You’re wondering what’s wrong? This is what’s wrong.
18. Ah fuck it. Here’s a fact-check of the rally, for you sane folks.
19. Mr. Trump gave a speech at a Boeing plant in South Carolina so he could talk tough on the economy. He said the new 787 Dreamliner being unveiled there was “built right here” (in South Carolina), and that we need to “rely less on imports and more on products made here in the USA.”
The 787 project, which has so far cost an estimated $32 billion dollars with total losses estimated at $27 billion as of 2015, outsources about a third of its manufacturing spread around to 45 countries. And it’s not petty stuff: Italy makes the center fuselage, France makes the landing-gear system and the electrical power conversion system, Germany makes main cabin lighting, Sweden makes the doors, and Japan makes parts for the bathrooms, flight deck, galleys, and the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. As of this year, the 787’s top customer is All Nippon Airways, and the first new-gen Dreamliner is going to be shipped to Singapore Airlines, in 2018.
20. Mr. Trump also couldn’t pass up the obvious chance to insult women: “What can look so beautiful at 30? An airplane.” Mr. Trump’s wife is 46.
21. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture website purged all data on animal abuse and inspections.
22. Trump forced Chris Christie to order meatloaf at the White House.
23. Then later that week Christie tried to own it.
24. John McCain ripped Trump at the Munich Security Conference. My favorite line: “They have little to offer the world beyond selfishness and fear.”
reported that the Trump administration drafted an executive order that would deploy 100,000 national guard troops around the country to “round up” immigrants. The White House denied it, even though AP asked them for comment several times before running the story. Then the White House repealed its denial. Here’s the memo.
26. And do you remember Trump’s tweet out of nowhere that he’d send the national guard into Chicago? Wasn’t so out of nowhere, after all: He tweeted it when they were writing the draft order.
27. Unrelated: Republican lawmakers barred Latino members of congress from an ICE meeting.
28. Trump has already golfed more than five times. Obama, whom Trump often attacked for golfing too much, didn’t play his first round for four months into his Presidency.
29. Pence creates sizable distance between himself and Trump by daring to mention Jews in a holocaust tweet.
30. After Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping he was adopting a pro-China platform, China issued Trump a trademark he’d wanted for a long time. Quid. Pro. Quo.
31. A top aide in the HUD department was fired without Ben Carson, who runs the department, knowing about it.
32. Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate story, said Trump’s attacks on press are more dangerous than Nixon’s.
33. General James “Mad Dog” Mattis differed with Trump’s take on the press. “I’ve had some rather contentious times with the press. But no, the press, as far as I’m concerned, are a constituency that we deal with. I don’t have any issues with the press, myself.”
34. On Friday, Comey held a closed-door meeting with the Senate intelligence committee. When it let out, everyone was uncharacteristically quiet. There have been no leaks since, and Marco Rubio followed it up about an hour later with a tweet that he was “certain” there’d be an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. I’m telling you, it’s happening.
35. The White House conducted a hilarious poll about people’s opinions of the mainstream media.
36. Trump held a completely bonkers press conference Wednesday. He said this: “We’re becoming a drug-infested nation. Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.” Watch the whole thing here.
37. Following Flynn’s departure, Trump offered the NSA job to Vice Admiral Robert Harward. He turned it down.
38. At Trump’s joint presser with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the middle of Flynnghazi, Trump only took questions from conservative outlets.
39. At another presser, this one with Bibi Netanyahu, Trump was asked about his position on settlements on the West Bank. Trump answered by talking about how many electoral votes he got. Really. He did.
40. Morning Joe blacklisted Kellyanne Conway.
41. European intelligence agencies also intercepted Flynn’s communications with Russia. They’re also investigating Trump business ties to front companies connected with Russia. Stay tuned to this one.
42. Shockingly, Trump said something very important and humane. Trump took a trip with Netanyahu to the African American history museum and that visit got a shamefully, unfairly low amount of media attention. Trump (yes, Trump) literally said this: “As we remember, with deep humility and reverence, the historic plight of slavery which the Jewish and African-American people have known all too well, we rededicate ourselves to those powerful words that both our nations hold dear: ‘NEVER AGAIN!’”
Well. That was Trump, all right. Melania Trump. She said that while visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture with Sara Netanyahu. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, was scheduled to visit the museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Day but canceled after he threw a racist twitter tantrum when a (black) Civil Rights hero criticized him.
43. Yesterday, Donald Trump finally visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He tried to say something nice.
44. Trump will appoint his friend and a top campaign donor, billionaire Steve Feinberg, to lead an investigation of the United States intelligence community. This makes sense because Feinberg runs a capital management company and Trump said he’s “a very talented man, very successful man.” Much like the President, Mr. Feinberg’s position might be untenable because of literally dozens of conflicts of interest. A senior government official called Feinberg’s appointment an “extra-constitutional process” and said Trump thinks our intelligence agencies “need to be threshed and cleaned and bent to the will of the executive.” Thank God some people are reporting this might not happen at all now.
45. Trump likes it when others are leaking, but not when he’s leaking.
46. Trump reversed the long-standing US position that the Israel and Palestine dispute requires a two-state solution. Trump also said, to a visibly shocked Benjamin Netanyahu, that Israel shouldn’t be building settlements in the West Bank. Go figure.
47. Trump did this at his batshit press conference.
48. Congress passed a bill making it easier for mentally ill people to get guns. That’s literally all that’s in the bill. Trump just has to sign it, and then we’ll all rest easier knowing there are more people out there practicing gun safety.
49. The same year that Mr. Stephen Miller was keeping his fellow Blue Devils apprised of the latest happenings in Islamo-Fascism, Mr. Stephen Bannon apparently pitched a movie in which Muslims invade the US and turn it into the “Islamic States of America.” According to The Washington Post, the treatment outlines “a three-part movie that would trace ‘the culture of intolerance’ behind sharia law, examine the ‘Fifth Column’ made up of ‘Islamic front groups’ and identify the American enablers paving what Bannon calls ‘the road to this unique hell on earth.’”
Just who the fuck is doing the voting out there? I want answers.
50. SWAMP THE DRAIN: Democrats in congress sent a letter to the White House counsel asking for some answers about Trump’s “appointment of billionaire investor” (tired of that phrase yet?) Carl Icahn as special adviser on overhauling regulation. The Democrats are rather reasonably worried that Icahn might trade on insider information or change regulations to benefit his own substantial investments. Imagine that. Icahn is either an idiot or an asshole, though, because he’s put well over $1 billion into Herbalife, a certified pyramid scheme that has exploited and driven broke a few people I know. Herbalife paid hundreds of millions to the FTC to settle a class-action lawsuit. Carl Icahn, ladies and gentlemen!
51. SWAMP THE DRAIN: Donald Trump’s awesome ethics executive order has already allowed a former lobbyist to take a job at the very agency he spent decades lobbying. Obama’s ethics order had blanket ban on lobbyists working for the government; Trump’s, predictably, doesn’t.
52. Egypt’s president now vocally supports Syrian Murderer Bashar Al-Assad. Egypt is not on the travel ban. Trump has business ties to Egypt.
53. John Oliver announced he’ll be airing commercials during Trump’s favorite news shows, including “Fox & Friends,” CNN’s “New Day,” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Oliver bought the airtime on D.C.-area cable channels.
54. This was actually a week before last, but when leaving Mar-a-Lago Trump apparently mistook a line of protesters on the road for supporters. A local Fox station counted “dozens” of protesters and a “handful” of supporters. Trump tweeted of the fine site: “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!”
AP reported 20,000 anti-Trump protesters demonstrated in Mexico City.
56. SWAMP THE DRAIN! Steve Mnuchin, our new Secretary of the Treasury, is filling the treasury department by, say it with me now, “appointing billionaire investors.” Mnuchin has appointed honchos from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley among others. Obviously this isn’t new. But if you voted for Donald Trump because you thought he’d shake up DC and look out for the little guy and set fire to those elite bankers running the world, I’d love you to have the courage to admit he’s a fraud and he conned you. There’s only shame for Trump.
57. Al Franken said even some Republicans in congress are getting worried about Mr. Trump’s mental health.
58. Sure, the stock market is having a sugar high. But did you see what happened to the bond market immediately after the election? Bonds indicate the way people think the economy will go in the long run. The way this works, when US Treasury bond prices go up, that’s not often a good sign for the long term. Anyway, my point: Bloomberg reported America’s biggest creditors are now withdrawing because of political uncertainty in the United States. Japan holds the most in Treasury bonds and they sold off more bonds in December than they have in years. It’s the same across the world: people are skeptical of buying US debt like never before.
59. At Mar-a-Lago the weekend before last, Donald Trump’s friend Richard de Agazio, who pays the President hundreds of thousands of dollars, posted a picture of himself with the soldier who carries the nuclear football, whom Agazio named. But: emails!
60. Following that strange, strange weekend, in which Trump turned a dining patio into a situation room during an international military crisis moment without inconveniencing any of his members (who are still paying him) to leave, last Monday was the first weekday of Trump’s Presidency that he didn’t tweet before 8:15 in the morning. Hm. Then he didn’t post anything personally for the rest of the day. He was back in action on Tuesday, though. Methinks someone was compromised. But…. EMAILS!!!
61. The Department of Education tweeted a quote misspelling W.E.B. DuBois’ name. Then when the DOE tried to offer its apologies, it tweeted “apologizes” instead of “apologies.” And away we go.
62. The NFL warned the great state of Texas not to implement its proposed “bathroom bill,” which would stop transgender people from using the bathroom of their chosen gender.
63. General Michael Flynn was pulled from delivering a keynote address at a special-ops conference hours before he was fired.
64. Major corporations have developed emergency Twitter plans in case they ever need to respond to an unprompted twitter attack from the President of the United States of America.
The Wall Street Journal
reported that NSA agents are withholding major intelligence from the President on the assumption Russia has ears in the White House and Trump’s phone is compromised. The Trump administration fired back, hard, but WSJ stood by its reporting. Honestly not sure what to believe here, but it’s a news story either way.
66. Trump got a total of zero questions about Michael Flynn the day Michael Flynn was far and away the dominant headline. No, the first question Trump got at the Trudeau presser was a softball from an outlet called Sinclair. I hadn’t heard of Sinclair, so I looked into it and it turns out the Trump campaign struck a deal with Sinclair “for straighter coverage.” The rest of the conference went the same way.
67. Kellyanne Conway retweeted a white nationalist and blamed it on “someone else” using her Twitter account. The culprit is still at large.
68. Russia launched a cruise missile that violated international nuclear accords.
69. The Russian embassy responded to the allegations of Flynn’s deal to lift sanctions by tweeting a picture of hamburgers.
70. For some reason, Trump abruptly reversed his position on Russia’s invasion of Crimea the very same day he fired Flynn for fucking everything up with Russia. Old Spice said, “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.” This, folks, is bigger than it might sound.
71. The first “DREAM Act” immigrant was detained.
72. Apparently, the President has no idea what he’s signing.