Week 24: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.
April 29, 2017
Today marks day 100 of the Trump regime. Despite the Republicans having control of the House and Senate, Trump has yet to tally a single legislative accomplishment. He was obsessive this week in pushing for Trumpcare 3 ahead of the 100-day mark, but the Resistance, which continues to grow in number and fervor, headed him off.
And all the while, the drumbeat of Russia grows louder. This week, Speaker Ryan acknowledged Russian interference. Trump’s involvement has evolved from a “Trump-Russia probe” to a “Trump-Russia scandal,” and this week, to a “Trump-Russia cover-up.” As this unfolds, concern grows that Trump will seek to distract attention by starting a war. The one constant throughout the weeks is Trump’s attempts to enrich himself and his regime through a growing list of conflicts of interest and corruption.
- Speaker Ryan acknowledged that Russia interfered with our election, and said US probes could help our allies prevent similar interference.
- As Le Pen advanced to the French presidential election runoff, Putin is using many of the tools successfully employed in the US to target France.
- WikiLeaks released more top-secret CIA documents. Our media has by and large stopped covering the WikiLeaks document dumps.
- A group of psychiatrists at a conference held at Yale Medical School cited a “Duty to Warn” about Trump being dangerously ill.
- Of the ten items listed on Trump’s contract with the American people for the first 100 days of his administration, he accomplished none of them.
- The State Department and two US embassies promoted Mar-a-Lago on their website with a 400-word blog post. After public outrage, the post was removed.
- NYT reported the State Department is likely to remain largely unstaffed into 2018. Trump has yet to fill 200 leadership jobs which require Senate confirmation. Tillerson is taking no action either.
- Similarly, as the Trump regime launched its tax plan, the Treasury Department does not have a single confirmed appointee in positions tasked with reforming the tax code.
- Trump’s tax reform plan was launched with Mnuchin handing out a one-pager with broad details and no numbers.
- Democrats, including former Obama ethics chief Norm Eisen noted Trump’s tax reform could save him hundreds of millions of dollars. Without tax returns, it’s impossible to know his total benefit.
- Beyond State, the slow pace of nominations in the first 100 days has left cabinet agencies in limbo. Only 26 of the 556 senior positions which require Senate confirmation have been filled.
- Nikki Haley was the only member of the Trump regime to condemn the abuse and killings of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Days later, the State Department said they want to clear her remarks in advance.
- UN diplomats were invited to the WH, but Tillerson was not included. Haley was there, and Trump publicly threatened to fire her, “Does everybody like Nikki? Good, otherwise she could easily be replaced.”
- In his first 100 days, Trump has an unprecedented number (15) of appointees who got fired, withdrew, or quit.
- Carl Bernstein said there is a “serious belief” in the FBI and Congress that there is an active cover-up underway by the Trump regime of their involvement with Russia.
- On Monday, Yahoo reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe had stalled due to lack of staffing and Sen. Richard Burr’s unwillingness to sign off on witness requests.
- Democrats in the Senate Intelligence Committee hired April Doss, the former head of intelligence law at the NSA. Burr refused to bring on additional staffing, saying staffing levels were already sufficient.
- Trump picked ally Dana Boente to take over the Justice Department unit’s probe of Trump-Russia. Boente was last named by Trump as an interim acting-AG on the Monday Night Massacre (firing of Yates).
- On Tuesday, Politico reported that Michael Flynn’s lobbying work for Turkey came to him via Dmitri Zairian, a Russian with ties to the Putin regime.
- The WH denied a request by House Oversight Committee leaders Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Elijah Cummings to release documents related to Flynn.
- Shortly thereafter, Chaffetz and Cummings addressed the press, saying Flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing payments from Russia.
- The next day, Chaffetz posted an explanation on Facebook of why he was leaving office, citing a foot injury. His explanation was met with much skepticism.
- Friday, Cummings said the WH is “covering up” for Flynn. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said there is “powerful, mounting, incontrovertible evidence” of a violation of criminal law.
- The Pentagon’s internal watchdog group opened an investigation into whether Flynn took payments from foreign governments after leaving the military.
- Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released documents showing the Pentagon warned Flynn not to take foreign payments without advance approval from the military. Flynn did not seek approval.
- Spicer blamed Obama for Flynn having security clearance, neglecting the fact that Obama fired Flynn, and Trump appointed him to NSA.
- NBC reported the Trump team did do a background check on Flynn as part of him becoming NSA. Despite their public denials, senior transition team members like Pence and Sessions would have seen the information.
- Michael Cohen said he may sue BuzzFeed for publishing the Steele dossier, which includes allegations that Cohen traveled to Prague in August to meet with Russians.
- The Guardian reported that Steele had also alerted the UK government with two memos about collusion between Trump and Russia. His contact in the US appears to have been with Sen. John McCain, not James Comey.
- Steele’s memo also reported that four members of the Trump regime travelled to Prague for secret discussion with the Kremlin in August/September 2016 on how to pay hackers for penetrating the Democratic party computer systems.
- Peter Severa, a Russian hacker whose wife said he was “linked to Trump’s win” in Week 22, was indicted in Bridgeport, CT on eight counts related to the Kelihos botnet malware.
- Rep. David Cicilline, a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, requested the Inspector General open an investigation into the firings of Yates and Bharara. Yates will testify on May 8th in a Senate hearing.
- Trump made 16 false claims in a bizarre interview with AP. He also made at least 15 comments which AP classified as “unintelligible.”
- Also in the AP interview, Trump bragged about getting highest ratings since 9/11 coverage.
- Trump said he planned to keep on his controversial press secretary, Sean Spicer, because “the guy gets great ratings.”
- After a second executive order was blocked, Trump said he would “absolutely” consider proposals to break-up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This threat was compared to the type of action of a dictator might take.
- The Trump regime set up a VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement) hotline for callers to report on immigrants. The hotline was flooded with calls with reports of space aliens.
- A federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the Trump regime efforts to withhold money from sanctuary cities.
- WAPO reported on ICE data which shows half of the immigrants arrested had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses.
- Supreme Court Justice Roberts spoke out against Trump’s immigration plan, describing the regime’s interpretation as “prosecutorial abuse” for making it easy to strip citizenship for even lying about minor infractions.
- Trump’s Muslim ban suffered another setback as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request for an 11-member court review.
- A report by the ADL revealed that anti-Semitic incidents in the US rose by 86% in the first three months of 2017, over the same period last year.
- Trump proposed budget would strip all funding from a State Department bureau that promotes the rights of women around the world.
- A Trump supporter stormed a cafeteria at a Kentucky university and asked about political affiliation, before stabbing two women.
- Trump’s USDA rolled back Michelle Obama’s school nutrition standards.
- Mnuchin said Trump will not release his tax returns, adding Trump “has given more financial disclosure than anybody else.”
- NYT reported that Kushner recently financed real-estate transactions in NYC through the Steinmetz family, who are under investigation for bribing a government official in Guinea to secure mining rights.
- The investigator who found Florida AG Pam Bondi did nothing wrong by accepting $25k of campaign cash and then dropping the investigation of Trump U, ignored key evidence already unearthed.
- Politico reported that Lewandowki’s DC firm is offering foreign clients in-person meetings with Trump, Pence and other senior regime members.
- HuffPost’s Christina Wilkie compiled a public spreadsheet to identify $107 million of donations to Trump inauguration. Discrepancies have been found, and the regime has yet to explain where unspent monies went.
- Ivanka was booed for defending her father at a conference for female business leaders in Berlin.
- WAPO reported that workers endured long hours and low pay working at factories used by Ivanka’s company in China.
- Facebook revealed fake accounts were used on its platform to sway the US election. Facebook also indicated its findings do “not contradict” the January 6 report issued by the US Director of National Intelligence.
- Commerce Secretary Ross said the Trump regime would impose a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber.
- On Wednesday morning, Trump said he was considering withdrawing from NAFTA. By the evening, amidst confusion and without a reasonable explanation, he changed course and said the US would remain.
- Trump ceremoniously summoned the entire US Senate onto a bus to the WH for a closed-door meeting on N. Korea. To the Senators’ frustration, nothing was offered beyond public information. Stagecraft.
- Trump gave another disturbing 100-day interview to Reuters, for which the first headline to break was “there is a chance of a ‘major, major conflict with North Korea.”’
- Trump also bemoaned to Reuters about missing his past life, and added, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
- Trump brought a printed map handout to his Reuters interview to showcase his electoral win.
- Trump also asked WAPO in his 100-day interview to put his electoral college handout on their front page.
- The US economy grew at just 0.7% in the first quarter, the weakest showing in three years. Expectedly, Trump did not comment or tweet.
- The Resistance claimed another victory as Trumpcare 3 failed to muster support in the House, despite the GOP’s 47 seat advantage.
- Fallout from the O’Reilly ouster continued, as CNN reported FoxNews is now under federal investigation by USPIS and the Justice Department for settlement payments and the overall environment at the network.
- A new CNN/OCR poll found that 2/3 of Americans do not believe Trump is honest and trustworthy.
- Koi, the restaurant in Trump Soho, became the latest Trump business to suffer a decline in business and close. Unlike Trump Hotel DC, Koi didn’t have the benefit of foreign diplomats patronizing it to win favor.
- The Trump regime announced Friday that the EPA website would be undergoing changes, and then removed climate science from public view.
- The White House Correspondents’ Dinner will go on without Trump tonight. He will instead hold a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.
Week 1: https://goo.gl/KWlyOO Week 2: https://goo.gl/Pn7MFs
Week 3: https://goo.gl/CZwxsX Week 4: https://goo.gl/JhwuON
Week 5: https://goo.gl/TGM6x8 Week 6: https://goo.gl/uhyjxe
Week 7: https://goo.gl/bMdhTG Week 8: https://goo.gl/89MW8h
Week 9: https://goo.gl/ekv9wE Week 10: https://goo.gl/RETyH1
Week 11: https://goo.gl/6cs0tt Week 12: https://goo.gl/bRMx5o
Week 13: https://goo.gl/xzdjyY Week 14: https://goo.gl/1HwN4H
Week 15: https://goo.gl/JxVghS Week 16: https://goo.gl/sZpudG
Week 17: https://goo.gl/QymWmJ Week 18: https://goo.gl/Ri6E9N
Week 19: https://goo.gl/L6JOSV Week 20: https://goo.gl/PvlahQ
Week 21: https://goo.gl/XDjZFw Week 22: https://goo.gl/AQydgj
Week 23: https://goo.gl/FlWS69
Copyright Amy Siskind, April 29, 2017