This week’s (4-10 February) episode of Donald Trump’s America brings us the following:
Day 22, 10 February 2017
- Immigration agents arrested undocumented immigrants in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- The first lady of Japan, Akie Abe, found herself unaccompanied Friday as she toured DC. The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, also toured solo. This is a break with normal foreign dignitary protocol.
- Several members of the New England Patriots have preemptively refused invitations to the White House to congratulate them their Super Bowl win.
- SENATE ACTION: Tom Price confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services (52-47)
- PUBLIC OPINION: Gallup reports that only 29% of us think world leaders respect Trump; 67% said same of Obama in 2009. And only 42% of Americans believe the world views the U.S. favorably, the worst assessment in 10 years (Bush was president). The margin of sampling error is ±4%.
Day 21, 9 February 2017
- Trump pulls EPA staff from 19th annual Alaska Forum on the Environment.
- Trump issues statement: the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers will not be part of the president’s cabinet. This is a break from seven decades of precedent.
- Trump signed three new executive orders: (1) task force on public safety; (2) violence against law enforcement officers; (3) dealing with “transnational criminal organizations.”
- ETHICS: Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway told viewers of Fox to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.” According to former ethics head, Kellyanne Conway broke the law on Fox News.
- JUDICIAL: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the administration’s request to reinstate the travel ban.
- NATIONAL SECURITY: US national security adviser, Michael Flynn, came under fire after both the Washington Post and the New York Times reported that he talked to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions from the Obama administration before they happened.
- CONGRESS: At rowdy town hall, ex-teacher asks Chaffetz — chair of House oversight — “what’s your line in the sand” for Trump? (video, tweet)
Day 20, 8 February 2017
- SENATE Action:
- Four male Senators read into the record the King letter that McConnell had refused to let Warren read Tuesday.
- Jeff Sessions confirmed as Attorney General (52-47).
- ETHICS: Business Insider reported that Press Secretary Spicer had, on at least three occasions, referred to a “terrorist attack in Atlanta.” There have been no terrorist attacks in Atlanta since February 1997. When pressed, Spicer said he “clearly meant Orlando.”
- TWITTER: Trump attacked Nordstom’s on Twitter for dropping his daughter’s clothing line. The official POTUS account retweeted, drawing criticism that an ethical and legal line had been breached.
Day 19, 7 February 2017
- Trump threatened to “destroy [the] career” of an unnamed Texas state senator for proposing legislation to curb the government ability to seize property (asset forfeiture) from people not convicted of a crime. In the same meeting, he falsely asserted: “The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years.”
- Trump asserted falsely that other presidents have had their cabinets in place by this point in their administration “the longest delay in the history of our country.” The facts? Bill Clinton; March 11, 1993. George H.W. Bush, March 17, 2001. Barack Obama, April 28, 2009.
- A lawyer for Melania Trump argued that her “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to profit from the presidency had been damaged by an article in the Daily Mail. California attorney Charles Harder represented wrestler Hulk Hogan, winning for him a $140 million invasion of privacy judgment against Gawker.
- SENATE Action:
- Betsy DeVos was confirmed as secretary of education. The 50-50 tie was broken by Vice President Pence.
- “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” With that statement, Mitch McConnell may have entered the history books as he censured Sen. Elizabeth Warren for attempting to read a letter by Coretta Scott King into the record, opposing Sen. Sessions appointment to Attorney General. #ShePersisted spread quickly on Twitter.
Day 18, 6 February 2017
- Trump asserted falsely (aka “lied”) that terrorism is “not even being reported.”
- A visit by Trump to the UK (date TBD) has led to a massive online protest. As a result, “Donald Trump will not be welcome to address Parliament on his state visit to the UK because of its opposition to racism and to sexism,” according to the Independent.
- TWITTER: Trump castigated media (“fake news”).
Day 17, 5 February 2017
- In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump praised Putin, continued to claim widespread voter fraud in November 2016 election, claimed Obamacare is “a disaster.”
Day 16, 4 February 2017
- JUDICIAL: Appeals court rejects request to immediately restore travel ban; US temporarily suspends order as Trump derides judge.
- TWITTER: Trump castigated the New York Times (“fake news”) on Twitter
- CONGRESS: Hundreds Protest Trump At California Congressman’s Town Hall (second source: video, tweet)
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
In addition, the White House travel ban continued to lose in court:
- US temporarily suspends order as Trump derides judge
- Appeals court rejects request to immediately restore travel ban (2/4)
- Appeals court refuses to reinstate travel ban (2/9)
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
So now the WH may rewrite the executive order. Or maybe it won’t.
News from Congress:
- Republican Congressmen grilled by constituents at their own town halls (TN, UT)
- Republican Congressmen cancelling town halls (AL, NY)
- Citizens demanding Congressmen hold town halls (NY)
Congressmen grilled at town halls
California, Florida, Tennessee, Utah
Hundreds Protest Trump At California Congressman's Town Hall https://t.co/7oNCRIHDYb
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) February 5, 2017
— Derek Cressman (@DerekCressman) February 5, 2017
This is the scene out Rep. Tom McClintock's town hall. We just made it inside after pleading with Roseville police. pic.twitter.com/13UaXMvWph
— Max Resnik (@KCRAMax) February 4, 2017
It's like 2010 in reverse, Republicans getting earful from constituents in support of Obamacare. Florida town hall: https://t.co/3pfkcne6I7
— andrew kaczynski 🤔 (@KFILE) February 5, 2017
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) February 10, 2017
At rowdy town hall, ex-teacher asks Chaffetz — chair of House oversight — “what’s your line in the sand” for Trump? pic.twitter.com/8U7IkpZtsS
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) February 10, 2017
Congressmen cancelling town halls
Alabama and New York
Citizens demanding town halls
Arizona, New York
— Indivisible_SAZ (@Indivisible_SAZ) February 7, 2017
— CNY Solidarity Co (@CNYSolidarity) February 9, 2017
Coming up over the weekend
— IndivisibleFL22 (@IndivisibleFL22) February 9, 2017
— Town Hall Project (@townhallproject) February 9, 2017