Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 10/9/2020

The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to allow it to immediately end census collection efforts despite a large number of non-respondents.

The president went to Walter Reed in November of last year. They said it was for part of his routine physical which makes no sense at all as the entire physical can be completed at the White House. We’ve now learned that the doctors working on Trump had to first sign an NDA. Two doctors refused and were not allowed to interact with him. Unusual does not cover this. NDAs against government employees are not actually legal, but Trump frequently uses them anyway. The doctors who signed them could be released from them, but it would likely require a legal battle.

Despite dozens of people contracting Covid-19 in the White House, the president continues to mock people for wearing masks. Immediately after the vice-presidential debate, Mike Pence was photographed with his prep team, none of whom wore a mask.

Elliott Broidy was previously one of the GOP’s finance officers alongside convicted felon Michael Cohen and Steve Wynn, accused of sexual harassment and assault. Broidy was previously caught paying off a Playboy model to keep quiet about an affair via money transferred by Michael Cohen. Sound familiar? Broidy is now set to plead guilty to using his political ties to Trump to aid Malaysian and Chinese interests.

The president multiple times this week said that the treatment he received from Regeneron is a “cure” for Covid-19 and that he’ll be making it readily available for free to every American with help from the military. Every word of this is bullshit. Regeneron isn’t even the name of the treatment. It’s the name of the manufacturer. The treatment is still in clinical trials. Less than 10 people nationwide have received it outside of those trials. If the treatment did cure Covid-19 and there was a way to pay for it for everyone, the company is not capable of manufacturing anywhere near the needed doses.

After the Rose Garden event which likely spread Covid-19 to dozens of people, the president met with several gold star families – those who have lost someone to wartime military service. The president said he couldn’t cancel the event because so many of the families insist on hugging and kissing him, implying they may have been the source of his infection.

Several men were arrested in a plot to kidnap and assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer over the state’s Covid-19 restrictions. The White House response to the arrests was that Whitmer was sowing discord. President Trump attacked her for not being sufficiently grateful for the arrests then said she was doing a terrible job and needed to fully reopen the state – the exact same claims made by the terrorists. Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham said several times today the men looked like antifa members, not Trump supporters. This is a lie. Several of them posted frequently about Trump on social media and several attended the anti-lockdown protests including the one where armed men overtook the Michigan capitol. These men are Trump supporting terrorists.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is saying he may release more of Hillary Clinton’s emails which is sure to damage her chances of being elected president next month. Every unclassified email the State Department possesses is already freely available on the State Department website. Pompeo is aware of this but said that maybe they’ll find some more. Pompeo’s job is to represent the country in all of our foreign relations. Threatening to release Clinton’s emails in an effort to sway the election obviously has nothing to do with this.

Following the huge expose of Trump’s taxes, the New York Times has revealed a large loan Trump gave his 2016 campaign likely violated the law. One of Trump’s businesses deducted the cost of the loan which isn’t legal. It was also personally backed by one of his business partners which would legally count as a contribution which was never disclosed.

Adding to warnings from HHS and DHS officials, we’ve learned officials at the Department of Justice warned their superiors about the physical and psychological damage from a family separation policy. They were warned and went forward with them regardless.

The CDC wanted to issue a recommendation for everyone on public transportation to wear masks. Like so many other issues, their safety recommendations were overruled by the White House.

Despite having recently hosted an event responsible for spreading Covid-19 to dozens of people, the White House has invited TWO THOUSAND people to an event tomorrow.


Trump Daily – The GOP Convention

This year’s convention was, unsurprisingly, a parade of lies, fear-mongering, and egregious violations of ethics and law. Bizarrely, a primary theme was pointing towards current civil unrest and saying this is what America will look like under a Biden presidency. Students for Trump today tweeted out Trump touring a destroyed area labeling it “what Biden will do to America” which is peculiar as it happened while Donald Trump was president.

There is too much content to cover everything, but I want to hit on a few particular areas. Let’s look at some of the speakers chosen to represent the Republican Party:

  • Mary Ann Mendoza lost her son in a car crash involving an undocumented immigrant. She was scheduled to speak on the first night. Hours before the convention began, Mendoza tweeted out a thread touting the conspiracy theory that rich Jews were secretly in charge of, well, everything, and were using this influence to exterminate gentiles. The tweet promoted an infamous document about Jews controlling everything which was fabricated over a century ago. It also promoted Qanon, the conspiracy theory that Democrats are leading a massive Satanic cannibal child sex trafficking ring which Donald Trump will be exposing any day now with the help of Robert Mueller and JFK Jr, who faked his own death. A sizable portion of Republicans believe in Q. This one was invited to the convention. They pulled her spot after this tweet, but Mendoza has been tweeting out similar content for years. They either did not bother checking up on her in any way or they didn’t care.
  • Natalie Harp had a rare bone cancer and spoke about her treatment only being available because of the Right to Try law signed by Trump which opens up experimental treatments for terminally ill patients. She’s been lying about this for years. Firstly, the treatment she received was an off-label use for an approved drug. That’s been legal for decades. But in case that’s questionable, Harp’s treatment took place BEFORE Trump signed the Right to Try law.

Multiple people who participated in the convention were either lied to about their appearances or misled.

In an egregious ethical breach, the convention included a naturalization ceremony at the White House (more on this later). The participants in the ceremony were not informed their naturalization would be part of the GOP convention. Donald Trump usurped their moment for his own political gain. Lynne Patton, who planned Eric Trump’s wedding before landing a job she wasn’t qualified for at HUD, interviewed several public housing residents about their homes. The piece was one of several with minorities expressing support for Donald Trump. They weren’t told their interviews would be used for the convention or to support Trump. Several of the interviewees are furious, with one openly calling Trump a racist.

There were too many lies to cover here. Daniel Dale is a fastidious fact checker and I’d point you to his articles about the convention: night one, night two, night three, and night four. We saw lies about nearly every topic: the pandemic, the economy, Biden’s views on policing, the Veterans Choice Act (Trump has lied about signing this over 150 times. Obama signed it), immigration, mail-in voting, etc…

The Hatch Act is a 1939 law with a simple goal – preventing executive branch employees from campaigning and preventing government resources form being used to campaign. (I’ll note here that this applies to employees using THEIR OFFICE to campaign. There is nothing wrong with the Secretary of Energy giving a speech supporting a candidate. It’s wrong for them to do so at an agency meeting.) The goal here is a simple one. The federal government belongs to us. The office of the president belongs to us. The White House belongs to us. These things represent the entire United States and should not be used to support one political party. The Trump administration has constantly violated the Hatch Act, but we haven’t seen anything on the level we saw last week in American history. Several convention videos were filmed from The White House. The acting head of DHS conducted a naturalization ceremony from The White House, without informing the participants they were going to be part of the convention. The Secretary of State, after instructing State Department employees to not participate in the conventions, appeared from Israel in the middle of an official trip, on our dime. The South Lawn of the White House was where Trump formally accepted the nomination, with his name on massive signs on either side of the White House. And then to end the night, fireworks appeared over the Washington Monument, spelling “Trump” and “2020.” These properties are not his. They were not his to use. They are OURS. But Donald Trump does not care about any of this. The concept of public ownership doesn’t register with him. He decided the optics of using the National Mall to help his re-election worked so there was no consideration of the ethical violation of all of this.

Finally to illustrate there are no depths as to the pettiness of the Republican Party, the convention asked Leonard Cohen’s estate to use Hallelujah during the closing of the convention. They were refused. They used the song anyway.

Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 6/18/2020

  • The Trump campaign ran 88 individual ads on Facebook about dangerous mobs of leftists in the streets. Trump has tried to blame rioting on Antifa despite the FBI being able to uncover any evidence of that. The first sentence of the ads has 14 words and they inexplicably ran with an inverted red triangle. 14/88 is a white supremacist signal referencing a quote from a neo-Nazi and Hitler himself. The inverted red triangle is a symbol the Nazis used to designate political prisoners in their concentration camps. The Trump campaign argued this was a commonly used Antifa logo. It isn’t. They then argued it was merely an emoji which does not make any sense. Obviously, the Trump camp will maintain the left is overreacting and their symbolism has nothing to do with Nazim or anti-semitism. They’ve used the same argument several times now. In 2015, Trump tweeted out an infographic with fabricated statistics to illustrate how violent black people are. The original source was a neo-Nazi. In 2016, Trump tweeted out a picture of Hillary Clinton superimposed over a pile of cash with a Star of David shape. The original source was a white supremacist. While accusing others of it, Trump has long used anti-semitic tropes, often referring to Benjamin Netanyahu as the leader of Jewish-Americans and similar such comments. The fact that his organization keeps “accidentally” using Nazi and white supremacist imagery is an established pattern.
  • The Trump administration contracted with a company to provide test tubes for Covid-19 testing. The company had never produced medical supplies before. And they did not produce medical supplies now. Instead, the company provided the government with pre-formed 2-liter soda bottles. These are not usable as test tubes. The Trump administration bought a large number of plastic Coke bottles and sent them out to labs to use as test tubes. There have been dozens of similar stories like this since the beginning of the pandemic with the federal government hiring absolutely unqualified companies to provide supplies while ignoring legitimate manufacturers of PPE.

Trump Daily 6/3/2020

Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 5/31/2020

I want to acknowledge again the turmoil the country is in right now in response to George Floyd’s murder. There has been an overwhelming amount of news from the past few days, some of which I’ve covered on my personal social media. But I don’t feel this format is the best for identifying those stories, so this blog will focus on the president’s statements and actions regarding what’s happening instead of individual stories. I’d urge you to seek those stories out on your own.

  • The president said he spoke with Indian Prime Minister Modi about the border tensions between India and China. He lied. He hadn’t spoken to Modi at all. This is not the first time the president has invented a call between himself and Modi.
  • Some of the transcripts between former NSA Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak have been released. They confirm everything that has been said about them. Flynn was speaking to the Russian government about Obama’s sanctions and asking them to go easy when retaliating because Trump wanted to have a gentler response upon taking office. Flynn lied about this conversation to FBI investigators. Vice President Pence publicly said it didn’t take place. The intelligence community knew Flynn was lying, but more importantly, they knew the Russians knew Flynn was lying which compromised him. At the time he was in one of the most sensitive intelligence jobs in the country. What still isn’t clear is WHY Flynn lied to the FBI. As NSA and the former director of the DIA, Flynn would have known his call to Kislyak was being monitored.
  • DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari claims to have a PhD in philosophy on his resume. His PhD was in management, but that doesn’t matter because it was from a diploma mill. The school was an unaccredited diploma mill. Situations like this are usually caught by the White House Presidential Personnel Management. The current director there in charge of vetting appointees, John McEntee, is a 30 year old who previously worked as a low level aide to Trump. He resigned over gambling debts but was rehired to a position where he screens people over ethical conflicts like gambling debts. (Cuffari was hired before McEntee was in the position. McEntee replaced Joe Paulsen, Trump’s golf partner).
  • The president announced he is designating Antifa has a terrorist organization. There are two huge issues with this. Firstly, Antifa is not an organization. There is no leadership structure, organization, rules, or defined membership. It is a collection of political philosophies and protest strategies. Secondly, the law does not allow for the government to define a domestic organization as a terrorist group. We currently have two terrorist designations under the law – both only apply to foreign groups. Barr has announced law enforcement will be proceeding with treating antifa “members” as terrorists regardless. By doing this, it will be easier for the Trump administration to strip rights from dissenters and protesters. As there isn’t any definition or membership to antifa, they can simply accuse anyone they arrest of being a member and therefore a terrorist.
  • The United States is sending 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil to treat Covid-19. Trump and the right wing media still tout the drug as a treatment for the disease. The CDC, FDA, and multiple studies have warned that the drug has not shown any benefit in treating coronavirus and may pose a lethal danger when taken.
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 5/21/2020

  • Several Republican congressmen and the White House are saying they don’t want to pass further individual aid or extend unemployment relief. They would prefer workers return to work, but if they get sick they’re seeking to make sure businesses are not liable. In short, the GOP wants people returning to work regardless of their chances of catching the virus. This continues their strategy of addressing the pandemic by pretending it is over.
  • A New York Times piece details the difficulty in briefing the president. Echoing other reports over his tenure, the column details his short attention span and his habit of challenging information from the intelligence community with things he has heard on Fox News or from personal friends. The president has often claimed no one could know a pandemic like this could happen despite being briefed on its potential severity numerous times. He simply was not paying attention.
  • Trump is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty which allows countries to monitor each other for military movements. Former CIA director Michael Hayden simply called the withdrawal “insane.”
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 5/19/2020

  • The president wrote a letter threatening to defund the American contribution to the World Health Organization. The letter claims the Who ignored a December Lancet article about the spread of the virus in Wuhan, China. Today the Lancet editors pointed out they didn’t publish anything about the virus until January 24. The president lied.
  • Mike Pompeo said yesterday he was unaware that soon-to-be fired Inspector General Linick was investigating him. He lied. Pompeo refused to be interviewed by Linick regarding an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, but he answered Linick’s written questions.
Daily Summaries

Trump Daily 5/18/2020

  • In his attack on Cavuto, the president lamented the loss of “the great Roger Ailes.” Ailes resigned from Fox News in disgrace after decades of sexual harassment.