Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib sharply criticized President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at an emotional news conference following their canceled Israel trip https://t.co/KsTWS7KdMm pic.twitter.com/L2tp57tnxB
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 19, 2019
Going to Norway.
This week Trump’s beloved economy faltered under pressure from his trade war with China, a ballooning U.S. budge deficit, and other global factors. An anxious Trump, realizing a strong economy is essential to his re-election, lashed out at the Federal Reserve, while confiding in allies his plan to blame any downturn on Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Meanwhile his shrinking inner-circle of sycophants assured him forecasts were wrong.
Trump held two rallies this week, one at a Shell Chemical plant outside Pittsburgh, where later it was revealed union employees were mandated to attend — “No scan, no pay” — and warned not to protest. At a second rally in New Hampshire, Trump rambled, veering off script and repeating points he made earlier in the speech.
This week the concerns of an uprising and mainstreaming of white nationalism continued, while Trump regime officials continued to make blatantly racist and xenophobic statements, and defend cruel and inhumane treatment of people of color. The Republican Party remained silent, instead seeking to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats. Trump urged his authoritarian ally in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deny entry for two Muslim members of Congress — an unprecedented thwart of democracy. Protests heated up in Russia and Hong Kong.
- WAPO reported Trump crossed 12,000 false or misleading claims on August 5, his 928th day since taking office. He has averaged 20 lies per day since crossing the 10,000 mark on April 26.
- About one-fifth of his lies relate to immigration, and the percentage has grown since the government shutdown over his wall. Trump also lies frequently about trade, the economy, and the Russia investigation.
- On Monday, the Twitter account for the House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “We are considering all Article I remedies to Presidential misconduct, including articles of impeachment.”
- The panel added, “We will continue our investigation. We will hold @realDonaldTrump accountable. This is America. And no one is above the law. Not even the President.”
- On Saturday, Trump retweeted conspiracy theories, tying the death of Jeffrey Epstein to the Clintons, and spreading an unsubstantiated claim that Epstein was on suicide watch, in contrast to his regime’s statement.
- On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump on “Fox News Sunday,” saying Trump “just wants everything to be investigated,” and criticizing those connecting Trump to Epstein.
- On Sunday, the New York City medical examiner’s office said it had completed an autopsy of Epstein, but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death.
- NBC News reported that the FBI, which does not normally look into suicides at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, is also looking into the case out of an “abundance of caution.”
- On Sunday, NYT reported that Epstein was supposed to be checked every 30 minutes, but that protocol was not followed. Also procedure for a recent suicide attempt is to have a cellmate, but Epstein’s was transferred out.
- WAPO reported Epstein’s guards, who were working overtime, had not checked on him for “several” hours. Also his cellmate, a former police officer in custody on murder and narcotics charges, was not present.
- On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins launched a bipartisan inquiry into the circumstances of Epstein’s apparent suicide.
- On Saturday, Trump attacked his former press secretary and friend, Anthony Scaramucci, tweeting he “was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling.”
- Trump also tweeted of Scaramucci’s television appearance criticizing him, “he knows very little about me,” adding, “Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV.”
- On Sunday, Scaramucci responded, tweeting he had supported Trump until he “said things that divide the country,” adding, “eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.”
- On Monday, Scaramucci told CNN that Trump should be replaced as the GOP presidential candidate in 2020, citing “the racially charged comments, the divisive tweeting,” saying Trump’s rhetoric “is not helping the country.”
- On Monday, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told PBS that during Trump’s visit in Week 143, Trump chastised him, “You’re a RINO” (Republican in Name Only) when Margo corrected Trump about crime statistics in the city.
- On Wednesday, former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh apologized for helping elect an “unfit con man” in an NYT op-ed, and made the case for someone on the right to launch a 2020 primary challenge against Trump.
- Walsh said of Trump, “We’ve had enough of your lies, your bullying, your cruelty, enough of your insults, your daily drama, your incitement, enough of the danger you place this country in every single day.”
- On Sunday, Trump attacked MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch, tweeting, “So funny to watch Little Donny Deutschon TV with his own failing show,” saying he and CNN’s Erin Burnett would call and “BEG” to be on “The Apprentice.”
- Trump added, during the 2016 election “I would watch as Joe Scarborough & his very angry Psycho wife(?)” push Deutsch “to the point of total humiliation,” but he did not fight back because “he wanted to stay on TV.”
- On Tuesday, Trump attacked CNN host Chris Cuomo over threatening a man who called him “Fredo,” tweeting, would Cuomo “be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” and “He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon.”
- Trump seemed to be making a mocking reference at “red flag” laws which grant authorities the power to remove guns from those who have been deemed unstable. Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “He’s nuts!”
- Ivanka has called for stricter background checks and “red flag” laws. Donald Jr., who the WSJ reported Trump called his “my gun expert” at a recent fundraiser, is against both. Trump has taken no action on guns.
- Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “I thought Chris was Fredo also,” adding, “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.” Trump retweeted attacks on Cuomo and CNN from his allies and family all day Tuesday.
- Later Tuesday, Trump also tweeted, “When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News,” adding, “We never learn!”
- Later Tuesday, Trump also attacked CNN, tweeting, “Without being stuck at an airport, where CNN buys (at a big price) an uninterested audience, they’ve got nothing going,” adding CNN “is BAD for America!”
- On Monday night, CNN stood by Cuomo. On Tuesday, before heading to a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump told reporters that Cuomo’s behavior is like “a totally out of control animal,” and that he “spews lies every night.”
- Trump also defended his promoting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death, telling reporters the retweet “was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit. So I think it was fine.”
- When asked if he truly believes the Clintons are involved in Epstein’s death, Trump responded “I have no idea” and highlighted Bill Clinton’s relationship with Epstein, adding he is demanding a “full investigation.”
- On Saturday, tens of thousands of Russians protested in Moscow over Putin’s refusal to allow a slate of independent candidates on the city council elections ballot for September.
- Unlike past protests, this was an authorized rally, which featured speakers and entertainers. Some among the crowd shouted, “Putin is a thief.” Heavily armed police detained 135 people.
- On Monday, NYT reported U.S. intelligence officials are scrambling to understand an explosion that released radiation off the coast of Northern Russia during testing of a new type of nuclear-propelled cruise missile.
- The incident killed seven Russians, marking one of the worst nuclear accidents in the region since Chernobyl. The Pentagon and other agencies have described the nuclear missile as a potential new kind of threat.
- On Monday, thousands of anti-government protestors stormed the Hong Kong International Airport. The protest began in June over legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
- The protest led to over 150 flights being canceled. The government of China said protestors had “begun to show signs of terrorism,” also citing previous actions including a gasoline bomb.
- On Tuesday, when asked by reporters about the Hong Kong protests, Trump called it a “tough situation,” and said he hopes the situation will work out “for everybody, including China.”
- Demonstrations turned violent Tuesday as protestors at the airport clashed with police. Trump has been criticized for not commenting on the protests and defending democracy as other lawmakers on both sides have done.
- Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted U.S. intelligence informed him “the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” adding, “Everyone should be calm and safe!”
- On Wednesday, Trump defended the leader of China, tweeting, “I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people,” and “He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’”
- Trump also offered to meet with Xi, tweeting, “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
- Trump also tweeted Wednesday, then retweeted Thursday, that China is “eating the Tariffs” while “The American consumer is fine,” adding, “China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”
- On Sunday, NYT reported the El Paso shooter’s 2,300 word manifesto echoed words used by conservative commentators, including “invasion” and “replacement” — words used in the right-wing fringes until recently.
- The Times analysis found 300 Fox News programs in the past year have referenced an immigration “invasion,” and found a “shared vocabulary of intolerance” between conservative commentators and the manifesto.
- On Sunday, WAPO reported Trump, who considers himself a branding expert, has been unable to shake the label of “racist” — which makes him furious. He has lashed out on Twitter and in public comments to no avail.
- On Sunday, NYT reported officials in the Department of Homeland Security have felt that they cannot broach the topics of domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence with Trump because he is not interested.
- Reportedly, former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sought a regular meeting with Trump to brief him on domestic terrorism and other topics, but her proposal was rejected by the White House.
- Instead the department has been told to focus on foreign terrorism and immigration, and to pay little attention to domestic extremism. Incidents of white supremacist propaganda have increased 182% in 2018.
- On Sunday, Richard Clayton, 26, a white supremacist, was arrested after making online threats about a shooting at a Walmart in Florida, saying “3 more days…then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”
- On Sunday, NYT reported that Taylor Dumpson, the first African-American female student body president of American University, won a $725,000 judgment over neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin for inciting trolls to target her.
- The judgment is the third against Anglin, publisher of the website The Daily Stormer, in the last three months. In all, Anglin owes more than $20 million to three people, but has yet to pay a cent.
- On Saturday, NYT reported the Trump regime has taken steps to revoke the certification of an outspoken immigration judges’ union which has been critical of some of the regime’s policies, in an effort to muffle dissent.
- The regime filed a petition claiming the National Association of Immigration Judges should be decertified, saying its members are considered “management officials” ineligible to collectively organize.
- On Saturday, the American Bar Association took the unusual step of raising alarms that judges are receivingintensified personal threats, which have been further amplified by social media.
- On Sunday, thousands of Jewish Americans marked the holiday of Tisha B’Av, an annual day of mourning, by protesting in D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and more over the Trump regime’s immigration policies.
- The protestors organized around “Never Again.” In NYC, dozens of protestors, including some rabbis, were arrested after conducting a prayer service outside the Amazon store in downtown Manhattan.
- On Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus demanded answers on the Mississippi raids, saying its “purpose is to instill fear in Latino and immigrant communities,” adding, “Latinos are already living in terror.”
- The Hispanic Caucus tweeted data showing Immigration and Custom Enforcement “has increased their total number of detention beds to over 55,000. This is well above what Congress appropriated for beds.”
- On Monday, the Trump regime issued a new rule, called the “public charge” rule, which would enable officials to deny green cards to migrants they believe will receive public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.
- Starting October 15, the new rules will allow customs and immigration officers not only to consider whether an applicant currently receives benefits, but also make a determination on whether they will in the future.
- On Monday, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, defended the ruleon NPR, saying it was part of Trump “keeping his promises” to reduce the “burden on the government.”
- Cuccinelli twisted Emma Lazarus’ words on the Statue of Liberty, saying, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
- On Tuesday, Cuccinelli defended his statement, telling CNN the Statue of Liberty poem is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
- On Tuesday, two California counties filed lawsuits challenging the regime’s “public charge” rule, calling it “arbitrary and capricious,” and saying it “flouts federal law, and seeks to usurp Congress’ authority.”
- On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on CNN of Cuccinelli’s rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem, “I’ve been a refugee twice. … I think that it is one of the most un-American things I’ve heard.”
- On Wednesday, 13 states filed a lawsuit against DHS over the new “public charge” rule. States included Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Jersey.
- On Tuesday, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence defended Mississippi raids that left children abandoned, saying, “The parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible.”
- Albence said of a video showing a young girl crying, “Many officers, on a daily basis — when an officer goes in to arrest somebody for a crime of domestic violence, one of the children in there is going to be crying.”
- On Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she has “no intention” of accepting unaccompanied migrant children for shelter in her city, in reaction to a request by a federal contractor, Dynamic Service Solutions.
- Similarly, top local officials in Northern Virginia also pushed back at Department of Health and Human Services request to house unaccompanied migrant children there, citing the unacceptable policy of family separation and other issues.
- On Wednesday, Ohio AG Dave Yost suspended facial-recognition databases for law enforcement officers, following a report by the Post which found FBI, ICE, and other federal agencies were mining data without permission.
- On Wednesday, NBC News reported ICE records obtained by a government watchdog group show the number of detainees put in solitary confinement rose by 15.2% during the first 15 months of Trump’s time in office.
- The watchdog group the Project On Government Oversight also found of those in solitary, “a strikingly high proportion have mental illness.” The trend of the data indicated the level of solitary confinement will continue to rise.
- On Wednesday, at a Never Again Action protest at Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island, Thomas Woodworth, a correctional officer, drove his pickup truck into a crowd of protestors. The facility works with ICE.
- The group of protestors included children and a protestor in a wheelchair. When protestors blocked Woodworth’s truck from making it through the gate, other guards surrounded protestors and fired pepper spray.
- In a statement, the Rhode Island attorney general’s office and the Rhode Island State Police said they are investigating the incident. Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
- On Thursday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs defended the driver, saying he was “within his rights” to plow into ICE protestors on his way to work, and telling his viewers it “must just gladden your heart.”
- On Thursday, a federal appeals panel ruled that the Trump regime must provide edible food, clean water, soap, and toothpaste to migrant children as required under the 1977 Flores settlement.
- The panel tossed out the Trump regime’s challenge to a lower court, saying the regime was not required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, as part of the Flores requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary.”
- A legal advocate for child welfare at the National Center for Youth Law, said, “It should shock the conscience of all Americans to know that our government argued children do not need these bare essentials.”
- On Thursday, the Clarion Ledger reported ICE separated a 4-month-old breastfed baby from its mother. The mother was arrested while working at Koch Foods, where she had worked for four years, as part of a mass raid in Week 143.
- The father is now raising three young children on his own. He too faces possible deportation under the Trump regime, as part of proceedings stemming from an earlier arrest.
- On Friday, a federal appeals court delivered Trump a partial victory, narrowing the injunction on the asylum ban by allowing the regime to enforce the policy in New Mexico and Texas, two of the busiest stretches.
- On Monday, federal prosecutors charged Justin Olsen, an 18 year-old white man in Ohio, with making threats against law enforcement. Olsen wrote, “in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight.”
- Olsen’s writings online expressed support for mass shootings, and also was for attacks on Planned Parenthood. He lived in a house with 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
- On Tuesday, a viral-video showed Michigan police stopping and questioning a black man who was walking into a restaurant, after a white woman called police to say he looked suspicious.
- The man was stopped by an officer, then three more responded to the scene and questioned him for almost an hour. On Thursday, the Royal Oak Police Department launched an investigation and apologized.
- Race Imboden, a member of the U.S. fencing team who earned a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games, took a knee on the podium during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.
- On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported Rep. Steve King asked a group in an argument to ban abortion, if we pulled out rape and incest from family trees, “Would there be any population of the world left?”
- King also told the crowd, “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society? I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
- On Friday, WAPO reported Jerri Kelly, a 46 year-old white woman in Wynne, Arkansas, held four black teenswho were going door-to-door to raise money for their football team, by gunpoint.
- Before the four knocked on her door, Kelly emerged with a gun, forced them to lie down, spread their legs and place their arms behind their backs. Kelly was charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
- On Monday, the Trump regime said it will change the way the Endangered Species Act was applied, making it easier to remove species from the list and harder to protect species from threats like climate change.
- The new rules allow regulators to conduct economic assessments to deciding if a species should be protected, and clears the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development where protected species live.
- On Monday, a study released by the American Meteorological Society found greenhouse gases reached record levels in 2018, and their global warming power is now 43% stronger than in 1990.
- Other findings included that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, following behind 2015, 2017, and 2016 the warmest. Glaciers melted at a concerning rate for the 30th straight year, and sea levels for the 7th year.
- On Tuesday, a coalition of 29 states and cities sued to block the Trump regime from rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The challenge is led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
- The Obama-era rule required states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2022 by closing heavily polluting plants. AG James said “the science is indisputable” and called the Trump regime’s plan a “do-nothing rule.”
- The case, which could go to the Supreme Court, could weaken future presidents’ power to regulate carbon dioxide pollution, and make it harder for the U.S. to tackle climate change.
- Trump selected William Perry Pendley as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley does not believe that government should have public lands, and has spent his professional life fighting it in court.
- On Wednesday, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule which would grant businesses with federal contracts “religious exemption” in hiring and firing, impacting employees who are LGBTQ and others.
- Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella said the rule will “ensure the civil rights of religious employers are protected.” About one-quarter of U.S. employees work for an employer that has a contract with the government.
- On Monday, at a town-hall meeting with staff, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said the Times can do a better job covering Trump, race, and politics, and called the headline mistake from last week a “fucking mess.”
- On Tuesday, the Times demoted editor Jonathan Weisman, citing “serious lapses” on social media. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Weisman “Should have been Fired! Totally biased and inaccurate reporting.”
- Trump also tweeted of the Times on Thursday, “the paper is a Fraud, Zero Credibility. Fake News takes another hit, but this time a big one!”
- On Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland became the 123rd House Democrat to call for an impeachment inquiry. Including Rep. Amash the total count stood at 124.
- On Monday, government figures showed the U.S. budget deficit is up 27% from a year ago, bringing the deficit through July to $867 billion from $684 billion last year, and on track to top a trillion for the fiscal year.
- On Tuesday, Politico reported that over the past few days, economists at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America warned that Trump’s trade war with China has led to a rising risk of a recession.
- On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the Trump regime would delay imposing some tariffs on China, saying it was not a trade concession to China, but a decision to help the American consumer.
- Ross claimed the “analytical work began well before” Trump imposed additional tariffs, and the market fell off July’s all-time highs.
- On Wednesday, Trump quoted a commentator on Fox Business in a tweet, saying “The Fed has got to do something! The Fed is the Central Bank of the United States, not the Central Bank of the World.”
- Trump also tweeted, “Correct! The Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late.” Trump also quoted Fox Business, saying of China tariffs, “but you can’t tell me that it has hurt our economy.”
- Later Wednesday, Trump again attacked the Fed shortly before the stock market close, tweeting, “China is not our problem, though Hong Kong is not helping. Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast.”
- Trump also tweeted, “we are winning, big time, against China,” but “our problem is with the Fed,” and attacked the Fed Chair, “THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell,” and the “CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!”
- On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 800 points, its worst percentage drop of the year and fourth-largest drop of all time, on fears of a recession.
- On Wednesday, a new Fox New poll found Trump’s disapproval rating jumped 5 points from a month ago to 56%, one point below his record disapproval of 57% in October 2017.
- On Thursday, Trump blamed the media for the faltering economy, tweeting, “the Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”
- Trump offered no evidence to back his claim. He also tweeted that thanks to him, “the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”
- On Thursday, WAPO reported that Trump is worried that a recession could imperil his re-election — his campaign counted on a strong economy. Regime members admitted they had not planned for a recession.
- Rather than officials in the regime making plans to stave off a recession, Trump’s economic advisers have been delivering an upbeat message on the economy, arguing it is stronger than many forecasters are predicting.
- Trump tweeted the U.S. economy is “the Biggest, Strongest and Most Powerful Economy in the World,” but privately he is anxious. Trump also has a conspiratorial view, telling allies he distrusts statistics in the media.
- Trump has privately told allies and aides that Fed Chair Powell will be a scapegoat for a recession. In addition to Trump’s trade war with China and exogenous factors, the regime’s economic message has been muddled.
- On Wednesday, Trump held an event at Royal Dutch Shell’s Complex outside Pittsburgh where he was scheduled to deliver a speech on the regime’s energy policies, but turned into a campaign speech.
- Trump took full credit for the construction of the plant he spoke at, saying “It was the Trump administration that made it possible,” even though it was initially approved in June 2016, while Obama was in office.
- Trump told the construction workers at the event that without him, they would be without a job, and claimed, without evidence, that his time in office was costing him $3 to $5 billion.
- Trump again mused about not leaving office after two terms, telling the crowd that to drive the press “totally crazy,” they should use “hashtag third term, hashtag fourth term.”
- Trump attacked his 2020 rivals, referring to “Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe,” and went off on a tangent on the Academy Awards, saying no one watches because they got sick of celebrities “disrespecting the people in this room.”
- On Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the large union crowd at Shell’s plant was given the option of showing up to Trump’s rally at 7 a.m. to get their card scanned and stand for hours, or not get paid for the day.
- In addition to the “No scan, no pay” warning, workers were informed if they missed Trump’s speech, they would not be paid overtime rates routinely built in for extra time during the week.
- Union workers were also ordered not to protest: “No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated…the event is to promote good will from the unions.”
- On Thursday, Bloomberg reported the Department of Labor abruptly canceled apprenticeship contracts with labor and business groups this week, prompting an outcry from unions that had supported Trump.
- On Friday, acting Labor Secretary Pizzella walked back the decision. A spokesperson did not reply to Bloomberg on what caused the reversal of course.
- On Wednesday, after a suspect shot six police officers in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney said, “Our officers need help. They need help…They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
- On Thursday, Kellyanne Conway attacked Kenney, a Democrat, tweeting, “What Philly sorely needs is a competent mayor who sufficiently respects and resources our brave men and women of law enforcement.”
- On Wednesday, 2020 Democrat candidate Julian Castro ran an ad on Trump favorite “Fox & Friends” blaming Trump for the mass shooting in El Paso, saying, “Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists.”
- On Wednesday, in a speech at an Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association, Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited “Moscow Mitch,” who “is the grim reaper” in listing all the House measures he has blocked.
- On Wednesday, two GOP committee chairs released a memo showing a prolonged investigation by staffers and intelligence could not prove China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server, a 2016 conspiracy theory.
- On Thursday, Politico reported a 34-page report by the State Department inspector general’s office found Trump appointees in the departments engaged in “disrespectful and hostile treatment” of career staffers.
- The report also found Trump appointees harassed staffers whom they viewed as “disloyal” due to their suspected political views. One employee was forced out and others stripped of their duties.
- The report singled out two senior Trump appointees, Kevin Moley and Mari Stull, saying they have “frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff.”
- Stull told Foreign Policy the report is “politically motivated payback” for her efforts to implement “Trump’s agenda over the resistance of Deep State bureaucrats,” and said it contains “false and misleading information.”
- On Thursday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, who had been advocating for the report’s release, called the report findings “offensive” and said that Moley should “resign or be fired.”
- On Wednesday, CBS News reported corrections officers may have falsified reports saying they checked on Epstein as required by protocol. One source said he may have been dead two to three hours before he was found.
- On Thursday, WAPO reported an autopsy found multiple breaks in Epstein’s neck bones, including the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such fractures have sparked controversies in contentious deaths.
- Jonathan Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Post a hyoid break is more commonly associated with homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging.
- On Friday, the New York City medical examiner concluded Epstein’s death was a result of suicide by hanging. He hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bunk bed.
- On Thursday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed himself and sided with Trump over Democratic leaders, prohibiting Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel.
- Hours before the decision, Trump tweeted “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed the two to visit, saying “they hate Israel & all Jewish people,” and adding, “They are a disgrace!”
- Democrats said blocking U.S. lawmakers for practicing free speech is unacceptable and unprecedented. Trump views attacking the two, who are for a boycott movement against Israel and poll poorly, as smart politics.
- Several prominent Democrats and organizations who have been critical of the two’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, urged the Israeli government to change course and allow them to visit.
- Like Trump, Netanyahu has reasons to sow discord: he is politically weak and facing an election on September 17, which if he wins, could keep him out of jail on corruption charges. He also presides over a declining democracy.
- Later Thursday, Trump doubled-down, tweeting: “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”
- On Friday, Israel reversed course and said Rep. Tlaib would be admitted to see her 90 year-old grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank, citing a letter saying it might be her last chance to see her.
- Later Friday, Rep. Tlaib said she would not travel to Israel under “oppressive conditions,” which would have included a pledge in writing not to “promote boycotts against Israel” while there.
- Rep. Tlaib tweeted, “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal” is not what her grandmother wants for her, adding, “It would kill a piece of me.”
- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called it “outrageous,” saying he was not aware of any member of Congress being asked to agree to preconditions to visit Israel.
- On Friday, Trump attacked Tlaib again, tweeting, “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her “grandmother”” — putting grandmother in quotes.
- Trump also tweeted Tlaib, “grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup?” adding, “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
- Trump also tweeted, “Like it or not, Tlaib and Omar are fast becoming the face of the Democrat Party. Cortez (AOC) is fuming, not happy about this!” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded with a laughing emoji.
- On Friday, Reuters reported her grandmother has not seen Tlaib since 2006, and her uncle said “She was going to slaughter a sheep” to make Tlaib’s favorite food. Tlaib’s grandmother said, “May God ruin Trump.”
- On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke, former congressman for El Paso and 2020 candidate said of Trump, “I’m confident that if at this moment, we do not wake up to this threat, then we as a country will die in our sleep.”
- On Thursday, Trump promoted another conservative book on his Twitter account, saying, “Go out and get Andrew McCarthy’s new book, “Ball of Collusion.” The book asserts there was collusion, but not involving Trump.
- On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Rick Dearborn, a former White House aide, to publicly testify before the panel.
- The subpoena calls for the two to appear on September 17, and testify about actions taken by Trump relating to obstruction of justice, as part of House Democrats decision on whether to move forward on impeachment.
- The panel has already approved subpoenas for ten additional witnesses, including Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, John Kelly, and Jared Kushner.
- On Thursday, Chair Nadler also received a letter from attorneys for Hope Hicks, saying despite the proximity of the calls with Michael Cohen, she was not aware of hush money payments, consistent with her testimony.
- On Friday, Lewandowski said he was “happy” to testify before Congress, telling Fox News, “I am an open book. I want to go and remind the American people that these guys are on a witch hunt, right?”
- On Thursday, Trump doubled-down on re-electing him for a strong economy, telling a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire even Americans who hate him “have no choice but to vote for me.”
- Trump mocked his 2020 rival while bragging about the economy even as it falters, saying, “Oh great. ‘Let’s vote for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren” — again using a racial slur — “We have the best numbers we’ve ever had.”
- Trump also repeated many of the themes from his 2016 campaign, attacking Hillary Clinton, the media, Democrats, and U.S. allies in Europe. He also all but endorsed Corey Lewandowski in his 2020 run for senate.
- The Times described Trump’s hour and a half long speech as “rambling,” and “veering on and off script.” Trump also repeated points he had made earlier in the speech, as if not remembering he made them.
- Trump also mocked a man at his rally, saying, “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” as several protestors were escorted out of his rally, and, “Go home. Start exercising.”
- Trump also said of the man, “Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do,” adding, “Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?’”
- Later Thursday, aboard Air Force One on his way back to his Bedminster golf course, Trump called Frank Dawson, the man he mocked, to apologize, after learning Dawson was a supporter.
- Dawson told Fox News that evening, that Trump “didn’t see me rip the signs away from those three people that were sitting near us, adding, “I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn’t. I was the good part of it.”
- On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland, a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, with various degrees of interest, at dinners and in conversation with aides.
- People outside the White House describe it as an Alaska-type acquisition that would be part of Trump’s legacy. Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark next month.
- On Friday, leadership of Greenland responded, with Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger telling Reuters, “We are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
- Other lawmakers responded with bewilderment, ridicule, and anger over Trump’s deeply inappropriate suggestion. In a formal statement, Greenland’s government said, “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.”
- By Friday, 126 House Democrats supported starting an impeachment inquiry. Of those, only one, Rep. Chris Pappas, is from a district that went for Trump in the 2016 election.
- An online petition to rename the street in front of Trump Tower as Obama Avenue was signed by more than 300,000 people; however, the local community board has moratorium against renaming streets.
- On Friday, hundreds came to the funeral of Margie Reckard, a victim of the El Paso shooting, after her companion of 22 years, Antonio Basco, invited the public saying he felt heartbroken and alone and had few relatives.
- On Friday, a memo of talking points being circulated among Congressional Republicans that was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, revealed the GOP strategy is to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats.
- The memo falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left,” and gave arguments against gun control, and whataboutisms to counter questions.
- On Friday, Scaramucci told Vanity Fair that Trump is a “jackass” who is “crazy” and “narcissistic,” adding Trump “has got the self-worth in terms of his self-esteem of a small pigeon. It’s a very small pigeon.”
- Scaramucci also called Trump a “paper tiger,” cited his increased mental problems, and predicted he would drop out of the 2020 presidential race by March 2020.
- On Friday, an appeals court declined to halt the Trump regime’s rules to prohibit clinics that receive Title X federal funds from referring patients for abortions, meaning the rules will go into effect Monday.
Look, this is a snapshot of a flowing river. Things are going to change. But generally, Warren’s star is on the rise. Sanders’s star is on the fall. But Biden remains on top among all demos except the liberal youth.
It seems that if Biden fades, the biggest beneficiary is Harris.
President Trump made his name on the world’s most famous island. Now he wants to buy the world’s biggest.
The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real-estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance, and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.
“Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it was a good economic play… while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort was serious. “
People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Mr. Trump’s legacy, advisers said. The few current and former White House officials who had heard of the notion described it with a mix of anticipation and apprehension, since it remains unknown how far the president might push the idea.
You know, we sort of expect this idiocy from Trump now. But for some of his advisers to actually take it seriously? That’s crazy. I can’t help but think everyone was trying to placate Trump, but… maybe not.
The territory is mostly self-ruled, but its foreign policy and security decisions are made in Denmark.
Greenland’s governor responded with a terse: “We’re not for sale”
#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We're open for business, not for sale❄️🗻🐳🦐🇬🇱 learn more about Greenland on: https://t.co/WulOi3beIC— Greenland MFA 🇬🇱 (@GreenlandMFA) August 16, 2019
U.S. stocks fell sharply at the start of trade today, following a series of worrying data on global economic growth, and after the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell below that of the 2-year note, marking an inversion of the main measure of the yield curve and flashing a recession warning signal.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, -5.70% fell below that of the 2-year U.S. Treasury note TMUBMUSD02Y, -4.38% for the first time in more than a decade.
And there it is – the US 2s/10s yield curve inverts for the first time since 2007. This development has preceded every US recession over the past 45 years. pic.twitter.com/I7UAeuhzGf— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) August 14, 2019
An inverted yield curve is widely seen as a recession indicator, as it signals that investors believe the economy will slow significantly or contract in the near future. “Given prior inversions of other curves . . . the fact that the 2-year note and the 10-year note has now inverted isn’t ‘fake news,’ wrote Justin Walters, co-head of research and investments at Bespoke Investment Group, wrote in a Wednesday note to clients. “Inversions are not a good sign for the economic outlook, having preceded prior recessions with frightening regularity.”
By the way, this seems to have nothing to do with China tariffs. Trump has delayed imposing more.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tells the @SquawkCNBC team that the Trump administration’s decision to delay upcoming tariffs on certain Chinese goods was not a trade concession to China. Ross said the decision was made to help American consumers. https://t.co/9pHnrAuFRW pic.twitter.com/midbtZRJWH— CNBC (@CNBC) August 14, 2019
But wait… if China is paying for the tariffs and NOT American consumers, then why would it affect our Christmas season?
The answer of course is that Trump is lying when he says China will pay for the tariffs.
But again, as I said, today’s plummet is not related to the tariff decision.
As of 9:55 a.m., the Dow is down 400 points, although it was down 450 at one point.
11:30 a.m. — Down 530 points.
And Trump is deflecting blame:
“The Fed has got to do something! The Fed is the Central Bank of the United States, not the Central Bank of the World.” Mark Grant @Varneyco Correct! The Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late. Too bad, so much to gain on the upside!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
Noon – Down 640.
1:15 pm. Dow is down 720 point. I expect it’ll bounce back at this point. A little.
Trump is obviously aware of the situation, given his (odd) tweets:
Tremendous amounts of money pouring into the United States. People want safety!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
I…. I don’t know what that means. Money pouring in from WHERE? What people? What kind of safety?
The Great Charles Payne @cvpayne correctly stated that Fed Chair Jay Powell made TWO enormous mistakes. 1. When he said “mid cycle adjustment.” 2. We’re data dependent. “He did not do the right thing.” I agree (to put it mildly!). @Varneyco— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
Ah, maybe his staff has taken over Twitter again. We’re back to blaming the Fed.
2:35 pm — bounced up about 100 points and came down again. Now down 745 for the day.
3:30 pm — very volatile, but around 780 down. It broke 800 at one point. Trump notes the inverted yield curve (in all caps) like some insane homeless person on the street corner. Blames the Fed Chairman again.
4:01 pm — Dow closes for the day. Down 800.49 points, or 3.05%, the biggest percent drop of 2019 and the 4th-largest daily point drop on record. S&P 500 ends down 2.95%, Nasdaq falls 3.02%
U.S. stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, are flat since January 2018 pic.twitter.com/sfRren5cW3— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) August 14, 2019
And the GOP seems deaf to all this. They tweeted this at 4:21 pm after the Dow closed.
For the past several days, pro-democracy protesters have taken over the Hong Kong airport. There have been major scuffles with police. All departing flights have been cancelled.
It's Hong Kong but the State thuggery could just as easily be in Paris. pic.twitter.com/wMZvLEvgB2— David Vance (@DVATW) August 13, 2019
Then this morning…
Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
The situation in Hong Kong is inching closer to catastrophic violence. And President Trump, through his tweets and comments, is telling the world he doesn’t understand what’s happening, doesn’t especially care, and has no idea what to do about it.
Or maybe he just rolls over, as he usually does, when a regime-state tries to pounce on the little guy. Trump respects Russia and Saudi Arabia and their human rights abuses. Why not China? Maybe it is a fig leaf he is offering in his “tough” negotiations with China.
There have been two notable explosions in Russia this past week.
First, an arms storage depot exploded at Achinsk, near Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia. Every summer, a couple of arms storage depots explode in Russia. They have a lot of them, and their safety measures leave something to be desired. Explosions have continued for a week. Once they start, it’s dangerous to fight the fire that started them and continues. Better to evacuate the area (which has been done) and let the burning and exploding continue until there’s nothing left. Two people or more were killed and a dozen or so injured.
This event has produced some impressive video. Because of the relative humidity, you can see the shock wave as water in the air condenses and evaporates rapidly. Mushroom-shaped clouds have resulted. Large enough explosions, whether conventional or nuclear, produce mushroom clouds. Mushroom clouds are not a marker for a nuclear explosion.
Video of spectacular shockwave from explosion at military unit in Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia pic.twitter.com/0yeg3hIb5F— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) August 5, 2019
Video from local girls basketball team that was on workout when explosions happened pic.twitter.com/f08Rqs4QfY— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) August 5, 2019
Secondly, Something blew up at Nenoksa, near the Severodvinsk Naval Base in far northwestern Russia. Reports are fragmentary and somewhat contradictory. Five people were killed and several injured. Suspicions that the Russian government is withholding information are exacerbated by the recent showing of Chernobyl. When the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the Soviet government covered it up until they couldn’t. Which is not to say that the Russian government is or is not covering up now. So far, the confusion looks to me like the normal confusion associated with a disaster, compounded by a secret project and a desire not to admit it’s going badly.
The Russian government has now admitted that a radioactive source was associated with the Severodvinsk blast, along with liquid rocket fuel. Reports have gone back and forth on whether radiation detectors in Severodvinsk detected anything. Five more people have been reported dead.
But it does not look good:
UPDATE — Just now:
Residents of a Russian village near the site of a suspected explosion of a nuclear-powered missile have been told to evacuate, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported, citing a local official.
Villagers were asked to leave Nyonoksa on Wednesday morning due to planned military activities, RIA reported Tuesday, citing Ksenia Yudina, head of the press service of the Severodvinsk administration.
“Planned military activities”. This sounds like Chernobyl cover-up all over again.
It’s been a few days since I posted anything, because, you know, life. Fortunately, there was only one big story — the suicide of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein while being held on MCC in New York. It came as a surprise to many, especially since he tried to commit suicide in late July.
And it turns out that (a) he was taken off suicide watch for some reason; (b) he wasn’t checked within every thirty minutes like he was supposed to; and (c) because of understaffing at the MCC, some non-correctional officer people were put on Epistein’s watch.
AG Barr is looking into what is clearly incompetence, but that isn’t going to stop the rather uninspired conspiracy theories, mostly from the right (Bill Clinton did it! Epstein didn’t commit suicide but was flown off and is getting a face change!). I’m staying away from all of that. It can be depressing. But even the president got into the conspiracy theories, retweeting this:
I just feel bad for the victims, who never got their day in court and a chance to face their accuser.
With Epstein gone, potential co-conspirators involved in his alleged sex-trafficking network are shifting into focus. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is one of four women accused of recruiting underage girls for sex. She’s denied those claims in the past and has not been charged with a crime. Maxwell is said to be Epstein’s ex-girlfriend turned business associate. Her current location is unknown.
And the case goes on. FBI agents were seen raiding Jeffrey Epstein’s private US Virgin Island, which has been dubbed ‘Pedophile Island’, as the sex trafficking probe around the now deceased billionaire intensifies
This week has the most incidents of violence, attempted violence, and acts of hate inspired by Trump and his rhetoric since I started keeping track. The week started with two deadly mass shootings — one directly linked to the language used by Trump and Fox News — and rather invoking the role of consoler, Trump instead further stoked division and hate. What many may have missed in Week 143 is the amount of close calls by other white men — seemingly activated by Trump’s rhetoric and gaslighting on white supremacy and hate — that could have led to even more bloodshed. Or the remnants of racism and xenophobia that Trump has brought into the mainstream with his actions and words.
The Republican Party saw further defections of House members retiring in 2020, but still lawmakers refused, with few exceptions, to condemn Trump’s mishandling of the mass shootings, his continuing divisiveness and hate, or his blocking of the FBI and other agencies’ attempts to confront domestic terrorism carried out by white supremacists. This week once again there was a bevy of resignations from key roles, as power continues to consolidate into the hands of Trump and his band of sycophants. A mass raid in Mississippi, the largest in U.S. history, produced images of children crying as their parents were taken by ICE agents from places of work. Again, not a peep from the Republican Party.
This week House Democrats quietly escalated what appears to be the start of a stealth impeachment inquiry, suing to have former White House counsel Don McGahn appear for public testimony. While Congress is away for six weeks — a noticeable hiatus given Trump’s now unfettered control of the narrative and acting seemingly unchallenged — court cases filed by House panels continued to move forward.
The week closed with the shocking revelation that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell, allegedly by suicide, the day after court documents were unsealed, revealing other powerful men involved in his ring of sex trafficking and rape of girls. Conspiracy theories, some fanned by Russian-backed bots, exploded shortly after, seeking to distract from the strange occurrence of Epstein’s death.
- On Saturday, Patrick Crusius, a 21 year-old white man from Allen, Texas, drove 10 hours to a Walmart five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, and shot and killed at least 20 and injured dozens more.
- Minutes before the shooting, Crusius posted a 2,300 word manifesto titled “The Inconvenient Truth” on 8chan, which spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and warned white people were being replaced by foreigners.
- The attack followed the pattern of the attacks in New Zealand in March and Poway, Calif. in April where aggrieved white men turned to mass murder against immigrants, Jews, and others perceived to be a threat to the white race.
- Much of the language in the manifesto mirrored Trump’s words before and while in office, including “invasion” and “invaders.” At a May rally in Florida, Trump had mused about shooting “these people” to stop them.
- The manifesto used words in Trump’s tweets like Democrats “intend to use open borders” to make Texas “a Democrat stronghold,” and language used by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and White House adviser Stephen Miller.
- On Sunday, watchdog group Media Matters reported Trump has run roughly 2,200 Facebook ads using the word “invasion” since May 2018, almost all of which reference immigration.
- On Saturday, George P. Bush, the Texas General Land Office Commissioner, issued a statement denouncing “white terrorism,” calling it “a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
- On Saturday, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported white nationalist leaders and bloggers expressed solidarity with the El Paso shooter on online platforms, praising the El Paso massacre and mocking the dead.
- Hours after the shooting, Trump crashed another wedding at his Bedminster golf resort. Photos on social media showed Trump smiling and waving at wedding guests who shouted, “USA! USA!”
- On Sunday, just after midnight, Trump tweeted the shooting in El Paso was “an act of cowardice,” and “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act.”
- On Sunday, an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald titled “US in the midst of a white nationalist terrorism crisis” was published, citing the “flames Trump fans with his dehumanising discourse.”
- On Sunday, the NYT Editorial Board wrote “We have a white nationalist terrorist problem,” adding while here for a while, “white nationalism has attained a new mainstream legitimacy during Mr. Trump’s time in office.”
- On Sunday, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas said it was treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case, and is weighing hate crime charges. The mass shooting was the deadliest since November 2017.
- On Sunday, Mexico threatened to take legal action against the U.S. for failing to protect its citizens. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the massacre a “terrorist act against innocent Mexicans.”
- On Monday, ABC News reported law enforcement said Crusius cased the Walmart before his rampage, looking for Mexicans to target. Of the 22 killed, 8 were Mexican citizens, and 9 Mexicans were wounded.
- On Sunday, shortly after 1 a.m., Connor Betts, a 24 year-old white man opened fired with a high-capacity rifle in the nightlife district in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine, including his sister, and injuring 27.
- On Monday, CBS News reported Betts kept a “hit list” of those he wanted to kill, and a “rape list” of girls he wanted to sexually assault in high school. He was suspended after his hit list was found on a bathroom wall.
- On Monday, BuzzFeed reported Betts was the lead singer in Menstrual Munchie, a “pornogrind” band, a genre defined by its themes of gore and violence, specifically sexual violence towards women.
- On Sunday, in the wake of the massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News video games are partly to blame for mass shootings.
- On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “This Week” on the shooting, “I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president,” adding, “they are sick, sick people.”
- On Sunday, Candice Keller, an Ohio GOP state representative, was criticized for blaming the Dayton shooting on “the breakdown of the traditional family, gay marriage, violent video games” and other things.
- On Sunday, CNN reported FBI director Christopher Wray ordered offices around the country to undertake a new threat assessment to thwart future mass attacks, amid concern that violent extremists could be inspired to act.
- WAPO reported a former FBI supervisor cited concern that FBI agents may be hamstrung by reluctance to start investigations that target what Trump perceives as his base, calling it a no-win situation.
- On Wednesday, CNN reported the Trump regime rebuffed efforts by the Department of Homeland Security for over a year to make combating domestic terrorism, such as white supremacists, a greater priority.
- An official said the Trump regime wanted to focus on only on the jihadist threat. Officials also noted fighting the white supremacy aspect of domestic terrorism was not in the regime’s fiscal 2020 budget.
- On Thursday, Yahoo News reported the Trump regime blocked Congress from access to a DOJ report which allegedly reveals white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism incidents in 2018.
- On Monday, Rep. Kenny Marchant said he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the 11th House Republican to retire, and the fourth House Republican from Texas in recent weeks.
- On Monday, Venezuela and Uruguay issued travel warnings to their citizens about traveling to the U.S., citing violence and hate crimes, and the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.”
- On Wednesday, Amnesty International issued a global travel advisory to those traveling to the U.S. to “exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan” and avoid spots where large groups congregate.
- The advisory also said “depending on the traveler’s gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence.”
- On Monday, former congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso (a 2020 Democratic candidate) said of Trump, “connect the dots about what he’s been doing…He’s not tolerating racism; he’s promoting racism.”
- O’Rourke also expressed exasperation with the media when asked if Trump could do better, saying “What do you think?…I don’t know, like, members of the press: What the f — -?”
- On Monday, Rep. Veronica Escobar said Trump is “not welcome” in her district, saying he came into “one of the safest communities in the nation” and months later, so did a gunman.
- On Monday, Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister accused Trump of stoking racism and his party of “enabling white supremacy,” saying, “When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.”
- On Monday, Trump blamed the media for the shootings, tweeting, “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” saying coverage must improve or it will “only get worse!”
- Trump also tweeted “Republicans and Democrats must come together” suggesting pairing “strong background checks” legislation “with desperately needed immigration reform.” It was unclear what he meant.
- Hours later, reading from a teleprompter, Trump spoke of “the inherent worth and dignity of every human life,” saying, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.”
- Trump cited a link between the mass shootings and violent video games, mental illness, and internet bigotry, but did not address guns. He called for the death penalty for “those who commit hate crimes and mass murders.”
- Trump did not mention the idea in his morning tweet of linking immigration legislation to background checks. NYT reported aides argued the linkage was a bad idea and urged Trump to drop it.
- At one point, Trump went off script, blessing the memory of “those who perished in Toledo,” not Dayton or El Paso. The official White House transcript of his speech crossed out “in Toledo” from the text.
- WAPO noted Trump’s words read from the teleprompter were a sharp departure from his time in office in which he engaged in “name-calling, demonizing minorities and inflaming racial animus,” mostly on Twitter.
- Hours later, former president Barack Obama called on the country to reject words “coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that feed fear and hatred, saying, “It has no place in our politics and our public life.”
- Obama also noted such language has been root of most human tragedy, from slavery to the Holocaust to the Rwandan genocide. Obama did not mention Trump by name, but noted his campaign’s inflammatory rhetoric.
- On Monday evening, amid a widespread backlash, the NYT changed its front page headline on Trump’s speech from “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS” for the second edition.
- On Tuesday, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times told the Columbia Journalism Review it was a “bad headline,” adding that “It didn’t have enough skepticism of what the president said.”
- On Monday, top Democrats called on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel August recess and return to vote in gun control measures passed in the House. McConnell fell and fractured his shoulder on Sunday.
- On Monday, Democrat Amy McGrath, who is challenging Leader McConnell in 2020, criticized a photo tweeted by his campaign of gravestones, including one that read “R.I.P. Amy McGrath.”
- On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confronted Leader McConnell after a photo of seven young white men in ‘Team Mitch’ t-shirts groping and choking her cutout appeared on social media.
- On Wednesday, Twitter froze McConnell’s campaign account for posting a video of protestors screaming obscenities outside his home. Twitter will not unlock the account until the video is removed.
- On Wednesday, Politico reported the White House is circulating drafts of an executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies — a frequent complaint by Trump.
- On Friday, Twitter reversed, unlocking the McConnell campaign account, looking to defuse a growing controversy with the Republican establishment.
- On Monday, Cesar Sayoc, a super-fan of Trump who mailed explosives to prominent Democrats and media figures who are Trump critics, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- On Tuesday, the FBI said it had launched a domestic terrorism probe into the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Week 142, after discovering the shooter had a list of other potential targets.
- On Tuesday, the FBI said it is investigating the “violent ideologies” of the Dayton shooter. The Dayton police chief said Betts had an “obsession” with violence and “had expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.”
- On Wednesday, Thomas Bartram, a 21 year-old white Trump supporter, was detained by police for making threatening comments and brandishing a knife outside the immigrant center in El Paso. He was later released.
- On Friday, Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, sparked panic at a Walmart in Missouri when he walked in wearingbody armor and fatigues. He was detained at gunpoint by an off-duty firefighter
- On Friday, police arrested Conor Climo, a 23 year-old white Vegas man who worked as a security guard and was plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a bar catering to LGTBQ customers.
- On Friday, Timothy Ireland, Jr., 41, was indicted in at a federal court in Toledo on making interstate threatsagainst Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the four congresswomen targeted by Trump.
- On Monday, NBC News reported Brian Kozlowski, a white man in Michigan, was sentenced to just 60 weekend days in prison for trying to poison his wife after she filed for divorce.
- On Monday, a 16 year-old white teen was banned from a private school in Columbia, South Carolina as he faces criminal charges after posting a racial-slur-laden video of him shooting a box representing black people.
- On Tuesday, the Galveston, Texas police apologized after a photo surfaced of horse-mounted white officers leading a handcuffed black man, who had been arrested on a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge, by a rope.
- On Wednesday, WOIO reported an explosion at a Cleveland, Ohio home is being investigated as a possible hate crime, after police found spray-painted racial slurs and swastikas. The FBI is aware of the incident.
- On Thursday, Michigan Live reported when Rob Mathis, a Black man, and his wife looked to buy a home in Holton, Michigan owned by a police officer, they found Confederate flags and a KKK application.
- The officer, Charles Anderson of the Muskegon Police Department, who is white, was placed on indefinite leave pending an investigation.
- On Thursday, the lawyer for Curt James Brockway, a 39 year-old white man who slammed a 13 year-old boy’s head to the ground for not removing his hat during the national anthem, said Trump’s rhetoric was partly to blame.
- A letter from National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer named three “left-wing radicals” that “bought control of Congress for the Democrats.” George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are Jewish, as is Tom Steyer’s father.
- On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 760 points, the worst day of 2019, as the trade war with China intensified, with China retaliating against Trump’s tariff announcement in Week 142.
- After the stock market close, the Treasury Department declared China as a currency manipulator, a historic move that no White House had exercised since the Clinton administration in 1994.
- Later Monday, China suspended its purchase of U.S. agriculture products. The loss of China, the fourth largest market for U.S. farm products, was a devastating blow to the already struggling U.S. agriculture market.
- On Monday, in a WSJ op-ed, former Federal Reserve Chairs Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Janet Yellen said, “America needs an independent Fed” which is “free from short-term political pressures.”
- On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, saying, “Our problem is not China…Our problem is a Federal Reserve that is too proud to admit their mistake,” adding, “I was right.”
- Trump also tweeted the Fed “must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW,” adding, “Incompetence is a terrible thing to watch.”
- On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked the Fed, saying “The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is…making it more difficult for our great manufacturers.”
- Trump also tweeted, “with substantial Fed Cuts” it will be “possible for our companies to win,” adding the Fed “called it wrong at every step of the way…imagine what would happen if they actually called it right?”
- On Sunday, France and Germany criticized Russian police’s crackdown on protestors, calling it an “excessive use of force,” and that it “violated Russia’s international obligations.” The U.S. made no statement.
- On Monday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that North Korea fired two projectiles for the third time in the past two weeks. The North denounced the U.S. and Seoul over the start of their joint exercises.
- On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler told MSNBC that his panel could decide whether to move forward with articles of impeachment in the “late fall perhaps — in the latter part of the year.”
- Nadler said his panel will probably get the court decisions on Mueller grand jury evidence by the end of October, and “we will have hearings in September and October” for witnesses and “do it through the fall.”
- Nadler added, “The Mueller report was the summary of the evidence, we don’t have the evidence,” and said on holding hearings, “We will get the support of the American people or we won’t. I suspect we will.”
- On Monday, District Judge Reggie Walton appeared on several occasions to side with BuzzFeed and nonprofit EPIC in their lawsuit seeking to uncover all the redactions from the Mueller report.
- The judge said Trump’s public statements “seem to be inconsistent with what the report itself said,” and that AG William Barr’s four-page letter “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance” of the report.
- On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to enforce the panel’s subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn, and to compel him to testify about his tenure at Trump’s White House.
- The suit asked the judge to strike down the Trump regime’s claim that top aides are “absolutely immune” from its subpoenas, signaling more was at stake than a single witness. The suit mentions impeachment 16 times.
- The suit states the committee is “now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president based on the obstructive conduct described by the special counsel.”
- On Thursday, WSJ reported major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have handed over documents to congress relating to Trump.
- Thousands of pages relating to Trump and his family and businesses’ ties to Russians have been given to the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees, with more expected in coming weeks.
- Some of the banks have also turned over documents related to the Trump Organization to New York Attorney General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena issued earlier this year.
- On Thursday, NPR reported that 120 members of the House are now for impeachment. Twenty-five of the lawmakers announced support for impeachment after Robert Mueller’s testimony in Week 141.
- On Thursday, Chair Nadler told CNN “this is formal impeachment proceedings,” adding “we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment…or we won’t.”
- WAPO reported Democrats have begun an impeachment inquiry without people noticing or without fanfare. During the House’s six week break, the action will be in the courts, and then testimony when they return.
- On Monday, Lewis Ziska, one of the country’s leading climate change scientists, resigned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the Trump regime tried to bury his groundbreaking study.
- Ziska’s study revealed rice is losing nutrients because of rising levels of carbon dioxide, a concern for 600 million who depend on rice for most of their calories. Ziska said “it feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.”
- On Monday, the USDA inspector general said the White House violated the law with plans to relocate hundreds of workers in the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Kansas City.
- The IG findings cannot stop the relocation, but could be used in congressional or court battles over the USDA’s plan. Many economists and researchers have already said they will quit rather than relocate.
- Chief of staff Mulvaney said last week in a speech at a South Carolina Republican Party gala that the relocation was “a wonderful way to sort of streamline government,” bragging, “more than half the people quit.”
- On Tuesday, Chair Nadler and Rep. Hank Johnson, a subcommittee chair, in a letter asked the National Archives and Records Administration for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records.
- The letter seeks records from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary and in the White House counsel’s office under George W. Bush, including all emails sent or received as well as the “textual records” in his office files.
- On Thursday, the Phoenix New Times reported Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford for Senate GOP at Kavanaugh’s hearing, was given a top prosecutor job in Maricopa County.
- On Tuesday, the ACLU sued the Trump regime to block a rule that went into effect on July 23, and would expand the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to fast-track deportations.
- On Tuesday, a federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked the state’s 18-week abortion ban from going into effect, saying it would cause “irreparable” harm to women seeking abortion.
- The judge also blocked new laws banning women from terminating a pregnancy based on a diagnosis the fetus has Down syndrome, and a law requiring providers to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
- On Monday, Roger Stone asked an appeals court to overturn his pre-trial gag order, which he described as a “total speech ban,” claiming the order violates both his and his family’s First Amendment rights.
- On Tuesday, the DOJ sided with Trump in a battle over a congressional subpoena for his financial records, saying, “The House’s lack of responsibility is sufficient reason…to declare this subpoena invalid.”
- The DOJ said “at an absolute minimum,” the court should require the House Oversight Committee to provide clarity on the legislative purpose of seeking eight years of records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.
- On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the State and Defense departments to release thousands of pages of records related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, in response to a lawsuit by Open Society Justice Initiative.
- On Tuesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade defended using the term “invasion” as used by the El Paso shooter, saying, “If you use the term ‘this is an invasion,’ that’s not anti-Hispanic. It’s a fact.”
- On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a whataboutism quote by Kilmeade, saying, “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign.”
- On Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said there is no white supremacy problem in America, saying, “the whole thing is a lie,” adding, “This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory.”
- On Thursday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Carlson calling white supremacy a “hoax” and getting widespread criticism, saying his comment was getting “outsized coverage…versus all forms of hate.”
- On Wednesday, Trump tweeted his displeasure with the NYT changing a headline “after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY!” adding, “Fake News — That’s what we’re up against.”
- Trump also tweeted, “After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!” and quoted Tucker Carlson, saying, “This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before.”
- Trump also tweeted the Dayton shooter “had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA” per One America News, adding he hopes “other news outlets will report this.”
- On Wednesday, before heading to Dayton and El Paso, when asked if his words embolden white supremacists, Trump said the Dayton shooter supported “Bernie Sanders…antifa…Elizabeth Warren.”
- Kellyanne Conway started pushing the false equivalency on Tuesday, telling Fox News that she is “hopping mad” that she sees little coverage of the Dayton shooter being “supportive of Warren, Sanders.”
- Trump also told reporters, when asked if he regretted his language being used in the El Paso manifesto, “I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally.”
- Trump also said his opponents are “looking for political gain” by tying his comments to the shooting, adding, “I don’t think my rhetoric does at all. I think my rhetoric brings people together.”
- As Trump left for Dayton and El Paso, CBS News wrote Trump “will be assuming the role of consoler-in-chief.” The network later scrubbed reference to consoler-in-chief from the title and body of the article.
- Although Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal, as would be a traditional role for the country’s leader, he instead attacked opponents and was unable again to show empathy.
- In Dayton, Trump visited a hospital only, and spoke briefly with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown, who later complimented him for coming, but criticized his rhetoric and lack of action on gun control.
- Once aboard Air Force One, Trump tweeted he had “ a warm & wonderful visit,” adding, “Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place.”
- Trump also tweeted, “Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” adding, “It bore no resemblance to what took place.” Director of Social Media Dan Savino tweeted, “They are disgraceful politicians.”
- Mayor Whaley later responded on CNN, calling Trump “a bully and a coward,” and adding, “It’s fine that he wants to bully me and Senator Brown. We’re okay. We can take it.”
- Trump also tweeted a criticism about 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s speech, calling him “Sleepy Joe Biden” and “Sooo Boring!” adding “The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy.”
- Trump also attacked Fox News host Shepard Smith, tweeting, “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show,” adding he turns on One America News, “whenever possible.”
- In El Paso, Trump faced thousands of protestors. After visiting a hospital, Trump told reporters, “We had an amazing day… The love, the respect for the office of the presidency — I wish you could have been in there to see it.”
- Trump said of Whaley and Brown, “They shouldn’t be politicking today,” calling them “very dishonest people,” and adding that is why Brown got “about zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.”
- After leaving El Paso, Trump attacked Joaquin Castro, brother of 2020 candidate Julian, who tweeted the names of major Trump donors in Texas. Trump initially deleted a tweet that misspelled Joaquin as Juaquin.
- Trump called Joaquin “the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himselfevery time he opens his mouth,” saying he is “not the man that his brother is,” and his brother is “not much.”
- Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work,” adding, “The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see,” and “Sad!”
- Trump tweeted, “The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon…they never cease to use when they are down…RACISM!” adding he will put out “a list of all people who have been so (ridiculously) accused!”
- Later, back at the White House, Trump tweeted, “Just watched a world class loser, Tim O’Brien, who I haven’t seen or spoken to in many years” on “Lyin’ Brian Williams Trump Slam Show.”
- Trump also tweeted, “so amazed that MSNBC & CNN can keep putting on, over and over again, people that have no idea what I am all about,” adding “how did that work out for the Haters and Losers. Not well!”
- Later Wednesday, WAPO reported that none of the eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting being treated at University Medical Center agreed to meet with Trump during his hospital visit.
- In a video released of Trump’s hospital visit, he is heard bragging to staff members about his El Paso rally three months ago, saying, “That place was packed. … That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside.”
- On Friday, NYT reported Trump was furious that the media coverage of his trip was more focused on his attacks on political opponents than the cheery reception he received when he arrived at the Dayton hospital.
- There was also widespread coverage of Trump in El Paso giving a thumbs up while the first lady, Melania Trump, cradled a 2-month-old baby who lost both parents in the shooting — the mother died shielding him from bullets.
- Trump started to see the negative headlines while flying back from El Paso on Air Force One. Reportedly, Trump screamed at his aides to produce videos proving that in El Paso people were happy to see him.
- On Wednesday, a Pew Research poll found 51% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say it would be too risky to give presidents more power, down from 70% in March 2018.
- On Wednesday, as Trump was visiting Dayton and El Paso, Trump’s Immigration and Customs and Enforcement conducted the largest immigration sweep in a single state in U.S. history.
- ICE targeted seven different workplaces in six different cities in Mississippi. With the help of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, ICE rounded up 680 undocumented immigrants.
- ICE acting director Matthew Albence said the raid involved the mobilization of nearly 650 federal agents from around the country, and was planned long before the shootings, “and we intended to carry it out.”
- On Wednesday, the Clarion Ledger reported the Scott County superintendent said he knew of at least six students in the district that had a parent caught up in the ICE roundup, and expected the number of rise.
- The raids occurred in small towns near Jackson, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie, and Sebastapol, where most of the workforce is made up of Latino immigrants.
- Children at the scene of the raid were seen waving goodbye to their parents as adults were taken into custody. As of 3:30 p.m., adults rounded up were still being screened and processed.
- A video of a teary-eyed 12 year-old girl named Angie showed friends of her mother taking her to a food-processing plant to say goodbye. ICE told one friend she could take her back to school or wait until he mom gets out.
- A video showed 11 year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio begging ICE to release her father: “Governments please put your heart. Let my parent be free. I need my dad by me. My dad didn’t do anything. He is not a criminal.”
- WJTV reported many of the children relied on neighbors and strangers to pick them up outside their homes after school. Some of the children of detained parents slept at a community gym.
- On Thursday, KTLA reported Mississippi residents rallied around terrified children left with no parents. Later that morning, about 300 of the 680 were released after being taken to a military hangar.
- On Thursday, WAPO reported those temporarily released to take care of children will be free until their court date, but under the Trump regime if undocumented will likely be deported, regardless of criminal history.
- On Friday, WAPO reported of the seven plants owned by five companies, including Koch Foods, federal authorities have not yet announced criminal or civil charges against any company, despite a year-long investigation.
- The Post has not found any evidence of ICE audits or raids at Trump properties, either before or during his time in office. The DOJ has not charged the Trump properties with violating immigration laws.
- On Friday, WAPO reported for two decades the Trump Org has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to work as construction crews for its winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.
- Edmundo Morocho, an undocumented worker, said he was told by a Trump supervisor to buy fake identity documents on a New York street corner. Morocho hid at a Trump golf course from visiting labor union officials.
- Although Eric Trump told the Post in January that Trump Org was “making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents,” workers say nothing has changed.
- On Tuesday, Jon Huntsman sent a letter to Trump announcing he will resign as U.S. ambassador to Russiaafter serving two years, and return to his home state of Utah in October.
- On Thursday, Kimberly Breier, the assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, resigned over the level of control exerted by the Trump regime over immigration, trade relations, and other matters.
- On Thursday, Sue Gordon, the country’s number 2 intelligence official as deputy director of national intelligence, resigned. Gordon will step down on August 15, the same day as her boss, DNI Dan Coats.
- Gordon was in line to replace Coats, at least in an acting capacity, until Trump nominated his successor. Gordon’s resignation letter said, “I offer this letter as an act of respect & patriotism, not preference.”
- On Thursday, Foreign Service Officer Chuck Park resigned in an op-ed saying he can “no longer justify” to his son born in El Paso, “or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration.”
- On Friday, House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel said he was “fed up” with the State Department, citing suspicions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is blocking release of an IG report on whether Trump appointees mistreated career staffers.
- On Friday, CNN reported the EPA will drop Obama-era protections of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, allowing a controversial mining project, which the EPA said in 2014 could result in a “complete loss of fish habitat.”
- On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” adding, “They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite,” and, “They are the true Racists.”
- Trump was referencing a morning segment on “Fox & Friends” about an upcoming move called “The Hunt.” On Saturday, Universal Pictures canceled the movie’s release after the right-wing uproar.
- On Wednesday, Stephen Ross, the owner of Equinox and SoulCycle, faced outrage and boycotts over hostinga fundraiser for Trump. Ross said he has known Trump for 40 years and strongly disagrees on some issues.
- At Ross’s Hamptons fundraiser, attendees will give up to $100,000 for a picture with Trump and $250,000 to listen in on a roundtable discussion. Ross moved ahead with the fundraiser despite calls to cancel it.
- On Friday, Trump threatened undefined retaliation against countries and organizations that have issued travel warnings over gun violence in the U.S., telling reporters, “If they did that, we’d just reciprocate.”
- Trump also told reporters before leaving for vacation, the shootings were a mental illness problem, saying, “The gun doesn’t pull the trigger — the mind, a sick mind, pulls the trigger.”
- Asked what he would say to children going back to school, Trump said, “study hard and someday you’ll grow up and maybe be President of the U.S. or do something else that’s fantastic. They have nothing to fear.”
- Leader McConnell has blocked all gun control legislation, but Trump told reporters McConnell is willing to work with Democrats when they return in September, “I talked to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He’s totally on board.”
- On Friday, AP reported Trump left for a 10-day vacation at his Bedminster golf course. Aides say Trump will focus on golf, cable news, and Twitter, while raising concern of potential outbursts when he is away from D.C.
- Trump leaves with several domestic and foreign crises, including his uneven handling of his role after this week’s shootings, his trade war with China, rising tensions with Iran and North Korea, and other trouble areas.
- Aides say his re-election strategy will be to focus on white grievances and immigration, designed to activate his base, an approach not seen by a sitting American president in the modern era.
- Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Trump is “going on vacation feeling smug,” citing the economy, winning the trade war with China, and viewing Democrats not being a threat.
- On Friday, Axios reported the Trump re-election campaign sees the Democrat’s charge of white supremacy as a political benefit for the 2020 race — making “white supremacist” the new “deplorables.”
- As several Democrats running for president in 2020 call Trump a white supremacist, the campaign believes the label will help him with his most hardcore base while bringing more moderate Republicans.
- On Friday, Pope Francis warned against the rise of white nationalism, saying, “I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934. Us first. We …We …These are frightening thoughts.”
- On Saturday, Trump sided with North Korea over the U.S. military, tweeting a letter from Kim Jong Un “complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” referring to joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea.
- Trump also asserted Kim’s letter was “a small apology for testing the short range missiles,” saying testing would stop when the military exercises end, adding Kim “would like to meet and start negotiations” when exercises end.
- Trump also lashed out on El Paso, tweeting “Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals,” adding, “I didn’t want the Fake News inside.”
- Trump also tweeted, “Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt!” adding, “We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media.”
- Trump also tweeted that the press has “gone totally CRAZY, adding, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
- Trump also retweeted far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins, a voice against migrants and Muslims, on Thursday for the fourth time in four weeks. He also invoked her tweet hours before the El Paso shooting.
- On Friday, thousands of pages of court documents were unsealed in the defamation lawsuit brought after Jeffrey Epstein by accuser Virginia Giuffre, revealing names of several men involved.
- Among the prominent men named in the documents were Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
- On Saturday, Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his jail call at 6:30 a.m. EST at a facility in New York. The death initially was reported as an apparent suicide. The FBI is investigating.
- ABC News reported law enforcement officials said Epstein was found hanging in his cell, although it was not clear by what means. He was transported in cardiac arrest to the hospital and died at 6:39 a.m.
- ABC News reported Epstein was placed on suicide watch on following an attempted suicide on July 23, but was no longer on suicide watch at the time of his death.
- Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee said, “It is inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch. These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court.”
- Attorney General William Barr said in a statement he was “appalled” to learn of Epstein’s “apparent suicide while in federal custody,” saying his “death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
- Conspiracy theories erupted almost immediately after the reporting of Epstein’s death, some blaming the Clintons, and with the help of Russian-back bots, are trending on Twitter.