In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • President Trump signed an executive order intended to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses that has triggered pushback from some Jewish groups and free speech advocates who warn it will punish valid criticisms of Israel, infringe on free speech rights and improperly label Judaism as a nationality.
  • President Trump lashed out at climate activist Greta Thunberg after the 16-year-old was named Time’s “Person of the Year,” an honor Trump was on the shortlist for. Trump Tweeted: “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
  • Trump’s campaign released a photoshopped Time Magazine “Person of the Year” cover with Trump’s head shopped onto Greta Thunberg’s body as a campaign fundraising promotion.
  • President Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted an edited cover of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue that had altered the photo to show the president’s head on the shoulders of 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, and listed off his accomplishments with a call to support his reelection.
  • Mongolian officials visited Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Palm Beach, FL resort, before retroactively granting the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., a rare hunting permit. Trump Jr. shot and killed an endangered sheep in Mongolia, receiving a permit from the Mongolian government after the fact.
  • Over objections from Trump and Turkey, the Senate unanimously passed the Armenian genocide remembrance measure. Three previous attempts to raise the issue in the Senate, following the 405-11 House vote in October to recognize the Armenian genocide, were blocked by Republican senators.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expected to hold a vote to acquit President Trump should the president ultimately be impeached in the House rather than move to dismiss any articles of impeachment sent from the lower chamber. Two Republican senators, reported Thursday that the Senate GOP wants to have a vote for acquittal to try to clear the president of any wrongdoing stemming from his dealings with Ukraine rather than a majority vote to simply dismiss impeachment. The Constitution requires articles of impeachment to garner 67 votes in support in order to convict and remove Trump, and the GOP, which holds a 53-47 majority.
  • The White House hosted an evangelical pastor who has said that Jews “can’t be saved” as part of the administration’s Wednesday Hanukkah celebration. Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas called Trump “the most pro-faith president in history.” During a 2011 interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network, he said the Bible claims “every other religion in the world is wrong.” “Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of hell. Mormonism is wrong, it is heresy from the pit of hell,” Jeffress said. “Judaism — you know you can’t be saved being a Jew.”
  • President Trump has been discussing with his campaign advisers the possibility of not participating in general election debates in 2020, with sources saying Trump doesn’t trust the group that runs debates.
  • As the Senate prepares for a likely impeachment trial, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was spotted meeting with President Trump’s White House lawyer Pat Cipollone and are considering a relatively short trial with no witnesses.
  • The Trump administration is proposing changes to Social Security that could terminate disability payments to hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly older people and children. The new rule would change aspects of disability reviews — the methods by which the Social Security Administration determines whether a person continues to qualify for benefits.
  • In roughly 33 months, Trump has Tweeted 11,000 times. In an analysis of the Tweets, the New York Times counted: 
    • 5,889 attacking someone or something
    • 2,026 complimenting himself 
    • 1,710 promoting conspiracy theories 
    • 233 attacking our international allies 
    • 132 praising dictators
  • During a private airing of grievances at the White House with more than a dozen UN ambassadors present, Trump repeatedly denigrated Canadian PM Trudeau behind his back and called French President Macron a “pain in the ass.”
  • A federal judge has just rejected the Trump administration’s request to delay a lawsuit against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for defying congressional subpoenas as part of a probe into officials’ handling of the 2020 census.
  • President Trump said he “wouldn’t mind” a more drawn out Senate trial if the House votes to impeach him, a break from some of his GOP allies who have said they hope to have a more abbreviated process. “I’ll do whatever I want. Look, we did nothing wrong. So, I’ll do long or short,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. Trump added that he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are “very much in agreement on some concept.” “I’ll do whatever they want to do. It doesn’t matter,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t mind a long process because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud.”
  • The Justice Department has made public a series of internal memos that President Trump has used to justify his and staffers’ refusal to comply with subpoenas in the House impeachment inquiry, a move that could signal his planned defense in a Senate trial. The memos, written by legal advisers in the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, date as far back as the Nixon administration and supply legal arguments for a broad reading of presidential power in the face of congressional oversight.
  • President Trump and China have announced that they had reached a “Phase One” trade deal that would see a reduction in tariffs from both sides and increase China’s purchases of US agricultural products.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals from President Trump in three cases involving efforts to gain access to his financial records through subpoenas, setting up a landmark separation of powers showdown.

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