In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News – Weekend Update

10/25-10/27

  • Trump suggested Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a mistake by hiring senior diplomat, Bill Taylor, who provided damaging testimony to impeachment investigators in Congress. The president seemed to soften the criticism Friday by adding, “Everybody makes mistakes.” It was a rare public criticism by Trump of his secretary of state.
  • Phil Reeker, an assistant secretary of State, is expected to corroborate key testimony before the impeachment inquiry Saturday.
  • Trump says the impeachment investigation has given him a greater understanding of those incarcerated or unfairly prosecuted
  • The Trump administration is banning U.S. flights to all Cuban cities except Havana in the latest move to roll back the Obama-era easing of relations.
  • Trump administration partially restored Ukraine’s access to a program that grants poor countries duty-free treatment on some goods, two years after the benefits were revoked on grounds that the country wasn’t protecting U.S. intellectual property rights.
  • Outgoing acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan says he won’t testify before House panel despite subpoena.
  • Charles Kupperman, who served as Trump’s deputy national security adviser, has asked a federal judge to rule whether Trump’s efforts to block his testimony by invoking “constitutional immunity” is valid.
  • Elite US troops, including Delta Force operators, raided the compound of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest after fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs.
  • The White House released an image it says was taken in the Situation Room during the operation to capture or kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  • Trump claims his 2000 book demanded the killing of Osama bin Laden. He also claims still has people coming up to him “to this day” congratulating him on these statements.

NOTE: Trump’s January 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” mentioned bin Laden once, but it did not call for bin Laden to be killed or warn that he would perpetrate a major attack if he were not killed.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

10/24-10/25

  • Kellyanne Conway told Washington Examiner reporter, Caitlin Yilek, it was improper to write about her husband and threatened to investigate Yilek’s personal life in a conversation she thought was off the record. It wasn’t. Conway, “Listen, if you’re going to cover my personal life, then we’re welcome to do the same around here.”
  • A U.S. Justice Department review of the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now a criminal investigation. It’s unclear when it changed from an administrative review or what alleged crimes they are investigating. 
  • Trump continues to Tweet about the whistleblower. “Where is the Whistleblower, and why did he or she write such a fictitious and incorrect account of my phone call with the Ukrainian President? Why did the IG allow this to happen? Who is the so-called Informant (Schiff?) who was so inaccurate? A giant Scam!”
  • Trump nominated former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to join the Fulbright Scholarship Board.
  • Trump Tweeted, “COMING HOME! We were supposed to be there for 30 days – That was 10 years ago. When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!”
  • The Pentagon will send tanks and armored units to eastern Syria to protect the oil fields. The tanks will come from a unit already in Mideast. This would require hundreds of additional US troops to Syria, US officials.
  • The federal government is shutting down a surveillance program for dangerous animal viruses that someday may infect humans, in a move that worries many public health experts.
  • A federal judge issued a $100,000 fine on the Department of Education after finding Secretary Betsy DeVos violated a preliminary injunction when the department continued to collect loan payments from Corinthian Colleges students
  • Mike Pence chief of staff promoted the conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign was entrapped by the Obama DOJ and intelligence agencies.
  • Impeachment investigators have negotiated with former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s lawyer about a date for him to be deposed. Bolton is considered a “star witness” and his testimony is expected to be devastating for Trump and his crew.
  • The White House threatened a veto of a bill backed by House Democrats aimed at stopping foreign interference in US elections.
  • Trump accuses Obama of treason for ‘spying’ on his 2016 campaign. He ratched up his claim that the Obama White House spied on his 2016 campaign, charging in a new book that it was a “treasonous” act by the former Democratic president. “What they did was treasonous, OK? It was treasonous.”
  • White House Advisor Tim Morrison will not only corroborate Chargé d’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor’s testimony, he will have his own specific details of first hand interactions that further implicate Trump in a quid pro quo with Ukraine.
  • The US deficit hit $984 billion in Fiscal Year 2019, an increase of nearly 70% from when Trump took office.

NOTE: Trump promised to eliminate federal debt in 8 years. Instead, it has been growing in his tenure

  • Trump dismissed the need for a bolstered team to defend him against House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. “Here’s the thing. I don’t have teams. Everyone’s talking about teams. I’m the team. I did nothing wrong,”
  • Trump accepted the 2019 Bipartisan Justice Award for his signing of the First Step Act!
  • Trump continued criticism of Never Trumpers in DC, even asking reporters for a list of the ones working in his administration. He spoke with reporters, “Who are they? Tell me. Tell me who the Never Trumpers are because I’m not a fan of the Never Trumpers.”
  • A judge ruled the Justice Department must turn over Mueller’s grand jury evidence to the House.
  • The Trump Organization is considering selling its three-year-old hotel in downtown Washington, DC, that’s been a focus of ongoing complaints that Trump is profiting off his role as President.
  • Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale is lobbying the president & White House hard against strict vaping rules, offering polls, suggestions and critiques, and saying they will suppress votes.
  • Rudy Giuliani butt-dials NBC reporter and is heard discussing need for cash and trashing Bidens.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

10/23-10/24

  • Trump boasted that the U.S. is building a border wall in Colorado.”We’re building a wall in Colorado. We’re building a beautiful wall. A big one that really works.”

NOTE: Colorado is not on the U.S-Mexico border, or any foreign border.

  • The city of Albuquerque says President Donald Trump’s recent visit cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in police service and lost work time, and now it wants him to pay up.
  • House Democrats have largely kept impeachment hearings behind closed doors as a means to avoid witnesses corroborating their testimonies. Some Democrats are pushing to take their impeachment hearings public as early as mid-November.

NOTE: Nearly half Republican Congressional members who “crashed” the classified hearing on Wednesday actually were on the committee and were welcome to attend.

  • The National Archives has launched a probe into Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s use of a private email account for government business.
  • Dmytro Firtash, a Ukraine natural gas oligarch with ties to organized crime, is being investigated for providing funding to the Giuliani associates who are now charged with making illegal campaign contributions to Trump and GOP lawmakers.
  • Trump confirms US will leave Paris Climate Accord
  • The office formed by Trump to protect whistleblowers in the Department of Veterans Affairs was instead used to stifle claims and retaliate against those trying to expose problems at the agency.

NOTE: The Inspector General’s report on this matter has yet to be released.

  • A. Wayne Johnson, who was appointed chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid. has announced his intention to quit and endorsed the cancellation of $925 billion in existing student loans
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reports that, to date, there have been 1,493 Trump property visits by government officials. 292 promotions of Trump properties by White House officials. 387 Trump visits to Trump properties. 63 foreign trademarks issued to Trump brands.
  • A review has found several Trump political appointees violated the administration’s ethics pledge, which was put in place to try to “drain the swamp” by imposing lobbying restrictions and penalties. While Trump’s ethics pledge was weaker than previous rules, the government ethics office still found violations in 2018 at three federal agencies: the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the National Labor Relations Board.
  • New Jersey is seeking to revoke the liquor license for Trump’s Colts Neck country club. Te revocation stems from a 2015 case where the Trump club allegedly over-served alcohol to a man who then caused a fatal wreck.
  • The White House is urging federal agencies not to renew their subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post days after Trump said he didn’t want either newspaper in the White House. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham is touting the move as having “a significant cost saving for taxpayers.”
  • The White House’s trade representative in late August withdrew a recommendation to restore some of Ukraine’s trade privileges after John Bolton warned him that Trump probably would oppose any action that benefited the government in Kyiv.
  • Sen. Graham says the bulk of Trump’s lunch with senators was “the president saying, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ and senators saying, ‘Mr. President, we agree that the process is flawed but the best thing you can do is sort of keep governing the country.'”
  • Former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos told a court on Thursday that she has calendar entries, emails, and other evidence to corroborate her claims that President Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in 2007.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

October 22-October 23, 2019

  • Trump on Oct 3rd: “I spoke to (McConnell)…he said, ‘That was the most innocent phone call that I’ve read.'”

McConnell Tuesday: “I don’t recall  any conversations with the President about that phone call.”

  • Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon career official overseeing Ukraine policy, is testifying before the House impeachment inquiry. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia is appearing even though the Defense Department told Congress that it would not comply with a House subpoena to provide documents related to the freezing of US security aid to Ukraine.
  • Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says he and 22 other House Freedom Caucus members met with Trump Tuesday to discuss impeachment, at the White House’s request. “We assured President Trump that we have his back” and that there’s “no credible evidence of an impeachable offense.”
  • Trump Tweeted. “Neither he (Taylor) or any other witness has provided testimony that the Ukrainians were aware that military aid was being withheld. You can’t have a quid pro quo with no quo.” Congressman John Ratcliffe @foxandfriends Where is the Whistleblower? The Do Nothing Dems case is DEAD!”

NOTE: Taylor says Sondland told him directly that both a meeting and military aid depended on the investigations. Regardless, a “quid pro quo” is not necessary for there to be violations of election laws. All the law requires, whether or not Ukraine was aware or delivered, whether or not the communications involved a quid pro quo, is the solicitation of a thing of value from the Ukraine President in connection with a U.S. election. That is a federal crime.

NOTE: Top Ukrainian officials were alerted in early August* that $391m in US military help was frozen. This timeline undercuts Trump’s defense that Ukraine couldn’t have felt pressured to investigate his rivals if they didn’t know of the freeze.

  • More than two months before the Trump-Zelensky phone call, Ukraine’s newly elected leader told advisers he was worried about pressure from Trump to investigate Joe Biden. The meeting was recounted to The AP by three people familiar with the details.
  • Trump boasted that American incomes have skyrocketed $7,000 during his presidency.

NOTE: Inflation adjusted median income rose $1400 in the past two years (2.3% in two years). There was a 5% gain under Obama and 4.2% decline under GW Bush. The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates a $970 tax reduction for middle-income earners. All of which was eliminated by Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods according to the Federal Reserve Bank of NY.

  • Oral argument is being presented before the 2nd Circuit NY as Trump lawyers argue he cannot be investigated or prosecuted while President, so DA in NY cannot use a grand jury to obtain evidence, including his taxes. A Judge is now asking Trump lawyers why, even assuming the President is immune from indictment, he should be immune from investigation. “This is just a grand jury subpoena.” The is case likely to ultimately head to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Trump’s lawyer says Trump could not be investigated while in office even if he committed a murder.
  • As Pentagon official Laura Cooper’s closed-door deposition began, a group of House Republicans protesting the process (who don’t sit on the relevant impeachment committees) walked into the hearing room with their electronics, which are prohibited in the room. Mike Conaway of Texas collected the electronics.
  • They have ordered pizza. No, seriously, they have.
  • Trump had advance knowledge and supported a protest by republicans who told him they planned to barge into a secure hearing room on Capitol Hill.
  • Trump referred to some republicans as “they are human scum!”
  • Trump announced that the United States will lift sanctions on Turkey, saying that the Turkish government has informed the White House that it will abide by what he characterized as a “permanent” cease-fire along the border with Syria.
  • Ukrainian-American businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested earlier this month on their way out of the country on one-way tickets, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in their first court appearance. Parnas’ attorney told the judge there may be concerns to sort out related to executive privilege due to their relationship with Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney.

NOTE: Only the president can invoke executive privilege.  Also, executive privilege does not extend to cover potentially criminal acts.

  • A protege of Devin Nunes, Kash Patel, was among those passing negative information about Ukraine to Trump, fueling the president’s belief that Ukraine was brimming with corruption and interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats.
  • Secretary Pompeo has refused to brief senators on the situation in Syria and how the Trump administration is working to defeat ISIS.
  • A federal judge gave the State Department 30 days to release Ukraine-related records, including communications between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

In The Past 24 Hours Or So

October 22, 2019

Your Daily Dose of Trump and His Administration News

  • Trump says “The New York Times … is a fake newspaper. We don’t even want it in the White House anymore, we’re going to probably terminate that and The Washington Post” He was complaining about their Pulitzer Prizes. He is falsely claiming the Times apologized for its coverage.

NOTE: The White House said Tuesday it will not be renewing subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post, two papers the president frequently attacks

  • Trump talks about Elizabeth Warren using her name. “Pocahontas,” Hannity interjects. “Pocahontas,” Trump agrees.
  • Trump compared the impeachment inquiry to “a lynching.”
  • Trump tells Hannity that if his sons Don Jr & Eric accepted payments from questionable foreign sources “it would be the biggest story of the century.” 

NOTE: The Trump Organization does take payments from questionable foreign sources.

  • As a result of Trump administration policies, about a million children who had been covered by Medicaid no longer are. 
  • Trump’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, is testifying to Congress in the impeachment inquiry. Taylor is the diplomat who complained that the administration was withholding aid to Ukraine to help Trump’s campaign.
  • Mike Pompeo, in a speech to Heritage, once again suggests the anti-ISIS coalition was built by the Trump administration. “It was the Trump admin with the help of SDF fighters and 70 nations that built a coalition”

NOTE: This is untrue. The coalition was launched under Obama.

  • Bill Taylor testified that he was told by Ambassador Gordon Sondland that the release of military aid was contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens & 2016 election, contradicting Trump’s denial he used the money as leverage for political gain.
  • Per source in the room, Bill Taylor’s opening statement was 15 pages long and prompted “a lot of sighs and gasps.”
  • White House personnel staff have reportedly told President Donald Trump that his top two picks to temporarily serve as acting homeland security secretary, Ken Cuccinelli or Mark Morgan, are ineligible for the job due to rules that govern federal agency succession.
  • Trump called on Republicans to “get tougher and fight” against the House impeachment inquiry.
  • Trump has been fielding suggestions on who might succeed his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, amid frustration at his team’s response to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
  • Kellyanne Conway or Steve Mnuchin may replace Mick Mulvaney as Chief Of Staff when he gets fired.
  • Shah Zuberi, a Los Angeles financier who donated $900,000 to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, has admitted to falsifying records to hide his work as a foreign agent while he lobbied prominent U.S. government officials.Zuberi has agreed to plead guilty to three counts for allegedly making almost $1 million in illegal campaign contributions, engaging in various lobbying efforts, and evading taxes.
  • DOJ official says the department was unaware ambassadors were discussing linking the Ukraine investigation to Barr’s probe of the 2016 election.

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