December 2017

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  • 12/1/17 Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations with the Russian ambassador last December during the presidential transition. (NYT)
    • 12/1/17 A breakdown of Flynn's lies about his Russia calls. (CNN)
    • 12/2/17 Emails among top transition officials show that Flynn was in close contact with senior members of the transition team before and after he spoke with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak about American sanctions against Russia. (NYT)
    • 12/2/17 Trump tweets: "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!" The first sentence is an admission that he knew Flynn lied to FBI investigators at the time of his firing. (WaPo) Trump claims that his lawyer John Dowd wrote the tweet and not him, and Dowd said that he did in fact draft it. (CNN)
  • 12/1/17 Is reported that residences at Trump Tower are increasingly owned by shadowy LLCs and criminals rather that high-profile celebrity residents. (VanityFair)
  • 12/2/17 Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow argues that collusion is not a crime. "For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion.” (NewYorker)
  • 12/3/17 Attacks the FBI in a string of tweets: (Time)
    • "Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI “agent’s role in Clinton probe under review.” Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge."
    • "After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness."
    • "Report: “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE” Now it all starts to make sense!"
  • 12/3/17 Billy Bush writes in an op-ed that Trump is indulging in "revisionist history" when he denies that it is his voice on the leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape bragging about sexually assaulting women and cheating on his wife. (NYT)(original audio via YouTube)
  • 12/3/17 U.S. pulls out of a UN-led Global Compact on Migration, which aims to protect the rights of migrants and helps them to resettle. (Hill)
  • 12/4/17 Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd argues the "president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case." (Axios)
  • 12/4/17 Signs two proclamations that shrink federally protected lands in Utah by two million acres, the largest rollback of national monument designations in U.S. history. Is sued by 10 environmental groups claiming that Trump has exceeded his authority. (USAToday)
  • 12/4/17 Disbands an interagency panel that was created to help cities deal with the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels. (Hill)
  • 12/4/17 Is sued by environmental and health groups after the EPA misses a key deadline in enforcing a provision in the Clean Air Act. (Hill)
  • 12/5/17 Announces that the U.S. will officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will start the years-long process of moving the American Embassy there. No other country has their embassy in Jerusalem. (NYT)
    • 12/4/17 Prior to the announcement, French president Emmanuel Macron calls Trump to tell him that it is a bad idea, along with leaders from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and the Arab League, since it would upset decades of American policy. (NYT)
    • 12/5/17 Secretary of State Rex Tillerson receives distinctly cold treatment by European diplomats in Brussels in the wake of Trump's announcement. (NYT)
  • 12/5/17 Over half a dozen technology experts and former national security officials file an amicus brief urging a federal court to halt the collection of voter information for a planned government database, citing serious risks of such centralized information falling into the hands of hackers. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was launched after Trump claimed that 5 million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election, the reason for his loss of the popular vote by 3 million. (WaPo)(claim on 1/23/17 via WaPo)
  • 12/5/17 Less than 48 hours after Mick Mulvaney is appointed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an $8 million judgment against a mortgage company that defrauded over 100,000 customers is rescinded by request of the CFPB. (NYT)
  • 12/5/17 Special counsel Robert Mueller receives subpoenaed bank records from Deutsche Bank that are related to people close to Trump, indicating an expansion of Mueller's Russia investigation. (Guardian)
  • 12/6/17 Plans are revealed to dramatically slash the staff and budget at the U.S. Office of Financial Research, which was created after the 2008 Financial Crisis. (WSJ)
  • 12/6/17 A Quinnipiac poll says that 73% of Americans think that it is hypocritical of Trump to criticize men who are accused of sexual harassment, and 63% disapprove of the way he is handling sexual harassment and sexual assault. (poll.qu.edu)
  • 12/6/17 Representative Al Green of Texas introduces a vote to the House floor to impeach Donald Trump. It is sidelined 364-54. (Politico)
  • 12/7/17 After slurring his speech in an address to the press, Trump's White House promises to disclose the results of a physical examination that will happen in January. (CNN w/ video)
  • 12/8/17 Is reported that at least 15 despots or state media outlets around the world have adopted Trump's phrase "fake news" to attack credible stories critical of their regime. (Politico)
  • 12/9/17 Calls for the firing of a Washington Post reporter who tweeted to his own personal account a photo of a Trump rally in Pensacola that misrepresented the size of the crowd in attendance. (Hill)
  • 12/9/17 In a radio address, bemoans the acquittal of undocumented immigrant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in a 2015 murder, citing "sanctuary cities" and the existence of DACA recipients as the problem. (Reuters)
  • 12/9/17 Civil rights and black community leaders attack Trump's attendance at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, citing his ongoing campaign against the rights and liberties of people of color. (CNN)
  • 12/9/17 The attorneys general of 17 states and Washington D.C. file a brief challenging Trump's appointment of Chairman of the OMB Mick Mulvaney to also head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who supplanted the original replacement Leandra English by fiat. (Hill)
  • 12/9/17 Is reported that Trump's television habits include the following: (NYT)
    • Wakes up at 5:30 each morning and immediately turns on the television.
    • Uses CNN for news, "Fox & Friends" for comfort and messaging ideas and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to get fired up with rage.
    • Watches 4-8 hours of television per day, and plays back news broadcasts when he has to mute a live broadcast because of a meeting.
    • Does not allow anyone but technical support staff to touch his remote controls.
  • 12/9/17 Holds a rally in Pensacola, FL in which he doubles down on his support for Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, who is facing allegations of underage sexual assault, calls his own opponents "evil," tells several dozen lies and inaccuracies regarding his presidency so far, and claims that he's beating Abraham Lincoln, among other things. (video and transcript via realclearpolitics.com)
  • 12/10/17 Four women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault announce as a group that they will call for an investigation by Congress of Trump's sexual misconduct. (CBS)(AP)
  • 12/11/17 Is reported that Trump was inspired to back Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, who is alleged to have molested and dated underage girls for years, after daughter Ivanka Trump spoke out against Moore. (Politico)
  • 12/11/17 Is reported that Trump has taken credit for hundreds of deregulations which he was not responsible for. (Bloomberg)
  • 12/12/17 Attacks Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, tweeting: "Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!" The attack is widely criticized as containing sexist innuendo. (WaPo)
  • 12/13/17 Democrat Doug Jones wins the Alabama senate seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions, beating alleged child molester Roy Moore who Trump campaigned for. In the wake of Moore's defeat, Trump tweets: "The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!" (CNN)
  • 12/13/17 Sitting director of the National Counterterrorism Center Nick Rasmussen says that Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric is making counterterrorism efforts "more difficult." (CNN)
  • 12/13/17 The Government Accountability Office reports that the Trump administration improperly withheld funding from a Department of Energy research office this year ahead of proposed funding cuts for the office. (PDF of report via GAO)
  • 11/14/17 Spearheaded by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, the FCC votes 3-2 along party lines to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules, allowing broadband providers to block websites and throttle traffic based on whatever criteria they choose. (NYT)
  • 12/14/17 Just before leaving for the FBI's National Academy in Quantico, VA for an address, tells the press: "We’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever. But it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.” (WaPo)
  • 12/15/17 Announces plans to lift the requirement that egg producers allow chickens to roam free in order to earn an organic rating. (Dept of Agriculture announcement)(NPR)
  • 12/16/17 An attorney representing Trump for America named Kory Langhofer accuses special counsel Robert Mueller of unlawfully obtaining tens of thousands of private emails during its investigation into Russian election meddling. (Politico)
  • 12/17/17 On the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead by the hands of a lone gunman, Trump hosts National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre at the White House. (Hill)
  • 12/18/17 Orders the Department of Health and Human Services from using the following words: "diversity," "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "science-based" and "evidence-based." (WaPo)
  • 12/19/17 Plans to nominate a Liberty University professor to serve as the administrator for the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Liberty University is an evangelical school run by Jerry Falwell Jr. (Hill)
  • 12/19/17 The Senate Banking Committee rejects Trump's nominee Scott Garrett to lead the Export-Import Bank, in part citing Garrett's previous efforts as a congressman to disband the Export-Import Bank. (Hill)
  • 12/20/17 Holds a massive gathering of lawmakers to celebrate the passage of tax cut legislation that adds up to $2 trillion to the national debt and primarily reduces tax liabilities for the rich and for corporations. (NYT)(analysis via TaxPolicyCenter)
    • 12/20/17 Admits to the press at a Cabinet meeting that the tax bill was deceptively sold to the public as a tax cut for the middle and lower class when it was in fact a vehicle for reducing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and to gut Obamacare by getting rid of the individual mandate. (WaPo)
  • 12/21/17 Is reported that senior White House adviser at Homeland Security Frank Wuco repeatedly pushed a number of far-right conspiracy theories in radio appearances before joining the Trump administration, including: Obama's memoir was written by radical Bill Ayers, former Attorney General Eric Holder was a member of the Black Panthers, and former CIA Director John Brennan is a Muslim. (Hill)
  • 12/22/17 A federal judge rules that Trump's voter fraud commission must give its Democrat member more access to the commission's records. (Politico)
  • 12/22/17 The Ninth Circuit rules against Trump's third attempt at a travel ban. (opinion via ca9.uscourts.gov)
  • 12/22/17 U.S. Department of the Interior under Ryan Zinke announces that energy companies and other businesses that accidentally kill migratory birds will no longer be criminally prosecuted. (Reuters)
  • 12/23/17 Tweets: "How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin' James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife's campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" (CNN)
  • 12/24/17 After passage of a tax bill touted to the public as cutting rates for the middle and lower class, tells friends at his Mar-a-Lago country club: "You all just got a lot richer." (CBSNews)
  • 12/24/17 A federal judge in Seattle partially lifts a Trump ban on certain refugees. The latest ban attempts to bar refugees from 11 countries. (USAToday)
  • 12/24/17 Retweets a photo of himself with a digitally added CNN logo on the bottom of his shoe splattered in blood, with the caption "WINNING." (Hill)
  • 12/26/17 Becomes the first president in almost a century to not host a first-year state dinner. (AP via DenverPost)
  • 12/26/17 Plans to cut down the historic Jackson Magnolia, a tree on the White House lawn that has stood there since the 1800s. The decision was ultimately that of Melania Trump. (CNN)
  • 12/28/17 Rescinds rules on fracking which would have required that oil companies disclose the contents of the fracking fluids they pump into the ground, cover fracking fluid ponds, and establish standards for fracking wells. (PDF notice via federalregister.gov)
  • 12/28/17 Brags that he has signed the most bills into law of any president, when in fact he has signed fewer laws in his time in office than any president since Eisenhower. (ABCNews)
  • 12/28/17 Sends a letter to supporters announcing a King of Fake News award, the letter reading in part: “Americans are sick and tired of being lied to, insulted, and treated with outright condescension. That’s why President Trump is crowning the 2017 KING OF FAKE NEWS before the end of the year." It continues, “There’s no point in pretending that some journalists are anything more than peddlers of falsehoods and liberal propaganda." (Hill)
  • 12/28/17 During his time in office, Trump has seen a 34% turnover in senior aides, a new record. (Hill)
  • 12/28/17 In an impromptu interview with the New York Times at his Mar-a-Lago clubhouse, says the following: (NYT)
    • Of the Russia investigation: “It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position. So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
    • “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”
    • That he knows more about “the big bills” debated in the Congress “than any president that’s ever been in office.”
    • “Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.”
    • In the 30 minutes of the interview, makes 24 false or misleading claims. (WaPo)
  • 12/28/17 Is discovered in a group photo of recent White House interns, one intern named Jack Breuer makes a hand sign identified with the white power movement. (DailyMail)
  • 12/28/17 Is reported that due to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: (Atlantic)
    • The government has undercounted the death toll, which is likely over 1,000. (NYT)
    • The island is inundated with millions of cubic yards of trash. (eeNews)
    • Over 168,000 have relocated from the island, many of them working age. (NYT)
    • Over a third of the island still has no electricity, perhaps up to half the population, and won't be restored until at least May 2018. (WaPo)
  • 12/29/17 In the midst of a snowy winter season in the northeast, tweets: "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!" (CNN)
  • 12/29/17 Fires the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, a voluntary council of professionals who carried out federal HIV/AIDS reductions strategies since 1995. (WaPo)
  • 12/30/17 The Clean Air Council sues Trump personally for violating "every American’s right to due process guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment" by using junk science to dismantle basic efforts to combat climate change. (Hill)
  • 12/31/17 A member of the Palm Beach Architectural Commission publicly accuses Trump of violating the town's helicopter rules, stating that no one should be above the law. (PalmBeachDailyNews)