February 2018

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  • 2/1/18 Federal workers express anxiety after Trump calls for more power to fire federal workers at will in his first State of the Union address. (Hill)
  • 2/2/18 The Pentagon releases a new nuclear arms policy that calls for two new types of "low-yield"nuclear weapons, reversing an Obama-era program of reducing nuclear weapons. (WaPo)
  • 2/2/18 Leaked audio from an RNC meeting reveals Trump bragging about passing a 30-question cognition test intended to screen for dementia. Trump is recorded as saying: "Let me tell you, those last ten questions are hard. There aren’t a lot of people that can do that." (NYMagazine)
  • 2/3/18 Former deputy national security advisor  to Trump K.T. McFarland withdraws her ambassadorial nomination to Singapore after doubt is cast on her answers to questions involving Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials. (NYT)
  • 2/3/18 Is reported that the U.S. government is set to borrow almost $1 trillion in 2018, an 84% jump from the year before. (WaPo)
  • 2/3/18 Referring to a heavily edited 4-page memo released by Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee which loosely purports an improperly obtained FISA warrant in the course of the Russia investigation, Trump tweets: "This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!" (NPR)
    • 2/4/18 Is reported that a vast majority of tweets and social media entries in support of releasing the GOP memo were generated by bots of unknown origin. (Politico)
  • 2/3/18 Acting Fish and Wildlife Services Director Greg Sheehan attends a convention in Las Vegas that promotes hunters' rights to kill big game and import the parts into the United States. (Hill)
  • 2/5/18 Mocks Democratic Representative Adam Schiff for trying to release a countervailing memo to answer to the allegations of the recently released GOP memo, tweeting: "Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!" (NYT)
  • 2/5/18 British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt defends the UK health system after Trump tweets: "The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!" (Hill)
  • 2/5/18 As the stock market plummets more than 1,000 points, Trump brags about his role in a booming economy at a speech in a factory in Ohio, and attacks Democrats who did not clap for him at his State of the Union speech: "Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much." (NYT)
  • 2/5/18 Rachel Crooks, a woman who maintains the accusation that Trump forcibly kissed her when she worked as a receptionist at Trump Tower, announces that she is running for office in Ohio. (Cosmopolitan)
  • 2/5/18 ICE agents raid the house of Sye Ahmed Jamal and arrest him in front of his wife and three children, threatening to arrest them as well if they tried to hug him. Jamal had overstayed his student visa by 30 years and had most recently been teaching chemistry as a professor in Kansas City. (WaPo)(NYT)
  • 2/7/18 Asks military commanders at the Pentagon to plan a military parade "like the one in France." (CNN)
  • 2/7/18 Top White House aide Rob Porter abruptly resigns after two ex-wives allege that he beat them. (CNN)
  • 2/6/18 Encourages a government shutdown over immigration, undercutting bipartisan negotiations in Congress. "We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of." (CNN)
  • 2/6/18 Faith adviser to Trump's presidential campaign Gloria Copeland posts a video denying the existence of the flu, saying: "We got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season." The flu in 2018 is one of the worst on record and his claimed the lives of 53 children in the U.S. thus far. (WaPo)
  • 2/6/18 WH counselor Kellyanne Conway quietly freezes out drug policy professionals and relies on political staff to address an opioid epidemic that is claiming 175 lives per day, producing two main solutions thus far: a border wall and a "just say no" campaign. (Politico)
  • 2/8/18 ICE agents deny a visa extension to Jesus Berrones, deporting the father of five children, one of whom is battlling cancer. (Hill)
  • 2/8/18 Is reported that dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary clearances, handling sensitive information on a daily basis. (WaPo)
  • 2/9/18 The jeweler who sold Trump his wife Melania's 15-carat diamond engagement ring says that Trump lied about getting a $1 million discount on the ring, and that he in fact paid the full price of $1.5 million. (Forbes)
  • 2/9/18 Is reported that Trump no longer reads his intelligence briefings in shortened, illustrated format, but rather has personnel explain it to him verbally and frequently interrupts them. (NewYorkMagazine)
  • 2/9/18 Blocks the release of a memo from Democratic members of Congress rebutting the four-page memo he released earlier by Republicans which alleges biased FISA warrant practices. (NYT)
  • 2/9/18 The third-highest-ranking official in the Justice Department, Rachel Brand, resigns after only nine months on the job to join Walmart as the executive vice president for global governance. Brand would have been the official to take over the Mueller investigation if Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (WaPo)
  • 2/9/18 A second White House staffer, speechwriter David Sorensen, resigns within the same week for allegations of spousal abuse. (WaPo)(Rob Porter resignation - NYT)
  • 2/9/18 Is reported that the White House still doesn't have a Spanish language version of its website after a year. (AP)
  • 2/9/18 Trump's developer partners in Mississippi request the state to subsidize a new hotel with $6 million in tax breaks, a third of the total cost of the project. (NYT)
  • 2/10/18 Is deduced by former U.S. intelligence that recently departed White House staff secretary Rob Porter was given access to top secret information even after his temporary clearance expired in mid-January 2018. (Politico)
  • 2/10/18 Trump tweets a defense of Rob Porter and men generally who have been accused by women of physical and sexual abuse, tweeting: "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?" (Time)
    • 2/12/18 One of the exonerated defendants in the Central Park Five case, Yusef Salaam, reminds viewers on CNN that Trump took out a full page ad against the five suspects in 1989, calling for their deaths before a trial had been held. They were exonerated in 2002 and in 2016 Trump reiterated his suspicion that they were guilty. (Hill)
  • 2/11/18 Introduces a budget plan that does not attempt to eliminate deficit, breaking with the guiding principle of fiscal conservatism adopted by the Republican party for several decades. (WaPo)
    • 2/12/18 The budget outlines $4.4 trillion in spending, which would add $7 trillion to the deficit over ten years. (NYT)
    • 2/12/18 The budget seeks to abolish 21 agencies, all of which address the poor, the arts, public health and international diplomacy. (Hill) It seeks to slash the EPA budget by 25%. (Hill)
    • 2/12/18 The budget proposes removing the ability of SNAP recipients to choose which foods they can buy, and instead mailing them "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables." The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.  (NPR)
  • 2/13/18 Other proposal's in Trump's budget include: (RollingStone)
    • Cutting $1.5 trillion in "non-defense discretionary spending," a 40% cut to everything but the Pentagon's budget.
    • Ending student loan forgiveness.
    • Ending Head Start, a program aimed at providing preschool for poor children, to save $13 billion over ten years.
    • Cutting off funding for the International Space Station by 2025.
    • Selling off federal airports and power plants to the highest bidder.
    • Funding infrastructure spending by cutting the transportation budget by $178 billion.
    • Ending home heating assistance completely.
    • Ending the job-creation program for rural American.
    • Providing $0 to the Social Services Block Grant, which funds "essential social services" that go to protecting children and adults from neglect, abuse and exploitation.
    • Cutting welfare by $21 billion.
    • Assumes that Obamacare has been repealed and that $675 billion has been saved from the repeal.
    • Cutting the Centers for Disease Control budget by 41%.
    • Cutting $47 billion from the Section 8 housing voucher program that keeps hundreds of thousands of children from becoming homeless.
    • Reducing education spending by $3.6 billion and provides $1 billion for private school vouchers.
    • Providing $2.5 billion in funding to build detention facilities for illegal immigrants.
  • 2/13/18 Is reported that Rob Porter, the WH staff secretary who resigned the week before for allegations of spousal abuse, was about to be promoted. (CNN)
  • 2/13/18 FBI Director Christopher Wray contradicts the White House on when the FBI informed officials about the status of Rob Porter's security clearance investigation, wherein the WH claims that no investigation was ever completed while Wray says that not only was an investigation completed, they also fulfilled follow-up requests by the WH. (WaPo)
    • 2/14/18 White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirms Director Wray's version of events, contradicting previous White House statements on the matter. (WaPo)
  • 2/14/18 Trump lawyer Michael Cohen confirms that he paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels in October 2016 (allegedly to silence her about the affair she had with Trump in 2005-2006), but that it was money and not campaign funds. (WaPo)
  • 2/15/18 According an to IRS filing, Trump raised a record $107 million for his inauguration: (NYT)(the IRS filing)
    • $5 million went to charity, far less than promised.
    • $57 million went to four event-planning companies, the largest payment going to Stephanie Wolkoff, a staff member of Melania Trump, who created her company six weeks before the inauguration.
  • 2/15/18 Is reported that as of November 2017, over 100 White House staffers still had only interim security clearances, many of who reported directly to the president. (CNN)
  • 2/16/18 Thirteen months into the administration, it is reported that over 40% of Trump's first Cabinet-level picks have faced ethical or other controversies. (WaPo)
  • 2/16/18 Former Playboy model Karen McDougal reveals an affair with Trump from June 2006 to April 2007 in a detailed, handwritten document published by The New Yorker. (TheNewYorker)
  • 2/17/18 Uses a school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead on Valentine's Day to attack the FBI, tweeting: "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" (BBC)
  • 2/18/18 Asks members at his Mar-a-Lago resort about whether he should prusue gun control laws or not. (WaPo)
  • 2/18/18 Spends most of a weekend tweeting attacks on the FBI, CNN, the Democratic Party, his own national security adviser, Barack Obama and members of the House Intelligence Committee, but not Vladimir Putin or Russia over the most recent evidence indicating that Russia interfered with the US election in 2016. (Politico)
  • 2/20/18 Son Donald Trump Jr. plans a visit to India to promote Trump real estate projects, but also to deliver a foreign policy speech on Indo-Pacific relations at an event with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance. (Syracuse)
  • 2/20/18 After former Trump Tower employee Rachel Crooks is featured in the Washington Post renewing her allegations that Trump forced a kiss on her in 2005, Trump attacks with the following tweet: "A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security cameras running. Another False Accusation. Why doesn’t @washingtonpost report the story of the women taking money to make up stories about me? One had her home mortgage paid off. Only @FoxNews so reported...doesn’t fit the Mainstream Media narrative." (CNN)(WaPo feature)
  • 2/20/18 Puts Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in charge of implementing the privatization of space ventures and rolling back regulations on the commercial space industry. (VanityFair)
  • 2/20/18 After a 50-minute phone conversation with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, with Trump refusing to publicly acknowledge that Mexico will not fund a border wall, Nieto's trip to Washington is canceled. (WaPo)
  • 2/21/18 Attacks Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the Russia Probe, tweeting: "Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren't they the subject of the investigation? Why didn't Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren't Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Session!" (CNN)
  • 2/21/18 At a White House listening session with survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, does not conceal his crib notes, which are photographed and revealed as containing the following bullet points: "1) What would you most want me to know about your experience? 2) What can we do to help you feel safe? 3) Do you [feel that the] see something say something [policy] is effective? 4) resources? ideas? 5) I hear you." (Vox)
    • 2/22/18 Says that "gun-free" school zones make it like "going in for ice cream" for school shooters and that with his strategy of arming teachers, "ATTACKS WOULD END!" And “Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive.” (WaPo)
    • 2/22/18 Praises NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and executive director Chris Cox: “What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing.” (WaPo)
  • 2/22/18 Threatens the entire state of California with the withdrawal of immigration enforcement agents: "If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, 'hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,' in two months they'd be begging for us to come back, they would be begging. And you know what, I'm thinking about doing it." (Hill)
    • In the same address, attacks California law enforcement: "They're doing a lousy management job, they have the highest taxes in the nation, and they don't know what's happening out there." (LATimes)
  • 2/22/18 A federal grand jury in Virginia hands former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his top aide Rick Gates a 32-count indictment, both facing 16 counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and hiding foreign accounts. (ABC)
    • 2/23/18 Rick Gates pleads guilty and signals that he will cooperate in the Mueller investigation. (NYT)
  • 2/23/18 Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump promotes his ongoing campaign for arming teachers, refering to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida: "A teacher would have shot the hell out of him." (Hill)
    • Also in his address at CPAC, recites "The Snake," a simple poem originating from a soul singer and social activist in Chicago from the 1960s, Oscar Brown, Jr., but reappropriated to apply to immigrants. The poem is a parable of a dying snake that fatally bites a woman trying to help it. (WaPo)
  • 2/23/18 Directs the Pentagon to schedule a military parade for Veterans Day, November 11, 2018. (Politico)
  • 2/23/18 After announcing a round of new sanctions against North Korea, Trump is asked what he would do if the sanctions do not work, and responds: "If the sanctions don't work, we'll have to go to Phase 2. Phase 2 may be a very rough thing. May be very, very unfortunate for the world." (NYMagazine)
  • 2/23/18 While visiting South Korea, daughter Ivanka briefs President Moon Jae-in on her father's new North Korea sanctions despite her lacking a permanent security clearance typically required to access classified information. (Newsweek)
  • 2/23/18 The manufacturer Carrier, which hosted a president-elect Trump in December 2016 to make a spectacle about keeping 1,000 jobs in the U.S. (and subsequently laying off far more and building a plant in Mexico anyway) is awarded a $2.5 billion contract with the Department of Defense without any competition. (WaPo)
  • 2/24/18 Retweets fringe radio host Wayne Dupree who has in the past peddled conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and has recently attacked survivors of the Parkland, Florida massacre. Trump retweeted a tweet by Dupree from four years ago which was unrelated to the shootings: "It’s ok 2 b black, conservative and love America and not vote Democrat!” (WaPo)
  • 2/24/18 Ordered to pay a $.5.45 million settlement to former members of the National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida, who were not given their security deposits back after leaving the club. (Reuters)
  • 2/24/18 Is reported that Trump often jokes about killing drug dealers, crediting the Chinese and Filipino governments' embrace of the death penalty (and summary execution) of drug dealers as the reason why they don't have drug problems. (Axios)
  • 2/26/18 Recommends his personal pilot John Dunkin to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. (Axios)
  • 2/26/18 The Supreme Court declines a White House request for it to immediately decide whether Trump can shut down the DACA program on 700,000 young immigrants. (NYT)
  • 2/26/18 Speaking at a meeting of governors at the White House on the topic of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, says ""You don't know until you test it, but I think, I really believe I'd run in there, even if I didn't have a weapon." And renews his call to arm school teachers.  (CNN)
  • 2/26/18 The Trump campaign for re-election sends a photo to supporters of Trump leaning over the hospital bed of a Parkland school shooting survivor, soliciting donations for the campaign. (CNN)
  • 2/27/18 Son-in-law Jared Kushner is stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check. (NYT) American officials have intercepted communications from the governments of China, the U.A.B., Mexico and Israel discussing ways to use business opportunities to exert leverage over Kushner. (WaPo)
  • 2/27/18 NSA and U.S. Cyber Command chief Admiral Mike Rogers testifies to the Senate Armed Service Committee that he is unable to combat continued Russian interference in U.S. politics because Trump has not given him the green light to do so. He also stated that due to the anemic response thus far by the U.S., Russia has not and will not abate their operations to influence U.S. elections. (NPR)
  • 2/27/18 A security guard working at a Trump hotel in Panama is detained by Panamanian police in the midst of a dispute between the Trump Organization and the hotel's majority owner, with the latter attempting to purge all Trump employees from the property. (WaPo)
  • 2/28/18 White House communications director Hope Hicks, in a nine-hour interview with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian election interference, admits to telling "white lies" for Trump, but claims that she has told no lies regarding the Russia investigation, and refuses to speak about anything that has happened since Trump took office on January 20, 2017. (USNews)
    • 2/28/18 Hicks, one of Trump's closest and most trusted aides, announces her resignation. (NYT)
  • 2/28/18 Wins permission to build a border wall from U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge whose Mexican heritage he openly attacked during his campaign. He celebrates the court victory by tweet and does not acknowledge his attacks on Judge Curiel. (ABCNews)
  • 2/28/18 Attacks Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter: "Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!" (CNN) Is reported that he has been calling Sessions "Mr. Magoo," a bumbling near-sighted cartoon character originating in 1949. (WaPo)
  • 2/28/18 Is reported that Trump aides keep folders to keep track of attacks Republican lawmakers and others make against Trump, a practice that Nixon adopted before and during his time in the Oval Office. (WaPo)
  • 2/28/18 In a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on school safety, does the following: (Politico)
    • Openly attacks Republican senator Pat Toomey for being "afraid of the NRA." And "They have great power over you people. They have less power over me."
    • Pushes for a "comprehensive" gun control bill
    • Summarily rejects the notion of a bill allowing "concealed reciprocity" between states, saying it would never pass.
    • Asserts that courts "Take the guns first, go through due process second."
    • Asserts that Obama was not serious about passing gun control, but that he is.