May 2017

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  • 5/1/17 Asserts that had seventh president Andrew Jackson been the president at the eve of the U.S. Civil War, that he would have prevented it. (Hill)
    • "[Jackson] was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War." (Hill) Andrew Jackson died 16 years before the start of the Civil War. (Wikipedia)
    • "People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?" (Hill)
  • 5/1/17 Says he would be "honored" to meet Kim Jung Un of North Korea under the right circumstances. (Bloomberg)
  • 5/1/17 Congress reach an agreement to fund the government through September, but the budget does not include any funding for Trump's Mexico wall, abatement of funding to so-called sanctuary cities, or funding for an expanded deportation force. (CNN)
  • 5/1/17 Picks an anti-abortion advocate Teresa Manning to lead federal family planning programs. (Hill)
  • 5/2/17 Calls for "a good 'shutdown'" of the government in September to force through his suggested spending objectives, including the border wall and an expansion of deportation forces. (NYT)
  • 5/4/17 Signs an executive order to ease a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions, giving the IRS maximum discretion to enforce or not enforce the ban. (Reuters)
  • 5/4/17 Celebrating the House GOP voting to repeal Obamacare (before the Senate has voted), Trump reminds a crowd that he won the general election in 2016: "Coming from a different world and only being a politician for a short period of time — How am I doing? Am I doing okay? I’m president! Hey! I’m president! Can you believe it, right?” (Mediaite w/ video)
  • 5/5/17 The Senate rejects a House GOP Obamacare repeal bill introduced less than 24 hours before, backed by Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan. Many lawmakers never read the bill because the text was never published in the House. (Politico) The bill would have: removed 24 million people from insurance rolls; raised premiums for older, poor Americans by more than 750%; cut Medicaid by $880 billion; given a trillion dollars in tax cuts to the rich; allowed states to waive out of Obamacare's ban on preexisting conditions, essential benefits, pregnancy, lab tests, ER trips and ambulance trips. (Hill)
  • 5/7/17 Signs a statement regarding an omnibus spending bill that singles out historically black colleges, saying his administration would treat minority spending programs in a manner consistent with the Constitution. (CNN)(signing statement)
  • 5/8/17 Former Obama White House officials say that President Obama personally warned Donald Trump against hiring Michael Flynn to be part of his national security team two days after the November 2016 election. (NYT)
  • 5/8/17 Testimony by former acting attorney general Sally Yates reveals that she warned the White House that Michael Flynn would be vulnerable to Russian blackmail and wouldn't be suitable to serve on the national security team. (NYT)
  • 5/8/17 Photoshops a tweet into his Twitter header denying his involvement with Russia. (NewYorkMagazine)
  • 5/9/17 Administration cites a segregation-era ruling from 1971 to defend the Muslim travel ban. (HuffPo)
  • 5/9/17 Fires FBI Director James Comey, citing Comey's mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. A letter from Trump to Comey reads in part: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau." (NYT) Just days before, Comey had requested to expand the Russia investigation. (NYT)
  • 5/9/17 Prepares to send a certified letter through a Washington law firm to Senator Lindsey Graham attesting that he has no connections to Russia. (Bloomberg)(the letter)
  • 5/10/17 Meets with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House, and bars all American journalists from entering the Oval Office, but allows a Russian photographer into the meeting. The only photographs from the meeting come from the Russian press. (NYT)
  • 5/11/17 Announces that he is launching a commission on "election integrity," fulfilling a promise to investigate his own claims of millions of votes by undocumented immigrants which purportedly gave the popular vote win to Hillary Clinton instead of him. (WaPo)
  • 5/11/17 Says in an interview that he might release his tax returns once he's out of office. (Economist)
  • 5/11/17 In an interview, explains his reasoning for firing FBI Director James Comey as being his own decision prior to any recommendations, which directly contradicts several statements by the White House in previous days on the matter. (Politico)
  • 5/12/17 Tweets a threat to newly fired FBI director: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" (CNN) The White House will not deny that Trump records conversations in the Oval Office. (NYT)
  • 5/13/17 The law firm hired by Trump to send a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham on May 9, 2017, which has done Trump's taxes for the past ten years, has extensive and deep ties to Russia. (AP)(the letter)
  • 5/14/17 Referring to an aircraft carrier's jet launching system, claims that a new electromagnetic catapult does not have enough power: "It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said - and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers ... I said what system are you going to be - ‘Sir, we’re staying with digital.’ I said, ‘No you’re not. [You’re] going to goddamned steam,’ the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good." (Telegraph)
  • 5/15/17 Is reported that Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador during their private visit to the White House on 5/10/17, jeopardizing a critical source of intelligence on ISIS. (WaPo)
  • 5/16/17 Is revealed in a memo written by former FBI director James Comey that Trump asked him to back off of investigating Michael Flynn in January, with Trump saying that Flynn was "a good guy." (NYT)
  • 5/17/17 A recording is released from June 15, 2016, between House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and several other GOP leaders, in which McCarthy says: "There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." House Speaker Paul Ryan immediately interjects and swears everyone to secrecy about the conversation. (WaPo)
  • 5/18/17 The deputy (acting) attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, appoints special counsel to oversee the probe of Trump's campaign and Russia, tapping former director of the FBI from 2011 to 2013 Robert Mueller. (WaPo)
  • 5/19/17 According to a document summarizing Trump's meeting with the Russians in the White House, Trump told the Russians that firing the FBI director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him and that he was "crazy, a real nut job." (NYT)
  • 5/22/17 Is reported that Trump asked both his director of national intelligence and director of the NSA to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election. (WaPo)
  • 5/22/17 After a joint press conference in Israel with PM Benjamin Netanyahu, goes off script and tells reporters: "Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel," opening up the scandal from 5/15/17 in which he gave top secret information from Israeli intelligence sources to Russian officials in the Oval Office. (CNN)
  • 5/23/17 Releases a $4.1 trillion budget for 2018, titled "A New Foundation for American Greatness." The budget includes the following: (NYT)
    • a 10% ($2.6 billion) increase for border security, including $1.6 billion for a border wall
    • slashing $68 billion from Medicaid over 10 years
    • slashing $192 from nutritional assistance
    • slashing $272 billion from other welfare programs
    • $72 billion cut from disability benefits
    • a 10.6% ($57 billion) cut to domestic programs other than military
    • $19 billion over ten years for his daughter Ivanka's paid leave for heterosexual parents program
  • 5/23/17 Analysis of the proposed budget for 2018 reveals a double-counting accounting trick amounting to $2 trillion. (NYMag)(Vanity Fair)
  • 5/23/17 A transcript from April 29 reveals that Trump casually divulged potentially secret military intel by bragging to Phillipines strongman Rodrigo Duterte that the U.S. has positioned two nuclear subs off the coast of North Korea. (NYT) Pentagon officials are dismayed at the disclosure of the position of the stealth underwater craft. (BuzzFeed)
  • 5/24/17 Breaking a promise made just before taking office, Trump's business is not tracking foreign payments made to his hotels and donating those proceeds to the U.S. Treasury. A Trump Organization pamphlet suggests that it is up to the foreign government to self-report any dealings with Trump businesses. (NBC)
  • 5/25/17 Shoves aside the prime minister of Montenegro to get to the front of a group of NATO leaders assembling for a group photograph. (NYT)
  • 5/26/17 Says "the Germans are bad, very bad" for selling lots of cars in the U.S. (DerSpiegel)
  • 5/28/17 Criticizes the news coverage of a Montana GOP congressional candidate who bodyslammed a reporter the day before a state election and broke the reporter's glasses. (NYPost)
  • 5/29/17 Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo states that Trump requires "killer graphics" in his intelligence breifings. (WaPo)
  • 5/30/17 Is reported that the White House director of communications Mike Dubke resigned on May 18th  for "personal reasons." (Politico)
  • 5/30/17 Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen rejects a request by the House Intelligence Committee for documents relating to Russian election meddling. (MSN)(ABCNews)
  • 5/30/17 Is reported that the man investigating working conditions at a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-brand shoes is arrested and two others are missing. (WaPo)
  • 5/31/17 The White House announces that all future questions about the Russian investigation will be addressed by Trump's newly hired personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. (Hill)
  • 5/31/17 After fighting the Office of Govermnet Ethics for months to keep public information sealed, the White House releases the list of ethics waivers created for its staff. Many more waivers are expected to be released, but the first wave of them includes: (DailyBeast)(list of waivers)
    • Kellyanne Conway: allowed to meet with "political, advocacy, trade, or non-profit organizations" that formerly employed her consulting firm.
    • Steve Bannon: allowed to communicate with his former employer Brietbart News without limit.
    • Four former lobbyists exempted from the "revolving door" rules imposed by Trump.
  • 5/31/17 Has made a habit of handing out his personal cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, breaking diplomatic protocol and raising serious security concerns. (AP)