May 2018

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  • 5/1/18 Eighteen states sue Trump's administration over its push to "reconsider" greenhous gas emission rules for U.S. vehicles. (WaPo)
  • 5/1/18 Seven stats sue Trump over its failure to terminate the DACA program. (WaPo)
  • 5/1/18 Trump's physician of 36 years Harold Bornstein says that after he told the New York Times that Trump took a drug to promoto hair growth, two Trump aides staged a "raid" on his Manhattan office in February 2017 and removed all of Trump's medical files. (NYT)
    • 5/2/18 Bornstein also says that he did not write the 2015 letter that declared then-candidate Trump as having "astonishingly excellent" health, and that Trump himself dictated the entire letter. (CNN)
  • 5/2/18 Is announced that Trump's lawyer Ty Cobb will be leaving the White House at the end of the month, to be replaced by Emmet Flood, the veteran Washington lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment. (NYT)
  • 5/2/18 Trump's newly hired Russia investigation attorney, former NYC governor Rudy Giuliani, says on Fox News that Trump repaid his lawyer Michael Cohen the $130,000 that Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford), and that the money did not come from campaign funds. This contradicts Trump's earlier claim that Trump never paid Cohen anything and didn't know about the coverup payment. (NBC)
    • 5/3/18 Trump defends his hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, tweeting that he did not use campaign money to stop the "false and extortionist accusations" about an affair. (Hill)
    • 5/3/18 Giuliani's news blitz gives investigators new leads, including the possibility that Trump used campaign finances to pay Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet. (WaPo)
  • 5/3/18 At a National Day of Prayer event in the White House Rose Garden, says "One nation under God. So important. And we say it. A lot of people, you know, they don't say it. But you know what? They're starting to say it more, just like we’re starting to say Merry Christmas when that day comes around. You notice a big difference between now and two or three years ago? It was going in the other direction rapidly. Now it’s straight up.” (Hill)
  • 5/3/18 Signs an executive order to establish a faith-based office, the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, to focus on protecting religious freedom and ensuring that "the faith-based and community organizations that form the bedrock of our society have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the federal government." (CBS)
  • 5/6/18 At an NRA rally in Dallas, Trump says that strict gun laws in Paris led to the 2015 terrorist attacks that claimed 130 lives as well as an increase in knife attacks in London. Saying of the Paris attacks: ""They took their time and gunned them down one by one -- boom, come over here, boom, come over here, boom." (CNN)
  • 5/6/18 Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says that Trump would not have to comply with a subpoena issued by special counsel Robert Mueller, and that he could plead the Fifth Amendment on every question. (WaPo) In the same Sunday media blitz, admits that Trump may have paid off other women through lawyer Michael Cohen. (WaPo)
  • 5/8/18 Announces the U.S. withdrawal from the Obama-era Iran nuclear disarmament deal and resumption of sanctions despite desparate pleas from Germany, Britain and France. The withdrawal is in line with Israel's suggestion. (CNN)
  • 5/8/18 Is reported that senior diplomats repeatedly urged the Trump administration not to expel 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians over the past six months, since the deportations could destabilize the region and create a surge of illegal migrations in the U.S. (WaPo)
  • 5/9/18 The White House Correspondents' Association rebukes Trump after he suggested that the press credentials for journalists critical of his administration should be revoked. (Hill)
  • 5/9/18 Trump quietly cancels NASA's Carbon Monitoring System, a $10-million-a-year research project that helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks of carbon emissions globally. (Sciencemag.org)
  • 5/10/18 Documents reveal that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen received $600,000 from AT&T in exchange for advice on a contentious $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner, which requires the approval of federal antitrust regulators. (WaPo)
    • It is further reported that Cohen received $150,000 from South Korean defense firm Korea Aerospace Industries in order to secure a $16 billion Pentagon deal. (CNBC)
    • Documents also reveal that Swiss drugmaker Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million in a yearlong contract to gain insight into and access to Trump and his administration. (Politico)
  • 5/10/18 White House special assistant Kelly Sadler jokes in a staff meeting that Senator John McCain's vote for or against Trump's pick to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, "doesn't matter [since] he's dying anyway." Senator McCain is battling brain cancer. (Hill)
  • 5/10/18 The top National Security Council official in charge of leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, abruptly resigns, and the global health security team he oversaw is disbanded. The resignation comes on the same day that a new Ebola outbreak is declared in Congo. (WaPo)
  • 5/11/18 Gets into a heated, lengthy argument with Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a Cabinet meeting, berating her for not doing enough to secure the border while she defended herself for following existing laws. Secretary Nielsen is later reported to have drafted a letter of resignation but not submit it. (CNN)
  • 5/11/18 Announces a plan to lower drug prices which continues to bar Medicare from negotiating directly with drug companies. (NBC)\
  • 5/11/18 Is reported that the chairman of the National Credit Union Administration board, J. Mark McWatters, oversees the $1.4 billion credit union industry from his house in Dallas instead of the agency's headquarters in Virginia where 400 of the agency's 1,200 employees work. (WaPo)
  • 5/11/18 At a rally in Indiana, jokes about getting an "extension" to his presidency's term limits, and is received with raucous applause and cheers. (Express.co.uk)
  • 5/12/18 The Justice Department's Bureau of Prisons releases a policy change to its manual that rolls back rules protecting transgender inmates in federal prisons. (BOP manual change notice)(Hill)
  • 5/12/18 Is reported that Trump's flagship golf club in Scotland, Trump Turnberry, received thousands of dollars from the U.S. government for VIP hotel stays for a presidential security detail. (Scotsman)
  • 5/13/18 Most foreign envoys to Israel do not attend Trump's celebration of the U.S. Embassy's relocation to Jerusalem, a move that breaks with world consensus and decades of American policy, as well as triggered mass riots. (Reuters)
    • 5/14/18 Controversial pastor John Hagee delivers the benediction at the opening ceremony of the embassy. Hagee is the founder of Christians United for Israel and has promised that Trump would win "political immortality" for moving the embassy. Additionally, a prayer is made at the ceremony by controversial pastor Robert Jeffress, who has vigorously supported Trump since 2016 and has made strong public condemnations of Islam and Mormonism as heresies "from the pit of hell," and that the Catholic church has been misled by Satan, among other things. (CNN)
    • 5/13/18 A record 60 protestors are shot dead by Israeli soldiers in a single day of protests, with the total number of people shot with live ammunition totalling over 1,000. (CNN)
  • 5/13/18 Trump announces on Twitter that he will work to restore business with Chinese telecom ZTE, which has been banned by the U.S. for violating sanctions by selling products to Iran and North Korea. Tweets "“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” (WaPo)
  • 5/13/18 Is reported that when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House, Trump gave her a personal tour of the White House and showed her his bedroom. (Telegraph)
  • 5/13/18 Is reported that Fox News host Sean Hannity calls the White House on most nights at 10pm right after his nightly broadcast to speak with Trump. On some days they have multiple phone conversations. (NYMag)
  • 5/14/18 The Chinese government extends a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels. (NationalReview)
  • 5/15/18 Documents reveal that Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen asked Qatari investor Ahmed Al-Rumaihi at a Trump Tower meeting for millions of dollars which he said he would "pass to Trump family members." (DailyMail)
  • 5/15/18 An email notification sent to Pentagon staffers instructs officials to make preparations to hold immigrant children on military bases, separate from other family members, including parents. (WaPo)
  • 5/16/18 Trump's financial disclosure reveals that he paid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen between $100,001 to $250,000 in 2017, a debt that he improperly omitted from a previous sworn filing. The discovery leads to the Office of Government Ethics to alert the Justice Department about the omission. (NYT)
  • 5/16/18 Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson rebukes Trump in a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, stating: "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom." (NYT)
  • 5/16/18 Lashes out at undocumented immigrants at a White House meeting, saying: “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.” (NYT)
  • 5/16/18 Is reported that refugees coming to the U.S. has come to an almost complete halt due to Trump's bureaucratic efforts. (NYT)
  • 5/17/18 Tweets the following: "Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!" (NYT)
  • 5/18/18 Announces that he is nominating acting secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie to become secretary of the VA, but does not first consult with or even inform Wilkie about the decision. (NYT)
  • 5/18/18 Is reported that Trump personally pushed the U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the U.S. Post Office charges Amazon.com and certain other firms, a move that would cost the companies billions of dollars. (WaPo)
  • 5/18/18 Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates describes two meetings with Trump, and how in both meetings Trump wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV, and Gates told Trump that the two are rarely confused with each other. (LATimes)
  • 5/19/18 Is reported that Donald Trump, Jr. met with an emissary for two Arab princes in Trump Tower during the 2016 election, and was offered help by the crown princes of UAB and Saudi Arabia to win the election. Also in attendance was military contractor Erik Prince and an Israeli political strategist. (NYT)
  • 5/20/18 Tweets a long rant about the Russia investigation: "Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World! ....At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption......in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam. Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier!" (Hill)
    • 5/20/18 Announces using the powers of the office of the president to start an investigation of the Mueller investigation, tweeting: "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” (NYT)
  • 5/21/18 Hails the Senate confirmation of his nominee to head the CIA, Gina Haspel, after a contentious week of confirmation hearings that brought into question Haspel's oversight of a CIA torture operation in Thailand as well as her decision to illegally destroy tapes containing evidence of torture. (CNN)(TheAtlantic)
  • 5/21/18 Repeals auto-lending guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, revoking a rule that was put in place to protect minority customers from predatory practices. (Hill)
  • 5/21/18 Is reported that Trump has shunned the repeated advice of aides to use secured cellular devices that are shielded from surveillance, and instead continues to use his own cell phones because to do otherwise would be "too inconvenient." (Politico)
  • 5/22/18 A sinkhole appears on the White House lawn. (CBS)
  • 5/23/18 Continues a week of asserting that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign to investigate possible collusion with Russia, tweeting "SPYGATE coudl be one the biggest political scandals in history!" (NYT) The FBI had a professor from the University of Cambridge, Stefan Halper, contact Carter Page and George Papadopoulos in the capacity of a Cambridge professor and was not embedded in the campaign. (NPR)
  • 5/23/18 Is reported that Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen was paid $400,000 by intermediaries for Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to arrange a talk between Trump and Poroshenko. A meeting did eventually occur in June 2017. (BBC)
  • 5/23/18 A federal judge in Manhattan rules that Trump's blocking of Twitter users from his account was a violation of the First Amendment. (NYT)
  • 5/23/18 Warns that young immigrants illegally crossing the border are violent criminals, saying "They look so innocent.They're not innocent." (WaPo)
  • 5/23/18 Son-in-law Jared Kushner receives permanent security clearance after a year of background investigation by the FBI. (NYT)
  • 5/24/18 Cancels a June 12 summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, writing a letter to him that states, in part, "You talk about your nuclear capabilities but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God that they will never have to be used." (CNN)
  • 5/24/18 The White House sends Chief of Staff John Kelly and WH lawyer Emmet Flood to sit in on a classified Congressional briefing regarding the Russia investigation, raising suspicion and alarm since Trump is the primary subject of the the investigation. (WaPo)
    • National security and legal experts were "gobsmacked" by the White House staffers' attendance, with one former FBI agent calling the briefing a "fucking circus." (BusinessInsider)
  • 5/24/18 The head of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing 15,000 troops, calls Trump's deployment of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border a "colossal waste." (LATimes)
  • 5/24/18 Signs a bill that rolls back regulations on the largest banking institutions, the biggest bill of its kind since the 2008 crash. (NBC)
  • 5/25/18 Government data reveals that the number of white-collar prosecutions is on track to reach a 20-year low, after a peak in 2011 during the Obama administration. (Bloomberg)
  • 5/26/18 Falsely accuses The New York Times of making up a source in an article about North Korea, even though the source was in fact a senior White House official speaking to a large group of reporters in the White House briefing room, tweeting: “WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources.” (NYT)
  • 5/26/18 South Korea holds a surprise summit with North Korea within 24 hours of Trump cancelling his June 12 Singapore meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (WaPo)
  • 5/26/18 Tweets that his administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents and detaining them at military bases is "horrible" and urges the Democrats to fix the policy even though his attorney general Jeff Sessions instructed Homeland Security on May 7 to enact the policy. The Democrats are the minority in both the House and the Senate. (Politico)
  • 5/27/18 Announces that the date and location of the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hasn't changed despite publicly cancelling the meeting three days before. (CNN) The decision causes a frantic scramble by logistics officials on both sides to reinstate the meeting. (CNN)
  • 5/28/18 On Memorial Day, tweets a self-congratulatory message: "Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!" (NPR)
  • 5/29/18 Reacting to criticism that he is being soft on China, reversed course again on tariffs and other punitive measures, less than a week after signaling that a trade ware was "on hold." The 25% tariffs would affect $50 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. (NYT)
  • 5/29/18 At a campaign rally in Nashville, Tennessee, attacks the former governor of the state while supporting the Republican challenger Marsha Blackburn: " So Marsha’s very liberal Democrat opponent, Phil Bredesen, I never heard of this guy, who is he? He’s an absolute total tool of [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer ... and of course the MS-13 lover [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi. She loves MS-13, can you imagine? Remember, I said they’re 'animals' and she said, 'how dare you say that.' " (Hill) Nancy Pelosi has never made a statement in favor of or defending the MS-13 gang. (Politifact)
  • 5/29/18 A Harvard study estimates that the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria is 4,500 despite the official death toll being 64. Most of the deaths came in the aftermath of the storm and were preventable but for an inadequate federal response. (BBC)
  • 5/30/18 Signs a "right to try" bill, which allows pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs to patients without first passing Food and Drug Administration testing. (Hill)
  • 5/30/18 Triggers a stern response from Japanese PM Shinzo Abe after announcing that the U.S. would be imposing tariffs on Japanese vehicles and metals. (Bloomberg)
  • 5/30/18 In the wake of Roseanne Barr tweeting a comparison of a former Obama aide to an ape and having her rebooted ABC show cancelled, Trump tweets: "Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those' made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?" (CNN)
  • 5/30/18 Participates in the Sports and Fitness Day at the White House swinging a baseball bat several times in an inflatable batting cage. (WaPo)
  • 5/30/17 The administration unveils a sweeping proposal to soften the Volcker Rule, a 2010 law that prevented banks from making risky and complex bets with their customers' money. (NYT)
  • 5/30/18 Lashes out at The New York Times about a crowd size estimate at his recent Nashville rally: "The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at “1000 people,” when in fact it was many times that number - and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t “get” me, and never did!" (Hill)
  • 5/30/18 Assures the public that drug companies will voluntarily slash prescription prices in the coming weeks despite administration releasing no new drug pricing regulations or guidelines. (Hill)
  • 5/31/18 Imposes tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, triggering immediate retaliation from those countries against American businesses and farmers. (WaPo)
  • 5/31/18 Announces that he will impose a total ban on the import of German luxury vehicles, reportedly telling French president Emmanuel Macron that he would maintain the ban until no Mercedes-Benz could be seen on Fifth Avenue. (CNBC)
  • 5/31/18 Pardons conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty in 2014 for U.S. campaign finance law violations. (Reuters)
  • 5/31/18 Is reported that the White House is not cooperating with requests from the government's chief watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, neither responding to inquiries or otherwise engaging with GAO staff. (Politico)