The House Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited report on whether Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and concluded that, while there were errors of judgment by Trump campaign officials, there was no collusion with Russian attempts to tamper with the election. It also recommended measures to protect future U.S. elections against tampering, and also recommended the redeployment of remaining Russia funds to investigate still-open questions about the 2012 attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and the culpability of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “There remain unanswered questions about Secretary Clinton’s negligence and misconduct in the days and weeks leading up to the horrific attack on the United States,” the report says. More.
President Trump had a blunt message for China today after announcing punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Until you open up your markets, you can expect our biggest trading partner, Canada, to get slapped with tariffs on the things we mostly get from them,” Trump said after signing his executive order imposing tariffs of up to 30 percent on key metal imports. Canada is the number one source of steel into the United States and also a big importer of aluminum, while China barely supplies 10 percent of steel into the United States. “When I ran for president, I said China was eating our lunch on trade,” Trump said. “We’re putting an end to that starting right row, by punishing the country that supplies most of our imports and also buys most of our exports: Canada.” More.
After a series of high-profile departures from his White House team, President Trump is increasingly relying on the advisor he said he would use most on the campaign trail: his “big, beautiful brain.” “I rely on myself first of all,” Trump said while campaigning for president in 2016. “I have a very big brain. You don’t have to feel bad. It’s not your fault.” But now aides are wondering if Trump’s brain will be the next member of his team to go. “After the departures of Mike Flynn, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci, Steve Bannon, Jon Porter, and now Hope Hicks and Gary Cohn, there’s a concern that Trump’s brain is ready to jump ship as well,” said one White House aide who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic. More.
The dramatic 30 percent tariff the White House plans to impose on imported Steele isn’t a misspelling of the word steel, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today at her daily briefing. “We think Steele is harmful to the United States and we are absolutely trying to discourage it from coming into the country by imposing what we think is a completely justified tariff on it,” she said. “Allowing Steele into the United States, with no restraint, paying no price, is a fast-track way to trouble,” Sanders added. “That’s President Trump’s view. He wants to curb it. And he has the authority to do that.” More.
LOS ANGELES—Ruffies Pictures, Inc., announced today that former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg will join Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis for the fourth installment of the popular movie series The Hangover. “Adding one-time Republican operative Sam Nunberg to The Hangover series will help us capitalize on the intense interest in politics we’re seeing right now thanks to President Trump and his administration,” says Phil Todds, president of Ruffies Pictures. The Hangover IV will follow Nunberg, playing himself, as he goes on a one-day tear of self-destruction by saying on national TV shows that he won’t respond to a Grand Jury subpoena as part of the special counsel investigation into Russia collusion by the Trump campaign. He instead invites Special Counsel Robert Mueller to arrest him. He also says President Donald Trump probably did do something with the Russians during the campaign and that Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting between the Russians and his campaign team even though he’s always denied it. More.
House and Senate leaders, concerned recent moves by Donald Trump could cause lasting damage to the United States, say it might be necessary to remove the President from office before he’s given due process because going through impeachment and then a vote to remove him would take too long. “We like taking his office first and going through due process second,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after meeting with a bi-partisan group of leaders from the House and Senate. “Think of a crazy person holding a gun. You want to take the gun first and give him due process later.” McConnell said lawmakers don’t have a lot of time because the President is about to launch a trade war, which is expected to lead to retaliatory measures from many countries, including many allied countries, and the midterm elections are coming up and the President has yet to order action against efforts Russia has already taken to destabilize the process. More.
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, after testifying in a closed-door hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, said she’s launching a movement called #WhiteLiesMatter to protect President Trump’s ability to lie on behalf of the American people. “No one should be telling this President and this White House what they can and cannot say to forward the agenda of the American people,” she said. Hicks accused Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee of repeatedly challenging her about what’s true and what’s not after she admitted she tells white lies on behalf of the President. “Democrats want to tell the President and his White House what to say,” she said in a tweet last night. “We must not let them. #WhiteLiesMatter.” More.
President Donald Trump took aim at law enforcement officers who waited outside while a former student shot up his school in Florida two weeks ago by saying he would have tried to save the kids even if he were unarmed and bone spurs on his feet were hurting him. “You don’t know until you test it,” Trump told a gathering of governors at the Whte House yesterday. “But I think I would have gone in. I love the kids, so I would have tried to ignore the pain on my heels. I’ve been told I’m a tough cookie. People have made that observation about me. It’s a tough call, but I think I would have gone in, although I probably would have had a bad limp.” Trump has proposed arming a portion of the country’s teachers and training them in the use of firearms as a way to deter school shootings, which are on the rise. The last major shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 students and two teachers dead after Nikolas Cruz, 19, used a legally purchased assault rifle in a shooting spree. More.
President Trump, long considered a master at keeping track of his lies, is starting to get his lies confused with one another and making mistakes that are uncharacteristic of him, aides say. “I don’t know if it’s the pressure of the job or his age or some combination of the two, but the President is not the guy who could make up stories on the fly anymore,” one aide said on the condition of anonymity so the person could speak freely about the President’s mental state. The aide cited the current messaging challenge posed by former White House secretary Ron Porter, who resigned two weeks ago after allegations arose that he abused his two ex-wives and also an ex girlfriend. More.
Top White House policy aide Stephen Miller has been accused of abusing himself by yelling at his face in the mirror when he shaves, making disparaging remarks about his empty social life when he eats dinner alone, and wishing he were anyone other than the most disliked person in Washington when he wakes up in the morning. The accusation, which was first reported by The Guardian of London, is based on an extensive interview with Miller by the publication and corroborated by Miller’s neighbor, who says she hears “abusive, expletive-filled language” every night between Miller and his bathroom mirror. More.
President Trump says his military parade, in which soldiers, tanks, missiles, and other vehicles will come down Pennsylvania Ave. in formation to showcase U.S. military might, will attract bigger audiences than President Obama’s military parade and will even be bigger than the parades of the last 10 presidents combined. “The tanks, the trucks—they’ll be like nothing we ever saw with Obama or even with the others,” Trump said this morning. “Very few people showed up for Obama’s parade. And I heard that some of the tanks broke down, Jeeps had flat tires, some soldiers didn’t march in a straight line.” More.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Trump), brushing the dust off his suit from the exploding memo his staff wrote on FBI bias against Donald Trump, says he’s ordered several new explosive devices to discredit the Mueller investigation into Trump Russia collusion. “I have several orders pending with Acme Corp. that I’m confident will bring down this charade of an investigation,” Nunes said this morning. Among other things, Nunes said, he expects to get a delivery by as early as Monday that will show the Deep State connections of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller . . . . More.
Conservative news tabloid National Midnight Star released a blockbuster report today claiming Donald Trump’s relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels in 2006 didn’t occur spontaneously but was arranged and paid for by his wife Melania so she could “get him out of the bed for a freakin’ while” and focus on raising their son. “You have to understand, Melania thought having sex with Donald Trump was a small price to pay to get the lifestyle she wanted with his money,” says a White House staffer who was quoted anonymously by the tabloid. “But she realized after a year with him that it wasn’t a small price at all; it was a price that was too steep for her to pay and she became desperate, as anyone would.” More.
Stephanie Graham, spokesperson for Melania Trump, said it’s not true that the First Lady reversed her plans to attend the world economic summit at Davos, Switzerland, after learning Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, would be there. “Reports that the First Lady was planning to attend Davos and backed out only because Ambassador Haley was attending are not true and should be corrected immediately,” Graham says. “The First Lady has a scheduling conflict that is preventing her from attending Davos, which she was very much looking forward to doing.” Davos is the annual gathering of the world’s business elites and thought leaders to discuss the state of global economics, technology, and culture. Rumors have been multiplying in recent days that Haley and President Trump are carrying on an affair and that the First Lady only learned of it after Michael Wolff, author of the blockbuster book Fire and Fury, hinted about it in his TV interviews. More.
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Deja Vu was bustling on Monday night but many of the men at the strip club weren’t enjoying the star attraction’s dance routine. The club was featuring Stormy Daniels, the newly famous stripper who allegedly was paid $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an affair she had with Donald Trump after his youngest son was born. But instead of being treated to a dance routine involving booty shakes, the men got what looked like a complex interpretive dance routine. “I’m not sure, but I think she was trying to tell a story or something,” said Jake Snyder, a regular at the club. More.
Racists across the United States said they’re impressed with the degree of racism in the things President Trump says given that he’s not a racist. “For someone who isn’t a racist, President Trump says the most racist things we’ve ever heard from a non-racist,” says Dexter Smith, president of the American Society of Racists. “People who aren’t racist tend not to say racist things, but President Trump has consistently said racist things since he became a national political figure in 2016. He is truly a non-racist who says a lot of racist things.” Smith said he can’t think of any other non-racist who says things as racist as Trump does nor as frequently. “I’m tempted to say he says more racist things more frequently than even many racists,” he said. Among the racist things Trump has said is his remark in 2016 that a judge of Mexican-American heritage cannot be objective in a fraud case involving Trump University and that . . . More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called it “very unfortunate and unhelpful” that President Trump is destroying the United States, and said it would be better if the President didn’t destroy the institutions he has sworn to oversee or make the United States loathsome in the eyes of people around the world. He also said it would be better if the President didn’t pit Americans against Americans. “Would it be better if the President tried to strengthen our institutions? Yes, it would,” Ryan said. “Would it be better if he tried to make people look up to the United States rather than down on it? Yes. And would it be a plus if he brought Americans together rather them drive them apart? Yes, I’m sure it would be.” Ryan said he can’t speak for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he believes the Majority Leader also thinks it’s very unfortunate and unhelpful when the President makes the United States an object of hatred and derision around the world. More.
Trump Can’t Understand Why U.S.’s Crumbling Infrastructure, Mediocre Schools, and Depleted State Budgets Aren’t Enticing More Migration From Norway
President Trump today said he’d like to see more immigration from Norway and other advanced countries but for some reason people who live in places with well-run and adequately funded governments don’t want to come to the U.S. “I’m not sure why a person who does satisfying work in a country that provides well-run public services doesn’t want to come here,” Trump said at a press briefing. “Apparently our obsolete airports, money-starved transit systems, and hellish public services don’t appeal to people whose countries invest in their citizens.” More.
President Donald Trump was rewarded with applause and cheers for insulting and taking for fools the people he was speaking to at an event in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this week. Trump told the several thousand people at the event they were happy they voted for him and that they were lucky he gave them the privilege to vote for him. “Oh, are you happy you voted for me,” the President told the people watching his mouth move and listening to the words coming out. “You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege.” More.
Former Trump advisor Stephen Bannon believes he still influences public debate over important topics like immigration reform and the economic policy of the United States. The former executive editor of Breitbart News is a former campaign manager of Trump’s who at one time had the support of wealthy political backers like Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, billionaires who fund conservative causes. Bannon, 64, was a chief architect of the loss of a long-held Republican seat in the Senate by throwing his support behind Roy Moore, an accused child molester who lost to Democrat Doug Jones in last month’s special election to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. Attorney General. More.
President Donald Trump was overheard singing the Russian national anthem rather than the American national anthem during the opening ceremony of the NCAA football championship game between Alabama and Georgia universities Jan. 8. “От южных морей до полярного края,” the President was heard singing, while those around him were singing, “What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.” Commentators have remarked that the President didn’t appear to know the words to the national anthem, but it wasn’t until a recording surfaced in which his voice could be heard that it became clear it was the Russian national anthem that he was singing. More.
President Donald Trump said it was a mark of his intelligence that he allowed a reporter—Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff—to have unfettered access to White House staff for a year. “I’m, like, really smart for letting him act as a fly on the wall while my administration settled into the task of governing the country over the past year,” Trump said. The president pointed out that he’s a good read of character and knows who should and who shouldn’t get access to his staff. “No one knows people better than I do,” he said. “To be a billionaire, TV star, and now president, you need to be able to size people up and know who should and who shouldn’t be talking to your top staff day after day with the aim of writing a tell-all book.” More.
President Donald Trump spoke at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland today to show that there are still men who are willing to stand with him at a podium, and there are probably some women willing to do it, too. “As you can see by the people who are standing behind me at this moment, there are, and I expect will remain, men and probably women who are willing to associate their physical body with mine in a way that we expect from our elected leaders,” Trump said. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
Reporters from national news outlets were mystified today as presidential spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders talked about concern in the White House over a “brain drain” of senior staff in the new year. “She said the White House was concerned that many senior aides were talking about leaving this year, but no one could figure out how that connected to a brain drain,” said Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News. Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for CNN, said he was equally mystified by the comment even though he knows of “a lot of senior staff” who plan to leave. Sanders’ comment left reporters so confused that the White House press office was flooded with calls after the briefing, but no one was able to get clarification about a brain drain. More.
President Donald Trump today said he wants to put the partisan bickering behind him and focus on policy goals both sides can agree on, like infrastructure investment. “It’s important for the country that we work together,” he said at a White House breakfast with Republican and Democratic leaders to welcome in the new year. “Americans want us to come together and I plan to do that—with or without the Democrats.” Trump said it would be nice if the Democrats were part of the effort to be bipartisan, but he’s not counting on it. “Frankly, we can do it without them,” he said. “We have shared goals. We want better airports. We want first-class airports, the best airports in the world. We’ll get those whether we have help from the Democrats or not. We’d rather work together.” More.
Pence Not Allowed to Meet Alone With Trump Any More After What His Mouth Was Caught Doing in Last Cabinet Meeting
The staff of Vice President Mike Pence have extended his rule about never meeting alone with women to include Donald Trump out of fear he’ll act inappropriately with the president. ‘This is just a cautionary measure that we decided should be in place after we caught the vice president’s mouth acting inappropriately with the president during the last cabinet meeting,” says Pence’s chief of staff, Nate Avers. The last cabinet meeting was held the day Congress passed its sweeping tax reform bill and Pence was caught on camera using his mouth on Trump in a way that made onlookers blush. “I’m deeply humbled to be your vice president and to be able to be here,” the vice president’s mouth was caught saying. “I want to thank your outstanding team. I want to thank you for seeing through the course of this year an agenda that truly is restoring this country. More.
Republican voters across the country say the tax returns of Donald Trump that no one has seen make it clear he will personally take a big financial hit once he signs tax reform into law. “You’ve got to hand it to the president,” said Joe Carter, a retired accountant in Biloxi, Miss. “Based on the tax returns he’s refused to share with the American people, he’ll lose millions of dollars from the bill that he himself is going to sign. What a selfless act on the part of our president. Not too many people would of that, but he’s doing that for us.” Since the race between Richard Nixon and John F, Kennedy in 1959, presidential contenders have made their tax returns available so the public can get a picture of their finances and analysts can determine if the laws they sign as president benefit them personally. More.
President Donald Trump this morning says hell probably lie about it, although he’s not sure if he’ll use the lie he’s been planning to use or a different lie, including one he hasn’t thought of yet. “We’ll see how it goes when we get to that point,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “One thing I think I’ve made clear is, I don’t like to give away my plan. I like to keep people guessing.” Trump said he will probably lie later this week given the decision he made last week. “You know, we have to deal with the fake news like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I’m just going to see what the expedient thing to say is, and, frankly, I don’t know what that will be yet—or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to tell you.” He said part of what he says might be truthful. “Maybe there’s an expectation I’ll lie completely,” he said. “We just don’t know, but there could be some truth to what I say. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the trial balloons he’s been floating about retiring after tax reform passes have nothing to do with his plans to run against Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. “I am not planning and will not plan to offer Republican voters an alternative to the crazy man in the White House today,” Ryan said. Ryan said there’s no truth to the rumor that he would seek to give an alternative to Republican voters who don’t want to see Trump reelected but also don’t want to see a Democrat take the White House. “I know there’s speculation that I would put myself out there as a safe vote for Republicans who don’t want another Roy Moore-type debacle in 2020, but that is not the case,” he said. More.
Influential Republican strategist Stephen Bannon wasted no time after his party’s big loss in the Alabama Senate race this week to unveil a plan for losing in South Carolina, Texas, and other deep-red states in coming elections. “We have that rare opportunity to hand over Republican states to Democrats next year and in 2020 if we’re ready to seize the moment,” Bannon said in remarks to Republican supporters last night. “After decades of Republican control, we can hand these states over to Democrats by draining the swamp of the mainstream, establishment conservatives who people are willing to vote for and replace them with people that many mainstream conservatives aren’t willing to vote for.” More.
Sassy, the brown and white horse that Republican candidate Roy Moore rode to vote in the Alabama Senate election yesterday, says she voted for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones. “I’m a lifelong Republican but my party’s just become too extreme and I’m afraid the man who rode on my back to the polls is part of the problem,” said the horse, who also admitted she doesn’t like her name, Sassy. “It’s kind of sexist and derogatory.” Sassy says she considers herself a true libertarian and today’s Republican party is anything but that. “A true libertarian believes government should have a small foot print and not just in the economic sphere,” she said. “That applies equally in the way people live their lives. Republicans don’t seem to get this part. More.
Alabama Republicans say they’re being inundated with robocalls by someone whose slurred speech makes it hard to understand what he’s saying but they believe he’s asking them to vote for Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate. “Several times a night we’ll get this call and it’s this guy who sounds like he’s about 70 who’s saying something about Roy Moore but exactly what he’s saying is anyone’s guess because of how badly he slurs his speech,” says Rebecca Jackson, a retired teacher in Birmingham. “We think he’s saying ‘the United States needs a senator like Roy Moore’ but it sounds like ‘the yoo-nerted shnates needs a shneterer like roymer.'” Bill Davis, an insurance salesman in Montgomery, says he just lets the call go to voice mail now. “We’ll be having dinner and it’ll be like, ‘Here’s that drunk guy again!’ More.
Child molesters throughout the United States say they are waiting with bated breath at the outcome the Alabama Senate election next week, which pits an alleged child molester against a Democratic federal prosecutor. “It’s . . . it’s just the happiest day of my life—or will be,” said a child molester in Tucson, Ariz., who asked that his name not be used to protect his privacy. The child molester says he’s waiting for the day that he can “say my name loud and proud,” and he thinks that day will be much closer should the election win go to Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate who is alleged to have molested half a dozen girls when they were teenagers and he was in is 30s. “I’d like to be able to tell the world, ‘I’m John Doe and I’m a proud child molester.’ More.
President Donald Trump is expected to blame his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton later today. An administration official this morning said the President will be saying it’s Clinton’s fault and that Clinton’s actions raise questions. “Let’s not forget that questions remain unsettled over what Clinton did and what she didn’t do,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the President’s intentions. The official said Trump plans to assign the blame to Clinton and will likely point to unanswered questions as well. “He will be clear that the Democratic nominee he ran against is at fault, but whether he will pivot to unanswered questions in her past isn’t clear,” the official said. “We’re talking about the President. He goes off script sometimes.” More.
Americans say there’s no comparison between the insults North Korea leader Kim Jong-un hurls at President Donald Trump and the ones Trump hurls at Kim Jong-un. In a Marist poll released this morning, 74 percent of Americans say Kim’s insults, which include calling Trump a dotard, are “far and away” better than Trump’s insults, which include calling Kim Rocket Man and Little Rocket Man. “You would think Trump, given his experience insulting people, would be more effective at insulting Kim than he has been, but Americans say they’re just not impressed with what Trump has come up with,” says Terry Norton, director of public polling at Marist. More.
President Donald Trump urged voters in Alabama to to put Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate because the former state Supreme Court judge will be needed as a reliable no vote should impeachment get taken up in the next year or two. “We only have two more Republicans in the Senate than Democrats,” Trump said at a rally on behalf of Moore, who is running neck and neck in the polls with Democrat Doug Jones. “We can’t afford to lose one seat if the Democrats illegally and corruptly try to vote for my impeachment, which they’re going to do, I promise you.” Responsibility for impeachment lies with the House but the Senate must vote on it once it comes out of the lower chamber. More.
President Donald Trump has charged the Democratic party with already having rigged the 2020 presidential election and he says his Democratic opponent has already cheated. “Loser Dems haven’t even waited until my first year as president is over before rigging the 2020 elections because they can’t win on their own,” Trump said today. He also accused his Democratic opponent of cheating. “My Democratic opponent, who had the help of the crooked and corrupt DNC, is already getting dead people, immigrants, criminals to vote in New Jersey and other unAmerican, socialist states.” Trump vowed to “lock up” his Democratic opponent “who is totally corrupt, by the way” after the election. “We must SAVE USA the beautiful from liberal elite who will EXPAND the deficit and cut the Regs for liberal Wall Street and sexual harassers in Hollywood who don’t represent America.” More.
Republican lawmakers in the Senate say they urgently must pass tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy before the end of the year because of pressure coming from Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Would it be better to slow down and better think through our tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy? Of course,” says John Thune (R-S.D.), the Senate whip. “Right now our own analysis is showing a $1 trillion addition to the budget deficit even after projected growth in the economy. So, if we had more time we could craft changes that address that and still give our wealthy donors what they want. Unfortunately, time is a luxury we don’t have.” That’s because Mueller’s investigation is winding down. More.
Pedophiles across the United States are coming out of the shadows and testing the waters for making deeper inroads into mainstream American society now that Republicans are defending accused child molester and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. “I knew when Donald Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 we would start to see great things happening in our country for sexual predators because he was sending signals that he had our backs,” says Tom Clark, a pedophile in Houston. “What I didn’t expect was this path to mainstream acceptability to open before his first year in office was out. I’m so stunned I have to make sure I’m really alive and not caught in a very, very good dream.” Clark and other pedophiles in the United States say they never thought they would live to see the day when their sexual perversion would become something other than the most heinous sexual act a person could commit. More.
It’s Plan B time at Time magazine. The editors of the once-important news publication are going back to their discard pile to select their Person of the Year for 2017 now that their first choice, Donald Trump, has spoiled the surprise. “I can’t confirm or deny that we were planning to name Donald Trump Person of the Year but I can say that we never tip our hand about who it’s going to be,” says Nancy Gibbs, editor of the storied magazine that’s now searching for relevance in today’s news-saturated world. Magazine sources say Trump was indeed going to be named Person of the year for the second time in a row, an unusual but not unprecedented editorial decision for the magazine, but no longer. “Our end-of-the year issue, in which we name the year’s most significant person, is one of the few remaining chances we have to be relevant, so of course we would never dilute this moment by naming Trump now that he’s blurted out our plan,” said one editorial source, who asked not to be named so he could speak frankly. More.
President Donald Trump said he’d rather have former judge Roy Moore as the new senator for Alabama than the Democrat, because he’s better on the issues and, in any case, if Moore preyed on teenage girls as alleged, it was decades in the past. “Its been years since I’ve grabbed a woman’s pussy without her consent,” said Trump, who spoke to reporters before leaving the White House to celebrate Thanksgiving in Florida. “Should I be held responsible for something I did years—decades—in the past? There is something called the statute of limitations. And I think that applies here.” More.
President Donald Trump, speaking in China while on his Asia tour, said he should step down if allegations that he groped women without their consent years ago are true. “Like most Americans, I believe we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, destroy a person’s life,” the president said in Beijing. “However, I also believe that if these allegations are true, I should do the right thing and step aside.” The allegations concern incidences dating back to the 1990s and earlier. Almost 20 women have come forward to allege Trump touched them inappropriately, in some cases grabbing their genitalia without their consent. More.
President Donald Trump took a step to help address the nation’s outbreak of mass shootings by using his executive power to create a United States Department of Prayers. “With this order we’re showing Americans that we’re doing everything we can as a government to address gun violence in our country, which is so terrible,” Trump said at a signing ceremony in Japan, where he is visiting as part of a 12-day Asia tour. Under the order, the department will deploy a religious leader based in the area of the incident to offer official prayers on behalf of the federal government. More.
President Donald Trump today called on his former Democratic opponent for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, to step down. “Witch hunt against DT most unfair ever,” the president wrote on Twitter early this morning. “Where’s investigation into Dem/HC Russia collusion?! Clinton needs to step down NOW!!” Reached while walking her dog with her family in the woods outside of Chappaqua, N.Y., Hillary Clinton said she had no comment.Trump reiterated his call for Clinton to resign at a press briefing later in the morning. “Where are the calls from the fake media for Hillary Clinton to resign?” he said. “She needs to be investigated. She will be investigated. We know about the corruption, the uranium deal that let the Russians buy a quarter of our uranium here in the United States, and the money that went into her sex-harasser husband’s phony foundation.” More.
In the first charge to come out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion by the Trump campaign, a grand jury has indicted one third of American voters for acts of criminal stupidity. “Evidence collected over the last six months provides clear and convincing evidence that 62.9 million Americans acted with criminal negligence and stupidity in voting for a man who repeatedly demonstrated he is unfit for high office,” the highly anticipated document says. The indictment, which was unsealed in federal court today, says Donald Trump, when he was a candidate for president of the United States, made it clear he neither understood nor respected the institutions of the country he was seeking to lead. “Voting for a candidate who undermined the democratic institutions of the United States violates the duties of Americans to undertake their responsibilities as voters responsibly. More.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said on Twitter today “DO SOMETHING!” The president, citing “GUILT by Democrats/Clinton,” pointed to the “Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more.” In other news, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted by a federal grand jury this morning and faces possible criminal charges for money laundering in connection to the investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Manafort business associate Rick Gates was also indicted in connection with the matter. White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders says Trump stands by his call for someone somewhere to do something. “The president is clear that he wants something to be done and he wants it done now,” Huckabee-Sanders said. More.
Fox News this morning highlighted a White House poll showing President Donald Trump with an approval rating of 111 percent, almost triple what an aggregate of recent national polls are showing. “The latest poll out of the White House makes clear that President Trump is not only popular throughout the country, he’s the most popular president ever, despite Democrats’ effort to thwart his agenda and paint him as a divider rather than a uniter,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said.The poll, which the White House released this morning, shows the president’s approval rating increasing from 106 percent last quarter to 111 percent, a five percentage point jump that the White House says is due to the president’s effort to eliminate wasteful and unlawful health care subsidies for low-income households and to stop people who’ve been victims of bank fraud from filing frivolous lawsuits against financial institutions. More.
Melania’s Body Double Speaks Out, Says She’s Repeatedly Asked Donald to Provide a Body Double at Night
First Lady Melania Trump’s body double, Nika Horvath, came forward today to confirm her role as a stand-in for the First Lady after her identity was revealed by childhood friends who saw her on TV while Donald Trump spoke about the Iranian nuclear agreement. “It is not my favor to be in public eye in this manner but I cannot hide from the knowledge now and so I speak out,” says Horvath, who, like Melania Trump, was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, in 1970. Horvath, a fashion model who has worked mainly in Eastern Europe and parts of Northern Africa, says she and the First Lady became friends in elementary school in part because they looked so much alike. “The people they would comment on our physical characters and they put us together and that was good because we like each other, yes, right from the beginning days,” she said. More.
President Trump criticized former president Barack Obama for not reaching into his own bank account to give a big payout to the families of soldiers who died protecting their country. “Did Obama ever give any money to our precious Gold Star families?” the president asked at a press briefing today. “I really don’t think so. I’ve been told he never did, never sacrificed his money to pay a wife who lost a husband protecting our country.” Trump said he might be the first president to use his own funds to help a grief-stricken family, “It’s one thing, you know, to call and offer condolences to the wife or mother for losing their guy,” he said. “Their guy knew what he signed up for, but, really, who ever signs up to give his life? No one. But it happens. Very sad when it does. Very tragic.” More.
In the war of words between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, the winner is the leader of the small, militarized dictatorship on the Korean peninsula and not the man in the White House who’s so quick with a tweet. A Gallup poll out today shows 90 percent of Americans think Kim Jong Un is “the much better insulter” of the two and that, if words could kill, Trump would probably be dead by now. “As much practice as President Trump gets at insulting people, you’d think he’d win the war of words between him and Kim in a cakewalk, but Americans just aren’t impressed with what he’s coming up with,” says Darrell Thompson, professor of communications at Princeton who oversaw the poll for the Gallup Organization. “‘Rocket Man’ was good, people agree, but it pales in comparison to ‘dotard,’ which is off the charts.” Trump had called Kim “Rocket Man” in his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. In response, Kim called Trump a “dotard,” which refers to an elderly person who exhibits signs of mental decline. More.
Tillerson: ‘Trump’s Pre-pardon of Himself and Pence Means I won’t Have to Pardon Them After I Become President’
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he’s ready to assume the presidency once President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are removed from office for obstruction of justice but that it won’t be necessary to pardon the two because Trump has already signed the pardons. “Once Speial Counsel Robert Mueller files his charges against the president for firing the former FBI director and then lying about why it was done, and the vice president is charged with knowing that information and yet publicly giving other reasons for it, I am constitutionally in line to assume the presidency,” Tillerson said in a briefing today. “I will make it my priority to bring together all Americans after what will be a traumatic and fraught time. That is why I’m prepared to pardon the president and vice president but glad that it won’t be necessary because the pardons are already signed by the president.” Trump already pardoned[/caption]Tillerson said he expects the pre-pardons to hold up in Court because the president has unabridged power to pardon and President Trump has exercised that power. More.
In a man-bites-dog announcement, President Donald Trump heaped praise on news outlets for sending camera crews and reporters to cover his photo op in Corpus Christi even as devastating floods in Houston continued to tax their resources. “Here’s one for the fake news media,” said Trump in his first remarks since he returned to Washington. “They’re still terrible people, dishonest and disgusting. But I appreciate the effort they made to record my photo op in Texas. I waved the Texas flag and they got that. That was good. Strong ratings. Super ratings. The best, actually. I heard that.” Trump said he was told by aides that many news organizations, including NBC and ABC, were stretched thin, since they had camera crews on the ground in Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast. But they managed to have crews available when Trump and the First Lady landed to show their support for federal officials and others who were coordinating disaster response efforts. More.
HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2017—Mayor Sylvester Turner says officials have done everything they can to prevent the president of the United States and his wife from arriving in this flood-ravaged city but in the end they were not successful. “Let me just say that this catastrophe is not a reflection on the hard work and dedication of the people of this city,” said Turner, a former state legislator who took office in January. “We made phone calls to the White House pleading for the president not to come. We said we had no place for him and his wife to stay. The roads are not passable. Food is scarce. People are traumatzed. Nothing we said made a difference.” Turner said it’s too soon to know how many people remain trapped in homes and cars, but he fears the number is in the thousands, which makes it imperative that the president not stay long. “We can’t be diverting resoures so the president can wave a Texas flag,” he said. “We need to get him back on his plane and back to Washington as soon as possible.” More.
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets blamed lax immigration laws for opening the door to Hurricane Harvey, possibly the most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States in a generation. “A country that can’t secure its borders invites menaces like Harvey,” the president said in his first tweet, sent at 4:59 a.m., Monday. “We need walls, high walls, not just on Mexican border but around ALL country’s vulnerable borders.” Trump also took a stab at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination last year, saying Cruz’s Cuban background means he “cares more about protecting Castro’s island than his own state. #KennedyAssassination!” Experts appeared on news shows to dispute the president’s assertions. “Walls don’t keep out hurricanes and neither do immigration laws, no matter how strong,” Peter Austin, an immigration law specialist at Harvard University, said on ABC News. More.
The following is a transcript of remarks by President Donald Trump in response to questions about his fitness for office and whether he colluded with the government of Russia to tip the 2016 election in his favor. “Let me just say this, and I want to say this to the television audience and to everyone on the Internet, on Twitter—which is the way presidents communicate today, by the way. A very modern way to communicate. You ask about mistakes. I have not made any mistakes, I promise you that. I can guarantee it. And in my two years of public life, I have always acted on the advice of my brain, which—you don’t have to feel bad about this, but which is the biggest, most beautiful brain you’ve ever seen. More.
YORKTOWN, Va.—Hundreds of Americans of British descent rallied at the popular Riverwalk Landing here yesterday, chanting “Long live King George! Long Live the British Empire!” and demanding the erection of a statute of King George to commemorate the British heritage of the United States. “Our past must not be denied!” yelled marchers, many of whom were dressed in red-coated British military grab from the Revolutionary War period and brandishing historic firearms. “Down with George Washington! Up with George William Frederick, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover!” The marchers were met wth pro-independence counter-demonstrators, who taunted the marchers and, in some case, threw punches. “We won our independence!” some yelled. “Get over it!” President Donald Trump, returning to the White House after a 17-day working vacation at his golf property in Bedminster, N.J., blamed agitators on “many sides” for the confrontation. More.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of his caucus this morning he wants to limit President Donald Trump to a single term of office so Republicans can get down to the business of passing tax reform, their party’s priority. “The single most important thng we want to achieve is for President Trump to be a one-term president,” McConnell said. The Majority Leader and Trump have had a rocky relationship from the start, but sources say the back-and-forth between the two has worsened since the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The last time the two of them talked they were shouting profanities at each other,” said one official who is familiar with the conversation. More.
President Donald Trump said today he wants to be the only thing people think about each and every moment of their lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “I only exist if people are thinking about me and only me from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” he told reporters at a briefing in the Oval Office. “There are still people in parts of Africa, Antarctica, and maybe a few other places that don’t think about me and what I’m doing to the United States and even to the world. But with my success ratcheting up tensions with North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries around the globe, I believe I will reach my mark soon.”More.
Pointing to the “unbelievable job” he’s doing as president, Donald Trump today said he’s way ahead of his schedule for fixing everything that’s wrong with America. “When I was nominated by so many Americans last year, I said that I alone can fix our great country’s problems,” he said in a briefing with reporters. “I’m glad to say your president has delivered on his promises and you’ll be so surprised and so pleased at how much I’ll deliver on my promises in the weeks and months ahead.” Trump cited the success of free speech that was expressed in Charlottesville, Va., yesterday, in which a coalition of white nationalist groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators. “The free speech was so good,” he said of the rally, at which one protestor was killed when an alleged neo-Nazi supporter rammed his car into a crowd of people. Two officers were also killed when their police helicopter crashed. Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. More.
Security experts from around the world say the United States has an edge over North Korea in any kind of military showdown because its clown is more powerful than the other country’s clown, but it would nevertheless be better for the two clowns to find a diplomatic solution to their conflict. “North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is certainly one of the world’s great clowns, but he is not as great a clown as the United States’ leader, Donald Trump,” says Andrew McPearson, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute Center for International Security. “The United States remains the world’s largest economy and has the most powerful military. And it has the world’s biggest clown.” The two nations clashed this week after the United Nations passed U.S.-backed sanctions against North Korea for violating the International Nonproliferation Treaty, which seeks to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. In response to the sanctions, Kim Jong-un threatened to take preemptive action against the United States. More.
President Donald Trump said it was a lie when a man he said was lying about him called him a liar. “The liar who lied about my lying is a liar,” the president said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said the liar lied about his lying even after lying about being a liar. “When a liar lies about his lying, you know it’s a lie,” he said. “It’s a lie to think you can lie about a lie, because people know it’s a lie and I’m not lying about that.” Trump said he had to call the liar a liar after he lied about him lying about his lying. “What he said was a lie, because he said I was lying.” More.
President Donald Trump says he’s already settled on his 2020 reelection theme and that Americans can expect to hear more about it in the coming months. “As I’ve traveled across this great country of ours—a country getting greater every day, I might add—I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a competent government in the White House more than anything else because after eight years of mismanagement by the Russian colluder Barack Obama, and the Democrats attempt to rig the election in 2016, we can’t have more failed policies in our government,” Trump told reporters in a briefing this morning. Trump raised eyebrows last month by appearing at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that was funded by his campaign operation and billed as his first speech of the 2020 presidential election. Corey Lewandowski, a campaign manager for Trump during the 2016 election, says Trump inherited a White House in disarray and has had to spend his first months in office “fixing all the things Barack Obama broke.” More.
MOUNT HOPE, W.Va.—Hundreds of boy scouts, including many Eagle Scouts, have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after watching the president of their country insult people who don’t agree with him, threaten to fire someone whom he had just said was doing a good job, and make a bawdy allusion to sex parties on expensive boats. “I . . . I just don’t know what to believe anymore,” said one boy scout who was diagnosed with PTSD after attending the speech by President Donald Trump at the National Boy Scout Jamboree here on July 24. “We’ve always been taught that the United States is a great democracy but our president was demeaning the loyal opposition and making it sound like their motives were bad rather than just taking a different position on policy priorities. Then he threatened to fire one of his own officials if the health bill doesn’t pass even though he himself has called provisions to replace the health law ‘mean.’ I’m just so uncertain what values were supposed to be aiming for now.” More.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Trump “has no problem” tending to the country’s needs in the “several hours a day” when he’s not tweeting and in fact on most days has plenty of spare time to read briefing papers. “I don’t know how many hours a day Barack Obama worked, but I doubt he worked harder or more effectively than President Trump during the many, many hours he’s not tweeting,” Sanders said at a briefing today. The White House released a log that shows President Trump spends about three hours a day “on serious matters of critical importance to the United States,” with an additional two to three hours a day on what is described as “media analyses and assessments.” More.
First Lady Melania Trump, who married Donald Trump 12 years ago after a career as an international fashion model, says she could easily dispense with her family’s luxurious lifestyle and be content settling down with her husband to live a simple life. “What people don’t understand is that Donald and I have a connection that runs very deep,” she told Elle magazine in an interview. “I’m not saying I don’t enjoy being the First Lady of the United States and living in the White House, or, prior to that, having our own fleet of private airplanes and also traveling around New York City in our helicopter. Of course I do. But I would give all that up tomorrow if Donald lost everything and we had to live on, say, a $40,000 salary he earned as a tire salesman.” The First Lady said she grew up in humble circumstances in Slovenia (the former Yugoslavia) and fully expected to live that kind of lifestyle when she met Trump at a Fashion Week party in 1998. “Did I know he was rich? Of course,” she said. “But for me, that wasn’t part of the attraction. More.
HAMBURG, Germany. President Donald Trump, fresh from his two-hour meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin, was in good spirits as he headed for a dinner at the G-20 meeting here Friday night. “I had a terrific meeting with President Putin, a really terrific meeting that will mean great things for America,” Trump said. “I’ve said all along America would be better off if we got along with Russia, and our meeting today was a fresh start, a really good start after the disastrous years we’ve had for so long.” Trump said he and Putin talked about cyber security and bringing peace to Syria—“a really important topic, by the way, really serious stuff”—and about forging closer ties between their two countries in the coming years. “I said I wanted to put the past behind us,” Trump said. “President Putin is a strong leader who I think we can do a lot with. And he certainly respects our strength, our military, our control over the cyber. We’re a really big country and I think he knows that.” More.
President Donald Trump, calling himself the most unifying president the United States has ever had, said you can’t support America without supporting the Republican party. “The Republican party is the party of Lincoln, and how many Americans know Lincoln pulled our country together during the Civil War?” Trump said today at the White House. “Democrats talk a good game but they want to bring down the Republicans—the party of Lincoln—with their witch hunts and their fake stories on Russia collusion.” Trump said only a third of the country really supports the Democrats, and most of those who say they do probably secretly support the Republicans. “People will lie to pollsters,” he said. “I got news for you. They’ll lie. They’ll say I’m a Democrat but when they vote, they vote Republican. Everybody knows that.” More.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she understands President Donald Trump more than other people, including Sean Spicer, her predecessor, because, like Trump, she has relied on her dad to clear obstacles in front of her so that she could get to where she is without having to compete for it. “I guess you could say the President and I have a bond,” says Huckabee-Sanders, 34. “His dad handed over the keys to a successful company to him so that he didn’t have to build that company from scratch. My dad leveraged his connections as a governor and a two-time presidential candidate to get me a top position with the Republican National Committee so I didn’t have to open doors on my own.” More.
After seeing how President Donald Trump deployed his legendary dealmaking skills on the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans say they now “get” what Trump was talking about when he said on the campaign trail that no one can make deals like he can. “I admit I thought he was just boasting when he said he was a great dealmaker,” says Harold Gardner, a retired accountant in Des Moines, Iowa. “It sounded like a lot of hyperbole to me. But I see now that he really is the consummate dealmaker. The way he got into the back-and-forth about what lawmakers needed to get the health care law passed—it was revealing. You could see how he works to understand what each person wants so he can cut a deal that gives each person a little of what they want so everyone can claim a victory. It was dazzling.” More.
PARIS—President Donald Trump, in what many are calling an international gaffe and a sexist comment, called Brigitte Marcon, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, “very high quality” and in fact “higher quality” than he expected. “The First Lady of our strong friend and ally France is in good shape and you can tell she’s a quality person, very beautiful, the highest quality,” Trump said yesterday during his meeting with President Macron and his wife. Trump was in France with his wife, Melania, to celebrate Bastille Day with the French people. “I know a lot of quality people,” Trump said. “The best high quality. I would certainly put the First Lady of France in that group. I put my wife in that group, too, of couse. There are a lot of people in that group.” More.
Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s ex-wife and mother of his three oldest children, agreed with her former husband that their oldest son, Donald Jr., is “high quality” but also added that their two other children, Ivanka and Eric, are also “high quality.” Trump, 68, a Czech-American businesswoman and former fashion model who divorced Trump in 1992, said having quality children was a goal they both shared and one of the things they never had any disagreements over. “We had differences on some things, like me working outside the house, but I can say that we never disagreed on the need to have high quality children,” she said. “We also agreed that our children were in fact very high quality, so that’s something we both take pride in.” More.
President Donald Trump said his oldest son, Donald Jr., didn’t collude with the Russians to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but if he did, he can count on a presidential pardon. “The Democrats can use their rigged system to convict my son for a fake Russia collusion story but I have the ability to pardon him and I will,” Trump said today at the White House. “He’s going to keep running my business until I’m out of office.” More.
President Donald Trump made a more serious and important decision this morning than anything former President Barack Obama ever made in his eight years in office, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today. Sanders was responding to a question from a reporter about an important piece of paper that Trump was photographed looking at this morning. Sanders said she wasn’t familiar with the paper, but based on past papers the President has looked at, it was likely something of grave national concern about which the President made a better decision than Obama ever would have. “I can tell you that, whatever decision President Trump made was better for America, created more jobs and saved more lives, than decisions his predecessor made,” she said. Tomorrow the President will be making better decisions than Obama based on a briefing book of “probably 100 pages” that he is scheduled to be photographed looking at, Huckabee said. “The jobs will be better, the outcome for America’s forgotten middle class will be superior to the disaster that was the Obama presidency,” she said. More.
White House communications chief Kellyanne Conway says it’s unfair of the media not to take into account all the infantile thoughts and memes that President Trump could have tweeted but didn’t during his five months in office. “Have there been adolescent thoughts he’s tweeted that probably should have stayed in his head?” Conway told reporters at the White House today. “Of course. But there have been far more that he hasn’t tweeted, including some that were particularly beneath the dignity of the president.” Conway gave as an example a meme Trump had been thinking about tweeting but didn’t even though it was particularly juvenile. “I was with him when he said he wanted to share this stupid video that he liked a lot,” she said. “But he decided not to and I think that speaks a lot to the kind of man, the kind of president he is.” More.
The CNN executive who got body slammed by Donald Trump in the viral wrestling video says the fight didn’t end when the video ended; it ended after an additional round of fighting in which Trump didn’t fare quite so well. The executive, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak frankly, said he hit Trump with a leapfrog body guillotine, in which he ran up to Trump from behind, jumped on his back, and hopped over his head, forcing Trump down onto the ground. “It was a dirty move but the President fights dirty,” said the executive. More.
President Donald Trump admitted today he never taped former FBI Director James Comey but he left open the possibility that he’s taping himself, although he acknowledged he’s just speculating. “I’m not saying I am taping myself but so many things are coming out of the White House, coming out of the Oval Office, that I think I could be taping myself,” he said. “I just think we’re going to be revealing some very interesting things in the months ahead. Very interesting things. You’ll be surprised, I can guarantee you that.” A White House press aide who spoke on condition of anonymity said the President’s remark “speaks for itself,” although it wasn’t clear if the President was admitting he was taping himself or whether he was being taped at his request or whether he was being taped not at his request but with his tacit agreement. “Or maybe the agreement isn’t tacit,” this aide said. “I think you ought to ask the President whether it’s tacit or not.” More.
President Donald Trump in a somber address to the nation called upon Americans to come together after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the third-ranking member in the House of Representatives, was shot by an anti-Republican man on Wednesday at a baseball park in Alexandria, Va. Several others, including congressional aides, were also shot. Scalise, who was shot by James Hodgkinson of Illinois, remains in critical condition. “I know there will be a temptation for Republicans to blame Democrats for helping to fuel a partisan atmosphere that might give rise to violence of this kind, but the time to stop the divisive rhetoric that has so long plagued our politics is now,” Trump said. “I know I have contributed to this environment. For that I express my regret. More.
The United Kingdom on Twitter today escalated a growing feud with the United States by promising to be just as insensitive and insulting when the U.S. is next hit by a terrorist attack as President Donald Trump was with the U.K. after its latest confrontation with extremist terror in London last week. “Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hit by a terror attack again,” the U.K. tweeted this morning. “We’ll feel bad for you, of course, but, sadly, we’ll have to be insensitive and insulting about your response. Sad!” The U.K. noted that no one is better at hurling insults than the British, so any country getting into a war of zingers with it will probably regret it. “Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,” the U.K. tweeted about the U.S. losing an upcoming zinger fight with it. “It’s not your fault.” More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said the Europeans are to blame for President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accords because the French, Germans, and others think they’re better than everyone else. “You know, they walk around like they’re so great, so sophisticated,” Spicer said at his briefing today. “They have their fancy suits. They use their big, foreign words. They eat their expensive food with the small portions. Its nauseating.” Spicer said the Europeans look to the United States to pay for everything but behind the country’s back they look down on Americans. “You know, they say to us, ‘Protect us and buy our stuff. Buy our cars—which are better than yours, by the way—and watch our bicycle races and tennis matches. You guys with your stupid American football that’s not even football. You’re just so stupid.'” More.
Trump: ‘I’m Going to Preside Over the Greatest Collapse of American Civil Society We’ve Ever Seen, Believe Me’
President Donald Trump said today Americans will be more divided, more hostile to one another than the country has ever seen before, even more than during the Civil War, when the North and the South were pitted against one another. “We’re going to have the biggest, the greatest, the most tremendous breakdown in our shared civil culture than we’ve ever had before, I can guarantee you that,” Trunp said in remarks at the White House. “We’re seeing Americans fight each other on airplanes, insult each other in supermarket lines, and refuse to do business with one another. It will be the most fantastic breakdown in our country and it’s going to be so big.” Trump said America has long had a history of putting differences aside to work for the common good, but that path has put the country in its current state of mediocrity. More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer called a report that Donald Trump has drained all the prestige out of the presidency untrue. “There are plenty of leaders around the world who look up to the American presidency,” Spicer said today at his daily press briefing. “There’s the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. There are some others. The point is, the American presidency is a powerful office that carries prestige no matter who occupies it.” Spicer was reacting to a report by Samuel Greene and Nadia Petrograv of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government that the office of the president, which for generations has represented the most powerful leadership post in the world, has lost about 60 percent of its prestige since Donald Trump won election. More.
Special Prosecutor is Opportunity to Return Focus to Taking Away Health Care, Gutting Programs for Americans, Trump Says
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets said the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into the Trump-Russia allegations gives his administration a chance to refocus on pulling the rug out from voters who put him into office. “Mueller will finally get the fake Russia story out of the news,” Trump said in the first of his tweets this morning. “We welcome the chance to take away health care from 24m, raise taxes on 70% of homeowners, cut heating aid to the old,” he said in a second tweet. In a third, he said he wants to get back to “wrecking U.S. standing in world, being a pushover to China, undercutting our allies.” More.
President Donald Trump said in a press briefing today that his administration has talked more about helping working class Americans than any administration in the United States. “No one’s talking about the interests of our workers like I am,” said Trump, whose tax reform plan, released in late April, cut taxes for corporations and pass-through entities, of which The Trump Organization is one. Most middle-class homeowners would see their taxes go up because the plan would eliminate the deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and state and local taxes. It would keep the mortgage interest deduction, but that’s not enough to offset the losses elsewhere, pushing them to take a new $24,000 standard deduction that’s less than what they got when they itemized. More.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer said there’s no truth to rumors that President Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have agreed to shoot a television commercial for Viagra®, the erectile dysfunction drug, while Duterte is in Washington for his White House meeting. “The fake news operation of the Democratic party is at it again,” said Spicer at his press briefing this morning. “The claim that President Trump and Philippine President Duterte have any intention of shooting a Viagra® commercial is absurd.” More.
A report by the Kleinbaum Institute of Forensic Sciences at Columbia University says there’s a good chance President Donald Trump has been hiding his bald spot in his taxes since 1995 and maybe even as far back as 1991. “As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump was willing to risk losing the election by refusing to do what presidential candidates have been doing for the last 40 years: release their tax returns,” says William Berger, professor of forensic sciences at Columbia and the director of the Kleinbaum Institute. “The question that has intrigued Americans and even people around the world for the past 18 months is, why? We think we know why.” Berger says it’s understandable people think Trump is trying to hide embarrassing financial matters by keeping his taxes out of the public spotlight. More.
President Donald Trump said today he might drop more bombs in hot spots around the world because people appear to like the bombs on a bipartisan basis. “Who would have thought the bombs would be so popular, but they are and we’re going to do more of them, I can guarantee you,” Trump said at a press briefing after meeting with business officials on tax reform. “Syria was a big win for us. People liked the Tomahawks. President Bashar al-Assad poisoned his own people. We fired the bombs. That was good. A big win. Then we dropped the mother of all bombs on Afghanistan. People are sick of Afghanistan. They can’t believe we’re still there. We can’t get out of that country? We dropped the bomb.” More.
President Donald Trump, his step a little lighter now that the reviews have been good on his decision to bomb a Syrian airbase, says Americans can expect more bombings in the weeks ahead. “There are going to be so many good opportunities to bomb things,” Trump said in his weekly radio address at the White House today. “We have North Korea. We have Iran. We have some other hot spots we’re looking at but aren’t ready to talk about yet. But they’ll be good bombing targets. A lot of pride among Americans, especially after all those disastrous Obama years when we blew so few things up.” Trump acknowledged he wasn’t expecting reviews across the political spectrum to be so good in response to his snap decision to send 59 Tomahawk missiles to the Shayrat military airbase in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. More.
President Donald Trump said he based his decision to bomb the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria on “raw emotion” and he’s left it to his generals to create a long-term engagement strategy that doesn’t leave Americans more vulnerable to middle east chaos. “I saw children murdered by their own government and I reacted to that,” Trump said today at the White House. “Now we’re working hard to build a policy around my decision. I think we’ll have a plan soon, maybe even before the weekend.” Trump said he’d been given policy papers on the situation in Syria, but what matters is what he sees on cable news. “And what I saw horrified me,” said Trump. “I think it’s important for the head of a country to act on the basis of emotions and without a long-term plan.” More.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn insisted he’s not guilty of colluding with Russia to help Donald Trump become president in 2016 and to prove it, he said he’ll gladly testify before Congress as long as he’s given immunity. “I’m eager to clear my name of these incorrect charges,” said Flynn, who has kept a low profile since resigning in January after just a few weeks working for the Trump White House. “That’s why l’m saying, give me immunity to testify and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Flynn said his testimony will show he has done nothing wrong and the entire Russia-Trump connection amounts to nothing. More.
Recent sightings in the foothills of Spring Creek, Calif., of a mysterious beauty object have caused a stir in this former mining town 175 miles north of San Francisco. “I haven’t seen the town buzzing like this since we had the frog jumping contest here one year because the track was too muddy in Calaveras County,” says Sam Baker, a retired rancher who serves as the town’s unofficial historian. The cause of all the excitement are recent sightings of an unidentified beauty object that many locals believe is Melania Trump, the rarely seen wife of President Donald Trump. “We thought she only existed in New York City,” says Helen Carter, owner of Carter’s Diner on Route 43. “The idea that she would be sighted way out here—about as far from New York City as you can get—makes me think it’s not really her but a local girl who probably got pregnant and doesn’t want to tell her parents.” More.
Republican lawmakers in the United States Congress say they’re flabbergasted they couldn’t pull out a win yesterday by passing a bill that no one wanted and that would make the lives of Americans worse. “Who would have thought that a bill that strips health insurance away from 24 million people, raises the premiums for everyone else, and allows insurance companies to pay for less care couldn’t generate enough votes to pass?” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last night after pulling the plug on his signature health care reform bill. Ryan said he’s stunned that his fellow Republicans didn’t want to commit political suicide by making the lives of their constituents worse by publicly voting “yea” for his bill, called the American Health Care Act. More.
WASHINGTON—In a sensational shot across the bow, American President Donald Trump said at the White House today that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is a “vindictive, narcissistic sociopath’ who mustn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons because he’s “impulsive, unstable, and holds a grudge.” Trump also said he lies “practically every time” he opens his mouth. “What we have in North Korea is a man who only got where he is today because of his father,” Trump told reporters. Kim is the third leader in the Kim dynasty, which began in 1948 when Kim Il-sung led his country’s effort to overthrow Japanese rule. Kim then elevated his son, Kim Jong-il, to the post of Supreme Leader in 1994, and then Kim Jong-il elevated Kim Jong-un in 2011, when he was 27. More.
McConnell: ‘Have to do it’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress has little choice but to censure President Donald Trump for accusing his predecessor, without evidence, of conducting surveillance on him during the 2016 campaign. “There has never been a greater debasement of the presidency than what we have seen in the last two weeks,” said McConnell, who as recently as this weekend joined President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Louisville, Ky. “For one president to accuse another of what amounts to a criminal act, and to do so even though all of the country’s considerable intelligence resources are at his fingertips, is to perpetrate one of the greatest violations of our nation’s trust we have ever seen.” More.
In a problem that has never happened before, according to historians, just nine weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump the White House has exhausted its supply of foreign leaders willing to come to Washington to meet with the president and analysts cannot figure out why. “In every past administration, the problem has been too many foreign leaders wanting to come to Washington to meet with what many people regard as the most powerful person in the world,” says Jake Tapper, Washington correspondent for CNN. “Now, leaders around the world are saying they’re too busy to come. It’s weird.” That’s not to say President Trump has hosted no foreign leaders. Among others, he’s hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. And just last week he hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But White House aides say no more foreign leaders are lined up to come. More.
Stung by unfavorable comparisons between his inauguration crowd and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, President Donald Trump today announced that when he wins reelection in 2020, Americans will be required to attend his 2021 inauguration unless at least two million people attend voluntarily. “What the executive order says is, attendance at the inauguration is voluntary—which is in accordance with our freedoms as a democracy—but that if under two million people attend, people will be required to attend up to the minimum two-million attendance number,” said Sean Spicer, the White House spokesperson. More.
Kellyanne Conway, one of the most visible defenders of Donald Trump’s presidency, says photos of her in a bikini are “alternative facts” that are being spread on the Internet to try to take the focus off the things the Trump administration is doing, like accusing President Barack Obama of wire tapping Trump Towers, using the presidency to spread accusations about Muslim attacks in Sweden, and saying immigration curbs are needed because of a massacre in Bowling Green, Ky. “I have clearly been photoshopped into images of other women to hurt Donald Trump by demeaning me as a person,” said Conway, 50. “It’s a personal attack on my character that’s been put forward without regard to the truth and without regard to the long-term impact this will have on our democracy, our shared trust in our institutions, and our credibility as a nation.” More.
President Donald Trump this morning announced the formation of a White House office to identify and assign blame to the responsible person for upcoming policy failures of his administration. “No administration will be as accountable to the American people as mine for assigning blame for problems that will be coming in the years ahead,” Trump said in announcing his new White House Office of Blame Laying. On the upcoming failure of the American Health Care Act, for instance, the finger of blame will be pointed at former president Barack Obama for his program to increase the number of people with health insurance by 20 million. “When the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare results in higher premiums for worse insurance for a declining number of Americans, we will know immediately that Barack Obama is to blame. More.
Vice President Mike Pence, amidst revelations that he used a personal email account to conduct official business when he was governor of Indiana, said what he did was different from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email when she was secretary of state. “What Hillary Clinton did was a clear violation of law and a threat to national security while my use of personal email was a smart and necessary action that benefitted the people of Indiana,” Pence said in a statement released today. Pence’s use of a personal AOL email account was revealed yesterday in a report by The Indianapolis Star. More.
President Donald Trump took the opportunity before a friendly audience at the Conservative Political Action (CPAC) Conference in Washington yesterday to blast his presidency as a “fake” occupation of the White House and has vowed to bar himself from government despite the role the Constitution has assigned to the president. “Nobody appreciates the constitutionally protected role of the presidency more than me,” said Trump, who spoke on the second day of the annual event. “That’s why no one is in a better position than me to recognize a fake presidency when there is one.” Trump said no presidency deserves the label “fake” more than his because his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November depended on the FBI, voter suppression, and the Russian government. More.
Stephen Miller, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump who has helped shape the White House’s position on immigration and other conservative policies, said today he hates himself and wishes he weren’t such an asshole but that he has stopped trying to be something he’s not and will continue to attach himself to power to make himself feel better. “I’d like to have a friend, but I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be friends with a dick like me, so I’ll just continue to be the biggest asshole I can be,” said Miller, 31. Miller said he first discovered he was a butthole when he was a teenager. “I wanted a friend and found one in Wayne LaPierre [CEO of the National Rifle Association], and although I continue to be friendless, I’m working out my insecurities at the highest levels of power and that makes me feel better when I’m not eating dinner by myself at my lonely townhouse on Capitol Hill,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump announced that John Miller, his spokesperson going back to his days as a New York real estate developer, is replacing Sean Spicer as press secretary. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at the announcement today. “When John talks, you know what he says is coming directly from me. He knows me like no one else.” MIller, 70, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, served as spokesperson for Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, when Trump was trying to make a name for himself as both an astute businessman and a man-about-town. “It’s a good choice,” says Sue Carswell, a reporter for People magazine. More.
President Donald Trump introduced his latest picks for national security advisor, deputy secretary of state, and director of the secret service, but none of the appointees allowed themselves to be publicly identified. “I am ‘honored’ to be chosen to help keep our country safe as national security advisor,” said the person named to that post, whose face was kept hidden by a bag. “I have worked in national security for decades and have dedicated my life to our country’s safety. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.” The appointee, who stands about 6′ 1″ and looks to be between 195 and 210 pounds, said he accepted this “very important position” out of love of country. More.
President Donald Trump said his brain has performed as well as he had expected and often better over the first four weeks of his presidency. “It’s given me great advice on so many things, important national security maters,” said Trump, who spoke to Fox News in an interview Wednesday night. Trump said his brain gave him “particularly good advice” when he learned Michael Flynn, his national security advisor until he resigned earlier this week, had been talking to Russian officials while Barack Obama was still president about lifting sanctions. “My first instinct was to fire him, but my brain told me to wait until the press found out,” said Trump. More.
President Donald Trump, who took a national security briefing on North Korea last week while dining in a public restaurant at his Mar-a-Lago restaurant, tweeted on an unsecured phone today that Americans shouldn’t forget about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. “I let her off the hook, but we shouldn’t forget how she risked national security with her emails,” Trump tweeted from his iPhone 7. In another tweet, Trump said he might have his Department of Justice take a look at what she did, even though he had said after the election he would let the matter drop, because “Russians, others could have hacked her like they did the DNC.” More.
President Donald Trump, on the defensive for staff contacts with the Russian government before he was sworn in as president, said the only scandal is the unsecured server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state when Barack Obama was president. “You have 30,000 emails that could have been compromised because of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server,” said Trump, who continues to use an unsecured phone for conversations and tweeting and who has taken national security briefings in public locations, including the main dining room at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “We must get to the bottom of her use of a private server when she was communicating with foreign leaders.” To that end, he is directing the Department of Justice to open up an investigation into what Clinton did, and didn’t do, with her server. “Nothing less than our national security is at stake,” he said. More.
Shinzō Abe, the Japanese prime minister, made a desperate cry for help last week in the White House, where his hand was held against its will by the hand of President Donald Trump. “Nobody likes to be imprisoned, but few things are worse than having your hand imprisoned because your hand is the most important exponent of freedom a person has,” said Abe, the leader of Japan since 2012 and not normally a person given to abstract philosophical musings about freedom and hands. Abe said he empathizes with Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, who, during the presidential inauguration on January 20, made a similar desperate cry for help about her imprisonment by her husband. More.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the former prosecutor who led the investigation into the Benghazi attacks when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, says he is ready to “pull out all the stops” to learn whether laws were broken when Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn held talks with Russia about lifting sanctions while the presidential race was still going on. “If the contacts were in fact about the lifting of sanctions, then that would be a clear violation of U.S. law and appropriate steps would have to be taken,” says Gowdy, who earned a reputation in Congress for his tough prosecutorial approach when he led the special committee on what Hillary Clinton knew and didn’t know about the raid on the U.S. embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Libyan ambassador, Christopher Stevens. More.
3 Weeks Into Trump Presidency, White Supremacists Dismayed That Jews, Blacks Still Allowed to be American
Leaders of the National Aryan Front, American Freedom Party, Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist oganzations in the United States issued a joint letter to President Donald Trump today expressing concern over the slow pace of the “solution” they expect him to enact for people of inferior races and ethnicities. “While we appreciate the many priorities any new administration must contend with, the lack of meaningful progress on the white nationalist agenda is troubling,” the leaders say in the letter, which was hand-delivered to the White House this morning. The letter reminds Trump that his election depended in large part on the unwavering support from the white supremacist community, particularly when he was being criticized in the media during the primaries. “When other groups were challenging you for your accurate and appropriate concerns over the biased rulings of so-called Judge Gonzalo Curiel against Trump University, we were your most vocal and consistent supporters,” the letter says. More.
CENTER JUNCTION, Iowa—Calling it an example of how he’s helping “America become great again,” President Donald Trump praised the owner of a family-owned manufacturing company here for opening a paperclip factory in the United States instead of Mexico. “We’re going to make trenendous paperclips here,” Trump told a group of employees on the factory floor. “They’re going to be the best paper clips ever made, and they’re going to be made right here in Iowa, because no one knows how to make paperclips better than the fine people of Iowa.” More.
Saying war with China or any other country will require the combat leadership of a certain seven-year Navy veteran, Senate Democrats this morning introduced the “Stephen K. Bannon Combat Leadership Act of 2017.” Under the bill, Stephen K, Bannon, a top advisor to President Donald Trump and an acknowledged “lover of war,” will have to “lead troops into battle in the first, second, and third waves of attack against enemies of the United States in any theater of war of his devising.” The legislation names “the South China Sea” as a potential “theater of war” but also says other areas of the world would qualify as long as “the lives of U.S. troops are at stake as a result of war started by Stephen K. Bannon.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the decree by President Donald Trump to institute martial law in the United States “to protect Americans from foreign and domestic enemies” is an unfortunate necessity given the state of the world, but he took issue with the “hasty and sloppy” execution of the law. “Should the Administration have put out guidance earlier to minimize confusion? Yes, I think it could have,” Ryan said. “The order was clearly drafted in haste—I get that, given the threats we face from people who want to harm American liberty and freedom—but the people on the ground that must carry it out should have had detail instructions. The result was the confusion and unnecessary mistakes that characterized the rollout.” More.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she held the hand of President Donald Trump as they walked to the White House press room for their news conference earlier this week so she would know where his hand was at all times. “Frankly, I thought it was more important to keep tabs on his hand than worry about any ridicule I might incur from the international community,” May said today. May said she normally doesn’t worry about where the hands of world leaders are, but she didn’t want to take a chance on joining the more than two dozen women who have accused Trump of groping them. “If it were just one woman who was accusing him, then I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she said. “But there have been some two dozen, which is not a small number.” More.
The United States was arrested today by its own Department of Justice for humiliating its new leader, Donald Trump. The country is accused of showing up in only small numbers to President Trump’s inauguration, laughing at the musical acts performing at his event, and turning out bigger crowds at protest marches around the country the next day. “We will only affirm that a country had been arrested and that it is awaiting a hearing at which bail will be set,” says Sean Schinner, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice. In the arrest report, in addition to the humiliation it served up on inauguration day, the country is accused of “watching shows poking fun at the president, listening to and attending shows of musical artists that refused to play at his inauguration, and not believing him when he says he would have won more votes than his opponent had not millions of illegals been allowed to vote.” More.
President Donald Trump says his first three days in office have been the “most presidential of any president at any time in the history of the United States” and the incredible presidential quality of his presidency will only get “more presidential” from here. Trump says his first action on his first day was to suspend, “very presidentially,” a rule that President Obama implemented right before he left office to lower the insurance premium for federally backed FHA home loans. The lower premiums were expected to make homeownership more affordable for millions of middle class households, which Trump called a very “unpresidential move” because it wasn’t done with the kind of presidential quality he would have done it with. More.
After 146 years, the iconic traveling show company, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says it’s closing its doors because of low attendance. “Ticket sales have been declining for years, but they really took a nose dive starting about 18 months ago,” says Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling. Feld attributed the dramatic drop in attendance to the company’s decision to stop using elephants, the growing unease people feel around clowns, and the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. More.
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate this week are tweaking 2017 budget legislation to allocate money for construction of the Mexican border wall, a priority of incoming president Donald Trump, but the budgetary maneuver faces a high hurdle to get past Democrats—and might not even be necessary. A consortium of Russian businessmen, including one who is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has come forward with a proposal to create a private fund that would pay for the wall, enabling Trump to meet his highest-profile campaign promise without taking money away from other U.S. priorities or adding to the federal deficit. More.
It’s been a busy six months for Arthur Mann, whose book, When Your President is a Psychopath (Knolle, 2016), unexpectedly rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. We caught up with Mann, a professor of psychology at MIT, while he was between flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. To recap our conversation, Mann said there’s an easy way to cope with Donald Trump’s presidency, but it’s probably not what you think. More.