“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” — Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail. ” April 16, 1963
This week, Donald Trump didn’t just insult dozens of countries and the Americans who descended from them, he insulted America.
America isn’t just a country; it’s an ideal. America is the notion that regardless of your past, ethnicity, age, or the amount of money you are born into, you can become something greater. America has a checkered past, but the defining principle that makes America great is the fact we are constantly pursuing a more perfect union. We strive to learn from our mistakes, not go back to a time where those mistakes were made. The beauty of America is in its imperfection and our collective pursuit of perfection.
It was this ideal that moved America from being a country that once enslaved and labeled black people as three-fifths of a person, to one that elected Barack Hussein Obama to become leader of the free world.
It was this ideal that struck my own parents when they were just teenagers in Sierra Leone. They saw America as a house on a hill, beaming with limitless opportunity. Anyone can make it there, no matter where they’re from, they thought. And they were right.
Hey @realDonaldTrump-El Salvador, Haiti and African countries aren't shitholes. Both my parents came to America from West Africa when they were teenagers with $50 in their pockets, seeking a better life for themselves and their children. You know what that makes them? American.
Despite Donald Trump’s distinct ignorance of what makes America great, the ideal that is America lives on. Yes, the President of the United States is racist, but that doesn’t mean we have to be.
So next time you hear someone say “America is racist for electing Donald Trump,” tell them they’re wrong. Because America is whatever each new generation decides it will be. And I’ll be damned if this next generation of leaders doesn’t make America inclusive.
I’ve heard people ask, “so, the President is racist, what now?” Now, we make a choice. Will we be remembered as a generation that dropped the ball or one that rose to the occasion? Will we be remembered as a generation who perpetuated inequality or one that works diligently to dismantle systemic racism, sexism, and all forms of inequality? Will we be remembered as a generation that stayed home while Republican congressmen passed oppressive policies or will we be remembered as one that flips the House and the Senate while electing the most diverse members of Congress in U.S. history?
The question we must ask ourselves as Americans, and as decent and human beings, is this: Will we choose to stand idly by and let injustice and intolerance run rampant or will we rise and stop it in its tracks?
I believe we will rise.
Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 51st week as POTUS:
51st Weekend (January 6–7)
A lot to unpack here: @realDonaldTrump called himself "like, really smart" and "a very stable genius." He also seems to be comparing the questions about his mental stability to questions about Ronald Reagan's mental stability… Ronald Reagan had Alzheimer's.
As questions of Trump’s mental health dominated headlines, President Trump took to Twitter to claim that he is in fact, not stupid or, like, unstable.
In case you were wondering, this was Fox at 7:10 am this morning. The president's tweet at 7:20 am. https://t.co/E68vHEbRSF
Trump's mental instability & intellectual inadequacy should've gotten this level of coverage for years Unstable during the campaign. Unstable from day 1 in office. Remember the leaked call with Australia? I'm glad it's finally hit MSM but he had me at 'Obama was born in Kenya'
Trump continued the following day.
I've had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!
Comparing himself to Reagan in this instance isn’t very “genius” of him, given the fact questions about Reagan’s mental health were later validated when his family revealed that he had Alzheimer’s disease.
This was a rough end to an unstable week, but at least it ended with good memes.
stablegenius you say
Here's the only other #StableGenius I know of. https://t.co/00UaM5ppLm
This will never get old #stablegenius https://t.co/i81PbCAlAe
- White House Adviser Stephen Miller was taken off the air by CNN’s Jake Taper and was later escorted out of the building after refusing to leave.
White House Adviser Stephen Miller gets cut off mid-sentence by Jake Tapper "I think I've wasted enough of my viewers' time" https://t.co/98lJiyCS7t
Trump chimed in, asking us to ignore what our eyes and ears just heard and believe his version of reality.
Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!
- Oprah gave a powerful speech about the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes that created some Oprah 2020 buzz.
I want all the girls…to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women…[and men]…fighting hard to make sure…nobody ever has to say #MeToo again" #Oprah at the #GoldenGlobes https://t.co/6s0ccIjKmC
- Steve Bannon expressed regret for his comments on the Michael Wolff book and apologized. But it was too late, Donald Trump had already lambasted him.
- Trump moved the date of his Authoritarian awards…
The Fake News Awards, those going to the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media, will be presented to the losers on Wednesday, January 17th, rather than this coming Monday. The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!
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51st Week (January 8–12)
Monday, January 8
NBC News reported that Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inevitable request to interview the President. The questions will likely center on Trump’s potential obstruction of justice while at the same time inquiring into questions of potential collusion with Russia.
Trump’s lawyers are expecting that the request could come in a matter of weeks. Taking into consideration the President’s non-existent relationship with the truth and unhinged nature, Trump’s lawyers are exploring a way to ensure the President offers a written statement as opposed to an interview. If Trump is interviewed one-on-one by Mueller, one can only imagine how susceptible to perjury the President will be.
In 2007, @realdonaldtrump was questioned by lawyers in a civil suit. In 2 days, they caught him in 30 falsehoods. https://t.co/cRBZa19Xfw
- After already ending the protection status for hundreds of thousands of people from Haiti, Sudan and Nicaragua, President Trump did the same for 200,000 Salvadorans. They have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the country or get a green card.
- After the Los Angeles Times reported that Mueller had taken interest in an interaction between Ivanka Trump and Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower the day of the “Clinton dirt” June 9, 2016, meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, NBC News confirmed it.
Natalia Veselnitskaya told NBC News that when she was departing Trump Tower after the June '16 meeting and waiting for an elevator, she exchanged pleasantries with a woman whom she believed was Ivanka. Separately, another source says the woman was Ivanka. https://t.co/hmVef9EmYN
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Tuesday, January 9
White Nationalist Icarus
Steve Bannon flew too close to the sun. During his Roy Moore campaigning days, you could tell that he carried himself with a hubris that would be his downfall. And on Tuesday, that day came.
Steve Bannon is OUT at Breitbart https://t.co/lXEydfIkin
It was the end of an era. Steve Bannon may have thought he had more of a hold on Trump’s base than he really did. Perhaps he gave those interviews with Michael Wolff under the impression that the candidates he was going to back would win, and he’d have the leverage to survive the fallout. Whatever the case was, Bannon was entirely too overconfident. Now without his platform at Breitbart or the backing of the Mercer MAGA-donors, his future is uncertain.
- After multiple calls for her GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to release the transcripts to the Fusion GPS congressional testimony, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) decided to release it herself.
Feinstein smiles while stepping into an elevator as reporters ask about her unilaterally publishing Fusion GPS transcript. "I just decided to do it," she says.
The transcript of Fusion GPS founder's interview with a Senate committee, released today, shows the author of the infamous Russia dossier worried that Donald Trump was being blackmailed. https://t.co/vzw8KLeXeV 📄Read the transcript: https://t.co/PXoeRPyngT
This is key. Steele talked to FBI, and then reported back to Fusion GPS founder that FBI viewed Steele's info as credible, because it corroborated other info the FBI *already* had, including from a Trump source:
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testimony re: Carter Page https://t.co/tWgJEs5o2b
It is beyond troubling that after being aware of this testimony, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R- IA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made a criminal referral to the DOJ for the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, rather than dig deeper into the potential money laundering or evidence of collusion that the Fusion GPS founder testified to.
This needs to be hammered by the press. Graham and Grassley had this transcript for days, much of which lent credence to Steele's claims. And rather than share it with the public, they told the FBI to investigate Steele. That is INCREDIBLY damning for both of them. https://t.co/ETTuZDWMx5
You can check out more of the highlights of the transcript here, but I want to touch on one more troubling detail that stood out out out to me. It involves The New York Times.
Christopher Steele literally briefed the @nytimes on Russian involvement in the 2016 election two weeks before they ran this story.
They have some explaining to do.
- As the Trump administration plans to loosen the constraints on the use of nuclear weapons, multiple sources reported that national security adviser H.R. McMaster is advocating for a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea, while Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are trying to advise President Trump against it.
- The Trump administration waived fines for five international banks that were convicted of manipulating global interest rates. Among those relieved of punishment? Deutsche Bank.
Trump owes Deutsche Bank (DB) $364 M Kushner owes them $285 M DB has a cooperating agreement with Vnesheconombank (VEB), who is under US sanctions If DB transferred Kushner and Trump's loan to VEB, the POTUS has a personal incentive to lift US sanctions https://t.co/jtPkTWphIu
- After announcing an expansion of coastal drilling the previous week, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made an exception for Florida. People took notice.
Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke removes Florida from consideration for new offshore oil and gas platforms, saying "I support the governor's position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.
Taking #Florida off the table for offshore drilling but not #California violates the legal standard of arbitrary and capricious agency action. California and other coastal states also rely on our beautiful coasts for tourism and our economy. I believe courts will strike this down https://t.co/xWyB69F7Gg
You're right Mr. Secretary. It's dangerous to our coastal communities & economy to let big oil drill off our shores. That's why we've been fighting to #KillTheDrill for years. So how about taking NJ off the table? (Will having THREE Trump golf courses help?) #ProtectOurCoast https://t.co/dRAPNNxBIC
- Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Trump after a federal conviction for contempt of court and who has a history of inhumane treatment of immigrants at his proclaimed “concentration camps,” is running for Senate.
- Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen filed a defamation suit against Fusion GPS for the development of the Christopher Steele dossier and Buzzfeed for the public release.
- In a huge ruling, North Carolina’s congressional map was ordered to be redrawn. Federal judges deemed their map unconstitutional because “Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage.”
- Some positive diversity news.
Harris and Booker first black lawmakers named to Senate Judiciary Committee in over a decade https://t.co/DCaycG5CwP
- Some “Trump is Putin’s puppet” news.
EXCLUSIVE: A senior NSC official last February proposed moving some US troops out of the Baltics as an overture to Russia. This is the first known instance in which Trump-Russia questions centered around withdrawing troops from Europe. https://t.co/iECec44GwL
- President Trump continued to use the DREAMERS as bargaining chips.
As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.
By the end of the night, he faced a legal setback.
BREAKING: Trump's decision to rescind DACA has just been blocked by a federal judge https://t.co/SsbuptziMC
The fight is far from over. It was merely a temporary injunction while the case is being litigated. Congress still has to pass a permanent solution for these 800,000 people who are uncertain about their future.
Sign Petition: Join the fight: Demand your members of Congress become dream heroes!
Wednesday, January 10
Business As Usual
On Wednesday, Trump continued to show us the steady resolve we’re used to from this President (that was sarcasm). Trump took to Twitter to complain about the DACA ruling and Senator Feinstein’s release of the Fusion GPS transcripts.
It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.
The fact that Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated that collusion between Trump/Russia has not been found, would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way, totally without authorization, is a disgrace. Must have tough Primary!
Trump then made a very authoritarian comment that also doubled as a decent piece of evidence in Mueller’s obstruction of justice case.
The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!
@realDonaldTrump Here we have the President of the United States, once again, calling a legitimate investigation into his campaign's potential collusion a "Witch Hunt," and that "Republicans should finally take control!" Another tweet for Mueller's obstruction case https://t.co/ilcb8IwOvE
- ICE began raiding 7-Elevens.
U.S. immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven stores before dawn Wednesday to open employment audits and interview workers in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Trump's presidency, AP reports. https://t.co/dize5xIe3e
- Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) made an important release of documents about Russia’s interference in democracies in Europe.
Today I'm releasing a #RussiaReport documenting Vladimir Putin's 20-year attack on democratic institutions in his own country and Europe. To protect against what the Kremlin did to the U.S. in 2016, we need to first understand Putin's pattern. https://t.co/93mMMbGEgV
Unfortunately, the one person in the U.S. government stopping a truly comprehensive U.S. government response is @POTUS. Never before in our history has so clear a threat to U.S. national security been so clearly ignored by the sitting president. #RussiaReport
- California Rep. Darrell Issa is yet another in a series of Republican congressmen who won’t seek reelection in 2018.
- Is this what Trump meant by extreme vetting?
Navy veteran's mother denied visa to attend his funeral https://t.co/AraYHiutSd via @3onyourside
- The Washington Post reported, “Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes.”
- A USA TODAY review found that:
“President Trump’s companies sold more than $35 million in real estate in 2017, mostly to secretive shell companies that obscure buyers’ identities, continuing a dramatic shift in his customers’ behavior that began during the election…In the two years before the nomination, 4% of Trump buyers utilized the tactic. In the year after, the rate skyrocketed to about 70%. USA TODAY’s tracking of sales shows the trend held firm through Trump’s first year in office.
Thursday, January 11
The President Of The United States Is Racist
On Thursday, we received further confirmation that the President of the United States has a racist misunderstanding of what America stands for. This news would dominate headlines and spark a national conversation about the fact that the leader of the free world is a bigot.
First reported by The Washington Post, and later confirmed by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and all but confirmed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump asked in an Oval Office meeting: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” This was during a conversation about the temporary protection status of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations. Trump then said we should accept more people from Norway.
POTUS just called African countries and Haiti "shithole countries." This is the latest in the president's pattern of bigoted behavior. Trump has called Mexicans "rapists," said Haitians "all have AIDS," ignorantly asserted Nigerians live in huts, and claimed, "Islam hates us." https://t.co/dLC1l8Y8uv
After saying "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" when referring to Haiti and African countries, Trump then said we should bring people here from countries like Norway… There's a reason white supremacists support Trump https://t.co/8y0Hd0vQRU
Ya can't make it up: Trump was taping a video message for MLK Jr. this afternoon as the story broke about his 'shithole' comments, per @jeffzeleny
Now, that wasn’t just attacking those African nations; it was attacking the people who come from those nations. Trump asked “Why are we having all these people” like they aren’t worthy. Some tried to claim that Trump was right about the countries being shitholes, but to act as if the people aren’t worthy was a direct shot at my parents who came there when they were teenagers. It also insulted the millions of immigrants and children of immigrants (the entire US population) who once came from countries that America didn’t deem worthy.
What Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper and others have said on TV about Trump's comments about Haiti and immigrants from other "shithole" countries is important. No more beating around the bush. Donald Trump is a racist. He attacks the very core of what it means to be American.
Not to mention, the attack on these immigrants was completely unjustified.
@grassyknoll_ @RanttNews Do you not realize how racist it is to assume that the immigrants from these nations are unskilled? Data shows that African immigrants are more well-educated than most immigrants…and native-born US citizens They make significant economic contributions https://t.co/oN4NKVcJi6
Trump’s comments received universal backlash, and many in the media finally began to call the President out for who he really is.
Props to @Acosta for not beating around the truth and calling out @realDonaldTrump for who he is. "The president seems to harbor racist feelings about people of color."https://t.co/wj6KzqqNi1
Not racial. Not racially charged. Racist. … The sentiment the President expressed today is a racist sentiment." Anderson Cooper reacts to Trump's "shithole countries" remark https://t.co/d29zymhvqy
Two weeks ago a 26-year old soldier raced repeatedly into a burning Bronx apartment building, saving four people before he died in the flames. His name was Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah and he immigrated from Ghana, a country Donald Trump apparently thinks produces very subpar immigrants.
Don Lemon spoke the bluntest truth and really set the standard for zero tolerance of racism that night.
Don Lemon just took @jfradioshow off the air after he called Lemon "lazy" and made excuses for @realDonaldTrump's racist comments about El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries. https://t.co/kNVMoOxQlX
When a racist (George Wallace) ran for president in 1968, TV news did not hire commentators to defend the racism of the racist. We had to wait for 2016 for that to happen. In '68 the racist came in 3rd. In 2016 the racist won. TV news continues to pay defenders of the racist.
Every single word of this is 💯 Enough. Racism deserves no quarter. Racism is not an "alternative viewpoint" that needs a voice on any network. It's a hateful ideology that is indisputably indecent. Zero tolerance-You defend racism, you should be shunned, not given a platform. https://t.co/5ZkF2qXNEi
Reporters claimed that in the White House, President Trump loved this controversy thinking it was playing to his base.
Staffers inside the White House aren't that worried about Trump's "shithole" remark — with some predicting it will actually resonate with his base, not alienate it, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem did.
This is a brazen acknowledgment of the Trump Administration's use of racism to animate his base. They do tremendous harm to our country in the process and we have no choice but to defeat them. https://t.co/Nd5hrYZCQH
Trump clearly does not care about the millions of people he hurt. There are international students here who hail from those countries, now wondering whether or not they are welcome.
Just like clockwork, by the end of the night, our inherently indecent President was back to tweeting about how Mexicans are bringing drugs over our border.
The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain.
A sad, but unsurprising, day in America.
- Ahead of the vote for the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), President Trump contradicted his own administrations stance on the bill. His admin was pushing for no additional privacy restrictions. But Trump, triggered once again by a Fox and Friends segment, sent out a different stance.
House votes on controversial FISA ACT today." This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?
After Speaker Paul Ryan (D-WI) had a phone call with Trump, he then sent out a follow-up tweet, clarifying his stance.
With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!
It's being normalized but it's wild for POTUS to impulsively share his thoughts and TV watching habits on Twitter In the past, foreign adversaries had to gather intelligence to gain insight into the president's mind Today, they can learn how to manipulate him by opening an app
- Trump tweeted out additional easily provable deflections.
Disproven and paid for by Democrats "Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?" @foxandfriends Did Dems or Clinton also pay Russians? Where are hidden and smashed DNC servers? Where are Crooked Hillary Emails? What a mess!
@realDonaldTrump @foxandfriends 1. The dossier (not disproven) was first funded by Republicans at the Washington Free Beacon-A fact @FoxNews conveniently ignores 2. The idea that Clinton colluded with the FBI and Russia to lose the election is nonsensical to say the least https://t.co/AkcrfbNqSe
- The Trump administration is now allowing states to require work for Medicaid recipients.
- President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had an oddly timed praise of Kim Jon-un.
Anyone else find it weird that right as Putin compliments Kim Jong-un as a "shrewd and mature politician" suddenly, Trump (who spent the last several months disparaging Kim Jong-un as little Rocket Man) takes a positive tone with him? https://t.co/wXFCK2KheQ
- Steve Bannon has prepared for his interview in the Trump-Russia probe and planned to “fully cooperate.”
New with @woodruffbets and @swin24: Steve Bannon has lawyered up in advance of a House Intel interview next week, and he plans to "fully cooperate" https://t.co/GMgYxRGtYh
Friday, January 12
Donald Trump began is morning, like every other morning, watching Fox and Friends. It appeared he did exactly as they advised.
At 7:06 am, Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade said Trump "made a mistake" with the "shithole" comment and should "walk it back." At 7:28 am, Trump Tweeted that that was "not the language used." https://t.co/t1fr5RxHKJ
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said "take them out." Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!
Every day we get more confirmation that our president is controlled by a TV network. It used to be that there were on message, now, @FoxNews pulls a string and he tweets. https://t.co/Z7sdlWTZqJ
As the day moved on, more people spoke out against Trump’s comments. Even Paul Ryan, in his own cowardly way.
House Speaker Paul Ryan calls President Trump's 'shithole countries' comment "very unfortunate" and "unhelpful" https://t.co/G4oirQkl78 https://t.co/AvFzctENn2
If the president can't control himself and lead this country with the authority, dignity and leadership it requires, then he shouldn't be the president. There's no room for racism in the Oval Office.
The anniversary of the devastating earthquake 8 years ago is a day to remember the tragedy, honor the resilient people of Haiti, & affirm America's commitment to helping our neighbors. Instead, we're subjected to Trump's ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn't look like him.
BREAKING 54 African countries demand Trump 'retraction, apology' over slur
The United Nations human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, called Trump's "shithole" remarks "shameful" and "racist." https://t.co/uuh77NiNlH
What an embarrassment.
- News broke of how a month before the 2016 election, President Trump paid off a pornstar named Stormy Daniels who was about go public about a sexual encounter they had while Trump was married to Melania Trump.
WSJ: A former porn star reached a $130,000 deal just before the 2016 election to stay silent about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump https://t.co/vrOn4IzQwp
- Yet another racist Trump conversation leaked.
my god https://t.co/OgDfcM7CGp
@realDonaldTrump should take the advice Lt Gen. Silveria gave to his @AF_Academy students "If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can't treat someone from another race…with dignity and respect, then you need to get out." https://t.co/xm0JVzbUjq
It’s clear that the President of the United States holds bigoted views. It is also clear that the American people won’t stand for it.
CAN'T. RETWEET. THIS. ENOUGH. 🔥🔥 The word "shithole" is being projected onto Trump's DC hotel. #ShitholePresident (via @funder) https://t.co/KgoTTWkhO3