November 03, 2018

Week 103

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

In normal times, after shootings and assassination attempts, our country would expect our head of state to calm things and seek unity. Instead, this week Trump did the exact opposite, fanning the flames of hate with a manufactured crisis to gin up his base ahead of midterms. Trump announced he will send an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, then upped it to 15,000, despite the migrants being weeks away and possibly never arriving. He and his allies and conservative media branded the migrants as carrying diseases, and being MS-13 gang members, child molesters, and violent young men.

Trump continues to ramp up his pace of lies, now averaging 30 false or misleading statement per day, and admitting in an interview with ABC News, “When I can, I tell the truth.” Trump continued to attack his political opponents and blame the media — which again this week he called the “enemy of the people” — for the growing violence, divisions, and unrest in our country. With the exception of House Speaker Paul Ryan speaking out one time, the Republicans have been silent, refusing to criticize Trump or ask him to tone down his rhetoric. And at a time of increasing domestic terrorism and uprise of white supremacists, this week Trump cut funding to an Obama-era program to fight violent extremism.

As midterms approach, early voting indicates voter enthusiasm not seen in decades, including a huge surge in young voters in some states.

  1. On Saturday, appearing at the Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention shortly after the Pittsburgh massacre, Trump joked he almost cancelled because his hair got wet, adding, “At least you know it’s mine.”
  2. Trump considered cancelling his evening campaign rally in Illinois — as would be typical for a head of state after a mass shooting — but instead decided to proceed.
  3. Trump delivered pre-scripted remarks at the FFA event, but starting that evening at a campaign rally, he was back to attacking his political opponents, including Rep. Maxine Waters.
  4. The attorney for musician Pharrell Williams sent Trump a cease-and-desist letter after Trump played Williams’ song “Happy” to open his Illinois rally.
  5. On Sunday, the names of the 11 victims were released: Rose Mallinger, 97; Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Irving Younger, 69; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; David Rosenthal, 54; and Cecil Rosenthal, 59.
  6. On Sunday, Trump attacked Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer, a target of a bomb in Week 102, tweeting “Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer,” and “he comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon.”
  7. Trump later tweeted “the Fake News is doing everything in their power to blame Republicans, Conservatives and me” for division and hatred, claiming the “Fake & Dishonest reporting” is what causes problems.
  8. On Monday, Trump again blamed the media, tweeting the anger in our country is “caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news,” and called the media “the true Enemy of the People.”
  9. Trump also tweeted the “Fake News Media…must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,” in order to “bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!”
  10. On Monday, press secretary Sarah Sanders held the first daily press briefing since October 3.
  11. Sanders got in several testy exchanges with reporters. When asked if Trump was capable of toning it down, Sanders said, “You guys have a huge responsibility to play in the divisive nature of this country.”
  12. Sanders, two years after the election, lied saying Trump “got elected by an overwhelming majority of 63 million Americans who came out and supported him.” Trump lost the popular vote by over 3 million ballots.
  13. On Sunday, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the presidential election in Brazil, capping one of the most polarized and violent political campaigns in the country’s history.
  14. Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign was punctuated by openly racist, sexist, and homophobic comments. Trump called to congratulate him. National security adviser John Bolton praised him as a “like-minded” partner.
  15. On Sunday, Bend the Arc Pittsburgh Steering Committee, a group of Jewish leaders, wrote in an open letter,“Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.”
  16. The letter also called on Trump to stop targeting and endangering all minorities, and to recognize the dignity of all of us. Over 70,000 signed the open letter.
  17. On Monday, Vice President Pence invited Messianic Rabbi Loren Jacobs to say a prayer for the victims in Pittsburgh during a rally in Michigan. Jacobs drew outrage from many Jews after invoking Jesus during the prayer.
  18. On Tuesday, NBC News reported, according to a spokeswoman for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, Jacobs was defrocked 15 years ago, “after our judicial board found him guilty of libel.”
  19. On Tuesday, Trump visited Pittsburgh to pay tribute to the 11 victims. Mayor Bill Peduto had urged Trump not to visit until after the funerals, saying, “all attention [Tuesday] should be on the victims.”
  20. Trump also traveled with no official public itinerary and little advance planning, and without Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick Toomey ®, or local leaders whom the White House had invited.
  21. House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer all declined Trump’s invitation to join him.
  22. Thousands of Pittsburgh residents marched in protest of Trump’s visit. Signs read Trump is not welcome in Pittsburgh “until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.”
  23. Trump has repeatedly denigrated “globalists” despite warnings from Jewish groups that the word is code for Jews in anti-Semitic circles. The word appeared in one of Robert Bowers’ online rants.
  24. A mailer for Republican Ed Charamut in Connecticut showed his Jewish opponent for state Senate wide-eyed with a fistful of money.
  25. On Tuesday, a synagogue in Irvine, California was defaced overnight with anti-Semitic graffiti, including “Fuck Jews.”
  26. On Wednesday, when asked by reporters if the unfounded conspiracy theory about George Soros funding caravan is true, Trump responded “I don’t know who, but I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of people say yes.”
  27. On Friday, anti-Semitic graffiti was found inside a Brooklyn, New York synagogue, saying “Hitler,” “Jews better be ready,” and “Die Jew rats, we are here!” An event planned for that evening was cancelled.
  28. On Monday, a suspicious package headed to CNN’s worldwide headquarters in Atlanta was intercepted. The FBI said the package was “similar in appearance” to the other 14 found last week.
  29. On Monday, federal authorities said Cesar Sayoc Jr. had prepared a list of 100 potential targets, but did not publicly name the individuals or news organizations.
  30. On Sunday, at Game 5 of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, protestors unveiled a banner which read, “TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE TO LIVE.”
  31. Bryant Goldbach, a father in Kentucky, apologized for dressing as a Nazi soldier and his son in an Adolf Hitler costume for a trick or treat event.
  32. On Monday, William Dugat, an eighth-grade principal in Texas, was placed on leave after describing the U.S. on Facebook as “looking like Mexico and South America” with citizens “doomed to have a dirty country.”
  33. Susan Westwood, a white woman, harassed two black women who were waiting for their car to be jumped outside their North Carolina apartment complex, saying disparaging things, and “I’m white” three times.
  34. Students at an elementary school in La Quinta, California were ordered to remove depictions of Mexican culture from a performance about Mexican Independence Day, and told next time to sing ‘Yankee Doodle’ instead.
  35. An Idaho school district apologized after photos circulated showing elementary school staffers wearing Mexican stereotype Halloween costumes and standing behind a cardboard “Make America Great Again” wall.
  36. On Monday, Gab.com, the website used by Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers including his post before the shooting, and a platform for anti-Semitism and white nationalism, was suspended.
  37. On Tuesday, Facebook banned Proud Boys and its founder Gavin McInnes from Facebook and Instagram, citing the New York assaults in Week 101, and the company’s rules against hate groups.
  38. On Wednesday, CNN reported that more than 100 immigrants have waited in line in more than 10 cities carrying paperwork ordering them to appear before a judge, only to find out that court dates had not been scheduled.
  39. Some notices were issued for dates that did not exist (September 31) or for times when the court is closed. Lawyers and advocates say this reflects how chaotic the system has become under the Trump regime.
  40. On Friday, the African Burial Ground Monument in Lower Manhattan, a symbol of New York’s prominent and long-ignored role in colonial African-American culture, was defaced with the words “KILL NIGGERS.”
  41. On Tuesday, agricultural dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes withdrew its support for Rep. Steve King, citing his inflammatory comments on immigration and support for candidates with tie to white supremacists.
  42. During a recent trip to Europe paid for by a Holocaust memorial group, King met with an Austrian far-right party with ties to neo-Nazi groups. Tuesday, King’s seat was moved from “leans” to “likely” Republican.
  43. On Tuesday, Rep. Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, tweeted “King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate.”
  44. Stivers added, “We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.” The Sioux City Journal, which had endorsed King in previous races, endorsed his opponent.
  45. On Friday, AT&T’s political action committee pulled its support from King over his ties to white nationalists. Semiconductor maker Intel Corp and Purina PetCare also pulled their support from King.
  46. On Monday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested migrants may bring diseases into the U.S., saying, “What about diseases? I mean, there’s a reason you can’t bring a kid to school unless he’s inoculated.”
  47. Shortly after, Trump tweeted “many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan,” adding, “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”
  48. On Monday, the Department of Defense announced it will deploy at least 5,200 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent migrants from illegally entering the U.S.
  49. According to a Homeland Security official, the troops will join about 2,100 National Guardsmen who are already deployed along the border. The migrants are still nearly 1,000 miles away from the U.S. border.
  50. Immigrant advocacy groups and the ACLU criticized the regime sending military forces, saying migrants are exercising their rights under international and federal laws to seek asylum.
  51. The Trump regime is considering restricting or blocking the migrants’ ability to enter the country, including denying asylum. In a migrant group in the spring, 93% passed the first hurdle towards seeking asylum.
  52. On Tuesday, Newsweek reported on a document that shows the Trump regime was informed that “only a small percentage” of the migrants traveling with several “caravans” will likely make it to the U.S. border.
  53. The Operational documents by a Pentagon official outlining the deployment, dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot, were sent to the Trump regime before the deployment of the additional 5,200 troops.
  54. On Tuesday, Axios released an interview in which Trump said he plans to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil.
  55. Trump said, “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” claiming he would not need a constitutional amendment to the 14th Amendment.
  56. Trump also falsely claimed, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen.” This claim is false: more than 30 countries provide birthright citizenship.
  57. Hours later, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who rarely breaks from Trump, rejected his comments in an interview, saying ”You obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,”
  58. NPR issued a fact check saying the 14th Amendment cannot be overridden by executive order.
  59. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship,” adding, “our new Republican Majority will work on this.”
  60. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “the Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people,” adding they “fought back hard and viciously against Mexico” and soldiers were “unable, or unwilling to stop Caravan.”
  61. Trump was referencing an incident Sunday in which some in a caravan of roughly 3,000 migrants threw rocks and bottles when they crossed into Mexico. One migrant was killed, and dozens were injured.
  62. Trump also tweeted, “these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members…TURN AROUND!” Most of those traveling in the caravans are mothers and children seeking asylum.
  63. On Wednesday, speaking to reporters, Trump said he could send up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, surpassing the number of soldiers currently stationed in Afghanistan.
  64. As of Tuesday, there were 5,239 troops deployed to the border, as well as 2,092 National Guard members. The roughly 7,300 total troops is roughly equal to the number of troops in Iraq and Syria combined.
  65. The two caravans, fleeing poverty and violence, each have over 3,000 migrants. At the speed they are traveling, they are weeks away from the U.S. border.
  66. According to a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the cost to deploy 15,000 active-duty troops through mid-December would range from $90 million to $110 million.
  67. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump is mobilizing the powers of the military and federal government in the final days leading up to the midterms to stoke fear and anxieties of his supporters.
  68. In addition to the vast deployment to the southern border, Trump has moved to lower Medicare drug prices and suggested the idea of a 10% tax cut for the middle class, sending officials scrambling.
  69. WAPO reports the cumulative effect has been that Trump has “transformed parts of the federal bureaucracy into a factory of threats, directives and actions — an outgrowth of a campaign strategy.”
  70. On Wednesday, Trump and House and Ways Means Chair Kevin Brady conceded there is no chance of a middle class tax cut this year, despite Trump’s promises in Weeks 101 and 102.
  71. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, Trump said he tries to tell the truth: “Well, I try. I do try … and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.
  72. Trump said he believes reporting on the number of migrants in the caravan is too low, saying “I’m pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think.”
  73. When asked women and children fleeing violence and seeking asylum, Trump said the crowds are “mostly young men,” and that women and children in pictures are being purposefully posed for the cameras.
  74. On Wednesday, Trump revived the ‘Willie Horton’ tactic, tweeting a new ad linking Luis Bracamontes, a twice-deported Mexican immigrant who was given the death penalty for killing police officers, to the Democrats.
  75. The ad says, “Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!” and “Democrats let him into our country. . . . Democrats let him stay.” Bracamontes can be heard saying, “I’m going to kill more cops soon.”
  76. In 1988, when a similar ad ran supporting George H.W. Bush, the Bush campaign had publicly distanced itself from the ad. Trump instead pinned the videos, which critics say is “far worse” than the 1988 ad, to his page.
  77. On Wednesday, at a campaign rally in Florida, Trump attacked Democrats, immigrants, and the media, which he called the “enemy of the people.”
  78. On Thursday, providing no evidence, Sen. Chuck Grassley cited “Law Enforcement Sensitive” information, but provided no details and said members of the caravan are child molesters and MS-13 gang members.
  79. On Thursday, in an address from the White House, Trump said the regime was preparing to change the country’s asylum practices ahead of the caravans of migrants approaching.
  80. Trump said migrants were taking advantage of the asylum process by making false claims of persecution, and vowed to build “tent cities” to detain asylum seekers until their court hearings.
  81. Trump also falsely claimed that just 3% of asylum seekers show up for court. According to the Justice Department, it was 89% last year, 91% in 2016, 93% in 2015, and 94% in 2014.
  82. Trump also said, unlike Mexico, U.S. troops would not accept bottles or stones being thrown at them, telling reporters “They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle.”
  83. On Friday, NYT reported the Nigerian Army, which has been criticized for rampant human rights abuses, used Trump’s words to justify its fatal shootings of rock-throwing protesters.
  84. The Nigerian Army claimed to have killed three of the protestors who had hurled rocks at heavily armed soldiers. Amnesty International and leaders of the protest said more than 40 people were killed.
  85. On Friday, Trump backed off from his Thursday remarks, telling reporters on the South Lawn that migrants who throw stones at members of the U.S. military at the border will be arrested, not shot.
  86. Trump again invoked Mexico, calling it “disgraceful,”adding, “they hit them with rocks and some were very seriously injured.” But, Trump falsely claimed, “I didn’t say shoot,” saying rock throwers will be arrested.
  87. On Friday, CNN reported that the Pentagon rejected an October 26 request by the Trump regime for troops to take on duties viewed as law enforcement functions, such as crowd and traffic control.
  88. NBC News reported the Trump regime will not renew the Obama-era Countering Violent Extremism Grant Program set up to fight domestic terrorism. The program has a $10 million budget run through the Department of Homeland Security.
  89. The only grant that specifically fought white supremacists, made to Chicago-based Life After Hate to dissuade young people them from following supremacist ideology, was excluded from funding.
  90. Recipients who did receive funding through the DHS Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships were told it was a “one time” opportunity, and on Tuesday, reference to future funding was removed from the website.
  91. Motherboard reported social media posts of American citizens who oppose Trump are the focus of the latest U.S. military research, funded by the U.S. Army and West Point Military Academy.
  92. The research is part of a wider effort by the Trump regime to consolidate the U.S. military’s role and influence on domestic intelligence, and keeps details of the program outside the scope of Freedom of Information Act.
  93. The ACLU filed several FOIA requests to U.S. government agencies over concerns that domestic social media surveillance had “spiked” under Trump. FOIA requests have not revealed the technologies being deployed.
  94. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury estimated it will issue $1.3 trillion in debt in 2018, compared to $546 billion in 2017, citing higher government spending and sluggish tax revenues resulting from the GOP tax cut.
  95. On Monday, Julian Assange told reporters that Ecuador is seeking to end his asylum in its London embassy and hand him over to the U.S., claiming newly imposed rules were meant to push him out.
  96. Assange is challenging the Ecuadorian government in a lawsuit for requiring him to pay for medical bills, phone calls, and clean up after his cat. An official said Assange’s stay had cost the country $6 million.
  97. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Mueller’s team is examining at least two August conference calls advertised online to the public in which Roger Stone promoted himself as “the ultimate political insider.”
  98. Stone reportedly told listeners about WikiLeaks’ plans to release information that would affect the 2016 presidential campaign before the election. In one call, Stone said he was in touch with Julian Assange.
  99. On Tuesday, the Atlantic reported Mueller has asked the FBI to investigate a company run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist which offered to pay women to make false claims against him in the days ahead of midterms.
  100. A spokesperson for Mueller’s team confirmed allegations came to their attention by several journalists, who were contacted by a Lorraine Parsons. Jennifer Taub also contacted Mueller’s office with similar information.
  101. Parsons said in an email she had been offered $20,000 by a man claiming to work for a firm called Surefire Intelligence “to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment” against Mueller.
  102. Surefire Intelligence was hired by Republican activist Jack Burkman. Taub, a law professor who had never met Mueller, was also contacted by Surefire, which was incorporated in Delaware less than three weeks ago.
  103. On Tuesday, Burkman, who has peddled other conspiracy theories, tweeted that he would hold a press conference two days later to “reveal the first of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sex assault victims.”
  104. Also Tuesday, Jacob Wohl, a writer for Gateway Pundit, tweeted “Several media sources tell me that a scandalous story about Mueller is breaking tomorrow. Should be interesting. Stay tuned!”
  105. On Tuesday, NBC News reported Wohl’s email is listed in the domain records for Surefire Intelligence’s website and calls to a number listed on its website went to voicemail for a phone number listed as Wohl’s mother.
  106. On Thursday, at a news conference organized by Burkman and Wohl, the alleged victim of Mueller was a no-show. Instead Wohl and Burkman took turns speaking at the podium, detailing the allegations.
  107. On Tuesday, WAPO reported as part of its investigation, Mueller’s team is examining whether WikiLeaks coordinated its activities with Roger Stone and the Trump campaign, including the group’s timing.
  108. Mueller’s team interviewed Stephen Bannon, Trump’s then chief strategist, about claims Stone is said to have made privately about WikiLeaks before the group released emails that prosecutors said were hacked by Russians.
  109. On Wednesday, Reuters reported the Senate Intelligence Committee is pursuing a wide-ranging examination of Bannon’s activities during the 2016 presidential campaign.
  110. The committee is investigating what information Bannon might have about contacts during the campaign between Moscow and Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.
  111. On Thursday, NYT revealed emails between Stone, Bannon, and Matthew Boyle, Breitbart’s Washington editor, in early October 2016 discussing the release of Hillary Clinton campaign emails stolen by Russians.
  112. The emails discuss the timing of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks releasing the stolen emails, and provide evidence of a connection to the Trump campaign, where Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, was chief executive.
  113. The emails reveal Breitbart News was closely intertwined with the Trump campaign, and that people in Bannon’s orbit saw Stone as a direct link to WikiLeaks.
  114. Stone had been trying to get in touch with Bannon to tell him about Assange’s plan. When Assange publicly announced the release of the stolen emails, Bannon contacted Stone to ask about Assange’s plan.
  115. On Thursday, the Guardian reported Arron Banks faces a criminal inquiry of his unofficial leave campaign in the Brexit referendum. Some MP’s have called for the process of departing the European Union to be suspended.
  116. The National Crime Agency will examine Arron Banks’ contacts with Russian officials, and a series of deals offered to him by Moscow. Banks has repeated denied taking money from Russians.
  117. The Daily Beast reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the National Rifle Association to provide documents on its connections to Russia, including a 2015 trip some of its top leaders made to Moscow.
  118. On Monday, at a religious freedom conference, Rev. Will Green interrupted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need.”
  119. Security escorted Green out of the room. Rev. Darrell Hamilton II said “That is a person that represents the Christian tradition, the faith that everyone here professes to believe in.” He was also escorted out.
  120. On Monday, AP obtained an October 22 letter sent by former president Jimmy Carter to secretary of state Brian Kemp, calling on him to resign in order to “ensure the confidence of our citizens in the outcome.”
  121. On Tuesday, NYT reported in North Dakota, tribal governments are working feverishly to provide the necessary identification to voters. Some Native Americans believe their anger could actually fuel higher turnout.
  122. On Tuesday, the Spirit Lake Tribe filed a complaint against North Dakota Secretary of State to stop the new voter identification law before the midterms, saying the law disenfranchises voters living on reservations.
  123. The suit, also filed by the Campaign Legal Center, described mass confusion and bureaucratic obstacles as Native Americans tried to obtain the addresses and corresponding identification now required.
  124. On Thursday, a federal judge, appointed by George W. Bush, refused to block North Dakota’s ID law, and said in a brief, two-page order that it was simply too close to Election Day to do so.
  125. On Thursday, a judge ruled against a restraining order requesting an additional polling place in Dodge City, Kansas, saying “the court cannot order defendant to open another polling location” five days prior to the election.
  126. The judge noted that Ford County Clerk Deborah Cox’s response to the ACLU’s October 19 letter was troubling: instead of replying, she forwarded the letter to the Secretary of State’s office with the comment “LOL.”
  127. On Wednesday, federal judges ordered Ohio to allow voters who had been purged for not voting over a six-year period to participate in midterms. The ruling overturned a federal judge’s ruling from early October which said the purge was not illegal.
  128. On Friday, a federal judge in Georgia ordered new U.S. citizens must be allowed to vote if they show proof of citizenship at the polls, citing with Kemp’s process, citizens were being turned away.
  129. The ruling could affect more than 3,000 people whose registrations have been placed on hold. In all, there are still nearly 47,000 pending voter registrations in Georgia because of the state’s “exact match” law.
  130. On Wednesday, WAPO reported the office of acting inspector general, Mary Kendall referred one of its three probes into the conduct of Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Justice Department for further investigation.
  131. Zinke is reportedly looking for a political nominee to replace Kendall. In Week 101, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in an email to his staff that Suzanne Tufts would take the role, but Zinke later denied this.
  132. The probe referred relates to Zinke’s role in a Montana land development deal backed by David Lesar, chairman of the oil services firm Halliburton, first reported in Week 89. The foundation is now headed by Zinke’s wife.
  133. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Don McGahn ended his time as White House counsel with a contentious last conversation with Trump, in which Trump blamed him for Robert Mueller being appointed special counsel.
  134. Trump complained that the appointment happened on McGahn’s watch. One source said Trump’s frustration about Mueller is another example of him shifting blame for the ongoing Russia investigation.
  135. Politico reported Trump could see a further exodus of up to six Cabinet officials after midterms. Nikki Haley has already resigned, and Sessions, whom Trump frequently criticizes, is expected to be fired.
  136. Others could include Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. An aide said Trump is looking to bring on better performers.
  137. Foreign Policy reported under a proposal being floated to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. diplomats at the United Nations would be prohibited from using phrases like “sexual and reproductive health.”
  138. Internal memos show the growing influence of conservative Christians inside the regime, and efforts to scale back programs vital to women’s health relating to abortion and sexual activity among young people.
  139. Motherboard reported the EPA.gov pages that provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are “updating” to an error message indicating they have been removed.
  140. On Wednesday, WAPO reported according to a proposed order, Trump has agreed to produce portions of his calendar from 2007 and 2008 as part of discovery in a defamation lawsuit brought by Summer Zervos.
  141. On Friday, a judge in Maryland denied the Justice Department’s request to pause the emoluments clause lawsuit alleging that Trump is violating the Constitution in order to allow a higher court to intervene.
  142. The judge also sharply questioned Trump’s position that his business does not improperly accept gifts or payments. The decision could pave the way for plaintiffs to seek documents related to Trump’s D.C. hotel.
  143. On Friday, Michael Cohen shares numerous examples with Vanity Fair of racist remarks made by Trump, including “Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole…Name one city.”
  144. Cohen also alleges that Trump told him, “black people are too stupid to vote for me,” and said about Kwame Jackson, a contestant on “The Apprentice,” “There’s no way I can let this black f-g win.”
  145. NYT reported the candidates in the midterms are the most diverse set to run in U.S. history: 272 of the 964 are women, 215 are black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or multiracial, and 26 are LGBTQ individuals.
  146. Polling firms reported a sharp increase in early voting for 18-29 year-olds in midterms compared to 2014: Tennessee, after Taylor Swift’s urging, is up 767%, Georgia up 415%, Texas up 448%, and Nevada up 364%.
  147. On Friday, Twitter announced it has removed more than 10,000 automated accounts that appeared to be Democrats, and were posting messages discouraging people from voting in the midterms.
  148. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found 49% of Americans believe the way Trump speaks motivates violence, versus 19% who believe it discourages violence.
  149. On Friday, when asked about the poll by an ABC News reporter, Trump responded, “You know what, you’re creating violence by your question. You are creating. You,” pointing directly at the reporter.
  150. Trump also said, “The fake news is creating violence,” adding, “I’ll tell you what, if the media would write correctly and write accurately and write fairly, you’d have a lot less violence in the country.”
  151. On Friday, for the first time in the newspaper’s history, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put the opening words of the Kaddish, a traditional Jewish mourners’ prayer, on its front page to honor synagogue shooting victims.
  152. On Friday, WAPO reported according to The Fact Checker’s database, Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading claims in his 649 days in office.
  153. In the first nine months in office, Trump averaged five false or misleading claims per day. In the seven weeks leading up the midterms, Trump is averaging 30 false or misleading claims per day.
  154. On Friday, CREW reported the White House secretly granted an ethics waiver for Solicitor General Noel Francisco, which would allow him to take on oversight of the Mueller probe if Rod Rosenstein was fired or quit.
  155. Francisco’s former firm, Jones Day, represents the Trump Presidential Campaign in the Special Counsel investigation. The firm still owes Francisco half a million dollars.
  156. Additionally, Francisco appeared before the DOJ as a member of a “Landing Team” on behalf of Trump’s Transition Team. The waiver is not included on an online list maintained by the Office of Government Ethics.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, November 3, 2018

Mourners embrace during a processional outside of Congregation Beth Shalom for the funeral of Joyce Fienberg who was killed at the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, in Pittsburgh, PA.