June 30, 2018

Week 85

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

This was a devastating week for our country. People — especially women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people —are legitimately scared. Much is at stake as our country shows increasing signs of sliding towards authoritarianism.

While some voices on the left called for civility, Trump ramped up threats and attacks on members of Congress, a restaurant owner, a publicly-traded US corporation, and our media on his Twitter account and at campaign rallies. The week of stoked up rhetoric and hatred flamed culminated with a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, where five employees were killed.

Early in the week, Trump celebrated a Supreme Court victory for his Muslim Ban, and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy — giving Trump the power to potentially reshape our highest court and place issues like abortion and civil rights, gay marriage, and healthcare in jeopardy.

Americans took to the streets again this week to protest Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and to call for the abolishment of ICE — a rallying cry that is picking up support. Migrant families remained separated as the rest of the world looks on in horror.

In all this chaos, progress of the Mueller probe into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia was overshadowed, but there were many developments this week, as Trump prepares for a summit with Putin, continues to deny Russian interference in the 2016 election, and continues to work to undermine the investigation.

  1. A bipartisan poll commissioned by George W. Bush and Joe Biden revealed half of Americans think the United States is in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.
  2. The polls also found 55% see democracy as “weak,” and 68% believe it is “getting weaker.” Eight in 10 Americans say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the condition of democracy here.
  3. For the first time, the U.S. was listed among Thomson Reuters’ list of the world’s most dangerous countries for women, the only Western nation to appear in the top 10.
  4. The U.S. ranked 3rd for “sexual violence,” which includes domestic rape, rape by a stranger, and lack of access to justice in rape cases, and 6th in “non-sexual violence,” including domestic, physical, and mental abuse.
  5. On June 23, the Department of Homeland Security issued a fact sheet saying 522 children who were in custody of Border Patrol have been reunited with their families .  2,053 migrant children remain separated.
  6. As the week closed out, only 6 of the 2,053 migrant children in custody of the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) had been reunited with their parents: 2,047 remained separated.
  7. NBC News reported the Obama-era Family Case Management Program, launched in early 2016 with the aim of keeping asylum-seeking families together and out of detention, was canceled by Trump one year ago.
  8. Miami Herald reported according to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at least 10 migrant babies and toddlers, ranging in age from newborns to 5 year-olds, are being housed in “tender-age shelters” in Miami-Dade County.
  9. On Saturday, NYT reported Border Patrol agents shut down stretches of highway along Interstate 95 in New Hampshire and Maine last week, and asked people traveling in cars, “What country are you a citizen of?
  10. On Sunday, WAPO reported migrant children are held all over the US, far away from parents who do not know the location of the their children. The children, before arriving, had already gone through hellish journeys.
  11. Migrant children held in a converted Walmart in Brownsville, Texas each morning are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in English. US authorities are compiling mug shots, many of children in tears.
  12. HHS has more than 100 shelters in 17 states housing separated migrant children. Locations are based on space availability, accommodations, demographics of the children and proximity to potential sponsors.
  13. On Sunday, Trump tweeted “all of these people who invade our Country” should be deprived of their due-process rights: “we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”
  14. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump reiterated his call to turn people away, saying immigrants should “simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally.”
  15. Trump tweeted, “Hiring many thousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go.” This is a lie: there are 335 judges nationwide, with the budget for 150 more.
  16. On Monday, at a White House event, Trump told the press, “We want a system where, when people come in illegally, they have to go out,” adding, “a nice simple system that works.”
  17. On Monday, Trump also attacked the restaurant in Virginia that asked press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave in Week 84, tweeting “Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies.”
  18. Trump wrote, “if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” CNBC reported Virginia Department of Health found no violations at the property, but Mar-a-Lago had 78 infractions in three years.
  19. On Tuesday, a man was arrested by police for throwing what appeared to be a large quantity of chicken dung at the restaurant. Protestors also carried pro-Trump and anti-LGBTQ signs.
  20. On Wednesday, the White House announced Sanders would receive Secret Service protection.
  21. On Saturday, at a Nevada rally for Sen. Dean Heller, Trump mocked Sen. John McCain for his thumbs down on the Republican plan to repeal ObamaCare, saying, “It’s alright, because we’ve essentially gutted it anyway.”
  22. Trump also called Rep. Jacky Rosen who is running against Heller, “Wacky Jacky,” and noted she is campaigning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren: “Wacky Jacky is campaigning with Pocahontas.”
  23. On Saturday, Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged supporters to “absolutely harass” Trump’s Cabinet officials. On Monday, in a tweet, Trump called Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person.”
  24. Trump also tweeted, Waters “has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement,” adding a veiled threat, “Be careful what you wish for Max!
  25. On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on Rep. Water, tweeting she and Nancy Pelosi are “the face of the Democrats,” who want “Open Borders and Unlimited Crime” and “pick Crooked Hillary for Pres.”
  26. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Waters’ “crazy rants have made her” and Pelosi “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party,” and that they will “Make America Weak Again,” but have no fear, he is not going anywhere.
  27. On Wednesday, at a rally in North Dakota, Trump make several false and inflammatory statements, including on Rep. Waters, “Maxine. She’s a beauty. I mean, she practically was telling people the other day to assault.”
  28. On Thursday, Waters canceled two events, saying she has faced increased threats, this week, including a serious death threat on Monday.
  29. On Sunday, Politico reported Sen. Mark Warner said at a DSCC retreat “If you get me one more glass of wine,” I’ll tell you stuff only Bob Mueller and I know,” adding “If you think you’ve seen wild stuff so far, buckle up.”
  30. On Monday, Trump tweeted Warner was in a “near drunken state,” asking why “only he and Bob Mueller, the leader of the 13 Angry Democrats” know the information, “Isn’t this highly illegal. Is it being investigated?”
  31. On Monday, ABC News reported Mueller is digging deeper into Erik Prince, reviewing communications on his phones and computer, a sign he may be looking for potential inconsistencies in his sworn testimony.
  32. Prince says he has spoken voluntarily with Congress and cooperated completely with the Mueller probe. The further scrutiny could signal Mueller is pressuring Prince to turn into a witness against other targets.
  33. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported Mueller is accelerating his probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, with an eye towards conclusion and possible indictments by fall.
  34. Suspicious contacts with Russians includes at least 13 people associated with the Trump campaign: Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Jared Kushner, Michael Caputo, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Donald Jr., Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, J.D. Gordon, Rick Gates, and Prince.
  35. On Tuesday, Judge Kimba Wood said prosecutors can have access to the over 4 million files seized in the raid on Cohen, with the exception of 22,000 documents from the Trump Organization under review until of July 5.
  36. On Wednesday, Reuters reported an unsealed search warrant application by a FBI agent in July 2017 revealed Manafort’s tax returns show a $10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Oleg Deripaska.
  37. Mueller has been investigating financial links between Manafort and Deripaska, who also financially backed Manafort’s consulting work in Ukraine when it started in 2005–2006.
  38. The application also confirmed Mueller is investigating Manafort’s role in the June 9 Trump Tower meeting. The application sought “communications, records, documents and other files” from attendees.
  39. On Monday, Trump quoted Fox News analyst Judge Napolitano, tweeted, “Was there a conspiracy in the Obama Department of Justice and the FBI” to prevent Trump from becoming president,” and “was Strzok at the core.”
  40. On Wednesday, Strzok testified before the House Judiciary Committee for 11 hours. Despite a request from Rep. Ted Lieu that the hearing be public, the Republicans decided to keep it private.
  41. On Thursday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray were questioned in a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing. Rosenstein was the primary target of a berating by Republicans.
  42. Republicans urged Rosenstein to end the Mueller probe, and accused him of not cooperating and turning over information they requested, although over 880,000 documents have been redacted and turned over.
  43. The hearing was paused so the House could vote on a measure to publicly rebuke Rosenstein. The resolution calling on the Justice Department to “comply with requests including subpoenas” by July 6 passed 226-183.
  44. On Thursday, WAPO reported Mueller’s team and UK investigators are looking into the “Bad Boys of Brexit,” a group of wealthy British donors who cultivated ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign.
  45. Contact started in August 2016 as Arron Banks, a wealthy British businessman met with Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. Banks also knew Steve Bannon, a fellow Brexit supporter.
  46. Bannon had just become chief executive of Trump’s campaign. Less than a week later, Banks and Nigel Farage came to Jackson, Mississippi where both met with Trump and Farage spoke onstage at a Trump rally.
  47. Both inquiries are examining Russia’s involvement in seismic political events that have shaken the world order. Mueller’s team is looking into whether Brexit leaders serve as a conduit between the Kremlin and Trump.
  48. On Thursday, ABC News reported Mueller is examining the presence of several billionaires with deep ties to Russia who attended exclusive, invitation-only receptions during Trump’s inauguration festivities.
  49. On Thursday, Andrew Miller, a former aide to Stone, was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury hearing evidence in the Russia investigation. Miller worked for Stone around the time of the Republican National Convention.
  50. Miller’s appearance was postponed after a lawyer, Paul Kamenar, filed a motion. Kamenar said the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit organization, was paying for his services.
  51. On Thursday, Mueller’s team said they were ready for a sentencing hearing for Papadopoulos who pled guilty to lying and then cooperated in the Russia probe. Papadopoulos will be sentenced on September 7.
  52. On Friday, Mueller’s team asked a federal court for an additional postponement in scheduling a sentencing hearing for Flynn. The delay suggests Flynn is still actively cooperating with Mueller’s team.
  53. On Friday, a federal judge in Virginia said he would not dismiss charges against Manafort based on allegations that prosecutors leaked grand jury information. Jury selection is scheduled to start July 25.
  54. WAPO reported Facebook convened a meeting last month between tech companies and FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials who are responsible for protecting elections ahead of the midterm elections.
  55. Trump and Putin will hold their first summit in Helsinki on July 16. NBC News reported Russia once again announced the news before the White House. John Bolton met with Putin Thursday ahead of the planned summit.
  56. On Thursday, before details of the meeting were announced, Trump tweeted about the Mueller probe, “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election!
  57. Trump has yet to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election despite agreement by the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, Republican head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  58. Politico reported Chinese leaders are “absolutely confused” about Trump’s demands on trade, saying he has raised many different issues and there is no clear U.S. strategy, making concessions and negotiation difficult.
  59. On Monday, Harley-Davidson announced the company will move some production out the U.S. to avoid European Union import duties of 25% on U.S. products, imposed after Trump started a trade war.
  60. On Monday, Trump attacked Harley-Davidson, saying the company was “the first to wave the White Flag,” after he “fought hard for them.”
  61. On Monday, the Dow closed dropped more than 300 points, closing below its 200-day moving average, a key technical level, for the first time since June 2016, as investors braced for Trump’s trade actions.
  62. On Tuesday, Trump threatened Harley-Davidson, tweeting “If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end,” adding, “they will be taxed like never before!”
  63. Trump also tweeted this false statement: “We are getting other countries to reduce and eliminate tariffs and trade barriers that have been unfairly used.” Other countries are retaliating against his actions.
  64. On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office said that U.S. government debt is on track to hit historically high levels, and that debt-to-GDP will reach 78% by the end of the year, the highest ratio since 1950.
  65. On Tuesday, Everett Eissenstat, a key trade adviser, resigned from Trump’s economic team. Eissenstat had worked with both the National Economic Council and the National Security Council.
  66. On Thursday, Trump again threatened Harley-Davidson, saying, “build those beautiful motorcycles in the United States,” adding, “Don’t get cute with us…your customers won’t be happy if you don’t.”
  67. On Tuesday, Trump announced, “U.S. Steel just announced they’re expanding or building six new facilities.” This is the third reference Trump has made to this expansion. The statement is not true.
  68. On Friday, Canada’s Foreign Ministers announced retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum products, as well as foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup, and whiskies, saying “We will not escalate and we will not back down.”
  69. On Friday, Axios reported Trump repeatedly threatens to withdraw from the World Trade Organization, a move that would throw global markets into turmoil. People around him are not taking his threat seriously.
  70. A viral video showed a white woman confronting Esteban Guzman as he was doing yard work and calling him a rapist “because you’re Mexicans,” adding “Even the president of the United States says you’re a rapist.”
  71. Alison Ettel, the woman dubbed “Permit Patty” for threatening to call the police on an 8-year-old black girl selling water on the street, resigned as CEO of TreatWell Health after area companies dropped her products.
  72. Dennis Hof, the Nevada brothel owner featured in HBO’s series “Cathouse” who won a GOP primary for state lawmaker credits Trump for inspiring him: “I’m riding the Trump wave. He’s Christopher Columbus.”
  73. On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Review reported Hof was accused of raping a prostitute at one of his brothels in 2005, according to a newly released report from Lyon County Sheriff’s Department.
  74. On Tuesday, Fox News suspended ex-Trump aide David Bossie after a “Fox & Friends Weekend” appearance in which he said to Joel Payne, a black American Democratic strategist, “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
  75. A report by the Anti-Defamation League found the amount of white supremacist propaganda on college campuses rose sharply: 292 occurrences in the District and 47 states, a 77% increase from last year.
  76. The propaganda appeared on stickers, posters, banners, and fliers, and uses white supremacist words and images to attack Jews, Blacks, Muslims, nonwhite immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.
  77. On Sunday, WAPO reported that emails released under a FOIA lawsuit by the Sierra Club, reveal J. Steven Hart and his wife, Vicki pushed for the EPA to hire Jimmy Guilliano, while Scott Pruitt was renting their condo.
  78. Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department announced a plan to allow private landowners kill critically endangered American red wolves in North Carolina that stray onto their property from a protected federal wildlife refuge.
  79. On Friday, a federal judge in Kentucky blocked the Trump regime from instituting the first-ever Medicaid work requirements, a blow to the regime’s efforts to scale back the health care program for the poor.
  80. On Sunday, the Texas Tribune reported migrants at a detention facility outside Houston have been told they can reunite with their children at the airport if they agree to sign a voluntary deportation and not seek asylum.
  81. On Monday, Kevin McAleenan, the top border security official, said his agency has temporarily stopped handing over migrant adults with children for prosecution, undercutting claims “zero tolerance” is still in place.
  82. Because ICE does not have enough detention space for the surge of families coming across the border, McAleenan will revive the “catch and release” approach used during the Obama administration.
  83. On Monday, “The Rachel Maddow Show” shared a video of migrant children at Cayuga Centers in East Harlem, including a sobbing girl asking for her mother, leaked by an employee, who resigned.
  84. The employee said she started seeing a “huge influx” of much younger children coming in, and realized was due to the Trump regime’s family separation policy. The facility was under-staffed and over-crowded.
  85. On Tuesday, at a news conference in El Paso, Texas, migrant parents no longer facing charges told stories of separation. One mother who reached her son by phone said, “He’s mad at me. He thinks that I abandoned him.”
  86. A father cried as he shared that as he was separated from his 5 year-old daughter, she told him, “Dad, you’re going to jail and I’m going I don’t know where.” She is in Chicago now.
  87. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General released a report which found, “Neither the inspections nor the onsite monitoring ensure consistent compliance with detention standards.
  88. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported an immigration lawyer said an ICE officer in Kansas City, Missouri broke her foot and locked her in a room when she dropped off a 3-year-old Honduran boy to be reunited with his mother.
  89. On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, whose agency has custody of 2,047 migrant children, told Congress the children will not be reunited with parents who are still in custody.
  90. Azar said the regime will reunite children with their parents only if the parents drop their claims for asylum in the U.S. and agree to be deported. The process of seeking asylum can take months or years.
  91. Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, will participate in the “Break Bread Not Families” hunger strike to protest Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. The strike will last 24 days, symbolizing the 2,400 migrant children.
  92. On Tuesday, 17 states, including Washington, New York, and California, sued the Trump regime in federal court in Seattle to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the border.
  93. Late Tuesday, a federal judge in San Diego ordered border authorities to reunite migrant families within 30 days, or 14 days if the child is younger than 5, and issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations.
  94. The judge also blasted the Trump regime for what he called “a chaotic circumstance of the Government’s own making,” saying no adequate planning had been done before officials separated families.
  95. On Wednesday, Texas Tribune reported migrant children as young as 3 years-old are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in several states.
  96. Children detained under the new “zero tolerance” policy face immigration proceedings without their parents. Advocates say often the parent might be the only one who knows why they fled.
  97. An advocate said a 3 year-old climbed up on the table during the hearing. A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics called the practice “grossly inappropriate,” adding “I’m ashamed that we’re doing this.”
  98. On Wednesday, VICE shared a tape of a conversation between a distraught 7-year old held in an ORR shelter and his mother in Guatemala. The boy crossed the border with his father a month ago and hasn’t spoken to him.
  99. On Thursday, Pompeo and Ivanka unveiled a new 68-page report on international human trafficking, which decreed harmful effects of family separation, saying it puts children at additional risk of human trafficking.
  100. On Thursday, PBS reported that under Trump federal judges are setting unusually large bonds, as high as $25,000, for detained immigrants, including separated parents — $1,500 is the minimum required by law.
  101. On Friday, WAPO reported a 12 year-old migrant boy from Mexico was described in his file as showing signs of depression brought on by “being kept from his family,” who had crossed the border before him.
  102. When his condition deteriorated, he was transferred to a psychiatric facility in Texas and put on antidepressants. ORR refused to release him to his adult sister, saying he is not yet “psychologically sound” for release.
  103. On Friday, responding to and citing the San Diego judge’s ruling to counter the Flores agreement, the regime said it will detain migrant families together in custody indefinitely rather than release them.
  104. The new filing does not explicitly say the regime will hold families beyond 20 days, but that it will detain them “during the pendency” of immigration proceedings, which in many cases can last months.
  105. Texas Observer reported 19 special agents in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigative (HSI), the branch responsible for national security, organized crime, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking, sent a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen asking for the elimination the agency.
  106. HSI officials wrote thst “the perception of HSI’s investigative independence is unnecessarily impacted by the political nature” of ERO, the branch that carries out immigration arrests and deportations.
  107. Williamson County in Texas voted to terminate its contract with ICE at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in January 2019. The detention center houses 500 women, 40% of whom were separated from their children.
  108. On Tuesday, 28 year-old Latina Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in a primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez is a democratic socialist, and has called for the abolishment of ICE.
  109. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Extremist Democrat politicians have called for the complete elimination of ICE,” saying, “these radical protesters want ANARCHY.”
  110. On Thursday, CBS News reported James Schwab, a former ICE spokesperson now a whistleblower, had a surprise visit from agents from the DHS Inspector General’s Office three months after he resigned.
  111. The agents questioned Schwab if he had been in contact with Oakland’s mayor — the subject he was asked to lie about. Schwab said he was “completely shocked” and it was “absolutely” an intimidation technique.
  112. Intercept reported Thomson Reuters Special Services is providing ICE with “a continuous monitoring and alert service that provides real-time jail booking data, as well as access to a vast license-plate scanning database.
  113. On Thursday, several hundred mostly-female protestors from 47 states, along with Democratic lawmakers, protested Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy and called to the elimination of ICE on Capitol Hill.
  114. Protestors marched from Freedom Plaza to Capitol Hill. When walking past the Trump Hotel DC, protestors yelled, “Shame,” then burst into boos and demanded, “Where are the children?
  115. Protestors staged a sit-in, wrapping themselves in mylar blankets like the ones being used at detention centers. Capitol Police arrested 575 including Rep. Pramila Jayapal and charged them with unlawfully demonstrating.
  116. On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand became the first US senator to call for elimination of ICE. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also said ICE should be disbanded, as have Reps. Mark Pocan and Jayapal.
  117. On Friday, acting director of ICE, Thomas Homan retired, after 16 months of serving. Homan was viewed as the most controversial deportation chief in the agency’s brief history.
  118. Homan told Congress in June 2017 of his budget increase, “If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable. You should look over your shoulder.”
  119. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Democrats over immigration and defended ICE, calling it “one of the smartest, toughest, and most spirited law enforcement groups.”
  120. Trump also claimed, “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations.” This is a false statement.
  121. On Monday, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Travel Ban by a 5-4 vote. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision was no better than Korematsu v. United States, the decision that endorsed internment camps.
  122. The ban impacts eight countries, six of them with Muslim majorities, including Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, North Korea, and Venezuela. Trump does not have properties in any of the countries.
  123. Trump’s White House issued a statement, calling the ruling a “vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians.”
  124. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who for 10 months kept the Republican-controlled Senate from voting on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, tweeted a picture of him shaking hands with Justice Neil Gorsuch.
  125. On Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy shocked the country by saying he would retire. Kennedy, who had been a swing vote for many social issues, left Trump opening to reshape the highest court.
  126. On Thursday, NYT reported that Trump had worked quietly to assure Kennedy of his judicial legacy and build a connection with him — for example stopping to say, “Say hello to your boy. Special guy.”
  127. Kennedy’s son Justin rose to become Deutsche Bank’s global head of real estate capital markets, and over a decade lent Trump more than $1 billion at a time when others banks would not lend to him.
  128. This fall the Supreme Court will consider whether the double jeopardy clause bars states and the federal government from separately trying the same person for the same criminal offense.
  129. The case would have implications whether a Trump pardon from federal prosecution will shield someone from state prosecution even if that state retains its dual sovereignty loophole, for example Cohen in New York.
  130. A new NBC News/Marist poll found voters in three battleground states — Arizona, Florida, and Ohio — prefer the next Congress to be a check on Trump rather than a booster for his policy priorities.
  131. Most voters said Trump did not deserve to be re-elected: Arizona (35% deserves to be re-elected/57% does not), Florida (37%/54%) and Ohio (34%/58%).
  132. A Monmouth poll found six months in support for the Republican tax law has fallen from 40% approval in April to 34%.
  133. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star reported that Trump made a record 103 false claims last week, on average 15 per day.
  134. On Monday, NBC News reported in recent months, Trump is relying less and less on the advice of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, one of the longest-serving cabinet members, instead making decisions on his own.
  135. Mattis has been excluded from decisions on Iran and North Korea, and was blindsided when Trump overruled him by publicly directing the Pentagon to create a sixth military branch overseeing operations in space.
  136. Satellite images taken by 8 North, a Pyongyang-monitoring website, revealed North Korea is upgrading a major nuclear research facility despite Trump’s claim that Kim Jong Un vowed to disarm.
  137. On Thursday, Trump’s appointment for U.S. ambassador to South Korea, retired Navy Adm. Harry Harris, was confirmed by a Senate voice vote. The key diplomatic post had been vacant since Trump took office.
  138. On Friday, NBC News reported U.S. intelligence agencies believe North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months.
  139. Officials say Kim Jong Un has been producing surreptitiously while seeking concessions from Trump. One officials said there is “absolutely unequivocal evidence” that Kim is trying to deceive Trump.
  140. On Friday, the UN snubbed Trump by rejecting the U.S. pick for the position of director general of the International Organization for Migration, a position that has been held by an American since the 1960s.
  141. James Melville Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Estonia, a U.S. diplomat for 33 years and ambassador to Estonia since 2015, resigned Friday amid a string of controversial comments Trump made about U.S. allies in Europe.
  142. On Monday, in a rally in South Carolina, before Trump got up to speak his supporters yelled “CNN fake news” began chanting for CNN’s Jim Acosta to leave. A woman pointed at him and said, “Take him out.”
  143. As Trump started the rally, he attacked the press and calling media outlets gathered at the rally “fake news,” and repeated another common refrain of his about the media, “The enemy, the enemy of the people I call ’em.”
  144. On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five and injuring others before being taken into custody.
  145. On Thursday, NYPD and Chicago police were deployed to major media outlets in their outlets. NYPD said the deployment was “out of an abundance of caution, and not based on any specific threats.”
  146. Within minutes of the shooting, Fox News host Sean Hannity blamed Rep. Waters for the shooting, saying he knew “something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine?”
  147. On Thursday, Milo Yiannopoulos said his call for “vigilante squads to start gunning journalists”on Tuesday was just a “troll,” insisting he “wasn’t being serious.”
  148. On Thursday, before departing for Wisconsin, Trump tweeted, “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”
  149. When Trump returned, reporters tried to question him on the shooting, NBC News asked “Can you please talk to us about the dead reporters in Annapolis?” Trump walked away from reporters and refused to answer.
  150. On Friday, Trump told the press the shooting “shocked the conscience of our nation,” and that, “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.”
  151. Trump did not address gun control, or the current climate of hostility towards journalists. Police have described the shooting as a “targeted attack.” The shooter had sued the paper for defamation six years ago.
  152. ProPublica reported since Trump declared his candidacy in late 2015, the Trump Organization has had revenues of more than $16 million from his campaign, Republican organizations, and government agencies.
  153. On Wednesday, Bill Shine, a former Fox News co-president accepted a role as White House communications director, which has been vacant since Hope Hicks resigned in March.
  154. Shine was close to Roger Ailes, and was fired from Fox News last spring amid the network’s sexual harassment scandals. Shine was accused in lawsuits of covering up for Ailes and dismissing women’s concerns.
  155. On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Zinke deleted a tweet with a photo of him wearing socks with Trump’s face and the slogan “Make America Great Again,” after several watchdog groups said he was violating federal law.
  156. On Thursday, Politico reported Maggie Cordish, a close friend of and top adviser for Ivanka, resigned. There are no plans to replace her, signaling Ivanka will stop her efforts to get Congress to pass a paid family leave bill.
  157. In Week 66, Cordish’s husband Reed, a friend of Jared, also resigned from the White House Office of American Innovation. Trump had sued his father, David Cordish in 2004, but later they became friends.
  158. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump is consulting with advisers about his next chief of staff pick. Kelly has reportedly told colleagues he does not plan to stay beyond the one-year mark, which is July 31.
  159. The top frontrunners are said to be Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, and Mick Mulvaney. A White House spokesperson called the article “fake news.”
  160. On Friday, Vanity Fair reported that Hope Hicks is also being discussed as a possible chief of staff. Reportedly, Hicks has she has told people she is open to the job if Trump asked.
  161. On Friday, Trump fed the speculation, telling reporters en route to his golf club in Bedminster that Hicks could return to the White House in some sort of role, saying, “I think everybody misses it.”
  162. CNN reported Andrew Veprek, a Trump appointee to deputy assistant secretary for refugees and migration at the State Department, tore into standard UN documents that condemn racism as a threat to democracy.
  163. Veprek disputed the idea that leaders have a “duty” to condemn hate, and repeatedly rejected use of the words nationalism, populism, and xenophobia — but said populism and nationalism are not dirty words.
  164. On Saturday, tens of thousands participated in “Keep Families Together” marches across the country to protest Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy and to demand families be reunited.
  165. Over 600 marches took place across the country, with over 30,000 people in New York City and Washington DC. Immigration advocates said they had never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, June 30, 2018

People line up on both sides of Main St. during a candlelight vigil to honor the 5 people who were shot and killed at the Capital Gazette newspaper yesterday, on June 29, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. Jarrod Ramos of Laurel, Md. Has been arrested and charged with killing 5 people at the daily newspaper.