by Tirekicking Today


White House Woes

Trump News Briefs

Year Two - January to October 2018

October 7, 2018

LATEST NEWS

September 1: Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama deliver eulogies to John McCain at elegant, touching service in National Cathedral. Some 2,000 guests were invited, but Donald Trump was omitted from that list.

September 13: Contradicting recently-released study, Trump insists that claim of 2,975 deaths resulting from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, in 2017, is a Democratic plot to "make me look as bad as possible." Original estimate had been 64 deaths.

September 14: New York Times columnist notes that total of "false or misleading statements" by Trump has surpassed 5,000.

September 16: Road to confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court hits roadblack as woman alleges sexual assault by the nominee when both were high-schoolers.

September 21: After several days of silence on allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, Trump tweet=attacks the woman who accuses the Supreme Court nominee.

September 21: White House seeks to tighten restrictions on visas and green cards, barring immigrants who receive any sort of public funds (such as food stamps) or are deemed likely to do so. Critics assail subjectivity of such decisions, which would inevitably block low-income persons.

September 23: Accuser of Brett Kavanough, Christine Blasey Ford, agrees to testify in Congress on September 27.

September 25: Speaking to U.N. General Assembly, Trump assails "globalization," vowing that foreign aid will go only to countries that "respect" the U.S. and "are our friends." Early in his speech, the president boasted that his administration had accomplished more than nearly any previous one, drawing laughter from a number of attendees.

September 27: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh adopts angry, combative stance in afternoon, totally denying allegations. While acknowledging drinking in high school and college, he denites excessive alcohol consumption to "blackout" level and insists that sexual encounter with Blasey Ford never happened.

September 27: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is questioned by Democratic senators and by Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor, standing in for Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dr. Blasey Ford testifies calmly but emotionally about sexual assault at a party, when she was 15, in long morning session before Senate Judiciary Committee. Kavanaugh adopts angry, belligerent tone during his testimony in afternoon. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) delivers a particularly angry, threatening outburst.

September 28: Senate Judiciary Committee approves confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court. Responding to proposal by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and others, however, Committee calls for FBI investigation prior to final vote in full Senate.

September 28: Previously critical of Kavanaugh accuser, Trump declares Dr. Blasey Ford's testimony "very compelling."

September 28: Senate Republicans want immediate vote on Court nomination; Democrats insists that FBI should investigate further before a full Senate vote is taken. Judiciary Committee supports the nomination, but retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) successfully pushes for FBI investigation, with one-week limit.

October 2: Days after stating that Blasey Ford's testimony had been "credible," Trump lashes out during campaign rally, mocking her words and scoffing at gaps in her recollection of the event.

October 2: Trump lashes out during campaign rally, mocking Dr. Blasey Ford's words and scoffing at gaps in her recollection of the event.

October 5: List of Senators "undecided" about Kavanaugh vote dwindles as Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announce intent to confirm the nominee for Supreme Court. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has not yet stated a decision, but Joe Manchin (D-IN) plans to vote to confirm. (CNN)

October 6: Republicans are jubilant as Brett Kavanaush is confirmed by the Senate in a 50-48 vote, and sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

October 6: At third campaign rally in a week, Trump calls Democrats the "party of crime" and asserts that they are "too dangeorus to govern."


TOP STORIES (January through August 2018)


January 3, 2018: Trump taunts North Korean leader in retaliatory Tweet, insisting that his “nuclear button” is bigger than Kim Jong-un’s. After Kim Jong-un proclaims that a “nuclear button” sits ready on his desk, Trump reacts by claiming that his “button” is not only “much bigger and more powerful,” but that “my button works.” Critics respond swiftly, including Eliot A. Cohen, counselor to Concoleeza Rice when she served as Secretary of State. Trump’s response was “spoken like a petulant ten year old,” Cohen tweeted, according to The New York Times.”But one with nuclear weapons.”

January 6: Reacting to allegations in new book, including assertion that White House aides questioned the president's fitness for office, Trump tweets that he is a "very stable genius."

January 8: Trump orders deportation of 200,000 Salvadorans. Because of massive earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001, persons residing in U.S. (legally or not) were granted right to remain, under Temporary Protection Status program. Protection has been extended several times.

January 12: Trump reportedly uses vulgar term to describe Haiti and certain African nations. In White House meeting, he says he'd rather have immigrants from countries like Norway.

January 14: Trump denies using vulgarity during meeting, insisting he is not a "racist." Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), having attended that meeting, says vulgar term was used "repeatedly," while two Republicans claim it was never said.

January 19: As midnight deadline approaches, Senate vote on bill to keep U.S. government operating fails. As the clock strikes 12:00, the government officially shuts down.

January 20: While Trump marks first anniversary in office, massive Women’s March takes place around the country. An estimated 300,000 participants march in Chicago alone.

January 22: Congress passes short-term bill to reopen government. Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promises full discussion and vote on DACA (“Dreamers”) issue prior to February 8, when funding bill is reconsidered. Trump stays on sidelines during shutdown, but still insists on border wall.

January 25: While attending Davos Forum in Switzerland, Trump proposes granting legal status to 1.8 million undocumented U.S. residents, more than double the number registered under DACA. If enacted, his plan could include "path to citizenship" after 10 or 12 years. Before leaving for Switzerland, according to The New York Times, Trump had stated that a revised DACA program could emerge only if Democrats agree to fund his Mexican border wall and back intense tightening of visa programs, to limit immigration to U.S.

January 26: Accprding to The New York Times, in June 2017, Trump sought to fire Robert Mueller, but backed down when top White House lawyer refused that request and threatened to resign.

January 30: Trump gives one of longest State of the Union speeches ever, promising "New American Moment," drawing lavish praise and applause as well as harsh criticism. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) delivers pointed evaluation of president's record, without naming Trump.

February 2: President agrees to let House Republicans release memo alleging bias by FBI in investigation of Trump administration.

February 3: Trump claims newly-released memo gives him "total vindications" for allegations of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice. Democrats and other critics disagree vehemently.

February 5: Trump calls Democrats who sat motionless during State of the Union speech "treasonous" and "un-American."

February 9: President blocks Democratic memo on Russia investigation, citing national security concerns.

February 12: Trump submits $4.4 billion budget to Congress, including massive hike in military spending, coupled with huge cuts to domestic programs, including Medicare. (The New York Times)

February 17:Reacting to Florida school shooting that killed 17, Trump faults FBI for not acting on tips that the culprit was a threat. In one of many Tweets, he blames that omission on FBI's emphasis on invesigation of Russian election meddling.

February 22: Trump's top solution to threat of school shootings: let certain teachers and staff take training and carry concealed guns. Surveillance video of school campus reveals that deputy on duty failed to enter the building during 4-minute period while shooting was taking place. Later, lawyer for newly-retired deputy denies assertions that his behavior had been cowardly.

February 26: Speaking to group of governors, Trump says he believes he would have rushed into Florida school at time of mass shooting, even if he had no weapon. Several days earlier, visiting survivors in Florida hospital, Trump began conservation with 17-year-old victim by noting that she was a "fan" of his.

February 27: Jared Kushner, president's adviser and son-in-law, loses his "temporary" top secret clearance. Kushner had been working at high levels in White House for a year, handling classified documents, without top clearance.

February 28: Dick's sporting goods, a major chain, announces that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles and will raise gun-buying age to 21.

March 2: Surprising many, even in White House, Trump announces tariffs to be applied to imported steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent). Critics charge that tariffs could shrink, not increase, number of U.S. jobs.

March 5: Trump tweets that tariffs might not be applied to Canada and Mexico, if those countries agree to certain limitations.

March 6: White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, an opponent of tariffs, resigns.

March 8: Trump signs bill imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, but exempts Canada and Mexico - at least for now.

March 8: Kim Jong-un invites U.S. president to meeting on nuclear weapons, in North Korea. Trump plans to attend.

March 10: As reported in The New York Times, Trump delivers "fiery" 75-minute speech at Pennsylvania rally, described as "vintage 2016."

March 13: Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The New York Times reports that Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

March 15: Special counsel Robert Mueller issues subpoena for documents from Trump organization.

March 16: Attorney general Sessions fires Andrew McCabe, 26 hours before retirement of the former FBI deputy director. Trump administration alleges that McCabe "misled Justice Dept. investigators," according to CNN. As a result, McCabe will lose his pension after more than two decades of government work. Hours later, CNN reports that Trump "celebrates" the firing in a tweet.

March 17: President's attorney, John Dowd, calls for halt to Mueller investiation of Russian meddling in 2016 election. (CNN)

March 19: Trump hires attorney Joseph diGenova, a Fox News contributor who alleges that the Justice Department and FBI have attempt to "frame" the president, in connection with Russian meddling in 2016 election. Three days later, attorney John Dowd resigns.

March 20: Despite emphatic advance warning from advisers not to congratulate Russian president Putin on his electoral victory, widely considered to be a sham, Trump calls to convey congratulations. Nothing is said about election meddling or Russia's role in poisoning of former Russian spy, in Britain.

March 22: Major news services report that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating tie between Trump campaign and Cambridge Analytica. British firm obtained personal data on more than 50 million Facebook members, allegedly for partisan use during 2016 U.S. election.

March 24: Millions participate in "March For Our Lives" protests in 800 cities, worldwide. Initiated by teenage survivors of Parkland (Florida) shooting, the marches demand action on steps to curtail gun violence. "Vote Them Out" is one of the dominant chants heard from participants.

March 25: Two lawyers, expected to be hired by Mr. Trump as part of White House shakeup, decline to accept. Joseph diGenova, the proponent of a theory that the Department of Justice and FBI has attempted to "frame" the president, cited a conflict of interest.

March 31: Blaming Democrats and alleging that "caravans" of immigrants plan to cross U.S.-Mexico border, Trump announces that there will be no DACA "deal" to protect "Dreamers" from deportation.

April 2: China retaliates against Trump's trade moves, placing tariffs on 128 products that are exported to U.S.

April 2: Trump warns against "caravan" of migrants headed for U.S./Mexico border. Buzzfeed news service reports that more than 1,000 people, mainly Hondurans fleeing dangers in that country, are indeed walking and riding north, through Mexico. They hope to be granted asylum or, if possible, cross the border. Migrants are assisted by Pueblos Sin Fronteras, a group of volunteers who oppose American anti-immigrant policies.

April 4: Trump to send National Guard troops to Mexican border.

April 4: Trade war with China escalates, as both countries apply tariffs to additional goods imported from the other nation.

April 9: F.B.I. raids office of president's lawyer. Trump calls action an "attack on our country."

April 18: White House announces that Mike Pompeo, CIA chief and secretary of state-designate, met with Kim Jon-un at Eastertime. Meeting took place as preliminary to plan for Trump to meet North Korean leader later this spring.

April 18: Trump warns that if his meeting with Kim Jong-un "isn't fruitful," he will walk out.

April 20: Democratic National Committee files lawsuit charging Trump campaign team, Russian officials, and Wikileaks with conspiring to disrupt 2016 election.

April 25: HUD director Ben Carson outlines Trump administration plan to raise rents for residents in federally-subsidized housing. Poorest residents could see their rents triple.

April 26: EPA chief Scott Pruite faces Congressional questioning on ethical issues related to excessive use of government funds, including frequent First Class flights and a costly soundproof phone booth for his office.

April 26: Dr. Ronny Jackson, Trump's choice for head of Veterans Administration, drops out amid series of allegations of troubling behavior during his stint as White House physician.

April 28: For second year, Trump skips annual Correspondents' Dinner, opting to lead a campaign rally in Washington, Michigan. President unleashes barrage of harsh, angry words at immigrants, Democrats, the media, and other "enemies."

April 29: "Caravan" of migrants from Central America arrives at U.S.-Mexican border in Tijuana, hoping to apply for asylum. Fewer than 200 remain in the group. Immigration officials warn that children may be separated from parents. who may be placed in detention for months, awaiting decision.

April 30: The New York Times reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has 49 questions to ask Donald Trump, to assess whether the president obstructed justice with respect to the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

May 9: North Korea releases three imprisoned Americans. Trump meets the released Americans as they return to the country.

May 9: Michael Cohen, the president's personal lawyer and alleged "fixer," reportedly received millions of dollars from corporations to provide "insider access," explaining how to deal with Washington in the Trump era. (The New York Times)

May 10: Trump tweets that his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place in Singapore, on June 12.

May 11: Shifting gears after backing out of the Iran agreement, Trump turns to pharmaceutical prices as his next task.

May 11: White House aide said to have mocked ailing Senator John McCain, stating that his vote was unimportant because “he’s dying anyway.” Critics call for apology, but White House declines to respond.

May 14: U.S. Embassy officially opens in Jerusalem. Move from Tel Aviv fulfills a Trump promise to supporters, but triggers massive protests in Gaza, with 60 Palestinians killed in two days and an estimated 2,800 injured, shot (typically in leg) by Israeli military. UN Ambassador Nikky Haley asserts that embassy move is unrelated to Gaza violence.

May 15: Responding to joint military activities by South Korea and U.S., North Korea warns that meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump could be cancelled.

May 21: Trump "demands" that special counsel be appointed to investigate origin of investigation into his campaign's ties to foreign meddlers. He charges that FBI sent informant to infiltrate Trump campaign, for "political purposes." (The New York Times)

May 24: Trump cancels June 12 meeting with North Korean leader, citing tremendous anger and open hostiity" from Kim Jong-un.

May 31: Trump administration announces major rollback of auto-emissions regulations, allowing cars to emit more pollutants.

May 31: Meeting with North Korea is considered back on track, still planned for Singapore on June 12.

June 2: Citing phrasing in the Constitution, Trump's lawyers claim he cannot be ordered to face questioning by Robert Mueller in the Russia probe.

June 4: President tweets that he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself, but will not do so because he has "done nothing wrong." Not only is the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt," he asserts, but it's "unconstitutional."

June 8: Trump arrives late at G-7 conference in Quebec, Canada after alienating long-standing allies and calling for readmission of Russia to the group.

June 9: After departing early from G-7 conference, while in-flight to Singatpor meeting with Kim Jong-un, Trump tweets that he refuses to sign joint communique and calls Canada's prime minister Justin Truedau "very dishonest and weak." During a post-event news conference, Trudeau had criticized Trump's tariff demands, declaring that Canada "will not be pushed around." CNN reports Senator John McCain's statement to U.S. allies: "Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn't."

June 10: Two presidential advisors escalate the verbal assault on Canadian prime minister. Peter Navarro declares that there is a "special place in hell" for any world leader who engages in "bad faith diplomacy" with Trump.

June 11: Attorney General Jeff Sessions tightens rule on asylum-seekers who flee domestic violence or gang attacks, making it far more difficult for them to be allowed into U.S. Tens of thousands may be adversely affected, according to CNN. Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, Italy and Malta turn away a rescue ship carrying more than 600 refugees from Africa.

June 12: Historic summit between U.S. president and Kim Jong-un results in agreement to continue talks, but few details. Trump supporters hail the session as a diplomatic victory, while critics charge that the North Korean leader gained considerably more than he gave up.

June 13: Citing coverage of Singapore summit, Trump calls the media, led by NBC and CNN, America's "biggest enemy."

June 17: Photo of 2-year-old child in tears as her mother is searched by immigration agents spreads rapidly, intensifying criticism of "zero-tolerance" policy initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Distressing audio tape of detained children crying and calling for "Mommy" or "Daddy" adds to the backlash.

June 19: Defiant Trump faces growing backlash from opponents of immigration policy that results in separation of border-crossing children from parents. Criticism comes not only from liberals, but from a number of conservative leaders and Republican lawmakers who ordinarily back the president.

June 19: U.S. withdraws from United Nations Human Rights Council.

June 19: Trump warns of immigrants who "infest" the U.S. During interview on CNN, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski responds to report on 10-year-old with Down Syndrome, taken away from parent at border, by uttering dismissive "Womp Womp."

June 20: Despite his previous insistence that Democratic-initiated "law" prevented halting practice of separating families at Mexican border, Trump signs Executive Order to accomplish that change.

June 27: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement. President quickly reveals list of possible conservative replacements, promising to make choice by July 9.

June 28: Senate leader Mitch McConnell insists that replacement Justice be selected and vetted quickly, so nominee can be sworn in before November election. Critics charge McConnell with hypocrisy, citing his blockage of Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, until after the 2016 presidential election.

June 28: In Washington D.C., some 600 women are arrested at a protest against continued mistreatment of undocumented migrant children.

June 30: Massive protests demanding humane treatment of migrant children separated from parents take place in cities across the country.

June 30: PBS reports that migrants seeking asylum are compelled to pay a Bond, if they want to released from detention while awaiting a hearing. Minimum Bond cost is $1,500, but some judges are requiring as much as $25,000.

July 5: EPA head Scott Pruitt resigns, amid numerous charges of legal and ethics violations.

July 7: Following meeting on denuclearization with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, North Koreans charge U.S. with making "gangster-like demands" and creating "cancerous" situation.

July 11: At opening breakfast of NATO Summit in Brussels, Trump assails allies for not spending enough on defense, as a percentage of their Gross Domestic Product. Rather than accept the goal of 2 percent by 2024, agreed to in 2014 , Trump arbitrarily calls for doubling that amount. He lated claims personal victory at the Summit, but allies disagree with his assessment.

July 12-13: Mass protests take place in Britain, Trump's next stop, including floating a huge balloon depicting Trump as a diapered, ill-behaved infant. In interview published in Sun newspaper, Trump criticizes prime minister Theresa May's handling of Brexit situation.

July 15: In Helsinki, Finland, Trump has two-hour meeting with Vladimir Putin, with only translators present. In news conference afterward, U.S. president appears to believe Putin's denial of Russian meddling in 2016 election, even though American intelligence agencies have stated firmly that Russia is the culprit. Additional Trump remarks suggest that he was taking Putin's side on related issues, prompting considerably outrage back home. Some critics call Trump's behavior "disgraceful," and even "treasonous."

July 16-19: Trump faces massive blowback, even from Republicans, for remarks in Helsinki that suggest he believes Putin more than his own intelligense services. Attempts to rectify those comments, claiming to have been "misunderstood," draw even greater criticism.

July 23: Using all capital letters, Trump sends ferocious tweet to Iran's leader, promising "consequenes the likes of which few throughout history" have experienced, if that country ever threatens the U.S. again. Earlier, Iranian president Rouhani had promised that conflict between the two countries would amount to the "mother of all wars"

July 27: Immigration agency misses deadline to reunite remaining detained children with their parents. News agencies report that undreds of parents have already been deported.

July 30: Trump administration considers $100 billion tax break, nearly all for super-wealthy. President expresses willingness to bypass Congress, ordering revision of capital gains rules on his own.

August 1: Trump tweets that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should halt Mueller probe "right now." Meanwhile, president is willing to do in-person interview with Mr. Mueller, who agrees to limit questions on obstruction of justice.

August 13: The New York Times reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking legal steps to support states that have launched restrictive voter-registration laws, upturning actions taken by the Obama administration. Critics assert that minorities, likely to vote Democratic, are most likely to be purged from voter rolls or prevented from registering.

August 15: Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, a leading critic of the president. At a news conference, Sarah Huckabee Sanders reveals list of nine additional people, each critical of Trump, suggesting that any of them might be next to lose clearance.

August 17: CNN says Trump is considering revoking security clearance of Department of Justice Bruce Ohr "very quickly."

August 21: Paul Manafort, one-time Trump campaign manager, found guilty on eight counts of fraud; judge declares mistrial on 10 other charges. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pleads guilty, stating that he paid "hush money" to two women for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election.

August 25: Senator John McCain dies, one day after stopping treatment for brain cancer, drawing tremendous praise for his life – from POW in Vietnam to hugely respected, bipartisan work in Senate. McCain's funeral instructions specify desire to have George W. Bush and Barack Obama speak; but Trump, who has often mocked and insulted McCain, is not invited.

August 27: After lowering White House flag to half-staff on Sunday, in respect to death of John McCain, it's raised to full height a day later. Pressure from veterans result in resumption of half-staff position.

August 30: Trump to cancel 2.1 percent pay raise for federal workers, scheduled for January. Later, he claims to be reconsidering the move.

August 31: Trump announces halt to funding of aid to Palestinians via United Nationa Relief and Works Agency. Aid has been supporting 5 million refugees.




Click here for Volume 1 (Year One: January to December 2017

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Text and photos by James M. Flammang
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