by Tirekicking Today

White House Woes

Trump News Briefs

Volume II - September 2017 Onward

March 8, 2018


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.

TOP STORIES (August 2017 to present)

August 8: Trump threatens to unleash "Fire and Fury" against North Korea, in response to further threats against the U.S.

August 9: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vows to launch missiles at island of Guam, if U.S. threats continue.

August 10: President Trump escalates verbal threat against North Korea, suggesting that prior statement might not have been "tough enough."

August 11: Trump warns North Korea that U.S. is "locked and loaded."

September 3: North Korea conducts underground test of what appears to be a hydrogen bomb. Nuclear device could presumably be carried on an intercontinental ballistic missile, aimed toward a U.S. target.

September 3: President Trump announces that he will announce his decision on dismantling DACA (the "Dreamers" Act) on Tuesday, September 5. Introduced by President Obama, DACA has kept the U.S. from deporting undocumental immigrants who were brought to America as children. About 800,000 young people could be deported if the act is revoked, as Trump promised during his presidential campaign.

September 4: Labor Day sees protests in various cities, promoting a hike in the federal minimum wage. "Fight for 15" organization and Service Employees International Union lead protest matches in Chicago and elsewhere. Additional marches around the country protest likely abandonment of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

September 4: Nikki R. Haley, U.S. Ambaddador to the United Nations, asserts that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is "begging for war." As reported by The New York Times, Haley notes that the U.S. needs to "exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it's too late."

September 5: Trump orders halt to DACA programs. Obama-initiated program to protect young people brought to U.S. without "papers," as children, will expire in March 2018. Trump asks Congress to take action by that time. Otherwise, some 800,000 "Dreamers" will face deportation. Emergency protest rallies took place around the country, starting hours after the announcement, issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions rather than Trump himself. Trump's decision quickly draws vast criticism from many quarters, including some Republicans.

September 5: Trump orders halt to DACA program. Obama-initiated program to protect young people brought to U.S. without "papers," as children, will expire in March 2018. Trump turns responsibility over to Congress, urging them to take action during that six-month interim period. Otherwise, some 800,000 "Dreamers" will face deportation. Emergency protest rallies took place around the country, starting hours after the announcement, issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions rather than Trump himself. The New York Times asserts that Trump showed "cowardice" by assigning the task to Sessions. Trump's decision quickly draws vast criticism from many quarters, including some Republicans.

September 14: North Korea launches another missile, which crosses Japan and goes down in Pacific Ocean.

September 14: Trump reverts to his original position on Charlottesville violence, blaming "both sides."

September 15: After dining with the President, two top Congressional Democrats, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, report that Mr. Trump intends to protect "Dreamers" from deportation.

September 18: Trump lawyers argue about level of cooperation the administration should provide to Mueller investigation of possible Russian collusion.

September 19: Addressing the United Nations, President Trump expresses willingness to "totally destroy North Korea" if that country threatens U.S.

September 20: Newsweek reports that Trump's popularity has risen in latest poll, crediting his responses to massive hurricances in Texas and Florida, and recent instances of "bipartisanship."

September 21: Trump insists that any talk of Russian election interference is a "hoax." His remarks followed the release by Facebook of hundreds of ads placed by Russian agents, allegedly intended to hurt Hillary Clinton and push Trump toward victory.

September 22: Senator John McCain announces that he will vote against the current – perhaps final – bill to attempt repeal of Obamacare. President Trump lashes out at McCain for imperiling the fate of the repeal bill, which has to be acted upon by October, when Senate rules change.

September 23: At political rally in Alabama, Trump attacks professional athletes who "take a knee" rather than stand when the National Anthem plays, suggesting that a "son of a bitch" who protests should be removed from the game. He further insists that such protesters be fired by management. Trump’s venomous statement results in huge protests by pro football teams, many of whose members kneel or link arms during the anthem.

September 23: Warriors basketball star LeBron James reacts vigorously to Trump’s belligerent Tweet, which rescinded the invitation to the White House issued to Cavaliers player Steve Curry, who had stated he would not attend the event. Addressing the president as "U bum," James explained that "going to the White House was a great honor until you [Trump] showed up."

September 23: U.S. warplanes fly near North Korean coast – farther north than planes had flown since the 20th century. On the same day, foreign minister Ri Yong-no says Trump's threats are "making our rocket's visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more." Intensifying his mockery of the North Korean leader, Trump tweets back that "if he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer." As reported by The New York Times, Ri advises that President Trump had "committed an irreversible mistake,” adding that he is the one "on a suicide mission."

September 30: Trump attacks mayor of San Juan for her comments on the delay of federal aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. A day after mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz makes an anguished appeal for additional immediate help on the island, advising that “we are dying here,” President Trump issues a string of Tweets criticizing the mayor and the Puerto Rican people, while praising his administration’s efforts. Trumps assault draws rapid criticism. Some critics note that Ms. Cruz has shown striking dedication, living on a cot among the citizens in San Juan shelters, while Mr. Trump plays golf.

Some 10,000 workers, including the U.S. military, are currently assisting in Puerto Rico. Harsh terrain and extreme, urgent need for supplies have made the rescue effort exceptionally difficult.

October 3: Visiting Puerto Rico two weeks after Hurricane Maria, Trump praises the relief efforts of his administration, while critics decry the slow response of the federal government. Trump draws criticism for claiming that Puerto Rican people aren’t contributing sufficiently to the relief effort, and for making light of the situation by tossing paper towels to people in the crowd at a church gathering.

October 8: In exchange for reviving protection of 800,000 young “Dreamers,” Trump insists on tightened immigration, including erection of Mexican “border wall.” List of demands for Congress to fulfill includes halting flow of unaccompanied children from Central America, tightened laws for asylum seekers, hiring of 10,000 immigration agents, blocking entry of lawful immigrants’ “extended families” into the country, and denial of grants to “sanctuary cities” in U.S. Some 800,000 undocumented immigrants, dubbed “Dreamers,” were broght to the U.S. as children and, under the Obama administration, had become eligible for protection against deportation.

October 8: Two New York Times journalists report on visit to North Korea, advising that officials and citizens are girded for war and “complacent” about the prospect. North Koreans appear to believe their country will win, if war breaks out, including a nuclear attack.

October 8: Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) warns that Trump’s belligerence and “recklessness could set the country ‘on the path to World War III.’” Corker further asserts that “the White House has become an adult day care center.” His comments draw furious responses from Trump and his backers. In tweet, Trump claims that Corker chose not to run for re-election in 2018 because he had no chance to win.

October 9: The New York Times publishes long list of ethics-challenged conduct by President Trump. Titled “The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette,” the list compiled by the newspaper’s Editorial Board includes items. A previous list, published in May, contained 35 more generalized examples.

October 16: Without mentioning names, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) denounces the “spurious nationalism” that prevails in the presidency, fearing that the U.S. will “abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe [and] refuse the obligations of international leadership.”

October 19: Trump's phone call to widow of slain soldier draws harsh criticism, alleging insensitivity and "disrespect."

October 19: Former president George W. Bush “condemn[s] bigotry, conspiracy theories and lies in American politics, according to theguardian Without naming Mr. Trump. Bush also deplores “bullying and prejudice in our public life.” Previous president Barack Obama also makes critical comments about the pollitical scene, without mentioning Mr. Trump by name.

October 20: Traveling exhibit created by The Daily Show, called "Donald J. Trump Twitter Museum," opens for two days at Chicago's Union Station. Visitors can stroll past blow-ups of prominent Trump tweets, glean the names of people attacked most often in his tweets, and watch a video presentation about the tweeting president.

October 24: Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announces that he will not run for re-election in 2018, citing, among other assertions, Mr. Trump’s “flagrant disregard for truth and decency.”

October 27: Financial guru Lou Dobbs conducts uncritical “interview” of Trump by fawning and flattery, praising his numerous achievements as president.

October 27: Following emergency surgery, disabled 10-year-old girl – brought to U.S. without documentation as a baby – is snatched from hospital and detained for deportation, 150 miles away from parents. Detailed girl has cerebral palsy.

October 29: The New York Times reports that on October 30, Robert Mueller will release criminal indictments against unnamed person(s), stemming from investigation into Russian influence on 2016 election.

October 29: A day before indictments are to be released, Trump attacks Hillary Clinton via Twitter. Some critics suspect him of trying to distract attention away from the Russian collusion allegations, in case any Trump campaign participants are arrested. In series of Sunday tweets, he also repeats familiar charge that collusion investigation is a "witch hunt" against him.

October 30: One-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and an associate are indicted for financial misdeeds, with no mention of possible Russian collusion. In addition, an unpaid but high-level volunteer with the Trump campaign is reported to have pleaded guilty to illicit contact with Russians.

November 4: "Trump/Pence Must Go" protest rallies take place in 22 cities.

November 7: Syria has joined the Paris Climate Accord, making the U.S. the only non-participating country in the world.

November 7: Trump administration begins to curtail Temporary Protected Status program, which has allowed undocumented immigrants from 10 troubled countries to remain in the U.S. November 7: In off-year election, Virginia voters elect Democratic candidate Ralph Northam, by wide margin.

November 9: After conciliatory, friendly meetings with Chinese President Xi, Trump turns combative at his next stop, the APEC Forum in Vietnam, hailing "America First" policies.

November 9: Recent stream of sexual harassment accusations hits politics, as woman charges that 38 years ago, when she was 14, Roy Moore (Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama) made inappropriate advances. Additional women alleged that Moore had reationships with them as teens, when he was in his 30s. Moore vehemently denied all accusations.

November 12: While in Philippines as last stop in Asian trip, Trump issues a stream of combative tweets, calling those who refer to allegations of Russian collusion in U.S. election Ahaters and fools." Responding to North Korean statement calling Trump a "lunatic old man," he tweets that he could call Kim Jong-un "short and fat," but Arestrained himself." As more campaign participants face possible criminal charges and the prospect of jail time, Trump calls the investigation a "Democratic hit job" and continues to insist that Russian-collusion allegations are totally false and a "hoax."

November 16: Even though some top Congressional Republicans urge Roy Moore to quit Senate race and more women allege sexual misdeeds, Moore digs in further, backed by Alabama's Republican party.

November 27: During ceremony to honor Navajo veterans of World War II, Trump mocks Senator Elizabeth Warren, calling her "Pocahontas." Senator Warren responds quickly, stating that Trump used a "racial slur." Trump has often referred to Ms. Warren as "Pocahontas," mocking her past claim to have some Native American ancestry.

November 29: Trump retweets violent video issued by far-right, anti-Muslim British group.

December 2: Senate passes massive tax bill in late-night session, without customary debate and with last-minute changes handwritten as notes. Tax bill is approved by only one-fourth of polled Americans. Critics charge that it will give huge tax cuts to the most wealthy Americans and corporations, while raising the deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

December 4: After period of silence about Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with several teenage girls when he was in his 30s, Trump endorses him in Alabama’s Senate race. Allegations of past sexual misconduct in entertainment and media fields result in immediate firing of a number of powerful and prominent men, in contrast to the accusations of similar behavior against Moore and Donald trump.

December 5: Trump reverses protected status for two National Monuments in Utah. Loss of 2 million acres of federal land, now opening to commercial operations (including mining) is called "largest rollback of federal land protection in the nation's history" by The New York Times.

December 6: The New York Times advises that investors in commercial real estate, including Donald Trump, will benefit hugely from massive tax bill that Congress is strivinig to pass.

December 6: Trump announces that U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, drawing quick rebukes from Pope Francis, the U.N. Secretary-General, and British Prime Minister, among other global critics. Some American Jews rejoice; others issue harsh criticism of Mr. Trump's action. As expected by critics, violence erupts in Middle East.

December 12: Democrat Doug Jones beats Roy Moore in Alabama Senatorial election, by 1.5 percentage points, narrowing Republican majority.

December 12: After Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calls on the president to resign in wake of sexual misconduct allegations, Trump sends angry tweet calling her “lightweight” and claiming she “would do anything” for campaign contributions. USA Today Editorial Board reacts angrily, stating that a “president who’d call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”

December 15: Senate and House approach agreement on tax bill, as two reluctant Senators promise “yes” vote. Final vote is expected before Christmas. Critics insist that tax cuts still go primarily to corporations and the ultra-wealthy, adding $1.5 trillion to deficit over next decade.

December 15: Asked if he plans to pardon Michael Kelly, convicted of lying to F.B.I., Trump replies, “We’ll see what happens.” During same impromptu news conference, according to The New York Times, Trump intensifies his criticism of the F.B.I., while insisting that he has “nothing to do with Russia.”

December 20: House and Senate pass massive tax bill. Trump has called it great Christmas gift to middle-class, while critics assert that it's huge giveaway to corporations and ultra-wealthy (including Trump family), adding $1.5 trillion to deficit.

December 21: United Nations votes against U.S., 128 to 9, on Trump's decision to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

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.

Click here for Volume 1 (January to August 2017

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Text and photos by James M. Flammang
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