The Week on Planet Trump: Far-Right Retweets, Tax Cuts for the Rich and a Breakthrough for Mueller

Monday: President Rallies Behind Predator

President Donald Trump will not travel to Alabama to campaign for Roy Moore ahead of the December 12 special election, the White House said Monday, citing conflicts with his schedule.

With a little more than two weeks left in the race, the President has sought to boost Moore's Senate bid, citing his denials of accusations that he sexually assaulted women as young as 14 years old when he was in his 30s and criticizing his Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

In recent days, Trump has cited Moore's denials when asked if having an accused child molester in the seat is better than a Democrat not aligned with his agenda.

Trump has also accused Jones, who successfully prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan who killed four young girls when they bombed a black church in Birmingham in 1963, of being "soft on crime."

On Monday, Trump tweeted: "Can't let Schumer/Pelosi win this race. Liberal Jones would be BAD!"

Kaitlan Collins, CNN

Tuesday: Native American Veterans Used for Racist Mockery

President Donald Trump hosted a White House event on Monday to honor Native American code talkers — war heroes who used their native languages to create unbreakable codes that helped the United States win World War II.

And he used the occasion to refer to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

Warren fired back at Trump’s dig on MSNBC, saying, "It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without throwing out a racial slur."

He said all this while standing in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson — whose policies to forcibly remove Native Americans, including the Cherokee Nation, from their lands led to the death of thousands on the Trail of Tears.

Jen Kirby, Vox

Wednesday: Bipartisanship Breaks Down

For all of President Donald Trump’s bragging about his negotiating skills, he has yet to cut any major deals with Democrats — including on his administration’s top priority, tax reform.

It proposes slashing the corporate tax rate permanently, while repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate and allowing the tax goodies for individuals to expire in 2025. That’s the stuff of Republican supply-siders’ dreams, not necessarily a Democratic vision.

The best the White House can hope for, officials said, is that one or two Senate Democrats opt to support the final bill once it becomes clear that it will inevitably pass and has enough Republican votes to meet the threshold.

Part of the gap can be traced back to the decision made during the presidential transition to kick off his presidency by undoing Obamacare instead of pursuing an infrastructure or tax bill. The latter two options would have been tougher politically for Democrats to resist, especially under a new president who never adhered to strict Republican orthodoxy and promised to approach Washington differently.

Nancy Cook, Politico

Thursday: Fascist Retweets Fracture the “Special Relationship”

President Donald Trump is testing the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.

Both British Prime Minister Theresa May and London mayor Sadiq Khan have criticized Trump's retweets of videos originally shared by the leader of Britain First, a far-right organization widely condemned as an extremist group that targets Muslims.

May's spokesman, James Slack, said the group Britain First uses "hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions."

Trump went back to Twitter to respond, writing "@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!"

This morning, Khan weighed into the fight, issuing a statement where he criticized Trump for "promoting a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country."

Khan also called for May to rescind the invitation she had offered to Trump to visit the U.K.

Meghan Keneally and Adam Kelsey, ABC News

Friday: Guilty Plea Leads Mueller to the Heart of Trump Campaign

Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his postelection contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States — and is now cooperating with a probe into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Flynn surrendered Friday morning before a hearing in Washington federal court, where he admitted guilty to a single criminal count of knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to FBI agents.

That charge against the retired Army lieutenant general was lodged by prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing alleged connections between the Trump presidential campaign with Russians.

Specifically, a prosecutor said, Flynn spoke to one senior official who was at Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort property in Florida about what to say to Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

A leading criminal defense lawyer not connected to the case told CNBC that Flynn's plea is "a very big deal" because it signals Mueller believes information from Flynn will be used to successfully prosecute other Trump associates.

"It's the beginning of the end," said the lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt of New York, a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Tucker Higgins and Dan Mangan, CNBC

Saturday: Tax Cuts for Multinationals Funded Through Vicious Austerity

With barely a vote to spare early Saturday morning, the Senate passed a tax bill confirming that the Republican leaders’ primary goal is to enrich the country’s elite at the expense of everybody else, including future generations who will end up bearing the cost. The approval of this looting of the public purse by corporations and the wealthy makes it a near certainty that President Trump will sign this or a similar bill into law in the coming days.

The bill is expected to add more than $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, a debt that will be paid by the poor and middle class in future tax increases and spending cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other government programs. Its modest tax cuts for the middle class disappear after eight years. And up to 13 million people stand to lose their health insurance because the bill makes a big change to the Affordable Care Act.

You can expect the lies to become even more brazen as Republicans seek to defend this terrible bill. But no amount of prevarication can change the fact that Congress and Mr. Trump are giving a giant gift to their donors and sticking the rest of the country with the tab.

Editorial, The New York Times

 

 

Sunday: Kushner Conceals Conflict of Interest in Israel Policy

Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role as a co-director of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation from 2006 to 2015, a time when the group funded an Israeli settlement considered to be illegal under international law, on financial records he filed with the Office of Government Ethics earlier this year.

The omission was first discovered by a team of researchers at American Bridge, a progressive research and communications organization, and shared exclusively with Newsweek on Friday afternoon. The researchers suggested Kushner’s failure may have been more than an inadvertent mistake, but instead an attempt to avoid "potential conflicts with his job negotiating Middle East peace." Newsweek later independently confirmed Kushner's omission on his multiple financial disclosures.

Despite the U.S.’ longstanding policy to diplomatically reject the construction of Israeli settlements, Kushner seemed to wave in a new diplomatic era among members of Trump’s transition team working on foreign issues, according to sources who spoke with The Washington Post, NBC, Buzzfeed and Bloomberg. Each of those reports pointed at Kushner as being the "very senior member" of the transition team mentioned in charging documents Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed Friday.

Chris Riotta, Newsweek

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