Week 123: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

March 23, 2019

This week started with maniacal tweeting by Trump: more than 50 tweets over the weekend on a variety of unrelated topics, including multiple retweets of conspiracy theorists. The week’s news was overshadowed by Trump’s daily attacks against deceased Senator John McCain and George Conway, husband of senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. The off-kilter — even by his standards — behavior by Trump seemed foreboding, and sure enough, on Friday, Mueller’s final report was delivered to Attorney General William Barr.

Among the subjects of his ire on Twitter this week, Trump continued to focus on alleged and unsubstantiated bias of social media companies, as his ally Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter and three Twitter accounts. Congressional probes moved ahead, including new revelations that Jared Kushner used WhatsApp to communicate on official White House business, including with foreign officials, and in possible violations of the Presidential Records Act — as did Ivanka Trump for White House business with her use of a personal email account. Meanwhile the White House refused to cooperate with Congressional document requests, as Rep. Elijah Cummings accused them of “stonewalling.”

As the week came to a close, the country waited on edge for the findings from the Mueller report, and Democrats agitated for the full report to be made public. Unlike the prior weekend’s flurry, Trump did not send a single tweet or provide any comment to reporters after the report was delivered to the AG.

  1. The State Department barred the press corps from listening in on a call hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for “faith-based media” about international religious freedom ahead of his trip to the Middle East.
  2. Despite repeated inquiries and complaints from members of the press corps, the State Department refused to provide a transcript of the call, a list of which faith-based media outlets were included, or criteria to be on the call.
  3. In an interview later in the week with Christian Broadcasting Network, citing the holiday of Purim, Pompeo said God may have sent Trump to save Israel from Iran, saying, “I am confident that the Lord is at work here.”
  4. On Saturday, a week after Fox News host Jeanine Pirro’s remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hijab and patriotism, the network pulled her show claiming it was because of “scheduling matters.”
  5. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday” that the New Zealand mosque massacre had nothing to do with Trump, and that Trump “is not a white supremacist.”
  6. On Monday, on “Fox & Friends, Kellyanne Conway said the mosque shooter was “not a conservative” and “not a Nazi,” and encouraged people to “read the entire” manifesto.
  7. By contrast, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rejected hate, said the shooter should be “nameless,” expressed sympathy and love for Muslim communities, and said she would push to enact new gun reform.
  8. Over the weekend Trump sent a manic barrage of over 50 tweets and retweets from Friday morning through Sunday evening. NYT reported since the election, Trump has averaged 16 tweets per weekend.
  9. Trump did not play golf, or participate in any meetings. He only left the White House to attend a church service Sunday. He spent the weekend tweeting, venting on current tensions and stoking old grievances.
  10. Trump tweeted: “Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” adding, “the Radical Left Democrats” and the “Fake News Media” are “using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well,” adding, “stop working soooo hard on being politically correct,” and “Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!”
  12. Trump also tweeted: “Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine,” adding, “your competitors are jealous” and “they can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!”
  13. Trump also attacked SNL, calling it “not funny/no talent,” adding the show “can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me).” The show was a rerun of a show that Trump had previously attacked on Twitter too.
  14. Trump also tweeted SNL was “like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows…” and threatened “Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?
  15. Trump retweeted a report on right-wing sites that Minnesota Democrats are unhappy with Rep. Omar, and retweeted Jack Posobiec, a Trump supporter known for advancing conspiracies, including “Pizzagate.”
  16. Trump also retweeted conspiracies that Christopher Steele used posts by “random individuals” in the dossier, on “Russiagate,” and that Andrew Weissman was the “Kingpin of Prosecutorial Misconduct.”
  17. Trump sent four tweets attacking General Motors for closing a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, blaming a union leader who is a Democrat and saying, “Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now” and “Bring jobs home!”
  18. Trump also tweeted he spoke to GM CEO Mary Barra, saying, “I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING,” adding, “She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”
  19. On Friday, in an effort to appease Trump, GM staged a ceremony for a $1.4 billion new investment at a Michigan factory. Barra, wearing safety glasses, made the announcement alongside UAW leaders and workers.
  20. Trump also attacked Google, saying the company “is helping China and their military, but not the U.S.” adding, “Terrible!” A Google spokesperson promptly responded: “We are not working with the Chinese military.”
  21. Trump also accused the Democrats of “trying to steal a Presidential Election,” at the ballot box, “then, after that failed, with the ‘Insurance Policy,’” calling it “the biggest Scandal in the history of our Country!”
  22. Trump also tweeted quoted a Suffolk/USA Today Poll, tweeting “50% of Americans AGREE that Robert Mueller’s investigation is a Witch Hunt.” Some pollsters objected to the way the poll question was worded.
  23. According to the database Factba.se, this was the 261st time Trump used the term “witch hunt” in a tweet.
  24. Trump did not mention the New Zealand massacre over the weekend. On Monday however he ranted in a tweet that the “The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me,” adding, “ So Ridiculous!”
  25. Trump also attacked deceased Sen. John McCain, saying, “spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier ‘is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain,’” quoting a Fox News interview of Ken Starr.
  26. Trump also tweeted of McCain, “‘last in his class’” (he was fifth to last), and that he “sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election.” McCain sent it to the FBI after the election.
  27. Trump also falsely claimed of McCain: “He & the Dems, working together, failed.” Several Republicans and Democrats in the Senate condemned Trump’s comments, but Sen. Lindsey Graham gave a neutral statement.
  28. On Tuesday, during an appearance with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump said “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” calling it a “disgrace” that McCain voted against repealing Obamacare.
  29. Trump also said at this joint news conference with Bolsonaro that he would make Brazil “a major non-NATO ally or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally.”
  30. He later acknowledged he would have to talk to “a lot of people” about admitting Brazil to NATO. Trump also said he backs Brazil’s effort’s to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  31. Trump also said at his joint news conference that he was “very proud to hear the president use the term ‘fake news.’” Attacks on the Brazilian media have spiked in the past year.
  32. Earlier Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “the Fake News Media has NEVER been more Dishonest or Corrupt than it is right now,” adding, “Fake News is the absolute Enemy of the People and our Country itself!
  33. On Tuesday, just before midnight, Trump retweeted a QAnon conspiracy theorist, adding, “Not a good situation!” about a video of a young man going through a very thorough pat-down by a TSA agent.
  34. On Tuesday, McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, posted a message she received in which the sender said she was “glad” McCain, a “traitorous…warmongering shit,” was dead, and hoped daughter Meghan “chokes to death.”
  35. On Wednesday, Trump continued his attacks on McCain at an event in Ohio, saying, “I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much. Hasn’t been for me. I really probably never will.”
  36. Trump also claimed he gave McCain “the kind of funeral that he wanted,” but “I didn’t get a thank you.” Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. Sen. Johnny Isakson was the only GOP senator to strongly speak out against Trump’s statements.
  37. On Wednesday, Meghan McCain called Trump’s attacks “a “bizarre new low,” and said her dad “would think it’s hilarious” that Trump “was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death as well.”
  38. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted a muted response: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”
  39. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the National Cathedral said of McCain’s funeral, “No funeral at the Cathedral requires the approval of the president or any other government official.”
  40. On Thursday, Trump defended his attacks on McCain, telling Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo, “I don’t talk about it. People ask me the question, I didn’t bring this up.” Bartiromo said, but “he’s dead.”
  41. Trump said he spends “a very small portion” of his time attacking McCain, adding, “I’m not a fan. He was horrible what he did with repeal and replace,” adding, “you people bring it up, I don’t bring it up.”
  42. On Monday, George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, sent a series of tweets included images from the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
  43. Conway included pages on “narcissistic personality disorder” and “antisocial personality disorder,” saying Trump’s “condition is getting worse” and that “there are now fewer people” to check his worst impulses.
  44. On Monday, when asked by reporters, Kellyanne said, “No, I don’t share those concerns,” and “I have four kids, and I was getting them out of the house this morning to talk to the president about substance.”
  45. On Monday, Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted: “We all know that Trump turned down Mr. Kellyanne Conway for a job he desperately wanted.” This statement is false — Conway turned Trump down.
  46. Parscale added, “Now he hurts his wife because he is jealous of her success. POTUS doesn’t even know him!” On Tuesday, Trump quoted the tweet, adding of George Conway, “A total loser!
  47. On Tuesday, minutes later, George Conway tweeted: “Congratulations! You just guaranteed that millions of more people are going to learn about narcissistic personality disorder and malignant narcissism! Great job!”
  48. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump has wanted to attack Conway before on Twitter, but aides were able to talk him out of it, saying it would cause unnecessary drama. They had been successful until this week.
  49. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Conway who is “often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway” is “VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted.”
  50. Trump also called Conway “a stone cold LOSER” and “husband from hell!
  51. Later, when asked by a reporter if his attacks fit Melania’s anti-bullying campaign, Trump said Conway is “a whack job,” and he is “doing a disservice to a wonderful wife,” and “I call him Mr. Kellyanne Conway.”
  52. On Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway defended Trump, tell Politico he is a “counterpuncher” and “don’t play psychiatrist any more than George should be” and that Trump “is obviously defending me.”
  53. On Thursday, Conway sent a series of tweets attacking Trump and his mental state, saying Trump was no longer articulate and coherent, and “couldn’t be allowed” to talk to Mueller because “he’d lie his ass off.”
  54. On Friday, Conway attacked Trump again, tweeting: “THINK about the fact that we don’t just have a mentally unstable president — but a president who thinks he needs to be re-elected to avoid being indicted.”
  55. On Sunday, AP reported police arrested Noel Thomas Becht on suspicion of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating at United Islamic Center of Arizona, a Phoenix mosque.
  56. On Monday, Corinne Terrone, a public school clerk in Connecticut resigned after a viral video showed her repeatedly calling a Black man the N-word at a Shop Rite. Her children were present during the incident.
  57. Elecia Dexter, the black editor who took over The Democrat-Reporter after her predecessor Goodloe Sutton called for the KKK to ride again, stepped down citing Sutton’s continued interference.
  58. NBC News reported in addition to the Customs and Border Protection database in Week 122, one journalist and four immigration attorneys have also been stopped and questioned at border stations in Arizona and Texas.
  59. On Monday, Rep. Steve King posted a meme on Facebook of a pair of blue and red figures, with the words “civil war” and “one side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.”
  60. At a town hall Tuesday, King claimed he “wasn’t aware” the image had been posted his page. Also, when asked whether “a white society is superior to a nonwhite society,” he said, “I don’t have an answer for that.”
  61. Daily Beast reported Virginia police officer Daniel Morley was suspended after leaked chat logs revealed he was onboarding new members for white nationalist group Identity Evropa at a local high school.
  62. On Tuesday, federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rebutted the Trump regime’s claim that no legal blocks remain to enforcing its transgender military ban, saying the injunction she issued in 2017 remains in place.
  63. On Wednesday, NBC San Diego reported Customs and Border Protection defended the decision to detain 9 year-old Julia Isabel Amparo Medina for 32 hours after she got out of a car to walk to school across the border.
  64. CBP officials accused Julia Medina, a passport-holding U.S. citizen, of lying about her identify, saying she did not look like her photo, and took her into custody “to perform due diligence” of her identity and citizenship.
  65. WAPO reported Selene Saavedra Roman, a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines who has DACA status, was detained by ICE for six weeks in what advocates say is an example of how the Trump regime seeks to end DACA.
  66. In Fall River, Massachusetts, 59 gravestones were defaced with anti-Semitic language and swastikas. The police chief said he could not remember seeing “something on this scale” before, and will treat the vandalism as a hate crime.
  67. The Charlottesville, Virgina school board closed the schools for two days citing a race-based threat of “ethnic cleansing” made on Wednesday. On Friday, police arrested a 17 year-old from another school for making the threat.
  68. On Friday, William Sullivan was arrested in an upstate New York supermarket, after telling a Jewish co-worker “You’re in the gas chamber now,” and then insulting her Jewish faith with an expletive.
  69. WAPO reported an analysis done by University of North Texas professors using data from the Anti-Defamation League’s HEAT map found counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226% increase in hate crimes.
  70. On Friday, Mississippi’s governor signed a law that bans abortions after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat during an ultrasound. The state has only one clinic that provides abortion services.
  71. On Friday, Georgia’s senate approved House Bill 481, which would also outlaw abortions once a doctor detects a heartbeat in the womb, usually around six weeks.
  72. On Friday, Michigan’s attorney general said the state will no longer fund adoption agencies that deny LGBTQ parents. The agency cited, Catholic Charities, was mentioned by Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast.
  73. The Washington state senate passed a bill 28–21 to require presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns in order to appear on the primary or general election ballot. It will now head to the assembly.
  74. Colorado became 12th state and first swing state and to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement under which states pledge their presidential electors to whoever wins the popular vote.
  75. On Thursday, a circuit court judge ruled Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature acted illegally when it convened a lame duck session and stripped power away from incoming Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
  76. On Thursday, surrounded by conservative college activists, Trump signed an executive order making federal funding for universities contingent on freedom of speech on college campuses. The order was mostly for show.
  77. On Sunday, NYT reported that in the past year, Saudi Crown Prince MBS authorized a secret campaign to silence dissent, which included surveillance, kidnapping, detention, and torture of Saudi citizens.
  78. On Sunday, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska told CNBC in Moscow that he sued the U.S. Treasury Department for “weaponizing the financial system” against him, and denied the Kremlin encouraged his legal action.
  79. Sanctions have been lifted against his companies, but not against him personally. Deripaska claimed he is “a victim of this country’s political infighting,” adding sanctions have forced him to adapt to a “new reality.”
  80. The Atlantic reported Alexander Ionov, the founder of an NGO called the Anti-Globalization Movement, raised money to fund Maria Butina’s legal defense, reaching about 2 million rubles (approximately $30,000).
  81. On Monday, Reuters reported that Norway claims it has provided proof that Russian forces disrupted global positioning system signals during recent NATO war games, and demanded an explanation from Russia.
  82. On Monday, ProPublica reported a sealed search warrant they obtained showed federal prosecutors raided Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and the Trump regime.
  83. The warrant showed agents were able to compel Broidy, a major Trump campaign fundraiser and deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, to use his hand and face to unlock any phones.
  84. The warrant sought records in Broidy’s office related to the United Arab Emirates, UAE adviser George Nader, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and any travel to the Middle East.
  85. The warrant cited investigations of conspiracy, money laundering, and lobbying on behalf of foreign officials, and also lists names “Joel Rouseau” and “Intelligent Resources,” which has an address in Miami Beach.
  86. On Thursday, NYT reported Jared Kushner’s brother Josh was in Saudi Arabia in October 2017 just days before Jared was there to talk policy. Josh is the founder of eight-year-old venture capital firm Thrive Capital.
  87. Josh attended a three day exclusive investor conference where Crown Prince MBS promised to spend billions of dollars. Kushner was granted private conversations with high ranking Saudi officials.
  88. Jared sat on the board and investment committee of Thrive until January 2017. His May 2018 financial disclosure form shows he received $8.2 million in capital gains from Thrive while working at the White House.
  89. On Monday, NYT reported on Trump’s nearly two decade relationship with Deutsche Bank, which lent him well over $2 billion, when other banks refused to lend due to his uncreditworthiness.
  90. When Trump was elected, the bank switched into damage-control mode over their intertwined relationship. Rosemary Vrablic, a managing director at Deutsche Bank in private banking, attended his inauguration address.
  91. In the late 1990s, the bank tried to make a name for itself in the U.S., its investment banking division went on a hiring spree, including hiring Justin Kennedy, the son of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
  92. In 2003, the bank’s bond desk helped Trump sell debt to finance his casino. Trump promised them a trip to Mar-a-Lago if the tough deal got done. After, he flew 15 salesmen on his Boeing 727 for a weekend of golfing.
  93. In 2005, when Trump wanted to finance a skyscraper in Chicago, he told the bank his net worth was about $3 billion, while bank employees concluded $788 million. Nonetheless the bank lent him $500 million.
  94. In 2008, with the project mostly built, Trump used a “force majeure” clause citing then Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan calling the financial crisis a tsunami, to try to get out of repaying the loan.
  95. Starting in 2010, Vrablic helped Trump get a loan to repay his Chicago loan, and even though Trump overstated his net worth dramatically and repeatedly, financed his bid for an NFL team and other transactions.
  96. On Monday, a CNN poll found Trump’s disapproval rating down to 51% — the lowest disapproval found in the poll since Trump took office. The poll found 42% approve of Trump’s performance.
  97. On Monday, CNN reported Trump’s White House expects to be able to review Mueller’s findings before they are sent on to lawmakers, and to have the opportunity to claim executive privilege over information.
  98. On Tuesday, a senior Justice Department official said deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had decided to remain at the DOJ “a little longer,” after meeting with AG William Barr. The reason why was not disclosed.
  99. Later Tuesday, a CNN reporter said according to her source, Rosenstein wanted to stay on so he can be the “heat shield,” or absorb the punches, if there is fallout from the Mueller report.
  100. On Tuesday, in court filing, Mueller’s team asked for more time to hand over Manafort’s records requested by WAPO, citing they are too busy with “other work” right now, and asking for an extension until April 1.
  101. On Wednesday, when asked by reporters when the Mueller report would be released, Trump responded: “I have no idea. No collusion, no collusion,” adding, “a man gets appointed by a deputy. He writes a report.”
  102. Trump also said, “Let’s see whether or not it’s legit,” calling Mueller “conflicted” and criticizing the lawyers who worked on the case. Trump also said the report should be made public, saying, “let people see it.”
  103. On Monday, top Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees asked FBI director Christopher Wray in a letter to conduct criminal and counterintelligence probes of Cindy Yang.
  104. The letter cites allegations of human trafficking, foreign lobbying, and potential campaign finance violations. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement they joined in urging an investigation.
  105. On Monday, Daily Beast reported the House Judiciary Committee is planning to hold hearings on the rise of white nationalism, and will hear from federal agencies on what they are doing to confront the threat.
  106. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee said it had “tens of thousands” of documents by the deadline from a “large number” of the 81 people, agencies, and organizations from whom it sought documents.
  107. However Trump’s lawyers denied the request, informing Chairman Jerrold Nadler they would not be turning over documents. It was unclear if the committee would move to subpoena the documents.
  108. The Hill reported Thursday, according to a letter it obtained, Roger Stone invoked the Fifth Amendment and said he would not produce the requested documents “on the advice of counsel.”
  109. Reuters reported Friday that Kushner will cooperate with the House committee’s probe. Kushner reportedly submitted documents to Nadler’s panel on Thursday.
  110. On Tuesday, in an op-ed, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings wrote “the White House hasn’t turned over a single piece of paper to my committee.”
  111. Rep. Cummings said he has sent 12 letters to the White House on a half-dozen topics, and accused the White House of engaging “in an unprecedented level of stonewalling, delay and obstruction.”
  112. On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff told NBC News that it is an open question if Trump is under the influence of a foreign power, and whether that would present a national security threat.
  113. Rep. Schiff cited concern that U.S. foreign policy was dictated by Trump’s “desire to make hundreds of millions of dollars off a tower in Moscow,” adding it was unclear if Mueller’s team had fully investigated this angle.
  114. On Tuesday, at a town hall Rep. Nadler compared Trump’s rise to that of Hitler, saying of Trump’s rhetoric around immigrants, “This is the same type of propaganda that we heard in the 1920s.”
  115. On Wednesday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn told NBC News that Trump and his family are “the greatest threats to democracy of my lifetime.”
  116. Clyburn said when Hitler was elected he “went about the business of discrediting institutions to the point that people bought into it,” adding, “Nobody would have believed it now…We had better be very careful.”
  117. On Thursday, in a letter, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone rejected House Oversight, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence Committees’ Democrats’ request for documents related to Trump’s communications with Putin.
  118. Cipollone cited “unbroken recognition that the Constitution assigns the conduct of foreign affairs exclusively to the Executive Branch,” and said Democrats did not provide any law or regulation that would justify access.
  119. On Thursday, WSJ reported the House Judiciary Committee is considering a second wave of document requests from Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen’s former lawyer related to pardon discussions, as well as Rex Tillerson and Gary Cohn.
  120. On Thursday, House Oversight Chair Cummings revealed in a letter that Ivanka and Jared Kushner used private messaging accounts for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.
  121. Ivanka and Jared’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, told his committee last year that in addition to private email accounts, Kushner used the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp for official business, including with foreign contacts.
  122. Lowell told lawmakers Ivanka did not preserve some emails from her private account that she did not reply to. He now claims after September 2017, she forwarded all official business to her White House account.
  123. Lowell said he was unsure if Kushner communicated classified information on WhatsApp, but said he took screenshots of communication and sent them to his official White House account or the National Security Council.
  124. Rep. Cummings said in a letter to Cipollone the new findings raise possible violations of the Presidential Records Act by members of the Trump regime, including Ivanka and Kushner, and gave an April 4 deadline to reply.
  125. On Friday, Trump told reporters when asked about Kushner’s WhatsApp messaging, “I know nothing about it. I’ve never heard that.”
  126. On Tuesday, prosecutors released publicly redacted copies of the Michael Cohen search warrants that launched the FBI raid of his home, hotel, and office in April 2018.
  127. The documents showed the court-approved warrants were first obtained by Mueller’s team in July 2017 to search Cohen’s emails from all of 2016 up to July 2017 to assess if he illegally worked for foreign entities.
  128. Mueller’s team also got a second warrant a month later for the cloud backup files to Cohen’s phones, and a third warrant for emails dating to June 2015 related to his taxi business and false statements to banks.
  129. Mueller’s team turned over documents to the Southern District of New York in February 2018. The SDNY got an additional search warrant for emails from November 2017 to February 2018.
  130. The documents revealed Cohen was paid $583,332 from Columbus Nova, a company linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, from January to August 2017. Vekselberg was sanctioned in 2018 for election interference.
  131. The documents had significant redactions, including 18 1/2 pages in the section about hush-money payments to women titled “The Illegal Campaign Contribution Scheme.”
  132. The court stated that redactions were necessary because “disclosure would jeopardize an ongoing investigation” of the SDNY.
  133. On Monday, Rep. Devin Nunes sued Twitter, two anonymous accounts, and political consultant Liz Mair for $250 million in damages, alleging “negligence, defamation per se, insulting words, and civil conspiracy.”
  134. Nunes told Fox News host Sean Hannity “this was an orchestrated effort,” adding “people were targeting me.” The Twitter accounts included one named “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and the other, “Devin Nunes’ Cow.”
  135. On Monday, Trump shared the news of Nunes’ lawsuit, tweeting an article in the Daily Beast, titled, “Rep. Devin Nunes Files $250M Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter, Two Anonymous Twitter Accounts.”
  136. The account for Devin Nunes’ Mom was suspended this year, but the same user created “Devin Nunes’ Alt-Mom” and was active, as was “Devin Nunes’ Cow” — both spent Tuesday and beyond mocking Rep. Nunes.
  137. By Wednesday, the “Devin Nunes’ Cow” account had surpassed Rep. Nunes’ Twitter following of 395,000, with 467,000 followers and growing. Prior to the lawsuit, the cow account had roughly 1,200 followers.
  138. On Friday, dictionary company Merriam-Webster said in their weekly round-up: “There are a surprising amount of cow-related words this week.”
  139. On Tuesday, Trump renewed his attacks on technology companies tweeting, “Facebook, Google and Twitter, not to mention the Corrupt Media, are sooo on the side of the Radical Left Democrats.”
  140. NBC News reported that HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s 2017 schedule was extremely light. Carson held one senior staff meeting a week, and for 5 of 31 Fridays he was off or had no appointments, and on another 5 he left before 2 p.m.
  141. On Tuesday, Politico reported the White House plans to drop the “acting” from Mulvaney’s title, upgrading him to Trump’s chief of staff. One senior official said of Mulvaney that he “has stayed out of a lot of people’s way.”
  142. On Tuesday, Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger, a safety expert, said in an op-ed, “Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged,” saying the Boeing 737 Max controversy is “unprecedented” and an “ugly saga.”
  143. On Tuesday, Trump named Stephen Dickson, a former executive of Delta Air Lines, as the permanent head of the Federal Aviation Administration. The position had been filled by an acting director for 14 months.
  144. Bloomberg reported Trump offered former campaign adviser Stephen Moore a position on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Moore would still need to complete a clearance process before the nomination.
  145. Bloomberg also noted the appointment appeared to be political meddling in the Central Bank. Moore has publicly criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and cheered the effects of Trump’s tax cuts.
  146. In his interview with Maria Bartiromo, Trump had blamed the Fed for 3.1% growth, saying, “If we didn’t have somebody that would raise interest rates and do quantitative tightening, we would have been at over 4.”
  147. On Friday, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report that the U.S. budget deficit for February was $234 billion, the largest ever in U.S. history. Corporate revenue was down 20% due to Trump’s tax cut.
  148. On Friday, Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it had failed to protect sensitive personal data of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the 2017 California wildfires.
  149. An analysis by WAPO found money being taken away from the Pentagon to pay for Trump’s wall would particularly hit construction projects in Puerto Rico and a program helping European allies deter Russia.
  150. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled the Interior Department violated federal law, saying it “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when it auctioned off federal land in Wyoming for oil and gas drilling.
  151. The judge temporarily blocked drilling on about 300,000 acres of land in Wyoming. The ruling could signal trouble for the regime’s efforts to boost fossil fuel production by auctioning off federal land for drilling.
  152. On Saturday, Politico reported on a leaked recording of oil executives at a private meeting at a beachside Ritz-Carlton in Southern California laughing about their access to the Trump regime.
  153. The influential industry group, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, celebrated that their lawyer David Bernhardt, was appointed by Trump to the powerful number two spot at the Interior Department.
  154. On Thursday, in a tweet, Trump said “after 52 years” the U.S. will “recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” a huge policy shift thought to help Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming election.
  155. Countries around the world, including France, Germany, Russia, and Egypt criticized Trump’s announcement on the Golan Heights, saying it was a violation of international law and could further destabilize the region.
  156. On Thursday, the Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies, saying they have helped North Korea evade international sanctions — the first sanctions imposed since late last year.
  157. On Friday, Trump reversed the Treasury Department in a tweet, citing the “additional large scale Sanctions” imposed yesterday, and saying, “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”
  158. The shift caught the regime by surprise. In explaining Trump’s rationale, press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters, “President Trump likes Chairman Kim, and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
  159. On Friday, all of Washington awaited the Mueller report as rumors swirled that it would be released. Giuliani told a reporter that morning, “They said it was going to be at noon or 12:30.”
  160. NYT reported starting in the morning, reporters and photographers congregated at the office building where the special counsel has its offices, including cameras waiting in the garage for Mueller and others’ cars.
  161. The Trump campaign sent out a text, saying, “President Trump has put up with the WITCH HUNT for two years.” Trump also brought Emmet Flood, his lawyer in the special counsel investigation, along to Mar-a-Lago.
  162. On Friday late afternoon, Mueller submitted a confidential report to AG Barr, ending his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
  163. Around 4:35 pm, Emmet Flood was notified that the DOJ had received the report. Roughly half an hour later, Barr sent a letter to the relevant House and Senate committees, as well as senior congressional leaders.
  164. Barr wrote in the letter to the Chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, “I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend.”
  165. Barr said he would consult with Mueller and Rosenstein, “to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public.”
  166. Barr also said he remained “committed to as much transparency as possible,” and that neither he nor any of his predecessors had challenged any actions Mueller took during his probe.
  167. The DOJ said Mueller has not recommended any further indictments. It was unclear if Mueller found Trump committed a crime, but did not charge him due to DOJ policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
  168. On Friday, Democrats signaled they were ready to fight for the public release of Mueller’s complete findings on social media, on air and in statements, concerned that Barr may hold parts back to protect Trump.
  169. Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer said in a statement the Mueller “investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself,” adding, “the American people have a right to the truth.”
  170. The Democratic chairs of the six House committees said a joint statement: “Anything less than full transparency would raise serious questions” of whether DOJ policy “is being used as a pretext for a coverup of misconduct.”
  171. Leader McConnell said in a statement he welcomes the report, saying “Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests,” and hoped for “openness and transparency.”
  172. Watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center sued for the full release of the Mueller report, saying, “The public has a right to know the full scope of Russian interference “ and whether Trump played any role.
  173. Late Friday, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos tweeted: “Time to hit back!” and Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted he was looking forward to the report and, “This distraction is finally over.”
  174. Jerome Corsi told CNN that he and Stone “feel vindicated.” Corsi also said “I went in there to cooperate with them. They treated me as a criminal,” adding ,“I consider this entire investigation to be fraudulent.”
  175. On Friday, at Mar-a-Lago, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy, who chaired the House Oversight Committee during the Benghazi hearings, joined Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
  176. Hours after the Mueller report was released, Graham spoke at a Mar-a-Lago dinner, joking about Trump opening a hotel in Jerusalem and asked the crowd whether they would like to see Gowdy on the Supreme Court.
  177. Graham called for an investigation into Hillary Clinton and the Steele dossier, to which the crowd began chanting, “Lock her up!” Graham responded, “Don’t lock her up! We want her to run again.”
  178. Graham was the keynote for the annual fundraiser for the Palm Beach Republicans. Asked why Graham did not defend his best friend McCain to the audience, a spokesperson said he spoke about it earlier in the week.
  179. Trump spoke briefly, saying “If Lindsey’s speaking, I want to come down here for two reasons. №1: he’s a great speaker. And №2, I know if I’m here, he’s not going to say anything bad about me.”
  180. WAPO reported public perception of Mueller’s job performance was 58% approve, 28% disapprove (+30) six months in at November 1, 2018, but dropped on February 10, 2019 to 51% approve, 34% disapprove (+17).
  181. The drop was driven by largely by Republicans whose approval fell from 38% to 21% over that period. Independents dropped slightly from 56% to 52% and Democrats from 78% to 77%.
  182. On Saturday, Trump went to Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach for his 175th round of golf in his 653 days in office. Trump has not tweeted since the Mueller report was released.
  183. On Saturday, DOJ official announced AG Barr is not sending the “principal conclusions” of Mueller’s report to lawmakers today, but is still expected to do so this weekend.
  184. Beyond the Mueller probe, Trump faces numerous other legal woes, including investigations of hush money payments, his inaugural committee, Congressional inquiries, New York state investigations, a defamation lawsuit by Summer Zervos, and the emoluments clause lawsuit.

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Left, the Twitter feed @DevinCow, or “Devin Nunes’ cow,” which mercilessly mocked Rep. Devin Nunes of California this week. At right, his real twitter account. On Wednesday, Nunes filed a defamation lawsuit against the cow, and Twitter, in a Virginia court.