– Sexual Misconduct & Harassment
– White Supremacy
– Public Statements / Tweets
– Collusion with Russia & Obstruction of Justice
– Trump Staff /Administration
– Trump Family Business Dealings
- – March 1, 2017 – The Justice Department reported: Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office. Sessions did not mention the meetings during his confirmation hearings. Moreover, Sessions had claimed under oath that he was unaware of any contacts between Trump surrogates and Russia.
- – March 2, 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s ongoing Russia investigation after reports surfaced that he had two undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The New York Times reported Donald Trump tried to convince Sessions not to recuse himself, and that he expected Sessions to protect him in the investigation.
- – March 2, 2017 – The Senate confirmed Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, as the new Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The department handles a budget of around $30 billion and supports public housing for about 2.1 million people. Carson had no prior experience overseeing an organization on the scale of HUD, nor had he ever worked, in any capacity, on urban development or housing policy.
- – March 3, 2017 – In 2016, Jeff Sessions used Trump campaign funds for plane travel in order to meet Russian diplomats. During his confirmation hearing, the attorney general had sworn he did not meet with Russian representatives. When the meetings were uncovered, Sessions said he was traveling in his capacity as a senator—despite having his travel booked and paid for by Donald Trump’s campaign.
- – March 3, 2017 – The White House hired three former lobbyists to internal staff positions in agencies they had lobbied against, an act that violated ethical rules Donald Trump himself had but in place. Rather than banning recent lobbyists from official office entirely, as Obama had done, Trump issued an ethics pledge, which allowed lobbyists to join the federal government on the precondition that they promise not to influence any “particular matter” they had lobbied for in the past. Among the three lobbyists hired was George Burr, who Trump named to chief of staff for the Department of Labor. During his career, Burr had lobbied on behalf of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., opposing wage standards set by the Department of Labor and fighting Labor protections that would limit worker exposure to potentially deadly Silica dust.
- – March 3, 2017 – Trump eliminated an ethics course for incoming White House staff. The training would have instructed new staffers on ethical methods of interaction with Congress, private companies, and officials from the previous administration.
- – March 3, 2017 – It was revealed that as governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence used his personal email for state business. In March of 2017, Pence’s office announced the personal AOL email had been hacked, including information the State of Indiana deemed “confidential and too sensitive to release to the public.” Pence and the Trump campaign had previously attacked then-candidate Hillary Clinton for using a hacked private email address for confidential government work. In October of 2016, Pence tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton’s personal email server because no one is above the law.”
- – March 3, 2017 – The Trump administration proposed significant budget cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Among the largest funding reductions were for the NOAA’s programs monitoring climate change’s progression. The biggest single budget cut was made to NOAA’s satellite division, which reports on the speed of climate change’s progression. The satellite program had drawn Republican criticism after publishing a study in Science magazine that contradicted a favorite argument of climate change deniers and concluded the pace of climate change was neither “pausing” nor slowing down. In Trump’s proposed budget, this satellite program would lose almost 40 percent of its funding.
- – March 4, 2017 – In March of 2017, President Donald Trump engaged in a Twitter-based squabble with Arnold Schwarzenegger over ratings of “The Apprentice,” the television show—on which Trump was still listed as a producer. Trump tweeted, “Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show.” Schwarzenegger responded to Trump’s insult with a video on Twitter chiding Trump for defunding inner-city school programs. “When you take away after school programs for children and meals on wheels for the poor people,” said Schwarzenegger, “that’s not what you call ‘making America great again’.” Schwarzenegger then invited Trump to tour a middle with him to see the benefits of the after-school programs the president planned to eliminate. Trump did not respond.
- – March 4, 2017 – Without evidence, Donald Trump falsely accused Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower before the election. Trump levied the accusation in a Twitter storm that began at 6:30am. President Trump’s own Department of Justice released a statement in September in 2017 rebuking Trump’s claim and confirming the Obama administration had not wiretapped the Trump campaign.
- – March 3, 2017 – The federal government spent $1,092 for an unnamed National Security Council official to stay at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for two nights.
- – March 6, 2017 – Six weeks after issuing his first failed executive order blocking citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, Donald Trump issued a new travel ban. Trump’s first order met objections in several state courts, and was blocked on appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. To improve the second ban’s chances of passing, the Trump administration amended the executive order, excluding Iraq from the list of banned countries and altering the permanent ban on Syrian refugee admissions. About a week later, on March 15, a Hawaiian judge blocked this second draft of the ban.
- – March 7, 2017 – In order to fund Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, the Trump administration considered cutting budget from airport security and the Coast Guard.
- – March 7, 2017 – Donald Trump supported the House’s repeal-and-replace healthcare bill, in a potential violation of Trump’s campaign promise to provide “insurance for everybody” without raising insurance premiums or cutting Medicaid. A review by the Congressional Budget Office found the new bill would slash Medicaid, increase insurance premiums, and leave 21 million Americans uninsured by 2021.
- – March 9, 2017 – Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt said he did not believe carbon dioxide was a primary contributor to global warming. Pruitt’s statement contradicted a library of scientific evidence, including a 2009 study by his own agency which concluded carbon emissions were a leading cause of global warming.
- – March 9, 2017 – The Office of Government Ethics urged the White House to reprimand senior counselor Kellyanne Conway for publicly endorsing Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. The OGE called the White House’s view of ethics “incorrect.” In response, White House deputy counsel Stefan Passantino said in a statement, “Many regulations promulgated by the Office of Government Ethics do not apply to employees of the Executive Office of the President.” Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said Passantino’s argument was “troubling,” and wondered how it had been determined which ethical regulations were “inapplicable to employees of the Executive Office of the President.”
- – March 10, 2017 – Donald Trump abruptly ordered 46 Obama-era prosecutors to tender their resignations. Among the dismissed prosecutors was Preet Bharara, an attorney renowned for his work uprooting government corruption. Bharara served as the U.S. attorney in New York City and, at the time of his removal, had jurisdiction over Trump Tower in New York. When he was fired, Bharara was reportedly building a case against Rupert Murdoch and Fox News executives for a variety of indiscretions related to violations of privacy.
- – Match 11, 2017 – Before becoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn was paid close to a half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government. After stepping into his new role with the federal government, Flynn stopped formally accepting payments from Turkey but seemed to promote policy favored by the Turkish government. On the day of the U.S. presidential election, Flynn published an op-ed in The Hill supporting Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not only was Flynn’s critique in line with Erdogan’s wishes, but it was also a major reversal for Flynn; in 2016, Michael Flynn gave a speech supporting the coup against Erdogan.
- – March 13, 2017 – Donald Trump expanded the CIA’s power to allow the agency to conduct drone strikes on suspected terrorists. Under Obama, the CIA’s directive was to gather intelligence on locations of potential terrorists and then allow the military to call the drone strike. With the new powers endowed by Trump, the CIA has expanded military abilities, further opening the door to unreviewed military action abroad. According to figures released in December 2017 by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes in numerous middle-eastern countries nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017.
- – March 14, 2017 – Donald Trump wrote off $100 million dollars in losses on his leaked 2005 return. He paid $38 million in taxes on a reported $150 million income. This is an effective tax rate of around 25%. This is the same rate as, or even less than, that of individuals making between $30,000 and $100,000 per year. During the 2016 debates, Trump had bragged about not paying taxes, saying, “That makes me smart.”
- – March 15, 2017 – After a Hawaiian federal judge blocked Donald Trump’s second travel ban, Donald Trump lashed out at the U.S. courts in a speech at a rally, calling the decision, “unprecedented judicial overreach.” U.S. District Judge Derek ruled that Trump’s Executive Order derived from “religious animus,” concluding, “a reasonable, objective observer—enlightened to the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance—would conclude the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.” In the State of Hawaii’s argument against implementation of the ban, eleven instances wherein Trump publicly announced his intent to ban Muslims from entering America were cited as evidence supporting the ruling.
- – March 16, 2017 – Donald Trump’s budget proposal presented a 20 percent budget cut to the National Institutes of Health, the agency responsible for funding around one quarter of medical research in the United States. The dean of Baylor’s biomedical research school said the proposed budget, “would bring American biomedical science to a halt.”
- – March 17, 2017 – Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had been investigating potentially illegal investments from Tom Price, Donald Trump’s head of the Department of Health and Human Services, when Trump abruptly fired Bharara on March 10, 2017. The investigation reviewed Price’s investments in the healthcare industry over the past four years, when Price had purchased more than $300,000 in healthcare stock while holding a governmental position which could influence their performance.
- – March 16, 2017 – In southern Florida, 63 Russian investors have purchased about $100 million of Trump-branded real estate. According to a disclosure made in 2016, Trump reaped between $100,000 and $1 million during election year 2016 from property sales in southern Florida. Although the exact origin of the payments remains a mystery, the new owners’ identities are a matter of public record. One such buyer was Alexander Yuzvik, who purchased Unit 3901 in Trump’s Sunny Isles development for $1.3 million. In the three years leading up to the transaction, Yuzvik served as a senior executive for Spetsroi—a state-owned Russian construction company which has built new structures for the FSB (the modern descendant of Russia’s KGB). Trump dealt with Russian purchasers as recently as 2016, and has offered no record of full divestiture after his inauguration. Contrary to calls from the American public and ethics experts, Trump has declined to release comprehensive financial records.
- – March 22, 2017 – Rep. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, publicly suggested Donald Trump and his associates were swept up in “incidental collection” of foreign surveillance" by American intelligence agencies. The night before his revelation on foreign surveillance, Nunes paid a visit to the White House. According to three committee officials, Nunes had been sharing a car with a senior committee staffer when he received a phone call and switched cars without explanation. Rep. Nunes was then seen entering the White House grounds (though the White House later claimed they were unaware of his presence). The next day Rep. Nunes held his press conference to announce the incidental surveillance on Trump. Another ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Nunes would need to “decide if he’s the chairman of an independent investigation… or if he can act as a surrogate for the White House.”
- – March 22, 2017 – Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, accepted $10 million per year for consulting Oleg Deripaska—a Russian billionaire and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies. Manafort worked for Deripaska in 2005, and continued to do so “for years” after, before their relationship soured in 2014 when Deripaska alleged Manafort absconded with $18.9 million. At the time, Manafort was managing the presidential campaign in Ukraine for Putin associate Viktor Yanukovich, and Deripaska tried to invest in a television station owned by Yanukovich’s cronies. The money disappeared, or so alleged a filing from the Russian oligarch’s legal representation. Deripaska has since accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money. Manafort subsequently served as Trump’s campaign manager from May 19 through August 19, 2016.
- – March 22, 2017 – The Secret Service requested $60 million in additional funding to cover Donald Trump’s travel and the Trump family’s protection. Half of this budget would be allocated to protecting Trump’s private residence at Trump Tower. The reason the Tower required such stringent security, at a cost of $26.8 million per year, was Melania Trump’s preference to reside there rather than the White House.
- – March 23, 2017 – When pressed on his fraught relationship with the intelligence community, Donald Trump ended a Time magazine interview by saying to the interviewer, “Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody, OK?”
- – March 28, 2017 – Donald Trump sought to slash $18 billion of federal funding from support for mental health, foreign aid, public housing, and other categories of discretionary funding. Among the many eliminated programs would be the McGovern-Dole International Food program, which provides meals to 40 million impoverished school children abroad. Trump planned to funnel the funding toward military spending and his proposed border wall.
- – March 28, 2017 – In response to the defamation suit brought against Donald Trump by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, Trump’s lawyers invoked the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. This clause, argued the Trump’s personal legal team, prevented civil lawsuits against the president while he held office. In another case reminiscent of the Zervos accusations, President Bill Clinton tried to use the Supremacy Clausein 1997 to evade allegations of sexual assault from Paula Jones. The Supreme Court rejected Clinton’s claim, and the former president was forced to settle the lawsuit out of court.
- – March 28, 2017 – Donald Trump signed a bill that killed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces regulation. Signed by Barack Obama, the legislation protected workers against serious safety hazards and labor law violations in any government contract above $500,000.
- – March 29, 2017 – The Trump administration removed categories relating to sexual orientation and gender identity from the U.S. Census, preventing the government from collecting important data on LGBT populations. The Federal Policy Director at the William Institute said, “Without federal data on LGBT populations, the ability of federal, state, and local governments to make evidence-based public policy that also reflects the experiences and needs of LGBT Americans is significantly undermined.”
- – March 29, 2017 – Donald Trump tweeted, “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!” Published the same month as the above tweet, the Times’s financial report announced the newspaper had just enjoyed its strongest quarter for subscriber growth in the publication’s 126-year history.
- – March 29, 2017 – Politico reported a supervisor at the Energy Department’s Climate Office banned the phrases “Climate Change,” “Emissions Reduction,” and “Paris Agreement” from all communications. Instead, workers were told to more frequently reference “jobs” and “infrastructure.”
- – March 30, 2017 – According to FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump called him to ask the director to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation. Trump said the investigation was impeding his ability to make deals for the country.
- – March 30, 2017 – Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of a bill that allowed states to withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood. The Obama administration implemented the rule in December 2016 as a means of protecting Title X family planning grants, which support contraception and STD screening (but not abortion procedures). The law is another from the Obama era, among 15, repealed by Trump and congressional Republicans using the Congressional Review Act.
- – March 31, 2017 – One month before signing a bill that would allow drug companies to incentivize doctors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price purchased $90,000 of pharmaceutical stocks affected by the decision.
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- – April 1, 2017 – Michael Flynn received $45,000 from Russia Today, a state-sponsored Russian news channel famous for pro-Russian propaganda, in exchange for his speech at their annual gala. Flynn then failed to disclose the payment on his financial disclosure form submitted to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in February.
- – April 2, 2017 – In regard to an ongoing lawsuit, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Donald Trump may have incited violence against protesters during his 2016 campaign rally in Kentucky. While the judge’s ruling did not constitute a formal conviction, it did reject arguments from Trump’s lawyers to throw out the suit, finding the protestors’ injuries were the “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s statements. Donald Trump yelled “Get ‘em out of here!” to his supporters, who subsequently shoved and punched the protesters.
- – April 3, 2017 – Donald Trump praised Egypt’s authoritarian leader President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, saying, “I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi.” Just before meeting with Trump, el-Sisi sentenced 17 Egyptians to jail for taking part in protests against his regime. Due to his human rights offenses, the Egyptian leader had been barred from the White House for four years prior to meeting Trump.
- – April 3, 2017 – Donald Trump signed a bill eliminating rules that would have required internet service providers to ask consumer permission before sharing or selling private information. Though the rule only applied to broadband companies—leaving out internet data giants like Facebook and Google—the privacy law had been a first step at protecting consumer information online. The protections originated from the Obama administration, but had yet to take full effect when Trump and House Republicans repealed them. The privacy law was one among 15 other Obama-era regulations dissolved using the Congressional Review Act.
- – April 3, 2017 – Donald Trump stopped all funding for the UN Family Planning Agency, which supported women’s health and family planning efforts across the globe. In 2016 alone, American funding for the UNFPA prevented 100,000 unsafe abortions and 800,000 women from going without access to contraception.
- – April 4, 2017 – Donald Trump’s lawyer revealed the president could withdraw money from the Trump Organization’s underlying trust at any time. The intent of the trust was to prevent Trump from having financial access to his 400 businesses after inauguration. However, the language of the trust certification did allow Trump’s lawyer to “distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request.”
- – April 4, 2017 – Using the Congressional Review Act, Donald Trump and members of the GOP rolled back an Obama-era law that required employers to keep accurate records of employee injuries. Worker advocates criticized the repeal, saying its absence would allow employers to manipulate injury numbers and conceal workplace hazards from regulators.
- – April 4, 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department to review consent decrees, a legal tool which allows federal officials to institute criminal justice reform in cases of police misconduct. A consent decree represents a legally enforceable pact between police departments and the courts, both agreeing on the need for reform and the method of its implementation. Following the police shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Justice Department’s investigation resulted in a consent decree! that outlined the specific terms of reform for the Missouri city. Among the terms were required body cameras for police officers, new police training on racial bias, and establishment of a Civilian Review Board that could independently review claims of excessive force. As of April 2017, police misconduct investigations were underway in the cities of Baltimore and Chicago after the shootings of Freddie Gray and Laquan McDonald. In reviewing consent decrees, Jeff Sessions had the power to place these investigations—and any resultant police reforms—on a permanent hold.
- – April 4, 2017 -Donald Trump implied that Barack Obama’s administration was to blame for a gas attack in a rebel-controlled area of Syria, saying the attack had been a “consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution.”
- – April 5, 2017 – The EPA proposed budget cuts to a program that trained construction workers in removing toxic lead-based paints and educated the public on the dangers of lead exposure. In 2014, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found blood levels above the danger threshold in 243,000 American children. Thirty-eight million American homes contained lead-based paints in need of removal, while only 14 states had programs to pick up the slack on lead removal after the federal budget cut.
- – April 6, 2017 – In order to break a filibuster from Senate Democrats, Republicans fundamentally altered Senate voting procedure in order to force confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Before the change, Senate rules required 60 votes to confirm a new Supreme Court justice. After enacting the so-called “nuclear option” to overcome Democratic objections, that threshold dropped to 51 votes.
- – April 6, 2017 – The House Ethics Committee revealed Representative Devin Nunes was under investigation for possibly disclosing classified information without authorization. This followed an event on March 11, when Nunes exercised his powers as chief of the House Intelligence Committee to release sensitive information favoring President Trump just one day after Nunes discreetly visited the White House. In response to the new investigation, Nunes announced he would recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing exploration of Russian intervention in the 2016 campaign. In his statement, he lashed out at the probe, saying it was “entirely false and politically motivated,” blaming, “several left-wing activist groups” for the investigation.
- – April 7, 2017 – Donald Trump ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian base in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons attack on his own people. Assad’s attack killed approximately 100 Syrians—including an estimated 25 children. Eric Trump said Trump’s decision to launch the assault was strongly influenced by Ivanka Trump’s heartbroken response to Assad’s initial airstrike.
- – April 7, 2017 – The United States Department of Homeland Security ordered Twitter to reveal the private information of a Twitter user, because the anonymous user had been critical of Donald Trump and may have worked for the U.S. government. Twitter refused to reveal the account’s identity, and then filed a lawsuit to counter the order. Following this, the DHS dropped their request for information.
- – April 7, 2017 – Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received an unprecedented level of personal security, including supervision by federal marshals, which cost taxpayers about $1 million dollars per month. The last cabinet member protected by a federal marshal was the director of National Drug Control Policy, a position which fought drug-related violence and the import of illicit narcotics.
- – April 7, 2017 -The Senate confirmed Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch took the seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch’s confirmation came after Republicans refused to consider Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for eleven months—a nearly unprecedented act in itself. Then Republicans made the historic decision to alter the Constitution’s rules regarding the number of votes needed for Supreme Court confirmation to block Democrats from using the same tactic.
- – April 8, 2017 – A U.S. Navy strike group moved in range of the Korean Peninsula as a show of military force. The gesture further escalated tensions bordering on brinkmanship between Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un.
- – April 11, 2017 – While discussing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapon attack, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II. When reporters reminded Spicer that Hitler used chemical weapons to gas millions of Jews, Spicer replied, “he brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that.”
- – April 11, 2017 – Donald Trump allegedly asked that FBI Director James Comey “get out”—that is, release publicly—the idea that the FBI was not investigating Trump. Trump added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.”
- – April 12, 2017 – Education Secretary Betsy De Vos rolled back Obama-era protections put in place to help students with student loan payments. The Department of Education offered no immediate replacement of the protections against default. In the eight years before DeVos’s repeal, 8.7 million Americans had defaulted on their student loans.
- – April 12, 2017 – Budget director Mick Mulvaney said “letting people keep more of their money” is the most efficient way of allocating resources. According to Mulvaney, “wealth-transfers”—programs that redistribute money from rich to poor, such as food stamps and Medicaid—constitute “bad spending” and “misallocation of resources.”
- – April 13, 2017 – Donald Trump and congressional Republicans eliminated the rule that enrolled all newly hired federal employees in an Individual Retirement Account. The rule, implemented by Barack Obama, was rolled back using the Congressional Review Act.
- – April 14, 2017 – Donald Trump signed a bill that would allow states to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood.
- – April 14, 2017 – Donald Trump’s administration announced the White House would no longer disclose visitor logs. Without the logs, Trump and White House officials could hold private meetings without oversight on visitor identity or affiliation.
- – April 14, 2017 – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that he believes the United States should withdraw from the Paris Agreement!, a global initiative to address climate change. Nearly 200 countries have signed onto the Agreement. With the announcement, the United States and Syria became the only two countries to abstain from the agreement. (Nicaragua had initially held out for even stronger environmental protections.)
- – April 14, 2017 – Candice Jackson, the person responsible for investigating civil rights complaints for the Department of Education, once criticized Stanford University for “discriminatory programs” after finding the school had a tutoring program that offered study help to minorities. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appointed Jackson to the role of acting head for the department’s Office of Civil Rights. In this position, Jackson was tasked with leading a team of 550 people to handle about 10,000 complaints per year.
- – April 14, 2017 – In the wake of Donald Trump’s travel ban and “extreme vetting” of certain foreign arrivals, demand for international travel to the United States plummeted. Tourism Economics, a travel analytics firm in Philadelphia, estimated 2017 would see 4.3 million fewer international visitors than the year before—resulting in lost revenue of $7.4 billion.
- – April 16, 2017 – In response to marches around the nation demanding Donald Trump release his tax returns, Trump tweeted, “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” No evidence exists to suggest that protesters were paid to march.
- – April 17, 2017 – Donald Trump called and congratulated Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the Turkish leader’s victory in a public referendum that majorly expanded his executive powers. Contradicting Trump, the U.S. State Department released a statement questioning the democratic legitimacy of the referendum, pointing out irregularities in the election results and bias in media coverage.
- – April 18, 2017 – After a federal judge from Hawaii ruled against Donald Trump’s travel ban placed on several Muslim-majority countries, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was “amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific” could block the immigration ban.
- – April 18, 2017 – In the wake of controversy about Donald Trump’s travel ban, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the president’s critics in Congress should “shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”
- – April 20, 2017 – A full month after dismissing 93 U.S. attorneys, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had not hired any to replace them. The vacancies in the federal prosecutors’ office came as a surprise, given that Sessions has prioritized a crack-down on crime.
- – April 20, 2017 – After his inauguration, Donald Trump announced that within 90 days of his election he would appoint a team to investigate election interference and protect against future hacking. At 90 days from his oath to take office, no such team existed, nor was a plan in place to build one.
- – April 20, 2017 – Donald Trump’s lawyers claimed in a court filing that protesters at Trump rallies had “no rights” to “express dissenting views” because doing so violated Trump’s First Amendment rights. Trump’s lawyers argued that the protesters’ right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment, actually did not apply “as part of the campaign rally of the political candidates they oppose.”
- – April 21, 2017 – The Trump administration hired 25 people who were originally brought into the administration as temporary seat-fillers. By skirting formal announcement, these individuals entered the administration with little or no public notice. Five of the 25 people hired had direct ties to outside lobbying interests before joining the federal government.
- – April 23, 2017 – Approaching the hundredth day of his presidency, Donald Trump took to Twitter to blame low approval ratings and the loss of the popular vote to Hillary Clinton on “fake news.” The president tweeted, “New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative. Would still beat Hillary in popular vote.” Trump was referring to new polls from ABC News/Washington Post and NBC/Wall Street Journal that showed he had the lowest approval rating of any president since 1945.
- – April 23, 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DREAMers were subject to deportation, just like “everyone that entered the country unlawfully.”
- – April 24, 2017 – In a potential violation of federal law, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn failed to disclose a $33,000 payment from Russia on his financial statement for his federal security clearance. [SS4] The payment, originally from 2015, came for consulting work Flynn had done for Russia Today—a Russian television network with direct ties to the Kremlin.
- – April 24, 2017 – In the six months since Donald Trump’s election, the Anti-Defamation League reported anti-Semitic attacks had risen 86 percent. These attacks included grave desecrations, bomb threats, and assaults.
- – April 24, 2017 – Donald Trump ordered White House aides to draft a tax plan that slashed the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. Trump told his aides cutting taxes for businesses should take priority over decreasing the federal deficit.
- – April 25, 2017 – Ekim Alpetkin, a Turkish businessman and Michael Flynn’s former client, long carried ties with the Russian government and Vladimir Putin himself before working with General Flynn. Alpetkin paid Flynn $600,000 just before Donald Trump appointed Flynn to his post as national security adviser for the new administration.
- – April 26, 2017 – Donald Trump publicly slammed the 9th circuit court after they blocked his administration’s attempt to deny federal funding for “sanctuary cities.” In response to the ruling, Trump said he was considering proposals to break up the three-judge panel.
- – April 25, 2017 – At an event in Berlin, Ivanka Trump defended her father’s attitudes toward women. “I’m very proud of my father’s advocacy… He’s been a tremendous champion of supporting families and enabling them to thrive,” she said, to boos from the audience. She argued that the “thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
- – April 28, 2017 – The Environmental Protection Agency removed or altered all information about climate change on its website. The EPA claimed that this update sought to “reflect the approach of new leadership.”
- – April 28, 2017 – Reflecting on his first 100 days in office, Donald Trump said, “I thought this would be easier.”
- – April 29, 2017 – In a televised interview after North Korea launched a missile test, Donald Trump left the possibility of taking military action against the country open. When asked about possible military response to another nuclear test, Trump said, “I don’t know, I mean, we’ll see.”!
- – April 29, 2017 – On Face the Nation, Donald Trump falsely suggested the new Republican healthcare bill, called the American Health Care Act, would protect health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions. The most recent draft of the legislation contained no such stipulation.
- – April 30, 2017 – Donald Trump invited Rodrigo Duterte, the authoritarian leader of the Philippines, to visit the White House. Duterte’s regime had carried out extrajudicial killings of drug users and drug dealers, garnering global condemnation. As of January 2018, Human Rights Watch had counted over 12,000 such murders’. Two senior officials in the White House said they expected significant pushback internally, should Duterte accept Trump’s invitation. The two leaders met in November, during which time Trump reported the pair had a “great relationship.”
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NEXT INSTALLMENT: Atrocities 198-291.