Various writers have compiled this list during the course of the Trump administration. Their work has been guided by invaluable journalistic resources, including WTFJHT, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other sources, to whom we are grateful.
– Sexual Misconduct & Harassment
– White Supremacy
– Public Statements / Tweets
– Collusion with Russia & Obstruction of Justice
– Trump Staff /Administration
– Trump Family Business Dealings
- – August 1, 2017 – The Trump campaign chose a noted white nationalist, William Johnson, to serve among California’s delegates for the next presidential election. Johnson leads the American Freedom Party, which operates with the stated mission of upholding “the customs and the heritage of European American People.” Johnson said after his appointment to the delegation, “I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.”
- – August 2, 2017 – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided not to spend the $60 million allocated to the State Department for the express purpose of battling foreign propaganda, including disinformation campaigns from countries like Russia and China. One of Tillerson’s aides, R.C. Hammond, suggested a major influence in Tillerson’s anomalous decision to decline funding for his own department was an internal concern for the Kremlin’s sensitivity about addressing Russia’s media influence.
- – August 2, 2017 – Sam Clovis, Donald Trump’s nominee to be the top scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture, once ran a blog where he called progressives “race traders and race ‘traitors.’” A USDA spokesperson justified the choice saying, “All of [Clovis’s] reporting either on the air or in writing over the course of his career has been based on solid research and data. He is, after all, an academic.”
- – August 2, 2017 – During a single two-hour session in the situation room, White House officials said Donald Trump complained openly about his NATO allies, wondered aloud about how the U.S. could get a piece of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, and then repeatedly argued the U.S.’s top general ought to be fired.
- – August 2, 2017 – Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted during her daily press briefing that the Boy Scouts of America never called the president to say his speech to their organization was the “greatest speech ever made to them.” This is contrary to claims Donald Trump had made to the Wall Street Journal.
- – August 7, 2017 – By August of his first year as president, Donald Trump had confirmed only 45 percent of his nominees to executive branch roles. This is a lower rate than his three immediate predecessors: at the same points in their presidencies, Barack Obama had confirmed 72 percent of nominees, George W. Bush had confirmed 71%, and Bill Clinton had confirmed 73%. Of the 577 executive branch positions deemed essential by the Partnership for Public Service, Trump had only successfully filled 20% of them.
- – August 8, 2017 – Donald Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea threatened the United States with nuclear action. Trump delivered his warning of catastrophic nuclear action after Kim Jong-un’s regime successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range capable of reaching the continental United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempted to downplay Trump’s bellicosity, saying, “I think Americans should sleep well at night, and have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days.”
- – August 9, 2017 – VICE News reported that White House officials, including Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, twice daily would deliver a folder to President Trump filled with positive news coverage and supportive tweets.
- – August 10, 2017 – Frustrated by Congress’s failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump doled out his critique in two tweets directed at the senator: “Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!” and “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!”
- – August 12, 2017 – During the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, neo-Nazis and former Ku Klux Klan members carried tiki torches and shouted slogans including “The Jews Will Not Replace Us.” A white nationalist named James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others in the process. After the attack and Heyer’s death, Trump he refused to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists. The president placed partial blame for the attack on the counter-protesters, condemning, “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
- – August 14, 2017 – After Donald Trump hesitated to condemn the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals, chose to resign from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council. Frazier, an African American and one of the most powerful executives in the United States, explained his decision to leave in a public statement: “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting hatred, bigotry, and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal. As CEO of Merck and as a matter of public conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” Trump took to Twitter, firing back, “Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”
- – August 14, 2017 – The Trump administration began rolling back emissions standards for America’s cars and light trucks. “We are moving forward with an open and robust review of emissions standards, consistent with the timeframe provided in our regulations,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. In 2012, Obama drafted a plan to raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The newly announced review was the first step to repealing these standards, and reopened “questions that have already been asked and answered,” according to the policy arm of Consumer Reports.
- – August 15, 2017 – At a news conference about the “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia, Donald Trump said, “There were very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville.
- – August 15, 2017 – After more CEOs resigned from his American Manufacturing Council, Trump claimed he had a line of executives waiting to join in their place. He tweeted, “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”
- – August 16, 2017 – Donald Trump abruptly dissolved the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum, tweeting “thank you all!” without further explanation.
- – August 17, 2017 – Donald Trump lamented the removal of Confederate monuments, stating that such actions were “so foolish” and “sad.” He called these statues “beautiful” and spoke to the “history and culture of our great country being ripped apart.” He did not mention slavery in any of his tweets on the Confederacy.
- – August 18, 2017 – Donald Trump fired chief strategist Steve Bannon. Trump later claimed that Bannon had been a “staffer” and “had very little to do with our historic victory,” despite the fact that Bannon was a top aide through the presidential campaign and key influencer in the White House.
- – August 20, 2017 – The Trump administration ended a $400,000 federal grant for Life After Hate, an organization devoted to eradicating white nationalism and helping young people escape white supremacist gang membership. The grant money was awarded annually by the Countering Violent Extremism task force. Originally founded in 2011 by Barack Obama, the CVE task force sought to combat a wide range of violent ideologies—from white nationalism to Islamic extremism—and presented $10 million in grant money to nonprofits pursuing that mission. Among all the CVE grant recipients, Life After Hate was the only one addressing white supremacy. The Trump administration defunded the group at a particularly pivotal moment: Life After Hate has reported a 20-fold increase in requests to help young white nationalists since Trump’s election.
- – August 21, 2017 – Eight months into his presidency, the Secret Service exhausted the annual funding allocated to agents to protect the Trump family, mostly due to the frequency of the first family’s travels. By August 2017, more than 1,000 agents had already hit the federally mandated cap for salary and overtime allowances meant to last the entire year.
- – August 21, 2017 – In a nationally televised speech on strategy in Afghanistan, Donald Trump gave no indication of how many troops the U.S. would commit to war efforts, nor any criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of those operations. Trump warned that “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists,” but gave no indication of the Pentagon’s definition of success or failure. He concluded the address by saying simply, “in the end, we will win.”
- - August 21, 2017 – The U.S. Secret Service spent substantial sums with Donald Trump’s businesses, including at least $137,000 on golf cart rentals at Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster. Based on a Government Accountability Office report, each trip to Mar-a-Lago costs the taxpayer $3 million in total.
- – August 22, 2017 – During an Arizona rally, Donald Trump blamed American news media for the vehement public reactions after the white supremacist-led “Unite the Right” rally. He declared, “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions… the only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news.” Trump drew applause for trumpeting his upcoming pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who he said was “convicted for doing his job.” Arpaio had a reputation for illegally detaining Latinos on the suspicion that they were in the country without documentation. In July 2017, an Arizona judge convicted Sherriff Arpaio of criminal contempt for defying a court order to cease his practice of arresting Latinos based on their racial profile.
- – August 25, 2017 – Following up on tweets he wrote in July, Donald Trump signed a directive to prevent transgender individuals from joining the military. The order gave Defense Secretary James Mattis the ability to decide if transgender members currently in the military could continue to serve.
- -August 25, 2017 – Sebastian Gorka, White House Deputy Assistant to the President, was ousted from office. Trump gave no explicit reason for his departure, but one White House official wrote, “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works in the White House.” Long seen as a controversial figure who was outspoken about his anti-Islamic views, Gorka had said publicly that white supremacists were “not the problem” in America. Gorka was a former editor at Breitbart News, aligning on many issues with fellow Breitbart leader Steve Bannon—who had been forced out of the White House one week earlier.
- – August 25, 2017 – Donald Trump pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. An Arizona judge had convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt-of-court for “flagrant disregard” of a court order to cease and desist his practice of racially profiling Latinos. U.S District Judge G. Murray Snow noted Arpaio made “multiple intentional misstatements of fact under oath,” and also told local news stations he would ignore the injunction and “continue ‘doing what he had always been doing.’”
- – August 30, 2017 – After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Donald Trump visited Corpus Christi and told a small crowd the recovery from the hurricane’s devastation would be “better than ever before.” His proposed budget slashed FEMA programs aimed at helping Americans get back on their feet after natural disasters.
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- – September 1, 2017 – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, appointed by Donald Trump to lead investigations of voter fraud for the 2016 election, was a paid columnist for the alt-right website Breitbart while the voter fraud investigation was still underway.
- – September 4, 2017 – Donald Trump appointed Representative Jim Bridenstine to lead NASA, despite the fact that Bridenstine has said repeatedly he does not believe humans cause climate change. Among NASA’s many active projects are 27 missions= devoted to monitoring climate change.
- – September 5, 2017 – Donald Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, inviting Congress to take the necessary actions to offer its replacement. One of Barack Obama’s signature pieces of legislation, DACA protects against the deportation of nearly 800,000 young people who arrived in the United States as children. Trump gave Congress six months to act on his order before he would begin phasing out the DACA protections. Among Trump’s most oft-repeated arguments against the program is that DACA beneficiaries would take jobs from natural-born American citizens. Many economists vehemently disagree with Trump on this point, citing the fact that a) immigrants are more likely than natural-born Americans to start companies (employing new workers in the process), and b) the number of individuals retiring from the workforce will outpace the number of young people entering it by 55 million in 2020.
- – September 6, 2017 – Among the members of Donald Trump’s private golf clubs are 21 lobbyists from prominent trade groups and 50 executives from companies with federal contracts. Citizen watchdog groups said club membership could influence Trump’s decision making, allowing certain individuals potentially lucrative access to the president. On his hundredth day in office, Trump visited The Ames Company’s factory in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to sign two new executive orders. Robert Mehmel, president of the Ames Company and a member of Trump’s New Jersey golf course, stood just behind the president’s shoulder as Trump signed the orders for the press. During another White House meeting with Trump, a lobbyist for North American airport companies was overheard on C-Span saying to the president, “I’m a member of your golf club by the way.”
- – September 7, 2017 – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called campus sexual assault enforcement a “failed system” and vowed to review the Title IX guidelines put in place by the Obama administration. DeVos claimed the current system “clearly pushed schools to overreach” by using “intimidation and coercion.”
- – September 12, 2017 – Donald Trump hosted Najib Razak, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, at the White House, despite the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation of a corruption scandal in Razak’s administration. Razak stood accused of funneling $3.5 billion dollars in public money from the Malaysian government to finance the purchase of jewelry, real estate, and Hollywood film rights. Razak has responded to accusations of corruption in his own country by firing investigators and referring to journalistic exposés on his spending as “Fake News.” Razak and his entourage stayed in the Trump International Hotel during his trip to D.C.
- – September 14, 2017 – The Trump administration made plans to cut 92 percent of federal funding for grassroots groups that help Americans sign up for healthcare.
- – September 15, 2017 – Following a terrorist attack on the London subway, Donald Trump responded to the event by propping up his travel ban. He also falsely suggested in a series of tweets that authorities had identified those responsible, and that those people had recruited others online. British Prime Minister Theresa May rebuked Trump’s speculative claims.
- – September 19, 2017 – During a speech at the UN General Assembly, Donald Trump Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally destroy North Korea.”
- – September 20, 2017 – It was revealed in September of 2017 that Trump’s election campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had offered a “private briefing” to a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska just two weeks before the election took place. Deripaska is one of the richest men in Russia, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, and a former client of Paul Manafort’s consultancy.
- – September 20, 2017 – Nicaragua announced it would soon sign the Paris Agreement to fight global climate change. After Nicaragua’s signature and Donald Trump’s withdrawal earlier in the year, only two countries in the world wouldn’t uphold the environmental accord—the United States and Syria.
- – September 21, 2017 – During a speech at the UN, Donald Trump cited the exemplary healthcare system of a place called Nambia. Trump applauded the nonexistent African nation, saying, “Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient.”
- – September 21, 2017 – Twenty-two of Donald Trump’s appointees to the Department of Agriculture had no prior experience with agriculture. Some even lacked a college degree. However, all 22 did work on the Trump campaign in 2016.
- – September 22, 2017 – Continuing to use aggressive language towards North Korea and Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump tweeted, “Kim Jong-un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!”
- – September 22, 2017 – The Education Department formally rescinded legal instruction for universities that dictated how they should handle allegations of sexual assault. Six years earlier, in response to statistics that found 1 in 5 women were victims of sexual assault while in college, the Obama administration released the “Dear Colleague Letter,” which required federally funded schools to toughen their stance on sexual assault accusations. In practice, this meant victims of assault had more power during the legal process. Under the Dear Colleague Letter’s guidance, victims could appeal any not-guilty findings for further consideration, and schools were required to evaluate sexual assault reports according to a “preponderance of the evidence" (rather than the more burdensome “beyond a reasonable doubt”). Education Secretary Betsy DeVos claimed the letter had denied due process to accused individuals, choosing to scrap the instructions entirely, along with the new powers given to victims of sexual assault.
- – September 23, 2017 – Donald Trump suggested that team owners in the National Football League should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. He said owners should respond by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” Trump also said that “when somebody disrespects the flag,” fans should leave in protest.
- – September 24, 2017 – Donald Trump repeated his rebuke of National Football League players who kneel during the national anthem. He tweeted, “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”
- – September 25, 2017 – Congressional investigators reported the White House and Justice Department had missed deadlines to submit documents requested for the ongoing Russia investigation, including information on Jared Kushner’s security clearance and Donald Trump’s conversations with James Comey. In an email, Representative Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee said, “The White House’s refusal to answer Congress in full and truthfully raises serious questions about the White House’s intent, including the potential that it is misleading Congress.”
- – September 26, 2017 – Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration and previous chief of staff for former FBI Director James Comey, announced he would resign from his post because he did not believe Donald Trump had a moral grasp of justice. In an agency-wide memo he sent a month before his resignation, Rosenberg had said, “The President, in remarks delivered yesterday in New York, condoned police misconduct regarding the treatment of individuals placed under arrest by law enforcement. […] I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong.” The rebuke came after Trump had said to an audience of police officers in New York, “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, please don’t be too nice.” He continued, “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed the president’s statement had been a “joke.”
- – September 29, 2017 – Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned from his position after public outrage mounted about his inappropriate spending on private jets for travel. According to Politico, Price had spent over $300,000 on private flights before resigning from Trump’s cabinet.
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- – October 4, 2017 – The Trump administration denied endangered species protection for 25 highly imperiled species. Among them were seven animals—the Pacific walrus, Florida Keys mole skink, Bicknell’s thrush, Kirtland’s snake, the northern Rockies population of fisher, Nevada springsnail, and Big Blue Spring Cave crayfish—whose habitats were gravely threatened by climate change.
- – October 3, 2017 – EPA director Scott Pruitt’s schedule showed he held near-daily meetings with oil lobbyists, automobile company executives, and other industry leaders, while making almost no time for environmental advocates. The New York Times reported that, in the first half of May, “Mr. Pruitt met with the chief executive of the Chemours Company, a leading chemical maker, as well as three chemical lobbying groups; the egg producers lobby; the president of Shell Oil Company; the chief executive of Southern Company; lobbyists for the farm bureau, the toy association and a cement association; the president of a truck equipment manufacturer seeking to roll back emissions regulations for trucks; and the president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.”
- – October 4, 2017 – The House Homeland Security Committee approved a $15 billion dollar bill to fund Donald Trump’s border wall and employ border patrol. While most in Washington saw this as a publicity stunt—seeing as the bill had very little chance of garnering the 60 votes needed from the Senate in order to pass—the proposal was likely a negotiation tactic for the ongoing conversation about the Dreamers program.
- – October 4, 2017 – On October 4, 2017, four soldiers in the United States Armed Forces were killed in Niger by ISIS-affiliated combatants. When asked at a press conference on October 16 why he still hadn’t spoken about the fallen soldiers, Trump said he had written the families personal letters, which would “go out either today or tomorrow.” He also insinuated at the press conference that President Obama had not called the families of fallen soldiers. This was untrue. Obama had called Gold Star families throughout his presidency, as confirmed by both Obama’s staff and the families themselves. The night after the press conference, Donald Trump placed a condolence call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of fallen serviceman Sgt. La David Johnson. The following week, Mrs. Johnson appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her husband’s life and her call with the president. Mrs. Johnson said Trump forgot her husband’s name during the call, and that she “heard him stumbling” as he tried to remember. Less than an hour after the interview aired, President Trump suggested the Gold Star widow had been lying, writing on Twitter, “I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and
spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”
- – October 6, 2017 – On Wednesday, October 4, 201, the official FEMA website listed two statistics quantifying slow recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. According to FEMA, only 50 percent of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water nearly one month after Hurricane Maria had struck land, and 98% of Puerto Ricans were still without electricity. By the morning of Thursday, October 5, the statistics had been deleted from the website. When reached for comment amid uproar about the removal, a FEMA spokesperson offered no explanation for the change. By Friday afternoon, amid an uproar about the censorship, the figures had returned to the site.
- – October 5, 2017 – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent $811,797.81 to make seven trips using military aircraft. While the Office of the Inspector General said this did not break any laws explicitly, Mnuchin failed to provide justification for his spending. Earlier in the year, he had placed a formal request for a military plane to escort he and his new wife on their honeymoon. While his request was denied, he has had other lavish requests granted, including one flight to Miami which cost taxpayers $40,000. Typically, government employees are encouraged to book commercial travel and file for reimbursement. Had he followed protocol, that same flight to Miami would have cost taxpayers about $700.
- – October 5, 2017 – For the second most powerful position at the Environmental Protection Agency, Donald Trump nominated Andrew Wheeler, a long-time coal lobbyist who had served as legal counsel for some of the largest coal mining companies in America.
- – October 5, 2017 – In either a misunderstanding of the duties of the Senate Intelligence Committee or an attempt to deflect attention from the Russia investigation, Donald Trump tweeted, “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”
- – October 5, 2017 – Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo saying the Civil Rights Act would no longer protect transgender workers from employer discrimination.
- – October 6, 2017 – The Trump administration released a mandate reversing an Obama-era protection on employees’ right to employer-provided birth control. Under Trump’s new mandate, employers could cite religious objection as grounds to withhold free birth control from employee health care plans.
- – October 8, 2017 – In exchange for an extension to the Dreamers program:, Trump demanded funding for his border wall, a massive increase in border security personnel, more stringent qualifications for asylum-seekers, and a moratorium on federal grants for “sanctuary cities.”
- – October 9, 2017 – After more National Football League players began kneeling for the national anthem Donald Trump told Vice President Mike Pence to attend a Colts vs. 49ers game, specifically to leave the stadium as a public rebuke to the protests. Pence dutifully carried the plan to fruition, arriving at the stadium to great fanfare, and then conspicuously leaving the game before kickoff. After the stunt, the president tweeted, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.” Pence’s trip to Indiana in order to walk out of the stadium cost taxpayers around $250,000.
- – October 9, 2017 – Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt moved to repeal the Clean Power Act, introduced by Obama to lower carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030. Trump and Pruitt had long seen the act as an attack on coal mining jobs and reversed the environmental regulations as a gesture to the coal industry. In spite of the many well-publicized pieces of legislation Trump has influenced in order to create more jobs for coal miners, employment in the industry has grown just 4 percent since he was inaugurated. To put the size of the coal mining industry in perspective, the industry as a whole employs about 65,000 people nationally—about 1/5 the number of Americans employed in solar energy alone.
- – October 9, 2017 – EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told a crowd at the Kentucky Farm Bureau that he would like to remove all tax credits given to wind and solar energy. “I’d let them stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources.” The subsidies for renewable energy were meant to stimulate development and use of new energy technologies. Thus far, the subsidies have already had a measurable impact. Berkeley National Laboratory found that oil and coal that we avoided burning between 2007 and 2015 equated to saving between 3,000 and 12,500 premature deaths in eight years. Beyond the health and environmental advantages of subsidizing new sources of energy, Pruitt also ignored the question of whether the oil and coal industries could ‘stand on their own’ without federal support. The fossil fuel industries have received about $20 billion dollars annually in federal tax subsidies.
- – October 10, 2017 – In response to the National Football League’s national anthem protests, Donald Trump threatened the NFL with re-evaluation of its tax-exempt status.
- – October 10, 2017 – According to fact-checkers at the Washington Post, Donald Trump made 1,318 false claims in his first 263 days as president. That equates to around 5 falsehoods per day since his inauguration.
- – October 10, 2017 – In response to rumors earlier in the month that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called the president a “moron,” Donald Trump said, “I think it’s fake news. But if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”
- – October 11, 2017 – Donald Trump threatened the broadcasting licenses of NBC and other media stations, stating on Twitter, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”
- – October 11, 2017 – After Congress repeatedly blocked its efforts to overhaul immigration policy, the Department of Homeland Security began to explore smaller policy tweaks it could legally enact without the approval of Congress. Though smaller in scope than the more ambitious calls for border walls and billions spent on border security, the DHS looked into ways it could limit protections for unaccompanied minors, tighten visa restrictions, and accelerate pending deportations.
- – October 11, 2017 – Donald Trump told his military advisors he wanted a tenfold increase in nuclear firepower. Every president since Ronald Reagan has signed international disarmament agreements, which still legally restricts the U.S. from increasing nuclear stockpiles. Trump denied he had asked for the expansion, and some military officials said they did not believe he was speaking “literally” when discussing the United States nuclear arsenal.
- – October 11, 2017 – In the EPA’s four-year strategic plan covering Donald Trump’s tenure in office, the term “climate change” did not appear once in the document’s 33 pages.
- – October 12, 2017 – Donald Trump scrapped a healthcare subsidy that helped low-income Americans with out-of-pocket expenses at the time of treatment. In addition to endangering citizens who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket, the elimination of subsidies could cause insurance premiums to rise even further, as insurance companies would need to cover the difference. Insurance premiums had already risen almost across the nation since Trump took office, spiking 27 percent for Californians, 30.6 percent for Pennsylvanians, and 44 percent for Idahoans.
- – October 12, 2017 – While Puerto Rico was still reeling a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall—with 90 percent of the island still without electricity and 40 percent without clean drinking water—Donald Trump responded to critics on Twitter by saying, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Five months after the hurricane, 400,000 Puerto Ricans still did not have power.
- – October 12, 2017 – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was overheard in numerous shouting matches with Donald Trump, underscoring ongoing rumors of chaos within the White House. In a surprise appearance at the White House press briefing, Kelly responded to inquiries about his job status saying, “I’m not quitting today. I don’t believe, and I just talked to the president, I don’t think I’m being fired today. And I’m not so frustrated in this job that I’m thinking of leaving.” Kelly went on to add, “Unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired, and I don’t think they’ll fire anyone tomorrow.”
- – October 13, 2017 – Donald Trump nominated a climate change skeptic to chair the Council on Environmental Quality, which advises the White House on environmental policy. Before her position on the council, Kathleen Hartnett White worked on the Texas Public Policy Foundation where she authored a paper that included this sentence: “Whether emitted from the human use of fossil fuels or as a natural (and necessary) gas in the atmosphere surrounding the earth, carbon dioxide has none of the attributes of a pollutant.” She also wrote a 2014 paper that argued, “global warming alarmists are misleading the public about carbon dioxide emissions.”
- – October 13, 2017 – In the fallout from Hurricane Maria, the Pentagon accidentally sent emails to a Bloomberg reporter discussing how they would spin the natural disaster for media coverage. The emails to Bloomberg continued for five days despite the Bloomberg reporter “repeatedly alerting officials” to the mistake. Among the bits of strategy gleaned from the emails were agency-wide requests to ignore the mayor of San Juan, who had been critical of Trump, and to “avoid instructions about waiting for FEMA.”
- – October 13, 2017 – Donald Trump announced he would decertify the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program and instead consider new sanctions on Iran. Meanwhile, the UK, France, and Germany—other signatories on the initial agreement—all announced they would remain “committed” to the original pact.
- – October 16, 2017 – Donald Trump asserted Barack Obama did not call the families of fallen soldiers. This was untrue. Obama had long meetings with the families of fallen soldiers, as confirmed by both Obama’s staff and the families themselves.
- – October 16, 2017 – The EPA changed the rules on what constitutes a “dangerous” amount of radiation, multiplying by 10 the threshold set by Obama.
- – October 18, 2017 – Donald Trump thanked @TEN_GOP on Twitter when the account posted, “We love you, Mr. President.” The @TEN_GOP profile, which had 150,000 followers and described itself as “the Unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans,” was the most influential Russian account on Twitter before its suspension.
- – October 18, 2017 – Donald Trump offered the father of a fallen soldier a gift of $25,000. At first, Trump did not keep his promise. Then three months later, on the publication day of the Washington Post’s article reporting Trump never sent his promised gift, a check for $25,000 was mailed to the grieving father.
- – October 19, 2017 – During a security conference, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said, “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” This was false. The report Pompeo referenced concluded that Russian meddling had occurred, but did not speculate on whether that interference had altered the course of the election or not.
- – October 20, 2017 – Donald Trump tweeted, “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13 percent annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ not good, we must keep America safe!” The UK’s Office for National Statistics did report a 13 percent increase in police-reported crime in its quarterly report, but gave only one reference to terror attacks in the whole report and did not attribute the rise in crime to Islam in any way.
- – October 20, 2017 – The EPA deleted resources from its website that provided information to local governments on steps they could take to help address climate change. One example was an EPA site titled “Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments” being renamed “Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments,” with 15 mentions of “climate change” being removed from the home page alone.
- – October 21, 2017 – The families of four fallen American soldiers received rush-delivered UPS messages from Donald Trump after he stated in a phone interview that he had contacted “virtually all” Gold Star families.
- – October 22, 2017 – The EPA canceled speaking engagements for three agency scientists who had been scheduled to present findings on the effects of climate change. An agency spokesperson offered no explanation for the abrupt cancellation.
- – October 23, 2017 – When asked about gay rights while in the company of Mike Pence, Donald Trump joked, “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”
- – October 23, 2017 – To repair Puerto Rico’s electric power infrastructure, the Trump administration awarded a $300 million contract to Whitefish Energy—a small Montana-based company with only two employees. When confusion spread over why Whitefish had earned the lucrative contract, it was revealed that Whitefish Energy’s CEO, Andy Techmanski, was from the same hometown as Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Both Zinke and Techmanski confirmed they knew each other before the $300 million deal; Zinke’s son had even worked a summer job for Whitefish. When Techmanski was asked about how had gotten the multimillion-dollar federal contract, he replied, “We called each other.” According to the contract itself, the US government could not “audit or review the cost and profit elements” of Whitefish’s work—allowing Whitefish to spend the $300 million with virtually no oversight. Days later, the governor of Puerto Rico canceled the contract.
- – October 23, 2017 – Myeshia Johnson, the widow of a fallen US soldier, said Donald Trump forgot her husband’s name when calling to console her. On Twitter, Trump denied the Gold Star widow’s allegations, saying he had said her husband’s name without hesitation.
- – October 24, 2017 – Vice President Mike Pence helped Republicans in the Senate win a tie-breaker to defeat a new piece of legislation that would have made Wall Street more accountable to consumers. The law itself would have enabled citizens to form class-action lawsuits against large financial institutions. The rule had been in the works for five years, and was born out of the 2008 financial crash as a means of giving consumers more leverage in legal battles against massive banks. In response to the Senate’s vote, the Director of the Consumer Bureau said, “Tonight’s vote is a giant setback for every consumer in this country. As a result, companies like Wells Fargo and Equifax remain free to break the law without fear of legal blowback from their customers.”
- – October 25, 2017 – As part of an ongoing online feud, Donald Trump tweeted at Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker: “The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!”
- – October 26, 2017 – After Donald Trump gave the go-ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline project, he pledged that he would require the pipeline be made of American steel. He backtracked on that promise, allowing foreign steel as a primary material for the pipeline. The steel industry has suffered under Trump’s leadership, and total imports of foreign steel rose 24 percent in his first year as president.
- – October 26, 2017 – Instead of declaring the opioid crisis a “national emergency,” Donald Trump announced the he would officially label the epidemic a “national public health emergency.” The distinction is that a “national emergency” would trigger access to FEMA’s disaster relief funds, amounting to millions of dollars in aid. Instead, Trump’s decision to designate the American opioid epidemic a “national public health emergency” allowed access to only $57,000 in emergency funding.
- – October 26, 2017 – The Government Accountability Office announced it would investigate Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission after concerns that they may be misusing federal funds. The commission had met only twice since its inception, and had not released any information on its work—including its methodology for uncovering voter fraud or measures it had taken to prevent fraud in the future. The claim that illegal voting swayed the 2016 popular vote had been a talking point for Trump, despite having been widely discredited.
- – October 29, 2017 – According to analysis by The Daily Beast, 50 percent of Donald Trump’s nominees for Senate-confirmed positions held significant conflicts of interest. The review of Trump’s 341 nominations also found 63 had lobbied actively in the industries they were to oversee, and 11 received direct payments from companies in the industries they were nominated to regulate.
- – October 30, 2017 – Before the election in 2016, a college professor contacted Donald Trump aid George Papadopoulos to tell him the Russians had harmful information on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos eventually pled guilty to lying when FBI investigators asked him about the conversation in October of 2017. At the time, Papadopoulos’s proven contact was the most direct evidence that the Trump campaign had knowledge of Russia’s ability and intention to help them sabotage Clinton’s campaign.
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NEXT INSTALLMENT: Atrocities 383-545