February 15, 2017… Day 27
No White House Press Briefing today, because of Netanyahu’s visit. This was the third time Trump gave one of these joint conferences with foreign leaders, and each time he has only called on conservative news outlets. As he left the room, reporters yelled questions about whether the campaign had communicated with Russia, and he didn’t answer.
Last night’s campaign-Russia intercept news washed back and forth through news outlets and social media, but it felt like the story circled back to Flynn’s resignation and then settled into stories about what it means that the White House leaks like a sieve and intelligence agencies won’t share certain information with Trump for fear that he will pass it along to Russia. That news broke in the Observer a few days ago, and was picked up on more widely today.
Dan Rather also passed along an alarming and oddly sensational (for Dan, who 24 hours ago was still calling this situation a 5 or a 6 compared to Watergate’s 9) Rawstory.com article which cited high level intelligence officers saying of Trump “he will die behind bars.”
Bannon, in an interview with some journalist (I forget who now!) at the White House, pushed back against the idea that Priebus was in hot water. Then later they seem to have jointly telephoned The Hill to say how great everything was and how well they’re getting along.
A couple of major news shows including Morning Joe, said they won’t book Kellyanne Conway anymore because she’s a liar.
Trump further mangled the messaging about Flynn’s retirement in his Bibi press conference, saying it was terribly unfair what the media did to a wonderful man liked Flynn. Jake Tapper said later on CNN, “You fired Flynn, the media didn’t fire him.”
Washington Post headline: Trump says Flynn was treated unfairly, a day after Spicer said Flynn was fired for lack of trust.
When asked by an Israeli reporter about anti-semitic attacks and charges that he had catered to racism and xenophobia, Trump answered by first gloating in his electoral college victory at length, and then saying “I will say, there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.” He then went on to pay lip service about how racism is bad and to rattle off some of the Jewish people he personally knew.
This Saturday, Trump is holding a rally in Orlanda, Florida. He referred to it as a campaign rally.
Earlier in the day there was a tweet tirade about the failing, crooked media and how the real story is the leaks. Supporters on his Facebook page frothing at the mouth, lock everybody up, lock up Hillary, lock up the press, find the leakers and lock them up too. Everybody seems to want to live in Putin’s Russia. No one even seems to know what democracy is and how it functions in their life.
I honestly couldn’t keep track very well — between the House Dems, House Republicans, Senate Dems and Senate Republicans — who on what committee was calling or not calling for which kind of investigation. Independent, not independent, subpoena power. Echoes of what Rachel Maddow said last night–with Jeff Sessions as Attorney General (and adamant that the won’t recuse himself), with Jason Chaffetz heading the House Oversight Committee, with James Comey at the head of the FBI — this could all just get dropped down a deep well and called done.She said “We have the rule of law in this country. I’ve read all about it. But who’s going to make it reality against THIS administration, with THESE allegations?” She demonstrated how the rule of law also exists on paper in Russia. It just doesn’t exist in reality.
Yesterday, when Flynn’s resignation was known but the interception of calls between the campaign and Russia (from before the election) hadn’t come out yet, Rand Paul told reporters that he didn’t think it really made sense “for Republicans to be investigating Republicans”
But then in the evening I saw this — so, I’m still confused.
Yesterday, Republicans killed a bill that would have forced Trump to show his tax returns.
Republican Senator Bob Corker said on Morning Joe: “Is the White House going to have the ability to stabilize itself?”
Top Senate Republicans ask Trump to withdraw Larry Puzder as nominee for Labor Secretary. Throughout the day, the number of confirmed “No” votes mounted among Republicans. By the end of the day, Larry Puzder had withdrawn his own name.
Intermittently reasonable Republican Susan Collins of Maine, said she would vote against Scott Pruitt for EPA.
Most interesting thing said by a known Republican at work today: “The intelligence community is sworn to protect the American public, and they are going to do it one way or another.”
Specific, hyper-local warnings zinged around social media today about where ICE were conducting raids, for instance: “Stay away from the Bothell Costco.”
These congresswomen spoke out against the ICE raids, the sloppy vagueness of both the raids and the executive order behind it, the murky definition of “criminal” and the detention of DREAMer Daniel Ramirez in Seattle. Pramila Jayapal was there (not pictured) and spoke as well. She’s a new congresswoman who until recently was a state legislator representing Seattle. I like this picture because of the women in standing in front and the women reporters sitting below asking questions. Almost everyone in the room was a woman.
Meanwhile, back in Seattle, councilwoman Kshama Savant called for people to come to a Free Daniel rally at the courthouse on Friday.
Tomorrow is a day without immigrants. It’s so brave for immigrants to strike. Restaurants in the D.C. area and around the country will be closing in sympathy. A women’s strike is scheduled for March 8.
This creepy thing is also happening in Oklahoma (see below), but I haven’t even been able to go there mentally or emotionally. There has been a host of insidious legislation introduced in the states and maybe I should be focusing on it more–it’s just impossible to get a handle on everything alarming that happens in one day.