This Is Not Normal, July 10, 2018 – July 16, 2018

This is your weekly reminder that this is NOT NORMAL.

  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president referred to the European Union as a “foe” and issued a veiled threat to walk away from NATO if other NATO members did not increase their financial contributions. It is also NOT NORMAL that congressional members of the president’s party continue to remain silent while the president destroys our relationships with our allies.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that a candidate in the Georgia gubernatorial Republican primary said that the race was about “who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the current administration is dragging its feet on compliance with a judge’s order to reunite migrant families separated at the border.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that Russian intelligence agents just happened to hack the president’s opponent’s emails on the same day that the president (then candidate) said publicly, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president attacked the mayor of London and the British prime minister in an interview with a British newspaper, calling the mayor weak on terrorism and claiming that he had told the prime minister how to resolve her country’s issues with the European Union and she had refused to listen. It is further NOT NORMAL that he then called the transcript of his interview “fake news,” despite the fact that audio confirmed the published quotes.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president called an American television news network “fake news” during a press conference in Britain, and called an American reporter for another network “dishonest.”
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the former secretary of Health and Human Services spent an unnecessary $341,000 on travel.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the majority party devoted an entire congressional hearing to aggressively attacking an FBI agent who worked on the investigation of the president’s campaign for infidelity and political bias. For example, the question “I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her?” is not a normal question in a congressional hearing.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that North Korea did not show up for a meeting with the State Department about repatriating the remains of American service members, a repatriation that the president claimed several weeks ago had already happened.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president pardoned two ranchers convicted of setting fires on federal land, pardons that were based not on clemency recommendations from the Justice Department but apparently on a request from a donor to the Vice President.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president appointed and the Senate confirmed an official to lead the Justice department’s Criminal Division who has never tried a case and has done private sector work for Russian banks.
  • It is NOT NORMAL that the president gave a joint press conference with the Russian president in which he said he believed the Russian president’s denials of meddling in the 2016 presidential election; complained that “It’s a shame that there can even be a little bit of a cloud over” his electoral college victory; suggested that American intelligence agencies should work with their Russian counterparts to investigate the hacks; blamed the United States for tensions with Russia; and refused to make any specific criticisms of Russian actions.
  • The president’s Twitter feed continues to be an international disgrace. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to
    • attack the European Union for “big Tariffs (& Barriers)!”;
    • complain repeatedly about European contributions to NATO and call the American contributions to NATO “Very Unfair!”;
    • claim that a “New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party” (it doesn’t);
    • complain about the “Rigged Witch Hunt” run by “13 Angry Democrats” and repeatedly attack by name two FBI agents who were having an affair and exchanged texts critical of the president;
    • call immigration “soooo simple to fix” and blame Democrats for obstruction (if all Republicans were on board with the President’s immigration plans, a bill could be passed without Democrats);
    • complain that the FBI did not “take possession of” the “DNC Server”;
    • refer to CNN as “Fake News” and refer to the president of CNN as “Little Jeff Z”;
    • brag about his not-that-impressive Electoral College victory yet again;
    • blame Russian interference in the election on the previous president;
    • refer to indictments against Russian agents for interfering in the election as “stories”;
    • tweet that “no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough — that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition! Much of our news media is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct!”; and
    • claim that he had received “many calls from leaders of NATO countries thanking me for helping to bring them together and to get them focused on financial obligations” (there is no evidence of any such calls).