Trump and Andrew McCabe, January 23, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to ask the acting FBI Director how he voted in the 2016 presidential election. It is also NOT NORMAL for the president to be angered by the fact that the acting FBI Director’s wife received money from a political action committee affiliated with the minority party during a run for the Virginia state Senate two years earlier.

Source: the Washington Post.

Presidential Twitter Insanity, January 16, 2018 – January 22, 2018

The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to

  1. call a sitting Senator “Dicky” because he was unhappy that the senator had revealed his racist remarks about the continent of Africa to the press;
  2. repeatedly insist on the importance of the “WALL” and complain about the danger of the “Lottery,” and allege that the minority party was seeking “unchecked illegal immigration”;
  3. complain about the “Fake News Mainstream Media” and insist that the “Russian Collusion Hoax is dead,” despite the indictments and plea deals that have already emerged from it;
  4. approvingly tweet verbatim quotes from Fox and Friends;
  5. post a link to a misleading report about foreign-born commission of terrorism;
  6. throw a wrench into negotiations over an impending government shutdown by tweeting that “CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension!”;
  7. complain that members of the minority party “care very little about” the military;
  8. refer to the government shutdown as “a nice present” for the anniversary of his inauguration;
  9. pretend that the protest marches on the anniversary of his inauguration were intended to “celebrate the historic milestones” of his presidency; and
  10. announce that he was going to Pennsylvania to “give [his] total support” to a candidate in a House special election, after the White House had called the trip an official presidential visit, not a campaign stop.

Source: the presidential Twitter feed.

Fake News Awards, January 17, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to bestow “fake news awards” on journalists who made mistakes, wrote an editorial with a prediction that proved to be wrong but contained no factual errors, or tweeted and then deleted a misleading photo from a personal account. The final “fake news award” was bestowed on “RUSSIA COLLUSION” (the president does love his Caps Lock button) without naming a particular journalist; as I’ve said in the past, an investigation that has yielded two plea agreements and the indictments of two former members of the president’s campaign staff is not “fake news.”

Sources: Vox, the actual Fake News Awards.

Trump on Cognitive Test and North Korea, January 17, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to claim (even jokingly) that he was more suited to handle the North Korea crisis than his predecessors because he had attained a perfect score on a test whose intent was to evaluate whether or not he had dementia. It is distressing to me that the president may not understand the difference between a medical diagnostic and an I.Q. test.

Source: Reuters


Presidential Twitter Insanity, January 9, 2018 – January 15, 2018

The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to

  1. complain about an executive order being overturned by the Ninth Circuit;
  2. dub a Senator “Sneaky Dianne Feinstein”;
  3. charge that it was “possibly illegal” to release the transcript of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (spoiler alert: it wasn’t illegal);
  4. refer to the investigation into his campaign’s contacts with Russia as a “the single greatest Witch Hunt in American history”;
  5. repeatedly tag a cable news shows that run stories of which he apparently approves;
  6. tout the fact that 66% of Americans are happy with the economy and omit the fact that most Americans credit Obama for it;
  7. criticize the upcoming House vote to extend the FISA Act, even though members of his own administration had gone to Capitol Hill to lobby for it, and then walk back his criticism two hours later after a talk with the Speaker of the House;
  8. repeatedly complain about the Democrats’ immigration policy;
  9. claim that he was cancelling his trip to London because he was upset about the “Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts'” when in fact he is most likely cancelling because of protests and the move of the U.S. embassy was planned by the Bush administration for security reasons;
  10. deny that he said “anything derogatory” about Haiti;
  11. use his Twitter feed to fight with the author of a book about his administration and the staff of the Wall Street Journal; and
  12. begin Martin Luther King Day with a long tweet quoting himself about immigration.

(However, I am encouraged in that I think he went a whole week without mentioning “Crooked Hillary.” Baby steps!)

Source: the Presidential Twitter feed. Scroll to the appropriate dates.

Hawaii Ballistic Missile False Alarm, January 13, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL that the entire state of Hawaii was erroneously notified that a ballistic missile was headed their way. It is further NOT NORMAL, and equally concerning, that the president did not interrupt his golf game to provide the people of that state with any reassurances and in fact, had still failed to address concerns about the incident but had managed to tweet about “Fake News” several times. Look, I don’t care how much the president plays golf,  but I don’t think it’s asking too much that he pause his game to deal with an unfolding situation. And I don’t think his lackluster response to this situation sends a good signal to Kim Jong Un or any other world leaders about how the United States might handle a real crisis. (I am also baffled by the White House statement that the mistaken alert was a “state exercise,” when the state itself is saying it was just an accident, and I would really like someone to clear that up.)

Source: the Washington Post.

Immigration and “Shithole Countries,” January 11, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to call African nations “shithole countries,” and how sad it is that we are at the point at which that has to be stated explicitly. (And ordinarily I wouldn’t use profanity on my page, but it’s a direct quote from the president of the United States, so here we are.) It is NOT NORMAL for the president to be so openly racist that he asks why Congress would propose accepting immigrants from Haiti and Africa rather than Norway. It is NOT NORMAL that the president said “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” It is NOT NORMAL that the African Union and African ambassadors to the United Nations have had to demand an apology from the president of the United States for his overt racism and xenophobia. It is NOT NORMAL that two Senators from the president’s party claim to “not recall” the president’s language even though others in the room had gone on the record about the conversation.

Sources: the New York Times, Vox, NBC News.

Wall Street Journal Interview, January 14, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL, and should be deeply concerning, for the president to give a rambling and at times incoherent interview to the Wall Street Journal. In particular, it is NOT NORMAL for the president to say that “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea,” to whom he has not spoken and whom he has dubbed “Little Rocket Man.” It is also NOT NORMAL for the president and his press secretary to vehemently insist that the president was misquoted and continue to do so several hours after the Wall Street Journal posted an audio clip from the interview that clearly demonstrates the accuracy of their transcript.

Sources: the Wall Street Journal, Politico.