Liveblogging the Trump presidency, one catastrophe at a time.
As usual we’ll start with a little weekend catch-up, and then get on to Monday’s news.
SATURDAY: Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are having a tough time getting along and Trump has apparently told them to get their crap together or someone’s getting a resume together. The Russian bots on Twitter (and, one assumes, a handful of actual humans) had a field day over that news. Meanwhile, the actual human Trump fans on Twitter have their knickers all in a twist over the Syria bombing because Trump’s supposed to be all “America First” and what not, and meanwhile, the Syria bombing appears to have accomplished just about jack squat. Also, Russia sent a warship off to the Mediterranean Sea, where our destroyers fired off the Tomahawks. Finally, for some reason Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has a great big protection detail no one else has, and it’s costing us a small fortune. (WTFJHT)
SUNDAY: Two Egyptian Christian churches were bombed and ISIS took credit. We sent an aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships off to hang out menacingly by the Korean peninsula, and Rep. Adam Schiff says Russia is complicit in the Syrian chemical attack because Russia must have known Syria had chemical weapons. Deputy National Security Adviser K. T. McFarland has been booted and made ambassador to Singapore. Meanwhile, the Trump administration still can’t get its crap together on what it wants to do with Syria. (WTFJHT)
NEWS: Judge Neil Gorsuch has been sworn in on the SCotUS. (ABC News)
NEWS: The Trump administration wants Russia to stop supporting Syria. (Washington Post)
NEWS: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia is incompetent for letting Syria keep its chemical weapons, which should make for a pleasant and friendly visit when he heads off to Russia this week. He also says we’re going to hold accountable any nation that commits “atrocities” against its people. (New York Times, CNN, Reuters)
NEWS: Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, is warning all the other government agencies to get ready to lose, just, like, all their money. (Axios)
NEWS: Trump’s apparently got an executive order to expand offshore drilling in his pocket. (Bloomberg)
NEWS: Pyotr Levashov, a Russian hacker, has been arrested in Spain in connection to the US election hacking. (BBC)
- NEWS: The Independent and RT (Russia Today, a Russian propaganda “news” network) are reporting that Pyotr Levashov’s wife said, after he was arrested, that he was arrested for writing a computer virus related to Trump’s election win, but that seems like pretty iffy reporting to me. Reuters is reporting that Levashov was not picked up for anything related to national security, and KrebsOnSecurity is pointing out that Levashov is one of the top ten spammers in the world and that his spam network was used in the 2012 Russian network to send emails that linked to fake news about Putin’s opponent, so it seems more likely that that’s what he was doing in this election, too. (The Independent, KrebsOnSecurity, Reuters)
NEWS: Trump made time on Saturday to wander over to the Koch brothers’ table at Mar-A-Lago and get some brown-nosing in. (Politico)
NEWS: Reince Priebus told Bannon and Kushner this weekend to get their crap together and start acting like grownups. Apparently this worked. (The Guardian)
- RELATED: Breitbart editors have told their staff to stop writing mean stories about Jared Kushner. (Business Insider, TPM)
@RealDonaldTrump Steve Bannon is the lynchpin to your energized base. Conservatives are an endangered species in your White House.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) April 10, 2017
NEWS: The National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University have filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the White House visitor records. (The Hill, Politico)
NEWS: “President Donald Trump has scrapped the tax plan he campaigned on and is going back to the drawing board in a search for Republican consensus behind legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax system.” (AP)
- NEWS: One of the new proposals being floated is the elimination of payroll taxes, the primary funding source for Social Security. (TPM)
NEWS: James Renne, one of the major players in a Bush II-era anti-LGBT scandal where career government employees were either fired from their jobs or forced to move to new offices in Detroit for no reason because their bosses suspected they were gay, now works for the Trump administration. (ProPublica)
NEWS: “Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to President Donald Trump who’s been dogged in recent weeks by a slew of reports about his links to far-right groups in Hungary, is reportedly jockeying to move into a new role: special envoy to Libya.” (TPM)
POLL: A new CBS News poll shows that 57% of Americans approved of the Syrian strikes, but 7 out of 10 of those polled say Trump needs Congressional approval before taking any more action in Syria. (Washington Post, CBS News)
NEWS: “U.S. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to launch a trade investigation that could lead to supplemental duties in certain product categories, a Trump administration official told Reuters.” (Reuters)
ANALYSIS: “President Donald Trump’s decision to launch missiles into Syria risked raising tensions with Iran, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a conflict with dangerously blurry battle lines.” (AP)
SEAN SPICER SHOW: Spicer says that the reports of White House infighting are overblown (Politico, TPM), that Trump’s foreign policy is still “America First” (Politico), and that “de-escalating” the Syrian civil war with Trump’s bombings was the best thing the US could do for Syrians (TPM). Spicer also said that a court would have to decide if Syria’s Assad was a war criminal, that we need to see if Russia will commit to action in Syria, and that our main goal in the Middle East is defeating ISIS (Axios). Also, besides chemical weapons, barrel bombs would be another reason why the Trump administration would take action in Syria again (Washington Post). Worth noting: Assad uses barrel bombs all the time.
- ANALYSIS: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer just announced a policy that would mean constant and unending US involvement in Syria’s civil war — if the Trump team is actually serious about it.” (Vox)
Looking for old Trumpster Fires? Look here.