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Donald J. Trump White House Page 1
Dedicated to Donald J. Trump's (aka Don the Con) time in the White House the ups, the downs, the corruption, the chaos, the destruction, the devastation and the hatred created by Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump has corrupted the white house, the House, the Senate, the DOJ, the state department and other government departments and agencies to protect and defend Donald J. Trump. Instead of putting America first, they are putting Donald J. Trump first. Donald J. Trump is threat to Democracy, our National Security, America and you, we are dedicated to shining a light on that threat. Trump is a bully who can dish it out but cannot take it, Trump does not punch back he lashes out like a child when his feeling get hurt. You cannot trust the information you get from Trump, his surrogates, the GOP or right wing media who lie, use fake news and alterative facts to distract from the truth and to promote the right wing agenda. If Trump opens his month it is probably a lie, Trump is a liar who lies about his lies; many of the Trump’s surrogates, the GOP and right wing media lie, use alternative facts and fake news to protect Trump and the GOP while attacking and destroying our Democracy. Do not take our word for it, read it for yourself and find out more about the real Donald J. Trump and how he is destroying America and our Democracy with the help of Fox News (Fake News) and right wing media (more fake news). We have added the capital riot otherwise known as the Trump insurrection to the Trump White House pages. Trump and his enablers are to blame for what happen at capital riot. The more you know the better informed you will be to make your own determination on the real Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con). Looking for more information about Trump Administration Scandals, Trump Impeachment Inquiry, Trump EPA, Trump before the White House, Trump Lawsuits, The Trump-Russia Affair, The Trump-Ukraine Affair, Trump News, Moscow Mitch, GOP Watch, Election Fraud or Election Interference. #Trump, #TrumpWhiteHouse, #WhiteHouseFind out about the real Donald J. Trump. Donald J. Trump is a crook, a con man and liar who uses alternative facts and projection of himself on to other. Find out about Trump, Russia, Putin and the Mueller investigation. trump campaign colluded or conspire with Putin and the Russians. Is trump the king of fake news alternative facts? trump lies Donald Trump a racist? Learn about don the con trump and Russia. Find out about the trump Russia Putin connection. Is trump a traitor? Find out more about don the con, con man don and learn about the trump university, trump foundation, Russian collusion, money laundering, Trump the money launder and more…

Donald J. Trump White House Pages   

With help from his allies, Fox News, right-wing media and some in the Republican Party; Donald J. Trump incited insurrection, sedition, attempted a coup d’etat and caused the sacking of the United States capital. Donald J. Trump’s coup attempt involved some House members, some Senate members, and Mike Pence overturning the election certification process with the hope that Trump could steal the election and steal the presidency. If those on the right really wanted to stop the steal, they should have told Trump to stop lying about the election and stop trying to steal the election. Trump sent his supporters to the United States capital in hopes that maybe they could scare congress into helping him over turn the election so he could remain the president.

Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the house. Moscow Mitch and GOP Senators will make a mockery of our Republic to protect Donald J. Trump.   

Annotated transcripts of Trump's remarks


The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

64 words. 4 weeks. 1 bracket. Only one word can win. Cast your vote in Trump’s Best Word Bracket at dailyshowbracket.com #TheDailyShow, #BestWordBracket

Donald J. Trump Has Failed In His Response To Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.


MSNBC

Chris Hayes: “It is entirely possible that there were people in that crowd, looking to apprehend, possibly harm, and possibly murder the leaders of the political class that the President, and people like Mo Brooks, and even to a certain extent Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, have told them have betrayed them." video...

The Washington Post’s Capitol Hill reporter Rhonda Colvin and video journalist Lindsey Sitz were reporting live from the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building. This is their account of the harrowing hours that followed. video...

NBC News congressional reporter Haley Talbot was inside when the violence and chaos started. video...

*** Trump lied when he said he would be too busy being president to play golf. ***

Cost to Taxpayer: About $144,000,000**
*Daytime visits to golf clubs since inauguration, with evidence of playing golf on at least 150 visits. Our last recorded outing was on December 30, 2020. Click on complete data table for a list of Trump's outings, or view our breakdown of total costs. more...

By HOPE YEN, CHRISTOPHER RUGABER and CALVIN WOODWARD

On his way out, President Donald Trump claimed credit for things he didn’t do and twisted his record on jobs, taxes, the pandemic and much more. Falsehoods suffused his farewell remarks to the country. As well, in noting Americans were “horrified” by the storming of the Capitol this month, he brushed past the encouragement he had given to the mob in advance and his praise of the attackers as “very special” people while they were still ransacking the seat of power. A look at some of his statements Tuesday:

COVID-19
TRUMP: “Another administration would have taken three, four, five, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.”

THE FACTS: Actually, the administration didn’t develop any vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies did. And one of the two U.S. companies that have come out with vaccines now in use did not take development money from the government. Trump’s contention that a vaccine would have taken years under a different administration stretches credulity. COVID-19 vaccines were indeed remarkably fast, but other countries have been developing them, too. A vaccine for the coronavirus is not a singular achievement of the United States, much less the Trump administration. more...

The list includes Steve Bannon, Elliott Broidy, Lil Wayne, and Kodak Black.
Blake Montgomery

In one of his last acts as president, Donald Trump pardoned cronies and celebrities—including strategist Steve Bannon, fundraiser Elliott Broidy, and rapper Lil Wayne—hours before he was set to leave the White House. Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, the long-awaited list was released with pardons for 73 people and commutations for another 70. Many of the names would be unfamiliar to the average American, but the list also included figures from high-profile cases and people with ties to Trumpland. Notably missing from the list were WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Tiger King star Joe Exotic—whose supporters had pushed for pardons. Trump also did not issue pre-emptive pardons for any members of him family, his attorney Rudy Giuliani, or himself. Four people who received clemency were supported by lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who was part of the defense team during Trump’s first impeachment. Among them is Sholam Weiss, who was sentenced to more than 800 years in prison in connection with a massive fraud scheme that destroyed a life insurance company and stripped its customers of their savings. Weiss fled the country in the middle of the trial but was captured in Austria and extradited. more...

Israeli Air Force officer Aviem Sella was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in March 1987 on three counts of espionage for recruiting Jonathan Pollard to hand over secrets.
Barbie Latza Nadeau

Among the cronies and b-list celebs pardoned in his final hours in office, President Trump has waived justice for the man who recruited notorious double agent Jonathon Pollard to spy against the U.S. As a favor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamain Netanyahu and Trump mega-donor Miriam Adelson, the president pardoned Aviem Sella despite his key role in a major diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Israel. Sella, a 75-year-old former Israeli Air Force officer, was indicted on three counts of espionage in 1987 for recruiting Pollard, a U.S. Naval Intelligence analyst, and convincing him to hand over state secrets to Israel. Netanyahu campaigned for Pollard’s release for decades and more recently used him as a political token as he faced growing domestic turbulence. Pollard was released from parole in the U.S. in November after serving 30 years in prison for leaking thousands of classified documents to Israel. He immediately flew to Tel Aviv, where Netanyahu personally greeted him at the airport. more...

"The whole point is 110 percent to screw the incoming administration from doing anything for six months," said an official, who doubts the deals are legal.
By Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Current and former Trump administration officials say the Department of Homeland Security has made a last-minute effort to "sabotage" the incoming administration's efforts to unroll its tough immigration policies by signing legal agreements in recent weeks with state and local authorities that are intended to delay any such changes for 180 days. Homeland Security has entered into agreements that would require the agency, even under the leadership of the Biden administration, to consult with certain state and local jurisdictions "before taking any action or making any decision that could reduce immigration enforcement, increase the number of illegal aliens in the United States, or increase immigration benefits or eligibility for benefits" for undocumented immigrants. The states and localities would then have 180 days to provide comment — and the Biden officials would have to consider their input and provide a "detailed written explanation" if they rejected it. Four such agreements, signed by the attorneys general of Indiana, Louisiana and Arizona and the sheriff of Rockingham County, North Carolina, were first reported by BuzzFeed News. Legal experts have questioned whether they can be enforced. more...

By David Robb

SAG-AFTRA took a major step Tuesday towards kicking Donald Trump out of the union. Meeting in special session, the national board of directors voted overwhelmingly to find “probable cause” that Trump, who has been a member for over 30 years, has “violated the union’s Constitution,” and ordered the matter to be heard by SAG-AFTRA’s Disciplinary Committee. If found guilty by the committee, possible penalties include reprimand, censure, fines, suspension from the rights and privileges of membership, or expulsion. The charges cite Trump’s role in inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and his “sustaining a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at discrediting and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members.” more...

Peter Weber

Anthony Scaramucci was right: The White House appears to be having trouble rounding up a sizable crowd for President Trump's official send-off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday. "In what looks like a desperate attempt to build a crowd for the crowd-obsessed president, an email has been making the rounds to current and former White House officials inviting them, and as many as five plus-ones, to Trump's elaborate exit ceremony," Politico reported Tuesday morning. "The go-to excuse for skipping out has been the 6 a.m. call time at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. But truly, many just don't want to be photographed sending off their former boss." more...

By Pamela Brown, Paul LeBlanc and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump has decided to pardon his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, in a last-minute decision made only hours before he is scheduled to depart the White House for a final time. Officials cautioned CNN that Trump's decision was not final until he signed the paperwork. Trump told people that after much deliberation, he had decided to pardon Bannon as one of his final acts in office. Bannon faces a federal case that began in August when New York federal prosecutors charged him and three others with defrauding donors of more than a million dollars as part of a fundraising campaign purportedly aimed at supporting Trump's border wall. Bannon's pardon would follow a frantic scramble during the President's final hours in office as attorneys and top aides debated his inclusion on Trump's outgoing clemency list. Despite their falling out in recent years, Trump was eager to pardon his former aide after recently reconnecting with him as he helped fan Trump's conspiracy theories about the election. It was a far cry from when Trump exiled Bannon from his inner circle after he was quoted in a book trashing the President's children, claiming that Donald Trump Jr. had been "treasonous" by meeting with a Russian attorney and labeling Ivanka Trump "dumb as a brick." Those statements from Bannon drove Trump to issue a lengthy statement saying he had "lost his mind." more...

By Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood and Nicole Gaouette, CNN

Washington (CNN) With one day left in his tenure, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to his taxpayer-funded Twitter account and denounced multiculturalism, saying it is "not who America is." "Woke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms — they're not who America is. They distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about. Our enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker," he wrote Tuesday. But Pompeo himself, who is widely believed to have 2024 presidential ambitions, has stoked those very divisions with loaded rhetoric and dog whistles decrying "wokeness" and an American way of life "under attack" during protests against racial injustice and police brutality. The secretary of state's assertion that "multiculturalism" is not part of the American ethos was swiftly denounced as a shocking and racist affront to the workforce he leads, the agency he represents and the values it is meant to espouse. "Unconscionable," one diplomat said. Another diplomat asked how this is supposed to make diplomats of color, or those of non-Christian backgrounds, feel. more...

The U.S. will defer for 18 months the removal of certain Venezuelan nationals.
By SABRINA RODRIGUEZ

President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he will offer Venezuelan exiles protection from deportation, a move he has considered for years but refused to do until his last full day in office. Trump is using the little-known Deferred Enforced Departure program, or DED, to offer temporary legal status to Venezuelans fleeing the humanitarian crisis brought on by Nicolás Maduro’s regime. DED, similar to Temporary Protected Status or TPS, protects recipients from deportation and allows them to get work permits. However, it is granted directly by the president instead of the Department of Homeland Security. more...

Two of them made threatening comments toward lawmakers, and one expressed support for President Trump. The others were removed for a wide variety of reasons.
By Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper

WASHINGTON — Twelve National Guard members have been removed from duties related to the inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., two of them for expressing anti-government sentiments, Defense Department officials said on Tuesday. Two of the members were removed over texts and social media posts that made threatening comments toward political officials, Pentagon officials said. They declined to specify the exact nature of the threats. “I will share that they were inappropriate,” Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters during a telephone briefing. Two officials described the texts as broad in nature — not directed specifically at Mr. Biden or Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, but rather at lawmakers as a whole. One of the service members removed, the officials said, made a point of expressing support for President Trump in addition to making menacing comments. more...

Greg Iacurci

Nearly 13,000 taxpayers may have received a collective $57 million in “pass-through” tax breaks in error last year, according to a new IRS watchdog report. The break — a qualified business income deduction — was created by the tax law signed by President Donald Trump in 2017. That law broadly cut taxes for businesses and individuals. The QBI deduction allows certain business owners to deduct up to 20% of their business income from their taxes. Pass-through entities, such as sole proprietors, partnerships and S corporations, may claim the deduction, though extra restrictions apply to owners of service businesses like doctors, lawyers and accountants.

Potentially erroneous’ QBI deductions
The IRS allowed business owners to claim $57 million in “potentially erroneous” deductions on 12,980 tax returns filed last year, according to a report publicly released Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The watchdog urged the tax agency to increase its oversight of the pass-through deduction. more...

By Seren Morris

President Donald Trump is expected to pardon more than 100 people in his final hours in office. The list of people Trump will pardon has not yet been announced, but some of the president's allies are expected to be included, and there is speculation that Trump may pardon his family members. Among those hoping to be pardoned are some rioters who stormed the Capitol building earlier in January. It is still unclear if Trump will try to pardon himself, or if he can even do so. Trump's use of clemency has been controversial throughout his presidency. The news of the president using his final day as commander in chief to potentially pardon more than 100 people has been criticized, with Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal saying: "Trump will issue last-second pardons [today]. more...

*** Trump had help from some Republicans, Fox News and right-wing media promoting his lies that lead to the attack on the United State Capitol. ***

Kevin Breuninger

President Donald Trump helped provoke the swarms of his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. The damning remarks on the Senate floor came as the Kentucky Republican and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., worked to hash out details on Trump’s impending impeachment trial. “The mob was fed lies,” McConnell told the chamber, which two weeks earlier had been evacuated as rioters invaded the building. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.” more..

*** Under, Trump the Republican Party has become the Anti-America Party and the party of treason, sedition and insurrection. ***

By Darragh Roche

The chair of the Wyoming Republican Party suggested over the weekend that his state could consider seceding from the union following Congresswoman Liz Cheney's vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Frank Eathorne spoke to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on his War Room Pandemic podcast, which was recently banned from YouTube, about Cheney's decision. "We need to focus on the fundamentals that's been stated in this broadcast, and that is what Wyoming is," Eathorne said. "We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. "Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas too and their consideration of possible secession. Now, they have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it is something that we're all paying attention to." more...

‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president’
Chris Riotta

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell condemned the deadly mob attacks on the Capitol earlier this month and said the riots were “provoked” by President Donald Trump during a speech on the Senate floor Monday afternoon. “The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals,” Mr McConnell said. "The mob was fed lies, they were provoked by the president and other powerful people...But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night." “The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals,” Mr McConnell said. "The mob was fed lies, they were provoked by the president and other powerful people...But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night." more...

As Trump enters his final days, he spent the past week pardoning, vetoing, and pointing fingers as he tries to leave chaos behind him.
Edward Larson, Austin Sarat, and Dennis Aftergut | Opinion contributors

When history looks back for a signature week of the Trump presidency, Christmas 2020 may win the prize. There was a pattern, and likely foreshadowing of a chaotic month to come: Political disorder, norm demolition and unrelenting indifference to others from a truth-negating president. Just look at the week’s five major events and Trump’s responses:

1. Russia’s Cyber-Attack:
On December 19, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Russians were behind a massive cyber-attack on American government and business. Trump promptly disagreed, saying without evidence, that the culprit might be China. This familiar dodge provided cover for the president’s refusal to retaliate against Putin. What explains this stunning failure to defend America from Russia’s virtual “declaration of war?" more...

Joe Biden’s pick for attorney general, Merrick Garland, is a man of the law. He may consider it important to establish, against Trump’s self-pardon, that no one, including a president, is above the law.
Philip Allen Lacovara, Jeffrey Abramson, and Dennis Aftergut | Opinion contributors

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President: Any attempt to pardon yourself for federal crimes may increase the likelihood that the Department of Justice will indict you. DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded in 1974 that a “President cannot pardon himself.” But courts have had no occasion to affirm that conclusion. The only way for the Justice Department to have the issue resolved is to indict Trump notwithstanding any grant of self-clemency. There is a menu of recent federal Trump crimes to choose from — his pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election result would seem to violate federal law making it a crime to attempt to deprive citizens of their right to a fair and impartially conducted election. Trump’s call to an angry mob to march on the Capitol has every appearance of violating federal law defining a “seditious conspiracy” as one that uses “force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States” or to “hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” more...

*** Is was groups like the Proud boys, white supremacist and MAGA supporters that attacked the U.S. Capitol not BLM, the left or Antifa as right is trying to claim. ****

The group says it intentionally dressed in black on the day of the riot
Graig Graziosi

The Proud Boys are celebrating their role in the US Capitol insurrection on Wednesday by taking a virtual victory lap on social media. The group - a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group that was told to "stand back and stand by" by Donald Trump during a presidential debate earlier this year - posted messages boasting and taking credit for the riot. "For several hours, our collective strength had politicians in Washington in absolute terror. The treacherous pawns (cops) were also terrified," a Proud Boy wrote on the group's Telegram social media page. On Parler, another social media platform that welcomes extremists banned from Twitter and Facebook for violating those sites Terms of Service agreements, the Proud Boys openly supported the Capitol insurrection. "Doesn't look like they're destroying the capital. Looks like they're liberating it," the group wrote. "God bless America and all her patriots. Prior to the rally, the leader of the Proud Boys, Henry "Enrique" Tarrio was arrested for burning a Black Lives Matter sign that was stolen from a church in Washington DC. He was also found in possession of high capacity firearm magazines. A DC judge banned Mr Tarrio from entering the District.  more...

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security waged a yearslong internal struggle to get the White House to pay attention to the threat of violent domestic extremists. Frustrated, they gave up on the Trump administration.
By BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN

Elizabeth Neumann spent March 13 and 14 of 2019 at a conference in the picturesque Spanish port city of Málaga. The topic: terrorism. Western leaders were deeply worried about the dangers foreign terrorist fighters traveling back from places like Iraq, Libya and Syria would pose to their home countries. And that’s what Neumann expected to dominate the two-day event. Neumann was DHS’s assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy at the time, handling counterterrorism work from the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters. In Málaga, a history-drenched resort town on Spain’s Costa del Sol that once marked the fault line between the Muslim and Christian worlds, she and her counterparts from scores of countries spent long hours talking about the terrorism threats that concerned them most. After a while, she began to see a pattern: Though concerns about instability in the Middle East dominated most public discussions on counterterrorism, about 80 percent of the leaders at the conference ranked far-right extremism among their top concerns. more...

Steve Inskeep, Simone Popperl, Lilly Quiroz

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah responded to NPR's request for comment on Elizabeth Neumann's charges that the White House has not addressed the threat of domestic extremism, particularly what Neumann referred to as "right-wing extremism." In an email, Farah dismissed Neumann's concerns as those of a "disgruntled employee."

   "Our country is constantly facing dynamic threats ranging from domestic, to cyber, to international, to financial crimes. Our brave federal law enforcement, national security, and Intelligence officials work around the clock to monitor every range of threats facing our nation, including domestic terror," Farah said. "This sounds more like a case of this former disgruntled employee being ineffective at their job, than an indictment of the career professionals who swear an oath to work every day to protect our country from threats foreign and domestic."

Our original story:
A former top Department of Homeland Security official who resigned in April says the Trump administration is creating the conditions for domestic extremism to flourish in the United States. more...

A watchdog agency said last week that the director had set a deadline that pressured statisticians to fast-track a report Trump wanted.
By The Associated Press

Facing criticism over efforts to produce citizenship data to comply with an order from President Donald Trump, U.S. Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said Monday that he planned to resign with the change in presidential administrations. more...

Opinion by John Avlon

(CNN)The Founding Fathers would have been disgusted by President Donald Trump's serial abuse of the pardon power. Nearly 90% of his pardons to date have gone to friends or politically connected allies -- including corrupt politicians. While the President's pardon power may seem unconstrained by the Constitution, a closer look shows that Trump is violating every principle the framers of the Constitution assumed would be followed by a principled President -- and there's evidence they intended special constraints on a President's pardon power after they'd been impeached. Remember, the Founders were focused on restraining the power of the President to ensure he would not turn into a new type of tyrant. That's why the President's pardoning power was so hotly debated at the constitutional convention. Virginia's George Mason argued that the President "ought not to have the power of pardoning, because he may frequently pardon crimes which were advised by himself... If he has the power of granting pardons before indictment, or conviction, may he not stop inquiry and prevent detection?" Mason warned that this could "destroy the republic." more...

By Jesse Byrnes

Former Attorney General William Barr reportedly pushed back strongly on President Trump when discussing claims the president was circulating about the election being "stolen" from him. Barr, during a meeting with Trump at the White House in early December, told the president that such theories of a stolen election were "bullshit," Axios reported Monday. Other aides in the room, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone, were reportedly surprised that the attorney general had made the comment, though did not disagree with his remarks. The meeting came as Barr had publicly undercut the president's baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, telling The Associated Press that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence to back up the claims. "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election," Barr had told the AP in the interview. Trump reportedly confronted Barr about his comments while in the private dining room next to the Oval Office. "Why would you say such a thing? You must hate Trump. There’s no other reason for it. You must hate Trump,” the president asserted, according to Axios. Barr responded that "these things aren't panning out" and "the stuff that these people are filling your ear with just isn’t true," Axios reported. The attorney general reportedly emphasized that the DOJ had reviewed the major claims put forward by the president's lawyers. more...

By Joseph Choi

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is raising alarms about Michael Ellis, a former GOP operative and Trump loyalist, being installed as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency (NSA). Pelosi sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller demanding that the former White House official not be put in the position of general counsel at the NSA. The Speaker blasted Ellis in a tweet on Monday, saying "the attempt to install an unqualified Trump loyalist as NSA General Counsel just 72 hours prior to the start of a new Administration is highly irregular and highly suspect. This placement should not move forward." “I ask that you immediately cease plans to improperly install Michael Ellis as the new NSA General Counsel,” wrote Pelosi in her letter, which was dated Sunday and released Monday. Pelosi said she had “serious concerns” regarding the selection process and whether it was free of political interference. She also argued that Ellis's last-minute appointment showed a "disturbing disregard for our national security." "Public reporting indicates that Mr. Ellis, a relatively recent law school graduate with a limited resume, was selected due to interference by the White House, and was chosen over much more qualified candidates,” Pelosi added. more...

*** The DOJ under Trump is protecting white supremacists no wonder they like Trump.  ***

By Igor Derysh

Hidden report shows white supremacists were responsible for every race-based domestic terror attack in 2018. The Justice Department suppressed a report showing that suspected white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terror incidents last year. The report by New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security Preparedness was distributed throughout DHS and to federal agencies like the FBI earlier this year before it was obtained by Yahoo News. The document includes data Congress has sought from the Trump administration but the Justice Department has been “unable or unwilling” to provide. The report shows that 25 of 46 suspects in 32 domestic terrorism incidents were identified as white supremacists. The 25 suspected white supremacist suspects were responsible for all “race-based” incidents while others were deemed “anti-government extremists” and “single-issue extremists.” “This map reflects 32 domestic terrorist attacks, disrupted plots, threats of violence, and weapons stockpiling by individuals with a radical political or social agenda who lack direction or influence from foreign terrorist organizations in 2018,” the report said. The map and data in the document were circulated through the DOJ and law enforcement agencies in April, which is around the time that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested the DOJ provide data showing the number of white supremacists involved in domestic terrorism. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told Yahoo News that the committee still has not received the data. “I’m troubled by the lack of transparency, given that we haven’t received this critical information after several requests to the FBI and DOJ,” Booker said. “They cannot and should not remain silent in the face of such a dangerous threat.” more...

By POLITICO STAFF

Trump’s presidency may be best remembered for its cataclysmic end. But his four years as president also changed real American policy in lasting ways, just more quietly. We asked POLITICO’s best-in-class policy reporters to recap some of the ways Trump changed the country while in office, for better or worse. Many Americans will remember President Donald Trump’s presidency as a four-yearlong storm of tweets, rallies and on-air rants that ended in a mob riot and historic second impeachment. But there was more to the Trump presidency than attention-hogging political drama and conflict; often unnoticed, Trump and his administration actually did succeed in changing some of the ways Washington works. From imposing a ban on Chinese-made drones to rolling back rules on sexual harassment, from cracking down on robocalls to letting states legalize marijuana, Trump changed some key areas of federal policy in ways that may have lasting impact well after he’s gone. more...

By LOLITA C. BALDOR

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event. The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters. And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance. more...

By Richard Lardner and Michelle R. Smith | The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Veterans of President Donald Trump’s failed reelection campaign had key roles in orchestrating the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Associated Press review of records, undercutting the grassroots image pushed by groups involved in the event. A pro-Trump nonprofit organization called Women for America First hosted the “Save America Rally” on Jan. 6 at the Ellipse, a federally owned patch of land near the White House. But an attachment to the permit, granted by the National Park Service, lists more than half a dozen people in staff positions who just weeks earlier had been paid thousands of dollars by Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. Other staff scheduled to be “on site” during the protest have close ties to the White House. Since the siege, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. The riot at the Capitol, incited by Trump’s comments before and during his speech at the Ellipse, has led to a reckoning unprecedented in American history. more...

CBS News

Santa Fe, New Mexico — A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump, who vowed to return to Washington after last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to "plant our flag" on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk, was arrested Sunday by the FBI. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. According to court documents, Griffin told investigators he was "caught up" in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol, but said he didn't enter the building and instead remained on the U.S. Capitol steps. more...

N'dea Yancey-Bragg USA TODAY

Chilling video captured by a New Yorker reporter circulating online shows a complicated mix of preparation and spontaneous violence during a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, political violence expert Robert Pape said Sunday. Luke Mogelson, a veteran war correspondent and contributing writer for the outlet, followed rioters inside the building and documented the chaos. The insurrection was triggered by supporters of President Donald Trump who believe his false claim that he won the election. Trump spoke at a rally earlier in the day and encouraged his followers to flock to the Capitol. The video captures rioters hunting for lawmakers and, finding none, photographing documents as "evidence," said Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Pape said some individuals, particularly those giving orders, may have had military, law enforcement or "quasi paramilitary" training. more...

The defense from Trump supporters arrested in the Capitol assault is emerging in court papers and interviews — and could play a role in impeachment proceedings.
By Alan Feuer and Nicole Hong

In the two weeks since a raging mob stormed the Capitol, President Trump has shown no sign that he believes he shares responsibility for the worst incursion on the halls of Congress in more than two centuries. Shielding him further, his loyalists have started shifting blame for the attack to an array of distracting bogeymen: far-left anti-fascists, Black Lives Matter activists, even vague conspiracies of a setup involving Vice President Mike Pence. But one group of people has already come forward and directly implicated Mr. Trump in the riot at the Capitol: some of his own supporters who were arrested while taking part in it. In court papers and interviews, at least four pro-Trump rioters have said they joined the march that spiraled into violence in part because the president encouraged them to do so. more...

Jonathan Swan

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet. Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit." White House counsel Pat Cipollone and a few other aides in the room were shocked Barr had come out and said it — although they knew it was true. For good measure, the attorney general threw in a warning that the new legal team Trump was betting his future on was "clownish." Trump had angrily dragged Barr in to explain himself after seeing a breaking AP story all over Twitter, with the headline: "Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud." But Barr was not backing down. Three weeks later, he would be gone. more...

By Jeremy Diamond, Kevin Liptak, Jamie Gangel, Pamela Brown and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the matter, a major batch of clemency actions that includes white collar criminals, high-profile rappers and others but -- as of now -- is not expected to include Trump himself. The White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalize the list of pardons, two sources said. Trump, who had been rolling out pardons and commutations at a steady clip ahead of Christmas, had put a pause on them in the days leading up to and directly after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, according to officials. Aides said Trump was singularly focused on the Electoral College count in the days ahead of time, precluding him for making final decisions on pardons. White House officials had expected them to resume after January 6, but Trump retreated after he was blamed for inciting the riots. more...

Martin Pengelly

An associate of Rudy Giuliani told a former CIA officer a presidential pardon was “going to cost $2m”, the New York Times reported on Sunday in the latest bombshell to break across the last, chaotic days of Donald Trump’s presidency. The report detailed widespread and in some cases lucrative lobbying involving people seeking a pardon as Trump’s time in office winds down. The 45th president, impeached twice, will leave power on Wednesday with the inauguration of Joe Biden. The former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who was jailed in 2012 for leaking the identity of an operative involved in torture, told the Times he laughed at the remark from the associate of Giuliani, the former New York mayor who as Trump’s personal attorney is reportedly a possible pardon recipient himself. “Two million bucks – are you out of your mind?” Kiriakou reportedly said. “Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn’t spend it to recover a $700,000 pension.” An associate of Kiriakou reported the conversation to the FBI, the Times said. Meant to reward offenders who show contrition, presidential pardons do not imply innocence. Presidents often use them to reward allies but Trump has taken the practice to extremes. more...

by Ellen Nakashima, The Washington Post,

WASHINGTON - Acting defense secretary Christopher Miller ordered the director of the National Security Agency to install on Saturday a former GOP political operative as the NSA’s top lawyer, according to four individuals familiar with the matter. It is unclear what the NSA will do. The agency and the Pentagon declined to comment. In November, Pentagon General Counsel Paul Ney Jr. named Michael Ellis, then a White House official, to the position of general counsel at the NSA, a career civilian post at the government's largest and most technologically advanced spy agency, The Post reported. He was selected after a competitive civil service competition. He has not taken up the job, however, as he needed to complete administrative procedures, including taking a polygraph test. Reached by phone Saturday, Ellis said, "I don't talk to the press, thank you," and hung up. more...

CBS News

Current and former White House officials are already planning their next moves ahead of President Trump's departure next week. But some are already facing backlash for their association with his administration. Vanity Fair special correspondent William Cohan calls this the "Trump Stink." He joined CBSN'S Lana Zak to discuss. video...

By Jeremy Herb, Barbara Starr, Oren Liebermann and Zachary Cohen, CNN

(CNN) The acting secretary of defense is trying to install a Trump loyalist as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency, according to three sources familiar. Christopher Miller, who just two days earlier said he couldn't wait to leave his job, ordered the head of the NSA to install Michael Ellis as general counsel by 6 p.m., Saturday, but NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone did not act by the given deadline, leaving it unclear what Miller or the White House would do. Ellis was first tapped for the position in early November, just two days after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election and in the midst of a political purge of different agencies, including the Department of Defense. The Pentagon declined to comment. This story was first reported by the Washington Post. But Ellis' installation stalled, according to the Washington Post, because of administrative procedures, including the need for a polygraph test, leaving Miller to push for it in the waning days of Trump's four years in office. Within days of Ellis' being picked for the job in November, which came shortly after President Donald Trump fired then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper via Twitter, Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Jack Reed requested an investigation from the Pentagon's acting inspector general, saying in a letter, "The combination of timing, comparative lack of experience of the candidate, the reported qualifications of the other finalists, and press accounts of White House involvement create a perception that political influence or considerations may have played an undue role in a merit-based civil service selection process." more...

It’s a shame, and a missed opportunity — not despite recent events but because of them.
By Kevin Baron

The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump.  It’s a shame, but not a surprise. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth. One of those disgraces is how he is ghosting the U.S. troops that he commanded. On Wednesday, the White House announced that this weekend Vice President Mike Pence “will deliver remarks to sailors on the Trump Administration’s historic foreign policy achievements at Naval Air Station Lemoore,” and then to the 10th Mountain Division, in Fort Drum, New York. Two senior defense officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that no military farewell is being planned for the commander in chief.

Perhaps it’s for the best. Trump has used the military as a political prop since his first days in office, from signing MAGA hats for troops to giving partisan-fueled speeches in the heart of the Pentagon. American’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have been made to stand at attention for Trump’s rants long enough. Besides, presidential visits are an honor and a headache for any military base that hosts them. The last time Trump appeared before troops was the Dec. 12 Army-Navy game at West Point. Before that, there was a brief Oct. 29 private visit with Army special operators at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as he passed through on the presidential campaign trail. more...

Born as a second Manhattan Project, the Trump administration vaccine program actually achieved most of its goals – until distribution problems marred its success.
By DAN DIAMOND

As the nation’s Covid-19 response was careening off the rails in March and April 2020, about a dozen top health and defense department officials huddled in antiseptic meeting rooms to devise what they believed would be the Trump administration’s greatest triumph — a vaccine program so fast, so special, so successful that grateful Americans would forgive earlier failures and business schools would teach classes about it for decades. They dubbed their project "MP2," for a second Manhattan Project, after the race to create the nuclear weapons that ended World War II. Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary who was often at odds with the White House and his own department, sounded like an Army general rallying his troops: “If we can develop an atomic bomb in 2.5 years and put a man on the moon in seven years, we can do this this year, in 2020," Azar would declare, according to his deputy chief of staff, Paul Mango, who helped lead the strategy sessions. "It was just a spirit of optimism," Mango added. more...

Tucker Higgins

Several Democratic governors are criticizing the Trump administration for apparently misleading public health officials about holding a stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines in reserve. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday that the government would begin releasing doses of vaccine that were being held in “physical reserve” to ensure enough supply for second doses. Both federally approved vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are administered in two shots spaced several weeks apart. The Washington Post reported on Friday that despite Azar’s comments, no such federal stockpile of vaccines exists. The newspaper, citing state and federal officials, said the Trump administration had already started shipping its available supply in December. The Democratic state leaders say the lack of a federal reserve will upset plans to increase the speed and scope of their vaccination campaigns. more...

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) Donald Trump's presidency has largely been defined by his disregard for political norms and his historic two impeachments.
Trump purposefully sought to upend conventional domestic and foreign policy, fundamentally altering America's role in the world. And he disrupted the status quo in Washington, recalibrating the federal government's role in everyday American life in ways both temporary and for a longer term effect. Some of Trump's most consequential decisions, such as his judicial appointments, will dictate the ideological make-up of the courts for decades. And the physical reminder of his immigration and border security policies, in the form of a US-Mexico border wall, will likely remain etched into America's landscape well past his presidency. Other actions, including many issued through the use of executive authority, can be undone through the regulatory process or with the flick of Joe Biden's pen once he's president. Still, those actions will have sometimes had a years long impact on American lives, affecting everything from their jobs to their schools to the kinds of lightbulbs they can buy. Here are some of the most significant ways Trump's policies and actions changed the country: more...

The president’s allies have collected tens of thousands of dollars — and potentially much more — from people seeking pardons.
By Michael S. Schmidt and Kenneth P. Vogel

WASHINGTON — As President Trump prepares to leave office in days, a lucrative market for pardons is coming to a head, with some of his allies collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency, according to documents and interviews with more than three dozen lobbyists and lawyers. The brisk market for pardons reflects the access peddling that has defined Mr. Trump’s presidency as well as his unorthodox approach to exercising unchecked presidential clemency powers. Pardons and commutations are intended to show mercy to deserving recipients, but Mr. Trump has used many of them to reward personal or political allies. more...

Guardian News

Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate broker who took a private jet to Washington to join the attack on the US Capitol, pleaded with Donald Trump to pardon her after she was arrested by federal authorities. Ryan said she thought she was following what her president ‘asked us to do’ and that she had been 'displaying my patriotism' in travelling to Washington DC, where she filmed herself entering the Capitol building. 'I'm facing a prison sentence,' she told CBS 11 News at her home in Dallas. 'I do not deserve that' more...

Rebecca Falconer

President-elect Joe Biden will roll back some of President Trump's most controversial policies and address "four overlapping and compounding crises" in his first 10 days in office — the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate change and racial inequity.

Driving the news: The plan is outlined in a memo from incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain Saturday. Following Biden's inauguration Wednesday, he'll "sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises," Klain said.

Zoom in: Biden's actions on day one of his presidency will include rejoining the Paris climate agreement, extending a pause on federal student loan payments, reversing Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries and issuing a coronavirus mask mandate. more...

Zignal Labs charts 73 percent decline on Twitter and beyond following historic action against the president
By Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively. The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter. Election disinformation had for months been a major subject of online misinformation, beginning even before the Nov. 3 election and pushed heavily by Trump and his allies. Zignal found it dropped swiftly and steeply on Twitter and other platforms in the days after the Twitter ban took hold on Jan. 8. more...

Joshua Zitser

A member of President-elect Joe Biden's transition team has said that recent foreign policy moves by President Donald Trump's administration "feel like sabotage." In an exclusive interview with PBS NewsHour, the unnamed official accused Trump's administration — particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — of making decisions that are not wanted by either party. The Biden official said: "We will manage this but it does start, at some point, to feel like sabotage. Not only do they know we don't want to implement some of these approaches; they don't even want to implement them." The transition official then implied that the timing of these decisions was suspicious. "Which is why they're doing them now, rather than at any other point in the previous four years," they told PBS. more...

Analysis by Luke McGee, CNN

(CNN) The presidency of Donald Trump has left such a wretched stench in Europe that it's hard to see how, even in four years, Joe Biden could possibly get America's most important alliance back on track. This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled a final trip to meet with European and NATO leaders. While the State Department claimed the reason for his cancellation was so Pompeo could work on the Biden transition, European officials suspect that America's top diplomat realized he'd arranged a leaving party no one wanted to attend. Throughout Trump's term, Europeans have been walking a tightrope, trying to balance outright condemnation of the President's most destructive behavior with not alienating the leader of the Western world. Pompeo was unlikely to be received warmly on his farewell tour, even before the insurrection at the US Capitol last Wednesday. For many, Trump's incitement of rioters was the final straw. more...

68% of public does not want Trump to remain a major political figure in the future

As Joe Biden prepares to take office just days after a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, 64% of voters express a positive opinion of his conduct since he won the November election. Majorities also approve of Biden’s Cabinet selections and how he has explained his plans and policies for the future. Donald Trump is leaving the White House with the lowest job approval of his presidency (29%) and increasingly negative ratings for his post-election conduct. The share of voters who rate Trump’s conduct since the election as only fair or poor has risen from 68% in November to 76%, with virtually all of the increase coming in his “poor” ratings (62% now, 54% then). Trump voters, in particular, have grown more critical of their candidate’s post-election conduct. The share of his supporters who describe his conduct as poor has doubled over the past two months, from 10% to 20%. more...

Domenico Montanaro

Almost 6 in 10 Americans said they blame President Trump for the violent insurrection that took place Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. But they are split on whether Congress should continue to take action against him after he leaves office next week, and half believe social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter — which have banned him from their platforms — should not continue to restrict Trump after Wednesday. Eight in 10 Republicans disagree that Trump is to blame for the violence, don't believe social media companies should continue restrictions on him and don't trust that results of the 2020 election were accurate. That's despite no evidence of widespread fraud and Trump's own administration saying the election was the "most secure in American history." All states have certified their results, and Congress formally completed the Electoral College vote count last week. more...

Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN

(CNN) Poll of the week: A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that President Donald Trump's approval rating stands at 33%, while his disapproval is at 60%. An average of recent polls finds Trump with a 38% approval rating and 59% disapproval rating. What's the point: A big question during the Trump presidency was whether anything could actually move the public opinion needle. It turns out that the insurrection at the US Capitol last week did exactly that. The result is that Trump's final first term approval rating looks to be the lowest on record dating back since scientific polling began. more...

Arrested supporters say they were ‘listening’ to the president
Oliver Milman

Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate broker who took a private jet to Washington to join the attack on the US Capitol, has pleaded with Donald Trump to pardon her after she was arrested by federal authorities. After surrendering to the FBI on Friday, Ryan said: “We all deserve a pardon.” “I’m facing a prison sentence,” she told CBS11 at her home. “I think I do not deserve that.” Turning to look into the camera, she said: “I would ask the president of the United States to give me a pardon.” On Wednesday, Trump was impeached for inciting the attack on 6 January that left five people dead, including a police officer, and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives. Ryan said she had been “displaying my patriotism”, adding: “I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol.” Ryan left a trove of information online. Court papers show she posted a picture of herself taking a private jet to Washington DC the day before the riot, subsequently posing on the steps of the Capitol and beside a window smashed as the pro-Trump mob broke in. more...

By Michael Warren, CNN

Washington (CNN) Donald Trump may be leaving the White House in a few days, but the umbrella of conspiracy theories he inspired is only just arriving in Washington. The chief theory known as QAnon -- that the US government is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles only Trump can expose -- began nearly four years ago as a fringe movement in the dark corners of the internet. Now QAnon has adherents in positions of power within the Republican Party and in the halls of Congress. The January 6 domestic terror attack on the US Capitol was the violent manifestation of that movement and its attendant theories -- including that the 2020 election was stolen. Thousands of its adherents, steeped in years of conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, stormed the Capitol ready for violence -- seemingly certain they were the ones liberating the country. Many displayed clothing and paraphernalia associated with the movement. One of the more conspicuous rioters, wearing a horned helmet and carrying a six-foot spear, is known online as the "QAnon Shaman." "There is a violent anarchy to QAnon that is baked into it," said Mike Rothschild, the author of a book examining and debunking some of the most prominent conspiracy theories. How deep into the GOP's infrastructure QAnon has penetrated is an open question. So too is how Trump's departure from the presidency and banishment from most social media will affect the reach of conspiracy within the Republican Party. more...

Twitter permanently suspended President Trump from the platform after the Capitol riot
By Kim Lyons

Some Twitter employees have set their accounts to private and scrubbed their online biographies over concerns they may be targeted by supporters of President Trump, the New York Times reported. In addition, some Twitter executives have been assigned personal security as the company reckons with its decision to bar one of its loudest voices. Trump’s @realDonaldTrump account was permanently suspended from Twitter January 8th, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in its statement. The president told supporters at a rally just before an attack on the Capitol January 6th they would “have to show strength,” and “fight much harder,” encouraging them to walk down to the Capitol. Trump tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done,” and later — while the attack was still ongoing— tweeted “we love you” to his supporters. The House of Representatives impeached Trump a second time on January 13th for “incitement of insurrection.” more...

*** Republicans, Fox new and right wing media enabled the big lie if they had been honest with American people the Trump insurrection would not have happened and the capital would not have been sacked. ***

Melissa Block

Last Wednesday, just before a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection that left five dead, the president stood before a huge crowd gathered in front of the White House for a so-called "Save America" rally. Trump whipped up his supporters, repeating a false claim that he has made over and over in the weeks since Nov. 3: "We won this election, and we won it by a landslide," he insisted. "This was not a close election!" "They say we lost," the president went on. "We didn't lose." Among the thousands of falsehoods Trump has uttered during his presidency, this one in particular has earned the distinction of being called the "big lie." It's a charged term, with connotations that trace back to its roots in Nazi Germany. Hitler used the phrase "big lie" against Jews in his manifesto Mein Kampf. Later, the Nazis' big lie — claiming that Jews led a global conspiracy and were responsible for Germany's and the world's woes — fueled anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. more...

Under the new Health Department rule, taxpayer-funded adoption agencies can refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages and turn away qualified LGBTQ parents.
By Dan Avery

With little more than a week left to the Trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a rule permitting social-service providers that receive government funds to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Critics claim the new guidance could have wide-ranging implications for agencies that address adoption and foster-parenting, as well as homelessness, HIV prevention, elder care and other public services. “Even as Trump administration officials abandon ship, HHS has announced yet another dangerous rule that invites discrimination against the very people federal grant programs are meant to help,” Sasha Buchert, senior attorney for the LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, said. According to the 77-page release, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, Obama-era requirements that agencies refrain from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity and recognize same-sex marriages as legally valid violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. more...

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) As the country focused on the aftermath of riots in the US Capitol and the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump, the liberal justices of the Supreme Court spent Trump's last full week in office battling his administration's long-term objective to execute 13 federal death row inmates in six months. Late Friday night, over the fiery objection of two Supreme Court justices, Dustin John Higgs became the 13th federal inmate to be put to death. It marked the last federal execution to take place under the Trump administration that announced in July 2019 that it was reinstating the federal death penalty after a nearly two-decade pause. Then-Attorney General William Barr said that his office owed it to the victims and their families to carry forward sentences imposed by the justice system. But Justice Stephen Breyer -- the only sitting justice who believes the court should reconsider the constitutionality of the death penalty -- and Justice Sonia Sotomayor lashed out in a late-night order that recounted details of all the executions. "This is not justice," Sotomayor wrote, noting that Higgs was the third federal execution in a week and the 13th overall. more...


By DEB RIECHMANN and MATTHEW LEEtoday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to scrap President Donald Trump’s vision of “America First” in favor of “diplomacy first” will depend on whether he’s able to regain the trust of allies and convince them that Trumpism is just a blip in the annals of U.S. foreign policy. It could be a hard sell. From Europe to the Middle East and Asia, Trump’s brand of transactional diplomacy has alienated friends and foes alike, leaving Biden with a particularly contentious set of national security issues. Biden, who said last month that “America’s back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” might strive to be the antithesis of Trump on the world stage and reverse some, if not many, of his predecessor’s actions. But Trump’s imprint on America’s place in the world — viewed as good or bad — will not be easily erased. U.S. allies aren’t blind to the large constituency of American voters who continue to support Trump’s nationalist tendencies and his belief that the United States should stay out of world conflicts. If Biden’s goal is to restore America’s place in the world, he’ll not only need to gain the trust of foreign allies but also convince voters at home that international diplomacy works better than unilateral tough talk. Trump has insisted that he’s not against multilateralism, only global institutions that are ineffective. He has pulled out of more than half a dozen international agreements, withdrawn from multiple U.N. groups and trash talked allies and partners. more...

Kelsey Vlamis

White House officials blame Rudy Giuliani for not one, but two impeachments of President Donald Trump, according to a report by The New York Times. Trump became the first president to be impeached twice on Wednesday. Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in the vote, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in US history. Trump was charged with "incitement of insurrection," related to his role in the deadly siege on the US Capitol last week that forced lawmakers to evacuate and left five people dead. Giuliani, Trump's attorney and a staunch ally, has strongly supported the president's election challenges and has relentlessly pushed the unsubstantiated claims of fraud that helped fuel the siege. more...

*** Trump wants to pardon his coconspirators before they turn on him. Will his pardons come back to bite him in the ass since they cannot use the 5th amendment to protect Trump.***

The potential pardon would follow a wave of reprieves the president has recently granted to political allies who have been convicted, charged or reportedly under federal investigation.
By ANITA KUMAR, JOSH GERSTEIN, GABBY ORR and QUINT FORGEY

President Donald Trump is considering granting a pardon to Steve Bannon, his former White House chief strategist and top campaign aide, who was charged with swindling donors to a private crowdsourcing effort to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The potential pardon would follow a wave of reprieves the president has recently granted to political allies who have been convicted, charged or reportedly under federal investigation. Two additional batches of pardons are expected — one on Friday night and one Wednesday morning before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office, according to one of the people. more...

“The craziness from the state Republican Party … it’s pretty embarrassing,” said a former top Republican official.
By DAVID SIDERS and JAMES ARKIN

The Trump era did more damage to the Republican Party in Arizona than almost anywhere else. Over the past two years, Republicans lost both Senate seats. In November, the state flipped Democratic in a presidential race for the first time since 1996. The GOP state party chair is currently at war with the governor. President Donald Trump’s fingerprints are on all of it, yet the state party will likely pass a resolution next week to officially “support & thank” the president. It’ll also vote on measures to censor three prominent Republicans who were deemed insufficiently beholden to Trump: Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the wife of the late senator. more...

Eli Stokols

Frustrated by the loss of his Twitter account and forced to accept that he soon must leave office, President Trump has effectively stopped doing his job, delegating daily responsibilities to Vice President Mike Pence while hunkering down with a shrinking group of acquiescent aides and contemplating additional presidential pardons. Trump had considered leaving the White House before his final day in office Wednesday, even as early as this weekend, but he has opted to depart on the morning of President-elect Joe Biden’s Inauguration Day, according to two people familiar with discussions who cautioned that, with Trump, plans are always subject to change. Intrigued by the idea of upstaging Biden, the president has requested a major send-off. It would begin with a throng of cheering, flag-waving staffers and supporters to see him off on the White House’s South Lawn, according to a person familiar with the planning, and continue to a more formal ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, featuring a red carpet, military band, color guard and 21-gun salute. He would make his final Air Force One flight to Florida, to take up residence at Mar-a-Lago, his West Palm Beach, Fla., estate. more...

*** Hell no Donald Trump should not be granted immunity this is a personal issue it was not part of Trump's official duties. ***

By Tal Axelrod

The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in a new court filing that President Trump
Donald Trump should be granted immunity against a defamation suit brought against him by author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her. In a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, the DOJ argued it should be substituted in the suit as the defendant, replacing Trump, and that the president should be classified as “an employee of the government” and receive immunity from the suit under what is known as the Westfall Act. more...

Courtney Subramanian, John Fritze, David Jackson - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will leave the White House for Florida shortly before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday, two sources familiar with his plans said on the condition of anonymity to discuss details not yet announced. Trump will hold a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, the usual jumping off point for Air Force One located in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C., before his final departure from the capital city, the sources said. Details of that ceremony are still under consideration, according to sources, but may include a color guard and 21-gun salute. The president has previously changed his travel plans in the weeks since election. Trump had already announced he would skip Biden’s inauguration, breaking with more than a century of tradition. That means Trump will also ditch the traditional helicopter lift from the U.S. Capitol, a potent moment of symbolism that underscores the peaceful transfer of power between two presidents. more...

Joey Garrison USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — As he prepares to leave office, President Donald Trump's job approval marks are on a downward spiral, led by sinking support among his Republican base, following last week's riot at the Capitol and subsequent impeachment. In a new poll from the Pew Research Center, only 29% of Americans said they approve of how Trump is handling his job – the lowest of his tumultuous presidency and down 9 percentage points from August. Sixty-eight percent said they disapprove of his job performance. Driving the decline, only 60% of Republicans and voters who lean Republican approve of Trump's job performance, the poll found, a drop from 77% in August. Trump's positive marks from Democrats – already near rock bottom – dropped one percentage point to 4% from 5%. more...

By Steven Nelson

President Trump plans political punishment for the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him for last week’s Capitol riot, according to a new report. Trump summoned aides to brief him on the 10 following the Wednesday afternoon vote, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Trump “wanted to know who the lawmakers were and whether he had ever done anything for them” and “inquired who might run against them when they face re-election in two years,” the Journal reported. The breakaway Republicans joined all Democrats to impeach Trump on a single count of allegedly inciting an insurrection that disrupted certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. more...

By Kale Williams | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Oregon’s ability to begin administering vaccines to an expanded group of people beginning Jan. 23 is in jeopardy after expectations of more doses from the federal government proved false. Earlier this week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced an unspecified number of doses held in reserve for second doses would be released to states. Gov. Kate Brown responded Tuesday by welcoming extra doses and announcing all teachers and people over 65 would be eligible for the vaccine beginning next Saturday, in conjunction with more vaccines arriving. more...

By Paul Sonne, Matt Zapotosky and Nick Miroff

The three top federal agencies responsible for protecting the nation — the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security — are all being run by acting officials, as the United States endures one of its most sensitive national security crises. The leadership vacuum is the product of President Trump’s tempestuous relationships with his Cabinet secretaries and tendency to replace them for long periods of time with acting officials who lack Senate confirmation — a pattern that has led to turmoil atop critical federal agencies for much of his presidency. Never has the absence of confirmed leaders seemed more pronounced than now. All three agencies were being led by acting officials in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, where extremist Trump supporters who embrace the president’s false claims of election fraud stormed the building to demand that lawmakers dispute President-elect Joe Biden’s victory during a pro forma certification of the electoral college vote. more...

States were anticipating a windfall after federal officials said they would stop holding back second doses. But the approach had already changed, and no stockpile exists.
By Isaac Stanley-Becker and Lena H. Sun

When Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced this week that the federal government would begin releasing coronavirus vaccine doses held in reserve for second shots, no such reserve existed, according to state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans. The Trump administration had already begun shipping out what was available beginning at the end of December, taking second doses directly off the manufacturing line. Now, health officials across the country who had anticipated their extremely limited vaccine supply as much as doubling beginning next week are confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat, dashing hopes of dramatically expanding access for millions of elderly people and those with high-risk medical conditions. Health officials in some cities and states were informed in recent days about the reality of the situation, while others are still in the dark. more...

Trump’s foreign policy chief has pursued confrontation with Iran and other perceived enemies, but his efforts to disrupt diplomacy will end in failure
Julian Borger

The finale of Mike Pompeo’s reign at the state department has been as controversial and clamorous as the rest of his 32-month tenure, but it is unclear what traces will remain after he has gone. The last days of Pompeo have been played out in a blizzard of self-congratulatory tweets, at the rate of two dozen a day, as he seeks to write his own first draft of history. The former Kansas congressman, with evident ambitions for a presidential run in 2024, has accented his claims of success by frequent derogatory references to the previous administration, portrayed as hapless appeasers. The political point-scoring and aggrandizement have made the use of the megaphone provided by a government Twitter account, with 3 million followers. more...

By Kaitlan Collins, Pamela Brown and Jamie Gangel, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump, irritated at being impeached for a second time, has told people to stop paying Rudy Giuliani's legal fees, a person familiar with the matter tells CNN, though aides were not clear if the President was serious about his instructions given he's lashing out at nearly everyone after the day's events. Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice on Wednesday, one week after a mob stormed the US Capitol following a speech by the President that galvanized his supporters to fight against the counting of the electoral votes that would affirm President-elect Joe Biden's win. The insurrection left five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer, and has left the nation's capital and state capitols around the country preparing for potential violence as Biden is set to be inaugurated next week. Trump has been blaming his longtime personal attorney and many others for the predicament he now finds himself in, though he has not accepted any responsibility in public or in private, people familiar with his reaction told CNN. Giuliani is still expected to play a role in Trump's impeachment defense but has been left out of most conversations thus far. more...

By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Billionaire Republican donor and Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone says he feels "betrayed" by the Republicans who attempted to overturn the election even after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. Langone, who voted for Trump in 2016 and gave him credit for improving the economy, said the president "exhausted everything" when he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election. "Biden is the president," Langone said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "Last Wednesday was a disgrace and should never have happened in this country and if it doesn't break every American's heart, something is wrong," Langone said, referring to the Capitol siege. "It breaks my heart, for sure. I didn't sign up for that." The billionaire said he is going to focus on supporting Biden in any way he can. more...

A source says the outgoing presidential advisers “need not apply,” suggesting that they “lunch with their fellow patriots” at Mar-a-Lago.
By Emily Kirkpatrick

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have only been landowners in Miami’s exclusive “Billionaire’s Bunker” enclave since December, but it seems the couple is already having some issues with their new neighbors. While the outgoing presidential advisers became the proud owners of one of only 29 residences located on Indian Creek Island, as Page Six reported at the time, just having a home there doesn’t automatically guarantee that über-rich residents will be admitted to the compound’s even more exclusive country club. A source explained to the outlet on Wednesday, “You have to be nominated and make a formal application. But it only takes one member to object against any new member, and many members are objecting, particularly after the events at the Capitol on January 6.” They added, “The Indian Creek Country Club members are very picky and the word is that Javanka need not apply,” going on the suggest that “Jared and Ivanka can lunch with their fellow ‘patriots’ at Mar-a-Lago.” The 300-member Indian Creek Country Club, established around 1930, boasts an 18-hole golf course and restaurant, with initiation fees upwards of $150,000, per Page Six. It’s also been embroiled in controversies of its own due to its former practice of only allowing a handful of Jewish people and people of color as members. more...

By Li Cohen

In a widely shared social media thread, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday stood by last week's decision to ban President Trump from his company's platform, saying it was something he does not "celebrate or feel pride in," but something that was decided "based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter." Twitter permanently banned Mr. Trump's account on Saturday because of "the risk of further incitement of violence" in the wake of the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. Dorsey said it was "the right decision" in his post Wednesday. more...

The president is very unhappy with his personal attorney, The Washington Post reported.
By Ed Mazza

President Donald Trump is reportedly taking out his frustrations on his personal attorney and longtime friend, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. And he’s doing it in the classic Trump fashion: by refusing to pay him. The Washington Post said Trump is trying to stiff Giuliani, who has spent the past months traveling the country and spreading wild conspiracy theories about the November election on behalf of the president. Citing two unnamed officials, the newspaper said Trump has not only refused to pay Giuliani’s legal fees but has told aides that all reimbursement requests for travel and other expenses need to go through him. The Post said Trump was unhappy with Giuliani’s demand for $20,000 a day in fees and “has privately expressed concern” with some of his attorney’s moves. more...

Sara Fischer

Snapchat will permanently ban President Trump's account on Jan. 20, Axios has learned, after locking it indefinitely last week following the Capitol siege. Why it matters: The Trump campaign and digital team relied on Snapchat as a key platform to reach younger audiences before the company started limiting its reach in June. The majority of Snapchat's users are under 30. What's happening: “Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump’s Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community," a spokesperson emailed Axios. more...

Jacob Pramuk

President Donald Trump, a man hyperaware of his achievements and place in history, added a first to his record on Wednesday. A week before he will leave office, Trump became the first American president impeached by the House twice. The chamber charged him with high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol seven days ago. The president’s behavior in the 13 months since the first impeachment left House Democrats making a more clear-cut case than the first time around. The chamber charged Trump in a 232-197 vote, as all Democrats and 10 Republicans backed the measure. The four-page article of impeachment the chamber approved on Wednesday argues Trump fed his supporters months of false claims that widespread fraud cost him the 2020 election, then urged them to contest the results before they marched to the Capitol and disrupted Congress’ count of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. more...

Kevin Breuninger

One week after his supporters stormed Capitol Hill in a deadly riot, and hours after his second impeachment in the House, President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered his clearest condemnation yet of the Jan. 6 violence. “I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week, violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement,” Trump said in a video posted by the White House’s official Twitter account. more...

AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid worry about renewed violence on Inauguration Day, the military's top leaders issued a written reminder to all service members Tuesday that the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last week was an anti-democratic, criminal act, and that the right to free speech gives no one the right to commit violence. A memo signed by all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also reminded military members that Joe Biden was duly elected as the next president and will be sworn in to office on Jan. 20. The memo was unusual in that the military leadership, including Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, felt compelled to remind service members that it is wrong to disrupt the constitutional process. The language went further than statements by the civilian leader of the Pentagon, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, by describing the assault as an act of sedition and an insurrection. Miller has called it "reprehensible and contrary to the tenets of the United States Constitution." It comes as law enforcement agencies attempt to determine the full extent of criminal activity at the Capitol and to discover the extent of participation by current or past military members. more...

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