Suzan eraslan is a theater director and designer on a temporary hiatus and a reluctant political activist and documentarian living in new york city.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH (The interminable and incomprehensible press conference)

I don't know that I'm going to get much else on here today given the totally bonkers press conference today. Let's get started. 

  • On February 16th, 2017, DT gave an absolutely flabbergasting press conference. Here are the lowlights of what he said and did: 
    • Attacked the press as being against the public and horribly dishonest, saying "The press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk to find out what's going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control." 
    • Said that jobs and factories were coming back to the US "big league" because of him, despite the fact that every corporation he has taken credit for building factories or doing more hiring has stated that the decisions were made before the election or are simple year over year growth. 
    • Said that he "inherited a mess," specifically citing jobs (which were up year over year every year of Barack Obama's presidency), the Middle East, and North Korea, of which he said, "We'll take care of it folks; we're going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess."
    • Claimed that he has had very productive talks with world leaders, including Mexico among basically just reciting a list of who he had met thus far, "really, really productive conversations. I would say far more productive than you would understand," again insulting the White House press pool. 
    • Once again called the Iran Nuclear Deal a terrible deal, despite the fact that he has absolutely zero comprehension of what the deal entails, falsely believing it enabled Iran to make nuclear weapons when it explicitly PROHIBITED them from doing so. He also bragged about reinstating sanctions on Iran, effectively overturning the progress toward improved relations with Iran.
    • Bragged about increasing the military and law enforcement while saying he really wanted peace, but "peace through strength." 
    • Spent another several minutes bragging about his pathetic electoral college victory, falsely stating that he had the highest margin since Reagan, which he decidedly did not. 
    • Bragged in advance about the crowds that he will have in Florida on Saturday at his first re-election campaign rally. 
    • Said that his administration is not chaotic, but followed it up with, "This administration is running like a fine- tuned machine, despite the fact that I can't get my cabinet approved," effectively contradicting himself in a single breath. 
    • Trashed the Democrats, again, saying, "So, if the Democrats who have - all you have to do is look at where they are right now. The only thing they can do is delay because they screwed things up royally, believe me. Let me list to you some of the things that we've done in just a short period of time. I just got here. And I got here with no cabinet," apparently not understanding that no one is ever elected with the help of a cabinet. 
    • Reiterated that he wants to have multiple new factories and limit environmental protections, claiming that we have more regulations than any other country, "Nobody's ever seen regulations like we have. You go to other countries and you look at indexes they have and you say "let me see your regulations" and they're fraction, just a tiny fraction of what we have." ...what? 
    • Took another opportunity to trash Chicago, saying, "We've directed the creation of a task force for reducing violent crime in America, including the horrendous situation -- take a look at Chicago and others, taking place right now in our inner cities. Horrible." 
    • Said that "drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars." 
    • Bragged about the wall and his ability to make deals: "And the wall is going to be a great wall and it's going to be a wall negotiated by me. The price is going to come down just like it has on everything else I've negotiated for the government." It's unclear to what he is referring other than the Boeing manipulation where he let Lockheed Martin listen in on the conversation. 
    • Said he would crackdown on sanctuary cities and end "the policy of catch and release on the border." 
    • I don't even know what this nonsense means, other than that he is putting together a sub-department of Homeland Security that sounds terrifying: "And are even creating a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, which there are many. We have taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country. No parts are necessary and constitutional actions were blocked by judges, in my opinion, incorrect, and unsafe ruling. Our administration is working night and day to keep you safe, including reporters safe." 
    • "Extreme vetting will be put in place and it already is in place in many places." So, we don't need to change it..? I... huh? 
    • Repeated the modifier of a word as if to show that he understood what he was talking about (see previous use of "nuclear" and "cyber"), while spouting nonsense. "In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 percent, I find that hard to believe, that is just a number I heard, that they are overturned 80 percent of the time. I think that circuit is -- that circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil. " 
    • Reiterated that the government would be replacing the ACA and then said of constituents at ACA Town Halls, "I know you can say, oh, Obamacare. I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people our that representatives are representing," which... I mean, he's not wrong, the representatives aren't representing these people, republican or otherwise. 
    • Said that Neil Gorsuch was from his "list of 20" and said that Democrats should vote for him, but that he will get to the Supreme Court "one way or the other. But he should get there the old-fashioned way, and he should get those votes." The old fashioned way being the ONLY way, unless of course DT intends to bypass the Senate, which is theoretically constitutionally possible.
    • Told the first reported he called on, "You were cut off pretty violently at our last news conference."
    • Said that the news about Mike Flynn was both fake news and illegally leaked, which are mutually exclusive. 
    • Spent most of his answer to the question about Mike Flynn threatening the press as well as their sources, "Because it's an illegal process and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves, really ashamed." 
    • Said that he has no contact with anyone in Russia for any reason at all, not even business deals, despite the fact that his son DT, Jr., said, repeatedly, that most of their real estate buyers are Russian. 
    • Brought up the women he has sexually assaulted and said that they were "misrepresented in the press," though literally none of these women has claimed that and consented to interviews or wrote their own pieces about his assaults.
    • When a reporter asked why he kept repeating the lie that he had the largest electoral college victory since Reagan, he said, "Well, I don't know, I was given that information. I was given -- I actually, I've seen that information around."
    • Claimed that he asked for Flynn's resignation not because he spoke to the Russian Ambassador about lifting sanctions but because Flynn, "did something wrong with respect to the vice president and I thought that was not acceptable."
    • Praised Wikileaks and said that the information they leaked from private email addresses was not confidential (it was) and that Secretary Clinton cheated at the debates (which she didn't), with, "Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates. Can you imagine -- seriously -- can you imagine if I received the questions? It would be the electric chair. OK, he should be put in the electric -- you would even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty, OK." 
    • Said that he did not direct Mike Flynn to talk to the Russian Ambassador, but that he assumed that he was doing it. "It certainly would have been OK with me if he did it. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn't doing it. I didn't direct him, but I would have directed him because that's his job." 
    • Claimed he doesn't watch CNN and approximately 30 minutes later said that he does watch it. 
    • Repeatedly said that the press reports on him with "hatred." 
    • Claimed only after a reporter with the last name Acosta said, "I'm sure you checked that," about whether or not he was related to Alex Acosta (the new nominee for Secretary of Labor), "OK. Now I checked it -- I said -- they said, 'No, sir.' I said, 'Do me a favor, go back and check the family tree.'"
    • Said that when he calls something "fake news," what he means is that it doesn't report what he says or does in a positive light when he "knows" that whatever he has said or done is good. "I know what's good and bad. I'd be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you. But I know what's good. I know what's bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive -- sometimes something that should be very positive, they'll make OK. They'll even make it negative."
    • Claimed that Hillary Clinton, who was never (sadly) President, gave Russia 20% of the US's uranium. 
    • Said he would not let anyone know about his attack on Mosul (though did, strangely, keep saying 4 months from now) or what he planned to do in North Korea. 
    • Stated that, "We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision. We had a court that's been overturned. Again, may be wrong. But I think it's 80 percent of the time, a lot," despite the fact that hundreds of thousands protested the executive order before it was ever taken to court for a restraining order.  
    • Refused to say yes or not when asked directly if people in his campaign had been in contact with Russian officials, saying, "Russia is a ruse." 
    • Told a reporter from a Jewish publication to sit down and that he had not asked a very nice question when inquiring about the increase in anti-semitic hate crimes since the election, and answered the aborted question with, "Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican -- quiet, quiet, quiet. See, he lied about -- he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive." The reporter did not accuse DT of being anti-semitic.
    • When asked about the DACA, responded, "We're gonna show great heart, DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it's one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids. In many cases, not in all cases. And some of the cases, having DACA and they're gang members and they're drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely, incredible kids, I would say mostly. They were brought here in such a way -- it's a very -- it's a very, very tough subject." He did not actually answer the question as to how he plans to reform, change, or even uphold the program. 
    • When asked about his plan for the inner cities, said that he would not tell anyone what his plan is, but will wait for the release of his executive order, before going on to brag about how he got a larger percentage of the African-American and Latinx ("Hispanic") vote than people thought he would. It's unclear where he got those numbers, as few of either demographic voted for him. Not satisfied to brag about his votes from people of color, he went on, "And by the way, if I might add, including the women's vote, which was much higher than people thought I was going to get." Sadly, he's not wrong, there. 
    • Again called inner cities "Hell." 
    • When a Black woman reporter asked if he was going to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus asked if she would set up the meeting for him, if they were friends of hers, as if all Black people know each other. The Congressional Black Congress requested a meeting with DT several weeks ago. The White House never replied.
    • Claimed that it is not his supporters but his opposers who are saying and doing racist things in his name. 

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/politics/donald-trump-news-conference-transcript/

Sorry, everyone-- there is other news, but this was absolutely torturous to read even as a transcript. I'll put everything else up tomorrow. Oof. That was awful. 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH, 2017

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 2017