Hey guys! Whoo, it's been awhile, yeah? My regular job is heating up right now, but so, apparently, are a lot of list related things... this may be part 1 of a multi-part update, because last week had some major moves in it that I think are best recounted as an arc.
I also had feedback on the format of the last entry that was split exactly down the middle as to whether you preferred the subject headings or the individual date timelines, so I'm going to try a kind of hybrid of the two. I will do individual subject headings with the time line of events mapped out day by day. Please let me know how you feel about it, if you have any feelings about it one way or another. My eventual goal is to map the timeline of each major issue (the Russia scandal, the EPA dismantling, hate crimes and their responses, etc.) by day, so this will be good practice.
Now... let's start with Russia.
THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
In general - CNN published a list of 80 times DT talked about Putin.
On March 11th, 2016:
- NPR reported that former Press Minister and aide to Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Lesin, died not of a heart attack as had been previously and quickly reported in Russia, but of blunt force trauma. Lesin died on November 5th, 2016, 3 days before the election. According to the Washington Post's original report on his death, "It was unclear what Lesin was doing in Washington."
On March 20th, 2017:
- FBI Director James Comey confirmed in a hearing with the House Intelligence Committee that there is an ongoing investigation into whether DT and his campaign were complicit in the Russian intelligence operation to influence the 2016 US Presidential Election. He also categorically refuted DT’s claims that President Barack Obama had him wiretapped.
On March 21st, 2017:
- A Ukrainian PM released documents showing payments to DT campaign manager Paul Manafort for work he performed for former Russian President Viktor F. Yanukoych, at least $750,000 of which was “funneled through an offshore account and disguised as payment for computers.”
- Buzzfeed reported that a Russian lawyer acting as a witness “in a US federal court case connected to the largest money-laundering scheme in Russian history” somehow fell out of the fourth story window of his apartment in Moscow. The US case, USA v. Prevezon was set to go to trial in New York on May 15th, though it is unclear how DT’s firing of Preet Bharara will effect the timeline of the trial.
- ABC News reported that the FBI was surveilling denizens of Trump Tower, specifically an organized crime network operating out of Trump Tower.
- The Guardian reported that DT owes $300M to Deutsche Bank… who participated in a Russian money laundering scam from 2010 - 2015. Deutsche has reviewed the several loans made to DT to see if there were any connections to the laundered money, but has “refused to comment on its internal review.”
- Paul Manafort hires a crisis communications firm.
- Reuters reported that unqualified and reluctant Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip the first NATO meeting of his term in order to visit Russia.
On March 22nd, 2017
- News broke that Paul Manafort, DT’s former campaign manager, was paid by a Russian billionaire to devise a blueprint to influence American politics to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin.
On March 23rd, 2017
- Before telling other members of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative and committee chairman Devin Nunes held a press conference claiming that some members of DT’s transition team were surveilled by the US intelligence community, because of incidental information gathered by routine surveillance of foreign individuals. Nunes would not disclose how he obtained the information, but he was at the White House the evening before. He then told reporters he was going to the White House to brief DT. So… the head of the House Intelligence Committee is now getting sources from and then briefing the White House on the investigation of… the White House. Nunes was part of DT’s transition team.
On March 24th, 2017
- Former CIA Director James Woolsey disclosed that disgraced retired General and disgraced retired National Security Advisor Mike Flynn had negotiated with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the possibilities of extralegally extraditing Fethullah Gulen from Pennsylvania, where he is living in self-imposed exile for fear for his safety, back to his home country of Turkey. Erdogan has accused Gulen for nearly a decade of being the head of a “deep state” set on undermining his authority and his party’s stranglehold on Turkish politics.
THE HEALTHCARE DEBACLE
On March 21st, 2017
- Sean Spicer said in his daily press briefing that Republicans who did not vote for the ACHA would pay for their “no” votes at home, despite the bill’s massive unpopularity expressed at town halls across the nation during Congress’s recess earlier this year.
- DT met with republican lawmakers on Tuesday saying that if they did not pass the ACHA they would lose their seats in the next election. The self-professed deal artist did not succeed in convincing additional lawmakers to vote “yes,” but rather 10 more republicans switched their votes to “no” after his visit.
On March 22nd, 2017
- In an attempt to sway Freedom Caucus members (the far-right, ultra conservative republican coalition), Speaker of the House and invertebrate coward Paul Ryan lead a rewrite of the ACHA that would allow insurance companies to cover, essentially, nothing.
On March 23rd, 2017
- The Washington Post reported that Paul Ryan actually got down on bended knee to beg some members of the house to vote for his disastrous bill. Despite a reported failure to secure support for the ACHA bill, Ryan insisted that the bill would go to the floor for a vote the next day.
On March 24th, 2017
- After failing to rewrite the health care law in a way that would please, well, anyone, either DT told Speaker Paul “Spineless” Ryan to pull the bill from the floor for a vote, or Ryan told DT he was pulling the bill. In any case, the ACHA bill never even made it to the floor for a vote.
- After the bill was pulled from the floor, DT blamed Democrats for not supporting the disastrous ACHA proposal. He then tweeted numerous times hoping that “ObamaCare,” as he put it, would explode, forcing democrats to do his bidding. He wished that healthcare for millions of people would fail. Yeah. Great guy.
- DT said, when asked about Speaker Spineless, “I like Speaker Ryan. He worked very hard.”
On March 25th, 2017
- DT tweeted a rather cryptic recommendation that everyone watch Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox at 9:00 PM that evening. On the show, Pirro opened with a condemnation of Paul Ryan, calling for his resignation as Speaker, in light of his failure to get the votes for the ACHA.
Part 2 tomorrow: Neil Gorsuch-a-terrible-choice for SCOTUS; DT's continued unethical family, business, and family business mess; and the horrifying strike in Mosul that resulted in massive civilian casualties.