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Opinion All the Terrifying Things That Donald Trump Did Lately

23:50  28 january  2017
23:50  28 january  2017 Source:   nymag.com

The White House petitions page is still live, and the top one calls for Trump's tax returns

  The White House petitions page is still live, and the top one calls for Trump's tax returns When President Donald Trump took the oath of office, his administration hit the reset button on the Whitehouse.gov website, replacing former president Barack Obama's policy goals with new priorities. But one page remains: the petition feature that allows the president's administration to respond to issues raised directly by the people. And the people, apparently, want to see Trump's tax returns. One petition asks the administration to "immediately release Donald Trump's full tax returns" and says it wants Trump to not be in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

A Picture and Its Story: Crowd controversy: The making of an Inauguration Day photo: Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. © REUTERS/Lucas Jackson Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

It has begun. The new president has been sworn in; the nuclear codes, handed off; the shattered glass and flash-bangs, scattered in the street; America, made “great” again.

Technically, it’s been a week since Donald Trump became commander-in-chief. But for the president’s detractors, it’s felt like centuries — long medieval centuries chock-full of plague, illiteracy, and barbarians running roughshod through the ruins of the old republic. But we aren’t actually living in the dark ages (yet). So we might as well shed some light on what the barbarians have been up to.

Trump prepares for busy Monday

  Trump prepares for busy Monday .President Trump, having declared post-inaugural Monday the true opening day of his new administration, spent Sunday pondering a string of executive orders.Supervising the swearing-in of 30 new White House staff members, Trump said he will soon meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto to discuss changes to NAFTA, the trade deal he claims has shipped U.S. jobs to those other countries.

Trump has given progressives so many causes for fear and outrage, it can be difficult — both practically and psychologically — to keep on top of them all as they happen.

To help you stay informed despite this challenge, Daily Intelligencer will provide regular inventories of Trump’s every assault on civic norms, common decency, and/or liberal democracy. Here is a rundown of everything the president-elect has done on that front in the period between January 6 (the date of our last edition of “Terrifying Things”) and January 27, arranged in rough order of each affront’s apparent significance and severity. Prior editions can be found below.

Told a demonstrable lie about the size of the crowd at his inauguration — and predicted that the media would “pay a big price” for refusing to repeat it.

Lawyers: Police wrongly arrested some on Inauguration Day

  Lawyers: Police wrongly arrested some on Inauguration Day Some innocent observers, including two journalists, were improperly swept up in a group of 230 people arrested after self-described anti-capitalists began breaking windows in Washington on Inauguration Day, lawyers said.Protesters display anti-Trump slogans in Downtown Chicago on Jan. 20, 2017 a few hours after the inauguration ceremony for Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

Donald Trump’s inauguration attracted a much smaller crowd to the National Mall than Barack Obama’s did in 2008. This was not a surprise: Washington, D.C., is a majority African-American city, and the first black president won its vote overwhelmingly. Trump, by contrast, received a mere 4 percent of the district’s ballots. Further, Obama entered office with an approval rating of 80 percent; Trump was sworn in with one around 40.

But while Trump’s (comparatively) sparse inaugural crowd comported with demographic and polling realities, it was wildly inconsistent with the president’s expectations. And so, as he often does when reality disappoints his fondest wishes, Trump discovered a set of alternative facts.

“I get up this morning and I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field,” Trump said. “I said wait a minute, I made a speech, I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, a million and a half people … it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”

Benjamin Netanyahu and Justin Trudeau Among World Leaders to Send Trump Congrats

  Benjamin Netanyahu and Justin Trudeau Among World Leaders to Send Trump Congrats Mexico said Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto are expected to speak in the coming days and weeks.The world greeted a new American president Friday: Donald J. Trump.

“So, we caught” the media, Trump said, “and we caught them in beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.”

That big price turned out to be a scolding from the new White House press secretary. Armed with visual aids, an ill-fitting suit, and secondhand indignation, Spicer condemned the press’s shameful attempts “to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall.”

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer baselessly declared, before vowing, “We’re going to hold the press accountable.”

Spicer then informed the White House press corps that the CIA had given Trump a “five-minute standing ovation” at the end of his speech (the audience stood throughout the speech, having never received permission to sit. Trump would later claim that this had been the “biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl”).

“That’s what you guys should be writing and covering,” Spicer said, then left without taking a single question.

Told congressional leaders at a private meeting that he only lost the popular vote because undocumented immigrants cast millions of ballots against him.

The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun

  The campaign to impeach President Trump has begun At the moment the new commander in chief was sworn in, a campaign to build public support for his impeachment went live.At the moment the new commander in chief was sworn in, a campaign to build public support for his impeachment went live at ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org, spearheaded by two liberal advocacy groups aiming to lay the groundwork for his eventual ejection from the White House.

In November, Trump tweeted that he had actually won the popular vote, “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” That was disturbing for several reasons, all detailed in an earlier installment of this list.

But Trump’s repetition of the claim — in a private meeting with congressional leaders, whom he has no hope of conning on this subject — raises the alarming possibility that the president genuinely believes in his own conspiracy theory. Which is to say, the president believes that “3 to 5 million” undocumented immigrants risked deportation to illegally vote against him.

Even though there is literally no evidence for that claim. And no losing down-ballot Republican candidate has demanded an investigation into the matter. And he, himself, loudly opposed all attempts to audit the election’s results — until reporters alerted him to this apparent contradiction. Then, the president announced an investigation into such acts of voter fraud as being registered to vote in two states (which is a crime committed by several of his advisers and family members, if it were actually illegal).

On Tuesday, Sean Spicer affirmed that this is, in fact, the president’s genuine understanding of how Hillary Clinton won more votes than he did.

“The president does believe that, he has stated that before,” Spicer told reporters at a White House press briefing. “I think he’s stated his concerns of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have presented to him.”

The Snake

  The Snake Donald Trump’s favorite story perfectly describes his first 10 days in office. There is a story Donald Trump liked to tell on the campaign trail. The story of the snake. The fable goes like this. A “tender-hearted” woman finds a wounded snake on the road. She takes it in and nurses it back to health. The snake, revived, bites her. The woman, dying, asks why. Trump loves recounting the story. He makes a performance out of it. He puts on his reading glasses. He lingers on the antiquated, florid language. And when he reaches the climax, he delivers the punchline with particular showmanship, deepening his voice and switching to a sharp, declarative cadence. “‘Oh, shut up, silly woman,’ said the reptile with a grin. ‘You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.’” “Does that make sense to anyone?” Trump says to cheers. The fable of the snake, in Trump’s rallies, was about Syrian refugees. For that issue, it is worse than useless — it is slander. Precisely zero Syrian refugees have launched terrorist attacks against the United States of America. But the fable of the snake is not without value. It is a powerful metaphor for Donald Trump’s presidency. Donald Trump has only been president for 10 days. But he has shown that his administration will combine the worst ideas of his campaign with the worst aspects of his temperament. Those who confidently told the country to take Trump seriously but not literally should be ashamed of themselves.

If true, then Trump’s claim about illegal votes is not just a dangerous challenge to popular perceptions of democratic legitimacy and a pretext for voter suppression — though it is both these things.

It is also a sign that the president may have developed his talent for conning the insecure by practicing on himself.

Suggested America might once again have the opportunity to confiscate Iraq’s oil.

Trump has long maintained that one of the biggest mistakes the United States made in Iraq was that it did not expropriate the nation’s most valuable natural resource. The president is fairly certain that, had the U.S. stolen Iraq’s oil, the region would be far more stable than it is today.

Trump reiterated this view in his speech at the CIA on his first weekend in office — and then suggested that his administration might have a chance to rectify America’s great error.

“Now I said it for economic reasons,” Trump said while introducing Representative Mike Pompeo, his pick to lead the intelligence agency. “But if you think about it, Mike, if we kept the oil, you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place, so we should have kept the oil. But, okay, maybe we’ll have another chance.”

This is the kind of thing a reality-television star can say to Fox & Friends, without putting lives in danger. That’s less true when the president of the United States says it to the CIA.

There are 6,000 U.S. troops in Iraq right now. It will not make their lives easier if Iraqis believe that America wants to steal their oil. Nor, for that matter, will it help if the local population thinks that the United States created ISIS.

In donated shoes and suit, a Trump supporter comes to Washington

  In donated shoes and suit, a Trump supporter comes to Washington Shane Bouvet, a single father from Illinois, has faith Trump will help his home town.Bouvet, 24, knew then he wanted a life outside, but the prospects for the former night watchman and single father living paycheck to paycheck seemed dim before he improbably rose from delivering signs for Donald Trump’s campaign to becoming its volunteer social media coordinator in Illinois.

And yet, President Trump has said both those things in just the past few weeks.

Allowed his company to leverage the cachet of his election into a massive expansion of its hotel empire.

“There are 26 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., and we’re in five,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger told Bloomberg Tuesday. “I don’t see any reason that we couldn’t be in all of them eventually.”

Meanwhile, the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago country club will be doubling its initiation fee from $100,000 per year to $200,000. What, precisely, made membership in the club twice as valuable as it was one year ago is anybody’s guess.

If all goes as planned, future generations will have convenient access to Trump-owned properties wherever they are in the country.

Prepared to radically reduce American funding to the United Nations.

In the wake of the Second World War, the United States led the effort to establish the United Nations — an institution that would, among other things, promote American values and protect American interests. To this day, the U.S. enjoys the power to unilaterally veto any substantive resolution that comes before the body, and, less officially, to defy the U.N.’s understanding of international law whenever it feels like invading a sovereign country.

But now, Donald Trump is preparing to undercut this tool of American hegemony — and global peacekeeping and poverty reduction — with a stroke of his pen.

The Trump administration has drafted an executive order that would reduce American funding of the U.N. and other international organizations by at least 40 percent, thereby devastating international peacekeeping and refugee-aid efforts.

Signed a bevy of executive orders that were drafted by the White House’s Breitbart wing — and no one else.

Part of why Trump was able to dash off executive orders at such a frenetic pace during his first week in office — even as the rest of his transition is woefully behind schedule — is that he neglected to have them reviewed by relevant cabinet agencies, congressional committees, or legal counsel.

The Trump inauguration is shaping up to be Washington’s smallest party in years

  The Trump inauguration is shaping up to be Washington’s smallest party in years Normally a rocking scene well beyond the official balls, this year’s festivities are fewer and quieter.A sign indicated the locations of the White House and the Inauguration Parade Route on Jan. 18, 2017 in Washington, DC, as the city prepares for the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

Rather, the documents were drafted with the consultation of virtually no one but Breitbart mastermind Steve Bannon, and his fellow right-wing nationalist Stephen Miller, according to Politico. And as it turns out, governing by Breitbart op-ed has its drawbacks.

For example, Trump’s executive order on the Keystone XL was drafted without the consultation of the State Department, despite the fact that the company behind the pipeline is suing the U.S. for $15 billion — and aspects of the order could plausibly strengthen the company’s case: Among other things, the order requires any company building a pipeline to use materials manufactured domestically — a provision that may contravene various trade treaties that the U.S. is bound by.

Stood by as his top advisers leaked like a sieve.

Before Trump finished his fourth day in office, “nearly a dozen” of his senior aides and advisers had planted embarrassing stories in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Politico about how their boss can’t handle embarrassing coverage in the mainstream media. Specifically, advisers detailed the president’s fury and anguish while watching cable-news coverage of the Women’s March and reports that the crowd at his inauguration was … less than record-breaking.

Those advisers also spilled the beans on every power struggle currently being waged in the West Wing — including who might be trying to get who fired.

In some ways, these developments are the opposite of terrifying. On many fronts, it’s probably better for Trump to have a bizarrely transparent and dysfunctional administration than a well-organized, tight-lipped one: It’s hard to organize mass deportation when everyone’s trying to keep the boss from having a temper tantrum — or else scheming to get each other forced out.

But these are still the people we’re relying on to keep the government functioning and avert nuclear war. The fact that the U.S. president is a a 70-year-old child — or, at the very least, that his own advisers are eager to portray him that way in the press — is more than a bit disconcerting.

Declared that his election had restored American democracy, in an angry, authoritarian inaugural address.

On Friday, a president who had lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots announced that, with his inauguration, the American people had been put in charge of their own government for the first time in decades.

“Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump declared. “January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.”

The new president went on to assail the various elected leaders arrayed in front of him as a parasitic cabal that had “protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.”

Thus, Trump established himself as the only true representative of the American people. But Trump’s speech forgot the 54 percent of the electorate that did not join that movement — along with every American who felt that Barack Obama represented them, during his time in the Oval Office.

Not once did Trump acknowledge the existence of such voters. But he didn’t need to, because his claim to being the people’s president did not rest on objective measures of popular opinion, but on his unique ability to divine — and execute — the national will.

Trump is the voice of the people, because the people said so, in his own voice.

Replaced the White House website’s page on climate change with a vow to drill for oil on federal lands.

Minutes after Trump was sworn in, all mentions of man-made climate change were erased from the White House’s official website. In its stead appeared the president’s “America First Energy Plan,” which promises the elimination of the Obama administration’s “harmful and unnecessary” restrictions on carbon emissions and water pollution.

“We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves,” the plan reads, “especially those on federal lands that the American people own.”

This is in the wake of reports that 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history — as had been 2015 and 2014 before it.

It is not unusual for presidents to excise their predecessor’s pages from the White House website. But Trump’s revision put his priorities into sharp relief.

At his first press conference as president-elect, Trump revealed that he had no intention of divesting from his globe-spanning business interests, despite government ethicists’ insistence that he do so.

Defamed a hero of the civil-rights movement in a series of racist tweets.

Georgia congressman John Lewis announced that he would not be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, as he believed that Russian interference rendered his election illegitimate.

Considering the lack of public evidence that the Trump campaign actively abetted Russian hacking, one could reasonably argue that Lewis’s claim was hyperbolic, or even irresponsible.

But Trump made no such argument when he responded to Lewis’s slight. Instead, he decided to defame the congressman and the voters he represents.

Beyond the bleak comedy of a millionaire’s son — who spent the late ’60s dodging the draft and STDs — deriding a hero of the civil-rights movement as “all talk, no action,” Trump’s tweets are remarkable for their naked racism.

Since winning the White House, Trump has largely eschewed the appeals to white racial resentment that fueled his campaign’s early days. But Lewis’s insult brought the president’s racial animus back to the surface.

It’s true that Lewis represents much of Atlanta, which, like many other American cities, suffers from an unacceptably high rate of gun violence. But the city is also among one of the nation’s most economically vibrant metro areas — and is not “falling apart.”

What’s more, Lewis’s district also encompasses some of his state’s wealthiest suburbs. Thus, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Trump’s dire portrait of the place Lewis represents was based entirely on the color of the congressman’s skin — the president saw that Lewis was an African-American, and then described the conditions that he believes African-Americans live under.

Trump’s final tweet to Lewis is his most alarming, as it describes a completely fictional crisis of urban disorder — there was a time in our history when America’s inner cities were set ablaze by the rage of the dispossessed, but we aren’t living in it. Thus, Trump’s tweet appears designed but to stimulate his white, rural followers’ fear and loathing of “urban” America, and all that “infests” it.

Suggested that America’s intelligence agencies might be turning the United States into something akin to Nazi Germany.

Earlier this month, CNN reported that intelligence officials had alerted the president-elect to the existence of an unverified research report, assembled by an ex–British spy, which claimed that Donald Trump’s campaign had been in close contact with the Russian government through much of 2016 — and that the Kremlin possessed “compromising” information about him.

It’s not clear who leaked word of these salacious allegations. The dossier that BuzzFeed published had been commissioned by Trump’s opponents during the 2016 campaign, and had been circulating among journalists and political operatives — as well as intelligence officials — for months. It is possible that CNN would have needed an intelligence-community source to report that our spy agencies had briefed Trump on the dossier. But the list of people who could have sent the documents themselves to BuzzFeed extends well into the private sector.

Nonetheless, Donald Trump decided to pin the blame on the intelligence agencies he would soon rely upon — and in the most incendiary possible terms.

Allowed his secretary of State nominee to pledge that America would block China’s access to its disputed islands in the South China Sea — a promise that, if kept, would almost certainly mean war.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would-be secretary of State Rex Tillerson promised to block China’s access to its disputed islands in the South China Sea — an action that would almost certainly entail a military confrontation between the world’s two greatest powers.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops,” Tillerson said. “And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

It’s unclear whether Tillerson conferred with Trump about that stance. But Trump has been nothing but belligerent toward Beijing since winning the White House. Beyond threatening to slap massive tariffs on China’s exports and revoke America’s support for the One China policy, the president has also staffed his administration with multiple China hard-liners, including Peter Navarro, who has described the nation as a “despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless, and totally totalitarian imperialist power.”

In response to Tillerson’s statement the Communist Party–controlled Global Times wrote, “Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish … If Trump’s diplomatic team shapes future Sino-U.S. ties as it is doing now, the two sides had better prepare for a military clash.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer reiterated the administration’s position, saying, “If those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.”

Named his son-in-law a senior White House adviser, in defiance of norms (and, very likely, laws) against nepotism.

Two weeks ago, Trump named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser. Anti-nepotism laws prohibit federal officials from hiring relatives to work for the agencies they lead, but Kushner’s lawyers have concluded that the White House is not an agency. And the Justice Department has decided to buy into that theory.

Called NATO obsolete.

Last week, Trump once again suggested that America’s support for NATO was contingent on its allies “paying their fair share,” while calling the organization as currently constituted “obsolete.” He also predicted the slow collapse of the European Union, and suggested that such a collapse would be a good thing. In response to his remarks, German president Angela Merkel said that Europe has its fate “in its own hands.”

****

“Week” 5 (December 22 through January 6)

Repeatedly denigrated America’s intelligence agencies, then leaked plans to downsize them.

Trump initially claimed that the CIA’s findings could be dismissed — sight unseen — because the agency is staffed by the “same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” He then argued it was impossible for anyone to know who had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s email account.

Last week, Trump reiterated that argument, telling reporters, “the whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on.” Then, the president-elect went a step further, suggesting that regardless of who committed the hack, “we ought to get on with our lives.”

Trump then falsely claimed that his intelligence briefing on Russian hacking had been delayed — and suggested that this was because the CIA needed more time to fabricate “intelligence.”

He then treated the claims of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with more credulity than those of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.

The troubling thing about this behavior is not that the president-elect views the claims of the deep state with a critical eye, but rather that he appears to judge the veracity of their claims on the basis of whether or not he wants them to be true.

Trump rejected the CIA’s assessment of Russian hacking before he was ever presented with its case, out of a belief that the findings were the product of a “political witch hunt,” aimed at tarnishing the legitimacy of his electoral triumph.

“They got beaten very badly in the election. I won more counties in the election than Ronald Reagan. They are very embarrassed about it,” Trump told the Times on Friday, ostensibly explaining the motivation behind the intelligence community’s focus on Russian hacking. “To some extent, it’s a witch hunt. They just focus on this.”

As this 2014 tweet makes clear, Trump is no long-time, principled critic of the CIA.

Rather, he is a staunch opponent of any entity that publicizes information he does not want to hear. And now, he’s reportedly drafting plans to take his opposition beyond merely shooting his mouth off at the messenger.

This week, The Wall Street Journalreported that Trump and his advisers are drafting plans to “pare back” the office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA.

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” one anonymous source close to the Trump transition told the paper. “They all need to be slimmed down.”

Declared his openness to reviving a nuclear arms race.

Just before Christmas, Trump went nuclear. Specifically, the president-elect appeared to upend a decades-old bipartisan consensus that less is more when it comes to nuclear weapons.

This tweet was widely interpreted as a declaration of Trump’s intent to pursue nuclear proliferation. But could that really have been what he meant? Why would Trump want to give the world’s other nuclear powers an excuse to proliferate when America already has enough weapons to wipe out humanity so many times over — and when arms races are so damn expensive. Surely, the words “nuclear capability” were meant to signify a modernization of our existing arsenal, like the one president Obama is already pursuing (which is, itself, an arguably reckless policy).

Shortly after Trump’s tweet, his communications director suggested that he had, in fact, been referring to modernization.

But one day letter, the president-elect had an early morning chat with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski — and declined the cable news host’s invitation to disavow his interest in a nuclear arms race.

“Let there be an arms race,” Trump told Brzezinski, “because we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Disparaged the sitting American president, while praising a hostile foreign autocrat.

Trump lacks many of the characteristics that one might want in a commander-in-chief. But punctuality isn’t one of them. In fact, the president-elect has taken the unprecedented step of showing up for his new job 11 weeks early.

Instead of abiding by the principle that there “can only be one president at a time” — which is to say, that president-elects should keep mum on foreign policy, so as to avoid sowing confusion among America’s allies and adversaries about who’s in charge — Trump has comported himself as though he were already ensconced in the Oval Office.

The president-elect has hosted a meeting with the prime minister of Japan; “cancelled” two of the U.S. military’s most expensive projects; attempted to dictate America’s actions at the United Nations; and, most ambitiously, spoken with the president of Taiwan by phone and then publicly questioned the wisdom of respecting the One China policy — an action that threatens to transform America’s relationship with the world’s second-greatest power and which was taken without the consultation of the Obama White House or State Department.

And yet, despite all these signals that Trump is ready to take things from here, Barack Obama has carried on as though he were still the president of the United States. Obama has even had the audacity to use the power of his office to advance policies that Trump doesn’t like, including sanctions on Russia and pardons of nonviolent drug offenders.

The president-elect publicized his displeasure with this state of affairs at the end of last month.

Then, when Vladimir Putin announced that he would withhold retaliatory sanctions against the United States — until he got a sense of where the Trump administration would like to take U.S.-Russia relations — the president-elect praised the autocrat’s wisdom.

Continued to use Twitter as a tool for souring diplomatic relations with the world’s second-greatest power.

Trump began 2017 the way he ended 2016 — antagonizing China for no good reason.

In the wake of that missive, China’s state news agency, Xinhua, (essentially) advised the president-elect to delete his account.

In a commentary titled, “An obsession with ‘Twitter foreign policy’ is undesirable,” the media organization wrote. “Everyone recognizes the common sense that foreign policy isn’t child’s play, and even less is it like doing business deals,” according to a translation by the New York Times.

“Twitter shouldn’t become an instrument of foreign policy,” the article continued, suggesting that Trump is wrong to believe that “issuing hard-line comments and taking up sensitive issues” over the platform will “add to his chips for negotiating with other countries.”

Trump isn’t wrong to suggest that China has helped prop up Kim Jong-un’s regime. As Time notes, China is North Korea’s only major ally and accounts for 90 percent of the rogue state’s trade.

But this fact illustrates why maintaining friendly relations with Beijing is so important — to make Kim Jong-un’s regime pay a higher price for its belligerence, Trump will need to secure the cooperation of its only major trading partner. And he will only be able to do that if he can establish a modicum of trust with the Chinese government.

It seems unlikely that tweeting out sarcastic insults of the Chinese government is a sound means of achieving that end.

More broadly, Trump’s decision to use Twitter as his primary tool for both public and diplomatic relations is a security threat in its own right. As BuzzFeed News notes, a hacker who gained access to Trump’s account would gain the power to manipulate the stock market or instigate a geopolitical crisis with the press of a button.

Named a billionaire investor — with an enormous, personal financial interest in deregulating certain sectors of the economy — as his special adviser on regulatory reform.

Carl Icahn is a billionaire financier with ungodly sums of money invested in energy, auto supplies, and mining.

Now, he is also the man tasked with “reforming” the regulatory agencies that oversee his investments.

In late December, Trump named Icahn his special adviser on regulatory reform — but unlike his predecessors in that position, Icahn’s gig will be “informal,” and he will not be classified as a government employee.

This arrangement will allow Icahn to retain his investments in companies that are affected by his regulatory decisions. It will also allow him to avoid disclosing any tax returns or undergoing vetting by Congress.

Icahn is already pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to ease clean fuel standards, and has played a role in selecting the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“It is one more example of what King Trump is doing, circumventing the rules,” Richard Painter, the former chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush, said of Icahn’s hiring, in an interview with New York. “This is an end-run around criminal statutes.”

“Week” 4 (December 9 through December 21)

Declared the American intelligence community to be inherently untrustworthy, after it produced information that he did not like.

A little over a week ago, the Washington Postrevealed that many in the CIA believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the intention of aiding Donald Trump’s candidacy.

This information did not please Donald Trump.

Which is understandable: No winning politician wants his or her victory to be attributed, even partially, to the actions of a hostile foreign government. What’s more, with liberals already eager to delegitimize his presidency on the basis of his popular-vote loss, Trump had some cause for defensiveness.

Thus, one could hardly blame the president-elect if he released a statement that mixed expressions of concern about Kremlin interference with a vigorous defense of the election’s legitimacy.

Instead, he released a statement that said this:

These three sentences are gobsmacking for reasons both small and large. For one thing, there is no evidence that the intelligence analysts who wrote up the CIA’s findings on Russian interference were “the same people” who prepared the most inaccurate assessments of Saddam Hussein’s arsenal. And anyway, Trump reportedly intends to give one of the Iraq War’s most unrepentant architects a high-ranking position in his administration.

For another, the president-elect’s claim about the size of his win is downright Orwellian — Trump’s margin of victory in the Electoral College was among the lowest in our history.

Most concerning, though, is the fact that Trump decided to publicly denigrate the authority of an entire intelligence agency, simply because it generated news he didn’t like. (If the president-elect has some other reason for doubting the CIA’s assessment, he has not provided it.)

This is chilling, even if one isn’t concerned by Trump’s friendliness toward Russia. One can reasonably argue that easing tensions with the nation that holds the world’s second-largest nuclear stockpile will do more good than harm. But a president who responds to unpleasant information by shooting his mouth off at the messenger will almost certainly do more of the latter than the former.

And Trump’s decision to disbelieve the CIA’s assessment — sight unseen — was not a momentary impulse. Three days after the Post’s report, the president-elect suggested it wasn’t even possible for the CIA to know who had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s email account.

Said he would continue skipping daily intelligence briefings when he becomes president because he’s smart enough to get by without them.

In his time as president-elect, Trump has refused to solicit briefings from the State Department before contacting foreign leaders, or to sit through daily national-security updates from America’s intelligence agencies. And last week, Trump declared his intention to continue shirking the latter duty as commander-in-chief.

“You know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” Trump explained to Fox News Sunday. “There might be times where it might change. I mean, there will be some very fluid situations. I’ll be there not every day but more than that.”

Said he doesn’t know why he should be bound by the One China Policy.

Trump has spent much of the past month souring America’s diplomatic relationship with the second most powerful country in the world. First, he broke a decades-old taboo against speaking with the president of Taiwan. Then, he announced that he might not honor the “One China Policy,” which prohibits the U.S. from recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign country. Preventing Taiwan from achieving internationally recognized independence is a top priority of Chinese foreign policy — one that its military has prepared to go to war over.

But Trump told Fox News that, unless China is willing to cut him some unspecified “deal,” he may repudiate the principle on which decades of friendly U.S.-Sino relations has been premised.

“I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy,” Trump told the network. “But I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade.”

In response to Trump’s provocations, China flew a nuclear-capable bomber over its disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Then, a Chinese naval vessel abducted an underwater U.S. drone. It returned the drone to American custody days later, after determining that it was not being used for espionage.

Trump used this minor dustup to further irritate Beijing.

A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry expressed indignation at Trump’s tweet. “We don’t like the word steal. That’s totally inaccurate.” The nation’s state-run newspaper later published an op-ed that promised if Trump “treats China after assuming office in the same way as in his tweets, China will not exercise restraint.”

Invited his adult sons — who are slated to run the Trump Organization next year — to a policy meeting with the leading lights of Silicon Valley.

Last Wednesday, Donald Trump was supposed to clarify how he intends to extricate himself from the myriad conflicts of interest his company presents. But he postponed that press conference until January. In its place, the president-elect tweeted his intention to cede managerial control of his company to his adult sons, Eric and Don Jr.

Then, he invited both of those sons to a policy meeting with the leading lights of Silicon Valley. On the very day he had previously promised to detail his plans for evading corruption. Which, to be fair, was its own kind of clarifying.

Picked a man who once tried to call for the abolition of the Energy Department — but couldn’t remember the department’s name — as secretary of Energy.

At a Republican primary debate in 2011, Rick Perry announced that there were three federal agencies that he would abolish as president, — “Commerce, Education and the — what’s the third one there?”

“Let’s see. — Okay. So Commerce, Education, and the,” the former governor of Texas continued. “The third agency of government I would — I would do away with the Education, the — Commerce and — let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

Perry later revealed that the “third one” was the department of Energy. Last week, Trump named Perry as his designated pick for head of that department.

Named his bankruptcy lawyer — who thinks liberal Jews are “worse” than Nazi collaborators — as his pick for ambassador to Israel.

David Friedman is a bankruptcy lawyer who believes the two-state solution is an “illusion,” Barack Obama is anti-Semitic, Israel has a legal right to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank — or else to annex the territory in its entirety — and that liberal American Jews who disagree with him are “far worse than kapos.

And he will be America’s ambassador to Israel next year, if Donald Trump gets his way.

“Week” 3 (November 30 through December 9)

Provoked heightened diplomatic tensions with two nuclear-armed states.

Before last Friday, the leaders of the United States and Taiwan had not spoken since 1979. This was because China does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, but rather, a breakaway province. Preventing the island from achieving internationally recognized independence is one of the top priorities of Chinese foreign policy — one that its military has prepared to go to war over.

Thus, America’s friendly diplomatic relationship with the world’s second greatest power is premised on our respect for the “One China” policy.

Seven days ago, Donald Trump chose to disrespect that policy, when, unbeknownst to the Obama White House, the president-elect held a ten-minute phone conversation with Taiwan’s president — and leader of the nations pro-independence political party — Tsai Ing-wen.

The call prompted an immediate diplomatic protest from China, followed by reassurances from the sitting president that no official change in policy had been intended.

Initially, the call appeared to testify to the hazards posed by Trump’s willful ignorance. The president-elect has reportedly refused to sit through daily intelligence briefings and neglected to consult the State Department before meeting with foreign leaders. And, after his precedent-shattering call was met with widespread criticism, he advertised his inability to comprehend the concept of diplomatic fictions.

Alternatively, there was some speculation that Trump had chosen to roll the dice on 37 years of peaceful U.S.-Sino relations for the sake of developing a new hotel in Taipei.

And then, the Washington Postrevealed that the call to Taiwan was the result of a wholly different — but no less alarming — cause: Former Republican senator Bob Dole, along with other hawks in Trump’s inner circle, had persuaded the president-elect to make the call as an intentional provocation of the Chinese government.

Whatever comfort came with learning that Trump perhaps hadn’t jeopardized our relationship with a nuclear superpower out of carelessness or greed, was erased by the knowledge that the alternative explanation was one of calculated belligerence.

While Trump campaigned on a kind of neo-isolationism, the president-elect is surrounded by advisers who believe that the United States is at war with Islam and that China must be made to understand our strength.

Trump’s Taiwan call suggests that these crackpot adventurers may actually get to steer the ship of State.

Which isn’t to say that Trump’s bumbling ignorance won’t create it’s own set of diplomatic crises: Last week, the president-elect also appeared to wing a phone call with the prime minister of Pakistan, in which he offered to mediate its dispute with India over Kashmir while calling the Pakistanis “one of the most intelligent people” — sentiments that caused a fair amount of anxiety inside of India.

Few conflicts in the world pose a greater risk of nuclear escalation than that between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. By all appearances, Trump chose to weigh in on that conflict without soliciting instruction from diplomatic authorities.

Defended the propriety of mass murder as an anti-drug policy.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has likened his campaign to rid his nation of drug users to Adolph Hitler’s attempt to rid the planet of Jews: Earlier this year, Duterte noted that the press had portrayed him as the “cousin of Hitler,” then explained that he took little offense at the analogy — after all, whatever else you might think of the Führer, the man was very good at exterminating the impure.

“There are 3 million drug addicts [in the Philippines]. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte said.

Since taking office last summer, Duterte has presided over the extrajudicial killings — by police and vigilantes — of more than 3,000 alleged “drug addicts.”

In doing so, he has (reportedly) won the admiration of America’s president-elect.

“He wishes me well, too, in my campaign, and he said that, well, we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way,” Mr. Duterte said last week, adding that Trump had invited him to visit the White House next year.

Of course, you can’t believe everything an authoritarian mass murderer says. But Trump did not deny Duterte’s account — and given the opportunity to condemn the Philippine president’s campaign of terror, in an interview with Time, the president-elect chose to defend it, instead:

“They come from Central America. They’re tougher than any people you’ve ever met,” Trump says. “They’re killing and raping everybody out there. They’re illegal. And they are finished.”

A reporter mentions that what Trump is saying echoes the rhetoric of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has overseen the extrajudicial killing of thousands of alleged drug dealers and users in recent months. The President-elect offers no objection to the comparison. “Well, hey, look, this is bad stuff,” he says. “They slice them up, they carve their initials in the girl’s forehead, O.K. What are we supposed to do? Be nice about it?”

On Monday, those of us who would like to keep this whole “human civilization” thing going for a few more centuries were provided a ray of hope: President-elect Donald Trump met with inconvenient-truth-teller Al Gore. The meeting came days after Politico reported that Ivanka Trump planned to make climate change one of her “signature issues.”

Thus, for a moment, it seemed like the president-elect might have decided that he’d rather not do everything in his power to accelerate the onset of ecological catastrophe.

But then, on Wednesday, Trump named Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (or, as it may soon be known, the Environmental Destruction Agency).

Pruitt is one of the nation’s leading opponents of the current EPA’s climate-change policies, helping to coordinate a 28-state lawsuit against new limitations on the amount of carbon that power plants can emit.

But his opposition to environmental protection extends beyond climate denial: While most conservatives dismiss the significance of global warming, many still believe it makes sense for the government to keep poison out of the air and water.

Not Pruitt. He has unsuccessfully sued the EPA over regulations on smog pollution, and over a rule that safeguards wetlands and streams that helps filter contamination from drinking water.

The man is so in the pocket of the energy industry, he once took a letter decrying fracking regulations — sent to him by the oil company Devon Energy — copied the text of the letter onto Oklahoma government stationery, and mailed it off to the EPA.

Now, he won’t need to write letters or bring lawsuits to express his contempt for any policy that puts the public interest above the energy’s industry short-term profits — he’ll be able to undermine those policies directly.

POTUS. © Mark Wilson POTUS.

What’s more, in the wake of Pruitt’s appointment, Trump’s meeting with Gore is recast in its own sinister light: The president-elect’s meeting the climate-change champion may have been a deliberate bid to sow confusion about the nature of his actual policy on the environment. And it may have worked.

Attacked a local labor leader for calling attention to his lies.

Last week, Donald Trump convinced Carrier to move only one of its Indiana plants to Mexico, in exchange for $7 million in tax breaks (and/or a tacit promise to make sure nothing unfortunate happens to its parent company’s federal contracts).

The president-elect then traveled to the factory he’d ostensibly rescued and announced that “over 1,100 workers” would be keeping their jobs thanks to his tireless efforts.

This was news to Chuck Jones, president of the union that represents those workers, United Steelworkers 1999. Trump had locked the union out of negotiations with Carrier, and so Jones had not been able to examine the terms of the agreement. Thus, he urged his workers to keep their optimism on the cautious side, but to no avail. As he would later write, “Our members got their hopes up. They thought their jobs had been saved.”

In fact, when Jones finally met with the management of Carrier, he discovered that only 730 factory jobs had been saved.

Jones told the Washington Post that he’d hoped Trump would be upfront about the terms of the deal, but instead the president-elect had “lied his ass off.” He then reiterated that sentiment in an interview with CNN.

Trump replied by attacking Jones by name, accusing the local labor leader — whose efforts on behalf of his union had turned their plight into a national news story — of being personally responsible for the offshoring of jobs.

After a campaign spent lambasting the treachery of unpatriotic CEOs and globalist elites, Trump now blamed the decline of American manufacturing on the laziness of uppity workers.

These tweets are scary not merely for what they portend about the Trump administration’s labor policies (more on that in a minute) but also because they signal the president-elect’s enthusiasm for using his bully pulpit to stigmatize individualprivate citizens who dare to draw attention to his lies.

In the wake of Trump’s attack, Jones was inundated with implicit threats on his life and lives of his children.

Meanwhile, Trump’s promises about the Carrier deal have proven even less impressive than they initially appeared. To make its commitment to the Indiana factory concrete and verifiable, Carrier pledged to invest $16 million into the facility. But on Thursday, CNN Money learned that the company will spend the bulk of that money on automation, with the aim of radically reducing the size of its workforce in the short-term future.

Handed the Labor Department to a serial violator of labor law.

On Thursday, Donald Trump named Andy Puzder as his choice for Labor Secretary, a move roughly analogous to naming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as head of counterterrorism.

Puzder is the CEO of the fast-food company that owns the Carl’s Jr. and Hardees chains — restaurants that have been serial violators of the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations into Puzder’s signature eateries turned up instances of wage theft or other forms of worker mistreatment. While on the high side, that figure isn’t that far out of step with industry standards: Nearly half of enforcement cases brought by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour division in 2015 targeted the restaurant industry.

Companies like Puzder’s have tried to dodge responsibility for these abuses, by arguing that parent companies can’t be held liable for the actions of franchisees. But in 2015, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that workers had a right to bargain with parent companies over working conditions.

Puzder will now have discretion over how to enforce that ruling (or, at least, he will until Trump gets the opportunity to appoint new members of the NLRB, and the ruling gets reversed).

Puzder has also been a vocal critic of large increases in the minimum wage and the Obama administration’s decision to expand access to guaranteed overtime pay.

He also likes to advertise his burgers via soft-core pornography.

As Labor Secretary, Puzder will oversee the Women’s Bureau, an agency tasked with representing the needs of working women.

Requested security clearance for a conspiracy theorist who claims that the Clintons operate a Satanic child-sex ring out of a popular D.C. pizzeria.

Michael Flynn is an Islamophobic retired general and intelligence expert, who occasionally promotes unhinged conspiracy theories. He will be the top national security adviser to our next president.

Michael G. Flynn Jr. is the Islamophobic chief of staff of his father’s consulting firm, who constantlypromotes unhinged conspiracy theories — including one about how the Democratic Establishment keeps child sex slaves imprisoned at a popular Washington pizzeria.

This week, a delusional — albeit morally courageous — man showed up at that pizzeria with a firearm, prepared to liberate those poor children. Also this week, CNN learned that Trump’s transition team had sought to supply Flynn Jr. with a security clearance.

Flynn Jr. has since been removed from Trump’s transition team. But his father, who (apparently) felt his son deserved access to state secrets, is still slated to become one of the most powerful men in the world next January.

Baselessly accused a private company of ripping off the government, shortly after the CEO of that company criticized his trade policies.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Tribunepublished an article that mentioned Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s recent criticism of Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Twenty minutes later, the president-elect baselessly accused Boeing of ripping off the government to the tune of $4 billion, and announced his intention to cancel one of its major federal contracts.

It’s unclear whether the first development informed the second one. But it’s difficult not to infer a connection, given Trump’s penchant for attacking all who criticize him, and the fact that there is factual basis for his tweet’s claim. (The U.S. Government Accountability Office has estimated that the entire Air Force One program will cost $3.2 billion between 2010 and 2020. However, Boeing has not even been awarded a contract to assemble the planes, only multimillion-dollar deals to design certain aspects of the aircrafts. If costs are “out of control,” Boeing has little to do with it — and there is no $4 billion contract to be canceled).

On Friday, Boeing pledged $1 million to president Trump’s inauguration.

“Week” 2 (November 19 through 28)

Questioned the legitimacy of the election he just won.

Trump spent much of his campaign sowing doubts about the legitimacy of American elections, going so far as to suggest that Hillary Clinton was conspiring with international bankers and undocumented immigrants to steal the presidency through large-scale voter fraud.

One of the few ostensible benefits of Trump’s surprise victory was that the leader of the Republican Party would, presumably, stop sowing doubts about the integrity of our democracy. But Trump shattered that half-full glass on Sunday.

In response to the Clinton campaign’s decision to cooperate with the Wisconsin recount effort spearheaded by Jill Stein, Trump tweeted:

Here, the president-elect condemns his opponents for refusing to accept the results of November’s election … by declaring his own refusal to accept the results of that election; and suggests that the vote totals don’t need to be audited, by claiming that that the vote totals are off by more than two million.

But the problem with these remarks is much larger than unintentional irony. If Trump can’t acknowledge a (functionally irrelevant) popular-vote loss, how might he respond to an election result that actually challenged his grip on power?

Or, more immediately, how might he and his party go about ensuring that “illegal voting” (a.k.a. “nonwhite voting”) has less of an impact in 2020? Trump’s tweets could foreshadow a coming push for nationwide voter suppression — if it doesn’t foreshadow something much scarier than that.

Appointed Ben Carson secretary of Housing and Urban Development — despite the fact that Carson has no relevant experience and recently declared himself unqualified for any cabinet position.

Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who has more experience hawking “cancer-curing” vitamins than managing a bureaucracy. Carson’s personal assistant alluded to this fact earlier this month, when he explained that Carson did not want a cabinet position because he believed that his lack of government expertise “could cripple the presidency.”

And then Donald Trump named Ben Carson as his pick for HUD secretary.

Beyond Carson’s lack of managerial experience, he has absolutely no experience in housing or urban policy. He does, however, believe that efforts to enforce the Fair Housing Act — which both prohibits discrimination in the housing market and requires municipalities to actively combat such discrimination — are “communist.”

He also believes that that there is a broad scientific consensus that aliens built the pyramids — but that this consensus is wrong, because the biblical Joseph built the pyramids with help from God, as a means of storing grain.

Carson’s appointment suggests that Trump’s preference for empowering incompetent loyalists over qualified professionals knows no bounds. Although, if Trump sees HUD primarily as a tool for enriching well-connected real-estate developers, Carson’s combination of loyalty and grifting experience may make him uniquely “qualified” for the position.

Allowed his D.C. hotel to actively court the patronage of foreign diplomats.

The president-elect owns a company with myriad overseas investments, creditors, and partnerships — and a lot of permit requests pending before foreign governments. The number of conflicts of interest this situation creates is uncountable. And Trump knows that if he continues to ignore these conflicts — and simply shapes American foreign policy around his own business interests — there’s little we can do to hold him accountable.

“The law’s totally on my side, the president can’t have a conflict of interest,” Trump explained last week in an interview with the New York Times. And he’s correct, to a point: The president is exempt from federal conflict-of-interest laws. Some legal scholars believe that the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits Trump from profiting off the gifts or payments of foreign governments. But absent the cooperation of congressional Republicans, it will likely be difficult to press that issue.

Meanwhile, Trump is already leveraging his claim on the White House for everything it’s worth. Earlier this month, the Trump International Hotel D.C. provided 100 foreign diplomats with Trump-brand champagne and a request for their patronage. Several diplomats told the Washington Post that they intended to make Trump’s hotel their delegations’ home away from home, so as to “build ties with the new administration.”

Invited the manager of his blind trust onto a phone call with the president of Argentina.

During the campaign, Trump promised that he would distance himself from his business interests by placing his assets into what he refered to as a “blind trust,” but is actually an entity that would allow him perfect knowledge of the assets he holds — and that would be managed by his children, who are now members of his transition team.

Since winning the White House, Trump has refused to accept the (wholly inadequate) constraints this vow would place on his actions. The president-elect has already invited his daughter Ivanka — the manager of his blind trust – to a closed-door meeting with the Japanese prime minister, and onto a phone call with the president of Argentina.

The day after that phone call, the Trump Organization received the Argentine government’s approval to move forward on its high-rise development in Buenos Aires.

Met with Indian business partners who have publicly declared their intention to capitalize on his status as president-elect.

Trump took time away from his transition to meet with the developers of Trump Towers Pune, a pair of 23-story buildings in the west of India.

“We will see a tremendous jump in valuation in terms of the second tower,” one consultant who worked on the project told the New York Times. “To say, ‘I have a Trump flat or residence’ — it’s president-elect branded. It’s that recall value. If they didn’t know Trump before, they definitely know him now.”

Tried to coerce Britain into appointing a right-wing extremist as its ambassador to the United States.

After filling his own administration with racist incompetents whose primary qualification for high office is their loyalty to Donald Trump, the president-elect publicly requested that U.K. prime minister Theresa May do the same.

Nigel Farage is a member of UKIP and an arch-critic of May’s Tory government. (Imagine if May publicly announced that “many people” wanted to see Harry Reid as America’s ambassador to Britain.)

But using Twitter to sour America’s relations with foreign governments appears to be a core part of Trump’s approach to diplomacy.

Berated the media at a closed-door meeting for publishing unflattering photos of his double chin.

Trump spent much of his campaign demonizing journalists as biased liars and/or the paid propagandists of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. The mogul’s attempts to delegitimize the Fourth Estate have not let up since Election Day. In addition to making himself less accessible to press scrutiny than any president-elect in recent memory, Trump has also declared America’s most-read newspaper to be a “failing institution,” and invited the nation’s leading journalists to an off-the-record meeting — so as to berate them in person.

At that meeting, Trump complained about everything from the tenor of CNN’s campaign coverage to NBC’s habit of publishing photos in which the president-elect appears to have a double chin.

It’s hard to imagine a worse way for a political figure to dispel concerns about his authoritarian tendencies than to attempt to dictate which images of himself can be publicly disseminated.

Criticized the cast of a Broadway musical for asking the vice-president to work on behalf of all Americans.

Mike Pence went to a performance of Hamilton on Broadway. A lot of liberals — and LGBT individuals — go to Broadway shows. And Pence believes in gay-conversion therapy, but not in same-sex marriage. So he was booed.

After the show, a cast member told Pence from the stage, “We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights … We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”

Pence took this in stride. Trump was furious that his safe space had been violated.

Settled a fraud case for $25 million.

The president-elect decided that the case against his defunct “university” was strong enough for him to accept a $25 million settlement.

Admitted that his charity was guilty of self-dealing.

After months of accusing Hillary Clinton of philanthropic corruption, the Donald J. Trump Foundation informed the IRS that it had violated the prohibition on “self-dealing,” which bars the heads of nonprofits from using their charity’s funds to aid themselves. Previous reporting by the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold revealed that the president-elect had used his foundation’s money to pay out legal settlements, acquire Tim Tebow memorabilia, and purchase large portraits of himself.

“Week” 1 (November 9 through 18)

Derided protestors as paid professionals whose acts of free speech are fundamentally “unfair.”

American presidents generally try not to discredit their detractors via patently false right-wing conspiracy theories — a point that someone on Trump’s staff apparently relayed to him, as the president-elect’s Twitter account declared its “love” of the protestors’ “passion” nine hours later.

Invited the manager of his “blind trust” to a meeting with the prime minister of Japan.

Even before his election, Trump had already made a mockery of good government norms, by refusing to extricate himself from the myriad conflicts of interest his company presents. Instead, the president-elect promised to place his assets into what he refers to as a “blind trust,” but is actually an entity that would allow him perfect knowledge of the assets he holds — and that would be managed by his children, who are also members of his transition team.

This week, Trump revealed that those children will also, apparently, take part in diplomatic meetings with the leaders of foreign countries.

Assembled a team of racists to lead his White House.

First, Trump tapped the allegedly anti-Semitic mastermind of an “alt-right” website as his chief White House strategist. Then, the president-elect tapped a retired general who believes that “fear of Muslims is rational” as his national security adviser. Finally, he named a man that a Republican Senate deemed too racist to serve as a federal judge in 1986 — one who thinks the Voting Rights Act is “intrusive,” and (allegedly) told an African-American federal prosecutor that he should “be careful what you say around white folks” — as the head of the Justice Department.

Took credit for the fact that Ford will not be relocating a plant to Mexico (which they never had any intention of relocating to Mexico).

In truth, Ford opted to keep the Lincoln SUV production line in Kentucky, after considering moving it to Mexico — but in either event, the plant would have remained open, and no jobs would have been lost.

But fake news outlets — and some not-so-rigorous “real” ones — celebrated Trump’s “victory,” anyway.

Declared America’s leading newspaper a “failing” institution.

Trump has made a years-long habit of denigrating any media institution that accurately reports information he doesn’t like. But the stakes of this behavior are drastically higher now that he leads the world’s most powerful country.

Abandoned his press pool.

Presidents-elect typically feel compelled to allow a pool of reporters to travel with them to public events, as a gesture to the public’s right to have a watchful eye on its leader. Trump feels no such compulsion.

Floated the idea of hiring his son-in-law to a White House position, in possible defiance of laws against nepotism and norms against conflicts of interest.

Public officials are barred from hiring family members to agencies that they have authority over. They also, generally, avoid hiring the significant others of the heads of their blind trusts.

Took calls from foreign leaders on unsecured phone lines, without consulting the State Department.

Trump spent the 2016 campaign savaging Hillary Clinton for her reckless violation of the State Department’s protocols for transmitting information. He has spent the past week taking calls from foreign leaders — on the unprotected phone lines of Trump Tower — without first soliciting pertinent briefings, in defiance of longstanding practice.

Referred to his White House transition as though it were the next season of The Apprentice.

The Trump inauguration is shaping up to be Washington’s smallest party in years .
Normally a rocking scene well beyond the official balls, this year’s festivities are fewer and quieter.A sign indicated the locations of the White House and the Inauguration Parade Route on Jan. 18, 2017 in Washington, DC, as the city prepares for the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

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