Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
The tragedy of Trump's refusal to concede
Trump could have made a public commitment to oversee a smooth transition, especially since the nation is still in the throes of a deadly pandemic that is only worsening by the day. He could have given the green light to the head of the Government Services Administration to acknowledge Biden's win and release the resources necessary for the new administration to hit the ground running on January 20, 2021.

Trump could have ensured that the incoming administration was briefed on all the major national security issues and given the most up-to-date information about the state of Covid-19.

Instead, Trump is living in his own alternate reality, and forcing government officials to play along. As one former national security official told the Washington Post, staffers know Biden will be the next president, but they are "not allowed to act like that will happen."

... Instead, President Trump seems focused on challenging the election results with spurious claims about voter fraud while spreading disinformation aimed at delegitimizing the President-elect. He is devoting his energy to Twitter rants, and also lawsuits -- which keep getting thrown out -- rather than concerning himself with the important work of governance. It seems apparent that in his final days in the White House, Trump will continue to stoke division rather than call for unity.

... If Trump is unwilling to fulfill his duties as President in the next two months, then the least he can do is step out of the way so the incoming administration can be in the best possible position come Inauguration Day. By refusing to recognize Biden as President-elect, Trump is cleaving the country in two, hamstringing the new administration's ability to move forward, sealing the country's fate with a grave loss of human life due to Covid-19 and potentially dealing a devastating blow to the economy.

The CEO of Newsmax says the channel will never become 'Trump TV' — but he's open to giving the president a weekly show
  • Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, said Sunday the conservative channel would never become an outlet for President Donald Trump.
  • But Newsmax would be open to giving Trump his own weekly show once he has left the White House, Ruddy said.
  • His comments followed a Wall Street Journal report that said Trump allies were interested in acquiring and investing in Newsmax, and trying to make it a competitor to Fox News.
  • "Newsmax would never become 'Trump TV,'" Ruddy told Variety in an interview Sunday evening.

Obama says 'the bling, the women, the money' in rap music could explain Trump's increased appeal to some rappers and Black male voters
  • Former President Barack Obama weighed in on President Donald Trump's improved support in the 2020 election among Black male voters.
  • In an interview with The Atlantic, Obama said Trump's image in rap music explains some of the appeal.
  • "I have to remind myself that if you listen to rap music, it's all about the bling, the women, the money," Obama said.
  • "A lot of rap videos are using the same measures of what it means to be successful as Donald Trump is. Everything is gold-plated. That insinuates itself and seeps into the culture."
  • Obama added that he was surprised by Trump's rise, in part, because he doesn't "watch a lot of TV."

'He's in vengeance mode': Intelligence veterans sound the alarm over Trump's post-election 'bloodlust' and 'decapitation strike' at the Pentagon
  • President Donald Trump is still refusing to concede the election after losing to President-elect Joe Biden, and the Trump administration is doing everything in its power to stymie Biden's transition team.
  • But national security veterans and former intelligence officials told Insider that, in many ways, the biggest risk to the US isn't a rocky transition but what the president might do in the 65 days between now and when he leaves office.
  • Since Trump lost the election, nearly a dozen senior government officials have been fired, forced to resign, or resigned in protest, and there may still be departures to come.
  • "Trump seems to wake up every day with a kind of anxiety or hatred," Bob Deitz, a former NSA general counsel, told Insider. "He didn't get reelected, so he's in vengeance mode. His bloodlust is rising up."
  • "In terms of damage that can be wrought, if Donald Trump wants to make some really atrocious choices as president on his way out, he can probably do more damage that way than just blinding the incoming president," one former senior Justice Department official said.
"One worries that a person like Trump, who's pissed off at the world and sitting there sucking his thumb and feeling sorry for himself, will wake up at 3 in the morning and tweet something that could be really destabilizing," Bob Deitz, the former general counsel at the National Security Agency, told Insider. "There's also the concern that he might just — and he's been trying to do this — declassify information about Russia because of his vendetta over the Mueller investigation."

... Political instability in the US is a boon for foreign adversaries like Russia and China, particularly as it relates to national defense.

'This isn't a game': Michelle Obama rips into Trump for refusing to concede and says he put her family in danger with 'racist lies'
  • The former first lady Michelle Obama issued a direct call Monday for President Donald Trump to concede the 2020 election and allow for a peaceful transfer of power.
  • In an Instagram post, Obama opened up about her personal struggles with welcoming the Trumps to the White House on Inauguration Day in 2017.
  • "Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that put my family in danger," she wrote in the post. "But I knew that, for the sake of the country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside."
  • "I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do — because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody's ego," she added.

Obama wasn't surprised that a right-wing populist could become president, but said he 'would have expected somebody a little more appealing' than Trump
  • President Barack Obama wasn't surprised that the American public elected a populist.
  • Obama, though, expected that populist to be more manly than Donald Trump.
  • "I thought that the model wouldn't be Richie Rich—the complaining, lying, doesn't-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure," the former president told The Atlantic.

The Trump official blocking Biden's transition is apparently looking for her next job, according to a new report
  • The Trump administration official blocking President-elect Joe Biden's transition is privately exploring her job options, according to an ABC News report.
  • General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy is in charge of acknowledging the election winner and beginning the formal transfer of power.
  • ABC News obtained a message of Murphy discussing employment opportunities in 2021.
  • The apparent job search contradicts President Donald Trump's messaging that he won the election.

How the final 2020 Electoral College map compares to 2016
  • In the 2020 US presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden earned 306 electoral votes to 232 electoral votes for President Donald Trump.
  • This year, Biden flipped five states and one congressional district that Trump won 2016, giving him the majority in both the Electoral College and the popular vote.
  • Biden won the traditionally Republican states of Arizona and Georgia, neither of which had voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since the 1990s.
Once President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner in Georgia, based on a projection by Decision Desk HQ and Insider, the final Electoral College tally in the presidential election stood at 306 electoral votes for Biden and 232 electoral votes for President Donald Trump. Biden is well over the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to secure the presidency.

As of November 17, Biden leads in the national popular vote by a 51% to 47% margin, or by 4 percentage points. So far, Biden has earned 78,729,579 votes, compared to Trump's 73,126,938 votes, with outstanding ballots still being counted in several states, including California and New York.

Biden's raw vote lead is currently just under 6 million votes.

While the 2016 presidential map reflects Democratic dominance on the East and West coasts and Republican strength across the interior of the country, the 2020 map shows how Biden made significant inroads in every region of the country.

Trump's lawyers withdrew from representing his campaign in its biggest Pennsylvania election lawsuit one day before the hearing
  • Three of the four lawyers representing the Trump campaign in its biggest election-related lawsuit in Pennsylvania withdrew from the case one day before the hearing.
  • In the wide-ranging federal lawsuit against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the Trump campaign alleged widespread irregularities in the way ballots were counted throughout the state.
  • The suit claims that ballots were handled differently in different counties and that huge piles of mail ballots were illegally counted. The campaign submitted a revised version of the lawsuit days later that retracted many of its original allegations.
  • Boockvar's office argued that the lawsuit was filed "on the basis of repeatedly rejected legal theories and no evidence."

Trump asked advisors for options to attack Iran's main nuclear site just days after sacking his Defense Secretary
  • President Donald Trump asked senior advisors to provide him with options for a military strike on Iran last Thursday, according to The New York Times.
  • An array of top advisors persuaded Trump against pursuing such a strike with such a short time left in his presidency, warning the move could spark a broader conflict.
  • Trump pushed the US and Iran to the brink of war at the beginning of 2020.
Among those who persuaded Trump against moving forward with the strike were Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley.

"Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed," Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, told Insider. "A military strike on Iran would deeply destabilize an already unstable Middle East, with ripple effects across the region, especially in Iraq and Lebanon."

Furthermore, "Iran is far away from having enough enriched uranium to build a bomb," Hashemi said. "There is no imminent threat that would warrant a military strike."

Lawsuits seeking to challenge Biden's electoral wins in 4 states were reportedly withdrawn
  • Lawsuits seeking to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's electoral wins in four states were withdrawn as President Donald Trump refuses to concede, CNN reported Monday.
  • The suits were filed in federal courts by voters in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, claiming voter fraud with no evidence.
  • The news of the dropped lawsuits comes after three out of four lawyers representing the Trump campaign in its biggest election fraud lawsuit in Pennsylvania withdrew from the case, one day before the hearing for the lawsuit.
  • Each of the lawsuits, initially filed last week, claimed that evidence of voter fraud would be "shortly forthcoming when the relevant official documents are final and available," according to the CNN report.
  • No evidence has emerged proving widespread voter fraud, even as the president himself continues to make the same allegations.
  • Trump's refusal to concede in the 2020 election to Biden has hindered the transition to a Biden-Harris administration, as the Democratic team continues to operate without resources provided by the White House.
  • The four lawsuits were backed by the law firm of James Bopp Jr., a known conservative attorney. Representatives from the law firm did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment.
  • Bopp told CNN in a statement denying to reveal why the lawsuits were pulled "because of [attorney-client] privilege and because I do not telegraph my next moves, I cannot comment."
  • Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a voting rights advocacy group that opposed the election lawsuits, told CNN that withdrawing the suits shows that Trump supporters have "no clear and coordinated strategy" in contesting the election results.
  • "These suits are part of a last-ditch attempt intended to promote chaos and discord while eroding public confidence in the outcome of our elections," Clarke told CNN.

Trump's national security advisor said it 'obviously' looks like Biden won the election, in the most public suggestion of defeat from the White House
  • President Donald Trump's national security advisor, Robert O'Brien, said Monday that Joe Biden appears to have won the US election.
  • "If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner, and obviously things look that way now, we'll have a very professional transition," he told the Global Security Forum.
  • Biden was projected to win the 2020 election nearly two weeks ago, though Trump has still refused to concede.
  • Despite his caveats, O'Brien is the most senior Trump official to suggest Biden has won. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have said that they are preparing for a second term.
  • Biden's team said the Trump administration is denying them access to government departments, meaning they have to find different ways to get up to speed before the January 20 handover.

Trumpism
or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.