Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Trump only agreed to unlock Biden's transition when aides told him he didn't have to admit that he lost, report says
  • President Donald Trump only unlocked the presidential transition process after being assured he wouldn't have to concede defeat, The New York Times reported.
  • Despite losing the election more than two weeks ago to Joe Biden, Trump refused to admit that he lost, instead alleging without evidence that his victory was stolen by fraud.
  • Trump's statement on allowing the transition to take place emphasized heavily that he does not accept defeat.
  • Some advisors believe that Monday's approval of the transition is as close to a concession as Trump will ever come.
What was conspicuously lacking in the message was an admission of defeat from the president.

According to the Times, maintaining his groundless claim to have won the election was a condition of letting the transition proceed.

According to the report, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Trump's personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, spoke to Trump on Monday to push the process ahead.

"He did not need to say the word 'concede,' they told him, according to multiple people briefed on the discussions," reported the Times.

Laura Ingraham told viewers that Biden will be the next president, and suggested that anyone who says otherwise is lying
  • On Monday night, Laura Ingraham told her Fox News show it was highly unlikely that President Donald Trump would win his legal challenges to the 2020 election results and secure a second term.
  • "Unless the legal situation changes in a dramatic, and frankly, an unlikely manner, Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20," Ingraham said.
  • She added: "If I told you there was an excellent, phenomenal chance that the Supreme Court was going to step in and deliver a victory to President Trump, I would be lying to you."
  • Ingraham appears to be the first top Fox News pundit to speak so directly about Biden's win. Major news outlets — including Fox News — called the election for President-elect Joe Biden on November 7.
  • Trump has refused to concede the race. However, on Monday, he allowed his administration to start the transition process to Biden's team.
"To say this constitutes living in reality," she added. "And if I offered you a false reality, if I told you there was an excellent, phenomenal chance that the Supreme Court was going to step in and deliver a victory to President Trump, I would be lying to you."

The letter enabling Biden's transition goes to extreme lengths to avoid saying that he beat Trump and won the election
  • The letter sent by the General Services Administration (GSA) to President-elect Joe Biden authorizing his transition does not say that he won the election.
  • It's very different to her predecessor's letter to then President-elect Barack Obama, which was straightforward and called him "President-elect."
The letter to authorize President-elect Joe Biden's transition arrived late Monday — but is an unusual document which strained to avoid acknowledging his victory.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy wrote to Biden on Monday, 16 tumultuous days after major networks widely called the election for him. (Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the election one day before.)

Her letter was sent after President Donald Trump said he was "recommending" the transition go ahead — although Murphy said that she came to her decision independently.

Murphy's letter did the same thing as other GSA authorizations — it unlocked funding for Biden and was the required signal for other parts of the federal government to cooperate with his team.

But Murphy's letter departed from form by refusing to address Biden as "President-elect" or by making an explicit judgement about the election's outcome.

Murphy's letter instead complained about the criticism she had received and feigned total unawareness of who the apparent President-elect is.

The prospect of a Trump memoir is already filling publishing workers with dread — and could lead to revolt
  • Rumors around a Donald Trump presidential memoir, and which publishing house will buy it, are swirling.
  • But many workers in publishing hope such a book won't be acquired.
  • We spoke with 10 publishing workers, from lower-level employees to industry veterans, to understand how a Trump book would play out internally, and how its profits would likely be too hard to turn down.
  • Lower-level employees often have no say in the books they work on, and those we spoke to worry about having to work on a book from Trump because of the platform it could give to what they consider "harmful" views.
  • Publishing has dealt with its own reckoning this year as a largely white and progressive industry that often relies on conservative best-sellers, with the entry-level employees who do the majority of promotion among its most diverse and progressive.

Biden's response to the transition starting hints at how worried he is about the damage Trump has done to the federal government
  • President-elect Joe Biden's transition team welcomed moves from the Trump administration to begin a presidential transition.
  • But at the same time, the team signaled that it expects a big part of its job to be damage mitigation.
  • A statement warned that an urgent task is to uncover the extent of "the Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies."
  • It did not mention specifics. But many federal agencies have been reshaped and downsized since 2016, while many significant roles have never been filled by Senate-confirmed staff.

Newsmax CEO says Trump's baseless voter fraud claims are 'great for news' in off the rails interview
  • Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy straight up said President Donald Trump's promoting of baseless voter fraud theories are good for his bottom line.
  • "At the end of the day, it's great for news," Ruddy said. "The news cycle is red-hot, and Newsmax is getting one million people per minute, according to Nielsen, tuning into Newsmax TV. I think it's good."
  • Even when reporter Isaac Chotiner pushed him on the effects Trump may be having on American democracy, Ruddy brushed that aside and tried to remove himself from any notion of responsibility.
  • "I didn't create the news cycle, Isaac. Donald Trump did. He created this whole thing. He could have accepted the results, but I'm saying, 'Look at the amazing stuff that's done for the news business.'"

The Facebook pages that spread the most election misinformation belong to Trump, his son, and a set of right-wing commentators, new research finds (FB)
  • In the wake of the November 3 US presidential election, social media was flooded with misinformation
  • Among the Facebook pages most responsible for spreading that misinformation are Donald Trump Jr. and the conservative vloggers Diamond and Silk, according to a new study by Avaaz cited by the New York Times.
  • The top 25 Facebook pages responsible for election-related misinformation were responsible for over 25% of all election-related misinformation, the study found.

Expensify CEO: I stand by my decision to email 10 million customers urging them to vote for Biden — here's why
  • Last month, Expensify CEO David Barrett emailed 10 million of the company's customers, urging them to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the US presidential election.
  • Expensify's endorsement stands in contrast to other tech companies, such as Facebook, Google, and Coinbase, that have cracked down on political discussions internally.
  • The response has been amazingly supportive, says Barrett, and the business will be pushed "not just beyond pre-COVID levels, but past the $100MM annual recurring revenue milestone."
  • Barrett argues that with the benefit of hindsight, it's clear defending democracy is good for business and urges other companies and employees to do the same.
  • "This world would benefit if more companies forsook their misguided vow of silence, flipped on their long-quiet megaphones, and stepped in to defend the core foundation of the society that enabled their creation in the first place."

Trump loyalist put in top Pentagon post after purge 2 weeks ago now leads transition to incoming Biden administration
  • The Pentagon has officially started the transition process, but there are questions about the man in charge.
  • The senior defense official leading the Pentagon transition is Kash Patel, a man widely seen as a Trump loyalist who was installed at the Pentagon following a leadership purge earlier this month.
  • Unlike his predecessor, who was perhaps more equipped to handle the transition process, Patel has only been on the job for two weeks, and that lack of experience may be a hindrance for the incoming administration, a former official told Insider.

75% of every donation to Trump's legal defense fund could actually be spent by the president himself on things like paying family members or financing a 2024 bid
  • Despite losing the general election, President Donald Trump's campaign is seeking donations from voters.
  • The Make America Great Again donation page says that 75% of every contribution is routed to Trump's newly-established leadership PAC, Save America.
  • These funds could be used to finance the president's life after he leaves office or even go toward a possible 2024 presidential bid.
  • "This money could easily — and legally — end up in his own pocket in the coming years," Paul Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, told CNN.

Biden laid out his first 100 days in office and said he won't use DOJ as his personal 'vehicle' to investigate Trump
  • President-elect Joe Biden said he wouldn't use the Justice Department as his "vehicle" to investigate President Donald Trump — allowing the agency to be independent.
  • Biden laid out his priorities for his first 100 days in office to NBC News anchor Lester Holt in the president-elect's first televised interview since the November election.
  • "I will not do what this president does and use the Justice Department as my vehicle to insist that something happen," Biden told Holt. "There are a number of investigations that I've read about that are at a state level — there's nothing at all that I can or cannot do about that."
  • "But I'm focused on getting the American public back at a place where they have some certainty, some surety, some knowledge that they can make it," he continued.
During the campaign he responded to an ABC News town hall question in October, saying: "What the Biden Justice Department will do is let the Justice Department be the Department of Justice. Let them make the judgments of who should be prosecuted."

The line between the DOJ and the president had been blurred with the Trump administration and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Obama vented his frustration at the Trump administration's handing of the pandemic to Stephen Colbert, saying don't 'undermine the leading epidemiologist' and call him an 'idiot'
  • Without mentioning him by name, former President Barack Obama took jabs at President Donald Trump's handling of COVID-19 during an interview with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night.
  • Obama said that the US COVID-19 response could have done better by "preliminarily communicating effectively" and "respecting the science."
  • The former president also said it would have been helpful if the Trump administration was "not undermining the leading epidemiologist in the country and saying he's an idiot."

A New Jersey congressman is seeking to disbar Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani after he touted election-related conspiracy theories
  • Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from New Jersey, filed a complaint to the New York State judicial conduct body to revoke Giuliani's license, the congressman tweeted Tuesday.
  • Pascrell also tweeted that he filed legal complaints in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania aimed at disbarring Giuliani and 22 other lawyers who managed lawsuits that challenged the 2020 election results.
  • "The pattern of behavior by these individuals to effectuate Mr. Trump's sinister arson is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life," Pascrell wrote in the complaints, according to his statement.
  • Giuliani and other Trump supporters have been leading efforts attempting to overturn the results of the election, citing disputed conspiracy theories related to election fraud, voter fraud, and mail-in voting.
  • "Donald Trump has done great damage to this nation — but he has always had helpers," Pascrell told The Washington Post via a spokesperson. "These lawyers are enabling his treachery and harming our democracy."
"The pattern of behavior by these individuals to effectuate Mr. Trump's sinister arson is a danger not just to our legal system but is also unprecedented in our national life," Pascrell wrote in the complaints, according to his statement.

"In carrying out that perversion, they have clearly violated the Rules of Professional Conduct they swore to uphold and should face the severest sanction your body can mete out: revocation of their law licensures," he continued.

... "Donald Trump has done great damage to this nation — but he has always had helpers," Pascrell told The Washington Post via a spokesperson. "These lawyers are enabling his treachery and harming our democracy."

... "[The president] has attacked our elections and sought to throttle democracy," Pascrell said. "He was rightly impeached by the House of Representatives. He has engaged in treachery, in treason. He has all but given up on governing and protecting our nation and if he had a shred of dignity he would resign today."

"Failure to hold financial and political wrongdoing accountable in the past has invited greater malfeasance by bad actors," he continued. "A repeat of those failures in 2021 further emboldens criminality by our national leaders and continues America down the path of lawlessness and authoritarianism. There must be accountability."

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.