Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Twitter is rebooting its verification system, and it could put Trump's blue check mark in jeopardy
  • Twitter announced Tuesday it's relaunching its public application program for verified status, marked by a blue check.
  • The program was paused in 2017 after Twitter granted the verified blue check-mark to one of the organizers of the white supremacist Charlottesville rally, sparking outrage.
  • Twitter has now proposed a set of new policies for the program, which include the possibility that accounts have their blue check-marks taken away if they repeatedly break Twitter's rules.
  • This means President Donald Trump, who will in January lose his "world leader" protections for rule violations in January, could be in danger of losing his verified status if he continues to tweet the way he has done in the past.

Biden says the White House is cooperating fully with his transition, but that Trump still won't speak to him
  • President-elect Biden praised the smoothness of his delayed presidential transition, saying that efforts from the White House to hand over to him are "sincere."
  • The transition was authorized on Monday after an unprecedented two-week standoff while President Trump groundlessly disputed the outcome of the election.
  • Speaking to NBC News, Biden said he had been authorized to receive the Presidential Daily Briefing and that agencies have been forthcoming with information.
  • Biden said their respective chiefs of staff have spoken, but that he has not heard directly from Trump.

Geraldo Rivera joins fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham in urging viewers to accept Trump's defeat, saying he can't 'continue denying the results of the election'
  • In a video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera said he can't "continue denying the results of the election."
  • He said President Donald Trump's legal challenges are "totally ineffective" and that there's "no realistic prospect" they "will overturn the results of the election."
  • Fox News and the major networks called the 2020 presidential election for President-elect Joe Biden on November 7.
  • Rivera's comments came a day after Fox News host Laura Ingraham made similar remarks, saying Trump's legal case is hopeless and Biden will be the next president.

Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann says Trump should be investigated and charged with potential federal crimes after leaving office
  • Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor on the special counsel Robert Mueller's team, said President Donald Trump should be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted for federal crimes after leaving the White House.
  • "Mr. Trump's criminal exposure is clear," Weissmann wrote in a New York Times op-ed, adding that Mueller's team gathered "ample evidence" to show Trump obstructed justice in the Russia investigation.
  • Weissmann also said that two New York state investigations from the Manhattan district attorney's office and the New York attorney general's office "may well reveal evidence warranting additional federal charges."
  • "In short, being president should mean you are more accountable, not less, to the rule of law," he wrote.

The Trump administration is aiming to bring back firing squads and electrocutions for some federal executions
  • The Trump administration is rushing to make a number of federal regulatory changes before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20, ProPublica reported on Wednesday.
  • One of those changes, proposed by the Department of Justice, would allow some federal death-row inmates to be executed by means other than lethal injection. Many states allow for electrocution and the firing squad if lethal injection is not available or if another method is preferred by the prisoner.
  • Eight federal death-row inmates have been executed since the DOJ resumed federal executions in July 2020, with five more federal executions scheduled during Trump's lame-duck period.
  • As ProPublica noted, the rule change likely won't affect any executions, given that the remaining scheduled executions are set to be conducted via lethal injection before Biden, who opposes the use of the death penalty, begins his presidency.
In July 2020, Daniel Lewis Lee, convicted of murdering an Arkansas family in 1996, became the first federal death-row inmate executed in 17 years, and most recently, Orlando Hall was executed on November 20 after receiving a death penalty sentence for the 1994 kidnapping, rape, and murder of a Texas teenager.

Five other inmates — Lisa Montgomery, Alfred Bourgeois, Brandon Bernard, Corey Johnson, and Dustin Higgins — are set to be executed between now and January 20. Montgomery will be the first female federal inmate to be executed in over 60 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The Trump administration carrying out multiple federal executions during a transition and lame-duck period is highly unusual and unprecedented, the Center said. It found that the Trump administration is the first to execute a death row inmate during a presidential transition period since Grover Cleveland's outgoing administration in 1889.

In addition to the federal government, 28 states currently employ the death penalty while 22 states have legislatively abolished or issued moratoria on its use, per the Center.

According to ProPublica, the Trump administration is also aiming to make consequential regulatory changes in other areas of immigration, environmental policy, energy standards and water use, and the regulation of major food plants.

Trump pardons former national security advisor Michael Flynn
  • President Donald Trump has pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
  • "It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
  • Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to the FBI about his communications with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the US.
  • But after initially cooperating with prosecutors, Flynn shook up his legal team and took a more combative stance against the Justice Department, accusing it of entrapment and moving to withdraw his guilty plea.
  • The Justice Department later moved to drop its case against Flynn, prompting the resignation of one of the prosecutors in the case and drawing backlash from law enforcement veterans who said Attorney General William Barr was showing improper leniency toward Trump's loyalists.

Fox News is under a siege of its own making from Trump
  • President Donald Trump has gone from a Fox News super fan to waging war against the network, encouraging his supporters to migrate over to more MAGA-friendly channels like Newsmax and One America News Network.
  • After years of its primetime opinion hosts indulging Trump, Fox News is under a siege of their own making as they recognize Joe Biden as president-elect and increasingly challenge Trump's baseless election fraud claims.
  • Fox News' favorability ratings among Republicans fell by 13% following the election, according to the latest Morning Consult survey.
  • Still, the network's ratings are holding strong over competitors, even as upstart rivals grow larger audiences by defending Trump.
Newsmax and OAN face two other significant hurdles to competing with Fox.

Firstly, their production values simply do not stack up to what Fox News offers.

Second of all, the likes of Newsmax and OAN have nowhere close to the same level of distribution among cable providers as Fox News does, and even in the packages where they can compete, their channel placement is relegated away from the side-by-side cluster of Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

Catching up on that front would cost Newsmax and OAN up to hundreds of millions of dollars.

The problem Fox News is facing as Trump wages war against them is more of a philosophical one than a business one.

Biden becomes the first presidential candidate in US history to win 80 million votes — and counting
  • President-elect Joe Biden continues to rack up the most votes won by any candidate in US history.
  • As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., Biden earned more than 80 million votes in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Election officials are still counting votes and the number is expected to increase.
  • President Donald Trump has secured nearly 74 million votes so far, making him second for most votes in any American presidential election.

Almost everything Trump said at a Republican event in Pennsylvania about the election was a lie or a conspiracy theory
  • President Donald Trump called in to a Republican event in Pennsylvania to air conspiracy theories about dead people voting and ask why election officials haven't nullified the ballots from the 2020 race.
  • "Why wouldn't they overturn the election?" he asked, even though Republicans haven't provided a shred of credible evidence that there was widespread voter fraud.
  • Trump was initially scheduled to attend the event in person but later canceled the trip after a campaign adviser tested positive for COVID-19.
  • President-elect Joe Biden is the projected election winner, and multiple states have since certified their results. The Trump campaign has also lost nearly every legal challenge it's filed.

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.