Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
The White House was set to accuse Russia of the devastating cyberattack on the US government's computer systems but was told at the last minute to stand down
  • The White House was set to release a statement blaming Russia for the devastating cyberattack on the US government when officials were told to stand down, reported the Associated Press.
  • The reason why the statement was canceled is not known.
  • In a tweet, Trump said that China, not Russia, maybe responsible, contradicting his own secretary of state and top US officials.
  • Trump has long refused to blame or confront Russia for aggressive behavior towards the US launched by the Kremlin.
In July, it was revealed that Trump had taken no action when briefed that Russia was paying militants in Afghanistan a bounty for killing US troops.

The president has consistently refused to unequivocally accept the evidence from US intelligence agencies finding Russia responsible for attempts to interfere with US elections, including the 2016 election.

Trump raised the idea of imposing martial law to overturn the election in a White House meeting, according to reports
  • President Donald Trump in a White House meeting Friday touted the idea of imposing martial law to overturn the election result, reported The New York Times and Axios.
  • The idea had first been touted by Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor, who was reportedly present in the meeting.
  • John Bolton, a former national security advisor to Trump, in a CNN interview described the suggestion as "appalling" and "unprecedented."
  • Trump dismissed the reports as 'fake news."
In a raucous meeting Friday with top aides about his ongoing attempts to overturn the election, Trump was joined by General Michael Flynn, his former national security advisor, reported The New York Times.

A few days earlier on the conservative Newsmax network, Flynn had called for the president to impose martial law, and "rerun an election" in swing states that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden in November.

In the meeting, according to the Times, Trump asked about the idea.

According to the report, it wasn't the only last-ditch plan to subvert the election discussed in the meeting, with Trump also proposing appointing conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell as a special counsel to probe election fraud claims. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, touted the idea of ordering the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines.

Axios confirmed key details of the meeting, reporting that Trump had expressed interest in Flynn's plan, and that White House officials are concerned Trump is "spending too much time with people they consider crackpots or conspiracy theorists and flirting with blatant abuses of power."

Shouting matches broke out in the meeting as other officials pushed back against Flynn's and Powell's proposals, reported CNN, whose source said it was unclear if Trump had endorsed the notion. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and counsel Pat Cipollone were among the officials who pushed back against the ideas, according to the report.


... The president has broad powers to suspend normal legal constraints on his authority in response to a "national emergency," such as a natural disaster or terror attack, including deploying troops within the US to subdue unrest and assist law enforcement officers.

However, Joseph Nunn, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, in October, wrote that the legal precedents for a president imposing martial law are vague, with no clear Constitutional principles or Supreme Court rulings governing its use. He wrote that under current law, "the president lacks any authority to declare martial law."

... On Friday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, in a joint statement reported by Task and Purpose, responded to Flynn's call for martial law to be imposed, reiterating the US military's policy of having no involvement in domestic elections.

They said that that there "is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election."

Trump is ending his term with a spree of executions, once again revealing his appetite for cruelty
  • The Trump administration has pushed ahead with a staggering number of federal executions this year despite the ongoing pandemic, calls to overhaul the criminal justice system, and international standards.
  • Last week, Trump amended federal execution protocols, paving the way for the government to use poison gas, firing squads, electrocution, and hanging in future federal executions.
  • Recent executions have drawn renewed attention to the issue of capital punishment, increasing the pressure on President-elect Biden to eliminate the inhumane practice.
The US Department of Justice ended a 17-year hiatus on federal executions in July at the direction of Attorney General William Barr. Since then the Trump administration has overseen the execution of ten death row inmates. That's more executions than the federal government has carried out in the previous five decades combined.

Just last week, the federal government executed Brandon Bernard and Alfred Bourgeois, bringing the total number of federal executions this year to ten — more than have taken place in any other year in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Washington Post Editorial Board called it a "sickening spree of executions," and there are still three more executions scheduled before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in January.

Trump promises 'wild' protests in Washington DC on the day the Electoral College will finalize election results
  • President Trump urged his supporters to flock to Washington DC on January 6, promising them a "wild" rally.
  • January 6 is the same day that Congress is scheduled to meet to formally finalize the presidential election results.
  • Although not much can legally be done on the date, many pro-Trump Republicans have said they will try to disrupt the process.
"Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!"

Trump was tweeting in response to a 36-page report published by economist and White House advisor Peter Navarro, which claims alleged election fraud. Many of Navarro's claims have been widely debunked.

His tweet has since been flagged by Twitter as "disputed."

The January 6 gathering between House and Senate lawmakers is considered just a formality, in which they simply approve the long-decided state electoral votes.

However, several pro-Trump Republicans have said they plan to disrupt the formal process, with Georgia's Representative-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeting on Saturday: "On January 6th...I will OBJECT and REJECT the fraudulent electoral votes from several states across the country."

Mitt Romney slams Trump's continued efforts to dispute the presidential election results as 'sad' and 'embarrassing'
  • Sen. Mitt Romney on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump's continued efforts to deny and challenge his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Romney said Trump could have been heralding the success of the coronavirus vaccine distribution across the country, but has instead chosen to focus on overturning the election.
  • "It's really sad and in a lot of respects embarrassing," he said. "He's leaving Washington with a whole series of conspiracy theories and things that are so nutty and loopy that people are shaking their heads, wondering what in the world has gotten into this man."
Romney, a generally reliable vote for conservative priorities but with an independent streak, said Trump's imprint on the GOP will not fade once the president leaves office. However, he wants to see the party go back to its original principles.

"The party has taken a different course than the one I knew when I was a younger person," Romney said. "The party I knew was very concerned about Russia and [Vladimir] Putin and Kim Jong Un and North Korea. We were a party concerned about balancing the budget. We believed in trade with other nations. We were happy to play a leadership role on the world stage. We believed character was essential. We've strayed from that and I don't see us returning to that for a long time."

He added: "I think, ultimately, the Republican Party will return to the roots that have been formed over — well, the century. We'll get back at some point and, hopefully, people will recognize we need to take a different course than the one we are on right now."

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.