Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Trump's plant in the DOJ has been barred from the building after she harassed staff for evidence of election fraud, report says
  • The White House's mole at the Justice Department has been ousted after pressuring staff for proof of electoral fraud, the Associated Press reported.
  • Heidi Stirrup was placed in the department as a White House liaison in September, one of a number of Trump loyalists sent to monitor government departments.
  • But in the past fortnight, Stirrup was banned from entering the building after officials learned of "her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department's work on election fraud," the AP wrote.
  • Trump has launched several lawsuits to overturn the election results — which he falsely claims are fraudulent — but those efforts are failing.
  • Attorney General Bill Barr said on Tuesday that the Justice Department and FBI had found no evidence to validate the president's claim.
Heidi Stirrup — a key ally of President Donald Trump's senior policy advisor Stephen Miller — was appointed as White House liaison at the department this fall.

Stirrup was told to leave 950 Pennsylvania Avenue some time in the past two weeks after "top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department's work on election fraud," the AP wrote.

Stirrup is said to have engaged in other misconduct at the Justice Department, including offering allies top department jobs without White House approval.

... Stirrup was one of a number of Trump administration officials planted across various government agencies by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and head of personnel John McEntee in late September, CNN reported.

Others included Joshua Whitehouse, who was moved from White House liaison at the Department of Homeland Security to White House liaison at the Department of Defense,> Foreign Policy reported.

Two weeks after joining Whitehouse signed a directive removing 11 out of 13 members on the department's Defense Policy Board.

Officials told Foreign Policy the purge was intended to free up room for new appointees loyal to Trump.

In an earlier ploy to monitor government agencies, the White House in June positioned two political operatives at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep tabs on director Robert Redfield.

Stirrup is still officially employed by the Justice Department, the AP said, but Trump announced a new role on for her on Thursday, nominating her to the Board of Visitors to the US Air Force Academy.

Before being sent to the Justice Department, Stirrup worked as acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and deputy White House liaison to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump praised QAnon followers in a White House meeting, calling them people who 'believe in good government,' report says
  • President Donald Trump in a White House meeting with aides and Sen. Mitch McConnell praised the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, per The Washington Post.
  • The Post said he mispronounced the name, saying "Q-an-uhn."
  • It also said he described its followers as "basically believe in good government."
  • The movement is seen as a domestic terror threat by the FBI, and adherents groundlessly believe that a cabal of child abusing Democrats secretly control the world.
  • The president has dabbled with QAnon figures before. The first GOP candidate to openly embrace the movement was elected to Congress in November.
The movement believes, groundlessly, that a cabal of Satanic child abusers secretly manipulates the world.

It first emerged on messaging boards, but has in recent months been embraced by some pro-Trump lawmakers, while its conspiracy theories and slogans have been used by the Trump campaign.

... It's not the first time that Trump has offered support for the movement, which reveres him as a hero and baselessly believes that he is engaged in a mission to purge the government of corrupt "deep state" officials.

At a press conference in August, Trump tacitly praised the movement for the first time, saying "I don't know much about [QAnon] other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate."

More senators are supporting a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus deal, which doesn't have $1,200 checks but boosts unemployment payments. Here's what you need to know about the relief package.
  • A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins, just unveiled a $908 billion package to try to end the gridlock over a coronavirus stimulus.
  • Their plan is almost double what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to spend and less than half of what Democratic leadership pushed for.
  • But more Republicans are coming out in favor of the bill, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have embraced it as a starting point.
  • The bill contains $288 billion for a small business loan program, $180 billion to boost unemployment insurance, and $16 billion to distribute the coronavirus vaccine and to help public health workers track people who are infected.
  • Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who was among the negotiators, said it would be "stupidity on steroids" for Congress to leave for the winter break without passing a stimulus.

Michigan State Representative confirms Rudy Giuliani farted during an election hearing
  • Following a viral video appearing to show Rudy Giuliani experiencing flatulence on camera during a Michigan election hearing on Wednesday, a state lawmaker has confirmed the fart was real.
  • There were two instances of President Donald Trump's personal attorney appearing to pass gas during the hearing.
  • State Rep. Darrin Camilleri said both farts did indeed happen and were not edited into the video.
  • Camilleri tweeted Friday about how he was featured in the video clip of the incident shown on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Thursday night.
  • "In normal times, using our time and taxpayer dollars to investigate illegitimate claims of election fraud would be wasteful, but in the middle of a pandemic, it's cowardly and cruel," Camilleri told Insider.

Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot by hitching their wagons to Trump ahead of the Georgia Senate runoffs
  • Most of the GOP establishment since the election has either stayed silent or is actively supporting President Donald Trump as he churns out baseless allegations of voter fraud and election-rigging.
  • Now, it's coming back to bite Republicans as the party throws all its weight behind two crucial runoff elections in Georgia next month that will decide who controls the Senate.
  • At the center of the controversy are the Trump-supporting lawyers Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, who recently held a rally saying the runoffs were "rigged" and urged Republican voters to boycott them.
  • RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also faced a messaging crisis when, after repeatedly backing Trump's claims of fraud, she struggled to convince Georgia voters who believed the allegations to participate in the runoffs.
  • Trump is scheduled to hold a rally this weekend for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, but many Republicans fear that if he uses the stage to air his personal grievances, it could further dissuade his supporters from turning out.

Biden's popular vote lead grows to more than 7 million as Trump continues to tweet electoral disinformation
  • President-elect Joe Biden now has a popular vote lead over President Donald Trump of more than 7 million votes.
  • Biden has received 81,256,917 votes, more than any presidential candidate in US history.
  • The record for most votes in a US presidential election was previously held by former President Barack Obama, who received in excess of 69.4 million votes in 2008.
  • Trump still refuses to concede more than a month after Election Day, and is not expected to attend Biden's inauguration next month.
Trump is not expected to attend Biden's inauguration next month. In an interview with CNN, the president-elect said it's "of no personal consequence to me" if Trump attends but that his absence would send a bad message to the world about the state of politics in the US.

Biden said that Trump's presence at his inauguration would be "important in a sense that we are able to demonstrate at the end of this chaos — that he's created — that there is a peaceful transfer of power with the competing parties standing there, shaking hands, and moving on."

"I really worry about the image that we're presenting to the rest of the world," Biden went on to say. "And look where we are now in the world — look how we're viewed. They're wondering, my lord, these things happen in tinhorn dictatorships. This is not the United States."

By skipping Biden's inauguration, Trump would join a short list of outgoing presidents who did not attend the inauguration ceremonies of their successors: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson.

Trump Orders U.S. Withdrawal From Somalia
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Somalia, the third warzone from which the outgoing commander in chief has pledged to draw down troops.

The announcement late Friday followed widespread speculation that Trump would attempt to pull forces out of the East African conflict zone after newly appointed acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller confirmed last month the withdrawal of thousands of forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. Miller, who took over the position after Trump suddenly fired his last defense secretary, Mark Esper, visited Somalia during the Thanksgiving weekend in what was seen as a prelude to the withdrawal announcement.

The announcement did not specify when the roughly 700 troops currently in Somalia would leave, stating the withdrawals would take place "by early 2021." The Pentagon set deadlines for its withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan for the week before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Analysts and officials see the controversial moves as indications that Trump is actively attempting to sow discord across the globe in an attempt to undermine Biden's initial weeks as president and follow through on campaign promises of extracting the U.S. from bloody and expensive overseas adventures.

Pentagon Purges Business Advisory Board, Replaces with Trump Loyalists
The acting defense secretary installed by President Donald Trump days after last month's election fired the members of a board tasked with providing Pentagon leaders with business advice on Friday and replaced them with a new group that includes staunch Trump loyalists.

Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, among Trump's most outspoken advocates, will be among the new members of the Defense Business Board, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced in a statement late Friday. Other members include Cory Mills, a columnist for the far-right news outlet Newsmax, as well as other veterans of the Trump administration, such as retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, who appears to be the same person who stepped down from one of the top civilian spots in the Pentagon last year.

... According to the board's charter, its members must posses "a proven track record of sound judgment and business acumen in leading or governing large, complex private sector corporations or organizations and a wealth of top-level, global business experience in the areas of executive management, corporate governance, audit and finance, human resources, economics, technology, or healthcare."

The other newly announced board members are Henry Dreifus, Bill Bruner, Christopher Shank, Joseph Schmidt, Keary Miller, Alan Weh and Earl Matthews. Outgoing members include Michael Bayer, Arnold Punaro, Atul Vashisitha, John O'Connor, David Venlet, Paul Dolan, Scott Dorn, David Walker and David Van Slyke.

Federal Judge Orders Trump Administration to Accept New DACA Applicants
A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to begin accepting new applicants for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, restoring it in full for the first time since President Donald Trump moved to end it in 2017.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the administration to post a notice alerting the public that it will begin accepting DACA applications from people who qualify for the program and are not already involved. He also directed the government to restore DACA status renewals to last for two years.

The Trump administration is likely to appeal the ruling, though those efforts will almost certainly be abandoned after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Biden had pledged to restore the DACA program, which protects immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, and to help status recipients.

Biden officially has enough electoral college votes to win the presidency after California became the latest state to certify its election results
  • President-elect Joe Biden officially received enough electoral votes to become the next president after California became the latest state to certify its election results.
  • California appointed its 55 electors for Biden, putting him over the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency.
  • President Donald Trump has not conceded the election and continues to contest the results in court. Trump and his allies have lost the vast majority of their legal challenges, while some are still pending.

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.