No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Trump spent Inauguration Day fretting over his Senate impeachment trial and asking allies which Republicans could vote against him, report says
  • Trump spent Inauguration Day worrying about his Senate impeachment trial, The Daily Beast reported.
  • He reportedly spent the day asking allies for help and asking if some Republicans might turn on him.
  • If the Senate votes to impeach Trump, he could be forever barred from running for office.
The outlet reported, citing two sources, that Trump spent the afternoon calling allies to ask what lawyers he could tap to defend him in the trial, and to ask if Republicans would vote against him.

... As a one-term president, Trump can run again for a second term, and has indicated plans to do so. But if the Senate convicts him, he could lose that privilege as well as many of the perks of being a former president.

A conviction necessitates support of two-thirds of the Senate, meaning that if all Democrats vote to convict Trump, at least 17 Republicans would have to join them to reach that majority.

At Trump's first impeachment, just one Republican — Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah — voted against Trump, and only on one of the two articles against him at the time.

But it's possible that more Republicans will vote for impeachment this time around, as the party grapples with whether to move on from the Trump era.
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Video shows contractors blowing up mountains in Arizona for Trump's border wall after Biden became president. They have 7 days to stop.
  • Workers on the US-Mexico wall set off explosions on the border even after President Biden took office.
  • Footage from Inauguration Day shows dynamiting work for Trump's doomed border wall.
  • Biden later signed a proclamation mandating that the work end within 7 days.
Campaigners have criticized the continued construction, characterizing it as needless environmental destruction and a waste of taxpayer money.

The document stopped short of declaring a definitive end to the project. Instead, it ordered a review of all contracts and the consequences of "terminating or repurposing" them.

But it signals a step in the direction of Biden's campaign trail promise, that "not another foot of wall" would be built under his presidency.
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Prominent Lawyers Want Giuliani’s Law License Suspended Over Trump Work
The move by dozens of lawyers, including judges and former federal prosecutors, was the latest in a series of calls to censure him.

The lawyers said Mr. Giuliani had trampled ethical boundaries as he helped Mr. Trump pursue false claims of election fraud, then gave an incendiary speech repeating those claims just before the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

A draft of the complaint to the Supreme Court of New York’s attorney grievance committee accuses Mr. Giuliani of knowingly making false claims about the election and urges an investigation into “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in or out of court.”

Calls to discipline Mr. Giuliani have mounted in the weeks since the riot and are intensifying even now, after Mr. Trump has left office. The latest complaint, signed by a bipartisan who’s-who of legal luminaries from New York and beyond, represents perhaps the most serious condemnation of Mr. Giuliani’s conduct to date.
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Trump's golf clubs and hotels suffered huge revenue drops in 2020, some by as much as 63%, according to a financial disclosure released hours after he left the White House
  • Revenues at former President Donald Trump's hotels and golf clubs suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Revenues at the Trump International Hotel in Washington fell 63% in 2020 compared to 2019, a financial disclosure released Wednesday revealed.
  • Most Trump golf clubs saw revenues fall by more than 10%, and revenues at Trump Turnberry in Scotland dropped by about 62%.
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Trump officials in the Pentagon reportedly blocked Biden's transition team from accessing information on military operations, including the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
  • The Department of Defense set up roadblocks for the incoming Biden administration during the transition process, Politico reported, citing multiple defense and transition officials.
  • Meetings were canceled, delayed, or tightly controlled in ways that made it difficult for Biden's team to get information on critical national security issues, including vaccine distribution, transition officials said.
  • The Pentagon has pushed back on claims that it did not fulfill its transition obligations properly.
The Pentagon transition was uglier than previously known, Politico reported Wednesday, revealing that the political appointees at the Department of Defense muzzled generals and kept critical information from the incoming administration's transition team.

Meetings on issues ranging from military operations in conflict zones to vaccines were canceled, delayed, or controlled in ways that made it difficult for the Biden transition team to get the information they needed, Politico reported, citing a number of Pentagon and transition officials. After his election loss, President Donald Trump fired his defense secretary and installed loyalists in top posts, an unprecedented move in an administration's final weeks.

Led by these newly installed officials, the Pentagon reportedly limited transition team visibility on activities in parts of the Middle East and Africa, special operations missions, and Operation Warp Speed, among other areas. Officials said that obstruction to the provision of vaccine information could hinder distribution operations, and at a time the virus is raging across America.

Requests for information were returned "sanitized" and scrubbed of a lot of key information, and meetings were reportedly closely monitored to prevent the disclosure of certain pieces of information by "minders" from the general counsel's office.

... When the Biden transition team first raised its concerns in December, then-Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said he was committed to fulfilling departmental transition obligations. "This is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS," he wrote in a statement.

Miller's last day at the Pentagon was Wednesday, and per Politico, the Biden administration denied him office space and resources to transition out of his role at the last minute.
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'People died here on January 6': Pelosi says Congress will not give Trump a 'get-out-of-jail' card just because he's out of office
  • House Speaker Pelosi said Trump won't receive a "get out of jail" card for the Capitol riot.
  • "People died here on January 6," she said. "That is damage that must be addressed."
  • The Senate will soon hold an impeachment trial and determine whether to bar Trump from public office.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the notion that impeaching former President Donald Trump could alienate Republicans and undercut the message of unity that the newly-inaugurated Biden administration is advocating.

"I'm not worried about that," Pelosi said at a news conference Wednesday when she was asked about the ongoing impeachment proceedings. "The fact is, the president of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection. I don't think it's very unifying to say, 'Oh, let's just forget it and move on.' That's not how you unify."

Pelosi went on to say of Trump, "Just because he's now gone — thank God — you don't get to say to a president, 'Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration. You're going to get a get-out-of-jail card free because people think we should make nice-nice and forget that people died here on January 6.'"
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Biden Administration to Pause Many Deportations for 100 Days
The Department of Homeland Security will pause many deportations for 100 days and will reset its priorities for arrests and detentions, fulfilling one of newly elected President Joe Biden's campaign pledges and marking a huge deviation from the Trump administration's indiscriminate approach to immigration enforcement.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske issued a memo Wednesday hours after Biden's inauguration ordering a stop in deportations for immigrants in the country illegally who have been given final orders of removal. During the 100-day moratorium, the agency will review its policies and practices and propose recommendations.

The pause will begin no later than Friday and will have four exceptions: noncitizens found to be a threat to the U.S., including spies or terrorists; immigrants who were not in the U.S. before Nov. 1; those who voluntarily waive the right to be in the country; and anyone the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement determines specifically must leave the country.

The memo also laid out new priorities for the agency, directing it to focus its resources on arresting those who pose a national security threat, immigrants who crossed the border illegally after Nov. 1, and those who have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

... Biden on Wednesday signed six immigration-related executive orders, including directives stopping the construction of the southern border wall, preserving protections for those in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and rescinding a ban on travel from several majority-Muslim countries.

Biden has also proposed massive immigration reform legislation that would, among other changes, provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants currently in the country illegally.

DHS on Wednesday also suspended the Trump administration's controversial Migrant Protection Protocols – known colloquially as the "remain in Mexico" program – which force asylum-seekers to wait for months on end in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated in the U.S. Though the administration won't enroll new migrants into the program, coronavirus-related travel restrictions and border orders remain in place, and migrants already waiting in Mexico were directed to stay and wait for further instruction.
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Biden appears to have removed the button Trump used to order Diet Cokes from the Oval Office desk
  • President Biden moved a button former President Trump used to order Diet Coke to the Oval Office.
  • Trump revealed in 2017 that when he pressed a button on his Oval Office desk, a White House butler would bring him soda.
  • The call button isn't new — Obama was pictured with it too — but it's no longer on the Resolute Desk.
Diet Cokes
Biden appears to have moved the call button off his desk.

Instead, photos of his desk on Biden's first day of office show two phones, a coffee cup, a set of pens. It's unclear where the call button went.

Presidents almost always redesign the Oval Office upon taking office, and the call button wasn't the only thing Biden changed.

Biden replaced a portrait of President Andrew Jackson with a portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and opted to feature a number of progressives and activists through the room, including Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

He also chose to display portraits of Benjamin Franklin, President Thomas Jefferson, and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.
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MyPillow guy Mike Lindell: The inside story, in Trump's final days
  • My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell is one of Trump's final defenders, pushing baseless voter fraud conspiracies.
  • Insiders say Lindell has striking similarities to Trump, as a brash CEO obsessed with his own brand.
  • Lindell says supporting Trump drove "off the charts" sales. Now, the tide might be turning.
Perhaps more than any other CEO, Lindell has driven his company straight into the minefield of modern politics, embracing the kinds of controversies and culture war topics that most businesses consider radioactive, and doubling-down in situations in which today's corporate playbooks would recommend damage control. A staple of late-night TV infomercials, Lindell — whose backstory includes a stint as a professional gambler and a struggle with drug addiction — and his pillow company have become one of the most curious business phenomenons of the Trump era.

... Lindell shares striking similarities to Trump, who he first met in what he calls a "divine appointment." He is obsessed with his personal brand, which is synonymous with his business. His brashness and perceived authenticity resonate deeply with fans. He has no interest in corporate norms.

Lindell said My Pillow has thrived in the Trump era, claiming his support of the former president fueled "off the charts" sales growth. Revenues from the company's website roughly tripled from 2015 to 2019, according to an estimate by GlobalData. And site traffic skyrocketed in 2020, as Lindell campaigned for Trump's reelection.

Now, the tide may be turning. This week, retailers including Kohl's and Bed Bath & Beyond announced they would stop selling My Pillow, citing poor sales. Affirm, a financial technology company, also cut ties. Even an online porn site, seeking to capitalize on the trend, said its actors would no longer use My Pillows for "sexy pillow fight" scenes. And Lindell personally faces legal threats from voting technology company Dominion over his repeated claims of voter fraud.

... Lindell founded My Pillow in 2004, while bankrupt and battling a destructive crack cocaine addiction, after a dream in which he was searching for "my pillow."

The CEO says in his 2019 book "What Are the Odds? From Crack to CEO" that he funded the early days of the business by counting cards as a professional gambler. According to the book, his life was such a mess that his drug dealers staged an intervention.

The Minnesota-born Lindell, 59, is twice divorced. He split from Karen, his wife of 20 years and mother of his four children, in 2007 as they both battled crack cocaine addictions. His second marriage, to a woman named Dallas, ended just 20 days after they were married in a lavish $100,000 wedding according to Lindell's book. As of the book's publication, Lindell was seriously dating a woman named Kendra, who Lindell's sister said God told her he would marry.

... Lindell eschews corporate norms in favor of his instincts and a reliance on a loyal team of insiders.

He does not have a desk or a computer, opting to do all of his work from his phone. He operates out of two conference rooms when he is in My Pillow's Chaska, Minnesota headquarters. If someone wants to talk to him, they simply show up at the conference room, even if it means interrupting another meeting. According to Lindell, 500 of his employees have his direct number, so they can call him immediately any time there is a problem with the business.

The person who worked with My Pillow until 2019 called the set up "dysfunctional." Lindell prefers "relaxed." Lindell told Insider that he runs My Pillow "like a family," providing unlimited bereavement leave, paid leave for addiction treatment, and flexible hours.

The company is also like a family in more literal ways. Many members of the executive team are long-time friends or family members, including Lindell's 30-year-old son Darren, who was promoted to chief operating officer in 2019.

Reardon said she saw "obvious nepotism" during her time working at My Pillow. According to the former retail worker, Lindell employed many relatives, who were "held to a different standard than the rest of the employees."
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Over 1 million more people watched Biden's inauguration than Trump's
  • Early Nielsen numbers show that Biden's inauguration got better TV ratings than Trump's.
  • Biden's ceremony had almost 40 million viewers — about 4% more than his predecessor.
  • MSNBC and CNN quadrupled and tripled their ratings, respectively, while Fox News' fell.
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No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites was formerly Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites.

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.