No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Trump's fall from grace won't just damage his political career. His businesses will suffer too, according to a PR expert.
  • Trump's businesses will suffer in the aftermath of his presidency, PR expert Eric Schiffer told Insider.
  • Even prior to the Capitol siege, revenues at his businesses plummeted during the pandemic.
  • "If you're a brand manager ... you'd avoid Trump," Eric Schiffer added.
This is the view of PR expert Eric Schiffer, who told Insider that by becoming the enemy of the people, Trump will destroy any revenue potential his brand could have had. He called it a "modern-day brand suicide."

"There will be blood against his economic possibilities," he added.

Trump boasts a business empire of roughly 500 ventures, which he controls through the Trump Organization. It includes 10 hotels and 19 golf courses alongside residential buildings, resorts, and restaurants across North America, Asia, and Europe. He has also had a career on TV, earning almost $200 million for his starring role in "The Apprentice."

... Trump's transition to being a private citizen again will likely make him the target of numerous legal investigations, Schiffer said, which "can turn a brand into rat poison fairly quickly."

Any kind of legal judgment could make his supporters could back away, he added. This seismic shift away from Trump is a "further killing machine against his brand," he said.

... Trump still has a small group of dedicated supporters – but they won't be enough to keep his businesses going. His loyalists "were not in many ways his core buyers," Schiffer told Insider, noting that "many are not of high income."

... Trump may be able to monetize from his MAGA crowd in other ways, Schiffer said, such as creating a blog or newsletter or holding ticketed events, but these won't make up for the revenues lost through his hotels, restaurants, and golf clubs.

... Schiffer said: "Many mainstream employers will look at anyone who worked with Trump at the White House like they are hiring the Black death." These employers wouldn't allow Trump's supporters to receive a paycheck with their brand name on, he added.
Read the full article:

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger on recognizing the QAnon threat and not fearing a GOP primary challenger for voting to impeach Trump
  • Adam Kinzinger is a Republican who voted to impeach Trump. And he's perfectly content if it costs him his seat in Congress.
  • In a conversation with Insider columnist Anthony Fisher, the sixth-term congressman from Illinois talks about being unpopular with Trump supporters, spotting the threat of QAnon early on, and what he was doing during the Capitol siege.
  • He also talks about being disowned by Trump-supporting relatives who believe he's joined "the devil's army."
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is at the forefront of Republican opposition to former President Donald Trump.

He's one of 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol. Though he voted with Trump 90% of the time, he's been rated one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. And he's an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran who still serves in the National Guard.

He's called Trump "nuts," was months ahead of the curve in warning his GOP colleagues of the threat posed by the mainstreaming of QAnon, and this week he said the conspiracy theory-pushing freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is "not a Republican."

... We've got to set red lines. An attack on a branch of government by another branch is a red line. We can't say that you are immune from any kind of impeachment if you're within a certain amount of time of leaving office. That's a terrible precedent.

... We have to relearn what leadership is. Leadership isn't finding the biggest powerful personality and doing whatever this person wants. We need to lead people away from that kind of populism.

... I actually think in six months, optimistically, that nobody's going to care about what Trump's doing and where he's at. He's just going to be a former president and he's not going to have control over the party.

As a member of Congress, you need to ask: "Do you want to be in Congress as a Republican if this continues?"

If you do, then great, do whatever. But for me, no. I can not be part of a party longterm that doesn't have principles and is based around a flawed personality.

... We have to keep exposing it, but we have to be careful not to say that somebody who believes in QAnon is a loser. Because then you just put them in their corner. I think you have to understand how to deprogram someone from a cult, because that's what it is.
Read the full article:

Pentagon halted political appointments for Trump allies to join defense advisory boards
  • The Pentagon has halted former President Donald Trump's appointments to defense advisory boards, according to Politico.
  • There is currently an ongoing review of the last-minute appointments.
  • Affected nominees include Trump loyalists Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.
Among the nominees affected are Corey Lewandowski, who managed Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and David Bossie, a deputy campaign manager for Trump in 2016.

For now, the move blocks Trump loyalists from serving on the boards, which are tasked with offering advice to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Austin, who was confirmed by the Senate as defense secretary on January 22, is contemplating his options for the nominees, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.

... After the November presidential election, the outgoing Trump administration purged foreign policy experts from the Defense Policy Board, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.

... The pause will also impact former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller's picks for the commission that was set up to plan the renaming of US military bases that are currently adorned with pro-slavery Confederate officials, according to The Washington Post.

In early January, Miller appointed four officials to the board before leaving his position — Joshua Whitehouse, the White House liaison to the Defense Department under Trump; Earl Matthews, a former principal deputy general counsel for the Army; Sean McLean, a White House official under Trump; and Ann Johnston, then an assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs.

Appointees who had already finished their onboarding paperwork are reportedly not a part of the freeze, including Anthony Tata, the former acting Pentagon policy chief who previously made inflammatory comments about former President Barack Obama in a series of tweets.

Trump appointed Tata to the Defense Policy Board, and he was sworn in on January 19, a day before President Joe Biden's inauguration.

However, since advisory board appointees serve at the pleasure of the defense secretary, Austin can still remove any member at his discretion.
Read the full article:

Shaw: I still don't get Donald Trump's supporters
They include separating children from their parents, cozying up to the Russians and ignoring Russian bounties on our troops, lies and bullying, secretly suspending military aid to an ally while trying to force that country to help him get re-elected, denigrating our soldiers, praising neo-Nazis, tear-gassing peaceful protesters, paying hush money to porn stars, not paying income taxes, and lies and incompetence in dealing with the coronavirus. If he had just told the American people the truth about this deadly virus and urged people to wear masks, he could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Still, Trump received 74 million votes in his reelection campaign.

After the election, it was more of the same. Pardons for traitors, cronies and murderers, a veto of the defense bill, doing nothing after a massive cyber attack from the Russians, firing the election cybersecurity director, obstruction of the presidential transition, 200,000 more deaths from the coronavirus, a disastrous rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, and threats and intimidation to election officials in an attempt to criminally falsify the results of the election. Again, none of that mattered. Trump was still their guy.

I still didn’t get it.

... Even after Trump incited a deadly domestic terrorist riot at the Capitol, many Trump supporters have stuck with him. Equally astonishing, is that without any evidence, they believe Trump’s big lie that the election was stolen. As the conniving George Costanza said, “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.”

... The sad part for me is that I have lost two longtime friends over Trump. That’s never happened to me before due to a politician. This really bothers me. I went to their weddings and they went to mine. We had great times together over the years.

Their devotion to an evil, corrupt and unhinged man became more important than our friendship. Trump doesn’t know them or care about them. I do.
Read the full article:

Pro-Trump priest who performed exorcisms to support false claims of election fraud leaves Wisconsin diocese
  • A Wisconsin priest who performed exorcisms to assist baseless claims of election fraud has left his diocese.
  • The Diocese of Madison said former reverend John Zuhlsdorf will relocate "to pursue other opportunities."
  • John Zuhlsdorf, also known as Fr. Z, has a popular blog where he said: "There is a catholic Antifa now."
Zuhlsdorf live-streamed the exorcisms, which have since been removed from YouTube.

In one broadcast, Fr. Z, as he was known online: said: "As exorcists will confirm, the demons are very good with electronic equipment," reported the Independent. A seeming reference to Trump supporters' baseless claim that voting machinery was rigged in the presidential election.

... Fr. Z also has a popular blog on which his most recent post is a personal note from January 15 in which he mentions the "present atmosphere of 'cancel culture' now infecting the Church, as well as the media and streets," and adds, "there is a catholic Antifa now."
Read the full article:

How Trump’s Focus on Antifa Distracted Attention From the Far-Right Threat
As racial justice protests erupted nationwide last year, President Donald J. Trump, struggling to find a winning campaign theme, hit on a message that he stressed over and over: The real domestic threat to the United States emanated from the radical left, even though law enforcement authorities had long since concluded it came from the far right.

It was a message that was quickly embraced and amplified by his attorney general and his top homeland security officials, who translated it into a shift in criminal justice and national security priorities even as Mr. Trump was beginning to openly stoke the outrage that months later would culminate in the storming of the Capitol by right-wing extremists.

... Militias and other dangerous elements of the far right saw “an ally in the White House,” said Mary McCord, a former Justice Department official who teaches at Georgetown University and focuses on domestic terrorism. “That has, I think, allowed them to grow and recruit and try to mainstream their opinions, which is why I think you end up seeing what we saw” at the Capitol.

... When F.B.I. intelligence continued to deem white nationalists the leading domestic terrorism threats — part of what the bureau describes as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists — prosecutors were asked to also consider information from the Department of Homeland Security that antifa and radical leftist anarchists were instead the leading threats, according to a person involved in the conversations.

... The pressure from Mr. Trump was unrelenting. After Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, testified to Congress in September that antifa was “more of an ideology or a movement than an organization,” Mr. Trump lashed out at him on Twitter, saying that the F.B.I. protected such “anarchists and thugs” and allowed them “to get away with ‘murder.’”

... Members of violent militias began to go to protests as self-appointed police forces, sometimes saying that they had heeded Mr. Trump’s call. They attended Republican events as self-described security forces.

Still, Justice Department leadership was adamant that terrorism investigators focus on antifa as the demonstrations spread, according to an official who worked on the inquiries.

... Domestic terrorism has long been a politically sensitive issue for the Department of Homeland Security.

A warning in a 2009 homeland security report that military veterans returning from combat could be vulnerable for recruitment by terrorist groups or extremists prompted backlash from conservatives, forcing the homeland security secretary at the time, Janet Napolitano, to apologize and retract the report. An edited version was eventually issued, but the lesson about the political risks of highlighting far-right extremism lingered inside the department.

“They overhype the threat of the far left at the expense of far-right extremism,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst at the department who wrote the 2009 report.
Read the full article:

Jan. 6 Rally Funded by Top Trump Donor, Helped by Alex Jones, Organizers Say
Publix Super Markets heiress donated about $300,000 to the Ellipse event; far-right show host pledged seed money, organizers say

The rally in Washington’s Ellipse that preceded the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arranged and funded by a small group including a top Trump campaign fundraiser and donor facilitated by far-right show host Alex Jones.

Mr. Jones personally pledged more than $50,000 in seed money for a planned Jan. 6 event in exchange for a guaranteed “top speaking slot of his choice,” according to a funding document outlining a deal between his company and an early organizer for the event.

Mr. Jones also helped arrange for Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a prominent donor to the Trump campaign and heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, to commit about $300,000 through a top fundraising official for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to organizers. Her money paid for the lion’s share of the roughly $500,000 rally at the Ellipse where Mr. Trump spoke.
Read the full article:

Marjorie Taylor Greene removes social media posts amid scrutiny of past controversial comments
Searches of Greene's Facebook show the posts from 2018 and 2019 have been removed. Links saved by CNN's KFile during a review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene's Facebook page are no longer available.

Greene is facing backlash for her conspiratorial social media posts after CNN reported she indicated support for executing prominent Democrats in Facebook comments and videos.

The freshman congresswoman from Georgia also deleted videos she posted on Facebook Live where she said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "guilty of treason" and that she will "suffer death or she'll be in prison" for her "treason."

... Greene announced earlier this week that she would serve on the House Committee on Education and Labor.

At a weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi harshly criticized House Republican leaders for assigning Greene to the committee.

"Assigning her to the Education Committee when she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School -- what could they be thinking?" Pelosi asked. "Or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing? It's absolutely appalling, and I think the focus has to be on the Republican leadership of this House of Representatives for the disregard they have for the death of those children."
Read the full article:

From building the wall to bringing back coal: Some of Trump's more notable broken promises
To be sure, Trump delivered on a number of initial campaign promises. He cut regulations, lowered taxes, withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership, pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and appointed hundreds of conservative justices. But in many cases, the reality behind the talking points and slogans fell short of what was actually promised.

Here's a look back at how some of the most notable promises Trump made during his campaigns and throughout his time in office stack up against reality.
  • The wall
    Building a wall on the US border with Mexico (and getting Mexico to pay for it) was one of Trump's flagship promises from his first campaign, though the specific parameters of the wall evolved over time, from 1,000 miles to over 500 miles.
  • Vaccines
    As of December 31, 2020, fewer than 13 million vaccines had been distributed.
  • Pre-existing conditions
    The Trump administration and Republicans repeatedly put forward bills and filed lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Trump also never issued a plan to protect those with pre-existing conditions, despite repeatedly promising to do so.
  • Obamacare
    Despite his insistence to the contrary, Obamacare did not end under Trump's administration, essentially or otherwise.
  • Debt
    Trump initially pledged to eliminate the US debt in eight years. He later scaled down the promise to just reducing a portion of the then-$19 trillion dollar debt. By the end of 2019, the federal debt was at $22.7 trillion, more than three trillion more than right before Trump took office.
  • Manufacturing
    Between January 2017 and the end of 2020, there was a net decrease in manufacturing employment. While some of the decrease could likely be attributed to the pandemic, America's manufacturing sector was in a downturn even before that, as CNN reported in August 2019 that the sector shrunk for the first time since September 2009.
  • 4% GDP growth
    While Trump heavily leaned on his economic accomplishments throughout his time in office, annual GDP growth since 2017 never reached 4%, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Trade deficits
    In November 2020, the trade deficit reached its highest level since 2006.
  • Coal
    A November 2020 report from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows a decrease in coal jobs since the start of the Trump administration. Furthermore, the 3rd quarter of 2020 marked a new low in average coal mine employment according to the S&P analysis.
  • Guns
    Not only did he not sign any legislation banning gun-free zones on his first day in office, but this was never accomplished. Though House Republicans proposed bills to repeal the Crime Control Act of 1990 which made it a crime to possess a gun within school grounds, these efforts were unsuccessful.
  • Lobbying
    The "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees" executive order only required appointees to pledge that they will not "engage in lobbying activities with respect" to the executive agency they were appointed to serve, language which could theoretically have permitted officials to lobby on other issues not directly related to their role less than five years after they stopped working for the federal government. Additionally, days before his presidency came to an end, Trump revoked the rule, ostensibly allowing his former administration officials to begin lobbying when they left government if they so choose.
  • Leaving the White House
    Trump left the White House repeatedly while he was president, often to spend time at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida or at his golf courses across the nation. In 2019 alone he spent 1 in 5 days at a golf club.
Read the full article:

Trump's lead impeachment lawyers leave defense team just over a week before trial starts
  • Up to five lawyers have departed former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team.
  • Media outlets reported the attorneys disagreed with Trump over his defense strategy.
  • Ex-Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller tweeted that the legal team hadn't yet been finalized.
Trump had wanted his legal team to focus on false claims that the election had been stolen from him, rather than the question of whether it was legal to convict a president no longer in office, both CNN and the New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The Times added that one person close to Trump disputed that characterization.

... CNN identified the departed lawyers as Butch Bowers, Deborah Barbier, Johnny Gasser, and Greg Harris of South Carolina, and Josh Howard of North Carolina. Bowers and Barbier parted ways from the defense team in a "mutual decision," according to the Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the situation.

... Trump has since struggled to attract defense lawyers, in part due to his baseless allegations of widespread election fraud and his actions during the Capitol siege.
Read the full article:

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.