Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
First Lady Melania Trump focused on getting a photo shoot completed as a mob of Trump supporters ransacked the US Capitol, report says
  • First Lady Melania Trump was focused on finished a photo project for her coffee table book as a mob of Trump supporters broke into the US Capitol on Wednesday, according to a CNN report.
  • A White House source told the news outlet that Melania — who has not yet commented on the events — is mentally "checked out" and doesn't want to "get involved" anymore.
  • The first lady and Trump's adult children have been avoiding the spotlight since the violent events unfolded this week.
The first lady is reportedly working on a coffee table book about decorative items she's restored in the president's residence and was overseeing a photoshoot for the project as the violent events unfolded only two miles away.

"Photos were being taken of rugs and other items in the Executive Residence and the East Wing," a source familiar with the first lady's schedule told CNN.

But as the news came in that Trump supporters were storming the Capitol Building, Melania — together with White House chief usher Timothy Harleth — was reportedly just focused on getting the job done.

When asked by aides whether she wanted to release a statement calling for peace and calm, the first lady chose to say nothing and remained silent.

Another White House source told CNN that this was because she is mentally "checked out" and "just isn't in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved."

Melania has already been making plans to leave the White House for several weeks now, with close sources previously telling CNN that "she just wants to go home."

The first lady has been avoiding the spotlight since a mob of Trump supporters sieged the US Capitol on Wednesday.

Trump went 'ballistic' and 'scrambled' to figure out what to do next after having his Twitter account banned, senior administration official says
  • President Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter on Friday night. This was due to fears from the platform that he might further incite violence.
  • Trump went "ballistic" after his account was suspended, a senior administration official told Politico.
  • He was "scrambling" to figure out what his options were, the media outlet said. He hinted that "building" his own platform might be one avenue they pursue in a now-deleted tweet.
  • Trump's banishment from Twitter — the platform that has defined much of his presidency — was met with both outrage and glee online.
After the ban, Trump tweeted from the official @POTUS Twitter account but his posts were almost immediately deleted.

Similarly, the president then tried in vain to share a message from his @TeamTrump account. This was deleted and the account was suspended.

... His critics celebrated his account being disabled, most notably Hillary Clinton.

Trump did consider deploying the National Guard to the US Capitol, New York Times says — to protect his supporters in case people got in their way
  • Before the US Capitol's riot, President Trump considered using the National Guard to defend his supporters, The New York Times reported.
  • Trump worried that counterprotesters might disrupt attendees at his rally, the outlet said.
  • In reality, the crowd faced little resistance in their march on the Capitol, which evolved into a violent attack that derailed Congress's session and left five people dead.
  • The National Guard was ultimately deployed, but to force the rioters out rather than protect them.

YouTube bans Steve Bannon's podcast channel hours after Rudy Giuliani appeared on an episode and blamed the Capitol siege on Democrats
  • Steve Bannon's podcast channel was removed from YouTube on Friday night.
  • It was removed for violating YouTube's rules, according to The Washington Examiner.
  • The ban came into place just hours after Rudy Giuliani had appeared on "War Room."
  • During the podcast episode, Giuliani said there could be "more responsibility" on the Democratic party for Wednesday's siege of the Capitol building.
President Donald Trump's personal lawyer told "War Room" listeners that he placed blame on the Democratic party for Wednesday's siege of the Capitol building, reported The Independent.

Giuliani said: "Believe me, Trump people were not scaling the wall. So there's nothing to it that he incited anything."

He continued: "Also, there's equal if not more responsibility on the fascists who now running the Democrat Party, who have imposed censorship on these people, who have been singling them out for unfair treatment since the IRS started going after conservative groups."

... On November 5, 2020, Twitter permanently suspended Bannon after he called for Dr Anthony Fauci to be beheaded in an episode. The ban was for flouting Twitter rules on the "glorification of violence," according to Newsweek.


YouTube's removal of the podcast follows a string of other high-profile suspensions by social media giants.

A day before the riot at the Capitol, people received a call from a group of Republican attorneys general urging them to 'march:' report
  • The fundraising arm of a national Republican attorney general group sent out robocalls the day before the deadly riot at the Capitol urging people to "march," according to NBC News.
  • "At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal," a voice on the call said.
  • Pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday after the president encouraged them to protest the results of the election.
  • Five people, including a police officer, died.
The day before pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building, people received an encouraging phone call from a group of Republican attorneys general telling them to "march," NBC News reported.

The group — the Republican Attorney General Association — is made up of some of the nation's highest-ranking law enforcement and legal officers.

Its fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, disseminated robocalls to people urging them to head to the Capitol on January 6,
according to NBC News.

... There was no direction in the call to storm the Capitol building, according to NBC News. Violence was also not advocated.

The Rule of Law Defense Fund is closely tied to the Republican Attorney General Association, NBC News reported. The two share offices and funding. Staff members collaborate and work on the same projects.

Steve Marshall, the Alabama attorney general who is in charge of the arm, said he was unaware these calls went out.

"I was unaware of unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week's rally," Marshall said in a statement to NBC News. "Despite currently transitioning into my role as the newly elected chairman of RLDF, it is unacceptable that I was neither consulted about nor informed of those decisions. I have directed an internal review of this matter."

Top conservative figures are tweeting to advertise their Parler accounts after Trump was permanently banned from Twitter
  • Top conservative figures have announced they're moving to Parler after Twitter removed President Donald Trump's account and banned him from using the platform.
  • QAnon supporter Angela Stanton-King and Republican Rep. Thomas Massie are among those encouraging Twitter users to follow them on Parler, a social media app touted by conservatives as a "free speech" platform.
  • It's unclear whether Trump will move to Parler, but initial reports say he went "ballistic" at Twitter's ban.
Immediately following Twitter's permanent suspension of President Donald Trump on Friday night, top conservatives began sharing their Parler accounts on the platform, encouraging their followers to gravitate there.

... One of his now-deleted tweets said the president has begun "negotiating with various other sites" and hinted at a big announcement. Trump also said his team would "look at the possibilities of building our own platform in the near future."

Some of his conservative allies have already begun flocking to another platform. After news of Trump's ban, top conservative figures shared their Parler usernames on Twitter.

Among them is Angela Stanton-King, a Republican QAnon supporter who ran in November to represent Georgia's 5th Congressional District, the seat last held by the deceased Rep. John Lewis.

"Follow me on PARLER access it directly through website don't try to use the App," Stanton-King wrote on Twitter, sharing a screenshot of her Parler handle.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie also shared his Parler handle. "I'm ThomasMassie on Parler if @jack's social cleansing takes out my account here," he tweeted.

... Others like conservative media host Rush Limbaugh have defiantly deactivated their own Twitter accounts in what appears to be an expression of solidarity.

Conservative radio host Mark Levin also tweeted out a call to action, asking his followers to "join me now on Parler and Rumble." Levin in a tweet said he also "suspended" his personal Twitter account "in protest against Twitter's fascism."

Man caught on camera carrying Pelosi's lectern during US Capitol riots arrested in Florida
  • A man who was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern during the Capitol Hill riot on Wednesday has been arrested, according to Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA-TV.
  • The man, identified as Adam Christian Johnson, was booked in Pinellas County, Florida, on Friday night, and remains in jail on a warrant from the US Marshal's office.
  • "It was almost like, it was surreal," Allan Mestel, an acquaintance of Johnson, told WFLA. "I mean it was surreal. I wasn't surprised, but I was shocked."
The man, identified as Adam Christian Johnson, was booked in Pinellas County, Florida, on Friday night, and remains in jail on a warrant from the US Marshal's office. He is currently awaiting trial.

The 36-year-old resident of Parrish in Manatee County, Florida, was identified after his photo taken in the Capitol rotunda spread across the internet.


... Johnson is a registered voter in Manatee County and lists no party affiliation, with local election records also reported by the outlet showing he voted in the 2004 and 2020 general elections.

According to the Miami Herald, Johnson shared on social media that he would be in Washington, DC, and denigrated the Black Lives Matter movement.

... On Friday, the Department of Justice announced charges against 13 people in relation to the riot.

We came much closer to an incredibly serious political crisis than some people want to admit
  • Beyond the tragedies that happened at Capitol Hill, there were at least three other massive national security threats that people aren't understanding fully.
  • There was a serious threat to the line of succession, the possibility of foreign intelligence agents mixing among less organized rioters, and the apparent inability or unwillingness to defend the physical structure of the Capitol.
  • There needs to be a massive investigation — the most serious type of powerful, targeted government investigations — along the lines of Watergate and the 9/11 Commission.
  • The new administration and Congress must leave no stone unturned and ensure that nothing like this can happen again.

'He's on his own': Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer says he will no longer 'defend' Trump
  • Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said that he would no longer "defend" President Donald Trump following a pro-Trump riot in the Capitol building on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
  • "At this point, I won't defend him anymore," said Fleischer, who voted for Trump last year. "I won't defend him for stirring the pot that incited the mob. He's on his own."
  • Fleischer, also a Fox News contributor, served as press secretary under then-President George W. Bush from January 2001 to July 2003.

Donald Trump Jr. says 'the world is laughing at America' as he rails against his dad's Twitter ban, saying 'free speech is dead'
  • President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Saturday, complained about his father's being banned on Twitter, inviting his followers to sign up for his email blasts in case Twitter were to ban him, too.
  • "Big tech is able to censor the President?" he wrote. "Free speech is dead & controlled by leftist overlords."
  • For the vast majority of his presidency, Twitter allowed Trump to remain on the platform due to the newsworthiness of his posts, but he was banned Friday after his followers' deadly attack on the US Capitol on Wednesday.

Two private institutions revoked Trump's honorary degree following the Capitol siege
  • Lehigh University and Wagner College both announced on Friday that they would revoke President Donald Trump's honorary degrees.
  • Trump received the honorary degree from Lehigh in 1988 after speaking at the institution's commencement ceremony. He received a degree from Wagner in 2004.
  • Both Lehigh and Wagner cited the violence that rose out of the attempted coup at the US Capitol on Wednesday as reasons for revocation.
Board of trustees "voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988," a statement from the Lehigh University account on Twitter reads.

Lehigh faculty members have for years urged the university to rescind Trump's degree, which he received upon speaking at its 1988 commencement ceremony. In 2018, nearly 300 Lehigh faculty members urged the board of trustees to rescind the degree. They argued that Trump's statements and actions as president did not fall in line with the values of the school, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The trustees did not budge.

Trump reportedly asked a Georgia elections investigator to 'find the fraud' in the 2020 election in lengthy phone call in December
  • President Donald Trump in December pressured the lead elections investigator in the state of Georgia to "find the fraud" responsible for his election loss, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
  • There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, but Trump has repeatedly spread the baseless conspiracy theory since his loss in November.
  • The reporting of this call came about a week after the Washington Post reported the existence of a later call that involved Trump pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to "find" enough votes to flip the state in his favor.
  • Trump's continued rhetoric about the 2020 election led to the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
The president reportedly told the investigator they would be a "national hero" should they find the evidence he requested, according to the report. The Post's reporting is based on an anonymous interview with a person familiar with the call who asked not to be identified because of the "sensitivity" of the conversation, according to the report.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says GOP leaders who dismiss consequences for Capitol riots 'are opening the door for it to happen again'
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez excoriated GOP leaders on Saturday, saying that a lack of accountability for the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 would preclude any "healing" from the violent episode, in which five people died.
  • The second-term New York Democrat has asked her Republican colleagues to join the push in removing President Donald Trump from office.
  • "Let's be very clear," she tweeted. "The officials urging for no serious consequences after Wednesday's attack on our country - including the impeachment, removal, expulsion, and/or indictment of officials who aided, abetted, or incited the attack - are opening the door for it to happen again."
"Since it appears GOP leaders need a reminder: There is no 'healing' from this without accountability," Ocasio-Cortez added in another tweet. "And there is no "unity" with white supremacists. You know the President's state has devolved dangerously. If you're too weak to do anything about it, you're too weak to serve."

The Trump administration told a Georgia federal prosecutor to resign because Trump was unhappy with his lack of election fraud investigations
  • The Trump administration told a Georgia federal prosecutor to resign because the president was unhappy with his failure to investigate election fraud allegations.
  • Byung J. "BJay" Pak abruptly resigned from his position as US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
  • Trump apparently referred to Pak in a recent phone call with Georgia's secretary of state, complaining about a "Never Trumper US attorney."
The Trump administration pressured a federal prosecutor in Atlanta to resign over his failure to investigate baseless allegations of election fraud in Georgia, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Justice Department on Tuesday tapped a new federal prosecutor to lead the Atlanta office, a day after the Trump-appointed US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung J. "BJay" Pak, abruptly resigned.

Pak's resignation drew attention because Trump appeared to refer to him in a recent phone call with Georgia's secretary of state in which the outgoing Republican president asked state officials to try to "find" enough votes to overturn the results of the November 3 election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

In a recording obtained by numerous media outlets, Trump appeared to complain during the call about Pak without naming him, saying there was a "Never Trumper US attorney" in Georgia.

The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said that at the behest of the White House, a senior Justice Department official called and told Pak he needed to step down because he was not pursuing the voter-fraud allegations to Trump's satisfaction.

The Journal reported that the call occured January 3. Pak resigned January 4.

The New York Times also reported Saturday that the acting deputy attorney general, Richard Donoghue, had made a call to Pak expressing Trump's frustration with Pak's efforts to investigate election fraud.

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.