Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Trump is reluctant to do in-person briefings after being booted off Twitter because he rarely knows the answers to questions, the New York Times reported
  • President Donald Trump has been reluctant to do TV or press briefings even after his Twitter account was removed as he often doesn't know the answers to questions, The New York Times reported.
  • An advisor told the Times that Trump doesn't like when he is asked questions that he doesn't know the answer to, and other advisors said that Trump doesn't like being questioned about his claims.
  • Trump was banned from Twitter last week after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
  • He has not spoken to the press in the White House or done TV appearances since.
The Times' Maggie Haberman reported that Trump spent the weekend, the first since he was banned from the platform, "cycling through fury and acceptance" at his account being removed after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.

The Times noted Trump's extensive history with television appearances, including his pre-presidency role with "The Apprentice."

But it also noted that, as his presidency began, Trump pivoted to doing most of his communication through Twitter rather than through TV appearances, interviews, or press briefings — and he has not yet turned to those communication strategies in order to make up for his lost reach on Twitter.

One Trump advisor told the Times that Trump did not like most parts of his job, including when he is asked questions that he doesn't know the answer to.

And other advisors told the Times that Trump didn't like being questioned about his claims, like his false claims about how the US would recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Times noted that Trump's appearances outside of Twitter often saw Trump's message filtered: Many news outlets that interviewed Trump asked tougher questions as his presidency progressed, and many outlets stopped airing speeches he made in full or without live fact checking of his claims.

Stripe has reportedly stopped processing Trump campaign donations after the riots in the Capitol, arguing that the campaign encourages violence
  • Stripe has stopped processing donations for President Donald Trump's campaign website, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
  • The campaign violated Stripe's policies against encouraging violence, the sources said.
  • Just hours before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Wednesday, the president urged people to object to the election results and "fight" for him.
  • Trump's campaign has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund legal challenges to the election result.
Stripe, which progresses card payments for millions of online businesses, does not allow payments for "high risk" businesses and organizations. This covers any firm that "engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property," according to its website.

The chief of Capitol Police said he tried 6 times to call reinforcements to deal with pro-Trump rioters, but kept getting blocked
  • The departing Capitol Police chief says he called for back-up six times during Wednesday's attack, but was kept waiting.
  • Sund told The Washington Post he unsuccessfully asked the Senate and House Sergeants at Arms multiple times for permission to call the National Guard.
  • After the violence started, Sund asked the Pentagon for help, but Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the US Army Staff, declined.
  • The Guard eventually deployed at 3:10 p.m. and arrived at 5:40 p.m., The Post said, after the violence had ceased.
  • Sund told The Post: "If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer."
Speaking to The Washington Post on Sunday, Steven Sund said he worried that the protest would turn violent, and was unable to get help until the violence was at its peak.

"We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations," he said.

Here are the six calls he described; four of which were denied, and two of which approved. Only the first brought immediate help:
  • At around 1 p.m. Sund called Robert J. Contee, the chief of police for Washington, DC, and 100 officers were deployed.
  • At 1:09 p.m. Sund called House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger to get permission to deploy the National Guard. The pair told Sund they would "run it up the chain, but he didn't hear back.
  • After that Sund called Irving and Stenger for an update, but got none.
  • After that Sund called Irving and Stenger again for an update, but got none.
  • At 2:10 p.m. Sund got approval from Irving to call the Guard; but was blocked again at the next step.
  • At 2:26 p.m. Sund joined a call with Pentagon officials and asked them to deploy the National Guard. He was told no by Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the director of the Army Staff.
Sund recalled telling Piatt: "I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance. I have got to get boots on the ground."

In response, Sund said that Piatt responded: "I don't like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background."

... During the call, Sund repeated several times that the situation was "dire," John Falcicchio, chief of staff to Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, told The Post.

Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said that Capitol Police did not request help until after the protest started.

"We rely on Capitol Police and federal law enforcement to provide an assessment of the situation and based on that assessment that they had, they believed they had sufficient personnel and did not make a request," he said, per the Post.

The National Guard were eventually deployed by Christopher C. Miller, acting defense secretary, at 3:10 p.m., according to a Department of Defense timeline, The Post reported.

Those troops only arrived at the Capitol at 5:40 p.m., long after the violence had ceased, The Post said.

Sund also warned of the threat of violence days before, the Post said.

On Monday, Sund asked House and Senate security officials if he could request that that the National Guard be placed on standby, the Post said. He was denied.

Irving, the House Sergeant at Arms, told Sund he didn't like the "optics" of declaring an emergency ahead of the demonstration, Sund said.


"If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive," he told the Post.

After speaking with Irving that day, Sund called Major General William J. Walker, the head D.C. National Guard, and was told that, if called on, 125 troops could come quickly.

Sund announced his resignation on Thursday after widespread criticism of the official reponse to the attack. His last day is due to be January 16.

Black Capitol Police officers say they were called the N-word during the Capitol siege and some officers 'were catering to the rioters'
  • Two Black officers with the US Capitol Police told BuzzFeed News that they were repeatedly called the N-word by Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
  • One pointed to a "big difference" in how his colleagues dealt with the rioters, compared with last summer's Black Lives Matter protesters.
  • "Some of the officers were catering to the rioters," the officer said.
  • The Capitol Police has come under fire for its handling of Wednesday's attack. Some officers were seen allowing the mob to advance on the building and posing for selfies.
The younger officer said it was hurtful to see video of one of his white colleagues posing for selfies with some of the rioters.

"That one hurt me the most because I was on the other side of the Capitol getting my ass kicked," he said.

The officer said that if it had been Black people breaching the Capitol last week, he's not sure his white coworkers would have been as chummy with them.

"If you're going to treat a group of demonstrators for Black Lives Matters one way, then you should treat this group the same goddamn way," the officer said. "With this group you were being kind and nice and letting them walk back out. Some of them got arrested, but a lot of them didn't."


The second officer who spoke with BuzzFeed, who has been on the force for more than a decade, said that after he and others regained control of the Capitol later, he was overwhelmed with emotion.

"I sat down with one of my buddies, another Black guy, and tears just started streaming down my face," he said. "I said, 'What the f---, man? Is this America? What the f--- just happened? I'm so sick and tired of this shit.'"

He said he broke down in the rotunda on Wednesday night, after the building had been cleared, and yelled out: "These are racist-ass terrorists."

"I got called a n----- 15 times today," the officer recalled saying. "Trump did this and we got all of these f---ing people in our department that voted for him. How the f--- can you support him?"

"I cried for about 15 minutes and I just let it out," he said.

Sacha Baron Cohen shamed Google for keeping Donald Trump's YouTube account live after Facebook and Twitter banned him
  • Actor and satirist Sacha Baron Cohen has called on Google's YouTube to follow other major social media platforms in banning or restricting US President Donald Trump's account.
  • In a tweet posted on Monday, the "Borat" star wrote: "Trump's YouTube channel is STILL showing videos of his election lies to MILLIONS of people!"
  • A host of social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, banned or restricted the President following the violent insurrection at the US Capitol last week.
Sacha Baron Cohen has called on YouTube to "do the right thing" and join Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms in banning Donald Trump from its service.

The "Borat" star, who has become a vocal critic of social media platforms over the last year, tagged the CEOs of YouTube and parent company Google, Susan Wojcicki and Sundar Pichai respectively, in a tweet on Monday.

"Virtually every social media company has removed Trump ... EXCEPT YouTube," Baron Cohen wrote. "Trump's YouTube channel is STILL showing videos of his election lies to MILLIONS of people!"

He added: "Retweet and tell @Google, @sundarpichai, @YouTube, @SusanWojcicki – do the right thing!"

The move comes after Google's newly formed workers' union penned a critical open letter to YouTube executives last Thursday, accusing the tech giant of fostering fascism and failing to act in the aftermath of the siege by pro-Trump rioters on the US Capitol, which has so far been linked to the deaths of five people.

The letter criticized YouTube for removing a video of a speech Trump gave ahead of the riots, as other platforms did, but not taking further action.

The Alphabet Workers Union was officially formed last Monday and comprises more than 600 employees from Google's parent company Alphabet.

"YouTube refuses to hold Donald Trump accountable to the platform's own rules by choosing only to remove one video instead of removing him from the platform entirely," the letter read.

YouTube remains one of the few major platforms not to restrict President Trump after the Capitol riots. Twitter banned him permanently from its service, Facebook suspended him indefinitely, YouTube rival Twitch removed his account, and a host of other services restricted his online accounts and adjacent accounts.

YouTube recently introduced a new version of its "three strike" policy, with users being cut off from posting for one week following their first strike, and two weeks if they receive a second strike within the same 90-day period.

If a channel receives three strikes within the same 90-day period, it will be permanently removed from the platform, the firm added. confirming the strikes would stand even if users delete the content that warranted one in the first place.

Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Dow, and other US firms are cutting off Republicans that opposed Biden's certification as president
  • Marriott, Morgan Stanley, and Dow are among companies cutting off donations to GOP lawmakers who objected to certifying Democrat Joe Biden as president.
  • Goldman Sachs is reportedly likely to follow suit.
  • Separately, JP Morgan and Citibank said they will temporarily pause all political donations to both Republicans and Democrats completely.
  • Last Wednesday, 147 Republican lawmakers voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election win.
  • On the same day, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. Five people died during the violent siege.
Congress ultimately voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win, but eight Republican senators and 139 representatives voted against this, including Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Several other GOP lawmakers who had said they would join dropped out following the riots.

In response, companies including Marriott, Morgan Stanley, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Dow, Boston Scientific, and Commerce Bank said they would stop political donations to those Republicans who backed Trump's election challenge. Goldman Sachs is likely to follow suit, the Wall Street Journal reported.

JP Morgan said it would pause all political funding, to both Republicans and Democrats, for at least six months, and Citibank for the remainder of the quarter.

Other companies are currently reviewing their positions on political contributions, including FedEx, Target, CVS Health, AT&T, and Walmart, Popular Information reported. Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Ford, and Bank of American told the publication they would review donations on an individual basis.

"Just coming out with another public letter isn't going to do much," Thomas Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, said last Tuesday following a meeting of top CEOs where they discussed the impact of pulling political donations.

"Money is the key way," he added.


... Marriott, the world's largest hotel chain, told Insider it made the decision to pull funding following the siege.

"We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election," a spokeswoman said in an email.

Morgan Stanley would also halt donations to the GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying Biden's win, a spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs is also developing measures in response to the siege, a spokesperson told the publication, which reported the measures would likely include stopping donations to politicians who backed Trump's election challenge.

Chemical giant Dow told Popular Information on Monday that it would suspend funding to these Republicans for all their time in office.

Commerce Bank is similarly halting PAC contributions to officials who "have impeded the peaceful transfer of power," while the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which provides healthcare coverage to around 100 million Americans, said it will suspend contributions "to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy."

JPMorgan Chase, meanwhile, said Sunday it will pause all PAC contributions for at least the next six months.

"The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now," it told Reuters in a statement. "There will be plenty of time for campaigning later."

... A number of corporations have condemned the insurrection as an assault on US democracy. Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook have all condemned the attack. Leaders in the auto industry, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, have also issued statements denouncing the rioters. Ice-cream band Ben & Jerry's called for the impeachment of Trump and Coca-Cola called the riots "an offense to the ideals of American democracy."

2 pro-Trump rioters pictured carrying zip tie-style restraints in the Capitol have been charged with federal crimes
  • Larry Rendell Brock of Texas and Eric Gavelek Munchel of Tennessee were federally charged after being pictured carrying zip tie-like restraints into the Capitol building during last week's riot, officials said.
  • The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement that they were each charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
  • Brock was arrested in Texas and Munchel was arrested in Tennessee on Sunday.
Brock and Munchel were pictured holding several plastic restraints while walking through the Senate chamber on Wednesday.

In photos from the riot, Brock wore a green helmet, tactical vest, and a camouflage jacket, and also displayed an old military patch which helped investigators identify him, prosecutors said.

According to an affidavit filed in court, prosecutors say Brock was first identified by his ex-wife, who had called the FBI national Threat Operations Center to report she saw photos of him inside the Capitol building, and she recognized a patch he was wearing.

Another witness who emailed the FBI about Brock said: "It looks like him and he has pilot wings on his chest in this picture. He was an A-10 pilot."

It's unclear how the FBI identified Munchel, though. John Scott-Railton from Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said on Twitter that in his own search for Munchel, he used social media and video clues to find him.

Munchel, who during the riot had cell phone mounted to his chest facing outward, likely to record events, told the Times of London before his arrest that bringing the restraints into the Capitol was a "kind of flexing of the muscles."

"The point of getting inside the building is to show them that we can, and we will," he said.

He also said that that he stormed the Capitol with his 57-year-old mother, Lisa Eisenhart, who he had driven to Washington, DC, with from Nashville.

"We wanted to show that we're willing to rise up, band together and fight if necessary. Same as our forefathers, who established this country in 1776. It was a kind of flexing of muscles," he told the Times.

Munchel is being held at the Davidson County Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brock was arrested in Texas, though it's not immediately known where he's being held.

He told the New Yorker before his arrest that he was an Air Force veteran, and he acknowledged entering the Capitol building.

America in 2021: Racial Progress in the South, a White Mob in the Capitol
A jarring juxtaposition is forcing a 244-year-old nation to contend with its original conundrum: Whose democracy is it?

The day after Georgia elected a Black descendant of sharecroppers and a young Jewish filmmaker to be U.S. senators, underscoring the rising political power of racial and religious minorities, the forces of white grievance politics struck back.

At the “People’s House” in Washington, a predominantly white mob in support of President Trump’s attempts to overturn the election overtook the Capitol building by brute force. Confederate flags flew at the seat of American democracy. A gallows was erected, with a noose hanging in the air. It was as stark a contrast as any, one day that illustrated the nation’s original paradox: a commitment to democracy in a country with a legacy of racial exclusion.

The seeds that led to the insurrection were hidden in plain sight. At Mr. Trump’s rallies, where his supporters set up open-air markets of hate and conspiracy, selling Confederate flags and T-shirts that mock his opponents and the media. In conservative news outlets, where the language of revolution and civil war is commonplace. On Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed, which has amplified white supremacists, anti-Semites and anti-Muslim extremists.


Whether the mob represents a fringe of the American political spectrum or a growing movement increasingly opposed to democratic norms is an essential question at the end of the Trump era, when it is clear that progress to some is seen as an affront to others.

... In some ways, the week brings the political era defined by Mr. Trump back to where it began. Years before he announced his presidential run at Trump Tower in New York, he led the spread of “birtherism,” a potent mix of conspiracy theory and racism that sought to delegitimize President Barack Obama.

His 2016 presidential run was full of similar misinformation and prejudice. He refused to denounce the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke; insinuated that a Mexican-American judge could not fairly adjudicate; and allowed a questioner in New Hampshire to say, unchallenged, that Mr. Obama was a Muslim who was “not even an American.”

... “Death of a Nation,” a documentary made by the conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, compared the Democratic Party to Nazi Germany and urged the audience to resist by all means necessary. It had a star-studded red carpet reception in Washington with appearances from Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, and Housing Secretary Ben Carson. Republican House members held watch parties as campaign fund-raisers, as did some local Republican Party groups.

In Arizona, a battleground state where Republicans rely on turnout among white rural conservatives to overpower Democratic votes in urban centers, the state party chair, Kelli Ward, and Representative Paul Gosar have appeared at events like a “Patriotism Over Socialism” rally and a gathering called “Trumpstock,” which paired public figures associated with the president and speakers that included open white nationalists who threatened violence if Mr. Trump lost re-election. At Trumpstock, supporters of the president spoke casually and openly about violence and insisted that they were not white supremacists, despite their racist language. They were patriots.

These Are the Rioters Who Stormed the Nation’s Capitol
The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.

There were infamous white nationalists and noted conspiracy theorists who have spread dark visions of pedophile Satanists running the country. Others were more anonymous, people who had journeyed from Indiana and South Carolina to heed President Trump’s call to show their support. One person, a West Virginia lawmaker, had only been elected to office in November.

All of them converged on Wednesday on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, where hundreds of rioters crashed through barricades, climbed through windows and walked through doors, wandering around the hallways with a sense of gleeful desecration, because, for a few breathtaking hours, they believed that they had displaced the very elites they said they hated.


“We wanted to show these politicians that it’s us who’s in charge, not them,” said a construction worker from Indianapolis, who is 40 and identified himself only as Aaron. He declined to give his last name, saying, “I’m not that dumb.”

He added: “We’ve got the strength.”

... But they could not find Mr. Schumer’s office. He said they asked a Capitol Police officer, who tried to direct them. But they appeared to have gotten nowhere near the minority’s leader’s office. They ended up smoking a few cigarettes inside the building — “We can smoke in our house,” Aaron said — and one of his friends, who would not give his name, joked that he had gone to the bathroom and not flushed.

A woman in a coat sat on the couch in a small room with a blue carpet and watched as a man ripped a scroll with Chinese lettering hanging on the wall.

“We don’t want Chinese bullshit,” the woman said.

Nearby, six men sat at a large wooden desk. A lamp with a white shade was knocked over and broken. Someone was smoking pot. “This is the pot room!” a young man said.

An impeachment charge against Trump is introduced as Biden considers a trial in the first days of his administration.
House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol last week, vowing to press the charge as President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. said he was considering splitting the first days of his administration between impeachment and advancing his agenda.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus also sought to ratchet up pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to intervene and push Mr. Trump to resign or strip him of power under the 25th Amendment. If they did not, the Democrats promised immediate consequences for Mr. Trump’s role in an attack that put the lives of the vice president, members of Congress and thousands of staff working on Capitol Hill at risk as officials met to formalize Mr. Biden’s victory.

“The president’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” Ms. Pelosi said on Monday.

... “Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue,” he said. “The issue is we have a president who most of us believe participated in encouraging an insurrection and attack on this building, and on democracy and trying to subvert the counting of the presidential ballot.”

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has said that his chamber would not be able to take up Mr. Trump’s impeachment before the president leaves office on Jan. 20. There appears to be nothing in the Constitution prohibiting the impeachment of a president after he leaves office, however. And even though it will be too late to remove Mr. Trump from power, the Senate — which after Inauguration Day will be controlled by Democrats — can still vote to prevent him from serving another term.

... The four-page impeachment article charges Mr. Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” when he sowed bogus claims about election fraud and encouraged his supporters at a rally outside the White House to take extraordinary measures to stop the counting of electoral votes underway at the Capitol. A short time later, rioters mobbed the building, ransacking the seat of American government and killing a Capitol Police officer. (Four others also died as a result of injuries or medical emergencies on Capitol grounds.)

A state senator referred Rudy Giuliani for disbarment.
Citing his role in a “violent insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol,” the chairman of the New York State Senate’s judiciary committee made a formal request on Monday to the state court system to begin the process of stripping President Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, of his law license.

Senator Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, said that Mr. Giuliani appeared to have committed several ethical violations in his efforts to support Mr. Trump’s baseless claims of fraud during the presidential election.

Those efforts culminated on Wednesday when Mr. Giuliani addressed a crowd of Mr. Trump’s supporters, repeating the president’s unproven claims of election fraud and seeming to urge people toward violence. After hearing Mr. Giuliani and the president speak, members of the crowd marched to the Capitol and an angry mob ransacked the building.

“If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Let’s have trial by combat.”

Mr. Hoylman, in a letter to the grievance committee of the First Department Appellate Division, said the assault on the Capitol was “the foreseeable culmination of increasingly outrageous lies and disinformation being peddled by Mr. Giuliani” and others.

“The codes of ethics we as attorneys swear to uphold are intended to safeguard both the public and the reputation of the profession itself,” he wrote. “A failure to hold a member of our ranks accountable for seditious acts and exhortations of violence is a failure to provide that safeguard.”


The call for Mr. Giuliani’s disbarment came only hours after the New York State Bar Association announced that it had launched a “historic” investigation into Mr. Giuliani, which could lead to his removal from the group.

In a prepared statement issued on Monday, Scott M. Karson, the association’s president, said that his decision to begin the inquiry was prompted by hundreds of complaints the group had received about Mr. Giuliani’s central role in Mr. Trump’s attempts to overthrow the results of the election.

The bar association has no power to strip Mr. Giuliani of his law license. But should the highly unusual investigation by his peers lead to his removal from the group, it would be a dark stain on a career that has spanned more than 40 years in the law. A spokeswoman for the group said that it had not removed someone who had not already been disbarred since 1904.

The association’s bylaws forbid members from, among other things, advocating “the overthrow of the government,” and in his statement Mr. Karson said that Mr. Giuliani’s words in Washington last week were “clearly intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to take matters into their own hands.”

“The subsequent attack on the Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup,” Mr. Karson wrote, “intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power.”

FBI bulletin warns that Trump supporters are planning 'armed protests' at the US Capitol and all 50 state capitols leading up to Biden's inauguration
  • An FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News reporter Aaron Katersky warned that "armed protests" are expected to take place at the US Capitol and state capitols across the country leading up to Inauguration Day.
  • One group is reportedly calling for "storming" local, state, and federal courthouses and buildings if Trump is removed from office before January 20.
  • And the bureau also reportedly said it has "received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January."
  • The development comes after President Trump incited a deadly riot at the US Capitol last week and was banned from Twitter because the company said his supporters were using his tweets to plan more violent demonstrations.
The protests "are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January," said the bulletin, which was first obtained by ABC News reporter Aaron Katersky.

... The group has "warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur," Katersky tweeted.

Monday's reporting adds another layer to Twitter's announcement last week that it banned President Donald Trump from the platform because supporters were using his tweets to plan more potentially violent demonstrations. ... After inciting a deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, Trump returned to Twitter following a temporary ban and praised the 75 million "great American Patriots" who voted for him and said they "will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"

D.C. Police Chief: Pro-Trump Mob Tried to Steal Officer’s Gun, Use it Against Him
A D.C. police officer assaulted by supporters of President Donald Trump as they stormed the U.S. Capitol last week barely prevented the attackers from taking his gun and using it against him, the Metropolitan Police Department chief said Monday, adding that they did succeed in stealing other parts of his department-issued gear.

Police Chief Robert Contee said that upon release from hospital the officer was "very shaken, very appalled, very angry" but added he "is doing better and he is healing," though he has not yet returned to duty. Contee confirmed the officer is male but did not otherwise identify him. He implied in responding to other questions from reporters at a press conference that the officer was not one of those caught on viral videos that show deeply disturbing images of the mob attacking the various law enforcement officials who tried to prevent entry into the building, including one who was almost trampled in a doorway.

"It makes me sick to my stomach to see that video," Contee said. "Our officers were in a fight not just for their lives, but for the democracy of this country."

Attack on Capitol Building Shakes Views of U.S. Exceptionalism
As Congress gathered on Jan. 6 to confirm the Electoral College votes, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly display that threatened the nation's democratic principles, both procedurally and symbolically, as the world watched.

... "People are horrified, but they're not surprised." Gerald Butts, vice chairman of the Eurasia Group, a risk assessment company, said of the global reaction he's seen since Jan. 6. "Policymakers see this as a very predictable extension of U.S. domestic politics in the Trump era: extreme polarization, violent rhetoric, the lack of cohesion; coming together around the winner in the election's aftermath. A lot of countries have seen this movie before."

... Indeed, some foreign leaders are questioning the salience of U.S. democracy. The day following the attack on the Capitol Building, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe tweeted that "Yesterday's events showed that the U.S. has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy," referring to President Trump's extension of economic sanctions on the African nation due to "concerns about Zimbabwe's democracy."


Leaders in Russia and Iran questioned the efficacy of Western democracy, following the events of Jan. 6, citing an outdated electoral system and President Trump as threats to political stability. However, other leaders, such as France's Emmanuel Macron, responded to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by affirming his confidence in American democracy.

Domestically, some prominent voices on American foreign policy are questioning the strength of U.S. democracy. "So much for the peaceful transfer of power, for American exceptionalism, for our being a shining city on a hill," tweeted Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "We already knew what we needed to know about this president; the question is how did we get to where so many Americans are so willing to throw democracy overboard?"

Countries' relations with the U.S. will hinge on whether there will be harsh repercussions for those involved in storming the Capitol Building, said Eurasia Group's Butts. Five people died from the chaos as rioters took over the House and Senate chambers, smashed windows and waved Trump, U.S. and Confederate flags. By this past weekend, dozens of people had been arrested across the country.

"The consequences really matter here, and foreign capitals will be looking at the aftermath of this event to determine whether or not there are any real consequences for the people who perpetrated the act, and the people who directed the act, because that is the method by which democratic societies take events, facts on the ground, and absorb them into their legal and ethical framework as a country." Butts said. "If nothing happens, if all of this is seen as a TV spectacle, and nobody pays a price for it, I think it will further unnerve America's traditional allies and further embolden its adversaries."

... "The issue with the Capitol building is it happens to be one of the most important symbols of democracy in the world," Bremmer said. "And the fact that it was defiled, it was desecrated in front of us all, with the media right there, watching it, and of course, it matters a lot more to the people that have some of the biggest megaphones themselves in mainstream media, means that the impact on popular consciousness will be greater."

... "What we have is an incredibly, deeply divided country, politically divided and increasingly dysfunctional," Bremmer said during a Jan. 8 online news conference. "The events of the last 48 hours, to be clear, it would be inconceivable that we would see those events play out in Canada or Japan or Germany or even the U.K. and France. It happened in the United States because the U.S. is more divided and more dysfunctional today."

"This damage has been coming for decades," he said. "In 1989 the (Berlin) Wall came down, (and) when it came down, it came down because countries around the world, particularly the Eastern Bloc, captive nations, believed that the United States had better ideas, better institutions and that we were better run — they looked up to us then. They don't think that anymore. And they don't think that anymore in part because we don't think that anymore."

A veteran in Congress asked the military to make sure troops participating in Biden's inauguration aren't sympathetic to domestic terrorists after Capitol siege
  • Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger, asked Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy for a review of troops participating in the inauguration to ensure they are not sympathetic to domestic terrorists.
  • The congressman's request followed an assault on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that appears to have included veterans and may have also included current military personnel.
  • Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, both of whom are Democrats and veterans, issued statements Monday urging the Pentagon to cooperate with ongoing investigations and take legal action against any current and former military members who participated in the riots.
  • Gallego and Duckworth condemned participation in the storming of the Capitol by former and current military members as a violation of their oath.
"In attacking the Capitol, the Congress, and the Constitution that they swore to protect, any current or former military members who may have participated have disgraced themselves and committed serious crimes against the People of the United States," said Gallego, a former Marine.

"Any such individuals should have the book thrown at them for violating their oaths and duty to the nation," he added.

Duckworth, a former Army National Guard officer and Purple Heart recipient who sheltered away from most other senators during the rampage, said that if former and current military members were a part of the mob that assaulted the Capitol, "it would be a disgraceful insult to the vast majority of servicemembers who honorably serve our Nation."

She called for accountability, stressing that "good order and discipline demands that the US Armed Forces root out extremists that infiltrate the military and threaten our national security."

NPS Closes Washington Monument Through Inauguration Week Due to Threats
The National Park Service is closing the Washington Monument through Jan. 24 due to "credible threats to visitors and park resources" in the wake of last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol by violent pro-Trump mobs.

Groups involved in the insurrection threaten to disrupt President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, according to a statement from the NPS announcing the suspension of public tours of the iconic monument.

The agency also warned that it may temporarily close roads, restrooms and parking areas throughout the National Mall and the surrounding grounds to "protect public safety and park resources."

Twitter, PayPal, and Venmo ban Ali Alexander, who organized DC's 'Stop the Steal' rally where Trump incited the Capitol riot
  • Ali Alexander, an organizer of the "Stop the Steal" rally that led to a riot in the Capitol building that resulted in the death of five people, has been banned from Twitter, Venmo, and PayPal.
  • As the mob stormed the building last week, he posted a Twitter video of himself saying "I don't disavow this."
Deleted tweets from Alexander reviewed by The Daily Beast show he frequently used the phrase "1776" as a threat directed to opponents of Trump's efforts to overturn the election results.

"If they do this, everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building," Alexander tweeted on December 30, according to the Daily Beast. "1776 is *always* an option."

At the January 6 rally, he led a chant of "victory or death!"

... "I think people should be rowdy, I think people should be messy," he also said in a video posted to Twitter, according to the Daily Beast. "I do believe that we own that U.S. Capitol. So I'm not apologizing for nothing."

"Conflating our legally, peaceful permitted events with the breach of the US Capitol building is defamatory and false," Alexander said in an Instagram story Sunday.

Trump would almost certainly have Secret Service protection even if he ends up in prison, former agents say
  • As President Donald Trump's legal problems pile up, former Secret Service agents and Obama administration officials are wondering how exactly agents would protect an ex-president who's serving in prison.
  • The expectation: Trump would likely have a Secret Service detail assigned to protecting him if he's in state or federal custody, according to former agency officials.
  • They're flabbergasted that it's a discussion topic that isn't all that far fetched as Trump's norm-shattering presidency is drawing to a close.
  • Secret Service agents wouldn't likely share a cell with a convicted ex-president, but they could be nearby in the same facility, experts said.
  • One big concern for some legal experts: Trump's loyal supporters might want to attack a prison and try to free the ex-president.
Even though Trump could try to pardon himself on the way out the door, he still faces plenty of legal problems after his term ends on January 20th. Criminal investigations loom at the state level, and it's also no sure thing that the federal courts won't toss out a Trump self-pardon absolving himself of any criminal repercussions from the US government he once led.

... Federal law entitles Trump and all other ex-presidents to Secret Service protections for life — although it didn't always. So unless Congress acts to change that, Trump or any other president who lands in jail would have some degree of security provided by the agency,
former federal law enforcement officials and legal experts told Insider.

While former presidents are entitled to Secret Service protection, they can opt to decline it — just as Nixon did after leaving office. Experts think Trump would want to keep the extra level of protection if he's indeed sentenced to any kind of prison time.

Congress could also act to strip protections for former presidents. They did so under the Clinton administration, when a law was passed that would afford ex-presidents 10 years of Secret Service security, rather than lifetime protections. That law was changed back during the Obama administration to give former presidents and their wives lifetime protection.

Likewise, there's nothing preventing Congress passing a law that strips an impeached and convicted president of his right to Secret Service protection, said Lawlor.

Trump is reportedly more upset about his club not hosting a golf tournament than he is about likely being impeached for a second time
  • President Donald Trump is reportedly more upset that one of his club's will no longer host a PGA golf tournament than he is about a second possible impeachment.
  • Trump is "gutted" by PGA's decision to pull the 2022 Championship from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported on Monday.
  • The reporting comes as House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection.
Losing privileges to host a professional golf tournament has apparently infuriated President Donald Trump more than other recent developments following the US Capitol riots he incited.

Trump is "angry" at impeachment, sources close to him told the Times, but he's more upset at the golf tournament cancelation. The president, an avid golf player who owns several clubs, has made 321 golfing trips over the past four years, according to a public database of his schedule. In the weeks since the November election, Trump has gone golfing at least 15 times.

A former White House national security official, and key impeachment witness said Trump attempted a 'self-coup' in Capitol siege
  • Fiona Hill, a former White House national security official, said President Donald Trump had attempted a "self-coup" by inciting his supporter base to storm the Capitol on January 6.
  • In an op-ed published Monday by Politico, Hill detailed why she considered the January 6 incident as a "coup," though there are some who disagree with her.
  • "Trump disguised what he was doing by operating in plain sight, talking openly about his intent," Hill wrote. "He normalized his actions so people would accept them. I've been studying authoritarian regimes for three decades, and I know the signs of a coup when I see them."
Fiona Hill, who served under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations and was a key witness in Trump's impeachment, wrote an op-ed Monday detailing what she believed was the president's role in the insurrection attempt on January 6.

"Since last Wednesday, people have been arguing what to call what happened at the US Capitol — was it a riot? An uprising? An insurrection?" Hill wrote in the op-ed published by Politico. "I've been public in calling it a coup, but others disagree."

She laid out points as to why she considered the events that transpired at the Capitol a coup, saying that the unprecedented storming of the Capitol was the "culmination of a series of actions and events taken or instigated by Trump so he could retain the presidency that together amount to an attempt at a self-coup."

... In the op-ed, Hill outlined what she called a "standard coup 'checklist'" that analysts use to assess whether certain incidents can be considered a coup, which includes the military, communications, the judiciary, government institutions, and the legislature.

"The truth is that for the past four years, Trump has been stress testing the US democratic system to see if anyone will rein him in," the former national security official wrote. "Consider how many times he stated that he 'deserved' two or even three terms in office because he was treated 'unfairly' or 'cheated' out of the first two years of his presidency by the 'Russia hoax,' the Mueller investigation and last year's impeachment trial."


"Throughout 2020, when his poll ratings faltered, the president laid the groundwork for what would become the Big Lie that he won the election," she added.

... She went on to ask congressional Republicans who supported Trump's challenges to the election results to "take personal responsibility for their actions in support of Trump's coup attempt" in order to "restore democratic norms and make sure this does not happen again."

"They must tell the truth to their constituents about the election and what the president tried to do in January 2021," Hill said. "They owe it to the people they represent as well as the country they serve."

2 of Trump's biggest banking partners are severing ties with the president in the wake of the Capitol siege
  • Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank will cut ties with President Donald Trump in the wake of his supporters storming the Capitol, Bloomberg reported Monday.
  • "We believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the president of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people," Signature said in a statement, citing the Bloomberg report.
  • The banks are among a number of companies — including Marriott, Blue Cross, and Shopify — that are nixing ties to the president in the wake of the Capitol siege.
"We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again," Signature continued.

... "Over the years the bank has become the biggest lender to the Trump Organization, the umbrella company for Trump's hotels, golf resorts, and other businesses," Business Insider's Tom Porter reported.

Trump owes Deutsche Bank more than $300 million, and Signature Bank is closing two personal accounts holding about $5.3 million, according to the Bloomberg report.

The New York-based lender has also done business with others tied to Trump, including daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

President Trump was too busy watching the Capitol building chaos unfold on TV to do anything about it, advisors told The Washington Post
  • President Donald Trump took several hours to respond to the insurrection at the Capitol building last Wednesday, despite numerous pleas from staff, advisers, and members of his own family.
  • A new report from The Washington Post says Trump was too busy watching the insurrection unfold on TV to do anything to quell it.
  • "He was hard to reach, and you know why? Because it was live TV. If it's TiVo, he just hits pause and takes the calls," one Trump adviser told The Post.
  • The president, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, was also reticent to do anything because "he saw these people as allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen."
Trump has long viewed his presidency through the lens of TV — some estimates say he watches up to five hours of cable news a day — so it's hardly surprising that he would opt to view the insurrection on-screen. He's also often used low television ratings as a means of insulting a person or organization.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reportedly snapped after the president told him 'antifa' led the Capitol insurrection: 'It's MAGA. I know. I was there.'
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a tense phone call with President Trump on Monday in which he told the president the election was "over."
  • After Trump said the Capitol insurrection was the work of antifa, McCarthy said, "It's MAGA. I know, I was there," according to Axios.
  • McCarthy, a longtime Trump supporter, went on to vote against election certification in Arizona following the Capitol siege.
  • The California representative is now arguing against impeachment, saying "it would only divide the country more."

Amazon joins Airbnb, Marriott, and other US corporate giants in cutting off donations to Republican lawmakers who opposed Biden's certification as president
  • Amazon has become the latest US corporate giant to cut off donations to GOP lawmakers who objected to certifying Democrat Joe Biden as president.
  • It joins Morgan Stanley, Dow, and AT&T in deciding to cut funding to specific Republicans.
  • Separately, JP Morgan, Citibank, Microsoft, and Facebook said they will temporarily pause all political donations to both Republicans and Democrats.
  • Last Wednesday, 147 Republican lawmakers voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election win.
  • On the same day, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. Five people died during the violent siege.
"Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to override the results of the US presidential election," a spokesperson told Reuters.

Trump's border wall construction created new weakpoints along the Mexico border, sources say, undermining his attempt to claim victory
  • President Trump is planning to declare his border wall a success this week — but campaigners say some areas are now less secure than before.
  • In rugged areas of eastern Arizona, contractors have yet to build a wall.
  • But they have blasted ravines to make way for it, and built roads to get their machines there, which have opened new routes for people.
  • One observer said that dozens of apprehensions are now being made where before it was too rugged to go.
President Donald Trump is headed to Texas on Tuesday to claim victory in his years-long attempt to construct a border wall with Mexico.

Trump plans to celebrate 450 miles of new wall — a far cry from fortifying the entire 1,900-mile border, but still a substantial figure.

However, according to an investigation by Insider, the construction work has in places achieved the opposite of what was intended, making the border less secure and sparking attempted crossings where once there were none.

... Another source, environmental campaigner Laiken Jordahl, told Insider: "The pure idiocy of this administration will likely end up facilitating new cross-border smuggling routes in places that were once so rugged nobody crossed."

Facebook tells staff to avoid wearing company-branded clothing in public for their own safety after it booted Trump off the platform
  • Facebook told its employees on Monday to avoid wearing clothing that suggests they work at the company as a safety precaution.
  • "Global security is encouraging everyone to avoid wearing or carrying Facebook-branded items at this time," an internal memo, seen by The Information, said.
  • The safety precaution comes after Facebook suspended President Donald Trump from the platform on Thursday.
  • It is also removing all posts that reference the "Stop the Steal" campaign in the wake of the riots at the Capitol.
Facebook told staff on Monday to avoid wearing company-branded clothing in public out of concern for their safety, after the social media platform suspended President Donald Trump's account.

"In light of recent events, and to err on the side of caution, global security is encouraging everyone to avoid wearing or carrying Facebook-branded items at this time," an internal memo sent Monday,
reviewed by The Information, said.

In the wake of the US Capitol siege, Facebook banned Trump for at least two weeks and began removing all posts referencing the "Stop the Steal" campaign, which falsely claims the Democrats stole the election.

The company's security team posted the memo in an internal workplace board that can be accessed by more than 56,600 employees, The Information reported.

Trump supporters planned a protest in front of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters after the firm banned the president. It was a total bust.
  • Pro-Trump protesters were scheduled to demonstrate in front of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters on Monday morning after the company banned the president from its platform.
  • City police set up a barricade on the street outside the building, and organizers reportedly used the far-right online community TheDonald to plan the demonstration.
  • But local outlets report that the protest was a bust — at most, two protesters showed up, per one report.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made the decision to permanently suspend Trump from the platform on Friday based on the president's response to the siege on the US Capitol carried out by far-right rioters.
Dozens of San Francisco police officers were called in for security. They erected a barricade outside of the Twitter building near the city's downtown area to prepare for what was anticipated to be a major demonstration in defense of the president. The Chronicle reported that supporters organized the protest on TheDonald, a far-right website that was once a Reddit forum until the company banned it for hate speech violations.

But the protest was a total bust — some outlets, like SF Gate, reported pro-Trump demonstrators to be nowhere in sight, while others reported only some speaking out against Dorsey's crackdown on the president. ... There were counter-protestors as well, like one man who brandished a sign reading "Impeach! Remove! Today!" Another held a sign reading "counter Trump's coup attempts."

Trump has been told he could face massive damages for the Capitol riot even if he avoids criminal charges, with one advisor reportedly telling him: 'Think OJ'
  • President Donald Trump was told by an advisor to "think OJ" over the legal issues he could face over the Capitol riot last week, ABC News reported.
  • The advisor was referring to OJ Simpson, the former NFL star who was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife but was sued for millions of dollars in civil lawsuits.
  • Trump had told his supporters to "fight like hell" moments before they stormed the Capitol around 2 p.m. last Wednesday.
  • Dozens of rioters have been arrested and charged since the attack, though the Justice Department said on Friday it does not expect to charge Trump for inciting the riot.
Since the riot, Trump's aides and legal counsel have tried to explain to the president that he could be in deep legal trouble for his comments.

According to ABC News, the president has been told that he could face civil damages, with one advisor telling him: "Think OJ."

The advisor was referring to the case of OJ Simpson, the former NFL star who was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1994, but who was later sued in civil court and had to pay $35 million in damages.

... According to ABC News, Trump had grown angry over his aides' warnings of his potential legal charges for the Capitol riot, and that his considerations for a pardon for him and his associates had been put "on hold."

... Cipollone and former US Attorney General Bill Barr have told Trump in recent weeks that he should not pardon himself, CNN reported Monday.

Shortly before Barr resigned on December 14, he had alerted Trump to a 1974 Justice Department memo that says any self-pardon by the president would be blocked, CNN said.

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.