March 1, 2017

Welcome to the Trump Journal! After I was inspired by Elizabeth Drew’s Washington Journal, which chronicled Richard Nixon’s fall from power as it happened, I decided to record the daily doings of Trump as more and more information about Russia unfolded. I also just need an outlet for all the pent-up angst I feel about this entire situation. I have been writing for about a week and a half, and I will post the backlog of posts in the coming days. Stay tuned!

What is that quote about the Ides of March? Honestly, I don’t even know what the ides of March are…I just did a quick Google, and as a history major, I should be totally ashamed. Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, thus the day lives on in infamy. (I think that’s a bastardization of an FDR quote, too.)

Anyways, after an initially slow day, this evening has been quite interesting regarding Russia and good old Donald. But before I chat about the latest titillating reveals, I first would like to discuss Trump’s first address to Congress last night.

According to many sources, Trump was “presidential” last night. Van Jones, one of Trump’s sharpest critics at CNN and the man who said that Trump’s win was due to a “white lash”, said that Trump became the President of the United States when he honored the widow of the fallen SEAL. I watched the first few minutes of the speech, but because my automatic reaction to Trump is first nausea, followed by dry heaving, I prefer not to listen to his voice that sounds oddly slithery but dry at the same time. (I have a lot of pent-up angst towards the man). As I watched people parade in, the camera stayed on Paul Ryan and Mike Pence for the opener. I couldn’t help thinking how smug and horrible they both looked. (I remember wondering how Paul Ryan was standing up right because he had allegedly lost his spine.) When Trump finally did enter and begin his speech, Ryan and Pence stood up twice during his opening to give him a round of applause. Honestly, the fact that he wished farewell to Black History Month (let’s be real, if Trump/President Bannon had his say, Black History Month would be gone), condemned the attacks on Jewish cemeteries, and mourned the death of an Indian engineer due to a hate crime. It all felt oddly hollow, and an obvious ploy to sound presidential. Yet, I silently commended him for it, and as I write this, I realize it’s a low, low bar Trump has set if that brings me an iota of relief. Anyway, I turned off my computer at that point and went downstairs to eat a cookie and share a cup of tea with my neighor-who-is-also-my-best-friend.

Much of the news today praised Trump for being presidential, yet many outlets also wondered when the façade would crack and old Trump would come peeping out of the orange colored plaster. Frankly, he tried to be presidential during the campaign, succeeded for about a week and a half to two weeks, and then came roaring back onto the scene with a swift Tweet and some scandal. Therefore, I won’t be surprised in 15 minutes, or even twenty-six hours, or maybe even two weeks, if Trump jumps out of his sheep’s clothing. (I can’t even say he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing because that’s an insult to wolves, who are very likely going to be kicked off the Endangered Species list if the Republicans have anything to do with it. I’m also a bit of a wolf fanatic, so I wouldn’t want to tarnish their good name.)

And then just now (I’m writing this around midnight), I did my daily routine of perusing Vox, CNN, NY Times, and others because I like to gasp at the latest fresh horror, and lo and behold, CNN’s headline blared: “SESSIONS DIDN’T DISCLOSE MEETINGS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR.”

Russia back at it again!

According to the report first revealed by The Washington Post, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of Trump’s more controversial picks mostly because Coretta Scott King wrote a letter highlighting his troubling racism, “met twice last year with the top Russian diplomat in Washington whose interactions with former Trump national security advisor Mike Flynn led to Flynn’s firing.” According to the Washington Post, “One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.” When Sessions spoke with the ambassador in June and September, he was a senior member in the Armed Services Committee and a top foreign policy advisor to Trump, and Sessions stumped for Trump beginning in February 2016. (Like my rhyming there?) And he did not disclose those contacts during his confirmation hearing, replying to Al Franken that “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

As RuPaul would say, you in danger, girl.

So, what does all of this mean? Republicans and Democrats have called for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into Trump’s Russia ties. However, this not only would force Jeff Sessions to recuse himself, but it will drag him into the investigation (if the Republicans start doing their jobs in the House and Senate).

After The Washington Post published that article, Sessions released a statement that called the Post’s allegations false.

And the best came from an article in The New York Times: apparently Obama’s aides “scrambled to spread information about Russia’s efforts to undermine the presidential election…Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.” In other words, Obama and company gave a big middle finger to Trump as he made his triumphant exit. I imagine Obama pirouetting out of the Oval Office, tossing intelligence reports in his wake like Salt Bae. (I refuse to put a Salt Bae gif into my precious blog post).

If the pattern continues, we should have another nice little bombshell two weeks from tonight. (The first being The New York Times’s article about Trump’s senior advisors chatting frequently with Russia). Folks, I am currently making mass batches of popcorn because the show is just getting started.

Sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/politics/jeff-sessions-russian-ambassador-meetings/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/us/politics/obama-trump-russia-election-hacking.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/politics/van-jones-trump-congress-speech-became-the-president-in-that-moment-cnntv/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.352a4356e695

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/10/read-the-letter-coretta-scott-king-wrote-opposing-sessionss-1986-federal-nomination/?utm_term=.92e66e5b12fe

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