The Weekly List

The Weekly List

By Amy Siskind
The Weekly List is a podcast hosted by Amy Siskind, author of The List. It supplements the popular Weekly List on our website, www.theweeklylist.org, which tracks the ever changing new normals of American politics. The podcast gives greater context to the "not normal" news items from the previous week, and will highlight a few stories and changing norms from the Trump regime that you may have missed.
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Week 144 - Bracing for a Downturn
This week Trump’s beloved economy faltered under  pressure from his trade war with China, a ballooning U.S. budget  deficit, and other global factors. An anxious Trump, realizing a strong  economy is essential to his re-election, lashed out at the Federal  Reserve, while confiding in allies his plan to blame any downturn on Fed  Chair Jerome Powell. Meanwhile his shrinking inner-circle of sycophants  assured him forecasts were wrong. Trump held two rallies this week, one at a Shell  Chemical plant outside Pittsburgh, where later it was revealed union  employees were mandated to attend — “No scan, no pay” —  and warned not  to protest. At a second rally in New Hampshire, Trump rambled, veering  off script and repeating points he made earlier in the speech. This week the concerns of an uprising and  mainstreaming of white nationalism continued, while Trump regime  officials continued to make blatantly racist and xenophobic statements,  and defend cruel and inhumane treatment of people of color. The  Republican Party remained silent, instead seeking to downplay white  nationalism and blame Democrats. Trump urged his authoritarian ally in  Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deny entry for two Muslim  members of Congress — an unprecedented thwart of democracy. Protests  heated up in Russia and Hong Kong.
56:44
August 19, 2019
Week 143 - Mainstream White Supremacy
This week has the most incidents of violence,  attempted violence, and acts of hate inspired by Trump and his rhetoric  since I started keeping track. The week started with two deadly mass  shootings — one directly linked to the language used by Trump and Fox  News — and rather invoking the role of consoler, Trump instead further  stoked division and hate. What many may have missed in Week 143 is the  amount of close calls by other white men — seemingly activated by  Trump’s rhetoric and gaslighting on white supremacy and hate — that  could have led to even more bloodshed. Or the remnants of racism and  xenophobia that Trump has brought into the mainstream with his actions  and words. The Republican Party saw further defections of  House members retiring in 2020, but still lawmakers refused, with few  exceptions, to condemn Trump’s mishandling of the mass shootings, his  continuing divisiveness and hate, or his blocking of the FBI and other  agencies’ attempts to confront domestic terrorism carried out by white  supremacists. This week once again there was a bevy of resignations from  key roles, as power continues to consolidate into the hands of Trump  and his band of sycophants. A mass raid in Mississippi, the largest in  U.S. history, produced images of children crying as their parents were  taken by ICE agents from places of work. Again, not a peep from the  Republican Party. This week House Democrats quietly escalated what  appears to be the start of a stealth impeachment inquiry, suing to have  former White House counsel Don McGahn appear for public testimony.  While Congress is away for six weeks — a noticeable hiatus given Trump’s  now unfettered control of the narrative and acting seemingly  unchallenged — court cases filed by House panels continued to move  forward. The week closed with the shocking revelation  that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell, allegedly by  suicide, the day after court documents were unsealed, revealing other  powerful men involved in his ring of sex trafficking and rape of girls.  Conspiracy theories, some fanned by Russian-backed bots, exploded  shortly after, seeking to distract from the strange occurrence of  Epstein’s death. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-143/
1:00:05
August 12, 2019
Week 142 - Moscow Mitch
This week started with Trump’s attacks on Black  leader House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, whose panel has  several ongoing investigations targeting Trump and his family. Trump  used dehumanizing language like “rats” and “infest” to disparage  Cummings’ home district of Baltimore, then broadened his attack during  the week to other prominent Black men including Al Sharpton, who he  called a “con man” and CNN host Don Lemon who he called “dumb.” Trump  refused to back off, escalating his racist attacks — gaslighting the  country that he is not the racist, but Cummings is — as news of  hate-based shootings and instances of overt racism spread in an anxious  and increasingly divided country. A new label for Senate Majority Leader Mitch  McConnell — Moscow Mitch — struck a nerve with the leader, and as the  media and Democrats questioned his unwillingness to secure the country’s  election, his other ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Headwinds for  impeachment continued post Mueller’s testimony as over half the House  Democrats formally called for the start of an impeachment inquiry, while  Trump continued to deny Russia interference happened or is happening  now. Trump pushed out the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats,  one of the few remaining voices who stood up to Trump on foreign policy,  and perhaps the last non-partisan stop-gap to future Russia  interference. The future of the Republican Party came into  question this week, as Rep. Will Hurd, the only Black American member of  the House for the GOP, became the ninth Republican to say he will not  seek re-election in 2020. Among the nine are also two of the 13 GOP  women, including Rep. Susan Brooks, who was meant to recruit more women  to run. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-142/
58:37
August 5, 2019
Week 141 - Robert Mueller Testifies
This week Robert Mueller testified before the  House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about his 448 page report.  The testimony was the first glimpse many Americans had of its findings,  especially Mueller’s stark warnings on Russia’s past and ongoing  interference, and Trump’s and other regime members’ financial and other  conflicts. While the media quibbled over whether Mueller was  made-for-television articulate, the House Judiciary Committee took the  first steps to effectively start an impeachment investigation, as over  100 House members have now come out in favor of impeachment. Despite  testimony by Mueller and FBI director Christopher Wray, as well as a  bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee sounding alarms about Russia’s  ongoing efforts at election interference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch  McConnell continued to halt efforts by Congress to counter Russian  meddling. Troubling signs of eroding norms and Trump  seizing power at an alarming rate continued. Trump ramped up attacks on  the media, calling them “fake” and “the enemy of the people,” and saying  the press has lost all credibility. Trump continued his diatribe on the  Federal Reserve and targeted U.S. companies with his ire. A disturbing  Supreme Court ruling allowed Trump to take funds from the Pentagon to  build his wall, while he continued to push to end asylum and ramp up  rhetoric on deportation — further fanning the flames of “us” versus  “them” in America. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-141/
58:13
July 29, 2019
Week 140 - Trump Attacks the Squad
This week, in a shocking display of racism,  Trump tweeted that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the  countries they came from. Amid Republican silence, rather than backing  off, Trump ramped up his attacks, leading to a mid-week rally where his  supporters chanted “send them back.” At first Trump seemed to distance  himself from his supporters’ chants, but the next day doubled-down,  calling the supporters “incredible patriots,” while escalating his  attacks on the congresswomen further. Still, by week’s end, no  Republicans publicly criticized Trump, rather backing him or seeking to  redirect his racist comments to a discussion of political ideology. This week as the House voted to condemn Trump’s  racist tweet, and to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce  Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on the citizenship  question — yet both votes were symbolic gestures, having no real impact.  Questions were raised by members of Congress about Barr’s involvement  with dismissing charges against the police officer who allegedly  strangled Eric Garner to death, and in ending the Southern District of  New York’s investigation into campaign finance violations over  hush-money payments to silence two women. The House also entertained an  impeachment resolution from Rep. Al Green, which 95 House Democrats  voted to advance — the highest level of support so far — as Robert  Mueller prepares to testify next week. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-140/
1:01:46
July 22, 2019
Week 139 - Consolidation of Power
This is the longest week so far, and it felt  that way. The chaos of our lives has obfuscated the damage and extremes  under Trump, as each week blurs into the next week’s crises and  unprecedented actions. This week’s turmoil centered on Jeffrey Epstein’s  arrest and the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the 13th  Cabinet member to depart the regime — next week there will certainly be  new plot lines to engage and exhaust the American people. This week the Democrats seemed to take a step  back, amid party infighting. Notably, the Trump regime continues to  successfully stonewall all the House efforts at accountability, and  seemingly Democratic leadership is taking a slight uptick in Trump  popularity as a rationale to back off in tone, while in actuality, the  lack of action by the Democrats has normalized the previously  unthinkable of accepting foreign help and obstructing justice. While the  country eagerly awaited Robert Mueller’s testimony on July 17, that too  evaporated and became a moving target. Trump careened from one rage to another this  week, but notably, he is largely getting his way. When things go against  him, he finds new ways to re-center and seize the narrative. His  central message of immigration continues to be front and center and Fox  News seized on the theme of “these are not our children” to dull the  news on conditions at detention centers, as deportation raids were set  to start. Trump continued to repeat his themes that the media is “the  enemy of the people,” that he will serve more than two terms, and that  Democrats are enabling millions of “illegal aliens” to vote — all  setting the stage for an unpredictable 2020 election. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-139/
1:03:49
July 15, 2019
Week 138 - 2020 Census Citizenship Question
This week, two years after visiting France for  Bastille Day and admiring its military display, Trump hosted a “Salute  to America” on July Fourth, replete with an expansive array of military  hardware and troops. The scenes of tanks rolling into the nation’s  capital drew comparisons to other authoritarian regimes who flaunt their  military might through public displays, including North Korea, where  Trump paid a surprise visit as the week began. This week, Trump thumbed his nose at the Supreme  Court’s decision in Week 137 not to allow a citizenship question on the  2020 Census. The Justice and Commerce Departments, after stating the  questionnaire was being printed without the citizenship question,  completely reversed themselves 24 hours later following a single tweet  by Trump. By weeks’ end, the DOJ said it would, at Trump’s behest, try  to put forth a new argument in court justifying the question, while  Trump mused he had four or fives options to get his way. Notably, Trump  has now challenged the authority of both the legislative and judicial  branches — including the nation’s highest court — to counter his  unilateral power. And the Justice Department, under the leadership of  Attorney General William Barr has been rendered a tool to help his  efforts. Reports by the Department of Homeland Security  Inspector General revealed dire conditions at immigrant detention  facilities at the border. Trump defended the facilities and Border  Patrol agents, as protests and uproar from Democrats continued.  Republicans remained silent. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-138/
56:11
July 8, 2019
Week 137 - Detention Center Realities
This week as Trump backed off mass deportations,  public outcry grew over conditions at detention centers for migrant  children. Reminiscent of Theresienstadt Ghetto in the Nazi era, the  Trump regime offered limited tours of detention centers to the  media — viewings that contradicted interviews of immigration lawyers and  advocates who described first-hand the inhumane conditions and  traumatized children. Much of the country was moved and heartbroken over  a photo of a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned on the bank of the Rio Grande trying to cross to the U.S. This week Trump headed to the G-20 summit in  Osaka, Japan, ahead of which he attacked Japan, China, and European  countries. While there, he cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin  and reveled in joking about 2016 election interference and attacking  the free press. Trump had a second private meeting with Saudi Arabia  Crown Prince MBS despite United Nations findings of his likely  involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Supreme Court made two major decisions on  gerrymandering and a Census citizenship question, and seemed to signal a  shift towards revisiting controversial issues with the now five  conservative justices. Robert Mueller agreed to testify before two House  committees on July 17, as the Trump regime continued to stonewall all  congressional investigations. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-137/
1:01:29
July 1, 2019
Week 136 - An Almost War with Iran
This week Trump manufactured two major story  lines: an almost war with Iran, and mass roundups and deportations of  “millions” of immigrants. The two stories occupied much of the national  attention, while Trump continued to stonewall Congressional attempts at  oversight. Authoritarian expert Masha Gessen wrote about  “The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps,” as a  national discussion over conditions at border facilities played out.  Journalists, who have been given no access to facilities, reported  through interviews on the alarming treatment of migrant children,  including overcrowding, illness, and lack of basic necessities. Trump came close to starting a war with Iran on  Thursday, and reportedly was prepared and close to launch a missile  attack. Of concern, Trump continued to act unilaterally and not seek  Congressional approval — notably Speaker Pelosi said Friday she was not  informed of Trump’s planned attack, despite being second in line for the  White House. Meanwhile, pressure to start an impeachment inquiry grew  as 76 House members called for impeachment as public opinion, largely  among Democrats, is shifting in favor of it. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-136/
1:07:00
June 24, 2019
Week 135 - No Protection for the 2020 Election
This week in an interview with ABC News, Trump  suggested he would take damaging information from foreign governments on  political adversaries without reporting it to the FBI, setting off  alarm bells. The Chair of the Federal Elections Commissions took the  unusual step of issuing a public statement reminding campaigns that  taking foreign assistance is illegal. Nonetheless, Trump allies largely  defended his statement, and continued to block measures to protect the  2020 election. As this played out on a chaotic Thursday, press  secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the  original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special  Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne  Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an  unprecedented recommendation. Trump sparred with the media over reporting on  his supposed trade deal with Mexico, while conditions at the southern  border continued to deteriorate. Notably, Trump has been linking  economic and national security in his recent actions, allowing him to  invoke Cold War era acts and bypass Congressional approval. The House  voted on a resolution opening the door to contempt of Congress charges  for members of the regime. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-135/
1:01:34
June 17, 2019
Week 134 - Trump's Trip to London
This week Trump traveled to the U.K., where he  was met with mass protests which he denied existed, then to his property  in Ireland en route to the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremony in  Normandy, where he attacked Robert Mueller and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in  an interview. In London, Trump and his children acted more as if a royal  family than a head of state, and continued to intertwine their business  dealings and the presidency. Democrats in the House continue to clash over  starting impeachment proceedings, as the Trump regime continued its  stonewalling Congress for both witnesses and documentation related to  the Mueller probe, the 2020 census citizenship question, and even the  environment. This week was notable for the escalation of  broad-based attacks on women’s rights and protections, as an actress in  “The Handmaid’s Tale” bemoaned how quickly the country is mirroring the  fictional dystopian nation of Gilead. Conditions for migrants at the  border worsened, with more deaths and army and oil-field worker  facilities being requisitioned to house migrant children. Read the full list here:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-134/
1:03:59
June 10, 2019
Week 133 - Robert Mueller's Resignation
This week, special counsel Robert Mueller addressed the nation for the first time since the start of his investigation. Notably, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” contradicting Attorney General William Barr’s statements, and Trump’s repeated proclamations of “no obstruction.” Mueller resigned and closed the special counsel office, and seemed to pass the ball to Congress on whether to pursue charges against Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demurred, but pressure built this week after Mueller’s appearance with 55 members of Congress backing an impeachment inquiry, up from 31 last week, including 13 of the 24 House Judiciary Committee members. Trump exploded after Mueller’s appearance, seeking to discredit him and the investigation. Later, he shifted the narrative by starting a trade war with Mexico, invoking a decades old act to empower himself to impose tariffs over a so-called “national emergency” at our southern border. As the week came to a close, Trump’s Department of Justice thumbed its nose at a court order to produce documents related to Michael Flynn. The regime has now usurped both the legislative and judicial branch — seizing and consolidating power with increasingly authoritarian actions. Adding to the authoritarian feel were the continued attacks on the rights of marginalized communities and women, the stripping of protections for the environment, and a shocking discovery this week related to the 2020 census citizenship question. And yet, there has been no accountability or consequences for Trump, his family, and the remaining members of the regime. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-133/
1:06:10
June 3, 2019
Week 132 - Support for Impeachment
This week the first Republican, Rep. Justin  Amash, came out for impeaching Trump. While Trump allies sought to  attack and punish Amash to avoid further defections, momentum grew among  the House Democratic caucus for impeachment hearings. Feeling the  pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended staying focused on policy, but  directly attacked Trump for a “cover-up,” leading Trump to storm out of a  scheduled meeting with Democratic leaders, saying he refused to work  with them until they stop investigating him. The two leaders publicly  battled, as altered videos of Pelosi appeared online, a redux of false  attacks on Hillary Clinton’s mental acumen used in 2016. In authoritarian-type moves, Trump granted his  attorney general alarming powers to investigate the investigators. Trump  bypassed Congress, invoking a national emergency again to sell weapons  to Saudi Arabia, and “joked” about serving up to five terms in office.  Trump continued to stonewall House oversight as Trump prevented Don  McGahn from testifying, and appealed rulings thwarting his efforts to  block the release of financial documents from Mazars USA and Deutsche  Bank. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-132/
1:05:16
May 28, 2019
Week 131 - Attacks on Abortion Rights
This week, in a letter, White House counsel Pat  Cipollone issued a blanket refusal of records and testimony from Trump  and dozens of current and former White House staff, saying Trump did not  recognize Congress as a law enforcement body with the legitimate  purpose to investigate. While the letter sent shock waves, Congress’s  reaction was decidedly muted as House Democratic leaders sought to avoid  impeachment, as other deadlines passed without cooperation. This week Trump welcomed another far-right  authoritarian to the White House, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban,  whom Trump likened to a “twin brother.” Tensions escalated with Iran,  and the regime issued conflicting statements and stances, and  increasingly stood alone. More troubling stories about atrocities being  committed and contemplated against migrants surfaced, including a  planned operational blitz to round up 10,000 migrants in 10 U.S. cities.  Trump rolled out a new immigration plan, emphasizing skills over family  ties, in an uncharacteristically low-energy Rose Garden speech that was  met with a cool reception. Attacks on abortion rights were front and  center of the national dialogue as Alabama passed the country’s most  restrictive ban, setting up a possible challenge for Roe v. Wade. Other  states are set to follow. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-131/
58:50
May 20, 2019
Week 130 - Constitutional Crisis
This week marked a subtle shift in House  Democrats’ position on impeachment, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and  her committee chairs cited a “constitutional crisis,” and argued Trump  was “goading” them and giving them no choice with his continued  stonewalling. The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney  General William Barr in contempt of Congress, and threatened the same  for former White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump said he would block  special counsel Robert Mueller from testifying, and later in the week  backed off. Notably, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee  served the first subpoena on a member of Trump’s family, Donald Trump  Jr. There was more reporting on Trump’s irreverence  around norms and laws, including his attempts to have McGahn publicly  state he did not believe Trump obstructed justice, and dispatching  personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to spur investigations likely  to help his re-election. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-130/
1:01:29
May 13, 2019
Episode 47 - Leaked Mueller Letter to Attorney General William Barr
This week a leaked letter sent from special  counsel Robert Mueller to Attorney General William Barr days after Barr  released his four-page “summary” indicated Mueller did not believe that  Barr captured the “context, nature, and substance” of his work.  Mueller’s letter, leaked in part to the Post  the day before Barr was set to testify before the Senate, shook the  country and set off a firestorm, including allegations Barr had lied in  previous Congressional testimony. His demeanor at his Senate testimony  did little to mollify concern that Barr had acted in concert with  Trump’s team to shape the narrative ahead of the redacted report’s  release, and was continuing to protect Trump from its contents and  repercussions. House Democrats sounded the alarms and escalated  matters as Trump, his family, and regime all continued to stonewall  Congressional demands, including a lawsuit to block Deutsche Bank from  cooperating with House subpoenas and Barr being a no-show for House  testimony. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wore the gravity of the situation  in her demeanor at her weekly press conference, admitting she had  trouble sleeping after watching the top law enforcement officer’s  performance. Pelosi, who has been committed to avoiding impeachment, was  reported to be losing patience. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-129/
1:04:05
May 6, 2019
Week 128 - The Redacted Mueller Report
This week Trump’s White House refused all requests by House Democrats  to interview current or former members of the regime, or to turn over  records, including those requested by subpoena. The NYT  Editorial Board noted Trump “is effectively declaring lawmakers  powerless over him. This, warn the experts, puts the nation in uncharted  territory and threatens to erode its democratic foundations.” With  Congress out of town for a second holiday week, the feeling of Trump’s  omnipotence was all the more palpable. This week while the country grappled with the contents of the  redacted Mueller report, Trump and his allies invoked a failed “coup”  and threatened to investigate the investigator. They also sought to  downplay Russian interference and its impact in 2016 — with Jared  Kushner dismissing Russian efforts as “some Facebook ads.” Alarming  reporting indicated Trump is refusing to work to safeguard the 2020  election, nor would his campaign pledge not to take stolen information  again, even as FBI director Christopher Wray said Moscow’s interference  in the past has been a “dress rehearsal” for the 2020 presidential  contest. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-128/
1:09:03
April 29, 2019
Week 127 - The Mueller Report
This week Attorney General William Barr publicly  released a redacted version of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s  report, almost a month after he delivered it to Barr. The redacted  report differed substantially from Barr’s March 24 letter, as well as  from statements delivered by Barr at a press conference hours before the  report’s release — casting Barr more as a defense attorney for Trump  than an attorney general. Concerns grew further when it was revealed  Trump’s White House attorneys had previewed the report in consultation  with the Justice Department days earlier. On Thursday, as the redacted report was  released, Trump, who had expressed no interest in reading the report,  seemed confident he had turned the corner and was in the clear. As the  press and public finally dug into the contents of the redacted report  and statements by current and former White House official witnesses, by  Friday, Trump shifted back to anger and attack mode, starting by  retaliating against former White House counsel Don McGahn. After reading  the report, Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first 2020 contender to  call for impeachment hearings. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-127/
1:06:34
April 22, 2019
Week 126 - Stephen Miller: Immigration Czar
This week, Trump’s frustration with migrants coming to the southern  border boiled over, as he purged the Department of Homeland Security,  and empowered immigrant hardliner Stephen Miller to be in charge of the  regime’s immigration policy. As the week ended, 12 of the 30 senior  roles at DHS were either vacant or filled with “acting” leaders.  Departures of senior officials at the cabinet level and below are at  record levels. Meanwhile, Trump continues to consolidate power, act  unilaterally, and welcome the “flexibility” of using “acting” directors  whom he can hire and fire at will — without needing the oversight of the  Senate to confirm them. Troubling reporting this week indicated Trump instructed his incoming  Secretary of DHS to break the law, assuring him he would be pardoned.  Reporting also indicated Trump and Miller had contemplated releasing  migrant detainees into sanctuary cities as a means to punish political  enemies. When confronted with the story, the White House pushed back,  only to have Trump say indeed that was his plan. Trump also looked for  ways to increasingly use military troops at the border, including in  ways that violate the law. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-126/
1:02:31
April 15, 2019
Week 125 - Waiting on the Mueller Report
This week, two weeks after Mueller had sent his final report to  Attorney General William Barr, members of the special counsel  anonymously broke their silence, indicating to the Times and the Post  that their findings were more troubling than Barr’s letter had  indicated. Meanwhile Trump changed his position on public release of the  report, as he and his surrogates went into attack mode against the  Democrats and Mueller’s team. Republicans rebuked Trump this week, failing to stand with him on his  threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border and to come up with an  alternative to Obamacare ahead of the 2020 election. The House joined  the Senate, voting to end U.S. involvement in Yemen, marking the first  time both chambers of Congress have voted to invoke the war-powers  resolution to end U.S. military engagement in a foreign conflict. Read the full list:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-125/
56:07
April 8, 2019
Week 124 - William Barr's Letter on the Mueller Report
This week was dominated by news of the Mueller report, which was  delivered to Attorney General William Barr last Friday, but has yet to  be given to Congress or the American people. On Sunday, AG Barr sent a  four-page letter to Congress, which he characterized as a “summary” of  the Mueller report, but later in the week, in a second letter, wrote it  “did not purport to be, an exhaustive recounting of the Special  Counsel’s investigation or report” which was revealed to be nearly 400  pages long. Barr’s Sunday letter said that Mueller did not find evidence Trump or  his campaign knowingly colluded with Russia, but on obstruction of  justice charges, Mueller did not render an opinion. Barr and deputy  attorney general Rod Rosenstein however concluded not to proceed with  criminal charges, and Trump instantly weaponized the information to  falsely claim he was fully exonerated, and pivot to attacking Democrats  and the media, with the help of his allies. The media was caught on its  heels, as some of the initial reporting incorrectly cited the Mueller  report, including the front page of Monday’s New York Times.  Trump aides who had been jailed or investigated by Mueller’s team were  given media opportunities to declare themselves as victims of an  overaggressive prosecutor. By Friday, bowing to public pressure, Barr in  a second letter said he would release a redacted version of the Mueller  report by mid-April or sooner. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-124/
1:06:40
April 1, 2019
Week 123 - Trump's Conspiracy Theory Tweets
This week started with maniacal tweeting by Trump: more than 50 tweets  over the weekend on a variety of unrelated topics, including multiple  retweets of conspiracy theorists. The week’s news was overshadowed by  Trump’s daily attacks against deceased Senator John McCain and George  Conway, husband of senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. The  off-kilter — even by his standards — behavior by Trump seemed  foreboding, and sure enough, on Friday, Mueller’s final report was  delivered to Attorney General William Barr. Among the subjects of his ire on Twitter this week, Trump continued  to focus on alleged and unsubstantiated bias of social media companies,  as his ally Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit  against Twitter and three Twitter accounts. Congressional probes moved  ahead, including new revelations that Jared Kushner used WhatsApp to  communicate on official White House business, including with foreign  officials, and in possible violations of the Presidential Records  Act — as did Ivanka Trump for White House business with her use of a  personal email account. Meanwhile the White House refused to cooperate  with Congressional document requests, as Rep. Elijah Cummings accused  them of “stonewalling.” Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-123/
50:30
March 25, 2019
Week 122 - Trump's National Emergency
Trump issued his first veto after the House and Senate voted to block  his emergency declaration. The veto followed Trump’s declaration of a  national emergency after Congress refused to fund his wall, which was  unprecedented. Taken together, Trump irreverently thumbed his nose at  the separations of power. Trump also continued his record pace of appointments to the judicial  branch, this week with the aid of newly installed ally Sen. Lindsey  Graham as Judiciary Committee Chair. Graham discarded a century old norm  of allowing in-state senators to submit a “blue slip” to oppose  nominations, allowing Trump to appoint two judges to the 9th Circuit  Court. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-122/
1:01:49
March 18, 2019
Week 121 - Fox News: State TV?
This week a bombshell exposé by Jane Mayer on the ties between Trump and Fox News sparked questions of whether America had its first version of state TV. The piece had broad fallout, and sparked a renewed conversation on the line between journalism and propaganda. This week Democrats ramped up investigations, while Trump hit back and escalated his pace of daily lies and misleading statements. With Congressional hearings finally underway, Trump and his regime continued a pattern of irreverent corruption and kleptocracy, as well as continued efforts to limit transparency and hide information. A shocking story by an NBC affiliate revealed U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has been keeping a database of journalists and other activists involved at the Southern border, the second list by the Trump regime targeting U.S. journalists that has been uncovered since Trump came into power. The regime also reportedly revoked an award from a journalist who had been critical of Trump on social media. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-121/
57:33
March 11, 2019
Week 120 - Michael Cohen's Testimony
This week the country was riveted by the public testimony of Michael  Cohen, Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer, before the House Oversight  Committee — the first public testimony in the new Democrat-controlled  Congress. Cohen’s testimony overwhelmed the spectacle of Trump’s second  summit with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un in Hanoi — which produced  no concrete results, despite a pre-planned joint signing ceremony.  Cohen, who said he is now in “constant contact” with federal  prosecutors, gave seven hours of testimony, offering an insider’s  perspective and many new details which, by week’s end, were already  leading Congressional investigators to call more witnesses and open new  areas of inquiry. As Cohen was testifying and Trump meeting with Kim, Jared Kushner met  with the Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince MBS, then Turkish President  Recep Erdogan. Just as Kushner stayed silent during his Saudi visit on  the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Trump sided with another dictator, saying  he believed Kim played no part of the brutal torture and death of  American college student Otto Warmbier, before trying to reverse himself  the next day. During Kushner’s trip, the Times reported Trump  had ordered officials to grant his son-in-law top-secret security  clearance, overruling concerns by U.S. intelligence and former White  House Counsel Don McGahn. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-120/
1:00:01
March 4, 2019
Week 119 - The Continuing Rise of White Nationalism
This week the FBI thwarted a major domestic terrorism plot by a white  nationalist serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, who had  called for the establishment of a “white homeland.” His target list  included Democratic politicians and cable-TV hosts, almost all of whom  were subjects of Trump’s public ire on Twitter or in words. Nonetheless,  Trump continued his attacks on the media, calling them the “enemy of  the people,” and repeatedly referring to them as “fake news.” When asked  if his rhetoric played a role, Trump responded, “No, I don’t. I think  my language is very nice.” Trump has also started in recent weeks to  attack fact-checkers as fake news. Trump ally Roger Stone found himself hauled back into court this week  for posting an image of a federal judge next to a crosshairs, while  other Trump supporters used words like “civil war” and “coup” on-air as  the country waited for Mueller’s findings. In conjunction with his new  book, former FBI director Andrew McCabe spoke to media outlets about  F.B.I. investigations into Trump, the prospect of invoking the 25th  Amendment, and concern that Trump is a Russian asset. In response, Trump  spent the week attacking his old, familiar target. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-119/
1:01:47
February 25, 2019
Week 118 - Paul Manafort's Mueller Probe Troubles
This was a jarring week as Trump declared a national emergency after  Congress refused to fund his wall — perhaps his most brazen  authoritarian act yet. Trump’s predilection not to govern, but rather  rule by an unprecedented executive fiat, set off alarm bells for  Constitutional separation of powers, as Trump departed early Friday for a  weekend of golf at Mar-a-Lago. This week the Mueller probe made news as reporting indicated Trump’s  former campaign chair Paul Manafort discussed a peace plan for Ukraine  and handed off internal polling data in a secretive meeting to a  business associate with ties to Russian intelligence, and a search  warrant revealed Roger Stone was in direct contact with WikiLeaks while  interacting with the Trump campaign —both in the months before the 2016  election. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-118/
57:49
February 18, 2019
Week 117 - State of the Union
This week was filled with news of Congressional inquiries, subpoenas,  and investigations, as House committee chairs took the first steps to  hold Trump and his regime accountable. Leaks from the regime heightened  concerns about a White House rapidly devolving to the Trump  Organization, with Trump largely freelancing and acting unilaterally,  and taking the advice from a small group of sycophantic insiders. With the government reopened, Trump delivered an otherwise mundane  State of the Union speech, with the most memorable part being his attack  on the investigations against him, evoking former President Richard  Nixon’s 1974 speech shortly before impeachment proceedings began. Trump  continued to push his manufactured crisis at the southern border,  sending thousands more troops as he stoked racism and fear. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-117/
55:52
February 11, 2019
Week 116 - Trump Meets Putin
This week concerns about Trump’s foreign policy were front and center,  as the regime rolled back sanctions against a Russian oligarch, and  withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces  Treaty — both seen as victories for Putin. The Financial Times  reported on a previously undisclosed one-on-one meeting between Trump  and Putin at the G20 just months after Helsinki. Congress rebuked  Trump’s foreign policy again this week in a piece of legislation drafted  by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over Trump’s withdrawal of troops  from Syria and Afghanistan. Heads of U.S. Intelligence agencies  testified before the Senate on their annual “Worldwide Threat  Assessment,” revealing findings in sharp contrast from Trump on Iran,  ISIS, and North Korea, as well as the southern border. Trump reacted by  castigating his appointed agency heads, then later inviting them to the  Oval office and blaming the media instead. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-116/
1:07:50
February 4, 2019
Week 115 - The End of the Government Shutdown
This is the longest and perhaps most perilous week for Trump so far.  Not only did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outmaneuver him in the  government shutdown, but by week’s end she was publicly questioning if  Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and if his  campaign coordinated efforts to subvert the 2016 U.S. election.  Meanwhile, House committees, now chaired by Democrats, geared up to  challenge Trump and his regime on a number of fronts, including  inquiries into Deutsche Bank’s handling of Trump’s accounts and the  regime’s process of granting of security clearances. Following dire warnings from agencies, unions, and former government  officials about safety and security risks, public outcries and protests  from unpaid furloughed workers, and plummeting approval, Trump finally  agreed to reopen the government Friday. The final impetus appeared to be  delayed flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport due to staffing issues  with unpaid air traffic controllers. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-115/
1:00:48
January 28, 2019
Week 114 - 29 Days (and Counting) Government Shutdown
This week marked 29 days of the government being shuttered, with no  end in sight. Agencies continued to feel the effects, as thousands of  furloughed employees were called back to work unpaid. Federal workers  formed blocks-long lines at food banks, and borrowed from retirement  accounts to make ends meet. Trump’s approval continued to fall this  week, with one poll indicating he is losing support from his base.  Conversely, House Speaker Pelosi’s popularity hit a 10-year high as the  two did battle, and Trump reckoned with the first check on his power. This week was full of bombshell stories which, along with the  continued shutdown, rocked the country and made people increasingly  anxious and scared about the direction of the country. Major storylines  included Trump concealing contents of meetings with Russian President  Vladimir Putin, Trump’s continued fixation of withdrawing the U.S. from  NATO — a boon to Russia, and Michael Cohen paying an IT firm to rig  online polls to boost Trump. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made  headlines, telling CNN, “I never said there was no collusion between the  campaign or between people in the campaign,” which he later retracted. A  bombshell BuzzFeed News story suggesting Trump directed Cohen to lie to  Congress on Trump Tower Moscow was refuted by Mueller’s team, which  Trump and his allies quickly weaponized to attack the credibility of the  media. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-114/
1:02:26
January 21, 2019
Week 113 - Trump's Prime Time Oval Office Address
This week Trump struggled to create stagecraft and find narratives to  justify funding for his border wall, while keeping the government  shuttered. Trump delivered a prime-time Oval Office address, visited the  U.S.-Mexico border, and held an immigration round-table to make his  case, while the reality of the shutdown hurt federal workers and  contractors, and agencies started to cut back or cease operations and  functions. This was a week of bombshells on the Trump-Russia front, as an  inadvertently unredacted filing by Paul Manafort’s attorneys revealed  Manafort had delivered 2016 president campaign polling data to  Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI believes has ties to Russian  intelligence. Michael Cohen set a date to testify before the House, and  Natalie Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who  attended the June 9 Trump Tower meeting was back in the news. Late  Friday, a bombshell story by the Times revealed the FBI had  opened an inquiry in May 2017 into whether Trump was knowingly working  for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence. Read the full list: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-113/
1:07:52
January 14, 2019
Week 112 - Nancy Pelosi's Return as Speaker of the House
This week, for the first time since he took office, Trump faced a  check on his power as the 116th Congress was sworn in. As House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi took back the gavel, she made clear she will take Trump on,  telling the Times she considers herself Trump’s equal, and the  “TODAY” show that Trump can be indicted while in office. The 116th  Congress, the most diverse by race, religion, and gender — on the  Democratic side — stood in sharp contrast to Trump, who increasingly  surrounds himself with rooms full of white men. The government shutdown passed three weeks, with no end in sight, as  Trump dug in his heels and Pelosi’s House voted to reopen the government  without any funding for his wall. As the shutdown’s impact was  increasingly felt across the country, including unpaid essential TSA  workers calling in sick at four major airports, reporting indicated the  Trump regime had not planned for or anticipated a long-term shutdown,  and is caught flat-footed. Trump’s lack of empathy for those impacted by  the shutdown, and threat to call a national emergency, further belied  his autocratic tendencies. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-112/
59:20
January 7, 2019
Week 111 - Trump's Isolation
Increasingly, Trump stands alone. The generals are gone, much of his  experienced and competent senior staffers have resigned or been fired.  This week, in a tantrum over his decision to shut down the government,  Trump stewed and tweeted and blamed and attacked from the White House,  while the rest of Congress was home for the Christmas holiday. At one  point on Christmas Eve day, as the stock market was plummeting, Trump  bemoaned his self-imposed status, tweeting, “I am all alone (poor me) in  the White House.” Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley called it, “a  sad and pathetic moment.” As the week came to a close, Trump again  complained: “I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats.” This week the stock market continued wild gyrations, as Trump again  publicly lashed out at his Federal Reserve Chair, and privately  threatened to fire his Treasury Secretary. Parts of the government were  shuttered during the holiday week, and the effects of the shutdown  started to be felt. Trump took a surprise visit — his first — to a  combat zone, but even that backfired and led to further criticism as he  held a campaign rally-style event with U.S. troops at a military base in  Iraq, and continued his partisan criticisms of Democrats and  demagoguery about his wall and the shutdown while abroad. Iraqi  politicians denounced Trump’s visit and demanded U.S. troops leave their  country. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-111/
56:02
December 31, 2018
Week 110 - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' Resignation
This week Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, thought to be one of the sane  and sober voices remaining in the regime, resigned in a public letter  rebuking Trump’s treatment of allies and deference to authoritarians.  Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was the last straw  for Mattis, a decision reportedly made on a call with Turkish President  Recep Tayyip Erdogan the week before. Mattis’ departure elicited  bipartisan concern, and placed the country on edge. This week Trump’s beloved stock market continued to crater, as the  markets entered a correction period with Dow Jones Industrial Average’s  worst weekly performance in 10 years, and on track for the worst  December since the Great Depression. By the week’s end, Trump was  privately agitating about firing Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, in  what would be an unprecedented act. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-110/
1:02:43
December 24, 2018
Week 109 - The Mueller Probe Continues
As I’ve been listing, I’ve always suspected things would crescendo as we were moving towards the end of the Trump era. Week 109 is the longest list so far, with 181 not normal items. Up until now, Trump has never been questioned or countered in his authority, other than in rulings by the Judicial branch. Soon he will be facing Democrats as equals — a House that can hold him accountable — as well as the multiple investigations and lawsuits steaming ahead and expanding in scope. Trump is unprepared and understaffed for what is coming his way starting January. He is going to hate 2019. This week, confronted by presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his first check on power in person, Trump cowered and retreated — ill-prepared for how to face a direct challenge to his previously unequivocal power and authority. The Republicans, in small measure, stood up to him on the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, condemning Saudi crown prince MBS and approving a resolution to end its military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Trump’s small inner circle is in disarray and shrinking — even replacing the chief of staff role became an arduous task. This week reporting indicates a possible new phase in the Mueller probe relating to Middle East countries, and their attempts to influence the 2016 election to gain access. Meanwhile, cases against Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Maria Butina progressed, bringing the investigations closer to Trump, his campaign, and regime. Also this week there were three bombshell stories on Trump’s inaugural committee, relating to unaccounted monies and pay for play, foreign contributions, and overpaying for the Trump Hotel DC with Ivanka a part of negotiations. As Trump prepares to depart for Mar-a-Lago for a 16 day holiday, new or expanding investigations threaten to engulf every part of his life, including his campaign, regime, family and business — with possible felony charges after his time in office. Read the full list: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-109/
1:05:12
December 17, 2018
Week 108 - The Effects of Trump's Trade Tariffs Begin
This week featured the normalcy and tranquility of the funeral of George H.W. Bush, juxtaposed with bombshells of damning information on Trump coming from the Mueller probe and other investigations. As the Mueller probe is reportedly nearing its close, Mueller’s team filed court memos relating to three of its most high profile defendants: Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort. The Southern District of New York also filed a memo on Trump Friday —including the clearest implication yet that Trump committed felonies. As the country awaits Mueller’s final report, Trump’s White House has no plans to counter it in place, but rather will reportedly wing it. This week major stock indexes tumbled more than 4%, erasing all the year’s gains, as economic data softened, showing Trump’s trade tariffs and the growing budget deficit are slowing the economy. As Trump’s second year comes to a close, he reportedly has no vision or strategy for 2019, save for his xenophobic and racist agenda, and instead is distracted by the Mueller probe and the incoming Democratic House majority. Continued shake-up in personnel plague the regime, and many key roles remain vacant, or are filled with loyalists who are unqualified. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-108/
1:09:43
December 10, 2018
Week 107 - Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone
This week started with escalations, both between Russia and Ukraine, and at the U.S.-Mexico border. Heartbreaking images and video surfaced from Tijuana of migrants from Central America, including women and children, some in diapers, being showered with tear gas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As Trump and the regime sought to justify the use of force, and Republicans remained almost universally silent, other condemned the action, including the Auschwitz Museum which invoked the uprise of Hitler. This, as data and reporting continues to point to a dangerous uptick in right-wing violence and acts of, and normalization of, hate. This week the Mueller probe was center stage, as Trump stepped up his attacks to discredit Mueller ahead of the findings being released. The week started with focus on Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone as possible conduits between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. Until a bombshell Thursday, when Michael Cohen outlined in a plea agreement how he misled Congress about negotiating on the Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen said negotiations continued until June 2016, and that Trump and his children were also in the loop. Cohen’s documents made clear that other members of the regime, including Donald Jr., may have lied to Congress, and also called into question Trump’s written answers in the Mueller probe, submitted under oath in recent days, on his and his campaign’s contact with Russians. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-107/
1:06:22
December 3, 2018
Week 106 - Ivanka's Personal Email Account
There is no such thing as a slow holiday news week in the era of Trump! This week, in the chaos of news and not normal, reporting of Ivanka Trump’s use of a personal email account for White House business — remarkably similar to Hillary Clinton’s private server on which Trump fixated throughout his 2016 campaign and beyond — was barely mentioned in the news 48 hours later. This week there were more alarming breaks from norms, including Trump siding with Saudis over U.S. intelligence on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump bypassing advice by White House counsel to give troops at the U.S.-Mexico border the right to use lethal force, Trump attacking the admiral who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, and once again Trump attacking the Judiciary Branch for ruling against him — this time drawing the ire of both Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts and the American Bar Association. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-106/
57:04
November 26, 2018
Week 105 - Trump Reels From the Midterms
We are back after a midterm hiatus. Reporting this week indicates Trump is reeling from the midterms, as additional House seats were called for Democrats, possibly leading to a 40 seat pick-up, as well as the Mueller probe, from which additional indictments are expected soon. This week Trump skipped many duties typically carried out by a head of state, instead brooding and threatening to fire more cabinet level officials — the regime continues to operate in utter dysfunction. As wildfires raged in California, with 71 dead and more than a thousand missing, Trump blamed forest management, insulted the firefighters risking their lives, and showed a complete lack of empathy for the residents impacted. Trump skipped more ceremonies for fallen soldiers in Paris for Armistice Day and in the U.S. for Veterans Day. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-105/
1:10:52
November 19, 2018
Week 102 - Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
This was a heartbreaking week in America, after several domestic attacks left the country shaken, frightened, and on edge. On Monday, an explosive device mailed in a package to the home of George Soros was discovered. Then starting Wednesday, one by one, 13 more packages addressed to high profile Democrats, all of whom were Trump critics and people Trump had publicly and repeatedly attacked, were found. There was a deadly shooting of two Black Americans in a supermarket in Kentucky, minutes after the shooter was unable to gain access to a predominantly black church in Jeffersontown. Then, the week closed with mass shooting during Shabbat services at Pittsburgh’s oldest Jewish congregation, killing 11 and injuring 6, likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history, which was charged as a hate crime. Unlike his predecessors, Trump was unable or unwilling to rise to the occasion and seek to unite and comfort the country. Instead, he blamed the media, lightened but continued his attacks on political opponents, and complained these crimes were distracting from his messaging ahead of midterms. Trump also refused to call out hate or the rise of white supremacist groups, who view themselves as on his side and his defenders. Instead, Trump announced he is a “nationalist” — a term with historical connotations to white nationalism, seemingly a guiding philosophy behind much of his regime’s actions and policies. All the attacks this week were carried out by middle-aged white men. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-102/
37:32
October 29, 2018
Week 101 - The Midterms are Coming
With midterms approaching, the country is electrified and on edge. This week Trump recycled themes from his 2016 campaign to help boost Republican messaging: stoking fear of “the others” (a caravan of immigrants), accusing Democrats of being the party of open borders and crime and claiming the left is encouraging violence (“the mob”). Journalists and watchdog groups in several states continued to report and document overt efforts by the Republican Party to suppress the votes of people of color. In an alarming reveal of his authoritarian bent, Trump refused to condemn Saudi Arabia’s murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi despite a bipartisan Congressional outcry and diplomatic actions by world leaders. Trump also glorified Rep. Greg Gianforte at a campaign rally in Montana for shoving a journalist in 2017, sparking further condemnation for encouraging violence against the free press. This week marked the first charges against a Russian, Elena Khusyaynova, for conspiring to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election. Trump continues to deny 2016 campaign ties to Russia or acknowledge Russian interference in our 2016 election. Reporting this week indicates the Mueller probe is speeding along and could be completed shortly after midterms. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-101/
40:19
October 22, 2018
Week 100 - Stacking the Judiciary
This week as Republicans celebrated the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, polling told a different story: more Americans disapprove of the confirmation, are concerned about Kavanaugh politicizing the court and believe there should be further Congressional investigation. Under Mitch McConnell’s Senate leadership, a record number of Trump judicial nominees have been pushed through, including restacking 15 percent of circuit court judges. In the final weeks before midterms, Democrats poured record donations to House candidates, and Beto O’Rourke, the Senate candidate from Texas, pulled in a record-smashing haul of $38.1 million for the last quarter. Republicans sought to counter Democrats’ enthusiasm by riling their base by vilifying the left as paid protestors or a “mob” that threatens violence against the right. These tactics serve as an acknowledgment that traditional issues like tax cuts and the economy no longer excite the Republican base. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-100/
52:46
October 15, 2018
Week 99 - #MeToo Culture Wars
This was all predictable. The descent to authoritarianism follows a predictable path in history. Masha Gessen, one of the “experts in authoritarianism” I read before starting the project of making the weekly list, wrote this in a New York Review of Books article on November 10, 2016, “There is little doubt that Trump will appoint someone who will cause the Court to veer to the right; there is also the risk that it might be someone who will wreak havoc with the very culture of the high court.” Prescient indeed. This week, veering off norm after norm, and stoking a culture war between #MeToo and his newly coined #HeToo movement, Trump, with the help of Sen. Mitch McConnell plowed through to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh’s 50–48 confirmation vote margin was the lowest since Stanley Matthews’ 24–23 vote in 1881. Bookending Gessen’s piece, this week in the New York Review of Books Christopher Browning, in a piece titled “The Suffocation of Democracy,” compares McConnell to Hitler-era German President Paul von Hindenburg — both of whom he refers to as “gravediggers” of democracy. Meanwhile, the acts of hatred against “the others” continued this week. Trump again beat the familiar drum of white men as victims, this time at the hands of women who dare to find their voices. A bombshell article by the NYTrevealed the lie behind Trump’s campaign image of a self-made billionaire; reporters found his fortune was largely handed down by his father, much of it in a fraudulent manner. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-99/ 
53:38
October 8, 2018
Week 98 - The Sexual Assault Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh
This week our country was riveted as new allegations of sexual assault surfaced against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. On Thursday, 20 million Americans tuned in to the watch the Kavanaugh hearings. Despite Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming across as poised and credible, while a belligerent Kavanaugh delivered testimony riddled with inaccuracies, Republicans planned to push forward for a confirmation vote on Friday. In a stunning turn, the power of the #MeToo movement and protests changed a key senator’s vote early Friday, pushing off Kavanaugh’s confirmation and forcing Trump to open a one-week FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against his nominee. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-98/ Support The Weekly List: https://theweeklylist.org/donate/
51:36
October 1, 2018
Week 97 - Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
This week the news was dominated by accusations of sexual assault against Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, as the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward. Trump restrained himself from attacking Dr. Ford until Friday, but Republican senators and GOP operatives were out in full force all week. Senate Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch called Dr. Ford, “mixed up,” while conservative legal commentator Ed Whalen tried to pin the blame for the assault on Kavanaugh’s classmate. Meanwhile, Republicans sought to temper comparisons to the Anita Hill hearings with midterms approaching, amid concerns about the party’s declining standing with suburban women voters. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-97/
50:39
September 24, 2018
Week 96 - Paul Manafort Fully Cooperates with Mueller Probe
Increasingly, Trump stands alone. Reporting indicates his sense of betrayal from current and former officials speaking out in Bob Woodward’s book and in the anonymous Times op-ed has left Trump outraged and paranoid — canceling meetings, and trusting a shrinking circle of his family and Stephen Miller. The sense of a pending coup from the “deep state” was further exacerbated by the stunning news that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is cooperating fully in the Mueller probe. Even by Trump standards, his behavior this week was unbalanced and alarming. On the solemn anniversary of 9/11, Trump acted entirely inappropriately, with no one to rein him in. With Hurricane Florence approaching and questions about his past handling of hurricanes resurfacing, Trump bragged about his regime’s performance in Puerto Rico, and then careened into conspiracy theories about the actual death toll. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-96/
48:51
September 17, 2018
Week 95 - Brett Kavanaugh Hearings
This week, the country watched the contentious Senate hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Patrick Leahy called it the “most incomplete, most partisan, least transparent” vetting of a Supreme Court nominee in his forty-four years in the senate. As hearings wrapped up, questions linger about whether Kavanaugh has lied under oath in this and past judicial hearings, as well as whether Trump had selected Kavanaugh, who was not on his 2016 campaign list, in order to protect himself from the Mueller probe. This week was also dominated by previews of Bob Woodward’s upcoming book “Fear” on Trump’s White House, and an explosive opinion piece in the Times by an anonymous senior official in the Trump regime. Both seemed to suggest that Trump is unfit for office, and his White House is operating chaotically, potentially exposing the country to danger. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-95/
58:36
September 10, 2018
Week 94 - Farewell to John McCain
This week the death of Senator John McCain loomed large. McCain’s military and public service, and his statesmanship stood in sharp contrast to Trump, who acted like a petulant child, refusing to issue a statement of praise or keep the White House flag at half-staff. As the week ended, and virtually every official in D.C. attended a nationally televised farewell for McCain, Trump busied himself tweeting false statements, before heading to a Trump golf course in Virginia. This week, Trump said he would push out two more senior officials, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House counsel Don McGahn, from his dwindling ranks of insiders. Trump aides and allies worry that his legal team is vastly understaffed to address the fallout of Democrats taking control of the House, as well as the growing list of legal exposures facing him. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-94/
47:09
September 3, 2018
Week 93 - Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty
This was an ominous week for Trump, as three longtime allies turned on him. If you’ve come to one of my book events, I’ve said one of the three paths to ending Trump’s time in office was through the #MeToo movement, as in this case with hush money payments to silence women and the cover-up. This week in court, Michael Cohen essentially called Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in the crime of making hush money payments with the “principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election. Cohen was also subpoenaed in New York’s probe of the Trump Foundation. News later in the week indicated Trump’s bookkeeper for decades, Allen Weisselberg, and his longtime ally David Pecker, chairman and CEO of American Media, were both granted immunity in Manhattan court in exchange for their testimony. Read full list: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-93/
55:03
August 27, 2018
Week 92 - CIA Director John Brennan's Security Clearance Revoked
This week Trump met his match in former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who launched a new book and publicly shared her stories and perspectives on Trump and his regime members. Their feud played out like a reality TV show, as Omarosa released recordings and White House staffers reportedly are living in fear of the next shoes to drop. Trump reportedly sought to distract from Omarosa’s tour by revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, an unprecedented, authoritarian-like move that set up another public battle with intelligence officers, while Republicans largely stood silent. As the first Paul Manafort trial went for jury deliberation, Trump and Manafort’s attorney seemed strangely simpatico, raising concerns. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-92/
43:03
August 20, 2018
Week 91 - Republican Fundraiser Leaked Audio
This was a week of widespread and outrageous corruption in the Trump orbit — from Congressman Chris Collins and insider trading, to Secretary Wilbur Ross and grifting, to Secretary of State Kris Kobach miscounting votes, to the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” controlling the Department of Veterans Affairs, and more. The phrase “drain the swamp” has disappeared from Trump’s vernacular, as he and his apostles appear to be squarely inside the swamp. As Paul Manafort’s trial sped along, several associates of Roger Stone were subpoenaed, suggesting he is a point of focus in the Mueller probe. Trump and his surrogates continued to ramp up attacks on the Mueller probe, and related areas like the FBI — and several plan to focus on a new shiny coin: Bruce Ohr. Read the full list here: c
53:41
August 13, 2018
Week 90 - Trump's Attacks on the News Media
This week Trump’s battle with the media escalated as he ramped up his “enemy of the state” rhetoric, and his staffers and supporters followed his lead. The United Nations Human Rights office issued a statement condemning Trump’s media attacks, which this week put a CNN reporter in danger at a Trump rally in Tampa, Florida. As the first trial for Paul Manafort got underway, Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller probe. Even as his top national security officials took the unusual step of appearing together and briefing the press on the ongoing Russia cyber threat, and as social media companies and experts revealed ongoing attacks, Trump continued to label the Russian investigation as a hoax, and took no leadership steps to address the threat and protect our country. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-90/
49:58
August 6, 2018
Week 89 - Trump's Alt-truths
This week there were dramatic developments in several areas which could be perilous for Trump: a federal judge ruled an emoluments clauses lawsuit can proceed; Michael Cohen asserted Trump knew about, and approved, the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to get dirt on Hillary; Trump’s decades-long bookkeeper was subpoenaed to testify in the Southern District; leaked tapes revealed Trump knew about the payments to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal just before the election — all as the trial of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is set to kick off Tuesday. Seeking to counter these closing walls, Trump continued to promote his alternative version of the truth, telling a crowd in Kansas City, “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” and pushing a new storyline that Putin wants to help Democrats win the midterms. Read the full list: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-89/
1:07:37
July 30, 2018
Week 88 - Trump in Helsinki
This week it was hard to believe what was happening right before our eyes: Trump stood on stage in Helsinki, after a two hour, private meeting with Putin, and sided with our former foreign adversary over the U.S. intelligence community. The free-world looked on in horror, and there was bipartisan outrage back at home — even concern raised that Trump may be compromised — and yet, as the week came to a close, Trump suffered no real consequences. The Republicans even rewarded him by inexplicably backing his partial ban of Chinese telecom company ZTE. Trump stumbled defiantly through the rest of a shocking week: shifting his positions on backing U.S. intelligence, considering an offer to allow Russian intelligence to question the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve, and threatening his former fixer Michael Cohen who had taped their conversations. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-88/
1:14:30
July 23, 2018
Week 87 - NATO Summit
This week Trump continued his ramped up level of lying and unhinged behavior as he once again made a spectacle of himself on the world stage at the NATO Summit in Brussels. Trump continued his pattern of hostility towards allies, while maintaining an overtly collegial tone towards Putin, even as the Mueller probe indicted 12 members of Russian military intelligence on charges of hacking and disrupting the 2016 U.S. election and Director of National Intelligence Coats warned, “warning lights are blinking red” for further attacks. At home, Trump and his allies are taking every possible step to discredit the Mueller probe and attempt to preview FBI information. This week Trump continued his hostility towards the free press and his attacks on free markets, while taking steps to consolidate power. Read the full Week 87 list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-87/
1:06:10
July 16, 2018
Week 86 - The GOP's July 4th in Moscow
This week Russia was front and center as a delegation of seven Republican Senators traveled to Moscow, without any Democrats or U.S. media along, for what was described as “conciliatory” meetings with their Russian counterparts. The meetings took place on the same day the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the intent of helping Trump win. As former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen publicly hinted he will cooperate and the Mueller probe continued to broaden, Trump seemed increasingly unhinged, attacking Democrats and Republicans, as well as the media and corporations. His rhetoric of “anarchy” and “better take it easy” and ICE “liberating” towns became increasingly hostile and inflammatory. Read the full list at: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-86/
55:29
July 9, 2018
Week 85 - Capital Gazette
This was a devastating week for our country. People — especially women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people —are legitimately scared. Much is at stake as our country shows increasing signs of sliding towards authoritarianism. While some voices on the left called for civility, Trump ramped up threats and attacks on members of Congress, a restaurant owner, a publicly-traded US corporation, and our media on his Twitter account and at campaign rallies. The week of stoked up rhetoric and hatred flamed culminated with a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, where five employees were killed. Early in the week, Trump celebrated a Supreme Court victory for his Muslim Ban, and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy — giving Trump the power to potentially reshape our highest court and place issues like abortion and civil rights, gay marriage, and healthcare in jeopardy. Read the full list at : https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-85/
52:21
July 2, 2018
Week 84 - Atrocities at Our Southern Border
This week the world looked on in horror as the atrocity of separating families at our southern border was finally exposed by widespread media coverage. That coverage was limited as the press and even members of Congress were denied access to detention centers and newly constructed tent cities. Other than audio that was leaked to ProPublica of a young child wailing for her mother, there are almost no videos or photos of girls, toddlers or babies. The AP reported on “tender age” shelters — three already built and a fourth coming soon.
43:05
June 25, 2018
Week 83 - The Border Crisis
This week the atrocities at our southern border finally garnered widespread attention, as stories on the scope and the devastating impact of the Trump regime’s zero-tolerance policy were reported. Sessions invoked the Bible to justify the regime’s practice of separating migrant children from their parents, and exacerbated the crisis by ordering immigration judges to stop granting asylum to most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. Amid widespread condemnation, Trump repeated false claims blaming Democrats for the border crisis — continuing his pattern of constructing an alternative version of reality to feed his base.
50:45
June 18, 2018
Week 82 - Trump's Pardon Talk
This week started with Trump pushing yet another norm, saying he could pardon himself. This comes after a string of recent pardons, and Trump bragging to reporters that he is considering 3,000 more—crowning himself the arbiter of what is fair, not the judicial branch. In two moves that alarmed legal experts, Sessions’ Justice Department sided with a frivolous lawsuit instead of defending the Affordable Care Act, and seized phone and email records from a New York Times reporter. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-82/
33:03
June 11, 2018
Week 81 - Ally Trade Wars
The news stories for this week speak to critical degradations of the fabric of our country — the inhumane treatment of immigrants at our border and calamity unfolding in Puerto Rico — got drowned out by drama and controversies fueled by, and in some cases, created by Trump. I hope The Weekly List podcast can help rectify this issue in some small way, by covering stories and trends that deserve more attention. This week, Trump is pushing for meetings with North Korea and Russia, while aggressively confronting some of our closest allies, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union with an ill-planned, unprovoked trade war — reminiscent of a theme we’ve covered at The Weekly List: Trump cozying up to authoritarian regimes and alienating our democratic allies. As noted before, this new world alignment, distancing our country from our democratic allies, benefits and empowers Russia. Read the full list here: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-81/
40:09
June 4, 2018
The Weekly List Podcast Preview
Welcome to The Weekly List podcast, hosted by Amy Siskind, author of the book The List. Every week the podcast will give greater context to the news items of that week's Weekly List and highlight a few stories that you may not have heard. For the full lists, visit our website is www.theweeklylist.org.
02:00
May 31, 2018
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