Like the first year, Trumps second year has been chock full of controversial and scandalous politics and news on a near daily basis. It’s a daunting task trying to keep up with everything happening with this presidency, as we move from one big controversy to the next with very little down time. Here’s a running summary of the biggest ones that caught my attention year to date:
His father set up trusts that provided trump with $200K at age 3, and by age 18 had had accumulated more than $1 million from his father, and the money kept on coming after that. Trump and family reportedly engaged in tax fraud to transfer their fathers assets. Trump is said to have gotten close to $500 million from his father- showing his claim of being a self-made billionaire to be false.
Trump promised a better healthcare system than the ACA. The GOP failed to come up with a superior solution, and instead offered an inferior solution that covered far less while stripping the ACA of money. The general public was not pleased. The GOP plans didn’t pass, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from undermining the ACA doing things like no longer covering pre-existing conditions despite not having a replacement.
Trump and his Admin thought it would be a good idea to create permanent orphans by separating children from their parents without any process to keep track of who the kids belonged to. The public outrage of this forced them to stop this policy. There are still hundreds of kids that can’t be matched with their parents, who may have already been deported without them. The Trump Admin thought Americans wouldn’t care what happened to immigrants and their children- they were wrong. With the mental damage being done to these kids experiencing prolonged separation, Trump and his admin have been compared to Nazi’s. To add insult to injury, Trump tried to blame the democrats for this policy that his admin was executing. That also didn’t work.
The tax cuts that were promised to pay for themselves have produced historically high US deficits. The GOP solution to make up the difference is to put the debt on the backs of the Social Security and Medicaid senior safety nets.
In other words, the GOP wants to pay for their tax cuts to the ultra wealthy using our retirement and medical security.
Trump promised Mexico would pay to build a border wall. Now he is threatening to not fund the government and have it shut down unless the US govt pays for the wall. This is essentially attempted extortion by a US President to his own people at a time all areas of government are under his republican control.
Trump administration proposing new rules that would punish LEGAL immigrants who would dare to seek government assistance for themselves or their children by permanently denying them green cards. So much for the words on the Statue of Liberty that most of our ancestors read- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free…”
This meeting will be one for the record books as a low point of US Global power and influence. Contrary to his EU bashing, Trump was all lovey-dovey with Russia, to the point where he backed Putin over the word of our OWN intelligence officers.
Both GOP and Dems were appalled at Trump’s behavior. Even Fox News tore into Trump over the Putin Meeting where Trump took sides with Putin over our own intelligence agencies. It was so bad that Trump said he “misspoke” in an attempt to walk back what he said.
To date Trump has NOT revealed to his security chief what was discussed with Putin during their private 2 hour meeting.
According to a New York Times Op-Ed, there is a member of Trump’s Administration trying to protect us from the worst of Trumps behaviors. If true, this shows a high level of chaos in his cabinet, matching what was said by books by Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward.
The commission that was formed because of Trump’s outrageous claim that he lost the popular vote to Clinton due to millions of illegal votes. Investigation found absolutely no massive voter fraud- but were trying to produce a report stating otherwise. The commission was eventually disbanded.
Trump liked to complain about Obama playing too much golf during his Presidency: Trump tweeting about Obama playing too much golf
Turns out Trump’s record of gold playing while President eclipses Obama by a wide margin: Trump Golf Game Tracker
Republicans know about Trump’s problems and missteps, but not only do they refuse to take action against them, they instead seek to cover them up: House Republicans Trump Scandal List
Trump intended to give the passing of Senator John McCain, a war hero who served public office for over 30 years, a minimal 2 day half-staff flag flying at the White House rather than extend the time through the final funeral commencement and burial, which is typical for most prominent political figures. When the flag was raised after two days, Trump was criticized by both the GOP and Dems for such a dishonorable move. American Veterans were very upset that a long time public servant and POW/war hero would be treated in such short shrift. Trump was forced to re-lower the flag after backing down.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump couldn’t find the time to tweet anything complimentary about McCain, but did manage to tweet complaining about trade during the funeral: Trumps tweets during McCains’s funeral
During Trump’s trip abroad to visit UK Prime Minister Theresa May, he decided to have an interview where he basically said she screwed up Brexit, the US likely won’t make a deal with her, and complimented a rival and detractor of her, Boris Johnson, saying he would make a “fine Prime Minister”.
After claiming the US is in such great financial shape to enact massive tax cuts primarily benefiting the wealthy, now says the US needs to tighten its belt on the backs of federal workers by denying them their cost of living raises.
Trump’s intended bad-faith negotiation with Canada for trade is leaked. maybe this should be in “Art of the Deal”: it’s never a good idea to tell others you have no intention to work on a deal via mutual compromise.
After Puerto Rico released their official death toll of 3000 resulting from Hurricane Maria last year, Trump denied the facts and blamed the Democrats. Trump regularly calls REAL news he finds unfavorable to him “fake”.
The govt photographer said they felt pressure to doctor the photo to make it appear Trump’s inauguration speech had a full crowd instead of the anemic reality, which didn’t match Trumps claim of record crowds attending his inauguration.
After threatening to drop nukes on North Korea, Trump thought it would be a good idea to give NK what that always wanted- legitimacy with meeting with the US president. Trump stated the plan was for NK to get rid of its nukes. So far NK got the better of the deal by getting exactly what they wanted and are showing no intention of ending its nuke program.
Trump claimed that his former attorney Michael Cohen arranged for payments to Stormy Daniels to keep her from reporting about the affair she had with Trump and that he had no knowledge of it. Trump denied the affair happened. Michael Cohen plead guilty and revealed that Trump worked directly with Cohen in planning the payments, making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator. Trying to change election outcomes using non reported money is against election laws.
Issuing a tariff trade war will result in higher prices for US citizens, whose store products are mostly imported. Farmers are losing money due to retaliatory sanctions from other countries. Other countries may win former US business that we may never get back. This has resulted in Trump giving welfare aid to farmers.
Former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt was finally forced to resign after a string of unethical missteps like the following:
- Racking up high bills traveling 1st class at tax payer expense.
- Renting a room from a lobbyist in Washington DC at the unheard of rate of just $50/night (regular rates are in the $100’s)
- Spending $43K for a soundproof booth in his office when a general security area was already available.
- Keeping a secret calendar to hide meetings. Not very transparent for a public servant.
For a scandal run down on what the rest of the cabinet including Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross, Treasury Sec Steve Mnuchin, Interior Sec Ryan Zinke, etc… have been doing that breaches ethics with abandon, check here. So much for the promise of “draining the swamp”.
Of course there is also the ongoing Mueller investigation into potential illegal Russian collusion. Trump loves to call it an unsupported witch hunt. The facts say otherwise. So far the investigation has yielded a who’s who list of indictments. Total count to date is 35, that includes former Trump hires:
- National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – pleaded guilty to making false statements.
- Campaign foreign policy adviser – George Papadopoulous- arrested and plead guilty of making false statements.
- Campaign Chair Paul Manafort – Entered into a plea deal after being indicted on 25 counts and convicted on 8 counts of financial crimes (would have been much higher conviction count except for lone hold out juror).
- Campaign aide and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates – Entered plea deal after being on similar charges to Manafort.
Remember folks- this presidency is LESS than two years old and this isn’t a complete list! Also, it only covers his second year, which still has three months to go! To see what was going on at the one year mark, check here.