What’s your favorite Trump moment from 2019? There are so many to choose from! Here’s a to-be-continued selection from the first six months of the year.
The end of the year is nigh, and the time is ripe for a look back on a selection of shenanigans our favorite very stable genius leader perpetrated upon our country and the world at large. So grab a steaming cup of covfefe, curl up in your comfy chair, and take a trip down memory lane with Part 1 of our (utterly non-exhaustive) Trump moment retrospective for the dying year.
January 2019 opened in the midst of a 35-day government shutdown, the longest in American history. It wouldn’t end until January 25th, but Trump didn’t mind threatening to keep everything closed for “months or years” if he didn’t get money to build his vanity wall. Noting that government workers, contractors, and others who wouldn’t be getting paid should just “adjust” to a new level of self-sacrifice for his agenda, an anonymous senior official wrote an op-ed in the Daily Caller laying out the bare truth: he didn’t want most of the government employees to ever return. This Trump Moment revealed just how little the President understands the workings of government. He did tally a couple victories: getting to showcase our country’s great purveyors of fast food at a celebration “honoring” the national champion Clemson Tigers, and authorizing federally funded foster care agencies to discriminate based upon religion.
February brought a widespread downgrade in Team Trump’s trustworthiness. It was becoming clear just how many international agreements and treaties he was willing to walk away from, screwing allies and Americans alike. His inaugural committee was subpoenaed under suspicion of fraud and money laundering. Trump worked with the Treasury department to shield his tax returns from potential investigations (what’s he hiding?) even as American taxpayers realized how badly they are getting shafted by his signature tax reform. Finally, the President used the biggest Trump Moment of the year – the State of the Union address – to pledge an end to AIDS by 2030, pretty words that don’t come close to matching the Administration’s egregious disregard for people living with the disease.
March madness came to Washington, starting with growing publicity surrounding Michael Cohen’s damning congressional testimony that likely implicated the President in multiple felonies. Another scandalous Trump moment also came to light in March, when we learned that the same Florida massage parlor entrepreneur whose businesses provided sexual services had also been selling Chinese and other foreign executives personal access to President Trump and his family. The President continued to dip into his re-election campaign, moving a then-total of $1.3 million in donated funds over into his business ventures since taking office. Somehow, he managed to take a day off from all this visible corruption to autograph Bibles at a Baptist church in Opelika, Alabama.
His April foolishness began with a reveal to the Republican Jewish Coalition that his March tweet recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the disputed Golan Heights was the result of a quick, barely-informed decision about a land steeped in complex history. With similarly little understanding of what’s at stake, President Trump advised Boeing to rebrand and rename their 737 Max planes following two deadly crashes. Also, Trump offered a preemptive pardon to Customs and Border Commissioner Kevin McAleenan if he faced jail time for defying U.S. law by blocking asylum seekers from legitimate entry. The major Trump moment in April, however, was the release of unredacted portions of the long-awaited Mueller Report.
In May, The New York Times revealed that Trump paid no income taxes in 8 out of 10 years in the 1980s and 90s. The President dug the hole deeper by admitting he used undocumented labor while building his hotels. Seeming paranoia followed, evidenced by ruminations over deputizing the military to act as a civilian police force and displaying his intent to aim the power of his position squarely at his political enemies, potentially executing investigators for treason. On the last day of May, Trump tweeted his “support” for Pride Month by reminding the GLBT+ community to be glad they don’t live in a country where they’re regularly executed for the crime of being gay. (Yet?)
In June, the White House prevented the State Department from submitting Congressional testimony that anthropogenic climate change is likely to be catastrophic, claiming that the department’s findings “don’t jibe” with the President’s goals. Trump explained he was unwilling to take action to avert the incoming climate emergency because it would threaten corporate profits. Speaking of a budget threat, as of June, the Trump campaign had reportedly not yet paid $841,000 in past due bills to 10 cities where he held rallies, while being super-secret about the money going into campaign ad buys. It’s hard to know which Trump Moment was skeevier, the corruption, or the way he defended himself against allegations that he threw a woman against a dressing room wall and raped her by claiming that the accuser is “not his type.”
The year’s not over yet, though, so neither is this Trump moment retrospective! Keep the nausea meds handy and watch for Part 2.