Beating up on Chicago was something of a theme for the president in 2017. He repeatedly jabbed at the city's persistent violent crime rate and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former official in the Obama and Clinton administrations, who joked the new city motto should be "Chicago: A city (Trump will) never sleep in." His administration has misrepresented the city's guns laws, though it's possible they have also underestimated the scope of Chicago's violence issue.
Trump's threat to "send in the Feds" if Chicago's violent crime persisted has so far not come to fruition and the administration has not provided criteria under which additional federal authorities would be dispatched to police the city.
Presidents and their executive administrators have often taken a dim view of the media — Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon's vice president, called reporters "the nattering nabobs of negativism" and the "hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history." Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, also struck out at what he perceived to be the media's aggrandizing or attention-seeking tendencies.
But so publicly labeling the media as "the opposition party" was new territory for the chief executive, and was apparently influenced by his now-departed chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who made similar public comments before Trump's tweet.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
A planned event by provocateur Milo Yiannapolous of the so-called alt-right at the University of California at Berkeley was canceled after violent protests, which included property damage and the pepper-spraying of Trump supporters, marred the campus. (Information about Yiannapolous' ties to white nationalists and neo-Nazis had not yet been published by BuzzFeed.)
Trump tweeted a seeming threat that he would cut off federal funding for the flagship school of the UC system. It was one of several tweets in 2017 in which he threatened policy consequences for political behavior he disapproves of. As with his promise to "send in the Feds!" he was not forthcoming about criteria, failing to elucidate what conduct would mean the loss of federal funds, or how such defunding would be legally undertaken.
Even in what has been a bizarre and heated political moment, a sitting president accusing his predecessor of tapping his communications during an election cycle is out there. Really out there.
After deflection of questions about the meaning of Trump's tweets for some time, it was revealed that former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was being surveilled by federal investigators under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court warrant. (Manafort has since been arrested and charged with financial crimes and conspiracy against the United States.)
Trump and his defenders have pointed to that surveillance as proof the president was correct, but there's no evidence Obama personally ordered the taps, nor that Trump was ever targeted by them. It's possible some of his communications with Manafort could have been collected under the warrant, but such "incidental collection" is legal within certain parameters. More information about what was collected, when and why such surveillance was ordered will likely become clear as Manafort's legal process plays out.
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!
The president tweeted a made-up word. Not much else to say here, really.
On cosmetic surgery:
For years, Trump and morning news hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have had a good and symbiotic relationship. During the campaign, Trump would regularly call into the program — the "Morning Joe" duo got the ratings that came along with Trump's headline-grabbing political rise, and Trump got his message out on a national political news broadcast.
That relationship badly soured over Trump's early days in the White House as the MSNBC hosts became very critical of Trump, in one case saying he was "destroying the country," and taking a shot as his hand size … a stand-in for the size of another piece of anatomy.
Trump, a notorious counterpuncher, struck back, calling Brzezinski "crazy" and criticizing her for having a face-lift, which Brzezinski says was a minor cosmetic chin surgery. The tweet was slammed as sexist criticism of a woman's appearance, rather than her performance.
It was not the first time Trump had hit the appearance of a female journalist, infamously saying of Fox News' Megyn Kelly, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," when she pressed him during debate questioning.
The MSNBC duo have only ratcheted up their criticism of Trump, who says he rarely watches the network anymore.
The 2017 NBA champions the Golden State Warriors, in comments to the media, expressed they were lukewarm about a ceremonial White House visit while Trump was in office. Shortly after a "Fox and Friends" segment on Stephen Curry's comments expressing his own ambivalence, Trump fired back, dis-inviting the entire team, apparently for failing to show appropriate enthusiasm.
The kerfuffle inspired LeBron James to join the Twitter fray, calling the president a "bum" and saying a White House visit was an honor, but not while Trump was in charge.
Visits to the White House, usually noncontroversial photo ops, have become more fraught in the Trump era. The Chicago Cubs visited both the Obama and Trump White Houses, the Pittsburgh Penguins visited, as did the New England Patriots, though a few players have opted not to join some of those teams in protest. Skier Lindsey Vonn raised eyebrows when she told a reporter she would plainly refuse to visit Trump after the 2018 Winter Olympics.
On diplomatic relations:
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
Shortly after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump picked out a new nickname for Kim Jong Un, "Little Rocket Man."
While firing barbs over Twitter was obviously not new territory for the president at this point in 2017, a nuclear-armed despot is a few notches up on a television news anchor. Trump doubled down on his jeer during his first speech at the United Nations, saying "Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
After Kim returned fire, declaring Trump a "dotard" — an English translation of a Korean term for "old lunatic" — the president fired back with the ultimate high school cafeteria burn, pointing out he had graciously never called Kim "short and fat."
The whole thing was very diplomatic.
On sports, part 2:
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!
A wave of protests by NFL teams, and even a few owners, swept the league this fall after Trump renewed his earlier demand that players be fired by ownership for refusing to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner."
A few days prior during a rally speech, Trump said owners should "get that son a b----" off the field if players kneeled in protest during the anthem.
A few players had stopped standing for the anthem after then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the practice during the 2016 season as a protest against police brutality and racism. But Trump's comments, and his Sunday morning tweet, galvanized many players into a public show of defiance. Those that didn't kneel placed their hands on their teammates' shoulders in an apparent show of unity.
The protests have since largely quieted, though not gone away entirely, and the NFL announced it plans to donate $90 million to social justice causes.
Kaepernick, however, has not played a down of pro football since the end of the 2016 season.
After three University of California at Los Angeles basketball players were arrested for shoplifting from a boutique in China while overseas to play their season opener, Trump sprung the trio after hashing it out with Chinese President Xi Jinping while in China on a fortuitously timed Asia trip.
Upon returning home, all of the players thanked President Trump personally for the help returning them to the U.S.
LaVar Ball, human hot take and father of one of the players, refused to thank Trump for helping to get the charges against his son dropped and them returned stateside. Trump, feeling slighted, lashed out, slamming Ball as "ungrateful" and foolish.
Ball eventually pulled his son LiAngelo out of school after UCLA decided to suspend the freshman for being arrested in a foreign country.
On personnel changes:
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
In a tweet posted following former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea on a single charge of lying to the FBI, Trump tweeted, "I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI..." — seemingly an admission that Trump knew that his adviser had lied to the FBI when, according to ex-FBI director James Comey, the president asked him to drop his investigation of Flynn. Legal analysts and pundits jumped on the tweet, saying it was tantamount to an admission to obstruction of justice.
Soon, one of Trump's attorneys came forward, saying he had authored the tweet and that it was an inarticulate paraphrase of a statement put out by other Trump lawyers.
Trump continues to strongly deny colluding with Russian interests to win the 2016 election and obstructing justice, and John Dowd, the attorney who wrote the tweet, is miraculously still employed by the president.
No one was a bigger fan of polling during the presidential primaries than Trump, who led in them pretty much from start to finish and constantly used his opponents' low figures as a cudgel in debates.
But the president's approval figures have suffered in his first year in office, usually hovering in the mid-30s. So when a Morning Consult/Politico poll pegged him at a 45 percent approval rating, Trump took a moment to point it out on Twitter.
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!
The revelations of widespread sexual harassment that have spilled forth in the wake of reports on Harvey Weinstein by The New York Times and The New Yorker have not spared Washington. Several lawmakers from both parties have been forced to resign, or have opted to not run for re-election.
The outcry has refocused attention on assault and harassment allegations that emerged against Trump during the 2016 campaign, and against former President Bill Clinton during his time in office. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, formerly an ally of Clinton, said that in hindsight he should have resigned during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and has since called on the current president to quit over his own accusations.
Trump fired back, slamming Gillibrand as disloyal and, in sexually suggestive terms, claimed the senator had sought campaign funds from him. Critics called it yet another sexist smear delivered over Twitter after he was criticized by a woman.
White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed the characterization, saying "I think only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way."