Weekly Review — July 27, 2017, 4:45 pm

Weekly Review

Trump v. the Trump administration

U.S. president Donald Trump, who in the 1990s posed as his own spokesperson to brag to tabloid reporters about cheating on the woman with whom he was cheating on his wife, appointed as his communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a former hedge-fund manager who in 2015 called Trump a “hack” from “Queens County” with a “big mouth,” and who after his appointment made several media appearances in which he said he loved Trump, said leaks from the White House offended him “as a Roman Catholic,” said he was going to “fire everyone,” and said he took the job so he could “aid and abet” Trump.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Scaramucci told a journalist the president discussed with him his ability to pardon himself and members of his staff, a lawyer for Trump said Trump had never discussed pardons with anyone, and Trump tweeted that he could pardon whomever he wants.[7][8][9] Trump then tweeted that because of the cost of health care for transgender soldiers he would ban them from serving in the U.S. military, which spends an estimated ten times as much on medications that treat erectile dysfunction; and Scaramucci praised Trump as a man capable of throwing a football in a “dead spiral through a tire.”[10][11][12] Trump gave a speech before 40,000 Boy Scouts as young as 11 in which he announced that during his presidency children will say “Merry Christmas” when they “go shopping,” and told a story about when he was a “very young” man at a cocktail party in New York City with “the hottest people” and met for the first time a real-estate developer named William Levitt, who gave him life advice; and it was reported that Trump told the same story in a 2004 book, except in the latter version he was 47 years old and already acquainted with Levitt, who he claimed died two weeks after the party, but who news reports indicate spent the last 18 months of his life in the hospital suffering from a ruptured intestine.[13][14] Trump said that he “could use some more loyalty,” joked that he would “fire” one of his cabinet members, told reporters that he regretted hiring another of his cabinet members, and accepted the resignation of his press secretary, Sean Spicer, who during his six-month tenure asked journalists to be “big boys and girls,” referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers,” was spotted on one occasion hiding from reporters behind bushes on the White House lawn, and was spotted on another occasion dragging up the White House driveway a mini fridge he had taken from his staffers so he could cool beverages in his office.[15][16][17][18][19][20] Trump said he would “get somebody” if the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not pass the Senate; and, after the bill failed, Trump’s secretary of the interior phoned both of Alaska’s senators and delivered a message that one senator told reporters made it “pretty clear” that “pro-jobs” policies in the state “are going to stop.”[21][23] Energy secretary Rick Perry had a phone call in which he discussed the “scientific development” of making fuel from pig manure and home-brewed alcohol with a caller who he thought was the Ukrainian prime minister but who he later discovered was a prankster from Russia.[24] A Trump adviser said that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators looking into the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government were working for the Democrats because several of them had in the past three decades donated to the Democrats a total of $56,000, an amount less than the individual Democratic contributions of Trump’s son-in-law, his daughter, his secretaries of the treasury and commerce, and Trump himself, who has donated more than $250,000 over the past 20 years.[25][26] One of Trump’s former campaign managers told a reporter that Trump has “the legal authority” to fire Mueller, a former Republican congressman said there would be a “tsunami” if Trump fired Mueller, it was reported that Trump has been considering firing Mueller, and meteorologists reported that a tropical storm named Don had formed in the Atlantic, but that it wouldn’t last long.[27][28][29][30]

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