“I think my language is very nice,” President Trump said on Friday, when he was asked whether the inflammatory, defamatory words he favors might have emboldened a white nationalist Coast Guard officer accused earlier this week of plotting to kill journalists and Democratic politicians. Well, it depends on what you mean by nice: This is, after all, a president who stated that he thought there was “blame on both sides” when Fascists murdered a woman at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia; who referred to African nations as “shit hole” countries; and who urged his followers to beat up protesters during the 2016 presidential campaign. Here is what we think is nice: On Monday, 16 states went to court to stop the Trump administration from using emergency powers to grab billions to fund a border wall that Congress refuses to pay for. Also nice: On Friday, congressional Democrats advanced legislation to reject this illegal expansion of presidential powers, an effort they think may compel at least a few wavering Republicans to finally rethink their blind and shameful fealty to the president. (Don’t get your hopes up.)
Disappointed that despite a flurry of rumors all week, the longed-for Mueller report is not going to be released next week after all? Sure, this is a letdown, but you can console yourself with the spectacle of former Trump lawyer/BFF/confidant Michael Cohen, who is scheduled to testify before Congress in open session on Wednesday. (This means it will be broadcast—call in sick to work!) Cohen attorney Lanny Davis promises this performance “will pull the curtain back and we will hear true stories of Trump’s complicity in crimes, and his immoral, bigoted, and morally vacant character in specific, detailed personal anecdotes.”
In other news, on Thursday, former Trump BFF/confidant Roger Stone actually told a judge that a picture he posted of her on social media in the crosshairs of a rifle was, he thought, merely a photo of the lady with a superimposed Celtic cross. This flight of fancy resulted in an almost complete gag order placed on the wildly loquacious Stone. (Fun reminder—this sick dude has a portrait of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back.) On Saturday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, awaiting charges on a raft of heinous crimes, was described in a memo from Mueller prosecutors as a “hardened” criminal who “repeatedly and brazenly violated the law.” And former acting FBI director?Andrew McCabe, asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday if the president of the United states might actually be a Russian asset, answered, “I think it’s possible.” Which—let us pause to consider—would in any other time, and any other place, be pretty damned astonishing.
And lastly, according to The Washington Post on Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal judge to order the administration to account for all the migrant children who were separated from their parents at the Southern border, since, as the Post writes, “a government watchdog reported that officials might have split ‘thousands’ more children from their families than they had previously disclosed.”