Donald Trump

John Lewis, Donald Trump and the Meaning of Legitimacy

David Remnick: “John Lewis represents Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, one vote of four hundred and thirty-five. He is also the singular conscience of Capitol Hill. Lewis is a dismal institution’s griot, a historical actor and hero capable of telling the most complex and painful of American stories—the story of race. That is his job, his mission. With Dr. King and Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ella Baker long gone, Lewis remains nearly alone in his capacity to tell the story of that era as a direct witness and, because of all that he has seen and endured, to issue credible moral judgment.”

“Only a heedless few would reject that judgment out of hand, no matter how wounding. Who would think to call John Lewis ‘all talk, talk, talk—no action or results’? Who would have the impoverished language to dismiss the whole of John Lewis as ‘sad’? As it happens, the President-elect of the United States.”

Meanwhile, the AP reports that two of John Lewis’ books — his graphic novel trilogy, March and his 2015 memoir, Walking With the Wind — have sold out on Amazon.

Trump Goes to War with Kasich

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The call was part of Trump’s last-minute effort in what has become an all-out political war with Ohio Gov. John Kasich. On Friday, Simpson and 65 other members of the GOP’s state central committee will vote on whether to dump Kasich ally Matt Borges as their chairman. Trump is backing Jane Timken, a prominent Republican activist and donor from Stark County.”

“Kasich is calling committee members on Borges’ behalf. But Trump’s involvement in the intraparty battle is an extraordinary step for an incoming president and shows how eager he is to settle scores that date to Kasich’s failed White House bid.”

Politico: “A Trump transition aide said the president-elect had phoned around a dozen committee members.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“I would say to Sen. Schumer, if you look what happened to Jeb Bush or you look what happened to Hillary Clinton, you should be very worried if Donald Trump decides to focus on you because, so far, the track record is pretty good that he can define you a lot better than you can define him.”

— Newt Gingrich, quoted by Politico, warning Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) not to get into a public fight with Donald Trump.

Trump and Assange Unite to Sow Hacking Doubts

“Just a year ago, they might have seemed the oddest of couples. But now President-elect Donald Trump and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, have formed a united front against the conclusion of American intelligence agencies that Russian intelligence used hacked emails to interfere in the presidential election,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Assange, long reviled by many Republicans as an anarchist lawbreaker out to damage the United States, has won new respect from conservatives who appreciated his site’s release of Democratic emails widely perceived to have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And Mr. Trump has been eager to undercut the conclusion of the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and other agencies that those emails were provided to WikiLeaks courtesy of Russian government hackers.”

Washington Post: “Although some GOP figures still view the WikiLeaks founder with suspicion, conservative news sources now praise him for exposing Democratic emails.”

Trump Wants Interviews Replayed Without Sound

Chuck Todd tells Politico that after several appearances as a candidate on Meet the Press, Donald Trump would lean back in his chair and request that the control room replay his appearance on a monitor without sound.

Said Todd: “He wants to see what it all looked like. He will watch the whole thing on mute.”

He added: “He’s a very visual guy. He thinks this way, and look, it’s an important insight in just understanding him. The visual stuff is very real beyond just himself.”

Unprecedented Corruption at the Top

Paul Krugman: “Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.”

“Of course, Donald Trump could be rejecting these favors and separating himself and his family from his hotels and so on. But he isn’t. In fact, he’s openly using his position to drum up business. And his early appointments suggest that he won’t be the only player using political power to build personal wealth. Self-dealing will be the norm throughout this administration. America has just entered an era of unprecedented corruption at the top.”

Trump Foundation Admits to ‘Self-Dealing’

President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families, the Washington Post reports.

“Such violations can carry penalties including excise taxes, and the charity leaders can be required to repay money that the charity spent on their behalf.”

Trump’s Popularity Rises Since Election

“Donald Trump’s popularity is rising in the days since his election, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll of registered voters. Forty-six percent of voters now have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of the president-elect. Twelve percent have a somewhat unfavorable opinion and 34% have a very unfavorable opinion of him. It’s a dramatic uptick since the election.”

“Trump’s favorability has grown 9 points, 37% to 46%, compared to a Morning Consult poll right before the election — while his unfavorability has dropped 15 points, from 61% to 46%.”