Donald Trump made it clear at the beginning of his campaign that he wasn’t going to follow the normal rules or tone of politics. We’re keeping track of all the ways his presidency veers from the norm in terms of policy and rhetoric.
Trump believes Roy Moore over the women accusing him of assault
President Donald Trump has some experience in denying accusations of sexual assault from women, so it’s not out of character for him to brush aside the accounts of nine women by essentially endorsing Roy Moore, the GOP Senate candidate accused of molesting multiple teenage girls.
“We don’t need a liberal person in there,” Trump said outside the White House on Tuesday, according to AP.
He added, “Let me just tell you, Roy Moore denies it. That is all I can say.”
Roy Moore is running for the GOP Senate seat to represent the state of Alabama, and it’s a pivotal one: It’s too late for Moore to withdraw from the race, and Democrats haven’t won a Senate election in Alabama since 1992. A victory for Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, would be a stunning defeat for the Republican party, which already saw sweeping losses on election night earlier this month.
Other top Republicans — including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, and Sen. John McCain — have denounced Moore and even called for him to withdraw from the race. Trump’s own daughter and adviser Ivanka has condemned Moore, and said she believes his accusers. But the president will take Moore’s word for it, apparently.
Tillerson’s diplomats accuse him of breaking child soldier law
Senior U.S. diplomats say Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is looking the other way when it comes to U.S. allies using child soldiers.
Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
In July, nearly a dozen State Department officials formally accused Tillerson of breaking the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, which prevents foreign militaries that use child soldiers from receiving U.S. aid, according to unpublished internal documents reviewed by Reuters.
In June, Tillerson decided to keep U.S. partners Iraq, Myanmar and Afghanistan off a list of offenders, despite the fact that the department has acknowledged these countries use child soldiers.
“Beyond contravening U.S. law, this decision risks marring the credibility of a broad range of State Department reports and analyses and has weakened one of the U.S. government’s primary diplomatic tools to deter governmental armed forces and government-supported armed groups from recruiting and using children in combat and support roles around the world,” reads a formal “dissent” memo the officials sent to Tillerson.
Other documents show that Tillerson’s adviser Brian Hook acknowledged the countries were using child soldiers, but said the secretary was using his discretion in interpreting the law and shielding the countries because they were “making sincere — if as yet incomplete — efforts” to address their issues.
“The secretary thoroughly reviewed all of the information presented to him and made a determination about whether the facts presented justified a listing pursuant to the law,” a State Department spokesperson said regarding the charge Tillerson broke the law.
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
The U.S. has already red-flagged countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Mali, Sudan, Syria and Yemen under law in the past. According to the U.N., “tens of thousands” of children are used as soldiers around the world each year.
Trump’s attack on “sanctuary cities” just got permanently blocked
A San Francisco district court judge permanently blocked Donald Trump’s executive order limiting funding for “sanctuary cities” Monday, calling the legislation “unconstitutional.”
Citing “constitutional injuries,” District Judge William Orrick’s said the EO violates the “separation of powers doctrine” and deprives counties of their “Tenth and Fifth Amendment rights.”
Within minutes of the decision, the Department of Justice attacked the ruling and promised to “vindicate the president’s lawful authority” to enforce the law.
“The District Court exceeded its authority today when it barred the President from instructing his cabinet members to enforce existing law,” DoJ spokesman Devin O’Malley said. “The Justice Department will vindicate the president’s lawful authority to direct the executive branch.”
The EO, which was part of a broad range of measures introduced in the early days of the administration to crack down on illegal immigration, limits federal funding to cities that refuse to share information with U.S. immigration authorities.
The White House argued that the public is endangered when local authorities refuse to hand over illegal immigrants that have been arrested. Opponents of the EO argue that local police should have no part in rounding up immigrants for deportation.
The case was brought by the city and county of San Francisco, as well as the county of Santa Clara.
“This is a victory for the American people and the rule of law,” San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. “This executive order was unconstitutional before the ink on it was even dry. We live in a democracy. No one is above the law, including the president.”
Despite the DoJ’s hardline stance, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did awarded grants Monday to 36 jurisdictions the Department insists are noncompliant with federal immigration authorities, following earlier court rulings.
Photo credit: Patch