As The Donald Turns
<> on March 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.

There is so much that happened while the staff at As The Donald Turns took a few days off for graduation ceremonies and a holiday weekend that we are going to get caught up in rapid fire form; “Quick Hits.”

As The Donald Turns

• Donald is back in pure Donald form. Since returning from his nine day long trip, he has been in a Twitter frenzy.

@realDonaldTrump 10h10 hours ago
“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change”

This was the result of what the white House called Donald’s historically successful trip. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech this weekend that Europe needed to be prepared to not rely on the US for help or security. The far right, with no realization what a safe Europe means to the US, thinks this is just about right. Donald piled on with the tweet about Germany. Of course, as we have reported several times, all NATO countries are already under a payment agreement up to 2024. Money is not “pouring in,” as Donald claimed was thanks to him. To make his point about Germany even further, Donald says he is likely to slow the “import” of German cars for the US. The largest BMW plant in the world is actually in Spartanburg, South Carolina. So congratulations to the voters of the very red state. When the president goes after German cars and the jobs are lost in South Carolina, you will feel so good about your vote last November.

• Donald re-tweeted a big story Tuesday.

Donald J. Trump Retweeted
@foxandfriends 13h13 hours ago
“ Jared Kushner didn’t suggest Russian communications channel in meeting, source says.”

You read that right. The Three People on a Sofa Show on Fox ran a story that back channel meetings with Russia were not the idea of Jared Kushner. And Donald retweeted it. You get this, right? 1. Fox and Friends has zero original NEWS coverage. 2. The White House has denied there was back channel chatter with Kushner and the Russians, but repeats a story saying, “yeah, but it wasn’t our idea,” thus confirming the conversations were in fact true. 3. A White House that sends out complaints every day about anonymous sources had the President of the United States retweet a story that only had anonymous sources. We are confirming that there are anonymous sources now writing this column.

• Donald does not like the speed with which Congress works, or does not work.

@realDonaldTrump 7h7 hours ago
“The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!”

I know he is used to a fiat empire where he says something and the minions do it, but the US government has not worked that way since we got rid of that dude with the crown and funny accent in the 1770’s. Someone needs to tell Donald there is no healthcare bill for the Senate to vote on and there is no formal tax cut legislation that is ready for a vote either.

Finances and Other “Money Stuff”

• Speaking of tax cuts, and budgets, and finances, has anyone dug “deep” into Donald’s budget proposal that he submitted last week. We did. Yeah, we get that it is just a “wish list” as the President does not make the budget. We just thought it was odd that buried in the cuts of social programs was a $250 million dollar cut in infrastructure spending. Did he not run on spending more money on infrastructure, not less? The red states are going to feel these job losses first. Fortunately, for those folks, the President they voted for holds little power in the budget process.

• More on the economy. Donald has lifted a 16 year ban on lemon imports from Argentina. So much for America first. Why do the conservatives not care that he is failing on protecting American lemon growers? Because the majority of America’s lemons come from California and Donald does not consider CA to be part of the US. America First…..unless you are a blue state. There are some on the staff here who want to write a lengthy piece on the complete misconception people have about CA and the voters, and the perception they are coastal elitists. Of course, since I am a proud coastal elitist, we will have to wait and see.

• Back to the business of the moment. There are rumors that the White House is going to put together a war room to deal with the Russia news. It is not a bad idea. Bill Clinton did it during the Whitewater investigation. It will wall off people working on the Russia pushback from those trying to do the regular work of the day. The storylines have former campaign director Corey Lewandowski and former campaign spokesperson David Bossie heading that crew. That is also the surest sign of who is winning the internal battles in the White House. Both are hardcore Steve Bannon loyalists, so this would be a sign of the diminishing of Kushner, who has accomplished zero in a position that does not even really exist.

• Of course while Jared may be ineffective at whatever it is that his job is, don’t mess with Ivanka. Some folks in China have been probing into her businesses and according to Associated Press it has not gone well. A man investigating working conditions at a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-brand shoes has been arrested and two others are missing, the arrested man’s wife and an advocacy group said Tuesday.

Sparkle Pony

• All of this has got to wear on Sparkle Pony. How do you stand out there every day and make sense of the flim flam operations. His boss, White House Communications Director, Mike Dubke, has resigned. The tension was apparent today at the press briefing, and it was not just because Trump would not let his devout Roman Catholic confidant meet the Pope on the visit to the Vatican. Spicer came out and spent 11 minutes reading a recap of Donald’s trip as if the worldwide media had not been watching the last nine days. He then got into a spat with a reporter asking about why media anonymous sources are bad but Fox news anonymous sources are ok. He got into arguments with reporters about the success of the trip. He called it one of the most impactful foreign trips in the nation’s history, despite video of Trump riding a golf cart while the other G7 leaders walked, or the video of him pushing the Prime Minister of Montenegro so that he could be at the front for the photos. Reporters pointed out that relations between the US and European nations are now lower than at any time in the last 40 years. Angela Merkel is clearly the leader of the free world as the US has willingly given up its role of international leader over NATO payments. At one point, Spicer scolded Peter Baker, The New York Times chief White House correspondent, for shaking his head. And then he abruptly ended the briefing, leaving the stage to angry shouts and questions from the assembled press. All is not well in Sparkle Land.

So we look forward to Donald’s next tweets. So do his fake account followers. What is that you ask? Donald’s account gained three million new users over the last two weeks and a high percentage of them have no profiles, no twitter activity coming or going and joined Twitter in the last week or two. Yes, according to Newsweek, a Twitter audit report says only 51% of his followers are real. That is a sharp decrease that coincides with all the new followers. Don’t worry Donald. The staff here is very real.

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