Navigating Trump’s America: Trump’s first 100 days and conflicts of interest dominate – Mic
This is Day One of Mic’s guide to Donald Trump’s America — and how it affects you. Read more here. Want to receive this in your inbox? Subscribe here.
— 58 days until Trump’s inauguration
— 158 days until the end of Trump’s first 100 days
— 713 days until the 2018 midterm elections
— 1,441 days until the 2020 presidential election
A video released by Donald Trump on Monday presented the first specifics on what the president-elect will immediately do when he takes office.
Among his promises: The U.S. would leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership, roll back coal restrictions introduced to combat climate change and “investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.” Trump’s moves would impact the lives of millions of Americans: Trade deals like TPP cost American jobs, critics say, but proponents argue free trade is good for business and keeps prices low for consumers.
Politico‘s morning wisdom notes Trump made no mention of working with Congress. But even if Trump pursues these unilateral changes, Mic‘s James Dennin explains how Trump’s plans to cut regulations, enact a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and bring big money back into America will not create more jobs.
Instead of doubling down on his policy proposals or addressing criticism, Trump followed his familiar game plan: attack the media.
The president-elect kicked off Tuesday by attacking the New York Times on Twitter, saying he canceled a planned Tuesday meeting with the newspaper after it tried to change the ground rules. The Times, meanwhile, says the Trump campaign tried to back out of an on-the-record meeting with Times journalists. Within a few hours, the meeting between Trump and the Times was back on.
This followed Monday’s off-the-record meeting between Trump and a who’s who list of broadcasting stars — including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Martha Raddatz; CBS’ Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson and Charlie Rose; NBC’s Lester Holt and Chuck Todd; and more — that reportedly devolved into a “f*cking firing squad,” where Trump attacked CNN’s Jeff Zucker, telling him, “I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,” a source told the New York Post.
Money reported a year ago that Trump had more money than every other American president in history — combined. Trump’s financial success, which appealed to his supporters, opens his administration up to potential corruption other presidents could only have dreamed of.
This week, these concerns are rushing to the fore. On Monday, Talking Points Memo cited an Argentine media outlet reporting that Trump asked the president of Argentina to help remove red tape around a building Trump is trying to erect in Buenos Aires. (More here from Mic.) The New York Times reported Trump used a meeting with Brexit proponent and politician Nigel Farage to pressure the British to not build a wind farm that would obscure the views near Trump’s Scotland golf course. The Washington Post reported Trump’s foundation admitted it broke a prohibition that bars nonprofit leaders from using charitable contributions to benefit themselves.
That followed questions raised after Trump met with Indian business partners — the New York Times reported “they had discussed the desire to expand the deals with the Trump family” — and bringing his daughter Ivanka to his first meeting with a foreign head of state — problematic, as Quartz points out, because “she represents Trump’s private business interests.” The Washington Post reported some foreign diplomats staying at Trump’s new Washington, D.C., hotel saw it as “a chance to curry favor or access with the next president.”
The Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution says no government official may be compensated by any foreign entity. Given Trump’s numerous international business dealings, he may run afoul of this constitutional provision (New York Times). Mic chronicled Trump’s business conflicts of interest, real or perceived. (If you need a refresher on what exactly Trump owns, Mic has that too.)
Meanwhile, it costs New York City more than $1 million a day to protect Trump (CNNMoney).
Today, Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that Trump will not investigate Hillary Clinton.
The mainstreaming of white nationalists
Reverberations continued from the National Policy Institute conference in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, which drew neo-Nazis and white nationalists to celebrate Trump’s victory. The New York Times reported chants of “heil victory” at the conference and speeches that made anti-Semitic remarks.
Mic‘s Jack Smith IV broke down how pieces that profile alt-right leader Richard Spencer as “dapper” and head of a “think tank” take white supremacy mainstream: “But the first step toward gaining public legitimacy is to attract media coverage that frames Spencer and his institute as a savvy group of political outsiders ready to disrupt the Washington, D.C., establishment.”
The Atlantic released a video from inside the gathering of Spencer saying aggression from the news media toward Trump and white supremacists is “opening up the door for us,” along with cheers of “Heil Trump!” “Heil our people!” “Heil victory!”
— A Poynter column likely to draw response says newsrooms with greater “ideological diversity” — broader than diversity of identity alone — could have seen Trump coming.
— “The renewed relevance of Hamilton” in the New Yorker ties the play’s calls for greater diversity into the 2016 election and Trump’s spat with the cast over their singling out of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Meanwhile, a man was charged with disrupting a Saturday evening production of Hamilton in Chicago, but his lawyer said the audience was “partisan” and opposed to his client’s pro-Trump views (Chicago Tribune).
— Yet another Mother Jones deep dive into the online world of white nationalism explores how the alt-right has grown in fervor following Trump’s victory.
A view from Trump country
Today, Michigan’s counties will likely certify that for the first time since 1988, the home of the American auto industry voted for the Republican presidential candidate. (Trump’s projected win of about 13,000 votes over Clinton in Michigan ultimately does not impact the election’s outcome. With Michigan, Trump’s lead will grow to 306 electoral votes.)
Trump outperformed Romney’s 2012 margin in Macomb County, the suburban Detroit home of the “Reagan Democrats.” The Republican’s 11.5 percentage-point margin of victory over Clinton in the working class county helped Trump win the state, a theme he repeated throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The view from two Trump supporters in the Macomb Daily over the weekend:
We are so tired of reading and hearing in the mainstream media that we who voted for Donald Trump are uneducated country bumpkins. We are both master degreed in our field of study and weighed the options of both political candidates. When will the media realize that half of this country’s voting citizens just did not like Hilary Clinton and her ‘politics as usual’ approach to governing.
Same subject, two views
“The end of identity liberalism,” Mark Lilla in the New York Times: “We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another.”
“White ‘identity politics’ is still identity politics,” Zak Cheney Rice in Mic: “If American politicians keep coddling white people and contorting their messages to soothe white sensibilities, American politics will be successful on precisely one front: making sure white people remain the focal point of American political life.”
More: Will Trump’s cabinet gain any diversity?
The president-elect has many posts to fill in the coming weeks. But so far, Trump has hired only white men for top administrative posts. Trump’s opponents have criticized him for a lack of diversity. Combined with Trump’s choices of Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon, the president-elect’s picks so far have given his opponents easy fodder. On Monday, Trump and Pence continued meetings with prospective hires, which included with women and minority candidates.
If Trump continues to pick white men, it would stand in stark contrast to Obama’s administration, which last year was rated as the most diverse in history: Women and minorities held a majority of top policy positions in the executive branch for the first time in history.
Trump was photographed yesterday alongside Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a hardliner on immigration, who held a plan that called for questioning “high-risk” immigrants to fight terrorism and included taking in no new Syrian refugees (BuzzFeed). On Monday, Trump’s spokesman said, “You’ll see a very broad and diverse both cabinet and administration.”
The loyal opposition: Millennial activists tell Mic how you can respond to Trump
Upset with the result on Nov. 8? So are millions of others across the country, particularly younger Americans. Mic spoke with leading millennial organizers and activists to give you 21 things you can do right now to respond to Trump.