January 12, 2019

President Trump insisted on Twitter Saturday he has a plan for the partial government shutdown, though he failed to offer any insight as to what it may be. Instead, Trump intimated his agenda is only comprehensible to those who properly understand his electoral victory in 2016:

In an earlier post, Trump denied reported chaos within his administration by noting there are not enough people in the White House to be chaotic:

He also went after congressional Democrats, suggesting the shutdown is only continuing because they are lazy:

House Democrats have passed several bills to fund individual federal departments, but the legislation is not expected to pass the GOP-held Senate or gain Trump's signature.

The shutdown reached its 22nd day Saturday, becoming the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history. Some 800,000 federal employees are furloughed or working without pay, most of them marking their first payday without a check on Friday. Bonnie Kristian

January 8, 2019

Though it may seem we have been trapped in this digital hellscape for an eternity, Twitter is a mere 13 years old, and it has only served as a major portal of political communication for about a decade. That's not much time by legal standards, which means a lot of what public officials can and cannot do on social media remains ambiguous.

One pertinent question may be settled by a Monday ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that a Virginia public official violated the First Amendment by blocking constituents on a Facebook page explicitly designated for public input. "[W]hy," the opinion asked, "should a municipality be allowed to engage in viewpoint discrimination when holding a virtual public meeting hosted on a private website when such discrimination would be unconstitutional if the meeting was held in a governmental building?"

The ruling could have broad implications, perhaps even for President Trump, whose @realdonaldtrump Twitter handle is ostensibly a private account but is often treated by the White House as a source of official communications. A case concerning whether Trump may block users with that account will be decided by the Second Circuit of Appeals sometime this year, and circuit courts often reference each other's decisions in their rulings. Bonnie Kristian

January 6, 2019

Negotiations to end the partial government shutdown, now entering its third week, reached no conclusion Saturday and will resume Sunday.

President Trump's demand of about $5 billion in funding for border wall construction remains crucial to the stall, as congressional Democrats have labeled the request "untenable." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said her coalition will pass bills to fund individual federal departments affected by the shutdown, while Trump is reportedly more seriously considering his idea to use military funding for the wall by declaring a national emergency.

On Twitter Saturday night and Sunday morning, Trump sent a volley of tweets promoting the wall idea and accusing Democrats of dealing in bad faith:

Pinned at the top of his feed is a meme post about the wall referencing Game of Thrones. The wall in that fantasy series is some 700 feet tall, 300 feet thick, made of ice, and fortified by deep magic. Its primary purpose is to defend people dwelling south of it against inhuman creatures from the north. It is eventually breached. Bonnie Kristian

January 5, 2019

President Trump struck an optimistic tone on Twitter early Saturday, claiming broad backing for his conditions for ending the partial government shutdown, especially the funding he has demanded for border wall construction:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been adamant the House will not fund the wall, saying Thursday a wall is an "old way of thinking" and an "immorality between countries." Contrary Trump's claim of wide support, recent polling shows just one in four Americans say shutting down the government is better than accepting no wall funding. Bonnie Kristian

December 30, 2018

President Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon to blame congressional Democrats for the deaths of Jakelin Caal Maquin, the 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in early December in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) custody, and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, the 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in CPB custody this past week:

In a subsequent tweet, Trump claimed the Jakelin's father took responsibility for her fate by admitting he did not give her water:

In reality, a Guatemalan consul said the father did not fault CPB for the girl's death, but the father's lawyers said he made sure she had food and water and seeks an investigation into her death. "Jakelin's father took care of Jakelin — made sure she was fed and had sufficient water," the attorneys stated.

Trump has refused to sign a spending package to end the partial government shutdown until congressional Democrats allocate about $5 billion for border wall construction. In a third tweet, he said Senate Democrats forced the shutdown by refusing to approve the spending earlier this year. Bonnie Kristian

December 24, 2018

President Trump lashed out at his outgoing Defense secretary, his former ISIS envoy, "virtually every Democrat," and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in morning tweets on Monday.

Perhaps not quite feeling in the holiday spirit just yet — Trump put off his trip to Mar-a-Lago to remain in Washington following the government shutdown — the president punctuated his rant with the declaration that "AMERICA IS RESPECTED AGAIN!"

In his tweets, Trump bounced between topics, including the budget and border wall funding; the expedited ousting of Secretary of Defense James Mattis; the resignation of the White House's primary point person on ISIS, Brett McGurk; the Iran Deal; and compared the Federal Reserve to "a powerful golfer who can't score because he ... can't putt."

Trump's schedule starts at 6 p.m. Monday, when he and the first lady plan to participate in NORAD Santa Tracker phone calls. Jeva Lange

December 23, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis will leave his role two months sooner than expected, President Trump announced Sunday morning in a tweet naming Mattis' temporary successor:

Trump's initial announcement that Defense Secretary James Mattis would step down from his post put his departure date "at the end of February," as did Mattis' resignation letter. CBS News reports this earlier departure date comes on Trump's orders. Bonnie Kristian

December 23, 2018

President Trump on Twitter Saturday night turned his attention to the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the United States' top envoy for the fight against the Islamic State:

Both men resigned this past week in protest of Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, a move Trump argued would have been praised coming from any other president:

Trump also noted McGurk was due to leave office in February and suggested his slightly early departure is not a matter of principle:

Read an except of McGurk's account of his resignation here, and see Mattis' full letter here. Bonnie Kristian

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