Welcome back from your summer vacation, which I hope you spent immersed in long Russian novels or underwater, anywhere out of reach of the news from Trumplandia. To bring you up to speed, Nation intern Molly Minta and I have prepared this handy list of awful things done or said by Donald Trump and his administration—which unfortunately is not inclusive because he’s been very busy and I have space for only 1,000 words.
May 30: The Trump administration imposes a tax on Mexican goods to pressure Mexico to keep Central American asylum seekers from entering the US.
June 3: Trump calls London Mayor Sadiq Khan a “stone cold loser.”
June 17: The US government announces it will withhold millions of dollars in aid to Central American nations until they step up their efforts to discourage migration.
June 20: Federal appeals court judges OK a gag rule making clinics ineligible for Title X funds if they provide abortions or abortion-service referrals to women, in effect cutting about $60 million to Planned Parenthood.
July 14: Trump tweets that Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib should “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came.”
July 17: At a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump doubles down on his attack on the congresswomen: “They don’t love our country. I think, in some cases, they hate our country. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.” His remarks are met with chants of “Send her back!”
July 18: The Environmental Protection Agency announces that it will not ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, despite its connection to numerous disorders in infants and older children.
July 22: The Trump administration announces new rules permitting undocumented immigrants to be deported without a court hearing if they are unable to show that they have been in the United States for at least two years.
July 23: The Trump administration proposes a new rule that would take food stamps away from more than 3 million people.
July 27: Trump calls the Baltimore district of his persistent critic Representative Elijah Cummings a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and tweets that conditions there are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than at the border.
July 31: The Senate confirms Kelly Craft as the next envoy to the United Nations. Together with her husband, the CEO of one of the nation’s biggest coal companies, Craft has given millions to Republican politicians, including $2 million to Trump. In 2017 she said she believes in “both sides of the science” on climate change.
August 12: The Trump administration publishes a new rule that makes obtaining a green card more difficult for any immigrant who has received public benefits for more than 12 out of any 36 months.
August 16: The Justice Department files a brief in a Supreme Court case arguing that transgender workers are not protected by a ban on workplace discrimination.
August 20: Trump says Jews who vote for Democrats show “a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
August 20: Trump cancels a trip to Denmark because the “not nice” and “nasty” prime minister (a woman, obviously) wouldn’t sell Greenland to the US.
August 21: The administration says that it will end the 1997 Flores agreement limiting how long children may be kept in detention centers at the border. In effect, that could mean the indefinite detention of immigrant families.
Definitely bad for the Jews: Speaking to reporters about the trade war with China, Trump calls himself “the chosen one,” threatens to release ISIS fighters in Germany and France “if Europe doesn’t take them,” seems to seriously float the possibility of serving more than two terms, and says Russia “outsmarted” Obama when it annexed Crimea.
August 25: As the Iranian foreign minister makes a surprise appearance at the G-7 conference in Biarritz, France, Trump tweets to TV host Regis Philbin, “Happy Birthday Regis, a truly special man!” Trump suggests that his Doral resort in Florida is an ideal venue for the next G-7 meeting and insists it does not have bedbugs.
Axios reports that Trump suggested using nuclear bombs to keep hurricanes from hitting the United States.
August 27: The Washington Post reports that in order to complete the border wall before he’s up for reelection, Trump instructed aides to approve billions of dollars in construction contracts, use eminent domain, and eschew environmental review. He has told them that he will pardon them if they break any laws.
August 28: Trump rages at Fox News after daytime anchor Sandra Smith interviewed Democratic National Committee official Xochitl Hinojosa, tweeting, “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”
As Puerto Rico braces for a possible hit by Hurricane Dorian, Trump tweets, “Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth” and “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”
August 29: The EPA proposes rolling back curbs on methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.
September 1: Trump hikes tariffs on Chinese goods, from 10 to 15 percent.
None of this has significantly damaged Trump’s popularity, which remains just above 40 percent. Happy fall!