At the Washington Walrus, we recognize that it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the latest in baffling tweets, nonsensical decisions, and eh… “reverse psychology” employed by the Trump Administration. One story may change from one end of the day to the next. So, we thought, it’d be handy to save you the hassle of sorting through this all and give you the main talking points that dominated this presidency in 2018 (year 2) with some colorful commentary.
- Fire and Fury is released. Although Michael Wolff’s first-hand account is un-sourced and speculative, it manages to grind Trump’s gears immediately. Mike Pence, who believes gays can be cured with shock therapy, decries it as a “work of fiction.” Later on this year, his family will release a book about his rabbit, Marlon Bundo.
- Trump presents the “Fake News Awards” via Twitter. The New York Times and CNN dominate the evening.
- Government Shutdown 1/3- this time over government funding.
- Government Shutdown 2/3- over funding again. Eventually, things clear and a budget proposal is launched with major tax cuts for the rich.
- Former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, starts facing a tough year when he acknowledges payment (on his own behalf) to Stormy Daniels in 2016.
- Trump fires Rex Tillerson and hires former CIA director, Mike Pompeo, as new Secretary of State. Gina Haspel takes over his role meanwhile.
- Trump, against advice, calls Putin to congratulate him on his re-election.
- White House issues memorandum on Mattis’ military policies to the effect that they support disqualifying transgender people from military service.
- Increased scrutiny on Stormy Daniels’ affair. She files a lawsuit on claims Trump’s made.
- Ends temporary protected status for Hondurans.
- Department of Homeland Security reveals that between April 19 and May 31, nearly 2,000 children were separated from adults at the Mexican border. Trump tries to blame others, including Democrats for what easily ranks in his top 3 evil policies to date.
- Describes Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, as “very dishonest and meek” after G7 summit.
- Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA head.
- Robert Mueller indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers over hacking Democratic emails.
- Trump advises Theresa May to sue the EU over Brexit negotiations. It’s quite a month for him.
- Trump and Putin meet at a summit in Helsinki. Trump states he knows no reason why Russia would’ve interfered in the 2016 election. Putin gives Trump a football as a present. Trump throws it to Melania, saying it’ll be a present for Barron. The world watches stunned.
- Iran’s President, having said a war between the US and Iran would be the “mother of all wars” is hit with Trump’s latest constipation tweet: “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” It was all caps, so you know he means business.
- Cohen claims Trump knew of June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between campaign officials and Russian lobbyists promising “dirt” on Clinton.
- Press Secretary, Sarah H. Sanders calls the press the “enemy of the people”.
- Manafort and Cohen are both found guilty of 5 counts of tax evasion.
- Trump says in an interview with Fox that if he was to be impeached, the market would most surely crash. He’s taken a lot of credit for the economy this year.
- The Senate Confirmation hearings begin for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. This lasts through to October. We learn he likes beer and studiously marks his calendars.
- Trump claims before the UN General Assembly that his administration has, in less than 2 years, accomplished more than “almost any other” in history. They laugh at him. Trump says he wasn’t expecting that reaction but that it’s okay. It’s not really though, is it?
- Kavanaugh’s confirmation by a hefty 51-49 affirms for many that the #metoo movement still faces limits.
- Trump campaigns in anticipation of the mid-term elections.
- Jeff Sessions resigns and is replaced by Matthew Whitaker.
- Trump fails to attend a WW1 memorial ceremony in Paris with other world leaders due to weather.
- Despite expressing concerns over the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi, Trump declares loyalty to Saudi Arabia.
- Defends Ivanka’s use of private email.
- Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress over Mueller/Russia investigation.
- George H.W. Bush’s funeral reminds us that the president doesn’t have to be a villain. Not by virtue of Trump however. He looks strikingly out of place.
- Cohen sentenced to 3 years for tax evasion, violation of campaign finance laws, and deceiving banks and Congress.
- Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, resigns, after Trump tweets that troops will return home from Syria with victory over ISIS being assured.
- Government Shutdown 3/3 over funding for the Border Wall.
And there you have it! Quite a year, huh? Of course, this only scratches the surface. There was also the beginning of a trade war with China and many other resignations/firings. Or how about that meeting with Kim Jong Un? Yes, even though it was one year, a lot happened but what seemed to dominate thematically and quite literally were:
- Trump and his team’s lies unfurling under the weight of the exhaustive Mueller investigation.
- Trump’s sense of indignation and hostility growing exponentially with any who disagreed with him.
- Trump’s needs for appraisal at any cost- be it by others lying to him or by him lying to others about things he has (but hasn’t actually) accomplished.
These themes will probably course over into 2019, a year in which the stakes will undoubtedly be amplified considering the momentum of Mueller’s investigation and the fact that the Democrats will take lead in the House of Representatives. But will it be an easy road for liberals then? Or will Trump’s base fight back, feeling the victims of persecution in both a political and cultural war? And what can Trump do/say to shock us at this point. Well, here’s a few things for 2019 we predict:
- The “Fake News Awards” become an actual 3-hour long televised event on Fox with in-memoriam slides for celebrities Trump feels were wrongly accused of sexual misconduct.
- Trump tweets spoilers for the Game of Thrones’ finale having gotten Eric to secure a copy. Eric, meanwhile, feels he has done his father proud and gets a gold star.
- Attacks nations that don’t pay their dues on the international stage, like Wakanda, which he mistakes for a real country. Marvel play ball.
- Promotes Barron to an advisory role. Eric looks on with jealousy.
- Delays the 2020 election on account of “important things” needing taken care of first. Democrats, gridlocked on the issue of whether Harry Potter promoted a diverse-enough school experience, fail to challenge him on this.
- Claims the wall has been built but is invisible. It’s best not tested though because while it will not prevent you crossing as such, it will inflict a terrible curse on you and your family.