The 10 Worst Things Donald Trump Did This Month (December 2016)
As Donald Trump continues to transition, he also continues to do things that are, um, not good. You might not be able to keep up with every scandal the incoming Trump administration is facing, but here are the ten worst things Trump did in December 2016:
1. Literally calling for a nuclear arms race. Among the enduring miracles of the 20th century was the ability of man to amass enough nuclear weapons to destroy all humanity many times over, and yet somehow avoiding even a single conflict in which two sides used nuclear devices. Among the enduring horrors of the incoming Trump administration is the reckless attitude he’s displayed toward worldwide nuclear annihilation. During the campaign he reportedly asked why we can’t just nuke our enemies and made no effort to hide that he did not know what the nuclear triad is, and this month he confirmed our worst nightmares by first calling for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” then saying “let it be an arms race.” Just like all the pundits said: what disaffected rural white voters really want is a nuclear holocaust.
2. Aligning himself with Rodrigo Duterte. New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a brutal and almost surely illegal crackdown on the drug trade in his country, encouraging vigilantes to summarily execute anyone associated of dealing drugs and assuring these killers that they’ll face no consequences as long as they leave a piece of cardboard that says “drug dealer” near the body. Duterte’s campaign has taken thousands of lives so far, he’s admitted to killing people himself, and he’s cited Adolf Hitler as an inspiration for his genocide. Meanwhile, the new leader of the free world heaped praise on the Philippine madman, reportedly endorsing the killing of citizens in a call with Duterte, and inviting him to the White House.
3. Refusing to explain his conflicts of interest. Trump’s conflicts of interest are the stuff of legend. As documented last month, they span the globe and started in his very first meeting as president-elect. He had, however, finally promised to address them decisively and completely in a December press conference. Then he, uh, didn’t. The press conference was cancelled with little explanation and the conflicts continued unabated. When his campaign manager said the delay was due to the complexity of the Trump Organization, Trump thought it was wise to go on Twitter to tell the world she was lying. Trump now says he’ll hold the press conference in January, and when has he ever lied about that before?
4. Requesting the names of government employees involved in efforts he opposes. First the Trump transition team requested that the Energy Department hand over a list of names of individuals who were working to stop climate change. The Energy Department refused to do so, probably because someone there googled “are witch-hunts good?”. Then the Trump team flipped on the issue by disavowing their original request, before flopping by requesting a list of State Department employees working to stop gender discrimination. Anyway, this is very bad!
5. Trying to allow access to be sold to the highest bidder. First there was the auction for the opportunity to hear Ivanka Trump give insider trading tips to investment managers. Then there was the attempt to sell access to Trump and his sons during Inauguration weekend for a small $1 million fee. Both schemes were eventually called off amidst public outrage, but only after exposing the new depths of the Trump family’s goldlust. Oh and right at the buzzer, he did this.
6. Praising his supporters’ violence. During the campaign, some Trump supporters were notorious for their violent, criminal and shameful physical attacks on their opponents. Trump egged them on and defended them staunchly, claiming either that their actions were justified or that they were being framed. With the election won, Trump is trying a new tactic: admitting that they were violent and vicious people, but framing that as a good thing. This is somehow even worse, as it implies a presidential endorsement of their violent tactics. In unrelated news, an armed man attacked a pizza parlor that Trump supporters were pretending was the base of a Hillary Clinton child sex ring.
7. Nominating Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. There was some concern after Russia interfered in the US election to help get Trump elected that he would become a puppet of the Putin regime. Trump eloquently denied those claims during a debate, summarizing the profound Trump Doctrine in a soliloquy bound to mentioned alongside the Gettysburg Address: “No puppet. You’re the puppet.” Yet by nominating for Secretary of State the CEO of ExxonMobil, who has been personally granted the Russian Order of Friendship award by Vladimir Putin, Trump decided that “yes puppet” was a better path. I don’t what the Russians have on Trump, but it’s got to be even worse than the Access Hollywood tapes. Or this.
8. Sticking with Mike Flynn after revelations he gave away our state secrets. It may be hard to remember now, but Trump actually tried to make a political issue out of bureaucratic disagreements surrounding the care with which Hillary Clinton’s State Department handled classified information. Trump was so incensed by her actions, which the FBI repeatedly assessed to be legal, that he led crowds in chants of “lock her up” and threatened to throw her in jail if he won. After he did win, however, Trump selected controversial Lieutenant General Mike Flynn as his National Security Adviser, and has decided to stick with him despite revelations that Flynn shared state secrets with other nations without permission. Trump has yet to announce where he’s going to imprison Flynn.
9. Using a private security force. We’re pretty blessed to say that this one actually isn’t that bad yet. In fact, it only makes the list because of the fact that it could turn into the worst thing in the world. Trump is using a private security force, rather than just the Secret Service, and plans to continue doing so as President. Since he won’t explain why he decided to breach protocol in this way, our minds are left to wonder, trying to remember if any bad leaders had ever formed a separate security force and used it for nefarious means in the past.