First Post-Election Controversies Starting to Take Shape

It looks like the relatively quiet period in the immediate aftermath of the election is over. Donald Trump’s naming of Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, as his “chief strategist and senior counselor”, will start to really test how Trump handles intense criticism outside of the context of a campaign.

Bannon’s appointment drew sharp criticism from political operatives on both sides of the aisle who see Bannon as being too close to the alt-right and white nationalism. Breitbart has published stories with headlines stating that women faced with harassment online should “log off” and called Republican Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.”

I don’t see how this kind of an appointment can stand as a senior advisor to the President of the United States.

Let’s also take this moment to remind ourselves that, like Trump himself, Trump surrogates lie routinely when defending him. Newt Gingrich claimed that Trump’s connection to the alt-right is fabricated by the media:

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich blasted the idea Sunday that Trump’s campaign catered to the alt-right, calling it “garbage.”

Hiring Steve Bannon proves that its connection could hardly be closer.

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said on ABC’s “This Week” that Trump should put his assets in a blind trust “for the good of the country,” but on CNN that putting the Trump companies into a blind trust would “basically put his children out of work.”

The kleptocracy begins to takes shape.

Finally let’s take a minute to note a couple other casual lies from today. Here’s one:

On undocumented immigrants, Trump said on “60 Minutes” that his administration will “get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, we have a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million. We are getting them out of our country, or we are going to incarcerate. But we’re getting them out of our country; they’re here illegally.”

The remarks are another sign of retreat from Trump’s vows throughout much of the presidential campaign to remove all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. By focusing on criminals only, Trump would be mirroring current Obama administration priorities, and experts say his numbers are highly inflated.

And another:

[Trump] took aim at the New York Times, suggesting that a letter sent to subscribers amounted to the paper “apologizing for their BAD coverage of me.” The letter did not apologize for bad coverage.

And another:

[Trump] also tweeted, “The ­@nytimes states today that DJT believes ‘more countries should acquire nuclear weapons.’ How dishonest are they. I never said this!” Trump said during the campaign that perhaps South Korea and other countries should have nuclear weapons.