WTF Just Happened Today?
Day 307: IT WAS ME.
by Matt Kiser
1/ Trump called LaVar Ball an “ungrateful fool” and said that getting his son home was “a really big deal.” Trump tweeted that “it wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME.” Ball is the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players detained in China for shoplifting and has refused to thank Trump for getting the players out of China. (CNN / NBC News)
2/ Trump and the White House insisted that Trump was working from Mar-a-Lago and very busy today an hour before he went golfing. First, the White House told reporters that Trump “will NOT have a low-key day and has a full schedule of meetings and phone calls.” Soon after, Trump tweeted that he “will be having meetings and working the phones from the Winter White House in Florida.” But an hour later, Trump left Mar-a-Lago to spend the morning at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. Since the inauguration, Trump has spent 98 days at his private properties – one out of every 3.1 days – and played golf approximately 60 times, or every 5.1 days. (Washington Post)
3/ The former director of the Office of Government Ethics filed a complaint over Kellyanne Conway’s comments about the Alabama Senate race. Walter Shaub said Conway may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from using their positions for political purposes. Earlier this week, Conway attacked the Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones, saying Jones “will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime, weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners.” (The Hill)
4/ Gary Cohn faked a bad connection to get off a phone call with Trump during a discussion with Democratic senators about tax reform earlier this month. The White House economic advisor wanted to have a conversation on tax reform without Trump, who was traveling in Asia at the time. Trump called in anyway and after 15 minutes, Senator Tom Carper turned to Cohn and said, “We’re not going to have a real conversation here – can’t you just tell the president that he is brilliant and say we’re losing … the connection and then hang up?” And that’s what happened. (CNBC / The Hill)
5/ The House GOP tax bill would cut the $250 educator expense deduction. The deduction covers out of pocket classroom expenses for America’s 3.6 million teachers and costs the federal government $210 million a year. The Senate GOP tax plan would double the deduction to $500, however only those in the 1% or at most the top 5% will benefit from the cut. (Washington Post)
6/ Out of 38 economists, 37 said the GOP tax plans would cause the debt to increase “substantially” faster than the economy. The 38th economist misread the question. (Washington Post)