This Week's 5 Flashpoints You Need To Know About From Donald Trump Land

The UK perspective.

HuffPost UK
Created by HuffPost UK
On Feb 12, 2017
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This week Trumpland has been mostly about...

Word cloud generated from President Trump's tweets 3rd Feb - 10th Feb

Vietnam and America on level pegging this week and either people are fake or news is fake, we can't be sure.

Interestingly, his own name is quite prominent. How odd...

1) JOHN BERCOW

What happened?

John Bercow, our very own Speaker of the Commons, made an unprecedented attack on Donald Trump, saying his “racism and sexism” make him unfit to speak in Parliament’s historic Westminster Hall during a planned State Visit to be planned for this year.

Here he is...

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What did people say?

Well, that all depends on whether or not you think he overstepped his mark. Some, including a number of applauding MPs, thought it was marvellous that he was taking a stand.

Co-leader of the Green party, Caroline Lucas, was firmly in that camp.

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Unfortuantely for Bercow, the other camp was sat scribbling away furiously at a motion of no confidence.

Here are those very scribbles.

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Primary scribbler James Duddridge told HuffPost UK: “The Speaker has lost the confidence of the House. He overstepped the mark.

“He is not there to put forward his views, when he starts doing that he becomes incapable of representing the full opinions of the House of Commons.”

Bercow, who as speaker is supposed to remain politically neutral, later said he was “honestly and honourably seeking to discharge my responsibilities to the House”.

What does it mean for the UK?

Well, possibly a new Speaker for a start. It's currently February recess so MPs will not vote on the motion until the 20th but a few thousand members of the public have already signed a separate petition calling for him to lose his job.

Despite this, the Government has reportedly dropped plans for Trump to address Parliament by holding the trip during the summer recess, thus avoiding any embarrassing snub.

Regardless of the outcome, Trump's State Visit is going to cost us a fortune.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said policing it and the expected protests would cost "the odd million".

2) RUPERT MURDOCH

Murdoch and Jerry Hall, fresh from being wed in March last year.

What happened?

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Michael Gove got one over journalists everywhere with the first soon-to-be President Trump interview for a UK publication?

That's right, the one that largely didn't make sense and saw Gove nod along obediantly throughout.

In a blockbuster exclusive, the Financial Times reported Rupert Murdoch, the Australian owner of The Times, The Sun, and Fox, was secretly sat in the sidelines throughout.

What did people say?

Everyone was a bit taken aback in all honesty. What could the billionaire owner of Fox News and the billionaire now occupying the White House possibly have in common?

Beats us. Maybe these people can explain...

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Oh, so Ivanka Trump sat on the board of Murdoch’s daughter’s trust fund. Curious.

Surely that didn't have any effect on say, Friday's press conference in Japan?

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Oh.

What does it mean for the UK?

Let's just say it doesn't look like your favourite news publication (that's us btw) will get first dibs on questions when Trump pops over to visit.

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3) THE DISHONEST MEDIA

Of course, 8 tiles in a game of Scrabble would get you disqualified.

What happened?

Trump continued his nonsense-based vendetta against the media this week by claiming the press has deliberately minimised coverage of the “genocide” perpetrated by Islamic State.

To back up his assertion the White House swiftly released a list of 78 terror attacks since September 2014 that it deemed had been "unreported" (they later tried to claim Trump meant "under-reported" but this is simply not true).

Never one to take such an accusation lying down, HuffPost UK took a little look at the list. Here's what we found:

  • For starters it included the 2015 Paris attacks, the Sousse tourist massacre and the downing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula - all of which were headline news around the globe for days if not weeks.
  • Secondly, after some extensive Googling - a technique we assume the White House is aware of - we found at least 1,704,403 results for news articles on the 78 attacks.
  • Thirdly, it appears the White House not only is unaware of search engines but also hasn't installed a spell check yet either.

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On top of this, the list omitted any attacks carried out in Israel or by right-wing terrorists and actually torpedoed the White House's own case for the Muslim refugee ban.

What does it mean for the UK?

Potentially, we could have a but of fun during Trump's State Visit and spell his name "Donut Trumpet" on all official signage and he won't even notice. It's worth a pop.

AND SINCE YOU'VE MADE IT THIS FAR...

.. have you seen what is possibly the greatest Twitter account ever created?

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4) THE MUSLIM BAN

Yup, this is still a thing.

What happened?

On Thursday a US appeal court refused to reinstate Trump’s ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

The panel of three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block a district court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travellers to enter the US.

What did people say?

Trump was so pissed off he went FULL CAPS LOCK.

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But whilst jabbing the keypad with his tiny hands he appears to have forgotten one rather salient point.

Fortunately, Twitter was there to remind him.

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The Washington State Attorney General got in a spectacuar dig too.

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🔥 🔥 🔥

Even Hillary couldn't resist.

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What does it mean for the UK?

We're still just an 8-hour flight from a world leader prepared to ban an entire population based on the presumption they will do something that none of them has ever done.

Trump last night ominously pledged to announce “additional security for our country” next week, having said he won’t go to the Supreme Court to defend his Muslim ban.

5) KELLYANNE CONWAY

She does have eyes, promise.

What happened?

Defending Trump on LIVE! television is fraught with potential for error - as Kellyanne Conway found out on Thursday when she told Fox News viewers to “go out and by [Ivanka Trump’s] stuff!”.

Conway had been talking about a tweet sent earlier in the week by Trump which blasted retailer Nordstrom for de-listing his daughter Ivanka’s shoe brand.

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But in appealing for viewers to help out her boss’s daughter during the segment, broadcast from the White House briefing room, she potentially violated ethics rules.

What did people say?

She got an absolute pasting.

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Responding to questions later on Thursday, Press Secretary and Melissa McCarthy impersonator Sean Spicer said Conway had been “counseled” for the error.

Ouch.

What does it mean for the UK?

Much like Sean Spicer, probably very little but watching them both unravel is more entertaining and yet disturbing as watching a dog play fetch underwater.

And yes, that is a thing.

And while we're on the subject of media communications, this week we spoke to Dr Martin Moore, director at the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College London, about Trump's alleged media strategy.

One superb example this week was when Trump claimed he "called his own shots based on the accumulation of data"...

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And then two days later tweeted a poll that added up to 101%.

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The Huffington Post UK

The Huffington Post UK say

Trump claims Twitter is a "very effective tool" but might he come to regret his tweeting?

Dr Martin Moore

Dr Martin Moore say

I’m not sure Trump regrets, but we all may come to regret his tweets.

Dr Martin Moore

Dr Martin Moore say

Certainly he’s abusing his power through many of the tweets he’s put out since becoming president – undermining the judiciary, making false claims, criticizing private companies on behalf of his family.

The Huffington Post UK

The Huffington Post UK say

Does Trump's style represent a new chapter in modern political spin?

Dr Martin Moore

Dr Martin Moore say

It is a significant change in democratic communication.

Dr Martin Moore

Dr Martin Moore say

Twitter is Trump’s unmediated broadcast channel to his 24+ million followers - and beyond. This combines his executive power with communicative power in a personal way we have not seen before. For example, Obama’s POTUS tweets were – and were meant to be – official.

KCL

SCOOPS OF THE WEEK

Last week, Trump told an associate he had become weary of in-fighting among — and leaks from — his White House staff “because it reflects on me,” and that he intended to sit down staffers to tell them “to cut this shit out.” -- Politico

Trump’s registered a complaint about the hand towels aboard Air Force One, the White House aide said, because they are not soft enough. -- Huffington Post

When [Russian President Vladimir] Putin raised the possibility of extending [a] 2010 [nuclear weapons] treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was. -- Reuters