In the afterword for the paperback version of her book What Happened, Hillary Clinton writes that "our democracy is in crisis," and President Trump and "his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track."
With the paperback version out Tuesday, The Atlantic published an adaptation of the afterword on Sunday night. In it, Clinton argues that Trump's flurry of outrages "may be the point — to confound us, so it's harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy." Trump "promised to 'drain the swamp,'" she said, so "it's amazing how blithely the president and his Cabinet have piled up conflicts of interest, abuses of power, and blatant violations of ethics rules," not to mention attacks on truth itself.
Trump is also undermining "the national unity that makes democracy possible," Clinton writes, citing his comments about Mexican immigrants and NFL players who choose to kneel. Trump "doesn't even try to pretend he's a president for all Americans," she said, adding that nothing Trump says is "a mark of authenticity or a refreshing break from political correctness. Hate speech isn't 'telling it like it is.' It's just hate."
This is all a long time coming, Clinton said, as the "assault on our democracy didn't start with this election." It started with billionaires like the Koch brothers and Mercer family, "who spent a lot of time and money building an alternative reality where science is denied, lies masquerade as truth, and paranoia flourishes." To fight back, people must vote in the midterms, and "when the dust settles, we have to do some serious housecleaning." Congress passed reforms after Watergate, and "we're going to need a similar process" post-Trump, Clinton said. She suggests that all presidential candidates be required by law to release tax returns, and the process for elections be improved and protected. Read more at The Atlantic. Catherine Garcia
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló pushed back against detractors of a report that found nearly 3,000 people died on the island because of Hurricane Maria.
On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump claimed without any evidence that "3,000 people did not die" from Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year, and that the number was inflated "by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico."
The official death toll of nearly 3,000 is from a study that Rosselló commissioned, conducted by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health. "We went through a rigorous scientific process, we externalized the investigation so that it was an independent investigation," Rosselló told CBS News, adding, "Neither the people of Puerto Rico nor the victims deserve their pain to be questioned."
Relief efforts are still underway on the island, and Rosselló said it's "evident that the treatment that was given to, say, Florida or Texas was very different than the treatment given in Puerto Rico. We are second-class U.S. citizens, we live in a colonial territory, it is time to eliminate that and I implore all the elected officials, particularly now in midterm elections, to have a firm stance." People are either "for colonial territories or against them," he added. "You're either for giving equal rights to the U.S. citizens that live in Puerto Rico or you're against it." Catherine Garcia
In her first message to supporters since overdosing on July 24, pop singer Demi Lovato wrote on Sunday that her fans' "positive thoughts and prayers have helped me navigate through this difficult time."
Lovato was at her home in Los Angeles when she overdosed from an opioid, and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she's remained ever since. Lovato, who had been sober for six years, said she has "always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet."
Lovato shared that she is taking time out to "heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery. The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side. I will keep fighting." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is calling on the White House to "end the cruel, tragic separation of families" at the border, saying the policy is "not consistent with our values."
In a statement released Monday evening, Murkowski said that the "thousands of children taken from their parents and families must be reunited as quickly as possible and be treated humanely while immigration proceedings are pending." There is no need for a "policy designed to separate families, particularly mothers with young children, without a clear process and focus on the needs of the children," she added. "To blame previous administrations for a wrong committed today is not acceptable."
Murkowski is also "troubled that those seeking asylum are being turned away before they even have the opportunity to file their papers." If Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen can't "fix this and fast," she said, "we in Congress must." Catherine Garcia
Former first lady Laura Bush is criticizing the Trump administration's policy of separating parents accused of illegally crossing the border from their children, and believes the United States government "should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores" and "tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso."
In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Sunday night, Bush noted that as someone living in Texas, a border state, she can "appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart." From April 19 to May 31, the Department of Homeland Security sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care, and Bush said photos that have emerged showing kids at these detention centers are "eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."
People of all political stripes "agree that our immigration system isn't working," she continued, "but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer." Bush believes Americans have "an obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place," and is certain that the country can "find a kinder, more compassionate, and even moral answer" to the crisis. Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
In response to Roseanne Barr's racist tweet about her, Valerie Jarrett said she hopes that it can be used as a "teaching moment."
.@ValerieJarrett responds to Roseanne Barr's tweet, saying Disney’s chairman called her before announcing that ABC was canceling the show: "This should be a teaching moment.” #EverydayRacism pic.twitter.com/b0EvA8WAeY
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 29, 2018
Barr apologized to Jarrett and said her tweet was "in bad taste," but the backlash was swift and fierce, with ABC canceling the reboot of her show. Jarrett served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and was a guest Tuesday at MSNBC's planned town hall, Everyday Racism in America, which will air tonight.
"I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment," Jarrett said. "I'm fine. I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense. The person who's walking down the street, minding their own business, and they see somebody cling to their purse or wanna cross the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy who has to sit down and have a conversation, 'The Talk,' as we call it." Jarrett said Disney President Bob Iger told her Roseanne was being canceled before it was publicly announced, and she supports the decision. Catherine Garcia
In moving essay, Colbie Holderness describes how it feels to be in — and leave — an abusive relationship
Colbie Holderness, the first wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, is pushing back against comments White House counselor Kellyanne Conway made over the weekend regarding the abuse that Holderness and Porter's other ex-wife, Jennifer Willoughby, say they suffered during their marriages.
On CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Conway said she didn't have any reason to not believe the women, but when asked if she was afraid for Porter's rumored new girlfriend, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Conway replied, "I've rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts." This, Holderness wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post published Monday night, "implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong. I beg to differ."
It takes strength to recognize and survive an abusive relationship, Holderness said, and "it's often the subtler forms of abuse that inflict serious, persistent damage while making it hard for the victim to see the situation clearly." Holderness said she lived in "constant fear" of Porter's anger, and being "subjected to his degrading tirades for years chipped away at my independence and sense of self-worth." When she did finally leave Porter, who denies the allegations of abuse, Holderness said her self-confidence was "so destroyed" and it took years to get her professional life back on track.
Because victims are so intertwined with their abusers, through marriage, children, and money, it's hard to leave, and "the bottom line is, it takes strength to pull yourself away and start over," Holderness said. It's important to remember that having "excellent instincts and loyalty and smarts" does not "inoculate a person against abuse," and it can be very easy to overlook a person's nature if you are "blinded by a stellar résumé and background." Read Holderness' entire op-ed at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
On Monday morning, 16 women who have come forward and accused President Trump of sexual misconduct will hold a press conference, calling on Congress to open an investigation into their allegations.
The press conference will start at 10:30 a.m. ET, shortly after three of the women — Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks — are scheduled to appear on Megyn Kelly Today to share their own stories. Leeds said that during a flight in the 1980s, Trump groped her, and Crooks said in 2005, while working as a receptionist for a company with an office in Manhattan's Trump Tower, she introduced herself to Trump while waiting for an elevator and he forcibly kissed her. Holvey said while competing as Miss North Carolina in the 2006 Miss USA pageant, Trump came backstage to ogle the women, telling CNN she felt as though "we were just sexual objects, we were not people."
Crooks told CNN in November it's been tough to watch as men accused of sexual misconduct, like producer Harvey Weinstein, have lost their jobs, while Trump is still in the White House, seemingly untouchable. "I think it's just evidence of sort of the political atmosphere these days, we're forgotten by politicians who think it's more convenient to keep Trump in office, you know, have him just sweeping his indiscretions under the rug." Trump has denied all of the accusations. Catherine Garcia