— An email obtained by The Washington Post shows that the Trump transition team attempted to fire the Inspectors Generals of all the agencies. Inspector Generals are bi-partisan and have open-ended appointments regardless of the party in the White House; they are tasked with conducting audits and investigations of their own departments to root out fraud. In other words, Trump tried to root out the people in charge of investigating fraud.
— Trump gave an appalling, embarrassing, incoherent, narcissistic speech during a meeting with Black leaders in celebration of Black History Month, in which it was clear he had no idea who Frederick Douglass was (in fact, he seemed to believe he was still alive).
JUST IN: House approves resolution killing SEC requirement for oil, gas, mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) February 1, 2017
— A judge ordered Trump to pay $5.7 million to members of a golf course he owns in Florida after he not only refused to issue them refunds, but wouldn’t allow the members access to the club while they were paying dues ranging from $35,000 to $200,000.
— There’s a purge of spies underway in Russia. Several spies have been imprisoned and may be executed for treason for purportedly passing along information to the United States. I wonder who ratted them out?
— Billionaire Vincent Viola, Trump’s pick for Secretary of the Army, is attempting to buy an airline, Swift Air, with “millions of dollars in hard-to-track government subcontracts,” according to the Times.
— An interview from 2010 surfaced in which Stephen Bannon said “Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a religion of submission. Islam means submission.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn’t deny the quote, nor did he suggest that Bannon no longer believes that. He simply stated that Trump doesn’t share the same opinion. Stephen Bannon is Trump’s chief advisor, and he is on the National Security Council.
— Not so coincidentally, Trump plans to revamp and rename a government organization called “Countering Violent Extremism,” to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” and makes it sole focus Islamist extremism rather that white supremacist groups.
— A holdover from the Obama administration, David Shulkin, who is also Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, was actually at odds with Republicans and Trump advisors during his confirmation hearings because he refuses to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs, as they’d prefer. “The Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch,” he said.
— Reports surfaced that during a phone call with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of Australia — our ally — Trump was hostile, bragged about winning the election, told Turnbull it was “the worst call by far,” ” fumed as Turnbull attempted to confirm that the United States would honor its pledge to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center,” and eventually hung up on the leader halfway through the call.
— Though officials in Mexico and the United States deny it, the Associated Press is reporting that Trump was incredibly hostile in his phone call with the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, and basically threatened to invade the country.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
Business Insider added more:
“I don’t need the Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico,” Trump reportedly told the Mexican president. “We are going to build the wall and you all are going to pay for it, like it or not.”
Trump hinted that the US would force Mexico to fund the wall with a 10% tax on Mexican exports “and of 35% on those exports that hurt Mexico the most,” Estevez wrote in Proyecto Puente.
— Trump’s national security advisor, Michael Flynn, is being investigated for receiving payments from the Kremlin-controlled RT television network, which may have violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
— Meanwhile, Flynn also put Iran “on notice,” though he ignored Russia’s escalating violence in the Ukraine.