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Transition Updates: Trump Gets His Twitter Account Back, Releases Video Sort of Conceding

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 7, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | January 7, 2021 |


10:00 — I love you, Elizabeth Warren.

9 pm — Betsy DeVos has resigned. Trump can’t give her any more power or money, so Betsy’s out!

8:00 — It’s clear someone read him the riot act (or that he began to understand the ramifications of being de-platformed) because Donald Trump released a video tonight that’s obviously bullshit, but at least he used his mouth to form some of the right words. Words like a “new administration” will be sworn in on Jan. 20, and that “serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime.” He also called for “healing and reconciliation,” lied about immediately deploying the National Guard, and said to the people that he told he loved yesterday, “You do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law, you will pay.”

“We must get on with the business of America,” the man who hasn’t governed in over two months stated.

The video comes amid dozens of calls from Democrats (and a few Republicans) to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump. The Wall Street Editorial Board, meanwhile, asked that he resign.

Elsewhere, Simon and Schuster dropped Josh Hawley’s book contract, and Hawley is making bad-faith First Amendment arguments that he knows aren’t true.

6:45 — A start.

6:32 — Hey! That’s Joe’s thing!

5:15 — The plan now appear to be not to invoke the 25th. According to Axios, some others may resign, but the National Security Advisor and White House Counsel are being asked to stay on (and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also stay on) and they’re just going to avoid Trump as much as possible until the 20th, ignore unlawful orders, and “white knuckle” it until the 20th.

I mean, I guess that’s a strategy.

4:48 — I hope for nothing less.

4:30 — We have arrived at the stage of the proceedings in which former administration officials who declined to speak out before the election have found an onramp to the moral high ground and they’re gassing up their jalopies because cable news has gotta fill them hours. (I typically avoid cable news except on election and debate nights, and I have watched two days of cable news now. My brain is worms.)

3:40 — This hour: Trump is said to want to pardon himself, according to aides, and Pence plans to attend Biden’s inauguration, assuming he is invited.

2:30 — I don’t know if he even uses it, but Twitch has banned Trump’s account, too. I believe I saw earlier that Trump’s Shopify account — where he sold merch — has also been banned. The Preside of the United States has been de-platformed! (His suspension on Twitter was supposed to be for 12 hours, but he hasn’t tweeted in 23, so I don’t know what’s going on there.)

2:20 — Pelosi joins Schumer in calling up Pence to invoke the 25th.

She also pulls out her Yoda impression?

She’s also calling for the resignation of the Capitol chief of police.

In the other corner, Biden officially announced the nomination of Merrick Garland as AG, as well as Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general. Looks like Biden will also choose Rhode Island Governor, Gina M. Raimondo, as Commerce Secretary.

1:40 — Mitch McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is resigning. That feels like a big deal, but also, it’s worth asking AGAIN how the Majority Leader’s wife gained a seat on the cabinet. (Also, how is it possible that after four years of being the Transportation Secretary, this is basically the first thing we’ve heard out of her?)

1:32 — I feel no sympathy for Mike Pence — he made his bed — but it is predictably heinous that Trump didn’t ask or care about the whereabouts of Mike Pence and his family during the insurrection yesterday. Pence’s family was also at the Capitol, on hand for what should have been a ceremonial action, and when sh*t went down, Trump shrugged.

People close to the vice president now believe he is being set up as a “scapegoat” to shoulder the blame inside Trump-world after Pence refused to buckle to the President’s demands to engineer a procedural coup that would keep Trump in power.

In fact, Trump was pissed because he tried to pressure Pence into a coup, and when he refused to do so, Pence became dead to Trump.

On Tuesday, Pence came under intense pressure from Trump to toss out the election results during a meeting that lasted hours in the Oval Office. The vice president’s chief of staff, Marc Short, was banned by Trump from entering the West Wing, the source said, as the President repeatedly warned with “thinly veiled threats” to Pence that he would suffer major political consequences if he refused to cooperate. “The message was pretty clear,” the source said.

After all of that, Pence’s daughter tweeted congratulations to Trump.

1:05 — This is not that significant, but the fact that MTV VJ went full Fox News several years ago has always troubled me (and also reflected poorly on her MTV doppelganger, Lisa Loeb). At least Kennedy recognizes now that Trumpism should end.

Elsewhere, you have GOT to be f**king kidding me. From the Post:

Trump briefly called in to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday morning — and received a loud and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception when RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel put him on speakerphone, according to people in the room.

“We love you!” some in the room yelled.


12:38 — Shot:


Meanwhile, I don’t see this going anywhere, but for what it is worth:

11:36 — Chuck Schumer is now calling for Trump to be removed from office.

10:53 — In a Facebook post this morning, Zuckerberg has banned Donald Trump indefinitely, and at the very least, through the inauguration.

We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.

Full statement here.

Meanwhile, Adam Kinzinger — a fairly prominent Republican House member — has called upon Pence to invoke the 25th.

Elsewhere, former Attorney General William Barr called Trump’s behavior yesterday a “betrayal of his office and supporters” and stated that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress” was “inexcusable.” For the sake of professionalism, I will not include a jerking-off GIF here.

10:25Resignations, so far:

Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews
Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger
Special envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney
Social Secretary Rickie Niceta
Deputy assistant secretary of commerce for intelligence and security Rick Costello

9:45 — The woman who died yesterday had clearly drunk all the Kool-Aid, bathed in it, and then peed in the bathtub.

In the meantime, turn on the TV, FBI! Check your Twitter and Facebook feeds. Check Getty Images, where there exists not only images of several of the insurrectionists, but their actual names. It’s all right there in the open.

9 a.m. — Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Josh Hawley
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith
Sen. Roger Marshall
Sen. John Kennedy
Sen. Tommy Tuberville
Sen. Cynthia Lummis
Sen. Rick Scott

I wanted to lead with those names today, because those were the eight Senators who continued to object to the certification of votes, even after the violent insurrection on the Capitol yesterday. Early this morning, however, Biden’s Electoral College victory was confirmed over their objections (and over half of the Republican House caucus). Ultimately, there wasn’t a lot of drama overnight, except when Conor Lamb called the Republicans in the House liars and briefly cleared the benches.

Meanwhile, those eight people continued to throw their lot in with a President, who incited the insurrection, who has only 13 days left of his term, and who will leave the White House in dishonor and disgrace.

Joe Biden’s team yesterday expressed hope that this was the “shock to the system” needed to break the hold that Trump had over the Republican party. I don’t know if it will be. I know that it won’t matter to the people that stormed the Capitol yesterday, and I know that it won’t matter to Cruz and Hawley, and I know it won’t matter to the millions of people who have supported Trump for the last four years. It remains to be seen how the rest of the Republican party will respond. I suspect that Donald Trump’s behavior over the next 1-13 days will determine that. The best thing he can do at this point is to shut the f**k up and slink away in disgrace. That’s not in Trump’s nature.

Meanwhile, after the embarrassing, inadequate, shameful, and racist response by law enforcement yesterday, we need to see some arrests, and far more than the 52 recorded yesterday. There should be raids on homes. There should be doors being broken down, and those f**kers need to be dragged out in handcuffs, thrown in the back of paddywagons, and prosecuted for goddamn sedition. Go find them where they are, according to Anderson Cooper: At their Olive Gardens and their Holiday Inns. Until that happens, I hope every one of those f**kers lives in fear of that moment when law enforcement comes in and takes away the next several years of their lives. I know how doubtful most of you feel that this will happen, but somehow we cannot accept anything less than that. We just can’t. This motherf**ker should not see daylight for another decade, at least.


I’m not sure what else there is to say about Donald Trump. They’re going to whisper about the 25th Amendment for a few days, but it probably won’t happen. Several Democrats will probably draw up Articles of Impeachment, but that probably won’t get very far, either. More people will resign (Mick Mulvaney, the former Chief of Staff, resigned from his diplomatic post this morning). Resigning with 13 days left to feels, well, hollow. No offense, but f**k you: You’re not standing on principle, you’re jumping off a sinking ship.

“There is no way to overstate the significance of this moment,” Anne Applebaum wrote in the Atlantic. “No way to ignore the power of the message that these events send to both the friends and the enemies of democracy, everywhere.

The images from Washington that are going out around the world are far more damaging to America’s reputation as a stable democracy than the images of young people protesting the Vietnam War several decades ago, and they are far more disturbing to outsiders than the riots and protests of last summer. Unlike so many other disturbances over the years, the events at the Capitol yesterday did not represent a policy dispute, a disagreement about a foreign war or the behavior of police. They were part of an argument over the validity of democracy itself: A violent mob declared that it should decide who becomes the next president, and Trump encouraged its members. So did his allies in Congress, and so did the far-right propagandists who support him. For a few hours, they prevailed.

In the meantime, I do want to remind everyone that in spite of everything that happened yesterday, Biden’s win was certified. The Democrats did take control of the Senate. There must be consequences. There is no excuse. We cannot coddle the white supremacists and the insurrectionists. Joe cannot unite the country until those responsible for violently dividing it are punished.

“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk,” Richard Barnett, the looting Arkansan in the header photo, told the NYTimes.

He was brandishing an envelope with the speaker’s letterhead that he had taken from Ms. Pelosi’s office. He insisted he had not stolen it — “I put a quarter on her desk.”

Mr. Barnett continued: When the police came in with pepper spray, “I said, ‘I paid for this, it’s mine,’ and I left.” His face was puffy from being hit with pepper spray, but he was laughing as he entertained fellow pro-Trump extremists with his tale.

He’s 60. Men like that have been arrogantly existing above the law their entire lives in places like Arkansas. He should never see the outside a prison cell again.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: Getty Images