Remember how 2017 was supposed to go into the books as the wildest in U.S. political history, what with the country having just elected as president a real estate developer turned reality TV star who had launched his political career championing the conspiracy theory about the sitting president not being a U.S. citizen because he was, you know, a black man?
Remember how Donald Trump – after winning the White House despite getting caught boasting he was so rich he could grab women by “the pussy” without paying a price, because his seasoned political opponent forgot to visit a couple key states, being too busy with late-night TV appearances and cash-raising in California – was going to settle into being “presidential” in 2018? Remember how 2018 was going to be the year Trump would have mastered Washington politics, and spelling?
Turns out, Donald Trump was just warming up in 2017, and in 2018 really began to foam over. With Dems taking over the House and hot on the trail of Trump’s taxes, former Trump Team members cooperating in Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, and POTUS focused largely on keeping his base, and Fox News Channel primetime stars, happy, more presidential foaming over is forecast for 2019.
Trying to winnow Trump’s wildest, most memorable known moments of 2018 was an impossible task. Here are some of the highlights, though we’re sure we missed some you think should have made the list, and we hope you will let us know:
TRUMP SEEKS COURT PROTECTION FROM ‘SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’
Morning after Saturday Night Live’s It’s a Wonderful Life-esque cold open,envisioning our world if Hillary Clinton had visited Wisconsin “just once” while campaigning and won the White House, Trump took to Twitter to question whether the skit was legal, and demanding it be challenged in court.
TRUMP PLAYS VLADIMIR PUTIN LAPDOG IN HELSINKI
Though he had repeatedly dismissed reports Russia interfered in our 2016 election, pundits were shocked when Trump stood onstage in Helsinki with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin and accepted the former KGB officer’s denials regarding interference in the election. Trump nodded as Putin denied any involvement. Asked directly if he believes his own intelligence community or Putin, Trump said his advisers, including director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, have told him “they think it’s Russia,” but “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
Putin rewarded Trump for his presser performance with a World Cup soccer ball.
When even Newt Gingrich called that performance “a mistake,” Trump wanted a do-over, telling reporters that when he said he did not see any reason why Russia “would” be involved in election tampering, he had meant to say “wouldn’t” and that they should add that into their coverage to clarify.
“You know what? That makes sense. I believe Trump on this,” The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah said that night. Then Noah clarified: “Sorry, what I meant to say was ‘Get the fuck out of here, man!’”
And former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pronounced Trump to be Putin’s “useful idiot.” Borrowing a Mussolini gag, she described Trump’s Russia strategy to date: “If you pluck the chicken one feather at a time nobody will notice.” “We have just plucked a lot of feathers here,” she said of Trump’s Helsinki groveling.
Trump then took to Twitter to blast those, including a growing number of Republicans, and on-air talent at Fox New, the Wall Street Journal, etc., who “HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia,” scoffing, “They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
TRUMP REVEALS HE HAS FALLEN IN LOVE WITH KIM JONG UN
Speaking at a televised October rally in West Virginia about the circumstances leading up to his June summit in Singapore with Russian ruler Kim Jong Un, Trump said he had been very tough on Un and Un reciprocated in kind.
“And we would go back and forth. And then we fell in love, ok? No really,” Trump said to assure attendees it was no joke.
“He wrote me beautiful letters. And they’re great letters. And then we fell in love.”
As happens in even the very best of romantic relationships, Kim Jong Un continues to fawn over POTUS but describes his effort to denuclearize North Korea as “delusion” unless Trump first removes all of its military assets from South Korean and Japan.
TRUMP TAKES VERY LARGE BRAIN TO UNITED NATIONS
The real estate developer turned reality star who spent years complaining that the world was laughing at the United States prompted laughter among world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, when he spoke there for the second time as POTUS.
The guffawing erupted early in his address as Trump boasted he had accomplished more than almost any other administration in U.S. history.
“I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s okay,” Trump smiled, before getting back on script.
After his address, Trump held a presser where, among other gobsmacking moments, he called a reporter from Kurdistan “Mr Kurd” and insisted China has great respect for his “very, very large brain.”
TRUMP HOSTS KANYE WEST AT WHITE HOUSE
“My dad and mom separated, so I did not have lot of male energy in my home,” the husband of Kim Kardashian told Trump. “Also, I’m married to a family that does not have a lot of male energy. It’s beautiful, though!” West enthused.
Meanwhile, Trump, who had made the call to televise the encounter, was looking like a guy who has gone looking for a leak in the White House gas line with a lit match, as the room full of journalists recorded every expletive-laden moment.
“I love Hillary – I love everyone, right?” West rambled on, about the former Democratic presidential candidate who Trump has suggested should be locked up. “But the campaign ‘I’m With Her’ did not…make me feel like a guy that could play catch with his son,” West complained.
“There is something about when I put this [MAGA] hat on that makes me feel like Superman! That’s my favorite superhero. You make a Superman cape for me,” Kanye gushed at Trump, who was sitting with his desk between him and Kanye, and seemed happier for it.
He bragged about having “the balls to put on this hat” when he appeared on Saturday Night Live, adding, “What I need Saturday Night Live to improve on, the liberals to improve on – if he don’t look good we don’t look good!” West said, pointing at Trump.
“This is our president!…He has to be the freshest, the flyest, have the flyest plane… We have to bring jobs into America,” West added, scolding “when we make everything in China and not America, we are cheating the country.”
Trump’s clothing line is made in China, but West did not mention that.
Trump “is on his hero’s journey right now” West insisted, while conceding, “he might not have thought he’d have a crazy motherf*cker like [me].” Trump said he could come back any time, being a “smart cookie” who “gets it.”
MELANIA THROWS OFF ZARA JACKET TO REVEAL A TRUE TRUMP
In October, Melania Trump lost much of her mystique when she complained, while touring Africa, that she considers herself to be the
“most bullied person in the world.”
That cheap Zara jacket she wore when she went to to visit migrant children her husband had separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border, bore a message she wanted to deliver to “the people and the left-wing media who are criticizing me.” It read “I Really Don’t Care Do You?”
“I want to show them that I don’t care,” she told ABC News, of the media.
This sense of being the “most bullied person in the world” is what led her to create her anti-bullying “Be Best” initiative. So much for media speculation that campaign was sending a message to her social media bully-in-chief husband, POTUS Donald Trump. It is instead, intended to blast them.
TRUMP BURIES ADMINISTRATION’S DIRE CLIMATE REPORT
Master media manipulator Donald Trump pulled a classic “take out the trash” move on his own administration’s latest study about the catastrophic impact of climate change. He moved up the planned release date of the report, dumping it on the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, to make sure it would come and go with as little notice as possible. When asked about the report, and the timing, Trump responded, simply, “I don’t believe it,” and that he had only bothered to read “some” of the report.
Later, Trump blames the deadliest wildfire in California history on improper raking.
TRUMP BLAMES MIDTERM STALL ON SYNAGOGUE SLAUGHTER
Pipe bombs mailed to two former U.S. Presidents and CNN, and the slaughter of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October stalled Trump’s momentum in the midterm elections, POTUS complained during one of his many rallies in support of GOP candidates.
While taking credit for midterm election turnout he boasted is “breaking every single record,” Trump old those attending a Missouri rally covered on TV. “We did have two maniacs stop a momentum that was incredible, because for seven days nobody talked about the elections…It stopped a tremendous momentum.”
He blamed news outlets for “Not talking politics” while they instead covered the two domestic terror incidents.
“Very unfortunate, what is going on,’ Trump said, telling Republicans, “go out and vote!”
Ironically a man who appears, based on his van’s many bumper stickers and signs, to be an ardent Trump supporter was arrested in Florida for the bomb mailings.
TRUMP COMES UNHINGED AT POST-MIDTERM PRESSER
Key members of House took to Sunday Beltway shows to signal they might investigate Trump’s campaigns against CNN, WaPo owner Jeff Bezos and other media outlets violates any laws, after Trump’s post-midterm press brawl that left CNN’s Jim Acosta stripped of his press credentials. Trump, clearly was irked at Dem gains in the House, in gubernatorial races, etc., held a morning after presser to claim victory, owing to GOP gains in the Senate.
When Acosta aggressively poked the presidential bear with his trademark line of chastising, Trump shouted back, “That’s enough! Put down the mic!” and adding, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person.”
“I’m not a big fan of yours either!” Trump next hissed at NBC’s White House Correspondent Peter Alexander, who came to Acosta’s defense, telling Trump that the CNN reporter is “a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.”
Acosta jumped back up and, minus microphone, could be heard talking “pipe bombs” – three of which had been sent to CNN, allegedly by a rabid Donald Trump supporter in Florida who had been arrested. Trump seemed to endorse the suspect’s move on CNN, bellowing, “When you report Fake News, which CNN does, you are the Enemy of the People!”
A question about voter suppression triggered Trump to proclaim “Take a look at the CNN polls, how inaccurate they were. THAT’s voter suppression!”
And, when PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump about calling himself a “nationalist” which is seen by some to mean “white nationalist,” he shot back at the African American reporter, “That is such a racist question!”
Secret Service confiscated Acosta’s press badge that afternoon and Trump threatened to do same of more reporters. CNN sued and Acosta’s badge was returned.
TRUMP TWEETS EMMY PERFORMANCE AS WASHINGTON CRUMBLES
Same day POTUS reversed his decision to sign a bill keeping the government funded into February when Ann Coulter objected, ordered a full troop withdrawal from Syria and partial withdraw from Afghanistan, and as the stock market plunged, Trump tweeted a clip of his Green Acres theme-song performance at the 2005 Emmy Awards – because he was about to sign a farm bill: