The Note: Trump's week of disrespect

This week was about people asking for respect.

August 17, 2018, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with MaryAlice Parks


This week was about people asking for respect, and, of course, paying our respects to the late and greatest Aretha Franklin.

The "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin, poses for a portrait with circa 1967.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, FILE

Off the bat, former White House senior adviser Omorosa Manigault Newman, expressed her concerns over the president’s respect, or lack thereof, for minority groups. She claimed to have heard a tape where he used an unbelievable racial epithet and current White House staff stumbled through lines in the coming days about how they have never heard him say the n-word.

Former CIA Director John Brennan and other former intelligence officers too talked about respect for precedent, as they responded to the president’s decision to revoke Brennan’s security clearance. Having a clearance did not mean that he had access to secret documents, it meant he had the respect of the federal government to perhaps access them again should his expertise be needed. The president pulling the plug on that, for apparent political reasons, sent shockwaves throughout Washington.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about Russian actions during the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 23, 2017.
AFP/Getty Images, FILE

And then yesterday, the question of respecting the press. Local newspapers around the country – more than 300 in total – ran editorials defending their work, talking about the importance of a free flow of information and defense of the First Amendment. Responding to the president, the South Bend Tribune editorial board wrote, "President Donald Trump recently labeled news organizations the ‘enemy of the American people.’ … The press is supposed to fight for you, and your right to know. The South Bend Tribune, with all its challenges and its imperfections, remains dedicated to that mission here in Michiana. And we’re damn proud of it."

The RUNDOWN with John Verhovek

For the White House, it was a week of distractions and melodramas.

Lost in the shuffle and series of dizzying news cycles was another round of primaries that bode well for Democratic success in a midterm election that is now just over 80 days away.

Voter turnout spiked and Democrats appear to have outvoted the GOP by significant margins in the Minnesota and Wisconsin primaries, two states that will be perhaps this years' best barometer of President Trump's political strength heading towards 2020.

Tuesday also saw a number of historic firsts in Vermont and Minnesota, and a new high-water mark for female U.S. Senate nominees in our nation's history.

Christine Hallquist, a transgender utility executive seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Vermont, talks about her candidacy, Feb. 21, 2018 in Johnson, Vt.

These are developments that often go unnoticed with a White House caught in a seemingly endless string of controversy. Amid revoked security clearances and salacious tell-all books, the president's constant desire to settle personal scores begs the question: is he as focused on keeping Congress in Republican hands this fall as he should be?

Democrats of course have infighting of their own to deal with, as the tug-of-war between the progressive and establishment wings of the party continues. But with the bulk of primary season behind us, that power struggle has only continued to fuel Democratic desire to send Trump a message in 2018.

The TIP with Micah Cohen

Will Democrats win control of the House of Representatives this November? FiveThirtyEight’s newly launched House forecast gives them a 3-in-4 chance of winning the majority. Republicans have a 1-in-4 chance of keeping control. That’s according to a statistical model FiveThirtyEight uses to look at polls of each race, how much money each candidate has raised, how each district has voted historically and more.

Read more about the FiveThirtyEight House forecast:

And here's how the FiveThirtyEight forecast works:


  • President Trump participates in roundtable with supporters at 1 p.m and delivers remarks at a luncheon at 1:30 p.m.
  • Trump heads to Bedminster, N.J. in the afternoon where he will spend the weekend.
  • Jury deliberations in the Manafort trial resume at 9:30 a.m.
  • No Labels holds a discussion with Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., and Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., on how they plan to implement the “Break the Gridlock” package in the next Congress at 12:30 p.m.

    "Overall a very good day for Mr. Manafort." — said Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lead attorney, after the jury ended deliberations for the day.


    ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Friday morning's episode features FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver discussing the House forecast, which gives Democrats about a 3 in 4 chance of taking back the House. ABC News’ Trish Turner checks in from court after the first day of jury deliberations in the Paul Manafort trial. And, ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz discusses the controversy surrounding President Trump’s military parade.


    Trump's military parade is postponed until 2019. President Donald Trump's military parade that was slated to have taken place on November 10 has been postponed, according to a Pentagon statement. Earlier on Thursday, a U.S. official had told ABC News that the cost of the parade had risen to $92 million, a significant increase to initial estimates that it could cost $14 million. (Elizabeth McLaughlin and Luis Martinez)

    Manafort jury asks judge to define 'reasonable doubt' during deliberations. After a full day of deliberation, the 12-person jury in the financial crimes trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has yet to reach a verdict, meaning the panel will reconvene Friday to continue considering Manafort’s fate. (Katherine Faulders, Trish Turner, Pierre Thomas and Allison Pecorin)

    Senate Republicans defend Trump's decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance. Senators’ reactions to President Donald Trump revoking former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance mostly broke down along party lines, with Democrats condemning and Republicans defending him. (Ali Rogin)

    Bin Laden raid commander defends Brennan, tells Trump, 'revoke my security clearance as well'. The retired U.S. Navy admiral who led the mission to kill Osama bin Laden is defending former CIA director John Brennan after President Donald Trump revoked his security clearance earlier this week. (Elizabeth McLaughlin)

    Livid lawmakers clash with feds over safety of unaccompanied immigrant children. Lawmakers clashed with federal officials during a heated hearing Thursday examining which agencies maintain legal responsibility for the welfare of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children after they are placed in the homes of sponsors. (John Parkinson)

    Lara Trump offers Omarosa a $180K salary to rejoin campaign in new recording. Omarosa Manigault Newman, former reality television villain and White House official, released her latest secret recording – this time, a conversation with Lara Trump about joining the Trump campaign. (Meridith McGraw)

    Why does the US government let millions of people access its secrets? John Cohen had spent 32 years in law enforcement and national security, ultimately taking over the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, where he worked every day to make sure authorities across the country were aware of the greatest threats facing their communities. His government work required him to have a top security clearance. (Mike Levine)

    Giuliani stops claiming Clinton-era memo blocks Mueller from subpoenaing Trump. Even as the prospect grows that special counsel Robert Mueller might end up subpoenaing President Donald Trump for an interview, Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has stopped making a key argument: that Justice Department "rules" block such a subpoena. (Mike Levine)

    Trump's school safety commission aims to use students to help make schools safer. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school returned to school Wednesday for the start of the new year, six months after the devastating shooting shook their community in Parkland. In the wake of the mass shooting, President Donald Trump established a school safety commission, chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, which convened for the fifth time Thursday. (Kendall Karson)

    Twitter quietly kills suspected firearm-themed bot network. One minute, they were cranking out an endless stream of tweets, pushing conservative-leaning news articles or fiery video commentary. The next, they were gone, without a trace or an explanation. (Lee Fernan and James Gordon Meek)

    A new CNN polls shows that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has the lowest public support than any other nominee from the last four administrations.

    Detroit Rep. Bettie Cook Scott allegedly referred to her Asian-American opponent Rep. Stephanie Chang as “ching-chong” to multiple voters outside precincts during last Tuesday's election, according to The Detroit News.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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