fighting-words

A Day That’s Both Routinized and Indelibly the President’s Own
Trump’s populist tone, churlish crowd, combine with ageless Capitol pomp

From left, First lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Major General Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence review the troops following Donald Trump’s swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If inaugurations are like weddings — the central figures remain singular and the emotional sensibilities vary, but the liturgies are similar and the outcome is always the same — then the opening day of Donald Trump’s presidency absolutely kept the metaphor relevant.

On Friday, he became the only billionaire, the only brand personification and the only person without any prior experience as a public servant to take the oath of office. And then he excoriated the capital establishment arrayed around him using caustic language and campaign-rally cadences particularly discordant for an inaugural address.

Maine Gov. LePage Ups Ante About Lewis
Refuses to back down from earlier remarks about Lewis, says NAACP should apologize to white people

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., was criticized by Maine Gov. Paul LePage for not attending President Elect Donald Trump's inauguration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is not backing down from comments he made about Rep. John Lewis boycotting incoming President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

On a radio interview last weekend, LePage said Lewis should remember that Republicans were the advocates for civil rights, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Clay: Taking Down Ferguson Painting is ‘Unconstitutional’
Missouri congressman will keep controversial painting in his office

Reps. Cedric Richmond, far left, and William Lacy Clay, center, continue to defend a Missouri student's painting. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. William Lacy Clay said the taking down of a Capitol high school art competition painting of police-community relations in Ferguson, Missouri, is unconstitutional.

After a week of hanging and unhanging, the painting was removed from the Cannon tunnel on Tuesday.

Texas Republican Compares Mexican Singers to Russian Interference
Says actors and singers who performed at Clinton rally tried to influence election, too

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, wants “the whole story.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said the Mexican singers and soap opera stars who appeared at Hillary Clinton events influenced the election as much as Russian hackers did.

“Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that,” Conaway told the Dallas Morning News.

North Dakota Man Arrested for Heitkamp Death Threat
Threatened to ‘shoot you in your red head’

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., received threatening emails from a man wanting an exemption from the Affordable Care Act (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Fargo, N.D., man is accused in federal court of emailing threats to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for nearly four years.

Kevin Lee Olson sent an email on Dec. 22, 2016, in which he threatened to shoot the senator in the head. Heitkamp had received threatening emails from Olson, 55, since 2014, the Pioneer Press reported

Blum Mocks Democrats Over Russian Hacking
Democratic group says it takes one to know one

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, joked Democrats couldn’t “hack” the cold weather in Washington. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, mocked Democrats over the Russian hacking scandal with a joke about the Democratic National Committee on his Facebook page.

Blum posted a photo on his Sunday saying, “Walked to work past DNC HQ this afternoon. Nobody there — I guess they couldn't ‘hack’ this cold weather!”

Trump Contradicts Himself on Assange
President-elect says he’s a ‘big fan’ of ‘intelligence’

President-elect Donald Trump said he is not in agreement with WikiLeaks head Julian Assange but he has praised the organization in the past. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President-elect Donald Trump denied Thursday that he ever supported WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in two morning tweets.

Trump said the “dishonest media” is wrong in reporting that he agrees with Assange, adding that “the media lies to make it look like I am against ‘intelligence,’ when, in fact, I am a big fan.”

Ryan Bucks Trump, Says Congress Will Not Raise Tariffs
Speaker’s comment breaks from president-elect’s promise to impose ‘border tax’

Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress will not raise tariffs, undermining President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to institute a “border tax” for companies that leave the U.S. but want to continue doing business here. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in a break from President-elect Donald Trump, said Wednesday that Congress is not going to increase taxes on imports and exports through tariffs. 

“We’re not going to be raising tariffs,” Ryan said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

Donald Trump: Celebrity in Chief
Trump shows that your own starpower outweighs others’

Donald Trump rode his personal appeal and favorable timing all the way to the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

To win this year’s presidential election, Donald Trump didn’t need to get much support from celebrities — he was the celebrity himself. 

Celebrity appears to have become more central in recent presidential contests, with Trump taking the cult of personality to new heights. His personal appeal, and favorable timing for his brand of bluster, was enough to trounce an entire field of candidates that the GOP considered among its strongest in recent history.

Mean Things Trump’s Team Has Said About Him
Many of his picks have been critical of their new boss in the past

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, President-elect Donald Trump’s supported Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential primaries. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As President-elect Donald Trump assembles his White House team, many of his choices or people he has considered have had some unkind words about him.

Here are some of the worst thing some of them have said about him in the past: