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President Donald Trump bravely celebrated Christmas this week along with 90 percent of America. And for his valiant efforts in the “War on Christmas,” he received many gifts: his first major legislative victory, a train station named after him in Jerusalem, and some much-needed time on the golf course.
If only the “fake news media” would have let him enjoy that last one in peace.
DAY 336 Dec. 22
A big win
Trump started the morning off with a bold prediction: that “at some point” Democrats and Republicans will begin working together. And his infrastructure plan, which may or may not exist yet, would be a good place to start, the president said.
Despite his bullishness on bipartisanship earlier in the morning, Trump signed into law Republicans’ massive tax reform plan, which not a single Democrat voted for. It’s his first major legislative win as president, and it came just in time for Christmas. While the new plan isn’t the “largest TAX CUTS and reform in the history of our country,” as the president claimed, it is massively unpopular.
The tax cuts, which will ultimately increase the deficit by $1.46 trillion, include:
- A permanent decrease to the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 21 percent.
- A limit of $10,000 on state and local deductions, which will hurt residents in high-tax blue states like New York and California. (Even Republican representatives from those states voted against the bill.)
- A minimal tax cut for about 80 percent of households in 2018, although by 2027 most people earning less than $75,000 a year will pay more, while the bill benefits people making more than $100,000, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
- Termination of the individual mandate of Obamacare, which Trump called the “most hated” part of the Affordable Care Act.
In a rare day of victories for the administration, the U.N. Security Council also threw Trump a bone and unanimously approved new, strict sanctions on North Korea, just one day after the international ruling body rejected Trump’s demands to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
DAY 338 Dec. 24
Trump wanted the world to know he wasn’t afraid to say two decidedly not controversial words, “Merry Christmas,” which has become a rallying cry for conservatives who claim Christianity is under attack by liberals and political correctness.
“People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again,” Trump tweeted. “I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!” He also tweeted a video of himself boasting of his “tremendous honor” to wish the world Merry Christmas as president of the United States.
Trump also celebrated the impending birthday of Jesus by retweeting an image of the bloody CNN logo squashed on the bottom of his shoe.
DAY 339 Dec. 25
Christmas then MAGA
Trump continued his campaign for Christmas by tweeting out a video (slightly better-produced than some of his others) that included a religious message that quoted the Book of Isaiah.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” he said.
“I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, then tomorrow it’s back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!” the president later tweeted.
DAY 340 Dec. 26
Back to the course
Just one day after Trump promised to go “back to work” on Christmas, CNN captured rare footage of the president hitting the course at one of his Florida properties. Trump, who repeatedly criticized President Obama’s time spent on the green, has been secretive about his own golfing habits since taking office.
Trump also got back to another favorite pastime: tweeting. He touched on:
- Repealing Obamacare’s “very unfair and unpopular” individual mandate in the tax bill
- Reacting to Fox & Friends’ reporting on the “bogus” “DNC-funded dossier” with a “WOW”
- Hillary Clinton, calling either her or her email scandal a “pile of garbage” (it’s unclear)
- Boosting jobs and the stock market with his recently approved tax plan
DAY 341 Dec. 27
A quick pitstop
After a raucous day of tweeting, Trump found the time to visit with a group of first responders at West Palm Beach Fire and Rescue to thank them for their service and apparently remind them of one of his many gifts: restoring the 1033 program, which gives law enforcement agencies access to controversial military equipment, like armored vehicles and grenade launchers.
“Now you have the best military equipment and you're able to use it for the police force," Trump said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. announced largely symbolic sanctions on foreign officials responsible for creating some other big weapons. The move, which follows the U.N.’s sanctions against North Korea, block two men from the Hermit Kingdom from doing business within the U.S. (which they likely wouldn’t have done anyway) for their roles in nurturing North Korea’s ballistic missile program.
Despite the growing tensions with North Korea, Trump is cozying up to Israel. An upcoming high-speed rail station in the recently recognized capital of Jerusalem will be named after the president, the Israeli minister of transportation told CNN. The stop leads straight to the Western Wall, a holy site for the Jewish faith.
Still, Trump is about to become the first president is nearly a century who hasn’t hosted a single state dinner in his first year in office.
Maybe Trump’s just been too busy ... visiting his own properties. The president has spent 112 days, or one-third of his time so far in office, at a Trump-owned spot, according to a Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) investigation. A truck even blocked what would have been CNN’s second video this week of Trump golfing, although the Secret Service claims it had nothing to do with the obstruction.
DAY 342 Dec. 28
Two feuds at once
After Vanity Fair posted a satirical video suggesting that Hillary Clinton take up a hobby (like knitting) so she won’t run for president again in 2020, the internet called out the publication for what they saw as a sexist swipe at the failed candidate. That presented Trump with a rare opportunity to hit two of his nemeses, Clinton and the media, at the same time.
“Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour, who was all set to be Amb to Court of St James’s & a big fundraiser for CH, is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!,” the president tweeted.
For the record, Anna Wintour doesn’t work at Vanity Fair. She’s the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director for Condé Nast, which owns both Vanity Fair and Vogue.