- The Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC), which touts the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment, had guns barred from its meeting this year and then hosted the NRA’s leader to give a speech long on scare tactics but strong on gun ownership and nothing but gun ownership.
- It also hosted another NRA spokesman who said mainstream media loved mass shootings at schools because they liked the ratings that come from “crying white mothers.”
- The NRA this week denounced the “rogue leadership” of the FBI.
- President Trump told us he was talking to the NRA and they were going to do the “right thing” when it comes to gun control reform. Maybe the President was saying the NRA would do the right-wing thing? Because the next day, the head of the NRA came out in a speech that was over the top even for him and made clear they weren’t agreeing even to make the age for gun ownership 21 instead of 18 for automatic and semi-automatic weapons and that liberals were trying to eliminate the Second Amendment.
- A senior official for CPAC said former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele was elected because he was a “black guy" and it was a mistake.
- Trump retweeted from @waynedupreeshow who tweeted a picture of himself with the text: “This is what it's all about! It's ok 2 b black, conservative and love America and not vote Democrat! Freedom exists!” Trump’s comment on his retweet was “So true Wayne, and Lowest black unemployment in history!” That apparently was his comment because Mr. Dupree is African-American.
- The student survivors from Parkland’s school shooting were all over the media, mourning while also advocating articulately for stronger gun laws so their school’s shooting would be the last ever. Trump, never one to pass up appropriating someone else’s language for himself, promised these students in a “listening session” that this would be the last such incident. Big promise to make.
- Trump also proposed that we arm a certain percentage of school teachers because then if a shooter enters a school to do damage, he will be killed immediately. Yes, your daughter’s teacher may be packing. So much has been written on this topic that I won’t add much to it other than: It’s a stupid idea and sounds even stupider coming from the President of the United States. Teachers are buying their own school supplies because they’re not sufficiently provided. Who’s gonna buy the guy, train them, pay for the bonuses the President suggested for them, convince the teachers’ unions this is their duty. I know who will pray for those teachers as well as our children if that happens. Us.
- The CPAC crowd, at President Trump’s instigation, booed Sen. John McCain, who has a terminal tumor, because he voted against repealing Obamacare and I guess because he would like to have something to replace it right away. Which, uh, the President promised in his campaign. It was “repeal and replace” not “repeal.”
- Trump addressed or lectured or entertained CPAC, went off script and brought back campaign successes such as chants of “Lock her up!” about his former political opponent, recited again “The Snake,” which he seems to repeat with dog whistles of prejudice against immigrants, explained how he covers his bald spot (in, I think, at an out of character effort at self-deprecating humor) but he did not repeat his “We’re gonna build a wall and…Mexico will pay for it!”
- Trump held an availability where he and his visitor, the Australian prime minister, took two questions each. Trump took questions from this preferred outlets that spend their days praising him. Neither asked about the fact that his former deputy campaign manager at about that moment was pleading guilty to various charges to reduce a term in prison and to turn on others in the special counsel’s Russia probe. The President hasn't held a full-fledged press conference in more than a year.
- Trump said his chief-of-staff would make the decision on whether to cease Jared Kushner’s, Trump’s son-in-law, access to classified material because he can’t pass his security investigation. He also praised his son-in-law in a way that makes it hard for his chief of staff to pull the classified material away from him. Reminder: Jared's portfolio includes striking a deal for Middle East peace, diplomacy with Mexico, diplomacy with China, reforming the criminal justice system, reinventing government.
- The President directed the Department of Defense to organize a Veteran’s Day military parade to show off the United States weaponry. The route would be from the White House, passed Trump’s DC hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue and end at the U.S Capitol. My guess is special seating and higher room with a view rates will be announced shortly by the hotel.
This is some of what happened in the last week:
B. Jay Cooper
B. Jay is a former deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also headed the communications offices at the Republican National Committee, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Yale University. He is a former reporter and is the retired deputy managing director of APCO Worldwide's Washington, D.C., office.