Donald Trump Is Telling You Every Day Exactly Who He Is

INSIDE: Rudy G ... Mark Meadows ... Christian Ziegler
RENO, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Republican Presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on December 17, 2023 in Reno, Nevada. For... RENO, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Republican Presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a campaign rally at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on December 17, 2023 in Reno, Nevada. Former U.S. President Trump held a campaign rally as he battles to become the Republican Presidential nominee for the 2024 Presidential election. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) MORE LESS
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.

Straight Up Fascism

Donald Trump went on a weekend tear, sounding like an unrepentant fascist in attacks on immigrants and the rule of law.

Trump went so far that the Biden White House called it out for what it was: “Echoing the grotesque rhetoric of fascists and violent white supremacists and threatening to oppress those who disagree with the government are dangerous attacks on the dignity and rights of all Americans, on our democracy, and on public safety. …”

When was the last time a White House denounced fascism within America? Ever?

Pure Poison

The most scurrilous of the Trump attacks was against immigrants during New Hampshire rally Saturday:

“Christian nationalists believe that the secular values of democracy are destroying Christianity and traditional values,” Heather Cox Richardson noted about Trump’s speech. “They want to get rid of LGBTQ+ rights, feminism, immigration, and the public schools they believe teach such values. And if that means handing power to a dictator who promises to restore their vision of a traditional society, they’re in.”

Trump Backs The Jan. 6 Rioters Again

In the same New Hampshire speech, Trump shifted from touting the jailed Jan. 6 rioters as “political prisoners” to “hostages“:

At an event Sunday in Reno, Nevada, Trump expressed sympathy for the six GOP fake electors of his who have been charged criminally in that state, saying they, too, were victims of political persecution.

$148 Million Buys A Lot Of Hair Dye

Just an astonishing damages award against Rudy Giuliani in the defamation case brought by Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

Not undeserved. Not out of bounds. Not crazy.

But still an extraordinary vindication for the two Black women who were targeted by Giuliani and much of MAGA world after the 2020 campaign. Keep in mind that the attacks on them figure into the indictments of Trump for the election subversion in both DC and Georgia.

Beyond the underlying conduct that gave rise to their claims, Giuliani engaged in ongoing, persistent self-destructive behavior throughout the case, which created pristine conditions for a devastating jury decision like this one. Not only did he disregard his pre-trial discovery obligations and toy with the court enough to have a default judgment entered against him, he continued to make the same false assertions in public at the courthouse while the jury heard the damages portion of the case. Giuliani was so out of control that comments he made to the press during the proceedings ended up figuring prominently in the closing argument by plaintiffs’ counsel.

If you’re going to attack Black women who work for the government, DC is probably the last place you want to have to defend yourself. The eight-member jury was composed of three white women, two Black women, two white men, and a Black man. The $75 million punitive damages award was the gut punch that signaled the jury’s disgust with Giuliani’s conduct.

If you add the $148 million in this case to the $700 million in the Fox settlement with Dominion Voting System, the total so far in Big Lie defamation damages is close to $1 billion, with Smartmatic’s big defamation case against Fox still pending.

What happens next.

Mark Meadows May Be Stuck In Georgia

Mark Meadows’ bid to remove the Georgia RICO case to federal court did not go well Friday in front of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Round 2 For Jenna Ellis?

Two watchdogs groups are taking another stab at getting former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, who pleaded guilty in the Georgia RICO case, disbarred in Colorado.

Stefanik Stunt Targets Judge Howell

Citing historian Heather Cox Richardson, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell warned last month of creeping authoritarianism in America in a speech to lawyers. Now in her latest stunt, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has filed a complaint against Howell with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for what she claims was a political speech.

Crossfire Hurricane Will Never Die

Following on the heels of CNN, the NYT has its own version of the story of the binder of sensitive Russian intel that went missing from the White House in the waning hours of the Trump presidency.

Ukraine Aid Still Bottled Up

A sampling of how Senate negotiations on a border package to pair with imperiled Ukraine side fared over the weekend:

  • Semafor: “The Senate’s chances of reaching a bipartisan deal on Ukraine aid and the border by Christmas seemed to dim over the weekend.”
  • Politico: Congress unlikely to finish work on Ukraine, border deal this year
  • WSJ: Senate Negotiators Fail to Reach Agreement on Border Framework

Abortion Rights Watch

  • Politico: Conservatives move to keep abortion off the 2024 ballot
  • The NYT’s The Daily interviews Kate Cox, the woman who fought the Texas abortion ban

Step By Step

Arlington National Cemetery, built on the site of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s antebellum plantation, will begin this week removing its Confederate Memorial, which was funded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and erected in 1914.


The late Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will lie in repose at the Supreme Court today from 10:30 a.m. ET until 8 p.m. ET.

Quote Of The Day

They got drunk, painted themselves like Indians and pushed tea bags into the Boston Harbor, which we in Rhode Island think is pretty weak tea compared to blowing up the goddamn boat and shooting its captain. But you know, all those Massachusetts people went on to become president and run Harvard … so they told their story, and their story, and their story.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), grumping about 1773’s Boston Tea Party seizing the historic imagination instead of Rhode Island’s daring 1772 attack on the HMS Gaspee 

‘You Can’t Morally Lead The Republican Party Forward’

Florida Republican Party moves to oust Chairman Christian Ziegler over rape allegation.

Sex In The Senate

An aide to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) is out of a job after he was linked to a sex tape recorded in a hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building. The Daily Caller, which first reported on the video, emphasized the gay sex angle – so the outrage this week is going to be a special kind of ugly.

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning Memo

Notable Replies

  1. We already know who he is - a Nazi.

    ETA: Obligatory cat photo:


  2. donald trump… fascist dictator wannabe

    Good morning all and Happy Holidays!!!

  3. Speaking of straight up fascism:

    “Mr. Trump enjoys enduring support because he is perceived by many voters — often with good reason — as a pragmatic if unpredictable kind of moderate.”

    The word “moderate” is doing an enormous amount of work here. Ditto with “pragmatic”.

    Mr. Trump enjoys enduring support because he is perceived by many voters as being like whom they themselves are and want to be – and they see him clearly enough. Necessarily, you are not going to have an honest or knowledgable conservation with any of them about why they support Trump.

Continue the discussion at

591 more replies


Avatar for josephebacon Avatar for jnbenson Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for clemmers Avatar for steviedee111 Avatar for inversion Avatar for sniffit Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for lastroth Avatar for theghostofeustacetilley Avatar for mrf Avatar for fiftygigs Avatar for 21zna9 Avatar for tsp Avatar for bcgister Avatar for eaharrison Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for rascal_crone Avatar for dicktater Avatar for mrbill30560 Avatar for dogselfie Avatar for Paracelsus Avatar for Hatmama Avatar for ClutchCargo

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: