This week, a new term has entered the political vocabulary in the United States: “Sharpiegate,” which refers to the controversy surrounding the use of a sharpie to promote President Donald Trump’s false claims about the path of Hurricane Dorian.
And Trump’s 2020 campaign is now using the controversy to make money.
Despite all the criticism Trump has been receiving because of the Sharpiegate fiasco — or perhaps because of it — Campaign Manager Brad Parscale is encouraging supporters to buy Trump-branded sharpies, which are selling for $15 on the campaign’s website. Friday on Twitter, Parscale urged supporters to “buy the official Trump marker” because it is “different than every other marker on the market” and “has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy.”
Buy the official Trump marker, which is different than every other marker on the market, because this one has the special ability to drive @CNN and the rest of the fake news crazy! #KeepMarkersGreathttps://t.co/eakgICM0LR
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 6, 2019
This all began Sunday when Trump warned on Twitter that Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian, which had been pounding the Caribbean and was making its way to the southeastern United States. But the National Weather Service, apparently upon seeing Trump’s tweet, quickly responded that Alabama was not in Dorian’s path and that the storm wouldn’t be going that far west. Other presidents — Barack Obama, for example — would have done the responsible thing and said something along the lines of, “The National Weather Service reports that Alabama is not in danger from Hurricane Dorian. I stand corrected, but Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas still need to take every precaution.”
Instead, Trump refused to admit that he was ever wrong, and he held up a hurricane map this week in the Oval Office in which the projection of Dorian’s path was extended with a Sharpie into Alabama — an area that, according to the National Weather Service, wasn’t in the hurricane’s path.
And so, Sharpiegate was born, and Trump has continued to drag the issue on all week.
This isn’t the first time the 2020 Trump campaign has urged supporters to purchase Trump-branded merchandise as a way of expressing their disdain for liberals and progressives. This summer, the Trump campaign’s online store has been selling Trump-themed plastic straws and promoted them as a right-wing alternative to “liberal paper straws” that “don’t work.” And they were selling like hotcakes: Politico reported on July 29 that the straws (which became available on July 19) had already generated “more than $456,000 in sales.”
I’m so over paper straws. #LiberalProgress
This is exactly what they would do to the economy as well. Squeeze it until it doesn’t work. pic.twitter.com/zKfiZiSHV5
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) July 18, 2019
Friday on Twitter, CNN’s Daniel Dale pointed to Parcale’s promotion of the sharpies as proof that “the Trump campaign is now selling dishonesty memorabilia.”
In what I think is a first, the Trump campaign is now selling dishonesty memorabilia. https://t.co/g8Mh5x4uZZ
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 6, 2019
Maddow reveals how one state stood up to Trump’s USPS cuts — and won
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow's opening segment on Friday focused on a positive story of political pressure stopping one of the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service.
Maddow reported how NBC Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou had doggedly reported on the removal of postal boxes in Missoula, where she is based. Missoula has been a long-time Democratic Party stronghold.
Montana has a competitive U.S. Senate election in 2020, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock challenging first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines.
As Georgiou chased the story, she learned there were also plans to remove boxes in the battleground of Billings. And more planned for the blue town of Bozeman. And other towns.
Pepsi joins the chorus of people dunking on Tucker Carlson over Kamala Harris
The Pepsi soda company mocked Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday evening.
On Tuesday, Carlson flipped out after a guest attempted to teach him how to pronounce the name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is running for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket.
Video of the exchange was posted on Twitter by Nikki McCann Ramirez, a researcher at the watchdog group Media Matters for America.
Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN
Chad Wolf’s authority is ‘illegitimate’: Hispanic Caucus chairman demands DHS chief ‘resign in disgrace’
Immigrant rights groups and Texas Democrats are urging a review on the legality of Trump administration immigration policies after a government watchdog found two of the White House’s top immigration officials are not legally eligible to serve in their respective positions.
The Government Accountability Office on Friday determined that Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, aren’t legally qualified to hold those posts.
United We Dream, an advocacy group pushing for immigration reform, said the GAO’s conclusion calls into question the latest guidance from the DHS on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that was initiated in 2012.