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Tag Archive: Norms Watch

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Feb. 17-24)


This week, CNN reported that the White House directly asked the FBI to deny reports of contacts between the Trump team and Russia during the campaign, and without much thought or careful policy consideration, Trump upset relations with one of America’s steadfast allies: Sweden.  continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Feb. 10-17)


Trump’s dysfunctional national security apparatus is in turmoil this week, following the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s discussion of sensitive security matters in the Mar-a-Lago public dining room.  

Flynn’s Resignation

On Monday night, Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned after revelations that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his inappropriate contacts with Russia.  continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Feb. 3-10)


Threatening judicial independence and American constitutional principles, Trump attacked a federal court judge this week in an unprecedented move which generated critique from Democrats, Republicans, and even Trump’s own nominee for the Supreme Court.

Trump Attacks Judge on Twitter

After Judge James Robart, a federal judge in Seattle, blocked Trump’s immigration ban nationwide on Friday, Trump launched an attack on Judge Robart the next day, referring to him as a “so-called judge” and declaring his decision to be “ridiculous.” Trump wasn’t finished blasting the judge, and on Sunday stated that Judge Robart would be to blame “if anything bad happens.” In what became a whirlwind weekend, the Justice Department filed a notice on Saturday night that it would formally appeal the order and on Sunday morning, the U.S.  continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Jan. 27 to Feb. 3)


This week, the White House continued to seek favorable coverage from Trump-friendly outlets while blasting critics. In response, some media outlets challenged Trump policies, and other journalists considered the benefits or shortcomings of the increasing polarization of media coverage.

Skype Seats for White House Press Conferences

As announced in his first press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated he would be creating “Skype seats” for remote reporters to pose questions during briefings.  continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Jan. 20-27)

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This week, the Trump team continued to deviate from norms of engagement between the administration and the press, continuing its “War on the Media.” Meanwhile, journalists are grappling with how to respond to the rise of “alternative facts” from the White House podium.  continue »

Norms Watch: Tracking the Erosion of Democratic Traditions (Jan. 13-20)

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Last week, we launched a regular series tracking President-elect Donald Trump’s adherence, or lack thereof, to democratic norms. These norms are not necessarily legally required, but help make up the fabric that holds together broader democratic values, such as accountability and the rule of law.  continue »