3 Things Donald Trump Doesn't Want You to Talking About Right Now

January 6th 2017

Mike Rothschild

It appears that Donald Trump has quickly set a pattern for how he handles the media.

The president-elect usually sends several tweets in the morning, which usually lack context on seemingly random subjects. The media breathlessly covers these tweets - taking resources and oxygen away from stories he probably doesn't want people to actually talk about or even notice.

The past few days a number of stories have been revealed in the media that could be seen as detrimental to Trump, but haven't gotten much coverage. Here are three subjects that may have gone unnoticed due to the public's fascination with Trump's distracting tweets. 

1. The nominee for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair is a lawyer for major Wall Street firms.

On Jan. 4, news broke that Trump's nominee to head the SEC is Jay Clayton, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. This is a New York firm that's represented some of the biggest players on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Ally Financial, Barclays Capital and prominent hedge funds.

Beyond that, Clayton's wife is a Goldman Sachs employee.

Financial professionals claim that Clayton is qualified for the job, despite the obvious conflicts of interest. NPR quotes one former SEC head of enforcement as saying Clayton is a "very, very capable lawyer, very knowledgeable, practical and very results-oriented."

But other experts point out that Clayton has been involved in crafting fraud settlements, payments related to the mortgage crisis, and in helping large companies make mergers and acquisitions in a way that reduces the tax burden.

Rather than introduce America to his pick for SEC head, Trump instead tweeted that day about a singer performing at his inauguration, and Ford cancelling plans to move a plant to Mexico - a move Ford says had more to do with the specialized training needed to build electric cars.

2. Trump sat for a deposition in a lawsuit on Thursday - and has dozens of other suits pending against him. 

With just weeks to go before inauguration, Trump is still dealing with a suit he filed against José Andrés, a celebrity chef who had contracted with Trump to open a restaurant in Trump's new Washington D.C. hotel.

In the wake of Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants, Andrés pulled out of the agreement. Trump sued Andrés and his restaurant group for breach of contract, and the case has dragged on for over a year.

While Trump claimed he was too busy with the presidential transition to be deposed, the judge in the case disagreed. On Thursday, Trump sat for 90 minutes in a taped question and answer session. While other presidents have been deposed, none had to sit for a deposition. 

The suit against Andrés is just one of 75 pending suits Trump is involved in as either a plaintiff or defendant. Some include suits for fraud, harassment, defamation, unpaid bills and breach of contract.

At the same time as Trump was being deposed on Thursday afternoon, he tossed out tweets about how the media lies by saying he agrees with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange - except Trump already said he agrees with Assange.

3. A former CIA director quit Trump's transition team. 

On Friday afternoon, Trump will sit for a briefing given by the top intelligence officials in the country on a subject that he's spent dancing around and obfuscating - the hacking of the DNC server by Russian operatives.

All the while, Trump has steadfastly refused to believe it - and has openly mocked their conclusions. In response, a high-profile member of his transition team with deep ties to the intelligence community washed his hands of Trump.

R. James Woolsey Jr. was director of the CIA under Bill Clinton, worked in intelligence for four presidential administrations, and is seen as one of the nation’s leading experts in the field. And on Thursday night, he quit his post as senior advisor to the Trump administration.

According to anonymous sources quoted by the New York Times, Woolsey had been frozen out of meetings, and was uncomfortable with Trump's use of social media to advance a spat with officials who do their work privately. Woolsey was likely the most experienced intelligence staffer on Trump's team  and won't be there when Trump gets his briefing on the Russian hacking on Friday.

Woolsey's resignation broke Thursday night - while the media was buzzing about Trump's castigating NBC for releasing leaked information about the report.

What's next?

Trump has a busy week coming up, with a supposed press conference addressing his business conflicts of interest on Jan. 11, along with the beginning of confirmation hearings for his cabinet. So it's safe to assume that it's likely we can all expect a flurry of unrelated and inflammatory tweets in response.