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Football in the Age of Trump

BCK FILE---It’s doesn’t come as much of a surprise that President Trump picked the Patriots to win Super Bowl LIII. This is much larger than football. California has been a target for the president’s animus since he took office. 

Most recently, he’s been on the attack against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her stance against funding his $5 billion wall. The president recounted his unsubstantiated list of talking points on Face the Nation, claiming that drugs are “pouring in” and “people are dying all over the country because of people like Nancy Pelosi who don’t want to give proper border security for political reasons.” Pelosi said at a Thursday press conference, “There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation.” 

Trump has attacked Adam Schiff, the Chair of the House Permanent Committee of Intelligence, on social media. Schiff who has been among the most vocal House opponents to Trump and his policies since Trump has been in office. Last week, Schiff told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the testimony given by the top three intelligence officers to Congress did not support the President’s case for declaring a national emergency over border wall funding. “The fact that none of the intel chiefs brought up a threat at the southern border as being one of the most pressing threats facing the country, that could be Exhibit A in a challenge to any kind of declaration of a national emergency,” Schiff said. 

Maxine Waters (D-CA), who heads the House Financial Services Committee, joins Schiff in planning a joint investigation of Deutsche Bank, which is under scrutiny for its business dealings with Trump, including questions about the bank’s role in money laundering schemes. 

Ted Lieu (D-CA) has garnered a reputation for out-tweeting Trump. He’s also called out Trump on many cable news programs, criticizing the federal shutdown as a “failure of Republican leadership.” The congressional representative has also criticized Trump on national security, his relationship with Putin, the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and other issues related to the Russia Probe. 

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton captured 61.7% of the popular vote in California. Many of our state officials have fought against Trump policies, from immigration to climate change. SB 54, the California Values Act, limits the degree local law enforcement can cooperate with federal authorities to enforce immigration law. The Trump Administration has met a series of defeats in federal courts over attacks on sanctuary cities and states. 

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed over 45 lawsuits and multiple briefs against Trump’s policies and is in large part, one of the reasons California is considered Ground Zero for the resistance movement. Along with a University of California suit, Becerra secured two federal court orders to block President Trump from ending DACA. He joined a coalition of attorneys general to secure an appellate court order against the Trump administration’s attempt to deny birth control access guarantees under the Affordable Care Act. He has also been successful in the environmental sphere. He obtained a court order to require the EPA to ban the sale of a dangerous pesticide and was instrumental in exposing Scott Pruitt’s conflicts of interest that led to the EPA head’s resignation. Becerra was also successful in defending SB 54. He will give the Spanish language response to President Trump’s State of the Union Address. 

All of this may give a vengeful Trump pause to hate California and, by extension, the Rams. In addition, he seems to have a cozy relationship with the Patriots. When the Boston team secured the playoff spot, he fired a congratulatory tweet to the Patriots; none such tweet for the Rams. 

Trump has had a close friendship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft for years. Kraft told “Fox and Friends” that the president was “working very hard to serve the country’s best interests.” Brady reportedly first befriended Trump when the quarterback was a judge at Trump’s Miss USA pageant. Brady has had a MAGA hat on display in his locker. However, both, he and Kraft disagreed with the president over his insults of players who “took the knee” during the National Anthem. 

In true to Trump form, the president mentioned the Patriots’ coach Belichick was a supporter. “So, it’s talent, it’s chemistry--they have a great chemistry with each other--I mean, I like all three of them, as you know, I’m a very good friend with them. Coach Belichick endorsed me, you remember that?”

According to a poll reported in The Score, the majority of Americans support the Rams over the Patriots, although the Pats were favored to win. Could this be considered a referendum on Trump?

 

(Beth Cone Kramer is a professional writer living in the Los Angeles area. She covers Resistance Watch and other major issues for CityWatch.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.