President Trump has had a rough go of it since inciting a deadly mob to storm the Capitol and overthrow democracy last week.
He’s been suspended from Twitter, he’s staring down a second impeachment, and his approval rating is at an all-time low. On Monday, however, he received the most devastating piece of news yet: The Professional Golf Association has decided to pull the 2022 PGA Championship from the president’s private club in New Jersey.
He’s “gutted” by the move, reported Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. “He’s angry about impeachment, people who have spoken to him say. But the reaction to the PGA decision was different order of magnitude.”
The slight from the PGA is only a fraction of the fallout that has hit Trump where it hurts him the most: his reputation and his wallet. Below is a rundown of the people and organizations that have cut ties with the president as his term comes to a close.
The list is sure to grow.
One of Trump’s security blankets has been holding fancy little ceremonies to honor the scant few pop culture figures who support him. Gathering people in a White House ballroom to watch him bestow a medal on a quasi-venerated figure is precisely the type of thing that drew Trump to the presidency in the first place, and it’s what he’s trying to cocoon himself in now that his plan to overthrow the government has collapsed. The day after the insurrection, Trump presented three golfers — Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias (who died in 1956) — with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He tried to follow it up this week by giving the Medal of Freedom to Bill Belichick, the longtime New England Patriots head coach whose support the president has always cherished. While campaigning in 2016, Trump literally waved a letter of congratulations from Belichick in front of a crowd in New Hampshire before reading it out loud to them.
Belichick wasn’t interested in receiving the Medal of Freedom, though. In a statement explaining his refusal to accept the award, the eight-time Super Bowl champion cited how on his team “social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions” in 2020. “Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award,” Belichick wrote.
Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick will not be traveling to Washington nor accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he announced today. pic.twitter.com/uvLLigFlHU
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2021
Trump has also used the game of golf to escape the annoyances of the job. He’s visited his courses hundreds of times since taking office, including a December 25th round with Sen. Lindsey Graham in West Palm Beach after deciding at the 11th hour to upend the coronavirus relief package Congress finally agreed to just before Christmas.
Trump is also desperate for his courses to be respected in the golfing community. Nothing confers legitimacy to a course more than the PGA deciding to host a major tournament there, and the 2022 PGA Championship had been slated to take place at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. That’s no longer happening.
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” PGA CEO Seth Waugh told the Associated Press. “We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
It finally happened. Twitter suspended Trump. Permanently. He will never be able to post on the platform again.
The bombshell move sent Trump into a frenzy on Friday, both according to Politico, which reported that he went “ballistic,” and to anyone on Twitter who watched him cycle from affiliated account to affiliated account trying to tweet about how he’d been wronged. Twitter deleted the tweets as they popped up, and even suspended his campaign’s account.
This one hurts. Trump has spoken at length about how much he valued the ability to relay his thoughts directly to his followers, as well as how he could get back at his enemies by way of a simple 240-character post. “When somebody says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it,” Trump mused in 2017.
He also valued the ability to shape the news cycle with his tweets. “Watch this, bing bing bing,” senior administration officials who spoke to the Washington Post recently recalled Trump telling them of his ability to get attention on television.
Trump’s tweets have gotten most of the attention, but his bullshit has probably filtered its way through to more people through Facebook. His status there is less certain. Currently, he’s suspended indefinitely (same goes for Instagram), but Facebook CEO and former Trump dining partner Mark Zuckerberg has left the door open to reinstate him after he leaves office.
Either way, Trump and his team are reportedly “scrambling” to find another social media platform the president can use to project his grievances to the public. Contenders like Parler have since been banned from Amazon, Google, and the App Store, which means the president may have to resort to grabbing a bullhorn like the rest of the MAGA faithful who stormed the Capitol last week.
Deutsche Bank and Signature Bank
Deutsche Bank, which has been at the center of Trump’s mysterious and possibly illegal financial maneuverings for the past two decades, announced on Tuesday that it would no longer do business with the president or his company.
“Deutsche Bank, which has been Mr. Trump’s primary lender for two decades, has decided not to do business with Mr. Trump or his company in the future”
— Conor Sen (@conorsen) January 12, 2021
Trump currently owes Deutsche Bank over $300 million.
Signature Bank, which helped finance one of Trump’s golf courses, also cut ties on Tuesday. “At this point in time, to ensure the peaceful transition of power, we believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the president of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people,” the bank said in a statement posted to its website.
The e-commerce company said on Thursday that it closed down two online shops with ties to President Trump. According to the Times, the sites violated a policy against supporting people or organizations “that threaten or condone violence to further a cause.”
Higher Education Institutions
Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, both announced on Friday that they were rescinding the honorary degrees they had awarded to President Trump.
“In a special session Thursday of the Executive Committee of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees, the members voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988,” the school wrote in a statement. “The full Board of Trustees affirmed the decision today.”
Trump still holds honorary degrees from Liberty University, which was run by Trump pal Jerry Falwell, Jr. until his resignation in August following a series of bizarre, salacious scandals.
Congress … Some of It, Anyway
House Democrats are set to impeach Trump again, this time for inciting an insurrection.
Unfortunately, the violent takeover of the Capitol that left five dead did not dissuade the majority of elected House Republicans from contesting the certification of the election results. In the week since, they’ve largely remained silent outside of whining about losing Twitter followers and complaining that Democrats are dividing the nation by … it’s not clear exactly. I guess by getting upset that a mob stormed the Capitol and killed five people including a cop? Here’s Rep. Darrell Issa alleging Democrats are “overplaying” one of the most shameful, frightening incidents in the nation’s history:
"They're overplaying a lot of things, including the deaths of these people on Capitol Hill" — Rep. Darrell Issa, who supported endless investigations into Benghazi (ht @KailiJoy) pic.twitter.com/z1adqYpN2n
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 11, 2021
The American People
Post-insurrection polling has not been kind to the president. A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that only 33 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump’s been doing, tying the lowest mark of his four years in office. Meanwhile, 56 percent hold him responsible for the storming of the Capitol, 53 percent believe he should resign, and 52 percent want him removed from office.
As it turns out, inciting a deadly coup to overthrow the government isn’t a great move for the brand.