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Clinton joined John Legend, Cardi B and Cher in a skewering of Trump that saw the group read excerpts from Michael Wolffss tell-all book

Hillary Clinton sends up Trump in surprise Fire and Fury skit at Grammys

Clinton joined John Legend, Cardi B and Cher in a skewering of Trump that saw the group read excerpts from Michael Wolffss tell-all book

In an unexpected prerecorded segment at Sunday nights Grammy awards, Hillary Clinton read a few lines from Michael Wolffs bombshell Trump White House expos Fire and Fury. The former secretary of state was the last of several famous folks to appear in the video, in which Grammys host James Corden pretends to be auditioning narrators for the Fire and Fury audiobook.

In the run-up to the video, Corden joked that by next years awards the Trump presidency will have inspired a spoken word album and potential Grammy nominee. Spoofing the concept, John Legend appeared reading from the book, which contains allegations that caused a media firestorm upon its release earlier this month.


Who were the biggest winners at the Grammys?

Album of the year
24K Magic Bruno Mars

Record of the year
24K Magic Bruno Mars

Song of the year
Thats What I Like Bruno Mars

Best rap album
Damn Kendrick Lamar

Best pop solo performance
Shape of You Ed Sheeran

Best new artist
Alessia Cara

Read the full list of winners.

Trump wont read anything, Legend said. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.

His comb-over: a product called Just for Men, noted Cher, who was followed by Snoop Dogg and then the rapper Cardi B, who read the now-notorious excerpt about the presidents supposed affinity for eating cheeseburgers in bed. Why am I reading this shit? she asked.

After a cameo from DJ Khaled, Clinton lowered the book to reveal herself. One reason why he liked to eat at McDonalds, Clinton read aloud. Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade.

While chuckles from the live New York City audience could be heard upon Clintons appearance, not everyone was amused. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vented her frustration with Clintons cameo on Twitter.

Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley)

I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Dont ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.

January 29, 2018

Wolffs book, which has sold more than 1.7m copies and has sat atop the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks, has come under fire for what many regard as unsubstantiated claims and lax fact-checking. Nevertheless, Endeavor Content purchased the film and television rights to the book last week in a deal rumored to exceed seven figures.

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The strongmen who fix on the immigrant as the enemy also turn women into objects, writes the Guardian columnist Zoe Williams

Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States, Hillary Clinton told the BBCs Andrew Marr. When President Barack Obama came over just before the referendum to plead with our better natures and warn of an outcome which he elegantly understated the catastrophe of, it felt a little shaming, like a grownup arriving in the middle of a food fight. Clinton, partly because she isnt president, mainly because those Brexit and Trump ships have sailed, appears less like an authority and more like a coroner at an inquest.

Her third argument is to remind us how extraordinary it is, how unprecedented, how eerie, that they just elected someone who admitted sexual assault to the presidency.

Leaving the EU, voting for an aggressive and unstable reality TV star, holding women in contempt: there is no obvious logical connection here, no strand of ideas that takes you from the Singapore free-trade fantasies of hard Brexiters, to the protectionism of Donald Trump, to the new misogynist mood music that enables our foreign secretary to dismiss the disquiet about a sexual predator in the White House as a whinge-o-rama. Yet we know instinctively that these positions are connected, that the chauvinism which turns women into objects exists in the same mental frame as fixing on the immigrant as the enemy, or the Muslim as the source of all violence.

Clintons linking mechanism, between our politics and hers, was pragmatic: both the EU referendum and the US election were poisoned by fake news. A big lie can get you a long way in politics, especially if all the usual defences against it a competent and passionate opposition, a sober and neutral media have miraculously evaporated. Certainly, the legitimacy of a result won by falsehood is questionable; and yes, the internet, in its impact on democracy, is not looking like an untrammelled boon.

Yet there have been communities creating fake news since the dawn of time. At any point in history when hatred has been generated to persuasive effect, you would have found somebody, somewhere, cobbling together some nonsense about the death of a child or satanic rituals or improper use of emails. Far more novel than fake news is the expectation that published matter should be true, which is less than two centuries old.

The important shift over the recent past is not the explosion of misinformation but the willingness of politicians to spread it. The rules around respectability used to be pretty clear on this: you could use facts selectively to make your case, conveniently ignore those that didnt suit it, possibly amplify, maybe bluster a bit. But you did not, in public office, say a thing you knew to be untrue. To do so would mean relegating yourself from the ranks of the serious, into the more Mike Fabricant-ey realm, where you yell bollocks in parliament and dream of punching journalists in the throat, and nobody minds because theres only one of you and you have funny hair.

The 350m NHS claim, now, is only the flagship lie. It has become quite routine for facts to be misused or waved away, for experts to be dismissed and inconvenient truths rejected as sabotage or treason, by quite senior figures in public life. It is pretty normal for members of government to use words to mean the opposite of their definitions, parliamentary sovereignty when they mean parliamentary submission, overwhelming majority when they mean very slim majority. What inoculated the political culture from falsity was not a shortage of it, but the standards politicians held themselves to.

It wasnt perfect; dishonesty happened in the wings but not on the stage. What drives this new impunity is not scorn for the truth but a contempt for pluralism. In a debate proceeding along pluralistic lines, compromise is expected, different perspectives are welcomed, sustained argument is understood as a creative process leading to greater wisdom; and the foundation for it all is a shared set of facts.

If you want your debate to proceed along authoritarian lines, where the winner takes all and the loser shuts up, the first thing to eliminate is that shared space called reality, where everyone has access to the same information and agrees on its veracity. When Trump lies on Twitter, whether its about how many times hes been Time magazines cover star, or the size of his inauguration crowd, its not by accident: he is explicitly rejecting the audacity of the demand that he be tethered by argument. It doesnt matter whats true: all that matters is who won.

It is no coincidence, then, that a rise of fake facts in politics has been accompanied by a new opacity, where studies can be conducted on the impact of Brexit upon the nation, yet its citizens arent allowed to know what they contain; where a president can press his personal interest in a phone call with his opposite number in another country, yet not release the transcript.

The contents of all these documents are secondary to the message: its not your business, because were in charge. Far more chilling than the likely economic consequences of Brexit has been the rise of zero-sum politics; a prime minister asking her parliament to unite behind her, as if five centuries of due process, opposition, scrutiny and critical thinking had never happened.

In a new political context of authoritarianism, misogyny flourishes not as a sideshow, but because the organising principles that fought it are under attack. All equality battles are won on the understanding of universal human rights: a worldview in which everybody is born equal, everyones potential is infinitely precious, everyones perspective enriches understanding, everybody has a right to be heard.

Once all that is rejected, in favour of aworldview in which a single, dominant perspective must obliterate all others, acommon understanding of equality and respect that seemed so solid suddenly appears precarious.

Arguments belonging to the middle of the last century resurface. Are women fit for public office? Are women responsible for male violence? Do women deserve reproductive autonomy, or will they just mess it up?

Of course, these arguments never truly went away. But strongman politics is back, and it sees sex and trade and debate all as wars, in which there is no possibility of mutual benefit: there is only the victor and the vanquished.

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Payment to Alan Futerfass firm made 13 days before emails relating to alleged links to Russia were publicly released

Donald Trumps campaign committee paid $50,000 to the firm of a lawyer representing Donald Trump Jr 13 days before emails relating to alleged links to Russia were publicly released.

A campaign finance report filed to the Federal Election Commission on Saturday said the committee made the payment to Alan Futerfass law firm on 27 June.

The revelation of the payment suggests that although Trump did not know about his sons meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016 until recently, his campaign committee knew before the president did.

Futerfas, a veteran New York criminal defence attorney best known for defending clients involved with mafia crime families, is Donald Trump Jrs attorney in the Russia investigations.

Trump Jr was forced to release damning emails revealing he eagerly embraced what he was told was a Russian government attempt to damage Hillary Clintons election campaign.

The emails show music promoter Rob Goldstone telling the future US presidents son that the crown prosecutor of Russia had offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

Trump has described the political storm over his sons meeting with Veselnitskaya as the greatest witch-hunt in political history and sad!

Trump said 39-year-old Donald Jr is a good boy.

Hes a good kid. And he had a meeting, nothing happened with the meeting. It was a short meeting, as he told me because I only heard about it two or three days ago.

The Trump campaign committees finance filing also shows it paid $89,000 to the Trump Corporation, which is led by Donald Trump Jr and his brother Eric, for legal consulting.

It was announced on Saturday that Trump had hired Washington attorney Ty Cobb to serve as his special counsel to handle the White Houses response to the Russia investigations.

The move seemingly reflects the presidents growing acceptance that the investigations will linger over his tenure for months or even years.

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If you believe Taylor Swift is a satanist, Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer and Hillary Clinton died in September, this was your year

If 2016 was the year facts didnt matter, when Oxford Dictionaries declared we went post-truth, it makes sense that conspiracy theories flourished. These are some of the most outlandish (and, we feel fairly confident in saying, all untrue).

The Earth is flat

B.o.B (@bobatl)

The cities in the background are approx. 16miles apart… where is the curve ? please explain this

January 25, 2016

You might think that this one was put pretty conclusively to bed around 330BC, but it persists into 2016, championed by the radio-friendly rapper B.o.B.

The Atlanta musician resurrected the argument that the Earth may, in fact, be flat with a storm of tweets in January that seemed to lean heavily on the fact the horizon appears straight in photos (where is the curve? please explain this).

Neil deGrasse Tysons public putdown prompted B.o.B. to release a diss track, which was not very good, but did show how far the bar has fallen when it comes to prompting diss tracks these days.

That was about the last time anyone spoke of B.o.B. in 2016.

Taylor Swift is a satanist

Taylor Swifts similarity to the daughter of Anton Lavey, the founder of the Church of Satan, delighted social media this year, coinciding as it did with the pop stars downfall.

MAX IM A KOOPA (@meakoopa)

Taylor Swift is probably NOT the secret scion of America’s foremost Satanist family but like how can we be sure

January 5, 2016

Katy Perry is JonBent Ramsey

This theory dates back to 2014 but resurfaced this year alongside a CBS documentary about the girls murder.

In a video posted to YouTube, a truther refers persistently to the Katy Perry character (You can see that thats just an older JonBent Ramsey, right? You can see that) and puts forward the physical similarity between the two sets of parents as evidence (same people).

He then laboriously and not entirely successfully, on a technical level morphs Perrys face with Ramseys.

Embed endorsement.

Never mind that Perry, born in 1984, would have been 12 when Ramsey died aged six in 1996. Other YouTubers taking up the theory have pointed out that, in photos, their eyebrows look similar.

Perry has done nothing to address the rumours but did go paddle boarding with her new boyfriend, Orlando Bloom.

Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer

Griffin (@NotGriffinNope)

Wake up America #ZodiacTed

February 2, 2016

The traction this got evokes a simpler time in the 2016 US election campaign.

Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn)

Remember when we would say Ted Cruz was the Zodiac killer and laugh and laugh? Remember laughing?

November 6, 2016

The theory meme, joke, whatever that the aspiring Republican presidential candidate was, in fact, the unknown killer operating in northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s was inescapable on social media earlier this year, and eventually made its way into the real world.

Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson)


October 9, 2016

In February a poll of 1,012 registered voters found 38% of Florida voters thought it was possible Cruz was the Zodiac killer. From the press release:

10% say he for sure is, and another 28% say that they are just not sure. Cruz is exonerated from being a toddler serial killer by 62% of the Sunshine State populace.

Jim Young (@jimography)

@pattymo @tedcruz This is pretty damning

January 16, 2016

But not all of the evidence adds up, BuzzFeed noted astutely: Cruz was born in Canada in 1970. The earliest confirmed victims of the Zodiac killer were murdered in 1968.

Kylie Jenner is secretly fronting a pop band

The singer of the US pop trio Terror Jr is known only by the alias Lisa Terror, and hides her face behind her hair in promotional images. The only account the band follows on Twitter is that of Kylie Jenner: the teenage socialite/makeup mogul, a Kardashian by any other name.

Terror Jr (@terrorjrmusic)

So close

September 8, 2016

In March, Jenner featured a song by Terror Jr in a promotional video for her lip glosses; that same day, Terror Jr launched its social media presences. (As far as conspiracy theories go, this one is admittedly low stakes.)

Jenner has denied being Lisa Terror on Snapchat, but then came the smoking gun: a Twitter user apparently found her listed as a performer on the track 3 Strikes by a music licensing organisation.

The entry has since been amended, and when Teen Vogue put the theory to the band, it replied only with its trademark grape emoji. But lets be honest, its not like a Kardashian to shy from the spotlight.

Terror Jr (@terrorjrmusic)

u kno wat it iz

October 24, 2016

Fidel Castro is Justin Trudeaus dad

Josh Centers (@jcenters)

Forget pizzaghazi, the best conspiracy theory going is that Justin Trudeau is Fidel Castro’s biological son.

December 9, 2016

This theory emerged on Reddit after the Canadian prime minister raised eyebrows with his obituary for the remarkable leader on Twitter.

User George_Rockwell said Trudeaus parents had visited Cuba on several occasions, pointing to a photograph of Margaret Trudeau happily allowing the tyrant to hold her four-month-old baby as evidence. (The baby was, in fact, Justins late brother Michel. Details, details.)

Dionysos (@arlaqin)

HOW DID I NOT KNOW OF THIS EARLIER. This is my fav conspiracy theory atm, justin trudeau is fidel castro’s son.
Face swap:

December 8, 2016

The Redditer also remarked on the similar appearance between the Canadian prime minister and the now-deceased Cuban leader, with a photograph morphing their two faces presented as DAMNING EVIDENCE.

Trudeau subsequently defended his initial remarks on the passing of a former head of state but did not say whether or not he was his father.

Hillary Clinton is dead and was replaced by a surrogate

The theory that Hillary Clinton had died was the logical extension of rumours of her ill health, and beloved by her detractors during the US election campaign.

YouTube user Confederate Marshell presented 100% PROOF that Clinton had been dead since at least 11 September this year and replaced by CGI and multiple body doubles.

Again, the Guardian does not endorse the views expressed in this video.

Hillary Clinton is running a child abuse ring from a pizza restaurant

You might want to be sitting down for this one: the Democratic presidential candidate and her campaign chief John Podesta are running a child sex ring from the backroom of the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington.

A dinner party or a possibly satanic ritual, depending on who you believe thrown by the performance artist Marina Abramovi and a napkin with a pizza-related map on it are also involved.

Homeboy Chris (@TheHomeboyChris)

@johnpodesta this Russia conspiracy ain’t gonna get you out of explaining your “map that seems pizza related” on a handkerchief. #PizzaGate

December 12, 2016

Given that the fact the restaurant has the same initials as child pornography is put forward as evidence by believers, the truly shocking detail of this completely baseless conspiracy theory is that even one person believed it.

Yet in early December, a 28-year-old man was driven to self-investigate the reports, wielding an assault rifle at a employee and firing it inside the restaurant. After his arrest Edgar Welch said he wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way. I regret how I handled the situation, he added.

That outlandish allegations posted to the online message board 4Chan and Reddits The Donald thread for Trump supporters could translate into real-world aggression exacerbated anxiety over the impact of fake news.

DJ Pop A Titty Out (@PizzaPartyBen)

The medias reaction to #PizzaGate made me believe it 10x more

December 8, 2016

Certainly theres no subject its more vital that you self-investigate only on trusted news networks. Google Pizzagate and youll find websites such as Truthlibrary.Info that promise all the facts in one spot with the user-friendly advice: WARNING: Turn away now if you do not want to be incredibly disturbed. This is real. Pay attention to pizza and cheese references throughout, as these are highly likely to be code. (No, Im not linking to it.)

If you feel strong enough to venture further down this rabbit hole, the Reply All podcasts summary is excellent.

RAMZPAUL (@ramzpaul)

The same people that call #PizzaGate fake news sure seem to push the #RussianHackers conspiracy. The former actually has more evidence.

December 10, 2016

Climate change is a hoax engineered by China, or maybe the UN

The president-elect of the US seems to subscribe to this one.

In 2012 Donald Trump tweeted that global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

November 6, 2012

He later said this was a joke. If so, China didnt seem to think it very funny.

In Australia Senator Malcolm Roberts has suggested that climate change is in fact the work of the United Nations and called for an Aus-exit.

Donald Trump is a Democratic party plant

This one, at least, we can safely disprove.

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From Bowie to Brexit, and street protests to sporting glory, it has been a year of unforgettable events. Those closest to the action recall these memorable moments

10 January: David Bowie dies, by Honor Ash, organiser of a Brixton Bowie street party

Bowie was the first music I really connected with. Im 19, so wasnt around when he arrived, but he always felt modern to me the way he challenged definitions, his confidence, the way he was a figure of self-acceptance for people who dont feel represented, as well as playing a character.

After my mum texted to tell me that he had died, I got into the shower and cried. I suppose I was crying because it meant I would never get a chance to tell Bowie how important hed been to us.

Later I saw the reaction unfolding on Twitter, and it became clear that everyone was desperate to talk, to be together, to share his music. So I made a Facebook event, a street party in Brixton, near the mural of his portrait.

In the first hour there were more than 500 responses eventually that grew to 9,000. I didnt organise anything really. I just located a space.

At 6pm there were only a couple of us with a guitar and loads of TV cameras. Then the crowds formed. Someone projected the Life on Mars video from their flat on to the wall. There were a lot of tears, but it was much happier than I thought it would be. At one point there were a thousand of us singing Starman at the top of our voices.

28 February: Oscars outfit outcry, by Jenny Beavan, costume designer

Wear it with pride: Jenny Beavan ignores the looks of disdain from fellow guests as she collects her Oscar. Photograph: Sky Movies

Gender politics had always been a part of my life, but it was this that made me get involved with the Womens Equality party and meet people like the Labour MP Stella Creasy, who invited me for a drink at the House of Commons.

I suppose what she saw in me was someone who was staying true to their self, which seems to be the main thrust of what sparked peoples imaginations. I went into a bit of a bunker after it all blew up. I didnt read any of the press about my awards, or follow it on social media, and to be honest, Ive forgotten quite a lot about the whole thing, mainly because Ive been working nonstop, first on a space film called Life, then on The Nutcracker, which of course have been totally different from Mad Max.

If Nutcracker is nominated next year, I wont wear a fancy gown. Id look like Widow Twanky. Just like with Mad Max, Id be paying homage to the film, so possibly thered be some glitter involved.

Im still shocked at what an impact it had. I wore trousers it ended up meaning so much more. Im interested to see what everybody else wears this year. If it proved one thing, its the power of clothes.

19 March: Artificial Intelligence beats Go grandmaster, by Demis Hassabis, Deepmind co-founder

Smart moves: TV screens show the live broadcast of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match between AlphaGo and South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP

Go is seen as an artform in Asia and people have played it for thousands of years: they consider that it embodies the mysteries of the universe in some way. So we knew the DeepMind Go match was going to be quite a big event in South Korea, but we didnt realise the whole country would come to a standstill watching it.

Wed spent two years developing the AlphaGo artificial intelligence programme with the help of 400 researchers. Go is so complex with more possible positions than atoms in the universe that you need something akin to human intuition to win. The challenge was to mimic aspects of human intuition, like subconscious pattern matching.

We knew AlphaGo had advantages and disadvantages. It cant read Go books or learn from other people it has to build its own knowledge.

So before the match with grandmaster Lee Sedol, we didnt know how well it was going to do. AlphaGo had played against itself a million times, but we werent sure if it would be weak against a human player who could be more creative.

The evening before the match they were predicting a 5-0 loss: the consensus until then was that it would take another 10-20 years to develop a programme to beat a world champion. But it was how AlphaGo won that was amazing, with astounding moves that were so creative. Since that game, the top players all want to play against it. Sedol told me afterwards it was the most amazing experience of his life.

29 March: EgyptAir hijack, by passenger Andrea Banchetti

Wanted man: Cyprus hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa with passenger Ben Innes on the EgyptAir plane. Photograph: Twitter

When I saw that big English boy coming towards us with his mobile, happily shouting: Ive got a picture with the hijacker! I couldnt resist saying: You are an idiot, man. I wish Id slapped him. What if he really had a bomb? I fly often, but Im not relaxed any more. Now I constantly look around. For the first two months I didnt manage to get back to work.

The hijacker was the man sitting in the aircraft tail, on the hostess seat, appearing and disappearing behind the curtains. In Cyprus, he released everyone apart from the staff and us, the five westerners. It scared me so badly. Here we go, I thought. We were gathered in the tail. I thought: I hope the commander managed to empty the fuel tanks, the hijacker might have explosives on him.

Then I thought, if I lower myself in the seat, it will help take the worst of the explosion. Meanwhile the English boy, Benjamin, goes to the bathroom and returns with that picture. I was so angry. As well as thinking it was absurd. I heard him saying on television that he got the picture to ascertain whether the belt was really explosive. Which is plainly not true. He smiled like a kid.

I was not laughing. I was on the phone with my wife, telling her, If anything happens to me, give my bike to a friend and ask him to scatter my ashes at full speed.

2 May: Leicester City win the Premier League, by fan Leigh Herbert, who won 20,000 on a 5 bet

Chance in a million: fans celebrate at the Leicester v Everton match. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Leicester got rid of manager Nigel Pearson and put Claudio Ranieri in charge and that made me think they could do really well. They had a manager with so much experience, anything could happen.

The odds against winning the premier league were 5,000/1, which was very appealing. And stranger things have happened. I was camping in the middle of a field in Cornwall with my fiance and I downloaded the William Hill app and put 1 on. It helped that Id had a few drinks. Then I thought, if this actually happens Ill be fuming at the end of the season so I put 5 on them to win before theyd even kicked a ball.

It was just banter all the way up to Christmas and then it started to sink in. Im really not a nervous person, but towards the end of the season it was quite unbearable. It took over my life. What had been a laugh and a joke got more tense with each game.

Just before the end of the season, they played Manchester United. I was on a stag weekend in Tallinn. I was actually sick that day through nerves thats how bad it got. I came back and Chelsea beat Spurs and that was it, Leicester had won.

It was the weirdest feeling. It started off as a nice experience, but it got to a stage where it was just too much for me. You just cant handle the number of phone calls you get. Stuff like that doesnt happen to me. There were thousands of reports online, and pictures off my Facebook. I sort of embraced it. I thought, nothing like this is ever going to happen again. I didnt do myself any favours.

About a month before, it had all got too much, and I cashed out 2 of the 5 pound bet so in total I got about 20,000 instead of 25,000.

I didnt meet any of the players or anything like that. I was a bit annoyed that the club didnt contact me. I was hoping that they might do. But I suppose you cant have it all. At the celebrations, I did keep thinking, when people who didnt even know me congratulated me, this isnt my day, this is Leicesters day.

5 May: Sadiq Khan becomes London Mayor, by Matthew Ryder QC, Deputy Mayor

Capital fellow: Sadiq Khan is congratulated by his wife Saadiya after winning the contest to become Labours London mayor. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

In a depressing year of politics defined by fear and division, the election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London was a rare moment of joy. I first met Sadiq when we were both starting out as young lawyers. Everyone could see he was a precocious legal talent. But what really made him stand out was his unshakeable confidence, not just about his own skills, but about what he could do for his clients.

At a time when people like us a British Asian and a mixed-race guy, from comprehensive schools were uncommon in the legal profession, he refused to see himself as an outsider: if we showed we had the ability, then we belonged. It was inspiring.

That same inspiring confidence and sense of belonging was on display this year. Siren voices asked throughout the campaign whether Londoners were ready to elect a British-born, Pakistani-origin mayor of Islamic faith. Londoners answered with a resounding yes in May.

I am honoured to be working with Sadiq again, now as his deputy mayor for social integration and social mobility. I have the chance to help him give others the same opportunities he had, and to ensure Londoners live truly interconnected lives. It has also allowed me to see up close the excitement and energy surrounding his new mayoralty. From surprised commuters sneaking a selfie when they see him on the Northern Line, to business and civic leaders in Paris and Chicago keen to forge new links with London, everyone is enthusiastic about a mayor who so aptly represents the confidence and aspirations of a modern, diverse city. Bill Clinton summed it up when he turned to Sadiq during a discussion in New York and said, I cheered when I saw you had been elected. We all did.

London is proud that it voted for Sadiq Khan. And the world is proud of London for doing so.

11 May: The Boris Battle Bus sets off, by Gisela Stuart, MP

Ticket to ride: Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart lauch the Vote Leave campaigns bus tour. Photograph: Getty Images

The Vote Leave bus provided the focus for visits. As to the 350m, it was accurate thats what weve lost control over. I hadnt known Boris before I worked with him on the bus. Wed have this daily meeting and hed ask, Are we still on the right track? I liked that. The greatest criticism I got from Labour party members was not the side Id taken (they knew my views), it was the fact that I was working with Boris.

The outside world assumes we are all hard-skinned creatures. I think Boris found it difficult. At times it got to him, like it got to all of us. You go out and people shout at you things like traitor. It is difficult.

What surprises me most now is that the Remain side have not taken ownership of the fact that they have lost. They are still talking about it as if something has gone wrong with the electorate. We are back on an almost daily basis to refighting the referendum.

My family is from Bavaria so they understand more the view of people in the UK who are critical of the EU. There were emails during the campaign in which German people made out that I was a traitor to the German post-world war project. But it has settled since the result. I was at a meeting recently where I explained to people in Germany why the British people voted as they did and they listened and understood. There was a real sadness though.

22 May: Winning the Palme DOr, by Ken Loach, film director

Golden touch: director Ken Loach poses with the Palme dOr award for his film I, Daniel Blake. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Winning the Palme dOr for I, Daniel Blake was extraordinary. It was an endorsement and meant distributors were given confidence to show the film, so a lot of people saw it and it couldnt be ignored. Its rattled a few cages, which is what we hoped for.

Across Europe there are people in comparable situations. When we were researching the script we found people who were feeding their kids biscuits because they had no money. Theres a level of poverty thats just not talked about. I think thats something fiction can do that a straight news report cant. It takes you into peoples inner lives.

If the film is to be anything other than a news story that fades, its got to translate into political action. The demand for food banks has gone through the roof. A lot of people become homeless. At every screening people put up their hands and say: It happened to me. We heard story after story: when Iain Duncan Smith and others say the film isnt accurate, theyre lying. We know it is accurate.

28 May: Amber Heard splits from Johnny Depp, by Polly Neate, activist

Happier days: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive for the British premiere of the film Black Mass in London. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

As the CEO of Womens Aid, Ive met women from all walks of life who have been through domestic abuse. Amber Heards allegations about Johnny Depp were all too appallingly familiar. What was disappointing was how immediate the backlash was. People were quick to wade in and blame her and accuse her of lying. [Depp denied all the allegations and the case was settled out of court.] When a women makes an allegation of domestic abuse, people tend to pick around for ulterior motives.

We saw an increase in women coming forward after The Archers abuse storyline, and when Amber went public the numbers of calls to police skyrocketed.

Domestic abuse charities are underfunded and we dont tend to be the sort of charity that celebrities like to attach themselves to so, in a sense, Ambers public statement was extremely powerful.

24 June: David Cameron resigns, by Craig Oliver, communications director

End of the road: David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha as he announces his resignation. Photograph: Lauren Hurley/PA

Being in Downing Street on the night of 23 June felt like walking across a path to safety, only to suddenly drop into quicksand. No one was going to pull us out.

As I arrived in No 10 that evening, still wearing a Stronger In T-shirt, everyone was nervous, despite people queuing up to say wed won. The markets were buoyant, pollsters were confident and even Nigel Farage was conceding defeat.

The early results put the lie to that. Come 4am it was clearly over. Slumped in his office chair, the prime minister dismissed arguments he should stay on. It would be miserable. Id be being prepared for the slaughterhouse. Just waiting for the tap on the shoulder. I watched him disappear along the corridor to spend time with his family.

When he came downstairs a few hours later, David Cameron said: Well, that didnt go to plan! Of course he cared deeply he was simply trying to lead people through his and their pain in a very English way.

After a concession call to Michael Gove, we prepared a speech. He walked out with Sam by his side, the first signal to the world he was going. I turned up the TV in the Private Office and watched with George Osborne. I put my arm around Kate Fall, the deputy chief of staff, who was in tears. As David got to the final sentences about loving his country, we could see he was choking up.

What felt like the whole of No 10 was now gathered, and David and Sam returned to a round of applause. He waved his hand to silence everyone, but we refused to stop. After a short speech about loving his team, he disappeared into his office.

I could give endless reasons why Remain lost, many of them our fault. But in essence, we thought we were able to take more hits than we actually could. As David told me: We were asking too many people to vote for an EU they didnt like and immigration they didnt want.

Unleashing Demons: The Inside Story of Brexit by Craig Oliver is available from Hodder & Stoughton 20. To order a copy for 15.80, go to

9 July: Black Lives Matter demonstration in Louisiana, by Ieshia Evans, protester

Standing tall: Ieshia Evans is detained by law enforcement officers as she protests the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

When Baltimore, Ferguson and other protests broke out, I couldnt travel. I had to work in my job as a nurse. I had bills to pay. I made excuses. I remember the guilt of feeling that I should be there.

So when the opportunity to travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from where I live in Pennsylvania came, I jumped in. My grandmother, who Im very close to, really didnt want me to go. She was scared for me. I am 28 years old and I have a young son, but it was time I stood up.

I arrived to a peaceful protest. There was no violence coming from the protesters, but the police had no issue about having their sticks out and one officer had his gun out and pointed he obviously didnt see the irony. They were ready to attack us.

I wasnt aware that the space around me had cleared in the moment that this picture was taken, and I wasnt scared. I consciously made eye contact with the officers. I wanted them to see me, to see my anger. I wanted them to feel what I was feeling, but there was nothing.

I was arrested and bundled into a van afterwards and taken to a holding facility, where I was strip searched, put in jail clothes and then taken to a prison. I was there for 24 hours.

Nearly six months on, I dont dwell on what happened that day and I dont want any praise. It was a moment in time and one I would repeat in a heartbeat.

People around the world dont realise how bad things are for black people in the US. Racism here is so ingrained even under the Obama administration. White people care more about their animals than they care about us. There is a disconnect in the way we are living. The way we are being human. That needs to change.

28 July: Democratic Party National Convention, by Khizr Khan, whose son died fighting for America

From dazed election night revellers in Washington DC to a gay Trump voter in Detroit to kids in Kentucky … The US writer gauges the mood of a divided nation

The word surreal is overused and often wrongly used, but in the case of the Washington Post Election Night Live party, the word was apt. First of all, it was a disco. There was a DJ playing a frenetic mix of contemporary Top 40 and pointedly apropos songs such as Pat Benatars Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Youre a real tough cookie with a long history ). Behind the DJ there were dozens of screens showing various television networks coverage of the election. The screens were so bright and so huge, and the colours so primary and vivid, that the experience was like being trapped inside an enormous jar of jelly beans.

Women dressed like Vegas showgirls made their way through the crowd with towering tiered hats adorned with chocolates from one of the evenings sponsors. The chocolates, round and the size of strawberries, were offered in pairs, enclosed in loose plastic sacks a bizarre but perhaps intentionally lewd optic? The bartenders were setting out Campari Americanos by the dozens. The food was by chefs Jos Andrs and the brothers Voltaggio. The Washington Post has a right to celebrate the paper is thriving and its political coverage extraordinary but this felt like Rome before the fall.

At some point early on, the music was turned down for 20 minutes so Karen Attiah of the Post could moderate a live conversation between the current German ambassador, Peter Wittig, and former Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan. The talk was serious and enlightening, but the ambassadors seemed baffled by the nightclub atmosphere, and besides, few people were listening. The party was about the party.

And everyone expected Hillary Clinton to win. The attendees were largely Washington insiders lobbyists, staffers, legislative aides, pundits and producers. Most were liberal and most were confident. The nights only potential for suspense centred around whether or not Clinton would take some of the toss-up states, like Florida and North Carolina. When she was declared the winner which was expected before the partys scheduled end-time of 10 oclock there would be talk of who would be appointed what, with a not-insignificant portion of the partygoers in line for positions in the new administration.

Thus the mood was ebullient at seven oclock, when the event started, and was electric by eight. Kentucky and Indiana were announced for Donald Trump and that news was met with a shrug. More scantily clad women walked through the rooms serving hors doeuvres, and soon there were at least three showgirls wearing hats of towering testicle-chocolates. Young Washingtonians swayed to the music. Drinks were set under chairs and spilled. A young girl in a beautiful party dress walked through the drunken partygoers looking for her parents.

Then nine oclock came around and the party began to turn. Most of the states thus far had gone for Trump. None of these victories was unexpected, but the reddening of the national map was disheartening, and the margins in those states were often greater than expected. He took Texas, North Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi. Not a problem for the crowd, but by 9.30, people were panicking. Trump was leading in Florida and North Carolina. Nate Silver, the statistics shaman who had been roundly criticised for overestimating Trumps chances, now posted that a Trump victory was likely. Ohio was in the bag, Pennsylvania was trending toward him, and it looked like he could win Wisconsin and Michigan. A hundred guests turned their attention from the big screens to their little screens. They paced and made calls. The party emptied and we all spilled into the streets. Beyond the Washington Post building and beyond DC, the country had been swamped by a white tsunami few saw coming.

Election night at The Washington Post. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty Images

For a few hours, the city had the feeling of a disaster movie. People scurried this way and that. Some wandered around dazed. Following the returns, we travelled from restaurant to bar to home, and the Somali and Ethiopian cabbies were stunned, worried less about Trump than about the prospect of Rudy Giuliani serving in the cabinet in any capacity. We all talked about where we will move: Belize; New Zealand; Canada. We no longer knew our own country. In Columbia Heights, when the election was settled, a young woman biking up the hill stopped, threw her bike into the middle of the road, sat on a kerb and began weeping. No no no no, she wailed.

The omens were there if you looked. A month before the election, Id driven from Pittsburgh to the Philadelphia suburbs and saw nothing but Trump/Pence signs. In three days I covered about 1,200 miles of back roads and highway some of the prettiest country you can find on this continent and saw not one sign, large or small, in support of Clinton. The only time any mention of her was made at all was on an enormous billboard bearing her face with a Pinocchio nose.

I did see Confederate flags. James Carville, the political strategist, recently quipped that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between, and there is some truth to that. There are a lot of men in camouflage jackets. There are a lot of men out of work. When you stop at gas stations, the magazine sections are overwhelmed by periodicals devoted to guns, hunting and survival. Then there are the tidy farms and rolling hills, the equestrian centres with their white fences, the wide swaths of Amish and Mennonites and Quakers.

I was in rural Pennsylvania to see the United 93 National Memorial in Shanksville a monument to the 40 passengers and crew who died in a windswept field on 9/11. The day I visited was bright and clear. The surrounding country was alive with autumn colours and, far on distant ridgelines, white windmills turned slowly. Just off the parking lot, a park ranger in forest green was standing before a diverse group of middle school students, admonishing them. Boys and girls. Boys and girls, he said. Youre standing here where people died. There are still human remains here. Youre goofing around and laughing, and I shouldnt have to tell you to be respectful. They deserve that. They quieted for a moment before one of the boys nudged another, and the giggling began again.

Trump supporters rally in Oceanside, California. Photograph: Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images

The memorial is beautifully constructed and devastating in its emotional punch. Visitors can walk the flightpath of the plane, a gently sloping route down to the crash site, which is separated from the footpath by a low wall. Its a grave, another ranger explained. So we dont walk there. Higher on the hill, there is an indoor visitor centre that recreates every moment of the day in excruciating detail. There are video loops of the Twin Towers being destroyed, fragments of the plane, pictures and bios of every passenger, details about the calls they made from the plane once they knew they would die. It is shattering.

Leaving the museum, a man in front of me, young and built like a weightlifter, couldnt push the door open. I reached over him to help and he turned to thank me. His face was soaked with tears. I got into my car, shaken but heartened by the courage of the 40 humans who had realised what was happening that they were passengers on a missile headed for the White House or Capitol building and had sacrificed their lives to save untold numbers in Washington DC. The American passengers of United 93 were from 35 different cities in 11 different states, but they died together to save the capital from incalculable loss of lives and what might have been a crippling blow to the nations psyche.

I left the memorial and turned on to a two-lane road, part of the Lincoln Highway that runs through the state part of the first coast-to-coast highway in the United States. Just beyond a sign advertising home-grown sweetcorn, there was a residential home, the first house anyone might encounter when leaving the United Memorial, and on this home, there is a vast Confederate flag draped over the front porch.

Its important to note that this was the Lincoln Highway. And that the civil war ended 160 years ago. And that Pennsylvania was not a state in the Confederacy. So to see this, an enormous Confederate flag in a Union state, a mile from a symbol of national tragedy and shared sacrifice, was an indicator that there was something very unusual in the mood of the country. Ancient hatreds had resurfaced. Strange alliances had been formed. None of the old rules applied.

The Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

Steven McManus has come out of the closet twice. First as a gay man, then as a Trump supporter. We were sitting at a coffee shop in Detroits Eastern Market neighbourhood, and McManus was almost vibrating. This was two days after Trumps election, and McManus was elated about the victory, yes, but more personally, about the fact that after Trumps election, hed had the courage to post a message on social media declaring his support of the president-elect.

I lived a lot of my life as a closeted guy, McManus said, and the liberation I felt as a man coming out was similar to how I felt coming out for Trump. You really truly think youre the only one who has these feelings. Its liberating. I felt it was time to come out again.

McManus is a thin man in his late 30s, bald and bespectacled, with a close-cropped beard. He grew up in the part of the Detroit suburbs known as Downriver. Many of the areas residents had come from the American south in the 1940s to work in the auto factories, and the area still retains a southern feel. His father was a salesman who brokered space on trucking lines. Looking back on it now, McManus appreciated the fact that his parents could raise five children on one salesmans salary. But then came the Nafta, and the gutting of much of the Detroit auto manufacturing base. McManus watched as Detroit and Flint hollowed out and caved in.

Trump was the only candidate talking about the trade imbalance, McManus said. Being a businessman, a successful businessman, he understood why business decision-makers, at the highest levels of their companies, move their production overseas. McManus was angry when auto companies, after receiving bailouts from the US government in 2009, continued to move production to Mexico. In Detroit, we gave America the middle class. But this is now a false economy. The housing market is decimated, and the middle class is shrinking. I want someone to shake it up. Lets move the whole country forward.

McManus is not blind to the rareness of an openly gay man supporting Trump. But I dont have to vote a certain way based on my sexuality. In my mind weve moved beyond having to vote Democrat just because youre gay. And hes not worried about a reversal of the hard-fought right to marriage gays just achieved. Weve got our rights now, he said. Its settled. McManus and his husband got married three years ago in New York, before the supreme court decision legalised gay marriage nationwide, and it was in his new place of domestic tranquillity that McManus watched the Republican national convention. Two moments affected him profoundly. First was the appearance of Peter Thiel, the former CEO of PayPal, who was given a prime speakers spot and said from the stage, Every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American.

McManus was moved then, but he was even more affected by an unscripted part of Trumps speech. It was shortly after the Orlando massacre, and for the first time in my life, a Republican candidate for president said things like, forty-nine wonderful Americans, or beautiful Americans or whatever he said, were savagely murdered. And he said, I will protect gay and lesbian individuals. Some people at the convention cheered and some people didnt cheer. And then Trump said, off the cuff and off the teleprompter, he said, For those of you who cheered, I thank you. And I cried. I cried.

McManuss husband works for the army, as an IT specialist, and they both became bothered by Clintons email setup. If my husband had done the same thing, hed be fired. And its pretty hard to get fired from a government job. McManus began to follow Trump more closely, and found that he was agreeing with most of hispositions on trade, immigration and national security. I began to realise that Im more conservative than I thought. But he couldnt reveal this. He lives in Detroit, a liberal city, and works in the restaurant industry in town, where left-leaning politics dominate. But after coming out as a Trump supporter, he is finding himself emboldened. The day after the election, McManus saw his doctor, who is Muslim, and he mentioned that hed voted for Trump.

I just wanted to get it off my chest. I was feeling a little McManus sits up in his chair, to indicate the new confidence he felt that day. I told him, I came out as a Trump supporter today. And he went off for 15 minutes to the point where I almost walked out. He was impassioned about how he felt that Trump was disenfranchising Muslim-Americans. But our present state of terrorism does have a religious undertone to it. Finally I managed to get something off my chest. I cant remember who said this to me, either my husband or my ex, but I said to my doctor, You know, it wasnt a group of Catholic nuns that flew planes into the World Trade Center.

Proud to be a Republican Peter Thiel. Photograph: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

Later that night in Detroit, I ran into Rob Mickey, a professor of political science. He grew up in Texas, but has spent about 10 years teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We were at a party benefiting an educational nonprofit. Doing something concrete and positive felt good, and being around kids felt good, but everyone was exhausted no one had slept since the election and 30 seconds into every conversation it turned to Trump, Clinton, what had gone wrong and what would happen next. One of the events attendees had been living in a central American cloud forest for years, and there was much talk about following her down there.

I told Mickey about McManus, and to him, the story of the gay Trump supporter was both surprising and unsurprising. Everything about 2016 was upside down. Parts of Michigan who had voted twice for Obama had turned to Trump. Rob and his wife Jenny had gone canvassing for Clinton on the Sunday before the election, and the reception they received was not warm.

I would say it was hostile, he said.

They had gone to Milan, Michigan, an overwhelmingly white town 50 miles southwest of Detroit. Its spelled like the Italian town, but pronounced MY-lan, Rob pointed out. The Clinton campaign had given Rob and Jenny a list of names and addresses of white working-class residents who had registered as Democrats but were labelled sporadic voters. Milan had voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, and winning towns such as Milan was key to delivering a Clinton victory in Michigan.

The homes they visited were run-down, with No Soliciting placards on every door. They saw no Clinton signs on anyones lawn. There were Trump signs scattered around town, but most of the residents they met were disgusted by the entire election. One woman said, I dont want to have nothing to do with that, Mickeyrecalled. Another said, I hate them both, including that guy of yours. When I pointed out that our candidate was a woman, she said, Whatever and slammed the door.

One house with a Bernie Sanders sign on the lawn looked promising. Mickey knocked on the door. A white man with a US ARMY shirt answered. He was missing an arm. Mickey introduced himself as a Clinton canvasser, and told the man he had supported Sanders, too, during the primary. Thats great, the man said, and closed the door.

The people we met that day were straight out of central casting, if you were making a movie about the disaffected white working class, Mickey said. Between 55 and 65, without college degrees. You could see that Lena Dunham and Katy Perry were not going to do anything to form a bridge to these people. If I hadnt read any polls, and I was basing it just on the people I met, I would have thought, boy, Clintons going to get wiped out.

It was different in 2008. Knowing that Michigan was securely in Obamas column and Ohio was on the bubble, Rob and Jenny went to Toledo to knock on doors in trailer parks and housing projects. Foreclosure signs were common. When they introduced themselves as canvassers for Obama, the residents, all of them white, were welcoming and chatty. The interactions were long, Mickey said. The people were worried and they wanted to talk. Ohios 18 electoral votes went to Obama in 2008 and 2012.

This campaign wore a lot of people down, Mickey said. The state was bombarded by pro-Clinton ads, but she failed to offer any sustained and coherent economic message. She said, Im not crazy and Im not a sexist racist pig, but for working class whites thats not enough. I would say that of the people who slammed their doors on me, most of them didnt vote for either candidate.

A Hillary Clinton supporter applauds her televised concession speech. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

In fact, an unprecedented number of Michigan voters cast ballots without choosing either Clinton or Trump. This kind of voting happens every election where voters make their preferences known down-ballot but dont mark anyone for president but never in such numbers. In 2012, there were 50,000 Michigan voters who declined to choose any presidential candidate. In 2016, there were 110,000.

Clinton lost Michigan by 13,107 votes.

The week after the election, the business of the United States went on. Schools and banks were open. The stock market plummeted and rose to a new high. Commuters commuted, and I was headed from Detroit to Kentucky. All of this was travel planned months before, and none of it had anything to do with the election, but it felt like I was making my way, intentionally, into the heart of Trump country.

At Detroit airport it was impossible not to feel the tragedy of Tuesday as having realigned our relationships with each other. Because the voting had split so dramatically along racial lines, how could an African-American or Latino pass a white person on the street, or at baggage claim, and not wonder, Which side are you on?

The emergence of safety pins to symbolise support for Clinton (and equality and inclusion) was inevitable it fulfilled a need, particularly on the part of white Americans, to signal where they stand. Otherwise all iconography is subject to misinterpretation. At the airport, I found an older white man staring at me. His eyes narrowed to slits. I was baffled until I realised he was looking at my baseball hat, which bore the logo and name of a Costa Rican beer called Imperial. Was this man a Clinton supporter who suspected me of being a white nationalist? Was the word Imperial sending a Ku Klux Klan/Third Reich signal to him?

Anyway, I was in the wrong terminal. I was in danger of missing a flight to Louisville, so I left and poked my head into a Hertz bus and asked the driver if he would be stopping near Delta anytime soon. He paused for a moment.

Yeah, Ill take you, he said.

His name was Carl. He was a lanky African-American man in his 60s, and we rode alone, just me and him in this enormous bus, for a time. He asked how I was doing. I told him I was terrible. I was feeling terrible, but I also wanted him to know which side I was on. He laughed.

A traveller in Detroit airport. Photograph: Jim Young/REUTERS

Yeah, I was surprised on Tuesday, too, he said. But I almost feel sorry for Trump. I dont think he thought hed actually win. You see him sitting next to Obama at the Oval Office? He looked like a child.

In Louisville, three days after the election, I sat with 32 students at Fern Creek high school. This was supposed to be a regular classroom visit by someone passing through, but the atmosphere was different now. The students at Fern Creek are from 28 countries. They speak 41 languages. There are refugees from Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We sat in an oval and ate samosas. Nepalese samosas, I was told. Three of the students in the class were from Nepal, and had a particular recipe. The food was extraordinary.

I told these students, three girls still learning English, that Id always wanted to go to Nepal, and asked them to write down some places theyd recommend. They wrote Jhapa, Damak (Refugee camp). They were from Bhutan and had grown up in a UNHCR camp in eastern Nepal. A young man to my left had come from Iraq two years earlier.

Their teachers, Joseph Franzen and Brent Peters, guided the conversation through topics of creativity, social justice and empathy. The students were without exception thoughtful, attentive and respectful of each others opinions. Every time a student finished a statement, the rest of the class snapped, Beat-style, in appreciation. We didnt talk politics. For the time being, the students had had enough of politics. The day after the election, theyd had a charged discussion about the results, and, still feeling raw, they had written about the discussion the next day.

The thing I didnt say yesterday was that Muslims scare me. The thing with Isis is out of control and I dont trust them at all and I dont get why Mexicans cant take the test to become legal? Are they lazy?

The election didnt really bother me even with the outcome, I didnt support Trump. The main reason I cared about Clinton winning was cause I didnt want my family to be affected. My mom is gay and married to a woman.

As a Muslim female in high school its hard to deal with this and let it sink in. But I know Trump doesnt have full power of his actions. So I feel like even if hes president, everything will be the same.

I was downright disappointed in the country. Because Trump won, racism, sexism, misogyny and xenophobia won. It goes to show what our country values now. Either this is what we value, or this is what the majority is OK with.

I feel like everything said yesterday doesnt even matter anymore. We as American citizens cant change whats been decided. Not everybody gets what they want. Thats what life is. Trump will be our new president and we cant change that. WE need to make America great again, NOT Trump. Thats our job as people.

I think Trump and Hillary are both crazy and Im kind of eager to see how trump runs this b—h.

And so we see how differently we express ourselves on paper. The students, sitting in their oval with the smell of Nepalese samosas filling the room, were unfailingly kind to each other. But on paper, other selves were unleashed. Despite the many international students, the schools population is mostly American-born, 48% white and 38% black, and it was easy to see how Trump could bring dormant grievances to the fore, could give licence to reactionary theories and kneejerk assumptions. The students had witnessed eight years of exquisite presidential self-control and dignity, and now there would be a 70-year-old man in the White House whose feelings were easily hurt, who called people names, and who tweeted his complaints at all hours, with rampant misspellings and exclamation marks. Our only hope will be that the 100 million or so young people in American schools behave better than the president. A president who has not read a book since he was last required to. Think of it.

After the class, a tall African-American student named Devin approached me. Hed introduced himself before the class, and had asked some very sophisticated questions about using imagery to convey meaning in his poetry. He was a wide receiver on the schools football team, he said, but he was also a writer. He handed me a loose-leaf piece of paper, and on it was a prose-poem he wanted me to look at.

We sat on top of my house, laying back, looking at the stars, the stars shining, waving back at us. They told us hello. Time froze. I turned my head to look at you. Still fixated on the stars, you paid me no mind. I studied you. This was the true face of beauty. Your royal blue eyes, the brown polka dots on your face. Your smile making the moon envious because it could not compare in light. I reached out to grab your hand. You turned your eyes to look at me. Our hands intersected and we both smiled. I told you you were were beautiful.

Below the piece, Devin wrote, in red ink, Do I have something here? Should I continue?

Anti-Trump Protesters march through Los Angeles on 12 November. Photograph: UPI / Barcroft Images

That night in Louisville there was another benefit event, this one for an organisation called Teach Kentucky, which recruits high-achieving college graduates to come to the state to teach in the public schools. Joe Franzen and Brent Peters are among Teach Kentuckys recruits, and if they are any indication of the quality of humans the organisation is attracting, the programme is a runaway success.

At the event, Franzen and Peters spoke about their craft, and about making sure their students felt they had a place at the table. There was much talk about their classrooms as families, of meals shared by all, of mutual respect. It was very calm and heartening, but there was also a moment where the audience was encouraged to let out a primal scream (my idea, I admit it), and 200 people did that, screamed, exorcising our election-week demons. Later on, Jim James Louisville resident and leader of the rock band My Morning Jacket performed a medley of songs, from Leonard Cohen to All You Need Is Love and Blowin in the Wind. And then everyone got drunk.

There was good bourbon. It was called brown water by the locals, and after stomachs were full, we all vacillated between despair and measured hope. But the questions loomed over the night like the shadow of a Nazi zeppelin. Would he really try to build a wall? Would he really try to exclude all Muslims? Would he actually appoint a white nationalist as his chief of staff? And did 42% of American women really vote for a man who threatened to overturn Roe v Wade and who bragged about grabbing them by the pussy? Did the white working class really elect a man whose most famous catchphrase was Youre fired? Like a teenager with poor self-esteem, the American people had chosen the flashy and abusive boyfriend over the steady, boring one. Weve had enough decency for one decade, the electorate decided. Give us chaos.

It is not easy to get a ticket to Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This is the newest museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and its design, by the Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, is so successful, at once immediately iconic and bold but also somehow blending into the low-slung surrounding architecture, that it has become the most talked-about building in the United States.

Admission is free, but there is a six-month wait for passes, and the passes are timed. If you get a pass, you must enter at the assigned hour or wait another six months. I had gotten such a timed pass, and it so happened that the pass was for the day after the election. That morning, I had the choice between staying in bed, forgoing my one chance at seeing the building in 2016, or rising on three hours sleep and keeping the appointment. Like millions of others, I did not want the day to begin. If I woke up, I would check the news, and if I checked the news, there would be confirmation of what I had remembered foggily from the night before that the people of America had elected a reality television host as their president. I closed my eyes, wanting sleep.

Then I remembered the Gazans.

Back in April, I had been in the Gaza Strip and had met a married couple, Mahmoud and Miriam, journalists and activists who badly wanted to leave Gaza. I had e-introduced them to an asylum lawyer in San Francisco, but from 7,000 miles away, she couldnt do much to help. The impossible thing was that they actually had a visa. A real visa issued by the American state department. All they had to do was get out of Gaza. But permissions were needed from the Israelis or Egyptians, and they were having no luck with either. Finally, one day in October, an email arrived. Mahmoud and Miriam were in Brooklyn. Theyd bribed an Egyptian guard at the Rafah gate and had made their way on a 14hour journey through Sinai.

Sabrina Siddiqui relays her experience as a pool reporter, part of a small group shadowing Clinton and her top aides, in the final 24 hours of her bid to make history as the first female US president

Hillary Clinton had barely slept in 24 hours when she arrived at her polling station in upstate New York to cast her ballot, on the crisp autumn day that would eventually determine that she would not, after all, break that highest, hardest glass ceiling.

The final day of her 18-month campaign to be the USs first female president had seen her blitz through four cities in three battleground states, and culminated in a bespectacled Clinton bounding off her plane to her campaign anthem, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, before a couple of hundred supporters who braved the 3.30am wind chill at the Westchester County airport.

About four hours later, at least 100 well-wishers assembled at the Douglas G Griffin elementary school in Clintons adopted hometown of Chappaqua to watch her cast her vote.

It is the most humbling feeling, she told CNN when asked how it felt to vote for herself, because I know how much responsibility goes with this and so many people are counting on the outcome of this election, what it means for our country, and I will do the very best I can if Im fortunate enough to win today.

To have a woman on the ballot as the nominee of a major party was a first in Americas 240-year history and Clinton said she had thought about her mother when she cast her ballot.

Her language at the polling station echoed the cautiously optimistic tone that had dominated the final two weeks of her campaign. Shifting from her routine stump speech, the Democratic nominee had begun to look beyond the 8 November election, the first time many reporters had witnessed her allowing herself to do that in 18 months of covering her campaign.

She spoke of a certainty that voters would choose an open, inclusive, big-hearted America, and told voters in Manchester, New Hampshire: We will have some work to do to bring about healing and reconciliation after this election.

The country would need to come together, Clinton said repeatedly, whether standing before several dozen parishioners at a black church in Philadelphia in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania or before thousands of students gathered under the fall foliage at an outdoor park in that states other major city, Pittsburgh.

There is fear and anger in our country, Clinton said in Pittsburgh. But anger is not a plan. We have got to start talking to each other again.

Beneath the veneer of her carefully chosen words, Clinton had already begun to frame the aftermath of the election as though victory was well within sight. Neither she nor her campaign seemed to foresee that American voters would resoundingly reject a plea to hold on to unity in favour of division, and choose fear over hope.

But they did precisely that on Tuesday, propelling Donald Trump to the nations highest office in a stunning affirmation of a wholly different definition of America and its identity.

As Clinton hopscotched across a small set of critical swing states in those final days, top aides sauntered to the back cabin of her campaign plane daily to brief the traveling press on the state of the race. An at-capacity group of 42 reporters huddled in the aisle or climbed on to their seats to record vital details on how the campaign was executing its turnout strategy, rooted in a massive ground game they claimed was slowly cultivating a lead too insurmountable for Trump to overcome.

Standing near a barricade separating the press from the crowd at one of Clintons final rallies on Monday, a senior campaign official predicted wins in Nevada, Michigan, Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, deeming only North Carolina a tossup. Only New Hampshire and Nevada would eventually be won.

The official even quietly entertained what a President-elect Clintons itinerary might look like after Tuesday, telling reporters she would need some downtime before probably flying to Washington on Thursday to meet with Barack Obama.

Timing of announcements for a potential transition team was unclear, but the aide was willing to indulge an exhausted press corps and speculateon when they might finally be safe taking a break from a grueling schedule that for some had spanned more than two years trailing Clinton.

Somewhat lost at that moment was the fact that the conversation was taking place in Michigan, where Clinton held a rally for 4,600 supporters at a basketball gymnasium in Grand Rapids.

The Clinton campaign remained bullish about its chances in Michigan, insisting that its decision to make a last-minute trip to the state, and dispatch President Obama there too, was merely the product of taking no votes for granted. But in retrospect, it presaged the Trump insurgency, both there Trump looks likely to have won the state for the Republicans for the first time since 1988 and across the US, and the attendant cracks in the so-called Democratic firewall.

But if the Clinton campaigns major weakness was in Michigan, the odds pointed to a similar trend in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (Democratic since 1992) and the rest of the midwest too, where the campaign and most of the pollsters and pundits underestimated the large number of white voters who would flock to the Republican nominee. In its pursuit of more diverse states, Clintons team failed to shore up the Democrats long-held base in the so-called rust belt, despite recurring signs that Trump was appealing to working-class, less-educated white voters.

If there was any concern within the Clinton campaign in its final stretch, it was instead over the untold damage caused by the announcement by the FBI director, James Comey, at the end of October that his agency was reviewing a new batch of emails that might be pertinent to the previous investigation into her use of a private server while heading the Department of State.

The jolt was delivered 11 days before the election, as Clinton was flying between campaign events, placing another cloud of suspicion over a candidate polling persistently low in trustworthiness. Aides downplayed its significance on the polls, conceding only that the renewed focus on emails distracted Clinton from her message with precious time remaining to seal the deal with undecided voters.

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David Smith chronicles another busy week in a bizarre election year: Biden and Trump reveal bare knuckles and Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be asked to step down

Journalist Maureen Dowd memorably described the choice at the 2016 US election as the king of winging it versus the queen of homework. So no surprise if the king of winging it had a little help. Sixteen months into his campaign, he rolled out a new slogan, Drain the swamp referring to Washington. Soon enough #DrainTheSwamp was trending on Twitter.

But evidently this wasnt Trumps own idea. As a crowd chanted Drain the swamp at a rally in Geneva, Ohio, on Thursday, the Republican candidate admitted: You know, I didnt like the expression I started it what, a week ago, right? Drain the swamp and I said, I dont like it, and the people were going crazy, they loved it. All of a sudden, I like it.

Cue a mystifying simile that only Trump could come up with. Its like Frank Sinatra, who was a special guy, a difficult guy, but he had songs he didnt like but they became his biggest songs so he liked them, he continued. And drain the swamp, Im starting to like it a lot, do you agree? Its very reflective of what were trying to do.

Trump added with glee: So cute. I see this young boy here and hes screaming Drain the swamp! Hes this big. How cute. Hes learning young, learning young about our government. Very cute.

What a gift for Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, the Broadway blockbuster that culminates in a duel between sitting vice-president Aaron Burr and former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. Sitting vice-president Joe Biden this week more or less challenged Trump to a duel, not with pistols at dawn but bare knuckles behind the school gymnasium.

Ill get myself in trouble, Biden said. Id like to take him behind the gym if I were in high school. All kidding aside, wouldnt you?

Trump has fired back at several rallies. In Florida he said: Id love that! Mr Tough Guy. You know, hes Mr Tough Guy. You know when hes Mr Tough Guy? When hes standing behind a microphone by himself thats when. And in Ohio he said: You know what you do with Biden? You go like this. He turned to one side and blew a puff of air from his mouth. And hed fall over.

Jake Tapper, CNNs chief Washington correspondent, tweeted: Im trying to envision something more fitting than this election actually ending in a Biden-Trump fist fight and I cannot.

From a well connected Washington crystal ball gazer: Hillary Clinton will win the election. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, who fell asleep at the State of the Union address (she admitted she was not entirely sober) and has given more than one regrettable interview of late, will be gently asked to step down from the supreme court. Arch liberal senator Elizabeth Warren will be lined up to replace her. And the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia will spin like a Catherine wheel in the grave.

Clintons 69th birthday on Wednesday included a cake from staff and a rendition of Happy Birthday from Stevie Wonder. She will, if elected, be the second oldest person in history to assume the presidency, just behind Ronald Reagan. Trump is even older at 70. In Africa, however, they would all be mere babes in the woods. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is 92, Paul Biya of Cameroon is 83, Jacob Zuma of South Africa is 74, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is 73 and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is 72.

Trump is a man of hidden shallows. Future historians will pore over the choice of warm-up music at his rallies, including Pavarottis version of Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep) and the Rolling Stones You Cant Always Get What You Want a lyric that takes on added poignancy with every poll.

It also emerged this week that one of the tycoons favourite songs is Is That All There Is?, a hit for Peggy Lee in the 60s. Trump told a biographer: Its a great song because Ive had these tremendous successes and then Im off to the next one. Because, its like, Oh, is that all there is?

The song may be even more apt come the night of 8 November when Trump counts how many states are in his margin. Clinton, meanwhile, will hold her election night party at New Yorks Javits Center, which has a glass ceiling. Get it?

Mother Jones magazine records: Even the death of a child couldnt keep Donald Trump from talking about hitting on the boys mother.

The episode dates from 2009 when Trump wrote a blogpost devoted to Kelly Preston four days after Jett, her 16-year-old son with John Travolta, died from a seizure during a family holiday. The billionaire offered condolences but could not resist mentioning something else: A long time ago, before I was married, I met Kelly Preston at a club and worked like hell to try and pick her up. She was beautiful, personable, and definitely had allure. At the time I had no idea she was married to John Travolta.

There was more: In any event, my track record on this subject has always been outstanding, but Kelly wouldnt give me the time of day. She was very nice, very elegant, but I didnt have a chance with her, and that was that.


John Gludovatz (@johngludovatz)

Tens of supporters attend Tim Kaine rally in West Palm Beach, FL.

October 25, 2016

He thinks because he has a mouthful of Tic-Tacs that he can force himself on any woman within groping distance. Well, Ive got news for you, Donald Trump. Women have had it with guys like you. And nasty women have really had it with guys like you. Yeah. Get this, Donald … on November 8, we nasty women are gonna march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.
Senator Elizabeth Warren

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A flurry of concerts, headlined by Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z and others, will take place before election day

As the presidential election approaches and worries linger over whether millennial voters will turn out in key swing states, the Clinton campaign has turned to the unifying force of celebrity. A flurry of get out the vote concerts, headlined by Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, the National and others, will take place between Saturday and 8 November.

On Saturday, the same day early voting begins in Florida, Lopez will appear with Hillary Clinton in Miami. But the biggest act will hold court in one of the most crucial swing states on 4 November. Four days before the final vote, Jay Z will host a concert in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to the Clinton campaign, he will do so to encourage unity and urge Ohioans to support Clinton by voting early or on election day.

For a campaign that has faced headwinds in its efforts to motivate young voters and African American voters and which according to a Real Clear Politics poll average trails Donald Trump by 1.1% in Ohio the Jay Z concert will present a key opportunity.

According to campaign sources, the concert will feature multiple special guests, with Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, a Clinton endorser, a possible addition to the program.

Jay Zs concert will be the penultimate event in a series under the title Love Trumps Hate, following Lopez in Miami and the National in Cincinnati on 2 November. On 5 November, Perry, a longtime and vocal supporter, will perform in Philadelphia.

This is not the first time the Clinton campaign has recruited entertainment industry powerhouses. At the conclusion of the Democratic national convention in July, Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz performed for Democratic delegates in a thank-you concert held in Camden, New Jersey.

In August, Clinton appeared with Cher in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at a private fundraiser in the gay vacation destination. That appearance was marred slightly when Cher compared Trump to Adolf Hitler in front of a semi-drunk audience.

But, by and large, celebrities have put their wattage to good use. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake and Scarlett Johansson are just a few of the stars who want to help get Clinton elected, whether through Instagram posts of ballots or earnest advertisements extolling the virtues of voting.

The concert program draws a sharp contrast to those celebrities who have made appearances on behalf of Trump.

Although the businessman vowed before the Republican convention to host a winners circle of movie stars and sports heroes, and has enjoyed support from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the candidates celebrity surrogates have largely been tarnished glitterati.

Among them have been former underwear model Antonio Sabto and Natalie Gulbis, who is currently the 597th-best female golfer in the world.

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Clinton thinks Bernie Sanders supporters, who live in their parents basements, dont know any better. Thats a dangerous blind spot

It is among the most venerable election rituals of the smartphone era: down the home stretch, a recording surfaces containing embarrassing audio of a candidate elite-splaining politics to a room of rich, self-satisfied donors.

In 2008, Barack Obama was caught talking in San Francisco about Rust Belt left-behinds who cling to guns and Bibles. Four years later, Mitt Romney never recovered from his hopeless 47% comments in Boca Raton. And last Friday splashed the arrival of Hillary Clintons very own basement tape, recorded at a fundraiser in a tony Virginia suburb. In it, Clinton is heard caricaturing young Sanders supporters as frustrated, fist-pounding baristas living in their parents basement clinging to their Bernie T-shirts and naive fantasies of system change.

Sanders dutifully rose to Clintons defense over the weekend, but he also conceded on CNNs State of the Union that the tape bothered him. How could it not? Clintons comments were a bald revelation, condescending and dismissive, assuring wealthy Democrats that the millennials making noise on the left just dont know any better.

As Emmett Rensin ably enumerated for Newsweek, young people did not support Sanders because they are, in Clintons recorded words, new to politics. They flocked to him because they have very different politics than she does. Clintons comments remind us just how different, and suggest her rhetorical commitments to parts of the Sanders platform wont find reflection in her appointments.

And at bottom, they reveal a politician who still holds to the old Thatcher motto that defined the neoliberal eras boost phase: there is no alternative. The impacts of deregulation and free trade are real, Clinton says in the tape, but organizing for radical change is just role-play fantasy politics. As she brushed it off in Virginia, it reflects a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means.

Clintons comments also belie an incapacity to get her head around the full meaning of Sanders campaign. The political revolution Sanders invoked was not just a plan to get college graduates out of Americas basements and into sweet lofts. In reducing the campaign to crude economism, Clinton sounds like someone who doesnt understand that many Sanders supporters dont just want a bigger piece of the pie, they want a fundamentally different kind of society. Clintons message to her donor audience was essentially one of patience, of letting capitalism work its magic: as soon as these kids start making good money, theyll fall in line behind center-right candidates. Its perfectly natural that Clinton and her audience would think this, and that everybody, as Clinton described the political class in Virginia, would be quite bewildered in the meantime.

You can see a similar economism in media attempts to disentangle the motivations of Trump supporters. In August, much was made of a Gallup poll showing that Trumps base was statistically no worse off than other voters. For many, this was the ultimate ballast for the argument that they couldnt possibly be motivated by distress over inequality or the economic and social dislocations of free trade agreements.

This conclusion is as wrong, and for similar reasons, as Clintons supposition that Sanders supporters would Be With Her if only theyd gotten a cushy marketing gig after graduation.

I spent much of primary season reporting a book about Trump supporters. As with Sanders backers, their outrage and sense of injustice was bigger than their own position. Economically secure Trump supporters business owners, retirees with good pensions are still members of communities. They see nephews, daughters and neighbors suffering the same burdens as Clintons children of the recession; they generally view economic progress not in quarterly reports, but directionally, over decades.

As with Sanders supporters, some of the Trump supporters I met have begun to think critically about the bigger picture, about systems, and wonder why we cant have some of the nice things they have in Scandanavia, such as universal healthcare. This view was especially common among Trump-supporting veterans, whose experience with war, homelessness and socialized healthcare led them to give Sanders a good listen before choosing the toxic fools gold of the other insurgency.

If Sanders baristas can find a way to bring these people over, they might make some decent music together. Even if they have to start out practicing in their parents basement.

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