A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 127th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing his every move. This is week 127.
This week, we saw some of the worst consequences of Donald Trump’s presidency play out. Conservative rulings from the Supreme Court, children suffering inhumane conditions in migrant detention centers and migrants dying at the border, and President Trump’s unrelenting capitulation to murderous dictators and undermining of American democracy.
The partisan gerrymandering ruling, decided by the 5-4 conservative majority, argued that federal courts do not have the power to strike down partisan gerrymandered maps. While they can still take up cases on racial gerrymandering, Chief Justice John Roberts argued partisan gerrymandering is “beyond the reach of the federal courts.” This move will have wide-ranging consequences for our democracy, as it perpetuates the system, largely abused by the GOP, of politicians picking their voters.
We learned more details about how migrants aren’t having their basic needs met like hygiene and medical attention. And in a tragic moment for our country, we witnessed the harrowing image of the deaths of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramirez and his daughter Valeria. They were unable to seek asylum at a legal port of entry, so Óscar swam his daughter across the river. When he turned around to get his wife, his 23-month old daughter jumped in the water after him. They both drowned. This was caused by the Trump Administration’s policy of metering (limiting the number of people who can have their asylum claims processed a day). It is time for a change.
On the world stage, President Trump was at his worst. In a Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump joked about Russia’s meddling in America’s democracy and about “getting rid” of journalists. As we know, Putin personally ordered Russia’s attack on American democracy in an effort to help Trump get elected. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller outlined this in intricate detail in his report. Trump also, once again, appeared to accept Putin’s denial that he didn’t order that attack. When it comes to the fake news “joke”, if the fact Putin is known to have ordered the death of journalists in Russia didn’t make this bad enough, the remarks were made on the one-year anniversary of the Capital Gazette shooting.
In his impulsive meeting in North Korea with Dictator Kim Jong Un, President Trump may have made history, but there is no guarantee he will make any progress. As we’ve seen in his past meetings with the dictator, President Trump merely obtains photo ops which end up elevating Kim Jong Un and not benefitting the United States in any way. Best case scenario is a denuclearized North Korea, but there is no need to levy unnecessary praise and offer a White House visit to a dictator who murders his own people and detained Otto Warmbier, who later died.
The American people had their first chance to hear directly from the 2020 presidential Democratic candidates. Regardless of how you feel about how the candidates performed, one thing is for sure: the debates were horrible for President Trump. Every opportunity for voters to hear about Democratic policies straight from the candidates rather than through media spin, is another opportunity to remind voters that the Democrats are the party proposing meaningful solutions to real problems rather than the fear-mongering lies of the GOP.
Let’s dive into yet anther Unpresidented week.
This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned, completely ad-free, and take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:
Donald’s False Fear
Day 886: Monday, June 24
Mountains of data, and the immigrant story of Rantt Editor Greg Fish, contradicts the Trump Administration’s fear-mongering depiction of immigrants.
In other news…
- BBC News: New US sanctions on Iran target supreme leader
- Axios full list: The leaked Trump transition vetting documents
- Axos: House Oversight to subpoena Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations
- Politico: Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change
- Politico: Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Trademarking ‘Immoral,’ ‘Scandalous’ Words, Symbols
- Politico: Oversight panel demands White House official testify on Trump-Putin docs
- The New York Times: A Message From the Billionaire’s Club: Tax Us
Day 887: Tuesday, June 25
With all the breaking news this week about the poor conditions of migrant children in Trump’s detention centers, it’s important to look at this holistically. Rantt Contributor Rabbi Shaina Bacharach takes on the conditions at these camps:
To those expressing indignation that many of us compare these detention camps to those of the Nazis, it’s painful to recognize the God-awful truth: these are similar to concentration camps.
In other news…
- Associated Press: Father-daughter border drowning highlights migrants’ perils
- The Washington Post: U.S. returns 100 migrant children to overcrowded border facility as HHS says it is out of space
- The New York Times: Trump Threatens ‘Obliteration’ of Iran, as Sanctions Dispute Escalates
- The Hill: American Bar Association condemns conditions at migrant child detention centers as a violation of law, ‘common decency’
- CNN: Acting US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders to leave
- NBC News: Stephanie Grisham named new White House press secretary
- Bloomberg: Trump Muses Privately About Ending Postwar Japan Defense Pact
- The Hill Exclusive: Trump denies E. Jean Carroll allegation, says ‘she’s not my type’
- CNN: Judge says Democrats can begin collecting Trump financial records in emoluments suit
- USA TODAY: Prosecutors say Rep. Duncan Hunter used campaign funds to pay for affairs with lobbyists and aides
- Politico: Mueller could face 2 subpoenas to testify before Congress
- CNN: Murdoch lieutenant ordered removal of New York Post story on Trump sexual assault allegation, sources say
- The New York Times: White House Directs Kellyanne Conway Not to Testify Before House Panel
- The New York Times: Treasury’s Inspector General to Review Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Delay
- The New York Times: Toasting Sarah Huckabee Sanders. By the Press. Really.
Rantt Is Ad-Free – Support Independent Journalism
Day 888: Wednesday, June 26
The New York Post removed an Associated Press article that detailed writer E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation against Donald Trump, President Trump’s denial, and his multiple other sexual misconduct allegations. A source with knowledge of the decision tells Rantt Media that the post was removed upon the request of a senior person in the organization.
This comes after CNN reported that Col Allan, a former editor at the New York Post, and an old lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, ordered the removal of Post reporter Joe Tacopino’s story outlining E. Jean Carroll’s allegation.
Here is the URL to the Associated Press story that has since been removed: https://nypost.com/2019/06/22/trump-faces-new-sexual-assault-allegation-issues-denial/
In spite of the URL clearly indicating it was a story about Trump’s denial of the allegation, it now sends a 301 redirect to the “Cars” section of the New York Post site. An archived version of the June 22nd page shows that the New York Post published an Associated Press story on President Trump’s denial of the allegations. The page was removed and redirected. Here are the digital footprints:
Day 889: Thursday, June 27
Today, the Supreme Court issued a consequential ruling on the practice lawmakers utilize to draw districts favorable to their political party. In a 5-4 conservative majority decision, the Justices ruled that federal courts would not weigh in on partisan gerrymandering cases. This leaves the matter to state courts, and ultimately, Congress to decide whether to outlaw partisan gerrymandering at the federal level.
The case before them was the Democratic-advantaged districts in Maryland and the Republican-advantaged districts in North Carolina. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion stating, “We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”
After stating that federal courts should not weigh in on this matter, Chief Justice Roberts appears to concede that he believes partisan gerrymandering practices run contrary to the principles of a healthy democracy:
“Excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust. But the fact that such gerrymandering is incompatible with democratic principles does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary.”
As Rantt Staff Writer, and law student, Bob Cunningham pointed out in our community Slack chat (which you can join), Roberts explicitly states that federal courts can still rule on racial gerrymandering cases, as they’ve done in the past. Chief Justice Roberts wrote:
“Racial discrimination in districting also raises constitutional issues that can be addressed by the federal courts.
Liberal Justice Elena Kagan wrote an impassioned dissenting opinion:
“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities. And not just any constitutional violation. The partisan gerrymanders in these cases deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights: the rights to participate equally in the political process, to join with others to advance political beliefs, and to choose their political representatives. In so doing, the partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people…”
In a separate ruling today, Chief Justice Roberts sided with liberals in a 5-4 ruling rejecting the Trump Administration’s current request to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. This is important because redistricting is intrinsically tied to the census.
It will be interesting to see how these rulings influence America’s top gerrymandered states. Needless to say, it will take significant mobilization on the part of voters to get members of Congress, who often represent gerrymandered states, to pass a law banning gerrymandering at the federal level.
In other news…
- The New York Times: Democrats Diverge on Economy and Immigration in First Debate
- CNBC: Here’s what you need to know about the second night of the 2020 Democratic primary debate in Miami
- The New York Times: Trump Once Again Assails America’s Friends as He Opens Overseas Visit
- The New York Times: Why E. Jean Carroll, ‘the Anti-Victim,’ Spoke Up About Trump
- Associated Press: House sends Trump $4.6B border bill, yielding to Senate
- The New York Times: Tillerson Says Kushner Bypassed Him and Mattis to Make Foreign Policy
- CNN: Twitter says it will label tweets from Trump and other leaders that break its rules
- NPR: Supreme Court Affirms Police Can Order Blood Drawn From Unconscious DUI Suspects
- The New York Times: Alabama Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant Is Charged in Fetus’s Death
- CNN: Illinois is expunging marijuana convictions from nearly 800,000 criminal records
Trump’s Repeated Capitulation To Putin
Day 890: Friday, June 28
Just when you think it isn’t possible for President Trump to stoop any lower on the international stage, he does. Today, President Trump joked with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russia’s interference in American democracy and mused about “getting rid” of journalists.
NEW VIDEO: Reporter asks Trump if he’ll tell Putin not to meddle in the 2020 election. Trump turns to Putin, smirks, and kind of jokingly says, “don’t meddle.” pic.twitter.com/HHG2uL3JZA
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) June 28, 2019
Trump also bonded with Putin over a scorn for journalists.
“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.”
“We also have,” Putin answered, in English. “It’s the same.”
They shared a chuckle. pic.twitter.com/atGGYxnwfc
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 28, 2019
President Putin is known to have ordered the death of journalists and his critics. Today is the one year anniversary of the Capital Gazette shooting, which killed five employees, but that didn’t stop President Trump from joking about getting rid of journalists with a man who has done just that.
On February 17, 2017, President Trump called the media the enemy of the people for the first time. Since then, pipe bombs were mailed to CNN by a Trump supporter, GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed a reporter and was applauded by Trump, the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudi Crown Prince and Trump has actively shielded him from blame, and a BBC cameraman was assaulted at a Trump rally. This month, President Trump accused The New York Times of treason. President Trump has encouraged violence against reporters and today’s rhetoric goes a step further.
When it comes to Russian interference, President Trump has been known to cast doubt on it every chance he gets. In his summit with President Putin, last year in Helsinki, Finland, Trump went as far as to publicly side with Putin over the U.S. Intelligence Community. Now, he’s emboldening the autocrat who attacked American democracy once more.
This was President Trump’s first meeting with President Putin since former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report clearly outlined how Russia’s interfered in the 2016 election and how the Trump Campaign was receptive to it. Over the lifetime of the probe, the Special Counsel levied 37 indictments, 6 of which were indictments from Trump associates – 5 pleaded guilty. That included the indictments of 25 Russian individuals or entities for hacking and leaking Democratic emails as well as running the Russian troll operation.
On the order of President Putin himself, Russia waged espionage and propaganda campaigns against the US in an effort to influence the 2016 election. Hackers stole Democratic emails and strategically leaked them through Wikileaks to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and help Donald Trump. The Internet Research Agency (IRA) targeted millions of American voters with propaganda on social media. Hackers also targeted voter systems around the country, although there is no evidence any votes were altered.
Mueller did not charge the Trump campaign with a criminal conspiracy but the report did outline over 100 pages of collusion evidence. The Trump Campaign was receptive to Russia’s help. And according to President Trump himself, they will be receptive again in 2020.
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn’t necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it.” https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
In other news…
- CNN: Jimmy Carter suggests Trump is an illegitimate president
- The Hill: Trump offers to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in DMZ
- The New York Times: 6 Highlights From Night 2 of the Democratic Debates
- Associated Press: Supreme Court to rule on Trump bid to end ‘dreamers’ program
- The New York Times: Donald Trump Jr. Shares, Then Deletes, a Tweet Questioning Kamala Harris’s Race
- CNN: Kamala Harris says she misinterpreted question on abolishing private insurance
- BuzzFeedNews: We Traced The Smears Against Kamala Harris To Obama Birthers And Neo-Nazis
- Associated Press: Thousands gather at Stonewall 50 years after LGBTQ uprising
Over The Weekend…
President Trump made history as the first sitting U.S. President to set foot in North Korea. But, at what cost?
Pres. Trump became the first U.S. president to step into North Korea as he strode by himself across the demilitarized zone and shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. https://t.co/IwiGbk2gav pic.twitter.com/UeAZ3b8IJC
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2019
The substance is a complete lie. But there’s a broader point: American Presidents before Trump didn’t grovel to murderous dictators to secure an empty photo opp. Diplomacy, with allies and adversaries, was conducted in the national interest, not for political gain. https://t.co/acUzW4hdAi
— Ned Price (@nedprice) June 30, 2019
Kim Jong Un has made zero concessions and taken no steps to denuclearize.
Kim Jong Un detained Otto Warmbier and he died.
Kim Jong Un murders his own people.
Kim Jong Un’s regime runs contrary to American ideals.
Kim Jong Un does not deserve to set foot in the White House. https://t.co/nDtYdfDfk7
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) June 30, 2019
Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and completely ad-free. We strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals: