A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 128th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

This week, President Trump celebrated himself while his administration unleashed inhumane cruelty on asylum-seeking migrant women, children, and men.

Left: President Trump speaking at the Salute to America event Thursday, July 4, 2019, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian). Right: Overcrowding of families observed by OIG on June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Centralized Processing Center. (DHS Office of the Inspector General)

Left: President Trump speaking at the Salute to America event Thursday, July 4, 2019, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian). Right: Overcrowding of families observed by OIG on June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Centralized Processing Center. (DHS Office of the Inspector General)

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 128.

The stark split-screen above was presented as a mirror for Americans to peer into and evaluate what they stand for.

On Monday, over a dozen House Democrats visited the migrant detention camps in Clint and El Paso, Texas. What they revealed was nothing less than horrifying. Thirsty migrant women being told to drink out of toilets, migrants going 15 days without showering, and migrants claiming they have experienced treatment from Border Patrol Agents akin to “psychological warfare.”

Later in the week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released jarring photos of the conditions in detention centers in Texas. This week saw the 12th migrant death in Border Patrol custody since September. Bottom line is this: the treatment the Trump Administration is subjecting these migrants to is unsuitable for animals, let alone human beings.

President Trump took to Twitter to showcase the extent of his callousness by tweeting: “If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!” As many have said before, when it comes to the Trump Administration, cruelty is the point.

A CNN poll revealed that while 93% of Democrats disapprove of this treatment of migrants, 62% of Republicans approve. The decency gap in America has never been more vast and unmistakable.

While these developments captured the attention of empathetic Americans, President Trump gave a speech filled with historical errors at his Independence Day salute to himself. It may have been easy for him to celebrate himself on a day usually dedicated to the celebration of our country, but for many Americans disgusted with his presidency, it was a bittersweet holiday.

Let’s dive into yet another 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:

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Migrants Treated Like Animals

Day 893: Monday, July 1

Migrant women in a detention facility in Texas (Source: Rep. Joaquin Castro)

Migrant women in a detention facility in Texas (Source: Rep. Joaquin Castro)

This is a dark period in American history. Today, more than a dozen House Democrats visited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant detention centers in El Paso, and Clint, Texas. The conditions that they outlined are objectively inhumane, depraved, and unbecoming of the United States or any civilized society who claims to uphold human rights and decency.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) was the first to begin highlighting what she saw. AOC detailed how migrant women were being told to drink toilet water, being called whores by Border Patrol agents, being emotionally abused, and going 15 days without showering.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus, corroborated and expanded upon what AOC detailed.


Castro managed to get a device in.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and other House Democrats also shared what they saw. NBC News reported that the U.S. government’s own internal watchdog has warned of the conditions at the El Paso facility as far back as May. A federal judge also just ordered CBP to let doctors into child detention centers.

This all came the same day that ProPublica published a truly troubling article that exposed a secret Facebook group for former and current border patrol agents with 9,500 members. In the group, the members joke about migrant deaths, called Latina lawmakers who were set to visit the border “hoes,” posted a sexist meme about AOC, etc. This further exposed the pervasive bigoted culture within the CBP.

Rantt Contributor Rabbi Shaina Bacharach discussed the poor conditions in these migrant centers in her latest article:

Investigators found children taking care of even smaller children. Most of these children haven’t bathed or brushed their teeth in weeks. Sick children were not being treated properly. When they got head lice, guards gave the group two combs to share! People with head lice should not share combs at all —let alone in large groups.

Poor conditions do cause deaths: twenty-four adults in ICE custody; three children in the camps, and two other children at the border. If these conditions persist, we can expect more.

The guards are in uniform, carry arms, and wear face masks. Why face masks? To protect themselves from communicable disease. Couple this with President Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric and claims that migrants are “infesting” America with disease, and you can see how closely these circumstances are reflective of the past.

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…

It’s important to note that these are asylum seekers who are fleeing violence in their home countries and are trying to enter the country legally. It’s also important to point out some necessary context. The Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, which led to the separation of at least 2,700 migrant children from their parents last year, was one of President Trump’s most controversial actions. The whereabouts of some of these children are still unknown.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General also released a report indicating thousands of more children were separated beginning when Trump took office. Aside from child separation, the Trump administration’s immigration scandals range from migrant women having miscarriages to migrant children being allegedly sexually abused to the death of migrants at the border (which can be tied to Trump’s policy of metering).

A new CNN poll revealed how Americans feel about these conditions:

About 6 in 10 Americans (62%) say they disapprove of the treatment migrants are receiving at the border, but there’s a steep partisan divide here as well. Democrats are near-unanimous in their disapproval (93% disapprove), and a majority of independents feel the same (60%), but most Republicans (62%) say they approve of the way migrants are being treated by the government after crossing the US-Mexico border.

We have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask if this is the nation we want to be right now. Is this depravity representative of our highest ideals? Are we really going to let a simple-minded, ex-reality TV star put us on the brink of authoritarianism? If the answer is no, here are several ways you can help migrants, including upcoming marches.

In other news…

House Democrats Make A Move For Trump’s Taxes

Day 894: Tuesday, July 2

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

Donald Trump stands with Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. before he speaks at a press conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. (AP)

On April 3, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) formally requested six years of President Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Rep. Neal used No. 6103 in the tax code. The New York Times explained at the time:

The provision, which dates in some form to the Teapot Dome scandal of Warren G. Harding’s administration, at least on its face gives the Trump administration little room to decline a request like Mr. Neal’s. It only says that the Treasury secretary “shall” furnish the information.

After signaling he would protect President Trump’s privacy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sent a letter to Chairman Neal in May rejecting his request for Trump’s tax returns. Mnuchin argued that Chairman Neal’s request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.” CNN analyst, and former FBI agent, Asha Rangappa argues that, “The legislative purpose of the law under which the Ways & Means Committee is requesting Trump’s tax returns was passed in the wake of the Teapot Dome scandal — the entire purpose of the law is to have oversight over potential financial conflicts of public officials.”

President Trump has long used his debunked audit excuse as reasoning for not releasing his tax returns, but it’s clear there is an ulterior motive. President Trump’s history of fraudulent activity, both in his personal and business life, has been widely reported on and is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York.

But now, after the Trump administration has denied lawful requests and subpoenas, Chairman Neal has finally moved to sue the Trump Administration.

In other news…

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Trump’s Census Lawlessness

Day 895: Wednesday, July 3

Supreme Court, President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Attorney General William Barr (AP/DOJ)

Supreme Court, President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Attorney General William Barr (AP/DOJ)

Last week, Chief Justice John 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. They claimed that the Trump Administration provided a pretext in their effort to justify their reasoning – which was innately political. While this is currently on hold and the Trump Administration will likely try and provide the courts with a new explanation, the timeline needed to print the 2020 Census means it will exclude the question.

The census provides the basis for government funding to states and also lays the framework that politicians use for redistricting. Adding a citizenship question would reduce the number of respondents and heavily benefit Republicans in their gerrymandering efforts to engineer minority rule.

Initially spearheaded by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Trump Administration effort to put the citizenship question on the 2020 census seemed all but halted after the Supreme Court ruling. Just yesterday, Ross said: “The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question.” Then came today’s tweet from President Trump:

Shortly after that tweet was sent, it appears the Justice Department is now trying to find a way to move forward with the question.

Keep an eye on this story.

In other news…

Trump’s Authoritarian Perversion Of The 4th Of July

Day 896: Thursday, July 4

President Trump during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AP)

President Trump during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AP)

In spite of the way many Republicans conflate the two, patriotism is not nationalism. Loyalty to our country is not equivalent to loyalty to the President. Celebrating Independence Day is not about celebrating the President. Nevertheless, Donald Trump persisted in his endeavor to turn the 4th of July into an authoritarian ego boost. The event is called “Salute to America,” but in reality, it is really just President Trump’s salute to himself.

President Trump is making a mockery of the day Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from a tyrant, by trying to make the historic day a celebration of a tyrant. The 4th of July is supposed to be a non-partisan moment of unity where Americans celebrate our country. Instead, Trump is holding a campaign-style event at the National Mall.

President Trump has long wanted a military parade. Last year, Trump sought a $92 million military parade but did not get his way. In this July 4th event, Trump is finally getting the reality TV moment he’s always wanted – all while thousands of migrants suffer inhumane conditions in detention camps. The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is taking $2.5 million from funds designated to improving parks around the country and using it to fund this charade.

There will be tanks on display, military aircraft flying above, and a speech from Trump. Trump is also selling tickets to the event, and sectioning off a VIP section. That’s not all – this wouldn’t be a story about Trump without a sprinkle of corruption. There will also be fireworks, partially provided by an Ohio retailer who has lobbied the Trump administration against expanded tariffs on China – the lobbying was successful.

In his article on Trump’s previous efforts to hold a military parade, Rantt Editor Jossif Ezekilov highlights some necessary context:

Some context regarding this story is needed. First, France’s parade is not necessarily about the military. It is essentially a celebration of the beginning of the French Revolution. The US has also had military parades in the past, but they have been to celebrate a military victory (the last one was at the end of the First Gulf War), never to explicitly show off military might.

In fact, the type of parade Trump desires goes against American tradition. The military has never been venerated in this way in the US, not least because they are not a separate branch of government, but rather subservient to it. Nor have the armed forces ever requested such pomp and circumstance. President Eisenhower, the last American military president, saw such parades as a show of weakness when asked if the US should hold them in response to Soviet ones during the Cold War.

..As mentioned previously, Soviet leaders put on grand military parades to show off their might and boost nationalistic sentiment. It is a tradition countries like North Korea carry to this day. It is a tradition Trump wants to replicate because that is the type of leader he aspires to be.

There are plenty of more honorable ways President Trump could honor our veterans and those who sacrifice for our country. Trump could start by leading a national charge to end veteran homelessness, rather than falsely telling Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that homelessness is “a phenomenon that started two years ago” and attempting to cut funding to affordable housing programs. Trump could also not capitulate to dictators. That’d be nice.

President Trump could also push Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to quickly pass the House’s 9/11 first responder bill which would fund the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Luis Alvarez, a 9/11 first responder who argued for the necessity of the law with Jon Steward on Capitol Hill, just died of cancer linked to 9/11.

There will be protests of President Trump’s homage to himself throughout Washington, D.C. If you plan on skipping the festivities and are looking for other ways to honor America and uphold our aspirational ideals, here are several ways you can help migrants, including upcoming marches.

In other news…

Rain On His Parade

Day 897: Friday, July 5

During President Trump’s speech, it rained heavily.

And Trump also appeared to conflate the battle of 1812 with the Revolutionary War…and made up some imaginary air travel.

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:

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Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Immigration / Independence Day