A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 136th 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 136.
This week, President Trump outdid his own cruelty by sending deportation notices to undocumented immigrant children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. There were reports of Trump’s latest attempt to order officials to violate the law, and subsequently dangling pardons, in order to implement his immigration policies. And there were more instances of the Trump Administration seeing how many times they can get away with violating the emoluments clause.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
A Legitimate 2020 Worry
Day 949: Monday, August 26
While politicians and pundits are concerned about whether President Donald Trump will be reelected next year, a growing chorus of commentators point to his continuous tweets about voter fraud on a monumental scale, citing increasingly sketchy, conspiratorial, and partisan sources and trying to raise alarms about an even more disturbing possibility.
The GOP and Trump almost chanted about “peaceful transition of power” when he took office, but if he’s voted out in 2020, he might not be willing to give up power so peacefully, using his manufactured narrative of millions of supposedly fraudulent votes to declare that the election results are null and void and he’s still president.
In other news…
- The Daily Beast: Trump at G7 Blames Everybody but Putin for Crimea Annexation
- The Guardian: G7: Trump skips talks on climate crisis and Amazon fires
- The New York Times: Trump Has Just the Place for the Next G7 Meeting, His Own Golf Resort
- Bloomberg: Trump Saves About $1 Million With Powell’s Interest Rate Cut
- Axios Scoop: Trump suggested nuking hurricanes to stop them from hitting U.S.
- NBC News: House Judiciary Committee subpoenas former White House aide Rob Porter
- The New York Times: Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House
- CNN: Oklahoma wins case against drugmaker in historic opioid trial
- CNN: Obama announces new organizing initiative
Two Demagogues With Fragile Egos And A World On Fire
Day 950: Tuesday, August 27
This week, President Donald Trump and his partner in climate denial Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro showcased to the world the threat they both pose to humanity.
The Amazon rainforest, which produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen, has been suffering from record-breaking fires. This year has seen an 84% increase in fires from 2018. These most recent series of fires are man-made fires triggered by farmers doing seasonal burning to expand their agriculture. Naturally, in Trump-like remarks, Bolsonaro falsely blamed his critics for the fires, saying they were lighting fires to make him look bad. Along with his bigoted screeds during his bid for the Brazilian presidency last year, Bolsonaro campaigned on the expansion of deforestation to focus on the growth of mining and agriculture. It appears he has gotten his wish.
At the G-7 summit this past weekend, the countries held a climate change meeting that President Trump did not attend. They decided to offer Brazil $20 million in aid to help combat the fires. Seemingly incapable of seeing past his own destructive ego, Bolsonaro rejected the offer, calling it “colonialist.” Bolsonaro then said he would reconsider the offer only if French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew his “insults.”
Leading up to this, Bolsonaro had replied in approval of a Facebook post that claimed his wife was more attractive than Macron’s, a move that Macron called “extraordinarily rude.”
Trump threw his support behind Bolsonaro on Twitter, and the Brazilian President replied, echoing Trump’s false cries of fake news.
– Thank you, President @realDonaldTrump. We’re fighting the wildfires with great success. Brazil is and will always be an international reference in sustainable development. The fake news campaign built against our sovereignty will not work. The US can always count on Brazil. 👍 https://t.co/ZicUKsYGcx
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) August 27, 2019
Hours after this, news of President Trump’s latest move sparked outrage. Trump, a notorious climate change denier, is now reportedly seeking to lift logging restrictions on Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, which is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. For this move to be revealed in the context of the Amazon fires is nothing less than demoralizing for people who care about Earth’s climate.
There was also another moment the G-7 summit that highlighted Trump’s climate denial:
Trump gives the game away.
His climate change denial is driven by fossil fuel greed. What his limited brain capacity is unwilling to grasp is that clean energy is the future & a significant wealth driver.
Solar energy was the fastest growing energy source until Trump’s tariffs. https://t.co/5LnVOwGFj5
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) August 26, 2019
As we’ve seen with the man-made fires in the Amazon rainforest, human’s contribute to climate change in profound ways. We are rapidly approaching climate tipping points and unless significant action is taken, there will be irreparable damage done to our planet and life on Earth as we know it.
As Rantt has previously reported, climate change will alter every level of our existence. We’ll see rising sea levels, massive floods, stronger hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, poisoned food, an increase in terrorism, mass extinctions, the list goes on. In 2016, the first mammal went extinct due to climate change. If these warming trends continue at the rate they are currently trending, large regions like North Africa and the Middle East could become uninhabitable by the end of this century, creating an unprecedented migration crisis.
In spite of this, President Trump has called climate change a hoax, left the Paris Climate Accord, and rolled back countless environmental regulations. Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro cheers on the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and plays petty games while it’s on fire. These two right-wing egomaniacs are thwarting human progress, or as Author Soraya Chemaly more eloquently put it…
Just to be clear, the entire planet is being held hostage and threatened by fragile and toxic masculinity. Calling these men babies or children insults babies and children. https://t.co/F1KaIn8Uky
— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) August 27, 2019
These two men rose to power on the back of bigotry, lies, and regressive ideas and are governing in the same way they campaigned. We need to make sure they do not see two terms.
In other news…
- CNN: Homeland Security moves $155 million from FEMA disaster relief for immigration enforcement
- The Washington Post: Attorney General Barr books Trump hotel for holiday party that could cost over $30,000
- Reuters: 19 states, District of Columbia, sue Trump administration over migrant detention
- The New York Times: Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims, Denied a Trial, Vent Their Fury: ‘He Is a Coward’
- CNN: Judge blocks Missouri 8-week abortion ban
- The Washington Post: Purdue Pharma in talks over multibillion-dollar deal to settle more than 2,000 opioid lawsuits
- The New York Times: Farmers’ Frustration With Trump Grows as U.S. Escalates China Fight
- Lawfare: Thoughts on the Impending Prosecution of Andrew McCabe
- The Hill: Alabama Republicans approve resolution calling for Omar to be expelled from Congress
- NBC News: N.J. school district considers not serving lunch to students who owe more than $20
Another Day, Another Unlawful Request
Day 951: Wednesday, August 28
President Trump’s relentless effort to build a border wall has been ongoing since he first announced his campaign in 2015. Trump has declared a dubious national emergency and diverted funds from various agencies, including disaster relief, in his pursuit of this endeavor. Now, we have new reporting that reveals stunningly corrupt behavior.
Trump has reportedly ordered his aides to fast-track billions in contracts to build hundreds of miles of border fencing by seizing land, even if it violates the law and environmental rules. In what many are arguing is an impeachable offense, President Trump reportedly promised he would pardon those who committed these unlawful acts on his behalf. The Washington Post reported:
When aides have suggested that some orders are illegal or unworkable, Trump has suggested he would pardon the officials if they would just go ahead, aides said. He has waved off worries about contracting procedures and the use of eminent domain, saying “take the land,” according to officials who attended the meetings.
“Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” he has told officials in meetings about the wall.
The companies building the fencing and access roads have been taking heavy earth-moving equipment into environmentally sensitive border areas adjacent to U.S. national parks and wildlife preserves, but the administration has waived procedural safeguards and impact studies, citing national security concerns.
President Trump denied the reporting, calling it fake news. But given the fact he has called years of honest reporting “fake news,” take this denial with several grains of salt.
Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist) which states that if my Aides broke the law to build the Wall (which is going up rapidly), I would give them a Pardon. This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage – FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2019
This isn’t the first time President Trump has reportedly dangled pardons after asking government employees to violate the law. In April of this year, CNN and The New York Times reported that in his visit to Calexico, CA, President Trump not only asked the head of CBP to violate the law, he offered a pardon. Jake Tapper of CNN reported:
President Donald Trump told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan he would grant McAleenan a pardon if he were sent to jail for having border agents block asylum seekers from entering the US in defiance of US law, senior administration officials tell CNN.
Two officials briefed on the exchange say the President told McAleenan, since named the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, that he “would pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying US entry to migrants,” as one of the officials paraphrased.
You read that correctly. The President of the United States reportedly told the top CBP official to violate the law and then offered a pardon if he were held accountable for executing the unlawful order.
President Trump reportedly made another unlawful request while in Calexico. CNN also reported that President Trump told border patrol agents to not allow migrants to cross the border at all and to tell judges America is at full capacity. CNN continues:
After the President left the room, agents sought further advice from their leaders, who told them they were not giving them that direction and if they did what the President said they would take on personal liability. You have to follow the law, they were told.
The same week in April of the above reporting, other reports revealed that President Trump tried to order DHS to begin releasing detained migrants into sanctuary cities to punish Democrats. This sparked fierce backlash. The White House initially denied the reports. But then, President Trump tweeted that they are still considering this approach. Trump was fixated on this idea in spite of the fact DHS rejected the proposal and the fact lawyers told the White House the move would “run afoul of the law”.
With Congress set to come back from the August recess in a few days, they will have their hands full. Perhaps House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will add this latest conduct to his impeachment investigation.
In other news…
- Vanity Fair: The Trump Administration Is Now Deporting Kids With Cancer
- Task & Purpose: Children of US troops born overseas will no longer get automatic American citizenship, Trump administration says
- The Washington Post: Democrats appear headed for a one-night presidential debate featuring 10 candidates in September
- CNN: Kirsten Gillibrand drops out of 2020 presidential race
- The Hill: GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson to resign at end of year
- Newsweek: Fox News personalities tell Trump “we don’t work for you” after president’s latest attack on network
Trump’s Cruelty Goes To The Next Level
Day 952: Thursday, August 29
The United States had a program known as “medical deferred action.” NPR explained that it was designed for those who are permitted to be in the country. If extreme medical need arose, they could apply to lengthen their stays. Under the terms of this agreement, parents were allowed to work while they remained in the country with their gravely ill children.
Earlier in August, with no announcement or fanfare, the Trump administration abruptly stopped the program. Without warning, parents of gravely ill children were given thirty-three days to leave the country or be deported. The letter itself can be seen on the NPR website. Many of the targeted families had arranged for interviews with authorities to request an extension. Their children needed more time, more treatment. Discontinuing treatment now and moving would amount to death for many of these children.
In other news…
- The Washington Post: Trump administration to relax restrictions on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas
- BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Wants To Start DNA Testing Undocumented Immigrants In Government Custody
- Lawfare: What that Comey Email Report Really Says
- NBC News: House panel to investigate Trump’s plan to host G-7 summit at his Doral resort
- CNBC: Brexit: Petition and protests against UK parliament suspension
- Splinter: Leaked Emails Show How White Nationalists Have Infiltrated Conservative Media
- CNBC: Trump unloads on ‘corrupt’ Puerto Rico as Tropical Storm Dorian threatens island — San Juan mayor tells him to ‘calm down’
- AL.com: Gov. Kay Ivey apologizes for racist skit from time at Auburn
- The Atlantic: Why Did James Mattis Resign as Defense Secretary?
Radical Right On The Move
Day 953: Friday, August 30
Even after hosting companies refuse to keep extremist sites like 8chan online, they find other ways to communicate on the dark web. How do we combat this?
In other news…
- Business Insider: Trump may have revealed US military secrets by tweeting a photo to taunt Iran
- Florida, Bahamas on high alert as Hurricane Dorian reaches Category 4 strength
- Politico: Trump’s personal assistant fired after comments about Ivanka, Tiffany
- Rantt Media: Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested by Hong Kong police
- The Verge: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s account has been hacked
- Politico: Trump blames companies impacted by his trade war
- NPR: No Quorum At FEC Means Election Law Enforcement Is On Hold
- Politico: Prosecutors call for Flynn sentencing amid impasse with defense attorneys
- The Washington Post: China expels Wall Street Journal reporter over coverage of Xi’s family
- CNN: Pro-Trump super PAC paid thousands to firm owned by Brad Parscale’s wife
- Politico: Illinois’ John Shimkus won’t seek reelection
- HuffPost: Fox Business’ Stuart Varney Doubles Down On Ludicrous Claim That Trump Hasn’t Lied
- Rantt Media: How Democracies Collapse: Lessons From Interwar Romania
- Rantt Media: History Teaches Us That Hate Speech Always Leads To Violence
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