A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 95th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is a personification 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 95.
When it comes to Donald Trump’s presidency, unhinged is an understatement.
We’ve seen unrelenting efforts to undermine the Constitution and democratic norms.
We’ve seen unbelievable assaults on our collective fact-based reality.
We’ve seen the undeniable white nationalism within the Republican Party go from a whispered Southern Strategy to a deafening part of their political platform.
Donald Trump is unraveling as multiple reports depict a President who is furious about the midterm election results, paranoid about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and embracing his worst authoritarian-like impulses.
The reason for President Trump’s urgent appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker continues to crystallize for the public, as hints of Mueller’s next moves begin to take shape.
When it comes to his other presidential duties, President Trump appears to be struggling. From his scapegoating of California officials for the climate change strengthened fires ravaging their state to his refusal to honor veterans on Veterans Day weekend, President Trump continues to fail the most basic tests of his leadership.
And with his unwillingness to hold Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince accountable for his murder of Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump’s transactional foreign policy continues to take hold, as he trades in American values for personal profit.
Meanwhile, the results of the GOP’s efforts to engineer minority rule through gerrymandering and voter suppression continue to bear fruit for them.
This week, we saw a culmination of all the reasons Donald Trump is not fit to be the President of The United States and a reaffirmation of why Americans overwhelmingly voted to put a check on him in the House of Representatives.
Let’s dive in.
Veteran’s Day Weekend
Words fail me. This is the Woolsey Fire approaching Malibu as people desparately are trying to evacuate on PCH. pic.twitter.com/rdJGvbu7kN
— Spin Doctor (@SpinDr) November 9, 2018
As California grappled with the tragic fire, President Trump felt it would be prudent to threaten the state.
People and animals are dead or missing
Thousands have evacuated, including one of Rantt’s team members and his family
Thousands of acres of land and homes have burned
And instead of comforting words, you threaten to cut off funding?
You sir, are cruelhttps://t.co/RWMCkmvcrl
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 10, 2018
We have a president who threatens victims of disasters as they’re still unfolding because their state didn’t vote for him, and still has 44% approval.
I left my home to escape the #CaliforniaFires and woke up to him threatening my state.
This is not how civilized nations work. https://t.co/qSo6Cm2a4f
— Greg Fish (@GregAFish) November 10, 2018
We’re currently getting our home ready to take in friends who don’t know if their house is going to make it.
Thousands have evacuated. People have died.
And this is what POTUS offers?
— Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) November 10, 2018
Oh, and the President was in France.
Imagine how Right Wing media & GOP leaders would react if Obama cancelled visit to cemetery to honor fallen due to a little rain, while other world leaders did attend, on Veterans’ Day Weekend, no less. Then, listen to the sound of hypocritical silence as Trump did just that. SMH https://t.co/I6DPZt1Pxd
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 11, 2018
Get you someone that looks at you the way the President of the United States looks at the dictator that attacked American democracy. https://t.co/8gDlJWbdw5
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 11, 2018
And on Monday, the President continued to miss important events honoring veterans.
Trump didn’t go to Arlington Cemetery
Trump didn’t go to the US WWI Cemetery in France
Trump has mocked war heroes and gold star families
Trump has shown a callous indifference to those who have served our country
America’s veterans deserve better https://t.co/gsOraARKQF
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 13, 2018
Day 663: Tuesday, November 13
A few stories from Tuesday:
1. In recent days, anticipation for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s next move has reached a fever pitch. There has been speculation surrounding whether former Trump adviser Roger Stone will be indicted for perjury and/or his contacts with Wikileaks (he claimed he was next was next and he was an unnamed Wikileaks contact in Mueller’s last round of Russian indictments). Then this week, Stone’s associate and O.G. birther Jerome Corsi publicly stated that he thinks Mueller is about to indict him for perjury. Corsi was forced to cancel an interview with NBC News due to the fact his lawyers were on the phone with the Special Counsel’s office. Some believe Corsi may be negotiating with Mueller, like Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn before him. This all comes as Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was in DC this week meeting with the Special Counsel.
These aren’t the only indictments reportedly in the pipeline. There has reportedly been fear in the Trump administration that Donald Trump Jr. may be indicted for perjury. All of this comes on top of the Wall Street Journal report that indicated President Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator with Michael Cohen in campaign finance crimes. Needless to say, this is weighing down on the president.
2. After his failure to honor veterans and his embarrassing display in France, there have been multiple reports indicating President Trump is furiously lashing out at his aides in the White House. Angry about the midterms, nervous about Robert Mueller, and unhappy with the trip to France, Trump is directing his ire at his staff. Chief of Staff John Kelly is reportedly seeking to resign soon amid his beef with First Lady Melania Trump and her East Wing staff. Meanwhile, Trump is reportedly looking to fire Kelly’s protege, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Finally, Melania Trump called for the firing of National Security Adviser John Bolton’s deputy Mira Ricardel (reportedly over a dispute over airplane seating arrangements).
3. As Republican Senate candidate in Arizona Martha McSally gracefully conceded to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, Republicans in other parts of the country are not conducting themselves with the same level of dignity. Florida Governor and Senate candidate Rick Scott is still filing lawsuits as the national GOP, including the President and Marco Rubio, spread conspiracy theories. As the Florida recounts continue, remember to ask yourself why one party is so hell-bent on making sure as few people as possible are able to have their voices heard.
The above content from this day was taken from a segment of the Jossif Ezekilov’s Rantt Rundown newsletter I wrote.
In other news…
- NBC News: State of Maryland asks judge to declare Rosenstein acting attorney general
- McClatchy DC: Trump closed an office that tracked ex-Gitmo inmates. Now we don’t know where some went
- CNN: Betsy DeVos sued again over delays in student debt relief
- Bloomberg: Trump Mocks France for World War Losses
- Hate crimes have surged, so we pointed out some related facts.
In 2017 hate crimes surged 17%
Anti-Semitic crimes saw the sharpest rise of 37%@realDonaldTrump cut funding to programs meant to combat this
While Trump spouted racist fear mongering about the caravan, right-wing terrorists killed Americans
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 13, 2018
Day 664: Wednesday, November 14
Two Constitutionally Problematic Arguments
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker remains under fire after he replaced Jeff Sessions last week. Not only has he received calls for his recusal due to the anti-Mueller views he’s espoused and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, his appointment has also been called unconstitutional by conservative legal scholars. Members of the Federalist Society have defected and organized a group called “Checks And Balances” with the purpose of spotlighting Trump’s threats to the rule of law, including his appointment of Whitaker. This effort is being led by Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway.
This all comes as Maryland’s Attorney General sues the Trump administration over Whitaker’s appointment. Today, the DOJ argued that Whitaker’s appointment was constitutional Or, as Slate put it: “Here’s that argument, in a nutshell: The Constitution’s text doesn’t really matter; the Framers didn’t mean what they said; and an acting attorney general who served without Senate confirmation for six days in 1866 provides the historical precedent to justify Whitaker’s claim to the office.”
In similarly unconstitutional affairs, CNN sued President Trump for the restoration of White House press access to Jim Acosta. Acosta’s press access was denied after he pressed President Trump on his lies regarding the migrant caravan during a press conference. The White House then used a fake video from Infowars to claim Acosta assaulted a White House intern. And now, in response to CNN’s lawsuit, the Trump administration is claiming that they have the ability to deny any reporter White House press credentials. Legal precedent and the first amendment beg to differ.
The above content from this day was taken from a segment of the Jossif Ezekilov’s Rantt Rundown newsletter I wrote, with bits from Ezekilove himself.
In other news…
- Rantt Media: New Report Reveals US Security Is At Greater Risk Than Any Time In Decades
- Axios: Fox News backs CNN in lawsuit against Trump White House
- Reuters: U.S. Senator Graham says supports Mueller bill, urges vote
- CNN: Jeff Flake threatens to vote against judges after GOP blocks vote on Mueller protection bill
- The Wall Street Journal: Mueller Probes Possible Witness Intimidation by Roger Stone
- Reuters: Trump endorses U.S. House prison reform bill
- Reuters: Soon To Be House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings To Probe Census Citizenship Question
- The Washington Post: Betsy DeVos set to bolster rights of accused in rewrite of sexual assault rules
Day 665: Thursday, November 15
As reports throughout the week indicated, President Trump has been furious. On Thursday, he went beyond lashing out at his aides and turned to a familiar target. After not attacking the Mueller probe for months, President Trump embraced his worst impulses.
With every unhinged tweet attacking the Special Counsel, there is an equal & opposite incoming Mueller move
When you read Trump’s tweets about Mueller, recognize that this is what fear looks like
The reports about Trump this week just got more credible…https://t.co/LdRTrEGxge
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 15, 2018
Trump is completely off the rails.
1) Special Counsels do not need to be Senate approved.
2) For the last time Robert Mueller is a Republican.
3) Trump is now calling the Special Counsel Office “thugs”
This man is terrified.
Expect a Mueller move soonhttps://t.co/FBqRiQDXAC
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 15, 2018
This came as more even reports revealed Trump’s anxiety.
Half a dozen people in contact with the W.H. and other Trump officials say a deep anxiety has started to set in that Mueller is about to pounce and that any number of Trump’s allies and family members may soon be staring down the barrel of an indictment. https://t.co/2jSSufadkj
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 16, 2018
In other news…
- CNN: Trump-appointed judge upholds Mueller’s indictment against Russian troll farm
- The New York Times: U.S. Levels Sanctions on 17 Saudis for Alleged Involvement in Khashoggi Killing
- NBC News: To ease Turkish pressure on Saudis over killing, White House weighs expelling Erdogan foe
- HuffPost: Trump Names Mar-A-Lago Member And Handbag Designer As Ambassador
Day 666: Friday, November 16
Assange’s Time In The Barrel
WSJ: The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom https://t.co/y5SmIXoH1V
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) November 15, 2018
After a new court filing mistakenly revealed Julian Assange of Wikileaks had been charged, The New York Times confirmed that is indeed the case:
Mr. Pompeo and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions unleashed an aggressive campaign against Mr. Assange, reversing an Obama-era view of WikiLeaks as a journalistic entity. For more than a year, the nation’s spies and investigators sought to learn about Mr. Assange and his ties to Russia as senior administration officials came to believe he was in league with Moscow.
Their work culminated in prosecutors secretly filing charges this summer against Mr. Assange, which were inadvertently revealed in an unrelated court filing and confirmed on Friday by a person familiar with the inquiry. Taken together, the C.I.A. spying and the Justice Department’s targeting of Mr. Assange represented a remarkable shift by both the American government and President Trump, who repeatedly lauded WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign for its releases of Democratic emails, stolen by Russian agents, that damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
A prosecution of Mr. Assange could pit the interests of the administration against Mr. Trump’s. Mr. Assange could help answer the central question of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III: whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia to interfere in the presidential race. If the case against Mr. Assange includes charges that he acted as an agent of a foreign power, anyone who knowingly cooperated with him could be investigated as a co-conspirator, former senior law-enforcement officials said.
As The Times rightfully points out, the prosecution of Julian Assange as it relates to Wikileaks may rope in some American co-conspirators that are too close to home. Roger Stone communicated with Wikileaks and so did Donald Trump Jr. There was also the fact President Trump himself was a very vocal advocate of Wikileaks, to say the least. Although unlikely to be named in conjunction with this conspiracy.
Wow – MSNBC put together video of every single time Trump mentioned @wikileaks during final month of the 2016 campaign.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 13, 2018
We can safely assume a Roger Stone perjury charge may come with an Assange indictment. We shall see. If the U.S. was truly able to find concrete ties between him and the Russian government and is able to secure his extradition from Ecuador, Assange becomes the most valuable potential plea agreement in the entire investigation. Not only would it strengthen his investigation into the Trump campaign but also many other past probes the U.S. is interested in.
In other news…
- CNN: Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta’s press pass
- CNN: Julian Assange charged in secret, mistake on US court filing suggests
- The Washington Post: Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning Census citizenship question
- Bloomberg: Trump Offered to Nominate Ricardel as Ambassador to Estonia, Sources Say
- ABC News: North Korea announces weapons test; will release detained American
- Politico: Grassley to trade Judiciary gavel for Finance, clearing room for Lindsey Graham
- The Washington Post: GOP senator: It’s a ‘great idea’ to make it harder for ‘liberal folks’ to vote
- The Hill: McConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe
- President Trump continued to placate Saudi Arabia.
Day after CIA assessment that Saudi Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder is revealed, Pres Trump says, one, he hasn’t been briefed yet and, two, “We also have a great ally in Saudi Arabia. They give us a lot of jobs..a lot of business, a lot of economic development.”
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 17, 2018
- CNN: Stacey Abrams says ‘democracy failed’ Georgia as she ends bid for governor
- Over the weekend, Andrew Gillum conceded in Florida after the recount was over.
It’s sad to see Andrew Gillum concede
Partisanship aside, watching Ron DeSantis act like a flustered school boy who got caught cheating on a test on the debate stage was cringeworthy. Not to mention, he had no real ideas other than “I’m a Trump mini-me.”
That man isn’t a leader https://t.co/L8LZ7WbGli
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 17, 2018
- President Trump continued to sidestep the effects of climate change.
“They spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem”: Pres. Trump suggests raking could prevent wildfires while touring a town impacted by the deadly California Camp Fire on Saturday. https://t.co/kamY4rB5wa pic.twitter.com/lXjIZL3GS4
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 19, 2018
All while catastrophic fires exacerbated by climate change ravage California…
Vote them out for the sake of the planet. https://t.co/YTmGmaNeQL
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) November 17, 2018
- And to wrap this week up, President Trump has come up with a new nickname.
A few things:
1—@POTUS just called Adam Schiff “Adam Schitt”
2)—Special Counsels don’t need to be Senate confirmed
3—Mueller was Senate confirmed multiple times as FBI Director, including a 100-0 vote to extend his term
4—Whitaker is the conflicted onehttps://t.co/79oiec3aT9
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 18, 2018