A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 27th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

27th Weekend (July 22–23)

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on Capitol Hill in Washington — Thursday, July 27, 2017 (AP/Cliff Owen)

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on Capitol Hill in Washington — Thursday, July 27, 2017 (AP/Cliff Owen)

This week was both disheartening and inspiring. As Republican Senators moved to pass a dangerously half-baked health care bill, activists took to the Capitol in protest and Americans all over the US called their Senators demanding their care be protected. Three Republican Senators’ admirable acts captured the headlines this week, but the real story was underreported: The American people showed up and the result was one for the history books.

While Americans sat on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting the fate of their health care, President Trump continued to degrade the office of the presidency — 14o characters at a time. More hate. More divisiveness. More threats. More paranoia. And more notes for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

As Trump continues his refusal to take responsibility for his actions and understand the fact that he is the unstable root of all the problems that plague him, we watched as the Trump administration cut off the GOP establishment. We saw the fall of Sean Spicer and the unfortunate rise of Anthony Scaramucci. The fall of Reince Priebus and the rise of John Kelly. And we saw a “beleaguered” Jeff Sessions continue to trudge along.

In the Senate’s health care battle, we saw the wounding of Mitch McConnell and the redemption of John McCain. The sturdiness of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. We saw the collaboration of the Democrats. And we saw the fall of one health care push as another potential push surfaced by the end of the week with Lindsey Graham, Dean Heller, and Bill Cassidy meeting with Donald Trump at the White House.

But most importantly, we saw the resilience of the American people. In the face of uncertainty and what appears to be unsurmountable odds, Americans continue to persevere. When at times it may feel as if the world is falling, just remember that the people are rising.

Let’s dive in.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 27th week as POTUS:

Pardon The Paranoia

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington — Thursday, June 1, 2017 (AP/Rantt News Edits)

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington — Thursday, June 1, 2017 (AP/Rantt News Edits)

President Trump spent his weekend golfing and tweeting away. Last’s week’s Unpresidented ended with news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussed campaign-related topics with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, including policy issues important to Moscow on two separate occasions. One of the meetings was a previously denied April 2016 meeting at the Mayflower Hotel.

This came after President Trump expressed frustration with his Attorney General, telling The New York Times that he wouldn’t have appointed Jeff Sessions if he knew he would recuse himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia (Trump-Russia) — An investigation Trump is now actively, and blatantly, seeking to obstruct.

Trump’s lawyers are reportedly digging into Trump-Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team, trying to find conflicts of interest so they can fire him or force him to recuse himself. Trump’s lawyers are also reportedly evaluating the possibility of Trump pardoning himself and his associates who are subjects of the investigation.

I’m giving you this context because it helps you understand his revealing weekend tweet-spree. There were a lot of tweets attacking Obamacare, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and The Washington Post, so I won’t post them all, but here are some:

Meanwhile…

  • Trump’s new Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, stated that the President of the United States still doesn’t believe the Intelligence Community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered in our democracy
  • Americans looked ahead to a week filled with Trump-Russia hearings and Senate health care votes but got a little more than they anticipated…

27th Week (July 24–28)

Monday, July 24

I Did Not Have International Collusions With That Nation

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting — June 12, 2017 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting — June 12, 2017 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trumps son-in-law and Senior Adviser, Jared Kushner, attended a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and proclaimed, “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.”

In his testimony (which was not under oath), Kushner outlined four meetings he had with Russians, all of which were not initially disclosed. Kushner confirmed:

  • The Mayflower Hotel meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in April 2016 — The one Jeff Sessions attended but “didn’t recall”
  • The Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Russian operatives on June 9th, 2016, which was revealed to have been an attempt to obtain damaging opposition research on Hillary Clinton from the Russian Government (Kushner denied he was aware of the purpose of the meeting)
  • The December Trump Tower meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Michael Flynn where a back channel line of communication with Russia was confirmed
  • The December meeting with Sergey N. Gorkov — The head of a Russian bank under US sanctions

These are just a few of many reported interactions between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives. Given the fact Jared Kushner has had to amend his SF-86 at least three times, adding over 100 meetings with officials from over 20 countries and over 100 foreign contacts, it’s hard to believe that this is the end of Kushner’s story.

What is Jared Kushner’s defense of his meetings and overall conduct? Ignorance. His entire defense is the assertion that he is new to this and didn’t know the proper procedures. If his unlikely defense is true, unfortunately for Kushner ignorance does not equal innocence.

Meanwhile…

  • It was another day of tweets for the president. Trump attacked Rep. Adam Schiff (D-MA) of the House Intelligence Committee, pushed the GOP to repeal Obamacare, and the usual cry of FAKE NEWS. But a few stood out:

  • According to The Guardian, “Jared Kushner…secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being investigated by members of Congress”

Tuesday, July 25

The Questionable Return Of The Maverick And The Motion To Proceed

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). speaks the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington — Tuesday, July 25, 2017 (C-SPAN2 via AP)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). speaks the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington — Tuesday, July 25, 2017 (C-SPAN2 via AP)

As the Senate prepared to hold the vote on the motion to proceed to debate on the Senate Republican’s health care initiatives, all eyes were on Senator John McCain (R-AZ). After being out for a while due to his blood clot surgery, brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery to remove the aggressive tumor, the war hero arrived on the Senate floor amid much fanfare.

The motion to proceed was hanging in the balance as McCain was set to be the deciding vote. The bills that were up for debate were the Better Care Reconciliation Act (repeal and replace), Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act (partial repeal), and Health Care Freedom Act (“Skinny” repeal) — all of which would leave millions uninsured.

As protesters’ voices yelling “shame” echoed through the Senate chamber, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not yet know whether or not he would have the votes. The vote then began to run its course. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) — who had been a “ hard no” since the first iteration of the BCRA — had just voted “no,” and so did Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL). Important to note they were two of the female Senators who had been left out of the process of drafting these health care bills.

With McCain yet to arrive, and two of the 52 GOP Senators already voting “no,” there were only 48 “yeses” due to the fact that Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) still appeared to be on the edge. McConnell was in the middle of a lengthy conversation with him right before McCain made a dramatic entrance. McCain walked in and voted “yes,” as Johnson followed suit. With that, there were 50 votes and Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie. McCain then gave a speech declaring he would not vote on the Senate’s health care bill as it stood and called for bipartisanship and the need for the Senate to return to regular order.

Many pointed to the hypocrisy of the speech in that moment (including us at Rantt News), given the fact that McCain voted on a motion to proceed to debate bills that had not yet been through any public hearings and were drafted without any input from Democrats and even some Republicans.

The Senate then moved to 20 hours of debate, where the three bills at hand were to be discussed and voted on. That night, the Senate took up its first vote on the Better Care And Reconciliation Act, which the CBO found would leave 22 million uninsured. It was clearly not slated to pass. 9 Republicans voted no, and McCain was not one of them. This caused more confusion surrounding his intentions given the fact he just proclaimed he would vote no the bill as it stood.

The next few days were eventful, and as we saw later in the week, McCain was a man of his word…

Meanwhile…

  • Democrats led protests with activists outside the Capitol. These protests would continue throughout the week
  • Aside from his tweets about Obamacare and his thanking of McCain, Trump sent out two more attacks on his own Administration and continued to cry “Witch Hunt”

  • Senate Republicans expressed their displeasure with Trump’s attacks on Sessions
  • Trump held a campaign rally in Ohio
  • A US judge ruled that Trump’s “voter fraud” (voter suppression) panel can continue requesting voter data
  • Senior Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short resigned after Scaramucci threatened to fire everyone if the leaking didn’t stop
  • With word traveling that Trump aims to push Sessions to resign, Senate Democrats threatened to block a recess appointment if Trump were to try and make one to replace Sessions
  • Trump’s former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort met with the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on the Trump-Russia investigation after being subpoenaed (a subpoena they then dropped) and Jared Kushner met with the House Intelligence Committee
  • Trump gave a highly politicized speech in front of thousands of boy scouts at the National Scout Jamboree, drawing a lot of backlash

Wednesday, July 26

A Day Of Discrimination

President Donald Trump (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)

President Donald Trump (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Marvin Gentry/Reuters)

On the 69th anniversary of President Truman’s desegregation of the military, Trump decided to deny transgender Americans the right to serve their nation simply because of their identity.

There are around 4,000 transgender Americans serving in the military right now, and here, Trump essentially issued a public firing. It’s not only intolerant and hateful, it appears to have also been for political purposes.

This received broad condemnation from both sides of the aisle. The Department of Defense said they would not make any modifications to the policy until further guidance is given by the White House. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was reportedly appalled by Trump’s choice to make the announcement on Twitter.

SIGN THIS PETITION AND DEMAND THAT TRUMP NOT IMPLEMENT HIS BAN ON TRANSGENDER SERVICE MEMBERS

In other discrimination news in the Trump administration, according to Buzzfeed News, “The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case.”

I’m just going to leave this here…

Meanwhile…

  • The Senate struck down the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act (partial repeal). 7 Republican Senators voted no, this time including John McCain. Nevertheless, they were confident that they would be able to pass their “Skinny” repeal
  • Trump continued his attacks on Jeff Sessions and acting FBI Director McCabe

  • The House of Representatives passed a bill (419–3) that imposes new sanctions on Russia and limits President Trump’s ability to roll them back. The bill originated in the Senate. Sanctions on North Korea and Iran were also included in the bill
  • Sessions stepped up his crackdown on sanctuary cities, withholding grant money unless the states allow local police resources to cooperate with ICE
  • Amid reports that Rex Tillerson has been eyeing an early resignation, his spokesperson said he is going to take a few days off
  • Trump took to Twitter to attack Murkowski for voting no in an effort to intimidate her. Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke then called Murkowski issuing a threat, stating that a no vote would “put her state in jeopardy.” Needless to say, this mob boss style of governing is ridiculous

Trump would go on to regret this foolish threat…

Thursday, July 27

Anticipation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, after the Senate voted to pass health care legislation. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, after the Senate voted to pass health care legislation. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Anxiety was high among the American people as they continued to dial into their Senate offices. The bill that was going to be up for a vote that night and into early morning was the Health Care Freedom Act (“Skinny” repeal). This bill was dangerous. It would cost millions of jobs, and according to the CBO, would rob 16 million of health care by 2026 and increase premiums by 20%. And the GOP knew this.

Ahead of the vote, Senators Graham, Johnson, Cassidy, and McCain, came out ahead of it declaring that it was a “disaster,” “terrible,” and a “fraud.” But, they still wanted to vote for it on one condition. The plan was to vote for the bill to get it to conference so they can modify it. But the problem is, once the bill is passed, the House can declare martial law and pass the bill right onto President Trump’s desk. So they beckoned for an “assurance” from the House that they would not pass the bill and let it go to conference.

This was an absurd and risky strategy, and certainly not “regular order.” Paul Ryan released a statement but McCain claimed it was not “sufficient” assurance.

McConnell didn’t unveil the bill until about a few hours before the vote was set to begin, which lasted until around 1:30 am Friday. What happened early the next morning was unbelievable…

Meanwhile…

  • After earlier in the week going on CNN and having a truly wild interview with Chris Cuomo, Scaramucci’s New Yorker interview with Ryan Lizza was published and it was a doozy. He called Priebus the leaker and a paranoid schizophrenic (Trump reportedly gave Scaramucci the green light to go after Priebus) and said some questionable things about Steve Bannon…but I won’t get into that here. More important things to discuss
  • Graham claimed that if President Trump fired Robert Mueller, it would be the “beginning of the end” of his presidency
  • The Senate approved the Russia-North Korea-Iran sanctions bill (98–2). Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were the only two Senators who opposed it. It was all ready for President Trump’s signature
  • Protestors assembled outside of the Capitol and Democrats went out and spoke to them as the nation watched and waited for what was to become of their health care system…

Friday, July 28

The Redemption Of John McCain

From left, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)., Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)., and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speak to reporters at the Capitol — Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

From left, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)., Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)., and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speak to reporters at the Capitol — Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

There was a lot of commotion. People on Twitter were speculating about the body language of the Senators, searching for any indication of how they might vote. Collins and Murkowski remained steadfast in their opposition and voted “no.” McConnell thought he had all of the Republican votes accounted for…except for John McCain’s.

It was 1 in the morning. Some saw McCain huddled with Pence. Then he was with McConnell. And then he was seen talking to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a conversation Schumer left smiling. Suddenly, Democrats on the Senate floor appeared happy. As the American people remained unsure of what would happen next, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) sent these tweets out.

There was hope.

McConnell seemed distraught as McCain walked up to the center of the Senate floor. He voted “no,” and walked away…

Democrats were visibly excited. Little did we know, Schumer had been talking to McCain for days about his concerns on the bill. In the end, McCain did the right thing.

Collins, who had remained sturdy in her opposition since the very first version of the BCRA, received a round of applause as she arrived at Bangor airport.

As American’s celebrated their moment, Senators Cassidy, Heller, and Graham met with President Trump to discuss their next health care push. We’ll be hearing much more about in the weeks to come.

Meanwhile…

  • President Trump’s Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus resigned after an onslaught of attacks from Scaramucci, continuing a major shake up in the White House and a weeding out of establishment Republicans. Priebus was replaced by DHS Secretary John Kelly
  • 40 House members quietly held a bipartisan meeting to discuss stabilizing Obamacare
  • President Trump endorsed police brutality…

  • North Korea fired a ballistic missile that can reach major US cities in our mainland
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin retaliated against Congress’ sanctions by expelling US diplomats from Russia. President Trump has yet to sign these sanctions…

After this week, the American people took a momentary sigh of relief after a job well done. But the health care fight is far from over.

It’s Far From Over: Why The GOP Is On A Never-Ending Quest To Kill Obamacare

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics