A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 31st Unpresidented Week As POTUS

31st Weekend (August 19–20)

President Donald Trump walks from Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington- Aug. 23, 2017 (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump walks from Marine One across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington- Aug. 23, 2017 (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

This week, like the moon that eclipsed the Sun he stared straight into, we saw the many phases of Donald Trump.

It seemed to mirror the week before. On Monday, Trump successfully read a statement from a teleprompter and was called presidential. Then by Tuesday, he threw it all away, delivering one of the most unhinged performances of his presidency thus far.

From his Phoenix rally to his pardoning of criminal racist, and former Sheriff, Joe Arpaio under the cover of a hurricane, this week left many current and former officials asking the question many of us already know the answer to.

Is Donald Trump fit to serve as the President of the United States?

“Having some understanding of the levers of power that are available to a president if he chooses to exercise them, I found this downright scary and disturbing” — Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 31st week as POTUS:

The Real MVP Of 2017: The American People

Protesters gather on the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency — Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Protesters gather on the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency — Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

After a week filled with outrage over President Trump’s sympathizing with white supremacists, the American people showed they would not have any of it.

From the prevention of the gutting of the congressional ethics office due to Americans blowing up their Representatives’ phones to the Women’s March, to healthcare activism, and beyond, Americans have proven themselves to be extraordinary people. We are not tolerating the hate and idiocy coming from this White House or extremist groups, and this weekend was no different.

On Saturday, thousands took to the streets of Boston in protest of the alt-right’s “free speech rally.” The peaceful protestors greatly outnumbered the others. It was a spectacle.

President Trump took to Twitter at first condemning the protestors and then tried to praise them.

Regardless of what President Trump says now, the American people know where he stands. And as we saw this weekend, we won’t let him get away with it…

31st Week (August 21–25)

Monday, August 21

“We Should Leave Afghanistan Immediately”

President Donald Trump addresses U.S. military troops and their families at the Sigonella Naval Air Station, in Sigonella, Italy — May 27, 2017 (AP/Luca Bruno)

President Donald Trump addresses U.S. military troops and their families at the Sigonella Naval Air Station, in Sigonella, Italy — May 27, 2017 (AP/Luca Bruno)

Today was consumed with the eclipse, as we awaited President Trump’s first prime time address to the nation. Though many wondered whether or not he’d be able to read the teleprompter after making a point to look directly at the eclipse with no glasses.

At 9 pm, Trump delivered an address on America’s strategy moving forward in Afghanistan. Trump managed to not go off script during the speech, so as expected, he garnered praise from some in the media. During the speech, Trump spoke on the continued war in Afghanistan, and was very vague on specifics. He explained his flip-flop on pulling out of Afghanistan and stated: “We are not nation building, we are killing terrorists.”

It reportedly took Trump’s National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster months to convince Trump that pulling out of Afghanistan immediately was a bad idea. One of the ways McMaster reportedly tried to convince Trump Afghanistan wasn’t a hopeless cause, was by showing Trump pictures of Afghani women in mini-skirts from 1972.

Given his hands off approach to the role of Commander-in-Chief, he will likely throw his support behind Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ plan to deploy 4,000 additional troops.

Trump’s new stance is in stark contrast to what the @realDonaldTrump has had to say on the matter…

Meanwhile

  • The National Climate Assessment study recently revealed some disastrous findings relating to climate change. Rather than approve the release of the report by the August 18th deadline, the White House dismantled the 15-person federal advisory committee on climate change
  • “The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that, the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes”
  • While Trump’s businesses have recently failed elsewhere, they have received nearly $1.3 million from Republican committees
  • Trump cut funding to an Obama-era teen pregnancy program
  • Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump’s “both sides” response to Charlottesville “wrong” but immediately claimed that Trump had successfully cleaned it up
  • Donald Trump’s pick to be chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture, Sam Clovis, has stated that he believes homosexuality is a choice and it could lead to legalization of pedophilia
  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrutinizing Rinat Akhmetshin, one of the attendees of the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Kushner, Manafort, and Trump Jr., in the Trump-Russia investigation

Tuesday, August 22

“Downright Scary And Disturbing”

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Trump held a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona and showcased some of the wildest lack of self-control I’ve seen since candidate Trump. He re-read his Charlottesville response and left out the “many sides” remark. Trump threatened to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund his wall. And then went on to relentlessly attack the news media, calling them bad people, dishonest, and claiming that he doesn’t think they like our country. Trump’s attacks on the media were particularly concerning, and more extreme than usual. This is not how a president speaks…it’s how an authoritarian does. Trump attacked Republican Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain as well and signaled that he would pardon Joe Arpaio. It was Trump at his most unhinged in a while. Take a look for yourself.

I don’t think there is much more to say about this rally other than what Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, stated on CNN:

“It’s just so objectionable on so many levels. You know, I’ve toiled in one capacity or another for every president since, and including, John F. Kennedy through President Obama and I don’t know when I’ve listened and watched something like this from a President that I’ve found more disturbing. Having some understanding of the levers of power that are available to a president if he chooses to exercise them, I found this downright scary and disturbing….I really question his ability to— his fitness to be in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it, maybe he is looking for a way out…”

Meanwhile…

  • Glenn Simpson, whose firm Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele to compile the now famous Trump-Russia dossier, met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for over 10 hours
  • The New York Times reported that, “The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.
  • The U.S. implemented new sanctions on Chinese and Russian entities that have been accused of assisting North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons
  • The alt-right canceled 67 of their planned rallies in 36 states after the Boston rally was shut down by anti-white supremacist activists
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee wants Congress to declare Wikileaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” so that they can be opened up to heightened levels of surveillance

Wednesday, August 23

One Meeting With Putin, Please

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit — Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit — Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Rick Dearborn, former chief of staff to then Senator Jeff Sessions and current deputy chief of staff to President Trump, reportedly sent an email to Trump campaign officials seeking to arrange a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Trump campaign. The email relayed information about an individual who was eager to make the connection between Trump officials and Putin. It was sent around the time of the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Russian operatives, which was revealed to have been an attempt to obtain damaging opposition research on Hillary Clinton from the Russian Government. The email was discovered by congressional investigators from within the 20,000 documents the Trump campaign recently turned over.

The CNN report on the matter was a bit vague, but it did mention that Dearborn had also helped to set up the April 27, 2016, Mayflower Hotel speaking event for the Trump campaign. At this event, there was potentially a private meeting that occurred between Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, and Russian Ambassador Kislyak.

After lying under oath about not having any contacts with any Russians during the campaign, it was later revealed that Sessions reportedly met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak on three separate occasions, once in April of 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel, once in July 2016 during the RNC, and a third time in September 2016 in his Senate office and discussed campaign-related topics, including policy issues important to Moscow. Congressional investigators want to find out if Dearborn played a part in setting up those meetings.

Meanwhile…

  • The White House had paperwork ready to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which as we saw later in the week, was put to use
  • The United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination sent an “early warning” to the U.S. regarding the rise in racism and hate groups. “We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred” and called on “the government of the United States of America, as well as high-level politicians and public officials, to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech and crimes in Charlottesville and throughout the country”
  • NBC News reported that the Pentagon has downplayed how many troops are currently in Afghanistan, by failing to include those who are there on temporary assignment:

“The Pentagon officially acknowledges 8,400 troops on the ground there, but that number actually hovers between 11,000 and 12,000.

  • President Trump took to Twitter to defend his response to Charlottesville again and called on the Senate to get rid of the filibuster rule

Thursday, August 24

Intolerant Ban

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump (AP/ Evan Vucci)

A month ago on July 26th, the 69th anniversary of President Truman’s desegregation of the military, Trump decided to announce his ban on transgender Americans’ right to serve their nation simply because of their identity. And now, he is following through with his hateful promise.

The White House prepped a memo that gives Secretary of Defense six months to enforce the ban. Not only does it ban transgender individuals from entering the military, it allows Mattis to eject members who are currently serving.

The authority has not yet been finalized. Once it is approved, it would allow Mr. Mattis to force out transgender service members by setting a legal standard of whether they would be able to deploy to war zones or for other lengthy military missions.

This move has drawn an enormous amount of backlash from Democrats and Human Rights groups. Of course, when it comes to Trump, with every action there is an equal and opposite tweet.

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Meanwhile…

  • Trump continued to bear the backlash surrounding his response to Charlottesville. In just 7 days, 18 charities canceled events they had planned at Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort. These events can cost up to $275,000 for a single night, so Trump’s business is being severely hit by organizations that won’t tolerate racism
  • President Trump had another bizarre day on Twitter. Trump attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, retweeted a photo of himself “eclipsing” President Obama, and attacked the media once more for their coverage of his Phoenix rally

Friday, August 25

Hurricane Harvey And An Abuse Of Power

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

As Category 4 Hurricane Harvey began to rage over Texas, President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Many saw this as one of Trump’s biggest abuses of power yet. The supposed “law and order candidate” has shown absolutely no regard for the rule of law. Not only was Arpaio convicted of a crime, his crime was in violation of the 4th amendment of the Constitution. President Trump once again took the side of racists and civil rights violators over law abiding Americans.

Republican Representative Justin Amash (MI-3) said his piece on the pardon.

Many also saw this as a signal to Trump’s buddies Manafort and Flynn, that the president will not hesitate to pardon those whom are blatantly guilty, as long as he has their loyalty.

Meanwhile…

  • Trump attacked Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who had recently questioned his fitness for office

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether or not former national security adviser Michael Flynn did indeed cooperate with GOP operative Peter Smith who sought Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails from whom he thought were Russian hackers
  • Texas congressional districts have been deemed discriminatory and were ordered to be redrawn
  • Sebastian Gorka, a national security aide to President Trump and Nazi sympathizer, was ousted from the White House. Chief of Staff John Kelly pushed for the move and is also trying to control the information that gets to President Trump
  • The Daily Beast reported that “The White House on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Venezuela that explicitly exempt the U.S. arm of the country’s state-owned oil company. That company, Citgo, donated six-figure sums to Trump’s inauguration and recently hired former Trump officials to lobby for that exemption.”
  • Reports indicated that Trump’s economic advisor Gary Cohn was on the brink of resigning after Trump’s botched response to Charlottesville

Over the weekend, as Texas continued to grapple with the deadly Hurricane and flooding, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made headlines when he essentially distanced himself from President Trump, asserting that Trump speaks for himself and not for American values.

And Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave a speech that was seen as a rebuke of the president.

By the time the weekend was over, minutes before the Game of Thrones premiere, a Washington Post report revealed that a Trump Tower in Moscow deal was pursued while Donald Trump was running for office…Since I’m late on this week’s Unpresidented, I’ll end this week with all the details concerning Felix Sater and Michael Cohen that dropped on Monday as well…

The Washington Post reported that in late 2015 and early 2016, while Donald Trump was running for president, the Trump Organization sought to develop a huge Trump Tower in Moscow. Felix Sater urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested he could get President Vladimir Putin to say ‘great things’ about Trump….

Sater wrote to then Trump Organization Executive Vice President (now Trump’s personal lawyer) Michael Cohen, something to the effect of, “Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’” In the emails, Sater went on to brag about how this deal would help Trump get the presidency…

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process…” In another email, Mr. Sater envisioned a ribbon-cutting in Moscow. “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Mr. Sater wrote.

According to The New York Times, the emails reportedly show that in the early days of the campaign, some Trump officials viewed close ties to Moscow as a political advantage. The deal fell through in January 2016 right before the presidential primaries. Cohen reportedly sought to revive the talks, sending an email that same month, seeking help from Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top press aid. Cohen has said that he sent that email upon recommendation from Felix Sater…

Oh, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether or not President Donald Trump tried to conceal the nature of Trump Jr.’s June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting.

The reason Unpresidented didn’t get released on it’s normal Sunday time slot? I spent the weekend writing this:

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet To The Trump-Russia Investigation

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics