A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 42nd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

As Trump capitulates abroad, he is rejected at home

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)

This week was a turning point. Not just in American politics, but the world. While Americans stood for their values at the ballot box, President Trump stood for nothing in Asia.

On November 7th, Americans repudiated Donald Trump and his counterproductive agenda in special elections around the U.S., giving Democrats historic wins and a feeling they hadn’t adequately felt since last November 7th: Hope.

As Americans readjusted to this new reality and the growing possibility that Democrats may indeed take back the House in 2018, President Trump was in Asia proving that he’s an even weaker leader than we feared. The only country he’s making great again is China (and Russia of course). Trump’s week ended with some more Putin bromancing and a tweet directed at Kim Jong-un that could’ve easily come straight from Regina George’s RAZR 3.

Aside from Democratic triumphs at home and Trumpian treachery abroad, a lot happened this week. The Paradise Papers made waves, revealing more Trump-Russia ties. Special Counsel Robert Mueller made moves, interviewing Stephen Miller and closing in on Michael Flynn. Republicans and right-wing propaganda disgustingly made rejecting pedophilia a partisan issue, defending the depraved Roy Moore…

Every week, the best of humanity and the worst in humanity ebb and flow throughout the American psyche. I’ve touched on this before, but it’s becoming even more evident that what we have here isn’t a battle between blue-America and red-America. It’s a battle between the decent and the deplorable. The hopeful and the hateful. The intelligent and the belligerent. The truthful and the deceitful.

It’s tough to see our country in this state but maybe it was meant to be. Perhaps the worst among us had to show their faces in order for the best among us to show theirs. Indecency has to reveal itself before it can be defeated.

If Tuesday of this week was any indication of who will win this battle, I put my money on the decent.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 42nd week as POTUS:

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42nd Weekend (November 4–5)

Thoughts And Prayers Ring Hollow

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), at the leadership forum at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention Friday, April 25, 2014 | President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. — (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), at the leadership forum at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention Friday, April 25, 2014 | President Donald Trump at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Atlanta. — (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

It had been over a month since the Las Vegas shooter killed 58 people and injured over 500 using guns that were retrofitted with bump stocks. Since then, only Massachusetts has banned them. And this weekend, the American tragedy we’ve become far too used to happened again. Rantt News Contributor Kate Hassett reports:

On November 5th, during the Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a man walked into the church with a semi-automatic rifle and fired upon the unsuspecting parishioners.

At least 26 people are dead and another 20 more are wounded in what has become the worst mass shooting in the state’s history. The ages of the victims range from 17 months to 77 years old, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child. In a small town of just 643 citizens, about 4% of their population was killed by a single man in a matter of minutes.

Once again, we were inundated with “thoughts and prayers” from Republican lawmakers, but no action. After the Vegas shooting, the White House claimed that it was too soon to discuss gun control. Moments after the terrorist attack in New York City the other week, President Trump immediately called for extreme vetting and pushed policies. It appears the only lost lives that move Trump to action are the ones that fit within his agenda.

While in South Korea, President Trump was asked if he’d apply “extreme vetting” towards gun purchasers. Short answer…no.

Of course, we soon found out the Sutherland Springs shooter was able to purchase a firearm due to the Air Force’s negligence in reporting his troubling behavior. But nonetheless, the fact that the kind of weapon he was able to obtain was even available to civilians should be up for debate.

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Meanwhile…

With so much going on, it’s easy to forget we just came fresh off a week full of indictments thrown at Donald Trump’s associates. Trump’s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were slapped with a 31-page, 12-count indictment. These counts include laundering $18 million of the $75 million dollars they made acting as unregistered foreign agents while lobbying on behalf of the Government of Ukraine between 2006–2016 and making false statements to the Justice Department. And former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos’ guilty plea surfaced along with the revelation that he’s been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation for months.

Given these charges, it was clear Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn might be next, due to his lobbying as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to the FBI. This weekend, NBC News reported that Robert Mueller has enough evidence to charge Michael Flynn and has been putting added pressure on him. Later in the week, we learned that Mueller is probing a December 2016 meeting between Flynn and Turkish officials where he may have been offered a deal to orchestrate the removal of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rival from the U.S. for upwards of $15 million. Needless to say, keep an eye on this. Flynn Jr. may also be implicated due to his work their family company. It may be an interesting dynamic that could lead to Flynn Sr. cooperating with Mueller to protect his son, given the fact he’s worried about his son’s legal exposure. We’ll see. Who knows. The Trump pardon could still be on the table.

42nd Week (November 6–10)

Monday, November 6

The Paradise Papers And Carter Page Transcripts

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, center, listens to President Donald Trump during a meeting with House and Senate legislators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. At right is White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, center, listens to President Donald Trump during a meeting with House and Senate legislators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. At right is White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Like the Panama Papers before them, the Paradise Papers revealed a lot about the use of tax havens and the strategies implemented by the richest among us to spend as little money as possible. But it also revealed quite a bit more…Rantt News Deputy Managing Editor Remy Anne reports:

This Sunday, an even more expansive leak of files was made public by the same organizations that brought us the Panama Papers. These 13.4 million files, once again obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and presented by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), expose exactly how deeply offshore financial dealings are tied with many of the world’s most powerful political players.

Within the Paradise Papers lie many revelations, but generally speaking these files shed light on the following key findings:

  • Many members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle have connections with extensive offshore dealings. Most notable is a relationship between US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family, and links between Kremlin-tied businesses and a close associate of Jared Kushner.
  • More than a dozen Trump Cabinet members, advisers, and important donors appear in the documents.
  • Twitter and Facebook received investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars which can be traced back to two Russian state institutions.
  • The Queen of England’s private estate invested millions of pounds in an offshore fund on the Cayman Islands.
  • Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s chief fundraiser and senior adviser managed a tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust.
  • Both Nike and Apple alleged attempted to take advantage of offshore havens.

Ross maintained a stake in a shipping company called Navigator, through offshore dealings. Navigator participates in a lucrative and well-documented partnership with Sibur, a Russian gas company that is partially owned by Kirill Shamalov, Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law. Since 2014, when it stepped up dealings with the Russian company, Navigator has received $68 million in revenue from the partnership.

Trump’s personal pick for commerce secretary is participating in business dealings with members of Putin’s family and his close allies — some of whom are currently under U.S. sanctions.

The Paradise Papers reveal yet another corrupt connection of Ivanka Trump’s husband. Leaked files divulged that two Russian state institutions made substantial investments in Facebook and Twitter, through a close associate of Kushner. In 2011, $191 million was invested in Twitter, while an offshore company funded a vehicle that held $1 billion in Facebook shares.

Meanwhile…

  • Former Campaign Adviser Carter Page met with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees for over 10 hours total the previous week and this week the House released transcripts of the testimony which contained many revelations. Perhaps the most revealing was that Carter Page told Jeff Sessions, JD Gordon, Sam Clovis, Hope Hicks, and Corey Lewandowski about his July 2016 trip to Moscow. Page also verified major components of the Christopher Steele Trump-Russia dossier, asserting that he did indeed meet with Rosneft during his July trip and did so again in December…

This is important because the dossier mentioned the meeting with Page and “that the Rosneft President was so keen to lift personal and corporate Western sanctions imposed on the company, that they offered Page and his associates the brokerage of up to a 19 percent (privatized) stake in Rosneft.” Business Insider reports:

Rosneft…ultimately signed a deal that was similar to the one the dossier described: On December 7, the oil company sold 19.5% of shares, worth roughly $11 billion, to the multinational commodity trader Glencore Plc and Qatar’s state-owned wealth fund. Page was back in Moscow on December 8, one day after the deal was signed, to “meet with some of the top managers” of Rosneft, he told reporters at the time.

Page has been a subject of FBI FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) surveillance since 2014, has undergone repeated FBI questioning, and over 10 hours of questioning by congressional investigators this year. The important point about his FISA surveillance is that the FBI obtained the warrant because they believed Carter Page is “an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow.” Given the fact that Manafort and Gates received this charge for knowingly and willfully acting as agents of the Government of Ukraine,” the likelihood Carter Page could be hit with this charge is high. Could Page already be cooperating?

  • Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who met with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner after being promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, said in an interview that Trump Jr. stated he could re-examine the Magnitsky Act (Russian sanctions) if Trump Sr. won but only if she provided proof of the dirt on Hillary Clinton. Sounds like a quid pro quo to me. It’s not entirely clear what her angle is here but she stated she would tell the Senate Judiciary Committee this if the Senate made her statements public.
  • A book revealed what the former Bush presidents really think of Donald Trump. Former President George H.W. Bush called Trump a “blowhard” who only cares about feeding his ego and George W. Bush stated, “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”

Tuesday, November 7

Hope

Virginia Democratic Gov. elect Ralph Northam addresses supporters and at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Virginia Democratic Gov. elect Ralph Northam addresses supporters and at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

On Tuesday, after much talk about the DNC and debate over whether or not the Democratic Party was divided, Democrats surprised us all. In special elections from New Jersey to Washington, Democrats won big. But by far the most surprising and meaningful win was Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s win in Virginia.

Ralph Northam was elected the next Governor of Virginia by an 8.9% margin, locking down over 230,000 more votes than his Republican counterpart Ed Gillespie. Turnout was the highest it’s been in 20 years for a Virginia gubernatorial race. Northam won 75% of minority voters, an increase from the 69% Governor Terry McAuliffe won in 2013. And perhaps most notably, while Ed Gillespie’s candidacy decreased the Republican share of college-educated voters from 40% (2013) to 36%, Ralph Northam locked down 63% of college-educated voters as opposed to 53% in 2013.

Northam won big in the Northern Virginia suburbs as well. This was partially due to their top-notch ground game.

In Virginia, the first transgender state lawmaker was elected as well as the first Asian-American and Latina women Virginia state lawmakers. Across the country, it was a day of firsts.

After spending the day lying about how crime ridden and bad Virginia is doing economically and pushing for Ed Gillespie, Donald Trump reversed course and took shots at Ed Gillespie.

But we all know what really happened that night…

Meanwhile…

  • Trump took a softer tone with North Korea during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, stating that he hopes North Korea will come to the table. Trump was set to visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea but turned his helicopter around due to weather.
  • Upon President Trump’s request, CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with William Binney, a conspiracy theorist who claims the DNC wasn’t hacked but there was a leak that came from the inside. This was yet another display of Donald Trump’s Russia interference denialism and it wouldn’t be the last this week.
  • Trump isn’t invited to the December climate change summit in Paris, as news broke that Syria signed onto the Paris Climate Accord…leaving the U.S. as the only nation that isn’t part of the pact.

Wednesday, November 8

A Day Of Reflection

A collage of some of the Clinton voters who chose to share their photos with us (Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

A collage of some of the Clinton voters who chose to share their photos with us (Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

A year to the day that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. As Democrats basked in the win the night before and contemplated the work ahead, they reflected on the past year. #ThankYouHillary quickly began to trend on Twitter.

But there was also an acknowledgement of the progress that we have made.

We’ve come a long way, but we still have far to go. Tuesday’s win was a culmination of the hard work of the Resistance. It showed that even though our president is indecent doesn’t mean we can’t be extraordinary.

Meanwhile…

  • This one is troubling. After spending years blasting CNN as fake news, Trump’s Department of Justice is stating that the AT&T and Time Warner merger can’t occur unless they sell off CNN…Later in the week, we found out that Rupert Murdoch has shown interest in buying CNN. Yes, the Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News…
  • A Federal judge issued a gag order on Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, decreeing that they and their lawyers can’t make public statements about the case.
  • Despite the disastrous new climate change report that outlines how humans exacerbate climate change, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will still continue to roll back Obama-era climate rules.
  • Trump called 12 Democrats in an attempt to curry their favor for the GOP’s tax bill.
  • Ambassador Barbara Stephenson wrote an essay detailing that the State Department is churning high ranking diplomats at a “dizzying” pace.

Thursday, November 9

Making China Great Again

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago — Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago — Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In a joint press conference in Beijing with authoritarian Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump took a much softer tone than he previously had against China. After calling them a currency manipulator and saying they were “raping our country” on trade during the campaign, Trump said that the U.S.’ trade with China is very one-sided and unfair and continued on to say that “I don’t blame China. Who can blame a country that is able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit.”

Trump continued these capitulating remarks on Twitter, blaming the nation he’s supposed to be leading:

On top of that, President Trump deferred to China’s authoritarian request to not take any questions at the press conference. China has been known for centuries to court leaders from other walks of life, and it appears their moves worked on Trump. In the American press, one of the most under-discussed world shifts is China’s growing dominance as President Trump sets America on the path of isolation. With their investments in Africa, increasing economic development, and work with other world powers, China is setting itself up for this new century all while Xi Jinping consolidates power. Jinping recently enshrined his “Thought” into the Chinese Constitution, elevating himself to the status of Mao Zedong. Rantt News Global Outlook Editor Jossif Ezekilov reported on this consolidation of power that took place at the Chinese Communist Party’s Congress and some of Xi’s global plans:

Enshrining Xi’s policies as “Thought” is more or less the equivalent of an American President amending the Bill of Rights to reflect his personal platform. Schoolchildren, college students, and Chinese policymakers will study and debate Xi Jinping Thought for generations. Laws and policies will also draw their legal basis from Xi’s Thought.

Mr. Xi also indicated that he will continue to pursue a more expansionist foreign policy. This will include a continuation of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, a large-scale infrastructure scheme that aims to link China to the rest of the world. They will also seek to take charge of global climate change policy, especially after Donald Trump’s threatening to withdraw from the Paris Accords.

This, along with other aid projects the country funds, will increasingly draw China into an active leadership role in the global community. Optimists will see this as an opportunity for China to do their fair share of maintaining world order that their rise has warranted, and a potential for a stable counterbalance to Donald Trump’s America. Pessimists will point to the China’s rapidly increasing military spending, its plethora of territorial disputes, and its recent tougher stance on democracy movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as just the overture to a more belligerent and destabilizing global agenda. Only time will tell who will be right.

Later in the week, it was reported that the 11 nations that were part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Trump withdrew from came to their own agreement without the U.S. This allows the pacific region to write their own trade rules without U.S. involvement, a large blow to our global economic influence. The Washington Post was spot on with their headline on this: Trump’s ‘America first’ looks more and more like ‘America alone’

Meanwhile…

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller interviewed Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller as part of the Trump-Russia probe. Miller was in attendance at the March 2016 George Papadopoulos meeting that Trump and Sessions were also at. This is where the opportunity for a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump was discussed. We found out the following day that Papadopoulos was in constant contact with Miller about the potential arrangements for this meeting…Miller better hope he didn’t lie about these contacts with Mueller, for his sake.
  • Chief of Staff John Kelly tried to pressure Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke to deport thousands of Honduran immigrants
  • In a congressional testimony, Trump’s former bodyguard and longtime friend Keith Schiller said during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, a Russian offered to send five women to Trump’s room, but they declined. Schiller stood by the door for a bit and then went to sleep, telling congressional investigators that he can’t speak to what happened afterward since he wasn’t there. This fueled speculation surrounding the dossier’s claims that Trump was videotaped with urinating prostitutes at this hotel in Moscow…yes, this is the closest thing we’ve gotten to circumstances surrounding the legendary peepee tape.

Friday, November 10

The Depravity Of Roy Moore And The Republican Party

Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore brandishes a firearm at a campaign rally in Fairhope, Alabama

Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore brandishes a firearm at a campaign rally in Fairhope, Alabama

Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore was accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. Moore reportedly met her at a custody hearing when he was a District Attorney. Republican Leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Arizona Senator John McCain, called on him to step aside from this race if the allegations are true and the Senate’s Campaign Committee ended their fundraising agreement with him. Despite this, Breitbart and Steve Bannon immediately began to defend Moore and try and cast this as a Democratic hit job and lower-level GOP officials joined in, more directly trying to defend the act in general. One even went as far to say they’d still vote for him if the allegations are true. It was quite the disgusting sight to see.

Moderate Republican’s like Evan McMullin spoke out on the state of their party, and Senator Bob Corker was back at it again.

All while Sean Hannity continued a relentless defense of the disgusting acts, causing him to lose multiple advertisers.

On Hannity’s radio show the following day, Moore made some disgusting comments.

Chapman is right. It shouldn’t be a dilemma, but for the Republican base…It seems to be.

This is the Republican Party.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump talk as they arrive for the family photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump talk as they arrive for the family photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Danang, Vietnam, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Over the weekend, President Trump continued his odd capitulation to authoritarian President Putin, stating that he doesn’t believe Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

Trump continued his pro-Russia tirade:

What more is there to say than what Sally Yates stated…

Well, maybe, we can say this…

But Trump wasn’t done there. He wanted to reaffirm to the world that he had the emotional sturdiness and steadfast leadership necessary to lead the U.S. in these uncertain times…

As long as we keep in mind that the House is in play in 2018, it’ll make these ridiculous moves a little bit less anxiety-inducing.

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Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics