A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 45th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

I’ve written about every single moment of the Trump presidency…this was the wildest week yet

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington from a trip to St. Louis, Mo. — Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington from a trip to St. Louis, Mo. — Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

When historians try and identify the moment the 45th President of the United States completely unraveled, they will look to week 45.

They will see Donald Trump at his most unhinged, the GOP at their most depraved, the American people at their most vigilant, and Robert Mueller at his most competent.

As former Trump national security adviser, and current convicted felon, Michael Flynn’s guilty plea approached, we saw Trump embrace his worst impulses. From privately re-asserting that Obama was born in Kenya to retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a hate group, we saw the president throwing all rationality to the wind and leaning into his delusional alternate reality where facts don’t matter and consequences don’t apply to him. But unfortunately for Trump, he can’t tweet away Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

What once appeared to be merely impulsive distractions, Trump’s reckless behavior now serves as a barometer of Robert Mueller’s movements. The president has become a predictive instrument. Whenever there is a spike in his deranged behavior, there is always a Mueller move hovering over him like a hammer and sickle shaped cloud.

Donald Trump is quickly falling apart, consumed by the Trump-Russia investigation that inches closer to him by the day. Among the details surrounding Flynn’s plea deal, we saw clear paths to Jared Kushner and the president himself…

As this was going on, GOP Senators passed a half-baked tax bill (more like a poorly written donor appeasement plan) and new polls indicated the chances of pedophile Roy Moore winning in Alabama increased.

The week culminated in Donald Trump sending out a tweet which appeared to admit to obstruction of justice and another that adds to a case for abuse of power.

Our democracy is approaching a crucial constitutional crossroads. Will we be a nation that holds real American values and the rule of law above petty partisanship? Or will we be nation that embraces moral degradation as we slowly drift towards authoritarianism? The answer to this question depends heavily on whether or not the American people remain vigilant and if the media acts as a responsible fourth estate.

Donald Trump and his family believe they are above the law. The Grand Old Party believes they are above the accountability of the people, as they continue to be subservient to the interests of their donors.

In 2018, America will show Donald Trump and the GOP that their arrogant misconceptions will be their downfall. If American institutions refuse to hold the morally decrepit accountable, the people will.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 45th week as POTUS:

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45th Weekend (November 25–26)

The Fourth Estate

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump (AP/Andrew Harnik)

On Saturday, the president took to Twitter in yet another attack on the first amendment. This came on the same day Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring that international media organizations register as foreign agents. It was in retaliation for the U.S.’s move that made Russia Today (RT) register as a foreign agent in America.

And on Sunday, Trump continued his support for pedophile Roy Moore.

Meanwhile…

  • The New York Times embodied exactly what not to do if your news org want to contribute to a responsible fourth estate. They published a profile of a neo-Nazi presenting him as a friendly neighbor. This rightfully caused outrage and calls that the Times was normalizing neo-Nazism. The Nazi that was profiled later lost his job and the Times later released a response explaining their reasoning behind publishing the piece. Our response was clear:

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45th Week (November 27–December 1)

Monday, November 27

Pocahontas

With a portrait of President Andrew Jackson hanging in the background, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Navajo Code Talkers — Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

With a portrait of President Andrew Jackson hanging in the background, President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Navajo Code Talkers — Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

In an event that was allegedly intended to honor Navajo war veterans, President Donald Trump continued his spree of racially insensitive comments. Making fun of her Native American heritage, Trump called Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Pocahontas.”

What I thought was more offensive than invoking the name Pocahontas, which was a Native American that the Navajo veterans would consider one of their ancestors, was the fact that Trump held the event in a room with a portrait of President Andrew Jackson. Jackson infamously spearheaded the removal of Native Americans from their native lands resulting in the deaths of thousands. (The Trail of Tears.)

Trump’s disrespect and lack of decency is unbelievable.

Meanwhile…

  • In yet another clue that Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was approaching a deal with Robert Mueller, Flynn’s lawyer met with Mueller’s team.
  • Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had his deadline to produce additional documents related to his contacts with Russian operatives delayed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Later in the week, we’d have a better idea of why he held off, but for now, some thoughts…

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Tuesday, November 28

ICBMs And Petty Politics

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

While the president was engaged in childlike political stunts, North Korea tested its most dangerous Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) yet. It was a Hwasong-15, highest flying missile they’ve ever launched, with the range of hitting any target within the United States…

This was a startling development with wide-ranging ramifications. And the president was laser focused…on tax cuts.

To be fair, that tweet came before the ICBM was launched but after the news, it did nothing to change Trump’s focus. After Trump’s “art of the deal” tweet declaring no deal before they even sat down, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) declined to attend the meeting about the GOP’s tax cut effort. So, President Trump, along with his lackeys Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), set up Pelosi and Schumer’s name tags and empty chairs to make it seem like the Democrats had no interest in bipartisanship.

After saying “we will handle it” in reference to North Korea, Trump went on to focus most of his fire on Schumer and Pelosi.

Meanwhile…

  • A major court decision found that Trump was allowed to appoint budget director Mick Mulvaney, who called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a “sick sad joke,” to be acting head of that very same agency. Many are rightfully worried that Mulvaney will carry out the Republicans wishes of essentially dismantling the agency. It was brought into existence under the Obama administration as part of the Dodd-Frank legislation that was drafted to address the problems that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The Washington Post expertly exposed someone who was trying to feed them a fake Roy Moore allegation. The woman was working on behalf of Project Veritas, an organization founded by James O’Keefe that targets media organizations trying to expose liberal media bias…they clearly do so by dishonest means.
  • The New York Times dropped a report on Tuesday night that would signal the deranged behavior to come the following day. Not only is Trump privately telling White House aides that the Access Hollywood tape is fake, and it wasn’t his voice (after admitting it was him in 2016), but he’s also carrying on his birther conspiracy theory and some of his other greatest hits…

In recent months, they say, Mr. Trump has used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He has also repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread voter fraud, according to advisers and lawmakers.

Mr. Trump’s friends did not bother denying that the president was creating an alternative version of events. One Republican lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said that Mr. Trump’s false statements had become familiar to people over time. The president continues to boast of winning districts that he did not in fact win, the lawmaker said, and of receiving 52 percent of the women’s vote, even though exit polls show that 42 percent of women supported him.

“It’s dangerous to democracy; you’ve got to have shared facts. And on so many of these, there’s empirical evidence that says no: You didn’t win the popular vote, there weren’t more people at your inauguration than ever, that was your voice on that tape, you admitted it before.” — Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona

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Wednesday, November 29

Wild Wednesday

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)

On Wednesday, Donald Trump imploded. He awoke bright and early and unleashed a series of tweets that worried Americans and our allies abroad. First, Trump retweeted a series of videos from anti-Muslim hate group Britain First.

At least one of the videos was fake, but that wasn’t the biggest problem. Not only did the president give a platform to hate, he reduced our standing with our closest ally. The retweets opened up an old wound for the British, who lost Labour Party Member of Parliament Jo Cox to a far-right extremist who shot her with a sawed-off rifle while shouting “Britain first, keep Britain independent, Britain will always come first.” Not only did Cox’s widower condemn Trump’s retweets, but British Prime Minister Theresa May called it the wrong thing to do. Which he, of course, responded to later in the day:

But Trump was just getting started. Trump essentially tried to say that Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough murdered his intern.

Among other things…

This was some of the most unhinged string of tweets we’ve seen from Trump thus far. And these had global consequences. The president’s Twitter fingers have real-world ramifications, and it’s time the president be an adult and recognize this.

Enough is enough.

Meanwhile…

  • On Wednesday morning, NBC News fired Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. His sexual misconduct was some of the most perverse of those in media thus far. Lauer marked a pattern that Rantt News’ brilliant Deputy Managing Editor Remy Anne wrote an incredible piece about: The men in media who are getting accused of sexual misconduct are the same men who were unreasonably harsh on Hillary Clinton.

  • After making it through committee the previous day, the Senate’s tax cut bill crossed a crucial milestone by passing through the motion to proceed. More details on the plan later.

  • As Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with the House Intelligence Committee on December 6th, we learned that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is currently investigating whether White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act in her endorsement of Roy Moore. This was spurred by Walter Shaub’s complaint.

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Thursday, November 30

The Donor Appeasement Plan

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), center. Also in the room are from left, Vice President Mike Pence, SenateMajority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)., and Senior adviser to President Donald Trump Jared Kushner — June 6, 2017.(AP)

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), center. Also in the room are from left, Vice President Mike Pence, SenateMajority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)., and Senior adviser to President Donald Trump Jared Kushner — June 6, 2017.(AP)

As the GOP approached their scheduled vote for Thursday night (which was delayed to the following day), a damning review from the Joint Committee on Taxation found that the tax bill would increase the deficit by $1 trillion. And that’s not even the worst part. It has far-reaching effects for those who aren’t wealthy. It has a corporate tax cut from 35% to 20% that doesn’t expire, yet the cuts for individuals do expire. It also repeals the estate tax entirely. It disproportionately helps the wealthy.

The bill has a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate which will leave 13 million more people uninsured. It could trigger cuts to Medicare as well. Also, this:

Some measures are barely connected to the realm of taxation, such as the lifting of a 1954 ban on political activism by churches and the conferring of a new legal right for fetuses in the House bill — both on the wish list of the evangelical right.

With a potentially far-reaching dimension, elements in both the House and Senate bills could constrain the ability of states and local governments to levy their own taxes, pressuring them to limit spending on health care, education, public transportation and social services.

The worst part of this bill is we know it was meant specifically to appease donors, not the American people most in need of relief. This isn’t a conclusion drawn out of speculation…Republicans told us themselves.

Meanwhile…

  • Rexit took the news cycle by storm. A flood of reports indicated that Trump was going to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the current CIA Director, and Trump loyalist, Mike Pompeo and nominate Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to lead the CIA. It turns out, that this flood of leaks was an “effort to express President Donald Trump’s deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state,” according to CNN.
  • Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort closed an $11 million bail agreement with prosecutors, which clears the way for him to get off of house arrest.
  • Following a closed-door meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee — stated:

“I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation and he declined to answer the question.”

  • News broke that Jared Kushner was interviewed by Robert Mueller earlier in November and that the focus of the questioning surrounded Michael Flynn. We already knew that Flynn was in attendance at the secret December 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak where Kushner proposed a back-channel line of communication between the Kremlin and Trump’s transition…the following morning, we knew even more.

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Flynn Friday, December 1

Lock Him Up!

After weeks of speculation, the day had finally arrived. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak…Flynn pleaded guilty. Then came the answer to the question we’ve been waiting for: Michael Flynn is now in full cooperation with Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Michael Flynn participated in similar behavior that was detailed in the charges presented towards Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Among other things, Flynn received undisclosed payments while lobbying for Turkey at the same time he was advising Trump and sitting in classified national security briefings as an unregistered foreign agent. Mueller leveraged Flynn’s willingness to limit his son’s legal exposure (who worked with him on the lobbying through their family company) when pushing for this plea deal. The fact that it was just this single charge of lying rather than the larger charges, indicates that Flynn is willing to offer information about someone up the ladder, and as I noted earlier, it includes Trump and Kushner.

Flynn had multiple communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016 and lied about them to the FBI in 2017. Flynn reportedly made the calls under direction of senior Trump transition officials, including K.T. McFarland who directed the sanctions call undermining Obama’s sanctions.

This ropes others into this because the report also indicates “Mr. Bossert forwarded Ms. McFarland’s Dec. 29 email exchange about the sanctions to six other Trump advisers, including Mr. Flynn; Reince Priebus, who had been named as chief of staff; Stephen K. Bannon, the senior strategist; and Sean Spicer, who would become the press secretary.”

Not only that, there was a scheduled meeting that same day that involved President Trump. The Trump transition leadership was clearly well aware of these contacts, which implicates yet another Trump administration official who ran the transition: Vice President Mike Pence.

Also, Jared Kushner reportedly instructed Flynn to call Kislyak ahead of a U.N. Security Council vote that was to condemn Israeli settlements.

Initial reports earlier in the day indicated Trump directed Flynn to contact Kisylak during the transition, but then throughout the day, the liability pivoted to Kushner and McFarland. We’ll see the truth soon enough. Flynn flipping on Trump will have huge ramifications.

Insights Flynn Could Provide

  • Flynn attended a secret meeting in Trump Tower in December 2016 as a member of the Trump transition team with Jared Kushner and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Kushner asked to set up a back-channel line of communication between the Trump transition and Moscow.
  • GOP operative Peter Smith sought Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails from who he thought were Russian hackers…And he was coordinating with Flynn and his company.
  • Given his role as APNSA, he may have info on what motivated the Republican National Convention to change their stance on the Ukraine to a pro-Russia stance.
  • Flynn may be able to provide information on exactly how many individuals in the campaign knew about Papadopoulos’ efforts to arrange a meeting between Putin and Trump.
  • Flynn may be able to provide insight into whether or not Donald Trump was made aware of the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russian operatives in an attempt to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
  • Flynn may be able to give insight into whether or not others in the campaign communicated with Wikileaks or if they were made aware of Donald Trump Jr.’s or Roger Stones’s communication with Wikileaks.
  • Flynn may also be able to detail how much the campaign was involved in Carter Page’s trip to Moscow where he met with Russia’s oil company Rosneft.
  • Flynn could provide evidence that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner lied to investigators. That could pertain to the nature of their contacts with the Russians or other assertions they made to investigators during their testimonies. As we know, Mueller will not hesitate to charge someone for lying to investigators. Given Donald Trump Jr.’s false initial public statements about the nature of his meeting with Russian operatives and Jared Kushner’s habit of lying on his SF-86 disclosures, it’s not far-fetched to assume they may not have been entirely truthful in their congressional testimonies.
  • And finally, Flynn could provide insight into Donald Trump’s thinking and motivations throughout the time he spent with him. Was he aware of Russia’s efforts to help prop up his campaign? Did he participate in any collusion?

Meanwhile…

  • The Republicans tax cut bill passed the Senate with literal handwritten notes on it and a 51 to 49 vote. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only no.
  • We learned of another piece to the obstruction of justice puzzle. The New York Times reported that this past summer, President Trump forcefully asked top Senate Republicans — including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) — to quickly end their Trump-Russia probe.

  • To add even more to the already overwhelming evidence that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice, President Trump admitted to it on Twitter. (Later tried to blame it on his lawyer John Dowd.)

And he didn’t stop there.

If we remain focused, it won’t be a matter of if justice is served, but when.

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