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
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
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.
@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!
If you favor CNN OR Fox and are not dismayed by this, you may now be numb and no longer capable of outrage. Scary if that's our new normal. https://t.co/pvG71XvN6R
@jmclaughlinSAIS If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life. Until now it was not possible for me to conceive of an American President capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the first amendment.
And on Sunday, Trump continued his support for pedophile Roy Moore.
I endorsed Luther Strange in the Alabama Primary. He shot way up in the polls but it wasn't enough. Can't let Schumer/Pelosi win this race. Liberal Jones would be BAD!
- 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:
If you want a white ethno-state and advocate for ethnic cleansing, you are scum. If you marched in Charlottesville on the side of the Nazis who killed Heather Heyer, you are scum. Nazis deserve no ambiguous coverage or platform to promote their bigotry. Do better @nytimes
45th Week (November 27–December 1)
Monday, November 27
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.”
Here's the video: Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' while honoring Native American code talkers: "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." https://t.co/hjZ5MInDDf
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.
- 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…
Given Kushner's habit of not disclosing meetings until after they're revealed in the press, lying to investigators, and omitting hundreds of meetings and contacts on his SF-86, the appropriate response to his request for a delay should've been a subpoena https://t.co/mH7dPpSESG
Does this leniency from the Senate Judiciary Committee towards Kushner have anything to do with the fact President Trump has been trying to woo Chairman Grassley? Probably https://t.co/NrcNJRKEQ2
Tuesday, November 28
ICBMs And Petty Politics
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.
Meeting with "Chuck and Nancy" today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don't see a deal!
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.
Trump says he's not surprised Schumer and Pelosi skipped meeting. https://t.co/8MO6FhS2cw
there are so many layers of pettiness in this photograph
If you need any more proof of our president's detachment from reality and egoic childishness, look no further than his remarks today Amid news of North Korea launching their most dangerous ICBM yet, @realDonaldTrump was absolutely consumed by petty partisan politics He is unfit https://t.co/PvGugyUVQn
- 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
Wednesday, November 29
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.
The president is spending his morning retweeting these videos from a leader of Britain's far-right, ultra nationalist Britain First party (who was recently convicted for harassing a Muslim woman on the street)
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:
@Theresa_May, don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
President Trump has used Twitter to promote a vile, extremist group that exists solely to sow division and hatred in our country. It's increasingly clear that any official visit from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.
But Trump was just getting started. Trump essentially tried to say that Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough murdered his intern.
So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the "unsolved mystery" that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!
Among other things…
To recap this absurdity @realDonaldTrump is: * Retweeting Islamophobic fear-mongering videos from far-right British extremists * Lying that the Access Hollywood tape was fake (he admitted it was him in 2016) * STILL falsely claiming that Obama's birth certificate is fake
As Mueller closes in on Flynn, Trump has gone off the rails.
@realDonaldTrump @TuckerCarlson @seanhannity Wow @realDonaldTrump is talking about the "possibility" of Clinton's private email server exposing classified information (which it didn't) when he himself shared classified intelligence with Russian officials-Kislyak and Lavrov-IN THE OVAL OFFICE The hypocrisy is stunning
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.
On an unhealthy diet of fear-mongering lies and conspiracy theories fed by @FoxNews propaganda, Trump's base has deluded themselves into an alternate reality… And @realDonaldTrump is right there with them. https://t.co/7K6Zun0IBU
- 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.
This is a must-read – it matters greatly who makes the decisions about news coverage, which stories are covered and who tells the story. https://t.co/1c4TzuwmXG
- 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.
Tax plan's path through the Senate ☑️ Cleared the committees ☑️ Motion to proceed 🔲 Up to 20 hours of debate 🔲 Vote-a-rama (all the amendments) 🔲 Parliamentarian rulings 🔲 Final vote 🔲 Conference committee with the House Then to POTUS for signature
- 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.
WH defended Conway against @CampaignLegal's Hatch Act complaint by saying her words about Jones supported POTUS's agenda. That's an admission of guilt! Jones' only relevance to POTUS is his bid for Senate, and the topic was: Does POTUS have the votes in the Senate for a tax bill.
Thursday, November 30
The Donor Appeasement Plan
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.
ex-staff director at Joint Tax Committee of Congress on GOP tax-cut push: "It's not aimed at growth. It's not aimed at the middle class. It is at every turn carefully engineered to deliver a kiss to the donor class" https://t.co/JLStlfvvSW
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.
My donors are basically saying: 'Get it done or don't ever call me again'" -Republican Rep. Chris Collins "Donors are furious" -Republican Sen. Cory Gardner "The financial contributions will stop" -Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham No, #GOPTaxScam *won't* help the middle class.
- 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.
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.
Flynn signed his cooperating agreement *yesterday.* He agrees to cooperate "completely" with Mueller and turn over "all evidence of crimes" he knows about.
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.
Given the U.S. intelligence assessment and the ample, overt evidence of Russia's interference in Trump's favor, it's hard to imagine that KT McFarland made this statement only as a characterization of Democrats' allegations. She knew. They all knew. https://t.co/UhROaFhsg4
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?
Michael Flynn: "Lock her up!…If I did a tenth, a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail" Says the national security adviser who is pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about talks with a foreign adversary where he promised relief of Obama's sanctions… https://t.co/lvCBzn1O6T
Poetic justice. After issuing his guilty plea, Michael Flynn exits courthouse to chants of "Lock him up." https://t.co/jFeXOhjQG1
- 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.
Trump's obstruction of justice Feb: Asked Comey to back off Flynn March: Asked Comey to "lift the cloud" of the Trump-Russia probe May: Fires Comey. Says he wanted to end probe on TV. Told Kislyak & Lavrov the same Summer: Urged Senate GOP to end probe https://t.co/qlqsZ8kf68
- 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.)
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!
@realDonaldTrump Trump just admitted that he was aware Michael Flynn lied to the FBI before firing him Despite this, Trump asked Comey to back off Flynn, who he knew committed a crime… More obstruction evidence Writing his articles of impeachment, one tweet at a time https://t.co/TMHVM3d2qg
Just unreal": Trump's latest tweet about Flynn indicates he's either "utterly clueless about his own jeopardy" or "truly believes he is beyond accountability," experts say https://t.co/hDcwke2e5m
And he didn’t stop there.
Since Flynn's guilty plea, @realDonaldTrump has: ☑️ Said he knew Flynn lied to the FBI before he told Comey to back off Flynn (obstruction of justice) ☑️ Asked the DOJ to investigate his political opponent-again (abuse of power) ☑️ Attacked Comey (more witness tampering)
If we remain focused, it won’t be a matter of if justice is served, but when.