A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 46th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

46th Weekend (December 2–3)

President Donald Trump makes his announcement about Jerusalem in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 — (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump makes his announcement about Jerusalem in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 — (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Driven by an impulsive ego, motivated by his misguided supporters, and plagued by paranoia — Donald Trump is in over his head.

Compound those factors with his shocking lack of knowledge and disregard for consequences and you have President Trump in a nutshell.

This week, the defining themes of Trump’s presidency continued as we watched Robert Mueller move his investigation forward with steadfast competency and Donald Trump move his administration backward with clumsy inefficiency.

Fresh off a plea agreement with Trump’s former National Security Adviser Micheal Flynn, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has kicked into high gear. This week brought new developments that paint a damning picture for the Trump White House. The information Flynn will provide to Mueller about Senior Trump officials’ roles in Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador Kisylak will be key. There was also additional obstruction of justice evidence, the probe into the Trump family’s finances, more revelations related to Wikileaks, and new details about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian operatives.

Abroad, the President continues to make more enemies than friends. After earning himself a condemnation from British PM Theresa May the previous week by retweeting a series of videos from anti-Muslim hate group Britain First, Trump further isolated the U.S. this week. Trump’s Jerusalem announcement was widely condemned by our allies and destabilized the region, leading to deaths.

At home, the President desperately tries to move his backward agenda forward, beleaguered by Mueller’s investigation that inches closer to the Oval Office with every passing day. Tweets admitting obstruction of justice and wishing the DOJ would investigate his political opponent are doing his assertions of innocence no favors. All the while, the right-wing propaganda machine continues their unrelenting assaults on Mueller’s credibility, practically begging for the President to obstruct justice even further.

With the Republican Party turning a blind eye to pedophilia for the sake of a Senate seat in Alabama, they’ve stooped to a new low. We can’t count on them to hold any member of their party, let alone the President, accountable.

Our democracy is being tested. While right-wing media is already in full propaganda mode, the mainstream media needs to prepare themselves for what’s to come.

The American people understand what’s at stake.

When will the GOP?

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 46th week as POTUS:

Join Rantt’s Newsroom (Slack Channel)

Trump’s Incriminating Tweetstorm

With the above image of his former National Security Adviser walking into the D.C. courthouse to plead guilty to a federal crime and cooperate with the Special Counsel plaguing the impulsive President, Trump took to Twitter. President Trump sent out a tweet that added even more evidence to the already overwhelming case that he is guilty of obstruction of justice. (Trump’s lawyer John Dowd later tried to claim that he was the one who sent out the tweet.)

And he didn’t stop there.

These damning tweets came amid news that gave us more clarity surrounding the phone calls that resulted in Michael Flynn’s guilty plea. (Important to note quickly that 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.)

As we know, Flynn had multiple communications with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016 and lied about them to the FBI in 2017. Flynn reportedly made the calls under the direction of senior Trump transition officials, including K.T. McFarland who directed the call undermining Obama’s sanctions. This is problematic for McFarland, due to the fact during questioning with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) asked her if she had ever spoken to Flynn about his contacts with Kislyak. McFarland said, “I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above.” Clearly, that is not the case.

This ropes other Trump associates into this as well. 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 weekend, the liability pivoted to Kushner and McFarland. We’ll see the truth soon enough. Flynn flipping on Trump will have huge ramifications.

Sign Petition: Don't Let the Department of the Interior Lift The Ban On Trophy Hunting!

46th Week (December 4–8)

Monday, December 4

Not Above The Law

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before speaking with members of the armed forces via video conference at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, on Thanksgiving in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before speaking with members of the armed forces via video conference at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, on Thanksgiving in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After Trump’s weekend confessional, his lawyer John Dowd made the following dubious claim, “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”

Interesting legal strategy. Since Dowd knows he won’t be able to prove Donald Trump didn’t violate the law, he’s claiming that the law doesn’t apply to him. The law surrounding obstruction of justice clearly states that anyone who “endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).”

What Dowd was essentially stating is that the President is above the law. This is not the case unless Congress lets it be. Obstruction of justice was President Richard Nixon’s first Article of Impeachment, as well as one of Bill Clinton’s. The president can obstruct justice. If you don’t want to take my word for it, take the word of current Attorney General, then-Senator, Jeff Sessions during Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. In 1999, it’s as if Sessions responded directly to Dowd’s claim in 2017:

“The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice…The chief law officer of the land, whose oath of office calls on him to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, crossed the line and failed to defend the law, and, in fact, attacked the law and the rights of a fellow citizen. Under our Constitution, equal justice requires that he forfeit his office.”

So now that we’ve settled the fact the President isn’t above the law, let’s dive into the news that broke on Monday that confirmed a confession within Trump’s weekend tweetstorm. CNN dropped a report that confirmed Trump was told Flynn lied to the FBI before he asked Comey to back off the investigation: “White House counsel Donald McGahn told Trump that based on his conversation with then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, he believed Flynn had not told the truth in his interview with the FBI or to Pence.”

The report stated that it was in January of this year that McGahn informed Trump, so it’s unclear if Trump knew this before he asked Comey for loyalty or after. Either way, he was aware before he asked Comey to back off Flynn in February and before he fired Sally Yates. A clearer picture began to crystallize.

Given all that Flynn knows about the Trump campaign and their contacts with Russia, it’s clear that Trump was trying to protect Flynn from the investigation because he didn’t want Comey to find out what he knew. Well, it turns out, Trump’s paranoia got the best of him and now the Trump-Russia investigation has moved along at a much faster speed then if he just let it progress under Comey. And Special Counsel Robert Mueller got to Michael Flynn after all.

Meanwhile…

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of the Senate Judiciary Committee said that her committee is building their own case for obstruction of justice:

“The [Senate] Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well and it involves obstruction of justice and I think what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.”

  • This was revealed by The New York Times

  • Trump’s travel ban of six majority-Muslim nations has been allowed to take full effect by the Supreme Court, for now.
  • Trump sent out another string of lie-laced endorsing tweets of Roy Moore and spoke to him on the phone, telling the pedophile to “Go get em’, Roy.”

After Trump’s endorsement, the Republican National Committee resumed funding of this pedophile.

  • The Daily Beast reported that House Republicans are indicating that they are shooting down promises that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in exchange for their votes on the GOP tax cuts:

Collins said she received a promise that the Senate would consider two bipartisan pieces of legislation that would ostensibly mitigate the negative effects that could come from the tax bill’s repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate. Flake said he received a “firm commitment from Senate Leadership and the administration” to work on a permanent protections for the soon-to-be-ended Obama-era program that shields children of undocumented immigrants.

Support Independent Journalism: Make A One-Time Donation To Rantt News

Pay Rantt, Inc. using PayPal.Me

Tuesday, December 5

The Deutsche Bank Subpoena

President Donald Trump speaks with White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner as he departs after a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump speaks with White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner as he departs after a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On Tuesday, news broke of a subpoena that could provide some of the most damning evidence against Trump and his inner circle yet. Not only could it discover potential financial crimes, but it could uncover the motive behind the Trump White House’s obsessive desire to lift sanctions on Russia. Rantt News Deputy Managing Editor Remy Anne did some excellent reporting on this so she’ll take it from here:

Mueller has now apparently taken an interest in acquiring banking “data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family,” according to a report released Tuesday morning by Reuters. The report states that Mueller’s team issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, several weeks ago.

So why are these Deutsche Bank (DB) records potentially of extreme importance? The answer is as complicated and murky as most elements of this investigation seem to be. Trump’s companies owed the bank $364 million as of the end of last year, and Jared Kushner’s company held connections with the bank. Coincidentally, DB was recently fined for its connections to a Russian money laundering plot…His father-in-law isn’t the only one in debt to the bank. Approximately one month before the 2016 election, Jared Kushner’s real estate company received a $285 million loan from DB.

In December of 2016, Kushner attended a meeting with the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and Michael Flynn in an attempt to set up a back-channel line of communication between the Kremlin and Trump. He then set up a second, originally unreported, meeting at the behest of Kislyak.

This second meeting was with Sergey Gorkov, the Vladimir Putin-appointed chief of Vnesheconombank (VEB) — a Russian state-owned bank that has a “cooperation agreement” with DB. Gorkov graduated from the FSB Academy, making him essentially a trained spy.

VEB was placed under U.S. and European sanctions in 2014 and has significant connections to Russian security services. After said sanctions, Putin was forced to authorize $22 billion in state funding to cover the debts incurred by the bank.

Contextually speaking, let’s remember that the Trump administration made lifting these sanctions one of their first orders of business. Flynn went so far as to assure his business partners and Kisylak that sanctions would be lifted. In addition, the White House has yet to implement new sanctions on Russia passed near unanimously by Congress and signed into law by Trump in August.

The aforementioned cooperation agreement could have potentially allowed DB to transfer the loans it gave Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, which were reportedly in the hundreds of millions, to VEB — casting further scrutiny on the Kushner meetings.

If these loans were transferred, Trump might have been attempting to lift sanctions on his own debt-holders. This could be an explanation for much of the President’s conciliatory behavior towards Russia.

Meanwhile…

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller withdrew his support for Paul Manafort’s bail agreement after Manafort was caught ghostwriting an op-ed defending his work for a pro-Ukraine party with someone who appears to be his longtime associate, with ties to Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik.
  • Rep. John Conyers announced he will resign from Congress after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission (widely seen as a voter suppression machine), was sent an amicus brief warning against their plan to create a database of American voters. The Washington Post reports:

Former national intelligence director James R. Clapper Jr., one of the co-signatories of the brief, warned that a White House plan to create a centralized database containing sensitive information on millions of American voters will become an attractive target for nation states and criminal hackers.

  • After essentially seizing power, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s acting director Mick Mulvaney made moves signaling a new lax approach to implementing penalties for financial crimes.
  • Pedophile Roy Moore blocked his opponent Doug Jones on Twitter, as a new polls indicated the race was tightening.

  • Right-wing media had been pouncing on a report that stated an FBI official was removed from his role on the Trump-Russia probe by Mueller after anti-Trump texts were found. The fact that Mueller removed him immediately after discovering this should boost his credibility as someone who wants non-partisan agents on his team, but nevertheless, the propaganda persists. The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon and called on Robert Mueller to step down.

The right is being gaslit into believing that Mueller’s investigation is a witch hunt. This has been going on for months. If Trump were to fire Mueller, which of course isn’t that simple — he’d have to order people down the chain of command at the DOJ starting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to do so — and the GOP may let him get away with it since their base is now programmed to think Mueller isn’t credible. And just like that, the President would be above the law, and the drift towards authoritarianism for the sake of partisanship would continue…

This makes 2018 that much more important.

Sign Petition: Protect the Clean Power Plan from the Trump Administration

Wednesday, December 6

Jerusalem, Trump-Russia, and #MeToo

In a move that was spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and impulsively executed by a President that was eager to deliver on a campaign promise no matter the fallout, Trump broke with 70 years of U.S. policy and announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The fight over the religious city of Jerusalem is nothing new, but the U.S. has previously attempted to appear as an honest, neutral broker between Israel and Palestine. There has always been a clear bias towards the Israelis from previous administrations, but none have made a destabilizing move like this. This was widely condemned by our allies and the entire Arab world.

Kushner has been essentially acting as Secretary of State in the middle east, undercutting the appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at every turn. Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned the move due to concerns over national security, and rightfully so. The move has sparked protests throughout the region, including Pakistan, Turkey, and at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. It has already resulted in 4 deaths.

Jared Kushner also advised Donald Trump to fire former FBI Director James Comey, which was not only obstruction of justice, it led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel and expedited the speed at which the Trump-Russia investigation moved forward.

Maybe the President should think twice before taking this political neophyte’s advice.

Meanwhile…

  • In the aftermath of the speech, many were concerned about how President Trump slurred his speech, questioning his fitness for office. The following day, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that President Trump will undergo a psychical early next year.

  • News broke, which I touched on Tuesday, that revealed Michael Flynn assured his previous business partner that sanctions would be “ripped up” as one of President Trump’s first actions (which they did indeed attempt to do). 11 minutes into the newly endowed President Trump’s Inauguration speech, Michael Flynn texted his business associate “good to go.”

  • As Donald Trump Jr. was being grilled by the House Intelligence Committee (a session in which Trump Jr. cited attorney-client privilege when not answering questions about his conversations with his father?), more information about his June 2016 meeting with Russian operatives was revealed — information that could indicate Trump Jr. committed a crime. Once again, I’ll let Rantt News Deputy Managing Editor Remy Anne’s reporting take it from here:

On the day before he is scheduled to appear in front of Congress, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, while testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealed that Donald Trump Jr. asked her if she had any evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation, during the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

According to Veselnitskaya, she did not have this evidence, and when she said as much, Trump Jr. seemed to lose interest in the meeting.

If true, this information further supports the widely accepted understanding that Trump Jr. took this meeting with the intention of receiving incriminating information on his father’s political rival. However, it also brings into question whether he violated federal election law, which states that it is illegal for an American to solicit such information from a foreign national.

  • The House passed a concealed carry bill.

  • As the Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement were named Person of the Year by TIME magazine, two more accusers came forward against Senator Al Franken (D-NY). Democratic women of the Senate, led by Franken’s fellow New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called for Franken to resign. Franken scheduled remarks for 11:45 am the following day…

Sign Petition: Add your name against Trump's attack on birth control

Thursday, December 7

The Moral High Ground

The pressure from his democratic colleagues had mounted. The allegations were damning. Al Franken had to resign. On Thursday morning Al Franken took to the Senate floor and made his announcement. But not without taking a parting shot at Donald Trump and Roy Moore:

“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”

This move stirred division among Democrats, who felt the moral high ground wasn’t the best route to take here. The GOP wasn’t holding themselves to a high standard so why should we, they claimed. Well, that’s because the Democrats had an opportunity to not only take the moral high ground, they will be able to use this as precedent-setter for future allegations. Later that day, Republican Rep. Trent Franks announced his resignation as allegations mounted of him propositioning his aides to impregnate them so they could be a surrogate for his children.

One has to ask themselves, if Franken refused to resign that day, would Franks have done the same?

Meanwhile…

  • Congressman, and Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis denied the invitation to the opening of a civil rights Museum with President Trump. The White House’s response received the appropriate backlash.

  • FBI Director Christoper Wray defended the FBI’s integrity in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, responding to Trump’s attacks on the Bureau.
  • The House and Senate passed a two-week stop-gap bill to avoid a government shutdown.
  • Despite the RNC’s backing and the President’s endorsement of Roy Moore, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan still claims that Roy Moore should drop out of the race.
  • Pro-slavery remarks from Roy Moore resurfaced as well as some remarks being eerily apologetic of Russia while at the same time being extremely homophobic.

Sign Petition: Join the fight: Demand your members of Congress become dream heroes!

Friday, December 8

For Clinton Emails, Click Here

Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland — July 20, 2016. (AP/Matt Rourke)

Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland — July 20, 2016. (AP/Matt Rourke)

Do you remember this interview?

I remember it clear as day. As we’ve since found out, that was not the case. Excellent reporting from Julia Ioffe at The Atlantic last month revealed that Donald Trump Jr. corresponded via Twitter direct message with Wikileaks on multiple occasions. The DMs consisted of Wikileaks sharing links with Donald Trump Jr. that he and his father shared, lobbying for Donald Trump Jr. to get Trump Sr. to leak his tax returns to them so that it could appear that they were not “pro-Trump,” and Wikileaks requested that if elected, could Trump make Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange the Ambassador to Australia.

And on Friday, we found out that wasn’t the last time someone reached out during the campaign offering information on Hillary. Although the information had been made public a day earlier, Donald Trump Jr., Trump Sr., and Trump Sr.’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen received an email offering an encryption code to access a database of the publicly available hacked Clinton emails from Wikileaks.

CNN previously reported the date as September 4th, and had to print a correction. But they claim it was due to false info provided to them.

If it had been the previous date of September 4th as originally reported, this story would’ve been much more damning, but nonetheless, it shows another previously undisclosed communication. Speaking of previously undisclosed communications, CNN also reported that the British publicicst Rob Goldstone who set up the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya, sent follow up emails. The June 14, 2016 emails sent form Goldstone to Dan Scavino, now the White House director of social media, contained a “cute marketing idea” for then candidate Donald Trump to set up an account on a Russian social media platform. It’s unclear whether or not that occurred.

The report also had this tid bit of information:

The disclosure of the Trump Tower meeting in a New York Times story earlier this year caught the attention of the son of Kaveladze, according to another email turned over to congressional investigators. Ike Kaveladze attended the meeting on behalf of the Russian billionaire who initiated the session, Aras Agalarov.

When Trump Jr. posted his full email exchange with Goldstone on Twitter showing he was promised the meeting would produce dirt on the Clinton campaign, George Kaveladze emailed his father asking why Trump Jr. was admitting “collusion,” two sources with knowledge of the email told CNN. It was not clear whether the younger Kaveladze was joking, and the attorney for his father declined to comment on the exchange.

Meanwhile…

  • Fox News had to report a correction of their own.

  • The FBI warned Trump’s Communications Director Hope Hicks that Russian operatives repeatedly tried to make contact with her during the 2016 election…
  • President Trump held a rally in Pensacola, Florida which was pretty much a Make America Great Again/Roy Moore endorsement rally. As usual, it was filled with lies.

  • New polls indicated pedophile Roy Moore’s support among white women was high. Rantt News Managing Editor Kaz Weida dissected it:

  • VICE News released a video of a focus group with Alabama voters and the result was stunning…

The choice is between a racist, homophobic, pedophile and Doug Jones who’s most well known for putting members of the KKK in prison.

As we approach election day in Alabama on Tuesday, one can only hope that decency prevails. Either way, the stain of the President and his Party’s support for a pedophile will remain on them until we vote them out of office in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028…

Sign Petition: Tell Congress: We need paid family leave for ALL working families!

News // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics / Unpresidented