A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 47th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

A week filled with hope and preparation for the fights to come

President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, to spend the weekend at Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump walks towards Marine One as he departs from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, to spend the weekend at Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trumpism limped out of this week badly bruised while the resistance left with one hand held high in victory and the other tweeting #NetNeutrality, #ProtectMueller, and #StopGOPTaxScam.

Decency (and black women voters) won the battle in Alabama, but the resistance against the GOP’s agenda is far from over.

Internet freedom took a blow with the repeal of net neutrality, and the GOP’s tax cuts looked primed to pass.

New developments pushed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation forward while the GOP’s propaganda machine continued to try and pull it backward.

With the Trump administration hard at work rolling back meaningful policies, the incoming GOP tax cut vote, and the prospect of Republicans moving to undermine Mueller’s investigation looming over the win in Alabama, the American people head into the holidays victorious, hopeful, determined, and ready for whatever battle is to come.

And from what we saw this week, there are many more battles to come…

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 47th week as POTUS:

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47th Weekend (December 9–10)

Dozen Diet Coke Donnie

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)

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a long-form exposé detailing Trump’s day-to-day life in the White House. It dove into his cable news addiction, the fact he drinks a dozen diet coke’s a day, and confirmation that the President does indeed see his presidency as a reality TV show:

Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.

To an extent that would stun outsiders, Mr. Trump, the most talked-about human on the planet, is still delighted when he sees his name in the headlines. And he is on a perpetual quest to see it there. One former top adviser said Mr. Trump grew uncomfortable after two or three days of peace and could not handle watching the news without seeing himself on it.

Trump’s unhealthy ego wasn’t the only thing revealed in this piece. The article touches on a meeting between President Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, and Fox News Anchor Jeanine Pirro on November 1st where they discussed the Uranium One conspiracy theory. A few days before the meeting, she called for Mueller’s investigation to be ended and called on Hillary Clinton to be “locked up.”

Since then, she’s been President Trump’s #1 propagandist in the dangerous anti-Mueller crusade, and by far the most extreme anchor on Fox News. Trump, of course, disputed this reporting.

First off, we know he watches CNN and MSNBC because he tweets in response to Morning Joe and Jake Tapper’s show constantly. Also, Trump has tweeted over a dozen times about Don Lemon’s various segments.

And yes…there really is a tweet for EVERYTHING.

Meanwhile…

  • As if the people of Alabama needed another reason not to vote for alleged pedophile Roy Moore, there was another damning report.

The problem with that premise is, well, the amendments after the 10th are extremely crucial to our democracy…

  • Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called on President Trump to resign due to his sexual assault allegations. Over the weekend, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) called on President Trump to resign as well. These lawmakers referenced Senator Al Franken’s resignation announcement as a basis to call on the President to do the same. And ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made a noteworthy break from the administration’s stance of calling Trump’s accusers liars. Haley stated that President Trump’s accusers “should be heard.” And heard they were…

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47th Week (December 11–15)

Monday, December 11

#MeThree

In this new post-#MeToo reality, women have been empowered to come forward in droves to speak out against sexual assault and expose their perpetrators. Sensing the paradigm shift of empowerment, Samantha Holvey, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks (three of President Trump’s accusers) came together on Monday and hit the press circuit to speak out about their experiences of sexual misconduct.

Important to note that these are just 3 of the more than a dozen women who have accused Donald Trump of sexually harassing or groping them.

The world that once called them liars and shunned them to silence was no more. Their appearances immediately made waves. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) who was the first to call on her colleague Al Franken to resign, called on President Trump to do the same.

As we saw the following morning, President Trump heard her loud and clear…

Meanwhile…

  • NBC News reported that Mueller is focusing on Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and is scrutinizing what occurred between January 26th and February 13th of this year. Given what occurred between those dates, this indicates Mueller is gunning for obstruction of justice. Mueller’s key finding will be whether or not Trump knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI before he told Comey to back off Flynn.

  • Trump-Russia expert Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider reported the following:

  • America was gearing up for the Alabama Senate election where an alleged pedophile faced off against a former prosecutor of KKK members…The choice was clear. But Roy Moore’s wife made a final attempt to convince voters her husband isn’t a racist:

President Trump recorded a robocall for Roy Moore, and President Obama recorded one for Doug Jones. The polls on Monday were scattered, with one poll having Jones up 10 points and another having him down 9. No one knew for sure what would happen. One thing that was for certain, no matter who Alabama elected, the stain of supporting an alleged pedophile would remain on the GOP for the foreseeable future.

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Tuesday, December 12

No Moore Bigotry And Misogyny

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

The day everyone was waiting for had arrived. The stakes couldn’t have been higher.

President Trump sent out his final endorsement of the alleged pedophile as voters headed to the polls.

One part of Trump’s tweet was right. The people of Alabama did do the right thing. Throughout the day one thing was clear: turnout was high. That had people on the right rightfully worried. The day wouldn’t end without at least one more embarrassment from a Roy Moore surrogate:

As the results began to pour in, before major news orgs began calling it, Rantt’s newsroom was very confident Jones would take it. When he did, there was nothing but joy on Twitter. Including from our team.

So how’d he do it? Jones over-performed in the highly populated counties, and those wide margins carried him onto victory while Moore couldn’t pull the votes from rural counties necessary for a win. Low GOP turnout and high Dem turnout turned the tide for Jones. Most importantly, Black women voted nearly unanimously for Jones.

Jones ended up winning by a margin too wide for a recount (0.5% margin required for a recount in Alabama).

Jones camp was thrilled.

Moore camp was in denial (they still haven’t conceded).

Donald Trump (or whoever wrote this tweet) managed not to send out something petty about the race.

This was a fantastic win for the Democrats and the nation. Alabama is a ruby-red state. The fact that a Democrat won there is historic. Turns out that being an alleged pedophile running on blatant indecency and bigotry isn’t a winning game plan. Steve Bannon better rethink his strategy.

Meanwhile…

  • Earlier in the day, President Trump, a man who bragged about sexual assault on tape and has been accused by over a dozen women of doing so, sent out a tweet that very well may be the most objectively disgusting and misogynistic tweet he’s ever composed.

Just beyond words. This man’s indecency knows no bounds. We know what he was alluding to. Senator Gillibrand responded:

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) chimed in.

The White House tried to deflect that the tweet wasn’t as disgusting as it was.

  • More than 50 Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee asking them to investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against President Trump.
  • Speaking of sexual misconduct, right-wing extremist Mike Cernovich was trying to forge a smear against Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Schumer calls cops after forged sex scandal charge

  • Prompted by a Fox News article, one of Trump’s lawyers Jay Sekulow called on a second special counsel to investigate bias in the Trump-Russia investigation. This was the first sign this week that Trump and the GOP are planning to undermine the Trump-Russia investigation in a major way.

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Wednesday, December 13

The Breitbartization Of The GOP

The day before Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein was set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ released FBI agent Peter Strzok’s text messages to Congress in what seemed like yet another attempt to put Mueller’s team’s credibility into question. The texts had a few anti-Trump texts like calling Trump an “idiot,” but that itself is not nearly enough to discredit an entire investigation, but nevertheless, the GOP persists. Not to mention that Strzok also held negative views of Chelsea Clinton, President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Bernie Sanders.

All irrelevant, with no evidence these views had any impact on his investigative work. And it definitely does not tarnish Mueller’s credibility, who immediately fired Strzok upon discovering the text messages this past summer. Nonetheless, Rep. Jim Jordan and other Republicans at the hearing echoed the propaganda from Breitbart and Fox News, desperately trying to help the President obstruct justice.

To be fair, some in the GOP understand that these texts are a nothingburger and don’t taint Mueller’s credibility, but have also signaled support for a potential review of Mueller’s team (which I think they’re gearing up towards rather than a outright firing).

Meanwhile…

  • Omarosa Manigault Newman was fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly after they got into an argument at the White House. Omarosa has had a bond with Donald Trump since the Apprentice days, but her time in the White House was marred with inaction and tension with Trump’s staff. After her firing, Omarosa reportedly tried to barge into the White House residence to make her case to Trump himself but tripped the alarm and was escorted out.

  • Trump Jr. was facing yet another grilling in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jr.’s recently revealed correspondence with Wikileaks was most likely part of the hearing.

Not to mention, the congressional investigators likely followed up on what the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, at the Trump Tower meeting told them about what happened. Deputy Managing Editor Remy Anne reports:

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.

  • President Trump’s unpopularity continues…

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Thursday, December 14

A Death Star To Internet Freedom

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Varadaraj Pai (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Varadaraj Pai (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai might be one of the most hated people in America right now. In a 3–2 vote, the Republican-appointed Chairman basked in his move to repeal net neutrality. The people, however, were outraged. This move is widely unpopular, with 83% of Americans opposed to it and only 1 in 5 Republicans in favor of it. As Rantt News Managing Editor Kaz Weida reports:

Net neutrality is the concept that there should be equal opportunity for all websites and content providers so the little guy isn’t forced into “a pay to play” situation. To show you how this works, we’ll take an example of something that’s already happening under Chairman Pai’s leadership.

AT&T, who purchased DIRECTV in 2015, began informing customers in 2016 that they could stream DIRECTV NOW on mobile devices without eating into their data cap. Tom Wheeler argued that such an action gave DIRECTV content a virtual fast lane and unfair advantage over other providers like Netflix. Customers might prefer Netflix original content like Stranger Things, but they would be less likely to stream it if AT&T was their provider. Under Chairman Pai’s leadership, the FCC dropped their complaint against AT&T on this matter in February, but the debate lingers.

Are you beginning to see the problem?

This will not only be detrimental to entrepreneurs, it would trickle down to the consumer. Also, another effect we haven’t spoken on is the potential for slower internet in various states. As Ms. Weida pointed out in a separate piece:

States with better, faster internet have better voter turnout. And those same states tend to lean left. Take a look.

What is the GOP constantly trying to suppress? Voter turnout.

After Pai sent out an awkward video essentially mocking people who were angry over the move, Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) decided to take on the real-life empire.

There’s still hope. Congress can reverse this.

Meanwhile…

  • Trump Jr. thought he was slick.

  • Representative Blake Farenthold said he will not seek re-election amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • In the midst of news that Rupert Murdoch was selling part of 21st Century Fox to Disney, President Trump checked in to make sure that he wouldn’t be losing his propaganda arm Fox News. (Important to note that the Trump administration has moved to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger to force a sale of CNN…)

  • One of Trump’s judicial nominees who never tried a case was grilled on his inexperience.

  • A truly disturbing report from the Washington Post outlined how resistant the President has been to the Intelligence Community’s findings that Russia interfered in our elections. It touches on the fact that the President has been not only in denial regarding Russia’s interference, he has been eager to lift sanctions on Russia and has tried on many occasions (more times than previously reported). Trump has been briefed on the specific instructions Putin used to interfere in our democracy and STILL tries to push policies favorable to the Russian President. But perhaps the most disturbing component of this report is how Trump’s daily briefings are being diluted to protect his gentle ego:

U.S. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump. Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update — known as the president’s daily brief, or PDB — is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

Russia-related intelligence that might draw Trump’s ire is in some cases included only in the written assessment and not raised orally, said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the matter. In other cases, Trump’s main briefer — a veteran CIA analyst — adjusts the order of his presentation and text, aiming to soften the impact.

  • Speaking of Trump-Russia, President Trump called Putin:

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Friday, December 15 (Weekend Bonus)

#GOPTaxScam

Protesters shout their disapproval of the Republican tax bill outside the Senate Budget Committee hearing room on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Protesters shout their disapproval of the Republican tax bill outside the Senate Budget Committee hearing room on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

After the loss of Roy Moore and the impending inclusion of yet another Democratic Senator chipping into their majority, Republicans rushed to finalize their tax cuts package. The GOP tax plan seemed primed for passage on Friday as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) went from a no to a yes after the Child Tax credit saw an increase.

This tax plan has been widely viewed as simply a bone being thrown to their donors, as multiple GOP Senators have said themselves. With the individual mandate repeal still included, 13 million people would be set to lose healthcare according to the CBO. It still contains a corporate tax cut from 35% to 21% and a tax cut on the top bracket from 39.6% to 37%. Analysts have panned this bill as one that disproportionally aids the rich at the expense of the poor.

With the vote expected the following week, over the weekend activists took to Twitter to try and mobilize opposition.

By the end of the weekend, we learned that Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who has been battling brain cancer, would miss the vote.

This news, plus the backlash of a potential sweetheart deal for Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the fate of the tax cuts are still yet to be determined. But as we’ve seen in the past, the Republican Party is capable of anything, no matter how depraved it may be.

Meanwhile…

  • The Trump administration made a very authoritarian-like demand of the Center for Disease Control…

  • The data firm Cambridge Analytica that worked with Donald Trump’s campaign has turned over their employees’ emails to Robert Mueller’s team. This is important because Steve Bannon and GOP megadonor Robert Mercer have been involved with the company. Cambridge Analytica may be under heightened scrutiny due to their outreach to Wikileaks for assistance in organizing Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails.
  • Jared Kushner’s legal team is seeking to hire a crisis PR firm, which is further evidence that Kushner’s indictment is incoming.
  • When asked whether he would pardon Michael Flynn, President Trump said “I don’t want to talk about pardons with Michael Flynn yet…We’ll see what happens, let’s see.”

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The Dangerous Propaganda War On Robert Mueller

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

(Rantt News/Maddie Anderson)

As the weekend progressed, Democratic Representative Jackie Speier bolstered the already mounting speculation that Donald Trump was going to fire Robert Mueller before the end of the year.

This rightfully raised alarms, as Twitter exploded. Right-wing propaganda was beginning to reach new extreme levels of absurdity, and House Republicans like Jim Jordan began to echo them…

After Robert Mueller surprised Trump officials in interviews with tens of thousands of transition emails he obtained, including some from Jared Kushner, the Trump transition team tried to falsely claim that Robert Mueller obtained them unlawfully. Fox News pushed that narrative…which was quickly dismantled by Mueller’s team and legal experts.

When it comes to the firing of Mueller, I had a different take than Robert Mueller being fired by the end of the year. I went full Seth Abramson (minus the sometimes dubious claims) and published a thread on the topic. My main argument was that Trump has lived in a bubble, believing he will be exonerated and it’s far more likely that the House will launch an initiative to try and undermine the investigation by the end of the year rather than an outright firing.

By the end of that night, my theory was confirmed. The House had acted as expected…

And Trump does indeed have unrealistic expectations of exoneration.

We’ll know more after Trump’s lawyers and Mueller’s team meet in the coming days. All we can predict right now with 100% certainty is that Trump will likely be unpredictable.

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics