A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 57th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

A new hope

Students from Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washington— Feb. 21, 2018 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Students from Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, rally in solidarity with those affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, at the Capitol in Washington— Feb. 21, 2018 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

With each passing week, Unpresidented becomes less about Donald Trump and more about the American people.

As the President pretended to listen at the White House to people affected by gun violence, thousands of teenagers across the U.S. walked out of class and took to the streets, ensuring that their voices were heard.

As the Republican members of Congress continued to sit on their hands, Parkland survivors took their inaction to task at the Florida State Capitol and at the CNN town hall.

As the NRA attempted to deflect responsibility for their complicity in the perpetuation of America’s gun violence epidemic, thousands of Americans pressured companies to sever ties with the organization.

And all the while, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation methodically inched closer and closer to the truth — and hopefully, justice.

It appears we’ve reached an inflection point. A paradigm shift. A new era of activism. The kids have had enough. Generation Z is energized and organized. And oh man are they brilliant and brave. They’re shaking off the depraved conspiracy theories about them with humor and resilience and carrying on unperturbed.

The stereotypes were right; they all just stare at their phones all day. But it looks like they were reading about gun legislation.

What I see from the thousands of people I engage with on social media every day, is a new sense of hope.

The naysayers who claim what these kids are aiming to accomplish is impossible, seem to have forgotten their history.

Every giant leap America has made was once deemed impossible by the previous generation.

If we can pass the 13th Amendment, the 19th Amendment, The Voting & Civil Rights Acts of the 60s, and legalize gay marriage, then surely we can pass meaningful gun legislation and secure our right to life.

And if we could elect the first black President in a country built on backs of black slaves, then surely we can defeat Donald Trump.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 57th week as POTUS:

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57th Weekend (February 17–19)

#NeverAgain

Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González during her speech calling for gun control — February 17, 2018 (Getty Images)

Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González during her speech calling for gun control — February 17, 2018 (Getty Images)

Over the Presidents Day weekend, President Trump went on his usual Russia paranoia-triggered tweet sprees we’ve grown used to. This time, it was surrounding the 13 Russian nationals and entities that were freshly indicted. Trump’s rambling were not without fact-checks and pushback (Only posting a few here, but there are more).

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Meanwhile…

  • Things weren’t looking too good for Rick Gates, which means things weren’t looking good for Paul Manafort, and by extension, Trumpworld.

  • Neither were they for Jared Kushner…

The young activists were already organized.

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And on a personal note from me: While having written this column week after week, the blatant depravity displayed by those in power is always balanced out by the resilience, decency, and hope that the American people consistently display. I believe that we will become a better nation at the end of this uncertainty.

No, I don’t believe. I know.

  • A survey among Republican-leaning presidential scholars deemed President Trump the worst President of all time.

57th Week (February 20–23)

Tuesday, February 20

The Fourth Guilty Plea

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

After securing a guilty plea from former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, national security adviser Michael Flynn, and California man Richard Pinedo (identity fraud aiding the Russians), Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled the fourth in his investigation into Russian interference in our democracy. The Washington Post reports:

The Dutch son-in-law of one of Russia’s wealthiest men pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Washington to making false statements in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Alex van der Zwaan was charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates, who served as a top official on President Trump’s campaign and a longtime business partner of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Based in London, van der Zwaan worked for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which worked with Manafort and Gates when they served as political consultants in Ukraine.

Van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of German Khan, a billionaire and an owner of Alfa Group, Russia’s largest financial and industrial investment group.

This won’t be the last plea deal announced this week.

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Meanwhile…

  • Noticing The Washington Post front page story about Rachel Crooks, President Trump took to Twitter.

Rachel, who is running for office, responded.

  • President Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for Utah Senate.

  • The Parkland survivors rode a bus headed to Tallahassee to speak at the Florida State Capitol the following day while students staged a walk out pushing for gun legislation.

  • While this was going on, there was an assault weapons ban that was shot down by Republicans, but they made sure to keep the children safe from porn…

  • The right, seemingly lacking in all senses of decency, began a campaign to try and discredit the survivors of the Parkland shooting that killed 17 people. They spread conspiracy theories about how survivors were crisis actors, starting with David Hogg.

The kids responded.

  • The smears couldn’t slow the Parkland kids’ momentum. After George and Amal Clooney pledged $500,000 to support the survivors’ activism, Oprah jumped in.

  • Democrats made yet another meaningful gain.

The White House has given Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin the green light to quash an internal rebellion among conservative foes of his leadership, he told POLITICO late Tuesday.

The embattled Cabinet head said he’d begun investigating what he called “subversion” at the agency, and those who have defied his authority “won’t be working in my operation.”

  • President Trump unveiled a plan for a short-term healthcare plan.
  • EPA head Scott Pruitt and Donald Trump’s roll back to Obama-era environmental regulations are facing legal challenges.
  • Pennsylvania’s new un-gerrymandered district map is favorable to Democrats.

Wednesday, February 21

The Paradigm Shift

Cameron Kasky questions Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio at the CNN Town Hall

Cameron Kasky questions Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio at the CNN Town Hall

The kids had arrived. Not just in a literal sense but in a figurative sense as well. Tragedy struck and the teenagers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School showed bravery. Not just the day of the shooting but in the aftermath. That continued today as this next generation leaders rose to the occasion again and again, proving that they will not stop until meaningful gun legislation is passed.

As some of the students arrived at the Florida State Capitol to speak and meet with lawmakers, students across the U.S. took to the streets.

At the Florida State Capitol, they made quite the impact.

And then, at the CNN Town Hall, Cameron Kasky made waves.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch made her own waves, but hers were riddled with falsehoods.

Needless to say, the kids were on the move. At a “listening session” at the White House, President Trump hosted some of the Parkland survivors, as well as a mother from the Sandy Hook shooting and a father from the Columbine shooting. One of the survivors stood out, as he called for an assault weapons ban.

During this session, it seemed as if Trump began pushing for turning our schools into fortified fortresses and arming teachers (more on that later). But as he said this, he had just the week before unveiled a budget that cuts school safety.

Aside from that, it appears the President had to script his own empathy. An AP photo revealed that Trump had “I hear you” written in his notes.

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Meanwhile…

  • In an authoritarian-like move many have grown desensitized to, the President of the United States once again called on his Attorney General to investigate a political opponent.

  • Tensions between Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner have risen. This comes as Kushner is resisting losing any access to classified information despite the fact he is one of the over 130 White House officials who don’t have permanent security clearances because of their susceptibility to blackmail and/or checkered past.
  • New sealed charges were filed against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. We find out more details the following day…

Thursday, February 22

The Fall Of The NRA

National Rifle Associations (NRA) Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington — Feb. 1, 2017 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

National Rifle Associations (NRA) Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington — Feb. 1, 2017 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On Thursday at CPAC, the NRA decided to continue their depraved strategy of deflection, disinformation, and indecency.

Despite their inflammatory rhetoric and history of lobbying for legislation that allows mass shootings to remain an epidemic, President Trump expectedly levied praise on the NRA.

Unfortunately for them, #BoycottNRA began trending and the organization began losing partners left and right. I’m going to jump ahead here: by the time of this writing (Sunday February 25th) these were all the companies that severed ties with the NRA.

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Meanwhile…

  • We learned more details about the new superseding Manafort and Gates’ indictment. There were previous reports that indicated Mueller had these bank fraud charges under his belt and they would be used to apply additional pressure.

We saw new information pertaining to the status of Gates’ plea agreement.

But by the following day, we’d be hearing a different tune.

  • It was revealed that there was an armed Sheriff’s deputy that was on site during the shooting but did not enter the school.

  • After saying the previous day that he wanted to arm teachers, President Trump took to Twitter deny saying it, and immediately said it again

And in 2016, he once again contradicted his future self, which seems to be a favorite habit of his.

  • In what appeared to be triggered by the conspiracy theories being spread about the Parkland survivors, Twitter began to take action against Russian trolls, deleting their accounts.

  • After trying to smear the Parkland kids didn’t work, the far-right moved onto their next conspiracy theory.

Once again, I’m jumping ahead here because this nonsense needs to be debunked right away. Not only did CNN push back heavily on this on Twitter, they gave their emails to the press, revealing that the student’s father had doctored the correspondence.

  • Former Trump political adviser Sam Nunberg was interviewed by Robert Mueller.
  • Rumors that National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster might be leaving the White House soon began to spread (this has happened before).
  • A Parkland survivor spoke about her phone conversation with President Trump.

Friday, February 23

Gates

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

Created By Rantt Media Production Designer Maddie Anderson

The pressure had been mounting on Rick Gates for quite some time, and on Friday we awoke to reports of what we’ve been long suspecting. Rick Gates pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller.

Politico reported:

In a letter to his family, first reported by ABC News, Gates said that “despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself I have had a change of heart” and said the reality of how long the legal process would take and the cost were “too much.”

“The consequence is the public humiliation, which at this moment seems like a small price to pay for what our children would have to endure otherwise.”

A family friend confirmed the accuracy of the letter.

Jackson has imposed a gag order limiting public statements by the defendants and by the lawyers involved in the D.C. case.

The conspiracy count that Gates admitted to largely tracks with the indictment Mueller’s team filed against him and Manafort last October, but consolidating the charges into one count reduced Gates’ potential prison time. Combined with the false-statement charge, the most Gates could possibly receive is 10 years behind bars, although his sentence is almost certain to be lower.

The false-statement charge that was part of Gates’ plea focuses on his comments to Mueller’s team on Feb. 1 about a March 2013 meeting involving Manafort and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), as well as former Congressman Vin Weber, now a lobbyist at Mercury. That meeting was detailed in the Manafort firm’s filing last year that retroactively disclosed foreign lobbying.

Quick gif break:

Paul Manafort responded.

Before the end of the day, another Manafort indictment was unsealed.

Gates must be offering some information not only on Manafort, but on some bigger fish in order to get the deal he’s getting. We’ll see how this plays out.

Meanwhile…

  • We learned more about Putin’s involvement in the attack on U.S. troops in Syria.

  • We discovered that Kushner’s liability in the Russia investigation is part of the reason he can’t get his full security clearance.
  • Trump told the Pentagon he wants the military parade to be held on Veteran’s day.
  • The Trump administration issued new sanctions on North Korea.
  • Trump said he’d give teachers a bonus if they agreed to carry a gun.
  • Some disrespectful news from CPAC.

  • There was a really disturbing report release on how Facebook overpriced ads for the Clinton campaign.

Over the weekend, the Democrat’s rebuttal to the dishonest Nunes memo that tried to paint the FBI as an anti-Trump deep state Illuminati coup, was released. It completely debunked every argument made on the Nunes Memo.

Trump had some words.

But of course, reality can’t be distorted by his tweets.

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics