A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 60th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
60 weeks. 422 days. Thousands of lies. Multiple staff shakeups. Dozens of regressive policies. Countless attempts to obstruct justice. And zero actions taken to confront future Russian interference in our democracy.
Donald Trump appears to believe he is greater than the country he is supposed to be serving. With his weak responses to Russian provocations abroad and his administration’s lack of action in confronting future Russian election meddling at home, Trump proves he believes he is greater than his oath of office. With his repeated efforts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump proves he believes he’s greater than the rule of law. And with his continuous lying and regressive policies, it’s clear that Trump believes he is greater than the American people…He’s wrong.
For a president who’s TV slogan was “you’re fired,” he runs an administration that doesn’t have the dignity to fire civil servants to their faces. Much like former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by a tweet. And similar to FBI Director James Comey — who found out he was fired from a TV screen while he was giving a speech to his colleagues — already retiring Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe learned of his firing, and loss of pension, from a press release. Unfortunately for Trump, that wasn’t the only similarity between McCabe and Comey.
McCabe kept comprehensive memos of his interactions with President Trump and what he knew about the firing of Comey, and has already handed them over to Mueller. This will surely add to Mueller’s overwhelming evidence that Trump obstructed justice.
Mueller’s Russia investigation has yielded indictments of 13 Russians, plea agreements from 3 of Trump’s associates, and continues to inch closer to the president with every passing day. In recent weeks, Mueller subpoenaed documents related to Russia from the Trump Organization which is in large part responsible for Trump’s heightened unhinged behavior.
As Rantt has extensively reported, Trump’s business empire has a trail of connections with Russian oligarchs, a myriad of loans from foreign entities, and potential money laundering behind it. Evidence in this area could help Mueller establish Trump’s intent when it comes to potential collusion with Russia, help Americans make sense of Trump’s eerie conciliatory treatment of Putin, and discover what foreign countries the President of the United States is beholden to.
Robert Mueller’s name made its first appearance on Trump’s Twitter timeline for a reason. It’s clear that President Trump has finally realized that either he ends Mueller’s investigation or the investigation will end him. But little does he know, either route will be his undoing.
“That would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.” — Republican Senator Lindsay Graham on the possible firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller
Regardless if Graham stands by his word, he is right.
The very unlikely scenario: Trump moves to end Mueller’s probe and the GOP holds him accountable — we’re talking immediate impeachment.
The more likely scenario: If Trump moves to end Mueller’s probe and the GOP doesn’t hold him accountable, then the American people will. The people will march, and after the protests, that surge in Democratic enthusiasm will flow into the midterms and ensure an even more sizable Democratic majority in the House. Democrats could then move to reenact the expired Independent Counsel Statute, re-appoint Mueller, receive an impeachment referral, and move to impeach in 2019. Democrats won’t have a supermajority (need 2/3 in the Senate to remove the president from office), so members of the GOP would have to vote in favor. If so, he’s out. If they protect Trump, by that point, his presidency will be so marred in scandal and drowned in the indictments of his inner circle that he would surely lose re-election and return to private life in disgrace, bringing down the Republican Party’s reputation with him.
But then again, there’s still the open legal question of whether or not a sitting president can be indicted…
Long story short, Donald Trump knows he’s in trouble, and he appears more than willing to spark a constitutional crisis in an attempt to save himself. We are in uncharted territory and we need to strap ourselves in for the long haul and prepare for unhinged waters ahead.
On a personal note: I continue to be impressed by the vigilance, patriotism, and hope of the American people — especially in the youth.
This story isn’t a tragedy…It’s an epic.
Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 60th week as POTUS:
Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.
60th Weekend (March 10–11)
Back To The Basics
Over the weekend, President Trump brought out his trademark indecency at a rally in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday’s special election.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States, just called American journalist @chucktodd a “sleeping son of a bitch” and went on to bash American media repeatedly This came after Trump told his supporters not to boo North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un… https://t.co/8g7MKuVuuI
The President went to Pennsylvania, singled out a black Congresswoman from California, and called her stupid. That’s not race-baiting. That’s racist.
If you ever need to remind yourself the full extent of @realDonaldTrump‘s indecency, just watch one of his rallies. This Pennsylvania rally is pure depravity.
I remember a claim I heard from Trump voters during the campaign was that they loved his rallies “He tells it like it is” “He talks like me” How can anyone watch this fool’s race-baiting, lie-laden, indecent rambling & love it?
He also talked about how drug dealers should get the death penalty.
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- The New York Times reported that Trump met with Emmet T. Flood, Bill Clinton’s impeachment lawyer, about possibly adding him to his legal team.
- As expected, Trump backed off his positions on gun control after his meeting with the NRA.
KEEP IT: “Trump backed down from his plan to urge states to raise the age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21. The idea would be examined by a new Federal School Safety Commission to be convened by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.” https://t.co/bhZeydsYV9
- Speaking of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, she had quite the interview on 60 minutes…
Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos struggles to answer fairly basic questions on school performance on 60 Minutes https://t.co/lFVq3USwUW
- Buzzfeed News reported that Trump’s lawyers are weighing a potential legal challenge in an effort to block the upcoming 60 Minutes interview with porn star Stormy Daniels (who is currently suing the president over a confidentiality agreement she received along with hush money).
60th Week (March 12–16)
Monday, March 12
Russian Aggression Abroad, Congressional Appeasement At Home
Monday began with the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May doing what Donald Trump has failed to explicitly do since he’s taken office: Forcefully condemn Russia for an attack on the country.
UK PM May just now: “The government has concluded that it is highly likely #Russia is responsible” for the poisoning of former Russian spy on UK soil.
To be clear, this is the second time #Russia has assassinated someone on UK soil & simultaneously poisoned several other bystanders: Litvinenko & dozens of secondary & tertiary victims with polonium in 2006, and Skripal, his daughter & some 20 others with nerve agent in 2018. https://t.co/YGn3TbSlLj
Russia poisoned 21 people in the United Kingdom. Russia showcased animations of a nuclear-powered cruise missile (which likely doesn’t exist) heading to Florida. Putin’s foreign policy has turned into fearful saber-rattling. https://t.co/54L826rLyJ
After this news, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was rightfully pressed on whether President Trump stands with their NATO ally the United Kingdom. Although Sanders did say America stands with them, she refused to explicitly condemn Russia just yet (a pattern in this administration).
White House repeatedly declines to echo Britain that Russia was behind or complicit in nerve agent attack on British soil.
A NATO ally was attacked by the West’s greatest geopolitical foe and the United States of America is leaving her out to dry. The Special Relationship that was forged during the horrors of two world wars is at risk of collapsing because of a compromised American POTUS. Disgraceful https://t.co/YBlM6gC1rO
May did *not* mince words: – Poison was military grade “of a type developed by Russia” – UK gov’t concluded it is “highly likely” Russia was responsible – Either Russia has lost control or it was “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State” IOW – the UK has been attacked.
When our allies detected Putin interfering in our election, they notified our intelligence community. Why? Because a strong United States is bad for autocrats. Today the president weakens the country and provides comfort to dictators. He’s doing incalculable damage.
Ask yourself, if an Islamic terrorist used a military grade nerve agent that sent 21 people to the hospital in the UK, would the President of the United States hesitate to echo our ally’s findings and pledge support? No, it would be unfathomable… So is this.
Donald Trump doesn’t shy away from confrontation. He’s attacked everyone from gold star families to America’s own allies… But never Vladimir Putin. If you objectively examine his conduct over the years, it’s incredibly difficult to argue that Trump isn’t compromised by Russia
By the end of the day, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee announced that they were ending their investigation into Russian meddling and the Trump campaign. The investigation at this point morphed into a wing in the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the Mueller probe. The move came as a surprise to House Democrats on the committee who asserted there were still numerous people left to interview.
As of *this afternoon* Dems on Intel didn’t know investigation was ending, or that there weren’t more interviews ahead. Now, magically, the investigation is not only done, but its conclusions are cooked & ready to go! Subtlety not a strong suit here. https://t.co/yDo0WZfpQK
BREAKING: Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will conclude no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia; Democrats are expected to write their own report https://t.co/nqVeE4wLOG https://t.co/jSISpA2QoM
More accurately put:
BREAKING Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee (whose Chairman @DevinNunes was on the Trump transition and has made multiple dishonest attempts to undermine the investigation) are prematurely ending their Russia probe to provide a “no collusion” talking point for Trump https://t.co/AYlMCQpbGO
House Republicans claimed that they have found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. They went on to “disagree” with the Intelligence Community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered with the intention of helping then-candidate Donald Trump.
This “finding” was almost immediately dispelled by…wait for it…a fellow Republican member of the committee. It was later also dispelled by Republican Trey Gowdy (not seeking re-election).
Rep. Tom Rooney just went on @CNN and contradicted the @GOP House Intelligence Committee. Rooney said Russia did try & help Trump get elected. Asked why his committee was ending the probe, Rooney said his committee has “gone completely off the rails” & “lost all credibility.
Important note: Rooney is a member of the House GOP who isn’t seeking re-election this year… Funny. It’s almost like the only Republicans that break with their party and say something resembling truth are retiring. Hmmmm. Probably just a coincidence 😏 https://t.co/g1IfarvhPD
We’ve gone completely off the rails”: After the House Intelligence Committee announced it was shutting down its probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, a Republican member said he believes the panel has lost its credibility https://t.co/2ZCzFIC52L https://t.co/Fmm5cJI02f
Speaking of off the rails, Trump falsely cried vindication.
THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
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- Bloomberg reported:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice is said to be close to completion, but he may set it aside while he finishes other key parts of his probe, such as possible collusion and the hacking of Democrats, according to current and former U.S. officials.
That’s because Mueller may calculate that if he tries to bring charges in the obstruction case — the part that may hit closest to Trump personally — witnesses may become less cooperative in other parts of the probe, or the president may move to shut it down altogether.
- NBC News dropped a pretty startling report that further illustrates how vulnerable the Trump administration is to foreign influence.
NBC: “Qatari officials gathered evidence of what they claim is illicit influence by the UAE on Jared Kushner and other Trump associates…but decided not to give the information to Mueller for fear of harming relations with the Trump administration.” https://t.co/KquJmtHeJc
This can also be read as Qatar potentially having a huge amount of leverage over the White House. https://t.co/cDq7iiU44W
- In other conflicts of interest news, McClatchy DC reported:
Ivanka Trump — a senior White House adviser who is doing everything from lobbying the Senate on tax policy to representing her father at a G20 summit of world leaders — will pull in more than $1 million a year from the family business that has continued to develop luxury resorts across the globe during the Trump presidency.
- Putin tried to claim that maybe Jews were behind the interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
- 137 Democrats signed a letter urging Trump to enact the new Russian sanctions outlined in Congress’ veto-proof bill turned law, which President Trump refused to impose.
- After tweeting about his ideas for new gun laws, he went on to give a final endorsement of Republican Candidate Rick Saccone.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette just endorsed Rick Saccone for Congress. He will be much better for steel and business. Very strong on experience and what our Country needs. Lamb will always vote for Pelosi and Dems….Will raise taxes, weak on Crime and Border.
Tuesday, March 13
After months of reports of his imminent departure, Rex Tillerson was finally out, via tweet of course.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
Although Tillerson executed on Trump’s goals of thoroughly gutting the State Department, the relationship between them was strained and grew even more tenuous last year after Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron.” Questions surrounding the what triggered Tillerson’s firing remain. Rantt’s Global Outlook Editor Jossif Ezekilov reported:
While in Nigeria on the aforementioned Africa trip, Tillerson cut the trip short to fly back to Washington. Right before he left, however, he issued a strong rebuke to Russia for the nerve agent attack of the former Russian spy in the UK, saying those “responsible — both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it — must face appropriately serious consequences.” The next day, he was officially fired via a tweet from Trump.
Whether he was fired for the Russia comment is unclear. White House officials insist this was a long time coming, and that Chief of Staff John Kelly had warned him about a potential sacking as early as Friday. However, the imminence of the firing was contradicted by other reports, including from Tillerson’s aide Steve Goldstein, who was then fired for going against the White House’s account.
Whether Tillerson was fired for his Russia comments or not we may never know. Tillerson did bring up the need to respond to Russian behavior in his farewell speech, something Trump has shown hardly any interest in doing. But the bizarre nature with which this came about will do little to stamp out collusion allegations between Trump and the Kremlin.
Tillerson’s Under Secretary contradicted the narrative the White House was pushing.
WOW: Tillerson had “every intention of staying… did not speak to the President and is unaware of the reason,” according to Under Sec of State Goldstein.
Within a few hours, he was fired for telling the truth.
JUST IN: Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein is being fired for contradicting the account of Rex Tillerson’s dismissal, White House official tells @PeterAlexander
History won’t look too kindly on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As for his replacement Mike Pompeo, we’ll see if he leads us into war or peace.
Rex Tillerson leaves behind a severely crippled State Department-one that will struggle to protect America’s interests, ensure global order, & provide critically needed aid around the world Mike Pompeo-a known Islamophobe & Iran hawk-is set to replace him https://t.co/hij7AVc3nz
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- Pompeo’s designated CIA replacement Gina Haspel drew scrutiny over her past involvement with torture.
- In typical Trump form, he beat around the bush when it came to condemning Vladimir Putin.
Trump on UK poisoning: “We will condemn Russia…or whoever it may be.
- Also ousted was Trump’s personal aide.
Trump’s personal aide Johnny McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing tells CNN’s @kaitlancollins.
@jaketapper @kaitlancollins “I’m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people.”-Donald Trump, August 2015 https://t.co/2H6nNqPimu
- Last week, former Trump aide Sam Nunberg essentially went on a press tour claiming he wasn’t going to cooperate with Mueller’s subpoena because he thought Mueller is trying to build a perjury case against former Trump advisor Roger Stone. Nunberg ended up turning over the documents Mueller requested and testifying last Friday. This Tuesday, we hit the next phase of that story.
EXCLUSIVE: Roger Stone, a Trump ally, told *two* friends he knew of a trove of hacked emails that would damage Democrats in 2016 — months before the public knew they existed. Me w/ @thamburger @jdawsey1 @shaneharris . https://t.co/ZEtB0vRCeZ
Roger Stone reportedly knew about the emails in the spring of 2016 after speaking to Assange. And Nunberg has testified that Stone actually met with Assange as well. Remember: Stone reportedly told investigators that he spoke through an intermediary, not directly. Perjury? https://t.co/bct659TX23
- The shakeup talks continued as The New York Times reported Trump is thinking about replacing Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
- The Daily Beast reported:
A Russian national who was extradited to the U.S. last year over Kremlin objections pleaded guilty in a Virginia federal courtroom Monday to conspiracy and aiding and abetting computer intrusion, admitting he operated a dark web service that helped thousands of hackers conceal malware from detection.
- The spokesman for ICE resigned “over what he described as ‘alse’ and ‘misleading’ statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE acting director Thomas D. Homan.”
- Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort could spend the rest of his life in jail.
- We lost one of the greatest minds humanity has had to offer.
Breaking Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, a spokesman for his family said
- After a night of meticulously calculating precinct percentages and watching Steve Kornacki freak out with excitement on MSNBC, Democrat Conor Lamb would go on to win in a district that Trump won by 20 points. This significant accomplishment potentially puts over 110 districts that Trump won by a smaller margin in Democrats’ sights.
Democrat Conor Lamb is the apparent winner in #PA18, a district Trump won by 20 points. Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone, who said Democrats hate America and God. Takeaways: 1) The blue wave is real and @GOP enthusiasm is deflating. 2) @HouseGOP should be terrified.
- Seth Rich’s family sued Fox News for publishing the fake news story that tried to slander their son’s name.
DNC staffer Seth Rich’s family accused @FoxNews of using “fabricated and false facts” to promote a conspiracy theory about their son’s death. Fox later retracted the story. https://t.co/Yb8Z43u51A
- Trump pitched what appeared to be Starfleet?
Trump: “We should have a new force called the Space Force. It’s like the Army and the Navy, but for space, because we’re spending a lot of money on space.
Listen folks, I saw this great documentary about the 60s called Star Trek, and you wouldn’t believe the tremendous places astronaut William Shatner explored, who’s, frankly, been treated very unfairly lately. We’re going to go where no man has gone before again, believe me.
Wednesday, March 14
On Wednesday, one month after 17 innocent people were gunned down by an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, thousands of students from more than 3,000 schools around the country walked out of class to demand legislative action to prevent gun violence.
From Parkland to the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building in DC. Across the nation, thousands of kids in high school, middle school, and even elementary school are rising. The kids aren’t going to change the world… They already have #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/DefdhjMPH3
See where student walkouts are planned across the country #NationalSchoolWalkout https://t.co/V7HzmfA2rI
Students are now leaving the White House to march to Capitol Hill, where they will rally for gun control: https://t.co/fz4OoJxMJS
Covering a walkout this morning at an elementary school in Virginia, and the 11-year-old organizers had a press packet ready for me.
Total silence outside this elementary school, with more than 60 students protesting and dozens of parents watching. Only sound is posters flapping in the wind. https://t.co/4RaG3osZue
This gonna be in a history textbook in 2043
This paradigm shift is real This level of activism in the youth is a major change within itself & beyond inspiring I never want to hear a false stereotype about the youth ever again The kids are proving they will lead us forward #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/LIDq0aydJn
It was truly a beautiful sight to see.
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- While students were protesting gun violence, two examples were reported of exactly why we shouldn’t follow through with President Trump’s (the NRA’s) plan to arm teachers.
Officer Accidentally Fires Gun in Alexandria School: Police
Yet another accidental school shooting, this time by a gun-trained teacher… this should be all the proof any sane person needs to realize that more guns in classrooms will result in more shootings. That is just common sense. #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/Qq2uCwOHSf
- The West Virginia teacher strike appeared to spark a movement, as teachers in other states began to organize.
They are underpaid They are overworked They pay out of pocket for school supplies Now, the POTUS wants them to undergo firearm training to prevent mass shootings Teachers around the country have had enough and might follow in West Virginia’s footsteps https://t.co/RezhfjjSvL
- The Washington Post covered a very troubling story regarding remarks Trump made at a fundraiser.
In fundraising speech tonight, Trump says he made up facts on trade in meeting with Trudeau. “I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said ‘You’re wrong.'” Government data shows Trump was wrong. Post has the audio. w/@damianpaletta & @ericawerner: https://t.co/KjNhO6jiAZ
In this edition of the president is a fool-@realDonaldTrump brags about lying to Justin Trudeau (an ally), says our allies only care about themselves, makes an incomprehensible remark about Japan, and effectively aims to upend all western alliances Enough https://t.co/VZtIUKBfce
- There were a few stories related to President Trump’s conflicts of interest and potential violations of the emoluments clause.
NEW: A @CNN Exclusive: DOD charged nearly $140,000 at Trump branded properties https://t.co/FXqRKHUKyk
NEW: The Pentagon spent more than $17k at the Trump hotel in Panama, raising major domestic emoluments questions https://t.co/nEwcieYOxG
- Buzzfeed News was taking up a clever new legal strategy regarding Trump Attorney Michael Cohen’s defamation lawsuit against them.
EXCLUSIVE: BuzzFeed readies legal end-run that could allow Stormy Daniels to speak about relationship w/Trump despite ‘hush agreement’ https://t.co/OJK46B0hDF
Step 1. Buzzfeed publishes dossier Step 2. Michael Cohen sues Buzzfeed for that Step 3. Michael Cohen admits paying off Stormy Daniels, who alleged Trump affair/signed NDA Step 4. Buzzfeed could use Cohen’s suit to bypass Stormy’s NDA and allow her to talk https://t.co/rC8lUk73Fo
- The House passed a school safety bill but did not include any gun control measures.
- After denying knowledge of the $31,000 furniture set, it was revealed that HUD Secretary Ben Carson hand selected it.
- The New York Times reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was considering firing McCabe ahead of his retirement. We later found out that was the case.
Thursday, March 15
Trump’s “Red Line”
Last year, President Trump said that if Robert Mueller looking into his finances that would be a “red line” for him. Although it’s long been suspected Mueller already has some of Trump’s financial info (Deutsche Bank subpoena, cooperation with the IRS, etc.), it looks like that line may be getting crossed.
In a move we later learn is a source of Trump’s anger, Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization.
Robert Mueller subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization. In recent weeks, Mueller ordered the Trump org to “hand over all documents related to Russia and other topics [Mueller] is investigating” This explains Trump’s heightened unhinged behavior https://t.co/j9sk4S1LlH
Senior congressional source says that Mueller beginning with a subpoena, rather than typical document request, suggests special counsel intends to put every Trump Org staffer on alert not to destroy evidence.
Like I mentioned earlier, what Robert Mueller may find in Trump’s finances could be indisputably incriminating. Money laundering would be much harder for Republicans to excuse than obstruction of justice.
Donald Trump, Russian Oligarchs, And A Trail Of Money Laundering
- The U.S. Treasury Department finally agreed to impose some sanctions on Russia.
Just in: Treasury has added Russia’s Internet Research Agency to sanctions list, as well as over a dozen individuals connected to it that were named in Mueller’s indictment https://t.co/sjmhWEvhjn
In announcing these sanctions, a senior national security official drew a direct line to the Mueller probe: “These 16 malicious cyber actors were also subject of the Department of Justice indictment that was announced in February of 2018.” https://t.co/hBugMfnVtf
The same probe Trump has called a “witch-hunt” and that his allies in the House want scrapped https://t.co/wRzrkU91w5
After early attempts to lift Obama-era sanctions on Russia and a refusal to impose new sanctions on Russian oligarchs in retaliation to Russia’s interference in American democracy, the Trump administration finally does what they should’ve done on January 21st 2017 https://t.co/ifCaGGAeaV
Which we later find out aren’t nearly as effective as they were presented to be:
These new sanctions are totally inconsequential. The previous administration had already sanctioned most of the entities and individuals designated today, so there’s really nothing new here. <THREAD 1 of 3> https://t.co/CzM1xOST6c
Furthermore, such narrowly targeted sanctions have little to no impact on the operations of Russia’s intelligence services or its proxies, since these organizations don’t transact (at least overtly) through the U.S. financial system. <2 of 3>
Finally, they have no impact on Russia’s economy at all. I suspect the Trump administration will cite these designations as evidence that it is getting “tough” on Russia but in this case it’s all smoke and mirrors. <END>
Either way, basing these sanctions on the Mueller probe puts Trump in a sticky situation.
It’ll be interesting next time @realDonaldTrump tries to obstruct Mueller’s probe-an investigation his treasury department just deemed credible enough to base retaliatory sanctions on.
- It was reported that another lawyer at the Trump Organization was involved in the hush money payout to Stormy Daniels.
- Trump still refused to explicitly condemn Vladimir Putin.
JUST IN: President Trump says “it certainly looks like the Russians were behind” the nerve agent attack against an ex-spy and his daughter. https://t.co/8u8Djm2lU3
- President Trump tried to repeat a lie he told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!
He got immediately shut down.
Trump’s trade representative says the opposite: “The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.” https://t.co/qB1bkK5ykz https://t.co/M9Ao3HJAEs
- Trump announced he would replace economic adviser Gary Cohn with CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow, who buy into the same ineffective trickle-down economics Trump does and has been incredibly wrong about the economy on numerous occasions.
Larry Kudlow will be my Chief Economic Advisor as Director of the National Economic Council. Our Country will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labor force leading the way! #MAGA
- Trump’s lawyers are preparing Trump for a potential interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
- Bloomberg reported:
Russian hackers are conducting a broad assault on the U.S. electric grid, water processing plants, air transportation facilities and other targets in rolling attacks on some of the country’s most sensitive infrastructure, U.S. government officials said Thursday.
- News of another potentially imminent replacement.
Trump plans to remove McMaster as national security adviser, officials say, in yet another jolt to administration’s top echelon https://t.co/V97nCwECRG
Trump is reportedly considering replacing H.R. McMaster with warmonger John Bolton This pick, with Iran hawk Pompeo at State Dept, would jolt US foreign policy Wonder if getting #JohnBoltonsMustacheIsHideous trending would change @realDonaldTrump‘s mind🤔https://t.co/02L9Loisz1
Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to deny this report.
Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster – contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC.
@PressSec Hard to issue denials when you have no credibility.
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Friday, March 16
After repeated attacks on him from the president, McCabe was set to retire on Sunday and collect his pension. Early in the day, you could tell something was going to happen.
Serious mistake at Fox News. A draft story has accidentally been published and is live online saying Andrew McCabe has been fired. https://t.co/8QXZYTbzli
Then, at around 10 pm on a Friday night in the middle of March Madness, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe.
Andrew McCabe has been fired from the FBI, less than 2 days before his retirement McCabe was eligible to collect a pension for his 21 years of civil service at the FBI upon his retirement on Sunday Remember, @realDonaldTrump didn’t like the idea of McCabe getting his benefits👇 https://t.co/z58HzJrLaF
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!
McCabe released a searing response.
JUST IN: Statement from Andrew McCabe: “I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.” https://t.co/BYV4ZeB9hD
Andrew McCabe is right He was targeted due to his knowledge of Comey’s firing And so was Jim Baker (reassigned) and James Rybicki (replaced) @realDonaldTrump targets anyone who he feels can incriminate him Trump believes he is above the rule of law Mueller begs to differ https://t.co/TYdgXoqi3z
McCabe: “They have every reason to believe that I could end up being a significant witness in whatever the special counsel comes up with, and so they are trying to create this counter-narrative that I am not someone who can be believed or trusted.” https://t.co/jUGhcldeLm
Democrats were outraged.
In the absence of the IG report, it’s impossible to evaluate the merits of this harsh treatment of a 21-year FBI professional. That it comes after the President urged the DOJ to deprive McCabe of his pension, and after his testimony, gives the action an odious taint. https://t.co/rpZqqxFp4u
I’ll bleed into Saturday here to complete this train of thought. At around 12 am, President Trump tried to claim victory for…democracy.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
When Trump writes tweets like this, he’s doing Mueller’s work for him. Is Trump so foolish that he doesn’t understand that his tweet will be used against him? Or is he so confident that he’ll undermine Mueller that he doesn’t care? https://t.co/FB1k5ixiGp
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj
As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State. #DrainTheSwamp
The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!
Former FBI Director James Comey responded.
Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.
By the middle of the weekend, Andrew McCabe had lawyered up and handed over notes he had taken to Robert Mueller.
EXCLUSIVE: McCabe lawyers up https://t.co/t6Wkumghvf
The Latest: AP learns that Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director just fired by the attorney general, kept personal memos regarding President Trump. https://t.co/Ih6srgazHw
- Cambridge Analytica, the data firm that worked with the 2016 Trump campaign to target voters on social media, was exposed.
DEVELOPING: Facebook is suspending Trump-affiliated political research firm Cambridge Analytica. Story to come.
Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach
Over the weekend, there was more.
Cambridge Analytica presented Russian oil company Lukoil (which is now on the US sanctions list and has been used as a vehicle of government influence) with election disruption strategies. Read these 👇👇👇 @nytimes: https://t.co/jl2xqipZeX @guardian: https://t.co/u4ULt8fiBn
The same year they met with Lukoil, they surveyed Americans about Russia. @nytimes: “Cambridge Analytica also included extensive questions about Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, in surveys it was carrying out in American focus groups in 2014” Why? https://t.co/z73FVrbYCQ
Whether or not Brad Parscale of Jared Kushner will be wrapped up in this is yet to be seen.
- Trump’s former business associate has finally begun speaking up.
Felix Sater confirms: Trump was pursuing deal with sanctioned Russian bank during campaign https://t.co/XevwrHzYRc
Over the weekend, Trump’s lawyer John Dowd told Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff that it’s time for Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein to shut down the Russia probe.
John Dowd has called for the end of Mueller’s probe It’s now clear @realDonaldTrump no longer believes he’ll be exonerated Mueller’s subpoena into the Trump Org may have triggered him Either Trump ends the investigation or the investigation ends him https://t.co/Fg3RYASG4j
Our analysis was later confirmed. Trump was triggered by the Trump Organization subpoena.
Trump was livid this week over the Times report that Mueller had subpoenaed his corporate records, one person close to the White House tells NYT. https://t.co/h4xKh1aNyj
Soon to be in mine and @nytmike‘s story, Trump’s lawyers recently received a list of questions from Mueller’s team that the special counsel would seek answers to in an interview. Adds to the portrait of what took place today.
This precluded a series of tweets where President Trump explicitly attacked Mueller for the first time on Twitter.
By the end of the weekend, as backlash mounted over the comments and fear that Trump may move to fire Mueller, GOP Senator Lindsay Graham had a stern response.
If President Trump fired Robert Mueller, “that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency, because we are a rule of law nation,” says GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham #CNNSOTU https://t.co/YGW17KN74f
Whether or not @LindseyGrahamSC will stand by this statement when the time comes is unclear. But what I can say is it’s incredibly important for Trump to hear this kind of pushback from Senate Republicans while he is essentially trial ballooning the prospect of firing Mueller. https://t.co/uoZ6SeXKhr
WOW. Trey GOWDY addresses Trump’s lawyer this AM: “if you have an innocent client Mr. Dowd, act like it.
By Sunday night, John Dowd — who had already tried to walk back his initial statement and say he was speaking for himself — released this statement.
New statement from President Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb says “the president is not considering or discussing the firing of” Robert Mueller
And then, The Daily Beast reported this…
Multiple aides and Trump confidants tell The Daily Beast that this weekend will not be the last time Trump attacks Mueller-that he’s determined to more directly confront the Russia probe, even if it means exacerbating his legal standing. https://t.co/wmbXGccXLV
I’m of a different opinion than many people on Twitter. I personally think the next step will be some kind of “review” of Rosenstein’s role. The administration didn’t even move to fire McCabe until after the IG probe. But still, anything can happen — especially if a wild new indictment comes along and scares Trump (Probably hacking — fancy bear, Cozy Bear, Wikileaks and potentially American co-conspirators/Roger Stone perjury — will be next up on Mueller’s list).
Who knows? It’s 2018. The only thing I’ll predict with 100% certainty is that Donald Trump will continue to become gradually more unhinged with each passing day. One could make a fortune betting on that.