A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 63rd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

63rd Weekend (March 31 — April 1)

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing — Nov. 9, 2017 (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a business event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing — Nov. 9, 2017 (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

New week, same challenges.

President Trump’s impulsive, widely condemned, high-stakes game of tariff tag with China continued to rattle global markets, Americans’ 401k’s, and damage American industries — under the guise of “America First.”

The Trump administration continued to drown in a swamp of scandals under the guise of a “well-oiled machine.”

Conservative media continued to spread pro-Trump propaganda, disinformation, and intolerance under the guise of “free speech.”

President Putin and Assad continued to commit inhumane atrocities under the guise of “suppressing rebellion.”

And Americans continued to organize with the genuine desire for positive change.

Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continued to inch closer to the truth, and hopefully, justice.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 63rd week as POTUS:

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Easter

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after returning from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. — March 25, 2018 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington after returning from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. — March 25, 2018 (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Over the weekend, President Trump continued his attacks on Amazon. Any arguments he makes on Amazon are tainted by the fact he has shown a disdain for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos because he owns The Washington Post.

Also, President Trump decided to give the American people a beautiful Easter gift and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by fear-mongering about immigrants.

It appears that President Trump has no idea what DACA — the program he personally rescinded that benefits over 700,000 undocumented Americans — is.

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Meanwhile…

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group — the media company that airs right-wing propaganda to unwitting Americans through the local affiliates they own on — was finally getting the amount of attention that their democracy threatening tactics warrant.

This came after employees of the network spoke out about how uncomfortable they were reading the script.

The office of FCC inspector general is reportedly investigating FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for approving rules that would benefit Sinclair’s efforts to push their $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media through (which would get them from owning 40% of local American media to 72%) — and whether or not the move was improperly made with the intention to give Sinclair an advantage.

Later in the week, we find out Sinclair’s contracts are super restrictive and would leave employees who quit in debt.

Keep an eye on this. America’s disinformation problem is already bad enough with a dishonest POTUS, established conservative media outlets faithfully spreading pro-Trump lies, and Russia taking advantage of impressionable Americans with online propaganda. We can’t afford to continue having misleading propaganda seeping into American households through local news channels that they’ve trusted for years. Something has to be done. In the short-term, the best way to combat it is to spread as much truth as humanly possible.

63rd Week (April 2–6)

Monday, April 2

Tariffs

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a press event at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017- (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a press event at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017- (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China’s retaliatory tariffs took effect. Politico reported:

China is moving forward with its plan to counter President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum, levying duties that will take effect Monday on more than $3 billion in U.S. exports to the country.

In a statement Sunday, the Chinese government said it would impose the retaliatory tariffs on 128 products, according to an informal translation.

China will impose a 15 percent tariff increase on goods including American fruit and nuts and add a 25 percent tariff on pork, recycled aluminum and other goods, the government said.

The move to impose the duties comes just over a week after the Chinese Commerce ministry had announced it was considering tariffs on the goods. Just over a week later, those tariffs are taking effect.

As you can see, these tariffs hit farmers aka Trump’s own supporters. But this was just the beginning.

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Meanwhile…

  • On Monday, we learned that during last week’s congratulatory phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump invited Putin to the White House. We heard it first from the Kremlin, no less.

An odd choice to say the least given the hostile attacks Russia has hurled at America and the West. This was yet another example of President Trump’s eerie efforts to cozy up to an authoritarian leader — that has waged a form of information warfare on the United States — whose interests are diametrically opposed to ours.

After the events of this week, the status of this invitation is shaky, to say the least.

  • President Trump arose today and continued his fear-mongering ways. Trump tweeted about the caravan of immigrants traveling toward the U.S. and decided to stop pretending he cares about finding a solution for Dreamers.

Trump defended Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Trump bashed his own Justice Department.

Trump also continued his dishonest attacks on Amazon, causing their stock price to drop 6%.

Attacks of which are part of his personal vendetta against Bezos. Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reported:

“He’s off the hook on this. It’s war,” one source told me. “He gets obsessed with something, and now he’s obsessed with Bezos,” said another source. “Trump is like, how can I fuck with him?”

  • The Wall Street Journal reported on an email sent to Sam Nunberg from Roger Stone, in which he claims to have dined with Julian Assange.

This wasn’t the first time Stone has bragged about communicating directly with Wikileaks. Also, Stone has previously had his direct messages with Wikileaks exposed.

  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office defended an agreement with Alex van der Zwaan, citing information pertinent to the investigation.

  • The State Department further confirmed that the expulsion of Russian diplomats was toothless.

  • A third woman is suing President Trump in an effort to invalidate an NDA she signed. CBS News reported:

A third woman has come forward with a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) related to Donald Trump, CBS News justice reporter Paula Reid reports. Jessica Denson, a former Trump campaign staffer, signed an NDA as a condition of her employment with the campaign.

This differs from the other two lawsuits, filed by porn star Stormy Daniels and by former Playboy model Karen McDougal, in that Denson’s document does not appear to be a hush money agreement or one related to a sexual relationship with Donald Trump. Denson previously sued Mr. Trump for employment discrimination and defamation.

  • Oklahoma teachers staged a walkout and began what would be a week full of demonstrations.

Tuesday, April 3

Mueller Moves

Special Counsel Robert Mueller — June 21, 2017 (AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller — June 21, 2017 (AP)

On Monday night, Mueller made a court filing that revealed a consequential memo Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued last year that expanded the scope of the investigation.

CNN reported:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told special counsel Robert Mueller in a classified August 2, 2017, memo that he should investigate allegations that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was “colluding with Russian government officials” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, prosecutors in the Russia probe revealed late Monday night.

Mueller was also empowered by Rosenstein to investigate Manafort’s payments from Ukrainian politicians, a cornerstone of the Trump adviser’s decades-long lobbying career that has resulted in several financial criminal charges so far.

The revelation of the August 2 memo comes amid a broader court filing from Mueller’s prosecutors that offers a full-throated defense of their investigative powers and indictments thus far. In the filing, the special counsel’s office argues that a federal judge should not throw out Manafort’s case. Manafort has sought to have the case dismissed, arguing that the charges against him are outside of Mueller’s authority.

The court filing also contained important language that indicated Mueller sees financial relationships with Russian entities as part of his collusion probe.

This was also the day of Alex van der Zwaan’s sentencing, who received 30 days in prison as part of his plea deal.

We also learned more about Mueller’s probe into Trump’s ties to the UAE (informed by George Nader who flipped recently).

Later in the evening , we got hit with more Trump-Russia news.

From this report, we learned that last month Mueller told Trump’s lawyers that Trump is a subject of the investigation but is not a criminal target. Important to note that last month was also when Trump began to directly target Mueller on Twitter, and his Russia investigation paranoia appeared to hit new heights. This assurance could potentially have been to calm Trump down. Also, this doesn’t mean that Trump is safe.

Another part of the piece detailed that Mueller is very close to wrapping up his investigation into potential obstruction of justice (which has overwhelming evidence) and all that’s left is an interview with the president himself. Mueller will then prepare a report on obstruction as well as one on the other aspects of his probe.

This seems to indicate the Mueller has no plans to directly indict President Trump, which has been speculated by legal experts given the fact it’s still an open question whether or not that’s within the scope of the law. So Mueller’s reports will be given to Rosenstein who then can release publicly and/or refer to Congress in the form of an impeachment referral. Regarding the report and Rosenstein’s obligations when it comes to handling the report, this is a great thread:

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Meanwhile…

  • President Trump proposed even more tariffs on China. Reuters reported:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Trump administration on Tuesday raised the stakes in a growing trade showdown with China, targeting 25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products to try to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property practices.

The U.S. tariff unveiling, representing about $50 billion of estimated 2018 imports and aimed at dealing a setback to China’s efforts to upgrade its manufacturing base, drew an immediate condemnation from Beijing, along with a threat of retaliatory action.

  • President Trump went on another early morning tweetstorm.

And continued his dishonest attacks on Amazon.

  • There was a shooting at the Youtube Headquarters. Two women and a man were injured, fortunately not fatally. At first, it was reported that it was a domestic dispute, but it was later revealed to be a disgruntled Youtube content creator who felt she was being censored.

But that didn’t stop people on the right trying to claim she was a jihadist.

  • In a press conference with Baltic leaders, President Trump made quite the tasteless joke…

Wednesday, April 4

The Caravan

President Donald Trump pauses during the State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

President Donald Trump pauses during the State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

After a Sunday Fox & Friends segment on the caravan of about 1,000 Central American asylum-seeking migrants traveling through Mexico, President Trump has been obsessed with it, tweeting about “caravans” headed towards the U.S.

This caravan was organized to help people flee violence in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. These asylum-seekers don’t appear to pose any threat and are merely seeking safety. In the days that followed the Fox & Friends segment, the number of migrants decreased to a few hundred, as some people remain in Mexico and mostly women and children continue onward to the U.S.

In light of this, President Trump continued to fear-monger, lying about women being raped while on the caravan, and ordering national guard troops to the border. This is not unprecedented, but it’s clearly unnecessary, as border crossings remain at historic lows. I can think of another American area that could really use those resources right about now…Puerto Rico.

See the caravan for yourself and be the judge of its threat level.

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Meanwhile…

  • In a move that directly contradicted Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ recent remarks and plans to stay and help rebuild, President Trump ordered the beginning of a withdrawal from Syria.

This move, compounded with Trump’s past decision to stop arming the Kurds who allied with the U.S. against ISIS, was seen as a betrayal to our allies in the region and a gift for President Putin and Assad.

Of course, within hours, the move for immediate withdraw was walked back.

  • China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products:

BEIJING (Reuters) — China will impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on 106 U.S. goods including soybeans, autos, chemicals, some types of aircraft and corn products, among other agricultural goods, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

The products targeted by the tariffs were worth $50 billion in 2017, according to a separate statement from the commerce ministry.

Market volatility continued.

As we’ve come to expect from Trump’s comments, that’s not true.

MSNBC

MSNBC

  • Mueller has seriously stepped up the pressure on Russian oligarchs.

  • Former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster commented on the administration’s Russia policy.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, in his last public remarks as President Trump’s national security adviser, strongly denounced Russia for its increased aggression around the world and declared: “We have failed to impose sufficient costs.”

His comments come a little more than a week after he was ousted by Trump, who is replacing him with conservative firebrand and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton.

  • We found out that Roger Stone’s email was…oddly timed, to say the least.

  • Facebook upped their estimates of accounts that had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica from 50 million to 87 million.
  • Trump shared some thoughts on money…

  • It was the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and the nation remembered a legend.

President Trump tried to honor Martin Luther King Jr., despite having already dishonored him time and time again.

Thursday, April 5

#CrookedPruitt

Supreme Court associate justice Samuel Alito swears in Scott Pruitt as the EPA Administrator in Washington, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster).

Supreme Court associate justice Samuel Alito swears in Scott Pruitt as the EPA Administrator in Washington, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster).

Throughout this week, report after report mounted on EPA Head Scott Pruitt and by Thursday, the pressure on Pruitt rose to new heights. On Monday, The New York Times dropped a report that furthered his ethical woes:

The Environmental Protection Agency signed off last March on a Canadian energy company’s pipeline-expansion plan at the same time that the E.P.A. chief, Scott Pruitt, was renting a condominium linked to the energy company’s powerful Washington lobbying firm.

Both the E.P.A. and the lobbying firm dispute that there was any connection between the agency’s action and the condo rental, for which Mr. Pruitt was paying $50 a night.

“Any attempt to draw that link is patently false,” Liz Bowman, a spokeswoman for Mr. Pruitt, said in a written statement.

Nevertheless, government ethics experts said that the correlation between the E.P.A.’s action and Mr. Pruitt’s lease arrangement — he was renting from the wife of the head of the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen — illustrates why such ties to industry players can generate questions for public officials: Even if no specific favors were asked for or granted, it can create an appearance of a conflict.

Didn’t end there. The Daily Beast reported that the very same lobbyist Pruitt rented the condo from, helped fund his 2010 Oklahoma Attorney General campaign.

On top of this, The Atlantic reported that Pruitt approved raises for two of his favorite staffers by using a loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act after the White House denied the request.

In spite of this, President Trump continued to stand by Pruitt — probably because he’s doing such an effective job dismantling environmental regulations. This week, Pruitt moved to roll back fuel efficiency and emissions standards.

And Pruitt is reportedly great at quelling dissent as well. The New York Times reported:

WASHINGTON — At least five officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, four of them high-ranking, were reassigned or demoted, or requested new jobs in the past year after they raised concerns about the spending and management of the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.

The concerns included unusually large spending on office furniture and first-class travel, as well as certain demands by Mr. Pruitt for security coverage, such as requests for a bulletproof vehicle and an expanded 20-person protective detail, according to people who worked for or with the E.P.A. and have direct knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Pruitt bristled when the officials — four career E.P.A. employees and one Trump administration political appointee — confronted him, said the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

This news came as it was reported that Chief of Staff John Kelly told Pruitt on a phone call that the flow of negative stories had to stop and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News “I can’t speak to the future of Scott Pruitt.”

Led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, 64 House Democrats called on Pruitt to resign from the EPA.

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Meanwhile…

  • At a tax roundtable, Trump called Mexicans rapists again and also brought back his false voter fraud claims.

  • Trump denied knowledge of his own lawyer’s hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Daniels’ lawyer responded.

  • The Washington Post revealed a truly depraved moment from President Trump.

Trying to fulfill a campaign promise perhaps?

  • The Atlantic finally fired Kevin Williamson, who said that women who have abortions should be hanged. Notably, this view was already known by The Atlantic via Williamson’s tweet, but it wasn’t until they heard it on a podcast that they moved on it.

People on the right tried to justify Williamson’s views…

A few thoughts:

  • A new poll showed just how big the new wave of political enthusiasm and anti-Trump sentiment is:

Tens of millions of Americans have joined protests and rallies in the past two years, their activism often driven by admiration or outrage toward President Trump, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll showing a new activism that could affect November elections.

One in five Americans have protested in the streets or participated in political rallies since the beginning of 2016. Of those, 19 percent said they had never before joined a march or a political gathering.

Overwhelmingly, recently motivated activists are critical of Trump. Thirty percent approve of the president, and 70 percent disapprove, according to the poll. And many said they plan to be more involved politically this year, with about one-third saying they intend to volunteer or work for a 2018 congressional campaign.

  • A record number of women are running for office.

Friday, April 6

America Last

President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington, with members of Congress — Feb. 28, 2018 photo, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington, with members of Congress — Feb. 28, 2018 photo, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

After the back-and-forth tariff proposals throughout the week that rocked markets, late Thursday, President Trump looked to impose an additional $100 billion in new tariffs on China. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, predicted that the “U.S.-China tariffs war will cost 190,000 American jobs thus far and shave a smidgen of GDP growth from the economy.” This prediction was made before the new $100 billion proposal.

After the proposal on Thursday, markets tanked.

And that continued into Friday.

Trump tried to send some tweets to deflect/explain these moves but with little success.

One of the worst parts about this is the fact it was not even run by Trump’s advisers.

Over the weekend, Axios expanded upon this lack of calculation, calling Trump “unleashed.”

Meanwhile…

  • The Trump administration has finally placed retaliatory sanctions on Russia that will hit them where it hurts: Putin’s inner circle and Russian oligarchs.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained evidence that calls into question Congressional testimony given by Trump supporter and Blackwater founder Erik Prince last year, when he described a meeting in Seychelles with a Russian financier close to Vladimir Putin as a casual chance encounter “over a beer,” sources told ABC News.

Well-connected Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, a key witness given limited immunity by Mueller, has been interviewed seven times by prosecutors on a wide range of subjects. He told investigators that he set up a meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and Russian sovereign wealth fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev, mere days before Trump was inaugurated, sources familiar with the investigation said this week.

A Donald Trump foreign policy adviser pushed government agencies to review materials from the dark web in the summer of 2016 that he thought were Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, multiple sources with direct knowledge tell CNN.

Joseph Schmitz approached the FBI and other government agencies about material a client of his had discovered that Schmitz believed might have been Clinton’s missing 30,000 emails from her private e-mail server, sources say. The material was never verified, and sources say they ultimately believed it was fake.

His push is the latest example of Trump advisers who were mixed up in efforts to find dirt on Clinton during the presidential campaign. Schmitz was one of the first people Trump named to his campaign’s national security and foreign policy team. The team, showcased in a March 2016 photo, was thrown together early in Trump’s successful run as he faced mounting pressure to prove his ability to pull in high-level advisers who could help prepare him for the White House

  • A new McClatchy DC report revealed that former Trump associate (mob-connected, FBI informant, etc.) Felix Sater is now cooperating with Robert Mueller. This was huge news that didn’t get as much attention as it deserved.

  • Amid sexual misconduct allegations, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) finally resigned.
  • The U.S. added 103,000 in March, short of estimates.

Over the weekend…

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, embraces Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia — Nov. 20, 2017 (Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, embraces Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia — Nov. 20, 2017 (Mikhail Klimentyev, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Assad committed yet another chemical attack on his own people.

Russia and Assad denied the use of chemical weapons, but U.S. intel begged to differ. The BBC reported:

US intelligence agencies believe the Syrian government struck Khan Sheikhoun in response to a rebel offensive in northern Hama province, and that senior military leaders were probably involved in planning the attack.

US military radar systems monitored Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22 fixed-wing aircraft take off from the government-controlled Shayrat airbase on 4 April and fly over Khan Sheikhoun on two occasions — at 06:37 (03:37 GMT) and 06:46.

Officials told NBC News that the radar systems picked up flashes on the ground, indicating that ordnance had been dropped on the rebel-held town about the same time that the first casualties with breathing difficulties were reported.

This came after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from Syria. It’s unclear whether or not that will still happen. What is clear, is President Trump made his first direct verbal attack on President Putin yet.

We’ll see how this plays out. Hawk John Bolton’s first day as national security adviser is on Monday.

Meanwhile…

Tony Robbins drew outrage over his comment on the #MeToo movement.

Trump went on quite a few tweetstorms:

  • The fire at Trump Tower which killed an art collector (see that there is no condolence message and only a reference to a “well built building”). We later learn that the building did not have required sprinkler systems, which he lobbied against.
  • Attacked his own Justice Department again.
  • Repeated trade China trade deficit lie.
  • Praised Scott Pruitt.
  • Said him and Xi Jinping will “always be friends” lol.
  • Attacked American media.

Very stable genius.

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Government / Journalism / Politics