A Complete Breakdown Of Trump’s Twentieth Unpresidented Week As POTUS

A Complete Breakdown Of Trump’s Twentieth Unpresidented Week As POTUS

President Donald Trump— June 9, 2017 (AP)

President Donald Trump— June 9, 2017 (AP)

“The President is not a liar” — White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Donald Trump either exists in 15 minute increments, forgetting what happened the previous moment, or he is a full blown pathological liar and should seek help. Neither scenario is befitting of a president and either will contribute to his downfall.

For 20 weeks we’ve watched as a shady leader crafted a house of cards built on lies, corruption, ethics violations, and unlawful attempts to end an investigation into how he rose to power.

When will it fall? How will this madness end? This week we got some answers.

Former FBI Director James Comey’s hearing made waves and gave us a clear picture of President Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice. At the moment, it’s James Comey’s word against Donald Trump’s…Unfortunately for Trump, he’s spent the last few years of his life destroying his own credibility.

While America’s focus was on Comey’s hearing, Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller continued to build his elite team, the GOP moved to sneak some bills through Congress, and we learned about another meeting between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russians.

As we look back on a week of historical consequence, we face a time of great uncertainty.

Here’s a complete breakdown of Trump’s twentieth week as President of the United States:

President Trump Joins ISIS In Attacking London

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington — Thursday, June 1, 2017 (AP)

President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington — Thursday, June 1, 2017 (AP)

After a tragic terrorist attack rocked London, President Trump’s first response came in the form of a retweet of the Drudge Report…

At that time the attack had not been characterized as terrorism.

Earlier last week during his announcement on the Paris Agreement, President Trump incorrectly called a robbery in Manila a terrorist attack. The London tragedy did ultimately end up being a terrorist attack with ISIS claiming responsibility (the attacker was inspired by ISIS, not directly plotted by them). Nonetheless, this impulsivity poses a problem. In a moment of emergency when we need to depend on our leaders for accurate information most, we know we can’t depend on the President of the United States.

Worse than this was President Trump’s unwarranted and disgraceful attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The statement Trump was referring to from Khan was this:

“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”

In response, Khan said Trump shouldn’t be welcomed to the UK. President Trump has had past beefs with Mayor Khan. But this one by far was the most disgusting.

Sadiq Khan was being a leader. He was reassuring his people in a moment of tragedy, and Donald Trump attacked him for it. Let me restate that with their titles. The city of London was recovering from a terrorist attack and the President of the United States decided to deliver a personal attack on the Mayor of London. When an ally, or a fellow human being for that matter, is dealing with adversity you don’t attack them, you offer a helping hand.

What a disgrace.

Meanwhile…

  • In an interview that aired on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down with Megyn Kelly. After saying that patriotic Russian hackers may have been behind the hacks on the DNC earlier in the week, Putin told Kelly that the U.S. may have hacked itself to frame Russia. Needless to say, he’s wrong

Twentieth Week (June 5–9)

Monday June 5

Reality Winner

President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

On Monday, The Intercept published a leaked NSA report that revealed Russia tried to hack a voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to over 100 US local election officials in an effort to gain access to voter registration rolls. This bombshell shed additional light on the Kremlin’s in-depth efforts to influence the US election, and indicates that they went even further than previously thought. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), made a statement in an interview with USA TODAY that indicated this could be just the tip of the iceberg:

“I don’t believe they got into changing actual voting outcomes, but the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far.”

Almost immediately, a US intelligence contractor was arrested and charged for leaking the classified information. The leaker was easily identified as 25 year old Reality Winner, who sent The Intercept the document after printing it out at her office. Winner was charged with a felony offense under the Espionage and Censorship Act that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Despite admitting to the FBI that she intentionally printed a copy of the report at her office and mailed it to The Intercept, she pleaded not guilty to the charge she is facing. Winner was denied bail and is still being held today.

Meanwhile…

  • Politico reported that Trump’s NATO speech was supposed to include an explicit affirmation of the US’ commitment to NATO’s core tenet Article 5 (“an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all”), and that Trump himself made the omission taking his national security team by surprise and disappointing our allies. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all wanted the affirmation to be included.
  • President Trump went on a tweestorm in a feeble attempt to defend his Muslim ban which has been dealt repeated defeats in court. Not only did he appear to cast blame on the Justice Department for the revised ban Executive Order that he himself signed, these tweets will be used against him in court.

  • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes reportedly “asked U.S. spy agencies late last year to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.” This depicts the height of hypocrisy as Nunes has painted this practice as an abuse of power and went on to claim that the Obama administration “unmasked” Trump transition officials
  • After Trump’s tweet casting blame on the DOJ for the failings of his Muslim ban, a New York Times report revealed that Trump “has grown sour on” Attorney General Jeff Sessions, blaming him for many problems within his White House. Trump has reportedly fumed for months about Sessions decision to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, which Trump sees as a direct catalyst that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller
  • The $110 billion arms deal isn’t actually a deal at all. It’s a series of Letter’s of Intent and negotiations actually began during the Obama administration
  • Just when we thought the anticipation for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing with James Comey on Thursday couldn’t get any higher, it did. Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein or Attorney General Sessions reportedly never told former FBI Director James Comey that they had any concerns about him before the firing, and Comey is “angry, and he wants the public to understand why”

Tuesday June 6

The Qatar Debacle

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (Egypt), King Salman bin Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia), And President Donald Trump — May 21, 2017 (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (Egypt), King Salman bin Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia), And President Donald Trump — May 21, 2017 (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

As news of major Gulf nations (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates) cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar shook the world, President Trump appeared to take credit for the move and accused Qatar of funding terrorism. Qatar hosts one of the Pentagon’s largest military bases and is an ally in the fight against ISIS. Trump appeared to immediately take sides and his administration tried to do damage control.

It turns out, this whole thing was triggered by a fake news report that was planted in Qatar’s news agency by Russian hackers. Whether or not these hackers were tied directly to the Kremlin or were freelancing for Saudi Arabia is yet to be known for sure, but what is known is that President Trump’s impulsive need to immediately react to everything plays much worse on the world stage than it did on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile…

  • Led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, Senate Republicans have renewed a push to pass the AHCA
  • The Trump Organization is expanding their hotel to hit the mid-market with a new “America” line of hotels
  • Donald Trump reportedly shifted money from Eric Trump’s child cancer charity into his businesses
  • David Rank, acting US ambassador to China, quit the State Department over Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord
  • Buzzfeed found that kids nationwide are quoting Trump to bully their classmates

Wednesday June 7

Comey Eve

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA)

The Washington Post recently reported that after a briefing on March 22, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. “President Trump asked him (Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats) if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe.” Coats did not confirm or deny that this request was made in his hearing on Wednesday, but we will surely learn more details of this in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile…

  • Comey sent his 7 page prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee that confirmed President Trump’s demand for loyalty in a private dinner, Trump’s request to end the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the fact that Comey asked Sessions if he could avoid direct communication with Trump, and that Comey did indeed write detailed memos of all his interactions with Trump. This was likely in an effort to allow the Senators to create a more effective line of questioning. Will dive more into the content of the statement in a moment…
  • After multiple heated exchanges with Trump in the last several weeks, Sessions said he’d be willing to resign
  • Trump announced his nominee for FBI Director (who also has Russia ties), reportedly blindsiding his staff and Congress

  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that Watergate “pales” in comparison to the Trump-Russia scandal
  • Even North Korea condemned Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord, calling it a “short-sighted and silly decision”
  • On Fox News, Eric Trump said his father’s critics and Democrats “aren’t even people.” My rebuttal is below (no offense to Odo)

Thursday June 8

Comey Day

Former FBI Director James Comey (AP)

Former FBI Director James Comey (AP)

The big day was finally here. Major networks interrupted their normal day-time TV to broadcast it live as the world watched. Washington DC was especially packed, as those who didn’t manage to make it into the hearing packed bars around the city.

James Comey delivered what will be remembered as one the most consequential testimonies in recent history. He not only confirmed what has been widely reported over the last few months, but he expanded on it. In this hearing Comey depicted Trump as a liar and accused the White House of trying to defame him and the FBI. Comey outlined the multiple occasions where Trump tried to influence the Trump-Russia investigation but didn’t go as far to call it obstruction of justice, leaving that to special counsel, and his longtime friend, Robert Mueller.

Comey confirmed that he was indeed the one who leaked the details of his memos and that he wrote said memos because he was afraid Trump would later lie about the content of his meetings. Comey also went on to say “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”

But most importantly, James Comey outlined a series of events that create a clear case for obstruction of justice. Thanks to great reporting and now Comey’s on record testimony, we now have a clearer picture of the circumstances leading up to and triggering the firing of FBI Director James Comey:

January 6th

Comey briefs Trump on the Christopher Steele dossier and assures Trump he personally isn’t under investigation (but his campaign is). Comey began what would be a reoccurring habit of writing detailed memos of his interactions with Trump and later began reporting them to FBI leadership.

January 27th

The day after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House about Michael Flynn, Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty. Comey declined, saying he could only give him his honesty.

“I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” — President Trump

February 14th

After a scheduled counter-terrorism briefing in the Oval Office, President Trump asked everyone to leave (including Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner) so he could speak to Comey alone. Trump then asked Comey if he could end the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” — President Trump

This was the day after Michael Flynn resigned as national security adviser after lying about his sanctions-related conversations with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Comey asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “prevent any future direct communication between the President” and himself. Sessions didn’t respond.

March 30th

President Trump calls Comey at the FBI and went on about a “cloud” the investigation is putting over his administration and asked what could be done to “lift the cloud.” Comey said he was investigating as quickly as he could. Trump repeatedly asked Comey to get the word out that Trump himself was not under FBI investigation.

April 11th

President Trump called Comey, again referring to the Trump-Russia investigation as a “cloud” over his administration. Trump then asked Comey what he had done about his request to get word out that he himself was not under investigation. Comey said he reached out to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and hadn’t heard back. Trump said he would reach out himself. This was the last conversation between Trump and Comey.

At Least Three Weeks Before His Firing

Comey reportedly began getting daily updates on the Trump-Russia investigation and became concerned by “information showing potential evidence of collusion.”

The Tuesday Before His Firing

Comey reportedly asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for significantly more resources for the Trump-Russia investigation. This was when the administration began “working to come up with reasons” to fire Comey.

The Day Before His Firing

In a meeting with Sessions and Rosenstein, Trump asked for Rosenstein to put a recommendation into writing.

The Day Of His Firing

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump didn’t end up live tweeting, but his lawyer Marc Kasowitz did give a statement. Their strategy was to pine unto the one detail of Comey’s testimony that wasn’t disastrous for them, which was that Comey told Trump he himself was not under investigation. Kasowitz also accused Comey of directing unauthorized leaks to the media.

Speaker Paul Ryan also came to Trump’s defense, stating that Trump’s efforts to influence the investigation was a result of him being “new at this” and wasn’t aware of the independence and impartiality the FBI is supposed to maintain. Even if this ridiculous defense were true, unfortunately for Donald Trump ignorance does not equal innocence.

Meanwhile…

  • The House passed the Financial CHOICE Act, which is a polite name for their effort to dismantle Dodd-Frank. This bill would pick apart protections that were created to shield us from getting into another Great Recession
  • In the Senate Intelligence Committee’s closed session after the Comey hearing, it was revealed that there is a third undisclosed meeting between Sessions and the Russians

We have a theory on what that meeting could be…

Friday June 9

Complete Self-Incrimination

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump woke up Friday and got back to the important business of running the nation, and by that I mean impulsively tweeting.

So what we have there is an accusation of a criminal act. President Trump just accused Comey of the crime of lying under oath, otherwise known as committing perjury.

Trump continued this line of defense at a press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohanni.

“That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election that some people think they shouldn’t have lost,” he said. “But we were very, very happy, and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things that he said just weren’t true.”

It appears the White House’s strategy is to pick what they like from the testimony but claim the rest of it is false. Trump also went on to deny that he asked for a “pledge of allegiance” from Comey, hinted at the existence of tapes, said the hearing showed “no collusion, no obstruction,” and when asked if he would testify under oath to special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump said he would “100 percent” do so.

Meanwhile…

  • Robert Mueller is beefing up his team to take on the Trump-Russia investigation
  • Jeff Sessions will testify in a closed hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday
  • Members of congress from both parties say if Trump really does have tapes of Comey’s conversations, release them
  • In case you were still wondering who was more credible, James Comey or Donald Trump, here’s a moment from Friday’s press conference for you

  • Paul Ryan said that the GOP would not be trying to impeach a Democratic president who was accused of the same actions as President Trump. Yeah right
  • As Trump was out spending yet another consecutive weekend golfing, he sent out a tweet that gave more insight into the all too familiar alternative narrative he will continue to push to in an effort to take the heat off himself: A focus on leaks

This week was yet another wild one, leaving the American people clamoring for justice.

As time has passed, we’ve seen our worst suspicions confirmed. And now, even if Trump was somehow completely unaware of his campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives, he’s gotten himself into a whole new world of trouble by trying to interfere in the investigation. James Comey laid out a comprehensive case for obstruction of justice and now it’s up to the special counsel to prove it.

If anyone can get to the bottom of this, it’s Robert Mueller.

A Complete Breakdown Of Trump’s 21st Unpresidented Week As POTUS

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