“The crowd was unbelievable today. I looked at the rain, which just never came…” — President Donald Trump, hours after giving his inauguration speech in the rain
Donald Trump’s first big lie as President wasn’t about his inauguration’s crowd size. It was a lie that contested America’s universally recognized reality.
I start here because this lie encapsulates much of the Trump presidency. A fact-averse President, convincing a certain percentage of the population to ignore their eyes and ears and believe his version of reality. Unfortunately for him, the broad majority of Americans are far from convinced.
In the days that followed Trump’s inauguration, the American people were struck with countless lies and, more importantly, executive actions that caught the public off guard.
This was where my journey with this column began. After the first week brought 14 executive actions and multiple articles that simply tallied up his lies, I thought, “someone has to start keeping track of his actions.” Just like that, Unpresidented was born. Named after his infamous typo, week after week, I began to document, contextualize, and analyze his every move. It’s been over a year, and I’m still doing it (and to my surprise, still sane).
I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t other sites already do this?” Yes, there are some who do something similar. Like the awesome Amy Siskind or Matt Kiser (both of your work is incredible btw), but I’ve taken a different approach. Week after week, I’ve broken down each day, and put it in context with the broader events at hand.
When a Trump-Russia investigation development occurs, it’s put in context and explained in a way that builds on each development before it. When a person is named, you’ll see quick background on who they are. When a news story is referenced, you’ll see an explanation of the significance of that event. Facts without context aren’t nearly as useful as facts put into perspective with analysis.
After writing this week after week, I thought I’d condense and share my work with you all. How does one go about telling the story of the first year of the Trump presidency? I don’t believe a listicle or brief summary of the State of the Union will do. I say, tell the WHOLE story.
Below, you’ll find a full, day-by-day breakdown of Trump’s first year in office, along with an accompanying piece that dives deeper into each week, fully loaded with tweets, links to relevant articles, and videos. The intros at the beginning of each week were written at the time the events transpired, so you’ll get a full reminder of what it was like during each wild week. The write-ups get much more in-depth as the months go by.
I don’t expect anyone to read this in one sitting. Think of it more as a resource. This is something you can lean on in the days to come. For example, when recent news dropped about how Trump attempted to fire Mueller in June. If you had this piece at that time, you could hit “ctrl + F” on your keyboard and search “June.” You’d then find out everything that happened around that time.
Throughout this piece, you’ll find every single move the Trump administration and the Republican Party has made to weaken government agencies, undermine the Trump-Russia investigation and the rule of law, promote isolationist policies, roll back regulations (environmental, financial, etc.), violate the emoluments clause, attack the press, escalate deportations, and degrade civil rights. You’ll find a President who repeatedly takes credit for the benefits of the economy his predecessor left behind…the same predecessor who he’s repeatedly claimed wasn’t born here.
But you’ll also see the greatness that was ignited within the American people. You’ll see that this was the year indecency rose, and the decent rose to meet it. You’ll see the protests, the thwarted legislation, and the electoral victories.
The first year of this presidency began with a record number of millions of women marching and ended with a record number of women running for office.
It began with Democrats uncertain of their future and ended with Democrats looking forward to a blue wave in the midterms.
It began with “American carnage” and ended with American resistance.
This is the full story of the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency.
What is the state of our union? See for yourself.
Week 1: The Beginning (January 20 — January 27)
President Donald Trump’s first week in office felt like a whirlwind of ridiculousness. From his obsession with his inaugural crowd size to his voter fraud lies and conspiracy theories, it was hard to keep track of everything that was going on. Behind the chaos, Trump was making quick moves that would affect the lives of the American people.
Trump signed 14 executive actions (6 executive orders and 8 memorandums) this week. Some were theater, and some would have huge ramifications.
Day 1–Friday, January 20
- Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, gives dark inauguration speech depicting American carnage (“That was some weird shit.” — George W. Bush on the speech).
Day 2–Saturday, January 21
- Millions protest as the Women’s March takes the world by storm.
- Press Secretary Sean Spicer starts the Trump admin’s war on truth by lying about Trump’s inauguration crowd size.
- Trump brags about his electoral win at the CIA’s memorial wall.
Day 3–Sunday, January 22
- Kellyanne Conway calls Spicer’s crowd size lie an “alternative fact.”
Day 4–Monday, January 23
- Trump signs executive actions withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) giving an opening for China to lead trade in the region, orders a federal hiring freeze, and reinstates global gag rule.
- Trump tells (lies to) Congress that 3–5 million people voted illegally.
- Trump’s staff begins heavily leaking info on the inner workings of his administration to the media.
Day 5–Tuesday, January 24
- Trump institutes a media blackout at the EPA.
- Trump signs executive memorandums expediting approval of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
Day 6 — Wednesday, January 25
- Trump signs executive order directing agencies to step up deportations of illegal immigrants.
- Trump admin mandates EPA scientific studies undergo review by political staff before public release.
Day 7 — Thursday, January 26
- Trump admin begins to clean house at the State Department, leaving positions vacant.
- Chief Strategist Steve Bannon tells the media to “keep its mouth shut.”
- Acting Attorney General Sally Yates lays out her concerns about Michael Flynn to White House Counsel Donald McGahn. The concerns were that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and that Flynn could be blackmailed by Russia (we later discover McGahn told Trump of these concerns).
Day 8 — Friday, January 27
- The day after Yates warned the White House about Michael Flynn, Trump asked for FBI Director James Comey’s loyalty. Comey declined, saying he could only give him his honesty (this we learned of months later but I’ve included it hereto further contextualize the events to come. You’ll see more Comey related events sprinkled in earlier than we were made aware of them. It helps to paint the case for obstruction of justice that Mueller is building).
- Trump signs the first Muslim immigration ban (Muslim ban from here on out) executive order, causing chaos at airports around the world.
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Week 2: The Shadow President (January 28 — February 3)
From the controversial Muslim ban to his effort to roll back Dodd-Frank, President Trump continued making quick moves.
In his second week, Trump signed 7 executive actions (3 executive orders and 3 memorandums). Although Trump signed only half as many executive actions as he did the previous week, he nominated a Supreme Court Justice, dabbled in foreign policy, and Bannon began to consolidate power.
Day 9 — Saturday, January 28
- Trump reorganizes the National Security Council, putting Steve Bannon on its Principals committee (more like, Bannon put himself on the Principals committee).
- Federal Judge in Brooklyn blocks part of Trump’s Muslim ban.
Day 10 — Sunday, January 29
- Trump approves a Yemen raid that killed a SEAL Team 6 member and the 8-year-old daughter of the former leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
- Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly releases a statement reversing the part of the Muslim ban executive order banning Green Card holders.
Day 11 — Monday, January 30
- Trump fires acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refuses to enforce President Trump’s Muslim ban.
Day 12 — Tuesday, January 31
- Trump nominates Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Day 13 — Wednesday, February 1
- Trump’s reckless phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia are revealed.
- Rex Tillerson is confirmed as Secretary of State.
Day 14 — Thursday, February 2
- The U.S. Treasury Department eases economic sanctions on Russia.
- Kellyanne Conway makes up a Bowling Green terrorist attack.
Day 15 — Friday, February 3
- Federal judge blocks Trump’s Muslim ban nationwide.
- Trump sanctions Iran for ballistic missile test.
Week 3: The Fall Of Ban 1.0 (February 4–10)
This week, Trump signed executive orders giving much greater power to law enforcement, his conflicts of interests were on full display, and the Russia-Trump plot thickened. Trump learned a thing or two about checks and balances and we learned that the judicial branch would be a much-needed check on his power.
The one reoccurring theme of this week was Trump’s obsessive lying and attacks on the media, which would continue on throughout his presidency, dividing the country and corroding trust in the media. With this tactic of discrediting the media and spreading disinformation, Trump was able to keep his followers in an almost blind state of support. It caused his supporters to believe his word over indisputable fact.
Day 16 — Saturday, February 4
- Trump spends his first weekend as POTUS at Mar-a-Lago, attacks judge for blocking his Muslim ban
Day 17 — Sunday, February 5
- Appeals court rejects Trump’s request to restore the Muslim ban
Day 18 — Monday, February 6
- Trump ratcheted up his war on the media, accusing them of covering up terrorist attacks.
Day 19 — Tuesday, February 7
- Trump lies about knowing Putin and lies about the US murder rate.
- Betsy DeVos is confirmed as Secretary of Education.
Day 20 — Wednesday, February 8
- Trump attacks Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka’s products.
- Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.
Day 21 — Thursday, February 9
- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects Trump’s appeal to reinstate his Muslim ban.
- Gorsuch says he is “demoralized” and “disheartened” by Trump’s attacks on the judiciary.
- An ethics complaint is filed against Kellyanne Conway for plugging Ivanka’s products on Fox News.
Day 22 — Friday, February 10
- Trump’s national security advisor Michael Flynn’s lies about talking sanctions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak become public.
Week 4: The Fall Of Michael Flynn (February 11–17)
In his fourth week in office Trump showed that he is cracking under the pressure, as evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia mounts. Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community were backfiring as the leaks continue. The Trump administration revved up immigration raids, and the GOP is advancing their agenda as Trump grabbed the attention of the media.
Trump held a press conference that was the microcosm of everything that makes Donald Trump unfit for the office of the presidency. Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned after it was revealed he spoke about lifting US sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak (something that led to his future indictment, but more on that later).
All the while, Trump’s campaign to corrode trust in the media and spread disinformation continued to rise in intensity.
Day 23 — Saturday, February 11
- Trump coordinated his response to a North Korean missile test in open view at an unsecured dinner table in Mar-a-Lago with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
- Trump admin begins large-scale immigration raids.
Day 24 — Sunday, February 12
- Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller spreads Trump’s voter fraud conspiracy theory.
Day 25 — Monday, February 13
- Michael Flynn resigns as national security advisor after reports he might be subject to blackmail by the Russians (reminder that the WH was aware of this for weeks and still kept him on).
Day 26 — Tuesday, February 14
- After a scheduled counter-terrorism briefing in the Oval Office, Trump asks everyone to leave (including Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner) so he can speak to Comey alone. Trump then asks Comey if he could back off 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
- Trump points to leaks rather than addressing Michael Flynn’s lies.
- CNN and NYT report that there were “constant communications” between Russian operatives and Trump’s campaign.
Day 27 — Wednesday, February 15
- Trump goes on a tweetstorm freaking out on the media about Russia.
Day 28 — Thursday, February 16
- Trump holds unhinged press conference.
- It’s publicly revealed that Flynn lied to the FBI about call with Kislyak,
- Retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward rejects President Trump’s offer to serve as national security advisor, calling the offer a “shit sandwich.”
Day 29 — Friday, February 17
- Trump calls the media “the enemy of the American people.”
- Climate change denier and serial suer of the EPA Scott Pruitt is confirmed as the head of the EPA.
Week 5: The Paranoia Sets In (Feb 18–24)
In President Trump’s fifth week in office, the Trump-Russia plot thickened, Trump moved to quiet dissent, he echoed Bannon at CPAC, and his verbal attacks on the media turned to action.
Day 30 — Saturday, February 18
- After calling the media “fake news,” Trump makes up Sweden terrorist attack at a rally.
- Trump fires one of Ben Caron’s aides after an op-ed surfaced that the aide criticized Trump.
- Trump sends his first aircraft carrier into the South China Sea.
Day 31 — Sunday, February 19
- A New York Times story reveals that a secret deal to lift sanctions on Russia (Ukraine peace deal crafted by Michael Cohen and Felix Sater) was hand delivered to Michael Flynn.
Day 32 — Monday, February 20
- Trump names Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser.
Day 33 — Tuesday, February 21
- Trump brags about election win at African American history museum and lamely denounces anti-semitism.
Day 34 — Wednesday, February 22
- Trump withdraws Obama-era rules protecting the rights of transgender students.
- Emails reveal EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s coordination with oil and gas companies to roll back environmental regulations.
Day 35 — Thursday, February 23
- CNN reports that FBI rejected the Trump admin’s requests to knock down Trump-Russia stories.
- State Department is benched in its role of being the primary voice of US foreign policy.
Day 36 — Friday, February 24
- Trump bashes the FBI and calls for leakers to be found.
- Trump delivers CPAC speech that echoes Bannon.
- Trump upped his war on the media, moving from rhetoric to action, as he banned some news orgs from attending a White House press briefing.
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Week 6: The Recusal (February 25 — March 3)
President Trump started his week complaining about “FAKE NEWS” and ended it by spreading some fake news of his own.
Trump’s attempts to clamp down on leaks, continuous deflections, and wild claims revealed his paranoia about the Trump-Russia investigation. Confirmation of more contacts and meetings between Russian officials and Trump’s campaign made the President nervous, as he continued to try and corrode trust in the media that is reporting on these developments. And as we saw in the months to follow, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusal from the Trump-Russia investigation was the source of his agitation that week.
Day 37 — Saturday, February 25
- Spicer reportedly starts implementing random phone checks to crack down on staff leaks.
Day 38 — Sunday, February 26
- Trump attacks the media, once again calling Russia stories FAKE NEWS and claiming they were started by Democrats.
Day 39 — Monday, February 27
- Trump says “nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
Day 40 — Tuesday, February 28
- Trump gives his first speech to a joint session of Congress.
- Trump makes a bogus claim that Obama has been secretly organizing protests against him.
- Trump begins rolling back Obama-era climate protections.
Day 41 — Wednesday, March 1
- House Intelligence Committee establishes their investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
- News breaks that Jeff Sessions spoke to Kislyak despite claiming under oath that he didn’t meet with any Russians.
- The New York Times reports that European allies confirmed meetings between Trump’s campaign team and Russian operatives.
Day 42 — Thursday, March 2
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from the Trump-Russia investigation (this is the moment President Trump believes he “lost control” of the Trump-Russia investigation).
- The White House confirms that Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn met with Kislyak in December and USA Today reports that 2 other Trump officials met him too…Including Carter Page.
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, “accused Comey of withholding crucial information” on the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Trump calls the Trump-Russia investigation a witch hunt.
Day 43 — Friday, March 3
- President Trump “demanded” investigations into Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Russia ties.
- Trump freaks out on staff before heading to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.
Week 7: The Conspiracy Theorist In Chief (March 4–10)
A lot of happened this week. Some info was new, and some simply confirmed suspicions we already had the time. But there were two constant trends that seemed to be maintained each week:
Day 44 — Saturday, March 4
- With absolutely no evidence, Trump starts a lie that (at the time) would turn into one of his main deflections from Trump-Russia: Obama wiretapped him.
Day 45 — Sunday, March 5
- Spicer doubles down on the wiretapping lie as it’s revealed it was sourced from Breitbart.
Day 46 — Monday, March 6
- Trump signs a revised Muslim ban executive order.
Day 47 — Tuesday, March 7
- House Republicans unveil their Obamacare replacement plan, the AHCA.
- WikiLeaks releases thousands of documents, in what appears to be the largest leak of C.I.A documents in history.
- A Politico report reveals that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer.
Day 48 — Wednesday, March 8
- A report reveals Trump met Kislyak in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel event.
- CIA and FBI cooperate in criminal probe against Wikileaks.
- China grants preliminary approval for 34 Trump-related trademarks, raising more conflicts of interest concerns.
Day 49 — Thursday, March 9
- The FBI, along with computer scientists, continued to investigate whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.
- With the GOP’s health care bill in critical condition, Trump begins to try and sway lawmakers.
Day 50 — Friday, March 10
- Trump admin fires the 46 remaining Obama-era attorneys, including Preet Bharara who refused to resign.
- Federal records reveal Michael Flynn attended secret intelligence briefings with Trump while he was being paid more than half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government as an unregistered foreign agent.
- After already bragging about a back channel with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange, former Trump advisor Roger Stone admits to speaking to the online persona for Russian intelligence Guccifer 2.0.
Week 8: The National Embarrassment (March 11–17)
This is my eighth week covering Trump’s presidency, and spoiler alert: Sanity had not yet returned to Washington.
Trump didn’t stop lying. The GOP didn’t stop enabling. And as a result, the nation didn’t stop resisting.
Plenty of dysfunction and a lot of acting. Seriously, these were some Oscar-worthy performances that would give the cast of Moonlight a run for their money.
Republicans tried to act as if their party wasn’t deeply divided and their Obamacare replacement wasn’t on life support, as it was struck with a crippling report from the Congressional Budget Office. The Trump administration carried on with their wiretapping lie, as their ineffective Muslim ban was struck with legal setbacks. And the nation continued to try and act as if we weren’t scared shitless, as we were struck with…well…Donald Trump.
Day 51 — Saturday, March 11
- After refusing to resign, Preet Bharara is fired.
- It’s revealed that Bharara was about to open an investigation into Trump’s potential ethics violations that could be in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
Day 52 — Sunday, March 12
- Senator John McCain and others call on Trump to back up his wiretapping lies or back off.
Day 53 — Monday, March 13
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releases their damning report on the AHCA — 24 million more people would lose health insurance by 2026.
- Trump admin continues to double down on their wiretapping lie, and Kellyanne Conway suggests Obama could’ve used other forms of surveillance like “microwaves that turn into cameras.”
Day 54 — Tuesday, March 14
- After the terrible CBO reports, moderate Republicans begin to drop support for the AHCA.
- Rachel Maddow reveals Trump’s 2005 tax return.
Day 55 — Wednesday, March 15
- A federal judge in Hawaii blocks Trump’s revised Muslim ban nationwide.
Day 56 — Thursday, March 16
- A report reveals that Michael Flynn collected nearly $68,000 in fees and expenses from Russia-related entities in 2015, including from the Russian propaganda network RT (Russia Today).
- The Senate Intelligence Committee says there is no evidence for Trump’s Obama wiretapping lie…Spicer doubles down on it anyway and claims Obama used British intelligence agency (GCHQ) to surveil Trump.
- Trump unveils his budget proposal.
Day 57 — Friday, March 17
- Trump continues his wiretapping lie and made an embarrassing joke to German Chancellor Angela telling her — “at least we have something in common” referring to the Obama admin’s surveillance of Germany.
Week 9: The Tremendous Defeats (March 18–24)
There is no way to sugarcoat it. This week was a disaster for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Loss after loss, from start to finish.
The week kicked off with the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia hearing where FBI Director James Comey confirmed what was only reported at the time: The investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was very real (this testimony would prove to be the beginning of the end of Comey’s career as the head of the FBI). And after spending years clamoring for it, the week ended with an embarrassing defeat of the House Republicans’ Obamacare repeal effort.
It was nothing but worst case scenarios for Trump and the GOP.
Day 58 — Saturday, March 18
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson struck a hawkish tone during his visit to the Asia Pacific, ruling out negotiations with North Korea over their nuclear capabilities.
Day 59 — Sunday, March 19
- Ahead of Monday’s Russia hearing, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) gives two distinctly different takes on the state of their Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 60 — Monday, March 20
- At the House Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Russia hearing, Comey confirms what has long been suspected and reported: The FBI is indeed investigating Russia’s interference in our democracy, and their investigation includes looking into whether or not Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russian operatives.
- Comey also shuts down Trump’s wiretapping lie.
- Trey Gowdy begins the “unmasking” narrative that Devin Nunes picks up on later.
- Confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch begin.
Day 61 — Tuesday, March 21
- As the GOP struggles to get support from both moderate Republicans and members of the Freedom Caucus, Trump threatens the GOP: Vote for AHCA or lose your seat.
- Ivanka Trump obtains a West Wing office and acknowledges there is ‘no modern precedent’ for her role.
Day 62 — Wednesday, March 22
- Nunes briefs Trump and holds a presser claiming that communications of the Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were “incidentally collected.” He did all this without notifying members of the committee.
- The AP reports that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort had signed a $10 million annual contract with Russian oligarch, and close Putin ally, Oleg Deripaska. The deal reportedly lasted from 2006–2009. 2006 was the same year Paul Manafort moved into Trump Tower.
- Schiff states that he has now seen evidence that amounts to more than “circumstantial” incidents of Trump-Russia collusion.
Day 63 — Thursday, March 23
- Lacking votes for the AHCA, GOP delays the scheduled vote until Friday.
- Schiff states that he’s seen Trump-Russia evidence that would merit a grand jury investigation.
Day 64 — Friday, March 24
- Speaker Paul Ryan runs to the White House right before the scheduled 3:30 pm vote to let President Trump know they did not have the votes. They then pull the AHCA from the House floor.
- Nunes cancels Tuesday’s Trump-Russia hearing.
- Civilian casualties in Syria and Iraq drastically increase during the Trump presidency.
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Week 10: The Request For Immunity (March 25–31)
President Trump went into this week still trying to shake off the disaster that was week nine. Obamacare replacement attempt failed. Trump-Russia investigation confirmed. Republican Party fractured. How was President Trump going to handle this?
Did Trump prove he has nothing to hide and cooperate in the investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia?
Of course not. In typical Trump fashion, he doubled down.
Day 65 — Saturday, March 25
- Trump tweets that Obamacare will explode, blames the Freedom Caucus for it failing.
Day 66 — Sunday, March 26
- Trump spends the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his eighth weekend in a row at a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office so far.
Day 67 — Monday, March 27
- Nunes admits he received “incidental collection” intel from the White House, which points directly to coordination between Rep. Nunes and the White House he is investigating. Also important to note that Nunes was on the transition…so he’s responsible for an investigation that is probing his own actions.
- Pelosi and Schiff call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the House’s Trump-Russia investigation.
- Trump vents his frustrations about the Trump-Russia investigation and bashes the Freedom Caucus once again.
Day 68 — Tuesday, March 28
- The White House tries to prevent Sally Yates from testifying on Michael Flynn’s phone call in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- President Trump signs an executive order further dismantling Obama’s climate policies.
- President Trump’s approval rating drops to an all-time low of 35%.
Day 69 — Wednesday, March 29
- Ivanka Trump is hired as an official federal employee, working as an unpaid assistant to her father.
- Amid legal battles and rampant conflicts of interest with his first DC hotel, Trump’s company pursues a second DC hotel.
Day 70 — Thursday, March 30
- According to Comey’s later testimony, Trump calls him at the FBI and asks him to “lift the cloud” over his administration in reference to the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Michael Flynn asks for immunity in exchange for his testimony in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- In a stunning move, Trump declares war on the Freedom Caucus, calling on his supporters to vote out members of his own party.
- Senate Intelligence Committee holds its first Trump-Russia hearing.
Day 71 — Friday, March 31
- Trump urges Flynn to seek immunity, calls the Trump-Russia investigation a witch hunt, and continues to attack the media.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee rejects Flynn’s request for immunity.
- Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s extensive ties to their business empire are revealed, heightening conflicts of interest concerns.
- More reports of heightened civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria since Trump took office.
Week 11: The Syria Strike (April 1–7)
This week, President Trump’s conflicts of interest became central pillars of his administration, he continued his efforts to distract from Trump-Russia, and he contradicted his non-interventionist campaign rhetoric.
Day 72 — Saturday, April 1
- Trump begs the media to cover his fake surveillance narrative rather than Trump-Russia and tweets out a Fox News story about Susan Rice that would take over the news cycle later in the week.
- A report reveals that Michael Flynn failed to disclose payments from the Russia Propaganda network RT.
Day 73 — Sunday, April 2
- President Trump spent his 9th consecutive week at a Trump-owned property, hitting the golf course with Senator Rand Paul.
Day 74 — Monday, April 3
- It’s revealed that Trump’s trust is set up in a way that allows him to remove money and other assets at any time he sees fit, meaning he still profits from his business empire.
- Kushner visits Iraq before Tillerson does.
- A story on Erik Prince breaks, revealing that he tried to establish backchannel line of communication between Russia and the Trump administration.
- Trump doubles down on his Susan Rice surveillance alternative narrative, trying unsuccessfully to distract from Trump-Russia.
Day 75 — Tuesday, April 4
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launches the worst chemical gas attack in years on Syria’s Idlib province.
- North Korea again launches a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a very short response.
- Buzzfeed reports that Carter Page met with a Russian spy in 2013.
Day 76 — Wednesday, April 5
- Trump removes Chief Strategist Steve Bannon from his role on the National Security Council.
- Trump claims Syria’s chemical attack crosses “many, many lines” for him
Day 77 — Thursday, April 6
- In retaliation to Syria’s chemical attack, Trump launches 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Syrian regime’s Shayrat airbase.
- Nunes recuses himself from Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 78 — Friday, April 7
- The Syria strike does minimal damage leading many to wonder why the Trump administration would warn the Russian’s ahead of time. Was their intention to inflict maximum damage or send a message? Many point to an understaffed State Department as a reason why diplomatic options weren’t on the table.
- Russia condemns the strike and suspends air operation cooperation with the U.S.
- Neil Gorsuch is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice after McConnell goes nuclear on the Democrat’s filibuster.
- After a week which ended with a strike on Syria, Trump embarks on yet another weekend on the golf course
Week 12: The Slow Fall Of Bannon’s Influence (April 8–14)
After going 90 in a 55, the Trump administration slammed on the brakes, took a left turn, and accelerated up to about 110 in a new direction.
President Trump turned left on China. He turned left on Russia. He turned left on NATO. This was a week of flip-flops. Trump took multiple policy positions that were distinctly different than what he campaigned on and confirmed that his isolationist campaign rhetoric was hot air.
These left turns are tied directly to the fall of Steve Bannon. Trump began to heed more moderate advice and developed a reliance on a US military that was making enormous decisions without the need for White House approval. Trump gave the military “total authorization,” and with an understaffed State Department, we saw a lack of diplomatic efforts.
While all of this was taking place in the forefront, there were new developments in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia.
Day 79 — Saturday, April 8
- The Syrian military is seen carrying out airstrikes on the same town they launched a chemical attack on.
- The Syria strike divides Trump’s supporters.
Day 80 — Sunday, April 9
- Bannon’s influence continues to degrade after his recent removal from the NSC and his beef with Jared Kushner.
- National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster is gaining influence within the Trump administration as he continues to reshape the National Security Council
Day 81 — Monday, April 10
- Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice.
- The Trump administration begins a scramble to rebrand itself ahead of the 100-day mark.
Day 82 — Tuesday, April 11
- The Washington Post reveals that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page on the basis that he was an agent of the Russian government over the summer (we later find out that the warrant was originally obtained in 2014 under the same basis).
- Trump continues his “Twitter Diplomacy,” bashing North Korea and asks for China’s help as Tillerson continues his hawkish rhetoric.
Day 83 — Wednesday, April 12
- Trump flip-flops on numerous policy positions (NATO, China, Ex-Im Bank, Janet Yellen, Russia, Syria) reflecting the waning influence of his Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.
- Tillerson meets with Putin for two hours, leaves saying there is a low level of trust between the two nations.
- Trump belittles Bannon in an interview with the New York Post.
- Trump lifts the hiring freeze as DeVos rolls back student loan protections.
Day 84 — Thursday, April 13
- The US drops the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on Afghanistan…It is ordered by a ground commander without Trump’s approval.
- The Guardian reveals that the GCHQ discovered suspicious “interactions” between Trump’s campaign team and Russian agents as early as 2015 and passed that information over to the US.
- Trump signs executive order allowing states to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood.
Day 85 — Friday, April 14
- Tensions with North Korea ratchet up as NBC News reports Trump is considering military action.
Week 13: The Stage Is Set (April 15–21)
This week set the stage for what would be a frantic week to come, as we watch a president obsessed with his public perception scramble to redefine his first 100 days.
And as always, the Trump-Russia story continued to unfold, with Carter Page’s role becoming more clear and parts of the Christopher Steele dossier becoming more credible.
Day 86 — Saturday, April 15
- North Korea attempts to launch a missile from their east coast and it fails horribly, exploding within seconds of launch.
Day 87 — Sunday, April 16
- Trump sends out tweets defending his recent flip-flop on labeling China a currency manipulator, bashes the nationwide Tax Marches, and throws in a “Happy Easter.”
Day 88 — Monday, April 17
- Pence visits the demilitarized zone on the border of North and South Korea to assure those in the South that the U.S. has their back
- Trump called to congratulate authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the contested referendum that increased his power.
Day 89 — Tuesday, April 18
- AP reveals that the day Ivanka Trump dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping, her company won provisional approval for new China trademarks. Many point to the emoluments clause of the constitution.
- CNN reports that “the FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate (Carter Page)”
- A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, the Justice Department does not have any U.S. Attorneys in place.
- Trump deports the first undocumented DREAMER.
Day 90 — Wednesday, April 19
- It becomes apparent that the Carl Vinson carrier group Trump said was headed to the Korean peninsula, was headed in the opposite direction. It turns out; the Carl Vinson was headed to participate in joint naval exercises with Australia. South Korea did not take kindly to this.
- Exxon asks for a waiver for Russian sanctions for the Exxon-Rosneft deal Tillerson negotiated as CEO.
- Jeff Sessions bashes Hawaii judge, calls the state an island on the Pacific.
Day 91 — Thursday, April 20
- The U.S. begins to prepare charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
- Reuters reports Russian Intelligence-linked think tank developed plan to sway 2016 election.
- The New York Times reports that Carter Page’s Trump campaign approved trip to Moscow was what triggered the FBI to begin keeping a more watchful eye on his communications.
Day 92 — Friday, April 21
- With the 100-day mark of Trump’s presidency fast approaching (April 29th) and a potential government shutdown on April 28th, the Trump administration sends Washington into a frenzy.
- Trump demands the unveiling of tax plan that hadn’t been written yet and the signing of an Obamacare replacement that had yet to be negotiated by next week.
- The US Treasury Department denies Exxon’s request for a waiver for U.S. sanctions on Russia so they could do business with Rosneft.
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Week 14: The Scramble For A Perceived “Win” (April 22–29)
This week we watched as a president obsessed with his public perception, desperately tried to get something — anything — done.
Trump sent Washington into a frenzy as he scrambled to crank out perceived “wins” before the 100-day mark. All of this was in an effort to create meaningful, well thought out policies that benefit the American people right? Nope. Trump was simply fishing for good media coverage surrounding his first 100 days.
President Trump demanded the unveiling of tax plan that hadn’t been written yet, the signing of an Obamacare replacement that had yet to be negotiated, the addition of budget resolutions that never passed, and prepped an Executive Order to pull out of NAFTA that he never ended up signing.
This flurry of activity didn’t successfully drown out developments in the Trump-Russia investigation or the mounting revelations about Michael Flynn.
A lot happened this week, some of which went unnoticed.
Day 93 — Saturday, April 22
- Thousands of people who care about the future of humanity gather in over 600 cities in six continents, to participate in a massive demonstration to loudly declare that science, and facts, matter.
- Trump apparently takes notice, and despite having signed executive orders and legislation that negatively affect water, air, and land, he claims he values the environment.
Day 94 — Sunday, April 23
- Trump sends off quite a few tweets all but endorsing Le Pen in the French election, jabs at Obamacare, tries to reassure his base that Mexico would indeed pay for the wall, and once again brings up the U.S. election.
Day 95 — Monday, April 24
- Reports reveal the Senate’s Trump-Russia probe has no full-time staff, has interviewed no key witnesses, and has made little progress.
- As the potential government shutdown quickly approaches on April 28th, the disputes over the budget continue as Democrats and Republicans scramble to come to an agreement on key issues.
- Trump vents his nerves on Twitter.
Day 96 — Tuesday, April 25
- House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings reveal that Flynn may have violated the law by not receiving permission from the Pentagon or properly disclosing the $45,000 payment he received for a paid speech at Russia’s propaganda network (RT) event.
- San Francisco judge blocks Trump’s January executive order which sought to block billions in federal funding for sanctuary cities.
- Republicans make the first concession to the Democrats on the budget. They will no longer include the $1 billion to fund President Trump’s border wall.
Day 97 — Wednesday, April 26
- Trump releases a half-baked, one-pager of a tax plan that was shorter than a college kid’s resume. Economists are shocked, claiming the plan will drastically increase the national debt.
- The White House makes its second concession on the budget, now stating that they would continue to fund Obamacare subsidies.
- The Trump admin briefs Congress on the North Korean threat, but lawmakers feel that they didn’t receive enough details on the administration’s strategy.
- With Rep. Devin Nunes no longer leading the probe, the House Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Russia investigation is reportedly getting back on the right, non-partisan, footing…for now.
Day 98 — Thursday, April 27
- This is the day where President Trump’s scramble for “wins” falls apart. So, about that ACHA revive effort — Republicans, knowing that they would fall short of the votes necessary to pass the bill, delay the vote. Nervous about the approaching 100 day-mark, President Trump unleashes a series of Tweets accusing the Democrats of wanting a government shut down. Trump also backtracks on pulling out of NAFTA.
Day 99 — Friday, April 28
- Congress votes to avoid a government shutdown and agrees to fund the federal government for another week. Trump doesn’t get his wish to fund his border wall or cease funding of Obamacare subsidies, ending a week of failed attempts to grab a “win” out of thin air.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from any potential investigations into Michael Flynn.
- North Korea launches yet another failed missile test.
- The U.S GDP grows 0.7% during Trump’s first quarter as president, the weakest growth in 3 years.
- In an interview with Reuters, President Trump says that there is a chance for “a major, major conflict with North Korea” and goes on to admit that the presidency is harder than he thought it would be…
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Day 100 — Saturday, April 29
- The Climate March sees hundreds of thousands of people gather in a massive demonstration to advocate for environmental advocacy.
- North Korea launches yet another failed ballistic missile test.
- Trump’s 100 days ended where this whole thing started…A Trump rally.
Week 15: The Premature Celebration (April 30 — May 5)
With the 100 day mark behind us and a new week beginning, we saw a revitalized and focused Trump ready to take on the important issues facing our great natio…I’m sorry. I can’t finish typing this with a straight face.
Unfortunately, it was back to business as usual for the man in the oval office. Trump started the week off strong with a divisive rally, remarks on Andrew Jackson’s fictional anger surrounding the Civil War (?), and praise of Kim Jong-un.
Despite the upcoming hurdle in the Senate, Trump ended the week even stronger by popping Bud Light with Republicans and prematurely celebrating their rushed Obamacare replacement effort making it through the House. That’s like celebrating your win at halftime.
Meanwhile, like every other week, the Trump-Russia investigation continued to move forward.
Day 101 — Sunday, April 30
- Trump invites President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines (an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects) to the White House.
Day 102 — Monday, May 1
- Trump makes a bizarre claim about how Andrew Jackson was “really angry” about the Civil War (Andrew Jackson died 16 years before it took place).
- As tensions with North Korea rise, President Trump says he would “be honored” to meet with Kim Jong-un and calls him “a pretty smart cookie.”
- The Trump administration ends Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” education program.
- The Trump administration suspends sodium reduction and whole-grain requirements for school lunches.
- Trump moves to place anti-abortion activist Teresa Manning in charge of the HHS’ family planning program.
Day 103— Tuesday, May 2
- Jimmy Kimmel’s heartfelt story about his newborn son’s heart surgery and plea for pre-existing conditions protections goes viral, as Trump vents his frustrations about the healthcare on Twitter.
- During an interview, Hillary Clinton says she is “part of the resistance,” Russian Wikileaks and the Comey letter raised doubts in her voters, and questions Trump’s conduct while in office. Trump attacks her on Twitter.
- Government-funded Voice of America promotes Ivanka’s book on their Twitter account.
Day 104 — Wednesday, May 3
- In an appearance before the Senate, Comey defends his decision to send the letter disclosing the discovery of emails that may be related to Hillary Clinton’s email server investigation 11 days before the election.
Day 105— Thursday, May 4
- Without a new review from the Congressional Budget Office (the CBO projected the previous version of the bill would leave 24 million more people uninsured by 2026) and outrage from their constituents, House Republicans narrowly pass the ACHA with 217 votes. Some members of the GOP admit to not even reading it before voting for it. They then pre-maturely celebrate at the White House.
- Trump signs an executive order making it easier for Churches to engage in political activities
- The Senate passes a $1 trillion spending deal, averting a government shutdown.
- Trump calls the media “fake news” and promotes Fox News.
Day 106 — Friday, May 5
- The Senate moves to write their own healthcare bill.
- During a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump says that Australia has a better healthcare system than the US…Australia has Universal Healthcare. He doubles down on Twitter in an attempt to clarify his comments.
- The U.S. adds 211,000 new jobs in April, and the unemployment rate hits a 10-year low of 4.4%.
- The Associated Press reports that Trump’s transition team raised flags over Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
- Trump’s army secretary pick Mark Green withdraws his name from consideration.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee requests Trump campaign associates’ communications with Russia. The associates include Roger Stone, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn.
Week 16: The Obstruction Of Justice (May 6–12)
With the eerie parallels of Watergate rhyming his every move, we watched as a paranoid President accelerated his biggest scandal. By firing FBI Director James Comey, President Trump made a reckless attempt to obstruct the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. That is not an assumption. He admitted it.
The events that occurred throughout the week tested the resilience of our nation and the effectiveness of the rule of law.
“Whether we shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people [to decide].” — Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox after being fired by President Richard Nixon (October 20, 1973)
This was the most consequential week of Donald Trump’s presidency thus far, and perhaps, his entire presidency.
Day 107— Saturday, May 6
- The Kushner family hosts an event in Beijing where they tout Jared Kushner’s relationship with the president when trying to secure investments in their real estate fund.
Day 108— Sunday, May 7
- Despite Russia’s efforts to tip the scale in Le Pen’s favor, Emmanuel Macron defeats right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen in the French election.
- Governor Greg Abbot signs a ban on “sanctuary cities” which would allow local police forces to enforce federal immigration law.
Day 109 — Monday, May 8
- The former acting Attorney General Sally Yates gives a widely praised testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yates outlines how she learned of Flynn’s lies regarding his calls with Russian ambassador Kislyak and that he was susceptible to blackmail.
- In a meeting with Sessions and Rosenstein, Trump asks for Rosenstein to put a recommendation to fire Comey into writing.
- The EPA guts half its scientific advisers and suspends more than 200 advisory panels.
Day 110 — Tuesday, May 9
- Trump fires FBI Director James Comey after reportedly looking for a good reason to fire him.
- Federal prosecutors issue the first grand jury subpoenas related to the Trump-Russia investigation into Michael Flynn, seeking documents related to his Russia ties.
- The U.S. commits to arming the Syrian Kurdish Militia in an effort that will lead to an offensive on ISIS’ de facto capitol of Raqqa.
Day 111 — Wednesday, May 10
- Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. Boasts about highly classified intelligence, revealing the location of an Israeli-provided intelligence source critical to the fight against ISIS. Also, Trump appears to give confirmation that he fired James Comey in an attempt to end the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Senate Intelligence Committee invites Comey to testify at a closed hearing the following week and subpoenas Michael Flynn, and sends a request to the Treasury Department’s criminal investigation division for any information related to Trump, his top officials, his campaign aides.
- Predictably, Trump sends out a series of tweets insulting Democrats and defending his decision to fire Comey.
- A report indicates that Roger Stone had spoken to Trump less than a week prior and urged him to fire Comey.
- Trump also meets with Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s former national security advisor (Yeah, this could not get any weirder right? Just wait until later in the week)
- Director of the Census Bureau John Thompson abruptly resigns, reportedly over 2020 budget disputes.
- A journalist in West Virginia gets arrested after asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price questions.
- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gives a commencement speech at a historically black college and gets pretty badly booed.
Day 112— Thursday, May 11
- The New York Times reports that seven days after Trump became president, he invited Comey to a private dinner and asked him to pledge his loyalty to him. Comey declined, saying he could only offer his honesty.
- Ranking Democratic member Mark Warner (D-VA) expresses concern for the fact the firing of Comey appeared to be an attempt to interfere with the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
- House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz asks the Inspector General to probe the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
- President Trump signs an executive order authorizing an investigation into his false voter fraud conspiracy theory.
Day 113 — Friday, May 12
- After a week filled with suspicion, a clip of Trump admitting to NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired Comey because of the Trump-Russia investigation is released.
- Given his recusal, Sessions involvement in the decision to fire Comey comes into question.
- Trump tweets that he has tapes of his conversations with Comey (later proven false). This could be considered “witness intimidation.”
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs prosecutors to seek the maximum punishment for drug offenses.
Week 17: The Special Counsel (May 13–19)
The White house was in crisis. The news cycle was dizzying. And the American people were vigilant.
Obstruction of justice. Criminal investigation. Independent counsel. Collusion. Cover-up. Impeachment.
These aren’t the string of words a sitting President wants to hear. But unfortunately for Trump, this week those became more than just words. They became possibilities — and in some cases, a reality (cough* Robert Mueller).
While details from President Trump’s Oval Office meeting with the Russians and his firing of FBI Director James Comey reverberated throughout this week, Trump’s staff grappled with the repercussions as their boss constantly undercut them at every turn.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia entered an entirely new phase, as the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. The events that transpired this week had skeptics asking, would an innocent man do that?
Day 114 — Saturday, May 13
- Trump seeks a friendly audience at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
- White supremacist Richard Spencer leads a torch-lit protest of the sale of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville, VA.
Day 115 — Sunday, May 14
- A frustrated Trump and his team consider a “reboot” and a big staff shakeup.
- North Korea launches a successful ballistic missile test which flies 489 miles.
Day 116 — Monday, May 15
- We learn the classified intelligence source Trump told Kislyak and Lavrov about was provided by the Israelis.
- The Supreme Court shuts down North Carolina Republican’s attempt to revive a discriminatory voter ID law.
Day 117 — Tuesday, May 16
- The New York Times reports that Comey took meticulous notes and left a paper trail documenting every time he believed Trump made improper moves to influence the FBI’s investigation — The report reveals that Trump asked Comey to back off Flynn.
- Rep. Al Green (D-TX) becomes the first congressman to officially call for the impeachment of President Trump, citing Trump’s firing of James Comey as obstruction of justice.
- Trump meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while Erdogan’s bodyguards assault American protestors outside of the Turkish embassy in DC.
Day 118 — Wednesday, May 17
- The Trump presidency enters a new era as the Trump-Russia investigation gets taken to a whole new level. In a stunning move, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to independently oversee the investigation into Russia’s meddling in our election, including potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
- In transcripts from 2016 obtained by The Washington Post, it’s revealed that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) joked that he “thinks Putin pays” Trump as Speaker Paul Ryan and his colleagues laughed.
Day 119 — Thursday, May 18
- Reuters reports that Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign officials had at least 18 undisclosed calls and emails with Russia officials during the last 7 months of the campaign, six of which were calls between Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- A report reveals that Trump had been in contact with Flynn as recently as April 25th. Trump is said to have texted Flynn with the message, “stay strong.”
- Mike Pence launches his own PAC ahead of 2020
- After leaving a highly anticipated briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senators say that Rosenstein already knew Comey was going to be fired before writing the “recommendation.”
Day 120 — Friday, May 19
- The New York Times reveals more details about what Trump told Kislyak and Lavrov in the Oval Office.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
- The Washington Post reveals Kushner is a significant person of interest in the Trump-Russia probe
- McClatchy reports that “Investigators into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections are now authorized to probe whether White House officials have engaged in a cover-up, according to members of Congress who were briefed Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”
- CNN reports that U.S. intelligence officials have intercepted communications from during the campaign where Russian officials bragged about their “ally” Michael Flynn, and how they could use him to influence Trump and his team.
- Comey agrees to testify in an open congressional hearing.
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Week 18: The Son-In-Law Scrutiny (May 20–26)
Things weren’t looking good for the man in the Oval. His son-in-law became a focus of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation for trying to set up a secret channel of communication with Russia. His former national security adviser was swatting away subpoenas, risking jail time to stay quiet. And as for Trump…he seemed to be running out of his “finite amount of energy,” as he led from behind via golf cart.
While the Trump-Russia story unfolded at home, Trump was stumbling around the globe in his first trip abroad. The trip ended with German Chancellor Angela Merkel essentially saying she can no longer depend on the U.S.
Day 121— Saturday, May 20
- In Saudi Arabia, Trump closes a $110 billion arms deal (with the help of Jared Kushner), and Ivanka receives a $100 million pledge to her Women’s Entrepreneur Fund from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Trump stumbles through a sword dance, touches a glowing globe, and gives a speech.
Day 122— Sunday, May 21
- A large group of students walk out of Pence’s commencement speech at Notre Dame.
- Priebus and Steve Bannon return to Washington early so that they could hold down the fort for what would be quite the week…
Day 123 — Monday, May 22
- In Israel, in an effort to defend his meeting with Kislyak and Lavrov in the Oval Office, Trump confirms that the source was indeed from Israel. Trump becomes the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall.
- Flynn invokes the Fifth Amendment while rejecting the Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena for records related to his Russia ties.
- The Trump administration sends a letter the head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter M. Shaub, requesting that the OGE suspend their effort to obtain the names of former lobbyists that Trump granted waivers for to work in his administration. Shaub sends a letter back, declining the request.
Day 124 — Tuesday, May 23
- Budget Director Mick Mulvaney unveils a budget that would hit poorest Americans the hardest (especially Trump’s own supporters), cutting departments and programs they depend on.
- In his testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan says that he saw contacts between Trump’s campaign team and Russian operatives that concerned him.
- After Michael Flynn’s denial, the Senate Intelligence Committee issues two new subpoenas in an attempt to retrieve documents related to his interactions with Russia.
- ISIS claims responsibility for the tragic Manchester terrorist attack and Trump proclaims he would, from now on, call terrorists “losers.”
Day 125 — Wednesday, May 24
- Trump visits the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis who Pope Francis urges Trump to honor the US’ commitments to combating climate change.
- The DOJ reveals that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak when applying for his security clearance.
- The New York Times reports that U.S. officials had intercepted Russian communications where they discussed how to use Paul Manafort (Trump campaign chairman at the time) and former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn to influence Trump. The Russians reportedly boasted about how well they knew Flynn.
- NBC News reports that “President Donald Trump is expected to retain Marc Kasowitz as private attorney on matters related to the Russia investigation.”
- Despite promising to donate all profits earned from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury, MSNBC reveals that the Trump Organization was not tracking all possible payments it receives from foreign governments.
- The Congressional Budget Office releases their score of House Republican’s healthcare legislation, and it isn’t pretty: 23 million more to lose insurance by 2026.
- The night before the Montana special election, GOP candidate Greg Gianforte body slams a reporter. The following day he’s charged with assault…and wins the election.
- Meanwhile, Democrats win two seats in districts that voted for Trump.
Day 126 — Thursday, May 25
- In Brussels, Trump scolds the 23 out of 28 NATO members who were not meeting their 2% GDP contribution to NATO’s mutual defense. Trump also did not explicitly affirm the US’ commitment to NATO’s core tenet Article 5 (“an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all”).
- A federal appeals court rejects the Trump administration’s effort to reinstate Trump’s Muslim ban. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vows to appeal it to the Supreme Court.
- Politico reports that Manafort remained in contact with Trump’s team and even advised Priebus on a way to distract from the Trump-Russia investigation.
- A US-led coalition air strike kills 100 people in eastern Syria — 40 of them were children.
- We get confirmation that it was Kushner is a subject of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 127— Friday, May 26
- It’s revealed Kushner is under investigation for discussing a secret channel of communication between Russia and the Trump transition team with Kislyak. Also, for his December meeting with Russian banker Sergey Gorkov. Gorkov runs VneshEconomBank (VEB), a Russia owned bank that is currently under US sanctions that were put in place in 2014.
Week 19: The Covfefe (May 27 — June 2)
Trump returned to the U.S. amid news the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation now involves his son-in-law Jared Kushner. And the details of Kushner’s efforts to create a back channel with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at that secret December meeting in Trump Tower didn’t help soften the blow. As the Trump-Russia investigation expanded in scope, Trump continued to take to Twitter.
Day 128— Saturday, May 27
- Trump attends the G-7 summit in Sicily. As the world leaders walk the streets, Trump rides behind them in a golf cart.
Day 129 — Saturday, May 28
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives us insight into how she feels about the week. She makes a statement that shook the western world: That Europe can no longer rely on the U.S.
“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”
Day 130— Monday, May 29
- On Memorial Day, The New York Times reveals that the Trump administration tried to life sanctions on Russia in their first week in office.
Day 131 — Tuesday, May 30
- It’s revealed that Michael Cohen is now a subject of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Russia investigation.
- CNN reports that “Russian government officials discussed having potentially “derogatory” information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election.”
- Trump’s Communications Director Mike Dubke left the White House.
- For the first time, the US successfully intercepts a missile.
Day 132— Wednesday, May 31
- Donald Trump tweets the typo that shakes the internet: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
- The Associated Press reports that Trump has been handing out his cell phone number to world leaders and asking them to call him directly, raising security concerns.
- It’s reported Jared Kushner found a way to use federal loans that were designated for projects in poverty-stricken areas to build a luxury skyscraper.
- White House grants ethics waivers to lobbyists in the Trump admin because…drain the swamp.
Day 133 — Thursday, June 1
- Trump announces that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord come 2020.
- NBC News reports that the FBI and Congress are investigating an April 27th event at the Mayflower Hotel for a potential undisclosed private meeting that occurred between Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, and Sergey Kislyak.
- “Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, including social media checks” — Reuters
- A Yahoo report reveals that not only did Trump administration officiala try and lift sanctions their first week in office, the Obama administration tried to stop them.
- The date of Comey’s public hearing is set to June 8th.
Day 134 — Friday, June 2
- Mueller expands his probe to take over the investigations into Flynn’s previously undisclosed $530,000 consultancy work with Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, into former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, and potential obstruction of justice.
- The Trump administration appeals the Muslim ban case to the Supreme Court.
- States like California begin to step up to the plate and make commitments to combat climate change and 187 US Mayors (and counting) commit to honor and uphold the Paris Climate Accord.
Week 20: The Comey Hearing (June 3–9)
This week, FBI Director James Comey delivered what will be remembered as one the most consequential testimonies in modern history. Major networks interrupted their normal day-time TV to broadcast it live, which has only happened for a handful of congressional hearings (the Watergate hearings being among them). Americans tuned in with one question at the forefront of their minds: Is President Trump guilty of obstruction of justice?
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.
Day 135— Saturday, June 3
- After a London terrorist attack, Trump attacks London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Day 136 — Sunday, June 4
- Russian President Vladimir Putin sits down with American reporter Megyn Kelly. After saying that patriotic Russian hackers may have been behind the hacks on the DNC earlier in the week, Putin tells Kelly that the U.S. may have hacked itself to frame Russia. Needless to say, he was lying.
Day 137— Monday, June 5
- 25-year-old Reality Winner, a US intelligence contractor who was later arrested and charged, leaks an NSA report to The Intercept that reveals 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.
- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes begins his “unmasking” witch hunt.
- A New York Times report reveals that Trump “has grown sour on” Attorney General Jeff Sessions, blaming him for many problems within his White House and is angry that Sessions recused himself.
Day 138 — Tuesday, June 6
- Trump takes sides in a Qatar crisis on Twitter, and the White House is forced to do damage control.
- The Trump Organization expands their hotel to hit the mid-market with a new “America” line of hotels.
- A report reveals Trump shifted money from Eric Trump’s child cancer charity into his businesses.
- Buzzfeed finds that kids nationwide are quoting Trump to bully their classmates.
Day 139— Wednesday, June 7
- Ahead of his testimony, Comey sends 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.
Day 140 — Thursday, June 8
- In his Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Comey outlines a series of events that create a clear case for obstruction of justice.
- In the Senate Intelligence Committee’s closed session after the Comey hearing, it’s revealed that there is a third undisclosed meeting between Sessions and the Russians.
- The House passes the Financial CHOICE Act, which is a polite name for their effort to dismantle Dodd-Frank.
Day 141 — Friday, June 9
- On Twitter, Trump accuses Comey of the of lying under oath, otherwise known as committing perjury.
Week 21: The Criminal Investigation (June 10–16)
The President of the United States came under criminal investigation, and he has only himself to blame.
Repeated meddling in an ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling. Self-incriminating statements. Paranoid tweets
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation heated up and the nation was captivated by this slow moving train wreck, a lot happened. Americans were shot, strategy was shifted in the Middle East, and lawsuits concerning Trump’s potential emoluments clause violations continued to pile up.
Day 142— Saturday, June 10
- While Trump claims vindication, Special Counsel Robert Mueller assembles the legal equivalent of the Avengers.
Day 143— Sunday, June 11
- Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow says he wouldn’t rule out firing Robert Mueller in an interview on ABC.
- Trump crashes a wedding at his golf club in Bedminster, NJ. This raised even more ethics concerns.
- Former US Attorney Preet Bharara claims that there is sufficient evidence for obstruction of justice against Trump regarding the Comey firing and also detailed some unusual calls with President Trump leading up to his own firing. Bharara details how he was asked to investigate Trump’s potential violations of the emoluments clause a few days before his firing.
Day 144 — Monday, June 12
- The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously rules against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, upholding the freeze of his controversial executive order.
- Senate Republicans continue to work on their healthcare bill in secrecy, refusing to release the draft.
- The Attorneys General for the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland sue President Trump for “unprecedented constitutional violations” by retaining ownership of his businesses which transact with foreign governments.
- Trump holds a bizarre cabinet meeting which ends up being a room full of adults taking turns praising him.
Day 145 — Tuesday, June 13
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sessions is pressed on many topics including his role in firing FBI Director James Comey, whether or not he met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27th, and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. One of his favorite answers is the assertion that he does not remember. As the hearing went on, Sessions contradicts himself on many occasions, sometimes in the same sentence.
- Bloomberg drops a report further detailing Russia’s hacking attempts on state voting systems.
- Senate Republicans abruptly bar reporters from filming representatives in the hallways of the Capitol.
- After being detained in North Korea for over a year, Otto Warmbier was returned to the US. It was revealed that he was in a coma for over a year…
- Trump adds 6 more trademarks in China, raising more ethics concerns.
Day 146 — Wednesday, June 14
- Four people are shot at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, VA. Two brave Capitol Police Officers (David J. Bailey and Crystal Griner) who fended off the shooter, lobbyist Matt Mikka, and House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise. Scalise is shot in the hip and survives in critical condition.
- It’s reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, a criminal offense. Also, Mueller’s probing money laundering on the part of Trump’s associates.
- Trump’s ethics concerns continue, as 200 Democratic members of Congress file a lawsuit accusing him of violating the emoluments clause by profiting from business dealings with foreign governments.
- Trump handed control over troop levels in Afghanistan to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Day 147 — Thursday, June 15
- Trump starts to call the Trump-Russia investigation a “witch hunt” in on Twitter in response to the obstruction of justice report.
- Pence hires legal counsel to handle the investigation Trump-Russia investigation.
- The Washington Post reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating Jared Kushner’s finances and business dealings.
Day 148— Friday, June 16
- Trump says he’s being investigated on Twitter and seems to attack Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
- Trump’s Personal Attorney Michael Cohen secured an attorney for the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Trump announces a roll-back of Obama’s Cuba policy.
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Week 22: The Bow-Legged Bull In A Russian Glassware Shop (June 17–23)
President Trump and his team were still handling the Russia investigation with about as much grace as a bow-legged bull in a Russian glassware shop.
Republican representatives in Congress proved that they still haven’t remembered who their bosses are. They still don’t quite get that their board of directors are the American people (you know, the folks who put them in power in the first place). And now, the board was watching their every move anxiously awaiting the opportunity to vote them out.
Meanwhile, tensions in the Middle East surged, more revealing information on the Trump-Russia investigation leaked, and we got a little more info on why we’ve been seeing less of Sean Spicer.
A lot happened this week, and everyone’s worst habits were on full display.
Day 149— Saturday, June 17
- It’s revealed the Trump administration was planning to work with House Republicans in an effort to water down the Senate’s bipartisan bill that places new sanctions on Russia and limits the President’s power to remove them.
Day 150 — Sunday, June 18
- Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow makes the Sunday show rounds. Sekulow not only contradicts what President Trump asserted on Friday, in his interview with Chris Wallace, he directly contradicts himself. Sekulow asserts Trump is not under investigation…after saying he was being investigated just a few seconds earlier…
- The USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel and 7 missing sailors have been found dead.
Day 151 — Monday, June 19
- Russia says that it would treat any US-led coalition craft that flies west of the Euphrates River as a potential target and stated that they were ending the Syrian air safety agreement with the US which was created in an effort to avoid any collisions between Russian and US aircraft. This comes after the US military made a move that hasn’t been done since the Syria conflict began in 2014. They shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell makes moves behind the scenes to push the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill forward.
- The Supreme Court announces that they will hear the Wisconsin gerrymandering case.
- McClatchy DC reports that “Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn appears to have failed to report a 2015 trip to Saudi Arabia on behalf of a US/Russia business plan to build nuclear reactors.”
Day 152 — Tuesday, June 20
- 30-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff loses against former Georgia Secretary of State and Republican candidate Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th district special election. But he over-performs what Democrats could expect historically in the red district (indicative of things to come).
- The White House continues their aversion to on-camera press conferences and rumors begin to fly of Sean Spicer’s potential move away from the role of Press Secretary.
- It’s was confirmed that the Senate GOP would finally release the text of their secret healthcare bill this week.
- The New York Times reports that The FBI, the CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence were all convinced that Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian government…Despite this knowledge, CIA Director Mike Pompeo continued to provide President Trump with briefings on the US’ most sensitive and classified secrets with Michael Flynn in the room.
Day 153— Wednesday, June 21
- Department of Homeland Security’s acting Director of Cyber Division Samuel Liles testifies that 21 states were potentially targeted by Russian-linked entities. DHS official Jeanette Manfra corroborates Liles’ testimony (It’s important to note that there was no reported evidence that any vote tallies were altered).
- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos selects the CEO of a private student loan company to lead the Education Department’s student loan system.
- The top attorney in the US, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, secures a private attorney of his own to help him handle the Russia probe.
- The Congressional Black Caucus rejects an invitation to meet with President Trump.
Day 154 — Thursday, June 22
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally releases their attempt to repeal Obamacare: The Better Care Reconciliation Act — which was seen as a thinly veiled tax cut. This occurs as disabled protesters of the Senate’s healthcare bill were forcibly removed from their wheelchairs outside of Mitch McConnell’s office. Trump tweets his support of the bill.
- CNN reports that in separate meetings, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers told Special Counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump suggested that they publicly declare that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
- Trump tweets that there are indeed no tapes of his conversations with Comey.
- The Carrier plant, the one Trump gave tax breaks to and claimed he saved their jobs from Mexico, sends 600 or more jobs to Mexico.
Day 155 — Friday, June 23
- In an interview on Fox News, Trump appears to admit that he intentionally lied about having tapes on Comey’s conversations in an effort to influence FBI Director James Comey’s testimony.
- A comprehensive report from The Washington Post dives into the details of the Obama administration’s handling of Russia’s interference. It broke down how the intel that Putin was personally orchestrating the interference was delivered to President Obama and reveals the pre-election measures Obama and his team weighed.
- The New York Times reports that “Federal investigators are examining financial transactions involving Paul Manafort and his son-in-law.”
Week 23: The Wannabe Authoritarian (June 24 — July 2)
This was the week the President of the United States shared a video depicting himself violently tackling and punching a media organization…
This week was turbulent. The President of the United States attacked media organizations on Twitter (literally), wore his misogyny, and admitted to the attempted blackmail of Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. The Trump administration’s thinly veiled nationwide voter suppression conquest was in full sight. A component of the Muslim ban went into effect. The Senate’s Obamacare repeal/tax cut effort was delayed. And all the while, the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives rose significantly.
During this consequential time in human history, the American people demanded steadfast leadership. As the Republican Party continued to wait for Trump to miraculously find his mind, the American people were growing impatient wondering when the Grand Old Party would finally find their spine.
Day 156— Saturday, June 24
- Trump spent yet another weekend golfing.
Day 157 — Sunday, June 25
- Kellyanne Conway gets back to her alternative fact roots. “These are not cuts to Medicaid,” she says on ABC referring to the GOP healthcare bill despite the fact it would cut Medicaid outlays by roughly $772 Billion…
- Trump accuses Clinton of colluding with…the Democratic Party to beat Bernie Sanders.
- The Washington Post reports that a month before the election, Kushner finalized a $285 million refinancing loan from Deutsche Bank who at the time “was negotiating to settle a federal mortgage fraud case and charges from New York state regulators that it aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme. The cases were settled in December and January.”
Day 158— Monday, June 26
- The long-awaited CBO report for the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill is released, and it outlined a devastating future. It 22 million more to be uninsured by 2026, with 15 million of them to lose coverage next year. After the report, there are five GOP no’s by the end of the day, and still no word from McConnell on the path forward.
- In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court reinstates a portion of Trump’s Muslim ban executive order. The courts allowed the travel ban on visitors from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days and the 120 days hold on all refugees entering the U.S. to proceed as planned.
- Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador that Trump and his associates can’t seem to recall meeting, is recalled back to Russia.
- The Miami Herald reports that Igor Zorin, a Russian government official, has spent almost $8 million on Trump properties in Florida.
Day 159— Tuesday, June 27
- After the fallout from the CBO report, McConnell announces they would be delaying the vote on their healthcare bill until after the July 4th congressional recess.
- A New York Times report reveals Manafort “disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.”
Day 160— Wednesday, June 28
- Trump continues his barrage of tweets attacking the press.
- CNN reports that Trump’s advisers are having a hard time convincing him that Russia still poses a threat to the US despite their unprecedented interference in our democracy.
- President Trump holds a fundraising event for his re-election at his own DC hotel. Given the fact that his trust is structured in a way that allows him to pull profits whenever he chooses, he personally profited from this event.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson grows frustrated in his role.
Day 161 — Thursday, June 29
- Trump sends out tweets attacking Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, getting particularly nasty when speaking of Mika, referring to her bleeding face after a face-lift. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defends the remarks.
- The NRA releases a deplorable ad that seems to call for armed violence.
- The new Muslim ban goes into at 8 pm.
- A Wall Street Journal report reveals that GOP operative Peter Smith sought Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails from who he thought were Russian hackers…And he was coordinating it with none-other than Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Day 162 — Friday, June 30
- Trump continues his attacks on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Scarborough writes an op-ed entitled “Donald Trump is not well.”
- The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, aka the commission created to detect voter fraud based on Trump’s conspiracy theories, requests names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters all 50 states. States begin denying the request.
- Former Chair of the Congressional Oversight Committee Rep. Jason Chaffetz officially resigns to begin his tenure at Fox News.
Day 163— Saturday, July 1
- Since the unhinged tweets carry into the weekend, will keep this in one section. Coming fresh off a week he spent attacking Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on Twitter, Trump doubles down on his attacks on the Morning Joe anchors and also unleashed more attacks on the press.
Day 164 — Sunday, July 2
- After the day before tweeting he would begin calling CNN, Fraud News Network, Trump sends out a video depicting himself violently body slamming and punching the news organization.
Week 24: The Puppet (July 3–7)
This was the week President of the United States kissed the ring of the man who personally orchestrated one of the most blatant assaults on American democracy in history.
Donald Trump officially sided with the word of Vladimir Putin over the word of the U.S. intelligence community. For a president whose campaign is currently being investigated for potentially colluding with Russia to win the election and who’s been widely accused of being Putin’s “puppet,” Trump was doing himself, and America, no favors.
At the G20 summit, we saw the U.S. isolated on a Trump-branded regressive island, while the rest of the world moved forward without it. At home, the Trump-Russia investigation continued to move forward, and by the end of the week, we received the most damaging news of potential collusion thus far…This time it came via open admission from Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr.
Day 165 — Monday, July 3
- Kim Jong-un and his regime successfully test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time. Trump lashes out at the dictator on Twitter.
- In a 2–1 ruling, the DC court of appeals strikes down the EPA’s attempt to implement a 90-day suspension of the Obama-era emissions standards on oil and gas wells that limited methane and smog-forming emissions.
Day 166 — Tuesday, July 4
- Trump goes golfing.
- America celebrates its birth 🎉.
Day 167 — Wednesday, July 5
- 44 states and DC reject at least a portion of the Trump administration’s request for voter information.
- The Guardian reports that “Investigators are looking into whether Trump supporters and far-right websites coordinated with Moscow over the release of fake news.
- According to Politico, the Trump organization renews over 1,000 domain names, including TrumpRussia.com and TrumpTowerMoscow.com.
Day 168— Thursday, July 6
- Trump casts doubt on the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in our democracy and attacks American media on foreign soil, with thePolish President who had been accused of curbing press freedoms in his own country.
- CNN reports that Russia is ramping up their intelligence-gathering initiatives in the U.S.
- The New York Times reports that “hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries,” and that the techniques mimicked those of a Russian hacking group known as “Energetic Bear.”
- One of Bannon’s key allies leaves the National Security Council as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s gains power.
- After months of taking the Trump administration to task over their repeated ethics violations, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub Jr. resigns.
Day 169 — Friday, July 7
- Trump holds a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting is scheduled to be thirty minutes but ends up lasting for 2 hours and 16 minutes. The only people allowed in the meeting with Putin and Trump are Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Week 25: The Trump Tower Meeting (July 8–14)
Over the last several months, the reports of Trump-Russia collusion moved closer and closer to Trump’s inner circle.
Roger Stone. Carter Page. Paul Manafort. Felix Sater. Michael Flynn. Michael Cohen. Jeff Sessions. Jared Kushner. And now, his namesake Donald Trump Jr.
After months of reports of communication — and in some cases meetings in European nations — between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, we got the most damning evidence of potential Trump-Russia collusion thus far.
This was the week the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting was revealed. A meeting that has since become one of the main focal points of the Trump-Russia investigation. Over the week, you can see the lies Trump Jr. tells and how the people in attendance had their identities revealed.
Day 170 — Saturday, July 8
- After the New York Times reports that Donald Trump Jr., then Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, and Kushner, met with a Russian lawyer days after Trump Sr. clinched the Republican nomination.
Day 171— Sunday, July 9
- The New York Times expands on their reporting.
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.
- We learn the people in attendance so far are Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Rob Goldstone. Don Jr. claims they discussed “adoption,” and that was it, but the adoption ban in question was Putin’s response to the Magnitsky Act (Russian sanctions).
- Trump’s move to allow his daughter Ivanka to sit in for him at G20 angers many.
Day 172 — Monday, July 10
- More leaks to The New York Times reveal that not only was Donald Trump Jr. promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton…he was explicitly told that the information being offered was part of the Russian government’s effort to aid Donald Trump Sr. Also,we learn Goldstone was told to set up the meeting by the son of Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov.
- Trump Jr. sends out tweets attempting to downplay the meeting.
- Trump Sr. sends out tweets claiming Comey leaked classified information.
- Trump’s voter commission to “investigate voter fraud” aka gather data to boost voter suppression efforts, is put on hold.
Day 173 — Tuesday, July 11
- Trump Jr. tweets out emails confirming the reports about the Trump Tower meeting and also reveals that he responded with “I love it” when offered the help. Also, Trump Jr.’s emails display a man who doesn’t appear surprised by Goldstone’s declaration that the Russian government supports his father.
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller adds to the examination of Trump Jr.’s email exchanges to his Trump-Russia investigation.
- McConnel delays the start of the Senate’s August recess so that they can get more time to work on the health care bill.
Day 174 — Wednesday, July 12
- A McClatchy DC report reveals that “Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation — overseen by Jared Kushner — helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
- It’s revealed that Kushner had to amend his SF-86 (the form you fill out to receive a security clearance) numerous times and had to add over 100 foreign contacts.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that “Investigators are re-examining conversations detected by U.S. intelligence agencies in spring 2015 that captured Russian government officials discussing associates of Donald Trump, according to current and former U.S. officials…In some cases, the Russians in the overheard conversations talked about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers, these people said.”
Day 175— Thursday, July 13
- The Senate’s health care bill looks in bad shape as more Senators came out against it. GOP Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham outline Graham-Cassidy for the first time.
- While in France at a joint press conference with French President Macron, President Trump strikes a friendlier tone with France in an effort to reaffirm our cooperative ties with the nation.
- Trump defends Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer, stating that it most people would’ve taken that meeting and there was nothing wrong with it.
- Yahoo News reports that President Trump’s attorneys learned of Trump Jr.’s meeting weeks ago and that Jared Kushner’s lawyers were the ones who discovered the emails.
- CNN obtains exclusive video of Trump in 2013 with Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rob Goldstone, and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sparks outrage when she meets with people who were accused of sexual assault while she considers limits to Title IX protections for victims on college campuses.
Day 176 — Friday, July 14
- We learn that there was a 6th person at the Trump Tower meeting. It was Russian-American lobbyist, and “former” Soviet counterintelligence officer accused of an international hacking conspiracy, Rinat Akhmetshin. Also learn of a 7th person was a Russian interpreter.
- One of Kushner’s lawyers steps back from representing him in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- The Justice Department asks the Supreme Court to review the Hawaii district Judge’s ruling that blocked the component of the travel ban that prevents grandparents of US citizens from the banned countries from entering the U.S.
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Week 26: The “Red Line” (July 15–21)
As evidence of potential Trump-Russia collusion creeps closer into his inner circle and the investigation moves towards his finances, we’ve saw President Trump grow increasingly paranoid. So paranoid that he began digging into Special Counsel Robert Mueller and even considered pardoning himself and his associates.
Obstruction of justice. Abuse of power. Those were the first two articles of impeachment that were levied against President Richard Nixon. During the time of Nixon, Congress enforced the rule of law. One could make a credible argument that President Trump is guilty of both with his handling of former FBI Director James Comey, but if Trump were to fire Mueller, we’d be in uncharted territory given the spineless state of the Republican Party.
After the events that transpired this week, we demand a moment of clarity from members of the Grand Old Party. What’s at stake here is bigger than their short-sighted agenda.
We’re standing at the crossroads of our democracy here. As paranoia continues to burden President Trump, we hope the weight of history will begin to burden the GOP more than the weight of their donors.
Day 177 — Saturday, July 15
- An FEC filing reveals that Trump’s reelection campaign paid Don Jr.’s lawyer $50,000 on June 26th. Yahoo News reported that this was around the time that Jared Kushner’s lawyers discovered the emails detailing the June 9th, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.
- Trump attends the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster which drew protests.
- After John McCain (R-AZ) goes into surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye, McConnell announced that the Senate would delay the health care vote until his return.
Day 178 — Sunday, July 16
- Trump sends out tweets attacking Clinton and crying fake news to deflect from Trump-Russia.
Day 179 — Monday, July 17
- GOP Senators Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS) joined Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY) in their opposition to the latest iteration of the GOP’s healthcare bill — dooming this version of the bill…for now.
- President Trump takes to Twitter and calls his son’s efforts to knowingly accept what was clearly identified as help from a hostile foreign power, “politics.”
Day 180 — Tuesday, July 18
- We discover that there was a previously undisclosed second meeting between Trump and Putin that same evening during a dinner. It reportedly lasted for nearly an hour and Trump spoke through a Russian translator without one of his own. Later in the week, Trump said they discussed “adoption” which means they discussed the given the Magnitsky Act which was expanded in 2016 and now sanctions 44 people worldwide.
- The identity of the 8th man at the June 9th, 2016 Trump Tower meeting is revealed as a representative for Aras Agalarov.
- House Republicans unveil their budget which as expected, cuts billions from social programs like Medicaid and aims for tax reform.
- The White House announces former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to Russia. A quick reminder of Trump’s past thoughts on the man.
- The US certifies that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, then levied new sanctions against them.
- Ian Bremmer reports that Trump’s coziness to Putin during the previously undisclosed meeting startled US allies.
Day 181— Wednesday, July 19
- In an interview with The New York Times, Trump claims that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is riddled with conflicts of interest and states that Mueller would be crossing a “red line” if he looked into the Trump family’s finances. Trump goes on to accuse former FBI Director James Comey of blackmailing him when Comey briefed him on the Trump-Russia dossier. Trump also attacks Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and acting FBI Director Andrew G. McCabe. But most notably, President Trump claims that he wouldn’t have appointed Jeff Sessions if he knew he would recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation.
- The Daily Beast reports that “after being given a secret document by officials in Moscow, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher sought to alter sanctions legislation and tried to set up a virtual show trial on Capitol Hill.”
- The Supreme Court upholds a Hawaii district Judge’s ruling that gave an exemption for grandparents of US citizens from the banned countries to enter the U.S.
- The New York Times reports that according to financial disclosures, Paul Manafort appeared to be in “debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016.”
- The Washington Post reports that “President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia.”
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes it easier for police to seize assets.
- War hero and veteran Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is diagnosed with brain cancer.
Day 182 — Thursday, July 20
- Trump’s lawyers are reportedly digging into Robert Mueller and his team, trying to find conflicts of interest so they can fire him or force him to recuse himself. They are also reportedly evaluating the possibility of Trump pardoning himself and his associates.
- Meanwhile, Mueller expands his investigation to include Trump, and his associates’, business transactions.
- Mueller is investigating possible money laundering by Mr. Manafort.
- Trump’s persistent efforts to cozy up to our foreign adversary Russia creates friction between him and his top advisers.
Day 183— Friday, July 21
- The Washington Post reveals that on two separate occasions, once in April of 2016 and once in July, Kislyak discussed campaign-related topics with Sessions, including policy issues important to Moscow.
- Sean Spicer resigns as White House Press Secretary, ending an era. Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes the new Press Secretary, starting a worse one. And Anthony Scaramucci becomes the Communications Director, beginning an 11-day Mooch era.
- Much like his omitted contacts and meetings from his SF-86 submissions, Jared Kushner fails to disclose dozens of financial holdings that he was required to declare upon joining the White House.
Week 27: The Resistance (July 22–28)
This week was both disheartening and inspiring. As Republican Senators moved to pass a dangerously half-baked health care bill, activists took to the Capitol in protest and Americans all over the US called their Senators demanding their care be protected. Three Republican Senators’ admirable acts captured the headlines this week, but the real story was underreported: The American people showed up, and the result was one for the history books.
While Americans sat on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting the fate of their health care, President Trump continued to degrade the office of the presidency — 140 characters at a time. More hate. More divisiveness. More threats. More paranoia. And more notes for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
As Trump continues his refusal to take responsibility for his actions and understand the fact that he is the unstable root of all the problems that plague him, we watched as the Trump administration cut off the GOP establishment. We saw the fall of Sean Spicer and the unfortunate rise of Anthony Scaramucci. The fall of Reince Priebus and the rise of John Kelly. And we saw a “beleaguered” Jeff Sessions continue to trudge along.
In the Senate’s health care battle, we saw the wounding of Mitch McConnell and the redemption of John McCain. The sturdiness of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. We saw the collaboration of the Democrats. And we saw the fall of one health care push as another potential push surfaced by the end of the week with Lindsey Graham, Dean Heller, and Bill Cassidy meeting with Donald Trump at the White House.
But most importantly, we saw the resilience of the American people. In the face of uncertainty and what appears to be insurmountable odds, Americans continue to persevere. When at times it may feel as if the world is falling, just remember that the people are rising.
Let’s dive in.
Day 184— Saturday, July 22
- Trump begins a weekend tweet spree attacking Jeff Sessions, the Republican Party, Obamacare, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and The Washington Post, and defended his pardon power.
Day 185 — Sunday, July 23
- Trump’s new Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, states that the President of the United States still doesn’t believe the Intelligence Community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered in our democracy.
Day 186 — Monday, July 24
- Kushner attends a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and proclaims, “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did” after admitting to multiple meetings with Russian operatives.
- Trump sends tweets attacking Rep. Adam Schiff (D-MA) of the House Intelligence Committee, pushes the GOP to repeal Obamacare, cries FAKE NEWS, attacks Sessions for not investigating Clinton, and attacks Bezos.
- The Guardian reports that “Jared Kushner…secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being investigated by members of Congress.”
Day 187— Tuesday, July 25
- After being out for a while due to his blood clot surgery, brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery to remove the aggressive tumor, the McCain arrives on the Senate floor amid much fanfare. After preaching about regular order, he votes for the motion to proceed on GOP healthcare bill.
- Democrats lead protests with activists outside the Capitol. These protests would continue throughout the week.
- Trump holds a campaign rally in Ohio.
- A US judge rules that Trump’s “voter fraud” (voter suppression) panel can continue requesting voter data.
- Senior Assistant Press Secretary Michael Short resigns after Scaramucci threatened to fire everyone if the leaking didn’t stop.
- Trump’s former Campaign Manager Paul Manafort meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on the Trump-Russia investigation after being subpoenaed (a subpoena they then dropped), and Jared Kushner meets with the House Intelligence Committee.
- Trump gives a highly politicized speech in front of thousands of boy scouts at the National Scout Jamboree, draws a lot of backlash.
Day 188— Wednesday, July 26
- On the 69th anniversary of President Truman’s desegregation of the military, Trump announces his intention to deny transgender Americans the right to serve their nation simply because of their identity.
- The Senate strikes down the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act (partial repeal). 7 Republican Senators voted no, this time including John McCain. Nevertheless, they were confident that they would be able to pass their “Skinny” repeal.
- Trump continues his attacks on Jeff Sessions and acting FBI Director McCabe.
- The House of Representatives passes a bill (419–3) that imposes new sanctions on Russia and limits President Trump’s ability to roll them back. The bill originated in the Senate. Sanctions on North Korea and Iran were also included in the bill.
- Sessions steps up his crackdown on sanctuary cities, withholding grant money unless the states allow local police resources to cooperate with ICE
- Trump takes to Twitter to attack Murkowski for voting no in an effort to intimidate her. Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke then called Murkowski issuing a threat, stating that a no vote would “put her state in jeopardy.”
Day 189 — Thursday, July 27
- Ahead of the vote on the disastrous Skinny repeal, Senators Graham, Johnson, Cassidy, and McCain, came out ahead of it declaring that it was a “disaster,” “terrible,” and a “fraud.” But, they still wanted to vote for it.
- After earlier in the week going on CNN and having a truly wild interview with Chris Cuomo, Scaramucci’s New Yorker interview with Ryan Lizza is published, and it is a doozy. He calls Priebus the leaker and a paranoid schizophrenic (Trump reportedly gave Scaramucci the green light to go after Priebus) and says some questionable things about how Steve Bannon sucks his own penis.
- Graham claims that if President Trump fired Robert Mueller, it would be the “beginning of the end” of his presidency.
- The Senate approves the Russia-North Korea-Iran sanctions bill (98–2). Rand Paul (R-KY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were the only two Senators who opposed it. It was all ready for President Trump’s signature.
- Protestors assemble outside of the Capitol and Democrats go out and speak to them as the nation watched and waited for what was to become of their health care system…
Day 190 — Friday, July 28
- It is 1 in the morning. Collins and Murkowski remain steadfast in their opposition and votes “no.” Some see McCain huddle with Pence. Then he’s with McConnell. And then he is seen talking to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a conversation Schumer left smiling. Suddenly, Democrats on the Senate floor appeared happy. McConnell seems distraught as McCain walks up to the center of the Senate floor, votes “no,” and walks away.
- As American’s celebrates their moment, Senators Cassidy, Heller, and Graham meet with President Trump to discuss their next health care push…
- Priebus resigns after an onslaught of attacks from Scaramucci, continuing a major shakeup in the White House and a weeding out of establishment Republicans. Priebus is replaced by DHS Secretary John Kelly, starting a new era.
- North Korea fires a ballistic missile that can reach major US cities in our mainland.
Week 28: The Sinking Ship (July 29 — August 4)
“They see weakness in this president…” — Senator John McCain
The Trump administration is a ship leaking from all sides while on a collusion — I mean collision — course with an iceberg. The captain, rather than place his focus on steering or repairing the structure, is busy tweeting about how the iceberg is fake, reorganizing and berating his crew, and throwing people off the ship. Meanwhile, the crew, frustrated by the captain’s instability, is at war with each other and the friction is causing more leaks. All the while, the upcoming iceberg continues to expand.
The incompetent captain is Trump, his crew are White House sycophants, and the iceberg is Robert Mueller’s expanding investigation.
As President Trump embarks on his 17-day vacation, he leaves a White House in disarray. His approval rating hovers around record lows, the most meaningful legislation he’s passed thus far imposes congressional restraints on his own power, the power struggles within his administration have his staff constantly targeting each-other with leaks, he continues to expose his own incompetence, and the Trump-Russia investigation continues to move full speed ahead.
If President Trump focuses on getting his head right and steering the ship, he may be able to slow how quickly the White House is taking on water, but as we saw this week, there is nothing he can do to avoid that iceberg…And some in the GOP, finally recognizing the toxic nature of this presidency, are beginning to jump ship.
Day 191 — Saturday, July 29
- Trump takes to Twitter to vent his frustrations about China’s handling of North Korea, the Russia “Witch Hunt,” and threatens to cut Obamacare cost-sharing reduction subsidies.
Day 192 — Sunday, July 30
- Putin retaliates against Congress’ sanctions announcing the expulsion of hundreds of US diplomats from Russia.
- Having already recognized the downhill trend of this presidency, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) begins to re-position himself. Flake hits the press circuit to promote his new book which takes a very tough tone against Trump.
Day 193 — Monday, July 31
- The New York Times reports that that the initial misleading account of events that came from Donald Trump Jr. was personally dictated by President Trump while he was at the G20 summit. This adds to Mueller’s obstruction of justice case.
- After a week of vulgar interviews, Anthony Scaramucci is removed from his role as White House Communications Director, a role he hadn’t even officially started yet.
- John Kelly is sworn in as Chief of Staff, and the myth of the “Kelly reset” begins.
- Republican National Committee employees are asked to preserve all documents related to the 2016 campaign.
- Jeff Flake continues his rhetoric campaign against Donald Trump and drops a scathing op-ed in Politico entitled “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump.”
Day 194— Tuesday, August 1
- NPR reports that a lawsuit from former DC homicide detective Rod Wheeler, claims that Fox News, a Trump supporter, and Trump himself worked to make up the Seth Rich conspiracy theory to try and discredit Russia’s interference.
- The New York Times reports that “The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants…”
- The Senate confirms Christopher Wray as the new FBI Director.
Day 195— Wednesday, August 2
- Trump reluctantly signs a bill that imposes new sanctions on Russia and also limits his own power to lift them. Subsequently sends out a tweet attacking Congress for sending him the sanctions, showing his consistent eagerness to attack his fellow Americans rather than a hostile foreign nation that just successfully interfered in our democracy.
- President Trump along with Republican Senators Tom Cotton (AR) and David Perdue (GA) unveil a bill that would cut annual legal immigration by half. White House Adviser Stephen Miller gives a wild press conference.
- The administration sends out mixed signals over North Korea.
- In a leak from his meeting with his generals, it’s revealed that President Trump reportedly berated them, claimed we aren’t winning the war in Afghanistan, and compared Afghanistan to a New York restaurant.
- After Trump made up a story about how the head of the boy scouts called him saying his speech was the greatest they ever received (the boy scouts denied this call happened), the White House concedes that this was a lie.
- Trump reportedly tells friends at his NJ golf course that, “That White House is a real dump.”
Day 196— Thursday, August 3
- A report reveals that Mueller has impaneled a DC grand jury to oversee the Trump-Russia investigation. A CNN story details the fact that Mueller’s investigation has expanded to include potential financial crimes committed by Donald Trump and his associates. At this point, it’s clear that Manafort and Flynn will be indicted.
- Jared Kushner’s company Kushner Cos. is subpoenaed over an investment-for-visa program.
Day 197— Friday, August 4
- The New York Times reports that Mueller made his first known request for White House documents and they were related to Flynn’s Turkish lobbying.
- In a move to placate his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces a crackdown on leaks with new investigations and also made an eerie comment about whether or not that would apply to the media.
- The Senate unanimously blocks Trump from being able to make recess appointments, just in case he moves to fire Trump-Russia recused Jeff Sessions to put in place an AG that would be able to influence the investigation.
- After a financial dispute between the Government and the Secret Service, the Secret Service leaves Trump Tower.
Week 29: The “Fire And Fury” (August 5–11)
Donald Trump has a unique ability to make himself one of the worst parts of every story. Whether it’s the opportunity to denounce neo-Nazis for committing a fatal act of domestic terrorism, condemn a foreign adversary for expelling U.S. diplomats, or to simply not terrify the public by tweeting about nuclear war, there is Donald…making every wrong move imaginable.
This week was truly jarring. President Trump, taking a break from his full-time gig of tweeting about fake news while watching cable news, spent the first week of his vacation tweeting about nuclear war while playing golf.
The resolve of the American people was tested daily as the President of the United States improvised a nuclear game of chicken, 140 characters at a time. While Donald and Kim continued this nuclear game of thrones, much like the white walkers — the true enemy of climate change crept forward as some dire climate reports were made public.
Behind the absurdity, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation is getting closer and closer to the truth.
Day 198 — Saturday, August 5
- After interviewing 75 Republicans, The New York Times drops a report detailing how Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, are preparing for a scenario where President Trump isn’t on the ballot in 2020…
- The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously, including China and Russia, to impose new sweeping sanctions on North Korea.
- Trump boasts about a Washington Post article (funny it’s fake news when the coverage is negative but real when it’s positive) that notes how gains against ISIS have accelerated in the last several months. The gains look good on paper, but they are largely built on the back of the work the Obama administration did in Iraq and Syria. But more importantly, what the article fails to note is at what cost these gains are being made. According to the UK civilian monitoring group Airwars, as of July 13th, more than 2,200 have been killed by US-led coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria since Donald Trump’s inauguration 6 months ago. To put that in perspective, Airwars estimates 2,300 civilians were killed in Iraq and Syria by the coalition during Obama’s entire last two years in office.
- Civil rights groups announce their intention to sue the Trump administration over President Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military.
Day 199 — Sunday, August 6
- Trump sends tweets calling the media “fake news” and touches on his phone call with the South Korean president.
Day 200 — Monday, August 7
- 200 days into his presidency and Trump still can’t control his Twitter fingers. Along with his usual assertion that the Russia investigation is a hoax, Trump spends the morning trying to deflect from the reality of his shrinking base of support. After including CNN on his “fake news” list this morning, President Trump then goes on a tweetstorm attacking Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) which appeared to be triggered by an appearance on CNN.
- The New York Times covers a draft report that is currently awaiting approval by the Trump administration. It was put together by scientists at 13 federal agencies and is said to be among “the most comprehensive climate science reports.” It concludes that recent decades were the warmest of the past 1,500 years on Earth and that humans are already feeling the effects of global warming.
- Trump hasn’t filled thousands of key positions within his administration, CNN reports.
- The city of Chicago is suing the Trump administration over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threats to withhold federal money from “sanctuary cities.”
Day 201— Tuesday, August 8
- U.S. intelligence analysts conclude that Kim Jong-un’s regime has successfully developed miniaturized nuclear warheads that could fit inside of their missiles.
- Trump then sets off what would be the beginning of a week of escalated rhetoric by sending a tweet about how we need to be tough and decisive with North Korea. Trump then says “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
- According to USA TODAY, “Trump White House weighs unprecedented plan to privatize much of the war in Afghanistan.” The plan would benefit Blackwater, Betsy DeVos’ brother, Erik Prince’s company.
- The Justice Department reverses an Obama-era stance on a voting case in Ohio, now siding with the state of Ohio’s effort to purge thousands of inactive voters.
- The Trump campaign begins to turn over documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation. 20,000 documents so far.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) says that Trump had “excessive expectations” regarding how quickly things can happen in the legislative process.
Day 202— Wednesday, August 9
- As the world sat on the edge of their seats, anxiously awaiting what would happen next, Trump sends out tweets stating that he hopes the U.S. won’t have to use its nuclear arsenal. Mattis releases statement saying that North Korea “should cease any consideration of actions that will lead to the end of the regime and destruction of its people.” Meanwhile, Tillerson says Americans should sleep well at night.
- Some lawmakers from both sides of the aisle condemn Trump’s inflammatory North Korea threats.
- The Washington Post reports that the FBI raided Paul Manafort’s home.
- President Trump takes to Twitter to respond to Mitch McConnel’s criticism of his “excessive expectations.”
- A Russian spy plane flies over Washington, D.C. and New Jersey.
Day 203 — Thursday, August 10
- Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia.
- Mueller continues to ramp up his investigation by subpoenaing the bank records of Paul Manafort, a Ukrainian Oligarch, and Manafort’s son-in-law. Federal investigators also reportedly seek cooperation with Manafort’s son-in-law.
- When asked about his “fire and fury” threat, President Trump tells reporters that maybe that “wasn’t tough enough.”
- President Trump continues to attack Mitch McConnel.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publishes heir annual “State of the Climate” report which found that 2016 was the hottest year on record…Meanwhile, Scott Pruitt, the climate change denying EPA head, casts doubt on the threat climate change poses.
Day 204 — Friday, August 11
- Yet again, people awake to another nuclear provocative tweet from President Trump. While all this was occurring, the Trump administration is reportedly in back-channel diplomacy with North Korea.
- Congressional investigators want to question Trump’s secretary, Rhona Graff, that was named in Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchanges with Rod Goldstone.
- White supremacists/neo-Nazis begin to gather ahead of their rally in Charlottesville, VA…
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Week 30: The Neo-Nazi Terrorist Attack (August 12–18)
The President of the United States is a neo-Nazi sympathizer.
This is not my opinion. This is reality.
Given the opportunity to rise to the occasion when a nation was hungering for moral leadership, Donald Trump proved once and for all he is a man who lacks the decency, intelligence, and stability to lead sheep, let alone a nation.
Over the course of this week, Donald Trump tried to draw a false moral equivalence between radical white supremacist terrorism that led to the death of Heather Heyer and the anti-protestors who were there to bravely stand against neo-Nazism.
Donald Trump made a feeble attempt to draw a moral equivalence between President George Washington, a man who helped found this nation, and Robert E. Lee, a man who led a hate-fueled rebellion aimed at destroying it.
Why am I being so definitive in my writing? Because there are not “many sides” to this discussion. There is one of hatred, bigotry, and violence. And one of love, tolerance, and resistance. The choice should have been easy for the leader of the free world but not for Donald Trump. This week, Trump proved that he’d rather preserve the legacy of those who fought for a worldview that wanted to see their fellow human in chains than embrace a land of the free.
Donald Trump has tripled down on a losing strategy, and if he continues down this path, he will only appeal to a racist minority and ultimately, he will fall. Trump solidified himself as political poison and began to rapidly lose support. From business and faith leaders on his advisory councils to losing millions of dollars in business at Mar-a-Lago, Trump is rapidly falling from grace. Even some unexpected Republicans began to indicate that Trump sympathizing with neo-Nazis may be where they say enough is enough…
“The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful…he also recently has not demonstrated that he understands the character of this nation.” — Republican Senator Bob Corker (TN)
The events that unfolded this week continued to test the resilience of our nation. We saw folks unite and stand up for what they believe in, applying public pressure that yielded real results. By the end of the week, it became clear that the American people have been a more effective check on this president than Congress.
Day 205— Saturday, August 12
- After neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville and Heather Heyer was ran over and killed by a radical white supremacist terrorist, President Trump condemned hate “on many sides.”
Day 206 — Sunday, August 13
- As Trump faced backlash from both sides of the aisle, the White House tried to clarify that Trump condemns these white supremacist groups.
Day 207 — Monday, August 14
- After being pressured by his aides, Trump finally makes a more specific condemnation. But first, he couldn’t resist taking to Twitter and attacking the black CEO of Merck, Ken Frazier, for quitting his manufacturing advisory council after Trump didn’t explicitly condemn white supremacy.
- By the end of the day, Trump attacks Ken Frazier again on Twitter and proves the insincerity of his condemnation of neo-Nazis by saying the media wasn’t satisfied and retweeted an alt-right pizzagate conspiracy theorist.
- Foreign Policy reports that the FBI and DHS prepared a report dated May 10, 2017, called “White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence.” Notably, the report asserted that White supremacists “were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000 to 2016 … more than any other domestic extremist movement.” A reminder that June 23, 2017, the Trump administration cut funding ($400,000) from the Countering Violent Extremism program to an anti-white supremacist organization founded by former neo-Nazis.
- Mueller is reportedly in talks with the West Wing to speak to former and current senior Trump admin officials, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
- The Washington Post reports that a junior Trump campaign adviser sent at least half a dozen emails trying to set up meetings with Russian officials. The adviser was George Papadopoulos…
- The New York Times reports that “North Korea’s success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears able to reach the United States was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program.”
- Reports continued to roll in about Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s uncertain future. Trump reportedly thinks that Bannon was behind many White House leaks, especially those targeting H.R. McMaster. Bannon has had a long-running feud with McMaster since he removed Bannon from the National Security Council.
- “The Justice Department demanded over a million IP addresses from an anti-Trump website and a web-hosting company is fighting it.”
- Protestors take down a Confederate monument in Durham, NC.
Day 208 — Tuesday, August 15
- This morning, Trump continues his sharing of questionable tweets. He retweets a Fox News news article that claimed he was “seriously considering” pardoning former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted for ignoring court orders to stop racially profiling Latinos. Also, he retweets an image depicting a train hitting CNN and a man calling him a fascist.
- Trump goes on to have one of the most disastrous moments of his presidency thus far. In a press conference that was supposed to be about infrastructure with no questions, Trump went off script and off the rails. Trump went full on neo-Nazi sympathizer, defending them and calling the counter-protestors, who were there with the clear purpose of standing against neo-Nazism, also “very violent.” Trump said there is blame on “both sides” and there were “very fine people” on both sides, including the neo-Nazi side. Trump stated that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves too and asked if we were going to take down their statues as well in defense of Robert E. Lee. Trump also claimed he didn’t immediately condemn the hate groups because he “didn’t have all the facts.”
- As more and more people drop from his manufacturing council, Trump takes to Twitter to insult them.
- The top officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps all issue statements condemning racism.
- North Korea backs off its threat to fire missiles at Guam.
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that if Trump were to follow through on his threat to end certain Obamacare subsidies, insurance premiums would increase by 20% and the federal budget’s deficit would increase by $194 billion over the next decade.
- After Amy Siskind tweets at GoDaddy to remove the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer from their hosting service, public pressure mounted and they did it. When The Daily Stormer switches to Google, they kicked them off as well.
Day 209— Wednesday, August 16
- Following Trump’s remarks, he receives intense backlash. Trump’s staff is particularly angry. Gary Cohn, an economic adviser to the president, was present during Trump’s press conference. Cohn is Jewish himself, so the endorsement of neo-Nazism reportedly made him “between appalled and furious.” Still, no resignation. Members of the GOP give their half-backed condemnations, and Senator Graham releases a direct one.
- Both the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy and Policy Forum are disbanded.
- Steve Bannon gives a strange interview with The American Prospect’s (liberal) journalist Robert Kuttner. In this interview, he undercuts President Trump’s North Korea rhetoric, called white supremacists clowns, and admitted to the White House infighting.
- Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush release a joint statement condemning the racist violence in Charlottesville.
- Hope Hicks becomes Trump’s interim Communications Director.
- Bloomberg reports that “Texas can’t use its current voter maps in the upcoming congressional midterm elections after a panel of federal judges ruled districts approved by state Republican lawmakers illegally discriminate against Hispanic and black voters.”
- After the CBO report, the Trump administration says they would continue to fund Obamacare subsidies.
- Baltimore removes its Confederate monuments.
Day 210 — Thursday, August 17
- Trump attacks Lindsey Graham over his statements the previous day and calls the media dishonest. Then, he all but endorses Republican Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s opponent (Flake recently wrote a book critical of the president). And then he defends the Confederacy.
- After a tragic terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain spreads a lie/racist story about how General Pershing used bullets dipped in pigs blood to kill Muslims.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticizes Chicago’s so-called “sanctuary city” policies.
- In order to avoid any additional embarrassment, Trump disbands his infrastructure advisory council.
Day 211— Friday, August 18
- Steve Bannon is removed from his position as Chief Strategist and returns to Breitbart. Bannon is said to have put in his resignation on August 7th, before the events in Charlottesville.
- A known Trump supporter Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) gives a strong condemnation of the President’s fitness for office.
- Mueller’s investigation is reportedly focusing heavily on Donald Trump Jr. and the intentions surrounding his June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, where he was seeking damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian Government.
- Billionaire Carl Icahn steps down as a special advisor to the President after questions surrounding his conflicts of interest.
- “Trump approved an Obama-era plan Friday to elevate Cyber Command, currently housed at the National Security Agency (NSA), to be a Unified Combatant Command.” This indicates the U.S. is stepping up their cyber-security measures and bolstering itself for cyber warfare.
- 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney calls on Trump to apologize for his comments defending white supremacy.
- All members of Trump’s arts and humanities panel resign in protest of Trump’s comments.
- A.R. Bernard, an African-American NY mega-church pastor, becomes the first religious leader to quit Trump’s evangelical advisory board.
- Some of the biggest charities in the U.S., from the American Red Cross to the Salvation Army, cancel events at Mar-a-Lago.
- Mother of Heather Heyer and rising voice in the resistance, Susan Bro, has some choice words for Donald Trump, calling on him to “think before he speaks.”
Week 31: The Pardon (August 19–26)
This week, like the moon that eclipsed the Sun he stared straight into, we saw the many phases of Donald Trump.
It seemed to mirror the week before. On Monday, Trump successfully read a statement from a teleprompter and was called presidential. Then by Tuesday, he threw it all away, delivering one of the most unhinged performances of his presidency thus far.
From his Phoenix rally to his pardoning of criminal racist, and former Sheriff, Joe Arpaio under the cover of a hurricane, this week left many current and former officials asking the question many of us already know the answer to.
Is Donald Trump fit to serve as the President of the United States?
“Having some understanding of the levers of power that are available to a president if he chooses to exercise them, I found this downright scary and disturbing” — Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Day 212 — Saturday, August 18
- On Saturday, thousands take to the streets of Boston in protest of the alt-right’s “free speech rally.” The peaceful protestors greatly outnumbered the others. It was a spectacle. Trump takes to Twitter at first condemning the protestors and then tried to praise them.
Day 213 — Sunday, August 20
- Trump sends out a tweet about “dishonest” and “fake news” and then sends one about the missing sailors of the USS John S McCain.
Day 214— Monday, August 21
- Trump stares straight into the solar eclipse.
- At 9 pm, Trump delivers an address on America’s strategy moving forward in Afghanistan. Trump managed to not go off script during the speech, so as expected, he garners praise from some in the media. During the speech, Trump speaks on the continued war in Afghanistan.
- After the National Climate Assessment study revealed those disastrous findings relating to climate change, the White House dismantles the 15-person federal advisory committee on climate change.
- It’s revealed that Trump’s business has received $1.3 million from Republican committees.
- Trump cuts funding to an Obama-era teen pregnancy program.
- Speaker Paul Ryan calls Trump’s “both sides” response to Charlottesville “wrong” but immediately claims that Trump had successfully cleaned it up.
- Mueller is scrutinizing Rinat Akhmetshin, one of the attendees of the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting with Kushner, Manafort, and Trump Jr., in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 215— Tuesday, August 22
- Trump holds a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona and showcases some of the wildest lack of self-control we’ve seen since candidate Trump. He re-reads his Charlottesville response and leaves out the “many sides” remark. Trump threatens to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t fund his wall. And then goes on to relentlessly attack the news media, calling them bad people, dishonest, and claiming that he doesn’t think they like our country. Trump’s attacks on the media are particularly concerning, and more extreme than usual. After this rally, Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper questions his fitness for office.
- Glenn Simpson, whose firm Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele to compile the now famous Trump-Russia dossier, meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee for over 10 hours.
- The New York Times reports that Trump and McConnell haven’t spoken in weeks and McConnell is uncertain as to whether Trump can salvage his presidency.
- The U.S. implements new sanctions on Chinese and Russian entities that have been accused of assisting North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
- The alt-right cancels 67 of their planned rallies in 36 states after the Boston rally was shut down by anti-white supremacist activists.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee wants Congress to declare Wikileaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” so that they can be opened up to heightened levels of surveillance.
Day 216 — Wednesday, August 23
- It’s revealed that Rick Dearborn, former chief of staff to then-Senator Jeff Sessions and current deputy chief of staff to President Trump, reportedly sent an email to Trump campaign officials seeking to arrange a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Trump campaign.
- The United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination sends an “early warning” to the U.S. regarding the rise in racism and hate groups.
- NBC News reports that the Pentagon has downplayed how many troops are currently in Afghanistan, by failing to include those who are there on temporary assignment: “The Pentagon officially acknowledges 8,400 troops on the ground there, but that number actually hovers between 11,000 and 12,000.
- Trump takes to Twitter to defend his response to Charlottesville again and calls on the Senate to get rid of the filibuster rule.
Day 217 — Thursday, August 24
- The White House preps a memo that gives the Secretary of Defense six months to enforce the transgender ban.
- Trump continues to bear the backlash surrounding his response to Charlottesville. In just 7 days, 18 charities cancel events they had planned at Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort. These events can cost up to $275,000 for a single night, so Trump’s business is being severely hit by organizations that won’t tolerate racism.
- Trump has another bizarre day on Twitter. Trump attacks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, retweets a photo of himself “eclipsing” President Obama, and attacks the media once more for their coverage of his Phoenix rally.
Day 218 — Friday, August 25
- As Category 4 Hurricane Harvey begins to rage over Texas, President Trump pardons former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
- Trump attacks on Twitter Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who had recently questioned his fitness for office.
- Mueller is looking into whether or not former national security adviser Michael Flynn did indeed cooperate with GOP operative Peter Smith who sought Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails from whom he thought were Russian hackers.
- Texas congressional districts are deemed discriminatory and are ordered to be redrawn.
- Sebastian Gorka, a national security aide to Trump and Nazi sympathizer, is ousted from the White House. John Kelly pushed for the move and is also trying to control the information that gets to Trump.
- The Daily Beast reports that “The White House on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Venezuela that explicitly exempt the U.S. arm of the country’s state-owned oil company. That company, Citgo, donated six-figure sums to Trump’s inauguration and recently hired former Trump officials to lobby for that exemption.”
- Reports indicate that Trump’s economic advisor Gary Cohn was on the brink of resigning after Trump’s botched response to Charlottesville.
Week 32: The Hurricane Season (August 26 — September 1)
A tragic flood, a nuclear test, and a Robert Mueller. Donald Trump had a challenging week.
As Houston grappled with catastrophic flooding, President Trump grappled with an endless flow of damning reports that indicated the Trump-Russia investigation is moving full speed ahead and expanding in scope.
North Korea made one of their biggest provocations thus far, testing an administration that is having a hard time deterring its own president from tweeting, let alone a foreign power from nuclear proliferation.
And we saw President Trump come to a Labor Day weekend decision on DACA, playing to his base and alienating the masses. Proving once again that he is obsessed with rolling back any and every Obama-era policy, regardless of how much that policy means to people.
It’s clear now that anything with Obama’s name attached to it is on Trump’s chopping block. Obama could’ve cured cancer and Trump would discontinue it with a six-month delay and ask Congress for a “legislative solution.”
Day 219— Saturday, August 26
- Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio sets off a firestorm of opposition, including people within his own party. Both Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake chime in.
Day 220— Sunday, August 27
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson makes headlines when he essentially distances himself from President Trump, asserting that Trump speaks for himself and not for American values.
- The effects of Hurricane Harvey continue to ravage Texas as they experienced a 1 in 1,000-year flood.
- Many claim that Trump still hasn’t expressed any remorse for the people who were affected by the storm. He only wanted to speak about how well things were going. And also, he promoted David Clarke’s book on Sunday.
- Minutes before the Game of Thrones finale (irrelevant detail), a Washington Post report reveals that a Trump Tower in Moscow deal, facilitated by Felix Sater, was pursued while Donald Trump was running for office. And just like that, the Trump-Russia investigation is center stage again…
Day 221— Monday, August 28
- The Washington Post reports that in late 2015 and early 2016, while Donald Trump was running for president, the Trump Organization sought to develop a huge Trump Tower in Moscow. Donald Trump signed a letter of intent in 2015, four months into his presidential campaign, to pursue this venture. Felix Sater urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested he could get Russian President Vladimir Putin to say ‘great things’ about Trump….
- Sater wrote to then Trump Organization Executive Vice President (now Trump’s personal lawyer) Michael Cohen, something to the effect of, “Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’” In the emails, Sater went on to brag about how this deal would help Trump get the presidency.
- According to The New York Times, the emails reportedly reveal that in the early days of the campaign, some Trump officials viewed close ties to Moscow as a political advantage. The deal fell through in January 2016 right before the presidential primaries. Cohen reportedly sought to revive the talks, sending an email that same month, seeking help from Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s top press aide.
- When asked whether or not he considers Russia to be a security threat, Trump once again shows his aversion to criticizing Russia by dodging the question: “I consider many countries as a security threat, unfortunately, when you look at what’s going on in the world today.”
- Trump rolls back Obama-era restrictions on local police obtaining surplus military gear.
- North Korea launches a ballistic missile that flew over Northern Japan.
- As the flood waters rise in Houston Texas, US Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart says that over 3,000 people had been saved by boat and air rescues.
Day 222 — Tuesday, August 29
- As Trump spent his day in Houston, Texas meeting with officials taking on the tragic flooding, the torrent of Trump-Russia news keeps flowing. NBC News reports the night before that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether or not President Donald Trump tried to conceal the nature of the June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower.
- Before President Trump set off on his trip to Houston, he got his early morning Fox News fix. He responds to Laura Ingraham’s remarks on Fox and Friends, stating that he was deliberately understaffing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- As the death toll was rising in Texas, the rainfall had reached 51.88 inches, and more than 3,500 people had been rescued. Trump boasted about a crowd size outside of a fire station.
- In response to North Korea’s missile firing over Japan, Trump says that “all options are on the table.”
- Continuing his obsession with rolling back anything that has Obama’s name on it, the White House announces that they are rolling back an Obama-era gender equality measure that required companies to report how much they pay their workers of various genders and races.
- For the purpose of his investigation into potential financial crimes committed by Manafort, Mueller subpoenas Manafort’s former attorney and spokesman seeking testimony.
- Trump Jr. agrees to meet privately with the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of the Trump-Russia probe.
Day 223 — Wednesday, August 30
- In the middle of a flood unlike anything the U.S. has ever experienced, the AP reports that House Republicans are eyeing an $876 million cut to FEMA’s disaster relief account to fund President Trump’s unnecessary border wall with Mexico.
- President Trump calls Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to make a pledge of federal support for biofuel ethanol, an industry Grassley is a major supporter of. This is seen as an odd move given the fact that Grassley’s committee had just come to an agreement to privately interview President Trump’s son in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee takes an interest in seeking testimony from Michael Cohen, who has given Congress a point-by-point rebuttal to the Christopher Steele’s famous Trump-Russia dossier.
- Trump gives a speech on tax reform
- Trump continues his attempts at Twitter diplomacy, stating that the U.S. has been talking to North Korea for too long and “Talking is not the answer!”
- Mattis undercuts him by stating that “we are never out of diplomatic solutions.”
Day 224— Thursday, August 31
- Investigators are reportedly reviewing Manafort’s notes on the Trump Tower meeting which “contained the words ‘donations,’ and ‘RNC’ in close proximity.” According to NBC News, congressional investigators who are examining the meeting are “focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.”
- Trump’s legal team sends memos to Mueller arguing against the notion that Trump obstructed justice when firing former FBI Director James Comey (a sign that part of the investigation is heating up).
- A report claims that Mueller has teamed up with the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit, which has 2,500 agents who focus on financial crimes like tax evasion and money laundering (crimes Trump has been widely accused of). Yes, that means Mueller may have access to Trump’s tax returns.
- Mueller is now cooperating with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to dig deeper into Manafort’s financial transactions. This cooperation with a State AG throws a wrench into Trump’s reported plan to pardon his associates and himself because President can’t pardon state-level crimes.
- After Putin expelled 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia, the U.S. finally retaliates by closing down some Russian consulates in San Francisco (smoke was seen coming from the chimney a few days after this was ordered), Washington, and New York.
- Trump’s Health and Human Services Department, led by Tom Price, cuts the Obamacare marketing budget by 90%.
- Mattis signs an order deploying additional troops to Afghanistan. The amount was not officially confirmed by the Pentagon, but Reuters is reporting that their sources say it is 4,000.
Day 225 — Friday, September 1
- The New York Times reports that Mueller now has an early draft letter created by President Trump and his senior adviser Stephen Miller which “offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.”
- In a move clearly meant to take the heat off of Trump, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) accused James Comey of drafting a letter displaying his intent to exonerate Clinton two months before he publicly did so.
- Long-time Trump advisor Keith Schiller has left the White House.
Week 33: The DACA “Deal” (September 2–8)
Donald Trump is the media’s abusive boyfriend. He’s nice for a day or utters a coherent sentence while successfully reading from a teleprompter and pundits proclaim “he’s changing!” That is until he’s back to beating them with early morning “fake news” tweets. It’s an endless cycle, and following Donald Trump’s debt ceiling deal with Democratic Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, we saw it in full swing.
These are the same pundits that were prophesizing about how Chief of Staff John Kelly could “reset” the Trump administration right before President Trump gave a press conference declaring a moral equivalency between white supremacists and anti-racism protestors. There were countless stories declaring that Trump is behaving like an Independent. I’m here to tell you, that analysis is beyond inaccurate.
One deal with the Democrats on Wednesday doesn’t change the fact Trump rescinded DACA on Tuesday.
One deal with the Democrats doesn’t change the fact Trump has backed and is actively pursuing, a repeal of Obamacare.
One deal with the Democrats doesn’t change the fact Trump has pushed for discriminatory bans from Muslims entering the U.S. to transgenders entering the military.
One deal with the Democrats doesn’t change the fact that Trump is unhinged, unqualified, and under investigation.
Day 226— Saturday, September 2
- North Korea launches its sixth nuclear test which it claims to have been a hydrogen bomb. The detonation sent tremors through South Korea and China. Secretary of Defense James Mattis responds by stating “any threat to the United States or its territory, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response.”
Day 227— Sunday, September 3
- Trump sends out a tweetstorm about North Korea.
- Trump makes his second visit to Texas. He wasn’t acting unhinged so, naturally, he garnered praise from cable news hosts.
- Politico reports that President Trump has decided to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era program that grants work permits to 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants with a six-month delay to give Congress a chance to introduce a legislative solution. Trump’s decision draws backlash from Republicans from Speaker Paul Ryan to Jeff Flake.
Day 228— Monday, September 4
- Trump teases a big week ahead.
Day 229 — Tuesday, September 5
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes the announcement of President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. Before he did so, Trump took to Twitter, calling out Republicans.
- Former President Barack Obama, who had previously stated he would speak out if he felt morally compelled to do so, posts a lengthy and powerful rebuke of President Trump’s decision on Facebook.
- As protestors take to the streets of Washington, D.C. and across the U.S., some of which Trump could most likely see from the windows of the White House, President Trump takes Twitter with a change of tone.
- Given heightened tensions with North Korea, Trump announces on Twitter that the U.S. is allowing Japan & South Korea to buy more military equipment from the U.S.
- The Justice Department states they have no evidence of the Obama administration wiretapping Trump Tower…because, of course, they don’t.
- The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenas the Department of Justice and the FBI, requesting information on the Trump-Russia, Christopher Steele dossier.
- Trump nominates Oklahoma Congressman Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a climate denier with no scientific background, to lead NASA. He must pass Senate confirmation.
Day 230 — Wednesday, September 6
- In an Oval Office meeting that shocked many, Trump comes to an “agreement” with Schumer and Pelosi on attaching a three-month debt ceiling extension to a Hurricane Harvey relief bill.
- Axios reports that Trump is in a vulnerable position and reportedly now fully aware how he is perceived: “People really f@&@ing hate me.”
- Facebook tells Congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert Mueller that a Russian “troll farm” bought $100,000 worth of Facebook advertising starting in the Summer of 2015 and throughout the 2016 election, spreading divisive political posts.
- “Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pay President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president, a USA TODAY investigation found.”
- Despite Trump’s remarks trying to comfort DACA recipients, a White House memo reportedly states “The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States.”
- 15 states and Washington, D.C. sue the Trump administration for their decision to rescind DACA.
- “The United States wants the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban the country’s exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean laborers abroad, and subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.”
- According to Politico, “Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, along with Republican Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, plan to formally roll out a Senate resolution later Wednesday that forcefully condemns the violence in Charlottesville while ‘rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups’”
Day 231— Thursday, September 7
- During five hours of questioning with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Donald Trump Jr. tells congressional investigators that he wanted the damaging info on Hillary Clinton because he wanted to learn about her “fitness to be president.” Despite admitting this, he claims he did not collude with Russia and that nothing came of the meeting.
- Trump is reportedly “jovial” about the deal with Schumer and Pelosi and raves about it in a meeting with Schumer and the New York and New Jersey Congressional delegations. Trump also speaks to Pelosi and Schumer over the phone that morning. Trump speaks about how happy he is about all the positive media coverage. On one of the calls, Pelosi said that she got Trump to tweet out a reassuring message to DACA recipients.
- In a press conference, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos states that she feels the Obama administration’s position on Title IX rules did not address the “due process rights” of those who had been accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Needless to say, this spurred outrage.
- Schumer reportedly broaches the idea of ending the requirement for Congress to renew the debt ceiling, and Trump says “Let’s do it.”
Day 232 — Friday, September 8
- Mueller tells the White House that he will most likely request interviews with six former and current Trump administration advisers, including current Communications Director, Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, and former Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. Hope Hicks retains a lawyer.
- Trump signs the $15 billion disaster relief package which is intended to aid the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
- According to The Washington Post “At Russia’s request, the U.S. military on Friday called off its surveillance of a convoy of Islamic State fighters that has been stuck in the Syrian desert for the past 10 days, saying it is now up to the Syrian government to resolve its fate.”
- Fresh off a deal with Democrats, Trump goes on a tweetstorm aimed at Republicans.
- In the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the incoming threat of Hurricane Irma, EPA Administrator, and known climate change denier, Scott Pruitt states that now is not the time to talk about climate change…
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Week 34: The Authoritarian (September 9–17)
Donald Trump started this week off with pundits proclaiming that he may have turned a corner…He ended the week retweeting a gif of himself assaulting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball and called Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man.”
It seems we are in a perpetual state of learning the same lessons week after week. Another “deal” with Democrats. Another week where folks in the media begin to call President Trump a new man. But the fact remains: Regardless of the staff shakeups, news filtering, or other control measures Chief of Staff John Kelly attempts to impose, Trump is, and will always be, Trump.
Although some laughed off Donald Trump’s Sunday morning impulsive retweet, we must remember what that really was. It was the President of the United States sharing a post depicting himself assaulting his former political opponent. If the media does not hold the line on what is unacceptable and continues to normalize his behavior, Trump will slowly chip away at what is seen as the norm. We can’t allow one man to lower the bar to such depths that he diminishes the office of the presidency any further than he already has. How far will we let him go?
Maybe the appropriate question is, how much time does President Trump have before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation overwhelms his administration into a state of complete stagnation. It appears we’re closer to an answer as new developments in the investigation, tension in Trump’s legal team, and paranoia among the staff rock the White House.
Day 233 — Saturday, September 9
- Hurricane Irma approaches Cuba and Florida.
Day 234— Sunday, September 10
- As Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on Sunday, President Trump says that these recent fatal hurricanes are improving the Coast Guard’s brand.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly floats the idea of members of the National Security Council taking lie detector tests in an effort to find leakers.
- Pope Francis challenges President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.
- On 60 minutes Steve Bannon says he thinks that firing former FBI Director James Comey was the biggest mistake “maybe in modern political history.” Bannon went on to state that “We would not have the Mueller investigation in the breadth that clearly Mr. Mueller is going.” He’s right.
Day 235 — Monday, September 11
- The Wall Street Journal reports that earlier this summer, some in Donald Trump’s legal team had urged Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to the president, to step down over likely legal complications that would arise given the fact he is a subject of the Trump-Russia investigation.
- The Justice Department files an appeal to the Supreme Court, requesting that the Justices allow the administration to continue its temporary ban on refugees.
- According to Yahoo News, “The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).” The FBI has reportedly obtained a drive with Sputnik documents and emails.
- Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and current White House Legal Counsel Don McGahn (who we’ll hear more about later in the week) both obtain legal counsel of their own for the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Russian operatives remotely organized anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rallies in the U.S. using Facebook events.
- The United Nations implements its toughest ever sanctions on North Korea.
Day 236— Tuesday, September 12
- Hillary Clinton’s book “What Happened” is released, sparking yet another conversation about the 2016 election. NBC News reporter Katy Tur also releases her book called Unbelievable on her time covering the Trump campaign.
- The Supreme Court allows the Trump administration to continue their ban on refugees that are part of the U.S. resettlement program.
- The Supreme Court reinstates Texas Congressional districts that were found to be discriminatory.
- The officers responsible for the death of Freddie Gray receive no charges from the Justice Department.
- Both the House and the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that challenges President Trump to denounce white supremacist groups.
- Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduce a bipartisan amendment to block President Trump’s transgender military ban.
Day 237— Wednesday, September 13
- The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that Flynn pushed for a $100 billion dollar deal that would entail nuclear reactors being built in Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries and involved Russia’s nuclear agency. The WSJ claims that he didn’t disclose the fact he was working on the deal after December 2016.
- House Democrats provide evidence to Mueller that Flynn did not disclose his 2015 trip to the Middle East to try and promote the deal. On January 5th, During the time the deal was being pushed and leading up to the Inauguration — Flynn, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon met with Jordanian King Abdullah II. A source told Buzzfeed News that this deal was one of the topics discussed.
- Flynn declines new requests to appear as a witness in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of the Trump-Russia investigation and his son becomes a subject of the investigation.
- Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduces his universal healthcare plan with the support of Democrats who had an eye towards 2020.
- It’s revealed that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin requested the use of a government plane to take his wife on their honeymoon.
- The only black Republican in the Senate, Tim Scott of South Carolina, sits down with President Trump to speak about his response to Charlottesville.
- Trump takes to Twitter to vent about Hillary Clinton and spread fake news about China’s corporate tax rate.
- Democrats announced on Wednesday that they had agreed to work towards a deal with Trump that would protect DACA recipients while at the same time enhancing border security.
Day 238— Thursday, September 14
- In the midst of the backlash from his base, trending #AmnestyDon, Trump says there was no deal made on DACA and tries to tell his base that he was still committed to the wall and also tried to convince them that he was making the right move.
- Trump claims that we’ve had bigger storms than Irma when asked about climate change.
- Trump doubles down on his “both sides” rhetoric on Charlottesville.
Day 239— Friday, September 15
- Mueller obtains a warrant for the Facebook accounts linked to Russian entities. A warrant of this nature is no joke. It means that Mueller may believe he can indict these entities on election law violations.
- After a terrorist incident in London, President Trump immediately plugs his travel ban.
- Trump signs Congress’ joint resolution condemning white supremacists.
- The DOJ declines a court order to release Mar-a-Lago’s visitor logs.
- North Korea fires yet another missile over Japan, escalating tensions ahead of Trump’s week at the UN.
- Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN SportsCenter, stirred controversy on Monday when she tweeted that Trump was “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” While Sarah Huckabee Sanders seems to imply ESPN should suspend Jemele, an army of activists mounted a Twitter defense. The Democratic Coalition filed an ethics complaint against Sanders, and the #NaziBucketChallenge trended nationally.
Day 240— Saturday, September 16
- Trump sends out a tweet announcing his Huntsville, Alabama rally for Luther Strange a week later.
Day 241— Sunday, September 17
- President Trump calls Kim Jong-Un “Rocket Man” on Twitter and then retweets a gif of himself assaulting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.
- The New York Times reports on a conversation their reporter overheard at a D.C. steakhouse. Ty Cobb, a lawyer Trump brought in to help oversee the Trump-Russia investigation, was heard speaking about his disagreements with White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II. It involved how much Cobb believed the lawyers should be cooperating with Mueller. McGahn was lobbying for less cooperation to preserve more opportunities to invoke Executive Privilege and Cobb wanting to speed things up by turning over more documents.
Week 35: The “Son Of A Bitch” (September 18–22)
Nuclear tensions with North Korea. A healthcare system with an uncertain future. 3.4 million Americans in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico without power. News of 21 state voter systems targeted by hacks. And the President of the United States is spending his time attacking…black NFL and NBA players?
Donald Trump is a simpleton. He is a simple man with a hateful, short-sighted worldview. He reveals more of his idiocy with every incoherent word and disgraces the office of the presidency with every bigoted breath. There is no way to sugarcoat this pervasive truth, and it would be irresponsible to beat around it.
The media is the lens through which people perceive reality. We have a duty to hold that lens responsibly and give the people a clear view of the world we live in. The harsh truth is, this is not normal, and we in the media must hold the line, take a stand, and continue to hold Donald Trump to account. And we must call President Trump’s comments about how players “should not be allowed” to kneel during the anthem what it is: A wannabe authoritarian infringement on Americans’ constitutional rights.
Every week, Donald Trump reveals more of his limited brain capacity and hateful beliefs. His startling lack of intelligence is what drives him to call North Korean Despot Kim Jong-un “Rocket Man” on the world stage while threatening to completely destroy a country of 25 million people. And his hate is what drives him to call neo-Nazis “very fine people” days after a white supremacist terrorist attack but angrily call a black athlete who chooses to exercise their First Amendment rights a “son of a bitch.”
As Donald Trump continues his pattern of blowing dog whistles for his base with over-simplified, hateful policy and rhetoric, it’s growing increasingly difficult to argue that the President doesn’t hold these views himself.
But we must not get distracted. While Trump gave us another week of revelations regarding the state of his mental health, every day we were inundated with revelations regarding the state of the Trump-Russia investigation and the state of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has expanded drastically and so has another component of the investigation: Obstruction of justice. Developments in the Trump-Russia investigation are directly correlated with Trump’s heightened unhinged behavior.
The donor-driven Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal effort trudged along and saw some setbacks but the battle isn’t over just yet…
Day 242 — Monday, September 18
- CNN reports that Paul Manafort was wiretapped via FISA surveillance in 2014 as part of an investigation into Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych. It was discontinued and then reinstated in 2016 after investigators caught a series of odd connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.Notably, the FBI wasn’t listening in during the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting. The surveillance reportedly continued into early this year and involved conversations with Donald Trump. Intelligence gathered reportedly “includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.”
- We learn that after Mueller raided Manafort’s house, he told Manafort that he planned to indict him.
- Reports begin dropping that the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, spear-headed by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), is gaining momentum.
- The White House rejects a Department of Health and Human Services study that found refugees brought in $63 million more in revenue than they cost the U.S. White House senior advisor Stephen Miller continues to push their anti-refugee policies despite this positive report.
- Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. give up their Secret Service protection.
- At the United Nations, Trump makes remarks about how the United Nations needs to step its game up and also shouted out the Trump Word Tower, saying:
“I actually saw great potential right across the street, to be honest with you, and it was only for the reason that the United Nations was here that that turned out to be such a successful project.”
Day 243— Tuesday, September 19
- Trump gives his first address before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Rather than paint a unifying vision or a way forward, Trump depicts a world “going to hell” (his words, not mine). Trump’s speech bashes the United Nations for mismanagement but also speaks about its potential. Trump went on to threaten “to totally destroy North Korea” and repeat the nickname he coined for Kim Jong-un on Twitter, “Rocket Man,” playing right into the North Korean Dictator’s hands
- The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller has interviewed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about Comey’s firing.
- Mueller’s investigation into Manafort is reportedly probing as far back as January 2006.
- Reuters and CNN report that the RNC has paid $230,000 of Trump’s legal fees related to the Trump-Russia investigation. The RNC Spokesperson confirms it.
- Trump’s non-scientist, climate denying nominee to lead NASA (yes, that’s real sentence) Rep. Jim Bridenstine indicates that he would like to study climate change on Mars but not Earth.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee cancels a private hearing with Trump’s personal Lawyer Michael Cohen, who has now agreed to a public hearing set for October 25th.
- Senate Republicans hold a press conference discussing their efforts to repeal Obamacare with their new full repeal effort.
- Turkey’s authoritarian leader President Tayyip Erdoğan says that President Trump apologized to him after Erdoğan’s goons beat up U.S. protestors in D.C. in May.
Day 244— Wednesday, September 20
- Today’s news cycle was dominated by Jimmy Kimmel’s follow-up to his viral video where he discussed his son’s open heart surgery and called on Congress not to price people out of healthcare. Kimmel spoke on how one of the engineers of the bill, Senator Cassidy coined the phrase the “Jimmy Kimmel test” which was about how no family should be denied care because they can’t afford it or due to a pre-existing condition. The fallout from this continued on Wednesday, as the discussion surrounding Graham-Cassidy took center stage. As it turns out, Cassidy’s own bill does not pass the test he created.
- News breaks of HHS Secretary Tom Price spending tens of thousands of dollars taxpayer dollars on private flights continued to flow. By the end of the week, we learned that the real number was above $300,000 spent on about 24 flights.
- First Lady Melania Trump gives a speech at the United Nations condemning bullying.
- As Category 4 Hurricane Maria sweeps over Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory desperately tried to stay strong as all their power was knocked out.
Day 245— Thursday, September 21
- The New York Times drops a report that shows to the extent Mueller stepped up his investigation into the White House. According to White House Officials, Mueller has sought documents regarding 13 areas of interest. The requests include communications related to Carter Page and Paul Manafort, the firing of Comey, Trump’s Oval Office Meeting with Russians, Trump’s Air Force One crafted statement about the June 2016 meeting, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
- We learn that two weeks before Trump accepted the GOP nomination, Paul Manafort reportedly offered “private briefings” on the state of the 2016 election to Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
- Trump mispronounces the nation of Namibia as Nambia, and praised this non-existent country’s healthcare.
Day 246— Friday, September 22
- From tweets against Rand Paul to Hillary Clinton, Trump goes off. He also responds to Kim Jong-un’s new threat (triggered by Trump’s unhinged UN speech) of detonated a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific and displayed his paranoia by trying to claim that the Russian troll ads that Facebook was going to turn over to Congress were part of “the Russia hoax.”
- The Department Homeland Security found that 21 states had their voter systems targeted by hackers during the 2016 election.
- The New York Times reports that what is fueling the latest frantic push for the Obamacare repeal is pressure from donors as Republicans fear future funds drying up.
- President Trump holds a rally in Alabama that was supposed to be an endorsement of Senator Luther Strange, but turned into…something else. News of John McCain’s announced opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill likely also rattled Trump. The rally was clearly going to be unhinged, but as far as exactly how unhinged it would be and who he’d attack, we had no idea what was coming. Aside from complaining about the Trump-Russia investigation, saying “You’ve got to speak to Jeff Sessions about that,” when the crowd shouted “lock her up!” about Hillary Clinton, and attacking Kim Jong-un once more, he turned to the NFL. Not only did he idiotically call their new concussion rules “soft” days after now-deceased NFL player Aaron Hernandez was found to have had severe CTE, President Trump took aim at American’s First Amendment rights.
Week 36: The Attacks On Puerto Rico (September 26 — October 1)
Every week, for the last 36 weeks, I’ve sat down to write Unpresidented. And every week, I think President Trump can stoop no lower…Then I check his Twitter feed and I’m quickly reminded that the depths in which Donald Trump is willing to stoop is only limited by the molten iron core of the Earth.
In his unjust attacks on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and his threats to North Korean Despot Kim Jong-un, President Donald Trump proved that common human decency and national security are not as important to him as his sweet, sweet ego.
I could write a dissertation about how Donald Trump is ill-equipped to lead sheep, let alone a nation or about how none of this is normal and we must not lower the bar to accommodate Trump’s ineptitude. But I’ve done that before and won’t reiterate that now. No. I’m going to highlight the things Donald Trump doesn’t want us to be focusing on.
This was the week Special Counsel Robert Mueller began interviewing White House staff as part of the Trump-Russia investigation. The week the Graham-Cassidy bill died. The week six of Trump’s closest current and former aides were outed as using private email accounts to conduct government work. The week Senator Luther Strange lost his Alabama primary even after President Trump’s endorsement. This was the week the full extent of Donald Trump’s fragile ego was exposed.
The rise and fall of Donald Trump will be a tale of an ego run rampant. From businessman to con man. Reality TV star to demagogue. From President to pariah. Donald Trump’s ego helped to propel him to prominence and is now torpedoing him into international disgrace.
Day 247 — Saturday, September 23
- Trump’s “son of a bitch” comments conquer the weekend as #TakeAKnee, and #TakeTheKnee trended on Twitter.
- President Trump decides he hadn’t pissed enough people off, so he goes after NBA Champion Stephen Curry, rescinding his invitation to the White House because the Warriors expressed hesitation in attending.
- Lebron James stands by his NBA colleague, calling President Trump a “bum” on Twitter.
- As Twitter continues to erupt, Trump doubled down talking about how “privileged” NFL players were disrespecting the flag.
- Trump also throws in some casual tweets threatening Nuclear Holocaust, suggesting that North Korean leaders might not be around much longer.
Day 248 — Sunday, September 24
- While Trump takes to Twitter, more than 200 NLF players take knees while their fellow players, owners, and coaches stand with their arms linked in solidarity.
- Graham and Cassidy modify the healthcare bill, resorting to bribes for the Senators who are opposed to the bill.
- President Trump signs a new travel ban:
“The new presidential order keeps restrictions on five of those six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — lifts restrictions on visitors from the Sudan and adds new restrictions on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.”
Day 249— Monday, September 25
- CBO releases a preliminary report that found millions would lose insurance (didn’t have time to create a specific estimate). Shortly after the report is released, Collins releases a statement announcing her opposition to the bill. With 3 GOP Senators opposed, the bill was all but dead.
- Amid criticism that he hasn’t tweeted much about Puerto Rico, President Trump sends out a tweetstorm blaming Puerto Rico’s debt and infrastructure for the devastation they are experiencing.
- The New York Times reports that at least six of President Trump’s former and current aides have used private email accounts to conduct government work. Hillary Clinton calls it “the height of hypocrisy.” Rightfully so.
- CNN reports that the Trump administration has been withholding documents from congressional investigators in the Trump-Russia probe.
- LeBron James speaks out against the President once more:
“The people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”
- Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones kneels with his team before the anthem.
Day 250— Tuesday, September 26
- It’s reported that Mueller would begin conducting some of the White House interviews this week. This makes Trump’s wild behavior make more sense. Mueller’s moves in the Trump-Russia investigation are directly correlated with Trump’s heightened unhinged behavior.
- ABC News reports that Mueller is probing the fact that “Three Americans with significant Russian business connections contributed almost $2 million to political funds controlled by Donald Trump.”
- McConnell pulls Graham-Cassidy, ending this attempt at a healthcare repeal.
- In a hearing with the House Intelligence Committee, Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone denies colluding with Russia and that he had any prior knowledge of incoming emails to be released by Wikileak — despite admitting to the latter on Twitter.
- President Trump plans to cut refugee admissions to 45,000 next year, the lowest level in more than a decade.
- Chuck Rosenberg, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), submits his resignation stating that he is convinced President Trump has little respect for the law.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new efforts to collect social media information and “search results” (???) from ALL immigrants, including naturalized citizens already living here, has startled many
- It’s reported that both Bernie Sanders and former Green Party Candidate Jill Stein benefitted from Russia’s Facebook ads. Mueller and congressional investigators are reviewing these posts.
Day 251 — Wednesday, September 27
- Trump and Republican lawmakers announce their tax plan which would reduce the number of tax brackets down to three. Reducing the highest bracket to 35% and raising the lowest to 12%. It would also eliminate the estate tax.
- After Roy Moore beats Senator Luther Strange by taking nearly 55% of the vote on Tuesday night, President Trump deletes his tweets in support of him.
- Trump vents on Twitter about the Trump-Russia investigation, exposing the extent of his paranoia.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee asks Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify in public hearings on November 1st.
- Trump’s patience with HHS Secretary Tom Price’s use of $400,000 worth of private flights seems to be thinning. Not because he cares about government waste of course, but because the optics are terrible to his base.
Day 252 — Thursday, September 28
- It turns out, much like every meeting with Russian operatives he had in 2016, Jared Kushner did not disclose his private email account to the Senate Intelligence Committee in their private hearing in July. Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), and Vice Chair Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) learned of the existence of the account from the media…According to CNN, they are not happy.
- After a lot of pressure, Trump finally waives the Jones Act, a 1920 law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported by U.S. vessels operated primarily by Americans. Trump was initially slow to waive it, citing shipping concerns…There was no hesitation for any of the other recent natural disasters. This further fed the criticism that he viewed Puerto Ricans as less than other U.S. citizens.
- In briefings to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Twitter tells congressional investigators that they found 200 accounts linked to Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and outlined the measures they took to try and limit it. Senator Mark Warner said the briefing was “very disappointing.”
Day 253 — Friday, September 29
- Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, calls the recovery of Hurricane Maria a “good news story.” This received appropriate backlash given the fact that the aid efforts have been slow and people are suffering. As President Trump takes to Twitter praising his own efforts in Puerto Rico, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz pleaded for help.
- Mueller interviews his first White House staffer, Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg. Kellogg is the Chief of Staff for the National Security Council and was questioned about Michael Flynn.
- After pressure mounted, Tom Price was forced to resign his post as HHS Secretary.
- The Justice Department continued their pursuit of the private information of anti-Trump activists
Day 254 — Saturday, September 30
- Trump responds to Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz with a disgraceful tweestorm, claiming that that Mayor Cruz has poor leadership and the Puerto Ricans want everything done for themselves.
- Meanwhile, Mayor Cruz was working to save lives.
Day 255— Sunday, October 1
- After spending all day on Saturday Tweeting about the NFL and Puerto Rico, Trump went a step further in insulting them on Sunday, calling Puerto Ricans criticizing him “politically motivated ingrates.”
- And then….he undermined his Secretary of State on North Korea.
Week 37: The Vegas Shooting And The Continued Disrespect Of Puerto Rico (October 2–6)
I write to you from a nation where over 33,000 people die from guns each year but its leaders refuse to pass gun legislation.
A nation where a tape of a sexual predator bragging about sexual assault is released, and a year later, he’s the President signing Executive Orders rolling back women’s reproductive rights.
A nation where the President belittles and attacks the citizens and leaders of a U.S. territory recovering from the largest hurricane that has hit its shores in 85 years.
A nation where the President tests the American people’s resilience with every tweet, constantly hinting at what appears to be nuclear war.
A nation where the President is under criminal investigation.
But I also write to you from a nation where the people are more vigilant than ever before.
A nation where we will not stand idly by as one man undermines our democratic institutions, attempts to roll back human rights, flamboyantly flaunts his indecency, and threatens the future of its people.
I write to you from a nation where the President is a moron, the Republican Congress is complicit, and the people are fired up and ready to change the world.
Welcome to the United States of America. We didn’t want it to be this way, but we are damn sure making the best of it.
Day 256 — Monday, October 2
- On Sunday night, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas, Nevada. From the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, Paddock shot down at a crowd of more than 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest festival, where country artists were performing. Over 50 people were killed and over 500 injured. Police found at least 23 weapons in the hotel room, which were mostly rifles and about half were retrofitted with “bump stock” (accessories that allow rifles to fire at a more rapid rate). Police found 19 more firearms at his home and explosives.
- Congressional investigators discover two more undisclosed contacts between the Trump Organization and Russian operatives. Both involved Trump’s personal attorney and former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, Michael Cohen.
- Julia Ioffe of The Atlantic reports that Manafort was trying to leverage his work on the Trump campaign to curry favor with his old pal, and Russian Oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.
- Politico reports that Manafort met twice with his former Russian-Ukrainian aide, from his Ukraine lobbying days, Konstantin Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign.
- Facebook turns over the 3,000 ads over to Congressional investigators.
Day 257— Tuesday, October 3
- At a round table in Puerto Rico, Trump complains about the cost of Hurricane Maria, compares it to a “real” catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina, and tells them they should be proud of their death count. Trump creates bad optics and rolls of paper towels into a crowd in Puerto Rico.
- Mueller and his all-star team of lawyers are looking into ways to preempt a presidential pardon.
- The House passes an abortion ban that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The bill passes largely along party lines (237–189), with Republican Representatives in favor.
- It’s revealed that in January, the Justice Department overruled memos that found it illegal for a President to appoint relatives to positions in the White House.
- It’s reported that hundreds of emails were sent on a third email account that was hosted on their private domain.
- Vice President Pence’s Chief of Staff calls for a “purge” of all anti-Trump Republicans.
- Jimmy Kimmel delivers an impassioned plea for gun control measures.
Day 258 — Wednesday, October 4
- Four green berets are killed in Niger…A story that would be a tragic mystery, unfolding over several weeks.
- NBC News drops a report detailing a July 20th meeting in a secure room in the Pentagon called “The Tank” where Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron” when speaking to cabinet officials.
- The New Yorker publishes a bombshell collaborative report with ProPublica and WNYC that reveals Don Jr. and Ivanka used inflated numbers to create a false perception of how well the Trump SoHo condos were selling. Emails revealed they were well aware that what they were doing was wrong. Prosecutors were on their tail, that is until Trump Sr.’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz went directly to Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, to ask that the case be dismissed. Vance then overruled his own prosecutors and dismissed the case. Six months after the case was dropped, Kasowitz donated $50,000 to Vance’s campaign.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA), hold a press conference updating the public on the status of their Trump-Russia investigation. They verify the Intelligence Community’s initial report that found Russia did indeed interfere in the 2016 election via coordinated propaganda campaigns and hacks targeting U.S. political entities including John Podesta’s email account and the DNC.
- Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), backed by two dozen Democrats, introduces legislation that would ban bump stocks. Republicans, and the NRA, signal support for the ban.
- A Texas judge rules that Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission would be violating state privacy laws if it received the voter information they were requesting.
- Two former heads of the CIA, Michael Morell and Michael Hayden, say in two separate interviews that Russia could not have targeted the voters in the way they did on Facebook without help.
- Trump visits Las Vegas to meet with the victims of the horrific shooting that took place earlier this week. When asked about gun control…he still dispels it, saying he would discuss it “later.”
Day 259 — Thursday, October 5
- It’s revealed that Mueller has already interviewed the author of the famous Trump-Russia dossier, Christopher Steele, this past Summer. Now, Steele is in talks with the Senate Intelligence Committee about meeting with them.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that “Hackers working for the Russian government stole details of how the U.S. penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer.”
- House Republicans pass their $4.1 trillion budget which makes deep cuts to social programs.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds a policy that protects transgender people from discrimination in the workplace.
- Politico reports that GOP donors are closing their wallets, frustrated that Republicans are not able to deliver on their promises.
- BuzzFeed News publishes a phenomenal piece of in-depth journalism based on internal documents from Breitbart that revealed the tactics Steve Bannon used to bring the white nationalist movement into the mainstream.
- Reports began to circulate that President Trump will decertify the Iran Deal which was put in place by President Obama to keep their nuclear proliferation in check.
- I’ll end this day with the way Trump started it, by calling on congressional entities to investigate members of the press…that’s pretty, pretty, pretty (in my best Larry David impression) authoritarian.
Day 260 — Friday, October 6
- Five days after the largest mass-shooting in modern history, the Trump administration proves exactly where their priorities lie by rolling back the federal requirement for employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans.
- White House officials believe that John Kelly’s personal cell phone has been compromised by hackers as far back as December.
- BuzzFeed News drops a report that states the “Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies.”
- Trump nominates coal lobbyist and climate change denier, Andrew R. Wheeler, to be the #2 at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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Week 38: The President Of The United States Vs. We The People (October 7–13)
As the weeks trudge along, I grow more disgusted with the President and impressed by the American people.
With every cruel Trump action, there is equal and opposite resistance. Not from our “representatives.” But from the American people.
Despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to distort reality, the incredibly vigilant American people see right through his every move.
When the President of the United States brags about causing health insurance stocks to plunge after rolling back Obamacare subsidies for low-income people, he’s really bragging about harming the most vulnerable Americans’ healthcare coverage.
When the President of the United States berates suffering people in Puerto Rico, he’s attacking Americans he sees as lesser humans.
When the President of the United States signs executive orders taking aim at women’s reproductive rights, we call it what it is: a war on women.
When the President of the United States tweets about challenging the broadcast licenses of media companies he disagrees with, we see it as an assault on our First Amendment rights by a wannabe authoritarian.
This President is transparently indecent, and the cruelty he has proudly worn on his sleeve will be rejected at the ballot box in 2018 and 2020 (With Robert Mueller’s moves this week, we’ll see if Trump makes it that far).
Donald Trump once called the media “the enemy of the American people.”
But we know who the real enemy is…
Day 261— Saturday, October 7
- Trump undercut his Secretary of State the previous weekend, he continues his anxiety provoking tweets hinting at nuclear war.
Day 262 — Sunday, October 8
- Trump sends out tweets attacking Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) who has on many occasions cast doubt on the President’s fitness for office. Corker, hits back with his famous “adult day care” tweet.
- Corker gives revealing interview with The New York Times, not only expressing his concerns about Trump’s recklessness and how it could lead to World War 3, he stated that Republican leaders privately express these concerns and they also are aware of how much damage control those around Trump have to go through on a daily basis.
- Vice President Mike Pence appears to have staged a walkout at an Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers football game.
Day 263— Monday, October 9
- The Washington Post speaks to 18 White House officials who depict an enraged President who is growing increasingly volatile. They compare him to a pressure cooker that can explode. Trump is particularly frustrated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who reportedly called him a “fucking moron.”
- Lawyers for Russian Oligarch Aras Agalarov claim the meeting was set up solely for the purpose of discussing the 2012 Magnitsky Act which imposed sanctions on wealthy Russians in retaliation for human rights abuses. As we know, that’s not true.
- The Washington Post reports that Russia also purchased ads across Google’s services, including youtube and gmail.
- The Trump administration releases their “demands” for what was supposed to be a collaborative effort to provide relief for DACA recipients. It included the border wall.
- Secretary of Defense James Mattis urged U.S. military leaders to be ready with military options when it comes to dealing with North Korea:
Day 264— Tuesday, October 10
- After multiple hurricanes ravaged the United States and in the midst of a California fire that had, as of this day, taken at least 11 lives, injured dozens, and destroyed 1,500 structures, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announces the end to Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
- Trump’s Health and Human Services Department labeled life as beginning at conception.When responding to a question about Tillerson calling him a “moron,” President Trump asserted that he could beat Tillerson in an IQ test:
- The House Intelligence Committee subpoenas Fusion GPS, the company that compiled the Christopher Steele Trump-Russia dossier.
- Former Trump Campaign Adviser Carter Page says he would not cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request to testify.
- Trump continues his attacks on the NFL on Twitter, and also takes another shot at Jemele Hill who was suspended for alluding to a boycott of Jerry Jones’ Cowboys.
- Eminem attacks Trump in epic freestyle.
Day 265— Wednesday, October 11
- A Vanity Fair report depicts Trump as “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling” and that Kelly and Mattis have discussed whether to tackle him if he tries to order a nuclear strike. The report ends with a new development that states Former White House Chief Strategist and current Breitbart head, Steve Bannon, told President Trump several months ago that the biggest threat to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. Trump responded: “What’s that?”
- NBC News reports that this past Summer, Trump urged for a tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
- Trump then goes on to speak like a wannabe dictator, threatening to challenge news companies’ licenses that report anything negative about him.
- The House Intelligence Committee is probing Cambridge Analytica’s involvement with the Trump campaign as part of their Trump-Russia investigation.
- The U.S. flows 2 Air Force B-1B bombers over the Korean Peninsula as the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Ronald Reagan conducts drills with Japanese warships in waters Southwest of the Korean Peninsula.
Day 266 — Thursday, October 12
- Trump starts the day with an executive order that, according to Reuters, could violate federal law governing employee benefit plans.
- But Trump doesn’t stop there. The White House confirms it is ending the cost-sharing subsidy payments for ACA insurers that were designed to keep premiums low.
- Chief of Staff John Kelly runs the White House press briefing amid reports that he was unhappy with his position and could be replaced. Kelly asserted that he is indeed here to stay.
- Trump continues his streak of indecency by taking to Twitter and quadrupling down on his attacks on Puerto Rico, not only repeating his assertions that Puerto Rico is to blame for their suffering in the aftermath of a natural disaster, this time he went a step further, warning that federal aid won’t be around forever.
- Finally, the House of Representatives passes a $36.5 billion aid package for Puerto Rico. The vote was 353–69. It now moves on to the Senate.
- The death toll in the California wildfires rises to 23 as more cities were evacuated.
- The Trump administration withdraws from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Day 267— Friday, October 13
- Trump refuses to re-certify the Iran Nuclear Deal, imposes new sanctions on Iran labeling their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, and puts the fate of the deal in the hands of Congress.
- After signing executive orders that would cause Obamacare to spiral into a broken mess, Trump sends out tweets calling Obamacare a broken mess.
- Mueller interviewed Reince Priebus, further proving that he is honing in on obstruction of justice in the firing of James Comey.
- A $26 million loan reportedly exchanged hands from a company linked to Manafort and a company linked to Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
- Trump attends the Values Voters Summit. This is hosted by the Family Research Council which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as an anti-LBGT hate group.
Week 39: The Tragedy Of Niger (October 14–20)
America is waging a war with itself. I’m not talking about Steve Bannon’s “war on the GOP establishment” or the war between red-America and blue-America. I’m talking about the never-ending war over the American psyche.
At the center of this war is the very clear choice between common decency or moral degeneration. Between human rights or authoritarianism. Intelligence or idiocy. Truth or deception. And the chief war monger is Donald Trump, relentlessly prodding his tiny finger at the worst impulses within American society. In this manner, the week was no different than the previous 38.
One of this week’s most disconcerting revelations was that Chief of Staff John Kelly isn’t the man we hoped he could be. Rather than seizing the opportunity to be a necessary sanity check on the President, Kelly has merely provided structure from which Trump can more effectively execute his insanity.
At the forefront of this week’s exhausting discourse was a cruel condolence call from the President and a slandering lie from the Chief of Staff.
In the background, a disastrous budget that cuts Medicare by $473 billion and Medicaid by $1 trillion moved through Congress. An under-discussed White House memo further detailing this administration’s war on women’s rights was leaked. A confusing series of flip-flops delayed a healthcare bill that was set to stabilize the healthcare market. And reports about Russia’s interference revealed just how complex and intrusive Putin’s efforts truly were.
And while the media was too busy interrogating gold star families on the content of their condolence calls with President Trump, the most important question of the week remained unanswered…What exactly happened in Niger?
In spite of this exhausting week, there was one bright spot illuminated by a movement of millions of brave women proving that they will not be silenced. Two simple words delivered a massive blow to rape culture, and a resounding message to perpetrators and unwitting enablers of sexual assault around the world: enough is enough.
Day 268— Saturday, October 14
- Trump teaks to Twitter to brag about harming American companies, and by extension, the American people depending on those companies for healthcare coverage.
Day 269— Sunday, October 15
- In a powerful show of solidarity, millions of women share their stories of overcoming sexual assault and in some cases, exposed their perpetrators. From women being abused in the workplace by men they worked for to being abused in their homes by men they once trusted, the stories are heartbreaking. This came after dozens of women in the entertainment industry came forward with their stories exposing disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein’s lifetime of sexual assault. Over the course of the week, the result of #MeToo was overwhelming, with men in entertainment and media losing their jobs due to being outed for their sick actions.
- Trump’s former Chief Strategist and current Breitbart hooligan Steve Bannon speaks at the Values Voters Summit and lambasts the GOP and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. His “war on the establishment” garners applause from the crowd.
- It’s revealed that over the last three months, the Trump campaign has paid $1.1 million in legal fees covering the Trump-Russia investigation. This was twice as much as the previous 3 months.
- South Korea and the U.S. begin five days of joint naval drills.
- In a fitting end to the weekend of #MeToo, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos who has accused Donald Trump of groping her, “subpoenaed all documents from his campaign pertaining to ‘any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.’”
Day 270— Monday, October 16
- Trump holds a press conference in the Rose Garden where he says him and McConnell were on good terms. When asked why he hadn’t uttered a word about the 4 American soldiers who were ambushed and killed by 50–100 (depending on who you ask) ISIS-affiliated fighters in Niger on October 4th, Trump states a blatant lie asserting that President Obama and other former Presidents didn’t call the families of soldiers who were killed in action. Clearly, that is false.
- Details begin to leak of the botched Niger raid, depicting a gruesome ambush and a “massive intelligence failure.” Sergeant La David Johnson was left behind…
- After being awarded the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center, John McCain slams Trump’s brand of politics
- In a dangerous move, the Environmental Protection Agency (if you can even call it that anymore) led by Scott Pruitt, increases the safe level of radiation to ten times what the Obama administration had in place.
- Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer is interviewed for “much of the day” by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Day 271— Tuesday, October 17
- An investigation by RBC Magazine details how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $2.3 million Troll Factory operation worked with 100 or so activists in the United States who wanted to spread the pro-Trump message by pretending to be fellow Republicans.
- Trump carries on his lie about President Obama by making the despicable move of using the death of John Kelly’s son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert M. Kelly, who was killed in Afghanistan 7 years ago, as a political prop. President Trump said, “you could ask General Kelly did he get a call from Obama.”
- The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had just recently declined to testify in the Trump-Russia investigation.
- Trump responds to McCain’s jabs by saying he should be careful because “at some point, I fight back.”
- The same judge in Hawaii who blocked some of his previous iterations blocks the President’s latest attempt. The next day, a second judge blocks Trump’s ban.
- Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) come to an agreement on a bipartisan bill that would fund the Obamacare subsidies that President Trump just cut. Oddly, the White House expresses support for the bill. But this isn’t the end of the story…
Day 272— Wednesday, October 18
- Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who was in the car with Johnson’s pregnant widow Myeshia Johnson and his family during the phone call, tells reporters that in a phone call President Trump told Mrs. Johnson that “he knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” Rep. Wilson also says that Mrs. Johnson was crying throughout the phone call and that after she got off the phone, she said President Trump didn’t even remember Sergeant Johnson’s name. President Trump disputed this, of course, claiming he has proof.
- Sergeant La David Johnson’s mother Cowanda Jones-Johnson then confirmed the Congresswoman’s characterization of the phone call, stating that “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband.”
- After expressing support for the bill on multiple occasions this week, Trump takes to Twitter to claim he was in opposition to the bipartisan Alexander-Murray healthcare effort.
- Sessions appears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his involvement in the firing of James Comey among other things.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee meets in a closed session with Trump’s former Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski as part of their Trump-Russia investigation.
- Putin’s rival and Russia’s richest man before he was exiled, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, tells NBC News that he’s convinced that Putin’s people tried to influence the U.S. election and that Sergey N. Gorkov may have been acting on orders from the Kremlin when he met with Kushner.
- On the same day The Washington Post reported that Trump promised to send $25,000 to the family of a fallen soldier but never followed through, President Trump sends the family a $25,000 check.
- A 17-year-old undocumented pregnant immigrant who was fleeing abuse from her parents was trying to have an abortion in the U.S. and the Trump administration has tried to block it and force her to carry the baby to term, then deport her. A federal judge, who claimed she was “astounded” the Trump administration would try and block this, orders the U.S. government to allow her to have the procedure.
Day 273 — Thursday, October 19
- In a press conference defending Trump’s call with Mrs. Johnson, Kelly says he was “stunned” by Congresswoman Wilson’s characterization of the phone call. Then, Kelly makes a demonstrably false claim that leaves everyone stunned. Kelly says that at an opening of an FBI building in South Florida, Wilson focused her speech on how she had served her constituents well and got the money to erect the building. But, Wilson stated that she wasn’t in Congress when the building had been funded, and a video supported her account of the events.
- President Trump doubles down on his attacks on Congresswoman Wilson.
- In two separate speeches, President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush both denounce Trump’s form of politics.
- Trump gives his response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a “10/10.”
Day 274— Friday, October 20
- In a 51–49 vote — Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) the only Republican no — the Senate passes a $4 trillion budget that cuts Medicare by $473 billion and Medicaid by $1 trillion over a ten year period. It also contains protections that were inserted to cover tax cuts for the wealthy and add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over ten years.
- In response to reporters’ questions regarding John Kelly’s false statements about Congresswoman Wilson, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in the Friday White House Briefing that it was “highly inappropriate” to “get into a debate” with a four-star General.
- As the nation is still grappling with the stunning events in Niger, the FBI, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, launches a probe into what actually happened that October 4th day. Mattis also met with John McCain.
Week 40: The Dangers Of Deflection And Disinformation (October 21–27)
“Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff” — Republican Senator Bob Corker
With every Trump distraction, there is a Mueller move not far behind. And this move was big.
Since some in media decided to remain ambiguous in their coverage this week, I’ll be very clear: The President of the United States and his propagandists at Fox News are waging a desperate disinformation campaign with the intent to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation.
The Uranium One story is a nothingburger. The dossier funding story is irrelevant. And neither change the fact that Trump associates have money ties to Russia and had multiple meetings with Russian operatives during the course of the 2016 campaign. Despite this, the White House spent the week trying to blend the two stories together in a blatant attempt to gaslight their base and divert attention to their favorite straw woman, Hillary Clinton. By the end of the week, we knew why.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed the first indictments in his investigation into Russia’s interference in our democracy and potential collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign. In light of this, right-wing propaganda (I won’t call them news or media anymore) have been calling for Mueller to resign. The question is, will any Republican have the patriotism to protect the rule of law or will they allow our nation to stumble towards authoritarianism for the sake of petty partisanship?
If President Trump were to try yet another blatant attempt to obstruct justice, it would test the resilience of our nation and the effectiveness of the rule of law. We’ll soon see who will be remembered in history as a patriot or who will descend into obscurity as yet another partisan tool.
We’re standing at the crossroads of our democracy here. As paranoia continues to plague President Trump, we hope the weight of history will begin to burden the GOP more than the weight of their donors.
Whether or not the GOP will heed the words of Republican Senator Jeff Flake, is yet to be determined:
“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation for the unacceptable to end. There are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles. Now is such a time…We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal.”
One thing is for certain: if the Republican Party lets President Trump get away with undermining our democracy, the American people won’t.
Let’s dive in.
Day 275 — Saturday, October 21
- Trump goes on a wild day of tweeting. Topics range from “Crooked Hillary,” Facebook ads, the Trump-Russia dossier, and tax cuts.
Day 276— Sunday, October 22
- Trump attacks Congresswoman Frederica Wilson on Twitter again.
Day 277 — Monday, October 23
- After a drawn-out week of false attacks on Congresswoman Wilson’s credibility, at the hands of President Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly, Sgt. La David Johnson’s pregnant widow Myeshia Johnson confirms the congresswoman’s account of the phone call. In response to the interview, Trump sends out a tweet, essentially calling this gold star widow a liar.
- We find out that Sergeant La David Johnson wasn’t able to have an open casket funeral, which suggests that his body may have been mutilated.
- A small utility company called Whitefish Energy, who has ties to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and has little experience handling the scope of the request at hand, says they signed a $300 million contract to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid. This immediately raises red flags given the company’s ties to Zinke. There are then calls to cancel the deal.
- Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinds 72 guidelines that outlined the rights of students with disabilities, calling the guidelines “outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.”
Day 278— Tuesday, October 24
- Ahead of a lunch with Senate Republicans, GOP Senator Bob Corker (who isn’t seeking re-election) hits the press circuit, touching on his numerous concerns about President Trump’s fitness for office and his fears that Trump’s recklessness could lead our nation into World War 3. In predictable form, President Trump impulsively takes to Twitter. Just like that, Corker is back at again with the clapbacks.
- As Trump and McConnell walk into the lunch, a protestor throws Russian flags with the words “Trump” printed on them while yelling “Trump is treason.”
- After the lunch, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who after releasing a book critical of the President began to drop in the polls in his home state of Arizona, announces he would not seek re-election in 2018. Flake then delivers the most powerful rebuke of Trump from a Republican yet…and it’s on the Senate floor.
- Pence casts the tie-breaking vote along with Senate Republicans to pass a bill that prevents consumers from filing class-action lawsuits against financial institutions.
- Republican lawmakers in the House announce new investigations into the 2010 Russia-Uranium deal (more on that in a bit) and a review of the FBI’s investigation into Comey’s handling of the private email server investigation.
- The House Intelligence Committee meets with Trump’s personal lawyer, and former Executive VP of the Trump organization, Michael Cohen. They also meet with Digital Strategist Brad Parscale.
- Mueller is investigating Democratic lobbying firm the Podesta Group, ran by Tony Podesta — brother of John Podesta — for the group’s lobbying efforts in Ukraine.
- Manafort is facing yet another money laundering probe in New York.
Day 279— Wednesday, October 25
- The GOP runs with its deflection stories of Uranium One and the dossier funding. If you want the dismantling of the Uranium One conspiracy theory, click into the week below.
Day 280— Thursday, October 26
- The Daily Beast reports that Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, emailed Julian Assange in July of 2016 asking about how his firm could help Wikileaks (who released hacked DNC emails provided to them by the Russian government) release Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that Rebekah Mercer emailed the Cambridge Analytica CEO to ask if he could better organize Wikileaks’ emails.
- In a 216–212 vote in the House, the Senate GOP’s budget is passed.
- Trump declares the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.
- Obamacare’s most popular plan’s premiums spike 34%. Trump’s recent healthcare moves contributed to this, feeding market instability.
- The Government Accountability Office is investigating Trump’s voter fraud (cough* voter suppression) commission.
- Mark Halperin, a journalist who has worked for ABC News, NBC News, Bloomberg, and authored the best-selling book Game Change, is accused of sexual assault/harassment of multiple women. He is let go from his contributor position at MSNBC.
- President Trump takes a jab at Democratic Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, who is currently running for Governor of Virginia against former lobbyist and freshman fearmonger Ed Gillespie. Northam claps back.
- Weeks had passed, and the Trump administration still hadn’t implemented Congress’ veto-proof Russian sanctions. The Trump administration shuts down the State Department office in charge of implementing them.
Day 281— Friday, October 27
- Mueller files the first sealed indictments in the Trump-Russia probe. Speculation begins, and all signs point to Manafort.
- Carter Page is questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee for 5 hours.
- Kellyanne Conway confirms that “Trump told his staff to work with the Justice Department to allow an undercover FBI informant who played a critical role in an FBI investigation into Russian efforts to gain influence in the uranium industry in the United States during the Obama administration to be free to speak with Congress.”
- The Whitefish Energy contract with Puerto Rico is canceled by Puerto Rico.
- Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders asserts that the White House’s official position is that all of Trump’s sexual assault accusers are lying.
- We learn that the talking points the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya brought with her were cleared by the Kremlin.
Week 41: The First Indictments (October 28 — November 3)
In a world where the President of the United States and right-wing propaganda push nothing but disinformation, we must tell the truth as ferociously as they sell their lies.
So, here’s the blunt truth:
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges indicate Trump and his associates have a lot to fear and the Trump-Russia investigation is far from a “witch hunt.”
President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and their associates lied about their knowledge of, and participation in, discussions that explored the possibility of meeting with the Russian government.
The “lack of compromise” that led to the Civil War John Kelly was referring to was whether or not to expand the enslavement of black human beings.
The Republican Party’s tax cuts will disproportionately help the wealthy.
The President of the United States’ continued assertions that the DOJ and FBI should investigate his political opponent on false charges is the language of a wannabe authoritarian and should be treated as such…and yet, the GOP does nothing.
The blunt truth is, week after week, Donald Trump continues to degrade the office of the presidency. But there is hope.
Robert Mueller is moving, and the American people are resisting. The future is in our hands.
Patriotic Americans have a long memory. Let’s hope that is reflected at the ballot box.
Day 282 — Saturday, October 28
- While everyone speculates as to who Mueller’s first charges will be filed against, the right continues their coordinated effort to undermine Robert Mueller. Fox News Commentator “Judge” Jeanine Pirro really takes it to the next level, calling for Mueller’s investigation to be ended and for Hillary Clinton to be “locked up” for the dossier funding…which wasn’t illegal. The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board even calls for Mueller to resign, feeding speculation that Trump may move to fire him.
- NBC News reports that Virginia U.S. Attorney Boente is “asked to step down to make way for a successor to be named by President Donald Trump.”
Day 283— Sunday, October 29
- Trump remains on message with his propagandists, sending out a series of tweets echoing their conspiracy theories.
Day 284— Monday, October 30
- Trump’s former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates are slapped with a 31-page, 12-count indictment. These counts include laundering $18 million of the $75 million dollars they made acting as unregistered foreign agents while lobbying on behalf of the Government of Ukraine between 2006–2016 and making false statements to the Justice Department. Both Manafort and Gates pled “Not Guilty” to these charges. Then comes former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos’ guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia and the revelation that he’s been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation for months. This sends a shockwave through the White House who could no longer accurately say that the charges weren’t related to the campaign.
- President Trump takes the news of the indictments about as well as you’d expect, tweets cries of “NO COLLUSION.”
- Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press conference where she tries to state that Mueller’s indictments had nothing to do with Trump and they were way before the campaign, etc. (not true).
- Tony Podesta steps down from his company, Podesta Group, after it’s revealed his organization was one of the companies that Manafort and Gates solicited in 2012 to lobby on behalf of the Ukrainian government.
- The Daily Beast reports that “More Than 50% of President Trump’s Nominees Have Ties to the Industries They’re Supposed to Regulate.”
- A D.C. Federal judge blocks President Trump’s attempt to ban transgenders from serving in the military, stating the policy “does not appear to be supported by any facts.”
- Trump’s approval rating hits an all-time low of 33%.
- Laura Ingraham opens up her new Fox News show defending Confederate statues and then holds an interview with Chief of Staff John Kelly. Kelly makes absurd claims about the Civil War, calls Robert E. Lee an honorable man, and claims that the Civil War occurred because of a lack of compromise.
Day 285 — Tuesday, October 31
- As Trump attempts to distance himself from Papadopoulos, the internet calls his lie a lie. Not only did Trump post to Twitter and Instagram a photo of Papadopoulos at a national security meeting with high-level Trump campaign officials on March 31, 2016, in an interview with The New York Times on March 21, 2016 Trump named Papadopoulos as one of his foreign policy advisors and called him an “excellent guy.”
- We learn that White House adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Sam Clovis (former*, he resigned after this news and was questioned by Robert Mueller the previous week) was one the campaign members who told Papadopoulos to pursue a trip and foster ties with the Russian government. Corey Lewandowski and campaign chairman Paul Manafort were also involved in the email exchanges.
- There is a terrorist attack in New York City that kills 8 people. The killer had been radicalized by viewing ISIS propaganda online and then drove a Home Depot truck down a bike path in Manhattan. Unlike after the Vegas shooting, which killed over 50 people and injured over 500 more, President Trump immediately begins advocating for policy initiatives and blames Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) for the shooting.
- Steve Bannon is advising Trump to replace his lawyers and to be less cooperative when dealing with Robert Mueller.
- Robert Mueller will meet with White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. Hicks had been involved in President Trump’s decision making since he launched his campaign, and will likely provide valuable insight.
Day 286 — Wednesday, November 1
- CNN reports that in the March 2016 meeting, Papadopoulos told everyone in the room, including Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, about how he could utilize his contact in London to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump, his campaign, and the Russian government…and Donald Trump didn’t oppose the idea. It was Jeff Sessions who said it would be a bad idea.
- As representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified on Capitol Hill, they reveal some troubling developments. Facebook’s General Counsel says that approximately 126 million people may have seen the fake ads that were created by the Russian government to influence our democracy. Google says that 1,108 videos were created on Youtube by the Russian trolls. And Twitter states that “2,752 accounts controlled by Russian operatives and more than 36,000 bots that tweeted 1.4 million times” were discovered.
- It’s revealed that the company offered RT (Russia Today aka state-run TV/Kremlin propaganda) up to a 15% share of all of Twitter’s U.S. election advertising.
- Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair continues his great insight and Trump palace intrigue with a report that reveals in a phone call with Steve Bannon; Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his decisions surrounding the firing of James Comey and Michael Flynn.
Day 287 — Thursday, November 2
- The GOP unveils their tax plan.
- While everyone is focused on the upcoming election, former DNC Chair Donna Brazile makes the bold claim that the DNC rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton after they signed a joint fundraising agreement (Bernie signed one too) that gave Clinton “control” over the DNC. Elizabeth Warren echoed the claims. Brazile and Warren both later backtrack their claims. But not before Trump echoed these concerns.
- Trump continued tweeting about the New York terrorist attack, this time calling for the attacker to get the death penalty.
- Kushner turns over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that The Department of Justice has identified more than six members of the Russian government that were involved in the hacking of U.S. institutions during the 2016 election. They are considering charges.
- Robert Mercer, the billionaire backer of Breitbart and Steve Bannon, resigns from his company.
- Secretary of Energy Rick Perry makes a comment suggesting that somehow Fossil Fuels can mitigate sexual assault? Oh yeah, a reminder that Rick Perry is still Secretary of Energy.
Day 288 — Friday, November 3
- Carter Page tells congressional investigators that he told Jeff Sessions about the trip he took to Moscow in July of 2016.
- Trump continues to seize on the Donna Brazile news kept spewing his torrent of tweets that indicate he doesn’t understand the DOJ and FBI are independent entities.
- Earlier in the week, Trump called our justice system a “joke,” and by today he continues his efforts to influence the actions of the DOJ and FBI to go on a witch hunt and investigate his political opponent.
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Week 42: The Blue Wave (November 4–10)
This week was a turning point. Not just in American politics, but the world. While Americans stood for their values at the ballot box, President Trump stood for nothing in Asia.
On November 7th, Americans repudiated Donald Trump and his counterproductive agenda in special elections around the U.S., giving Democrats historic wins and a feeling they hadn’t adequately felt since last November 7th: Hope.
As Americans readjusted to this new reality and the growing possibility that Democrats may indeed take back the House in 2018, President Trump was in Asia proving that he’s an even weaker leader than we feared. The only country he’s making great again is China (and Russia of course). Trump’s week ended with some more Putin bromancing and a tweet directed at Kim Jong-un that could’ve easily come straight from Regina George’s RAZR 3.
Aside from Democratic triumphs at home and Trumpian treachery abroad, a lot happened this week. The Paradise Papers made waves, revealing more Trump-Russia ties. Special Counsel Robert Mueller made moves, interviewing Stephen Miller and closing in on Michael Flynn. Republicans and right-wing propaganda disgustingly made rejecting pedophilia a partisan issue, defending the depraved Roy Moore…
Every week, the best of humanity and the worst in humanity ebb and flow throughout the American psyche. I’ve touched on this before, but it’s becoming even more evident that what we have here isn’t a battle between blue-America and red-America. It’s a battle between the decent and the deplorable. The hopeful and the hateful. The intelligent and the belligerent. The truthful and the deceitful.
It’s tough to see our country in this state, but maybe it was meant to be. Perhaps the worst among us had to show their faces in order for the best among us to show theirs.Indecency has to reveal itself before it can be defeated.
If Tuesday of this week was any indication of who will win this battle, I put my money on the decent.
Day 289 — Saturday, November 4
- Trump gives a speech in Japan.
Day 290 — Sunday, November 5
- During the Sunday service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a man walks into the church with a semi-automatic rifle and fires upon the unsuspecting parishioners. At least 26 people are dead, and another 20 more are wounded in what has become the worst mass shooting in the state’s history. The shooter was able to purchase a firearm due to negligence on the Air Force’s part. They did not report the shooter’s troubling past.
- Trump plays golf in Japan.
Day 291 — Monday, November 6
- The fallout from the Paradise Papers hits Trump’s inner circle: Many members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle have connections with extensive offshore dealings. Most notable is a relationship between US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s family, and links between Kremlin-tied businesses and a close associate of Jared Kushner.
- Former Campaign Adviser Carter Page meets with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees for over 10 hours total the previous week and this week the House released transcripts of the testimony which contained many revelations. Perhaps the most revealing is that Carter Page told Jeff Sessions, JD Gordon, Sam Clovis, Hope Hicks, and Corey Lewandowski about his July 2016 trip to Moscow. Page also verified major components of the Christopher Steele Trump-Russia dossier, asserting that he did indeed meet with Rosneft during his July trip and did so again in December.
- Veselnitskaya says in an interview that Trump Jr. stated he could re-examine the Magnitsky Act (Russian sanctions) if Trump Sr. won but only if she provided proof of the dirt on Hillary Clinton.
- A book reveals what the former Bush presidents really think of Donald Trump. Former President George H.W. Bush called Trump a “blowhard” who only cares about feeding his ego, and George W. Bush stated, “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.”
Day 292 — Tuesday, November 7
- In special elections from New Jersey to Washington, Democrats win big. But by far the most surprising and meaningful win is Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s huge win in Virginia. In Virginia, the first transgender state lawmaker is elected as well as the first Asian-American and Latina women Virginia state lawmakers. Across the country, it is a day of firsts.
- Trump takes a softer tone with North Korea during a joint press conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, stating that he hopes North Korea will come to the table. Trump is set to visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea but turns his helicopter around due to weather.
- Upon President Trump’s request, CIA Director Mike Pompeo meets with William Binney, a conspiracy theorist who claims the DNC wasn’t hacked, but there was a leak that came from the inside.
- Trump isn’t invited to the December climate change summit in Paris, as news broke that Syria signed onto the Paris Climate Accord…leaving the U.S. as the only nation that isn’t part of the pact.
Day 293— Wednesday, November 8
- After spending years blasting CNN as fake news, Trump’s Department of Justice is stating that the AT&T and Time Warner merger can’t occur unless they sell off CNN…Later in the week, we find out that Rupert Murdoch has shown interest in buying CNN. Yes, the Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News…
- A Federal judge issues a gag order on Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, decreeing that they and their lawyers can’t make public statements about the case.
- Despite the disastrous new climate change report that outlines how humans exacerbate climate change, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt still continues to roll back Obama-era climate rules.
- Trump calls 12 Democrats in an attempt to curry their favor for the GOP’s tax bill.
- Ambassador Barbara Stephenson writes an essay detailing that the State Department is churning high ranking diplomats at a “dizzying” pace.
Day 294 — Thursday, November 9
- Ina joint press conference in Beijing with authoritarian Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump takes a much softer tone than he previously had against China. This comes as Xi Jinping’s “Thought” is enshrined into the Chinese Constitution and China begins to build its sphere of influence.
- Later in the week, it’s reported that the 11 nations that were part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership President Trump withdrew from, came to their own agreement without the U.S. This allows the Pacific region to write their own trade rules without U.S. involvement, a major blow to our global economic influence. The Washington Post was spot on with their headline on this: Trump’s ‘America first’ looks more and more like ‘America alone.’
- Mueller interviews Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller as part of the Trump-Russia probe.
- Chief of Staff John Kelly tries to pressure Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke to deport thousands of Honduran immigrants
- In a congressional testimony, Trump’s former bodyguard and longtime friend Keith Schiller said during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, a Russian offered to send five women to Trump’s room, but they declined.
- Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. Moore reportedly met her at a custody hearing when he was a District Attorney. Republican Leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Arizona Senator John McCain, call on him to step aside from this race if the allegations are true and the Senate’s Campaign Committee ends their fundraising agreement with him. Despite this, Breitbart and Steve Bannon immediately begin to defend Moore and try and cast this as a Democratic hit job, and lower-level GOP officials joined in, more directly trying to defend the act in general.
Day 295— Friday, November 10
- Sean Hannity continues a relentless defense of the disgusting acts, causing him to lose multiple advertisers. Then, Hannity’s radio show, Moore makes some disgusting comments.
Week 43: The Terminal Rot At The GOP’s Core (November 11–17)
Over 300 days into the Trump presidency and it’s time for some brutal truths about the state of the GOP.
The modern Republican Party is an inherently indecent political apparatus that takes advantage of a base of fact-averse, anti-intellectual, hateful individuals for political gain.We’ve known this for a while now, but now they wear their true nature on their sleeves. Gone are the days of dog whistles and regressive policies hidden within the fine print. Now, the Grand Old Party transparently flaunts their despicable motivations.
Some claimed the election of Donald Trump marked the moment racism, intolerance, greed, and indecency was permanently tattooed on the platform of the Republican Party. They’re wrong. Trump was merely the culmination of decades of work the Republican Party had been doing, from the Southern Strategy to the Tea Party. Trump merely ripped the mask off and bore the party’s ugly face.
Now Roy Moore, the personification of the degradation of the GOP, is running for Senate in Alabama. A pedophile who preaches religious scripture. A bigot with a messiah complex. A fool in a Judge’s clothing. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan can call for Moore to drop out all they want but this is who their party is. One of delusion, hypocrisy, and hate. A party that will throw all morality and logic to the wind, as long as it inches them closer to a tax cut for their donors.
Meanwhile, President Trump proclaims America First while capitulating to Vladimir Putin and pushing isolationist policies that surrender Asia to Xi Jinping. Trump wages disinformation campaigns straight out of an authoritarian’s playbook assisted by right-wing propaganda like Fox News and Breitbart. Trump lambasts Al Franken, despite being accused by over a dozen women for doing the very same thing. And Trump continues to degrade the office of the presidency, one oppressive policy decision, and tweet, at a time.All while impulsively reacting to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s increasingly fast-moving probe.
Luckily, the American people are watching. We see through the lies and charades of the GOP and their ringleader. We see through the attempts at voter suppression, attacks on women’s reproductive rights, anti-immigration stances, and the mission for tax cuts that so drives them. We see that they have led their hateful base backward, rather than choosing to lead them forward.
Just like it did in the 2017 special elections, the American people’s vigilance will pay off in 2018 and beyond. It has to.
Day 296— Saturday, November 11
- Nearing the end of a trip to Asia that can only be described as weak, President Trump continues his odd capitulation to authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating that he believes Putin when he says Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 election.
Day 297 — Saturday, November 12
- Former CIA director John Brennan says on CNN that “I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint.”
Day 298— Monday, November 13
- Julia Ioffe of The Atlantic reveals that Donald Trump Jr. corresponded via Twitter direct message with Wikileaks on multiple occasions. The DMs consisted of Wikileaks sharing links with Donald Trump Jr. that he and his father shared, lobbying for Donald Trump Jr. to get Trump Sr. to leak his tax returns to them so that it could appear that they were not “pro-Trump,” and Wikileaks requested that if elected, could Trump make Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange the Ambassador to Australia.
- Trump’s Alabama Federal District Judge nominee Brett J. Talley, currently awaiting Senate confirmation, fails to disclose the fact that he is married to a White House lawyer who is also a witness in the Special Counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation.
- Alex Azar, former pharma executive, is nominated to replace Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Day 299— Tuesday, November 14
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is back at it again with his congressional testimony greatest hits. From “I do not recall” to “I have no clear recollection,” it is a hearing full of denials and deflections. During this hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions claims he remembered shooting down former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos’ now infamous request to arrange a meeting between candidate Trump and President Vladimir Putin in March 2016. But this comes after Sessions initially denied remembering the meeting whatsoever, but now he suddenly remembers the important detail of rejecting the idea of a meeting with Putin? Also, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) presses Sessions on whether or not he would appoint a Special Counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation over the Uranium One non-story.
- Senate GOP leaders move to include a provision in their tax cut bill that would repeal the individual mandate, which the CBO said would drive up premiums and leave millions of Americans without healthcare.
- After Putin expelled more than 700 US diplomats from Russia, the U.S. needed to make up for some of the loss. The State Department hires a Russian company to guard their embassy in Moscow…the company has ties to the KGB.
- Buzzfeed reports:
The FBI is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers sent by the Russian Foreign Ministry to its embassies across the globe, most of them bearing a note that said the money was to be used “to finance election campaign of 2016.”
- Amid growing concerns over President Trump’s lack of stability, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, holds the first hearing on a president’s authority to use nuclear weapons since 1976.
- A shooting near a school in California leaves 5 people dead and 12 injured. After the gunman tries to enter a school that was put on lockdown seconds before, he fired bullets into the school, hitting a child twice (the child was injured, not killed). President Trump lands back in the U.S. and sends out a tweet about the shooting that happened in a previous week.
Day 300— Wednesday, November 15
- As evangelicals continue their support for Roy Moore, By the end of the week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says she’d vote for Roy Moore even if the allegations are true.
- President Trump gives a speech where he tries to make his Asia trip look like more than the start of a new era of Chinese dominance, but the main takeaway ends up being his water sippin’ Marco Rubio moment.
- As reports and new testimony continue to surface that corroborate the dossier, the author himself Christopher Steele believes that the dossier is 70–90% accurate.
- Despite their best efforts to pull funding from Obamacare marketing initiatives, over 1.5 million people sign up for insurance plans through the marketplace.
- Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, steps down.
Day 301 — Thursday, November 16
- Democratic Senator Al Franken (D-NY) is accused by model and Sports Anchor Leeann Tweeden of groping and kissing her without consent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calls for an ethics probe into Franken with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreeing. President Trump simply can not resist chiming in, despite having had over a dozen women accuse him of doing the very same things Al Franken was accused of and admitting to it in the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
- House Republicans pass their version of the tax cuts bill, but there is no celebration like after the AHCA passed the House over the summer.
- The Trump administration lifts an Obama-era ban on importing the heads of hunted elephants into the U.S. After much outrage, Trump hints that he would indeed enforce the ban.
- Politico reports that “Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite’ and forwarded them to another campaign official.”
- The controversial Keystone pipeline in South Dakota leaks 210,000 gallons of oil. This was exactly what activists protesting the pipeline warned against.
Day 302 — Friday, November 17
- Mueller issues his first official subpoena to the Trump campaign, seeking Russia-related communications and documents from several top officials.
- The FCC loosens a rule that made it more difficult for media companies to lock down monopolies, which was widely seen as a green light for Sinclair Broadcast Group (essentially a far-right propaganda arm of Trump) to keep purchasing local stations around the U.S.
Week 44: The Flynnsgiving Holiday (November 18–23)
With every unhinged tweet, there’s an accompanying Trump-Russia development building upon the president’s paranoia. This week, there were several.
Even during the week of Thanksgiving, Donald Trump continued to stoop to new lows. If it weren’t for the holiday, the moves this week would’ve made a lot more noise. There weren’t just petty tweets — actions were taken.
The President of the United States (who himself has been accused of sexual assault by over a dozen women) defended and essentially endorsed accused pedophile Roy Moore.
The FCC’s move toward repealing net neutrality wasn’t the only policy the Trump administration pushed this week that places corporate interests over the interests of average Americans.
On Black Friday, while Americans were consuming, Trump took aim at the bureau protecting them. While much of the media was focusing on Trump’s “person of the year” tweet, the president appointed someone to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who once called it a “sick, sad joke.”
I know, sounds terrible. But there was a silver lining this week. For Americans vigilantly following Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation searching for the truth, there was an enormous development. We discovered that Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has seen a lot, may talk.
Now, let’s take a look back so we can move forward.
Day 303 — Saturday, November 18
- Trump begins what would become a weekend of Twitter rants by taking yet another shot at his favorite straw woman Hilary Clinton.
Day 304 — Sunday, November 19
- Trump starts what would become a week sprinkled with continued attacks on black people in sports. After calling for the UCLA basketball players to thank him (which they did) for being freed in China after being caught shoplifting, the president thought that wasn’t enough. When the father of LiAngelo Ball didn’t give him the praise he wanted, he tweeted at him and also suggested that he should’ve left the players in jail.
Day 305— Monday, November 20
- Mueller is also requesting documents from the Department of Justice related to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
- The New York Times reports that a top Russian official, Alexander Torshin, proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in May of 2016. The proposal was seen by top campaign officials, and rejected by Jared Kushner. This is problematic because Kushner hadn’t disclosed this contact to investigators. The Senate Judiciary Committee accused Kushner of hiding this contact.
- A Washington Post report depicts the White House staff as increasingly paranoid and preparing for “a long winter” ahead in the investigation.
- President Trump announces that the U.S would designate North Korea as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” This designation was lifted by President George W. Bush for the purpose of prioritizing diplomacy. Well, it appears our priorities have changed.
- President Trump continues his attacks on black people working in sports. This time targeting Marshawn Lynch.
- Buzzfeed News reports that at a July Dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster “dismissed the president variously as an ‘idiot’ and a ‘dope’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.’”
- The Trump administration ends the temporary protection of 60,000 Haitians in the U.S. and orders that they leave by July 2019. These are people who have established lives here and are contributing to the U.S. economy. These Haitians came to the U.S. after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010. Many of these people have no home to return to.
- The Trump Foundation is shutting down. After brilliant reporting from David Fahrenthold in 2016, the Trump Foundation admitted to self-dealing and was subsequently put under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
- New York Times white house correspondent Glenn Thrush is accused of predatory behavior by multiple women.
- After the White House previously stated that Roy Moore should step aside if the allegations were true, Conway says that if they want the tax bill to pass, Moore should be elected.
- After leaking 210,000 gallons of oil spilled in South Dakota, the Keystone XL Pipeline gets approval in Nebraska.
Day 306 — Tuesday, November 21
- Despite the fact the RNC pulled funding from Roy Moore and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) called for him to drop out of the race, Trump casts doubt on accused pedophile Roy Moore’s accusers and essentially endorses him.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai announce their big plan to repeal net neutrality rules.
- “Additional remains” of Sgt. La David Johnson are found in Niger.
- The accusations of sexual misconduct against Representative John Conyers (D-MI) continue to pile up.
- CNN reports “US District Court Judge William Orrick issued a permanent injunction Monday blocking Trump’s executive order seeking to strip so-called sanctuary cities of federal funding.”
- The Turkey pardon lacks the wit we’ve come to expect from the days of President Barak Obama.
Day 307— Wednesday, November 22
- As news is breaking of a crashed U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board (3 now confirmed dead after 8 were rescued), President Trump begins his day at what would mark his 100th visit to a Trump-branded property as president.
- Trump is up at 5 am tweeting about black sports anchor LaVar Ball and black NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights.
- Trump continues to use the office of the presidency to plug his business interests.
- Rep Joe Barton (TX 6th District) sent a woman sexually explicit photos, videos & messages then threatened to report her to the Capitol Police if she exposed him
Day 308— Thursday, November 23
- The New York Times and The Washington Post report details that signal a potentially monumental development. Robert Kelner, Michael Flynn’s lawyer, called up Trump’s attorney John Dowd this week to let him know that the information-sharing agreement between the White House and Flynn’s legal representation had to end. Discussing the Special Counsel’s investigation was no longer authorized. This is a move experts say is typically made when there is a conflict of interest between a subject of an investigation and the entity they’re sharing info with. White House lawyers believe this is a signal that Michael Flynn is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
- It’s revealed that Manafort made 138 trips to Ukraine, one as late as fall of 2015, and 18 trips to Moscow while working for a Putin-backed party.
- Trump takes a jab at Obamacare’s rising premiums as if he isn’t the cause of the issue he is complaining about.
Day 309— Friday, November 24
- As the previous director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray steps down and names his Chief of Staff as acting director, President Trump appoints his Budget Director Mick Mulvaney (who called the CFPB a “sick said joke”) to the role.
- There are a few reports that indicate Jared Kushner’s role in the White House is shrinking.
- Despite this move of the Mulvaney appointment, which has huge ramifications, most of the media was talking about a frivolous tweet from Donald Trump where he falsely claims he was probably going to be TIME’s “person of the year.”
- President Trump uses the terrorist attack in Egypt, which killed hundreds of people, as an opportunity to plug his Muslim ban and…the wall the Mexican border?
Week 45: The Plea Agreement (November 25 — December 1)
When historians try and identify the moment the 45th President of the United States completely unraveled, they will look to week 45.
They will see Donald Trump at his most unhinged, the GOP at their most depraved, the American people at their most vigilant, and Robert Mueller at his most competent.
As former Trump national security adviser, and current convicted felon, Michael Flynn’s guilty plea approached, we saw Trump embrace his worst impulses. From privately re-asserting that Obama was born in Kenya to retweeting anti-Muslim propaganda from a hate group, we saw the president throwing all rationality to the wind and leaning into his delusional alternate reality where facts don’t matter, and consequences don’t apply to him. But unfortunately for Trump, he can’t tweet away Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
What once appeared to be merely impulsive distractions, Trump’s reckless behavior now serves as a barometer of Robert Mueller’s movements. The president has become a predictive instrument. Whenever there is a spike in his deranged behavior, there is always a Mueller move hovering over him like a hammer and sickle-shaped cloud.
Donald Trump is quickly falling apart, consumed by the Trump-Russia investigation that inches closer to him by the day. Among the details surrounding Flynn’s plea deal, we saw clear paths to Jared Kushner and the president himself…
As this was going on, GOP Senators passed a half-baked tax bill (more like a poorly written donor appeasement plan), and new polls indicated the chances of pedophile Roy Moore winning in Alabama increased.
The week culminated in Donald Trump sending out a tweet which appeared to admit to obstruction of justice and another that adds to a case for abuse of power.
Our democracy is approaching a crucial constitutional crossroads. Will we be a nation that holds real American values and the rule of law above petty partisanship? Or will we be a nation that embraces moral degradation as we slowly drift towards authoritarianism? The answer to this question depends heavily on whether or not the American people remain vigilant and if the media acts as a responsible fourth estate.
Donald Trump and his family believe they are above the law. The Grand Old Party believes they are above the accountability of the people, as they continue to be subservient to the interests of their donors.
In 2018, America will show Donald Trump and the GOP that their arrogant misconceptions will be their downfall. If American institutions refuse to hold the morally decrepit accountable, the people will.
Day 310 — Saturday, November 25
- The President takes to Twitter in yet another attack on the first amendment, this time taking aim at CNN international. This comes on the same day Vladimir Putin signs a law requiring that international media organizations register as foreign agents. It was in retaliation for the U.S.’s move that made Russia Today (RT) register as a foreign agent in America.
Day 311— Sunday, November 26
- Trump sends out another endorsement of Roy Moore.
- The New York Times publishes a profile of a neo-Nazi presenting him as a friendly neighbor.
Day 312 — Monday, November 27
- In an event that is allegedly intended to honor Navajo war veterans, President Trump continues his spree of racially insensitive comments. Making fun of her Native American heritage, Trump calls Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Pocahontas.” What was more offensive than invoking the name Pocahontas, which was a Native American that the Navajo veterans would consider one of their ancestors, was the fact that Trump held the event in a room with a portrait of President Andrew Jackson. Jackson infamously spearheaded the removal of Native Americans from their native lands resulting in the deaths of thousands. (The Trail of Tears.)
- In yet another clue that Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was approaching a deal with Robert Mueller, Flynn’s lawyer meets with Mueller’s team.
- Kushner has his deadline to produce additional documents related to his contacts with Russian operatives delayed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Day 313— Tuesday, November 28
- While the president is engaged in childlike political stunts, North Korea tests its most dangerous Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) yet. It was a Hwasong-15, highest flying missile they’ve ever launched, with the range of hitting any target within the United States.
- After Trump’s “art of the deal” tweet declaring no deal before they even sat down, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) decline to attend the meeting about the GOP’s tax cut effort. So, President Trump, along with his lackeys Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI-1), set up Pelosi and Schumer’s name tags and empty chairs to make it seem like the Democrats had no interest in bipartisanship.
- A major court decision finds that Trump is allowed to appoint budget director Mick Mulvaney, who called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a “sick sad joke,” to be acting head of that very same agency.
- The Washington Post expertly exposes someone who was trying to feed them a fake Roy Moore allegation. The woman was working on behalf of Project Veritas, an organization founded by James O’Keefe that targets media organizations trying to expose liberal media bias…they clearly do so by dishonest means.
- The New York Times drops a report on Tuesday night that would signal the deranged behavior to come the following day. Not only is Trump privately telling White House aides that the Access Hollywood tape is fake, and it wasn’t his voice (after admitting it was him in 2016), but he’s also carrying on his birther conspiracy theory and some of his other greatest hits.
Day 314— Wednesday, November 29
- Donald Trump implodes. He awakes bright and early and unleashed a series of tweets that worried Americans and our allies abroad. First, Trump retweets a series of videos from anti-Muslim hate group Britain First. At least one of the videos was fake, but that wasn’t the biggest problem. Not only did the president give a platform to hate, he reduced our standing with our closest ally. The retweets open up an old wound for the British, who lost Labour Party Member of Parliament Jo Cox to a far-right extremist who shot her with a sawed-off rifle while shouting “Britain first, keep Britain independent, Britain will always come first.” Not only does Cox’s widower condemn Trump’s retweets, but British Prime Minister Theresa May calls it the wrong thing to do. Which he, of course, responds to later in the day.
- But Trump is just getting started. Trump essentially tries to say that Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough murdered his intern.
- NBC News fires Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. His sexual misconduct was some of the most perverse of those in media thus far.
- After making it through committee the previous day, the Senate’s tax cut bill crosses a crucial milestone by passing the motion to proceed.
- As Donald Trump Jr. agrees to meet with the House Intelligence Committee on December 6th, we learn that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is currently investigating whether White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act in her endorsement of Roy Moore. This was spurred by Walter Shaub’s complaint.
Day 315— Thursday, November 30
- As the GOP approaches their scheduled vote for this evening (which was delayed to the following day), a damning review from the Joint Committee on Taxation finds that the tax bill would increase the deficit by $1 trillion. And that’s not even the worst part. It has far-reaching effects for those who aren’t wealthy. It has a corporate tax cut from 35% to 20% that doesn’t expire, yet the cuts for individuals do expire. It also repeals the estate tax entirely. It disproportionately helps the wealthy.
- Rexit takes the news cycle by storm. A flood of reports indicate that Trump is going to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with the current CIA Director, and Trump loyalist, Mike Pompeo and nominate Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to lead the CIA. It turns out that this flood of leaks is an “effort to express President Donald Trump’s deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state,” according to CNN.
- Manafort closes an $11 million bail agreement with prosecutors, which clears the way for him to get off of house arrest.
- Following a closed-door meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee — states:
“I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation and he declined to answer the question.”
- News breaks that Jared Kushner was interviewed by Robert Mueller earlier in November and that the focus of the questioning surrounded Michael Flynn.
Day 316 — Friday, December 1
- After weeks of speculation, the day had finally arrived. Special Counsel Robert Mueller charges former national security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak…Flynn pleads guilty. Then comes the answer to the question we’ve been waiting for: Michael Flynn is now in full cooperation with Robert Mueller’s investigation.
- It’s reported that Flynn made the calls to Kislyak under the direction of senior Trump transition officials, including K.T. McFarland who directed the sanctions call undermining Obama’s sanctions. The report goes on to say:
“Mr. Bossert forwarded Ms. McFarland’s Dec. 29 email exchange about the sanctions to six other Trump advisers, including Mr. Flynn; Reince Priebus, who had been named as chief of staff; Stephen K. Bannon, the senior strategist; and Sean Spicer, who would become the press secretary.”
- Jared Kushner reportedly instructed Flynn to call Kislyak ahead of a U.N. Security Council vote that was to condemn Israeli settlements.
- Initial reports earlier in the day indicate Trump directed Flynn to contact Kisylak during the transition, but then throughout the day, the liability pivoted to Kushner and McFarland.
- The Republicans tax cut bill passes the Senate with literal handwritten notes on it and a 51 to 49 vote. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only no.
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Week 46: The GOP Endorses An Alleged Pedophile (December 2–8)
Driven by an impulsive ego, motivated by his misguided supporters, and plagued by paranoia — Donald Trump is in over his head.
Compound those factors with his shocking lack of knowledge and disregard for consequences and you have President Trump in a nutshell.
This week, the defining themes of Trump’s presidency continued as we watched Robert Mueller move his investigation forward with steadfast competency and Donald Trump move his administration backward with clumsy inefficiency.
Fresh off a plea agreement with Trump’s former National Security Adviser Micheal Flynn, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has kicked into high gear. This week brought new developments that paint a damning picture for the Trump White House. The information Flynn will provide to Mueller about Senior Trump officials’ roles in Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador Kisylak will be key. There was also additional obstruction of justice evidence, the probe into the Trump family’s finances, more revelations related to Wikileaks, and new details about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian operatives.
Abroad, the President continues to make more enemies than friends. After earning himself a condemnation from British PM Theresa May the previous week by retweeting a series of videos from anti-Muslim hate group Britain First, Trump further isolated the U.S. this week. Trump’s Jerusalem announcement was widely condemned by our allies and destabilized the region, leading to deaths.
At home, the President desperately tries to move his backward agenda forward, beleaguered by Mueller’s investigation that inches closer to the Oval Office with every passing day. Tweets admitting obstruction of justice and wishing the DOJ would investigate his political opponent are doing his assertions of innocence no favors. All the while, the right-wing propaganda machine continues their unrelenting assaults on Mueller’s credibility, practically begging for the President to obstruct justice even further.
With the Republican Party turning a blind eye to pedophilia for the sake of a Senate seat in Alabama, they’ve stooped to a new low. We can’t count on them to hold any member of their party, let alone the President, accountable.
Our democracy is being tested. While right-wing media is already in full propaganda mode, the mainstream media needs to prepare themselves for what’s to come.
The American people understand what’s at stake.
When will the GOP?
Day 317 — Saturday, December 2
- President Trump sends out a tweet that adds even more evidence to the already overwhelming case that he is guilty of obstruction of justice. Trump admits that he was aware Michael Flynn lied to the FBI before firing him. This would mean that Trump asked Comey to back off Flynn, who he knew committed a crime. (Trump’s lawyer John Dowd later tried to claim that he was the one who sent out the tweet.)
Day 318 — Sunday, December 3
- Trump also sends out tweets asking the DOJ to investigate his political opponent — again (abuse of power) and attacks Comey (more witness tampering).
Day 319 — Monday, December 4
- After Trump’s weekend confessional, his lawyer John Dowd makes the following dubious claim, “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.”
- CNN drops a report that confirms Trump was told Flynn lied to the FBI before he asked Comey to back off the investigation: “White House counsel Donald McGahn told Trump that based on his conversation with then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, he believed Flynn had not told the truth in his interview with the FBI or to Pence.”
- We learn that during questioning with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) asked K.T. McFarland if she had ever spoken to Flynn about his contacts with Kislyak. McFarland said, “I am not aware of any of the issues or events described above.”
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of the Senate Judiciary Committee says that her committee is building their own case for obstruction of justice.
- The New York Times reports that in May 2016, a conservative operative emailed Sessions’ Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn (subject line “Kremlin Connection”) seeking Sessions’ advice on arranging a secret Putin-Trump meeting at an NRA convention
- Trump’s travel ban of six majority-Muslim nations is allowed to take full effect by the Supreme Court, for now.
- Trump sends out another string of lie-laced endorsing tweets of Roy Moore and spoke to him on the phone, telling the pedophile to “Go get em’, Roy.” After Trump’s endorsement, the Republican National Committee resumes funding of this alleged pedophile.
- The Daily Beast reports that House Republicans are indicating that they are shooting down promises that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in exchange for their votes on the GOP tax cuts.
Day 320— Tuesday, December 5
- News broke of a subpoena that could provide some of the most damning evidence against Trump and his inner circle yet. Not only could it discover potential financial crimes, but it could uncover the motive behind the Trump White House’s obsessive desire to lift sanctions on Russia. Rantt Media Managing Editor Remy Anne:
Mueller has now apparently taken an interest in acquiring banking “data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family,” according to a report released Tuesday morning by Reuters. The report states that Mueller’s team issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, several weeks ago.
Trump’s companies owed the bank $364 million as of the end of last year, and Jared Kushner’s company held connections with the bank. Coincidentally, DB was recently fined for its connections to a Russian money laundering plot…His father-in-law isn’t the only one in debt to the bank. Approximately one month before the 2016 election, Jared Kushner’s real estate company received a $285 million loan from DB.
- Mueller withdraws his support for Paul Manafort’s bail agreement after Manafort was caught ghostwriting an op-ed defending his work for a pro-Ukraine party with someone who appears to be his longtime associate, with ties to Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik.
- Rep. John Conyers announces he will resign from Congress after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission (widely seen as a voter suppression machine), is sent an amicus brief warning against their plan to create a database of American voters.
- After essentially seizing power, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s acting director Mick Mulvaney makes moves signaling a new lax approach to implementing penalties for financial crimes.
- Alleged pedophile Roy Moore blocks his opponent Doug Jones on Twitter, as a new poll indicated the race was tightening.
- Right-wing media pounces on a report that stated an FBI official was removed from his role on the Trump-Russia probe by Mueller after anti-Trump texts were found.
Day 321— Wednesday, December 6
- In a move that was spearheaded by Jared Kushner and impulsively executed by a President that was eager to deliver on a campaign promise no matter the fallout, Trump broke with 70 years of U.S. policy and announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- In the aftermath of the speech, many are concerned about how President Trump slurred his speech, questioning his fitness for office. The following day, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders states that President Trump will undergo a psychical early next year.
- News breaks that reveals Michael Flynn assured his previous business partner that sanctions would be “ripped up” as one of President Trump’s first actions (which they did indeed attempt to do). 11 minutes into the newly endowed President Trump’s Inauguration speech, Michael Flynn texted his business associate “good to go.”
- As Donald Trump Jr. is being grilled by the House Intelligence Committee (a session in which Trump Jr. cites attorney-client privilege when not answering questions about his conversations with his father) more info about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting is reveald: “Natalia Veselnitskaya, while testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, revealed that Donald Trump Jr. asked her if she had any evidence of illegal donations to the Clinton Foundation, during the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.”
- The House passes a concealed carry bill.
- As the Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement are named Person of the Year by TIME magazine, two more accusers come forward against Senator Al Franken (D-NY). Democratic women of the Senate, led by Franken’s fellow New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand then call for Franken to resign. Franken schedulesremarks for 11:45 am the following day…
Day 322— Thursday, December 7
- This morning Al Franken takes to the Senate floor and makes his announcement of retirement. But not without taking a parting shot at Donald Trump and Roy Moore:
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.”
- Congressman, and Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis deny the invitation to the opening of a civil rights Museum with President Trump. The White House’s response received the appropriate backlash.
- FBI Director Christoper Wray defends the FBI’s integrity in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, responding to Trump’s attacks on the Bureau.
- The House and Senate pass a two-week stop-gap bill to avoid a government shutdown.
- Despite the RNC’s backing and the President’s endorsement of Roy Moore, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan still claims that Roy Moore should drop out of the race.
- Pro-slavery remarks from Roy Moore resurface as well as some remarks being eerily apologetic of Russia while at the same time being extremely homophobic.
Day 323— Friday, December 8
- It’s revealed that although the information had been made public a day earlier, Donald Trump Jr., Trump Sr., and Trump Sr.’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen received an email offering an encryption code to access a database of the publicly available hacked Clinton emails from Wikileaks.
- The FBI warns Trump’s Communications Director Hope Hicks that Russian operatives repeatedly tried to make contact with her during the 2016 election.
- President Trump holds a rally in Pensacola, Florida which is pretty much a Make America Great Again/Roy Moore endorsement rally. As usual, it was filled with lies.
- New polls indicated pedophile Roy Moore’s support among white women was high.
Week 47: The Loss Of Trumpism (December 9–15)
Trumpism limped out of this week badly bruised while the resistance left with one hand held high in victory and the other tweeting #NetNeutrality, #ProtectMueller, and #StopGOPTaxScam.
Decency (and black women voters) won the battle in Alabama, but the resistance against the GOP’s agenda is far from over.
Internet freedom took a blow with the repeal of net neutrality, and the GOP’s tax cuts looked primed to pass.
New developments pushed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation forward while the GOP’s propaganda machine continued to try and pull it backward.
With the Trump administration hard at work rolling back meaningful policies, the incoming GOP tax cut vote, and the prospect of Republicans moving to undermine Mueller’s investigation looming over the win in Alabama, the American people head into the holidays victorious, hopeful, determined, and ready for whatever battle is to come.
And from what we saw this week, there are many more battles to come…
Day 324 — Saturday, December 9
- Over the weekend, The New York Times publishes a long-form exposé detailing Trump’s day-to-day life in the White House. It dives into his cable news addiction, the fact he drinks a dozen diet coke’s a day and confirmation that the President does indeed see his presidency as a reality TV show. Trump’s unhealthy ego wasn’t the only thing revealed in this piece. The article touches on a meeting between President Trump, Chief of Staff John Kelly, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, and Fox News Anchor Jeanine Pirro on November 1st where they discussed the Uranium One conspiracy theory. A few days before the meeting, she called for Mueller’s investigation to be ended and called on Hillary Clinton to be “locked up.”
Day 325 — Sunday, December 10
- CNN reports that “During an appearance on a conspiracy-driven radio show in 2011, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said getting rid of the amendments after 10th would ‘eliminate many problems’”
- More Democratic Senators call on President Trump to resign over his sexual assault allegations.
Day 326— Monday, December 11
- Sensing the paradigm shift of empowerment, Samantha Holvey, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks (3 of the more than a dozen women who have accused Donald Trump of sexually harassing or groping them) come together and hit the press circuit to speak out about their experiences of sexual misconduct.
- Gillibrand calls on Trump to resign.
- NBC News reports that Mueller is focusing on Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and is scrutinizing what occurred between January 26th and February 13th of this year.
- Trump-Russia expert Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider reports the following: “A jailed Russian hacker tells a Moscow court in August that he hacked the DNC under the direction of the FSB. He identified his FSB handler as Dmitry Dokuchaev, who was arrested in Russia last December on treason charges.”
- President Trump records a robocall for Roy Moore, and President Obama records one for Doug Jones. The polls were scattered, with one poll having Jones up 10 points and another having him down 9. No one knows for sure what will happen. One thing is for certain, no matter who Alabama elects, the stain of supporting an alleged pedophile will remain on the GOP for the foreseeable future.
Day 327— Tuesday, December 12
- The people of Alabama did the right thing. Throughout the day one thing was clear: turnout was high. That had people on the right rightfully worried. As the results began to pour in, before major news orgs began calling it, Rantt’s newsroom was very confident Jones would take it. When he did, there was nothing but joy on Twitter. So how’d he do it? Jones over-performed in the highly populated counties and those wide margins carried him onto victory while Moore couldn’t pull the votes from rural counties necessary for a win. Low GOP turnout and high Dem turnout turned the tide for Jones. Most importantly, Black women voted nearly unanimously for Jones.
- Trump, a man who bragged about sexual assault on tape and has been accused by over a dozen women of doing so, sends out a tweet that very well may be the most objectively disgusting and misogynistic tweet he’s ever composed. (I haven’t embedded tweets throughout this, but here, I will.
Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office "begging" for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!
- More than 50 Democratic lawmakers send a letter to the House Oversight Committee asking them to investigate the sexual misconduct allegations against President Trump.
- Speaking of sexual misconduct, right-wing extremist Mike Cernovich is trying to forge a smear against Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
- Prompted by a Fox News article, one of Trump’s lawyers Jay Sekulow calls on a second special counsel to investigate bias in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 328— Wednesday, December 13
- The day before Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein was set to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ released FBI agent Peter Strzok’s text messages to Congress in what seemed like yet another attempt to put Mueller’s team’s credibility into question. At the hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan and other Republicans at the hearing echoed the propaganda from Breitbart and Fox News, desperately trying to help the President obstruct justice.
- Omarosa Manigault Newman is fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly after they get into an argument at the White House. After her firing, Omarosa reportedly tries to barge into the White House residence to make her case to Trump himself but tripped the alarm and was escorted out.
- Trump Jr. is facing yet another grilling in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Day 329— Thursday, December 14
- In a 3–2 vote, the Republican-appointed Chairman basks in his move to repeal net neutrality. The people, however, are outraged. This move is widely unpopular, with 83% of Americans opposed to it and only 1 in 5 Republicans in favor of it.
- Republican Representative Blake Farenthold says he will not seek re-election amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
- In the midst of news that Rupert Murdoch is selling part of 21st Century Fox to Disney, President Trump checks in to make sure that he wouldn’t be losing his propaganda arm Fox News.
- One of Trump’s judicial nominees who never tried a case is grilled on his inexperience.
- A truly disturbing report from The Washington Post outlines how resistant the President has been to the Intelligence Community’s findings that Russia interfered in our elections.
Day 330— Friday, December 15
- After the loss of Roy Moore and the impending inclusion of yet another Democratic Senator chipping into their majority, Republicans rush to finalize their tax cuts package. The GOP tax plan seems primed for passage on Friday as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) went from a no to a yes after the Child Tax credit saw an increase. By the end of the weekend, we learned that Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who has been battling brain cancer, would miss the vote.
- The Trump administration made a very authoritarian-like demand of the Center for Disease Control, forbidding the use of the words The Trump administration has forbidden the CDC to use the words “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
- The data firm Cambridge Analytica that worked with Donald Trump’s campaign turned over their employees’ emails to Robert Mueller’s team.
- Jared Kushner’s legal team is seeking to hire a crisis PR firm, which is further evidence that Kushner’s indictment is incoming.
Week 48: The Tax Cuts (December 16–22)
“You all just got a lot richer.” — President Trump to friends, Friday night at a Mar-a-Lago dinner
Some truths are inherently self-evident while others need to be forcefully reaffirmed until they become universally recognized as fact.
There are not two sides to the truth, and this must be reflected in the media. I say this because week after week, we watch as members of the media report on the developments of Trump’s presidency in a vacuum under the pretense of objectivity.
You can’t report on the tax bill as a “huge victory for the Trump administration,” without also reporting that it’s a huge defeat for vulnerable Americans.
You can’t report on the GOP’s anti-American attacks on the FBI, DOJ, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, without also reporting that these attacks are baseless efforts to obstruct justice.
When one side is being clearly dishonest, you must provide necessary context. Otherwise, false equivalency runs rampant and gives the inaccurate impression that “both sides” have valid arguments.
While some truths are of little consequence (like the fact there never was a war on Christmas), others carry the weight of American democracy on their backs.
It’s our civic duty to defend these truths and not let President Trump distort our sense of reality. The mainstream media needs to prepare for what’s coming.
All I want for Christmas is the truth, and Trump and his cronies can’t be allowed to prevent Robert Mueller from getting to it.
Day 331— Saturday, December 16
- Democratic Representative Jackie Speier bolsters the already mounting speculation that Donald Trump was going to fire Robert Mueller before the end of the year. This rightfully raises alarms, as Twitter explodes. Right-wing propaganda os beginning to reach new levels of absurdity, and House Republican Representatives like Jim Jordan began to echo them.
- When it comes to the firing of Mueller, I have a different take than Robert Mueller being fired by the end of the year. I go full Seth Abramson (minus the sometimes dubious claims) and publish a thread on the topic. My main argument was that Trump has lived in a bubble, believing he will be exonerated and it’s far more likely that the House will launch an initiative to try and undermine the investigation by the end of the year rather than an outright firing. By the end of that night, my theory was confirmed, as the House begins to probe the DOJ and FBI.
Day 332 — Sunday, December 17
- After Robert Mueller surprises Trump officials in interviews with tens of thousands of transition emails he obtained, including some from Jared Kushner, the Trump transition team tries to falsely claim that Robert Mueller obtained them unlawfully. Fox News pushes that narrative…which was quickly dismantled by Mueller’s team and legal experts.
Day 333— Monday, December 18
- NBC News reports that “In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign.” The warning came in the form of an intelligence briefing. Hillary Clinton got a similar briefing, and both candidates were advised to alert the FBI if any such overtures were made. Trump never alerted the FBI, and as we now know, there were plenty of overtures/meetings that the Trump campaign experienced with Russian operatives.
- Mueller’s team believes their Trump-Russia investigation will continue well into 2018. This conflicts with Donald Trump’s expectations, given the fact his lawyer Ty Cobb has been lying to him about an imminent exoneration.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating potential collusion between the Russian government and Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s campaign in the 2016 election.
- Trump unveils his National Security Strategy and omits Climate Change as a national security threat.
- Several people die in a train derailment in Washington. Trump plugs his infrastructure plan.
- Remember the anti-Muslim videos Trump retweeted from the Britain First leader? She got banned from Twitter. So the President of the United States retweeted content that was deemed too inappropriate for Twitter.
Day 334— Tuesday, December 19
- The Washington Post reports that President Trump considered rescinding Justice Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination after Gorsuch called Trump’s attacks on the judiciary “disheartening.”
Day 335— Wednesday, December 20
- A week after the crushing defeat of their alleged pedophile candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, the Senate passes the GOP tax cuts in a 51–48 vote. Every Republican voted for the bill with the exception of Senator John McCain who is at his home in Arizona. With the individual mandate repeal still included, 13 million people will be set to lose healthcare according to the CBO. It still contains a corporate tax cut from 35% to 21% and a tax cut on the top bracket from 39.6% to 37%. According to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center, by 2027, 83% of the benefits from the law will go to the top 1% of Americans.
- At the event, after it passed the Senate, Republican lawmakers each TAKE turns slobbering all over Trump. Even Senators who had previously been attacked by him like Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AL). Utah’s Orrin Hatch goes as far as to say this could end up being the greatest presidency ever.
- Foreign Policy reports that, “The White House turned over records this fall to special counsel Robert Mueller revealing that in the very first days of the Trump presidency, Don McGahn researched federal law dealing both with lying to federal investigators and with violations of the Logan Act, a centuries-old federal law that prohibits private citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.”
- Ahead of the UN’s vote on whether or not to condemn the Trump administration’s embassy move to Jerusalem, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says that President Trump would be taking the vote “personally” and “taking names.” The administration also hints that they might pull funding from those who vote to condemn Trump’s action.
- Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) gave a speech on the Senate floor, touching on the dangerous attacks on Robert Mueller’s investigation. Warner set a “red line” for President Trump and touched on how important it is for all American citizens to speak out against these efforts to undermine the Trump-Russia investigation.
Day 336 — Thursday, December 21
- Politico reports that House Republicans, led by Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, have launched a probe into alleged bias and corruption within the Department of Justice and the FBI.
- The UN votes overwhelming in favor of a rejection of Trump’s Jerusalem move.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions orders the DOJ to seek information from the FBI about the now debunked Uranium One-Hillary Clinton conspiracy.
- Vanity Fair drops a must-read profile of Steve Bannon. It did have one notable tidbit about Comey’s firing that I think didn’t get enough attention. It appears Ivanka Trump may have also played a role in the decision to fire James Comey.
Day 337— Friday, December 22
- Ahead of signing the tax bill into law, President Trump said, “I was going to wait for a formal signing sometime in early January, but then I watched the news this morning and they were all saying, ‘Will he keep his promise, will he sign it by Christmas? And I called downstairs and said, ‘Get it ready, we have to sign it now.’” The reason he was going to wait to sign the bill was due to the fact signing it this year would trigger automatic cuts to Medicaid and other programs. So, once again, the President of the United States sought to fulfill his ego at the expense of the American people.
- Congress passes a stop-gap spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Still, no deal for DACA recipients.
- President Trump arrives in Mar-a-Lago for his 106th visit to a Trump-branded property this year, and at a dinner, stated the quote that I began this week with. That all of his friends just got a whole lot richer.
- The New York Times reports that over 700 people have left the EPA since Trump took office, disheartened by the fact they have rolled back so many protections on the environment.
- Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski are asked to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
- The Young Turks founder has his run-in with #MeToo. Cenk Uygur is accused of cultivating a culture of misogyny.
Week 49: The End Of Year One (December 23- 31)
2017 was a year of American depravity…and greatness. As we watched the worst among us desperately try and push our country backward, we saw the best among us rise to resist them. The American people are awake.
The day after Trump, an admitted sexual predator, was sworn into office, a wave of millions of women (and men) took to the streets to proclaim that women’s rights are human rights. As the year progressed, that wave turned into a tsunami of brave women who became the backbone of the resistance and also spearheaded the paradigm shifting#MeToo movement, proving they will not be silenced.
Throughout the year, President Donald Trump and the GOP’s oppressive policies were met with protests and legal setbacks. Trump’s lies were met with fact-checks and fearless journalism. And his hateful rhetoric was met with demonstrations of unity. It wasn’t until the GOP forced their tax cuts through that they got any real legislation passed, but that fight isn’t over just yet.
Yes, the Trump administration’s mark on the Supreme Court, effect on America’s judiciary, reduction of America’s global influence, and weakening of government agencies will be felt for decades, but the American people have bounced back from worse, and we will again.
We head into 2018 on the back of historic Democratic wins in special elections across the country. The face of Congress looks set to turn blue…and Black, Latino, Asian, young, and female.
This year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his Trump-Russia investigation became a symbol of imminent justice to many. Despite President Trump’s unrealistic expectations of imminent exoneration, new developments continue to indicate that Mueller’s probe will be moving forward well into 2018 and towards the truth.
Before I dive into my final breakdown of the year, I just want to say thank you for reading Unpresidented. It’s been a wild ride chronicling the events of Donald Trump’s presidency week after week but you, yeah you reading this right now, make it all worth it. Patriots like you, who dedicate time out of your lives to be activists, are what makes America great.
We really appreciate you supporting our work here at Rantt Media. Next year, we will keep combatting disinformation, inequality, and injustice.
Happy New Year! I’m hopeful for what 2018 will bring. ✊
Day 338— Saturday, December 23
- Coming fresh off of signing the GOP Self Enrichment Act Of 2017 (what it should really be called), President Trump brags to his friends at a Mar-a-Lago dinner:
“You all just got a lot richer.”
- The United Nations Security Council unanimously votes to impose crippling new sanctions on North Korea.
- The New York Times reports how Trump’s racism has influenced his immigration policy, “In Oval Office meeting, POTUS groused that thousands of immigrants from Haiti all have AIDS and that those from Nigeria would never return to “huts” once they saw America.”
- As news of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s upcoming retirement, President Trump continued his attacks on him and the FBI.
Day 339— Sunday, December 24
- On Christmas Eve, the President sent out heartwarming tweets that embodied the holiday spirit. Ha, Ha, Ha, No. Trump retweets a meme with a blood-splattered CNN on his foot and continued his attacks on the outgoing Deputy FBI Director yet again.
- Trump declares victory in the fake “war on Christmas.”
Day 340 — Monday, December 25
- Trump sends out a tweet saying after Christmas it’s back to work. If by “back to work” Trump means “back to several more days golfing” than that tweet is accurate.
Day 341— Tuesday, December 26
- The intellectual and moral decline of the GOP continues the day after Christmas. Republican Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL-19) follows in the footsteps of his GOP House colleagues Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-85) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) and makes unsubstantiated attacks on the credibility of the FBI. Rooney went as far as to accuse the FBI of being part of the “deep state,” which is a term far-right extremists use to refer to a fictional conspiracy to take down President Trump.
- Trump is seen golfing the day after tweeting he’d be “back to work” after Christmas.
- The Daily Beast reports that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates might be hit with additional tax-related indictments from Robert Mueller.
Day 342 — Wednesday, December 27
- Yahoo News reports that “In just the last few weeks, [Mueller’s] prosecutors have begun questioning Republican National Committee staffers about the party digital operation that worked with the Trump campaign to target voters in key swing states. They are seeking to determine if the joint effort was related to the activities of Russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the American electorate.”
- Jailed Russian hacker, Konstantin Kozlovsk, who claimed that he hacked the DNC on Kremlin orders, now says he left behind a data signature and can prove he was behind the hack.
- The Washington Post reports that Trump’s legal team plans to paint Michael Flynn as a liar if he begins to reveal damning information about Trump’s team to Robert Mueller (he most likely already has). The Trump administration pushes back on this report, but their credibility is…shaky, to say the least.
- Trump is seen golfing two days after tweeting he’d be “back to work” after Christmas.
- Trump says “We have signed more legislation than anybody. We broke the record of Harry Truman.” History says that was a lie. Trump has signed the fewest number of bills in the first year of his presidency out of any President since Dwight Eisenhower.
Day 343— Thursday, December 28
- Donald Trump has an interview with The New York Times that reminds Americans just how unfit for the office of the presidency he truly is. Vox’s Ezra Klein headlines it, “Incoherent, authoritarian, uninformed: Trump’s New York Times interview is a scary read.” I couldn’t agree more. Throughout the interview, along with the 16 times he claimed there was “no collusion,” the President stated lie after lie. Trump appeared to create a false reality in his mind where all the Democrats claim there was no collusion, where he knows more about the bills in Congress than “than any president that’s ever been in office,” and where he has an authoritarian like power over the Justice Department.
- President Trump makes a foolish comment about Global Warming. Capital Weather and Vinny from Jersey Shore enlightened him.
- Newsweek reports,, “President Donald Trump fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) Wednesday, reportedly informing them without explanation with a letter delivered by FedEx.”
Day 344 — Friday, December 29
- Trump tweets that there can be no DACA deal without his border wall funding.
Day 345— Saturday, December 30
- By far the biggest story in the final days of 2017 was The New York Times’ report. It completely dismantles the GOP’s narrative that the Christopher Steele dossier is what sparked the Trump-Russia investigation. It was in fact, non-other than George Papadopoulos:
During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.
Day 346 — Sunday, December 31
- Trump tweets about “Crooked Hillary” and tries to tout his accomplishments.
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Week 50: The “Stable Genius” (January 1–6)
“He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”
— Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee briefing a dozen lawmakers on Capitol Hill
Wow. What a start to the new year. Where do I even begin?
If you have a pair of eyes and ears, chances are you’ve noticed that there is something a bit…off with our President.
Impulsive outbursts, an affinity for conspiracy theories, and an aversion to facts: President Trump has deluded himself into an alternate reality.
This week, Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” corroborated several months of reporting and sparked a much needed national conversation about the President — Is Donald Trump’s mental health deteriorating?
The 25th Amendment wasn’t the only thing on people’s minds this week. The beef between Donald Trump and his former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon dominated headlines for much of the week as the future of the once tight-knit power couple remains up in the air.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration and the GOP made a series of consequential moves that didn’t get nearly enough attention.
The Trump administration moved to expand offshore drilling, targeted legal marijuana, moved to make it more difficult for defrauded students seeking loan forgiveness, and froze aid to Pakistan.
The DOJ is investigating the political opponent of the President of the United States after he publicly called for her to be jailed.
And the GOP is openly probing the person who helped expose Russian interference rather than the perpetrators themselves.
Despite all of this, the Trump-Russia investigation moved full speed ahead, with Robert Mueller laser-focused on seeking the justice this President is desperately trying to obstruct.
Day 347— Monday, January 1, 2018
- More women than ever before are running for Governor. The Washington Post reports:
This year, at least 79 women — 49 Democrats and 30 Republicans — are running for governor or seriously considering it…The numbers are more than double what they were four years ago and on track to surpass the record 34 women who ran for governor in 1994.
- President Trump sends tweets jabbing at Iran and Pakistan.
Day 348— Tuesday, January 2, 2018
- The president decides to start his year off on the same foot he ended 2017 with: Tweets that make the public question his grasp of reality. Donald Trump continues his authoritarian calls to jail his political opponents. This time his target was Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. This was prompted by a report that claimed Abedin “ forwarded sensitive State Department emails, including passwords to government systems, to her personal Yahoo email account.” Trump’s mention of the DOJ as the “deep state” is yet another way that Trump degrades America’s confidence in its institutions.
- After sending out some additional tweets attacking the media and North Korea, President Trump responds to North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un’s speech where the despot claimed: “the button for nuclear weapons is on my table.”
- He also announces a fake awards show to disparage the media.
- Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch announces he would not be seeking reelection this year, clearing the way for Mitt Romney.
- The Fusion GPS founders publish a scathing op-ed in The New York Times defending their work with Christopher Steele and the Trump-Russia dossier as well as exposing the GOP’s efforts to deflect from the heart of the investigation.
Day 348 — Tuesday, January 2, 2018
- Excerpts from Michael Wolff’s exposé of the White House begins hitting the press. From Steve Bannon disparaging Trump’s family, calling the Trump Tower meeting treasonous, to White House aides’ serious concerns about Trump’s mental health, the details are beyond damning.
- The White House releases a statement bashing Bannon, the Mercers withdraw their support, and the Trump admin sends a cease and desist letter to Bannon.
Day 349 — Wednesday, January 3, 2018
- As questions about the President’s mental health swirl, Politico reports:
In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers — all Democrats except for one Republican senator, whom Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”
- Newly elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones and Al Franken’s replacement Tina Smith are sworn into office.
- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray meet with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) about documents that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was requesting from the DOJ about the handling of the Trump-Russia dossier. As we saw later in the week, the DOJ capitulated to Nunes’ demands, and Paul Ryan supported Nunes.
- CNN reports:
North Korea and South Korea established contact on a hotline that’s been dormant for almost two years Wednesday, a major diplomatic breakthrough following a year of escalating hostility and a move that could pave the way for future talks.
- News of Betsy DeVos’ latest moves towards defrauded students is revealed but doesn’t receive much coverage.
Day 350 — Thursday, January 4, 2018
- The New York Times reports that the White House Counsel Don McGahn tried to lobby Attorney General Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation so that Trump could be protected. Also, four days before Trump fired Comey, an aide of Sessions tried to find dirt on James Comey.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds an Obama-era policy of federal non-interference with states who legalized marijuana.
- The White House bans all personal devices from use by government employees while at work.
- A Virginia delegate race is decided by pulling a name from a bowl after one vote created a tie. The Republican wins, giving them a 51–49 majority in the house of delegates.
- Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission (which was a fraud within itself) is finally disbanded. Not without some departing words from Trump, of course.
- After President Trump tries to get the publisher to remove “Fire and Fury” from bookshelves, Michael Wolff announces it will be released to the public early…And he also said that there are tapes.
- President Trump freezes all aid to Pakistan.
- President Trump makes yet another environmentally reckless move by announcing that his administration would permit offshore drilling in nearly all American coastal waters.
- We discover that the DOJ is looking into Hillary Clinton and her aides’ use of a private email server again and is investigating whether there was any pay-to-play within the Clinton Foundation.
Day 351— Friday, January 5, 2018
- We learn of the first criminal referral from Congress in the Trump-Russia investigation. After several months of investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s potential collusion, the first criminal referral the Senate Judiciary Committee made was for the man who set out to expose it: Christopher Steele. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R- IA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed that Steele made “potentially false statements about the distribution of claims from the dossier.”
- President Trump continues his attacks on the Michael Wolff book and gives Bannon a new nickname of “Sloppy Steve.”
Day 352 — Saturday, January 6, 2018
- As questions of Trump’s mental health dominates headlines, President Trump takes to Twitter to claim that he is in fact, not stupid or, like, unstable. He also compares questions about his mental health to questions over Reagan’s health. Comparing himself to Reagan in this instance isn’t very “genius” of him, given the fact questions about Reagan’s mental health were later validated when his family revealed that he had Alzheimer’s disease.
Week 51: The Land Of The Shitholers (January 7–12)
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” — Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail. ” April 16, 1963
This week, Donald Trump didn’t just insult dozens of countries and the Americans who descended from them, he insulted America.
America isn’t just a country; it’s an ideal. America is the notion that regardless of your past, ethnicity, age, or the amount of money you are born into, you can become something greater. America has a checkered past, but the defining principle that makes America great is the fact we are constantly pursuing a more perfect union. We strive to learn from our mistakes, not go back to a time where those mistakes were made. The beauty of America is in its imperfection and our collective pursuit of perfection.
It was this ideal that moved America from being a country that once enslaved and labeled black people as three-fifths of a person, to one that elected Barack Hussein Obama to become leader of the free world.
It was this ideal that struck my own parents when they were just teenagers in Sierra Leone. They saw America as a house on a hill, beaming with limitless opportunity. Anyone can make it there, no matter where they’re from, they thought. And they were right.
Hey @realDonaldTrump-El Salvador, Haiti and African countries aren't shitholes. Both my parents came to America from West Africa when they were teenagers with $50 in their pockets, seeking a better life for themselves and their children. You know what that makes them? American.
Despite Donald Trump’s distinct ignorance of what makes America great, the ideal that is America lives on. Yes, the President of the United States is racist, but that doesn’t mean we have to be.
So next time you hear someone say “America is racist for electing Donald Trump,” tell them they’re wrong. Because America is whatever each new generation decides it will be. And I’ll be damned if this next generation of leaders doesn’t make America inclusive.
I’ve heard people ask, “so, the President is racist, what now?” Now, we make a choice. Will we be remembered as a generation that dropped the ball or one that rose to the occasion? Will we be remembered as a generation who perpetuated inequality or one that works diligently to dismantle systemic racism, sexism, and all forms of inequality? Will we be remembered as a generation that stayed home while Republican congressmen passed oppressive policies or will we be remembered as one that flips the House and the Senate while electing the most diverse members of Congress in U.S. history?
The question we must ask ourselves as Americans, and as decent and human beings, is this: Will we choose to stand idly by and let injustice and intolerance run rampant or will we rise and stop it in its tracks?
I believe we will rise.
Day 353 — Sunday, January 7, 2018
- White House Adviser Stephen Miller is taken off the air by CNN’s Jake Taper and is later escorted out of the building after refusing to leave.
- Oprah gives a powerful speech about the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes that created some Oprah 2020 buzz.
- Steve Bannon expresses regret for his comments on the Michael Wolff book and apologized. But it was too late, Donald Trump had already lambasted him.
Day 354 — Monday, January 8, 2018
- NBC News reports that Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inevitable request to interview the President.
- After already ending the protection status for hundreds of thousands of people from Haiti, Sudan and Nicaragua, President Trump does the same for 200,000 Salvadorans. They have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the country or get a green card.
- After the Los Angeles Times reports that Mueller had taken interest in an interaction between Ivanka Trump and Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower the day of the “Clinton dirt” June 9, 2016, meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, NBC News confirmed it.
Day 355— Tuesday, January 9, 2018
- Steve Bannon is pushed out of Breitbart, ending an era.
- After multiple calls for her GOP colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to release the transcripts to the Fusion GPS congressional testimony, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) decides to release it herself.
- As the Trump administration plans to loosen the constraints on the use of nuclear weapons, multiple sources report that national security adviser H.R. McMaster is advocating for a “bloody nose” strike on North Korea, while Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are trying to advise President Trump against it.
- The Trump administration waives fines for five international banks that were convicted of manipulating global interest rates. Among those relieved of punishment? Deutsche Bank.
- After announcing an expansion of coastal drilling the previous week, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke makes an exception for Florida.
- Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Trump after a federal conviction for contempt of court and who has a history of inhumane treatment of immigrants at his proclaimed “concentration camps,” is running for Senate.
- Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen files a defamation suit against Fusion GPS for the development of the Christopher Steele dossier and Buzzfeed for the public release.
- In a huge ruling, North Carolina’s congressional map is ordered to be redrawn. Federal judges deemed their map unconstitutional because “Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage.”
- The Daily Beast reports that “A senior NSC official last February proposed moving some US troops out of the Baltics as an overture to Russia. This is the first known instance in which Trump-Russia questions centered around withdrawing troops from Europe.”
- Senators Kamala Harris and Corey Booker become the first black lawmakers named to Senate Judiciary Committee in over a decade.
- As Trump continues to use the DREAMERS as bargaining chips, a federal judge places a temporary injunction on Trump’s move to rescind DACA.
Day 356— Wednesday, January 10, 2018
- Trump takes to Twitter to complain about the DACA ruling and Senator Feinstein’s release of the Fusion GPS transcripts. Trump also calls on “Republicans should finally take control!”
- ICE begins raiding 7-Elevens.
- Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) makes an important release of documents about Russia’s interference in democracies in Europe.
- California Rep. Darrell Issa becomes yet another in a series of Republican congressmen who won’t seek reelection in 2018.
- The Washington Post reports, “Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, filling what has long been a gap in expertise and potentially signaling a recent focus on computer crimes.”
- A USA TODAY review finds that:
“President Trump’s companies sold more than $35 million in real estate in 2017, mostly to secretive shell companies that obscure buyers’ identities, continuing a dramatic shift in his customers’ behavior that began during the election…In the two years before the nomination, 4% of Trump buyers utilized the tactic. In the year after, the rate skyrocketed to about 70%. USA TODAY’s tracking of sales shows the trend held firm through Trump’s first year in office.
Day 357 — Thursday, January 11, 2018
- First reports by The Washington Post, and later confirmed by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and all but confirmed by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump asked in an Oval Office meeting: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” This was during a conversation about the temporary protection status of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations. Trump then said we should accept more people from Norway.
- Ahead of the votes for the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), President Trump contradicted his own administration’s stance on the bill. His admin was pushing for no additional privacy restrictions. But Trump, triggered once again by a Fox and Friends segment, sent out a different stance. After Speaker Paul Ryan (D-WI) had a phone call with Trump, he then sent out a follow-up tweet, clarifying his stance.
- The Trump administration is now allowing states to require work for Medicaid recipients.
- President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have an oddly timed praise of Kim Jon-un.
- Steve Bannon has prepared for his interview in the Trump-Russia probe and planned to “fully cooperate.”
Day 358— Friday, January 12, 2018
- After watching a Fox & Friends segment, Trump tries to walk back his shithole comments.
- 54 African countries demand an apology from President Trump.
- News breaks of how a month before the 2016 election, President Trump paid off a pornstar named Stormy Daniels who was about go public about a sexual encounter they had while Trump was married to Melania Trump.
Week 52: The Shutdown (January 13–20)
Make no mistake, it wasn’t the Democrat that shut down the government. It was the Republicans. And it was over an issue that they claim to support. Their reluctance to protect the DREAMERS showcased their depravity. And the Democrats put up a fight…
Day 359— Saturday, January 13, 2018
- President Trump sends out a number of tweets. One attacking the media and one claiming that Democrats don’t want a deal on DACA.
- Government begins accepting requests for DACA protection after a court ruling.
Day 360— Sunday, January 14, 2018
- Trump continues to try and backtrack on his shithole comments.
Day 361 — Monday, January 15, 2018
- On Martin Luther King day, we are reminded of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.
Day 362 — Tuesday, January 16, 2018
- Steve Bannon meets with the House Intelligence Committee and is subpoenaed in Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe. Bannon strikes a deal with Mueller to be interviewed by Mueller rather than a grand jury.
- Trump begins framing the narrative that Democrats want the Government to shut down and it’ll negatively affect our military.
- Trump’s White House doctor claims that Trump is in excellent health.
- DHS Secretary gets pressed about Trump’s shithole comments in a hearing by Senator Durbin.
Day 363— Wednesday, January 17, 2018
- It’s reported that Steve Bannon’s attorney relayed questions in real time while he was being testified by the House Intelligence Committee. Bannon didn’t respond to questions upon the White House’s request.
- Trump complains that Russia was helping North Korea evade sanctions.
- Trump announces his fake “fake news” awards via the GOP website.
- Jeff Flake delivers a speech on the Senate floor calling out the President’s attacks on the press and comparing them to authoritarian leaders.
- John Kelly tells Democratic lawmakers that Trump’s views on immigration during the campaign were uninformed.
Day 364— Thursday, January 18, 2018
- After saying that he wouldn’t support a short-term spending bill with CHIP in it, the President backtracks.
- McClatchy DC reports that “The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency.”
- The Trump administration announces that it would protect doctors, nurses, and others who deny care to people based on their religious views.
- As the government approaches a shutdown, President Trump prepares to host a Saturday party at Mar-a-Lago celebrating his one year mark. Tickets are sold for $100k.
Day 365 — Friday, January 19, 2018
- As Republicans began to jump ship on their own CR, and most Democrats standing strong over their demands for a deal to protect the DREAMERS, the government shuts down. Trump invites Schumer to the the White House for a last-ditch effort to reach a deal, but none is reached. Trump cancels his trip to Mar-a-Lago
- A #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag begins to be pushed by conservatives and Russian bots, in reference to a memo that House Republicans have created to undermine the Mueller investigation.
- Deutsche Bank reports questionable transactions involving Jared Kushner, or people or businesses near him, to German security regulators and will forward the info to Mueller.
- The Supreme Court decides to take up Trump’s Muslim ban case.
Day 366— Saturday, January 20, 2018
- At 12:01 am, on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, the government shutdown After Trump tanked a bipartisan deal, the cloture vote failed in the U.S. Senate (4 Republicans voted no, and 5 Democrats voted yes). It was a bipartisan rejection, but pundits and the GOP still tried to blame the Democrats. And all the while, the DREAMERS are not protected as their March deadline approaches. The New York Times reports that Trump spent much of his day watching old clips of him berating Obama for a lack of leadership during the shutdown.
- A year after the women’s march, millions of women and men in solidarity protested around the nation. In some cities, there was record-breaking turnout.
- Senator McCaskill tries to pass a bill that would guarantee the military gets paid during the shutdown but McConnell shuts it down.
Week 53: The Attempt At Obstruction (January 21–26)
This was the week the government reopened. But it was also the week we learn of Donald Trump’s attempt to shut down the Trump-Russia investigation by firing Robert Mueller. The question is no longer whether or not Trump intended to obstruct justice, but how many times he has tried.
Day 367 — Sunday, January 21, 2018
- Eric Trump says the shutdown is a good thing for Trump politically.
- Senator Graham says “As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we’re going nowhere. He’s a been an outlier for years.”
- Axios reports that Jeff Sessions urged FBI Director Wray to fire Deputy FBI Director McCabe, and we later learn that Wray threatened to resign after this.
Day 368— Monday, January 22, 2018
- The Senate has voted on a short-term funding CR that funds the government until Feb 8 & CHIP for 6 years. The Democratic Party (with a few exceptions) voted for the Republicans’ deal with a promise for a future DACA deal from McConnell.
- Trump imposes a 30% tariff on solar panels.
- House Ethics Committee Member Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA) settled his own sexual harassment case using taxpayer money.
- Pennsylvania’s congressional districts were ruled unconstitutional.
- There was a school shooting at a high school in Texas.
Day 369 — Tuesday, January 23, 2018
- It’s revealed that Sessions was interviewed by Mueller last week, and Comey was interviewed last year.
- We learn that Trump questioned who McCabe voted for in a private meeting right after he became acting FBI Director.
- There was a fatal school at a high school shooting in Kentucky.
- Canada and the remaining 11 countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a new version of the TPP without the U.S.
- Sessions orders an investigation into missing text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
Day 370 — Wednesday, January 24, 2018
- We learn that that GOP “secret society” talking point they were throwing at the FBI was sourced from sarcastic text messages.
- Trump says he’s looking forward to meeting with Mueller, who wants to interview Trump over his decision to fire Flynn and Comey.
- NBC News reports “By the end of 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team had spoken with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; former FBI Director James Comey.”
Day 371 — Thursday, January 25, 2018
- We find out that in June, a month after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel to the Trump-Russia probe, Donald Trump ordered that he be fired. Don McGahn declined the order and threatened to resign.
- Trump proposes an immigration bill that gives a path to citizenship for $1.8 million people and $25 million for the border wall.
- Kushner won’t agree to an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Dutch intelligence spied on Cozy Bear, the group that hacked the DNC.
Day 372— Friday, January 26, 2018
- The EPA rolls back Obama-era standards on air pollution.
- Trump targeted 3 FBI officials to discredit after learning that they would be witnesses against him in the Mueller probe. The officials were Andrew McCabe; Jim Rybicki — Comey’s and Wray’s chief of staff, and James Baker — formerly FBI’s general counsel. Rybicki just resigned as Wray’s Chief of Staff. Baker was just replaced by Boente By the following Monday, McCabe would be gone. And with the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign in full swing, the intent to undermine Mueller’s investigation reaches new heights. Obstruction of justice hovers over the State of the Union…and I’m not just referring to Trump’s speech.