Your Guide To Every Day Of Trump’s First 2 Years As President

Here’s a summary of America’s experience in President Trump’s first two years and an index linking to contemporaneous analysis covering every single day.

Lawlessness vs. the Rule of Law. Republicans vs. Democrats. Depravity vs. Decency. Photos (AP). Unpresidented Logo (Rantt Media Co-Founder and Newsroom Director Adam Al-Ali)

Lawlessness vs. the Rule of Law. Republicans vs. Democrats. Depravity vs. Decency. Photos (AP). Unpresidented Logo (Rantt Media Co-Founder and Newsroom Director Adam Al-Ali)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is a personification of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing Trump’s presidency day-by-day. 104 weeks (730 days) later and here we are. This is the culmination of two years of work from me and my colleagues at Rantt Media.

Two years ago, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Every day since, he has disgraced the office he swore to protect. These past two years have felt like a rollercoaster of cruelty with sporadic moments of hope. President Trump’s unique blend of amorality, impulsivity, ego, ignorance, greed, and unprecedented indifference to institutions has been a jolt to the American experiment. A reminder of how fragile our democracy truly is and how one election can change the course of human history. In spite of Trump’s degradation of global progress, historians will likely glean a positive unintended consequence of Trump’s failures in leadership: the awakening of women, young people, and people of color to the fact they have no choice but to become leaders themselves.

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President Trump’s core governing principle has been to disorient the American people with chaos while he seeks to corruptly consolidate his power. Trump projects his simple worldview onto others, anticipating the worst in people. This has turned his administration into a whirlpool of internal distrust, leading to historic churn. The Trump administration has no interest in governing for all Americans. Trump’s only interest is self-preservation and maintaining the power and immunity from criminal liability he thinks the presidency holds. That means playing to a fearful, shrinking base of supporters while fanning the flames of division so the rest of the country won’t unite against him. This divide and conquer strategy, aided by the Republican Party, has tested the American people’s capacity for perseverance in the most profound manner in decades. As the indecent among us have risen to the forefront of American discourse, the decent have risen to meet them.

Donald Trump was swept into office with the help of a foreign adversary whose aim was to undermine American democracy. That is not an opinion. That is the definitive conclusion of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The question of whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia has hung over his administration since day one. The night before Trump’s inauguration, The New York Times reported that the FBI was examining “intercepted communications and financial transactions” in their investigation into potential Trump-Russia collusion. Since then, there has been a mountain of evidence indicating that collusion very likely took place. At least 16 Trump associates interacted with Russian nationals during the campaign and transition. There were meetings and over 100 contacts. Trump has done himself no favors in convincing the public no wrongdoing took place.

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to try and end the investigation into himself and Russia, has reportedly tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller multiple times, lied to the American people about his deals with Russia, and made decisions that aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals. 5 of Trump’s associates have now pleaded guilty as part of the Russia probe. There’s a reason the FBI suspected Trump was a Russian asset and launched a counterintelligence probe into his conduct. Among the at least 17 investigations plaguing him, the investigation in the Southern District of New York has already implicated him in two campaign finance felonies for paying off two mistresses. The corrupt behavior throughout Trump’s life and candidacy was continued in the culture of corruption of his administration. Just as he defrauded clients in his family business, Trump has sought to defraud the American people.

Upon taking office, President Trump refused to divest from his businesses. Government watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), reported at least 1,400 conflicts of interest in Trump’s first two years. From his interactions with the Trump Organization, Trump properties, and receiving foreign emoluments, Trump is in potential violation of the constitution and being sued for it. The Trump administration wasted no time in appointing individuals who shared his compulsion for corruption and who seemed hell-bent on dismantling the very agencies they led. Individuals like former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt and former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Tom Price wasted taxpayer dollars and resigned under a mountain of corruption scandals. Those are just a few of many. The acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mick Mulvaney has sought to undermine the effectiveness of his own agency in the interests of banks. Meanwhile, Trump’s kids Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner make no effort to conceal their efforts to profit from the presidency. This corrupt behavior has bled into every facet of the Trump administration’s policy.

In the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump wasted no time in targeting marginalized people. The Muslim immigration ban caused chaos and was a sign of things to come. The failed efforts to repeal Obamacare and the successful ending of Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidies harmed vulnerable Americans. Trump’s administration systematically rolled back civil rights protections, environmental protections, sexual assault protections, and financial regulations meant to prevent the next recession. Trump attempted to ban transgender people from the military. Republicans targeted women’s reproductive rights. Republicans confirmed an accused sexual assaulter to the Supreme Court. The GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was a giant payback to their donors and added trillions to the deficit, perpetuating income inequality. When it came to immigration, Trump has been especially cruel. Trump rescinded DACA and TPS protections. Trump’s dehumanizing zero tolerance policy ripped migrant families apart, caged children, and violated human rights while his policy of metering and turning away migrants at legal points of entry created a humanitarian crisis. This cruelty can also be seen in his neglect for the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. While many of these policies have been halted by courts, the widespread effects remain.

Abroad, President Trump deprioritized human rights and assumed a transactional foreign policy that emboldened autocrats in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Philippines, Russia, etc. Trump cozied up to despots and attacked our NATO allies, undermining the post-WWII order (which plays into Putin’s hands). Trump’s trade war with China harmed the U.S. economy and members of his own base, all while China takes advantage of Trump’s decision to leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The next major war is an economic one, as China incentivizes nations to subscribe to its form of authoritarianism. And Trump has preemptively waved a white flag.

When it comes to our society, at times, it has felt like America is ripping apart at the seams. President Trump has governed as Candidate Trump campaigned. Trump fully embraced the white nationalist sentiments the Republican Party has quietly stoked among their base since the Southern Strategy began in the post-civil rights era. We’re now seeing the extent to which President Andrew Johnson’s botched Reconstruction forever damaged a segment of the population and their descendants, as the dark underbelly of America is bubbling up to the mainstream. In a sense, we’re living through the continuance of the Civil War, which was a battle of freedom and equality vs. slavery and maintaining white rule. “Build the wall!” is a metaphor for “preserve the white majority.” A monument to hate, like the statue of Robert E. Lee that neo-Nazis in Charlottesville sought to protect, leading to the death of Heather Heyer. President Trump’s stunning failure in leadership when he called some of the Nazi protestors “very fine people” is one of the defining moments of his presidency. The increase in hate crimes around the U.S. we’ve witnessed over the last two years is directly correlated to the rise of Donald Trump’s movement.

Who would’ve guessed the six-time bankrupt star of The Apprentice would end up becoming the president who would pose the greatest threat to American democracy in decades. Trump used his star power and fabricated self-made billionaire persona to propel himself to the head of the Republican Party by tapping into their voters worst impulses, scapegoating immigrants, and promising them opportunity. Trump has since used his hypnotic hold over his base for nefarious purposes. Trump’s war on truth began the day of his inauguration. Trump’s first huge lie as President wasn’t actually about his inauguration’s crowd size, it was the reality-averse claim that it didn’t rain during his inauguration. From there, Trump has lied over 8,100 times by The Washington Post’s count.

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Each of President Trump’s lies erodes the commonly agreed upon reality Americans once shared. Fox News has acted as state-run TV, defending Trump at every turn. This is a disinformation tactic used by the autocrats Trump admires and praises. That’s not the only tactic Trump pulls from the authoritarian playbook. During his first two years in office, Trump has attacked the rule of law, defamed the Department of Justice, deemed the media the enemy of the American people, and pushed policies that were deemed unconstitutional by federal courts. Of course, none of this would be possible without the sycophantic Republican Party’s support. The previously self-proclaimed party of “law and order” has protected a president whose propensity for lawlessness puts Richard Nixon to shame. The GOP believes two conservative justices and tax cuts for the rich were well worth their souls. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes his party has politically protected themselves from the will of the people by engineering minority rule through gerrymandering and voter suppression. But… there is hope.

Trump’s inauguration was met with millions of women marching in protest around the world. Triggered by the election of a misogynistic president who bragged about sexual assault on tape, women were enraged and ready to take matters into their own hands. Marching turned into running, as women sought office around the country. Youth movements began to take on a life of their own. Amid the epidemic of gun violence, the March For Our Lives leaders from Parkland, Florida forever changed the way we talk about gun violence in this country. Special elections in 2017 saw huge gains for Democrats, with the biggest wins in Virginia’s gubernatorial race and Alabama’s Senate race. They were seen as a sign of things to come in 2018. Midterm elections saw historic turnout and brought in a historically diverse freshman class of representatives, as over 100 newly elected women were sworn into Congress. Women of color won the day and now the House looks more like a reflection of America. At the state level, Democratic victories in red states showed the way forward, as they look set to draw fair congressional maps. As Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi regained the gavel, the Democratic base looks forward to holding a historically unpopular president accountable for his actions with committee investigations and possible impeachment. Lessons have been learned and Democrats now set a determined gaze towards 2020.

The beauty of America is that despite who we were as a country in the past or who we are today, we as a people have the power to choose who we will be tomorrow. But before we can move forward, we must look back and learn. Facts without context aren’t nearly as useful as facts put into perspective with analysis. What follows is an index of articles that break down every week of the Trump presidency so far. The more recent articles in Year Two feature more robust analysis. After the initial shock of undergoing the process of documenting Trump’s presidency wore off, I got better at looking at the big picture. Our team here at Rantt Media hopes you find this to be a useful resource as we embark on year 3 of what will surely be another Unpresidented year.

This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned and strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription:

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Year Two: Weeks 53-104
Week 53: January 21-26
Week 54: January 27-February 2
Week 55: February 3-9
Week 56: February 10-16
Week 57: February 17-23
Week 58: February 24-March 2
Week 59: March 3-9
Week 60: March 10-16
Week 61: March 17-24
Week 62: March 25-30
Week 63: March 31-April 6
Week 64: April 7-13
Week 65: April 14-20
Week 66: April 21-27
Week 67: April 28-May 4
Week 68: May 5-11
Week 69: May 12-20
Week 70: May 21-25
Week 71: May 26-June 3
Week 72: June 4-8
Week 73: June 9-17
Week 74: June 18-24
Week 75: June 25-July 1
Week 76: July 2-8
Week 77: July 9-15
Week 78: July 16-22
Week 79: July 23-29
Week 80: July 30-August 5
Week 81: August 6-12
Week 82: August 13-19
Week 83: August 20-25
Week 84: August 25-31
Week 85: September 1-9
Week 86: September 10-16
Week 87: September 17-23
Week 88: September 24-30
Week 89: October 1-7
Week 90: October 8-14
Week 91: October 15-21
Week 92: October 22-28
Week 93: October 29-November 4
Week 94: November 5-12
Week 95: November 13-18
Week 96: November 19-25
Week 97: November 26-December 2
Week 98: December 3-9
Week 99: December 10-16
Week 100: December 17-24
Week 101: December 25-31
Week 102: January 1-6 
Week 103: January 7-13
Week 104: January 14-20
Unpresidented // Democratic Party / Donald Trump / Government / Mitch McConnell / Nancy Pelosi / News / Republican Party / Robert Mueller / Russia