Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Fourteenth Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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 benefits 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.
Here is every action President Trump, and his administration, took during his fourteenth week as President of the United States:
The March For Science
On Saturday (which also happened to be Earth Day), thousands of people who care about the future of humanity gathered in over 600 cities in six continents, to participate in a massive demonstration to loudly declare that science, and facts, matter. You would think in the year 2017, a demonstration of this magnitude would not be necessary. But given the fact America is being led by an administration filled with climate change deniers who are pushing an anti-science agenda, this demonstration was a much needed display. President Trump apparently took notice, and despite having signed executive orders and legislation that negatively affect water, air, and land, he claimed he valued the environment.
Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.
I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!
- Last week, the Trump administration deported the first undocumented immigrant protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), 23 year old Juan Montes. Despite this, President Trump said that young undocumented immigrants protected under DACA (DREAMers) “should rest easy.” Adding another layer of confusion on the administration’s stance, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC News that DREAMers are subject to being deported
- President Trump announced an incoming Tax Plan that would be outlined Wednesday. This surprised everyone including the man responsible for writing the plan, Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn. What they ended up unveil on Wednesday is…underwhelming to say the least. White House officials spent the weekend giving conflicting details of the plan
Big TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION will be announced next Wednesday.
- President Trump sent off quite a few of tweets on Sunday morning. He commented on the French election, jabbed at Obamacare, tried to reassure his base that Mexico would indeed pay for the wall, and once again brought up the US election
Fourteenth Week (April 24–28)
Monday April 24
The Broken Trump-Russia Senate Probe
After the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) attempted to sabotage the House’s Trump-Russia investigation (which led to his recusal), it appeared for a moment that the Senate’s investigation would be different. Unfortunately, the Senate’s investigation is also plagued by partisanship. Reports revealed the Senate’s Trump-Russia probe has no full-time staff, has interviewed no key witnesses, and has made little progress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is reportedly not responding to requests to sign letters requesting crucial evidence. The committee also hasn’t issues any subpoenas. But just as the Senate’s investigation began to go down hill, later in the week, we will see the House’s begin to get back on track.
- As the potential government shutdown quickly approached on April 28th, the disputes over the budget continued this week. Democrats and Republicans scrambled to come to an agreement on key issues. Democrats are staunchly opposed to the Trump administration’s attempts to include Trump’s border wall, which Budget Director Mick Mulvaney offered $1 in Obamacare subsidy payments for every $1 of funding for the wall. Democrats didn’t appear to be biting on this threat to Obamacare funding. We’ll see how this plays out throughout the rest of the week
- During Defense Secretary James Mattis’ visit to Afghanistan this week, General John Nicholson suggested that Russia may be arming the Taliban
- In further retaliation for the Assad regime’s recent chemical attack in Syria, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on 271 Syrian government employees who they believe are responsible for the production of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles
- Ratings obsessed President Trump reportedly won’t fire Press Secretary Sean Spicer because “everyone tunes in” to his press conferences
- President Trump gave a speech and released a proclamation on Holocaust Remembrance day in an attempt to clear away the criticism regarding his administration’s last statement on the Holocaust, that many thought exhibited Holocaust denial
- As the showdown over border wall funding continued, and a renewed effort to pass the GOP Obamacare replacement before the 100 day mark moved forward, Trump took to Twitter
If our healthcare plan is approved, you will see real healthcare and premiums will start tumbling down. ObamaCare is in a death spiral!
Tuesday April 25
The Man Who Yelled “Lock Her Up!”
Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn just keeps on making headlines. This week it was for violating the law. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings revealed the Flynn did not receive permission from the Pentagon or properly disclose the $45,000 payment he received for a paid speech at Russia’s propaganda network (RT) event. It was also revealed that the Turkish man Michael Flynn received $600,000 from for lobbying purposes, has business ties to Russia. NBC News reported that Michael Flynn was vetted with background check and that the administration was aware of Flynn’s business ties to Turkey. They hired him anyway.
The Emoluments Clause of the constitution requires that former military officers must seek permission from congress before engaging with foreign nations. Yes, that means Michael Flynn is in deep trouble. The question on everyone’s minds now is will he talk to the FBI in order to lighten potential charges. Has he already been talking?
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee (May 8) and the House Intelligence Committee (TBD) Michael Flynn’s phone calls with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Later in the week, the Pentagon announced it is launching an investigation into the foreign payments received by Michael Flynn. It was also revealed that in 2014 Flynn was explicitly told that he would have to seek approval before accepting foreign payments, and that the Defense Department’s inspector general opened an investigation into these payments this spring. This surely won’t be the last time we hear from Michael Flynn.
- San Francisco District Court Judge William H. Orrick blocked President Trump’s January executive order which sought to block billions in federal funding for sanctuary cities who limit their police forces’ cooperation with immigration enforcement. Judge Orrick argued Trump overstepped his powers, proving once again that the judicial branch is a much needed check on the Trump administration
- With the Friday deadline to avoid a government shutdown approaching, Republicans made the first concession to the Democrats on the budget. They would no longer include the $1 billion to fund President Trump’s border wall. Trump tried to assure his supporters that the wall would indeed be built
Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.
- The Senate confirmed Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general. Rosenstein is now leading the DOJ’s Trump-Russia investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation after he lied under oath about meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak
- President Trump imposed a tariff of up to 24% on imported softwood lumber on Canada. A move that Canada criticized. Trump took to Twitter, and spoke more on a potential future trade measure he might take against Canada
Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!
Wednesday April 26
The One Page Tax Plan
So it’s Wednesday. Today is the day that Trump’s huge, highly anticipated tax plan would be released. Not really. What we got was a half-baked, one pager of a tax plan that was shorter than a college kid’s resume. Economists were shocked, claiming the plan will drastically increase the national debt. Here are a few of the main components of this plan (or should I say, an overview of a future plan that hasn’t been written yet):
Reducing the number of tax brackets from 7 to 3 (10%, 25%, 35%)
Cutting the Corporate Tax rate from 35% to 15%
Repealing the Inheritance Tax
- The White House made its second concession on the budget, now stating that they would continue to fund Obamacare subsidies
- Debate within the GOP surrounding the AHCA (Obamacare replacement) continued as the Freedom Caucus pledged their support for the revised legislation and the more moderate members of the GOP remained skeptical
- Each week, the Trump administration unpredictably bounces between foreign policy approaches. This week was no different. After beefing up the rhetoric around potential military actions against North Korea, the Trump administration struck an uncharacteristically diplomatic tone. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement stating that:
“The President’s approach aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners.”
- 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. With the new leadership Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), they’ve created new plans for hearings and have a witness list that includes former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, former campaign advisers Carter Page and Roger Stone, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn
- Republicans began an effort to convince President Trump out of withdrawing from NAFTA after an executive order was drafted and began moving through its final stages of review. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said withdrawing from NAFTA would “be disgraceful and a disaster”
- The Trump administration briefed Congress on the North Korean threat, but lawmakers felt that they didn’t receive enough details on the administration’s strategy
- Also, President Trump took to Twitter for yet another attack on the judiciary in response to his sanctuary city executive order being blocked by Judge William H. Orrick. Trump went after the 9th circuit court. Judge William H. Orrick doesn’t sit on the 9th district court
Thursday April 27
This is the day where President Trump’s scramble for “wins” fell apart. So, about that ACHA revive effort. Republicans, knowing that they would fall short of the votes necessary to pass the bill, delayed the vote. Nervous about the approaching 100 day mark, President Trump unleashed a series of Tweets accusing the Democrats of wanting a government shut down. Trump also backtracked on pulling out of NAFTA.
I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed..
- President Trump unveiled the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE), a controversial new office that was said to be “scapegoating immigrants” by critics
Friday April 28
Congress voted to avoid a government shutdown and agreed to fund the federal government for another week. President Trump didn’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.
In an interview with Reuters, President Trump said that there is a chance for “a major, major conflict with North Korea” and went 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.”
- President Trump signed an executive order expanding offshore drilling
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any potential investigations into Michael Flynn
- North Korea launched yet another failed missile test
- The U.S GDP grew 0.7% during Trump’s first quarter as president, the weakest growth in 3 year
Despite his frantic efforts this week, President Trump failed to deliver on his promises. The border wall is still unfunded, the US is still in NAFTA, and Obamacare is still the law of the land.
The Trump-Russia investigation is beginning to move along more smoothly in the House, and it appears Michael Flynn is between a rock and a hard place.
Now that the 100 day mark has passed, will we see a more thoughtful administration? Doubtful.
Word of advice President Trump. Good press will come to you if you start to prioritize helping the America people over feeding your ego.