Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Ninth Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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 the investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. 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.
Here is every action, failed or otherwise, President Trump and his administration took during his ninth week as President of the United States:
Ninth Weekend (March 18–19)
Ahead of the Russia hearing on Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) gave two distinctly different takes on the state of their investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian operatives:
- On Sunday, Rep. Schiff went on MSNBC and told Chuck Todd:
“There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation. There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation.”
- On Sunday, Rep. Nunes went on Fox News and once again contradicted Trump’s lie, stating that there was no evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. When asked whether there was evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, Nunes responded:
“I’ll give you a very simple answer: No.”
- The Trump administration filed court papers in Maryland and Richmond contesting the decision on their Muslim travel ban, setting up a new legal showdown
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson struck a hawkish tone during his visit to the Asia Pacific as the Trump administration tries to decide on the appropriate strategy to dealing with North Korea’s reckless nuclear proliferation. After Japan said they would not rule out a pre-emptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities, Tillerson ruled out negotiations saying that the “the policy of strategic patience has ended.” Tillerson also said that the Trump administration “might be forced to take pre-emptive action ‘if they elevate the threat of their weapons program’ to an unacceptable level”
Ninth Week (March 20–24)
Monday March 20
- President Trump started off his Monday with some early morning Twitter ramblings. Apparently, someone was nervous about the upcoming Russia hearing…
- The House Intelligence Committee held their long-awaited hearing on the investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 US election, and it could not have gone worse for President Trump
First, FBI Director James Comey confirmed 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
FBI Director James Comey confirmed investigation into potential collusion between Russia & Trump camp #ComeyHearing https://t.co/xjvJLsG8p0
Comey went on to confirm many of the reports over the past few months, detailing that the Russian’s intentions were to harm Hillary Clinton and prop up Donald Trump.
Then, Comey shut down President Trump’s wiretapping lies stating there is no evidence to back up the claims. Comey asserted that this is not only the official position of the FBI, but of the Justice Department as well.
FBI Director James Comey shuts down @realDonaldTrump‘s wiretapping lies. Says there’s no “no evidence” #ComeyHearing
Rep. Devin Nunes and his fellow Republicans, to no ones surprise, focused on the leaks rather than the foreign interference in American democracy.
Meanwhile, President Trump was tweeting falsehoods and misrepresenting Comey’s statements from the @POTUS Twitter account.
- Supreme Court Justice Nominee Neil Gorsuch’s had his first day of confirmation hearings
- The White House installed political aides at cabinet agencies to monitor their loyalty
Tuesday March 21
- After late night changes to the GOP’s Obamacare replacement, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), there was still opposition from within the Republican Party. The bill needed 216 votes to pass, so they could afford to lose 22 GOP votes. With the vote approaching on Thursday, and the sustained opposition from both moderate Republicans and the notoriously uncompromising Freedom Caucus, things weren’t looking good
- Sensing the divisions, President Trump swooped in on Capitol Hill in an attempt to urge Republicans to vote yes on Thursday. Trump also reminded them that their seats might be at stake if they don’t vote in favor in the bill:
“Many of you came in on the pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare. I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done”
- The US and the UK announced a new ban on people carrying laptops and other large electronic devices from some Middle Eastern airports, including the airlines of one of our most trusted allies in the region: Jordan. The Department of Homeland Security said that they were basing this decision on new intelligence that indicated “terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation” using new methods, including “smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items”
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO in April, and will instead stay to help President Trump host China’s president Xi Jinping. He will also go to Russia later that month. The fact that Tillerson is skipping the NATO trip to instead meet with China and his later meeting with Russia, has concerned many who question whether or not this new administration will follow through on their anti-NATO rhetoric
- Ivanka Trump obtained a West Wing office, and acknowledges there is ‘no modern precedent’ for her role
Wednesday March 22
- Wednesday morning began with an AP report that revealed Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort had signed a $10 million annual contract with Russian oligarch, and close Putin ally, Oleg Deripaska. Manafort pitched a plan outlining a campaign to assert a pro-Russia influence in politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics. The plan was proposed in 2005 and Dreipaska and Manafort came to a $10 million a year deal in 2006. It reportedly lasted until 2009. 2006 was the same year Paul Manafort moved into Trump Tower
- That afternoon, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes held a brief press conference telling reporters that communications by the Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were “incidentally collected” by members of the intelligence community. The “incidental” collection would have to mean that Trump’s transition team was in contact with foreigners under criminal FISA surveillance, and as a result had their communications intercepted. Nunes than went straight to the White House and briefed President Trump on the matter, without notifying any members of the Intel Committee. This action made many question the credibility of his committee and Nunes’ ability to lead a non-partisan investigation. Privately briefing the entity you’re investigating on details of the investigation isn’t really a good look. Trump took it as “vindication” of his wiretapping lies. This move led to many calling for an independent investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, including Senator John McCain and fellow Intel Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff
- President Trump signed a bill authorizing $19.5 billion in funding for NASA
- President Trump offered condolences for the tragic London Terrorist attack
Spoke to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May today to offer condolences on the terrorist attack in London. She is strong and doing very well.
- “North Korea has nothing to fear from any U.S. move to broaden sanctions aimed at cutting it off from the global financial system and will pursue “acceleration” of its nuclear and missile programs, a North Korean envoy told Reuters on Tuesday.” This rebuff came after it was reported that the U.S. was considering laying down sweeping new sanctions against North Korea in retaliation to their nuclear tests
- The Secret Service asked for $60 million in additional funding to protect President Trump and his family, with about half of the funds covering Melania Trump at Trump Tower. These funds will also be be used to allocate the Secret Service’s resources to cover President Trump’s repeated travel to Mar-a-Lago. This was an indication of the growing expenses the Trump family is mounting for taxpayers
- Wednesday evening gave us some more collusion news. CNN reported that the FBI is reviewing information that indicates Trump’s campaign associates coordinated the release of hacked DNC emails with Russian operatives. Rep. Adam Schiff stated that he has now seen evidence that amounted to more than “circumstantial” incidents of collusion
Schiff on #TrumpRussia collusion: “There is more than circumstantial evidence now…very much worthy of investigation” https://t.co/if8TyidDoL
Thursday March 23
- Going into Thursday, the GOP still lacked the votes to pass the Obamacare replacement. The vote was then delayed until Friday. After the vote was delayed President Trump issued an ultimatum: if the GOP doesn’t pass the bill on Friday, they may be “stuck with Obamacare.” This sent the GOP into a frenzy as they scrambled to come to last minute agreements, setting the stage for one of the most disastrous days for the GOP and the Trump administration so far this year
- As this scramble for votes was occurring, the new report from the Congressional Budget Office was being circulated. This report was even more damaging than the last. It revealed that the newly revised GOP healthcare bill would reduce the deficit by half as much as their original plan, and would still cause 24 million more Americans to be uninsured by 2026
- “House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes apologized to members of his panel Thursday for not informing Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat, before going public with allegations that Trump transition messages were inadvertently intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies.” — Politico
- The Trump administration ordered tougher screening of visa applicants
- President Trump defended his wild lies in an interview with TIME magazine: “I’m President, and you’re not”
- Rep. Adam Schiff made headlines once more regarding potential Trump-Russia collusion, stating that he’s seen evidence that would merit a grand jury investigation
Schiff says he’s seen new evidence of possible #TrumpRussia collusion that would merit a grand jury investigation
Friday March 24
- For years, Republicans campaigned on “repeal and replace.” Election after election, they won. Now, they’ve lost. President Trump, knowing they did not have the votes, ordered the vote for Friday and it did not turn out well. Paul Ryan ran 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 pulled the bill from the House floor. Paul Ryan held a press conference at around 4:15 stating that “Obamacare is the law of the land,” and would be for the foreseeable future. Trump blamed the democrats for the loss, even though they did not need any democratic votes to pass the bill
Republicans have a 44-seat margin in the House – largest since 1928. GOP has 4-seat margin in the Senate. And a Republican POTUS. But…… https://t.co/J4upwLEV0d
Trump then said, they would now move on to tax reform. This was a stunning defeat for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Needless to say, people were ecstatic. Twitter celebrated:
Trumpcare is done. @realDonaldTrump is a failure. Millions of lives have literally been saved. #Obamacare lives. What we drinking? https://t.co/gKGVVpn54l
Obamacare is the “Law of the land” https://t.co/bqKEvP2Z57
Hillary Clinton even chimed in.
Today was a victory for all Americans.
- Rep. Devin Nunes canceled Tuesday’s scheduled public hearing with the former director of National Intelligence, CIA director, and attorney general. Nunes also stated that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has agreed to be interviewed by the House Intel Committee about potential Trump-Russia collusion
- According to CNN, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents”
- Trump has granted approval for Keystone XL pipeline
- The New York Times is reporting: “The American-led military coalition in Iraq said Friday that it was investigating reports that scores of civilians — perhaps as many as 200, residents said — had been killed in recent American airstrikes in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city at the center of an offensive to drive out the Islamic State.” A civilian casualty monitor is stating that there have been increased civilian casualties since Trump has taken office. So many in fact, that they have to divert their resources from monitoring Russia’s activities to solely focus on the US. The US insists the rules of engagement have not changed, but the increased number of casualties tell a different story
- Former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn just can’t keep himself out of the news. The Wall Street Journal reported: “Mike Flynn, while serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign, met with top Turkish government ministers and discussed removing a Muslim cleric from the U.S. and taking him to Turkey.”
What a week it was. We now know for certain that our president and his associates are under FBI investigation for potentially colluding with a foreign power to win the 2016 US election. We also know that President Trump and his administration can’t seem to get anything done. From the failed Muslim ban to the AHCA, President Trump is passing win after win over to the Democrats.
President Trump forcing the vote on the AHCA doomed it to an early grave, and with it, the 7 year GOP promise of repealing Obamacare.
President Trump realized the stubbornness of the Freedom Caucus the hard way and learned that you can’t govern via ultimatum. The Republican Party can’t seem to break their obstructionist habits they developed as the opposition party, and it shut down their own bill. And while all of this was transpiring, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign becomes more and more likely by the day.
What we are seeing now is a crippled, scandal-riddled, incompetent administration with no credibility. Trump isn’t able to deliver on his primary campaign promises, and one day his supporters will realize they have been conned. I’ll end this week’s Unpresidented with the only true words that have ever come out of President Trump’s twitter account (courtesy of the Art of the Deal’s ghostwriter).
You can’t con people, at least not for long. If you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” – The Art of The Deal