Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Seventh Unpresidented Week As POTUS
This week, the Trump administration continued their attempts to gain control of the chaotic narrative surrounding their first weeks in power.
President Trump signed his revised Muslim ban, House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited replacement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and President Trump attempted to tout the jobs numbers. Despite their efforts, the Trump administration isn’t doing a good job selling the image that their administration is running like a “well-oiled machine.”
Trump’s team can’t seem to get a handle on having to repeatedly defend all of the lies and conspiracy theories coming out of the White House. Being in constant damage control mode is making it difficult for the Trump administration to control their messaging, a problem President Trump acknowledges. Problem is…
President Trump’s wiretapping lies, stories surrounding potential collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, the opposition to the Obamacare replacement (from Republicans as well as Democrats), Michael Flynn’s foreign agent status, and Trump’s purge of the justice department would go on to dominate news coverage as the week dragged on. And Trump isn’t happy about it.
Here is every action President Trump, and his administration, took during his seventh week as President of the United States:
Seventh Weekend (March 4–5)
- I’ll start this week’s Unpresidented where lasts week’s ended. More baseless claims from our untrustworthy President
Trump’s wiretapping lies prompted an immediate denial from Obama’s spokesman. A President can’t directly order a wiretapping, and if one was ordered it would’ve likely came from a FISA warrant from the FBI. Trump’s remarks, and the newfound questions surrounding whether or not a FISA warrant was indeed granted, would reverberate throughout the entire week.
- Providing no additional evidence, Trump doubled down on his wiretapping lies by having his Press Secretary Sean Spicer call for it to be investigated by the congressional intelligence committee
- Sources later determined the conspiracy theory came from a Breitbart story that was being sent around the White House
WH officials with whom I spoke said POTUS got the info about wiretap from media – Breitbart, Levin – not from govt sources.
- “Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday denied any suggestion that Trump Tower communications were wiretapped before the election…Asked again whether there was a FISA Court order to monitor Trump Tower, Clapper said, ‘Not to my knowledge.’” — NBC News
- Before leaving the White House for Mar-a-Lago for the weekend, Trump had a heated exchange with his senior staff. Trump reportedly went “ballistic,” venting his anger regarding reports on his associates’ connections to Russia. He then went on about how Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from investigations into Russia’s interference in our election was “unnecessary and only served to embolden Trump’s political opponents.” Trump angrily flew off in Marine One with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, leaving his aides behind. Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus were previously scheduled to leave with him
- In a blow to US tech companies, the Trump administration announced it would suspend expedited approval for graduate-level specialized worker visas called H-1B Visas
- “The Keystone XL oil pipeline won’t use American steel in its construction, despite what President Donald Trump says” — Fox News
Seventh Week (March 6–10)
Monday March 6
President Trump signed a revised Muslim ban executive order. Here are the key changes:
- It revoked the January 27th executive order which was halted in federal court
- It removes Iraq from the list of banned Muslim-majority countries and narrows the list to six: Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Somalia and Libya (Not a single American citizen has been murdered on US soil by a terrorist originating from one of those six countries since 1975)
- It exempts people with valid visas and green cards from the travel ban
- It removed the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees
- It also removed the controversial preference for “religious minorities,” which critics pointed to as a form of discrimination and a preference for Christian refugees over Muslims
The 120 day overall refugee ban is still included. The order also wasn’t marked for immediate implementation like the first one (which caused a chaos at airports around the world). Barring any legal roadblocks, the order is set to take affect on March 16th. Criticism and legal challenges mounted throughout the week.
- “FBI Director James B. Comey asked the Justice Department to issue a statement refuting President Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump’s phones before the election, according to U.S. officials, but the department did not do so” — The Washington Post
- When asked if President Trump was willing to accept the FBI director Comey’s denial of his wiretapping lies, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited news reports that didn’t exist and told “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos, that President Trump stands by his claims
Tuesday March 7
House Republicans unveiled their replacement to Obamacare. Here are the key changes:
- Would end the Medicaid expansion in 2020
- Would end the individual and employer mandate penalties, and instead allows insurance companies to charge 30% higher premiums for a year if you don’t maintain continuous coverage (you essentially still pay a penalty if you don’t maintain coverage, except this time it goes to the insurance companies, not the government)
- Would allow insurance companies to charge older customers five times as much
- Would end the cost-sharing subsidies and would no longer adjust premium credits based on insurance costs. Instead, it would tie them to age and income
- “It would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicaid reimbursements — the majority of the organization’s federal funding” — Vox
- “If a woman wants a health insurance plan that will cover abortion, she (and possibly her employer) won’t be able to use tax credits to buy it under this bill” — Vox
The unveiling of this plan caused Republicans to call it “Obamacare-lite” and drew condemnation from Democrats. Hospitals and other health groups also voiced their opposition later in the week.
- According to Politico, “Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski approved foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s now-infamous trip to Moscow last summer.” It was during this July trip, that Carter Page reportedly met with the chairman of the Russian owned oil company Rosneft, and may have discussed the prospect of lifting sanctions on Russia. Page also reportedly met with the person responsible for the intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election. The Politico report indicates that the Trump campaign was not only aware of this trip, they green-lighted it
- “In what appears to be the largest leak of C.I.A documents in history, WikiLeaks released thousands of pages describing sophisticated software tools and techniques used by the agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions.” — The New York Times
- Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson ignorantly likened slaves to immigrants who came here willingly in search of opportunity: “There were other immigrants who came in the bottom of slave ships, who worked even longer, even harder, for less”
Wednesday March 8
- Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak returned to the spotlight this week, as reports resurfaced of his April 2016 meeting with Trump at one of his campaign speeches. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also come under fire for lying under oath about meeting Kislyak twice during the 2016 election — events that led to his recusal from any further investigations pertaining to Russian influence on U.S. elections. Similar relations led to the forced resignation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Kislyak also met with J.D. Gordon and Carter Page in July at a diplomacy conference connected to the Republican National Convention
- “Influential groups representing hospitals and nurses came out on Wednesday against a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, joining doctors and the retirees’ lobby to warn that it would lead to a rise in the uninsured”— The New York Times
- A federal criminal probe is being opened up to look into WikiLeaks’ publication of CIA documents
- “The political status of the GOP’s health plan: Critical condition: The House GOP plan is going to have to fight a three-front war to survive, and we’re not even including Democrats here. The first (and most immediate) front of opposition are the conservatives who are calling this “Obamacare-Lite” or “Obamacare 2.0”; the second front are the moderates who want to keep Medicaid expansion and Planned Parenthood funding (which is irreconcilable with the goals of the first front); and third front are powerful/influential industry groups.” — NBC News
- The Chinese government has granted preliminary approval for 34 Trump-related trademarks, raising more conflicts of interest concerns — CNN
Thursday March 9
- The FBI, along with computer scientists, continue to investigate whether there was a computer server connection between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank. The bank in question, Alfa Bank, looked up Trump’s server thousands of times during the course of the 2016 election. Lookups typically indicate an attempt to communicate, according to computer scientists. CNN reported:
From May 4 until September 23, the Russian bank looked up the address to this Trump corporate server 2,820 times — more lookups than the Trump server received from any other source.
As noted, Alfa Bank alone represents 80% of the lookups, according to these leaked internet records.
Far back in second place, with 714 such lookups, was a company called Spectrum Health.
Spectrum is a medical facility chain led by Dick DeVos, the husband of Betsy DeVos, who was appointed by Trump as U.S. education secretary.
This video does a really good job of breaking down what happened for those who aren’t IT inclined:
FBI examining a Russian bank's 2,820 pings to a Trump organization server-Everyday we get closer to the smoking gun https://t.co/vuSrpXMRcf
- “Is Trump being investigated? “No comment,” the Justice Department says. By venting his ire against Obama in a series of tweets last week, Trump awkwardly raised the possibility himself, since any wiretapping could have been the direct result of an investigation targeting him.” — The New York Times
- The GOP Health Bill Cleared 2 House Panels After Marathon Sessions — The New York Times
- Trump has been working behind the scenes on behalf of the GOP health bill and quietly courting wary conservatives in private meetings — The Washington Post
- EPA chief Scott Pruitt falsely says carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming — CNBC
Friday March 10
- The Trump administration continued to execute on it’s purge of Obama-era appointees. This time at the justice department. Trump ordered the resignation of all 46 remaining United States attorneys who were appointed by President Obama. This included Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan. Bharara refused to resign, and was promptly fired on Saturday
- “Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was attending secret intelligence briefings with then-candidate Donald Trump while he was being paid more than half a million dollars to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, federal records show…Spicer acknowledged Friday that Flynn’s lawyer called the Trump transition team inquiring about whether Flynn should amend his filing to register as a foreign agent.” — NBC News
- Last weekend, Roger Stone (former Trump advisor under investigation for Russia ties) admitted to the long suspected back channel between him and Wikileaks Founder, Julian Assange. This week, he admitted to speaking to Guccifer 2.0, the online persona believed to be a front for Russian intelligence officials and behind the hacks on the DNC
- At least five states (Washington, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon) have banded together in a legal drive to block key elements of President Donald Trump’s second travel ban. Hawaii has also filed a separate lawsuit — Politico
- “I talked to the President prior to this and he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now,’ “ Spicer said Friday from the White House podium, hours after the government announced 235,000 new jobs in February and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7% from 4.8%” — CNN
- “A federal judge in Wisconsin dealt the first legal blow to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on Friday, barring enforcement of the policy to deny U.S. entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum in the United States” — Reuters
Closing the week out where we began, a White House official confirmed to the AP that President Trump did indeed get his wiretapping lies from the unsubstantiated Breitbart story:
“Trump reportedly read that story on Saturday, and then started to tweet”
The above quote seems to encapsulate the impulsiveness that makes Trump unfit for office. All the evidence he needed was a single unsubstantiated Breitbart story and suddenly, he — the most powerful man on earth, can make a brazen public accusation that his predecessor illegally wiretapped him. That one story was all he needed to see in order to accuse Barack Obama of committing a felony, but when 17 US intelligence agencies told him that Russia was behind the hacks on the DNC, he needed more evidence…
A lot happened this week. We learned Trump’s new ban is still a Muslim ban. We learned that Trump did indeed meet Russian Ambassador Kislyak in April 2016, despite having “no recollection.” We learned that Michael Flynn was a foreign agent who was on the payroll of a foreign nation while sitting in on classified US national security briefings. We learned that there was potential communication between a Russian bank and a Trump organization server. We learned that Trump will do anything to quell dissent and leaks in his administration, including purge all Obama appointees. We also learned that the road ahead for Trumpcare doesn’t look as simple as the GOP had hoped.
A lot of this we already knew. Some info simply confirmed suspicions we already had. But there are two constant trends that seem to be maintained each week:
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Sixth Unpresidented Week As POTUS
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Fifth Unpresidented Week As POTUS
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Fourth Unpresidented Week As POTUS
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Third Unpresidented Week As POTUS
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His Second Week As POTUS
- Here’s Every Action Trump Took In His First Week As POTUS