A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 175th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic 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 every week of his presidency. This is week 175.
President Abraham Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself, cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln was right.
2020 has truly felt like living through the plot of a dozen dystopian movies. But in reality, we’re living through a pandemic like 1918, a great depression like 1929, and chaos like 1968 all at once. One could argue this chain of events was inevitable, set in motion the second the Founding Fathers declined to abolish slavery in America’s founding documents. Unfortunately, during this unprecedented historic moment, we have the most incompetent, corrupt, and depraved leadership possible in the Oval Office.
A moment of unrest like this requires calm leadership. It requires healing words and actions of unity. Instead, what we got from President Trump was a threat to unleash the military on its own citizens like some 3rd world dictatorship. As America burned, Trump tweeted out gasoline and walked away. Trump’s failures of leadership are not surprising, but they are increasingly shocking as he continues to gleefully stomp on the cracks of a country falling apart at the seams.
Watching all of this unfold, it’s so clear how fragile “order” has been. 400 years of systemic racism punctuated by Black people continuously murdered with no justice. That combined with income inequality, 3 years of a white supremacist president, a botched COVID-19 response, an economic depression with over 40 million Americans out of work, and here we are – a boiling point.
The murder of George Floyd was the modern-day lynching that broke America. The look of hubris on Derek Chauvin’s face as he kneeled on the neck of a George Floyd screaming “I can’t breathe” shook America to its core. Two other officers kneeled on his body while a 4th looked on. Chauvin thought he’d get away with it. Chauvin’s expression was the face of a racist, unchecked law enforcement system.
After George Floyd was murdered, we learned that Derek Chauvin had at least 18 previously complaints, the included shootings of unarmed Americans. If he had been held properly accountable for those complaints, George Floyd might be alive today. This was a failure of accountability.
Black America had enough and protests calling for justice erupted in Minneapolis and across the entire world. While there have been violent riots and looting, there has been largely peaceful protest. There were some outside agitators infiltrating the protests that clearly did not represent the movement. From MSNBC and CNN reporting, with their own reporters literally being targeted by police, it is clear that most protests are peaceful until, without warning, the police fire upon them with tear-gas and rubber bullets unannounced. Then the violence begins.
After President Trump’s call to shoot looters, the weekend behavior of police was different. Police were increasingly on the offensive. There was a national escalation. At the same time, there were some police forces who properly de-escalated and even protested alongside the movement. This is much more effective than ramming protestors with cars or firing tear-gas and rubber bullets. But that is what the President wants.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
President Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning, called the protestors “THUGS” and said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This isn’t new. Trump’s history of racist remarks speaks for itself and he’s also previously told police to rough up suspects in 2017. Trump tried to walk-back the tweet, but we knew what he meant. It was a clear echo of Miami’s police chief Walter Headley when he spoke about his crackdown on black protestors in 1967.
This tweet was labeled with a warning that said it “glorified violence.” Trump spent much of his time continuing his complaints about Twitter, which had previously put a fact-check warning on his tweet about mail-in voter fraud. Trump even signed a dubious executive order targeting social media companies.
President Trump then held a press conference on Friday. Trump didn’t mention Minneapolis, the 100k COVID-19 death toll, mass unemployment, etc. Trump just talked about terminating the US relationship with the WHO in the middle of the pandemic, bashed China, and walked off. That press conference clearly showcased Trump is tired of playing the role of reality TV president. He isn’t even pretending to lead anymore. He’s given up.
The fact Trump was preoccupied with retaliating against Twitter and scapegoating the WHO, while America was literally on fire and we grieve 100k+ Americans, tells you everything you need to know about him. The simplest reason you shouldn’t vote for Trump is that he doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself.
Over the weekend, Trump went on to call for unleashing dogs on protestors, called for law and order, blamed Democrats, conflated the protestors with “Antifa,” and praised law enforcement for their “tough” actions. President Trump said nothing of countless examples of police brutality, including firing tear-gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protestors and journalists from multiple news organizations.
The restraint shown against armed white protestors being blatantly provocative against stay-at-home orders vs. the impulsive brutalization of unarmed people of color protesting George Floyd’s murder has been stunning. It wordlessly depicts the racial biases in policing. It’s a microcosm of racism in America. We’ve seen the NYPD ram protestors with an SUV. We’ve seen a police shooting people with paint canisters on their own porch. There has also been targeting of the press.
Over the weekend, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi got tear-gassed without warning and shot hit in his knee with a rubber bullet on live TV. The police pulled up out of nowhere and began opening fire on him. Velshi yelled that he and his crew were members of the media. The police paused, yelled “we don’t care,” and kept firing.
The Minnesota State Police arrested Omar Jimenez and his CNN news crew on live television on Friday morning. This is America. Journalists should not be arrested for simply doing their jobs. Jimenez said his mom saw him arrested on live TV and was frantically trying to find out where he was the entire time he was in custody. Her worst fear was that he might be another casualty of police brutality. Omar Jimenez and the CNN crew were arrested in the blink of an eye for no cause but it took days to arrest Officer Derek Chauvin and charge him with 3rd-degree murder. The other 3 officers are still walking free.
As Trump threatened to shoot protestors, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden offered empathetic leadership. In a live-streamed statement, Biden clearly named the problem of systemic racism and called for action with genuine empathy. Biden also discussed his phone call with Floyd’s family with decency. Floyd’s brother said their conversation with President Trump was rushed and Trump didn’t even let the family speak.
Meanwhile, there is one small bit of cultural progress I want to note. Unlike Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown (I’d name them all if I could) there is no mainstream voice doing a post-mortem criminalization of George Floyd. There is universal agreement his murder was an injustice. The official Fox News messaging line on this to first initially acknowledge that George Floyd’s death was a tragedy before completely blasting the protests with racist language.
But what do they want? Black NFL players peacefully kneeled and they were called sons of bitches by the President. Protestors who peacefully protested in Minneapolis were sprayed with tear gas. Conservatives call Black people sons of bitches when they peacefully protest and thugs when they riot. What they really want is capitulation. But we’re not seeing that.
A bright spot in all this darkness has been the youth engagement. A similar activating event actually happened to me in 2012. When Trayvon Martin was murdered, I was 19 and he was 17. It could’ve easily been me. It hit me hard. After that, I couldn’t look away from the news. I was never the same. It set me on the path to co-founding Rantt Media. I hope we see a new generation of leaders after this because we have a lot of work ahead of us.
Protesting was once our only tool. Black people couldn’t vote. We can now. It’s time for long-game thinking. We need to mobilize the vote and plan to run for local, state, and federal office ourselves. These protests got young people heard, but real change comes from a majority of seats at the power table.
Yes, the GOP wages a vast voter suppression operation against us. But if we all mobilize, and our allies mobilize, and tens of millions of people don’t sit out the election, we could overpower voter suppression and address that problem from the inside too. Change is a long and difficult endeavor. We need to buckle up and prepare to reshape policymaking at every level. Police accountability reforms, stronger civil rights protections, etc. We can’t do any of that from the outside.
Defeating America’s epidemic of systemic racism will take major paradigm shifts. We need to flood political, business, and cultural positions of power with people of color and we need white allies. It’ll take decades, but we can infiltrate, educate, and reshape societal values. We can do it.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
The Murder Of George Floyd
Day 1,223: Tuesday, May 26
Tuesday’s top stories:
- CNN: George Floyd case: 4 Minneapolis cops are fired after video shows one kneeling on neck of black man who later ed
- The New York Times: Remembering the Nearly 100,000 Lives Lost to Coronavirus in America
- The Washington Post: On weekend dedicated to war dead, Trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims and plays golf
- The Washington Post: Trump calls mask wearing ‘politically correct,’ Biden calls him a ‘fool’
- NPR: Biden Commemorates Memorial Day In First Outing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
- The Washington Post: Trump, who spent Memorial Day without a face mask, shares tweet criticizing Biden for wearing one
- CNN: Thousands disregarded health guidance over the weekend despite rising coronavirus cases in more than a dozen states
- The Washington Post: One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center
- NBC News: Twitter fact-checks Trump’s tweets for the first time, calls mail-in voting claim ‘misleading’
- NPR: Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19
- Axios: Pentagon watchdog sidelined from coronavirus oversight by Trump submits resignation
- The Daily Beast: DOJ Drops Insider Trading Investigation Into Kelly Loeffler: Report
- Politico: Grenell to join Trump campaign
- Vox: “Human capital stock”: White House adviser Kevin Hassett uses dehumanizing term for US workers
- ABC News: Ozark lake weekend partygoers asked to self-quarantine
- CNN: Amy Cooper: White woman who called police on a black man in Central Park has been fired
- Rantt Media: Interview: Parkland Dad Fred Guttenberg Talks Gun Violence & 2020
- Rantt Media: Not Wearing A Mask Is White Privilege
- The Guardian: US judge rules Florida felons can vote without paying legal fees
- CNN: WHO temporarily pauses hydroxychloroquine study due to safety concerns
- ProPublica: What Parents Should Know About Coronavirus as Kids Return to Babysitters, Day Cares and Camps
Over 100,000 Americans Dead From COVID-19
Day 1,224: Wednesday, May 27
Wednesday’s top stories:
- NPR: ‘We All Feel At Risk’: 100,000 People Dead From COVID-19 In The U.S.
- CBS News: George Floyd’s death sparks large protests, confrontations with police
- Axios: Minneapolis mayor calls for arrest of officer involved in George Floyd death
- Business Insider: Trump threatens to shut down social-media platforms after Twitter put a fact-check warning on his false tweets
- Politico: Trump’s 2016 campaign brass warns he’s in trouble in 2020
- Reuters: U.S. states sue Trump administration over fuel efficiency rollback
- CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims California is sending mail-in ballots to undocumented immigrants
- CNN: Fauci says he wears a mask to be a symbol of what ‘you should be doing’
- CNBC: SpaceX and NASA postpone historic astronaut launch due to bad weather
- The Daily Beast: Trump Administration Preps New Weapons Sale To Saudi Arabia
- Tampa Bay Times: Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in 10 years
- TheHill: Trump job approval falls to 2-year low in Rasmussen poll
- Bloomberg: U.S. Says Hong Kong’s Autonomy Is Gone, Sowing China Trade Doubt
- CBS News: New Zealand discharges its last coronavirus patient from the hospital
- The Daily Beast: Kentucky Man Who Hanged Governor in Effigy Fired From His Job
- CNN: Biden campaign launches initiative to mobilize young voters
- Reuters: Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets as protests flare in financial heart
- Bloomberg: China Crackdown on Hong Kong Threatens Global Order, EU Says
- CNBC: EU unveils plan to borrow 750 billion euros to aid economic recovery
- CNBC: Brazil’s Bolsonaro could soon be toppled, analysts say, as coronavirus cases surge
Day 1,225: Thursday, May 28
demanding the state be reopened amidst a pandemic
demanding justice for #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/jZKLjUUsbc
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) May 27, 2020
Thursday’s top stories:
- USA TODAY: ‘Stop killing black people’: George Floyd’s death sparks protests in Minneapolis, Memphis and Los Angeles
- The Daily Beast: ‘Burn It Down. Let Them Pay’: Deadly Chaos Erupts in Minneapolis as Fires Rage Over Police Violence
- NBC News: Minneapolis police officer at center of George Floyd’s death had history of complaints
- The Washington Post: Minnesota governor activates National Guard as upheaval continues in Twin Cities
- CNN: Prosecutors do not announce charges in George Floyd’s death but say ‘justice will be served’
- NBC News: Minneapolis mayor says anger over George Floyd death ‘not only understandable, it’s right’
- The Washington Post: Trump signs order that could punish social media companies for how they police content, drawing criticism and doubts of legality
- The Wall Street Journal: Most Countries Fail to Capture Extent of Covid-19 Deaths
- Vox: Just 3 states meet these basic criteria to reopen and stay safe
- CNN: GOP operatives worry Trump will lose both the presidency and Senate majority
- CNN: Attorney general launches new ‘unmasking’ investigation around 2016 election
- TheHill: Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat
- CNN: Biden says he hopes to name vice presidential pick around August 1
- CNN: New GOP group launches $10 million campaign to get Republicans to vote for Biden over Trump
- USA TODAY: ‘Going to see massive cuts’: Without more coronavirus relief, schools slash budgets, prep layoffs
- CNBC: Mark Zuckerberg says social networks should not be fact-checking political speech
- American Military Times: US, UK, Canada and Australia sign joint statement condemning China’s takeover of Hong Kong
- CNN: China approves controversial national security law for Hong Kong
A Country Falling Apart At The Seams
Day 1,226: Friday, May 29
The Minneapolis State Police arresting Omar Jimenez and his CNN news crew is unacceptable.
This is America. Journalists should not be arrested for simply doing their jobs.
This police force is out of control.pic.twitter.com/dsF9pS0rK3
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) May 29, 2020
Friday’s top stories:
- CNN: Trump tweeted a threat to have looters shot. Twitter put a warning label on it
- CNN: State police arrive at deserted police precinct set ablaze by crowds protesting George Floyd’s death
- CNN: Minneapolis under curfew after ex-officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck charged with third-degree murder
- CNN: CNN crew released from police custody after they were arrested live on air in Minneapolis
- USA TODAY: Cities across nation brace for more protests honoring George Floyd
- NBC News: 7 shot during protests in Louisville, police say
- NBC News: George Floyd and officer who kneeled on his neck had worked at same nightclub, former owner says
- CNN: New documents show Flynn told Russian ambassador not to escalate on sanctions
- Mother Jones: As Trump threatens violence, Biden offers empathy and a promise of “real police reform”
- ABC News: Former President Barack Obama issues statement on George Floyd
- The New York Times: Rebuking China, Trump Curtails Ties to Hong Kong and Severs Them With W.H.O.
- CNN: Mark Zuckerberg silent as Trump uses Facebook and Instagram to threaten ‘looting’ will lead to ‘shooting’
- CBS News: Boston Marathon canceled for first time in its 124-year history
- CNN: Roger Stone ordered to report to prison by June 30
- CNN: The Dalai Lama blames George Floyd’s death on racism during virtual talk on compassion
- Reuters: Russia reports record one-day rise in coronavirus deaths
- Rantt Media: Prepare For The Authoritarian Obamagate Show Trials
- Rantt Media: Why America Is Flirting With Soviet-Style Collapse
- CBS News: Monkeys snatch COVID-19 blood samples after attacking lab worker in India
- Sky News: Coronavirus: South Korea forced to close schools again after spike in new COVID-19 cases
- People: 103-Year-Old Grandmother Beats Coronavirus — Then Drinks a Bud Light to Celebrate!
- CBS News: Taylor Swift takes aim at President Trump in powerful tweet
- Rantt Media: George Floyd’s Murder And Amy Cooper’s Call Are The Same Story
Some images from the George Floyd protests over the weekend…
Officer in Louisville seems to point a weapon directly at the cameraman pic.twitter.com/5QdoC2fYW5
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 30, 2020
NYPD officer just called a female protester a “stupid fucking bitch” and threw her to the ground pic.twitter.com/18YUHYmqQa
— Jason Lemon (@JasonLemon) May 30, 2020
Wtf!!! #BlacklivesMaters #brooklynprotest pic.twitter.com/S1oet8JC0x
— Pierre G. (@pgarapon) May 31, 2020
The police have become the aggressors. pic.twitter.com/AA3zXMGbv3
— Zak Ali (@_zakali) May 31, 2020
“I’ve covered protests involving police,” writes @mollyhf from Minneapolis. “I’ve also covered the U.S. military in war zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. I have never been fired at by police until tonight.” https://t.co/v45qwv82S3 pic.twitter.com/7bcUtcLYIs
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 31, 2020
Ali Velshi gets gas fired around him pic.twitter.com/FNjB04AFH7
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) May 31, 2020
But there is hope:
When you listen to the voices of the #GeorgeFloydProtests you hear truth to power.
“What we’re trying to do is stand up for the basic rights of humanity… we’re trying to do it in a peaceful way… I want to be able just to be free.”#BLACK_LIVES_MATTERpic.twitter.com/3hEG1AbNqY
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) May 31, 2020
Amazing scene unfolding in Flint, Twp, Michigan. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has joined protesters in a peaceful march. Read More: https://t.co/4ioyUnymNv @MichStatePolice @GovWhitmer pic.twitter.com/nMCVuXQ0TZ
— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) May 31, 2020