A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 178th 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 178.
Overt racism. Blatantly authoritarian maneuvers. Dishonest egomaniacal ramblings. Putting Americans at risk of coronavirus. This was one of the many weeks in this presidency that microcosmically showcased every single reason Donald Trump is completely unfit to be the most powerful person on the planet. Given the fact Trump continues to be down by double digits nationally to Joe Biden, it’s becoming clear that more Americans are noticing and rejecting Donald’s depravity.
This week was jam-packed with significant losses for President Trump and long-overdue victories for human rights. The Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to rescind DACA (for now) and protected LGBT+ people from discrimination in the workplace. The President’s response to the Supreme Court’s rulings was bigoted egomania. Trump called the rulings a shotgun blast to the face of conservatives and tweeted, “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”
The losses didn’t end there. There were the bombshells in former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, Attorney General William Barr’s botched firing of Southern District of New York (SDNY) US Attorney Geoffry Berman, and President Trump’s embarrassing Tulsa rally. Let’s dive into all of this, story-by-story.
There’s a reason the Trump administration tried to block the book and are actively musing about prosecuting John Bolton. Bolton’s book reaffirms two known truths: President Trump’s depravity, ignorance, and authoritarian tendencies make him stunningly unfit for the presidency and Bolton is a greedy coward for not testifying during the impeachment proceedings and saving it all for his book release.
The book confirmed the Ukraine extortion plot at the center of the impeachment trial. It also highlighted more examples of Trump soliciting election help from foreign adversaries, capitulating to dictators, and undermining the US Constitution. Bolton’s book is substantive and includes damning, foolish, and downright treacherous behavior.
President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to purchase more agricultural products to help him win re-election. Trump promised to interfere in an SDNY case on behalf of Turkey. Trump endorsed China’s Uyghur concentration camps. According to The Washington Post’s report on the book, “Trump told Xi that Americans were clamoring for him to change the constitutional rules to serve more than two terms, according to the book.”
President Trump also allegedly released his statement defending Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi in order to distract from news stories about Ivanka Trump’s personal email use. And in perhaps the scariest anecdote, Bolton says that in a Summer 2019 meeting, Trump said journalists are “scumbags” who should be jailed and executed.
Senate Republicans voted against subpoenaing Bolton to testify in the impeachment trial. We could’ve heard about all of this in February but they wanted to protect their dear leader. Republicans, with the exception of Mitt Romney (R-UT), had no intention of removing this corrupt authoritarian. They didn’t want to hear any more damning evidence that would make their inevitable acquittal vote look worse.
Bolton‘s book also accuses Trump of “obstruction of justice as a way of life” in his effort to interfere in investigations. Within two days of that excerpt being released, Trump and Barr further proved Bolton’s point by removing the SDNY federal prosecutor probing Trump associates.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
On Friday night, Attorney General William Barr made yet another authoritarian move. Here’s how the course of events unfolded. The DOJ announced that the US Attorney in the SDNY, Geoffrey Berman, had resigned and he would be replaced with someone of Barr’s choosing. That same night, Berman released a statement essentially calling that a lie and that he would not be stepping down until a Senate-approved replacement took the job so that he would protect SDNY probes.
By Saturday afternoon, Barr released another statement claiming that he requested President Trump to fire Berman and that he had done so. When asked about this literally minutes later, President Trump said that he was “not involved” with the matter. This directly contradicted Barr’s statement and made matters more problematic because Barr did not have the authority to unilaterally remove Berman without Trump’s approval. By Saturday night, Berman had managed to secure his deputy, Audrey Strauss, as acting head of the SDNY’s prosecutor’s office. Berman agreed to step down after outmaneuvering Barr.
While we still don’t know exactly why Berman was removed, this raised a significant number of red flags given the fact this is the same office that has probed matters related to President Trump, including Michael Cohen, Deutsche Bank, Rudy Giuliani, Igor Fruman, and Lev Parnas.
This move has raised calls for action against Barr from House Democrats. Barr lied in his Mueller report “summary,” sought to discredit the Russia probe, interfered in cases of Trump allies, and now he’s moved to replace Berman at SDNY. Barr is, and has always been, Trump’s authoritarian fixer.
It was only a matter of time until Barr crumbled under the weight of his own hubris. He’s overreached since the moment he waddled into this administration. These people are not strategic masterminds. They’re just a gang of authoritarian egomaniacs stumbling over their own incompetence.
Speaking of incompetence, coronavirus cases continued to surge in southern and rural states that failed to take the virus seriously. While this occurred, the Trump Administration continued to politicize the wearing of masks by refusing to require it at Trump’s weekend Tulsa rally (more on that in a bit.)
The Trump Administration botched their response to the coronavirus pandemic—leading to massive spread and death—and now they push premature reopenings while essentially telling people not to take the most basic safety measures. This politicization of masks is one of the most deadly things Trump has done.
The fact President Trump and Republicans have made masks a partisan issue is likely a big reason for this surge in cases. With aerosol droplets being the primary source of spread, health experts claim masks are crucial. Look at Japan, where it’s long been culturally normal to wear masks. They aren’t seeing anything close to America’s spread.
In the spirit of standing on the wrong side of every issue, President Trump continued to attack Black Lives Matter protests, even after he signed a police reform executive order. The fact Trump had police on stage as he announced that executive order tells you everything you need to know about what side he’s on. This display coupled with the brutalization of protestors outside the White House, threatening to shoot looters, calling protestors thugs and Antifa, declaring Law and Order, and Trump’s entire racist history paints a very clear picture.
As President Trump announced the executive order, he said Obama didn’t even try to address this issue. That is an absolute lie. Obama implemented several initiatives and assembled a task force at the federal level. Trump’s DOJ undid those measures almost immediately upon taking office.
President Trump also touted the economy as an example of racial justice, citing pre-COVID black unemployment rates. First off, black unemployment began to fall under Obama. Also, May’s job report shows the racial income inequality gap grew. White unemployment dropped from 14.2% to 12.4% while black unemployment rose from 16.7% to 16.8%.
When it comes to President Trump’s police reform executive order itself, it offers the bare minimum. Remember, Trump still opposes the Democratic bill which includes ending qualified immunity. What Democrats unveiled is actually substantive and would have a much more meaningful impact than Senator Tim Scott’s (R-SC) bill.
Ahead of his Tulsa rally, President Trump leaned full force into his racism. Not only did he lie and say that nobody even knew Juneteenth existed before him, he tweeted out a threat against protestors saying they will get tougher treatment outside of his rally. That did indeed happen to one woman.
A woman, who claimed she had a ticket to the rally, was pulled from the line and arrested on Saturday for simply wearing an “I can’t breathe” shirt at the request of the campaign. Trump sent a clear message that if you support the movement for Black equality you are not welcome among his supporters.
The rally itself was terrible. The first thing to note is its poor turnout. It was beyond embarrassing for Trump’s first rally, in one of the most conservative states in America, after months off the campaign trail due to COVID-19. After bragging about 1 million sign-ups and likely tens of thousands to attend, there was only 6,200, about 1/3 of the venue filled.
President Trump saw the historically enormous Black Lives Matter protests and thought he could draw equally large crowds. He was wrong. It turns out choosing an indoor space for this rally while also not requiring masks in the middle of a pandemic was not only dangerous, but politically idiotic. Trump’s supporters were given a choice between their health or stroking dear leader’s ego. Most stayed home. That night, we saw a visible representation of Trump’s shrinking base of support.
Partially responsible for the increased rally signups were Tik Tok users. There was a viral post on that platform that called for mass registration to Trump’s Tulsa rally. This inflated ticket requests, but it likely had little to do with the tiny turnout. They deserve a lot of credit because the sheer amount of ticket requests made the campaign over-prepare and embarrass themselves with an expected overflow outdoor event they had to cancel. Not to mention all the preemptive bragging. That being said, the seats were first come first serve so the reason people didn’t show up was likely because of COVID-19 and his support is weakening.
For those who did attend, Trump’s speech was pitiful. It ranked among the absolute most pathetic speeches I’ve seen from Trump since 2015. His racism and egomania were on full display. He showed no empathy for the 120k+ dead Americans. He was on the wrong side of every issue and detached from this historic racial justice moment.
President Trump called testing a double-edged sword and said that since you find more cases when you test, he told his people to slow testing down. You read that right. In the middle of a pandemic that’s killed 120k+ Americans, which was exacerbated by his failed response and slow testing in the early days, Trump says that he told his people to slow testing down because he didn’t like seeing cases surge. Trump also spent more time at the rally trying to vindicate his ego with a West Point ramp story than any other subject.
President Trump used the racist term “Kung Flu” to describe coronavirus. Trump bragged about the crackdowns against Black Lives Matter protesters. Trump once again echoed Nixon’s racist “silent majority” slogan. The fact this is the first political statement he made in Tulsa during Juneteenth weekend and the same month the Tulsa Race Massacre happened, tells you everything you need to know. Trump is running on racism again. Much like the 1/3 full rally venue, President Trump is speaking to a small minority. The majority of Americans support the protestors and are disgusted by racist police brutality.
Not that I have any sympathy for him, but watching that rally was honestly sad. It’s been truly pathetic to watch this miserable man’s endless journey to seek affirmation lead him to play to people’s worst impulses all for the sake of his ego and power.
There was nothing in this speech that communicated how Trump plans to, or is currently, leading us out of the crises America faces. I don’t see how anyone watching this President can say “he’s fighting for me.” I imagine some Trump supporters are disappointed right now.
If you’re a Trump supporter reading this and somehow made it this far into the piece, hear me out. Don’t let your pride keep you tied to this depraved authoritarian sinking ship. You don’t have to defend this. You just don’t. You can say you voted for him based on promises that weren’t kept. It’s not too late to move to the right side of history.
I grew up around some people who are now Trump supporters. These were decent, honorable people in their personal lives. But politically, less so. Everything that Trump does is a reflection of you if you choose to keep supporting him. You can stop today and rid yourself of this stain.
I also know people who are former Trump supporters. Defections are possible. Trump’s polling signals it’s already happening.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week – a week full of Trump losses.
A Historic LGBT+ Ruling
Day 1,243: Monday, June 15
Monday’s top stories:
- CNN: In a historic ruling, Supreme Court says federal law protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination
- NBC News: Supreme Court turns aside Justice Department, won’t hear California sanctuary cities case
- TheHill: Surging coronavirus cases raise fears of new lockdowns
- The Washington Post: Atlanta police chief resigns after law enforcement fatally shoots black man
- The Guardian: Rayshard Brooks police shooting was homicide, says medical examiner
- The Guardian: Rayshard Brooks family call for murder charges after police killing
- Politico: FDA ends emergency use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus
- The Daily Beast: Revealed: The Family Member Who Turned on Trump
- The New York Times: Oluwatoyin Salau, Missing Black Lives Matter Activist, Is Found Dead
- NBC News: ‘Extraordinarily dangerous’: Top health officials sound dire warning about Trump rally
- The Daily Beast: Trump Touted the Economy’s COVID Resilience While His Top Aide Dumped His Stocks
- TheHill: Trump on coronavirus: ‘If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any’
- The Daily Beast: Mike Pence Lies About Oklahoma’s COVID-19 Numbers Ahead of Trump Rally
- CBS News: U.N. Human Rights Council to examine systemic racism and police brutality
- CBS News: Biden campaign and DNC raise more than $80 million in May
- Bloomberg: Biden Fundraiser With Elizabeth Warren Nets $6 Million
- Axios: Obama to hold a first virtual fundraiser for Biden
- Rantt Media: Amid Racial Reckoning, Trump Fights For The Confederacy
- Rantt Media: What Does “Defund The Police” Actually Mean?
- Rantt Media: Trump Is Now A Recession President
- CBS News: Russia finds ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan guilty of espionage, sentences him to 16 years in prison
- BBC News: US fighter jet crashes into North Sea
- Bloomberg: Turkey’s Air Force Strikes Kurdish Separatists in Iraq
- NBC News: South Korea convenes emergency meeting after Kim Jong Un’s sister threatens military action
- Reuters: A picture and its story: Black man carries suspected far-right protester to safety
Trump’s Police-Backed Executive Order
Day 1,244: Tuesday, June 16
Tuesday’s top stories:
- CNN: Trump offers full-throated defense of police in executive action signing
- Reuters: Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates
- The Washington Post: Coronavirus recommendations ignored as case numbers rise
- CNBC: Trump praises scientists for developing AIDS vaccine that doesn’t exist
- NBC News: Trump says Obama didn’t reform policing — but he did. Then the president ditched it.
- CNN: Model projects 200,000 people in the US could die of coronavirus by October
- Axios: Trump administration sues to block publication of John Bolton’s book
- Wall Street Journal: Protesters March to Georgia Capitol After Killing of Rayshard Brooks
- Miami Herald: Florida sees a record 2,783 daily coronavirus cases as state total hits 80,000
- The New York Times: Prosecutor in Roger Stone Case Will Testify About Barr’s Intervention
- CNN: North Korea blows up liaison office in Kaesong used for talks with South
- NBC News: Feds to review investigations into two Black men found hanging in California
- The Daily Beast: Trump Considers Suing His Niece Over Her Tell-All Book, Saying She Signed an NDA
- The Root: Mississippi Lawmakers Are Drafting Legislation to Remove Confederate Symbol From State Flag
- CNN: Why Trump’s Supreme Court appointee Neil Gorsuch just protected LGBTQ rights
- Politico: Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.
- NPR: Top Executives At VOA Resign As Trump Ally Prepares To Take Over
- HuffPost: Ingraham Calls Fauci ‘Medical Deep State,’ Tells Trump To Ignore Virus Rally Warnings
- CNN: Rep. Ilhan Omar’s father dies from coronavirus complications
- Reuters: Brazil sees record daily coronavirus cases; official says outbreak under control
Bolton Book Bombshells
Day 1,245: Wednesday, June 17
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Trump asked China’s Xi to help him win reelection, according to Bolton book
- CNN: Trump signs Uyghur human rights bill on same day Bolton alleges he told Xi to proceed with detention camps
- The Washington Post: Justice Department seeks emergency order to block publication of Bolton’s book
- CNN: Florida, Arizona and Texas report record number of daily Covid-19 cases this week
- CNN: Ex-Atlanta Police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks charged with felony murder
- NBC News: ‘Mr. President, wake up’: Emboldened Biden trashes Trump’s pandemic response
- HuffPost: Anthony Fauci Hasn’t Talked With Trump About Coronavirus In 2 Weeks
- CNN: ‘They’re in denial’: How Trump’s White House is ignoring the pandemic
- Reuters: Biden opens 13-point advantage as Trump popularity drops to seven-month low: Reuters/Ipsos poll
- The New York Times: Does Trump Want to Fight for a Second Term? His Self-Sabotage Worries Aides
- The Washington Post: Senate GOP unveils policing bill that would discourage, but not ban, tactics such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants
- The Washington Post: Former city council candidate arrested after man is shot at New Mexico protest with militia group
- NBC News: Tulsa mayor says ‘any rational person’ would have coronavirus concerns about Trump rally
- Rantt Media: Trump Is Losing Support Among White Evangelical Voters
- CNN: Google kicked ZeroHedge off its ad platform and warned the Federalist
- The Guardian: Beijing coronavirus outbreak: city raises emergency level and grounds hundreds of flights
- CNN: Why are China and India fighting over an inhospitable strip of the Himalayas?
- Bloomberg: Modi Vows to Defend India Sovereignty After Deadly China Clashes
- Reuters: South Korea says will no longer accept unreasonable behavior by North Korea
- The New York Times: As Kim Jong-un Turns Hostile to South Korea, His Sister Does the Talking
The Supreme Court DACA Ruling
Day 1,246: Thursday, June 18
Thursday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Supreme Court blocks Trump’s bid to end DACA, a win for undocumented ‘dreamers’
- CNBC: Trump calls Supreme Court rulings ‘shotgun blasts into the face’ of Republicans, conservatives
- CBS News: Atlanta officers charged in Rayshard Brooks’ fatal shooting turn themselves in
- The New York Times: With the Federal Health Megaphone Silent, States Struggle With a Shifting Pandemic
- Reuters: COVID-19 cases surge in Oklahoma, other states ahead of Trump’s Tulsa rally
- TheHill: Fox News poll: Biden’s lead widens to 12 points over Trump
- Vanity Fair: “Make Sure I Win”: John Bolton’s Unredacted Book Shows What Trump Was Really Trying to Hide
- ABC News: Bolton: Trump’s not ‘fit for office,’ doesn’t have ‘competence to carry out the job’
- The Washington Post: Tulsa arena asks Trump campaign for detailed health plan as Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments about rally
- CNN: Rayshard Brooks opened up about the struggles of life after incarceration in an interview before his death
- Forbes: Trump Claims ‘Nobody Had Ever Heard Of’ Juneteenth Before He Made It ‘Very Famous’
- San Francisco Chronicle: Californians must wear masks outside home under new state order
- CNN: Facebook takes down Trump ads ‘for violating our policy against organized hate’
- Rantt Media: Letting Go Of The Lost Cause: Confederates Were Racist Traitors
- Los Angeles Times: Half brother of Palmdale hanging victim Robert Fuller is fatally shot by deputies
- HuffPost: GOP Senator Tells Those At Higher Risk Of Coronavirus: Don’t Go To Trump Rally
- Vox: States that Trump won easily in 2016 are looking tight for him in November
- The Daily Beast: Trump Claims Bolton Is Both Lying and Spreading Classified Information
- Al Jazeera: UN: Nearly 80 million people forcibly displaced worldwide
- Reuters: Turkey plans more military bases in north Iraq after offensive: official
Day 1,247: Friday, June 19
Friday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Why Juneteenth Matters
- Associated Press: Amid protests for racial justice, Juneteenth gets new renown
- NBC News: From Juneteenth to the Tulsa massacre: What isn’t taught in classrooms has a profound impact
- CNN: Trump threatens protesters ahead of Tulsa rally
- The Washington Post: In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm
- NBC News: Top members of coronavirus task force advised against Trump’s Tulsa rally
- The Washington Post: Top State Department official resigns in protest of Trump’s response to racial tensions in the country
- NBC News: Klobuchar withdraws from veepstakes, says Biden should pick woman of color
- The New York Times: In California, Hanging Deaths of Two Black Men Summon a Dark History and F.B.I. Scrutiny
- The Daily Beast: Trump Wonders If John Bolton Will Go To Jail
- CNN: Asked repeatedly to say ‘Black lives matter,’ Mike Pence says ‘all lives matter’
- CNN: Mueller raised possibility Trump lied to him
- BuzzFeed News: Roger Stone Told Trump In Advance Wikileaks Would Release Documents Harmful To Clinton Campaign, Aides Claimed
- Bloomberg: We Will Be Living With the Coronavirus Pandemic Well Into 2021
- Rantt Media: SCOTUS Ruling Is One Step In LGBT+ Fight Against GOP Oppression
- HuffPost: Fauci Warns Of Troubling ‘Anti-Science’ Beliefs As Nation Battles Coronavirus
- CBS News: Trump administration purges news execs from U.S. agency meant to counter disinformation, leaving staff fearing more to come
- Axios: Trump’s fourth NSC Russia director is leaving the White House
- CNBC: Trump’s ‘racist baby’ tweet gets slapped with ‘manipulated media’ label from Twitter
- Politico: ‘My biggest risk’: Trump says mail-in voting could cost him reelection
- The Daily Beast: AMC Won’t Require Masks When Theaters Reopen Because of ‘Political Controversy’
Over The Weekend…
Trump’s Tulsa Debacle And Barr’s Attempted Berman Firing
Inside the arena for President Trump’s rally in Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/ioCzsX29AB
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) June 20, 2020
In the middle of a pandemic that’s killed 120k+ Americans, that was exacerbated by his failed response and slow testing in the early days, Trump says that he told his people to slow testing down because he didn’t like seeing cases surge.#TulsaTrumpRallypic.twitter.com/qJAF1xeiTQ
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) June 21, 2020
This footage of Trump arriving back at the White House after his poorly attended rally last night might be the saddest I’ve ever seen him.
Trump always denies the reality of polls & points to the crowds he draws as a rebuttal.
Reality hit him last night.pic.twitter.com/GHyysLcY2I
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) June 21, 2020
- The New York Times: The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa
- ABC News: Berman relents, leaves post as US attorney after taking stand against firing
- ABC News: 12 states have set record highs in new COVID-19 cases since Friday
- USA TODAY: Trump’s Tulsa rally: He says he wanted to ‘slow the testing down’ on COVID-19 and other takeaways
- The New York Times: For Barr, Standoff With Prosecutor Adds to String of Miscues
- The Washington Post: Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney in New York, expected to advance politically sensitive cases, safeguard office’s independence, colleagues say