A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 178th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

As Trump's support continues to falter, he continues to stand defiantly against the majority of Americans, make authoritarian moves, and ignore coronavirus.
President Trump returns to the White House from poorly attended rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Saturday, June 20, 2020 (AP)

President Trump returns to the White House from poorly attended rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – Saturday, June 20, 2020 (AP)

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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.

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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

Americans celebrate after the Supreme Court of the United States ended marriage discrimination on June 26, 2015 (tedeytan/ creative commons)

Americans celebrate after the Supreme Court of the United States ended marriage discrimination on June 26, 2015 (tedeytan/ creative commons)

Monday’s top stories:

Trump’s Police-Backed Executive Order

Day 1,244: Tuesday, June 16

Tuesday’s top stories:

Bolton Book Bombshells

Day 1,245: Wednesday, June 17

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago — Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a dinner at Mar-a-Lago — Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Wednesday’s top stories:

The Supreme Court DACA Ruling

Day 1,246: Thursday, June 18

Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington – Sept. 5, 2017 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Carlos Esteban, 31, of Woodbridge, Va., a nursing student and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, rallies with others in support of DACA outside of the White House, in Washington – Sept. 5, 2017 (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Thursday’s top stories:

Juneteenth

Day 1,247: Friday, June 19

Friday’s top stories:

Over The Weekend…

Trump’s Tulsa Debacle And Barr’s Attempted Berman Firing

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Unpresidented // 2020 / Coronavirus / Donald Trump / Elections / John Bolton / William Barr