A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 183rd Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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 183.
A country’s level of greatness should not be based on their GDP, but by how well they treat the most vulnerable among them. It should be based on how they treat the poor, sick, and marginalized. It should be based on how they treat protestors demanding equality or journalists seeking to expose corruption. Is the America we see today living up to its alleged greatness? No. At times we have risen to our promised ideals, but for most of our history, we have not. President Trump is tapping into the worst impulses we’ve seen embodied during the darkest moments of American history. We can overcome this, but first, we have to accurately depict where we are.
Nearly 150,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. About 30 million Americans are on unemployment insurance and those enhanced benefits are expiring. Over 20 million Americans could face eviction by October and the federal moratorium on evictions is expiring. At least 5 million Americans have reportedly lost health insurance during the pandemic. In spite of all this, Senate Republicans have yet to pass another coronavirus relief bill to help Americans. Instead, they went home for the weekend, showcasing their callous indifference. Americans are already struggling and grieving loved ones, the last thing they need is added anxiety and their future made more uncertain due to Senate inaction.
In Portland, we have a full-blown authoritarian deployment of DHS officers operating as Trump’s personal police force and violating the rights of Americans. These federal police forces have beaten veterans peacefully assembling and assaulting moms and grandmas with chemical agents. While there have been some causing unrest, what is purporting to be a DHS operation to quell that violence appears to only be exacerbating violence.
We’ve seen excessive use of force all over the US, and now it seems the Trump Administration is expanding its efforts. President Trump, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, and Attorney General William Barr held an event announcing hundreds of federal officers being deployed to Chicago to tackle crime there. Trump is now expanding beyond countering protests, and appears to just be sending his forces anywhere he pleases. While the Trump Administration has tried to differentiate what’s happening in Portland from their announced deployments in Chicago, I’ll believe it when I see it.
These authoritarian displays are simply campaign fodder for a president who is down by double digits in most polls, and down considerably in must-win swings states. Boris Epshteyn, a strategic adviser on the Trump Campaign, sent out a video of footage from Portland and said that this is what Joe Biden’s America will look like. Tens of thousands of Twitter users replied with the obvious fact this is literally Trump’s America.
I’ll tell you one thing, unleashing federal officers on cities to create scenes of chaos in Trump’s America that you and your campaign then use to warn of what Joe Biden’s America will look like is a Nathan For You-level campaign con (if you haven’t seen the Comedy Central show Nathan For You, it’s about an awkward guy who gives small businesses wild ideas to help promote their brands – it’s hilarious).
Meanwhile, in Louisville, we saw right-wing militiamen firing shots at Black militiamen. This is another reason the secret police in Portland are dangerous. Right-wing militiamen could easily impersonate unmarked federal officers and kidnap people in unmarked cars. If you look at these guys in Louisville, it would be hard to tell they aren’t like those officers in Portland.
There were also images over the weekend from Seatle where a nurse was sprayed to the face by officers brutally suppressing a protest. There comes a time when an individual’s basic human decency should override authority. Some of the cruelest acts in history were people “just following orders.” How can these officers keep carrying out these acts?
In other authoritarian news, Sean Hannity opened up his Fox News show ahead of an interview he had with President Trump by calling for U.S. Attorney John Durham, in no uncertain terms, to indict Obama officials for imaginary charges in their Obamagate conspiracy theory. This is pure authoritarian lunacy being spread to millions of people. There were false charges like this levied throughout the week from Trump surrogates and Trump himself, of course, has baselessly accused both Obama and Biden of treason.
While Trump and his cronies continued to make baseless claims about Obama and Biden, their own corruption was exposed. Judge Hellerstein ruled that Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen can be released from jail and his re-imprisonment was an act of retaliation from the DOJ in an attempt to thwart the release of his book. That’s a big deal. It wasn’t a report or allegation, it was a ruling, a declaration that Cohen was targeted by the US Government for opposition to Trump personally.
Speaking of authoritarian musings, President Trump’s coronavirus briefings made a return. President Trump stayed relatively calm during the short briefings like a man who is 15 points down in the polls and scared for his political life. Luckily, this did not garner him the “new tone” headlines he was reaching for because the briefings were still packed with lies and exaggerations.
President Trump repeatedly oversold the impact of his half-baked China travel ban, which still allowed 400,000 people to flow in amid COVID-19 before he did the “ban,” and 40,000 people afterward. Meanwhile, people with COVID-19 flowed in from Europe and he didn’t do sufficient testing or contact tracing.
In one briefing, President Trump announced he’s canceling the in-person component of the GOP convention in Jacksonville, Florida. This came as he simultaneously called for schools to reopen and the CDC changed their guidelines to urge school reopenings as well.
There was a topic noticeably missing from the briefings. There was not a single question about the Russian Bounties on American troops all week, even after Trump threw everyone a layup by talking about his phone call with Putin. Every day members of the media don’t ask Trump about the Russian bounties, the Trump Administration succeeds in their goal of ignoring it and not facing pressure to take retaliatory measures.
Every briefing after COVID-19 questions, they need to hit him on his use of a personal police force and Russia. It appears the White House strategy is to just hope we forget the Russian bounties happened. It’s been a full month since the first report about this from The New York Times, and the White House has reportedly known about the intelligence concerning this operation since early 2019.
The primary factor of newsworthiness shouldn’t be whether the information is “new.” It should be heavily weighted by the importance of the story itself. I understand journalists are pushed to get new info from Trump, but they can use their judgment to weigh what’s most important to ask him. Russia is an increasingly important topic with the election nearing and with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) wittingly basing his entire investigation into the Bidens on Russian disinformation. During impeachment, Fiona Hill straight-up told the GOP not to promote “falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.” They didn’t listen.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s briefings continued as well, and she’s been increasingly combative with reporters and has moved on from multiple questions she doesn’t like. And of course, we have the usual lying. McEnany defended Trump’s opposition to the removal of Confederate statues with misleading deflections.
President Trump’s new defense of the Confederate flag comes in the form of him drawing a false equivalence between the flag and Black Lives Matter (BLM). The Confederacy represented a treasonous fight to enslave Black people. BLM represents a fight for equal rights for Black people. Trump keeps depicting BLM as anti-white and it’s not.
Now, there’s another topic I want to dedicate some time to and it’s the dangerous embrace of QAnon by the Republican Party. This week, Fox News and OANN directly praised QAnon, which is a conspiracy theory that the FBI regards as a terrorist threat. President Trump has retweeted QAnon accounts and there are at least 11 GOP candidates who are open QAnon supporters. This just has to stop. They’re giving credence to complete and utter lunatics. This week, we published an article from Greg Fish headlined “The GOP Is Now The Party Of QAnon,” and it is becoming more true by the day.
How could I end this week’s column without mentioning President Trump’s now infamously hilarious “person woman man camera TV” moment? I waited for Sarah Cooper’s version of this like a kid waiting for a new movie release. Every single time Trump tries to convince people he is not cognitively impaired, all he does if raise further suspicion that he is. It was a wild interview, but there was another noteworthy interview moment this week.
In a complete softball interview with Barstool Sports, President Trump mused about how great his life was before he became president. President Trump said: “The best day in my life, in terms of business and life and everything, was the day before I announced I‘m running for President. Everything was good.” Our lives were better before he became president too. He could save himself and us the trouble by just resigning, but it appears in 100 days, we’ll have to do that job ourselves.
There was another revealing Trump quote from that interview: “Somebody said ‘who’s the toughest in the world to deal with? Is it Russia? is it China? Could it be North Korea?’ I said no the toughest is the United States.” Trump then complained about Democratic cities. President Trump clearly sees his fellow Americans as enemies. That is why he sees no problem unleashing violent federal officers in Democratic cities or baselessly accusing Democrats of treason, because he doesn’t see them as “his people.” If you didn’t vote for Trump, he sees you as less American. That, within itself, makes him unfit to lead this nation.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Trump’s Embrace Of Fascism
Day 1,278: Monday, July 20
Monday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Trump threatens to deploy federal agents to Chicago and other U.S. cities led by Democrats
- Lawfare: DHS Authorizes Domestic Surveillance to Protect Statues and Monuments
- HuffPost: Trump Prepping To Dispatch Federal Squads To More Democratic Cities, Warns Mark Meadows
- The New York Times: John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80
- The New York Times: Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus
- Politico: Trump and Republicans divided on key pieces of coronavirus relief
- CNN: At least 53 Florida hospitals are out of ICU beds
- NBC News: Florida’s largest teachers union sues state over reopening schools
- McClatchy DC: Pompeo whistleblower complaint reveals ongoing inquiry over ‘questionable activities’
- AP: Biden, lawmakers warn of foreign interference in election
- CNBC: Lawsuit accuses ex-Fox News reporter Ed Henry of rape, says Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson harassed other woman
- CNN: A gunman killed a federal judge’s son at her New Jersey home. He appeared to be dressed as a delivery driver, source says
- CNN: Attorney who was found dead named as primary suspect in fatal shooting at federal judge’s home
- NPR: CNN: ‘Things could get very ugly’: Experts fear post-election crisis as Trump sets the stage to dispute the results in NovemberPresidential Nominees Rarely Speak To Muslim Audiences. Biden Did Monday
- CNN: Clyburn says best way for Trump to honor John Lewis is to sign bill on voting rights
- Rolling Stone: Chris Wallace Laughs As Trump Insists Cognitive Test Was ‘Very Hard’
- The Daily Beast: Americans Banned From Traveling to the Bahamas
- Rantt Media: What Is Antisemitism? (History, Tropes, And Misconceptions)
Day 1,279: Tuesday, July 21
Tuesday’s top stories:
- Reuters: U.S. records over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for first time since early June
- The Texas Tribune: Coronavirus kills another 1,000 in Texas in just 10 days
- CNN: California went from bending the curve to a major coronavirus surge. What happened?
- The New York Times: Trump’s Request of an Ambassador: Get the British Open for Me
- NBC News: Vaccine trials show early promising results — but major challenges are ahead
- NBC News: Fact check: Trump revisits familiar falsehoods in first coronavirus briefing in months
- HuffPost: Trump Seen At Event Without Mask Hours After Saying It’s ‘Patriotic’ To Wear One
- The Washington Post: Facing unrest on American streets, Trump turns Homeland Security powers inward
- HuffPost: Democratic Mayors Urge Congress To Stop Federal Agents’ Use Of Force During Protests
- Mother Jones: Trump’s new census directive is almost certainly unconstitutional
- The Washington Post: Former CDC chief: Most states fail to report data key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic
- CBS News: Michael Cohen sues Barr, claiming he was re-imprisoned over book he was writing criticizing Trump
- The Independent: Trump says he wishes accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell well and has ‘met her numerous times’
- Mother Jones: Bombshell whistleblower interview: ICE detention center used tricks to conceal COVID outbreak
- Politico: DOJ says Chinese hackers targeted coronavirus vaccine research
- ABC News: 63% support Black Lives Matter as recognition of discrimination jumps: POLL
- CNBC: Biden to unveil $775 billion plan to fund universal child care and in-home elder care
- The Verge: Whistleblower Reality Winner has tested positive for COVID-19 in prison
- CNN: EU leaders strike ‘historic’ $2 trillion deal to rebuild Europe’s economy
- Los Angeles Times: With GOP now on board, another coronavirus stimulus check is likely. But for how much?
- CBS News: Aurora City Council approves independent investigation into Elijah McClain’s death
- NBC News: Liz Cheney attacked over support for Fauci during GOP meeting
- USA TODAY: NFL agrees to cancel 2020 preseason, reduce team roster sizes to 80 for training camp
- Rantt Media: Coronavirus Failures Put “Safe” GOP Seats In Play
- Rantt Media: What Is The Boogaloo Movement?
An Authoritarian Partnership
Day 1,280: Wednesday, July 22
Wednesday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump says he is sending ‘hundreds’ of federal law enforcement officers to Chicago
- The Washington Post: Opinion | Trump’s authoritarian crackdown is so bad that even some in the GOP are blasting it
- NBC News: Mayors call on Congress to investigate use of federal officers in Portland
- NBC News: Senate Republicans discuss short-term extension of boosted unemployment benefits
- CNN: California has overtaken New York for the most Covid-19 cases
- Vanity Fair: “Trump Voters Are Old and They Don’t Want to Die”: Why Trump Finally Flip-Flopped on Mask Wearing
- NBC News: House votes to remove Confederate statues, bust of chief justice, from Capitol
- Chicago Tribune: At least 15 people shot in exchange of gunfire at funeral in Gresham neighborhood on South Side, authorities say
- Bloomberg: China Vows Retaliation After U.S. Shuts Down Houston Consulate
- CNN: Barr calls reaction to George Floyd’s death ‘extreme’
- CNN: Obama and Biden release new video criticizing Trump’s pandemic response
- Politico: Matt Gaetz appears to run afoul of House ethics rules
- CNBC: U.S. government taps Pfizer to produce millions of doses of potential coronavirus vaccine
- CNN: Preliminary magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes off coast of Alaska
- Axios: The states at the center of the 2020 voting crisis
- AP: Elizabeth Warren’s new role: Key Joe Biden policy adviser
- The Daily Beast: Twitter Axes Thousands of QAnon Accounts and Says It Will Limit Their Visibility
- Bloomberg: Brazil Reports Record Covid Cases Days After WHO Sees Plateau
- CNBC: Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a military-linked researcher wanted for visa fraud, FBI says
- Rantt Media: The GOP Is Now The Party Of QAnon
- Rantt Media: Radical Right Terrorists Are Usually Self-Radicalized
Judge Rules DOJ “Retaliation” Against Cohen
Day 1,281: Thursday, July 23
Thursday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Judge Orders Cohen Released, Citing ‘Retaliation’ Over Tell-All Book
- NPR: U.S. Hits 4 Million Cases Of Coronavirus — Adding A Million New Cases In Just 15 Days
- NPR: DOJ Inspector General Investigating Federal Agents’ Actions In Portland And D.C.
- USA TODAY: Portland mayor tear-gassed by federal officers, warns ‘somebody’s going to die’ during chaotic protests
- CNN: Timeline for release of GOP stimulus plan delayed as negotiators race for deal amid holdups
- USA TODAY: Trump cancels Jacksonville portion of Republican convention planned for August due to COVID-19
- NBC 6 South Florida: Florida Sets Record for Virus-Related Deaths With 173 Reported in One Day
- The Daily Beast: ‘Shaking in Their Boots’: Trump Wanted a Portland-Style Offensive in Chicago
- The Independent: Trump doesn’t mention Russian bounty scheme to Putin during phone call, report says
- NBC News: White House cafeteria closed after positive coronavirus test
- NPR: Democrats Go On Offense On Russian Election Interference As November Approaches
- NBC News: 150 members of Congress demand Justice Department action against anti-Asian, COVID-19 racism
- HuffPost: Nearly 3,500 Public Health Experts Sign Letter Defending Fauci Amid White House Attacks
- Fox News Poll: Biden tops Trump in battlegrounds Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania
- The New York Times: A.O.C. Unleashes a Viral Condemnation of Sexism in Congress
- CBS News: Derek Chauvin and wife face felony tax fraud charges
- The Verge: China successfully launches interplanetary mission to Mars with rover in tow
- BBC News: Russia accused of firing satellite weapon in space
- ProPublica: How Climate Refugees Might Move Across International Borders
- Mother Jones: Stephen Miller’s grandmother died of COVID-19. Her son blames the Trump administration.
- CNN: Concentration camp guard convicted in one of the last Nazi trials in history
- Rantt Media: Some 2020 Candidates Struggle To Get Verified On Twitter
- Rantt Media: Trump Is A Sinking Ship Taking The GOP With Him
Judge Rules DOJ “Retaliation” Against Cohen
Day 1,282: Friday, July 24
Friday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: McConnell says stimulus deal could take ‘a few weeks,’ putting millions with expiring jobless aid in limbo
- The New York Times: U.S. Warns Russia, China and Iran Are Trying to Interfere in the Election. Democrats Say It’s Far Worse.
- Reuters: U.S. charges 18 Portland protesters as it sends tactical police to Seattle
- BuzzFeed News: A Judge Said Federal Officers Can’t Arrest Or Use Force Against Journalists In Portland
- CNN: Trump says he could send as many as 75,000 federal agents to US cities
- Reuters: As U.S. coronavirus surges, Trump officials press back-to-school plan
- CNN: New CDC guidelines come down hard in favor of opening schools
- NPR: ICE Confirms New Foreign Students Can’t Take Online-Only Course Loads In The U.S.
- Los Angeles Times: With a COVID-19 death in Florida every 8 minutes, this community fears who will be next
- Politico: Trump signs limited drug pricing orders after last-minute debate
- Reuters: Young, healthy adults with mild COVID-19 also take weeks to recover: CDC
- Axios: The blue wave threatening to crush Trump’s re-election chances is growing
- Chicago Tribune: Mayor Lori Lightfoot has Christopher Columbus statue removed from Chicago’s Grant Park in middle of the night
- Vox: China is systematically detaining Uighurs — and the world isn’t doing enough about it
- Bloomberg: China Orders U.S. to Close Chengdu Consulate in Retaliation Move
- CNN: Judge rules to unseal documents in 2015 case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice
- CNN: Body of civil rights icon John Lewis to lie in state at US Capitol
- NPR: With November Approaching, Election Officials Still Face Safety, Security Questions
- HuffPost: Explosive UFO Report In NYT Mentions ‘Off-World Vehicles Not Made On This Earth’
- CNN: Fact Check: Despite White House claims, PAW Patrol and police LEGO have not been canceled
- CBS Sports: LeBron James’ voting rights group donating $100,000 to pay fines and fees so ex-felons can vote in Florida
- BuzzFeed News: A Voter Registration Group Is Launching A Campaign To Boost Turnout In The Midst Of A Pandemic
- Rantt Media: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Counter-Extremism Efforts