A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 184th 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 184.
As Susan Glasser pointed out in The New Yorker, “Trump himself has become the crisis of confidence in our political system that he warns about.” This week, President Trump moved to further undermine America’s confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election with his most authoritarian remark yet, all while his chances of losing are increasing.
One day after US coronavirus deaths topped 150,000, one day before 30 million Americans were set to lose their enhanced unemployment benefits, the same day of civil rights icon John Lewis’s funeral, and minutes after news of the GDP having its worst decline on record in Q2, President Trump suggested we delay the 2020 election. It was not a coincidence. While many called this an effort to distract and shift the news cycle, I think that was only part of the reasoning. Trump is increasingly worried he will lose, and the recent events further shook him.
President Trump obviously can’t delay the election, that power is vested in Congress, but given the fact he’s been musing about how he has the power to legislate without Congress (he doesn’t) hey might try. This remark appeared to be a bridge too far, triggering Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike to condemn the tweet. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board took Trump to task over the suggestion, and perhaps more importantly, the Federalist Society weighed in.
Steven Calabresi, a co-founder of the Federalist Society, called for President Trump to be impeached and removed from office for the “fascistic” musing. There appears to be a growing realization among some conservatives that Trump is politically toxic and is very likely to lose. More reporting about the Senate GOP further confirmed this.
CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told vulnerable Republican Senators up for re-election they can distance themselves from Trump if they think it’s necessary. It was only a matter of time before Trump’s unpopularity forced McConnell to allow this. Two problems with this tactic: It’s impossible for the GOP to distance themselves after all they enabled and Trump’s self-defeating ego won’t let them—he’ll attack anyone who tries. Let’s take a look at more of what they enabled this week.
President Trump continued his disinformation campaign targeting American democracy with attacks on mail-in ballots. The first question at Trump’s briefings on Thursday was about whether he will try and delay the election. In response, Trump launched into a gaslighting screed about voter fraud in mail-in voting. These were complete lies. There is no rampant voter fraud, period.
In one of the most hypocritical moments from this press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany condemned Hong Kong’s decision to delay their election saying it undermines democracy as if Trump didn’t’ just suggest the same thing. Shamelessness is a required trait to work in the Trump administration, otherwise the level of hypocrisy you have to exist within on a daily basis would make you unable to sleep at night.
Now, to the thread that has run throughout his presidency and is relevant to this topic: Trump’s capitulation to Russia. President Trump told Axios‘ Jonathan Swan that he didn’t discuss Russian bounties on American troops with Putin, called the intelligence “fake news,” said it didn’t reach his desk in spite of the fact it was in his presidential daily briefing, and said America armed the Taliban too. This is what treachery looks like.
President Trump refuses to utter a negative word about Putin and makes excuses for Russia by throwing the US under the bus. From his 2016 campaign’s receptiveness to Russia’s help to the Oval Office meeting with Russian officials Kislyak and Lavrov to his infamous summit at Helsinki, Trump has capitulated to Putin. Trump clearly doesn’t want to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from helping him win the 2020 election. Simple as that.
President Trump then went further by announcing his removal of troops from Germany and attacked NATO. This needs to be reiterated again: America crafted the post-WWII order. NATO was founded to uphold the common security of the West. Our investments in NATO yield diplomatic dividends. NATO came to our defense via the invocation of Article 5 after 9/11. This is an important alliance that needs to be upheld, but Trump continues to erode it for Russia’s gain.
The Trump campaign also refused to answer the Associated Press‘ question about whether they received any opposition info on Joe Biden from foreign countries. This was made more suspicious given Attorney General William Barr’s first response to a question about whether it was ok for a president to accept foreign election help, in which Barr answered “it depends” on the help before finally saying no, it’s not appropriate. This is all concerning given Biden disinformation was reportedly sent to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) from a Kremlin-linked Ukrainian and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is running his Biden probe based on Russian disinformation. Speaking of Russia, let’s talk about the Barr hearing.
I wrote an analysis piece about the Barr hearing in The Independent, so you can read more about that there, but this is the top line:
William Barr swung into the office of the Attorney General like a wrecking ball of shameless authoritarianism, breaking every democratic norm in his way and smashing the fickle wall of independence between the presidency and the Justice Department. Today, he defiantly defended his tenure with a gaslighting blend of misdirection and, in some cases, outright lies.
Barr just testified before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time. His misconduct could fill countless scrolls, but here’s the shortlist: Barr misrepresented the Mueller report; refused to pursue the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community’s Trump-Ukraine criminal referral; interfered in the criminal cases of President Trump’s allies; fired the US Attorney at the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman; ordered the brutal clearing of peaceful protestors at Lafayette Square for Trump’s bible-holding photo op; and made some controversial remarks about racism in America.
In today’s hearing, the usually calm Barr repeatedly lost his cool under the pressure of tough questioning. The AG became visibly rattled and raised his voice on a number of occasions — even as Republicans loudly defended his actions, from unleashing federal forces in Portland to the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence.
While Barr showcased his complete lack of commitment to the American people, Senate Republicans did the same. McConnell let the Senate go on a three day weekend right as enhanced unemployment benefits were expiring. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remained in Washington to negotiate with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
During these negotiations, Republicans have proven they are more eager to hand out taxpayer dollars to Trump’s properties, the top 1%, and corporations but when it comes to giving working-class taxpayers relief amid a pandemic out of their control, suddenly Republicans remember their “fiscal conservatism.”
Meanwhile, Republicans continued their attacks on Science. President Trump retweeted debunked claims from Dr. Stella Immanuel who falsely claimed that hydroxychloroquine is the cure for COVID-19. That’s the least crazy thing she believes. This alleged doctor claims that Demons have sex with humans and that medicine is made with alien DNA.
In related anti-Science news, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) contracted COVID-19. After walking around Capitol Hill without a mask, Rep. Gohmert then theorized that one of the few times he wore one was how he got COVID-19. In much sadder news, Herman Cain died from COVID-19. The last time we saw him publicly was at President Trump’s Tulsa rally without a mask. Let’s hope that more Americans take the precautions necessary to prevent this disease and they don’t have to suffer the same fate as Cain.
Now, let’s discuss a man who deserves to be honored. The current President is the personification of everything John Lewis fought against, and therefore, Trump was not invited to his memorial services. But President W. Bush, President Clinton, and President Obama were in attendance. Obama made the largest splash.
In his eulogy of John Lewis, President Obama did not hold back from calling out Trump’s authoritarianism: “George Wallace may be gone, but we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.” Obama went on to lay out a roadmap for activism and fighting for voting rights. It was his best post-presidency speech yet.
President Obama speaking at Lewis’s memorial was itself a testament to John Lewis’s mission. A country, built on the enslavement of Black people that beat Lewis less than 60 years ago for fighting segregation and for voting rights, went on to elect a Black man to lead it. How remarkable.
John Lewis’s life was proof that while we have our failings, the beauty of America is that despite who we were as a country yesterday or who we are today, we as a people have the power to choose who we will be tomorrow. That is what makes America great. Let’s move forward in the months ahead with the spirit of John Lewis, not the malice of Donald Trump.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Day 1,285: Monday, July 27
Monday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Trump administration sending more federal agents to reinforce Portland courthouse
- Los Angeles Times: Protests reignite across U.S. as standoffs in Portland continue between protesters and federal agents
- NPR: Surge Of Federal Agents In Kansas City Sparks Controversy, Leaves Divide In Community
- The Guardian: ‘These are his people’: inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland
- ABC News: Senate GOP, White House propose cutting $600 unemployment checks to $200 in coronavirus relief plan
- Politico: Washington bids farewell to civil rights icon John Lewis
- Rantt Media: Black Women Face Police Brutality. Their Stories Matter Too.
- The Washington Post: Live updates: Trump says more states should be reopening as coronavirus cases and deaths surge
- CNN: Top White House negotiators are pushing to scale back next coronavirus legislation
- CNBC: Trump files new effort to block Manhattan DA Vance’s subpoena for tax records
- CNN: First Phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine in the United States begins
- The Independent: Tom Cotton: US republican calls slavery ‘necessary evil upon which this union was built’
- The New York Times: Trump Announced, Then Canceled, a Yankees Pitch. Both Came as a Surprise.
- CNN: Reagan Foundation asks Trump campaign and RNC joint fundraising committee to stop using Reagan’s likeness in fundraising pitch
- Politico: Drugmakers refuse to attend White House meeting after Trump issues executive orders on costs
- ESPN: Is their season in jeopardy? What the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak means for the team — and MLB
- Rantt Media: A Brief History Of The Confederate Flag
- CNN: Vietnam to evacuate 80,000 tourists from Da Nang after three residents contract Covid-19
- NBC News: Right-wing terrorism is the biggest threat to U.S. and Europe.
The Barr Hearing
Day 1,286: Tuesday, July 28
Tuesday’s top stories:
- The Independent: Today Bill Barr made sure that history will judge him harshly
- Axios: “This is not going to be the bill”: Senate Republicans criticize their own stimulus proposal
- NPR: Pandemic Is Overwhelming U.S. Public Health Capacity In Many States. What Now?
- CNN: US could see ‘further suffering and further death’ if coronavirus isn’t controlled, Fauci says
- Reuters: Four U.S. states see record COVID-19 deaths, Latinos hit hard in California
- CNN: Trump administration to review DACA and reject new applications
- Bloomberg: McConnell Takes Divided GOP Into High-Stakes Stimulus Talks
- ProPublica: “Defendant Shall Not Attend Protests”: In Portland, Getting Out of Jail Requires Relinquishing Constitutional Rights
- The Daily Beast: Trump Pushes Fake COVID Cure From Fringe Doctors, Banned by Facebook
- NBC News: Biden unveils economic plan to combat racial inequality, slams Trump for stok
- Los Angeles Times: As protests against federal agents grow in Portland, Black activists worry their message is getting losting tensions
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s New COVID Doctor Says Sex With Demons Makes You Sick
- NBC News: Dark money and PAC’s coordinated ‘reopen’ push are behind doctors’ viral hydroxychloroquine video
- Business Insider: Twitter limits Donald Trump Jr.’s account and deletes his tweet featuring a ‘misleading and potentially harmful’ hydroxychloroquine video with a fringe Houston doctor
- CBS News: Tennessee governor rejects coronavirus task force advice to close bars, mandate masks
- CNN: EXCLUSIVE: Anger, leaks and tensions at the Supreme Court during the LGBTQ rights case
- CNN: ‘No more war’ thanks to North Korea’s nuclear weapons, Kim says
- Star Tribune: Police: ‘Umbrella Man’ was a white supremacist trying to incite George Floyd rioting
A Day Of Treachery And A Grim Milestone
Day 1,287: Wednesday, July 29
Wednesday’s top stories:
- Axios: Exclusive: Trump never raised Russia’s Taliban bounties with Putin
- USA TODAY: Pentagon to pull 12,000 US troops from Germany following Trump demands, slammed as ‘gift to Russia’
- USA TODAY: US hits 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 as states struggle to halt resurgence
- NPR: ‘Tidal Wave’ Of Power Shut-Offs Looms As Nation Grapples With Heat
- The New York Times: Trump Plays on Racist Fears of Terrorized Suburbs to Court White Voters
- Politico: Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tests positive for coronavirus
- CBS News: Pelosi announces mandatory mask policy for House
- NBC New York: Video of Plainclothes NYPD Cops Arresting Protester Ignites Concerns of Police Tactics
- Politico: New Pentagon training refers to protesters, journalists as ‘adversaries’
- NPR: Harvested Antibodies Now Being Tested As A Prevention Tool Against COVID-19
- AP: GOP tucks $8 billion for military weaponry in virus bill
- CNN: Cutting the $600 unemployment benefit could hurt the recovery, economists say
- NPR: 4 Key Takeaways From Washington’s Big Tech Hearing On ‘Monopoly Power’
- BuzzFeed News: Teachers Are Organizing To Protest School Reopenings Before The Coronavirus Is Under Control
- Forbes: Non-Partisan Watchdog Accuses Trump Campaign Of ‘Laundering’ $170 Million
- Politico: Scores of House Republicans are suddenly sweating over losing their seats
- CNN: Biden photographed with Kamala Harris talking points as running mate speculation grows
- HuffPost: Tucker Carlson Broadcasts Video Filled With False And Dangerous COVID-19 Claims
- BBC: Hong Kong students held under national security law
- Rantt Media: “Deadly Mistake.” School Faculty Speak Out About School Reopenings.
- Rantt Media: How The Radical Right Is Mansplaining Black Lives Matter
Economy In Shambles And A Call To Delay The Election
Day 1,288: Thursday, July 30
Thursday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Economy in reverse: Initial jobless claims soar for second week, GDP falls by record 33 percent
- The New York Times: Trump Defends ‘Delay the Election’ Tweet, Even Though He Can’t Do It
- The New York Times: John Lewis: Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation
- TheHill: Arizona, Mississippi, Florida see record one-day coronavirus deaths
- The Guardian: Federal officers to pull out of Portland in a major reversal for Trump administration
- Politico: Senate stalemate means millions on the verge of losing $600 weekly federal benefit
- CNN: Texas surpasses New York state in total Covid-19 cases
- CNN: Obama presses for voting rights in pointed eulogy honoring John Lewis
- The Independent: Herman Cain dies from coronavirus after being hospitalised following Trump’s Tulsa rally
- CNN: Ruth Bader Ginsburg resting comfortably in New York City hospital after non-surgical procedure
- NBC News: Appeals court to take new look at whether Flynn charges must be dismissed
- NBC News: GOP leaders shoot down Trump suggestion to ‘delay the election’
- HuffPost: Ted Cruz Hits GOP Panic Button: ‘Texas Is In Play’ For Democrats In November
- AP: Administration wants West Wing remodel money in virus bill
- The Hill: House Intel Committee votes to give all members access to foreign disinformation evidence
- The Daily Beast: ‘George Floyd All Over Again’: ICE Guard Drove Knee Into Detainee
- The Washington Post: Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November
- Forbes: Cofounder Of Conservative Federalist Society Calls For President Trump To Be Impeached
- ABC News: NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover launch set for today, looking for signs of ‘ancient life’
- CNN: America has never delayed a presidential election, even during war
- STL Today: St. Louis County prosecutor reopened Michael Brown shooting case but won’t charge Darren Wilson
- The Daily Beast: Gohmert Brags to Hannity That He’s ‘All In’ on Taking Hydroxychloroquine for COVID
- NBC News: Trump campaign hits pause on TV ad spending for ‘review’ of messaging strategy
- Miami Herald: Tropical Storm Watch issued for South Florida; Isaias expected to become a hurricane
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s New Favorite Doctor Stella Immanuel Was Sued for Medical Malpractice in 2019
- Rantt Media: Militaries Around The World Have A Neo-Nazi Problem
Enhanced Unemployment Benefits Expire, Senate Heads Out For Weekend
Day 1,289: Friday, July 31
Friday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: 30 million unemployed to lose extra jobless benefits, as talks between Congress and the White House are at an impasse
- Bloomberg: Congress Heads for Weekend With No Deal on Virus Relief in Sight
- NBC News: $600-a-week jobless benefits expire, posing fresh danger to Trump’s re-election
- Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court sides with Trump on building border wall with diverted military funds
- Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”
- Reuters: U.S. coronavirus epicenter shifts toward Midwestern states
- CNN: Joe Biden narrows down his VP list, with Karen Bass emerging as one of several key contenders
- NPR: Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count
- CNN: McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary
- Politico: ‘Rigged election’ goes from Trump complaint to campaign strategy
- NBC News: Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Scientists say it’s time to stop promoting the drug
- CNN: Florida sets a record for number of coronavirus deaths for 4th straight day
- NBC News: Republican ‘delay,’ ‘denials’ and ‘distortions’ on coronavirus ‘have caused death,’ Pelosi says
- Miami Herald: Isaias has become a Category 1 hurricane as it heads toward Bahamas and South Florida
- Bloomberg: New Documents Show Jeffrey Epstein Contacts With Ghislaine Maxwell
- Reuters: Hong Kong leader says key election postponed, blow to pro-democracy camp
- The Verge: Three people have been charged for Twitter’s huge hack, and a Florida teen is in jail
- Reuters: Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence overturned by appeals court
- NBC News: Unsealed documents show Epstein, Maxwell correspondence in 2015
- ESPN: Sources: Manfred warns union that season at risk
- CNN: Trump’s own intelligence officials contradict his repeated claims of mail-in voting fraud
- Axios: James Murdoch exits News Corp. board, citing editorial “disagreements”
- The Hill: Michael Jordan donates $2.5 million to combat voter suppression
- Rantt Media: Trump’s Racist Attack On Fair Housing Has Consequences
- Rantt Media: The Right’s War On Science & Experts Escalates Amid COVID-19
- Rantt Media: Bigotry Is Not Unique To America