A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 194th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

President Trump's reckless handling of his COVID-19 diagnosis has been a microcosm of his mishandling of the pandemic.
President Trump speaks to supporters gathered at the White House – Saturday, October 9, 2020. (C-SPAN)

President Trump speaks to supporters gathered at the White House – Saturday, October 9, 2020. (C-SPAN)

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 194.

In a normal reality, a president repeatedly putting his own supporters at risk of infection from a deadly virus he himself has, would lead to unanimous calls for their resignation. A president who attacked a governor the day terrorists, radicalized by his rhetoric, were arrested for plotting to kidnap and execute that governor would be pressured to step down. A president who publicly called for his Attorney General to arrest his political targets for false treason charges would be impeached and removed from office. But this is not a normal reality – this is just another week in the Trump presidency.

This week, President Trump appeared to make every self-sabotaging move imaginable that would increase the likelihood he loses in a landslide. The fact we couldn’t tell if this unhinged behavior was due to the drugs he was on or if it was just Trump being his usually unhinged self further highlighted the truth – he has never been fit for office. Let’s start with how he’s handled his personal battle with COVID-19.

President Trump’s reckless handling of his COVID-19 diagnosis has been a microcosm of his mishandling of the pandemic. Trump lied and downplayed the threat of COVID-19 for months, just like he’s lying and downplaying the impact of his diagnosis now. Trump failed to protect the American people and he failed to protect those in his White House. After days of Dr. Conley sending out contradictory statements on the status of Trump’s health and his COVID joy ride around Walter Reed, the president returned to the White House on Monday with a reckless message.

As news of Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis broke, President Trump took to Twitter to downplay the disease. Hours before his Monday release, President Trump tweeted that coronavirus was less deadly than the flu as if we don’t have him on tape with Woodward saying it’s more deadly than the flu on February 7.

President Trump then staged a photo op when he exited Walter Reed. As he had Marine One waiting to pick him up, Trump walked out the golden doors to a reporter yelling, “Do you think you might be a super-spreader, Mr. President?” As soon as Trump arrived at the White House, he stood on the balcony and took off his mask and appeared to struggle to breathe. Trump then interacted with White House staff as he filmed a video while still being sick with COVID-19 and very infectious.

In the video posted online soon after, President Trump told Americans not to be afraid of COVID-19. Trump said, “get out there,” and that people will beat the virus because we have the best medicines. He also suggested he is immune. Trump had presidential-level care and told people if they get this disease, they’ll be fine. Trump also told Americans not to let COVID-19 dominate their lives. Over 210,000 people had no choice in that matter.

This man, who had just finished gasping for air on the balcony after getting a combination of experimental drugs at Walter Reed, looked into this camera and suggested he’s immune and that people should get out there and not fear the virus. This was pure, unmitigated insanity.

Saying “don’t be afraid of COVID” is the exact opposite of what Trump should be saying to the country right now. After contracting the virus, he’s taking it even less seriously. The right message is, “if even the president can get it, you can too. Wear a mask. Take this seriously.” Trump shouldn’t be out here saying, “don’t be afraid of COVID,” just because he’s getting a combination of drugs that aren’t easily accessible to most Americans.

It’s important to note that not only was Trump on the Regeneron antibody cocktail, he was also on dexamethasone, remdesivir, and multiple other drugs. He was on a combination that average Americans don’t have easy access to – all on the taxpayers’ dime. The New York Times estimated it would cost $100k to get the level of care Trump received.

It was inevitable that if President Trump recovered from COVID-19, he would take it even less seriously. Trump can only see reality through the unempathetic lens of himself: so beating COVID-19 must be due to his own strength, not the world-class care he received. But even now, we still don’t know if President Trump is even fully recovered.

After being asked repeatedly, the Trump Administration won’t tell us when President Trump’s last negative test was. They’re not telling us this because either 1) Trump has had COVID-19 for much longer than publicly known, 2) Trump has not been getting regularly tested and they don’t want to reveal that, or 3) Both of the above.

Nonetheless, Dr. Conely has cleared President Trump to continue campaign activities. Trump wasted no time in doing so. After holding a super-spreader event at the White House and while multiple White House staffers are still getting COVID-19, President Trump, who is still sick with COVID-19 himself, addressed a crowd at the White House on Saturday.

Drawing comparisons to Benito Mussolini, President Trump stood on the White House’s balcony and spoke to a crowd of Black Trump supporters assembled by Candace Owens. Owens gathered these people of color, the most vulnerable to COVID-19, at a super-spreader hotspot. There were mask-wearers in the crowd, but not everyone took this safety precaution.

In other reckless news, President Trump sent out several contradictory messages about COVID-19 relief. Fresh out of the hospital, Trump sent out tweets calling off all COVID-19 relief talks until after the election. This tweet sent the stock market downward. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin were speaking daily. The last time that happened, we got the CARES Act. A deal was in the works, and then came Trump torpedoing the talks… or so it seemed.

After a few other tweets indicating President Trump now wants a deal, the Trump Administration increased their offer to $1.8 trillion on Friday.  Trump’s stimulus flip-flop is likely because he initially thought the stock market was doing well due to an imaginary strong economy in his head rather than the anticipation of stimulus. After his first tweet rattled the markets, he realized markets were expecting stimulus.

Then came another left turn. After earlier saying Democrats were asking for too much money, ending stimulus talks, and subsequently making a new offer, Trump then told Rush Limbaugh that he wants more money than Democrats are asking for. The stability of his genius is beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals. He must be playing inter-dimensional chess.

In other news, President Trump sent out multiple tweets blatantly asking Attorney General William Barr to arrest his political targets. Trump went on Fox News and openly implored Barr to do more of his authoritarian dirty work. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Director of National Intelligence Ratcliffe has been declassifying Russia-related documents at President Trump’s direction

The current right-wing conspiracy theory is that Hillary Clinton was so powerful she got the FBI to fabricate Russian interference. But she wasn’t powerful enough to stop the Comey letter? Republicans are basically saying Clinton has god powers but not enough to win the election. In this same strange run against non-candidate Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is currently in the process of gathering Clinton’s emails for release. Trump’s Cabinet continues to politicize and twist the departments they lead into tools to aid and abet this wannabe authoritarian President’s re-election bid.

Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.

Now, we have to discuss the domestic terror plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Far-right extremism is the greatest terrorism threat of our time. That not my opinion, that’s the assessment of the FBI. This week, we saw yet another example of this genuine threat.

13 men were charged in a terrorist plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer and put her on trial for treason. These were apparently right-wing terrorists with affiliations in the Boogaloo movement, and some even attended the anti-lockdown protests in Michigan. This plot was ended by the FBI and Michigan law enforcement.

President Trump’s silence in the immediate aftermath of the charges spoke volumes. Lord knows, if this were Antifa or Black Lives Matter, we would’ve had an immediate tweetstorm. Unfortunately, Trump’s first mention of this terrorist plot came in a way that will only fuel the anger at Whitmer. Trump attacked Whitmer for calling out his “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” tweets and other rhetoric directed at Whitmer that likely helped radicalize the terrorists.

Let me word that again: The President of the United States attacked Governor Whitmer the day the FBI announced charges against domestic terrorists who plotted to kidnap and kill her. The fact President Trump had stronger words for Governor Whitmer than the domestic terrorists who plotted against her tells you everything you need to know about him. What made matters worse is what we heard from local law enforcement.

In an interview, a Sheriff in Michigan named Dar Leaf defended the terrorists and appeared to defend their plot to kidnap Whitmer as well, suggesting that they may have had the right to try and arrest her. The Sheriff had previously shared a stage with one of the co-conspirators of the terrorist plot. Sheriff Leaf should resign and never hold any public office or position of power ever again.

These right-wing “militia” groups and other far-right extremists operate like ISIS. They recruit and radicalize angry, bigoted men – mostly online. What makes this threat more difficult to combat is the fact the President does the radicalizing for them and makes recruiting easier.

We’ve covered this domestic terrorism threat a lot at Rantt Media. We have a partnership with the Centre For Analysis of the Radical Right, where we publish columns analyzing radical right extremism. We’ve documented how the threat of this form of terrorism has grown exponentially during the Trump era.

In a speech that painted a contrast with Trump’s depraved actions this week, Biden delivered an excellent speech at Gettysburg on racism, condemning white supremacy in no uncertain terms. This speech was up there with his DNC speech as the best of Biden’s campaign, if not his entire political career.

At every point of progress in US history, it was Black people who were at the forefront of pushing America to live up to its promised ideals. Black people do this not only to fight for their rights but out of a love of country and belief in what America is supposed to represent. Biden acknowledged that this fight has been despite centuries of abuse.

Biden spoke about the trauma America inflicts on Black people despite their patriotism: “I think about what it takes for a Black person to love America. That is a deep love for this country that has for far too long never been recognized.”

To hear a white major-party presidential nominee talk about race the way Biden did that day was truly groundbreaking. To acknowledge that Black people’s love for America is resilient and discuss the fact America hasn’t loved us back was just incredible truth-telling. Speaking of groundbreaking moves, Senator Kamala Harris made history merely by her presence on the debate state.

After Harris took Vice President Mike Pence to task at the VP debate, President Trump pulled out of next week’s debate because it was moved to a virtual format. If Nixon and Kennedy could do a virtual debate in 1960, Trump should have no problem doing one in 2020. He’s just looking for an excuse not to participate. We’ll see if Trump decides to show up to the third one. As multiple polls indicated even wider leads for Biden in the past week, Trump is running out of opportunities to make up ground.

Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.

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Mask Off

Day 1,355: Monday, October 5

President Trump returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center after taking off his mask mid-COVID sickness – October 5, 2020. (C-SPAN)

President Trump returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center after taking off his mask mid-COVID sickness – October 5, 2020. (C-SPAN)

Monday’s top stories:

Trump Spontaneously Ends COVID Relief Talks

Day 1,356: Tuesday, October 6

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington — Jan. 9, 2018 file photo (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington — Jan. 9, 2018 file photo (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Tuesday’s top stories:

The Harris-Pece Debate

Day 1,357: Wednesday, October 7

Wednesday’s top stories:

The Michigan Terrorists

Day 1,358: Thursday, October 8

Thursday’s top stories:

Trump’s Stimulus Flip Flop

Day 1,359: Friday, October 9

President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (AP)

President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (AP)

Friday’s top stories:

Rantt Media and ZipRecruiter

Unpresidented // Coronavirus / Domestic Terrorism / Donald Trump / Gretchen Whitmer / Joe Biden / Radical Right / White Supremacist Terrorism