A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 194th 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 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.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Day 1,355: Monday, October 5
Monday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump returns to White House after leaving hospital, sheds mask for photo opportunity
- The New York Times: ‘Don’t Be Afraid of Covid,’ Trump Says, Undermining Public Health Messages
- CNBC: ‘This is insanity’: Doctors slam Trump’s drive to greet supporters outside Walter Reed hospital
- CNN: Kayleigh McEnany: White House press secretary tests positive for Coronavirus
- The New York Times: White House Is Not Contact Tracing ‘Super-Spreader’ Rose Garden Event
- The Daily Beast: Trump Hid Preliminary Positive COVID Test Result While on Fox News Thursday Night: Report
- CNBC: CDC revises coronavirus guidance to acknowledge that it spreads through airborne transmission
- Bloomberg: Covid-19 Making a Dangerous Comeback in Most Parts of U.S.
- The New York Times: Use of Dexamethasone to Treat Trump Suggests Severe Covid-19, Experts Say
- Axios: White House identifies 206 people possibly exposed to COVID at Trump fundraiser
- The Daily Beast: Barr Finally Decides to Quarantine After Being Exposed to Coronavirus
- CNN: Most Americans say Trump acted irresponsibly and distrust White House on his health
- The Hill: Graham officially schedules hearing on Trump’s Supreme Court pick to start Oct. 12
- The Hill: Supreme Court reinstates witness requirement for South Carolina absentee ballots
- CNN: Kamala Harris and Mike Pence to be separated by plexiglass at Wednesday’s debate
- NBC News: Supreme Court begins new term, will decide fate of Obamacare — and maybe the election
- CNN: New York City plans to reverse reopenings in some neighborhoods as coronavirus cases climb
- NBC News: Pence and Harris prep for a debate with suddenly higher stakes
Trump Spontaneously Ends COVID Relief Talks
Day 1,356: Tuesday, October 6
Tuesday’s top stories:
- Reuters: Coronavirus aid hopes vanish as Trump ends talks with U.S. Democrats
- CNN: Trump’s reckless return met with a dramatically changed White House
- Vox: Covid-19: Joint Chiefs of Staff to quarantine after Coast Guard official tests positive
- NBC News: Stephen Miller, top White House aide, tests positive for coronavirus
- The Hill: Fourth White House press aide tests positive for COVID-19
- NPR: Facebook, Twitter Take Action After Trump Falsely Claims Flu Deadlier Than COVID-19
- The Atlantic: Trump Is Putting White House Staff at Risk of COVID-19
- CNN: Biden says United States is in a ‘dangerous place’ and calls for unity in Gettysburg speech
- The Hill: White House blocks new FDA coronavirus guidelines that may have delayed vaccine: report
- BuzzFeed News: Doctors Are Warning That Trump Could Experience The Worst COVID Symptoms In The Next Week
- The New York Times: ‘We Need to Take Away Children,’ No Matter How Young, Justice Dept. Officials Said
- The New York Times: Trump’s Return Leaves White House in Disarray as Infections Jolt West Wing
- CNN Poll: Biden expands lead over Trump after contentious debate and President’s Covid diagnosis
- FiveThirtyEight: Trump Is Giving Dangerous Advice. Being Afraid Of COVID-19 Has Helped Us Control COVID-19.
- NBC News: Pence, Harris spar over plexiglass barriers at VP debate
- The Daily Beast: Rudy Giuliani Coughs Through Attack on Biden’s Mask Advocacy
- The Daily Beast: Minneapolis Steakhouse Staff Forced Into Quarantine After Catering Trump Fundraising Event
- CNN: Trump off the air in Ohio and Iowa as polls show tight races in both states
- CNN: Graham, vulnerable in South Carolina, tells liberals: ‘We’re gonna kick your ass’
- NBC News: Facebook bans QAnon across its platforms
- Yahoo News: Post-debate and hospitalization, Trump falls further behind Biden in national polls
- Rantt Media: Trump’s Health Is Now A Crucial Election Issue
The Harris-Pece Debate
Day 1,357: Wednesday, October 7
Wednesday’s top stories:
- CNN: 5 takeaways from the vice presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence
- CNN: Fact check: Pence echoes Trump’s false claims at vice presidential debate
- CNN: Post-debate CNN poll: Harris seen as winner in a contest that matched expectations
- CBS News: Mike Pence’s answer to question about Breonna Taylor draws backlash on social media
- The Washington Post: Millions brace for more layoffs, hunger and utility shutoffs as stimulus talks break down
- The Hill: Trump says he will back specific relief measures hours after halting talks
- USA TODAY: Donald Trump returns to Oval Office, breaking COVID-19 quarantine, and talks up experimental drug
- CNN: Global markets struggle to make sense of Trump’s stimulus tweet storm
- ABC News: 34 people connected to White House, more than previously known, infected by coronavirus: Internal FEMA memo
- FiveThirtyEight: Biden Got Some Of His Best Polls This Week
- ProPublica: DOJ Frees Federal Prosecutors to Take Steps That Could Interfere With Elections, Weakening Long-standing Policy
- Politico: ‘Where are all of the arrests?’: Trump demands Barr lock up his foes
- The Daily Beast: White House Quietly Told Vets Group It Might Have Exposed Them to COVID
- People: President Trump’s Coronavirus Treatments Would Cost the Average American More Than $100,000
- CNN: Half of US states are reporting increased Covid-19 cases and some leaders push new measures
- CNN: Biden says there shouldn’t be a second debate if Trump still has Covid-19
- Axios: Top medical journal calls for U.S. leaders to be voted out over “astonishing” COVID failures
- NBC News: HHS whistleblower Rick Bright resigns
- HuffPost: Trump Surrogates Who Should Be Quarantining Hit Campaign Trail
- CNN: Federal judge rejects Trump’s efforts to curtail New Jersey vote-by-mail plans
- Business Insider: Trump’s spy chief declassified a slew of documents that national security veterans say was part of an effort to boost the president’s Russia claims
- Bloomberg: Biden Considering New White House Office on Climate Change
- BuzzFeed News: Donald Trump Is Canceling TV Ads In Midwestern States That Made Him President
- CNN: Biden crosses 270 threshold in CNN’s Electoral College outlook for first time
- The Hill: Cook Political Report moves South Carolina Senate race to ‘toss-up’
- Politico: Facebook to ban political ads from election night until further notice
- CNN: UK, France and Germany plan Russia sanctions over Navalny poisoning
- NBC News: Taylor Swift endorses Joe Biden for President
- Rantt Media: How Mark Zuckerberg Helped Break American Democracy
- Rantt Media: The Proud Boys Are Standing By
The Michigan Terrorists
Day 1,358: Thursday, October 8
Thursday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Whitmer says Trump ‘complicit’ after feds reveal thwarted plot to kidnap her
- CNN: Trump’s physician expects him to return to public events on Saturday
- ABC News: Pelosi rejects standalone pandemic relief bill for airlines, pushes comprehensive package
- Axios: Trump tells House GOP leader he wants a “big deal” on COVID relief
- CNBC: As stimulus talks falter, the U.S. economy faces growth coming to a halt
- CNN: Trump’s rejection of virtual format puts future of debates in question
- CNN: Top former Trump fundraiser Elliot Broidy planning to plead guilty to secret foreign lobbying effort
- NBC News: Pelosi to introduce legislation related to the 25th Amendment
- Reuters: Pentagon risk grows as Marine Corps’ No. 2 officer tests positive for coronavirus
- Sky News: Coronavirus killed three times as many people as flu and pneumonia combined, figures show
- NPR: Trump Says Gold Star Families May Have Infected Him With COVID-19
- NBC News: Trump administration goes to Supreme Court in bid to stop the census
- Politico: Biden campaign rakes in $12 million on Harris’ debate day
- The Washington Post: Louisiana coastline prepares to be battered, again, with arrival of Hurricane Delta
- The Daily Beast: Donald Trump Jr. Holds Packed Indoor Rally Amid White House’s COVID-19 Outbreak
- The Indianapolis Star: Vice President Mike Pence postpones Friday appearance to vote in Indianapolis
- Bloomberg: Trudeau Girding for Potential ‘Disruptions’ After U.S. Election
- CNN: Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to American poet Louise Glück
- Rantt Media: Harris Is Right. Trump Is Coming For The ACA Next Month.
- Rantt Media: All The Trump Associates Charged Or Under Investigation
Trump’s Stimulus Flip Flop
Day 1,359: Friday, October 9
Friday’s top stories:
- CNBC: Trump raises coronavirus stimulus offer to $1.8 trillion, then says he wants bigger bill than Dems or GOP
- Reuters: Trump to resume campaigning with White House event, Florida rally
- NPR: ‘Reckless’: Doctors Question Trump Resuming Activities So Quickly
- Axios: Trump blasts Gov. Whitmer after news she was target of terror plot
- NBC News: Fauci calls Amy Coney Barrett ceremony in Rose Garden ‘superspreader event’
- CNN: cancels second debate between Trump and Biden
- CNN: Coughing Trump tells Hannity he’s healthy and ready to hold rallies
- NBC News: Trump declares he’s ‘healed’ of the coronavirus, bashes DOJ and curses in two-hour interview
- CNN: The US is reporting more than 45,000 positive Covid-19 tests on average every day
- NPR Electoral Map: Biden Lead Widens Again With Less Than A Month To Go
- Axios: “A nightmare scenario”: Barr tells Republicans Durham report won’t be ready by election
- CNN: Chris Christie still battles coronavirus as other senior Republicans try to carry on
- The Washington Post: Trump got a $21 million tax break for saving the forest outside his N.Y. mansion. Now the deal is under investigation.
- The Boston Globe: Michigan sheriff defends men accused in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot, drawing condemnation from state AG
- NBC News: Hurricane Delta makes landfall in Louisiana as Category 2 storm
- Los Angeles Times: As Trump’s fortunes sink, Republicans start to distance themselves in bid to save Senate
- NBC News: ‘The president is likely toast’: Trump’s woes raise GOP fears of a blue wave
- CNN: Federal judge issues scathing decision to allow more ballot drop boxes in Ohio
- CBS News: Supreme Court rejects Trump administration request to reinstate medication abortion restriction
- CNN: Illinois Republican congressman announces he tested positive for coronavirus
- Politico: Nine coronavirus cases tied to Trump Minnesota rally
- HuffPost: White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows Hosted Large Wedding Despite COVID-19 Restrictions
- CNN: South Carolina US Senate debate changes format after Lindsey Graham refuses to take Covid-19 test
- NBC News: Poll: Younger voters are pessimistic about the future, down on Trump
- Axios: Europe’s coronavirus case counts just keep climbing
- Bloomberg: China Joins WHO’s Vaccine Program, Filling Void Left by Trump
- Rantt Media: What Will Happen To Belarus After Lukashenko Falls?