A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 199th 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 199.
Donald Trump began his political career the same way he’s ending his presidency: with dangerous conspiracy theories questioning the legitimacy of a Democratic president.
Donald Trump has not conceded the election to President-elect Joe Biden and is spreading lies about the election. Trump has falsely called it “rigged” and “stolen.” If these were words spread by one powerless man without a megaphone, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem. But this democracy-eroding disinformation is coming from the President of the United States and being spread by a phalanx of Republican allies, media propagandists, and platforms like Facebook.
While pundits look back at the election and wonder why so many people voted for Donald Trump, you’ll hear takes about racism and policy differences. But it’s more than that. What really keeps America so polarized is the fact the majority of Americans exist in objective reality while a stubborn minority believes in a false reality cultivated by right-wing content and social media algorithms.
If we still had a Fairness Doctrine and right-wing media didn’t craft alternate realities bolstered by personalized disinformation bubbles via Facebook’s algorithm, Republican support would be below 20%. Mark Zuckerberg has done as much damage, if not more, to Western democracy and the American psyche as Rupert Murdoch. While Murdoch’s orgs gaslight millions of Americans into a false reality, Zuckerberg is amplifying all kinds of fringe right-wing content even more effectively. This is one of the biggest challenges of our time.
Just look at the disinformation that the Trump Campaign used to target Cubans in Florida. Trump’s cries of “socialism” were baseless fear-mongering, but it worked on millions of Americans. President Trump also spent his entire campaign pushing debunked claims of corruption against Hunter Biden and even began spreading lies about COVID-19, claiming doctors inflated deaths.
In preparation for his election loss, Trump already laid the groundwork for his voter fraud by attacking mail-in voting. In fact, Trump has been lying about voter fraud since 2016. Now he’s trying to make excuses for his loss, all while grifting his base. I wonder if Trump’s supporters realize their donations to Trump’s election legal fund are actually going to his campaign debt, post-presidency PAC, and the RNC.
Frankly, Donald Trump is no different than Q himself. From birtherism to calls for imprisonment of targets to voter fraud lies, Trump always promises a big reveal that never comes. When one conspiracy theory is disproven, they just move onto the next one. It doesn’t matter each lie continues to fail, the anticipation is the point. That’s the same thing with Trumpism. Some secret is always coming and that collective delusion makes them feel part of something. Trumpism and QAnon are synonymous. So much so that Trump’s latest conspiracy theory about the election, involving the software company Dominion, is actually straight from QAnon itself, according to NBC’s Ben Collins.
In reality, this election was the most secure in American history, according to Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security. The federal prosecutors assigned in the Department of Justice that were directed to probe voter irregularities by Attorney General Barr have already said they see no evidence of widespread irregularities. Key witnesses alleging voter fraud are either recanting their stories or being proven wrong. The New York Times contacted election officials in every state who said they found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. As CNN’s Jake Tapper outlined, Trump’s legal cases are failing across the country with Trump’s lawyers directly contracting their own lies:
CNN’s Jake Tapper breaks down how Donald Trump is spreading voter fraud lies in public but being shut down with the truth in court.
In some cases, Trump’s lawyers are outright contradicting Trump’s lies and admitting they have no evidence of voter fraud.pic.twitter.com/YSaB1FrrVo
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) November 15, 2020
In spite of this reality, right-wing media from the opinion shows on Fox “News,” to OANN, to Breitbart, to Newsmax are all still spreading Trump’s voter fraud lies. This happens every single time.
Step 1: Trump creates a new conspiracy theory about corruption based entirely on lying lunacy.
Step 2: Barr or some other official probes it and finds absolutely nothing.
Step 3: Trump ignores the result, keep repeating the lie with help of right-wing media.
Step 4: Repeat.
This time though, Donald Trump can’t lie his way into maintaining power. There are signs that some in the Republican Party are beginning to grapple with the reality of their predicament. Republican Senators Lankford, Grassley, and now Graham have all now said they think Biden should begin getting intelligence briefings. Other influential conservative voices like Karl Rove have also acknowledged that Trump has been defeated. The GOP message has essentially moved to “Biden should be prepared if Trump’s challenges fail.” (They know they’ll fail.) The ground is slipping away from Donald.
As we enter this next era, we need to address the fact that we can never unite when disinformation gaslights a sizable percentage of the population. We cannot address all the challenges humanity faces if we can’t even agree that these challenges exist.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Biden Announces COVID Task Force, Trump Continues To Obstruct Transition
Day 1,390: Monday, November 9
Monday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: President-elect Biden announces coronavirus task force made up of physicians and health experts
- The Daily Beast: Obscure Trump Appointee Refusing to Sign Papers Allowing Biden Post-Election Transition to Begin, Says Report
- The Hill: Biden campaign pushes GSA chief to approve transition
- The New York Times: Republicans Back Trump’s Refusal to Concede, Declining to Recognize Biden
- USA TODAY: Barr OKs investigations of voting irregularities despite lack of evidence of massive fraud
- Business Insider: Dr. Fauci says Pfizer’s reported 90% vaccine efficacy rate is ‘extraordinary’
- NBC News: Transition veterans aim to give President-elect Biden a quick start to governing
- CNN: Georgians have until December 7 to register to vote in Senate runoff and other key dates
- Politico: With Esper gone, Democrats concerned over what Trump will do with the military
- CNN: 10 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the US — and the rates keep rising in 43 states
- USA TODAY: FDA gives emergency authorization to drug that can keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital
- CNN: Eyes on Barrett, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch as Supreme Court decides Obamacare’s future
- USA TODAY: Most Republican lawsuits challenging election results in battleground states haven’t gone far
- NBC News: Bush congratulates Biden as Christie says Trump may soon need to ‘move on’
- Politico: HUD’s Ben Carson, Trump adviser Bossie test positive for coronavirus
- Axios: Sources: Trump privately discussing 2024 run
- Business Insider: Fox News cut away from Trump’s press secretary as she pushed baseless claims of election fraud
- The Guardian: Russia and China silence speaks volumes as leaders congratulate Biden
- Axios: Trump to continue to hold campaign-style rallies as legal team girds up
- Bloomberg: Peru President Ousted in Surprise Impeachment Vote
- Rantt Media: World Celebrates Trump’s Loss Like It’s Return Of The Jedi
- Rantt Media: America Defeats Deplorable Despot, Elects A President
Biden Projects Calm Amid The Chaos
Day 1,391: Tuesday, November 10
Joe Biden was asked how he expects to work with Republicans if they won’t even acknowledge him as president-elect.
— KGO 810 (@KGO810) November 10, 2020
Tuesday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Biden, planning his administration, says GOP leaders ignoring his win are ‘intimidated’ by Trump
- CNN: Supreme Court appears to signal Obamacare will survive latest GOP challenge
- CNN: DOJ’s top election crimes prosecutor quits in protest after Barr tells federal attorneys to probe unsupported allegations of voting irregularities
- The Atlantic: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Are Now at an All-Time High
- Bloomberg: Biden Moves to Claim White House as GOP Backs Trump Legal Fight
- CNN: America’s closest allies acknowledge Biden victory even as Trump refuses to concede
- CNN: Pompeo refuses to acknowledge Biden has won election, sparking furor and ‘disgust’ among diplomats
- The Daily Beast: USPS Staffer at Center of GOP Voter Fraud Push Recants His Allegation
- The Washington Post: White House tells federal agencies to proceed with plans for Trump’s February budget in latest sign of election defiance
- NBC News: Biden not getting intelligence reports because Trump officials won’t recognize him as president-elect
- CNN: How Trump’s transition of power delay threatens national security and public safety
- The New York Times: Biden Could Roll Back Trump Agenda With Blitz of Executive Actions
- Reuters: U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations surge to record of just over 59,000 patients: Reuters tally
- The Daily Beast: Trump White House Still Vetting for Job Openings For a Second Term That’s Not Happening
- USA TODAY: GOP Sen. Tillis reelected to North Carolina seat, boosting GOP chances to keep majority. Cunningham concedes
- Politico: ‘We need his voters’ in Georgia: Why Republicans embrace Trump’s last stand
- USA TODAY: We asked nine legal experts about Trump’s latest lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania. Their verdict: Dead on arrival.
- The Arizona Republic: Republican challenge to Maricopa County election involves fewer than 200 ballots, attorneys say
- Los Angles Times: ‘Hoaxes and nonsense’: GOP election officials in Georgia reject Trump’s unfounded fraud claims
- The Daily Beast: All the Ways Trumpworld Wants to Cash in on MAGA Anger Over the Election
- Politico: Senate Republicans urge Trump to keep Gina Haspel atop CIA
- Business Insider: Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective. Here’s how that compares to shots for the flu, measles, and more.
The New York Times Thoroughly Debunks Voter Fraud Lies, Biden Picks Klain
Day 1,392: Wednesday, November 11
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud
- NPR: Joe Biden Names Ron Klain Chief of Staff In 2020 White House
- CNN: Alarm grows over Trump’s ‘dictator moves’ as he denies election defeat
- NBC News: Trump loyalists given top Pentagon roles after several officials resign following Esper’s ouster
- Axios: GOP Sen. Pat Toomey calls on Trump to cooperate with Biden transition
- Axios: “This election is over”: GOP Govs. Charlie Baker and Larry Hogan criticize transition delay
- Mediate: GOP Sen. James Lankford Promises to ‘Step In’ If Biden Isn’t Getting NatSec Intel Briefings by Friday: ‘This Needs to Occur’
- Reuters: Nearly 80% of Americans say Biden won White House, ignoring Trump’s refusal to concede: Reuters/Ipsos poll
- CBS News: Biden plans sweeping reversal of Trump’s immigration agenda, from deportations to asylum policy
- CNBC: Biden Covid advisor says U.S. lockdown of 4 to 6 weeks could control pandemic and revive economy
- CNN: Here are 10 climate executive actions Biden says he will take on day one
- USA TODAY: ‘Election workers are tired’: Georgia officials brace for hand recount of tight presidential race
- ABC News: Dems clinch House control, but majority likely to shrink
- NBC News: Trump and Biden mark Veterans Day in solemn, but contrasting, wreath-laying ceremonies
- Axios: Scoop: Divisive Pentagon hire may rush troop withdrawals before Trump’s exit
- Reuters: Donations under $8K to Trump ‘election defense’ instead go to president, RNC
- Houston Chronicle: Texas was the first state to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases. Here’s why.
- CNBC: Two more people from Trump’s Election Night party at White House test positive for coronavirus
- Politico: Pennsylvania’s top election officer says just 10,000 ballots were received after Nov. 3
- NBC News: Trump may accept results but never concede he lost, aides say
- Vox: Trump’s attempt to overturn the election result is ramping up. Here’s what comes next.
- Axios: Republicans discuss extreme Electoral College play to cling to power
- CNN: Sen. Bernie Sanders says he would accept the job of Labor secretary if asked by Biden
- NBC News: No, dead people didn’t vote in Philadelphia, elections boss says
- CBS News: Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick backs “Trump’s efforts,” offers $1 million reward for “voter fraud” tips
- The Daily Beast: RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Deletes Tweet Admitting Biden Won Election
- ABC News: Pastor Robert Jeffress, staunch Trump evangelical supporter, calls Biden president-elect
- CNN: Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse after Beijing moves to quash dissent
- France 24: Australian parliament to probe Murdoch media dominance
- Rantt Media: Loser Trump Undermines Democracy & Grifts Base With Voter Fraud Lies
Cracks Form In The GOP
Day 1,393: Thursday, November 12
Thursday’s top stories:
- CNN: Senior Republican senators say Biden should have access to classified briefings
- The Guardian: November on track to be worst month of pandemic so far in US as cases surge
- Axios: Department of Homeland Security calls election “the most secure in American history”
- The Hill: Biden plays it cool as Trump refuses to concede
- CNN: Post-election audits find no fraud in Arizona
- CNN: Two Homeland Security officials forced to resign by White House
- Reuters: Exclusive: Top official on U.S. election cybersecurity tells associates he expects to be fired
- NPR: Wear Masks To Protect Yourself From The Coronavirus, Not Only Others, CDC Stresses
- Los Angeles Times: California hits 1 million coronavirus cases as L.A. County urges travel quarantine
- The Daily Beast: USPS ‘Whistleblower’ Told Agents Project Veritas Penned His Ballot-Tampering Claim
- Axios: Pope Francis congratulates Biden in phone call
- The Hill: Stacey Abrams puts muscle into Georgia runoffs
- The Daily Beast: Stacey Abrams Will Run for Governor Again, Allies Say
- CBS News: Obama says Trump’s baseless election fraud claims put democracy on a “dangerous path”
- NBC News: Lewandowski is latest White House election night guest to test positive for coronavirus
- CNN: Trump officials mocked Democrats in 2016 as ‘sore losers’ for not accepting election results
- CNN: Karl Rove acknowledges presidential election ‘won’t be overturned’
- Reuters: Zuckerberg defends not suspending ex-Trump aide Bannon from Facebook: recording
- ProPublica: Trump Won Florida After Running a False Ad Tying Biden to Venezuelan Socialists
- ABC News: E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against President Trump moves forward
- NBC News: Biden wants to scrap Betsy DeVos’ rules on sexual assault in schools. It won’t be easy.
- CNN: Ukrainian president hospitalized with Covid-19 as country hits new case record
- Al Jazeera: UN fears Ethiopia refugee emergency, warns of aid being blocked
The Final Electoral Count
Day 1,394: Friday, November 13
Friday’s top stories:
- CBS News: 2020 election ends at same electoral vote as 2016 — 306 to 232, with Trump losing this time
- CNN: Joe Biden becomes first Democrat in 28 years to win Georgia
- Bloomberg: Three Networks Echo Call of Arizona for Biden: Election Update
- The Guardian: Joe Biden ignores Trump obstruction to press ahead with cabinet selection
- The Washington Post: Federal prosecutors assigned to monitor election malfeasance tell Barr they see no evidence of substantial irregularities
- CNN: China offers belated congratulations to US President-elect Joe Biden
- NPR: The Pandemic Is Entering A Dangerous New Chapter. Here Are The Week’s Big Takeaways
- The Washington Post: At dinner parties and game nights, casual American life is fueling the coronavirus surge as daily cases exceed 150,000
- CNBC: Trump strikes out in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania ballot challenges, Biden’s lead more secure
- The Washington Post: More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel
- CNN: Alito raises religious liberty concerns about Covid restrictions and same-sex marriage ruling
- NBC News: Trump attacks N.Y. gov, says he’ll withhold Covid vaccine from state until Cuomo approves
- CNN: Fact check: Evidence undermines Trump campaign’s claims of dead people voting in Georgia
- Politico: Navarro: White House’s operating ‘assumption is a second Trump term’
- Politico: John Kelly criticizes Trump over delay of Biden transition
- AP: Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak tests positive for COVID-19
- NBC News: Democrats gear up to fight gerrymandering after state House losses
- Reuters: Alaska congressman who ridiculed coronavirus now says he has COVID-19
- Business Insider: The lawyer who helped win Bush v. Gore says he believes the election is ‘over’ and Biden won
- Rantt Media: Donald v. Democracy: Trump Takes Election Loss Like Defiant Dictator
The Not-So-“Million” MAGA March
Day 1,395-1,396: Saturday, November 14 – Sunday, November 15
- BBC News: Million MAGA March: Thousands of pro-Trump protesters rally in Washington DC
- Forbes: ‘Million Maga March’ Ends In Stabbing, Arrests After Trump Supporters And Counter Protesters Brawl
- USA TODAY: How police handled a DC stabbing is yet another sign of how law enforcement favors extremist group Proud Boys