A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 206th 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 206.
During Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Impeachment Manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned Senate Republicans and the American people of what would happen if they didn’t hold President Trump accountable for his Ukraine extortion plot:
“You can’t trust this President to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now, he’s done it before, he’ll do it for the next several months, he’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, then you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters.”
Schiff was right.
When I was preparing to write this week’s column, my first of 2021, I expected to discuss the start of the New Year and the potential for positive changes in the year ahead. I did not expect to have to write about at least 12 Senate Republicans and 140 House Republicans eager to oppose the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. And I definitely did not expect a write about one of the most corrupt acts of the Trump presidency yet. What a way to start the year.
Today, President Trump awoke and began tweeting out his unhinged conspiracy theories about the election. Trump then attacked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over a phone call they had. Brad responded by simply saying: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.” By the afternoon, the truth did indeed come out.
The Washington Post was first to release a clip of the Saturday phone call, and the content was absolutely damning:
This is the losing President desperately pressuring GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn their election. Trump threatens him and suggests he could be charged with a crime.
Disclaimer: Every single thing Trump says in this audio is a lie. pic.twitter.com/1i2T4MdLWp
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) January 3, 2021
Soon after, they released the full hour. The participants included President Trump, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s lawyers, Secretary Raffensperger, and Raffensperger’s lawyers. I listened to the full tape, and all I can say is wow. Trump spent the bulk of the call spewing disinformation straight from the QAnon conspiracy theory pipeline. Aside from the authoritarian depravity of the call, Trump appeared to be truly terrified, out of his mind, and pathologically convinced that his own lies are true. Luckily, Raffensperger pushed back on Trump’s assertions and did not commit to doing what was asked of him.
As legal experts have pointed out, Trump may have committed multiple crimes that could be submitted as evidence in a criminal referral to the DOJ and/or Georgia’s Attorney General. Among the legal experts who spoke out were former federal prosecutors and the DOJ Inspector General in the Obama Administration:
Unless there are portions of the tape that somehow negate criminal intent, “I just want to find 11,780 votes” and his threats against Raffensperger and his counsel violate 52 U.S. Code § 20511. His best defense would be insanity.https://t.co/ZAtRgiRQmz
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) January 3, 2021
Let’s just say Biden’s choice for Attorney General just got significantly more consequential. Trump is engaging in the same behavior he got impeached for, and Schiff warned us about. This was a disgraceful, disgusting, dictatorial moment in presidential history. There is absolutely no low this amoral egomaniac will not stoop. Everyone who enabled him owns this.
President Trump told us he was an authoritarian madman conspiracy theorist in 2016, and the GOP elected him. Trump engaged in authoritarian madman conspiracy theorist behavior in office, and the GOP acquitted him. Now, Trump is going out on the same note, and most of the GOP is still backing him. You can’t separate what Trump just did from the Republican Party.
After it was reported that 140 House Republicans would refuse to vote to certify Biden’s electoral college win, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he would also object. This guaranteed that there would be hours of debate on January 6. Then, in an attempt not to be outshined by Hawley, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 10 other Senate Republicans sought to one-up him:
These 11 Senate Republicans just went on the record in opposition to American democracy:
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) January 2, 2021
As news of those 11 Senate Republicans signing their names on the wrong side of history spread on Saturday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) called for a violent uprising to overthrow the legitimate results of the election. As we tweeted from Rantt’s Twitter account, any Republican who supports this effort to contest Biden electors is supporting an effort to overthrow the will of the American people and install Trump as a dictator. The effort will fail, but never forget what they did.
The process on January 6 will play out like this: When one House member and Senator objects to a given slate of electors, it triggers 2 hours of debate and a vote from each chamber on whether to overturn those electors. There are enough Senate Republicans who will likely vote with Democrats and affirm Biden’s win, and even if there weren’t, it still would still be impossible because the House would also have to vote to overturn a given slate of electors, which Democrats won’t do. This is all depravity signaling for Trump’s base and laying the groundwork for future voter suppression efforts.
This is their game plan. For Trump, this was an attempted coup. For Republicans, these lies about voter fraud are really about stealing future elections, not this one. Republicans are laying the groundwork and political appetite among their base for escalated voter suppression efforts. They are actively diminishing faith in elections and will now seek to disenfranchise Democratic voters under the guise of restoring faith in elections.
I think this tactic of supporting Trump’s coup is not only morally wrong, it’s is gravely politically miscalculated. 74 million Americans voted for President Trump, not for an attempted coup. While people focus on the percentage of Republicans that believe the election was rigged, they don’t talk about the 20-35% that don’t. I personally think Republicans are turning off a lot of their voters. Not all are authoritarians. We’ll see if I’m right in Tuesday’s runoffs.
The other big story this week was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) repeated blocking of Democratic motions for a standalone vote on the $2,000 relief checks. After President Trump pushed for the checks and nearly sabotaged the first COVID relief bill, Democrats tried to push the measure through.
Democratic Senators took turns delivering strong speeches on the Senate floor advocating for the $2,000 checks, but that didn’t persuade McConnell. Instead, McConnell sought to bundle the $2,000 checks with Trump’s request to repeal Section 230 and greenlight a congressional voter fraud probe.
What McConnell did was transparently corrupt, but we need to make sure it’s clearly defined. By bundling these issues, McConnell ensured it would fail so he could lie to his base and say Democrats opposed the checks ahead of the runoffs. This was sabotage, plain and simple.
If his opposition to giving Americans $2,000 checks has done anything positive, it has further highlighted the obstructive nature of Mitch McConnell to more people. Nothing can get people to pay attention to politics more than a politician standing in the way of their survival.
This week, President Trump, McConnell, and the Republicans backing Trump’s attempted coup are reminding everyone what’s at stake in the Georgia runoffs and why even after January 20, the fight for progress is just beginning.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
House Democrats Push For $2,000 Checks
Day 1,439: Monday, December 28
Monday’s top stories:
- CNBC: House passes bill for $2,000 stimulus checks – leaving it up to GOP-controlled Senate
- CNN: Trump signs coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law after lengthy delay
- Politico: House votes to override Trump veto of defense bill
- Reuters: Treasury checks to individuals could start this week, senior official says
- The Hill: Biden calls out transition ‘roadblocks’ in remarks on national security
- CNN: Investigators are looking at ‘any and all possible motives’ after identifying Nashville bomber
- The Hill: Nashville mayor says Trump hasn’t called since bombing
- CNBC: Congressman, other Republicans sue Vice President Pence in last-ditch effort to overturn Biden win
- CBS News: Trump to hold rally in Georgia on eve of Senate runoff elections
- CNN: The Columbus, Ohio, officer who killed Andre Hill has been fired
- NBC News: Black physician’s Covid-19 death demonstrates bias of U.S. health care system, peers say
- Business Insider: A pro-Trump lawyer called for Republican candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to be arrested as Georgia’s runoff Senate race heats up
- The Hill: Teens expand TikTok playbook to help Democrats in Georgia runoffs
- Politico: Sen. Toomey: Trump going too far with pardons
- HuffPost: The New York Post Rips Trump’s ‘Shameful’ Attack On Fair Vote As ‘Undemocratic Coup’
- CNN: Walter Reed doctor who criticized Trump’s hospital drive-by works last shift after being removed from schedule
- The Hill: Rasmussen quotes Stalin in tweet on US election
- South China Post: China jails citizen journalist for four years over Wuhan coronavirus reports
- The Guardian: Saudi rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul sentenced to almost six years in jail
McConnell Blocks $2,000 Checks
Day 1,440: Tuesday, December 29
Tuesday’s top stories:
- CNBC: McConnell blocks $2,000 stimulus checks, then ties them to unrelated Trump demands on tech and election
- STAT: Frustration over vaccine rollout grows as new variant reported in U.S.
- CNN: Record Covid-19 hospitalizations in US could soon force health experts to ration care
- CNBC: $600 stimulus payments will start going out tonight, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says
- Vox: Biden pledges new Covid-19 relief package and to invoke Defense Production Act
- Axios: Biden to fill Trump COVID vacuum with blunt warning of rising death rate
- CNBC: Biden will invoke Defense Production Act to boost Covid vaccine production, advisor says
- NBC News: Vulnerable Georgia Republican senators announce support for $2,000 Covid checks
- Politico: Judge blocks voter purge in 2 Georgia counties
- CNN: Kamala Harris to receive Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday
- CNN: Transition mistrust: Roadblocks on troops, cyber hack and budgets
- USA TODAY: Louisville police seek to fire 2 more officers connected to fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor
- CNN: Justice Department won’t pursue charges against officers in Tamir Rice shooting
- NBC News: Gone but not forgotten: 12 trailblazing women we lost in 2020
- CNN: Double winter storms will bring snow and ice for New Year’s Eve
- The Hill: Jake Tapper says he won’t interview McEnany because she ‘lies the way that most people breathe’
- Business Insider: Rudy Giuliani’s ‘star’ Michigan witness Melissa Carone has been slammed with a scathing cease-and-desist letter from Dominion Voting Systems
- The Guardian: Scientists call for full lockdown in England as new Covid cases multiply
McConnell Blocks Checks Again, Hawley Gets Seditious
Day 1,441: Wednesday, December 30
- CNN: McConnell: Bill to increase checks has ‘no realistic path’
- Politico: Hawley vows to challenge Biden electors, forcing vote McConnell hoped to avoid
- The Hill: Manhattan DA brings in forensic accounting specialists for Trump probe: report
- USA TODAY: California reports first case of more contagious COVID-19 strain; more states expected
- CNBC: Oxford researcher confident Covid vaccines can be adapted to protect against future virus strains
- The Tennessean: Girlfriend warned Nashville police Anthony Warner was building bomb a year ago, report shows
- NBC News: Feds probing whether Nashville bomber believed in lizard people conspiracy
- The Washington Post: Shots are slow to reach arms as Trump administration leaves final steps of mass vaccination to beleaguered states
- Reuters: Cash-strapped Americans ask Mnuchin where their “stimmy” checks are
- Politico: Kathleen Hicks is Biden’s pick to be first female deputy Defense secretary
- Business Insider: Newly released Georgia Senate runoff poll finds Democratic candidates with widening leads
- CNBC: Half of U.S. states will raise their minimum wage in 2021—and more pay hikes could be on the way
- The Hill: Pence refused to sign on to plan to overturn election, lawyers say
- Politico: Strong early-vote turnout gives Dems hope in Georgia runoffs
- AJC: No fraud: Georgia audit confirms authenticity of absentee ballots
- The Daly Beast: Trump Tweets Conspiracy About Georgia Secretary of State’s Nonexistent Brother
- The Daily Beast: Ted Cruz’s Georgia Runoff Fundraising Is Actually Going to His Campaign. He’s Not Alone
- The New York Times: Pentagon Sends More B-52s to Middle East to Deter Iranian Attacks on U.S. Troops
- Axios: Trump administration declassifies unconfirmed intel on Chinese bounties
- The Hill: UN says Trump Blackwater pardons violate international law
- HuffPost: Federal Prosecutor Who Helped Fuel Trump’s Bogus Voter Fraud Narrative To Resign
- Politico: Louisiana congressman-elect dies of Covid
- Reuters: UK rolls out Astra/Oxford COVID vaccine after world-first approval
- The Guardian: US approves sale of $290m in bombs to Saudi Arabia
- The Hill: Black man wrongfully detained by maskless officer tests positive for COVID-19 days after incident
- The Hill: Several attendees at Republican club’s viral holiday party test positive for COVID-19: report
- The Hollywood Reporter: Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ Dies at 82
- People: Diddy Provides COVID-19 Relief to More Than 175 Miami Families and Pays Their Rent amid Pandemic
- CNN: Argentina’s Senate approves historic bill to legalize abortion
New Year’s Eve And New Year’s Day
Day 1,442-1,1443: Thursday-Friday, December 31-January 1
- AP: Trump push on $2K checks flops as GOP-led Senate won’t vote
- CNN: Trump to return to Washington early ahead of Republican plan to disrupt certification of Biden’s win
- HuffPost: Biden’s Team Tells Senate Democrats To Send Him Judicial Nominees ASAP
- The Daily Beast: Trump Fears That His Influence Is Waning
- The Hill: Secret Service making changes to presidential detail amid concerns current members are aligned with Trump: report
- The Hill: Ossoff shuts down Loeffler criticism of Warnock: She’s ‘been campaigning with a Klansman’
- Bloomberg: Sluggish Vaccine Campaign Raises Specter of U.S. Dysfunction
- CBS News: Hospital worker fired for deliberately leaving hundreds of COVID vaccine doses out of refrigerator
- Vox: The new UK coronavirus mutations, explained