A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 105th Unpresidented Week As POTUS

This week, President Trump took on a series of self-inflicted defeats as Speaker Nancy Pelosi put the check in checks and balances.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, and Roger Stone (AP & Netflix)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump, and Roger Stone (AP & Netflix)

Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is a personification 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 his every move. This is week 105.

This week closed out what will likely be remembered as the most politically damaging 35 days for President Trump yet. Nancy Pelosi broke Donald Trump, and the whole world saw it. The government shutdown he created tanked his approval rating and he failed to deliver on his campaign promise. Roger Stone, the sixth Trump associate to be indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was served an indictment that details some the most significant evidence of a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia yet.

After having two years of Republican control of all branches of government, President Trump shut down the government for his unnecessary wall as Democrats were taking over control of the House. Trump subsequently carried on this shutdown for 35 days, impacting millions of Americans and costing the US economy an estimate of $6 billion, only to accept a temporary deal without wall funding that he rejected a month earlier. There’s a reason Trump’s allies are reportedly fearful of a 2020 primary challenge.

President Trump reportedly thought carrying on this shutdown fight would’ve tarnished Nancy Pelosi’s first days as Speaker, but it had the reverse effect – it gave Pelosi the opportunity to show her dissenters that she was the best choice for Speaker of the House. Pelosi is unapologetic in her use of the powers bestowed upon her. She knows the majority of Americans are behind the Democrats and recognizes the mandate she was given with that historic blue wave. And as we saw this week, not only does her experience make her uniquely qualified to operate this co-equal branch of government,  she’s unabashed in letting Donald Trump know that she is his constitutional equal.

Time after time, President Trump has proven that he is willing to hurt everyone in the pursuit of his selfish, shortsighted goals. But the callous indifference his administration showed to the millions of Americans being hurt by the shutdown, including his base, solidified his image as a petulant president who holds his interests above all else.

One thing is for sure: this week did irreparable damage to Trump’s image. The author of the (ghostwritten) “Art of the Deal” proved he is a con man who can’t deliver on his most basic campaign promise. It weakened a foundation of support that he desperately needs to survive the fallout from Mueller’s report, which is looking like it will be quite damaging.

On Friday, longtime Trump confidant and adviser Roger Stone was charged with one count of obstruction of justice, five counts of making false statements to investigators, and one count of witness tampering. Although the crimes outlined by Robert Mueller are noteworthy, the most revelatory components of the indictment are the communications it details. This indictment confirms that members of Trump’s campaign at the highest levels were not only made aware of incoming dumps of stolen Democratic emails from Wikileaks, they sought out updates on the leaks and subsequently promoted them.

It has been reported that the “High-Ranking Trump Campaign Official” in communication with Roger Stone in October 2016 is Steve Bannon. But one other part of the indictment really stands out. In July 2016, a “senior Trump Campaign official” was directed to reach out to Stone about incoming stolen email dumps from Wikileaks.

Bottom line: What we saw this week was the beginning of the lame duck chapter of Trump’s presidency. This government shutdown is all Trump has left. After this battle, which will come to head on February 15th when government funding runs out again, the House, Mueller, and several other corruption investigations will consume him. This is one of the last times he’ll feel in control.

Let’s dive into another week for the history books.

This comprehensive column sources great reporting from top news organizations, but it’s also built on brilliant analysis from my team at Rantt Media. We are independently-owned and strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a monthly subscription:

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Buzzfeed Backlash Explained

Day 732: Monday, January 21

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump (AP)

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump (AP)

On Monday, cable news commentators were still discussing the bombshell BuzzFeed News report that alleged President Trump directed his former fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal. After Democrats called for investigations and potential impeachment, Special Counsel Mueller’s office disputed parts of the report on Friday night.

This sparked a frenzy of speculation given the careful wording of the Special Counsel’s statement. Theories ranged from the sourcing being derived from the Southern District of New York to Mueller having issues with specific characterizations of corroborating evidence.

As BuzzFeed stood by their reporting, The Washington Post published a report that the appeared to signal the Special Counsel’s Office was disputing the characterization of the evidence and not the central claim.

The nuance, of course, didn’t stop President Trump or cable news outlets from reporting that the entire report was false.

President Trump and his allies pounced on this in bad faith.

We’ll see how this turns out after Mueller releases his report.

In other news…

  • Over the weekend, President Trump presented a new offer to re-open the government.

About that…

Democrats said no deal.

The shutdown continued.

  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced her run for the presidency.

  • We have to re-up this clip from over the weekend given its implications.

The Bigotry Ban

Day 733: Tuesday, January 22

The National Center for Transgender Equality, NCTE, and the Human Rights Campaign gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, for a #WontBeErased rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The National Center for Transgender Equality, NCTE, and the Human Rights Campaign gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, for a #WontBeErased rally. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On Tuesday, the newly-Brett Kavanaugh included Supreme Court ruled to lift the hold that was put on President Trump’s transgender military ban.

This comes after a series of bigoted policy initiatives against transgender people. The Trump administration has literally tried to define away transgenders as a recognized group of people.

In other news…

The Bigotry Ban

Day 734: Wednesday, January 23

On Wednesday, President Trump sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi declaring that he would show up to the House chamber on the 29th of January to deliver his State of the Union Address with or without her invite.

Speaker Pelosi ended up coming through with a response along those lines.

In other news…

When It All Falls Down

Day 735: Thursday, January 24

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrives to speak to reporters outside the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrives to speak to reporters outside the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Political pressure continued to build on Senate Republicans after both the Democratic and Republican bills to re-open the government failed to pass.

Cracks within the Republican Party continued to play out, as the fingers began to point at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

It certainly didn’t help that the Trump administration showed no sympathy for the suffering workers.

In other news…

Roger Stone’s Time In The Barrell

Day 736: Friday, January 25

Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone walks out of the federal courthouse, in Richard Nixon's signature pose, after being indicted a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone walks out of the federal courthouse, in Richard Nixon’s signature pose, after being indicted a hearing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

After decades of helping to bring the dark underbelly of Republican politics to the mainstream, the self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” is having his time in the barrel. On Friday morning, FBI agents arrived at the house of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone. In a move indicating he may have been a flight risk, Stone was arrested at the scene. This makes Stone the sixth Trump associate to be charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in US democracy.

Aside from the charges levied against Stone, which I mentioned in the intro and are outlined in my in-depth piece on the indictment in the following tweet, this indictment was full of damning evidence for the Trump Campaign.

Bottom line: The Trump campaign knew. Given Trump’s micro-managing leadership style, it’s hard to believe he didn’t know as well. This all fits into the bigger picture of Trump-Russia collusion. This all came after Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer/informant Natalia Veselnitskaya and other Russian operatives on June 9, 2016 in Trump tower after being offered dirt on Hillary Clinton over email. Shortly after the convention in July 2016, Trump was briefed by senior FBI officials about Russia’s effort to infiltrate his campaign. This did not stop him from spreading their propaganda. Trump said the word “Wikileaks” at least 164 times in October 2016 and remained on message with Russia until the day he won. As we know, he governed in their favor thereafter.

Mueller has established the underlying crimes on the part of the Russians. What’s next appears to be the indictment of any of the American co-conspirators who are currently unnamed. Some of the conduct outlined in this indictment might make its way into those potential charges.

One thing Stone’s indictment makes even more clear is the fact that Robert Mueller does not take lying to investigators lightly. Donald Trump Jr. should be very concerned.

In other news…

  • As airports on the east coast began to shut down some of their operations, President Trump caved in a speech in the Rose Garden, announcing he would agree to open the government for 3 weeks without border wall funding.

Rantt Media’s comprehensive articles source reporting from top news organizations, but they’re also built on brilliant analysis from our team. We are independently-owned and strive for quality, not clicks. We take pride in being reader-funded so that we are beholden to you, not corporate interests. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for a $1 monthly subscription.

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Immigration / Nancy Pelosi / Robert Mueller / Roger Stone / Russia Investigation