A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 107th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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 107.
As the weeks unfold, every component of President Trump’s lifelong con job continues to unravel.
Donald Trump, whose political platform is primarily founded on the xenophobic message that undocumented immigrants are taking American jobs and committing crimes, hired undocumented immigrants to work for his company.
Donald Trump, who promised his voters they would get a massive tax cut, actually gave a tax cut to the top 1% and some of his voters are now noticing their tax refunds are smaller this year.
And a reminder of his biggest con of all: his self-made image. Donald Trump, who built his brand around being a brilliant self-made billionaire through The Apprentice, actually received at least $413 million from his father and still managed to take his businesses bankrupt six times.
The State of the Union is divided, all at the hands of Donald Trump, a hypocritical con man of historic proportions.
This week, House Democrats turned up the heat on President Trump’s corruption. What he calls “presidential harassment” is actually the House finally upholding their constitutional duty of oversight. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in New York and Special Counsel Robert Mueller continue to leave no stone unturned.
Jeff Bezos made an accusation of blackmail and extortion against the National Enquirer that will surely prove to have more consequential developments in the coming weeks.
As the blackface scandal in Virginia continued to spark a discussion about racism in America, President Trump sent a tweet calling Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, but he didn’t stop there. Trump went on to seemingly made a joke about Andrew Jackson’s “Trail of Tears,” which led to the death of thousands of Native Americans. Then, his son Donald Trump Jr. posted a screenshot of the tweet that also included a joke from a person replying who mocked the genocide of Native Americans.
We’ll see if this racist act as well as Trump’s racist policies, which didn’t happen in 1984 but are happening right now in 2019, will yield the same universal calls for resignation.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.
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. But the only way to truly have media for the people is for media to be funded by the people. 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. Below, you’ll see daily breakdowns that are derived from our exclusive Rantt Rundown newsletter, which you can subscribe to below:
Why Is The Trump Inaugural Committee Being Probed?
Day 746: Monday, February 4
Monday’s top stories:
1. All the president’s legal woes: When taking stock of the criminal probes plaguing President Trump, several come to mind. There are the domestic crimes Michael Cohen has implicated the president in or the investigations into the Trump campaign, the Trump administration, the Trump transition, the Trump Organization, and the Trump Foundation. But one important thread sometimes falls from view. We know Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken great interest in whether Russian oligarchs or other foreign entities illegally funneled money into Trump’s inaugural committee. Now, we know that the probe has been taken to the next level by federal prosecutors in New York.
According to several news organizations, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed the Trump inaugural committee. The New York Times reports, “A lawyer working with the inaugural committee received a subpoena on Monday evening seeking documents related to all of the committee’s donors and event attendees; any benefits handed out, including tickets and photo opportunities with the president; federal disclosure filings; vendors; contracts; and more, one of the people said.” Keep in mind that Trump’s close friend Thomas Barrack chaired the committee. Remember that name.
2. Update on migrant family separation: After it was revealed that the Trump administration separated significantly more migrant children than they originally claimed, they submitted a court filing that made matters even worse. The central claim in the filing, as reported by the Associated Press, is hypocritical, to say the least: “The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who have been separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed.” After ripping these children from their parents’ arms, suddenly, they care about the well being of the children? Also, the inadequate tracking of these migrant children further confirms there was no real plan for reunification.
3. The meeting that never stops developing: BuzzFeed News, who before that Cohen report has had a stellar reputation on the Trump-Russia beat, reported that Russian-born lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin received half a million dollars in the months preceding the Trump Tower meeting.
4. Palace intrigue: As the White House continued to be rattled by the leak of the President’s schedule, which only confirmed what we already know about Trump’s laziness, a new appointment was made. Trump appointed ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to be the next Interior Secretary.
5. Virginia gubernatorial mess: After admitting to wearing blackface, Governor Ralph Northam continued to refuse to resign even after losing support from the entire Democratic Party. By Saturday morning, several prominent Democrats also called for his resignation, including presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Other big names like Joe Biden had chimed in as well. By the end of the day Saturday, Northam’s own Attorney General called for his resignation as well as his key allies Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Terry McAuliffe. On Monday, there was an entirely new conflict arising between Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Ralph Northam’s team, as the source of an uncorroborated sexual assault allegation against Fairfax was in question.
In other news…
- CBS News: Trump says he doesn’t “have to agree” with intelligence chiefs on global threats
- The New York Times: Trump Calls for Keeping Troops in Iraq to Watch Iran, Possibly Upending ISIS Fight
What Is The State Of Our Union?
Day 747: Tuesday, February 5
Tuesday’s Top Stories:
On Tuesday night, President Trump delivered a State of the Union address calling for unity, and then immediately undercut that message by fear-mongering about immigrants. One of the most notable moments was when President Trump addressed the historic wave of newly elected female candidates, which led to the freshmen Democratic Representatives, all dressed in white, to celebrate. Stacey Abrams’s rebuttal address further solidified herself as a rising star in the Democratic Party. But surely, the moment that won the night, was Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s clapback of the century.
Of course, President Trump didn’t give the people an accurate depiction of where America currently stands. After Trump was sworn in, we started publishing our weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing Trump’s presidency day-by-day. So, in order for you to see for yourself what the state of our union truly is, here’s a concise summary of the past 2 years and an index of day-by-day analysis.
This is the culmination of 2 years of work. We hope you find this to be a useful resource!
In other news…
- The New York Times: Before Expected Call for Unity, Trump Laced Into Democrats at Lunch for TV Anchors
- CNN: New York federal prosecutors seek interviews with Trump Organization executives
- Politico: Sanders on Trump inaugural committee subpoena: ‘This has nothing to do with the White House’
- The New York Times: Firms Recruited by Paul Manafort Are Investigated Over Foreign Payments
- CNN: Top US general says Trump did not consult him on Syria announcement
- CNN: Senators make a bipartisan push to limit Trump’s trade powers
Why Does Trump Fear House Investigations?
Day 748: Wednesday, February 6
Wednesday’s Top Stories:
1. Finally, the House investigation we deserve: From his false FISA surveillance scandal to his effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Devin Nunes and House Republicans helped President Trump undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. As chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, Nunes prematurely shut down the House’s Russia investigation, refused to release testimony, and ultimately aided President Trump’s coverup. Those days are over. The midterms delivered Democrats the majority in the House, and with that win came vast power. House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is not wasting any time.
Schiff is reopening the House’s Russia investigation with a scope that covers every facet of Trump’s corrupt behavior, which will likely include a look at the evidence of Trump’s potential money laundering for Russian oligarchs. Schiff is also probing Trump’s finances for ties to foreign entities that may be influencing his policy. This goes beyond Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and into the scope of a global corruption investigation that seeks to determine whether nations like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and others have successfully influenced President Trump. The House Intelligence Committee has also handed Mueller over 50 transcripts of interviews from the last two years of their Russia investigation, which puts anyone who lied to Congress under immense scrutiny. This development, on top of the recent New York subpoenas seeking whether foreign entities illegally funneled money into Trump’s inaugural committee, should strike fear into Donald Trump.
2. Virginia gubernatorial mess update: Vanessa Tyson came came forward with a sexual assault allegation against Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax. And Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface in his youth as well.
3. Cohen postponed: The House Intelligence testimony of President Trump’s personal fixer Michael Cohen, who has implicated Trump in two felonies, has been postponed until later this month.
4. Climate catastrophe: The Guardian reports, “Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, US government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began.”
In other news…
- NBC News: On Trump’s calendar, just 17 intelligence briefings in 85 days
- NPR: Russia Says It Will Build New Missile Systems Within 2 Years
- ABC News: Trump announces controversial pick David Malpass for World Bank president
- The Independent: Trump shown ‘meeting with Russians in Moscow in 1995’ over ‘building project’ in newly unearthed video
- Bloomberg: Trump Wanted $20 Million for 2006 Moscow Deal: Developer
- The Daily Beast: Paul Erickson, Russian Agent Maria Butina’s Boyfriend, Indicted for Fraud
- NBC News: Trump administration will roll back Obama-era restrictions on payday lenders
- The Washington Post: T-Mobile executives seeking merger approval booked more than 52 nights at Trump’s D.C. hotel — more than previously known
Jeff Bezos Points The Finger At The National Enquirer
Day 749: Thursday, February 7
Thursday’s Top Stories:
1. The blackmail of Bezos: Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, published a truly remarkable piece on Medium. In it, Bezos alleges an attempt on the part of American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, to blackmail him with nude photos and text messages between himself and Lauren Sanchez. Bezos published emails that appear to confirm representatives of AMI threatened to publish these photos and messages if Bezos didn’t stop his investigation into how they obtained his private messages the National Enquirer previously published. Bezos is also probing whether or not their coverage is politically motivated, claiming: “For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”
AMI, who we know purchased Karen McDougal’s affair story on behalf of Donald Trump, is known to “catch and kill” stories, so this blatant extortion isn’t all too surprising, but the manner they went about it surely is. They targeted the richest man in the world, who clearly isn’t moved by the same motivations as their other targets. Bezos has signaled there are others: “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can? (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)”It’s important to note that the Chairman and CEO of AMI, David Pecker, has been granted immunity and is cooperating with federal prosecutors who probed Michael Cohen and Donald Trump’s conduct.
2. Trump lashes out at checks and balances: President Trump awoke today feeling triggered by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s wide-ranging probe into his corruption, finances, and Russia ties. “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT” he tweeted. We responded:
What Trump calls “presidential harassment” is actually the House executing on their constitutional duty to hold Trump accountable for his unprecedented corruption.
Actual presidential harassment is falsely claiming the first black POTUS was born in Kenya.https://t.co/cp3Lx21JPL
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 7, 2019
House Intel isn’t the only committee who is increasing their oversight. Today, the House Ways and Means Committee began laying the groundwork for their effort to obtain President Trump’s tax returns. Also, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Trump administration’s migrant child separation policy and their inability to properly track and reunite families. In related news, after Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker tried to seek an assurance he will not be subpoenaed if he testifies, the House Judiciary Committee will question the acting AG tomorrow at 9:30 am ET about his conversations with the White House about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
3. Mueller update: Today, we learned that Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort continued his Ukraine lobbying work into 2018 even while under investigation. In a court filing, prosecutors allege that Manafort met with Russian Intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik several times, including when Kilimnik was in DC for the inauguration as well as in February 2017 and 2018. They discussed the Russia-Ukraine peace plan (which would’ve lifted sanctions). We were already aware they had discussed this in August 2016 when Manafort handed campaign polling data to Kilimnik. It’s unclear whether this is related to the Ukraine Peace plan Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen and associate Felix Sater worked on and reportedly delivered to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
4. The Green New Deal: Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Senator Edward Markey (MA) formally introduced what they have dubbed “The Green New Deal.” It’s meant to be a moonshot to handle the existential threat that is climate change. It’s intended to create jobs while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although low on specifics for how to fund the plan, hopefully, it begins a necessary debate.
5. New Attorney General Incoming: William Barr’s nomination to become the next Attorney General has been advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a party-line vote. The full Senate vote will occur as soon as next week, making it likely Barr will be the Attorney General who is overseeing the Mueller investigation. Barr has yet to commit to releasing Mueller’s report publicly.
In other news..
- CNN: Prosecutors still investigating campaign finance crimes Michael Cohen admitted to, judge says
- The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria
- NBC News: New Trump rules make it easier for U.S. gun makers to sell overseas
- The Washington Post: Religious leaders applaud Trump’s strong antiabortion stance at prayer gathering
- CNN: Former Fox News reporter named to lead counter-propaganda efforts at State
Why Does Trump Fear House Investigations?
Day 750: Friday, February 8
Friday’s Top Stories:
1. Whitaker hearing: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee today. The focus was supposed to be about his conversations with the White House about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Instead, we got a hearing in which Whitaker refused to answer questions and openly disrespected House Democrats. Meanwhile, the Republican members of the committee perpetuated conspiracy theories about CNN being tipped off about Roger Stone’s arrest and continued their efforts to undermine the Russia investigation. Democrats stood their ground. Vox published a good breakdown of it.
2. Trump’s undocumented immigration hypocrisy: The Washington Post’sDavid Fahrenthold, who first broke the story of the Trump Foundation’s self-dealing that led to the investigation that shut it down, has come through with yet another bombshell report. Fahrenthold and a team of investigative reporters have discovered just how far Trump’s hiring of undocumented immigrants went. Fahrenthold tweeted: “NEW: @realDonaldTrump’s Bedminster golf course employed so many undocumented immigrants that there’s an entire town in Costa Rica built on Trump paychecks.” The story read: “The Washington Post spoke with 16 men and women from Costa Rica and other Latin American countries, including six in Santa Teresa de Cajon, who said they were employed at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. All of them said that they worked for Trump without legal status — and that their managers knew.”
3. Supreme Court Louisiana decision shows Kavanaugh’s hand: In a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, Justice John Roberts sided with liberals in blocking a restrictive abortion bill in Louisiana. As expected, Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided against this ruling, which confirms what we already knew: Senator Susan Collins’ claim that Kavanaugh would uphold the precedent of Roe v. Wade is BS.
4. Rosenstein details in McCabe book: Former Deputy Andrew McCabe has released a book that includes new details about how Rosenstein felt about the writing the memo that called for FBI Director James Comey to be fired. The Guardian reported: “Andrew McCabe writes in a new book that Rosenstein, who has publicly defended the memo, lamented that the president had directed him to rationalize Comey’s dismissal, which is now the subject of inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice.”
5. Virginia gubernatorial mess update: On Friday, another woman came forward with an allegation of rape against Justin Fairfax – this allegation was corroborated by friends who said they heard of the alleged rape contemporaneously. No one has resigned so far, but all eyes are still on Virginia.
In other news…
- NBC News: Tax code changes leave Americans asking, ‘What happened to my refund?’
- The New York Times: Prosecutors Told Judge That Manafort Might Have Lied in Hopes of a Pardon
- USA TODAY: Trump picks golf club, Mar-a-Lago members as ambassadors
- ProPublica: New Evidence Emerges of Possible Wrongdoing by Trump Inaugural Committee
Over the weekend…
After Senator Elizabeth Warren officially announced her run for president on Saturday, President Trump tweeted a blatantly racist attack on her, which was made even worse by Donald Trump Jr.
This is racist.
This is depraved.
This is inhumane.
This family does not deserve to be in the White House. pic.twitter.com/4rVWx65ZZk
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 10, 2019
No. We’re angry about the double standard on full display in DC
Northam wore a racist costume in 1984
Trump lived a life of racism from Central Park Five to “very fine people” to his racist policies
And he joked about Native American genocide YESTERDAY https://t.co/pFiSyNLDkv
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) February 10, 2019
He also lied about the economy.
Obama left office after overseeing 75 months of consecutive job growth and reducing the unemployment rate to 4.7% after inheriting the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
President Trump is spouting revisionist history nonsense. https://t.co/8ixmyUHRMW
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 9, 2019
On Sunday, also Senator Amy Klobuchar officially announced her run for president.
We’re off to the races.
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. But the only way to truly have a media for the people is for media to be funded by the people. 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.