A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 130th 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 his every move. This is week 130.
President Trump does not get to decide who is American and who is not, nor does he get to decide what it means to be patriotic. This week, Trump tried to designate himself as king of the American people, dictating that those who dare criticize him hate America, and if they’re people of color, then they might as well leave the country.
President Trump’s racist attacks on the four freshmen congresswomen of color (known as “the Squad”) weren’t surprising, but they were deeply troubling nonetheless. Being told to go back to your country, even though you’re either a naturalized or natural-born citizen, is an all too familiar bigoted barb used against millions of people of color in this country. When Trump’s base echoed this disgusting sentiment by directing “send her back!” chants at Rep. Ilhan Omar, they further cemented their place on the wrong side of history.
President Trump’s advisers attempted to pivot these racist attacks towards the congresswomen’s policies and patriotism but this did not work as Trump himself undercut their efforts by doubling down. Trump, who has called America a “mess” and a “third world country”, does not get to tell congresswomen of color they aren’t allowed to criticize the president. The Republican Party is enabling Trump’s white nationalist perversion of what it means to be American. This racist strategy is who they are as a party, and who they’ve been for quite some time.
As we’ve written in article after article this week, President Trump’s 2020 strategy will simply be a ramped-up version of his 2016 campaign. Trump isn’t even trying to expand his base and believes tapping into white fear will be enough to push him over the edge in 2020. He was gravely mistaken in 2018, and he will likely face the same effect in 2020.
Another angle to this strategy is to force Democrats to embrace “the Squad” and therefore, declare them all as extreme socialists. Democrats are merely proposing policies that will provide access to healthcare, education, a livable wage, and tax cuts for the most vulnerable of Americans. If Democrats are able to accurately debunk the Republican effort to brand them as socialists, they will succeed.
When it comes to President Trump’s racism, and the Republican Party’s depraved defense of him, the American people’s choice has never been more clear. Are we a country of love or hate? A nation of immigrants or nativists? Nothing short of a landslide rebuke of Trump at the ballot box in 2020 will show the country, and the world, that the American people are better than Trumpism and all its hideousness.
Let’s dive into yet 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, completely ad-free, and 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. If you like the work we do, please consider supporting us by signing up for our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:
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President Trump Goes Full White Nationalist
Day 907: Monday, July 15
President Trump’s racism is well-documented. Trump was sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination in the 70s. In 1989, Trump took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for the Central Park Five to be executed and still claimed they were guilty after DNA evidence exonerated them in 2002.
Trump spent years falsely claiming that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. And as President, Trump has pushed xenophobic policies, called African countries shitholes, dehumanized migrants, gotten into racist feuds with celebrities and lawmakers, and ignored the threat of white supremacist terrorism while fueling their hatred with his rhetoric. Today, President Trump continued to uphold his political platform of divisive bigotry.
This morning, President Trump took to Twitter and spouted the classic racist “go back to your country” line against Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-IL).
So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
….it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
All four are, of course, American citizens, 3 of whom were born in America with the exception of Omar (but she is no less American than any other U.S. citizen). This is a familiar racist attack that has targeted outspoken people of color, including myself.
President Trump is telling brown congresswomen that they are essentially not American and therefore, not worthy of being in Congress. This is an unAmerican attack on sitting congresswomen who are seeking to represent their constituents to the best of their ability.
The tweet appeared to be triggered by Fox News’ coverage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recent back and forth with those congresswomen.
On Tuesday, Fox host and sometime Trump adviser Tucker Carlson said Rep. Ilhan Omar “has an awful lot to be grateful for, but she isn’t grateful, not at all,” adding, “maybe we are importing people from places whose values are simply antithetical to ours.” https://t.co/m4c4AwUp35
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 14, 2019
Pelosi, AOC, Omar, Tlaib, and Pressley fired back.
When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.
Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power. https://t.co/ODqqHneyES
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 14, 2019
Mr. President, the country I “come from,” & the country we all swear to, is the United States.
But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet. https://t.co/HLKQCotR8T
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2019
As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.
Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen. https://t.co/FBygHa2QTt
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 14, 2019
Want a response to a lawless & complete failure of a President?
He is the crisis.
His dangerous ideology is the crisis.
He needs to be impeached.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 14, 2019
THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like. And we’re not going anywhere. Except back to DC to fight for the families you marginalize and vilify everyday. pic.twitter.com/vYzoxCgN0X
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) July 14, 2019
President Trump doubled down on Monday and Tuesday. I expanded on this, and took a look at the bigger picture in my article for The Independent:
If you are a person of color or immigrant in America, you’ve likely heard this before: “Go back to where you came from!” I know I have. As the black son of two immigrants from Sierra Leone, with the name Ahmed Baba, I’ve been told to go “back to the Middle East” and have been accused of “hating America” when I dare criticize President Trump. The fact I was born in America doesn’t matter, because many among Trump’s base appear to hold the false, bigoted belief that being truly American means being white, and that if you’re anti-Trump then you’re anti-America. Apparently, the current President of the United States shares this belief.
Trump doubled down on those sentiments in a press conference by demanding those freshman congresswomen apologize. He then accused them of being racist, said they hate America, and reiterated that if they’re “not happy” in the US, they can leave.
Trump’s remarks felt personal to millions of people and further defined what he and his party have become. As Republican lawmakers either defend Trump’s remarks or remain silent, they continue to showcase their complicity in a presidency built on hatred and fear. His Republican enablers have upheld the infrastructure cultivating his bigotry.
There have been many articles written about Trump’s latest racist tweets, but few paint the full picture. This isn’t just about Trump’s personal history of racism. You cannot talk about Trump’s bigotry without tying this to the bigger picture: President Trump and his sycophants are solidifying the Republican Party’s descent into white nationalism.
In other news…
- NPR: Trump Administration Implementing ‘3rd Country’ Rule On Migrants Seeking Asylum
- CNN: Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling
- Politico: ‘Bile of garbage’: Progressive squad tears into Trump
- CNN: “This is the agenda of white nationalists”: Rep. Ilhan Omar says Trump launched “blatantly racist attack”
- CNN: Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Trump’s tweets: Do not “take the bait”
- The Washington Post: As immigrant families wait in dread, no sign of large-scale enforcement raids
- NBC News: Jeffrey Epstein had cash, diamonds and a foreign passport stashed in safe, prosecutors say
- Politico: Kellyanne Conway defies subpoena, skips Oversight hearing
- NBC News: Trump weighs ousting Commerce chief Wilbur Ross after census defeat
- CNN: One dead and 15 injured in house explosion in California
House Democrats Unite, Republicans Fall In Line
Day 908: Tuesday, July 16
On Tuesday, Republican members of Congress officially put their names down in the defense of racism.
President Trump’s racist “go back to your countries” attack on Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-IL) are further exposing the Trump Administration and the GOP’s true colors.
As her husband George Conway lambasted Trump’s racism in The Washington Post, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway engaged in a truly troubling exchange with a reporter.
Kellyanne Conway: “What’s your ethnicity?”
Reporter: “Um. Why is that relevant?”
KC: “No no – bc I’m asking a question. My ancestors are from Ireland & Italy.”
Reporter: “My own ethnicity is not relevant to the question I’m asking.”
KC: “No no, it is.” https://t.co/RTQ31HGKHepic.twitter.com/fFvJln34V5
— The Hill (@thehill) July 16, 2019
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) defended Trump’s comments as not racist before his party followed suit in a symbolic vote. House Democrats introduced a resolution to condemn President Trump’s racism.
Before the vote, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Trump’s tweets racist, and Republicans unsuccessfully tried to get her words wiped from the congressional record. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) then got more added in.
.@RepDougCollins got upset because Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s tweets as (gasp!) “racist” pic.twitter.com/3Ltqbkak3l
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 16, 2019
Eric Swalwell just reviewed a bunch of things Trump had done — “saying immigrants are rapists is racist,” “calling African countries shithole countries is racist” — and now we’re stuck in another parliamentary flat circle as Republicans try to get his words taken down.
— Matt Fuller
Rep. John Lewis, who marched in Selma, Alabama alongside Martin Luther King Jr., took to the House floor and gave a powerful speech.
John Lewis didn’t get beaten in 1965 to have to say this in 2019.
“I know racism when I see it…And at the highest level of government, there is no room for racism…Some of us have been victims of the stain, the pain and the hurt of racism…” pic.twitter.com/ehBNEMLueK
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 16, 2019
The resolution passed in a 240-187 vote. Four House Republicans, Representatives Susan Brooks (IN), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Will Hurd (TX), Fred Upton (MI), and newly Independent Justin Amash (MI), voted with the Democratic majority. The resolution is a great read, citing American leaders who have touted the importance of immigration from Alexander Hamilton to FDR to JFK to Ronald Regan. The resolution moves on explicitly condemn President Trump:
Whereas President Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it resolved, That the House of Representatives —
(3) condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.
The fact that Republican lawmakers continue to stand by President Trump’s racism is no surprise.
Trump isn’t an accident or an anomaly.
He’s the natural outcome of the @GOP‘s Southern Strategy.
Since the 1960s, Republicans falsely blamed minorities for the economic woes of their base, all while legislating for the 1%.
This #RacistPresident is the product of a racist party pic.twitter.com/C4NL2U9Kbr
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 15, 2019
Nonetheless, this should concern every American. The Republican Party has gaslit its base into a state of white nationalist fear that is manifesting itself in President Trump’s policies. Just this week, the Trump Administration has literally told people to go back to where they came from by moving to end the legal asylum process as we know it. And today, Attorney General William Barr declined to charge the murderer of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who was choked by a police officer as he yelled “I can’t breathe” 11 times, 5 years ago tomorrow.
While the Republican Party pushes bigoted policies and fear mongers about immigrants, Democrats are actually proposing solutions to help the middle class and marginalized. It’s never been clearer which party stands for equality and justice for all. And that party is not the Republicans.
In other news…
- NBC News: Roger Stone draws ire of judge over gag order violation, has social media blackout imposed
- The Washington Post: Rep. Green files articles of impeachment against Trump despite pushback from Democratic leaders
- The New York Times: Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War
- Associated Press: Trump abortion restrictions effective immediately
- NBC News: Federal workers with U.S. Department of Agriculture sound alarm about agency relocation
- NBC News: Man arrested in murder of founder of African American museum in Louisiana
- NBC News: Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers: He had a doctored passport to ward off hijackers
- CNN: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99
- Politico: DeVos’ use of personal email as secretary probed by House Democrats
- Mediate EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump Aide Jason Miller Admits to Hiring Prostitutes in 2015 and 2017
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The Folly In Trump’s Racist Strategy
Day 909: Wednesday, July 17
Whenever President Trump feels backed into a corner, wants to shift the news cycle, or feels he is in political peril, he behaves in the same manner. Trump unleashes unhinged remarks that are offensive, racist, and downright indecent to the broader public but are red meat for his base. This week was no different.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released today indicated Trump’s support among Republicans rose 5 points after his racist attacks on the four freshman congresswomen of color. But the key component of this poll is that it rose to 72% from 67%, which is incredibly low GOP support for Trump.
President Trump usually maintains well above 80% Republican support. A similar drop in approval happened during the height of Trump’s attacks on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in August 2018, after which Trump then resorted to his migrant caravan messaging.
President Trump’s internal polling could be revealing the shaky foundation of his base, so he needed a cultural grievance to rally them. After all, we were just in the middle of a multi-week news cycle about the horrific migrant detention center conditions and not all of Trump’s base approved. A CNN poll showed that only 62% of Republicans approved of the way migrants were being treated at the border. Although that number should be lower given the inhumane nature of the conditions, 62% is a low level of support among Republicans for a Trump policy.
Nonetheless, President Trump was seeing a new high in his approval rating in a Washington Post poll (44%) as Americans began to tune out for the Summer, but Trump couldn’t help himself. The Jeffrey Epstein pedophilia scandal and migrant detention centers were garnering too much media attention, and Trump wanted to change the subject.
President Trump also reportedly believes that his attacks on representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-IL) are good for him. But a USA TODAY/Ipsos poll released today revealed that 68% of Americans called Trump’s tweets offensive and only 57% of Republicans agreed with his tweets. But Trump’s strategy goes beyond racism. By targeting them with racist attacks, Trump forced Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to embrace “the Squad”, and therefore Trump believes he can brand the entire Democratic Party as “socialist”.
President Trump can cry “socialism” all he wants but it will definitely fall apart and Americans will see it for the demagoguery it is. How does Trump think this will play in the debates? Trump: “You’re a socialist.” Democratic nominee to the camera: “Don’t listen to him. He calls me wanting to give you access to healthcare, a tax cut, and a livable wage “communism.” He promised you jobs and instead gave the 1% the biggest tax cut in decades. His attacks are a distraction.”
Trump used racist and false attacks successfully in 2016, but when he ran his fear-mongering, migrant caravan-driven campaign ahead of the 2018 midterms, it resulted in the loss of 40 seats in the House. The rhetoric merely fired up black women voters and turned white suburban voters away from the Republican Party.
Tapping into the white fear in the Republican base is a simple tactic that has been used by GOP politicians since the 1960s. President Trump has just been significantly more overt in its application. It’s been clear for a while now that it was not “economic anxiety” that motivated many of his supporters, but it was cultural and racial anxiety – in other words, racism. The Trump Administration is trying to end the asylum process as we know it and completing the GOP’s transition into the white nationalist party.
But this won’t work. Another note from today’s Reuters/Ipsos poll is that he lost support among Independents. As usual, President Trump’s efforts to double down and target his base will backfire among the swing voters he needs to push him over the edge in 2020. Especially as the majority of Americans disapprove of Trump and the Republican Party continues showing signs it is shrinking.
In other news…
- The New York Times: House Holds Barr and Ross in Contempt Over Census Dispute
- NBC News: In lopsided vote, House kills effort to impeach Trump
- NBC News: Tape shows Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at 1992 party
- CNN: Feds end investigation into Trump Org and hush money payments
- The Hill: Rand Paul blocks Senate from approving 9/11 victim compensation fund
- Politico: Rand Paul angles to become Trump’s emissary to Iran
The Weaponization Of Anti-Semitism
Day 910: Thursday, July 18
Rabbi Shaina Bacharach shares her take on the Republican attacks on Ilhan Omar:
A neighbor recently expressed her concern for me and her many other Jewish friends. A year ago, I’d have brushed off her concerns. This time, we commiserated. Yes, this is a worry.
For most American Jews, anti-Semitism has long been an afterthought. We know it’s there. But we know that our government protects minorities. Or so we thought. But lurking in the back of our minds is the eternal question: how do Jews recognize the danger signs. How do we know when it’s time to leave? We think about our European coreligionists who didn’t see the signs and were consigned to the flames.
Could it happen here? When will we know?
Four freshman Democratic congresswomen of color are the current targets of presidential ire. None are Jewish. Two are Muslim. The invective hurled against them? They don’t love America. They hate Israel. They are anti-Semites.
To make this even more head-spinning, these accusations come from the mouths of people long suspected of anti-Semitism. And the Jewish community has come to the defense of these women.
In a presidential rally in North Carolina, after President Trump singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Somali refugee and naturalized American citizen, and accused her of hating America and Jews. His mob-like crowd broke into a chant: “send her back, send her back!” I watched with a cold chill. In America, we have free speech. In America, there is not one prevailing viewpoint. In America, we know the danger of scapegoating, of demonizing the other.
In other news…
- NBC News: FBI believed Trump was closely involved in hush-money scheme, unsealed documents show
- BuzzFeed News: Trump And Hope Hicks Spoke With Michael Cohen Right Before He Organized Hush Money For Stormy Daniels
- CBS News: U.S. destroys Iranian drone over Strait of Hormuz
- NBC News: Jeffrey Epstein denied bail, must remain behind bars until sex trafficking trial
- CNN: House passes $15 minimum wage bill
- The Daily Beast: Ilhan Omar: I Believe President Trump Is ‘Fascist’
- NBC News: Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They’ve seen only a fraction.
- The Atlantic: What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever
- BBC: Boeing takes $5bn hit to cover 737 Max crisis
This Is Who Trump Is
Day 911: Friday, July 19
After spending days of telling four freshmen congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries, things took an even more disgusting turn on Wednesday. At President Trump’s rally in North Carolina, the base that brought us “lock her up!” burst into a racist “send her back” chant targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). It rattled Americans.
Trump rally crowd launches into “send her back” chant over Ilhan Omar https://t.co/VMaxlgbQn1 pic.twitter.com/92v7Lh4Uza
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 18, 2019
On Thursday morning, even some Republican lawmakers found this a bridge too far, taking to Twitter to condemn the chants.
As you watch a few members of the @GOP furrow their brows at the disgusting “send her back” chants with these backhanded condemnations, recognize there is no difference between those chants and Trump telling Omar if she doesn’t like it here she can leave.#IStandWithIlhan pic.twitter.com/G5TSGaovxT
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) July 18, 2019
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To be clear here, Republicans weren’t angry about the sentiment of the “send her back” chant. They were angry that Trump is now more blatantly doing what they’ve been subtly doing since the Southern Strategy began in the 1960s. Republicans appear to be perfectly fine with stoking racism in the base but don’t like when it’s done so obviously.
Back to the news. After the backlash, President Trump said that he wasn’t happy with the chants in an apparent condemnation. As of Thursday, this is where we stood in a nutshell:
Trump on Sunday—They should go back to their country!
Trump on Monday— If they don’t like it here they can leave!
Trump tripled down on Tuesday.
Trump on Wednesday—Quadruples down at his rally, triggers #SendHerBack chant.
Trump today—Disavowed the chants.
We call bullshit.
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 18, 2019
By Friday, President Trump did exactly what he did after he was forced to backtrack his “blame on both sides” comments pertaining to Charlottesville in 2017. Then, Trump doubled down and said there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazi protestors. Today, he did something very similar by calling those at his rally who launched that racist chant “incredible patriots”.
Trump calls the North Carolina crowd, some of whom chanted ‘send her back,’ “incredible people. Those are incredible patriots.”
Trump says of Ilhan Omar: “She’s lucky to be where she is, let me tell you. And the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country.”
Via CNN pic.twitter.com/rmuDIZf09A
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 19, 2019
President Trump’s charges of anti-Semitism against Omar ring hollow while he allows anti-Semitism to thrive within his own base. Today, Trump was finally asked why he believes it’s perfectly fine for him to criticize America but not the Dem congresswomen? Trump dodged the question. As we know, President Trump has disparaged America more than any other President in modern history.
Trump keeps saying it’s unacceptable to criticize America.
1) The freshmen congresswomen are criticizing him personally, not America.
2) The First Amendment protects their right to do so.
3) Trump has called America a third world country. Roll the tape.pic.twitter.com/4UBy4v00uw
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) July 19, 2019
As we’ve touched on multiple times this week, President Trump’s political platform is built on a foundation of hatred. His lifetime of racist acts are well-documented. This is who he is. Don’t be fooled by any momentary disavowals. Trump will turn these congresswomen of color into his political targets because his base is motivated by grievance. We can only expect this white nationalism to get worse as 2020 approaches.
In other news…
- CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely accuses Ocasio-Cortez of calling Americans ‘garbage’
- CNN: Trump administration weighs allowing no refugees into US next year
- The Washington Post: Trump administration planning changes to U.S. citizenship test
- NBC News: House Democrats demand answers from Hope Hicks over ‘apparent inconsistencies’ in her testimony
- NBC News: Mueller hearings to highlight ‘shocking evidence of criminal misconduct’ by Trump, Democrats say
- Lawfare: What I Would Ask Robert Mueller
- The New York Times: Trump to Nominate Eugene Scalia for Labor Secretary Job
- NBC News: U.S. spy chief creates a new head of election security
- CNN: Trump campaign and RNC spend more than $600,000 on law firm representing Hope Hicks
- NBC News: How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020
- CNN: A rise in premature births among Latina women may be linked to Trump’s election, study says
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 completely ad-free. We 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 our newsletter or joining our community chatroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals: