A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 142nd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

Over 11,000 Kurds died while fighting ISIS in the US-backed coalition. President Trump just left them to die and guaranteed the resurgence of ISIS.
President Donald J. Trump, joined by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, attends a briefing with senior military leaders Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump, joined by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley, attends a briefing with senior military leaders Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

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 142.

This week, Donald Trump made the most depraved, reckless, and deadly decision of his entire presidency. In a single move, President Trump greenlit the ethnic cleansing of the allies who helped us diminish ISIS, he gave ISIS a second wind, and he played directly into Russia, Assad, and Iran’s hands. This is an unmitigated disaster sparked by a betrayal of historic proportions.

President Trump’s sudden withdrawal of troops (repositioning of 50-100 troops) from Northern Syria came after a Sunday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Pentagon, Congress, and our Kurdish allies on the ground in Syria were completely blindsided. Turkey wasted no time in beginning the slaughter.

On Wednesday, Turkey began their offensive into Northern Syria and since then, over 100 people have been killed, including children. Over 100,000 people are fleeing south as the military strikes from Turkey bombard Northern Syria. Turkey has even shelled positions very close to US troops, sparking the US to announce they will move all troops out of northern Syria.

Reports of the Kurds feeling betrayed by the US swamped the news cycle, as stories of children being killed multiplied. A US Special Forces Soldier on the ground told Fox News that they felt “ashamed” for the first time in their career. Former generals expressed bewilderment at this stunning betrayal. The message this sends our allies and adversaries alike is unmistakable: you cannot trust the United States under President Trump.

By the weekend, the previously US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Kurds, had no choice but to cut a deal with the Syrian government to the South. President Trump drove the Kurds into the hands of Russia and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, ISIS fighters and over 700 ISIS supporters have escaped prisons that the Kurds can no longer guard as they combat Turkey’s offensive.

This catastrophic move has received widespread bipartisan backlash just when President Trump needs Republican support most. The House’s impeachment inquiry is still moving full speed ahead. More evidence of President Trump’s quid pro quo-laden attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens surfaced. Two associates of Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani were arrested in connection with a scheme adjacent to this, and now Giuliani himself is under investigation. Also, damning testimony from then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, highlighted Trump’s corruption.

As of the date of this edition of Unpresidented, we are 5 days into Turkey’s Syria offensive and 20 days into the impeachment inquiry. Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.

We’re building a community and want you to be part of it.

Trump’s Historic Betrayal Of The Kurds

Day 991: Monday, October 7

On the left: Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces gather after a training session at a firing range in northern Syria - May 21, 2016 (AP Photo/Robert Burns). On the right: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On the left: Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces gather after a training session at a firing range in northern Syria – May 21, 2016 (AP Photo/Robert Burns). On the right: President Donald Trump shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It was October 17, 2017, almost two years ago. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could be seen cheering in the streets of Raqqa, Syria. It was a powerful moment of celebration years in the making. The de facto capital of ISIS, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had declared its caliphate, had fallen.

Among those in this US-coalition were Kurdish YPG forces, over ten thousand of which died in the fight against ISIS. Flash forward to this week and the President of the United States just left more of them to die at the hands of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Late on Sunday, President Trump announced the spontaneous withdrawal of troops from Northern Syria and the abandonment of those Kurdish forces who helped us diminish ISIS. Trump did this after speaking to the authoritarian leader of Turkey, Erdoğan. This move not only blindsided Congress, our allies, and the Kurds themselves, the Pentagon was reportedly not consulted.

President Trump (who has business interests in Turkey) gave the green light for Erdoğan to launch the military campaign against the Kurds he’s long wanted. Erdoğan believes the Kurds to be terrorists and wants them to no longer be at the Northern Syrian border. The Kurds reacted with understandable outrage.

Given the imminent slaughter of the Kurds, this drew bipartisan backlash. Staunch Trump defender Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) led the pack with his appearance on Fox & Friends.

Widespread condemnation came from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and more. Senator Graham even announced a bipartisan sanctions bill targeting Turkey. After this sharp Republican response, President Trump sent out one of his most unhinged tweets ever.

Before President Trump had the chance to backtrack, it was too late. Reports indicated Turkey’s assault on the Kurds had already begun, but the US denied them.

This is what the situation on the ground looks like:

This withdrawal is not only a betrayal of our closest allies in the battle against ISIS, it has wide-ranging geopolitical ramifications. Senator Graham outlined the most direct consequences of Trump’s decision in a concise manner:

How does this ensure an ISIS comeback? The SDF has about 10,000 ISIS prisoners in their custody. It’ll be quite hard to guard them when they’re fighting off Turkish forces. President Trump’s move to withdraw could directly give ISIS a second wind.

This move also plays directly into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands, as well as Syrian Dictator Bashar Al Assad and Iran. President Trump has also once again eroded America’s credibility in an irreparable manner. The Kurds allowed America to combat ISIS in Syria without sizable troop commitments by allying with us. Who would trust the United States now?

The bipartisan condemnation should give you insight into how terrible this move truly was, but of course, Republicans also own this. This is an unmistakable tragedy directly green lit by the President of the United States and enabled by the Republican Party who has refused to hold him accountable for his corruption and unfitness for office.

Perhaps, President Trump just needs a pep talk with himself.

In other news…

Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these petitions:

Support Impeachment Proceedings Against Trump
Sign Now
Support The Fight Against Plastic Pollution Sign Now
Support Abolishing The Electoral College Sign Now

The Trickle-Down Con

Day 992: Tuesday, October 8

President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, 1981 (Official White House Photo)

President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, 1981 (Official White House Photo)

For decades, Republicans have pushed policies that give tax cuts to the super-rich with promises the wealth would trickle-down. It never does. Here’s why.

Read The Full Article From Rantt Editor Greg Fish

In other news…

Turkey’s Syria Offensive Begins

Day 993: Wednesday, October 9

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 Japan Summit Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump participates in a bilateral meeting with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 Japan Summit Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Osaka, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Wednesday, the world awoke to the news of Turkey’s military incursion in northern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wasted no time after being given the green light by President Trump on Sunday to begin their assault on the Kurds. Problem is, the Kurds, as steadfast members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were key allies in our fight against ISIS. President Trump has betrayed them.

President Trump released a statement trying to distance himself from his own decision by calling Turkey’s incursion a “bad idea.” Trump went on to state: “Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place—and we will hold them to this commitment…” As we saw today, that commitment has already been violated.

It can’t be overstated how reckless it was for President Trump to leave the Kurds (who helped us diminish ISIS) to die in Syria.  As we’ve previously covered, this reduces America’s global standing, erodes our trust, and feeds into the hands of Russia, Assad, Iran, and ISIS. And of course, there’s the humanitarian disaster this causes. As reports of civilians being killed poured in, Trump berated the Kurds to try and justify his green-lighting of Turkey’s slaughter.

“The Kurds are fighting for their land… they didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy…”

President Trump then went on to send a startling message to our allies by essentially saying he’d be indifferent if ISIS was unleashed in Europe.

What Trump is referencing are the 10,000 ISIS prisoners being guarded by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This Turkish assault risks those prisoners being freed. As we’ve previously reported, this move has garnered widespread bipartisan backlash. Today, we learned about how some of the troops on the ground feel. This is from a Fox News National Security Correspondent:

We don’t know how far Turkey plans to take this military incursion, but one thing is for sure: our allies can never trust an America under President Trump again.

In other news…

The Arrest Of Parnas And Fruman

Day 994: Thursday, October 10

From left: Vice President Mike Pence, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, President Donald Trump, and Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani (Miami Herald)

From left: Vice President Mike Pence, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, President Donald Trump, and Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani (Miami Herald)

Late Wednesday, two foreign-born associates of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani were arrested at Dulles National Airport. They had purchased one-way tickets to Vienna in an apparent effort to flee the incoming criminal campaign finance charges.

The indictment alleges that Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas funneled Russian money into pro-Trump Super PAC, America First Action PAC, ahead of the 2018 Midterm Elections. The two donated $325,000 to the PAC and contributed over $20,000 to “Congressman-1,” who is former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). America First Action PAC spent over $3 million to benefit Rep. Sessions. Fruman and Parnas also met with Rep. Sessions multiple times and lobbied for the removal of then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Rep. Sessions then went on to send a letter in May 2018 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Ambassador Yovanovitch, stating “consider terminating her ambassadorship and find a replacement as soon as possible.” President Trump would later remove Ambassador Yovanovitch after Giuliani lobbied for her removal this year due to her standing in the way of their efforts to pressure Ukraine. In his July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Trump called Yovanovitch “bad news” and told Zelensky that the former Ambassador would be “going to go through some things.”

Southern District of New York (SDNY) Attorney Geoffrey Berman outlined the scheme in a press conference on Thursday:

Fruman and Parnas also donated to numerous other Republicans lawmakers and groups, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R), and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). These two names have come up before due to the help they’ve given Giuliani in his, and President Trump’s, effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the origins of the Mueller probe. Giuliani’s financial ties to Fruman and Parnas are also being investigated and it was reported Giuliani was planning to head to Vienna on Thursday also. This is where more questions are raised.

Parnas told BuzzFeed News in July that he has met with President Trump multiple times, at both the White House and Mar-a-Lago. There are photos of Parnas on Capitol Hill, and one with President Trump at the White House in May of 2018. Both Fruman and Parnas met with Donald Trump Jr. later that same month (which is interesting given the fact Jr. also publicly criticized Yovanovitch). That’s the same month they gave the $325,000 to the pro-Trump Super PAC.

In summary: Two men were indicted for allegedly funneling Russian money into a pro-Trump Super PAC and to a Republican Congressman who lobbied on their behalf. They then met with President Trump (who would later go on to seek election help from Ukraine) on multiple occasions. President Trump eventually acted on one of their requests, which was to get rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday.

Was President Trump told that these two men also wanted Ambassador Yovanovitch gone? What was the context of the conversations and multiple meetings between Trump and these men? Was Rudy Giuliani aware of the source of the foreign money Fruman and Parnas funneled towards these Republican pockets?

Needless to say, stay tuned to this story. It isn’t over.

In other news…

The Hybrid War

Day 995: Friday, October 11

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump give a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump give a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Authoritarians are making alliances with members of the radical right. They are eroding democratic institutions, pushing disinformation, and fear-mongering. The threat to liberal democracy is a global one and must be faced head-on.

Dr. Chamila Liyanage is a Policy and Practitioner Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR) and a Researcher/Content Developer at Radical-R: Radicalisation Research, UK.

Read Her Analysis

In other news…

Rantt Media is independently-owned and completely ad-free. If you like the work we do, sign up for our daily newsletter and join our community newsroom where you can talk news with our team and other like-minded individuals:

We’re building a community and want you to be part of it.

Unpresidented // Donald Trump / Impeachment / Kurds / Syria / Turkey