A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 159th 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 159.
This week can only be described as dystopian. The Republican Party has embraced the outcome of their decades-long erosion of norms. In their acquittal of President Trump, they have openly put a rubber stamp on authoritarianism and emboldened the most undemocratic President in modern history.
On Tuesday night’s State of the Union, President Trump, who was just impeached and had his corrupt Ukraine extortion plot exposed for months, was being applauded by the GOP like all was fine. President Trump’s speech was filled with lies worth about as much as the paper Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped in half as it came to an end. Republicans who couldn’t find their righteous indignation when families were torn apart at the border clutched their pearls at a piece of torn paper.
On Wednesday, with the exception of Mitt Romney who stood bravely on the right side of history, Senate Republicans acquitted President Trump for abuses of power they admit he is guilty of. Roughly one hour after they acquitted him for extorting Ukraine to announce a probe of the Bidens, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson announced a probe of the Bidens.
On Thursday, President Trump delivered depraved remarks in the East Room of the White House by announcing what can only be called an enemies list and thanking those who aided his coverup. Trump called Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff “horrible” “evil” people and promised retribution against those who moved to impeach him. He wasted no time in doing just that.
On Friday, President Trump fired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, his brother, and Ambassador Gordon Sondland from their current posts. While Trump’s allies tried to claim this wasn’t retaliation for the fact Vindman and Sondland were impeachment witnesses, the fact Vindman’s brother was targeted as well undermines that claim.
By the weekend, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he spoke to Attorney General William Barr who said he has an open channel with Rudy Giuliani through which he can receive “information” on his dirt-digging campaign in Ukraine.
What we’re seeing is a fast-paced descent into outright authoritarianism. President Trump is continuing his habit of committing exceedingly corrupt acts directly after he feels he’s been let off the hook. The day after the Mueller hearings, he called Ukranian President Zelensky and demanded the Biden probe. Only one hour after President Trump was acquitted for this plot, Senate Republicans delivered on this demand.
Republican Senator Susan Collins said Trump learned his lesson after being impeached. It appears the only lesson he’s learned is that when you’re a Republican, lawmakers in your party will let you do anything no matter how corrupt.
It appears the only mechanism through which to hold President Trump accountable will be the upcoming election, which will already be under siege by Russian disinformation, Trump disinformation, and voter suppression efforts. The road ahead is tough, but we can do it if we all mobilize.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week
What Happened At The Iowa Caucuses?
Day 1,110: Monday, February 3
Monday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Results for Iowa caucuses delayed as state Democratic Party finds ‘inconsistencies’
- NBC News: No winner? No problem. Candidates give victory-like speeches in Iowa without any results
- AP VoteCast: Health care, climate are top issues in Iowa
- NBC News: Schiff’s powerful closing speech: ’Is there one among you who will say, Enough!’?
- Rantt Media: Adam Schiff Made The Case For The Soul Of America
- TheHill: Murkowski says she’ll vote to acquit Trump despite ‘shameful and wrong’ behavior
- NBC News: 2 dead, child injured in shooting incident at Texas A&M-Commerce residence hall
- CNN: Mueller Memos Part 5: Hundreds of Pages of FBI Witness Interviews Declassified
- Vanity Fair: “It’s Payback Time”: With Acquittal Certain, Trump Plots Revenge on Bolton, Impeachment Enemies
- BuzzFeed News: A Leaked Audio Recording Shows Iran Knew Immediately It Had Shot Down A Ukrainian Plane
- HuffPost: Trump Fumbles After Kansas City Chiefs Win Super Bowl, Names The Wrong State
- The Daily Beast: Trump Faces Backlash Over Super Bowl Ad on Alice Marie Johnson Release
- Bloomberg: Joe Biden Could Be Impeached by GOP Over Ukraine if He Wins, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst Says
- Politico: Sanders once likened poor whites to blacks under Apartheid
- The Daily Beast: Leak: Man Who Bankrolled Brexit Boasted of WikiLeaks Backchannel
- CNN: More people have died from Wuhan coronavirus than SARS in mainland China
What Happened At The State Of The Union?
Day 1,111: Tuesday, February 4
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 5, 2020
Tuesday’s top stories:
- Business Insider: Tension between Trump and Pelosi dominated the SOTU, beginning with a snubbed handshake and ending with a ripped-up speech
- CNN: Democrats yell “you” when Trump says some are trying to destroy health care
- Vox: State of the Union: Fred Guttenberg, Parkland shooting victim’s father, escorted out
- CNN: Rush Limbaugh awarded Medal of Freedom in surprise State of the Union move
- NBC News: Iowa Democrats release partial caucus result: Buttigieg and Sanders lead, Biden trails
- Vox: Nevada promises its caucuses will go better than Iowa’s
- The Daily Beast: Trump Allies Push Iowa Caucus Conspiracy Theories as Dems Feud
- USA TODAY: Sen. Susan Collins said she’ll vote to acquit Trump.
- Politico: Rand Paul reads alleged whistleblower’s name and Republicans ‘fine’ with it
- Gizmodo: Twitter Admits to Helping Spread Election Disinformation During Iowa Caucuses
- NBC News: Conspiracy theories swirl over canceled Iowa poll, pushed by Sanders and Yang supporters
- HuffPost: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley And Other Democrats Skip Trump’s Address
- CNN: White House excludes CNN from annual pre-SOTU lunch with news anchors
- Axios: Israel and UAE discuss anti-Iran cooperation at secret White House meeting
- CNBC: Coronavirus live updates: Death toll in China hits 490, as confirmed cases cross 24,000
- Vox: Man arrested for threatening Adam Schiff was likely under the influence of Fox News
- Time: ‘This Shouldn’t Be About Politics.’ Hong Kong Medical Workers Call for Border Shutdown Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
- HuffPost: Devin Nunes’ Hometown Newspaper Slams His Donald Trump ‘Obsession,’ Endorses Rival
- Politico: DeVos threatened with subpoena by House oversight panel
Republicans Acquit Trump, But Romney Stands Strong
Day 1,112: Wednesday, February 5
Mitt Romney is voting to convict Trump for Abuse of Power.
“[Trump] is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values.” pic.twitter.com/W53rii3PaW
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 5, 2020
Trump has been acquitted by @SenateGOP but not exonerated.
With the exception of Romney, the GOP put a rubber stamp on authoritarianism.
The conviction was bipartisan. The acquittal was partisan.
48-52 on Article 1: Abuse of Power.
47-53 on Article 2: Obstruction of Congress.
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) February 5, 2020
Wednesday’s top stories:
- Vox: Trump being acquitted shows how democracy could really die
- Axios: Senate GOP Announces Biden Probe
- Time: ‘An Appalling Abuse of the Public Trust.’ Read Mitt Romney’s Speech on Voting to Convict Donald Trump
- The New Yorker: Mitt Romney’s Act of Political Courage in the Senate Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump
- CNN: US citizen arrested by Border Patrol dies in custody
- The Atlantic: 23 Dangerous Propositions the Senate Just Ratified
- The New York Times: In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear
- Des Moines Register: Iowa Democratic Party releases 85% of caucus results but an error forces correction
- AP: FBI director warns of ongoing Russian ‘information warfare’
- CNBC: Coronavirus: China says death toll hits 563 as confirmed cases top 28,000
- CNN: The US has sent supplies and support to Wuhan, China confirms
- BBC News: Coronavirus: Ten passengers on cruise ship test positive for virus
- Business Insider: Boris Johnson accused of mimicking Trump as he bans journalists from press briefings and targets the BBC
- CNBC: Finland to give men and women almost 7 months of paid parental leave each
- Rantt Media: Big Tech Faustian Bargain: How Much Privacy Are We Giving Up For Convenience?
Trump Broadcasts Enemies List In Unhinged Speech
Day 1,113: Thursday, February 6
Thursday’s top stories:
- Vox: Threats, misogyny, hypocrisy — Trump’s bonkers post-impeachment speech had a little of everything
- Yahoo News: Treasury Department sent information on Hunter Biden to expanding GOP Senate inquiry
- CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims Comey admitted to leaking to Grassley
- NBC News: Trump world wages war on Romney as he fears ‘unimaginable’ consequences for impeachment vote
- The Salt Lake Tribune: Utahns rally to support Mitt Romney for Trump impeachment vote
- The Hill: Buttigieg, Sanders in virtual tie with 97 percent of Iowa precincts reporting
- AP: Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa
- Bloomberg: Trump Fans Flooded Iowa Caucus Hotline, Democrats Say
- TheHill: McConnell tees up five Trump judges after impeachment trial wraps
- Newsweek: Senators Who Voted to Convict Trump Represent 18 Million More Americans Than Those Who Voted to Acquit
- CNN: GOP-affiliated group intervenes in Democratic primary for US Senate seat in North Carolina
- Reuters: U.S. kills al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula leader in Yemen -Trump
- People: Kirk Douglas, Hollywood icon and ‘Spartacus’ star, dies at 103
- ABC News: Republican governor says Trump ‘shouldn’t be in office’
- The Daily Beast: Fox News Internal Document Bashes Pro-Trump Fox Regulars for Spreading ‘Disinformation’
- BuzzFeed News: Ukraine Says The US Is Holding Up $30M Worth Of Guns And Ammo — And It Wants Its Money Back
- CNN: Evangelist preacher Franklin Graham planned a seven-city UK tour. All seven venues have dropped him
- Hong Kong Free Press: Coronavirus: Hong Kong medics tell gov’t to offer more support or face mass resignations
- BBC: Coronavirus: Newborn becomes youngest person diagnosed with virus
- NBC News: NBC News, MSNBC announce 5 moderators for Democratic debate in Las Vegas
Retaliation Against Vindman And Sondland
Day 1,114: Friday, February 7
Friday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump fires key impeachment witnesses Sondland, Lt. Col. Vindman in purge
- Rantt Media: After Acquittal, The GOP Is Continuing Trump’s Ukraine Plot
- NBC News: Trump warns on impeachment payback: ‘You’ll see’
- NBC News: ‘Clog the lines’: Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucuses hotline for reporting results
- NBC News review of Iowa caucus vote finds potential errors, inconsistencies
- ABC News: Democrats debate in New Hampshire days before Tuesday’s primary election.
- The Atlantic: The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President
- NBC News: Food stamp change would hurt kids, educators and advocates testify
- Politico: Intel hearing on global threats delayed amid fears of provoking Trump’s ire
- NBC News: NBC News/Marist poll: Sanders, Buttigieg continue to lead in New Hampshire
- Politico: Jim Jordan picked to be top Republican on Judiciary panel
- The Guardian: Immigration agents shot New York man in face during attempted deportation
- ABC News: Death of doctor who blew whistle on coronavirus sparks outrage in China
- CBS News: Alleged El Paso Walmart gunman charged with federal hate crimes
- Bloomberg: Citizen Journalist Covering Virus Outbreak From Wuhan Goes Missing
- NBC News: Trump’s former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer will endorse Mike Bloomberg for president
- CNN: Joe Walsh ends Republican primary challenge against Trump
- HuffPost: Ex-Ethics Chief: This Is Just The Start Of Donald Trump’s Authoritarianism