A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 204th 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 204.
There is no other way to frame this than to call it the contemplation of an attempted military coup. The losing President is reportedly spending his time holding meetings with conspiracy theorists and musing about the dubious idea of declaring martial law, seizing voting machines, and re-doing the election. Donald Trump is going out on the lowest dictatorial note possible.
On Monday, the electoral college further affirmed President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ win. By Friday, President Trump was weighing wildly authoritarian power grabs. The New York Times reported that President Trump met with his disgraced, pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell at the White House. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani also phoned in to the meeting. In the meeting, Trump reportedly mused about Flynn’s Newsmax suggestion that he declare martial law and seize voting machines. Trump also broached the idea of making Sidney Powell a White House special counsel to probe the election.
Trump called the story fake news, but his credibility is non-existent. Jonathan Allen of Axios corroborated the reporting and expanded upon its significance in a tweet: “I’ve been covering Donald Trump for a while. I can’t recall hearing more intense concern from senior officials who are actually Trump people. The Sidney Powell / Michael Flynn ideas are finding an enthusiastic audience at the top.”
Of course, Trump does not have the authority to do what he’s proposing, and even if he tried, he does not have the support of the military to pull this off. But regardless of its dubiousness, the fact the President of the United States is seriously considering a military coup should startle everyone. In the future, when an authoritarian lunatic tells you he’s an authoritarian lunatic, believe him and don’t elect him. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only coup Trump mused about this week.
Rather than accept defeat, President Trump has openly endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-AL) effort to challenge Biden electors on January 6. Of course, it will fail. Even if one House member and one Senator mount a challenge, a majority of each chamber won’t overturn the results. The result will be floor speeches and a lot of noise on January 6, and nothing more. I gamed this out in my article in The Independent. President Trump is the biggest repeated loser in presidential history, and his Republican colleagues are still deciding to latch onto him.
This week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) held a disgraceful hearing. Watching Johnson, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), and other GOP Senators spread voter fraud lies was disgraceful. They were talking about how their base is losing faith in elections as if their lies aren’t the primary reason why their base is losing faith in elections.
We have to keep watch of the endgame here. The GOP’s undermining of faith in the democratic process is as much about appeasing Trump’s base as it is about justifying future undemocratic reforms. While voter suppression has been their electoral tactic for decades, they are now saying the quiet part out loud.
Their core message is that high Black turnout areas are fraudulent. They will follow this up with escalated undemocratic actions. Republicans will spend this decade saying they’re changing election laws under the guise of combating imaginary voter fraud and restoring faith in the election process, faith that their lies helped diminish.
So Ron Johnson spent his time doing this rather than focusing on the bigger issues at hand. Johnson had former CISA Director Chris Krebs at that hearing, and instead of focusing it on one of the most consequential Russia hacks into multiple federal agencies via software Fortune 500 companies also use, Republicans used the hearing to assuage a simpleton losing President’s ego.
I’m far more interested in hearing about the fact that Russia exploited America’s focus on potential election interference as a smokescreen while they launched a sophisticated espionage campaign targeting US agencies. There was no need to interfere. Trump did that on his own. Speaking of doing Russia’s bidding, until the very end, President Trump is a shameless pawn of Putin.
After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a member of Trump’s own Cabinet, blamed the SolarWinds hack on Russia, Trump took to Twitter to defend Russia… again. Trump downplayed the severity of the hack—which penetrated multiple federal agencies—and tried to say it could have been China. This was just absolutely disgraceful treacherous behavior.
Excuse me while I tear into him for this. President Trump doesn’t have a patriotic bone in his body. From Helsinki to pushing Russian disinformation to attacking NATO allies to ignoring Russian bounties on US troops—the capitulation has been never-ending. Trump has been the primary tool in Russia’s effort to undermine America’s democracy and global standing. Weeks like these make me wonder how much of Trump’s massive debt is owned by Putin and his Oligarchs.
While losing President Trump is making excuses for Russia’s widespread hack of US agencies, President-elect Biden responded by saying, “I will not stand idly by in the face of cyber assaults on our nation.”
In other corruption news, we have to take a moment to talk about Attorney General William Barr. On Monday, as the electoral college vote was dominating the news cycle, President Trump tweeted that Barr is resigning as AG. This came after he refused to prosecute Biden pre-election and refused to play along with Trump’s fake voter fraud lies post-election. Barr was replaced by Jeff Rosen. New concerns are rising as Trump reportedly pushes for a Special Counsel probe into Hunter Biden.
Barr then did a Wall Street Journal interview where he admitted that the CIA stayed in its lane and did not spy on the Trump Campaign. You read that right. After shamelessly spreading this Spygate lie his entire tenure, Barr finally quietly admitted it was baseless on his way out the door. No one should be fooled by this sycophant’s reputation rehabilitation tour. Nothing can take back the damage he did to the rule of law. This Barr walk-back might be a taste of what we’ll see from some in the GOP in the coming years. But we’ll never forget.
Another stunning act of depravity we should not forget is the smoking gun email exchanged Politico covered this week. “We want them infected,” read a July email from then-HHS science adviser Paul Alexander. He went on to discuss the need to secure herd immunity, stating, “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…”
The bottom line is this: President Trump pursued an approach that meant more Americans would die via increased infections, and we now have emails confirming what their public statements suggested. Depraved isn’t a strong enough word for this. We need an independent COVID-19 investigatory commission to look into this deliberate malfeasance and hold them accountable.
Knowingly letting a deadly virus run unmitigated through Americans is just evil. It would be one thing if this was just some rogue staffer, but it was actually pushed from the highest levels of Trump’s team. Scott Atlas pushed this nonsense and Trump himself was still praising this callous tactic last week. The good news is Trump lost.
In other good news, the second coronavirus vaccine was approved by the FDA. The fact Moderna’s vaccine also limits infection and not just the disease itself is simply amazing. We didn’t have data yet on whether any of the vaccines would stop infections. This indicates vaccinated individuals will have a significantly reduced chance of spreading the virus.
When it comes to coronavirus relief, there is now a deal that has been made and an incoming vote. But before the deal was made, far too many Republicans clutched their fake fiscal conservative pearls. Republicans didn’t care about the debt when they passed unnecessary stimulus for the rich in the form of their 2017 tax cuts during an already booming economy. Now, when vulnerable Americans need help, they want to regain their fiscal conservatism?
One of the biggest lies about modern Republicans is that they care about fiscal conservatism. Like the lie of “trickle-down economics,” it’s just a buzzword they deploy when they want to avoid helping marginalized communities. It’s a mask for their greed. Prepare for four years of fake Republican ideological posturing and feigned interest in principles they’ve long abandoned amid their effort to obstruct the Biden-Harris administration.
But one thing is for sure, no matter what President Trump tried to do and attempts to do in the future, one month from today, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn into office.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Electoral College Affirms Biden-Harris 306-232 Win
Day 1,425: Monday, December 14
Monday’s top stories:
- ABC News: Trump-Biden transition updates: Biden passes 270, seals Electoral College win
- NBC News: After Electoral College cements win, Biden unleashes scathing attack on Trump’s refusal to concede
- NPR: William Barr To Step Down As Attorney General Before Christmas
- Reuters: ‘Healing is coming’: First Americans vaccinated as U.S. death toll passes 300,000
- NBC News: Federal government breached by Russian hackers who targeted FireEye
- CBS News: Bipartisan group of senators unveil COVID-19 relief bills
- BuzzFeed News: Pro-Trump Republicans Are Holding Fake Electoral College Votes While The Real Electoral College Meets To Formalize Biden’s Win
- The Daily Beast: Trump Says He’ll Fight On. His Campaign HQ Is Literally Taking Down His Name.
- Politico: ‘Time for everybody to move on’: Senate GOP accepts Biden’s win
- The Independent: Electoral college votes are in but Republicans have one more trick up their sleeve
- Business Insider: Trump reversed a plan to prioritize White House staff to get the coronavirus vaccine sooner
- Reuters: Early in-person voting begins in Georgia as U.S. Senate showdown enters final weeks
- HuffPost: Kelly Loeffler Poses With Former KKK Leader, Now Claims She Had No Idea
- CNN: ‘Credible threats of violence’ prompt closure of Michigan capitol to the public ahead of Electoral College vote
- Detroit Free Press: Michigan House punishes GOP Rep. Gary Eisen for hinting at Electoral College disruption
- Axios: Biden weighs former UN ambassador Sam Power to lead USAID
- The Washington Post: Pro-Trump rally descends into chaos as Proud Boys roam D.C. looking to fight
- The Hill: Majority in Fox News poll says Trump disputing results is weakening democracy
- People: Dr. Jill Biden Says Women’s Accomplishments Should Be Celebrated After WSJ Op-Ed Advising She Drop ‘Dr.’
- Business Insider: Head of White House security office has his right foot amputated because of severe COVID-19 and is facing ‘staggering medical bills,’ new report says
- NBC News: Some Native Americans applaud the Cleveland Indians’ name change but say it’s not enough
Putin And McConnell Congratulate Biden As Russia’s Hack Damage Becomes More Clear
Day 1,426: Tuesday, December 15
Tuesday’s top stories:
- CNBC: McConnell congratulates Biden, warns Senate Republicans not to reject president-elect’s victory
- CNN: Putin finally congratulates Biden on US election victory
- AP: Hack may have exposed deep US secrets; damage yet unknown
- CNN: Trump Organization must turn over documents to NY attorney general, judge rules
- CBS News: “Everybody is looking up to Georgia right now”: Early voting kicks off in Senate runoffs
- CNBC: U.S. plans to ship 6 million Moderna Covid vaccine doses once FDA gives OK, as early as week’s end
- CNN: Joe Biden picks Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary
- Politico: Biden to tap former Michigan Gov. Granholm to lead Energy Department
- Reuters: Biden considers former EPA chief McCarthy for domestic climate czar – sources
- Axios: Biden close to naming Michael Regan as EPA administrator
- FiveThirtyEight: A Record-Breaking Number Of Women Will Be In Biden’s Cabinet
- BuzzFeed News: This Newly Released Letter Details The Criminal Referral On Donald Trump Over His Ukraine Phone Call
- Bloomberg: U.S. Asks High Court to Halt Mail Delivery of Abortion Pills
- CNN: FDA authorizes first fully at-home test as more Covid-19 patients are hospitalized than ever before
- The Hill: Trump attorney Jenna Ellis reportedly lied about being fired from DA’s office
- ABC13 Houston: Alleged crusade to stop voter fraud lands former HPD captain in handcuffs
- Politico: ‘The most lopsided economic event imaginable’: Wave of evictions threatens Black, Latino tenants
- STAT: A guide to who can safely get the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
- CNN: Over 45 million people are under a winter storm watch as heavy snow takes aim at the East Coast
- Politico: Trump antagonizes Republicans with Georgia fundraising ploy
- The Detroit News: US Rep. Mitchell quits GOP for failure to stand up to Trump in election loss
- Axios: “The Netherlands is closing down”: PM announces strict, five-week COVID-19 lockdown
- Rantt Media: Trump’s Exploitation Of Christianity And Assault On Women’s Rights
“We Want Them Infected”
Day 1,427: Wednesday, December 16
Wednesday’s top stories:
- Politico: ‘We want them infected’: Trump appointee demanded ‘herd immunity’ strategy, emails reveal
- CNN: Hill leaders eye new round of stimulus checks as part of $900 billion relief deal
- CNN: As the US prepares to green light a second Covid-19 vaccine, officials issue warning for the holidays
- AP: Trump asking about special prosecutor for Hunter Biden
- USA TODAY: In stirring speech, Pete Buttigieg makes history again for LGBTQ Americans as first gay cabinet nominee
- Politico: ‘Conspiracy theories and lies’: Dems cry foul as GOP airs unsupported election claims
- NBC News: Winter to come roaring into East Coast with snow, ice, ‘serious storm’
- USA TODAY: Mike Pence to receive COVID-19 vaccine Friday; Joe Biden will get vaccinated as soon as next week
- Politico: FDA says Pfizer vaccine vials hold extra doses, expanding supply
- CNN: ‘It’s turned crazy’: Inside the scramble for Trump pardons
- NBC News: White House counsel’s office warned Trump not to fire Chris Wray
- CBS News: In a first, the federal government has executed more inmates this year than states
- Reuters: Winter storm wallops U.S. Northeast, but some schools bury snow days
- CNN: Pompeo quarantining after coronavirus exposure
- ABC News: Harris to ABC’s Robin Roberts: ‘I applaud Mitch McConnell for talking to Joe Biden’
- BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Has Finalized An Agreement To Send Asylum-Seekers To El Salvador To Seek Protection
- Politico: DeVos urges career staff to ‘be the resistance’ as Biden takes overCBS News: Tackling disinformation is national security issue says former NSA general counsel
- CBS News: Tackling disinformation is national security issue says former NSA general counsel
- BuzzFeed News: What It’s Like For Healthcare Workers Getting The Vaccine
- The Independent: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago neighbours want to block him from moving there after White House
- Law & Crime: Detroit Is Trying to Get Sidney Powell Fined, Banned from Court, and Referred to the Bar for Filing the ‘Kraken’
- The Hill: Longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announces he’s registering Democrat
- The Colorado Sun: One in 8 Americans lives in a community that has lost its local public health department leader during the pandemic.
- Rantt Media: Can Trumpism Survive Without Trump?
Biden Condemns The Hack Trump Ignores
Day 1,428: Thursday, December 17
Thursday’s top stories:
- Business Insider: Biden says he will ‘not stand idly by’ on the massive US cyberattack that Trump hasn’t bothered to address yet
- Politico: Nuclear weapons agency breached amid massive cyber onslaught
- NBC News: Congressional leaders putting ‘finishing touches’ on Covid relief deal as funding deadline nears
- Business Insider: McConnell included $600 checks in COVID-19 stimulus plans after hearing that opposition could cost Republicans the Senate runoffs in Georgia, report says
- The Washington Post: Tracking vaccine distribution, state by state
- CNN: What we know about Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine and how it differs from Pfizer’s
- NBC News: FDA advisers recommend Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, bringing second vaccine closer to reality
- HuffPost: Fauci Issues Christmas COVID-19 Warning: ‘We Have A Big Problem’
- CNN: Biden to tap Deb Haaland as first Native American interior secretary
- CNN: Biden expected to nominate North Carolina environmental official to run EPA
- CNBC: House Democrats propose forgiving up to $50,000 in student debt—here’s what’s in the resolution
- Politico: Pence prepares to confirm Trump’s loss — and then leave town
- BBC News: Emmanuel Macron: French president tests positive for Covid
- CNN: Winter storm dropped more snow in parts of the Northeast than all of last year’s winter season
- NBC News: Early voting changes in Georgia counties are suppressing turnout, advocates warn
- Los Angeles Times: ICU availability in Southern California at 0%, and it’s going to get worse, officials warn
- Vox: The first abortion case of the Amy Coney Barrett era is now before the Supreme Court
- The Hill: Biden would save US $2.6 billion by halting border wall construction: report
- Business Insider: Dominion threatens defamation lawsuit over Sidney Powell’s election conspiracy theories: ‘You are not entitled to your own facts’
- BBC News: Atlantic City to auction off demolition of former Trump casino
- Houston Chronicle: $1.7M for George Strait, six-figure bonuses: Lawsuit reveals Gov. Abbott’s lavish inaugural spending
- CNN: Don McGahn to face House subpoena, again
- NPR: Twitter To Remove Or Place Warning Labels On COVID Vaccine Conspiracy Tweets
- CBS News: Kansas mayor resigns after threats over backing mask mandate: “I do not feel safe in this position anymore”
- CNN: 344 kidnapped Nigerian boys freed, says state official
- The Hill: New Zealand offers free COVID-19 vaccines to neighboring nations
Day 1,429: Friday, December 18
Friday’s top stories:
- The Independent: Kushner helped create shell Trump campaign company that secretly paid family members, report says
- STAT: FDA grants authorization to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine
- Axios: Acting Pentagon chief halts Biden transition briefings
- CNN: Congress votes to avert government shutdown for now as Covid relief talks drag on
- HuffPost: Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Stuck In Warehouses Until Federal Orders, Pfizer Says
- CNN: Bidens to receive first dose of Pfizer vaccine Monday
- Axios: Vice President Pence receives COVID-19 vaccine live on television
- The Hill: Pelosi, McConnell receive COVID-19 vaccine
- BuzzFeed News: Mitch McConnell Is Trying To Block Mandatory Paid Sick Leave For Workers Who Get COVID
- Business Insider: A GOP senator’s push to stifle Fed lending is the latest example of Republicans hampering stimulus progress
- Politico: Ron Johnson twice blocks Covid stimulus checks
- Mother Jones: Trump has sent 729 tweets since the election. Not a single one was about the COVID death toll.
- USA TODAY: Supreme Court denies religious school challenge to Kentucky’s expiring COVID-19 restrictions
- NPR: Newly Released COVID-19 Data Show Most U.S. Cities Are ‘Sustained Hotspots’
- CNN: Rep. Katie Porter is in quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus
- Politico: HHS secretary tells staff: My wife is sick with Covid
- HuffPost: Kelly Loeffler Keeps Posing For Photos With White Supremacists And Other Extremists
- Axios: Georgia Gov. Kemp says pro-Trump conspiracy theorists have threatened his family
- NBC News: Confederate flag banned from being displayed on state property in New York
- Mediate: Lou Dobbs Airs Stunning Fact-Check of His Own Election Claims
- CNN: Pence announces that Space Force personnel will be called guardians