A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 172nd Unpresidented Week As POTUS

With the DOJ's move to drop the case against Michael Flynn and their new attacks on Obama, President Trump and Attorney William Barr have gone too far.
President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr (DOJ) and former National Security Adviser Micheal Flynn (AP)

President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr (DOJ) and former National Security Adviser Micheal Flynn (AP)

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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 172.

A lot happened this week, but let’s start with the blatant authoritarianism, shall we?

The Justice Department’s request to drop former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case was an act of absolute lawlessness. Flynn lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn then pleaded guilty in order to get a deal to shield him from charges over him and his son’s crimes as unregistered Turkish foreign agents. Flynn is lucky he didn’t get a charge for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

No news organization should cover this as normal. The Justice Department just went full-on banana republic to protect a friend of the President. Timothy Shea, a stooge that Barr installed in the DC prosecutor’s office, signed off on the request to Judge Sullivan to drop the case. Attorney General William Barr’s corrosive effect on the DOJ and rule of law cannot be overstated. He is not America’s Attorney General. He is President Trump ‘s authoritarian fixer. Nearly 2,000 former Justice Department employees have already called for Barr to resign.

In an interview with CBS News, Barr was asked how history will view this move. Barr villainously said: “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.” If this authoritarian undermining of the rule of law and promise to rewrite history from Barr doesn’t make you want to defeat the Trump Administration by a landslide in November then I don’t know what will.

The day after this corrupt act, President Trump essentially said he learned a lot from President Nixon about how to get away with corruption. President Trump then launched into a tirade calling the Obama Administration “human scum” and falsely accused them of treason. It was the Trump Justice Department who prosecuted Flynn, not the Obama Administration.

President Trump and the entire conservative ecosystem have now been focused on Obama. They are teasing a very dangerous line. I’m under no delusion about how corrupt Trump is, but he’s unlikely to prosecute Obama. They’ll probably just announce a Special Counsel. They just want this hovering over the Biden Campaign while Obama is campaigning with him for corruption whataboutism. But either way, we need to be alert.

In a nutshell, Barr’s Justice Department just did what former FBI Director James Comey refused to do. The Trump request that sparked it all: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” We’ll see if Judge Sullivan refuses to let Flynn go and what the Trump Administration does next.

While we’re on the topic of the rule of law, we have to discuss John Ratcliffe’s confirmation hearing for the Director of National Intelligence. Ratcliffe presented himself as a non-partisan straight shooter at his confirmation hearing. It’s a disingenuous act. Ratcliffe had a partisan and dishonest performance at the House impeachment hearings, which included him falsely accusing Joe Biden of a crime.

Just like with William Barr, Republicans who think this charade of a confirmation hearing gives them cover to confirm John Ratcliffe are mistaken. It does appear he will be confirmed though. Republicans are about to make Ratcliffe, a sycophantic partisan tool, the Director of National Intelligence during an election year. They will own every single sycophantic, undemocratic act that will soon follow. Watch to see if he tries to create false evidence that coronavirus was engineered in a Wuhan lab.

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Back to topic that has taken the world by storm. Coronavirus deaths in the United States continued to rise beyond the 60,000 projected mark and above 80,000 at the time of this writing. 20.5 million Americans filed for unemployment in April and the unemployment rate is now at 14.7%. In spite of this, President Trump’s lack of empathy raged on. Trump pretends these are stats and not tens of thousands of real human beings with likely hundreds of thousands mourning them. When ABC News’ David Muir asked Trump what’s his message to the families of those who have died, it unraveled quickly. Trump said he loves them and he’s working hard to help them. He then muddied it, saying next year the economy will do well and no one is taking the losses harder than him.

Multiple times in remarks to reporters this week, President Trump continued to dangerously say that Democrats want people to die. Last time I checked, Republicans are the only people openly advocating for reopening states while literally saying more deaths are inevitable but necessary for the economy.

Speaking of the callous response to coronavirus, Dr. Rick Bright’s whistleblower complaint arrived and it was incredibly damning for the Trump Administration. Dr. Bright held a live teleconference and delivered a statement about the complaint that was broadcast on MSNBC. Bright said that he was pressured to let “politics and cronyism” drive decisions about the coronavirus response instead of science.

Dr. Bright blasted the Trump Administration’s early coronavirus response and stated that their hydroxychloroquine push was alarming and his opposition to that was why he was retaliated against. Bright ended the call by asking the Special Counsel to investigate his ousting. Bright testifies before the House about this matter on Thursday, May 14.

Rather than learn from his mistakes, President Trump continued on his path of divisiveness and self-defeat. President Trump attacked states again and claimed that issues like Sanctuary Cities and payroll tax cuts were on the table for those who want coronavirus aid. Make no mistake, this is President Trump publicly extorting states who want coronavirus aid. It’s also important to point out that many of the blue states that need aid (not calling it a bailout) have actually given more to the federal government than they’ve taken out. Impeachment witness Pamela Karlan warned us about the possibility of Trump extorting states by withholding federal aid. She was right.

We almost saw the coronavirus task force disbanded this week, but President Trump backpedaled after seeing the negative coverage of the news. Trump has always seen the coronavirus task force as a messaging operation. When Vice President Mike Pence first took over, the focus was on reining in health experts who were speaking out. Now that polling shows his briefing performances are hurting him, he no longer saw the task force as useful. But, he was forced to roll that back.

Lord knows the White House needs that task force now more than ever, not only with reopening the economy safely, but to maintain safety within the White House. Pence’s Press Secretary Katie Miller and Trump’s valet tested positive for coronavirus and are now in self-quarantine. Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield are now in isolation as well after being in close contact with those who tested positive. Meanwhile, President Trump arrived in Arizona with no mask, no gloves, and an attempted handshake. No other masks or gloves were in sight. Always refusing to lead by example.

In spite of this, President Trump continued a strange campaign against the concept of testing, saying it isn’t great. If Katie Miller wasn’t tested, for example, she wouldn’t have been able to be identified as a case and then would’ve kept walking around infecting people. So this is why the concept of tests is actually great and incredibly important. Trump has always hated the fact we’re identifying cases because the numbers increase. It seems he’d prefer we didn’t test at all and more people died, as long as the confirmed cases were artificially low.

President Trump is walking around behaving like it’s “mission accomplished” in the middle of this pandemic. This is deadly shortsightedness. He’s incapable of forethought and long-term planning. His impatience, incurious simple mind, and rampaging ego make him the worst possible POTUS to have during this.

I can’t end this week’s Unpresidented without talking about the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. While we’re still learning more about the case, I have to say that the video is one of the most tragic things I’ve ever seen. He was 25. I’m 27. It could’ve easily happened to me or any black man jogging there. Racism is an epidemic the US has never cured and our justice system enables.

This is why it was so important to lock up George Zimmerman for his racist vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin. No one deputized these bigoted killers to be the judge, jury, and executioner of these young innocent black men. But they’ve been enabled to get away with it by the same justice system that allowed Michael Flynn to get away with his crimes. We’ll see if the same is true for Arbery’s killers.

Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.

Increased Death Projections

Day 1,201: Monday, May 4

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question during the coronavirus update briefing Monday, April 27, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question during the coronavirus update briefing Monday, April 27, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Monday’s top stories:

The Task Force Almost Disbands, And Dr. Bright Speaks Out

Day 1,202: Tuesday, May 5

Vice President Mike Pence meets the White House Coronavirus Task Force Principals Monday, March 2, 2020, in the White House Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Vice President Mike Pence meets the White House Coronavirus Task Force Principals Monday, March 2, 2020, in the White House Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Tuesday’s top stories:

Trump’s Post Office Takeover, First Step In Targeting Bezos

Day 1,203: Wednesday, May 6

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington’s Milestone Celebrtion in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington’s Milestone Celebrtion in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Wednesday’s top stories:

Full-On Banana Republic

Day 1,204: Thursday, May 7

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Trump says his former national security adviser is right to ask for immunity in exchange for talking about Russia. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Trump says his former national security adviser is right to ask for immunity in exchange for talking about Russia. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Thursday’s top stories:

The “Trump Depression”

Day 1,205: Friday, May 8

The Frances Perkins Building of the U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Ed Brown/Public domain)

The Frances Perkins Building of the U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Ed Brown/Public domain)

Friday’s top stories:

Unpresidented // Coronavirus / Donald Trump / Michael Flynn / William Barr