A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 196th 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 196.
It was always going to end like this. Despite President Trump’s best efforts to smear Joe Biden and his family in the final days of the 2020 campaign, his failures to contain coronavirus have taken center stage. While Trump and his allies repeatedly spread lies about Hunter Biden, America saw record highs in daily coronavirus cases and at least 5 of Vice President Mike Pence’s aides have tested positive for coronavirus.
When President Trump does talk about coronavirus, he either talks about it as a political inconvenience to him personally, or he falsely claims we’re “rounding the turn.” In reality, we’re turning straight into a deadly third wave. While Trump was claiming this, America was hitting it’s highest daily case count since the pandemic began, topping 70k and 80k cases. Trump would love for everyone to be talking about his fake charges against Biden, but coronavirus is consuming the discussion and the country.
By making Hunter Biden his closing message, Trump could be putting the final nail in his political coffin. In 2016, underneath the racism and depravity, Trump at least had a disingenuous populist message. What’s his message now? Jail Biden? Not only is Trump’s message not resonating outside of the Fox News bubble, it’s disconnected from reality.
While the right-wing bubble has been in a delusional news cycle about Hunter Biden, the rest of the country is talking about the fact we’re entering the largest wave of coronavirus since our peak. No rational American cares about these Hunter Biden stories, they care about putting food on their tables and whether or not they’ll get COVID-19. Look no further than the debate.
As Rantt Contributor Edward Hardy wrote, one of the key talking points President Trump had at the debate was debunked that very night:
Ahead of the debate on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page published an article on text messages purporting to confirm Joe Biden was in the loop on Hunter’s business dealings. That same night, The Wall Street Journal’s news desk published an article debunking that assertion, showing no involvement of Joe Biden.
In spite of President Trump’s assertions, coronavirus dominated the debate. The first question was on COVID-19 and how each candidate would handle this going forward. Trump answered by making excuses for his failed response. Biden then used this as an opportunity to tear into Trump’s response.
Over the course of the night, Biden called out the fact that the Trump Administration reportedly warned Wall Street of how severe COVID-19 was and not Americans. Biden went over the timeline of President Trump’s failures, from his lying to the American people about the pandemic to his continued efforts to downplay it. Then, Trump came for Hunter Biden, but Joe was ready.
After President Trump broached Hunter Biden, Biden came with a perfect response. Biden called out Trump’s secret Chinese bank account and all his foreign dealings. Biden said he released his taxes and asserted: “Release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption.” Biden also rightfully pointing out the fact Trump was impeached for trying to dig up this Hunter Biden dirt and said Rudy Giuliani was being used as a Russian pawn.
By the end of the debate, Joe Biden looked like the president focused on the real issues facing Americans and Trump looked like the exasperated challenger down ten points in the polls jumping to desperate conspiracy theories. Americans agree, with post-debate polls indicating the majority of Americans say Biden won the debate.
If I may, I’d go further than Biden did at the debate. As I wrote in the Independent, President Trump’s attacks on the Biden family is blatant projection:
It’s Trump who has made tens of millions in foreign deals while in office, not Biden. It’s Trump who has siphoned taxpayer dollars into his businesses, not Biden. It’s Trump who has done business with convicted felons (including associates, former members of his own campaign, and former White House officials), not Biden. It’s Trump who has extensive dealings with oligarchs, not Biden. It’s Trump who cozies up to dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, not Biden. It’s Trump who uses his political influence for the enrichment of himself and his family, not Biden. These truths have not stopped Trump from ratcheting up false charges of corruption against Biden and publicly calling for his Attorney General to prosecute him. This is un-American, authoritarian, and worse than anything we heard on the Nixon tapes.
“Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!” That baseless call for the extrajudicial jailing of Biden can now be heard from maskless Trump supporters at every rally the president holds. Trump has latched onto this projection narrative and even went as far as to call Biden’s family a “crime family.” Is he sure he wants to go there?
President Trump has been impeached, Trump University settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit, the Trump Foundation was forced to shut down after criminal self-dealing, and nearly every organization Trump has ever run has been under investigation at one time or another. Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. barely escaped prosecution for allegedly defrauding customers at their Trump SoHo property, and the Eric Trump Foundation allegedly misled donors and engaged in self-dealing. The Trump Organization is currently under investigation for potential tax and bank fraud by multiple New York investigators.
President Trump’s decision to focus his closing message on false allegations of Biden corruption was so foolish. America’s perception of Biden is baked in, just as it’s baked in on Trump. If Trump perhaps focused on issues Americans cared about, maybe he wouldn’t be down by about double digits. Instead, he’s doubling down on the behavior that lost him key members of his base.
President Trump began losing the support of senior voters after he failed to take coronavirus seriously and acted like seniors are expendable. Rather than coming out of his COVID-19 illness and saying he now takes things seriously, he got even worse. In a perfect example of this, Trump went to The Villages in Florida, assembling maskless seniors at his rally.
In his most disgusting conspiracy theory yet, Trump alleged that doctors are inflating COVID-19 death numbers to get more money. Trump is trying to erase the deaths of those who have comorbidities. Those people would’ve been alive today if they didn’t get COVID. So no, they’re not overcounted. I’m sure there are 220,000+ families infuriated right now.
In an accidentally honest moment from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, he admitted surrender to coronavirus by saying he doesn’t believe we can control the virus. This highlighted the Trump Administration’s strategy of herd immunity, aka letting the virus run through the majority of Americans. This is on the ballot and voters know it.
Over 60 million Americans have already voted, far outpacing the total number of early votes in 2016, and Democrats are leading in votes cast. It appears President Trump’s USPS attacks and calls for voter intimidation backfired. Voters, especially Black voters, are voting early to make sure they’re counted.
At the moment, Biden leads nationally by 8 points in the Real Clear Politics polling average. At this point in 2016, we were a couple of days after the Comey letter was sent and Clinton was only up by 3 in the polling averages. We’ll see how this plays out on election day in 8 days.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
Trump Launches New Fauci Attacks
Day 1,369: Monday, October 19
Monday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Trump attacks ‘Fauci and these idiots,’ says public is tired of pandemic, public health restrictions as infection rates rise
- Politico: Trump ties Fauci to Biden — to Biden’s delight
- CNN: Supreme Court rejects GOP attempt to require mail-in ballots be received by Election Day in Pennsylvania
- The New York Times: ‘Lock Them All Up’: Trump’s Whitmer Attack Fits a Damaging Pattern
- CNN: Whitmer says Trump ‘inciting’ domestic terrorism as campaign adviser dismisses President’s incendiary rhetoric as ‘having fun’ at rallies
- Axios: Trump attacks CNN as “dumb b*stards” for continuing to cover pandemic
- CNN: More than 27 million ballots have already been cast. Here’s where early voting opens this week
- USA TODAY: Mics can be cut off in final president debate after commission adopts new rules
- Reuters: Global coronavirus cases surpass the 40 million milestone
- CNBC: Pelosi gives White House 48 hours to reach coronavirus stimulus deal before election
- CNN: 6 Russian military officers charged with a worldwide cyberattack
- CNBC: Pelosi and Mnuchin make progress in stimulus talks, plan to speak again Tuesday
- Vox: Senate Republicans could be the real roadblock to getting a stimulus deal passed
- CNN: Federal judge strikes down Trump rule that could have cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans
- Reuters: U.S. CDC issues ‘strong recommendation’ for mask mandate on airplanes, trains
- Politico: Government watchdog will probe Trump officials’ interference at CDC, FDA
- CNN: Harris gives stump speech to Jacksonville voters in the pouring rain
- CNN: Analysis: Trump continues bizarre appeals to suburban women as he campaigns in Covid hotspots
- NBC News: Texas social workers can now turn away LGBTQ, disabled clients
- Vox: John Cornyn becomes the latest Senate Republican to ramp up criticism of Trump
- AJC: Perdue’s mocking of Kamala Harris yields nearly $2M haul for his rival
- NBC News: New Zealand’s Ardern wins second term in election landslide
- Miami Herald: Ghislaine Maxwell loses fight to keep her Jeffrey Epstein testimony sealed
- Politico: Donald Trump has a problem: White women in Pennsylvania
- Yahoo News: Yahoo News/YouGov poll: The tide turns against Trump as Biden surges to his largest-ever lead among likely voters
Trump’s Chinese Bank Account
Day 1,370: Tuesday, October 20
Tuesday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits
- NBC News: Lawyers: We can’t find parents of 545 kids separated by Trump admin
- The Washington Post: McConnell warns White House against making stimulus deal as Pelosi and Mnuchin inch closer
- CNN: Covid-19 cases are climbing in more than half of US states and these factors helped drive the surge
- The Washington Post: The coronavirus pandemic has caused nearly 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year
- USA TODAY: Donald Trump leaves contentious ’60 Minute’ interview with Lesley Stahl, goes on Twitter attack
- ABC News: Breonna Taylor grand jury members say they were not presented with homicide charges
- CNN: Administration officials alarmed by White House push to fast track lucrative 5G spectrum contract, sources say
- CNN: Trump closes his campaign by insulting Fauci for telling the truth
- Politico: Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say
- CNBC: Voters want Senate to prioritize coronavirus relief over Supreme Court, new poll finds
- The Washington Post: ExxonMobil responds to Trump’s hypothetical bribery call: ‘It never happened’
- NPR: Studies Point To Big Drop In COVID-19 Death Rates
- The Daily Beast: Giuliani: Even if Hunter Laptop Story ‘Isn’t Accurate,’ Americans ‘Are Entitled to Know It’
- NBC News: Soldiers open fire on Nigerian anti-police brutality protesters in Lagos, witnesses say
- Politico: Biden eyes GOP candidates for Cabinet slots
- CNN: Former RNC chairman endorses Biden with two weeks left in the election
- NBC News: Lindsey Graham’s challenger, Jaime Harrison, has put S.C. back in play for Democrats
- Axios: Gov. Gavin Newsom says California will independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
- NBC News: Memphis poll worker fired for turning away voters wearing Black Lives Matter shirts
- CNN: Thailand’s government vows to protect the monarchy after weekend of unrest
- Axios: Argentina becomes 5th country to report 5 million coronavirus cases
- The Daily Beast: Duterte Claims Responsibility for Thousands of Extrajudicial Killings in Philippines Drug War: ‘I’m the One’
- People: Jeff Bridges Reveals He Has Been Diagnosed with Lymphoma and Is Starting Treatment
- Vice: New Yorker Suspends Jeffrey Toobin for Masturbating on Zoom Call
The Return Of The President
Day 1,371: Wednesday, October 21
Wednesday’s top stories:
- CNN: Obama delivers a blistering rebuke of Trump in his return to the campaign trail
- ABC News: DNI: Russia, Iran have obtained voter data in election interference campaign
- Bloomberg: Pelosi, Mnuchin Make Another Run at Stimulus McConnell Opposes
- The Washington Post: Early-voting numbers: U.S. on pace for record early turnout
- STAT: CDC study suggests Covid-19 can be passed in brief interactions
- CNN: Covid-19 cases in US children jumped 13% in the first 2 weeks of this month, new report says
- CNN: Amy Coney Barrett ducks questions on presidential power and systemic racism in new answers to Senate
- USA TODAY: Supreme Court lets Alabama ban curbside voting in November election
- The New York Times: Trump Campaign’s $63 Million Dwarfed by Biden’s $177 Million
- The Guardian: Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse
- Politico: Senate Democrats to boycott Barrett’s Judiciary Committee vote Thursday
- CNN: Mitt Romney says he did not vote for Trump in the 2020 election
- CNBC: Wall Street donors keep their distance from cash-strapped Trump in campaign’s final days
- MSNBC: Trump keeps attacking Hunter Biden, but Trump’s kids have been accused of ethics violations
- Forbes: Giuliani Reportedly Caught With His Hand In His Pants In New ‘Borat’ Film
- USA TODAY: Called out for ‘voter intimidation,’ Florida officer faces discipline for wearing ‘Trump 2020’ mask at polling place
- The Daily Beast: Hannity Stalks Biden’s Home: ‘If You’re Still Awake… Walk Outside’
- The New York Times: A Dozen Protesters in Nigeria Reported Killed by Security Forces
- Newsweek: Joe Biden urges Nigeria to end attacks on protesters amid calls for President Buhari to resign
The Final Presidential Debate
Day 1,372: Thursday, October 22
Thursday’s top stories:
- CNN: 7 takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate
- USA TODAY: ‘They are so well taken care of’: Trump defends separating migrant children from parents
- CNN: Fact check: Toned-down Trump continues his onslaught of falsehoods
- CNN: CNN Poll: Biden wins final presidential debate
- The Daily Beast: WSJ’s News Side Releases A Piece Debunking Opinion Side’s Hunter Biden Screed
- The New York Times: Russia Poses Greater Election Threat Than Iran, Many U.S. Officials Say
- The Washington Post: DNI Ratcliffe said Iran aimed to hurt Trump with faked Proud Boy emails. Democrats are skeptical.
- The Hill: Trump says he hopes Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare
- CNN: CBS News calls out White House for breaking agreement and posting Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ interview online
- The New York Times: Florida Deputies to Add Security After Armed Men Appear at Polling Site
- CNN: Senate Judiciary Committee to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett over Democratic boycott
- The Daily Beast: New Columbia Study Blames the White House for at Least 130,000 ‘Avoidable’ COVID Deaths
- USA TODAY: Trump’s campaign made stops nationwide. Coronavirus cases surged in his wake in at least five places.
- The Daily Beast: New Data Show Early Youth Vote Spiking in Battleground States
- ABC News: Russia continues to spread coronavirus conspiracies, intel bulletin warns
- Politico: FDA approves remdesivir as first coronavirus drug
- CNN: Covid-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in several states, and Wisconsin is now using an overflow facility
- NBC News: Inside the campaign to ‘pizzagate’ Hunter Biden
- Mother Jones: ICE just announced it will start to deport people more quickly—and without ever seeing a judge
- The Guardian: US Ice officers ‘used torture to make Africans sign own deportation orders’
- Business Insider: Hunter Biden emails were said to be shopped around in Ukraine for $5 million, while Giuliani met with officials and businessmen there last year
- Politico: Bernie Sanders makes a play for Biden Labor secretary
- CNN: Prison set on fire in Nigeria as protest death toll rises to at least 56
- Reuters: France extends curfew as COVID second wave surges in Europe
- Yahoo News: ‘They responded by killing us’: Nigerians seek to end police brutality with #EndSARS protests
- CNN: Ireland imposes strictest coronavirus lockdown in Europe
- Rantt Media: America’s Other Pandemic: Conspiracy Theories
The Third Wave
Day 1,373: Friday, October 23
Friday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: America hits highest daily number of coronavirus cases since pandemic began
- CNBC: Joe Biden lays out a detailed plan to fight coronavirus as new infections soar
- CNN: Inside the search for the parents of 545 children separated at the border
- CBS News: Trump on Kamala Harris: U.S. won’t have socialist president, “especially a female socialist”
- Axios: Fauci: Trump hasn’t been to a COVID task force meeting in months
- Politico: ‘Warning flare’: New swing-state data shows massive Democratic early-vote lead
- CBS News: Pennsylvania high court says ballots can’t be rejected for signature mismatches
- CBS News: Trump campaign asks Nevada court to stop counting early votes
- NBC News: ‘Boogaloo Bois’ member charged in connection to shooting at MN police station
- Mother Jones: It looks like voter suppression is backfiring on Republicans
- Politico: Netanyahu dodges Trump’s invitation to slam Biden on conference call
- NBC News: Sudan formally recognizes Israel in U.S.-brokered deal
- Reuters: Judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit against New Jersey over mail ballots
- Quartz: A tone-deaf speech by Nigeria’s president missed a chance for empathy amid protests