A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 82nd Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Week after week, President Trump erodes American norms.
From regressive policies to relentless attacks on democratic norms, Trump continues to test the resilience of the American people.
The current President of the United States is conducting himself like the wannabe-king the Founding Fathers designed the U.S. Constitution to protect us from.
President Trump is driven by grievance and paranoia, hell-bent on punishing those he perceives to be his political opponents.
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan, who spent 25 years in the CIA serving his country, no longer has his security clearance because he dared to exercise his constitutional right to speak out against the President.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has had to update his SF-86 several times with over 100 foreign contacts, still has his security clearance. Lying on an SF-86 is a felony.
This behavior goes beyond political retribution. President Trump’s dishonest attempts to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has reached a compulsive state of consistency as he chips away at his base’s concept of reality. All of this is aided and abetted by the Republican Party and conservative media.
But Trump is stepping over the line.
This week, the press came together in solidarity to proclaim that they are not the enemy of the American people.
The Intelligence Community came together in solidarity in defense of John Brennan and in opposition to President Trump’s authoritarian tendencies.
And this November, the American people will have their chance to do the same.
Like every week of the Trump presidency, this was one for the books. It’s a sad state of affairs when the least surprising development was further confirmation that the President of the United States privately used the n-word.
Day 571: Monday, August 13
The Firing Of Peter Strzok
FBI Agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages have become Republicans main talking point to try and undermine the Russia investigation, was fired on Monday. The Washington Post reported:
The FBI has fired agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead the bureau’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election until officials discovered that he had been sending anti-Trump texts.
Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing Friday, even though the director of the FBI office that usually handles employee discipline had decided that Strzok, 48, should face only a demotion and a 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI’s repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process.
“This isn’t the normal process in any way more than name,” Goelman said, adding in a statement, “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”
Strzok wrote on Twitter, “Deeply saddened by this decision. It has been an honor to serve my country and work with the fine men and women of the FBI.”
The last time we saw Strzok was at last month’s hearing in front of the House Judiciary and Select Committees. At the hearing, Republicans continued their efforts to undermine the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Americans’ faith in U.S. institutions (some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals) and made a fool of themselves.
It’s important to note that Strzok also sent negative texts about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and there was no evidence of bias affecting his role in the Russia investigation. Also important to note that right when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was made aware of the text messages, Strzok was removed from the team. And most importantly: this is nothing more than a coordinated campaign on the part of President Trump, House Republicans, and conservative media to undermine the Russia investigation. This effort has extended into efforts to discredit the DOJ, FBI, and the U.S. Intelligence Community as a whole.
In other news…
- Axios: Trump-appointed judge rules Mueller investigation is constitutional
- NBC News: Omarosa Manigault Newman reveals recording she made of Trump day after she was fired
- ABC News: White House exploring legal options against Omarosa Manigault Newman for making secret recording in Situation Room
- USA TODAY: Mueller team rests in fraud trial of ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort
- Politico: Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.
- Bloomberg: Trump Signs Bill Named for McCain Without Saying Senator’s Name
Day 572: Tuesday, August 14
“He Said It”
In her new book “Unhinged,” Omarosa Manigault Newman makes some explosive claims about her time in the White House. Omarosa pans President Trump an unhinged “racist, misogynist and bigot.” From claiming she was contacted by the FBI to claims that she was offered hush money payments, this book is full of bombshell claims.
One of the claims receiving a lot of attention (although not confirmed) is that there is a tape of Donald Trump repeatedly saying the word “nigger” while on the set of his NBC show “The Apprentice.”
On Tuesday, there was more evidence that appears to bolster the possibility of the tape’s existence.
The recording is of a conversation Omarosa had with then-assistant to Eric Trump, Lynne Patton, Campaign Spokesperson Katrina Pierson, and Campaign Communications Director Jason Miller. You can hear some of the people named discussing how to contain the fallout from the tape being released:
“I am trying to find at least what context it was used in to help us maybe try to figure out a way to spin it,” Pierson is heard saying.
Patton then described a conversation she had with then-candidate Trump about making the slur.
Patton: “I said, ‘Well, sir, can you think of anytime where this happened?’ And he said, ‘no.’”
Omarosa: “Well, that is not true.”
Patton: “He goes, how do you think I should handle it and I told him exactly what you just said, Omarosa, which is well, it depends on what scenario you are talking about. And he said, well, why don’t you just go ahead and put it to bed.”
Pierson: “He said. No, he said it. He is embarrassed by it.”
Pierson explicitly denied having said that last part of the recording while on Fox News.
The Trump Campaign is now taking legal action against Omarosa.
This tape release came as President Trump has been attacking Omarosa on Twitter, and used what many saw as a sexist and racist term directed at Omarosa — calling her a dog.
A July Quinnipiac University National Poll found that 49% of Americans think President Donald Trump is a racist
In other news…
- CNN: Sanders ‘can’t guarantee’ Trump hasn’t used the n-word, but hasn’t heard him do it
- CNBC: Trump campaign hires Hulk Hogan lawyer Charles Harder for arbitration action against Omarosa Manigault Newman
- Bloomberg: Manafort Turned to Kushner in Bid to Get Banker a Trump Job
- The New York Times: Manafort Lawyers Rest Without Calling Witnesses in Fraud Trial
- CNN: Exclusive: Pentagon spokeswoman under investigation for misusing staff, retaliating against complaints
Day 573: Wednesday, August 15
On Wednesday, President Trump revoked the security clearance of former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan.
The Washington Post reported:
President Trump on Wednesday followed through on threats to strip the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, igniting a firestorm of criticism that the president was recklessly attempting to distract from his own political problems and silence high-profile critics.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision at a White House briefing, reading a statement from Trump that accused Brennan of making “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this Administration.”
President Trump is also considering removing security clearances of Former FBI Director James Comey, Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden, Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and more.
By the end of the day, President Trump made a comment oddly reminiscent of his admission to NBC’s Lester Holt. Trump again admitted that he took this action against Brennan because of the Russia investigation.
In other news…
- Rolling Stone: Documents Reveal Successful Cyberattack in California Congressional Race
- Buzzfeed News: Senate Intel Wants To Follow The Money In The Russia Probe. But Treasury Isn’t Making That Easy.
- CNBC: White House wrongly claims Trump created more jobs for black Americans than Obama did
- The Hill: Treasury retweets Trump, possibly violating campaign law
Day 574: Thursday, August 16
Not The Enemy
On Thursday, over 300 newspapers around the United States published editorials calling out President Trump’s dangerous anti-media rhetoric. This initiative was led by The Boston Globe.
We share this sentiment.
Of course, President Trump tried to use this to fuel his narrative that the media is united in their opposition to his administration.
The Senate, however, rebuked President Trump’s sentiment by unanimously adopting a resolution stating that the media is not the enemy of the American people.
In other news…
- NBC News: Omarosa releases secret tape of Lara Trump offering her $15K-a-month campaign job
- Business Insider: Rudy Giuliani reveals how Trump’s legal team plans to fight a Mueller subpoena all the way up to the Supreme Court
- Bloomberg: Mueller Probe Doesn’t Need to Shut Down Before Midterms, Officials Say
- CNN: Manafort jury ends first day of deliberations without a verdict
- The Washington Post: Senate confirms 25th and 26th appellate judges during Trump tenure as GOP reshapes court at record clip
- The Intelligence Community spoke out in solidarity in defense of John Brennan.
Day 575, 576, 577: Friday — The Weekend (August 17–19)
On Saturday, a bombshell New York Times report dropped that will have wide-ranging ramifications in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation:
The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.
In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s fury toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.
Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.
President Trump did not take kindly to the reporting, going on a Twitter tirade on Sunday morning.
In other news…
- The Washington Post: Trump gears up to strip more clearances from officials tied to Russia investigation
- After it was estimated that it would cost $92 million, President Trump canceled his military parade.
- Rantt Media: Tensions Rise As Trump Doubles Tariffs On Turkey
- Rantt Media: Trump Is Opening A Cyber Pandora’s Box
- NBC News: Officials worry Trump may back Erik Prince plan to privatize war in Afghanistan
- The New York Times: Embracing Conspiracy Theory, Trump Escalates Attack on Bruce Ohr
- Bloomberg: Trump Calls Manafort ‘Good Person’ and Criticizes Fraud Trial
- Yahoo News: Judge says Trump campaign screwed up on wording of confidentiality agreements
- The Associated Press: US ends Syria stabilization funding, cites more allied cash
- Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani had quite the weekend…
Ahmed Baba is Co-Founder and COO/Editor-in-Chief of Rantt Media. Writer of Unpresidented and the Rantt Rundown, Ahmed has documented and analyzed every day of the Trump presidency. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on Twitter @AhmedBaba_.
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