By: Ahmed Baba
Ten weeks. We are now in the double digits of what has felt like the most tumultuous first weeks of a new presidency.
Ten weeks of lies. Ten weeks of failed policy attempts. Ten weeks of Trump.
President Trump went into this week still trying to shake off the disaster that was week nine. Obamacare replacement attempt, failed. Trump-Russia investigation, confirmed. Republican party, fractured. How was President Trump going to handle this?
Did Trump clean up his act and try to repair the division within his party?
Did Trump prove he has nothing to hide and cooperate in the investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia?
Of course not. In typical Trump fashion, he learned nothing from his mistakes. He doubled down.
Here is every action President Trump, and his administration, took during his tenth week as President of the United States:
Tenth Weekend (March 25–26)
The Blame Game
- Fresh off of his tremendous week of losses, President Trump started his tenth weekend off with some comforting words for American’s worried about the future of their healthcare coverage. There is nothing more relaxing than your President telling you your healthcare system is going to spontaneously combust
- This is when things got interesting. On Saturday, Trump sent out this tweet
And…This was Jeanine’s opening statement
This was in stark contrast to Trump’s supportive words for Paul Ryan after the failure of his healthcare bill.
- After blaming the Democrats, President Trump had some bitter words for his fellow Republicans in the Freedom Caucus, whose rebuff of the GOP’s Obamacare replacement doomed it to an early grave
- As Trump was spending yet another weekend at Mar-a-Lago, The Washington Post reported that “for the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office”
Tenth Week (March 27–31)
Monday March 27
- Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought himself under fire after briefing President Trump (who Nunes is currently investigating for ties to Russia) on intelligence reports that contained the “incidental collection” of communications between the Trump transition team and foreign entities. Nunes, who was also on the Trump transition team, briefed Trump without first briefing ranking member of the Intel Committee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Trump took that info as “vindication” for his wiretapping lies, even though it is far from it. This week, the heat turned up. Nunes told CNN he was on White House grounds when he reviewed the intelligence reports, leading many to question whether his source was the White House itself. This was the first of many developments throughout this week, that pointed directly to coordination between Rep. Nunes and the White House he is investigating
- The Senate Intelligence Committee said they will question President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as part of their investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. He will be questioned specifically on his secret meeting with former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, as well as his correspondence with a Russian bank
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference where he used fear tactics and dangerous myths to push a Sanctuary City policy change that would do local communities more harm than good. He threatened to strip their funding
- Trump picked Jared Kushner to lead a team to fix government bureaucracy with business ideas
- Democrats forced the delay of a vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch
- After the revelation that Nunes met his source at the White House, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) called on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation
- President Trump ended the day with some tweets trying to discredit the Trump-Russia investigation, continued his assault on his own party, and signaled he would try and reach out to Democrats if the GOP would not cooperate
Tuesday March 28
Obstruction Of Justice
- Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates made headlines once again this week. In January, she was fired for ordering Justice Department lawyers to not defend Trump’s Muslim ban. Before she was fired, she was the person who originally warned the White House of Michael Flynn’s lies regarding his discussions about lifting Russian sanctions with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Letters revealed that the White House tried to prevent Yates from testifying in the Trump-Russia investigation. The White House would’ve had to invoke executive privilege, which is the ability of the President to “shield executive branch confidences from disclosure.” Interestingly enough, the hearing she was scheduled to testify at was canceled by non-other than House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes. Many pointed to this as an example of Nunes coordinating with the White House to try and shield the President from Yates’ damaging testimony on Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia. It also served as a way to avoid the invocation of executive privilege
- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) called on Rep. Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation. He’s the first Republican lawmaker to do so
- President Trump signed an executive order further dismantling Obama’s climate policies
- USA TODAY reported that “The president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering”
- Speaking of ties to former Soviets, Trump ended his Tuesday trying to deflect away from the Trump-Russia scandal, tweeting out once more about Hillary Clinton’s alleged ties to Russia
- President Trump’s approval rating dropped to an all time low of 35%
Wednesday March 29
- Ivanka Trump is becoming an official federal employee, working as an unpaid assistant to her father President Trump. Critics cried nepotism, but with what was revealed later on in the week, it appears there is a bigger issue at hand with this situation than family favoritism
- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes could be facing an ethics probe for unauthorized disclosures of classified intelligence when he revealed the details of the “incidental collection”
- For the third time, Republicans in the House voted down a measure that would’ve forced President Trump to release his tax returns
- Amid legal battles and rampant conflicts of interest with his first DC hotel, President Trump’s company is pursuing a second DC hotel
- Sean Spicer snapped at female reporter, and veteran White House correspondent, April Ryan, telling her to “stop shaking your head” after she asked about the Trump administration’s perception problem and how they will deal with the Trump-Russia scandal
- The Senate Intelligence Committee, who plans to question 20 people, held their first press conference on the Trump-Russia investigation. Chairman Richard M. Burr (R-NC) and ranking Democrat Mark Warner (D-VA) promised a thorough bipartisan investigation
- “Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, moved late on Wednesday to reject the scientific conclusion of the agency’s own chemical safety experts who under the Obama administration recommended that one of the nation’s most widely used insecticides be permanently banned at farms nationwide because of the harm it potentially causes children and farm workers.”
- It wouldn’t be a Wednesday in Trump’s America without at least a couple more tweets bashing the fourth estate
Thursday March 30
Declaration Of War
- We saw the gradual escalation in President Trump’s rhetoric towards the Freedom Caucus throughout the week, but on Thursday, he took it up about 10 notches. In a stunning move President Trump declared war on the Freedom Caucus, calling on his supporters to vote out members of his own party
Later in the day, he began to call out Freedom Caucus members by name.
- Speaker Paul Ryan warned his fellow Republicans that they need to unify in order to prevent Trump from potentially making a deal with Democrats on healthcare
- It was revealed that 2 White House officials provided the “incidental collection” intelligence reports to Rep. Devin Nunes…The very same intelligence reports Nunes briefed the President on. This revelation made it clear that the White House gave the reports to Nunes in a coordinated attempt by President Trump to vindicate his wiretapping lies
- Former national security adviser Michael Flynn expressed his willingness to testify before federal and congressional investigators on the Trump-Russia scandal if he is granted immunity
- Politico reported that “the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases ‘climate change,’ ‘emissions reduction’ or ‘Paris Agreement’”
- The Senate Intelligence Committee held their first hearing on the Trump-Russia scandal, and it was distinctly different from the House’s. It was informative and not deadlocked by partisanship
- North Carolina repealed the transgender ‘Bathroom Bill’
- Seattle sued the Trump Administration over their threat to strip ‘Sanctuary’ cities of funding
Friday March 31
- After it was reported that Michael Flynn was seeking immunity, President Trump urged his former national security advisor to go forward with it. Trump also called the Trump-Russia investigation a witch hunt
- The Senate Intelligence Committee rejected Flynn’s request for immunity, stating that it was “wildly preliminary”
- Rep. Adam Schiff chimed in for the House Intelligence Committee, stating that it was indeed far too early for immunity to be discussed. Schiff said he would need to see details of what Flynn was going to say
- “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, will remain the beneficiaries of a sprawling real estate and investment business still worth as much as $740 million, despite their new government responsibilities, according to ethics filings released by the White House Friday night.” With Trump’s enormous business empire, this causes numerous conflicts of interest since these two will be advising the President and also have financial ties to their business empire
- The Trump administration released financial disclosures for White House staff
- ProPublica reported that “Tom Price Intervened On Rule That Would Hurt Drug Profits, The Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock”
- According to civilian monitoring group Airwars, there has been a significant increase in civilian deaths at the hands of US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since Trump has taken office. In March alone, the US has allegedly killed almost 1,000 civilians, surpassing Russia’s civilian death toll for the first time. This was three times the amount the Obama administration killed in his final month in office
- In regards to Michael Flynn seeking immunity, it has been speculated that this is indicative of him seeking protection for a larger crime and he is gearing up to take down a bigger fish with his testimony
- Some bonus tweets for you. On Saturday morning, Trump took to Twitter once again to try and discredit the Trump-Russia story. This time, he took aim at Chuck Todd and NBC
Another wild one. President Trump has declared war on the Freedom Caucus. By taking aim at his own party, he puts them in danger in 2018.
The Trump administration’s actions surrounding the Russia investigation are beginning to look like a coverup.
And all the while, Trump continues to create more circumstances where he could be in violation of the emoluments clause.
Trump’s reckless approach served him well on the campaign trail, but it will be his downfall in the White House.