The week begins with another resignation, this time Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Most are surprised he lasted this long with all the chaos, bullying, fury, and threats that Trump threw at the Justice Department over the last two years.
A constitutional crisis is building with the refusal of the AG Barr to respond to a House subpoena of an unredacted special prosecutor’s report as well as testify before the House oversight committee. In front of the Senate Barr responded to claims by the special prosecutor Mueller that the AG had misrepresented the context and substance of his findings on Russian influence in the 2016 election and Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice. The Trump administration is flatly refusing to respond to Congress’ legitimate requests acting as if he is above laws of the land. House Democrats are threatening to hold our own Attorney General in contempt for ignoring subpoena.
In a phone call that us hard to believe, Trump and Putin spent an hour discussing world affairs and the outcome of the investigation into Russian influence in the elections. But apparently the President did not take Putin to task for the interference and in a near treasonous behavior Trump did not protect America’s interests. We should not be surprised as in a meeting with Putin last year he sided with the Russian leader over his own intelligence services and used the platform to attack fellow Americans as the world looked on in shock.
The Washington Post has now recorded that Trump has made over 10,000 false or misleading claims in his two years in office.
Trump has begun filing lawsuits against other parties to keep his financial dealings a secret, which many consider more evidence of obstruction of justice. This time his own bankers, Deutsch Bank and Capital One. It’s a turn of tables as over his history it was usually the banks suing Trump due to failed businesses and bankruptcies.
The Trump administration is on track to borrow $990B dollars in the current budget year, an all time record that is ever so alarming given we are in one of the longest economic expansions.
North Korea fired more missiles in a continued stalemate of what Trump promised was a threat mitigated.
Trump proposes that asylum seekers pay a fee to file their application. These are refugees that have barely escaped with their lives to flee from the horrors of their home nations, and Trump wants them to pay-to-play, just like he has done in the rest of his business life dealings. Separately, the administration requested nearly $5B more in emergency border security funding.
Trumps second recent nomination for the Fed, Stephen Moore, is withdrawn.
The administration continues to deconstruct environmental rules for offshore drilling set in place after the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed nearly a dozen people in the worst offshore accident in our history.
Trump continues to defy Congress and talk of both a constitutional crisis and pending impeachment grows. He blatantly is obstructing congress from its investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election. The speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi says that Trump is basically self-impeaching himself with every tweet of defiance. Trump is claiming Executive Privilege on every request of the House for testimony or documents. Subpoenas of the House Oversight and Ways and Means Committees are being rejected at every turn. A House panel votes to hold AG Barr in contempt of Congress for failure to appear or release the full Mueller report.
Separately, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has subpoenaed Trump’s son-in-lay Jared Kushner.
Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri said Trump is who he is and is unlikely to change so we should just get over trying to change him. The problem with that is Trump is changing who America is, and we should not get over that without protest.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a last minute surprise visit to Iraq as tensions build with Iran for no obvious reason, except Trump creating a war as a diversion to impeachment. The U.S. deploys a carrier task force and bombers to the Middle East. Iran later warns that since the U.S. has rejected the former arms treaty that it may start not abiding by it as well.
While the Koreans launch even more missiles this week in defiance of Trump’s declaration that their threat was over. Trump’s good buddy Kim personally oversaw the firing drills.
With all the threat of impending military action by the Trump administration you would think Trump would want a seasoned military leader or international affairs expert as Defense Secretary. Nope, he nominates a Boeing Commercial Executive Patrick Shanahan to head this most important cabinet position that protect’s America t home and around the world.
Trade tensions become worse with new tariffs that Trump has thrown at China. A Chinese delegation visits Washington but leaves with no agreement. The stock market tumbles in response falling hundreds of points. Trump continues to mislead the American public claiming that the Chinese pay these tariffs, when of course they do not.
The NYT bursts Trump’s bubble lies that he is such a great business man with a report that claims Trump lost over $1B in his businesses over a decade of 1985-1994 and likely paid little or not federal taxes. Trump responds that everyone does that and it is a sport to lose money so that he does not owe taxes.
Trump’s personal attorney Giuliani is said to plan a trip to Ukraine, with the President’s blessing to get information that will incriminate the Hillary Clinton Campaign and discredit the special prosecutor.
Trump ends the week by throwing a tantrum on Twitter. On Saturday morning he sends out 60 tweets on taking credit for the economy, blaming Mueller, immigrants and the border crisis, China, Hillary Clinton, the Russians, and Joe Biden. Yes, that is our busy President making policy up as he goes by tweet.
Trump’s admiration of authoritarian, anti-democratic, anti-immigrant, anti-judiciary, and anti-media autocrats continues this week when he said that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is doing a tremendous job.
International crises continue to take headlines this week as we now have disputes in full swing with China, North Korea, Venezuela, and Iran. The drum beat to military action against Iran speeds up as this week then administration claimed that Iran was behind the recent attempts of sabotage of oil vessels in the Middle East. Our European allies do not agree. It was reported that plans have been made to send over 100K troops to the Middle East if needed. The American embassy pulls out non-essential personnel in Baghdad.
The Chinese slapped American imports with their own tariffs of 5-25% in retaliation to Trump’s actions of the previous week to impose a 25% tariff on another $300M products. The stock market has another near-record setting day. Trump’s base of Midwest farmers are now demanding more bailouts, so taxpayers and consumers will be hit twice.
Trump proposes a new immigration plan this week that gives preference to merit-based entry instead of family-based. The irony that these immigrants will be more likely to take American jobs is lost on his supporters.
Republican-dominated state legislatures across the south are on a terror to prohibit all forms of abortion even in cases of rape and incest. With the Supreme Court now decisively conservative in nature, Republicans are rushing to get controversy and cases brought before just in time to stoke the base during the 2020 election.
This week Trump pardoned to two crooked Republican supporters, both family friends. That certainly shows us how to drain the swamp of corruption.
A lone Republican from Michigan became the first of his party to blast Trump’s conduct as being impeachable. Trump immediately attacked back calling him a total light weight and loser.
National Security Advisor and war hawk John Bolton says that North Korea violated UN resolutions with the recent firing of test missiles. Trump walks it back by saying it was some small weapons and not a big thing, and goes on to say he has confidence in Chairman Kim. Later Trump sided with North Korea’s state media who attacked the former Vice President Joe Biden by calling him a low IQ idiot. Yes, our president said he smiled and supported the Korean statement about another US Citizen and former Vice President, and then called Biden a swampman. What a disgrace to our country he has become.
Trump pledges aid of $16B to farmers to help offset their losses from his tariff war with China. So taxpayer consumers get hit twice. Once with higher prices for the goods we buy and then tax money going to placate Trump’s base of rural farm communities.
The world holds it breath once again because Trump is sending another 10,000 troops to the Middle East due to the alleged building threat from Iran. How many times have we seen this sad story of wag the dog play out?
Trump has given his Attorney General Barr authority to release any confidential materials he wants to as he investigates how the investigation into Russian influence of candidate Trump got started. All the while the complete results of the investigation are still being held back from the American public.
The Trump administration moved to revoke discrimination against LGBQT Americans in the military and as well as health care, housing and education. Gender identity will not be protected under laws that prohibit sex discrimination.
Calls for impeachment continue to swell as the administration refuses to cooperate with Congressional oversight committees and ignoring subpoenas. This week Trump blocked his former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is reluctant to start impeachment proceedings, says the President is involved in one of the largest and broadest cover-ups in American History. A few hours later Trump throws a fit and after only 3 minutes walks out of a White House meeting about infrastructure with congressional representatives.
In a bit of rare good news. a Federal Judge has upheld a subpoena of Trump’s financial history by Congress.
Trump retweets a false, doctored video of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with a personal attack claiming that she stammered through a news conference as if drunk.
Another sad moment for America’s moral leadership in the world as Trump said he is considering pardons of American military personnel convicted of war crimes. The crime included the killing of unarmed Iraqi citizens. A Trump-supporting Republican Congressman who supports the pardons acknowledges that he took photos of himself, a Marine at the time, with a dead enemy combatant. Did think of the dead body as a hunting trophy?
Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Congress that the President is using his emergency authority to complete nearly two dozen arm deals to the Saudis among other middle east countries. That’s how we reward countries which kill international journalists; more bombs to drop on civilians in a Saudi led war in Yemen.
The above news has been taken from a number of international, national, regional, and local news media sources, both print and digital. Additional editorial opinions and comments about these news items are those of this author.