Week Three in Trump’s America
Week Three, in one sentence: Donald Trump attacked a “so-called judge,” who was appointed by George H. W. Bush, after he temporarily halted Trump’s refugee and immigration ban; suggested that Russia and the U.S. were basically morally equivalent; accused the media of intentionally underreporting terrorist attacks for shadowy reasons; cited untrue stats about the U.S. murder rate; tweeted that his daughter Ivanka was mistreated by Nordstrom, after which his senior advisor told America to “buy Ivanka’s stuff” on national television; reportedly paused a call with Vladimir Putin so he could find out what the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty is; and, after another legal blow to his ban, this time from a federal appeals court, tweeted “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”
A “ridiculous” opinion
Day 16 – Feb. 4: A federal judge enacted a nationwide hold Friday on President Trump’s refugee and immigration ban. A day later, Trump attacked the “so-called judge” on Twitter, calling the decision “ridiculous” and set to be “overturned.” Trump continued to scorn the judiciary throughout the week.
Then, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had called the president’s attacks on the judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
Naturally, Trump went after the senator too, by reminding Twitter that Blumenthal once lied about fighting in Vietnam (which is true.)
The U.S. ≠ Russia
Day 17 – Feb. 5: After Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, in an interview before the Super Bowl,pressed Trump on how he could support a “killer” like Putin, the president said, “We got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”
Republican hawks immediately took aim at Trump for his continued defense of Russia, which could affect a number of issues facing the U.S. and the world. Russia currently ranks 148th out of 180 nations for press freedom, according to Reporters without Borders, and routinely jails dissidents, some of whom have ended up dead.
Did you hear about Paris?
Day 18 — Feb. 6: In a speech during his first trip to the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operation Command, Donald Trump lobbed a new (and false) allegation at the “very, very dishonest media”: failing to reporting incidents of terrorism.
Later in the day, the White House released a list of 78 “underreported” terror attacks. The press had widely covered most of the incidents, however, like the Orlando nightclub shooting last June and the Paris attacks in November 2015. The list also left out several attacks committed by white people.
Not even close
Day 19 – Feb. 7: The fact that Trump’s full Cabinet had not been confirmed was a “disgrace” and the “longest such delay in the history of our country,” the president tweeted Tuesday evening.
Not even close. Aside from both President Bushes’ final Cabinet picks being confirmed later than early February, Obama holds the modern record, according to the BBC — the confirmation hearing for former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrapped up on April 28.
VICE NEWS’ COVERAGE:
Wrong on crime
Day 20 — Feb. 8: During a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs Tuesday, the president once again cited a false crime statistic. “The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right?” Trump said. “Did you know that? Forty-seven years.”
In 2015, there were 4.9 murders per 100,000 people in the U.S., according to publicly available crime data. Forty-seven years ago, in 1970, the murder rate was 7.9 per 100,000 people. Even before the conversation, Trump and his administration were skewing crime statistics to fit their agenda.
The president’s comments come the same day the Senate confirmed former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the new U.S. attorney general.
Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway also gave, in her own words, a “free commercial” for Ivanka Trump’s brand — which Nordstrom dropped last month — in the White House Briefing Room, leading to serious questions about the ethics of endorsing a company that benefits the first family. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” Conway said. “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it.”
What nuclear treaty?
Day 21 – Feb. 9: After a U.S. appeals court declined to reinstate Trump’s refugee and immigration ban, the president tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Thursday’s decision only keeps a temporary suspension and doesn’t fully repeal the ban, as several states have filed for on constitutional grounds. Even if Trump appeals, however, the outcome doesn’t look good. A Supreme Court decision ending in a 4-4 split would uphold what the lower court ruled.
In his first official call with Putin, Trump reportedly didn’t know about the New START treaty — and had to pause the call to find out, according to Reuters. For the record, it’s the U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty negotiated by Obama and ratified with bipartisan support in 2010.
Trump also signed three executive orders Thursday to stop crime, prevent violence against law enforcement, and crack down on drug cartels — although none of them propose immediate changes.
Two Trumps, One China
Day 22 – Feb. 10: In another first phone call this week, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump finally affirmed his support of the “One China” policy after months of underhanded opposition to the long-standing diplomatic policy.
This week in POTUS tweets:
The failing @nytimes writes total fiction concerning me. They have gotten it wrong for two years, and now are making up stories & sources!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2017
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas, while our people are far more vulnerable, as we wait for what should be EASY D!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017