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Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #17 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 5/12/17 TO THURSDAY, 5/18/17

It only seems like 17 years, but Week #17 of The Trump Era has come and gone, and it began with the president threatening his newly-fired FBI DirectorJames Comey not to speak out in public in case Trump “had tapes” of their private conversations. Comey responded by saying he would gladly testify before the Senate about what he knows about Trump, but only in public, then revealed he kept detailed notes of their every meeting, filing them as official FBI documents. Then Trump admitted that it was his idea to fire Comey because the FBI is investigating him for conspiring with Russia to steal the 2016 election that made him president. This of course sent his spokespeople into a frenzy trying to explain away their boss confessing to a crime on national TV, outdoing one another in inventing alternative explanations. 

Saturday Trump gave a commencement speech at a phony university in Virginia, then gave an interview to Jeanine Piro of Fox news, not stinting on the extravagant praise of himself in both settings. Later that evening he would be treated to Alec Baldwin’s devastating Trump impression on Saturday Night Live.

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, Trump spent the day away from his wife and the mother of his youngest son, instead playing golf in yet another Trump golf course, this time the Loudon County Trump National Golf Club in Washington, D.C.  

On Monday, the defecation struck the ventilating device. 

First Trump gave a speech commemorating slain police officers, making it more about himself than them or their grieving families, then met with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Then news reports came in about Trump giving classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last week. Kislyak is considered in international intelligence circles to be a master spy. Later that day Trump admitted to a second serious crime, this time claiming he as president has every right to declassify and release top secret information. Technically he is correct, but the process involves paperwork and the notification of certain government officials, not handed over to representatives of rival nations on the spur of the moment.

On Tuesday James Comey revealed that Trump asked him to shut down his investigation of Michael Flynn, to “let it go.” Treason is what Trump was asking Comey to overlook, and naturally he refused. 

Wait, there’s more Tuesday sunshine for #45: An audio tape of Republican Congressmen surfaced discussing Trump getting paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ordering the others to keep it quiet, practically quoting fictitious Mafia Don Vito Corleone verbatim with admonitions to “keep it in the family.”

Also on Tuesday were the savage beatings of lawful protesters by the Turkish President’s bodyguards in front of the White House, where Trump’s news BFF, the brutal tyrant (and Michael Flynn’s former employer) Tayyip Erdogan, was meeting with him, prompting GOP Senator John McCain to call for their immediate deportation.

Wednesday found Trump addressing the Coast Guard Academy graduating class, once again making it all about himself and not the graduates, this time trotting out his brand new word; “surety,” which he almost pronounced correctly when he said he has been “… with great surety, treated more unfairly that any politician in history.” Once again he proved he knows next to nothing about history, and even less about politicians.

If all the other breaking news didn’t infuriate Trump enough, the revelation on Wednesday that the Justice Department appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the Russia scandal sent him into another flurry of insane Tweeting, invoking the names of his favorite twin scapegoats; Secretary Clinton and President Obama. The Special Counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller (and (!) James Comey’s mentor), is empowered to subpoena Trump’s tax returns and take charge of all ongoing investigations into the matter. 

On Thursday it was revealed that the Trump campaign had at least 18 unreported contacts with Russian officials, and that the Trump Administration knew the FBI was investigating Michael Flynn when he was hired as head of the National Security Agency. It was also revealed by the Justice Department that the letter Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein wrote recommending Comey’s removal was written after the decision to fire him was reached by Trump, contradicting his original excuse that he was only following the Justice Department’s recommendations, which might explain Trump’s unexpected confession on Monday. Or might not. Hard to tell with all the contradictory explanations his spokespeople keep inventing on the fly, only to be exposed by their boss impulsively blurting out the real reason.

Lost in all this frenetic insanity were the rumblings of more and more prominent Republicans publicly breaking with Trump and washing their hands of his fate. As far as Trump Era Weeks, this one was extra disturbing, and the mayhem only promises to continue as the runaway Trump Train picks up speed on its way downhill with no one at the controls.

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