And on we go to Week #60, another dizzying experience as difficult to describe as it was to experience.
It starts off innocuously enough, with Trump contradicting his announced plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure by threatening to kill the proposed New York – New Jersey railroad tunnels to get back at New York Senator Chuck Schumer and the entire State of New Jersey, Trump’s nemesis since he washed out of the casino business there.
Saturday morning found the president briefly at Mar A Logo, traveling to another nearby Trump property in the morning to play golf, then a “Trump Victory” celebration back at Mar A Lago before flying back to DC to address the Gridiron Club and Foundation’s 133rd anniversary dinner, saying things ”I like chaos. It really is good. Who’s going to be the next to leave – Steve Miller or Melania?”
Later in the week he would deny there was any chaos in the White House, all evidence and his own statement to the contrary.
Sunday found Special Counsel Mueller demanding documents and e-mails relating to his Russian Collusion investigation from Trump and (!) 214 other individuals, pretty much guaranteeing an avalanche of “No Collusion, No Collusion, No Collusion!” Tweets and statements from the prime suspect.
On Monday Trump personally visited Utah to officially shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and opening them up to potential devastation from mining and oil conglomerates, and also to “talk to Mormons” (pretty much the definition of visiting Utah).
Tuesday, in open opposition to Trump’s arbitrary tariff imposition, His Chief Financial Advisor Gary Cohn resigned in protest, to which Trump would later respond with the Antisemitic codeword “globalist” when dismissing Cohn’s importance to the Administration.
There were several other staffers leaving the White House, but not by resignation, instead getting fired or reassigned for their lack of ability to obtain the required security clearance. Then there was the resignation of the Head of the U.S. Forest Service Tony Tooke over accusations of sexual harassment (How 2 weeks ago!)
Meanwhile, the porn star Stormy Daniels is suing the president because he forgot to sign their Non-Disclosure Agreement and she wants to be free to speak about their love affair and share “mementos.” His spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders then claimed Trump won “an arbitration” imposing a gag order on Ms. Daniels regarding this case, accidentally confirming that Trump did indeed participate in the payoff of $130,000 to buy Ms. Daniels’ silence.
Bad week for Trump and blondes, what with the porn star lawsuit, the revelation that Hope Hicks email had been hacked during the election campaign, and his daughter’s security clearance probably going the way of her husband Jared’s.
In other bad news for Trump, the people whose hate-screeds Trump famously Re-Tweeted were sentenced to prison in the UK, it was learned that both Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee are investigating a certain Seychelles Islands meeting to set up back-channel communications between Trump Campaign personnel and the Kremlin, and a couple of guys named Eric Prince and Sam Nunberg made a splash about testifying (or refusing to testify) before Mueller’s Grand Jury about possible wrongdoing by the president himself, including witness-tampering, a felony.
Then to prove once again that his main and most trusted advisor advisor is himself, Trump threw a big Presidential Proclamation signing, imposing a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum, exempting only Canada and Mexico, setting off a global tidal wave of retaliation as world leaders vowed a trade war against American exports, and seriously antagonizing his own cabinet and supporters in Congress.
Undaunted, Trump upped the ante with an Evening Surprise, when 3 officials from (!) South Korea made an announcement on the White House lawn that President Trump had accepted an invitation to meet with Rocket Man himself, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, with Kim guaranteeing a suspension of all missile tests for the duration of the talks.
This came immediately after the State Department said there were “no talks planned” with North Korea. The reason Presidents of the United States never meet face to face with rogue dictators is to deny them the global legitimacy and acceptance they seek. An audience with a sitting American president suggests a meeting of equals, and makes respected world leaders of aggressive regional despots.
Trump has already broken this precedent by becoming besties with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, an admitted murderer and supporter of vigilante justice, so what’s one more brutal tyrant in the club?
Week #60 was a week where Trump dined with the major GOP donors he swore he could do without, his former campaign manager was slated to go on trial for bank fraud in July and treason in November, a porn star and a brutal dictator commanded most of the president’s attention, we turned isolationist in a globalist word while the Pacific trading partners signed the TPP without America, and the clicking of tiny claws echoed through Washington as ever more rats deserted a sinking White house.
The world is making other plans in the absence of a reliable America, and passing the popcorn as they watch us unravel.