My recap of the first 2 weeks of the Trump presidency goes like this.
1. An inaugural address that sounds rather dark and pessimistic, with its invocation of "carnage" and "tombstones" and other suchlike pleasant stuff. And a promise that "this ends now", of course. Where without it.
2. Trump calls the acting director of the National Park Service. Irritated by reports about inauguration crowd size, Trump orders up new photographs of the event.
3. Trump at the CIA where he boasts of his intellect and blames the media for inventing his feud with the intelligence community (but of course!). Then complains about coverage of his inauguration crowds and laments that the US did not "keep the oil" in Iraq. As usual, he makes it all about himself.
4. Kellyanne Conway's defense of "alternative facts" (read: lies), and a few days later citing the fictitious Bowling Green Massacre to defend the Trump travel ban.
5. Chief strategist Stephen Bannon's (OMG) admonition to the media to "keep its mouth shut".
6. Trump claims there was popular-vote fraud, which now appears headed for official inquiry. Which is weird, coming from the guy who actually won the election.
7. Trump cancels funding for Planned Parenthood.
8. Mexico cancels state visit amidst Trump's mantra that Mexico will eventually pay for the wall.
9. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is fired for refusing to defend a travel ban executive order she believes is unconstitutional. A few days later a federal judge agrees with her opinion, then reverses this executive order at least temporarily. Nearly 1,000 State Department staffers sign a letter expressing disagreement with President Trump's executive order. White House spokesman Sean Spicer says dissenters should "get with the program or they should go". Four US states sue the Trump administration, describung the order as "unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American". The state of Washington sues the White House, supported by Amazon (headquartered in that state). Massachusetts also issues a statement of support for the attorney general's actions. Over 100,000 visas are revoked in the meantime.
10. Phone call with Australia injures that relationship, as Trump yells invectives at the Aussie PM.
11. The Yemen raid where Trump overrules the recommendation to wait for a moonless night. In addition, it appears the enemy knew the US were coming. People involved with the decision have reportedly met without security clearance. One navy Seal is lost, three Navy seals get wounded, over 20 civilians are killed including a child who turns out to be a US citizen. A 70 million dollar helicopter is lost. Trump was not in the situation room during the attack, rather he was at his residence tweeting about the NYT, Graham and McCain.
12. At a prayer breakfast Trump talks about how his ratings on the Apprentice were better than Schwarzenegger's. Arnold responds in a very smart and funny way.
13. Iran warned to stop testing ballistic missiles. Sanctions imposed. Iran promises to continue its missile activity and would not bow to US intimidation.
14. After Russian hacking of the US election to aid Trump, the White House is accused of turning off recording equipment during Trump/Putin call.
15. President Trump threatens to withdraw federal funds from UC Berkeley after protests against a planned appearance by a Breitbart editor, former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich promotes a conspiracy theory that it was in reality a group of right-wingers (perhaps linked to Breitbart News) who were responsible for violent riots at Berkeley. This adds fuel to the proposed California Nationhood constitutional amendment.
Impact of the above:
• Will American citizens or foreign leaders believe the president of the US when he makes an assertion? Increasingly unlikely.
• A letter circulated this week by the president of the European Council which describes the Trump administration as a threat to Europe.
• Many congressional Republicans privately express concerns that range from apprehension to outright dread.
• In a meeting with The Post editorial board, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chair of the House Oversight Committee, says he is weighing legislation to require presidents to undergo an independent medical examination, including for mental health. In his words, "If you're going to have your hands on the nuclear codes, you should probably know what kind of mental state you're in."
• Nancy Pelosi says she supports legislation requiring Trump to be mentally examined.
• House Republicans vote to allow severely mentally ill people to buy guns.
• Bill proposing to sell 3.3 million acres of public land withdrawn after backlash. H.R. 621 proposed by Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz intended to sell 3.3 million acres of federal public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) throughout 10 states.
• 40% Of Americans want Trump impeached.
• Trump offends career diplomats, intelligence community, Jews, Muslims, LGPTQ community, Europeans, Mexicans, Corporate America, Australians, Californians, Iranians, Women, places of sanctuary (4 states, 39 cities and 364 counties), Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
• Risk of war with Iran, China and in the Ukraine.
• Damaged relationships: Europe, China, Iran, Australia, Mexico.
- Women's March (worldwide)
- Against the Muslim Ban (worldwide)
- Corporate America, especially hi-tech sector
- Against Uber, where boycotters win, as CEO steps down from Trump's Economic Advisory Council
- Trump becomes fastest president to attain majority disapproval job rating according to the Gallup poll.
Looking forward to Week 3 of the presidency.