This week in Trump’s America: If you are reading this, you’ve survived 1.4% of Trump’s first term

The “so-called” president declares war on the judiciary.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Take a deep breath.

If you’re reading this the day that it is published, it has only been three weeks since Inauguration Day. It has not yet been a month. You are 1.44 percent through this Trump administration term. Remember the Super Bowl (and Lady Gaga halftime show)? That was this week.

On the bright side, President Trump didn’t actually do as many new things this week. Most of the news was bluster, fallout, or follow-up from last week’s events. Unfortunately, there was a lot of bluster, fallout, and follow-up. Let’s get to it.

  • New executive orders: On Thursday, Trump signed three new executive orders targeting drug smuggling, immigrants who are in the country illegally, and crimes committed against law enforcement officers.
  • Muslim ban a no-go: A panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday evening that Trump’s Muslim ban will remain blocked while the court weighs its constitutionality, rejecting an appeal from the administration seeking to immediately enforce it.
  • Stoking Islamophobia: Defending his Muslim ban, President Trump attacked the media for covering up terrorist attacks. Then the White House put out a list of attacks to try to prove Trump’s point — and not only were those attacks actually widely covered, but that list also conspicuously omitted many attacks that weren’t committed by Islamist extremists, like the Dylann Roof shooting that targeted a historically black church.

  • To Russia, with love: In his Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump shrugged off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s history of violent authoritarianism, an unprecedented suggestion that there’s a moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia. The New York Times called out the two’s “bromance,” prompting Trump to claim that they have no relationship at all.

Some antics from the Senate confirmation process:

  • Green card confusion: The reason it was unclear whether Trump’s Muslim ban blocked green-card holders is because White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wanted it to even when Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly intended to exempt them.
  • False divestiture: Despite his press conference a few weeks ago with large folders full of seemingly empty paper, Trump is still very closely tied to his company.
  • All anti-Trump news is fake: Trump tweeted that “any negative polls are fake news,” and deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka added that the White House will use the phrase “fake media” to attack journalists “until the media understands how wrong that [anti-Trump] attitude is.”
  • All anti-Trump protesters are paid: Through protests, town halls, and calls to lawmakers, Americans are engaging in democracy more than ever, but Sean Spicer believes all the protesters must be paid. Kellyanne Conway even told Republican communications staffers on the Hill that it doesn’t matter how many constituents are calling with concerns because they don’t represent “real people.”
  • Hate since the election: We’ve been tracking it; here’s what we found.
  • Authoritarian update: Trump’s getting worse.

Remember, you can always check out our interactive list of Trump’s 663 campaign promises here.

  • Taking a leak: There has been no shortage of stories about how dysfunctional the White House’s operation has been so far. They are disturbing, and they keep coming. The administration has denied many of the leaked accounts and demanded apologies.
  • War crime hopes: Trump openly admitted he wants to “keep the oil” after military operations in the Middle East, even though doing so would be a war crime.
  • Never a good sign: White supremacists are delighted that the Trump administration will stop scrutinizing them for radical extremism.
  • Behaving like journalists: When members of the press pool tried to ask questions during an executive order signing — as journalists do — Trump kicked them out for “not behaving.”
  • Sexist in chief: This is what it looks like when we elect a sexist: Trump apparently tells female staffers they need to #DressLikeAWoman, and his biggest concern about a Saturday Night Live satire skewering Press Secretary Sean Spicer was that Spicer was portrayed by a woman.
  • Disservice to the country: Anybody who criticizes Trump’s military actions, including veteran and former prisoner of war Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), is doing a disservice to the soldiers who die in “successful” operations. The more we learn about the raid in Yemen, the less successful it sounds.

  • Melania for the money: First Lady Melania Trump intends to take advantage of this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” as “one of the most photographed women in the world,” to profit from deals selling “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.”
  • Ivanka for the show: Meanwhile, the White House was shilling all week for Ivanka Trump’s Nordstrom line. Trump attacked the company for dropping her products, Spicer defended that attack during a press briefing, and then Kellyanne Conway went on Fox News and blatantly told people to “buy Ivanka’s stuff,” which may have been illegal and has alienated Republicans.
  • Talk about a bully pulpit: Trump openly offered to help ruin a state senator’s career.

Check out the ThinkProgress’ complete video roundup of the week’s lies and a few we thought really stood out:

  • Another made-up massacre: Trump claimed that “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years,” even though the most recent data (2015) show that the murder rate is still far lower that at most points over the past 50 years.
  • Bowling Green, the sequel: Kellyanne Conway tried to claim she “misspoke” when referencing the completely fictional “Bowling Green massacre” last week, but then two other interviews surfaced showing her making the same claim. Sean Spicer similarly mentioned an invented terrorist attack in Atlanta on three separate occasions, later claiming he confused Atlanta with Orlando.
  • Lying about lying: CNN refused to book Conway as a guest, prompting Conway to claim she wasn’t available anyway. Then Spicer claimed CNN retracted its claim that it had refused booking her, which it definitely hadn’t. Then Conway inexplicably went back on CNN to deliver some incredible spin defending Trump’s lies.
  • Fake footage: U.S. Central Command released video clips to suggest the military’s raid in Yemen was a success, but it turns out they were from ten years ago.
  • Fake terrorism: One of the terrorist attacks on Trump’s list of underreported terrorist attacks wasn’t a terrorist attack.
  • Fake job creation: Trump took credit for jobs created by Intel’s new factory in Chandler, AZ even though it was announced six years ago.
  • Who’s posting fake news?: Trump posted a story on his official Facebook page claiming Kuwait had followed the U.S.’s lead in implementing its own Muslim ban, but it was false. The White House also sent out a McClatchy report about the Muslim ban that omitted any reporting that was critical of the executive order.

Trump’s biggest tantrum this week was an alarming one for the state of our democracy. As Seth Meyers jested Monday, “It seems like Trump’s real rage is he just found out there are two other branches of government.” In particular, he realized that the judicial branch is there to keep his executive power in check.


After a federal judge blocked his Muslim ban last Friday night, the White House issued a statement condemning the judge’s “outrageous order.” Twelve minutes later, an updated statement was released that was identical, except the word “outrageous” had been deleted.

Any further effort to temper Trump’s response vanished by Saturday morning, when Trump questioned the authenticity and authority of the judge:

Trump then began to suggest that the judge would be to blame if anything bad happened to the country. This blatant fear-mongering ignores that the country was quite safe before the Muslim ban (and the Trump presidency).

Sunday morning, Vice President Mike Pence was asked whether Trump was undermining the separation of powers by personally attacking the judge. Pence defended Trump, saying simply, “I think the American people are very accustomed to this President speaking his mind, and speaking very straight with them.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s assault on the courts persisted into the week.

Wednesday morning, Trump took his rage against the judiciary offline, sharing some candid thoughts when speaking to the Major County Sheriffs Association and Major Cities Chiefs Association. He read the law that he believes gives him the power to enact the Muslim ban, fawning over the executive order for having been “written beautifully.” Then he proceeded to share his reactions to Tuesday night’s oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit.

And I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased. And we haven’t had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political, and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right. And that has to do with the security of our country, which is so important.

Trump went on to say that “we are at risk” because the ban was blocked by the courts. Insisting that he was a “good student” who can “understand things” and “comprehend very well,” he called the arguments against the ban “disgraceful” and “sad.” He again asserted that the country “will be at risk until such time as we are entitled and get what we are entitled to as citizens of this country.”


The controversy has already trickled into Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for Supreme Court, with Gorsuch seizing the opportunity to distance himself from Trump by calling the comments “demoralizing” and “disheartening.” And the judges have had to increase their security protection in the wake of the comments due to increased threats against them.

Trump’s loss at the Ninth Circuit Thursday evening didn’t help his mood.

At Thursday’s press briefing, Sean Spicer said Trump has “no regrets” about his statements attacking federal judges. “He is free to speak his mind. Where has this outrage been for the last 100 years?”

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) silenced Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Wednesday night for reading Coretta Scott King’s objections to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), several of his neighbors wanted to make sure he still heard the message. About 100 people showed up outside his Washington, D.C. home to protest and read King’s letter.

Runner-up: Gay Twitter had some fun after President Trump tweeted that he was waiting “for what should be EASY D!”

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