Donald Trump's absolutely disastrous week

President Donald Trump hasn't had a lot of good weeks since becoming president last January. But this one looks like ...

Posted: Feb 17, 2018 12:11 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 12:11 AM

President Donald Trump hasn't had a lot of good weeks since becoming president last January. But this one looks like one of the worst.

Trump was buffeted on virtually every front -- the Russia investigation, issues of his personal conduct prior to becoming president, staffing at the White House, crisis response -- over the past week, and, as is often the case, his own public comments made things worse, not better.

+Here's a quick review of the major -- and majorly bad -- news of the past five days for Trump:

  • Rick Gates, a former senior adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign, is nearing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller. Gates would be the third member of Trump's campaign to cooperate with the Mueller investigation into Russia's attempted meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

  • Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, acknowledged this week that he made a $130,000 personal payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as a way to keep her from going public with her story about an alleged affair with Trump. Cohen insists -- unbelievably -- that Trump had no knowledge of the payment and that he was never reimbursed for it.

  • Ronan Farrow reports in The New Yorker of an alleged affair between former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and Trump. McDougal's story of Trump's courtship of her and their alleged affair bears many similarities to account by Daniels and former reality TV star Summer Zervos.

  • The Rob Porter debacle rages into a second week. Now 10 days after the initial reports of alleged domestic abuse against both of his ex-wives by the former White House staff secretary, the White House still can't get its story -- or timeline -- straight. On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray directly contradicted the White House' account that Porter's background check was in process -- making clear that the FBI had closed the case file on Porter in January. White House chief of staff John Kelly sits in the middle of this crisis communications disaster, having apparently not told his staff the whole truth at the start of all of this. Reports of Trump privately fuming -- at Kelly, at the situation -- are everywhere even as the the White House insists the president continues to have confidence in Kelly.

  • Less than 24 hours after the murder of 17 people at a Florida school, Trump takes to Twitter to offer his thoughts. "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior," he tweeted on Thursday morning. "Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" While Trump strikes a more conciliatory tone later on Thursday, it's the tweet that gets the most attention. Trump also faced a series of calls -- from parents of the those killed in the Parkland shooting and students who survived -- to do something to curtail the number of school shootings in the country.

  • An inspector general's report shows that Veterans Administration head David Shulkin's chief of staff doctored an email and made a series of false statements in order to justify the use of government funds for Shulkin's wife to accompany him on a trip to Europe in 2017. On Capitol Hill on Thursday, Shulkin admitted to lawmakers that "the optics of this are not good."

That would be a bad month for most presidents. Hell, it might even be enough for a bad year. But this was ONE WEEK for Trump. And I didn't even include the fact that the the Trump-backed immigration plan got only 39 votes in the Senate -- with 11 Republicans defecting. Or that Democrats just keep winning state legislative seats that Trump carried in 2016, a potential precursor to a major anti-GOP wave in the 2018 midterms.

Whether you love Trump or loathe him, it's impossible to conclude that this week has been anything short of a disaster for him. On every front, things got worse for Trump over the past five days. (If you go back a week, you include Trump's tone-deaf tweet in response to the allegations against Porter and his decision not to release the memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.)

Weeks like this may not worry Trump -- whose re-election bid is still a ways off. But, for congressional Republicans desperate to hold their House and Senate majorities come November 6, they simply can't afford the Republican president to rack up many more weeks like this.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 487374

Reported Deaths: 6589
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1011101588
Ramsey43212805
Dakota36478392
Anoka33391390
Washington22156259
Stearns18774202
St. Louis14838264
Scott13354107
Wright12554116
Olmsted1183389
Sherburne876173
Carver779840
Clay693687
Rice671591
Blue Earth598335
Kandiyohi580174
Crow Wing522382
Chisago500345
Otter Tail484370
Benton448290
Winona419349
Mower408131
Douglas393668
Goodhue387569
Nobles387147
Polk344363
McLeod340250
Beltrami338651
Morrison325647
Itasca314046
Lyon313644
Becker313142
Isanti307656
Steele302311
Carlton300149
Freeborn284124
Pine282416
Nicollet260441
Todd248930
Brown246137
Le Sueur236920
Mille Lacs228547
Cass220724
Waseca209717
Meeker207934
Martin190328
Wabasha18673
Roseau180717
Hubbard160741
Houston158014
Dodge15354
Renville151240
Redwood147027
Fillmore13838
Pennington137016
Chippewa136735
Cottonwood135420
Wadena131320
Faribault124017
Aitkin119133
Watonwan11768
Sibley117310
Rock115814
Kanabec107819
Pipestone101724
Yellow Medicine97717
Murray9498
Jackson94010
Swift87918
Pope8085
Marshall78015
Stevens7448
Lake74218
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68616
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62011
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5122
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44468
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3105
Lake of the Woods2201
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335795

Reported Deaths: 5478
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51900558
Linn19487315
Scott17120211
Black Hawk14939293
Woodbury13798214
Johnson1313875
Dubuque12431195
Dallas1020292
Pottawattamie9844146
Story961945
Warren512776
Clinton501584
Cerro Gordo499583
Webster494988
Sioux479469
Marshall463773
Des Moines427861
Muscatine424693
Buena Vista412637
Wapello4035108
Jasper386767
Plymouth368378
Lee354453
Marion340670
Jones285055
Henry279837
Bremer269755
Carroll266749
Crawford252835
Boone243130
Benton240454
Washington238847
Mahaska215646
Jackson209938
Dickinson203040
Tama202665
Kossuth198755
Delaware185840
Clay184125
Winneshiek183028
Fayette179135
Page177819
Buchanan177529
Wright174131
Hamilton173842
Cedar171723
Hardin169739
Harrison167469
Clayton160054
Butler159031
Floyd148141
Mills148120
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee145836
Lyon145541
Allamakee143648
Madison142418
Iowa139823
Hancock137830
Grundy132230
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129411
Cass129051
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123347
Louisa122343
Mitchell120540
Chickasaw119615
Union118831
Sac118618
Shelby117033
Emmet115240
Humboldt113625
Franklin109119
Guthrie109028
Palo Alto101221
Howard99321
Montgomery96836
Clarke94920
Keokuk92329
Monroe89628
Ida81432
Adair81329
Pocahontas80919
Monona76427
Davis76323
Greene73110
Lucas71621
Osceola68315
Worth6677
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53818
Ringgold50520
Audubon4769
Wayne46221
Adams3184
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