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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: 582576

Reported Deaths: 7284
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1208311715
Ramsey50357867
Dakota45046442
Anoka40774432
Washington26338278
Stearns21901220
St. Louis17502302
Scott16980124
Wright15722135
Olmsted1309797
Sherburne1139484
Carver1031645
Clay807492
Rice7952106
Blue Earth739241
Crow Wing651888
Kandiyohi647282
Chisago581051
Otter Tail567578
Benton560197
Goodhue470872
Mower460332
Douglas459574
Winona448450
Itasca417953
McLeod417258
Morrison413660
Isanti408262
Nobles406748
Beltrami387358
Steele381015
Polk379567
Becker375449
Lyon357650
Carlton340353
Freeborn339529
Pine323521
Nicollet320943
Brown303040
Mille Lacs297152
Le Sueur285322
Todd277431
Cass265528
Meeker250140
Waseca235721
Martin227731
Roseau205019
Wabasha20313
Hubbard183341
Dodge18133
Renville178043
Redwood170836
Houston169215
Cottonwood162721
Fillmore153810
Pennington153319
Wadena152321
Chippewa151338
Faribault149919
Kanabec142424
Sibley140910
Aitkin133136
Watonwan13009
Rock127219
Jackson121211
Pipestone113826
Yellow Medicine113520
Pope10806
Murray10559
Swift103918
Stevens88511
Marshall87417
Clearwater85716
Koochiching81314
Lake80619
Wilkin79812
Lac qui Parle74922
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5408
Norman5379
Unassigned48893
Kittson48122
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3183
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364579

Reported Deaths: 5902
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57228619
Linn20701333
Scott19754239
Black Hawk15746307
Woodbury15087228
Johnson1439083
Dubuque13322209
Dallas1109597
Pottawattamie11036166
Story1054248
Warren572988
Clinton551692
Cerro Gordo535689
Sioux512474
Webster510892
Marshall480875
Muscatine473899
Des Moines451466
Wapello4283122
Buena Vista424140
Jasper413070
Plymouth400179
Lee372355
Marion360075
Jones296857
Henry290437
Carroll284752
Bremer282460
Crawford264340
Boone262334
Benton254955
Washington253050
Dickinson247343
Mahaska229250
Jackson220742
Clay214725
Kossuth214764
Tama208871
Delaware208040
Winneshiek196433
Page192121
Buchanan190431
Cedar188823
Fayette184441
Hardin184443
Wright183336
Hamilton179249
Harrison179173
Clayton168756
Butler163834
Mills161321
Madison160319
Floyd159542
Cherokee158338
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154633
Allamakee150351
Iowa147924
Hancock146434
Winnebago140831
Cass137654
Grundy135932
Calhoun135813
Emmet133740
Jefferson132135
Shelby130537
Sac130019
Appanoose128047
Louisa127849
Union127632
Mitchell125642
Chickasaw123615
Guthrie120729
Humboldt118726
Franklin116421
Palo Alto112123
Howard104122
Montgomery102737
Unassigned10070
Clarke99624
Keokuk95331
Monroe95028
Ida90334
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82830
Davis81324
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7348
Taylor65612
Fremont6219
Decatur6059
Van Buren55618
Ringgold54524
Wayne53223
Audubon5069
Adams3374
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: °
More sunshine Thursday.
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