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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 1:11 AM
Updated: Feb 17, 2018 1:11 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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