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.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
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