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Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (Feb. 5, 2017)
culture  |  Feb 5, 2017

Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (Feb. 5, 2017)

Keep track of the Donald’s overwhelming barrage of f*ckery with this recap.

Keep track of the Donald’s overwhelming barrage of f*ckery with this recap.

As we exit week two of the Donald Trump presidency, we’ve seen the divisive leader act quickly to impose his grim vision of “greatness” upon America. If you’re as frightened as us, chances are you’ve maintained a watchful eye on Trump and his cronies. But let’s face it, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of the new administration’s shadiness—it’s a bonafide deluge. To keep you up-to-date, we’ve got a weekly recap of every swift blow that Trump has delivered to the well-being of the U.S. and the rest of the world.  


Executive Disorder: The Immigration Ban

  • Last weekend began with Trump signing an executive order to put a freeze on immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan. The ban stated that immigrants from these countries will not be allowed to enter the U.S. for 90 days, and all refugee entries will be suspended entry for 120 days. The executive order left thousands of U.S. visas suddenly invalid, and some travelers were detained at airports that same day. Originally, green card holders from these countries were also barred from entering, but the White House later backtracked on this under political pressure.

  • Almost immediately after Trump’s immigration ban went into effect, thousands of Americans gathered to protest the executive order at airports in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

  • Just a few days after the ban went into effect, acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates stated that the Department of Justice would not defend the executive order in court, bringing the legality of the immigration ban into question. Trump responded to this bold act of defiance by immediately firing Yates and replacing her with Dana Boente, who has claimed that he would enforce the immigration ban to the fullest extent.

  • During the first day of the ban, a federal judge in Brooklyn blocked a portion of the executive order, preventing the deportation of immigrant arrivals who were detained due to the presidential order. Last Friday, Federal Judge James Robart issued a nationwide block on the ban, allowing immigrants from those seven countries to apply for U.S. visas again, at least in theory. Trump has since vowed to reinstate the travel ban despite the judge’s ruling, escalating the unruly battle between the executive and judicial branches.

  • Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was pressured to drop out of Trump’s business advisory council by a nationwide boycott of his popular car service app. The controversy started after Uber sent out a tweet offering normally priced rides from the airport shortly after the NYC Taxi Alliance announced that it was suspending transportation services in support of the demonstration. Many saw this as an attempt to break up the massive airport protest, which Uber has strongly denied.


The Rise of Steve Bannon

  • During the global outcry over the immigration ban, Trump snuck his chief strategist and former Breitbart editor Steve Bannon into the National Security Council. Seats on the NSC are generally reserved for the highest-ranking military officers, making the promotion of the estranged white nationalist a shocking move even for Trump.

  • The executive order also reduced the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff in the NSC, giving Bannon even more sway over national security issues.

  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy proposed a bill to kick Bannon off the NSC, claiming that his appointment is illegal. According to Title 50 of the U.S. Code, Section 3021, council members can only be cabinet members and other department heads appointed “with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Bannon has not been confirmed by the Senate for the position.


The Supreme Court

  • On Tuesday evening, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to be the next Supreme Court Justice. The Colorado judge has been one of the top right-wing’s picks to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia, and is said to have similar views to the staunch conservative. In one of his most popular rulings, the newly nominated judge sided in 2014 with the Hobby Lobby chain, which used religious freedom as an excuse to refuse contraception coverage for its female workers.

  • Many Senate Democrats have stated that they will filibuster the confirmation hearing, just as the Republicans did when Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the same seat last year. Trump has called on the Right to use the “nuclear option” and change the rules to a simple majority vote instead of the traditional 60-40 approach.


Pray for Ratings

  • During the National Prayer Breakfast that took place on Friday morning, Trump jokingly prayed for Arnold Schwarzenegger to get better ratings on his version of The Celebrity Apprentice. The president went on to boast at the religious ceremony about how successful the show was when he was the host. Schwarzenegger responded by suggesting that he and Trump switch jobs.


Black History Month

  • On Wednesday, Donald Trump kicked off the first day of Black History Month with a “listening session,” in which he...talked about himself. The president used the event to whine about “fake news” and brag about the success of his campaign while briefly discussing the “big impact” that African-Americans have had on the country. He did not mention slavery, Jim Crow, systemic oppression, or police violence against unarmed black people, and his name-drop of Frederick Douglass made it seem like he has no clue who the abolitionist was. But, he did manage to thank Fox News for being “very nice to him.”


The Joining of Church and State

  • On Thursday, Trump vowed to overturn the Johnson Amendment, a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches. This move would put more political power into the hands of the religious right, which many fear would dissolve the vital separation of church and state.


Doing Away With Dodd-Frank

  • Trump has also halted the implementation of the Dodd-Frank regulations, which require financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients. The executive order calls for a review of the complex Obama-era law, and is the first sign of Trump rolling back regulations on Wall Street.


Stirring Trouble Around the Globe

  • Australia: This past week, Trump lambasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a previously agreed upon deal to send 1,250 refugees to the U.S. Although the phone call was scheduled to be an hour long, Trump abruptly ended the diplomatic conversation after just 25 minutes.

  • Iran: Iran’s inclusion on the immigration ban has led to a renewed conflict between the two countries. On Thursday, Trump put Iran “on notice” for testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen. The president continued to fan the flames on Twitter, stating that the Iran “should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” The following day, Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran’s weapons-procurement network. Both Trump and his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, have warned of retaliation against Iran, creating what could be another devastating war in the Middle East. On top of that, Iran has banned U.S. citizens from entering the country in response to its inclusion in Trump’s immigration ban.

  • Mexico: During a phone call with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump reportedly told him that he isn’t “doing enough” to stop the “bad hombres down there.” Trump followed that by disrespectfully calling the Mexican military “scared” and threatening to send the U.S. military down there to “take care of it.” Trump has also continued to insist that Mexico will pay for his expensive border wall, a notion that Peña Nieto has consistently denied.

  • United Kingdom: During a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump was invited to the UK to meet Queen Elizabeth II, sparking an online petition against his visit that has reached over 200,000 signatures. In addition, May claimed that she doesn’t agree with the immigration ban, promising to challenge it if it has any adverse affect on the UK. This past weekend, thousands of Londoners flooded the streets to protest Trump and his immigration ban.

  • Russia: Unsurprisingly, the one country that seemed to have a positive interaction with Trump this week was Russia. Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a friendly phone call earlier in the week, and the president has also started to lift the sanctions that were placed on Russia by former president Barack Obama.


This Week in “Alternative Facts”


Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer with an intensive focus on technology, music, pop culture, and of course, cannabis and its impending legalization.