Taking It in the Trump: Everything the President Did This Week (Feb. 26, 2017)
One month in, and the Trump administration is just as terrifying as we expected.
Published on February 26, 2017

As we hobble away from the first month of the Donald Trump presidency, the outlandish Commander-in-chief has shown no signs of slowing his divisive and nationalistic agenda. In this recent tailspin of a week, Trump has intensified his war against the media, hinted at recreational cannabis crackdowns, and rolled back protections for transgender students, among other controversial actions. Needless to say, there’s a lot of bullshit to keep up with in order to stay vigilantly informed. But no need to fret, we’ve got a recap of every swift blow delivered by the Trump administration this past week.    

The War Against the “Dishonest Media”

  • According to Trump, there’s a new archenemy threatening the lives of America people, and it comes from within the country. While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, Donald Trump reiterated that the mainstream media represents “the enemy of the people." He also opined that reporters “shouldn’t be allowed” to use unnamed sources in news stories—ironic, seeing how Trump used to regularly provide anonymous tips to the press himself.

  • Trump’s disparaging remarks against the “dishonest media” was transformed into action later that day, when he barred a handful of news organizations from entering a White House press briefing, including CNN, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, BBC, and the Guardian. This unprecedented decision caused The Associated Press, Time, and USA Today to boycott the briefing out of support for the disallowed organizations.  

  • While conservative news outlets have unsurprisingly remained unscathed by Trump’s wrath, alt-right news beacon Breitbart has had their own controversy to deal with. Shortly after videos resurfaced of controversial Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos defending a sexual experience he had with an adult when he was a teenager, the outspoken alt-right reporter lost a lucrative book deal with Simon & Schuster. One day later, Yiannopoulos resigned from his position with the conservative news outlet.

  • If you’re wondering which media outlet has the ear of the president, prepare to be comically terrified. According to The New York Times, Trump regularly talks to infamous conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones over the phone. Known for calling the Sandy Hook shootings a hoax and sparking outlandish rumors about a child-sex trafficking scandal involving Hillary Clinton, Jones' outlet InfoWars has seen a major boost under Trump’s reign.  

Legal Cannabis Crackdowns On the Horizon? 

  • On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that he expects the US Department of Justice and the DEA to launch a full-blown crackdown on recreational marijuana in the near future. While he later backtracked by adding that medical cannabis would be unaffected, Spicer also attributed marijuana use as a cause of the opioid epidemic in America. Even worse, the federal crackdown will almost certainly be spearheaded to US attorney general Jeff Sessions, an openly fierce opponent to marijuana legalization.  

  • Spicer’s anti-cannabis announcement was immediately met with opposition from the newly formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The bipartisan organization, made up of two Republican and two Democrats, stated that they hope to "educate this administration on the need for more sensible marijuana policies and share the many experiences states have had with the legalization of cannabis."  

Rolling Back Protections for Transgender Students

  • Although the Trump administration feels the need to meddle in state cannabis affairs, they sing a different tune when it comes to discriminatory measures against transgender students. Earlier this week, Trump withdrew Obama-era protections that allowed transgender public school students to use bathrooms and facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

  • But the President’s decision to withdraw the protections could be challenged by a case currently being considered in the Supreme Court. A 17-year-old transgender student named Gavin Grimm brought the case forward after being restricted from using the bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity.

Intelligence Community Crisis

  • The week kicked off with the high-profile resignation of former CIA employee Edward Price, who stepped down from his position as National Security Spokesman because of his disdain for the current administration. “Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.

  • Shortly after, it was revealed that the Trump administration had attempted to have a handful intelligence community officials delegitimize stories about the President’s ties to Russia. These officials were tasked with disputing media reports on the administration’s shadowy international relations, which led to the resignation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn the week prior.  

  • On Friday, in typical Trump fashion, the President took to Twitter to voice his frustration with the FBI’s inability to “stop national security “leakers."

Deportation Nation  

  • Muslim immigrants aren’t the only group facing discriminatory action in the early days of the Trump presidency. The President has followed in Barack Obama’s footsteps when it comes to mass ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids on immigrants, but the difference seems to lie in the records of the undocumented detainees. In Trump’s first round of raids, only 74% of the people detained have criminal records, a large drop off from 90% last year under Obama.

  • On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security implemented Trump’s plan to increase enforcement on immigration. The memo specifically orders ICE agents to to capture and deport every undocumented immigrant that they encounter. The measures also allow local law enforcement to help with field operations, and calls for an addition of 10,000 more immigration agents.

  • Trump is also expected to sign a revised version of the travel ban on immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries. After the controversial order was struck down as unconstitutional in a number of federal courts, it appears that the President is preparing for round two against the judicial branch.

  • This past weekend, Democrats invited a group of immigrants to Trump’s first-ever congressional address, helping to give a face to the people affected by his aggressive policy.

Switching Up the National Security Deck

  • In lieu of Flynn’s forced resignation, Trump appointment of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as the new National Security Advisor. In what has been seen as one of the unpredictable President’s more sound decisions, the highly decorated military official is considered to be an experienced and highly intelligent military mind. McMaster already began to set himself apart from Trump this weekend, when he reportedly told the White House staff that they should avoid the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism."

  • At the start of the week, Senior National Security Official Craig Deare was fired by Trump for reportedly criticizing the President for his unfavorable policies with Mexico and the rest of Latin America.  

Stirring Trouble Around the Globe

  • Sweden In what seems to be a recurring theme in the Trump administration, the president referenced a completely non-existent terrorist attack in Sweden to defend his Middle Eastern travel ban. When called out for making the incident up, Trump claimed he had obtained that information from Fox News. Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt lashed out at the President’s questionable information sources. "That he blames it on Fox News, well, we expect the President of the United States to have sources of information that goes beyond Fox News," he said Monday on CNN.

  • France -  After President Trump claimed that “Paris is no longer Paris” because of Islamic attacks during CPAC speech on Friday, French President Francois Hollande took the statement as lack of support in the joint fight against against terrorism. “I think that it is never good to show the smallest defiance toward an allied country. I wouldn’t do it with the United States and I’m urging the US President not to do it with France,” Hollande said.  

  • European UnionThe darkhorse of the Trump administration, chief advisor Steve Bannon, went on the offensive against the European Union, reportedly sending the message that there will be a policy of “hostility towards the EU” from the United States. These claims starkly contrast what Vice President Mike Pence stated last week in Brussels, when he committed to maintaining a "steadfast and enduring" relationship with Europe.

  • Ukraine - Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen had delivered a “peace plan for Russia and Ukraine” to now-resigned advisor Michael Flynn. The memo apparently claimed that US sanctions against Russia would be lifted if Vladimir Putin agrees to withdraw his army from Ukraine.

Tyler Koslow
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.
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