Friday, July 28 was hinted as #FailureFriday by Mika Brzezinski during her morning show – Morning Joe – and within minutes it trended in Twitter like powder. Indeed, it has been am awful week for President Trump, chock full of disappointments and defeats, as well as bad leadership and statements.
From lack of leadership to pass a health care legislation, embarrassing his own Attorney General publicly on social media to an inappropriate treatment of transgenders serving in the military and an unprecedented rhetoric speech in front of Boy Scouts of America, let’s see in details what made this past week, the worst week in the Trump administration.
Failing attitude towards A.G. Jeff Sessions
For two weeks, President Trump has been throwing soars public remarks at Attorney General Jeff Sessions through Twitter, interviews and press conferences. He called the Attorney General Sessions ‘beleaguered’, ‘weak’, and regretted having nominated for the position after he recused in all things related to the Russian investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump’s comments immediately raised speculation that Sessions could resign, though Sessions himself said he has no intention of stepping down in the wake of Trump’s comments. So the man who, until summer of 2015, was most famous for firing people, is not a good boss.
With his ongoing campaign of abuse against his own attorney general, Trump is essentially trying to back into a Saturday Night Massacre-like scenario, in which the rest of his party does all the dirty work. If Sessions resigns of his own accord, he can then cite the appointment power as his source of authority to replace Sessions, name a new attorney general who doesn’t have to recuse and then determine that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s services are no longer needed, all without Trump’s fingerprints in Mueller’s firing.
But thus far, he has only met a unified Senate that back Jeff Sessions that considers the former colleague an honorable person, a man of deep conviction and principles who believes in the rule of law. They have even defended Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia probes.
Failing speech delivery at Boy Scouts of America
President Trump on Monday was the keynote speaker at Boy Scouts of America during the National Jamboree. The speech at a national gathering of Scouts, staff and volunteers in West Virginia, drew fire from critics who felt the president inappropriately brought partisan arguments to a typically nonpartisan setting — despite Trump’s early promise to “put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C.”
In fact, the speech was bad for the tens of thousands of Scouts who heard it, full of a political rhetoric they did not have to be involved into. The speech came in a particularly dangerous context: among a huge crowd of young boys, a captive and highly receptive audience that was particularly vulnerable to being influenced by the toxic traits the president consistently demonstrates: his insatiable desire to be adored, his demands for unconditional loyalty, his obsession with winning, and his need to devalue anyone he perceives as a threat.
The head of the Boy Scouts of America apologized Thursday to the organization’s members, telling them that the group did not intend to showcase the “political rhetoric” in President Trump’s speech to the National Jamboree.
The President’s speech represented a marked change from prior presidential speeches to the Boy Scouts, which generally discussed values and service rather than partisan issues. Instead, he slammed the “fake news” media, promoted the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, boasted about his election night victory and called out the Washington “cesspool.”
Failure to banning transgenders serving in the military
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military in any capacity. The President is barring transgender people from serving in the military citing “tremendous medical costs and disruption.”
He twitted “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow … Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”
This statement seemed to take the Pentagon by surprise, so it seems like no consultation with generals and military experts were ever made. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was on vacation when the decision was announced, and privately opposed the move.
Politico reported that President Trump had always planned to scale back policies put in place during the administration of President Barack Obama welcoming such individuals in combat and greenlighting the military to pay for their medical treatment plans. But a behind-the-scenes GOP brawl threatening to tank a Pentagon funding increase and wall construction hastened Trump’s decision.
Numerous House conservatives and defense hawks this week had threatened to derail their own legislation if it did not include a prohibition on Pentagon funding for gender reassignment surgeries, which they deem a waste of taxpayer money. But GOP leaders were caught in a pinch between those demands and those of moderate Republicans who considered the proposal blatantly discriminatory. When Defense Secretary James Mattis refused to immediately upend the policy, they went straight to the White House.
The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. James Dunford, said Thursday that the military wouldn’t implement the ban absent a formal, non-tweeted order from the commander in chief.
Trump’s sudden decision to ban transgender personnel from serving in the military has alarmed some senior military officers who were caught off guard by it. Rights groups and some lawmakers from both parties accused Trump of politically motivated discrimination and said the decision creates uncertainty for transgender active-duty service members and reservists, who say they number in the thousands.
Failure to unite senate for a health care legislation
After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated they didn’t have the stomach to repeal “Obamacare” on Wednesday when it actually counted. The Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation to throw out major portions of Barack Obama’s law without replacing it.
Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in rejecting a measure by GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky that would have repealed most of former President Obama’s health care law, with a two-year delay but no replacement. Congress passed nearly identical legislation in 2015 and sent it to Obama, who unsurprisingly vetoed it.
Then on Friday, Sen. John McCain, the 80 years old in the twilight of a remarkable career, walked into the well of the Senate around 1:30 a.m. and gave a thumbs-down to the legislation, killing the ‘Skinny Repeal’ his colleagues were trying to pass to please President Trump’s agenda.
In a very bold statement after the measure failed to pass, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called the GOP and President Trump “petulant” and blamed Republicans for the program’s failure. He said that some of the difficulty the ACA is experiencing is being caused by the uncertainty the Republicans have created with the disastrous process that they have followed on health care so far.
He is right. Blame Trump for the Health-Care failure.
Rather than emphasizing the role or long-term effectiveness of the market, Republicans built seven years of party momentum around the promise of replacing Obamacare with a plan that would simultaneously maintain coverage rates, lower premiums, and keep the pre-existing-condition coverage mandate. But Donald Trump is primarily responsible for this week’s collapse of Obamacare reform. The president was utterly uninformed about health care and had no desire to learn about it—maybe still does not have.
When health care is the issue, Trump simply does not know what he’s talking about. He barely tried during the GOP’s unsuccessful push on health care, never held a town-hall meeting on the subject, never gave a prime-time speech or press conference, and when he hit the road, he spent more time on other subjects than on health care.
Ultimately, Trump failed to sell the GOP health care efforts to his own voters.
No president can be expected to understand every detail of every policy, but they hire smart people to give them advice. He has also failed to do so.
The president blamed Democrats, those Republicans who voted no in every vote, and the Senate process for health care’s collapse. But he never mention his stunning lack of presidential leadership.
Failure to keep the house in order
Last week’s arrival of new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has been fraught with literally obscene drama between himself and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
President Trump and his aides frequently complain about back-biting leaks from within the White House. This week, Scaramucci accused Priebus of feloniously leaking his financial disclosure form to the press. In what clearly has been first gaff as communications director, Scaramucci phoned up “The New Yorker” and on the record unloaded to reporter Ryan Lizza in a bizarre and expletive-filled diatribe, calling Priebus an “f***ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”
He also accused White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon of seeking to “build [his] own brand off the … strength of the president,” and he claimed to have evidence from the FBI about who in the White House had been leaking information fueling derogatory stories about Trump.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did the usual – declined to come to Priebus’ defense and say whether Trump has full confidence in his chief of staff.
Sanders also defended Trump’s controversial speech at the Boy Scouts national jamboree on Monday night, a campaign-style event that prompted an apology from the organization’s chief executive on Thursday for the partisan tenor of the president’s address.
So with this happening, the repeated evidence of dysfunction and the high level of insecurity among Trump’s core aides help explain the White House’s inability to focus on its agenda.
And the worst of it all is the whole world is watching what appears to be an incredibly dysfunctional White House.
Right not, out of the three branches of government, two of them are in distress. So the Senate and House of Representatives should follow McMcain’s statement that they don’t work for the president and start siding with what’s best for the American people. The President of the United States and his Executive Branch should wrap up the political rhetoric and disorderly conduct they have been involved in since January 20 and take this great nation of ours to be the lighthouse of the world again.
If not, each Friday #FailureFriday will trend as hell.
#FailureFriday depicts worst week in the Trump Administration up to July 28. Mika Brzezinski started, twitter then put Trump’s unsuccessful week on blast.