It hasn’t all been that bad. Genuinely. Despite the near-constant dysfunction, the Trump administration has had its moments during its first year of power. These moments might not be immediately apparent, but they’re there: periods when the commander in chief didn’t plunge the country into war, where reference is unwittingly constructed us smile — or at least not weep, when he could’ve taken the low road but took a … less low road — slivers of OK-ness, morsels of sanity, whisperings of things not terrible.
So, with our expectations exhaustively lowered, and in the spirit of national healing, here follows Donald Trump’s 10 best days in office in so far:
“Despite the constant negative press, ” President Trump tweeted, “covfefe.”
That was it; it stopped there. It was likely a typo — or was it? Covfefe’s voiced — cove-fey-fey — gave it a playful ring, and its placement in the sentence made it read like an imperative clause.
Maybe it was a hakuna matata thing? Perhaps the leader of the free world was channeling the feel-good mantra of another culture, drawing upon its wisdom to implore his countrymen to look on the bright side? What an unexpected deviation that would be — and what could be a more welcomed change from a man whose understanding of foreign cultures is about as textured and culturally sensitive as a Street Fighter character selection screen?
But … of course not. “Covfefe” was almost certainly a typo — despite Sean Spicer’s claim to the press that “the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” But it was the right accident at the right time, as if FDR alerted a weary nation that “The only thing we have to fear is gjhpq3 9f; a; iw” — it might not have induced sense, but you would’ve get the gist.
In this regard, the president was doing what all great chairmen do: devoting us words — or, in this case, a word — to help us through trying times.
Work getting you down? Covfefe. Bad weather keeping you inside? Covfefe. President using a microblogging service to send hostile messages to the press rather than resulting the free world? Covfefe.
But he didn’t. Somehow, President Trump detected it in himself to let the country have its Christmas. For a few blissful hours, all of it — the Mueller investigation, the Twitter taunts, the Tv habit, his odd capitalization of letters — was out of our minds. It didn’t matter. What mattered was a country in its pajamas, watching its kids ruin its flooring with freshly unwrapped hoverboards and wondering how to make a thank you note for a $10 Starbucks gift card sound sincere.
A true Christmas miracle.
To recap: during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May, the country’s monarch, King Salman, led Trump and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt on a tour of his government’s new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. At one point, the sovereign resulted the two leaders to a luminous globe set atop a very dramatic-looking pedestal — which seemed less like a decorative entreaty for world peace and more like something from Al Pacino’s office in “The Devil’s Advocate.” For several uncomfortable minutes, the three rulers placed their hands on countries around the world — or “orb, ” as it quickly became known on social media.
This was supposed to be about friendship among nations, but it truly simply answered the question of what UN General Assembly sessions would be like if its attendees fell a bunch of molly and cranked up some Enya.
It was awesome, and what’s more, Trump touched something merely after being given permission to do so — behavior that we need to encourage.
You probably didn’t, but our president might, as he seems to think that to measure a person’s knowledge, intellect or psychological bearing, one merely need ask if that person is a “stable genius.”
“I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius, ” the president tweeted, “and a highly stable genius at that! ”
The commander in chief was responding to journalist Michael Wolff’s controversial new volume, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House , in which he reports that many of the president’s aides have been alarmed by what they see as Trump’s declining neurological health.
Another president beset by such reports might take steps to publicly demonstrate their mental acuity — perhaps through a probing sit-down interview or, dedicated our politics, correctly spelling the word “potato.” This president, on the other hand, decided to self-publish the following words: “I believe[ my accomplishments] would qualify as not smart, but genius, ” which only seemed to build their own problems worse.
None of this necessarily built for a great day in the Trump administration, but for the rest of us, we could affirm that even if we weren’t smarter than the president of the United States, we were probably more stable.
On the 11 th day of the 11 th month of 2017, America’s leader called North Korea’s leader “short and fat.”
Nov. 11 is a very auspicious day.
During Trump’s two-week tour of Asia, the Northern korean government released a statement criticizing the 45 th chairperson as a “dotard, ” inspiring Trump to tweet, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old, ” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat? ” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen! “
Donald Trump’s administration has been marked by a slew of foreign policy missteps — from his inability to get Mexico to “pay for the wall” to a puzzling cancellation of a trip to Britain to a State Department that is as heavily staffed as a Party City a week after Halloween.
However , no one piece of diplomacy encapsulated Trump’s approach to foreign affairs quite like his Nov. 11 broadside against North Korea’s autocrat: It was juvenile, attention-seeking and is the sort of thing that could get us all blown up.
Indeed, on Nov. 11, the Trump Doctrine was well and truly devised, which was good, as he also wrote that day that he wants to “solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism.”
*** DUN DUN ***
A day after a human mowed down a group of pedestrians in Lower Manhattan, the president did what chairmen always do after terrorist attacks: He potentially ruined the prosecutors’ case.
“NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room, ” Trump tweeted. “He killed 8 people, seriously injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY! “
As was pointed out in a number of outlets, this kind of public posturing by a leading government officer can actually undermine a prosecution.
And just like that, President Trump, a real law-and-order legislator if the working group ever was one, stumbled upon a new type of presidential pardon: the mistrial tweet. Truly a thrilling constitutional development to behold.
That’s right: for 2, 753 glorious minutes starting early Wednesday, June 7, and objective early Friday, June 9, the president summoned a level of self-restraint that, candidly , none of us thought he possessed. If you happened to see an remarkably large groups of woodland creatures emerging into forest clearings that day, or if your urge to stockpile beans inexplicably subsided , now you know why.
The commander in chief had taken another similarly long social media breather while president, but that was over a weekend, a period when it’s pretty obvious the guy isn’t super keen on doing anything other than golfing.
This remarkable midweek hiatus was likely a response to FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the circumstances surrounding his firing in May. Comey had told the panel he believed the president relieved him of his duties in order to stymie the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign. It’s not exactly beyond the pale for this president to implicate himself through the microblogging service, so perhaps person at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. did the smart thing and videotapeed the president’s phone between his shoulder blades.
That said, as self-restraint goes, the president’s achievement isn’t awfully impressive. “Not causing a constitutional crisis by tweeting” falls somewhere between “aiming for the toilet while peeing” and “not punching people” as basic behaviour we can and should expect from humans. Still, the president did give his people a little peace and quiet for virtually 46 hours in June, and for that we are grateful.
“I hope you can see your route clear to letting this run, to letting Flynn go, ” Comey subsequently reported the president as saying. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
This followed a Jan. 27 session between the two in which Trump told Comey, “I need allegiance. I expect loyalty.”
That Trump’s request occured on Valentine’s Day was almost too perfect, as he seemed to apply the same sum of subtly and forbearance to stymie justice as he does to his love life. Unfortunately for the president, his “when you’re a star they let you do it” ethos doesn’t actually pan off when going toe-to-toe with the FBI.
It might seem counterintuitive that the president attempting to derail an investigation into the top levels of his government would mark the moment our worst fears were alleviated, but the moment made something very clear: The Trump administration may do a lot of damage, but it isn’t going to destroy this republic — it simply isn’t talented enough. It has no sneak.
This isn’t to discount the profound impact Trump and his crew are having on the presidency, the country and our collective faith in institutions, or the potential for more damage yet undone. However when you think back to immediately after Trump’s election and some of the fears that were being voiced about his potential impact on our very route of governance, it becomes clear that for all the comparisons to Richard Nixon, this White House can’t live up to that administration’s calculating deviousness.
This White House isn’t occupied by a group of Machiavellian operators bending the executive branch to their will, but rather a bunch of buffoons supremely out of their depth, careening from one thing to the next like a group of rip-roaring drunks playing Pokemon Go.
Should this administration implode in a series of indictments and resignations, its criminality won’t be placed alongside Nixon’s in the pantheon of bad actors, but between the Florida man who tried to disguise himself at night by smearing permanent marker on his face and the bank robber who was arrested after police spotted his L.A. Lights.
Trump spends a good quantity of his time in Florida, and the working day, perhaps more than any other, crystallized the fact that America had elected Florida Man.
That sentiment defined the first full day of the Trump administration, which was deeply irked by the cold hard facts that not as many people attended now-President Trump’s inauguration as had now-former President Obama’s. Sean Spicer, seeking to handle this situation, appeared in the White House Briefing Room with the petrified, overwhelmed seem of a deer in the headlights — actually , not just a deer in the headlights, but a deer in the headlights “whos also” stoned out of its intellect and was only informed that one day the universe will expand so much that it will dissolve into the ether.
A very alarmed-looking Spicer called media reports about the crowd size “deliberately false reporting, ” then proceeded to angrily mumble something about magnetometers and lawn coverings. Spicer’s performance that day was one to remember: a potent cocktail of disarray, indignation and comedic overconfidence — a mixture the country would grow very well known over the coming weeks and months.
But even as Spicer’s alternative facts helped define the stage for a year of deceptions and subterfuge, something more encouraging was transpiring blocks away. Hundreds of thousands of women and their friends met on the Washington Mall for the Women’s March, an event that would kickstart a year of activism and resistance.
Much and more has been written about the rally and its effects, but it was actually a very good day for our consent-challenged commander in chief: In a deviation for Donald “grab ’em by the pussy Trump, females — literally hundreds of thousands of them — voluntarily indicated up at his doorstep.
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