Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump broke protocol with the Queen of England, triggered an emergency meeting at NATO, had a tape leaked where he discusses paying off a Playboy Playmate, began a flame war with the President of Iran and was literally accused of treason.
In other words, it’s been a pretty quiet month for the Trump Presidency.
Before Trump ambled into the White House, presidential controversies were few and far between. Sure, we had Watergate – and that whole Monica Lewinsky thing – but most “scandals” involved the president mispronouncing a word or forgetting the name of a foreign leader. Boy have times changed.
The Trump Presidency has been one catastrophic, jaw-dropping train wreck after another. Yet somehow, the train keeps gaining momentum, oblivious to the mounting carnage all around it. And there’s potentially six more years to come.
Below, we’re counting down the 50 (count ’em!) craziest things that have happened thus far. Sadly, our “definitive” list will probably be out of date in another ten minutes or so. Feel free to add your own updates in the comments section.
Note: We’re including notable events from the 2016 presidential race in addition to Trump’s time in the White House. It’s all part of the same garish tapestry.
#50 That time Trump bragged about the size of his penis
In the lead-up to the US primary election, Republican candidate Marco Rubio made a joke about Trump’s “small hands” during a rally at Virginia.
Trump decided to address the innuendo. Not at a rally of his own, but on live TV – during a Republican Party presidential debate watched by millions.
“Look at those hands, are they small hands?” Trump remarked. “[Rubio] referred to my hands, ‘if they’re small something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee it.”
We never thought we’d see penis size come up in a US presidential debate, but here we are.
#49 That time Trump refused to say whether he would accept the result of the election
During the final 2016 presidential debate, Trump repeatedly refused to confirm whether he would accept the will of the American people in the event of a Clinton victory.
“I will look at it at the time,” Trump said. “I will keep you in suspense.”
Trump’s refusal to accept results of upcoming election is horrifying. He must immediately reverse course and say he will accept the results.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) October 20, 2016
If Trump had refused to accept the results, he would have been the first presidential nominee to do so since the American Civil War (barring recounts). Sadly, we never got to find out.
#48 That time Trump mocked a disabled reporter on stage
Like many members of the mainstream media, Serge Kovaleski isn’t a fan of Trump. Prior to the 2016 election, the New York Times reporter was involved in a minor stoush with the Republican candidate. (Basically, Trump claimed that thousands of American Muslims cheered on 9/11 when the towers came down. He then dug up one of Kovaleski’s articles to prove his claim – prompting Kovaleski to issue a public rebuke.)
During a South Carolina rally, Trump decided to hit back at Kovaleski with a mocking impersonation on stage. This kind of behaviour is unbecoming for a president in any situation – but Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a condition causing joint contracture in his right arm and hand.
In response to mounting criticism, Trump claimed he had never met the reporter before and was unaware of his disability. According to Kovaleski, the two had met face-to-face numerous times and were in fact on a first-name basis – a claim corroborated by multiple other witnesses.
#47 “Alternative facts”
After the 2016 presidential inauguration, Trump’s press secretary proudly boasted that attendance numbers had far exceeded those for president Obama in 2009. Except this was demonstrably untrue, as evidenced by transit data and countless photos like the one above.
In an attempt to explain away this irrefutable falsehood, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway claimed that the press secretary had been giving “alternative facts”.
“These are not normal times,” remarked journalist Dan Rather.
“When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase “alternative facts”… Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy.”
#46 That time this happened:
#45 That time Trump said he’d like to punch a protester in the face
The most alarming thing about this clip is what Trump almost says:
“[The protester’s] walking out and we’re not allowed… y’know, the guards are very gentle with him.”
Not allowed to what, Trump? Use police brutality on campaign protesters? Democracy can be so pesky.
#44 That time Trump accused Mexicans of being rapists, then posed with a taco bowl
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
Prior to the US general election, Trump managed to insult the entire nation of Mexico by accusing its undocumented immigrants of being drug dealers and rapists. Oh, and promising to build a wall between the US and Mexican border, which Mexico would be forced to pay for. (More on which later.)
In a bid to make amends, he then proffered this tone-deaf tweet on Cinco De Mayo, which reads more like an advertisement for Trump Tower Grill than a celebration of Mexico. (Adding “I love Hispanics!” failed to appease critics.)
Incidentally, if you look at the tweet closely, you can see a photo spread of his ex-wife Marla Maples in a bikini. We’re not sure if this makes the tweet better or worse. Probably worse.
#43 Trump’s invisible tax returns
It is customary for US presidents to make their personal income tax returns public prior to taking office. This is something every president has done since the 1970s.
During the primary and general elections, Trump repeatedly resisted calls to follow the lead of rival candidates on the election trail. He blamed the delay on a routine audit and promised to release his returns as soon as possible.
Despite making numerous assurances that he would eventually comply with tradition, Trump still hasn’t made his tax returns public. His new, stock response to this question: “nobody cares”. Um, yes they do.
#42 That time Trump talked about assassinating Hilary Clinton
Ya’ll forgot about this one, didn’t you?
During a isn’t a very safe thing to do in America.
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the second amendment,” Trump said to a crowd of braying supporters. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”
Clinton’s campaign manager blasted the remarks as “dangerous” and suggested that a person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence. Another senator called it an “assassination threat”.
Trump later clarified that he was simply referring to Second Amendment supporters mobilising on election day to vote against Clinton – but then, why would that be a “horrible day”?
#41 That time Trump gave a Twitter shoutout to Kanye West
Thank you Kanye, very cool! https://t.co/vRIC87M21X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2018
#40 That time Trump referred to various African nations as ‘shithole’ countries
Decrying immigrants from Haiti and Africa and other places as “shithole countries,” Trump said he would prefer more immigrants from places like Norway. https://t.co/KvsslFrzZ5
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 11, 2018
During a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators in January 2018, Trump allegedly questioned why the US would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway. This was corroborated by multiple sources who were present at the meeting.
The Botswanan government condemned President Donald Trump’s purported remarks and demanded an apology – which was not forthcoming. “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” Trump later tweeted. Coming from Trump, that’s practically a full admission.
#39 That time Melania’s soul-crushing sadness was revealed to the world
Lest we forget, this was during the presidential inauguration. Chin up, Melania; the tell-all book deal will make everything worthwhile. Probably.
(Related: All the times Melania has swatted her husband’s hand away in the knowing presence of cameras.)
#38 That time Trump gave the Australian Prime Minister a spray over the telephone
Australia is like the USA’s idealising little brother – generally irrelevant, but willing to help in a scrap when needed. Subsequently, most US presidents treat their country’s Antipodean sibling with vague affection. But not Trump.
After being sworn in as president, Trump received a congratulatory phone call from the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The conversation then moved to an earlier agreement brokered with the Obama administration that would see America take up to 1,500 Syrian refugees off Australia’s hands and resettle them in the US.
As you can probably imagine, Trump didn’t take well to this deal at all, which he called ‘stupid’, ‘rotten’ and ‘terrible’ in the space of a few minutes. His words for the prime minister weren’t much nicer:
“Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call… As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcolm. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”
You can read the full transcript here.
#37 That time Trump called Kim Jong Un “short and fat”
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 J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
#36 That time Trump failed to disavow a Ku Klux Klan endorsement
David Duke is an American white supremacist and white nationalist politician, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, convicted felon, and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. In other words, he’s not the kind of person you want to be aligned with during an election campaign.
In the lead up to the 2016 primary elections, Duke issued a public statement in support of Trump who he viewed as the best presidential candidate due to his tough stance on immigration. He went on to state that a white person voting for anyone other than Trump amounted to “treason to your heritage.”
When the Anti-Defamation League called on Trump to disavow Duke’s ‘endorsement’ and publicly condemn white supremacists as a whole, Trump was curiously reluctant to play ball.
“I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” Trump told CNN in response to the request.
CNN gave Trump three more chances to denounce David Duke and the KKK specifically. Each time, Trump dodged the question by saying he didn’t know Duke. (In reality, he has been commenting publicly on Duke since at least 1991 – he once attributed Duke’s popularity in Louisiana to “anger vote”.)
A few days later, Trump blamed the CNN interview on a bad earpiece and finally disavowed the former KKK wizard. However, this didn’t seem to strain the relationship much. After Trump became president, Duke gushed: “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years.”
#35 “Fake news”
After winning the US election, Donald Trump introduced the phrase “fake news” to the masses – which he has repeatedly used to describe unfavourable press coverage, negative polls and pretty much anything he disagrees with.
Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
In recent months he has kicked it up a notch, repeatedly referring to the “fake news media” as “the enemy of the people”. (A favourite slogan of some of history’s worst dictators and autocrats, incidentally.) He has also slammed journalists as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth”.
While it’s true that the mainstream media doesn’t always get it right, reputable publications have vigorous processes in place to ensure stories are as accurate as possible. This is not something that can be of the Trump administration in its own dealings with the media. (“Alternative facts”, anyone?)
#34 That time Trump accused a news anchor of being on her period
During a presidential debate on Fox News, Trump took umbrage at the tough line of questioning from anchor Megyn Kelly. In a later CNN interview, Trump said the following:
“She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”
Needless to say, these sexist and gender-targeted insults did not sit well with the public. Trump later tweeted that he was referring to Kelly’s nose. Riiight.
#33 That time Trump insulted the parents of a dead US solider
Among the untold thousands of critics opposed to Trump’s proposed Muslim travel ban (see below) were the bereaved parents of Humayun Khan; a US Army Captain who was killed in a suicide attack in Iraq. In addition to the Purple Heart, Khan received a Bronze Star for exhibiting heroism in the line of duty.
Khan’s parents spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention where they quite rightly pointed out that Trump’s ban would have barred Humayun from the country. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” Khan said.
Trump responded with a blistering attack on ABC’s This Week programme, which bizarrely focused on the aggrieved mother.
“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say,” Trump said. “She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
#32 That time Trump talked about wanting to bone his daughter
Trump has good reason to be proud of his daughter, Ivanka Trump. But occasionally his praise strays into weird and icky territory.
In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Trump reportedly said:
“She [Ivanka] is really something. And what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, you know, her father…”
We really don’t want to know where that ellipsis leads.
During various appearances on the Howard Stern Show, he has referred to Ivanka as “voluptuous”, “hot” and “a piece of ass”. Then there was the joke he made on ABC’s The View, while sitting next to her:
“If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
All together now: Ewwwwww.
#31 That time Trump accused Meryl Streep of being overrated
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
I’ll let IMDB take this one:
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 times.
#30 The Wall
No, not the grossly self-indulgent (but actually-quite-good) Pink Floyd album, but the barrier Trump proposed to build between the borders of USA and Mexico. This was the cornerstone of Trump’s entire election campaign and a lightning rod for his legion of racist supporters.
Like a cheerleader for the Bigot World Championships, Trump would frequently bellow the following exchange at his rallies:
Trump: “What are we going to build?”
Crowd: “A wall!”
Trump: “And who’s going to pay for it?”
Incidentally, there has been minimal progress on the promised barrier since Trump took office. It also seems unlikely that Mexico will ever pay the estimated $25 billion production costs, with the Trump administration looking into solar panels to help the wall pay for itself.
#29 That time Trump trashed a Republican war hero
Whatever your thoughts on senior Arizona Senator John McCain, it cannot be denied that he suffered deeply – and bravely – for his country. During the Vietnam War, McCain was shot down over Hanoi and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese Army.
Despite enduring years of severe torture, McCain refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer so as not to abandon his fellow POWs who didn’t have a high-ranking admiral for a father.
In almost anyone’s book, this makes McCain a war hero. But not Trump’s.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump emphatically remarked at a 2015 Family Leadership Summit. “He’s a ‘war hero’ because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
It’s worth noting that Trump was 22 at the time of McCain’s capture – the perfect age to be drafted. He received a 1-Y medical deferment, exempting him from military service due to spurs in his heels. Over the course of the war, he received five more deferments for education.
#27 That time Trump pardoned a convicted drug dealer because Kim Kardashian asked him to
Last month, President Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson – a Memphis woman who was convicted in 1996 on multiple counts of cocaine trafficking.
The decision to free Johnson was apparently made at the behest of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, who visited the White House to take up the inmate’s cause. (She also stopped by the Oval Office for a POTUS selfie, natch.)
We’re not saying the severity of Johnson’s sentence was justified. But Trump is a vocal advocate for tougher drug traffickers laws – he has even suggested the death penalty. It seems ever-so-slightly hypocritical that he’s willing to change his tune when the felon in question is championed by Kimmy K.
#26 That time Trump tried to ban transgender people from military service
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
In July 2017, Trump issued a directive that would have banned all new transgender recruits from enlisting. The directive also would have barred existing service members from receiving transition-related surgery.
In explaining his decision, Trump tweeted that the military “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” Ultimately, his ban was blocked by a federal judge on the grounds of being a shit-heel thing to do (we may be paraphrasing here).
#25 This exchange between Trump and Hilary Clinton during the third presidential debate
Trump: “I don’t know Putin, he said some nice thing about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. He has no respect for her [Clinton], he has no respect for our president.”
Clinton: “That’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”
Trump: “No puppet, no puppet — you’re the puppet!”
#24 That time Trump broke protocol with Queen Elizabeth II
Contrary to some reports, Trump did not arrogantly walk in front the Queen during a recent visit to England. (Well, he did, but it was kind of at her prompting.)
What isn’t in dispute however, is Trump’s tardy arrival – he didn’t show up at Windsor Castle until the appointment was supposed to officially commence. He also chose not to bow. Both of these decisions are considered an informal breach of protocol or tradition.
#23 That time Trump (allegedly) watched (alleged) prostitutes (allegedly) pee on an (alleged) hotel bed that had (allegedly) been used by the Obamas 
In early 2017, Buzzfeed published a private intelligence report written by ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele. The dossier contained a series of memos relating to Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia – including the whopping allegation that the Kremlin is in possession of a Donald Trump sex tape.
According to the memo, the secretly filmed tape shows Trump watching on as two sex workers urinate on a hotel bed that Barack and Michelle Obama once slept in. Yes, really.
The Steele dossier has been largely discredited – although it still has plenty of supporters. In any event, the fact that such a preposterous allegation wasn’t immediately dismissed out of hand says quite a lot about our president.
#22 That time Trump tweeted at the Iranian President in all caps
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
#21 That time Trump looked directly at a solar eclipse
As any fule kno, staring at a solar eclipse with the naked eye can damage the retinas, leading to permanently impaired vision. In August 2017, Trump did it anyway, ignoring his own government’s safety advice and potentially imperilling millions of impressionable children watching on TV.
#20 Stormy Daniels
Trump isn’t the first US president to be questioned about an extra-marital affair. But we’re pretty sure none of his predecessors were questioned about an extra-marital affair with a porn star.
A month before the presidential election, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to stop her talking to the media about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. When news of the (potentially illegal) payoff surfaced, Trump claimed he didn’t know about the payment, why Cohen had made the payment or where the money had come from.
Apparently, Trump’s lawyer paid Stormy Daniels hush money out of his own pocket for an affair that never happened. Seems legit.
#19 That time Trump mistook weather for climate
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
In December 2017, Trump appeared to openly discredit global warming on Twitter because it happened to be cold outside. As multiple media outlets gleefully pointed out, Trump was making the same ignorant mistake as countless other climate change deniers. In short, he is using short-term weather event to make false assumptions about long-term climate patterns. A cold snap in one city does not disprove global warming. At all. The leader of the free world should know better (or at least pretend to.)
#18 That time Trump started a trade war with basically everybody
Since taking office, Trump has placed (or is planning to place) tariffs on thousands of exports – including products from staunch allies like Canada and Australia. Despite being granted an exemption on Aussie steel, it is estimated that Trump’s ongoing trade war could wipe billions from Australia’s economy. Meanwhile, retaliatory tariffs from China, Mexico, Canada and others could plunge the world into conflict and chaos.
For all his talk of protectionism, Trump’s sledgehammer approach to trade re-negotiation has arguably caused more harm than good – and things are only going to get worse. Ultimately, these ongoing, tit-for-tat tariffs will wipe out Trump’s “better deal” for America and further sour its international relations into the bargain.
#17 That time Trump bragged he could kill people and still win the election
During a rally in Iowa, Trump made the startling claim that he could literally shoot one of his constituents and not lose a single vote on election day. If that’s not suitably grotesque for you, he also made a gun gesture with his hand.
#16 That time Trump tried to stop NFL players protesting against racial inequality
Racial inequality and instances of police brutality remain a pertinent issue for thousands of black Americans. Since 2016, some US professional athletes – most notably in the NFL – have begun to stage silent protests by kneeling during the US national anthem.
In September 2017, President Trump publicly called on NFL owners to fire any player who knelt during the national anthem:
“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!” He also encouraged fans to walk out of stadiums in protest.
The national anthem protests have continued into the current season and Trump is as furious as ever. Just last week, Trump tweeted that players should be suspended for an entire season (without pay) if they participate in a second kneeling offense.
#15 That time Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
In March 2017, Trump accused President Obama of tapping his phones during the 2016 Election. In the same barrage of tweets, he also accused Oabama of acting like Senator McCarthy and President Nixon. (Who were both Republicans, incidentally. Just sayin’.)
While it’s true that US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, this was done legally under secret court orders relating to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In addition, the probe started in 2014 – months before Trump had announced his candidacy.
Trump’s characterisation of the probe makes it sound like Obama deliberately and illegally targeted his personal phones to meddle in the election campaign. In reality, any surveillance of Trump would have been entirely inadvertent – which the FBI and US Department of Justice have both confirmed.
#14 That time Trump ripped up the Paris Agreement
The 2015 Paris climate agreement is a noble attempt to mitigate global warming by keeping global average temperatures in check via environmental-friendly policies.
Despite participation being voluntary and targets designed at the national level, Trump chose to formally pull out of the Agreement which he said would “undermine the economy” (which we’re pretty sure is code for coal production.)
Relatedly, the Trump administration has slapped a 30-percent tariff on solar-panel imports at a time when governments around the world are offering subsidiaries, rebates and grants on solar technology.
#13 That time Trump endorsed an alleged sexual predator
During a United States Senate special election in Alabama, the Republican candidate Roy Moore was accused by nine women of sexual misconduct and predation.
Some of the allegations were especially disturbing as they involved Moore forcing himself on teenage girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30s. (Fun fact: He also attributes 9/11 and the Sandy Hook massacre on divine retribution because Americans aren’t religious enough. Sounds like a swell guy.)
Most high profile Republicans (including John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Russell Moore, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan) either rescinded their endorsements or publicly urged Moore to drop out of the race.
By contrast, Trump fully endorsed Moore, extended his support personally via telephone and intensified his attacks on the Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2017
Thankfully, it wasn’t enough to sway the vote and Jones won the election – by a margin of 21,924 votes.
#12 That time Trump proposed arming teachers to prevent school shootings
After yet another school shooting left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida, Trump proposed a solution called ‘Concealed Carry’. This basically involved arming coaches and teachers with guns.
“A [school shooting] has lasted, on average, about three minutes,” Trump explained. “It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police to come in, so the attack is over. If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.”
It sounds good in theory (kind of) – but trying to solve the problem of endemic violence by throwing more guns at it is unlikely to end well. The proposal also assumes that teachers are incapable of snapping under pressure. Has Trump ever met a Year 9 student?
#11 The firing of James Comey
In the middle of an FBI investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 election, the president abruptly fired its director James Comey.
Trump initially admitted that “this Russia thing” factored into his decision to sack the FBI director. He later contradicted himself and insisted it didn’t.
In the entire history of the organisation, Comey is only the second FBI director to be fired by a president.
#10 Also, the firing/ousting of this lot
As of July 2018, the Trump administration has seen the departure of (deep breath) the National Security Council’s Jennifer Arangio, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, National Security Council senior director for global health security Timothy Ziemer, White House special counsel Ty Cobb, homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, National Security Council spokesperson Michael Anton, secretary of veterans affairs David Shulkin, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo, Trump’s personal assistant John McEntee, director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, deputy White House communications director Josh Raffel, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, associate attorney general Rachel Brand, White House staff secretary Rob Porter, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Brenda Fitzgerald, deputy White House chief of staff Rick Dearborn, director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault-Newman, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, secretary of health and human services Tom Price, deputy assistant to the president focusing on national security and terrorism Sebastian Gorka, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, special adviser to the president on regulatory matters Carl Icahn, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub, FBI director James Comey (more on which above), White House communications director Michael Dubke, surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy, deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh, national security adviser Michael Flynn, US attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara and acting attorney general Sally Yates.
If you’re thinking that’s quite a lot of firings and resignations for a president’s first term in office, you’d be right.
#9 That time Trump retweeted a British far-right organisation’s Islamophobic videos
In November 2017, President Trump shared a series of anti-Muslim tweets from the far-right extremist group Britain First. With titles like ‘Muslim migrants beating up a Dutch boy on crutches’, the tweets contained video files that purported to show Muslims committing heinous acts against non-Muslims. In reality, the clips either had nothing to do with Muslims or remain unverified.
What’s even more astonishing about this is that Trump chose to share the tweets after their original author – Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen – was arrested for religiously aggravated harassment.
When the videos’ authenticity was called into question (it has been proven that the aforementioned ‘Dutch boy’ video contains no Muslims, for example), the Trump administration declared that facts didn’t matter, and that even if the description of the videos were false “the threat is real”.
Trump also maintained that a retweet is not an endorsement. So just to recap, the leader of the free world chose to share racist, hateful bile with his 44 million Twitter followers – but it’s okay, because he wasn’t endorsing them. ‘Kay.
#8 That time Trump signed anti-abortion legislation while a bunch of men looked on
Prior to being elected, Trump openly suggested that women who have abortions should face some sort of legal punishment. (He later retracted the statement, but there was nothing ambiguous about it at the time.)
It is therefore unsurprising that one of Trump’s first acts in office was to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other organisations that provide abortion services to women. A photo of Trump signing the legislation – surrounded by men – quickly went viral.
— Sharon Kann (@sharonkann) January 23, 2017
As the world’s largest foreign aid contributor, this funding decision essentially risks the lives of some the poorest women in the world.
#7 That time Trump acted like a controlled Russian spy
Last week, Trump shocked the entire world when he appeared to side with Russian president Vladimir Putin over US intelligence agencies. When asked whether he believed Putin or the CIA on Russia’s election interference, Trump said he didn’t “see any reason why it would be” Russia, adding that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial.”
Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
After the White House basically imploded, Trump hastily walked back his comments and blamed the whole thing on a “double negative”. However, a cursory glance at the full Q&A transcript proves this wasn’t a one-word slip up. In response to numerous questions, Trump appears to refute or cast doubt on Russia’s election meddling.
According to US security experts, Trump’s performance has all the hallmarks of a controlled spy or patsy.
“It’s becoming more and more clear that Trump is either a witting or unwitting Russian asset,” remarked one former longtime CIA spy. Maybe that Obama pee tape does exist after all.
#6 That time Trump watched Puerto Rico implode
Hurricane Maria has had a devastating effect on the Puerto Rican economy and its people. It caused the largest blackout in US history with some towns still waiting for electricity nine months later. It is estimated that the death toll could be as high as 4600+ (70 times the official estimate) – most of whom lost their lives in the hurricane’s aftermath.
This can largely be attributed to the lacklustre response from the White House. A Harvard study published in the New English Journal of Medicine concluded that the Puerto Rican and US governments did not provide adequate services – including electrical power and medical assistance – after the hurricane. In all, one third of the deaths are attributed to delayed or interrupted health care.
“These numbers … underscore the inattention of the US government to the frail infrastructure of Puerto Rico,” the authors said. Memorably, Trump responded to the natural disaster by complaining that it threw his administration’s budget “out of whack”.
#5 “Grab them by the pussy”
In the closing months of the 2016 presidential campaign, NBC aired archival, previously unreleased footage of Donald Trump’s appearance on the TV show Access Hollywood.
In a “locker room chat” with television host Billy Bush (they were actually on a bus), Trump makes a series of shocking admissions about his treatment of women. In addition to describing an unsuccessful attempt to seduce a married acquaintance, Trump heavily implied that he likes to kiss and grope women without their consent.
“I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The actions described above could be legally construed as sexual assault. We feel compelled to remind everyone that this tape surfaced weeks before the 2016 election. Trump still won.
#4 That time Trump blamed “the other side” for the actions of a right-wing murderer
In August 2017, a white supremacist rally took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to clashes with opponents on the left. Members of the rally were seen chanting racist slogans, waving Nazi paraphernalia and carrying semi-automatic rifles.
At around 1:45pm, a Unite the Right sympathiser rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. Trump was quick to release a statement, but it probably wasn’t the one people were expecting.
Instead of specifically denouncing white nationalists and, you know, actual nazis, Trump opted to condemn “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” He later doubled down with the following:
“I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also.”
Maybe. But only one side committed an actual murder.
#3 Executive Order 13769/13780
Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States – AKA the ‘Muslim Ban’ – is arguably the most contentious directive issued by a president since Executive Order 9066 in the 1940s.
In one fell swoop, the President lowered the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States to just 50,000, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely and restricted entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (some 218 million people) to a case-by-case basis.
The move led to international outrage and was immediately challenged in court on the grounds that it contravened the United States Constitution. In March 2017, a new executive order was issued to address some of the legal challenges. It added North Korea and Venezuela to the ban list.
#2 The sexual assault allegations
In the wake of the “grab them by the pussy” tape, not one, not five, but 17 women came forward with accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Trump. The claims range from inappropriate kissing and touching (with hands “like an octopus”) to full-blown digital penetration.
Trump’s accusers include a former Trump Towers employee, a Miss USA Pageant winner, a former business partner and a contestant on Trump’s reality TV show The Apprentice. Trump has denied all of the allegations and branded every woman a liar. He also insinuated that some of them aren’t attractive enough to sexually assault.
You can read a comprehensive rundown of the accusations and Trump’s reaction to them here.
#1 Trump was elected
It really happened, folks.
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