A brief rundown of Donald Trump's horrible, no good, very bad week
- Time and time again, President Donald Trump has been declared by pundits to have hit rock bottom, only to see his approval ratings remain steady in the low to mid 40th percentiles.
- This week could be a new low, with the coronavirus spiking in 14 states and the nation still reeling from the death of George Floyd, new batches of polling and shocking revelations from John Bolton's book.
- Almost all of Trump's previous low points were the result of self-inflicted controversies, but now his penchant for self-sabotage has collided with severe and tragic external events.
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President Donald Trump will soon head to Oklahoma to bask in a MAGA rally for the first time since March, looking to leave the troubles of Washington behind after a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
Pundits have declared Trump hitting rock bottom during his "worst week" many times over - 10 different weeks just by the summer of 2017, including Charlottesville - but most of those were the result of self-inflicted crises.
Now, with the coronavirus skyrocketing in at least 14 states and the nation still reeling from the death of George Floyd, Trump's penchant for self-sabotage is colliding with severe and deadly external events.
A majority of Americans think Trump is "exacerbating tensions in a moment of national crisis," according to a new poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Only 24% of respondents said the country is headed in the right direction, down from 33% in April and 42% in March.
Record unemployment, nearly 120,00 deaths from COVID-19 and nationwide protests were all factors in Trump's polling numbers slipping before this week - even endangering his Electoral College firewall for reelection - and then damaging revelations from John Bolton's book dropped.
On Wednesday, passages from his ex-national security adviser's book came so thick and fast that it was difficult to figure out which one was more damning for the president.
Bolton recalled Trump telling China's president that building concentration camps for Uighur Muslims was "exactly the right thing to do."
Then came the one on Trump calling journalists "scumbags" who should be "executed" for not divulging sources.
Each of these revelations would have taken up their own proper news cycles under different circumstances, even in the hyperloop of the Trump era.
Yet they were all coming at once, and on top of the virus, social unrest and the viral clip of Trump walking gingerly down a ramp at West Point, reminding the American public how little is actually known about the president's health.
A recent New York Times palace intrigue report from Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni delved further into the president's self-sabotaging behavior, running under the headline "Does Trump Want to Fight for a Second Term? His Self-Sabotage Worries Aides."
While anonymous assessments were offered from sources out of fear of retribution from Trump, one former official went on the record to offer a hyperbolic yet telling prescription.
"He is the modern L.B.J., where everything has gone wrong and none of his skill sets are effective at what's gone wrong," Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's former White House communications director for all of 11 days, told the Times.
Tacking a "worst" onto Trump's week in June 2020 may not help plot the course of his first term when all is said and done, but it's hard to think of one where more things went wrong on more fronts.
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