The stakes are higher than ever in the days leading up to the businessman becoming leader of the free world on Friday. What he'll be able to accomplish during his first months in office and who he'll have by his side as he does it could well be determined in the fallout from one of the most pivotal weeks of the Trump political era.
Eleven days from the White House. Trump began the week by ripping Meryl Streep, who used her Golden Globes speech
the night before to skewer his campaign rhetoric and criticize him for mocking a disabled reporter.
In three tweets over 16 minutes, beginning at 6:27 a.m. ET, Trump called Streep "overrated" and a "Hillary flunky." She joins the cast of "Hamilton" and "Saturday Night Live" on a growing list of critical entertainers to be the target of a Trump Twitter tantrum.
Tuesday: The report that overshadowed everything
On Tuesday afternoon, CNN broke the news
that intelligence chiefs presented Trump with a two-page summary of an unverified report compiled by a former British intelligence official whose Russian sources claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about the incoming president.
CNN didn't report on details of those memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific unverified allegations. Shortly after CNN's report, Buzzfeed released the unsubstantiated memos.
Once that happened, it didn't take long for Trump to respond on Twitter, accusing news outlets of spreading "fake news" about him.
He also retweeted a photo from his lawyer, Michael Cohen, of a (closed) passport and a caption denying a portion of the memos alleging that Trump's lawyer had secretly met with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016.
Wednesday: The news conference
Trump wasn't done with this story when the sun rose over the East Coast on Wednesday. Shortly after 7 a.m., he sent tweets rejecting the report. His source: Russia.
These tweets came after the Kremlin denied it has compromising information
about Trump, describing the allegations as "pulp fiction." Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said reports that Trump was the subject of "Kompromat" -- a Russian term for compromising information intended to be used against someone -- were an "attempt to harm our bilateral relationship."
But Trump's complaints continued apace. At 7:48 a.m., in following with Godwin's Law, he pivoted his focus to the intelligence agencies he accused of doing him dirty, and asked, "Are we living in Nazi Germany?" When pressed about that comparison later in the day, Trump said recent leaks were like something Hitler's Germany "would have done and did do."
But media outlets had been waiting for this day for a different reason: Trump was giving his first news conference in nearly six months
. But it felt more like a rally at times since Trump staffers, his family and top aides applauded
several times throughout the conference.
Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer opened the news conference by slamming the reports on Russia, which he called a "political witch hunt."
Later in the news conference, Trump attacked CNN for its reporting on this story. He then refused to call on CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, who was trying to ask a question, calling him "fake news."
Shortly after he walked off stage, Trump fired off a tweet, again reiterating his "fake news" claim.
CNN stands by its reporting. Here's what we have to say
about Trump's "fake news" accusations.
Thursday: Stumping for LL Bean
Linda Bean is the granddaughter of LL Bean's founder. She is also a Trump supporter and gave $60,000 to the Making America Great PAC last year. Her political leanings have prompted an anti-Trump group to call for a boycott of LL Bean
Bean told "Fox & Friends" that she had been notified of a slight uptick in sales this week, despite the boycott call. After her appearance, Trump told his 19.7 million followers to shop at LL Bean.
But just because he's watching Fox News doesn't mean Trump isn't taking time for shots against CNN.
Friday: Throwback to his greatest hits
At 5:49 a.m., Trump was awake -- and on a tweetstorm.
First: His Cabinet
Trump's Cabinet picks to run the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department faced their Senate hearings this week. But they didn't fall in line
with the President-elect. Under the scrutiny of the Senate, they dropped some of his signature policy positions.
Rex Tillerson broke with Trump on trade. Retired Gen. John Kelly split on waterboarding. Sen. Jeff Sessions rejected the Muslim ban that the President-elect touted throughout his campaign. And James Mattis said he might stick by the Iran nuclear deal, named Russia as the source of "grave concerns" and offered a robust endorsement of NATO.
Next up: Hillary Clinton
Trump had clearly heard some of the complaints from Democrats about the FBI's behavior
, so he took aim again at his old foe. He even channeled his old stump lines, calling her "guilty as hell" -- presumably of something to do with her private email server -- and saying she "should never have been allowed to run."
The he swerved in some post-campaign analysis. He added that Clinton spent time in the "wrong states" -- a nod to her no-show in Wisconsin, which he won.
Friday also marks a big day for another campaign promise Trump made: to repeal Obamacare. He sent this tweet ahead of the House vote on a resolution that will kickstart the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
But there's still disagreement within the Republican Party
on how best to proceed.
Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in one week.