It’s been a week for Donald Trump.
Consider these five bad things that happened to him:
1. Michael Cohen testified: No, Trump’s former fixer didn’t provide a smoking gun on his old boss. But Cohen did make things worse for Trump on at least three fronts: The hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, along with WikiLeaks and the Trump Tower Moscow development. Cohen produced a check for $35,000 that he said was a partial reimbursement for the payment to Daniels. He said that he heard a phone call between Roger Stone and Trump about WikiLeaks. And he said he had 10 conversations with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump about the Russia development.
2. No deliverables from North Korea summit: Trump clearly thought his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un might be the one that produced measurable results on the denuclearization front. It didn’t – and Trump left with America and North Korea seemingly on different pages about why the talks broke down.
3. The Jared Kushner security clearance story: The New York Times reported Thursday night that Trump had ordered then-chief of staff John Kelly to get son-in-law Jared Kushner top-secret security clearance. Kelly disagreed with the decision – and wrote a contemporaneous memo about it. So did White House counsel Donald McGahn and career intelligence officers.
4. Felix Sater will be testifying publicly later this month: After Cohen’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee wrapped up Thursday, committee chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced that Sater would be appearing in an open hearing before the committee March 14. Sater, a former FBI informant and a man who spent time in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass, was the one who suggested to Cohen that Trump build in Moscow. And, oh yeah, Cohen will also be back to offer more testimony to House Intelligence on March 6.
5. Otto Warmbier’s parents blast his comment on Kim: Just before leaving the North Korea summit in Vietnam, Trump was asked about North Korea’s 18-month imprisonment of Warmbier, a college student who died shortly after being returned to the United States. “(Kim) tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word,” Trump said. Warmbier’s parents, who had been supportive of Trump for getting their son back, released a scathing statement: “Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. … No excuses or lavish praise can change that,” they said.
Here’s the week in 17 headlines:
- Trump believes Kim’s claim he wasn’t aware of Warmbier’s condition
- Trump slams Democrats over Cohen timing, names him a liar
- Senate confirms former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead EPA
- Trump claims forces reclaimed 100% of ISIS territory in Syria
- NYT: Trump demanded Kushner get top-secret security clearance
The Point: These five events would make for a bad year for some presidents. For Trump, they all happened in just the past five days.