This week started off ridiculous — and then everything started turning up Trump.
At least half of Trump’s appeal for his base is his unique ability to get inside the heads of his opponents. Never was that clearer than this week, when CNN was handed an obvious victory by Trump, and proceeded to turn political gold into dross. Meanwhile, Trump headed to Poland, where he proceeded to give the best speech of his young presidency.
Headlines about health care reform? Nonexistent.
So, here we go.
Rhetoric: Trump’s rhetoric this week had extraordinarily high peaks and extraordinarily low lows. He began the week by tweeting a gif of himself tackling and beating up an anthropomorphized CNN logo; he ended it by giving a stirring defense of Western civilization before an adoring crowd in Poland. He gave a press conference at which he once again ripped into his own intelligence community while abroad; he used his Twitter to reach out to the family of Charlie Gard and gave a solid July 4th address. But thanks to the media’s wild overreach, his lows were obscured by their own, particularly CNN’s abysmal decision to apparently blackmail the gif creator.
Policy: Trump announced the restoration of missile defense in Poland, and took a far harsher stance on Russia regarding Ukraine and Syria than the media thought possible. But Obamacare repeal appears to be stalled, and Trump is providing little leadership there.
The In-Between: Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, announced that he wanted to raise taxes on higher-income Americans; that trial balloon quickly popped. Trump also signaled cooperation with Russia in Syria, a risky move at best. He also sent vague signals regarding retaliation against North Korea, which fired its first ICBM, making the country capable of first strike capacity against Alaska. At the G20, Trump signaled unhappiness with trade relationships as well.
Overall, Trump’s week wasn’t stellar — but the performance of the media became the story, which meant that Trump won the week.
Final Grade: A-
Cumulative GPA: C (2.0875)
Four-Week Running Average: C+ (2.425)