As the dour Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran wrote, “Chaos is rejecting all you have learned. Chaos is being yourself.” President Donald Trump fits the description snugly. He rejects new information on a seemingly hourly basis and is nothing if not himself. He has spent his first week in office signing executive action after executive action, as if he had won the popular vote by 20 million votes instead of having lost it by three million. His first week in office has been utter chaos, a flurry of activity that has the potential to dramatically alter the course of the country (I say “potential” because things have been done so quickly that they’ve apparently been done very sloppily). It is hard to keep track of it all, let alone wrap your mind around. Here is everything (pretty much) that has happened since Trump was sworn in as president exactly one week ago.
Trump’s inauguration was modestly attended—estimates are in the 250,000 range—and was blissfully short. Trump gave a speech that will be known forevermore as “American Carnage,” about how horrible everything is right now. Also, George W. Bush got stuck in a tarp and we received further proof that Melania clearly hates her husband. Trump then signed a bunch of convoluted executive actions to begin the repeal of Obamacare and cut mortgage relief for poor people.
On Saturday, millions of people across the country participated in Women’s Marches to protest Trump’s presidency. In Washington, D.C., there were at least three times as many protesters as there were inauguration attendees, which clearly rattled the president. On Saturday evening, he sent out gum-enthusiast Sean Spicer to brazenly lie and shout at the press about how his inauguration was the best and biggest ever, even though it was not. Trump also spent Saturday ranting about crowd size and the media while standing in front of a memorial dedicated to CIA officers who were killed in the line of duty. It was reported that Trump’s staff brought in a claque of supporters to the speech to ensure there was plenty of applause.
On Sunday, he rested. Just kidding. The Sunday shows were an absolute shitshow. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told a befuddled Chuck Todd of NBC that Spicer didn’t lie to the press about the inauguration, he just presented “alternative facts” to the press, sending sales of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four skyrocketing. Trump’s aides also began telling the media that their boss might be crazy, which continued to happen for the rest of the week.
On Monday, Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which was effectively already dead, and ordered the renegotiation of NAFTA. He also announced a federal hiring freeze, which will almost certainly increase costs and damage the government’s ability to act effectively, and said he would cut regulations by 75 percent, which means you better start buying bottled water. He also banned federal money from going to abortion providers overseas, which will be a disaster for women worldwide. Sean Spicer also lied some more, albeit in a slightly nicer and less shout-y way, as is White House press secretary tradition. And then, at a White House reception for congressional leaders, Trump claimed that three million to five million people voted illegally because a German golfer friend told him a story.
On Tuesday, Trump declared himself an “environmentalist” while approving pipelines and promising to cut environmental regulations. (As a friend noted, his position boils down to: “I do all the bad things, but I’m a nice guy.”) The National Park Service revolted by tweeting facts—this revolt spawned a host of almost certainly fake accounts that claim to be tweeting from inside government departments.
On Wednesday, Trump promised to get to the bottom of the non-existent problem of voter fraud. He also authorized construction of The Wall, pledged to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities, proposed halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, and opened the door to reopening black sites and torturing again. We also learned that Trump is tweeting from an unsecured Android phone and that he and his advisers have no idea how executive actions work. Also, speaking of voter fraud, nearly everyone in Trump’s inner circle is registered to vote in two states. At some point, he also got the White House to start stocking Doritos again. But despite all the craziness, the Democrats more or less had his back, voting to confirm many of his nominees. Trump also gave a whacky interview to ABC in which he acted like a child.
On Thursday, it became official Trump administration policy for scientific studies to be reviewed based on their potential political importance. Trump plagiarized Fox News and called Chelsea Manning an “ungrateful traitor.” Steve Bannon declared the press the “opposition party.” Sean Spicer let it slip that American consumers would be paying for The Wall before being forced to walk it back. Then Trump talked to his good buddy Sean Hannity about how immigrants would kill us all.
Today is Friday, and it will somehow be even worse than the other days. Because if there is one law of Trump’s presidency, it is that every day is a little bit worse than the one before it.