Chances are that you can’t. In fact, if you’re like most of the political world, Monday feels as if it happened a month ago.
This is the nature of time in the Donald Trump presidency. There are so many storylines every single day that it’s impossible to keep up with them even for a 24-hour news cycle. Some of this is, of course, strategy on the part of the President — if you throw 1,000 balls in the air, any one person can only hope to focus on a few in hopes of catching them.
But, ascribing strategy to every ball Trump throws may be giving him and his White House too much credit. The truth is that this is a President who creates chaos in and around him. He acts, and then watches the wildness that ensues. The plan, seemingly, is that there is no plan.
He’s the man knocking down the first domino in a massive chain that spiders in a thousand different directions. Or, maybe even more apt: He’s smashing the ice on a thinly frozen pond and watching as the cracks spread out around him — endangering both himself and anyone else unlucky enough to be sharing the ice with him.
Every week at the manic pace Trump keeps feels like a blur — none more than this week, in which the President and his administration lurched from controversy to cataclysm to convulsion and back, all in the space of five days.
Let’s go through the week that was:
“McMaster is at odds with President Trump on many key national security issues,” reported CNN. “McMaster has also found himself undercut by others in the President’s orbit like chief strategist Steve Bannon.”
Later in the day Trump delivered a humdinger of a speech to police officers in Long Island on the dangers posed by the MS-13 gang, which he derided as “animals.” He also appeared to condone violence against criminals; “And when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see them thrown in, rough — I said, please don’t be too nice,” Trump said.
Just before 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Trump announced — via Twitter — that he had fired Reince Priebus as chief of staff and replaced him with John Kelly, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
It was a month’s worth of bad news — and maybe several months’ worth — in a single week. (And the week isn’t even over yet.)
Consider this: If an episode of “West Wing” had the plot outlined above, Aaron Sorkin would likely have rejected it as too fantastical. There won’t ever be THAT much — and that much bad for the President — happening in a single week, you can imagine him saying.
And, up until Donald Trump became the President, he’d have been right. But in this reality show presidency, the truth is stranger than fiction. And a week can seem to last a month.
This story has been updated.