The indictments were just the beginning: by Monday evening, Donald Trump and his team have already experienced an endless parade of disgraces and disasters.
Donald Trump has had rough weeks in the past. But he has never had one this bad — and it’s not even Tuesday yet.
Monday morning, Trump woke up to the news that his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, had been indicted, along with his associate Rick Gates, by special counsel Robert Mueller. The charges ranged from illegal foreign lobbying to money laundering to conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Immediately, Trump’s surrogates tried spreading the narrative that none of the charges against Manafort — which were mainly financial in nature — had anything to do with Russia, so if that is “all Mueller has got,” Trump will be fine. And of course, they desperately tried to pin everything on Hillary Clinton.
No sooner did Trump’s team decide on this spin, however, than news broke that a third Trump official, energy consultant George Papadopoulos, had been secretly arrested in early October for lying to the FBI about collusion with Russia — and that he had pled guilty and turned informant.
All of this came at the same time that Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to block Trump from firing Mueller as special counsel, putting pressure on Trump to leave the investigation alone and congressional Republicans to take action if he does not.
Nor was the Russia investigation the only bad news for Trump today.
A district court in Washington, D.C. smacked down his directive banning transgender Americans from serving in the military. The preliminary injunction means that transgender troops currently serving cannot be kicked out, and that they must be provided with medical care.
Meanwhile, the American Bar Association issued a rare, scathing “Not Qualified” rating for Trump’s Eighth Circuit nominee Leonard Steven Grasz, an extremist lawyer who sits on the board of an organization that backs the dangerous and totally discredited quackery of “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ people.
And to top it all off, Gallup’s latest daily tracking poll finds Trump’s approval cratering to a record low of 33 percent — and that was even before the indictments and other humiliations came down on Monday. Moreover, Trump has plummeted to this embarrassing low well ahead of his ignominious Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.
Trump has suffered an endless string of defeats — and the week is still young.