The president came back from his summit with Kim Jong Un earlier than he thought he would. It was a tough week for Trump both abroad and at home. The president backed away from a potentially
calamitous nuclear deal only at the last minute, leaving himself no real path forward for an elusive goal: bringing North Korea back into the community of nations. This has been a central piece of his foreign policy agenda.
“High-level diplomacy can carry high-level risks,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a nod to the breakdown in negotiations, “but the president is to be commended for walking away when it became clear insufficient progress had been made on de-nuclearization.”
And at home, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, testified that Trump is a consummate “con man.” And on top of all this, fellow GOP leaders began to distance themselves more clearly from his effort to use executive authority to build a border wall.
It may have been one of the worst weeks of Trump’s presidency.
On Wednesday Michael Cohen portrayed the president as a businessman who was not concerned with tax laws, his charity’s money and payments to contractors, and as a candidate who had little regard for the law in directing Cohen to provide hush money to cover up alleged marital infidelity, pursuing a real estate development in Moscow during the 2016 election and discussing the benefits of Wikileaks releasing stolen Democratic National Committee emails to help his fortunes.
Rather than defend Trump, House Republicans on the Oversight and Reform Committee chose to attack Cohen’s character. It seems that protecting the president’s reputation was a more difficult charge.
On Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., took to the Senate floor to offer an admonition to Trump, asking him to reconsider the move.
“There has never been an instance where a president of the United States has asked for funding, Congress refused it and the president then has used the National Emergency Act to justify the funding anyway,” Alexander said on the Senate floor.