From the crushing public defeat of Trumpcare to the stunning rebuke of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it was another turbulent week in the White House of Donald J. Trump.
There were plenty of Tweets, along with twists and turns to the story about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Here’s a look back at how the week unfolded as Trump’s presidency hit the 182-day mark.
July 20: Trump’s legal team is reportedly working to undermine the Russia probe
Donald Trump’s legal team reportedly doesn’t plan on making it easy for Robert Mueller and his investigative team to look into links between Russia and the U.S. president’s election campaign.
The Washington Post reported that lawyers working for the president are working to hinder the probe by alleging that Mueller and his team have conflicts of interest.
READ MORE: Trump’s lawyers reportedly building case against Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation
Trump has also reportedly asked his advisers to see what power he has to grant pardons to a number of people linked to the probe, including aides and members of his family.
July 19: ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you’
WATCH ABOVE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions responds to Donald Trump’s attack
In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, Trump sharply criticized several of his administration’s top justice officials, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions – one of his earliest supporters and closest allies.
Trump said he would never have appointed Sessions had he known that the attorney general would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
“Sessions should have never recused himself and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told the Times.
“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”
For a commander-in-chief who demands fierce loyalty, it appears even loyal supporters aren’t immune to Trump’s public scolding.
READ MORE: Donald Trump rips Jeff Sessions over ‘very unfair’ decision to recuse himself
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, were called Wednesday to speak before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 26, where they are expected to be questioned about allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and possibly colluded with the Trump campaign.
This followed more revelations about a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer.
In other news, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will be interviewed by U.S. senators on Monday.
July 18: Republican health-care bill fails, and Vlad company at the G20 summit
The Republicans suffered a crushing defeat in their attempt to repeal Obamacare after they were unable to rally the necessary support in the Senate.
During the campaign, Trump said that repealing the Affordable Care Act would be easy. On Tuesday, he urged lawmakers to “let Obamacare fail and then come together and do a great health-care plan.”
The GOP bill, which was widely unpopular, would have seen 22 million without health insurance by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
READ MORE: Repealing Obamacare alone would leave 32 million Americans uninsured
Also on Tuesday, it was reported that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a second, previously undisclosed meeting at the G20 summit.
While Trump said later in the week that he exchanged “pleasantries” with Putin and discussed adoptions during the 15-minute chat, others said their talk lasted closer to an hour.
“Pretty much everyone at the dinner thought this was really weird,” Ian Bremner, president of the Eurasia group, told the New York Times.
“Here is the president of the United States, who clearly wants to display that he has a better relationship personally with President Putin than any of us, or simply doesn’t care.”
READ MORE: Attendees of Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting under scrutiny of Special Counsel Robert Mueller
Meanwhile, new revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last summer with a Russian lawyer continued to emerge, drawing the president’s eldest son to the centre of allegations of collusion with Russia.
A Russian-American lobbyist confirmed to The Associated Press and The Washington Post that he also attended the meeting with Trump Jr.
It was revealed that Trump Jr. had met with Natalia Veselnitskaya , a Russian lawyer who had repeatedly been denied entry to the U.S. over her work with an investment firm that tried to weaken U.S. sanctions on her country.
July 17: Trump administration releases NAFTA goals, and still has 120 job vacancies
Trump’s administration revealed a 16-page list of goals it hopes to achieve under a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- More exports of U.S. dairy products, wine and grains
- Freer trade in telecommunications and online purchases
- New currency manipulation rules
- An overhaul of the agreement’s dispute-settlement system
- Better access for U.S. banks abroad.
READ MORE: Trump administration releases NAFTA goals during Made in America week
While some experts have argued that the proposal could bring benefits for Canadians such as cheaper cellphone plans, others said there were contradictions.
For example, the list of goals included a demand that American suppliers have more opportunities to obtain government contracts abroad.
WATCH: U.S. reveals NAFTA goals
But it also wanted to preserve Buy American rules that would limit similar rights for foreigners in the U.S.
“It’s called the mercantilist dream – we want you to open to us, but we don’t want to open up to you,” Eric Miller, a consultant at Rideau Potomac who advises Industry Canada, told the Canadian Press.
Elsewhere, new research from the New York Times showed Monday that the president still hasn’t nominated anyone for 120 top positions six months into his term, meaning Trump has filled just 36 percent of the 188 key roles.
— With files from the Associated Press and the Canadian Press
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