Donald Trump this week: Charlottesville fallout, U.S. government shutdown threats – National

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Two polar-opposite speeches, threats to shut down the U.S. government unless Donald Trump’s border wall is funded and, of course, more attacks on Twitter.

The mercurial president continued to defend his response to the violence in Charlottesville while also committed thousands of new troops to the on-going war in Afghanistan.

Here’s what happened in the world of Donald J. Trump this week.

Aug 24: Twitter attacks

Trump launched Twitter attacks on Thursday morning at everyone from Republican leaders in Congress, to Democrats, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper and, of course, the “fake news” media.

Trump first attacked Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan over a bill related to increases to the U.S. borrowing limit. He then attacked Clapper who made headlines Wednesday after the former intelligence chief questioning Trump’s mental state following his speech in Phoenix.

Trump also retweeted a meme of himself eclipsing former president Barack Obama.


READ MORE:
Donald Trump fires off tweets with spelling mistakes, but fixes on third try

The fallout from Trump’s Charlottesville comments could take a chunk out of Mar-a-Lago.

Multiple reports said that 18 charities have cancelled events at the Florida resort after Trump’s comments on the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Aug 23: Trump calls for unity

Less than 24 hours after tearing into the media and some Republicans, Trump called Wednesday for love and unity as he spoke to veterans at an American Legion conference.

“We are here to hold you up as an example of strength, courage and resolve that our country will need to overcome the many challenges that we face,” Trump told the veterans.

WATCH: President Trump takes a softer tone during speech in Reno





Meanwhile, a University of California energy professor tweeted his resignation from his position as science envoy to the Department of State on Wednesday, posting a note in which the first letters from each paragraph spelled out the word, “I-M-P-E-A-C-H.”


READ MORE:
‘IMPEACH’ subtly spelled out in U.S. science envoy’s resignation letter to Donald Trump

Aug 22: Trump attacks media and Republicans

In a meandering 77-minute campaign-style speech in front of thousands of supporters in Arizona, Trump continued to defend his comments in the wake of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and returned to attacking a favourite target — the “sick people” in the media

“They were having a hard time with that one, because I said everything. I hit him with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything,” Trump said, reading from his previous statements.

“I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there, let’s say. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all.”


However, Trump conveniently omitted that in his first response, he’d said “many sides” were responsible for the violence in Virginia, as well as his comment that some “very fine people” were among the white supremacists and neo-Nazis protesting the town’s removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.


READ MORE:
Donald Trump on Charlottesville: what he said and what he left out

While Trump continued to rail against the “crooked media,” he also said the U.S. would “probably” end up terminating NAFTA, and lashed out at two Republican senators, though he didn’t name either directly.

He also threatened to shut down the government over funding for a Mexican border wall and hinted that he plans to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who faces six months in jail following a criminal conviction relating to his policing practices targeting Latinos.

“Do people in this room like Sheriff Joe? … I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”

And what began as a peaceful protest outside the Phoenix Convention Center turned chaotic Tuesday evening as police officers used tear gas on thousands protesting Trump.

WATCH: Protests erupt after Trump rally in Arizona





The relationship between Trump and Mitch McConnell also reportedly hit a new roadblock as the New York Times reported on the senate majority leader’s failure to protect the president from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

McConnell privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises, the Times reported.

Aug 21: ‘We are killing terrorists’

Going back on a position he held before taking office, Trump announced in a speech Monday night that the U.S. would send thousands of more troops to Afghanistan.

“My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts,” the president told troops at Fort Myer in Virginia.

“But all my life, I heard decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office”

WATCH: President Trump’s plan for Afghanistan





Trump pledged to win the war in Afghanistan, which has already lasted 16 years. He was short on details on how exactly he would win the seemingly unwinnable war and did not mention exactly how many troops would be sent there.


READ MORE:
Donald Trump vows to keep fighting in Afghanistan. How does this affect Canada?

He vowed to toughen up on neighbouring Pakistan and dismantle al-Qaida while preventing the Taliban from gaining control of Afghanistan.

“We are not nation-building again; we are killing terrorists,” Trump said.

Earlier Monday, Trump observed the total solar eclipse with his family from the balcony of the White House but he forgot the one rule: do not look directly at the sun without protective glasses.

“Don’t look,” an aide shouted as Trump looked up at the astronomical phenomenon several times without eye protection. Experts had warned that even a brief look at the sun can lead to eye damage and cause blurry vision or temporary blindness.

WATCH: Trump and first lady watch eclipse from White House





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