Yes, yes, we know: A lot of energy last week was focused on people sharing how much, or how little, they've changed in the past decade. But that wasn't all. They also fretted over how much Netflix costs and marveled at the streaming numbers for You and Sex Education . Meanwhile, Texas is apparently at war with Planned Parenthood , President Trump is allegedly telling people to lie to Congress, and Michael Cohen paid a company to pretend to be women who'd say he was sexy . Still, at least there's new Ariana Grande music , right? Here, friends, is what else the internet has been talking about in the past week.
Even More News About Trump's Potential Ties to Russia
What happened: Forget making America great again. Reports over the past week suggest strongly that perhaps Trump has the interests of an entirely different nation in mind when he makes decisions.
What really happened: As if all the existing intrigue surrounding Trump wasn't enough to make people wonder about his loyalties, The New York Times dropped a bombshell report last weekend.
Yes, the Times reported that the FBI was looking into whether or not Trump was working against American interests on behalf of Russia last year, before Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation was created. So, you know, no biggie.
But perhaps that's because folks hadn't been paying enough attention the first time around.
James Comey, the former FBI head whose firing apparently launched the investigation in question, was more laconic on social media, however.
And then, as if the Times report hadn't been enough, the weekend also provided this second Russia-related bombshell from The Washington Post , which revealed that the president had been concealing information about his meetings with Russian president Vladimir Putin from his own administration, even taking notes away from an interpreter at one point. You know, like a totally normal president of the United States would.
But perhaps everyone was overreacting. Maybe this wasn't quite the one-two punch it seemed like at the time.
Oh, OK, it definitely was. How could the president spin things in his favor, faced with this kind of coverage? Well, there was a Fox News interview he could use to answer critics.
There was one obvious problem with his response.
Of course, even the denial didn't work for everybody.
The takeaway: Maybe people are just thinking of this the wrong way. After all, it seems as though Trump doesn't enjoy being president, so maybe folks should be happy he's found something he prefers doing?
Of Fast Food and Football
What happened: Really, if you think about it, what says "success" more than ordering a lot of fast food at one time? This was the theory advanced by none other than the leader of the free world last week when it came time to celebrate a win for other people.
What really happened: Meanwhile, the US government is still shut down, which was particularly unfortunate for the Clemson Tigers, the winners of the national college football championship. As the winners, they were scheduled to attend a White House ceremony in their honor. But without the federal government to organize things, what would they eat? Luckily, the president had an idea.
Look, we didn't say it was the best idea. And, lest you thought Trump was joking, he wasn't.
For those wondering, here's what was on the actual menu—and what wasn't.
It didn't escape everyone's notice that this was pretty much exactly the kind of thing that used to drive the very people supporting Donald Trump completely wild. Actually, along the lines of comparing Trump's current behavior to previous conspiratorial types …
Others got to wondering about how the companies who were providing the food would deal with what was happening.
An answer actually arrived to that question the following day, thanks to another of President Trump's particularly inventive spelling choices; in a now-deleted tweet, he boasted of serving "hamberders" to the team, which prompted this response from Burger King:
The takeaway: You know, there are a lot of ways to think about how terrible the shutdown is, but is anything more weirdly compelling than an image of the president hanging out with so much fast food?
The State of the Union Is "Delayed"
What happened: Bad news for fans of the State of the Union address: It's not going to happen this year (probably), and the government shutdown is to blame. Not everyone is that upset at this turn of events.
What really happened: Speaking of the shutdown, House speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to use the situation to her advantage last week, noting that tradition dictates that the State of the Union normally happens around this time of year. Note that we said "normally."
—while others wondered about how it would be perceived by the world at large.
Yet more wondered, could this be a good thing overall, for reasons that have nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with keeping politics in general from being so boring?
Unable to not respond, Trump went the route of tit-for-tat the next day.
The takeaway: You know, if you look at it the right way, you could even make the claim that Pelosi was taking it easy on Trump, writing the letter that she did.
What happened: It's clearly time to update the songbooks, as the old chorus of "No Collusion, Fake News" has been surprisingly updated to "Maybe Some Collusion, but Definitely Not by This One Guy, So It's All Fine, Right?"
What really happened: But back, for a brief second, to that whole Russia thing. People who have been paying attention to this story for any amount of time know that there's one refrain from President Trump and those representing him: No collusion . Why, Kellyanne Conway even had visual aids to make the point. Well, last week current attorney to the president and onetime "America’s mayor" Rudy Giuliani unexpectedly decided to change the game .
The genuinely stunning claim—which unexpectedly reverses a legal and public relations strategy that has served the White House for two years now—came after Giuliani was asked about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort allegedly sharing information with Konstantin Kilimnik , a Russian political consultant with suspected ties to Russian intelligence. That information was accidentally revealed by Manafort's own lawyers last week.
Certainly, a fine line was being walked here.
Perhaps we're missing some legal fine print thinking, however, and being a little unkind.
The next day, Rudy tried to clear up any potential misunderstanding of his utterly disastrous statement.
But, really, was anyone convinced?
The takeaway: As the Mueller investigation continues, one of the few highlights folks will have to look forward to will be to see just how much Rudy Giuliani unravels as new events come to light.
Brexit's Back, All Right?
What happened: Lest you think America is currently the worst country at handling this whole "democracy" thing, the United Kingdom stepped up last week with some new Brexit turmoil.
What really happened: If you think things are crazy in the US, perhaps you should take a glance across the Atlantic, where Brexit continues to simultaneously tear the United Kingdom apart while bringing everyone together in frustration about how badly everything is going. Last week started with everyone looking ahead to an important vote in British government over whether or not to accept Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed deal for leaving the European Union—a vote that had been delayed for more than a month so that May could try to convince allies to support what was a generally unliked deal. After weeks of being able to argue her side, surely the woman in charge of the UK would have been able to rally support, right?
That definitely seems big, but how big, exactly? Well, here's a tweet from before the vote:
And here’s one from after:
The loss was genuinely historic in scale , with more MPs voting against the ruling party than in any other vote in the past. That is, admittedly, pretty humiliating for Theresa May, sure; but what does this actually mean ?
If that was embarrassing for May, what happened next was only more so.
For anyone wondering how those in the European Union were taking the news, may we provide this?
The takeaway: Still, at least the great British sense of inappropriate yet utterly accurate referencing is alive and well.
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