A loud week for the climate has meant a relatively quiet one from the White House. With Hurricane Irma causing damage all through Florida and, now, well up into the Carolinas, all eyes are on how Trump will deal with the aftermath of yet another natural disaster. And with Jose lingering out in the Atlantic, we could be looking at even more damage in the coming week. Still, the business of governing, or lack therof, and investigations marches forward. This week’s Trump Administration Power Rankings begin with the scion, who on Thursday unveiled the latest rendition of his hit single “Why I met with the Russians” (If I Did At All)/ featuring DJ J Kush…
1. Donald Trump Jr. (Last Week: NA)
Junior debuted a shiny new excuse for his now-infamous meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer last year (initially he denied any such meetings existed), claiming he was only assessing Hillary Clinton’s fitness and qualifications for office. Such a patriot to do America’s due diligence on the obscure political figure for us.
2. Jared Kushner (NA)
The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that several of Trump’s lawyers requested earlier this summer that Kushner should step down from his West Wing advisor role “over potential legal complications with the ongoing Russia investigation.” They even prepared a statement explaining his departure. Nothing inspires confidence in your future like knowing a cadre of high-powered legal minds has written your career’s obituary.
3. Robert Mueller (3)
Mueller gave the White House the names of six current and former Trump aides they plan to interview (first) as part of the Russia investigation. Meanwhile, articles about every potentially explosive development out of this case continue to include the phrase, “Mueller’s office declined to comment.” No leaks, no trying to argue their case in public. Just constant, expansive investigation into every. single. thing. that comes out. The guy is T-1000
4. Reince Priebus (NA)
On Mueller’s first list of six. He was last seen being shamed out of the White House and will reportedly be asked about Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016, and the subsequent White House efforts to cover up the purpose of that meeting. He’s hired white-collar criminal defense attorney William Burck to advise him.
5. Don McGahn (NA)
It’s never a good sign when lawyers for the investigated hire their own lawyers for the very same investigation. McGahn, current White House Counsel, has also retained Burck in preparation for Mueller.
6. Donald Trump (5)
Aside from making a habit of mashing out inappropriately excited tweets about the size and scope of the hurricanes, Donny’s been pretty quiet this week. So quiet he couldn’t even be bothered to offer aid to Mexico in the wake of a devastating earthquake just weeks after our neighbors to the south offered support to Harvey victims.
7. Hope Hicks (NA) and 8. Sean Spicer (NA)
Hope, the interim White House Communications Director (R.I.P., Mooch), is 28 years old, has no political experience before the Trump campaign, and now has a former F.B.I. director and current special counsel hoping to interview her about the president’s potential collusion with a foreign enemy. It’s not an enviable position. Spicy’s on Mueller’s list too, and is a total wildcard.
9. Devin Nunes (NA)
Nunes, who sent aides (via his own aide) to London in July to find Christopher Steele, author of the Trump Dossier, which lies at the center of the Russia investigation, this week sought to turn the investigation into a conversation about the Obama administration’s alleged illegal unmasking of parties involved in the investigation. This did not work. According to a Reuters report, “The reports contain no evidence that any aides to former Democratic President Barack Obama acted improperly, the sources said, but they do indicate some Trump associates may have violated an obscure 1799 law, the Logan Act, which prohibits unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with a foreign government that has a dispute with the United States.” Bummer.
10. Hillary Clinton (NA)
She’s got a book out this week. Maybe you’ve heard. Will it reverse the election? No. Will it make for a tiresome couple of news cycles? Yes. Will it probably include some wicked burns of Trump that’ll be repeated ad nauseam on late night television? Very probably.