Starting with his disastrous debate performance last Monday, this new week has just gotten worse and worse for Donald Trump. One big difference is that the media has done a 180 degree reversal in how they cover him. Before, he was their cash-cow for upping their ratings; and all the coverage tended to portray his oddity and his outrageousness in a lighthearted, bemused way that, cumulatively, tended to "normalize" it all. Now, suddenly, they're covering him as a loser, with one scandal after another to expose.
Last week, following the debate, Trump kept the Miss Universe controversy going for another five days by constantly talking about it -- to his detriment. Then there was the report about violating the U.S. embargo of Cuba by sending an operative down there to look into opening a Trump casino. Then there was the New York Times blockbuster about him declaring a near-one-billion dollar operating loss in 1995 that would allow him to pay zero federal income tax for the next 18 years.
Over the weekend, one of Trump's Three Stooges (Giuliani, Christie, and Gingrich) got into the bad-week act as well. Rudi Giuliani was the invited keynote speaker at the "40 Under 40" awards dinner at the Waldorf in New York, sponsored by the Commercial Finance Association. He was supposed to talk about "Leadership," but instead he veered off into his Trump talking points, including derogatory comments about immigration and the "Mexicans in the kitchen." It was so shocking that the Association's CEO sent out a note of apology the next day to those attending. Rudi has always been an excitable, ridiculous, yapping attack dog. But lately he's gotten worse. Either being a Trump stooge is going to his head, or his head is not quite all together these days.
Also, over the weekend, David Farenthold, the Washington Post reporter, who has been doggedly investigating the Trump Foundation, exposed the fact that the Foundation had never registered or been credentialed as a charity or non-profit foundation by the State of New York Charities Bureau.
That brings us up to Monday this week. The New York Attorney General released a letter that orders the Trump Foundation to "immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fund-raising activities in New York" and, within 15 days, to file all delinquent financial reports with the New York Charities Bureau. The failure to do so within 15 days "shall be deemed to be a continuing fraud upon the people of the state of New York." Attorney General Schneiderman had previously opened an investigation against Trump University back in June, which is ongoing. At that time he called that venture a "straight-up fraud."
Also on Monday, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 7th Circuit ruled unanimously that Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), Trump's VP running mate, had no authority to withhold funding from refugee resettlement organizations that are guaranteed aid under federal law. Pence had tried to deny aid to Syrian refugees in his state of Indiana, in an attempt to keep them from settling there. He cannot legally do that. This will surely come up in the debate tomorrow night between the two VP candidates.
All of this adds up to big time trouble for the Trump campaign. It also marks a definite change in tone of the reporting. No more presenting Trump as an entertaining clown to some, an inspiring strong-man to his base. The media is less gullible, less easily played by Trump, since he conned them into giving him 30 minutes of free live tv coverage of the opening of his new hotel in Washington a couple of weeks ago. (See ShrinkRap, Sept 17). The tv anchors were furious, and I thought then that this was going to be a turning point in the Trump coverage.
So here we are. And it's only Monday of this second very-bad-week for Donald Trump.