A look back at President Trump’s tumultuous 17-day working vacation
ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump left his New Jersey golf club to head back to the White House on Sunday, ending a tumultuous 17-day working vacation.
The president, along with first lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, arrived via helicopter at the Morristown Airport in New Jersey on Sunday evening to board Air Force One and head back to the nation’s capital.
Here are a few highlights of Trump’s unofficial August recess.
Friday, Aug. 4
President Trump lands in Bedminster, New Jersey, to begin a working vacation as the White House was being renovated.
Trump releases a statement in defense of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster after he comes under attack in Breitbart News.
“General McMaster and I are working very well together. He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country,” the president said late Friday night.
The New York Times reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked the White House for documents related to the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and possible business dealings with the Turkish government. Flynn’s attorney declined ABC News’ request for comment on the report at the time.
Saturday, Aug. 5
Vice President Mike Pence hits back at what he calls a “total lie” in The New York Times that he is laying the groundwork for a potential 2020 presidential run.
Sunday, Aug. 6
Trump slams “fake news” media on Twitter, saying the media “refuses to report the success of the first 6 months” of his presidency.
Monday, Aug. 7
Trump tweets more than a dozen times and bashes what he calls “fake news” over reports that his support base is diminishing.
North Korea vows harsh retaliation over sanctions imposed by the United Nations with U.S. support.
Trump attacks Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in a series of tweets after Blumenthal said he was worried that the president was trying to “politicize” the Justice Department.
Blumenthal fires back and says Trump’s “bullying” won’t work with him.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says Trump’s immigration plan is dead in the water.
Tuesday, Aug. 8
Trump tweets a Fox News report detailing classified information that “US spy agencies” detected North Koreans moving anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley breaks with him and calls the leak inappropriate.
The Washington Post reports that North Korea has the ability to put a nuclear warhead on a missile. Trump threatens Pyongyang with “fire and fury” if it continues to provoke the U.S.
North Korea promptly responds with a fresh threat to strike the U.S. territory of Guam.
ABC News reports the Trump campaign handed over thousands of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee in connection to its investigation into possible Russian election-meddling.
Wednesday, Aug. 9
President Trump tweets that he modernized the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
“Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world,” he said.
ABC News confirms that federal authorities executed a search warrant for the home of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, in connection with the Russia investigation.
President Trump speaks by phone with Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who earlier criticized the president and said he had “excessive expectations” about getting legislation passed in Congress.
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
An inflatable chicken near White House captivates social media.
Thursday, Aug. 10
President Trump receives a security briefing on North Korea and takes questions from the press.
Trump attacks McConnell again, saying the senator should “get back to work…”
“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done,” Trump tweeted.
“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing,” he wrote in a separate tweet about 6 hours later.
Trump tells a pool of reporters that his “fire and fury” comment may not have been “tough enough” and says North Korea should “get their act together.”
Trump declares an impromptu national emergency on the opioid epidemic, directing “all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis.”
Trump responds to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia over new sanctions against the country, thanking him “because we’re trying to cut down on payroll.” The president later said he was being sarcastic.
Friday, Aug. 11
President Trump warns North Korea that the U.S. military is “locked and loaded.”
ABC News reports that congressional investigators want to question Trump’s longtime personal secretary, Rhona Graff, in connection to the Russia probe.
Trump threatens North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un while taking questions from reporters. “If he [Jong Un] utters one threat in the form of an overt threat … if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else … He will truly regret it and he will regret it fast,” Trump said.
Trump holds another freewheeling exchange with reporters, threatens a “military option” against Venezuela, won’t rule out war with North Korea.
Trump calls Guam’s governor, predicts a bump in tourism numbers.
White nationalists march with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, a day ahead of a “Unite the Right” gathering and counterprotest that left a young woman dead.
Saturday, Aug. 12
President Trump holds scheduled bill signing on veterans, as Charlottesville erupts in chaos over white nationalist gathering.
First Lady Melania Trump addresses the violence in Charlottesville before the president does.
Trump delivers remarks in the afternoon blaming “many sides” for violence, as reports emerge that a driver plowed a car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring over a dozen more.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides,” Trump said at a press conference from his New Jersey golf club. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country.”
Democrats and Republicans slam Trump for suggesting a moral equivalence between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters in Charlottesville.
Sunday, Aug. 13
President Trump stays out of public view as pressure mounts over his controversial Charlottesville statement.
Civil rights and faith leaders call on Trump to directly disavow white supremacists and violent extremism and to fire White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.
A White House official issues an anonymous clarification that President Trump did condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis in his remarks on Charlottesville.
Monday, Aug. 14
President Trump heads back to the White House for a day trip where he delivers a further statement on Charlottesville.
“Racism is evil,” Trump said. “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the [Ku Klux Klan], neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
“As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America,” the president added.
On Twitter that evening, Trump lashed out at the “#Fake News Media,” saying they “will never be satisfied” with what he says on Charlottesville.
Tuesday, Aug. 15
President Trump spends the night in Trump Tower in New York City for the first time since taking office. He holds an impromptu press conference defending his response to the violence in Charlottesville.
He goes after what he calls the “alt-left,” saying “there is blame on both sides” for the Charlottesville violence and that there were also “many fine people” on both sides, including among those marching against the removal of the Confederate statue there.
CEOs begin to resign from Trump’s manufacturing council. Trump attacks the CEO of Merck on Twitter.
Wednesday, Aug. 16
A number of prominent Republicans condemn Trump’s comments at the press conference the day before.
White House announces Hope Hicks as interim communications director.
Former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush issue rare joint statement targeting Trump’s remarks.
After more CEOs announce plans to drop out, Trump disbands the President’s Strategic Policy Forum and President’s Manufacturing Council.
Steve Bannon gives an interview to the American Prospect, questioning the limits of U.S. power in North Korea and slamming the Democratic party’s response to Charlottesville.
Thursday, Aug. 17
The president starts tweeting attacks against Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.
Trump tweets a debunked legend on Gen. Pershing after a vehicle attack in Barcelona kills 13 people and injures dozens more.
Reports surface that top Republicans, including McConnell, are “privately seething” about Trump’s response to Charlottesville and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., openly questions his “stability” and “competence.”
Trump disbands the Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure before it gets off the ground.
Friday, Aug. 18
President Trump heads to Camp David to hash out military strategy on Afghanistan.
Sixteen members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resign. The White House later says it planned to disband the committee anyway.
Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, delivers an emotional rebuke to Trump, saying she no longer wishes to speak to him.
Steve Bannon is pushed out as chief strategist. The White House releases a statement saying the departure was mutually agreed to with John Kelly.
Bannon rejoins Breitbart News as executive chairman, says he’s “going to war” for Trump’s agenda.
At least seven different organizations pull out of planned charity events at Mar-a-Lago in continued fallout from the president’s response to Charlottesville.
Saturday, Aug. 19
President Trump tweets thanks to Bannon, cheers his return to Breitbart to fight “fake news.”
White House announces the president and first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors, citing “political distraction.”
Bannon to Washington Post says, “No administration in history has been so divided.”
President Trump goes after “anti-police agitators” marching in Boston, later encourages protesters “speaking out against bigotry and hate.”
Sunday, Aug. 20
The president spends last day at Bedminster before evening return to the White House.
Trump says he spent his time away “working hard” and takes another jab at “fake news.”
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