Comey, Cohen and Stormy: What a whirlwind week means for Trump

Cohen, Stormy, and Comey Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption From left: Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, and James Comey

Whoever is writing the script for the political drama that Americans are currently living through needs to take it down a notch. The number of threads to the story is getting out of hand, and it's becoming difficult for even dedicated Washington-watchers, pundits and journalists to keep up.

This week alone has seen multiple developments in the swirling morass of controversy that has engulfed the Trump administration and those who have been or are investigating it.

Here's a quick review of the (exhausting) week that was.

Fallout from the Cohen raid

Just under two weeks ago, federal investigators raided the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Mr Trump's long-time personal attorney, business associate and all-around fixer of uncomfortable problems.

It represented a new legal front in the investigations into the president - including possible Cohen-orchestrated payments to women alleging affairs with Mr Trump - conducted by the US attorney's office in Manhattan, not special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Image caption The week kicked off with a court hearing for Mr Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen

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Ways Comey could hurt Trump - or himself

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Media captionTrump's love-hate relationship with Comey over a tumultuous year

Get ready for Comey week, the sequel. The former FBI director's book - A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership - will be released to the public on Tuesday, and he has his first of a series of major television interviews airing Sunday night.

Ten months ago Mr Comey held much of the US in rapt attention as he testified before Congress after being fired by Donald Trump weeks before. The former director was questioned about the ongoing investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and the circumstances of the director's dismissal, and accused the president of lying and defamation.

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Michael Cohen: Why the raid on Trump's lawyer is a big deal

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The FBI has raided the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's long-time personal lawyer, business adviser and fixer-of-uncomfortable-problems. Now Mr Cohen himself has become the uncomfortable problem, with no easy fix in sight.

There's basically no precedent for this sort of action in modern US presidential politics. And Mr Trump's response on Monday afternoon - an unprompted, extended tirade that used the word "disgrace" or "disgraceful" nine times - hints that the president is concerned… and angry.

Read full article Michael Cohen: Why the raid on Trump's lawyer is a big deal

The long list of Scott Pruitt controversies

Scott Pruitt talks at an event in New York City. Image copyright Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is on shaky ground, with a number of controversies swirling around him.

Here's a run-down of the trouble Mr Pruitt is facing, how he's explaining them and exactly how much hot water he is in.

The bargain room for rent

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The place that tells you everything about US politics

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Beto O'Rourke and Will Hurd are Texas congressmen on opposite sides of the political divide who formed an unusual friendship a year ago during a road trip that was broadcast to millions. But with looming elections threatening them both, American voters might show they want confrontation over co-operation.

It was the most unexpected of road trips, like a low-budget, made-for-cable buddy film. Democrat O'Rourke and Republican Hurd, both US congressmen representing west Texas districts, were stuck in their home state due to an East Coast snowstorm. It was Monday, and they had to be in Washington for scheduled votes by Wednesday.

Read full article The place that tells you everything about US politics

Foreign countries pitch to Americans in Texas

An artist draws an Austin-themed mural at the Australia House's opening night party
Image caption An artist draws an Austin-themed mural at the Australia House's opening night party

The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, once known only as a quirky week of musical performances, has become a showcase for national pride and self-promotion.

In the past few years SXSW, as it's abbreviated, has grown into a technology summit, a film festival and - thanks to the increasing presence of foreign governments - a mix of Disney-style paeans to cultural identity and the kitsch of a world's fair, with a heavy dose of booze and partying.

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Why doesn't Trump fire people to their face?

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Donald Trump, who built his career as a New York real estate mogul, became a reality television star by directly and dramatically sacking contestants on The Apprentice at the end of every show.

Only the strong survived, and the weakest competitors were told their shortcomings to their face and summarily dismissed with the catchphrase "You're fired!"

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A terrible night for Trump in Pennsylvania

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Image caption The election was held in Trump country

A special congressional election in Pennsylvania has given President Donald Trump a bloody nose and offers some key lessons for both parties.

The final results aren't in yet - Democrat Conor Lamb clings to a lead of around 500 votes out of more than 200,000, with a few thousand absentee ballots left to count.

Read full article A terrible night for Trump in Pennsylvania

Rex Tillerson: Battles ahead after another Trump sacking

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Media captionTrump says goodbye to Tillerson: 'I like Rex a lot, but we disagreed'

Rex Tillerson, who as a longtime corporate executive was an unconventional pick for secretary of state, seemed like he was on thin ice from very early on in his administration tenure.

He was distrusted by long-time State Department employees, who viewed him as an outside interloper with little affinity for the organisation he headed. The president, initially enamoured with the brash Texan, quickly appeared to sour on his pick, as he frequently broke with the White House line on foreign policy.

Read full article Rex Tillerson: Battles ahead after another Trump sacking

Where did the Republican Trump-haters go?

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Once upon a time there was an active, vocal resistance among conservatives to the prospect of Donald Trump's presidency. One year in, and the signs of dissent are rapidly fading.

On Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference on the outskirts of Washington, DC, Donald Trump took the stage and reminded the packed hall just how far he'd come.

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