Strange emanations from Washington
This appeared in Newsday: President Donald Trump announced support for immigration legislation Wednesday that would cut by half the federal program that allows legal immigration into the country and stop giving priority to relatives of citizens and legal residents. It has little support and no chance of passing. Yet he held a news conference about drastic changes to legal immigration policies that would trample the nation’s ideals.
The president is scrambling, trying to turn the spotlight away from the health insurance debacle, plummeting polls, a potential news-rigging scandal, Russian sanctions he did not want and his strange affinity for making untrue statements.
Trump feels he needs to re-energize his base as his poll numbers hit all-time lows. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows the president’s approval is down to 39 per cent, 18 points lower than his disapproval rating. Even Trump’s personal favourite poll, Rasmussen, showed his approval rating slipping to 39 per cent this week.
And the credibility of the White House keeps getting called into question. A federal lawsuit claims that Trump himself was involved in a discredited and retracted Fox News story. And then there are casually invented, easily revealed untruths. Trump’s too-political and strange speech to the national Boy Scout Jamboree about how builder William Levitt lost his empire got mixed reviews. But when The Wall Street Journal described it that way, Trump disagreed. “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” he said. The Boy Scouts say no such call was made.
Trump also claimed Monday he had a phone call from the president of Mexico congratulating him on his success in stopping illegal crossings at our Southern border. But President Enrique Pena Nieto says the call never happened, and a Trump spokesperson admitted there was no call.
Trump’s theme for this week is “American dream.” But increasingly, this is turning into a nightmare.