TRUMP’S ‘TRUE’ FRIENDS ON CAPITOL HILL
It will be interesting to watch one of the world’s most canny dealmakers enter the White House. President-elect Donald Trump knows that dealmaking is an art rather than science, and wrote a best-selling book on the subject. There’s finesse, strategy, imagination, and muscle involved. But part of the knack is sensing which friends are genuine when the going gets tough, tricky and complicated.
Which brings us to Capitol Hill — a dramatic tableau for dealmaking, rife with political theater and huge sums of money, but not likely to phase Mr. Trump once he learns the language and the stage cues. Does he have friends there?
“Republican lawmakers and other political heavyweights are scrambling to jump on Donald Trump’s bandwagon a month out from Inauguration Day, but the president-elect may wonder how many of them are true friends,” writes Alexander Bolton, a staff writer for The Hill.
He points out that when the House Trump Caucus met in the Cannon Office Building some two weeks ago, 50 lawmakers were present.
“But only a handful of those members were there from the beginning,” Mr. Bolton says, noting that Mr. Trump is known for placing “high value on loyalty,” and will likely seek out his earliest backers to take his agenda to Congress.
So who are the FOTs — Friends of Trump? Mr. Bolton supplies the list of “Trump’s biggest allies” on Capitol Hill:
Rep. Chris Collins of New York, the first member of Congress to endorse him; Rep. Duncan Hunter of California; Reps. Lou Barletta and Tom Marino, both of Pennsylvania; Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas; Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; and Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.
In Capitol Hill’s other chamber, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina are friends-of-Trump, as is Sen. Joe
Manchin, West Virginia Democrat.