The calami­tous week of the White House

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -


Trump White House is in a per­pet­ual state of dis­cord. But even by its stan­dards, this week was re­mark­able.

Just to re­cap, the week in­cluded:

Repub­li­cans fail­ing — ap­par­ently for good — to de­liver on a long­stand­ing GOP and Don­ald Trump prom­ise to re­peal Oba­macare, thanks to a state­ment vote from none other than Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose war hero sta­tus Trump poo-pooed as a can­di­date.

Trump an­nounc­ing a ban on trans­gen­der mem­bers of the mil­i­tary that was ap­par­ently news to both the mil­i­tary and Congress and still isn’t sorted out, with sev­eral GOP sen­a­tors op­pos­ing it and the Joint Chiefs of Staff is­su­ing a state­ment that the mil­i­tary would con­tinue to work with trans­gen­der em­ploy­ees.

Trump de­liv­er­ing a highly po­lit­i­cal speech to Boy Scouts in West Vir­ginia that had the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s lead­ers dis­tanc­ing them­selves from his re­marks and mak­ing as­sur­ances that the Boy Scouts don’t take po­lit­i­cal sides.

Trump’s new com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, An­thony Scara­mucci, talk­ing about killing leak­ers and de­rid­ing Trump’s other two top White House ad­vis­ers, Reince Priebus and Stephen Ban­non, in graphic and vul­gar terms.

Priebus re­sign­ing, be­com­ing the fourth high-rank­ing White House staffer to exit within a lit­tle more than six months, along­side Michael Flynn, Michael Dubke and Sean Spicer.

The head of the Se­nate Judi- ciary Com­mit­tee, Charles Grass­ley, R-Iowa, telling Trump that the com­mit­tee would not take up a re­place­ment for At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions this year if Ses­sions is re­lieved of his du­ties, af­ter Trump con­tin­u­ally un­der­mined Ses­sions on Twit­ter and in in­ter­views.

Re­bukes from Grass­ley’s fel­low Repub­li­can Sens. Lind­sey Gra­ham, S.C. and Ben Sasse, Neb., who said Trump’s po­ten­tial fir­ings of Ses­sions and Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller would be be­yond the pale.

More re­bukes from po­lice or­ga­ni­za­tions — in­clud­ing the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Chief of Po­lice and the po­lice depart­ment where Trump spoke in Suf­folk County, New York, on Fri­day — for sug­gest­ing that po­lice shouldn’t be so nice to sus­pected crim­i­nals be­ing taken into cus­tody.

Trump seems to thrive on drama, and this week was chock-full of it.

The pres­i­dent even seemed to ap­prove of Scara­mucci’s very pub­lic ef­fort to bring the White House’s in­ter­nal dis­sen­sion into pub­lic view.

To the ex­tent Trump wants his pres­i­dency and his White House to re­sem­ble a re­al­ity TV show, mis­sion ac­com­plished.

But if this is a strat­egy, it con­tin­ues to look like a bro­ken one.

A pres­i­dent who promised so much win­ning that his sup­port­ers would be­come tired of win­ning is still cre­at­ing much, much more drama than progress or leg­is­la­tion.

And even if he can’t see it, those around him ap­par­ently can. Check out this bru­tal quote from an anony­mous White House advi- sor in The Wash­ing­ton Post’s story on Priebus: “I think any ob­server — in­clud­ing one that did not speak English and knew noth­ing about pol­i­tics and came from an­other planet and so­lar sys­tem — could, af­ter ob­serv­ing the sit­u­a­tion in the White House, re­al­ize the White House is fail­ing. And when the White House is fail­ing, you can’t re­place the pres­i­dent.”

At some point, those sup­port­ers have to won­der what the end game of all of this is, apart from keep­ing us all en­ter­tained and fo­ment­ing a nar­ra­tive that a me­dia that doc­u­ments this chaos is out to get the pres­i­dent.

As this week showed, even those who should be al­lied with Trump are hav­ing trou­ble de­fend­ing his meth­ods.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.