Trump’s Chaotic White House
A great read and all too true.
Federal judges in four courts froze a hastily issued Executive Order barring certain immigrants from entering the country. Intelligence officials leaked descriptions of classified intercepts in a winning attempt to force Trump to fire his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who had misled the nation about his ties with a Russian diplomat. Then more leaks came, from current and former officials to the New York Times, asserting that Trump campaign aides and senior Russian intelligence officials had been in contact during the 2016 presidential campaign. And the President of China, Xi Jinping, successfully pushed Trump to retreat from his pledge in December to give more recognition to the government in Taiwan.
At the center of this tempest of confusion Trump has continued to hold court and set the tone, doing things as he has always done them, in his own way. Without his wife or family in the residence, he calls friends late at night and rings up offices through the White House switchboard early in the morning. He invited his daughter Ivanka, an amorphous adviser without an official title, into sensitive meetings, and cheered his policy aide Stephen Miller when he went on television to peddle baseless conspiracy theories about phantom Massachusetts residents voting illegally in New Hampshire last fall.
While support for Trump remains strong among his voters, there has been a clear erosion of his national popularity, which the President has noticed. Disapproval of his job performance, as tracked by Gallup, rose from 45% of the country on Inauguration Day to 53% in mid-February. At this point in their presidencies, Trump’s predecessors going back to 1981 enjoyed a honeymoon of being favored by a net 17 to 49 percentage points. Trump has tweeted that the negative numbers are fake.