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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Politico On Trump's First 100 Days

As we approach the end of Day 100, I'll let Politico play us out.

President Donald Trump has dismissed the idea of measuring the success of his first 100 days in office as “ridiculous.” But the president and his top officials have made a number of startling moves this week with the deadline in mind, and Trump has privately obsessed over getting a win before the cutoff.
The last-minute moves have frustrated some of Trump’s allies, caused a scramble across his government and proved once again that decisions are made by one man on his whims — and often with an eye to his media coverage.
To his supporters, it looks like the kind of action Trump promised as a candidate. “That’s how a CEO makes decisions,” said Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican.
Trump’s promise last Friday to deliver a tax plan within five days startled no one more than Gary Cohn, his chief economic adviser writing the plan. Not a single word of a plan was on paper, several administration officials said, and Treasury officials worked all weekend to draft a one-page summary of his principles with a news conference the president demanding the action.
“The reason your head is spinning on this is that the plan isn’t even written yet,” one senior White House official said this week as conflicting details emerged about what would be in the plan. “This was all about doing something in the first 100 days and really it’s doing the process backwards.”
When White House officials demanded last week a health care vote by the 100-day mark, Speaker Paul Ryan was traveling in Europe and taken aback. The leader of the House of Representatives wasn’t in on the plan, had no desire to vote this week and feared it wasn’t even possible. No one even knew what the bill would say because the language had not been written.
“It was totally insane,” one senior GOP aide said. “It made no sense. There was no reason to say a vote was happening this week.”
A number of White House officials only learned of the president’s plan to sign an executive order removing the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement — and tout it during a 100-day rally in Pennsylvania — after it appeared in news reports. It was going to be “another accomplishment of our 100 days,” a senior official said. “The president wanted to do it this week.”
The looming 100-day marker has sent the White House into overdrive this week. Senior administration officials — chief of staff Reince Priebus, son-in-law Jared Kushner, legislative affairs head Marc Short, chief strategist Steve Bannon and Cohn — have held late-night sessions with reporters to sell the 100 days. Trump repeatedly asked aides for ideas with the marker in mind and has demanded plans for the event and lists of his accomplishments to highlight every single day of the week, administration officials said.
Trump ordered an event with Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin based on the 100-day marker, a person familiar with the planning said, leaving staff to rush and make it happen. It often takes weeks to plan an event.
The fear inside the West Wing, these people said, was that bad news coverage could lead to a staff shake-up, and many live with varying degrees of fear of losing their jobs. Priebus, several administration officials say, has been particularly concerned about the marker and the resulting news coverage.
The White House, which didn’t respond for comment, has tried to depict a busy and impatient president who is popular to his supporters because he promised to demand results. While the tax plan is nowhere near ready, the health care vote didn’t happen and Trump ended the week on NAFTA where he began, the president received news coverage of a busy week — and was talking about policies that were potentially moving instead of congressional failures or investigations into ties between Russia and Trump campaign officials. 
“I think the paper-pushers may have a system, but he will override the system,” said Trump adviser Roger Stone. “He’s the decision maker.”

I can't wait until the day that the media stops seeking Roger Stone's opinions on anything other than the quality of the prison food. Maybe in the second 100 days.

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