White House

Trump Has Failed to Make Deals He Promised

“President Trump likes nothing more than presenting himself as the ultimate deal maker, the master negotiator who can translate his success in business into the worlds of politics, policy and diplomacy,” the New York Times reports.

“Except that so far he has not. As he threw in the towel on immigration legislation on Friday, saying that Republicans should give up even trying until after the fall midterm elections, Mr. Trump once again fell short of his promise to make ‘beautiful’ deals that no other president could make.”

“His 17 months in office have in fact been an exercise in futility for the art-of-the-deal president.”

Why Trump Lost Control of the Child-Detention Scandal

Vanity Fair: “The wrenching story of migrant children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border has unfolded differently. Trump has been forced to play defense. It’s not just because the policy is cruel, inhumane, and an ugly stain on our country’s moral integrity. It is all of those things. But Trump has done plenty of ugly things. What’s different this time, and the handful of times Trump has found himself losing, is that there are pictures.”

“Think of the handful of moments when Trump has been subjected to a sustained drubbing that’s lasted more than just a day or two: the Access Hollywood tape. Sean Spicer’s lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. The massive airport protests around the travel ban. Trump’s “very fine people” comment about neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville. The Rob Porter domestic-abuse allegations fiasco. (Porter has denied the allegations.) And now the gross panorama of migrant children being separated from their desperate parents. All of these stories were accompanied by images—pictures or video—that either tilted public opinion against the president or blatantly contradicted the dubious claims of Trump and his allies.”

Trump’s Shift Sets Off Clash at White House

“Tense arguments broke out at the White House over the past two days as top government officials clashed over how to carry out President Trump’s executive order on keeping together immigrant families at the Mexican border,” the New York Times reports.

“The disputes started Thursday night. They continued Friday as Kevin K. McAleenan, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, returned to the White House to question how his agency was supposed to detain parents and children together when the law requires that children not be held indefinitely in jail.”

Washington Post: “The White House’s hastily crafted executive order to end child separations spurred confusion and fights within the federal government, and second-guessing from the president who had demanded the order in the first place.“

Stephen Miller Stays In the Shadows

“Stephen Miller, the architect of President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, was noticeably absent from public view this week as the White House first vociferously defended and then caved on separating migrant children from their parents,” Politico reports.

“That wasn’t an accident. Among White House insiders, there is a sense that the president’s senior adviser for policy is a bad front man for the issue he’s most passionate about. Miller stayed entirely out of the spotlight during days of mounting political pressure, though behind the scenes he visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday night along with Trump to sell House Republicans on immigration legislation.”

“While other White House aides, like national security adviser John Bolton and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, are prized by Trump for their smooth defense of his policies on television, Miller is the opposite, valued as a source of ideas that the president believes appeal to his base.”

Trump Goes After the Safety Net

“President Trump, spurred on by conservatives who want him to slash safety net programs, unveiled on Thursday a plan to overhaul the federal government that could have a profound effect on millions of poor and working-class Americans,” the New York Times reports.

“Produced over the last year by Mr. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, it would reshuffle social welfare programs in a way that would make them easier to cut, scale back or restructure.”

“Among the most consequential ideas is a proposal to shift the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a subsistence benefit that provides aid to 42 million poor and working Americans, from the Agriculture Department to a new mega-agency that would have ‘welfare’ in its title — a term Mr. Trump uses as a pejorative catchall for most government benefit programs.”

Trump Will Propose Merging Labor and Education

“The White House is set to propose merging the Labor and Education departments as part of a broader reorganization of the federal government,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Washington Post: “The long-awaited proposal to reorganize federal agencies would shrink some and augment the missions of others. It is the result of a directive that Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, issued to federal leaders 14 months ago. He urged them to find ways to merge overlapping, duplicative offices and programs and eliminate those the administration views as unnecessary.”

“The plan also is expected to include major changes to the way the government provides benefits for low-income Americans, an area that conservatives have long targeted as excessive, by consolidating safety-net programs that are administered through multiple agencies.”

Publisher of National Enquirer Subpoenaed

“Federal authorities have subpoenaed the publisher of the National Enquirer for records related to its $150,000 payment to a former Playboy model for the rights to her story alleging an affair with Donald Trump,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The subpoena from Manhattan federal prosecutors requesting information from the publisher, American Media Inc., about its August 2016 payment to Karen McDougal is part of a broader criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, they said.”

Giuliani Delays Decision on Mueller Interview

Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that President Trump’s decision on whether to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller “could be delayed until mid- to late July as his legal team assesses the impact of a new report by the Justice Department’s inspector general,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Giuliani: “I’m advising him to stay put, to hold our horses a little.”

But last night on Fox News, Giuliani sounded doubtful it would ever happen: “Do I look crazy? So far, you know, I still have all my senses, and I’m a heck of a lawyer. And I get drummed out of the profession if I did. I mean, the reality is, you don’t put your client in a kangaroo court.”

Trump Tells Even More Lies

Washington Post: “President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency.”

“Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks.“

Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff Resigns

White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin, “who led the U.S. advance team for President Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, is resigning,” the AP reports.

“One official said Hagin had wanted to leave some months ago, but was persuaded to stay by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.“