Why Trump just can’t (and probably won’t) quit the wiretap story

Washington (CNN)For nearly two weeks now, President Donald Trump and his aides have floated a conspiracy theory involving President Barack Obama wiretapping then-candidate Trump’s phone lines in his Manhattan office building.

Even now, as bipartisan agreement has emerged that no such thing happened, Trump has dug in, leaving Trump aides and allies fumbling for excuses and explanations — like that spying microwaves are apparently a thing, according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Standing next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Friday news conference, Trump showed that he was not ready to quit the wiretapping story, giving it another boost, even if it meant embarrassing a world leader.
    “At least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump said, gesturing to Merkel, whose phone was once tapped by the National Security Agency.

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    He launched a kind of trial run for the White House in 2011 by embracing birtherism, laying the groundwork for his successful 2016 bid by aligning himself with the far right, talk radio wing of the GOP. Long after most had given up speculating about Obama’s birthplace — and years after Obama released his birth certificate — Trump clung to the racially charged conspiracy theory, insisting that there were still more unanswered questions.
    Now, it seems, Trump may have landed on a conspiracy theory that has equal staying power.
    In fact, the contours of his recent Obama fixation have much in common with birtherism. With his wiretapping claims, Trump once again positions himself as the great unmasker of Obama, a fraudulent figure who isn’t who he says he is — or so the theory goes.
    For Trump’s base, Obama is the ready-made villain, now recast as the embodiment of the “deep state.”
    But with Congress, the press, (even Fox News hosts), and intelligence agencies all casting doubts on his claims, Trump is a man on an island, a familiar and comfortable place. As with birtherism, it’s Trump against almost everybody, a vantage point that allows him to constantly be the embattled, populist outsider, even as he sits in the White House.
    Key to his birtherism claims were constant promises of the big reveal. Investigators had been dispatched to Hawaii, Trump claimed. Once that approach grew thin, Trump’s relationship to birtherism devolved into a constant cliffhanger, which is precisely where things stand now with the wiretapping claims.
    Does Trump believe Obama wiretapped or spied on him more broadly at Trump Tower or anywhere?
    For now, Trump seems happy to tell the country what he said for five years about Obama’s origins: stay tuned. Let the countdown clock ’til the big reveal begin.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/17/politics/donald-trump-wiretap-obama/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Trump warns GOP: Don’t break your health care promises

    Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, in an attempt to sell the GOP Republican health care plan, warned Republicans about breaking all those promises to repeal Obamacare they’ve made over the years.

    The White House is currently unsure that Republicans have enough votes to pass the GOP health care bill. And for a president who fashions himself a deal-maker, the law has become a potent test of Trump’s ability to make it happen.
    “The American people voted for historic change. They also voted for serious action by delivering the House, the Senate and the White House,” Trump said at a National Republican Campaign Committee dinner Tuesday. “The American people gave us clear instructions. it’s time to get busy, get to work and to get the job done.”
      He added: “That legislative effort begins with Thursday’s crucial vote and it really is a crucial vote for the Republican party and for the people of the country to finally repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare.”
      On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
      “I’m asking for your vote so we can repeal and replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Iowa and for every family in our great country — so important,” Trump said days before Election Day in Iowa.
      And so did House Republicans, who lambasted Obama during his presidency for the health care law and voted over 50 times since 2010 to repeal it.
      Trump’s margin in the House will likely be razor thin, whether the bill fails or passes. Nineteen Republicans have told CNN they will flat-out vote against the bill, and seven say they are leaning toward voting “no.” Republican leadership and Trump can only lose 21 Republicans and still win passage.
      Trump, after spending weeks largely hands off on the health care bill, has begun to get into the day-to-day sales pitch of the bill.
      The president went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to urge Republicans to back the bill. During the meeting, according to sources inside the room, Trump warned that Republicans could lose their reelection campaigns if they didn’t vote for the bill.
      “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done,” Trump said, according to a source.
      White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer backed those comments on Tuesday, telling reporters that Republicans who voted against the health care bill “will probably pay a price at home.” Spicer also didn’t rule out Trump campaigning against those Republicans.
      “I think they will probably pay a price at home,” Spicer said. “This was a major component in the last election and I think there was not a single Republican member who went out and talked about this.”
      Trump called Obamacare a “nightmare” on at the Republican dinner Tuesday night, adding that the Republican bill is merely delivering on promises.
      “These are the conservative solutions we campaigned on and these are the conservative solutions the American people asked us as a group to deliver,” Trump said. “We are keeping our promises.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/politics/trump-warning-health-care-bill/index.html

      Categories CNN

      Why maternity and mental health coverage may decide health care bill’s fate

      (CNN.com)House GOP leaders are currently looking to shift a Obamacare provision that ensures all health insurance companies cover services including pregnancy, mental health health insurance and prescription medicines, in hopes of wooing conservative law-makers for their side.

      The remarkable shift — which would strike at whack in the heart of Obamacare — uses old-fashioned Freedom Caucus members lobbied President Donald Trump Wednesday to get rid of the provision, which isn’t in the present GOP health treatment program.
        The measure requires insurance companies to insure 10 “essential health benefits” in all coverages. It’s produced protection more complete and prevented insurance companies from selling strategies that have been affordable, but did not provide several advantages — if they wanted care, frequently leaving large bills to consumers.
        Before the Affordable Care Act, expensive things such pregnancy, prescription medications, drug abuse and mental health were frequently no alternative for a lot of purchasing policies in the personal marketplace.
        Removing the provision could significantly weaken the law’s defense of people that have pre-existing illnesses. With no necessity to insure coverages that are all-inclusive, insurance companies could choose exclude a number of the most pricey solutions that Americans that are ill want. Insurance companies would also need to insure preventative evaluations and yearly examinations totally free.
        On the flipside, the measure has pushed up rates and restricted customers’ option to get coverage that was more small. Enrollees who do not have children challenge while these maybe not of child bearing age claim they should not have to spend for pregnancy benefits, why they’ve to spend for pediatric solutions. Others are interested in being in a position to once again purchase “catastrophic plans” that come with large deductibles but cover policy-holders in the event of serious injuries or medical conditions.
        Republicans have wished to remove the vital health advantages pro Vision, which will be vital for their assurance to cut back premiums and provide alternative to customers.
        Because performing s O would probably run afoul of Senate principles regulating budget reconciliation, the process used to prevent a Democratic filibuster that Republicans will not be be capable to split it was not initially included by House leaders.
        Jettisoning the pro Vision was in the draft strategy which was leaked last month, but didn’t make it in the ultimate variation.
        Even before the remarkable shift of Wednesday, government officials and congressional Republicans were chipping a way in the mandate. The GOP expenses demands alleviating states of within the the gains inside their Medicaid plans, triggering an outcry the move would damage attempts to take care of the outbreak that is opioid.
        Additionally, Human health insurance and Health Services Secretary Tom Price informed House Republicans last week that he intends to de-escalate the provision by altering the rules governing it. The health secretary wields lots of power over the way in which the provision is in fact applied while the 10 advantages are spelled out in regulations.
        Pregnancy reporting may be on top of the listing to be watereddown. Seema Verma, who runs the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, stated throughout her congressional hearing that she does not believe the gain should be needed in every coverage.
        They are interested in having the GOP expenses to tear-down even mo Re of the grand insurance reforms of Obamacare while the vital health advantages provisions are being targeted by Freedom Caucus members first. Included in these are prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against people who have pre-existing illnesses, limiting the sum annually, policyholders need certainly to pay out of pocket from establishing a yearly or life time limit with their coverage, and keeping insurance companies. What the law states also requires insurance companies to cover contraceptive method to enrollees at no price.
        These principles affect these purchasing policies on the marketplace that is personal and through companies.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/essential-health-benefits-obamacare-freedom-caucus/index.html

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        Where does the House Freedom Caucus go from from here?

        District of Columbia (CNN.com)House Speaker Paul Ryan had only told his convention Friday the Republican Party had failed to get enough votes to get a bill to repeal and substitute Obamacare, a seven-year campaign guarantee that had united Republicans and catapulted their Party into charge of the House, the Senate as well as the presidency.

        The implied message from leadership was it was time to proceed to an issue that is different — and the Republican House summit had
        The chamber was somber, according to members.
          But perhaps not everybody was disappointed with the results.
          Rushing from the summit assembly to catch his airplane, Rep. Mo Brooks, a member of the rebellious House Freedom Caucus — the team that had claimed at every change that the House bill did not go far enough — was happy with the strength his caucus had presented. If individuals had doubted the Freedom Caucus would stay an influential pressure under President Donald Trump, there is no challenging now their power to use enormous influence over not only the plan of their leadership but their new president’s as well.
          “I would hope that the Freedom Caucus would get credit,” Brooks said. “What happened today was a very good thing for our country.”
          Now,the inquiry is, after their important display of strength, what is going to become of the most traditional and now despised contingent of the House?
          Prior to the bill was pulled, one GOP leadership aide warned: “I Have never noticed it as terrible as this can be now. Individuals have become upset and now there is a White House and president that are also rather mad.”
          “If they actually took this down, they might feel like they flexed their muscles, but I feel like they’ve ostracized themselves like they haven’t ever done before,” the aide said. “I think this could be a breaking point for the membership of the Freedom Caucus.”
          The groupis a familiar foe for direction — a cast of figures which continues to be front and centre in confrontations over authorities spending expenses as well as the ousting of House Speaker John Boehner. They demonstrated Friday that they might not give simply because they eventually have a Republican president in case the House Freedom Caucus had been a thorn in the medial side of frontrunners under President Barack Obama.
          From the start, members of the House Freedom Caucus were among the most out spoken voices against the expenses of House leadership. The team fulfilled over repeatedly through the entire procedure, coming from innumerable late night conferences in the Rayburn off ice creating to declare they’d the votes to eliminate House frontrunners’ bill. Three members of the group — Reps. Dave Brat, Mark Sanford and Gary Palmer — had attempted to quit it from progressing out of the House Budget Committee, where it narrowly passed 1-9 to 17.
          On Friday, Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, claimed the House Freedom Caucus had completed no Thing mo-Re than workout its power to enhance the laws — despite dire warnings from the White House and leaders that voting against the expenses could damage the President’s plan and endanger the celebration political future.
          “It really is in dictatorships where some body only comes up having an item and and that is it. That is the ultimate product. Our republic, in our our bodies, something attempted. It could neglect then we take to again,” he mentioned.
          The chairperson of the team, Rep. Mark Meadows, issued an assertion declaring he nevertheless needed to perform with Trump on healthcare.
          “I promised the people of North Carolina’s 11th District that I would fight for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement with a market-driven approach that brings down costs and provides more choices for the American people,” Meadows mentioned in the assertion. “I remain wholeheartedly devoted to to following through with this promise. I understand President Trump is dedicated to repealing Obamacare and changing it having a method that operates for American households, and that I anticipate working with him do exactly that.”
          Ultimately, Republican frontrunners did not have the votes they required to repeal and re-place Obamacare — a place that they had been set by members of both their flanks that are reasonable and old-fashioned in. However, the Freedom Caucus will undoubtedly take a sizable share of the blame in potential retellings of the saga for having negotiated aside cope with the White House in the eleventhhour and after that neglecting to get enough of these members to “yes.”
          House leaders had attempted to declare in early stages that the American Health Care Act of the House was not open a place that was later sabotaged by Trump’s sign to the caucus that he was available to substantial fixes, for leading, far-reaching changes.
          Ultimately, yet, regardless of the White House wanting to give members what they believed they needed — a repeal of 10 Essential Health Benefits insurance companies must insure underneath the Affordable Care Act — the House Freedom Caucus nevertheless needed more ordinances repealed, that they claimed would drive down prices. Members urged to repeal Article 1, rules that ordered insurance companies needed to let mature kids to keep on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and insure people who have preexisting states.
          “It’s fairly amazing that even after meeting with President Trump, they are holding out for removing health care from people with preexisting conditions, something they know could never pass and goes against everything president Trump promised during the campaign,” one GOP aide familiar using the whip procedure informed CNN Thursday as it was growing increasingly obvious the Freedom Caucus was not budging enough to make up the distinction.
          There was some movements toward passage: Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, had offered his approval to get behind the bill Thursday, but it nonetheless was not enough.
          Through the method, Meadows declared that development had been made and he “desperately” desired to get to “yes.” Ultimately, nevertheless, there were not enough Freedom Caucus members on-board.
          When requested how the White House seen the Freedom Caucus subsequent to the group had looked to be transfer the goalpost, a member comfortable using the whip procedure, stated: “As I told a freshman member when he complained to me that Meadows stabbed him in the back last year, ‘I’m sorry you had to experience what has already happened to the rest of us.'”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/house-freedom-caucus-whats-next/index.html

          Categories CNN

          Lewandowski: If Manafort was contacting Russians, Trump didn’t know

          District of Columbia (CNN.com)If Donald Trump’s campaign aides like Paul Manafort were contacting Russian officers throughout the campaign, then the President had nothing related to it, asserts former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

          “If anybody crossed a line and gave information to a foreign agent or foreign government or foreign intelligence official, whether that’s Paul Manafort or it’s Rick Gates or anybody else, I hope they’re held accountable,” Lewandowski informed David Axelrod on “The Axe Files,” a podcast in the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
          He afterwards added: “Any staffer who contacted or potentially contacted a Russian agent or a Russian official has done so on their own accord and not at the direction of the campaign, the President or anybody else in the administration.”

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            Manafort has denied the so-called contact as “100% not true.”
            At times throughout the interview, Lewandowski speculated about preceding reports of Russian links with Manafort, although he added he’s “no idea” whether any of it’s accurate.
            “Look, I ‘d no idea if, you know, the narratives which were quite public about dossiers and Paul’s title showing and, you know, other international nations, about receiving cash, I do not understand if they are accurate or if if they are not accurate. I don’t have any notion. I don’t have any reason to consider them, whatsoever,” Lewandowski said.
            A CNN commentator, Lewandowski, said Trump never needed Russian intervention in the election, which US intelligence organizations say happened to increase the GOP nominee. However he wouldn’t exclude the view that Manafort had needed such support.
            “If Paul Manafort did some thing that he was attempting to motivate the Russians to participate in this election cycle, then he did so on his own accord, with no direction from then-nominee Trump, the campaign or President Trump. I’m sure of this,” Lewandowski said.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/20/politics/corey-lewandowski-paul-manafort-russians/index.html

            Categories CNN

            Mulvaney faces new GOP hurdles for budget director, threatening confirmation

            District of Columbia (CNN.com)Rep. Mick Mulvaney is facing clean GOP opposition ahead of his confirmation vote this week as President Donald Trump’s budget manager, with a seasoned Senate Republican in private raising worries about a nomination that now hangs in the balance in the Senate.

            Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, the chairperson of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is worried about Mulvaney’s perspectives about defense spending and is unsure whether he had be ready to to aid him, two sources familiar with the subject tell CNN.
            In once, Arizona Sen. John McCain has railed against Mulvaney’s previous support for a smaller military budget, and a source familiar with his thinking states that he continues to have issues about Mulvaney forward of this week’s confirmation vote.
              Whether there are just two GOP defections, it may drive Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie in the Senate, some thing Pence had to do previously when he broke a 50-50 tie for Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos to head the Education Department — the very first time a vice-president has damaged a Senate tie to get a Cabinet nominee ever.
              But Mulvaney would be prevented by a GOP defection from obtaining the work. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she has not produced a “final decision” on Mulvaney but that the representative told her he’d handle budgets otherwise as manager of the White House Office of Management and Budget than he did as a House member from an old-fashioned South Carolina district.
              “So I thought that was a good answer but I haven’t made a decision yet,” Collins said Tuesday. “But it was a good meeting.”
              The Senate will vote Wednesday on whether to split a filibuster on the nomination, which demands many of senators, accompanied by with a confirmation vote planned for Thursday of Mulvaney.
              Mulvaney, who’s a top person in the old-fashioned House Freedom Caucus, has previously railed against developing defense funds within his drive for drastically reducing national spending. That, in addition to his previous support for pulling straight back from military functions in Afghanistan, have prompted sharp strikes from defense hawks like McCain.
              “Don’t you know where 9/11 came from?” Last month, mcCain lashed out at Mulvaney throughout his confirmation hearings. McCain finally consented in committee to permit Mulvaney’s nomination progress to the entire Senate, however he mentioned he warned he could vote against him about a floor and nonetheless harbored worries. A resource familiar using the senator’s believing says he is open on how he will vote and nonetheless h AS these worries.
              Cochran hasn’t made a community assertion about his perspectives on Mulvaney, but resources say he shares perspectives similar to McCain’s. A spokesman that was Cochran, Chris Gallegos, declined to comment aside from to say the senator hasn’t yet declared his place on the nomination.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/mick-mulvaney-budget-director-confirmation/index.html

              Categories CNN

              Ryan casts doubt on Trump efforts to mend US-Russia relations

              Washington (CNN)House Speaker Paul Ryan thinks President Donald Trump’s effort to repair relations with Russia is reasonable yet destined stop working.

              “What the President is attempting to do is not unlike exactly what the previous 2 presidents finished with Russia. I simply do not believe it’s going to work,” Ryan informed PBS in an interview aired Wednesday. “New administrations do this.”
              Ryan stated Trump’s passion to deal with the Kremlin was “rational”– indicating efforts by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama White Houses to likewise relieve stress– however eventually misdirected.
                  Ryan, like much of the GOP, has actually long embraced a hawkish position towards Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Trump has actually overthrown that orthodoxy, arguing that the United States and Russia might discover arrangement on methods to fight ISIS.
                  And Trump’s individual relationships to Russia have actually come under higher examination considering that intelligence companies revealed that Russia lagged efforts to invade the 2016 governmental election, a conclusion Trump has actually been sluggish to confess.

                  “Can we assist guide Russia to being something that does not contravene our interests– and something that lines up with our interests?” Ryan stated. “I’m not going to hold my breath on that.”

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/08/politics/paul-ryan-trump-russia/index.html

                Categories CNN

                Trump travel ban: Here’s what you need to know

                (CNN)It turned out to be a crazy few days of turmoil and confusion after President Trump signed his journey prohibition. Not up to speed on what went down over the weekend? Here is a fast primer.

                What occurred?

                  President Trump signed an executive order Friday night to keep refugees from going into the state for 120 days and immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries outside for three months. The states affected are Iran, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Here is the “extreme vetting” Trump assured throughout the campaign, but nonetheless, it still has seemingly found people by surprise.
                    Team Trump seemingly never ran the order by officials in the Justice Department. Homeland Security officials were not given much guidance about how the order would be applied or applied. Madness and hence the confusion.
                    The prohibition snared people and green card holders with legal visas equally. Some voyagers who have been in the air when the order was signed by Trump were not competent to enter the state when they landed. Some were detained. Others were sent back to where they flew in from. Suits started to fly and by Saturday night Trump’s order had been partly and briefly blocked by a national judge.

                    How large is the backlash?

                    It is world-wide. Hundreds showed up at airports all over the country — from New York to Atlanta to Seattle to Dallas — to protest. Outspoken bunches from the order assembled outside the White House.
                    The prohibition was slammed by foreign leaders. UK Prime Minster Theresa May said “we do not agree with this kind of approach.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Trump herself and reminded the President of the United States’ obligations under the Geneva Conventions to refugees. London Mayor Sadiq Khan called the prohibition “shameful and cruel.”
                    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that refugees were welcome in Canada. Even some members of the President’s own party joined in the melee. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham said the prohibition would just help ISIS and other militant groups recruit more terrorists. Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman said Trump’s so called extreme checking system “wasn’t properly vetted.” Most of the remaining GOP was quiet.
                    CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said the targets of the prohibition were the “roadkill of Trump’s posturing.” A request to prevent Trump’s planned state visit to Britain has almost 1 million signatures.

                    Could it be legal?

                    That is the million-dollar question. Presidents have extensive power in shaping immigration policy, but a lot of critics believe parts of Trump’s order are discriminatory and unconstitutional. There is already been pushback from your courts.
                    A federal judge in New York given a crisis stay for citizens of the states contained in rules and the prohibition they can not be removed from the United States. A federal court in Washington issued a stay stopping voyagers from being sent back with their home country, being detained there. National judges in Boston ruled a man can’t be detained by officials on the foundation of Trump’s executive order.
                    The Department of Homeland Security said on Sunday it’ll comply with judicial orders to not deport voyagers that were detained.

                    Why those seven nations?

                    The Trump government pointed the finger at former President Obama. White House officials said the seven states targeted in the executive order had recently been deemed “countries of concern” for terrorism from the Obama administration. In December 2015 Obama signed into law a measure putting some limitations on particular voyagers from Iraq, Iran, Sudan or Syria. Several months after, Yemen, Somalia and Libya were added.
                    Trump’s order is more extensive than Obama’s, though, from going into the state for three months, prohibiting all citizens from those seven countries. Many were quick to point out that although Trump has brought up 9/11 as part of the reason for keeping individuals from specific nations outside, none of the states where the 9/11 hijackers came from — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon — was on the list.

                    How are companies and schools affected?

                    There’s scare in a few US schools and universities that possess a sizable number of foreign pupils. Faculty members and some students worry they will need to choose between families or professions. Some rushed back to the United States as the executive order loomed, so that they will have the ability to finish a diploma. Now they are left to wonder when they will really get to see their families again whenever they stay in the United States.
                    There is adversity for many who intended to arrive at the States also. Mahmoud Hassan, an 18-year old Syrian in Damascus, accepted an offer to attend MIT before this season, but due to the prohibition, he said his “dreams are basically ruined.”
                    Trump’s order sent shock waves throughout the business community, also, particularly the technology sector. Apple CEO Tim Cook denounced the executive order and guaranteed to help workers impacted because of it, including that without immigration “Apple would not exist.” Google warned workers from among the prohibited nations to delete any travel plans having a visa or green card. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said the United States must maintain its citizens safe, but should focus on “people who actually pose a threat.”

                    What are the results next?

                    More suits against the executive order really are a near certainty. Nevertheless, the White House can also be considering requesting foreign visitors to reveal each of the websites and social networking sites they visit, in addition to sharing every one of the contacts inside their cells. That individual could be refused entrance to the United States in the event the visitor declined to share such information. Government officials are still only kicking around this notion and no one understands such a policy, if enacted, would work.
                    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said more states could possibly be added to Trump’s order after.
                    One thing’s for sure: Despite the outcry, Trump is going full steam ahead along with his order. Within the weekend he explained he believed the execution of the order “was working out very nicely.” He afterwards vigorously defended his executive order, saying it wasn’t a Muslim prohibition but a move that would keep the United States safe from terrorists. The President said while there is “compassion to those fleeing oppression,” his first priority was to keep the country safe.

                    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/30/politics/trump-travel-ban-q-and-a/index.html

                    Categories CNN

                    Trump’s fast and furious first week: The strategy

                    (CNN)President Trump is moving at a fast and furious pace. He is overwhelming Washington with a series of provocative executive orders that aim to fulfill his campaign promises.

                    Trump issued an explosive executive order closing the borders to refugees for 120 days and to citizens from seven countries with Muslim majorities for 90 days.
                      The president has instructed the agencies to scale back on the Affordable Care Act. He has directed them to start preparing to build the famous border wall with Mexico, in addition to hiring 5,000 more border agents.
                        Another executive order has called for the deportation of persons convicted or charged with a crime or who “pose a risk to public safety or national security.” If his order is enforced, sanctuary cities will not receive federal grants. There will be a major review of all regulations on American manufacturers while he is speeding up environmental reviews on key infrastructure projects.
                        Offering a direct jab at environmental activists, the president has ordered permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline. He has put into place a hiring freeze in many federal agencies. Fulfilling two major pledges, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and announced that federal dollars would not be distributed to international non-governmental organizations that provide abortion. And there has been more.

                        No joke

                        If anyone doubted that President Trump meant business they should realize that this is no joke. Predictions about the First Hundred Days might now turn into discussions about the First Seven Days. Democrats are learning that the frenetic energy from FDR’s famous start in office in 1933 doesn’t feel so good when you are sitting on the other side of the political aisle. The president took some very big steps in his first week that signal the growing likelihood of a transformative and rightward period in American political history. The ban on refugees has awakened many people here in the US. and around the globe to just what’s at stake with this presidency.
                        While Republicans don’t always like the way Trump handles himself personally and they have problems with some of the positions, such as his statements about Russia, overall on Capitol Hill there has been a lot for Republicans to celebrate. As President Trump told a retreat of Republicans, “you’re not wasting your time.”
                        From the moment of his inauguration, Trump is revealing exactly how he plans to handle the challenges that stemmed from the 2016 election.
                        Just as President George W. Bush had to figure out how to govern after the contested 2000 election that was settled by a Supreme Court decision, President Trump needs to figure out how to move forward forcefully despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million votes and despite the controversy that surrounded the election as a result of FBI Director James Comey’s letters about Hillary Clinton and the rampant evidence of Russian intervention.

                        Behind the lies

                        To the frustration of his opponents, one of Trump’s main tactics is to simply spread false information to support his claim that this was an election which gave him a mandate for sweeping change. Whatever his intentions are, he is telling lies. The most controversial and potentially damaging of these statements has revolved around repeated allegations that the only reason Hillary Clinton won the popular vote was because of massive voter fraud, much of it by illegal immigrants, that cost him at the ballot box.

                        Why

                        Many Americans might not like him, but the White House is betting that they will respect him as a chief executive who can move policies in an era in gridlock. This will be important so that when he does send Congress legislation, most Republicans will have little appetite to anger his energized supporters, and Democrats from swing states and districts, with a nervous eye on 2018, might just be willing to go along with some of his programs. The blitz of executive orders and memorandums are a way to undercut congressional opposition in the coming months.
                        And right now, the Congress is proving just how much polarization and unified government are working in his favor. The basic fact is that, like LBJ in 1965, Trump now enjoys one of those rare moments of unified government where the conditions for legislating are very good.

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                        Not only do Republicans control the House and Senate, but the party is extremely disciplined and relatively united on most key issues. Congressional Republicans have rallied around the president on his Cabinet picks no matter how controversial. There has been little public blowback about the executive orders thus far, most of which fit very well on the conservative GOP agenda.
                        Congressional Republicans are aware of the opportunity they have to legislate and to move American policy in a rightward direction while dismantling President Obama’s legacy. Thus far, Trump has been able to count on them.
                        At the same time, recent weeks have shown just how fragile the Democratic Party has become. The resistance to Trump has been negligible. Democrats have stood by as Trump makes his moves. They look more like deer in the political headlights than prizefighters struggling to change the direction of a match.
                        For all the controversy and for all the chaos, the first week of the Trump administration, from the perspective of his supporters, has been a successful one. The outlines of a strategy have now become clear as are the very grave risks that Democrats will face if they keep passively watching this unfold.
                        The executive order on refugees might be the first of Trump’s decisions to start stimulating some serious grassroots and political opposition to this exertion of presidential power. But, as the first week has shown, it will take much more than complaints and simple protests to check this ambitious presidential agenda.

                        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/28/opinions/trumps-fast-and-furious-first-week-zelizer/index.html

                        Categories CNN