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In Trump’s White House, a day of confusion and change

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump sits at his desk on Air Force One upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday. At the center is Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

WASHINGTON >> A meeting with a senator vanished from the White House schedule. A ceremonial executive order signing abruptly canceled. A dramatic walk-back from the press secretary on how a signature campaign promise will be funded.

The first days of any new president’s term are disorderly, as a sprawling government bureaucracy and overwhelming global responsibilities are suddenly thrust upon an administration that is trying to hit the ground running and, in some cases, simply getting the phones to work.

By any measure, Thursday was a chaotic day in President Donald Trump’s White House.

The confusion began early, when the president left the White House nearly an hour late for his first trip out of Washington, a quick jaunt to Philadelphia for a Republican congressional retreat.

While airborne, White House aides confirmed that a meeting between Trump and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Kevin Brady that was scheduled for the president’s return had been postponed until next week — and that Hatch, unbeknownst to the press, had actually met with Trump the night before.

On the return flight to Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced to reporters on the plane that the administration was working with Congress to impose a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for the southern border wall that Trump had made the centerpiece of his campaign.

“By doing that, we can do $10 billion a year and easily pay for the wall just through that mechanism alone,” Spicer said. “This is something that we’ve been in close contact with both houses in moving forward and creating a plan.”

The surprise announcement, meant to fulfill Trump’s declaration that Mexico would pay for the wall, led to breaking news alerts lighting up phones across Washington.

But less than an hour later, reporters in the White House press room were hurriedly escorted to Spicer’s office. He walked back his earlier comments, explaining that the tax on Mexican imports to pay for the option “was just one option” and that no final decision had been made.

Spicer also announced that an executive order signing — traditionally a staid, painstakingly planned affair, complete with briefing papers and detailed memos — that was scheduled for the Oval Office just minutes later was being postponed because Trump had arrived back at the White House too late in the day.

Spicer said the administration was still sorting out the “sequencing” of upcoming orders and that Trump was still making suggestions.

“As you probably can tell, he’s very hands-on when it comes to these executive orders,” the press secretary said.

And the order itself, which would commission an investigation into unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, stemmed not from a campaign promise, but rather Trump’s public musings on the subject in recent days.

An environment of chaos is not new for Trump, who at times seems to thrive on disorder.

He sowed it in the campaign, pitting factions of aides against each other, and he frequently changed his mind on issues based on his most recent conversation. His aides often woke up surprised to Trump’s early morning, out-of-nowhere pronouncements via Twitter. The candidate himself frequently made outlandish proclamations — like his insistence that President Barack Obama was the literal “founder” of the Islamic State group or his invitation for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails — only to moderate them in the following days.

But the Trump administration is far from the first to experience some early growing pains.

It took more than a day for staffers in President George W. Bush’s press office to be able to get all their phones and computers to work in 2001.

And the very first moments of Obama’s term in 2009 were muddled when Chief Justice John Roberts bungled the oath of office, forcing Obama to retake it the next day at the White House. Staffers had to rely on reporters to guide them to the Diplomatic Room for the ceremony.

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  • POTUS is a ball of fire lighting up Washington. His feints and ploys are getting people guessing. Never have I seen the USA in such a position of strength.
    Those protesters and whiners will soon become more irrelevant.

    • He’s an immature child who can’t control himself and is going down in flames. When the congressional republicans have had enough, or gotten their major bills signed, they’ll impeach him. The GOP brand is taking big hits every day. At this rate, they’ll lose both houses of Congress in 2018.

    • “Ball of fire” brings to mind nothing so much as a nuclear fireball. Let’s hope we don’t end up suddenly with one of those “lighting up Washington”. Or Pearl Harbor for that matter. I’m not about to rule it out, not with Mr. Impulsive carrying the football.

      • I think he has that big Raid fogger close at hand. Trump appears to have his sh#t together “big league.”
        I believe the reason all the snowflakes and weirdos are so hysterical over Trump is exactly because they thought Hillary would push us over the final hurdle into an authoritarian socialist police state, completing this long term dream with “them” in charge.
        We would be fighting in the streets and hiding GOLD right this minute had that occurred.

        • Sarge22,hanabatadays, and allie: I agree with Sarge (CSM) and I think that the USA has been dealing from a marked deck of cards with “LOSE” on all of the cards. It is about time you all quit scampering about and come to the final realization, that we have a NEW SHERIFF in charge. We should deal with the world from a position of power and let the nukes fall where they may. Middle East, the new glass skating rink of the world. We will stop giving $ to everybody and tell them what to do, including the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Iranians and whoever else. AMERICA will be GREAT AGAIN. Grow up and take notice that we are going to be the STICK again.

  • My goodness, by just reading the caption you would think the administration was in chaos. But having read the entire article, this was certainly not the case, quite the opposite to be frank. Again, the article is an example of how the bias mainstream media works. And from the SA too.

      • Sadly mainstream needs to convey a sense of sensationalism it reporting rather benign news…hence the headline. You can either call them out. Regarding the implication of chaos…I guess I find it exciting since my experience in private sector “embraced change (chaos)”. I really don’t understand it, life is “change or managed chaos” It’s like juggling managing your retirement portfolio during the Trump effect on the market, an unexpected grandchild coming into your retired lifestyle regimen, etc. Life is good! 🙂

        • President Donald J. Trump & VP Mike Pence doing America good again..the WeThePeople’s adults are running the country.
          #MAGA

          This is just another hit piece from the colluded gang of dem/lib propaganda.

        • wn is right. Knock it off MSM, and leave the sensationalism to Trump.

          The American people have Trump the right to lie and slander and utter falsehoods whenever he wants. He won the election.

          What has the media done to earn the right to criticise and contradict Trump?

          The MSM should take the advice of Steve “Dark Lord” Bannon.

          “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Bannon said in an interview on Wednesday.

          “I want you to quote this,” Lord Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

          @realDonaldTruth

        • “…The American people have GRANTED Trump the right to lie and slander and utter falsehoods whenever he wants. He won the election….”

    • Announcing a 20% across-the-board tariff to pay for Trump’s Vanity Wall, and then coming back a couple hours later to say “the previous statement is inoperative”, is a clearcut example of chaos.

      It’s be a lot more functional if he simply waited till he actually did something and then had Spicer come out and say “This is what we planned all along”. Mind you, it wouldn’t be prudent (to use Pappy Bush’s famous phrase). But it’d make a little more sense than all these false starts and retractions.

  • It’s not Mexico paying for the wall, it’s the consumers of Mexicos goods here in the USA that you are taxing. Raising the price by 20% may push these products totally off the demand curve which means that they will just sell their goods elsewhere. Are you willing to spend $4000 extra on a $20000 car from Mexico or are you going to buy the one that’s made elsewhere at an inflated price because due to lower supply. Lower supply equals higher price paid.

    • Robt, It is not Mexico “Directly” paying for the wall. But, follow the money and you will see it IS Mexico who will be paying for it.
      Just because it is not coming directly from the Mexican Government, it is money otherwise paid by the Mexican people that would have originally gone to the Mexican government in the form of taxes that would get redirected to the US.

  • Sean Spicer’s rough start continues. Yesterday, his office sent out its “Daily Guidance and Press Schedule” listing Trump’s Friday schedule, which included a “working luncheon” with UK Prime Minister Teresa May. Perhaps UK Prime Minister Theresa May will take in the sights in DC while Trump is busy with British porn star Teresa May. Yes, the White House press office misspelled May’s name 3 times, and, in a separate press release, Pence’s office misspelled it once.

    • Maybe it’s purposeful that Trump’s staff employs vagueness and ambiguity, rather than precision and specificity. That will make it easier for them to “walk back” anything they say.

  • After a successful career working in the private sector, specifically a Fortune 500 (top 20) business, this type of flux is something you routinely deal with. The timeline and being held accountable happen can be daunting. Those working within the safe harbor of civil service may not find this to their liking…like those who may be fretting about their positions in the Federal government. Evne outside the government, those who are unfamiliar with the nuances of change, routine change can unsettling…hence don’t go there if it’s not for you. With that being said…embrace the chaos and move forward…get on the train or get out of the way! 🙂

      • Success…are you referring to me personally or Trump enterprises? Regardless, in the business world, bankruptcies do happen…like a reset button…you then pick yourself up and move on. Unlike The Rail…you’re pointing finger(s) and keep throwing money down the well or against the wall and hope it sticks and when that fails you go to the Feds for a bail out (we’re not on the list). Thinking out loud,maybe we can hit the reset (repeal) button on The Rail…just saying. 🙂

      • Wrong Nanakuli. The mainstream did not criticize Obama during his administration. He could almost do no wrong. Opposite for Trump with the media. Any moron can see what is happening now with the media against Trump at every turn. Not surprised, the alpha soup networks are practically all democrat-controlled. Can’t refute that no matter which party you identify with.

        • Are you expecting the media to ignore trump’s constant screw-ups and childish behavior? Not gonna happen.

        • Let me ask you. Was the alpha soup networks all against Regan,Daddy Bush or GWB? No. In fact FOX was never hear of back then, but everyone got a fair shake. For the past 8 years FOX was constantly anti Obama on everything. So expect the same from liberal stations. Enjoy.

    • It really satisfying to see a President who’s a “mover and a shaker”. For those who don’t remember the use of this term, it was used for those who laid rails down for railway system that linked the USA. Driving rail road stakes in the ground that required a pilot hole so you pounded a rod into the ground and “moved it around and shake out the dust”…repeat. Hard work that benefited the country. Seems to apply to President Trump. 🙂

      • The “moving and shaking” you describe is actually Tutu Pele getting ready to turn the White House grounds into the East Coast version of Kilauea’s firepit.

        She will name it “Haleho’omalimali”, “The House of Everlasting BS”.

    • Your statement is the antithesis of democracy. Speaking up and questioning is how this great country of ours got to its position of strength, equality and fairness. Obviously, however, based on comments like yours to silence people into submission, we still have a long way to go.

        • Annhh, wrong skinnuts. This article’s headline is subjective and misleading, the content is suggestive, sensationalistic, blantantly biased and part of a trend of AP clickbait articles designed to drum up emotions and smear the President. Just because its factual does not make it real news because presentation matters. This is fake news.

        • Again, childish. And how is reporting on things actually done by trump biased? No one has to smear him. He does that fine himself. His followers will spend all their time defending him as he bounces from catastrophe to catastrophe. Should be fun.

      • Lame stream media stuck on the spin cycle.
        “By any measure, Thursday was a chaotic day …”
        “The confusion began early…”
        Yet way at the bottom:
        “But the Trump administration is far from the first to experience some early growing pains.”
        This is what happens when the media isn’t privy to every moment of the person they are covering.

  • Amazing how the LibTARD media keeps trying to find fault with The President. He is doing his best and has done more than Obama’s last 8 years.

    Its going to be a GREAT 8 years !!

  • Let’s see…I’m still waiting the headline, “Dow hits record high 20000!” (although the SP is more of the right indicator…never mind that’s another story) obviously no interest by the SA. Where’s the headline, “March for Life, turn out in DC (fill in the blank)”. Kind of makes you wonder the mindset of the SA…morphing into a clone of the Civil Beat? By the way, they are bringing up the plastic bags…again. What about banning of disposable diapers and marching in the march last week…on second thought bad idea. 🙂

  • “But the Trump administration is far from the first to experience some early growing pains.”

    And as an example, your reporter used…Supreme Court Justice John Roberts bungling the oath of office!

    Wow.

  • Another pathetic attempt by the AP/MSM to discredit Trump. The media-elite-democrat troika is in a state of panic while Trump is reversing their stranglhold and bringing power back to the average American. Here are 10 companies promising to add jobs since Trump was elected:

    #1 Kroger says that it intends to fill 10,000 permanent positions in the United States this year.

    #2 IBM has announced that it will be hiring an additional 25,000 workers in the United States over the next four years.

    #3 Foxconn is considering setting up a 7 billion dollar plant in the United States that would create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs.

    #4 Amazon.com has pledged to add 100,000 full-time jobs in the United States by mid-2018.

    #5 Wal-Mart has announced that it plans to add approximately 10,000 retail jobs in the United States in 2017.

    #6 Sprint has announced that 5,000 jobs will be brought back to the United States instead of going overseas.

    #7 After meeting with Trump, the CEO of SoftBank stated his intention to create 50,000 new jobs in the United States.

    #8 After a phone call from Trump, industrial manufacturing giant Carrier promised to keep hundreds of jobs in the United States instead of moving them out of the country.

    #9 Hyundai has promised to spend 3.1 billion dollars supporting their current factories in Georgia and Alabama, and they have said that they are now considering adding an additional factory in the United States as well.

    #10 GM has pledged to invest a billion dollars in U.S. factories and to add or keep 7,000 jobs in the United States.

    • Right again, waterman2.

      Trump-Bannon are masterful at appearing petty and incompetent and unhinged, it’s driving the lame-stream media crazy.

      Those losers just keep listening to what Trump says, not to what’s in his heart. And not to the great things he’s doing for regular Americans. What a brilliant strategy!

      Hide what you are doing to help ordinary Americans and instead look like a buffoon. Pure genius!

      Trump and Bannon’s cunning plan just needs a catchy slogan. Let’s see.

      How about:

      “Shocking Conduct, Hidden Greatness – Trump2020”

      “Bannon’s beautiful bumbling is big league Winning”

      “America. Looking Great again by lowering expectations.”

      But my favorite is

      “Trump is crazy… like a mangy rabid fox.”

      @realDonaldTruth

  • Here’s a thought, how about using real names for the forums…that way we don’t have to guess at who is making comments. Simple. Straightforward. Bold. Decisive. Much like Mr. Trump right?

  • Of course, Trump had to retract his ban on government employees talking to members of Congress. Because he’s not a king. And he had to walk back from saying that Mexico would pay for the wall, because they aren’t going to do that.

    Trump is learning that he cannot bully a sovereign nation the same way he can bully individuals. He is shockingly ignorant of almost everything a President needs to know.

    He is going to be inundated with law suits in about a week, I’ve never seen lawyers this enthused about anything, ever. Great days at the ACLU!

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