After two weeks of stumbles, White House staff spoke to the New York Times about how they are adjusting their management structure to be more effective. This kind of behind-the-curtain, gossipy reporting–typically written about administrations in flux–does offer insights. The staff who go on record are tacitly admitting they have a mess to clean up, and promise changes. The staff who speak anonymously are usually trying to get their ideas and advice to the president through the papers, and sometimes trying to make rival staff look bad. This is true in this piece (poor Reince). Among many gems here, we learn that Trump watches cable news day and night and he is not happy about how he is seeing his administration depicted there. We also learn about the dynamic between chief advisors Bannon, Kushner and Priebus.
On Bill O’Reilly’s show, Trump once again made the argument that the US cannot criticize Putin’s Russia because we are not so innocent.
That comment, and the continuing fall out from the Immigration Executive Order spurred many conservative pro-Trump writers to explain why it is becoming harder and harder to defend the President. Even Joe Scarborough, who has regular private conversations with Trump, penned a mildly scolding history lesson about Soviet atrocities.
Finally, a federal appeals panel refused to allow Trump’s Immigration ban to continue. Here is a good analysis of the legal path forward for the ban. And here David French, who supports the ban, gives a scathing conservative critique of the Trump Administration’s roll out of the ban and its weak legal strategy to keep it alive.