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Trump's press secretary is AWOL and his message is … misleading.



  Donald Trump, standing in front of the White House, speaks to a crowd of reporters.

What are you going to do, trust this boy?

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

On Monday, White House officials denied reports that Donald Trump was considering cutting payroll taxes to boost the economy. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he was actually considering cutting payroll taxes. But on Wednesday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he did not consider reducing payroll taxes.

This is not the only point of confusion in politics coming from the administration. After the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Trump said he would support legislation expanding the types of weapons purchases subject to background checks. On Tuesday, the Atlantic quoted a White House source as saying that Trump had changed his mind and would not pursue the past. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he was actually hoping to pass a background check.

Usually the person in the presidential administration who is responsible for addressing conflicting reports and synthesizing the views of various White House officials in a single public announcement is the secretary, who does so through regular briefings. The Trump White House, however, has not been briefing the press since March 11, when Sarah Sanders was the press secretary.

Since then, Sanders left and was replaced by Stephanie Grisham, a former First Lady press secretary. Grisham says he does not need to brief because the president is so accessible to the reporters themselves and has instead provided one-off answers to reporter questions on specific issues. This may be a sensible approach, except that, as shown above, the president does not seem to know his own positions correctly. Neither Grisham: The press secretary told Axios that Trump's idea was to force Israel to ban Rap. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tleib visiting the country is "fake news," only for Trump to literally tell Israel to ban Omar and Tlaib from visiting the country in a subsequent tweet .

Given that her boss doesn't seem to care what she does or says, you almost can't blame Grisham for being mostly quiet and out of sight. And her marginalized status speaks (ha!) To the broader truth about the current state of the administration: It is even less organized than it was previously in Trump's term, when by modern standards it was still very unorganized.

Trump previously had advisers such as Raines Pribus, John Kelly, and Steve Bunnon, who – for all their mistakes – have experience in managing organizations and pursuing political projects. He also had cabinet members such as Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, H.R. McMaster, James Matisse, and recently left Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, who – again for all his other mistakes – was ready to resist his bigger demands. . All of these people have either been replaced or are being replaced (a process that is very slow with Trump) by less qualified, more sycophantic individuals.

The current chief of staff is Mick Mulvaney, whose influence seems limited; his name, for example, appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post more than 400 times less than Priebus & # 39; in the first six months of their tenure, according to Nexis. (The highlight of Mulvey's summer, from a media standpoint, was when Trump urged him to leave the Oval Office because he coughed while George Stephanopoulos was filming a segment.) Trump also advises his daughter, life – a brand leader who reportedly calls him as "Dad" in an official appearance on Monday – the White House claims that she simply said "Dad" – and her husband, whose Previous experience was related to inheriting his father's real estate business. (Thanks, Dad / Dad!)

The adviser most involved in two of the most pressing issues currently on Trump's agenda – the trade dispute with China and the statistical signs that a recession may be imminent – is National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow , a notorious low-quality cable-TV employee who was recently spotted defending the idea of ​​America buying Greenland.

In fact, there is only one White House official who seems both administratively competent and intellectually capable of creating a reality-based program that aims to go beyond the daily whims and displeasure of the president: Stephen Miller, who is responsible for immigration policy. On this issue, the White House's recent activities include a legitimate proposal to assert that providing "safe and sanitary conditions" for undocumented children should not include giving soap or toothpaste, announcing a punishment program for legal immigrants for use of public services and on Wednesday a request to a federal judge to be allowed to detain asylum-seeking migrant families indefinitely.

So no one is even trying to explain what is happening and no one knows what is going on except the person who applies white nationalism. Great!

(I asked the White House press office for comment on how often Grisham has spoken to the president and will update this post if anyone responds.)


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