After one of the most tumultuous weeks in what already has proven to be a turbulent administration, President Donald Trump declared on Twitter Monday morning that his White House is not in chaos, despite what outside critics and commentators have said.
“Highest Stock Market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages raising, border secure, S.C.: No WH chaos!” Trump wrote online, ticking off the accomplishments he and his allies have regularly listed in defense of the administration.
Nominating and securing the Senate confirmation of Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has been the high-water mark of Trump’s administration thus far, vindication for many Republicans who hesitantly supported the president over concerns that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might get to fill the seat left vacant by the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia.
Many of the strong economic numbers for which Trump has claimed credit were already trending upward under the administration of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Despite Trump’s insistence that his White House is running as normal, upheaval has been the norm inside his administration from almost the very beginning. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus’s resignation last week came one day after newly-hired communications director Anthony Scaramucci attacked him in vulgar, on-the-record remarks to a New Yorker reporter. It was Scaramucci’s hiring that prompted White House press secretary Sean Spicer to resign earlier this month.
Priebus’s replacement as chief of staff, former Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, was sworn in Monday morning.
Other prominent departures through the Trump administration’s first six months also include former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired weeks after the president’s inauguration, and former FBI Director James Comey, an Obama appointee whom Trump fired with the bureau’s Russia investigation weighing on his mind.
Aside from personnel issues, Trump’s administration was dealt a major policy setback late last week when the Senate failed to advance legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, falling a single vote short thanks to opposition from Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) Trump has fumed on Twitter in the days since, writing online that Republicans would be “total quitters” if they moved on to other legislative priorities and threatening to cut critical Obamacare subsidy payments.
Trump’s surprise announcement last week banning transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military also launched a barrage of bipartisan criticism at the White House. The move seemed to catch the Pentagon, the Senate and House armed services committees and even some members of the administration by surprise and was not made with any plan in place to implement the president’s announced shift.