The allies are upset. Bad hombres are scared. Millions of illegal immigrants, over 300,000 desis among them, have slipped into the shadows. And ‘fake media’ is hopping mad. But there is no stopping the trundling Trump train….writes Arun Kumar in his ‘Washington Diary’
“Now you finally have a President. Finally!” Donald Trump told a raucous crowd of supporters at an annual gathering of conservatives as he ticked off a dizzying list of actions he has taken with his executive pen in the five weeks he has been in office.
He has pulled the US out of a major trade deal, rebooted two major oil pipelines, ordered reduction in regulations and initiated a huge “military operation” to get “really bad dudes out of this country at a rate nobody has ever seen before.”
Now he promised a “brand new action” to ban travel from seven terror prone nations to replace the one derailed by the courts and vowed one of the greatest military build ups in American history” and to “totally obliterate” the Islamic State.
Trump also could not resist the temptation of taking a dig at his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton for calling his supporters “irredeemable deplorables” amid familiar chants of “Lock her up” and railing against the “dishonest” and “fake news” media.
Even as he vowed afresh to repeal and replace “the disaster known as Obamacare,” as he called former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, Republican lawmakers faced tough questions at town halls about this that and all things Trump.
But Trump dismissed “the so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans” as “actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”
His top cabinet picks, however, were singing a slightly different tune abroad.
If days after taking over as President, Trump had again lamented not taking the Iraqi oil as “spoils of war,” his Defence Secretary James Mattis assured worried Iraqis, “We’re not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil.”
And if the President had called NATO “obsolete,” his vice President Mike Pence assured nervous European allies that Washington “strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in its commitment to our trans-Atlantic alliance.”
And his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly hopped over to Mexico to assure “there will be no use of military forces in immigration. And there will be no mass deportation.”
As Mexico baulked at reported US plans to deport even OTMs – Other than Mexicans – to Mexico instead of their home countries as previously, they also sought to soothe concerns over Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border and make Mexico pay for it.
Is the Trump team playing the “good cop, bad cop” routine as a “maniacally focused” President hits “his agenda every single day” as his reclusive strategic advisor Stephen Bannon asserted in a rare public appearance?
Calling the press as the “opposition party,” Steve Bannon, the controversial “brain” behind the President declared an unending battle with “corporatist media and other globalist forces to deconstruct the administration state” — a system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts.
And escalating his war with what Trump again called “fake news” media and “the enemy of the people”, the White House barred several news outlets, including “Clinton News Network” and the “failing New York Times” from an off-camera press briefing.
The move came as CNN reported that the FBI had rejected a White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security ‘leakers’ that have permeated our government for a long time. They can’t even… find the leakers within the FBI itself,” Trump fumed in a tweet.
Meanwhile, as Trump detractors chanting “Dump Trump” marked the “Presidents Day” as “Not My Presidents Day” across the country, his die-hard supporters voiced frustration that critics unable to digest his success were too quick to protest.
The Office of Special Counsel, an obscure federal watchdog, too has been flooded with inquiries from bureaucrats about what they can and can’t do in office.
And some others are taking their politics from the streets to the couch as a ‘Post-election stress disorder’ sweeps the nation, CNN reported citing mental health professionals “especially those working in Democratic strongholds.”