Donald Trump is escalating concerns in his party about his ability to govern the country six months after taking office as he repeatedly swerved off-topic.
The Senate’s efforts collapsed in a predawn vote on 28 July, magnifying the ineffectiveness that often goes with the chaos around Trump, the constant storm of tweets, the White House infighting, the self-inflicted wounds. While senators grappled with healthcare, Trump banned transgender people from the military. Defense Secretary James Mattis was coming to grips with Trump’s abrupt decision.
Republican strategist Charlie Black said Trump needs to let an investigation of possible ties between Russia and his 2016 campaign run its course and not keep talking about it. Russia denies meddling, and Trump denies any collusion. In the Senate health care fight, Trump phoned Republican senators and urged them to support repeal of Obamacare, but the effort fizzled, a sign there was little political retribution to fear from a president with a sub-40 percent approval rating. A moderate House Republican said Trump let down the Obamacare rollback effort by not going out and selling a plan.
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the tensions did not seem to trouble Trump. “The president’s management style seems to be to encourage factionalism among people below him. He seems to place value on watching people fight,” Fleischer said.
Among some establishment Republicans, there were signs that patience with Trump was wearing thin.