The White House Was Supposed to Take Control of The Narrative - Instead, this Happened

June 5th 2017

Mike Rothschild

The week of June 5 was supposed to be the week that the Trump White House finally rolled out its heavily-anticipated infrastructure plan, giving the details for how America's roads, bridges and airports would get their much needed upgrades.





But President Trump himself ensured any unveiled plans would be lost in the reaction to a series of hot-tempered tweets on several subjects, with the object of his scorn seemingly shifting from message to message. He insulted London's mayor in the wake of the city's terror attack, called for his original "travel ban" to be reinstated, and excoriated Democrats for blocking his judicial and governmental nominees—in spite of no such thing happening. 

Here's a quick guide to how Trump hijacked his own agenda yet again on Monday morning:

Return of the travel ban that's not a travel ban







For months, White House staffers and Justice Department officials have insisted that the two bans on immigration from Muslim majority nations that Trump signed in January weren't full-on "travel bans." But the legal justification used by the courts that have blocked both the original ban and the "watered down" version of the order that Trump signed a few days later hinges on previous statements by Trump calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

Lawsuits argue that the order is a religious test prohibited by the Constitution, while the administration has continued insisting it's not a ban. In late January, Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeatedly told reporters that the executive order was not "a Muslim ban. It's not a travel ban. It's a vetting system to keep America safe.” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has also insisted the order is merely a "pause" to allow a review of the vetting system, rather than a ban. 

Observers and legal experts took to social media to outline how Trump's tweets, rather than prove the justification for a ban, enhance the case against it. He's literally saying it's a travel ban, and the second one (which he signed) is a weaker version of the first. It's possible that, given how Trump's public statements have been used against the ban in the first place, that these tweets might actually sink it for good.







President Trump vs. Mayor Khan

In the aftermath of Saturday's terrorist attack on London Bridge, in which seven people were killed in a combination van attack and stabbing spree, Trump continued hammering London Mayor Sadiq Khan for a statement that the president either willfully or ignorantly took out of context.



However, Trump had taken a portion of what Khan had told the BBC and used it against him. What the mayor actually said was that in the wake of the attack, "Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There's no reason to be alarmed."

The next day, Trump again used the second part of that phrase to attack Khan as somehow being cavalier about terrorism.



The social media reaction to Trump was brutal, with many appalled by Trump's broadside to a mayor in the throes of leading response to a terror attack in the UK capital. Suddenly it seemed America's long and storied special relationship with London was cast off in a spew of belligerent tweets.










Democrats fail to confirm nominees Trump hasn't nominated:

The final tweet of the president's brain dump concerned the slow pace of Senate confirmations of Trump's nominees for major governmental positions, ambassadorships and judges.



But once again, it was quickly pointed out that not only do Democrats have no power to prevent nominees from being confirmed, but Trump has nominated virtually nobody. Hundreds of major positions across both the executive and judicial branches are empty, with nobody named as potential replacements. 

While the lack of an FBI Director is the most glaring example, experts pointed out scores of second and third tier positions in intelligence and national security, heads of departments, ambassadors, and US Attorneys. None of them would need a single Democratic vote to be confirmed.







To get "infrastructure week" back on track, Trump announced on Monday morning that he would be unveiling a plan to privatize the Federal Aviation Administration. But it made little impact on a day he himself had already hijacked.