- Mike Allen
- 29 mins ago
Today's Trump Top 5: Hits, misses from Month 1
Happy Presidents Day or, as we used to say, Washington's Birthday. Thanks for stopping by to catch up, and thanks to our friends at Apple News for working today. Get our early-morning blast, seven days a week, by signing up here for Axios AM: Mike's Top 10.
1. Hits, misses from Month 1
The president salutes First Lady Melania Trump at his weekend rally in Florida / AP's Chris O'Meara
The Trump presidency is a month old — 47 (or 95!) months to go. So what has President Trump gotten most right and most wrong? After talking to dozens of officials in and out of the White House, Jim VandeHei and I came up with this scorecard:
- Creating a fairly strong climate for economic growth.
- Forcing U.S. companies to think harder about creating U.S. jobs.
- Keeping his promises. Trump has done precisely what he said he would do in terms of pulling out of trade deals, clamping down on illegal immigration, and moving ahead with a "great wall."
- Scaring off talent: Trump's paranoid, chaotic way of leading has spooked some of the smartest, most capable Republicans who wanted or were willing to work for him.
- Delegitimizing people he will one day need: The moment will come when Trump needs the public or world to believe something "fake news" journalists are reporting, or needs judges to give his idea a fair hearing, or needs the intelligence community to have his back in a tense moment, or needs allies such as Germany or Australia to support him, or needs establishment Republicans to take a tough vote.
- Being consumed with small-ball grievances. He allows petty slights to preoccupy his mind, his team and decision-making.
More from the Jim/Mike report card: Why Trump will need friends in the days ahead.
2. Ivanka is the "one constant"
Ivanka Trump walks to Air Force One on Friday with husband Jared Kushner (left); their two children, Arabella and Joseph; strategist Steve Bannon; and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (far right) / AP's Andrew Harnik
"Ivanka Trump is front and center at the White House," says today's USA Today Life section cover story, by Maria Puente: "It was expected the first daughter would be at her father's side more than first lady Melania Trump; what's unexpected is she's been there almost as much as her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, who's actually working there."
"Ivanka has said ... she wants to make empowering more women in business her signature issue during the Trump administration, and she's already started: She's been at two White House conferences with business leaders, plus she and Kushner hosted a dinner last month with a group of CEOs at her new home in ... Washington, to talk about working women and issues like paid maternity leave."
Here's her Instagram page.
3. A working holiday
Trump and McMaster at today's announcement / AP's Susan Walsh
At his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before flying back to Washington, Trump today named his new national security adviser: Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, 54, replacing his first choice, Michael Flynn, who resigned.
Some bio: "McMaster served in the first Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq. Considered a scholarly officer, he holds a Ph.D. in military history, and has authored a book called 'Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam.' He has also written articles questioning the planning for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Tom Ricks of Foreign Policy, who's known McMaster since he was a major, wrote before the announcement that he's "smart, energetic, and tough" and has good combat experience.
A White House official sent word to reporters that the president "gave full authority for McMaster to hire whatever staff he sees fit" -- a question that came up as he was considering other candidates.
Read McMaster's official bio here.
4. To tell your kids: Trump's fave president (besides himself)
Trump's Oval Office has a portrait of Andrew Jackson / AP's Alex Brandon
A Presidents' Day special ... Trump's aides enjoy playing up the parallels in both the campaign and personal style of the 7th president -- Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory" (served 1829-1837) -- and the 45th, their boss.
AP's Jonathan Lemire notes that Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, said after Trump's inaugural address: "I don't think we've had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House."
True of both of them: "An unvarnished celebrity outsider who pledged to represent the forgotten laborer took on an intellectual member of the Washington establishment looking to extend a political dynasty."
Just before the inauguration, Trump said admirers tell him: "There hasn't been anything like this since Andrew Jackson."
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley: "In American political lore, Jackson represents the forgotten rural America while Trump won by bringing out that rural vote and the blue collar vote."
5. Trump tweet du jour
The president explains -- and, of course, doubles down on -- the claim he made at Saturday's rally while discussing terrorism: "You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?"
No one did: There was no attack in Sweden Friday night. But now we know what he meant.
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