Dec 13, 2018

Trump’s rude awakening: Governing in tough times

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It is a fact President Trump had a consequential first two years: a huge tax cut, two Supreme Court justices and lots of regulations eliminated.

But it is also a fact that he did this in the kind of political environment all presidents dream of but few ever got: full control of government in peaceful and prosperous times. His job now is not just harder — it’s exponentially harder.

  • He shifts from a compliant Republican Congress to a stubbornly divided one.
  • Thanks to his tax cuts, deficits are shooting past $1 trillion annually, providing little wiggle room for new spending programs.
  • The era of cheap money is over. He can kvetch about the Fed all he wants — rates are going up.
  • The market went from roaring to rude, and most think a recession is coming our way.
  • The Mueller investigation is a threat and nuisance.
  • Congressional subpoenas and public hearings are hell.

Trump is already seeing the perils of his new reality:

  • He threatened a government shutdown and promised to take full ownership of it.
  • Democrats are planning a flurry of investigations come January.
  • Even routine tasks (for him) like finding a new chief of staff are harder.

Be smart: Trump faces all these headwinds as he ramps up a re-election campaign for a race in which the path to victory and margin for error are as slim and elusive as any in a lifetime.

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Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

2 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.