This West Wing is a tough neighborhood. Even AFTER Sean Spicer's successful get-back-on-the-horse presser yesterday, I'm told that a top White House official was discussing his possible replacement. On Day 4! With 1,457 to go in this term.
A senior aide texted me at bedtime: "Back on track. Upper hand. Offense and action." Indeed, the team was feeling better after the reboot briefing by Spicer, plus a better-focused performance by POTUS. And the staff saw it as a home run when AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka praised Trump's move to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with a statement headlined: "TPP Withdrawal Good First Step Toward Building Trade Policies that Benefit Working People."
But inside, the finger-pointing and blame-casting continued. Unfortunately for Spicer, Trump is obsessed with his press secretary's performance art. Our Jonathan Swan hears that Trump hasn't been impressed with how Spicer dresses, once asking an aide: "Doesn't the guy own a dark suit?" Spicer looked a lot sharper yesterday than he did on Saturday — in a dark, bankerly suit.
Maggie Haberman tweeted that at Spicer's Saturday presser, Trump "wanted him to be in command/project strength. He did neither. … [H]e wanted Spicer to be a derivative of himself -Trump almost always takes q's & slices it with humor."
The WashPost delves into the reality show in a juicy front-pager, "Tensions, tumult mark Trump's first days as president," by Ashley Parker, Phil Rucker and Matea Gold:
Jim and I just popped up a new installment in our Trump 101 series: "With a black Sharpie in hand, he marks up the Times or other printed stories. When he wants action or response, he scrawls the staffers' names on that paper and either hands the clip to them in person, or has a staffer create a PDF of it — with handwritten commentary — and email it to them. An amazed senior adviser recently pulled out his phone to show us a string of the emailed PDFs, all demanding response."
Read the rest, including the evening show Trump never wanted to miss.
The N.Y. Times brings back the "L" word on A1, above the fold … "Meeting With Top Lawmakers, Trump Repeats an Election Lie": " Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election's results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda. … Trump used the opportunity to brag about his victory … [and] asserted that between three million and five million unauthorized immigrants voted for Mrs. Clinton."
—"Dagger," Maggie Haberman labels this tweet from WashPost's Ed O'Keefe: "MCCONNELL on WH meeting with with Trump: "I enjoyed the president and Sen. Schumer talking about all the people they knew in New York."
At 9 a.m. today in the Roosevelt Room, President Trump hosts a "breakfast and listening session" with auto-industry leaders. You might as well call it a therapy session. A Wall Street Journal front-pager, "AUTO MAKERS IN THE CROSSHAIRS," counts the ways he has rattled Detroit:
Smarter faster: Trump's 100 days … "Trump makes his priorities clearer, and deportation of young immigrants has fallen off the list," per L.A. Times' Mike Memoli and Brian Bennett: "Trump signaled Monday through a flurry of directives and pronouncements that he will put a priority on remaking U.S. trade and tax policy, even as he quietly backed away from a pledge to end protections for nearly 750,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children."
Even after being discharged from Houston Methodist Hospital following treatment for bronchitis, Barbara Bush, 91, stayed an extra night with former President George H.W. Bush, 92, who's still suffering from pneumonia but is ready to leave the ICU. Dr. Amy Mynderse said a a news conference yesterday: "Other than sleeping in separate rooms, … she has been sitting at his bedside most of the time."
Dr. Clint Doerr added: "They're essentially therapy for each other. … [W]hen one of 'em doesn't want to take a breathing treatment, the other says, 'Git on that.' It helps our cause.' … I think 'Mrs.' commented to me, 'You need to get us outta here and tuned up, because we gotta host that Super Bowl.'"
Per AP: "The couple's 72-year marriage is the longest of any presidential couple in U.S. history … Mynderse told reporters that when she informed the former president she would be speaking at a news conference Monday, he replied: 'About what?'"
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