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President Trump is going on an executive order frenzy in the final week of his first 100 days.
By Friday, Trump will have signed at least 32 executive orders — the most signed in the first 100 days of a new administration since World War II.
Here are the executive orders coming this week, per a White House source with direct knowledge:
Behind-the-scenes: Trump, used to getting his own way in his business career, is frustrated that Congress won't bend to his will. And he isn't the only one who feels like that. Trump's filled his administration with guys like Gary Cohn and Wilbur Ross who are used to having their orders followed. They, like Trump, regard Washington and the folks who've spent their careers here, as hacks. Team Trump is learning to love the executive order — the tool that gives them instant gratification.
The White House communications team wouldn't confirm this, but my sources tell me there could be as many as three additional executive orders this week (in addition to the four we report on above!) — all related to trade.
Connecting the dots: As we've written previously, President Trump flip-flops all over the policy map, but the one thing he's believed constantly for 30 years is that America should be tougher on trade and retaliate against foreign governments who he thinks rip the U.S. off. Trump doesn't believe it when people tell him America has to leave heavy manufacturing behind and evolve into a sophisticated service economy. Everything he's doing is about bringing back manufacturing jobs.
The government runs out of money on Saturday and, with that in mind, the most important line on any of the Sunday shows today came from White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," asked Priebus whether the administration would veto a government funding bill if there's not money in it to fund Trump's border wall. Priebus' response here was telling:
"It will be enough in the negotiation for us to move forward with either the construction or the planning, or enough for us to move forward through the end of September to get going on the border wall and border security in regard to border patrol..."
Between the lines: By refusing to demand funding for the bricks-and-mortar "wall," Reince tipped his hand. Trump can't stomach a shutdown on his watch, so he'll likely take a "win" on some form of funding for border security, even if it's not specifically for building the wall.
What we expect will happen: Congress will pass a short-term funding bill early in the week to buy themselves another five or seven days' negotiating time. We think there's enough common ground for this to get done in the end, with perhaps a fairly substantial appropriations bill in the end.
When candidate Donald Trump addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last March, he made the crowd go wild when he declared: "My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran."
Well ... not so much. On Tuesday the Trump administration grudgingly certified that Iran was living up to its end of the 2015 nuclear deal. The President's subsequent comment that Iran is violating the "spirit" of the nuclear deal doesn't mean he's going to tear the deal up — he won't. But our sources say it's foolish to dismiss that sentence as pure bluster.
Keep an eye out for these policy options (that would amount to a third way on Iran — not withdrawing from the deal, but not accommodating Iran either):
Wildcard: This report by Fox News correspondent James Rosen on Bret Baier's "Special Report" caught the attention of foreign policy and national security officials both inside the White House and on Capitol Hill. An Iranian opposition group — which is viewed with deep suspicion but has been proven correct in the past — has released images it says proves Iran is secretly working on weaponization in violation of the deal. Watch for Republican members of Congress to ask CIA Director Pompeo to investigate these new claims.
I'm reading Chris Whipple's excellent new book "Gatekeepers" — "how White House chiefs of staff define every presidency."
President Reagan's second chief of staff Don Regan had lots of problems, but what ultimately killed him was getting on the wrong side of Nancy:
Lesson for today's West Wingers: don't make Jared or Ivanka mad. And don't get too much positive press! The most damaging hit on Steve Bannon was the Time cover. And Gary Cohn's worst nightmare would be a newspaper POTUS reads branding him "the brain behind President Trump." That's a Trumpian death sentence.