With a looming investigation, President Donald Trump is anxious to put points on the board.
The core question is whether a GOP-controlled Congress can help him.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is talking about tax reform — though maybe not until after Labor Day. The GOP Senate is not anywhere near a solution on health care — a top presidential priority. There is, at his point, very little talk about a big infrastructure bill.
In other words, the things the White House wants from Congress are not, at this point, anywhere within reach. And that’s a problem.
With Russia investigations looming, White House advisors fear “it could be a long, hot summer — with few tangible accomplishments to tout. And they worry how an antsy president, who wants things done immediately and has a rudimentary understanding of the legislative process, will handle it — particularly if the investigation dominates news media coverage,” POLITICO’S Josh Dawsey reports.
Still, the White House is focusing on what it can do.
In the decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, President Trump’s advisors see an issue that perhaps is not playing well internationally or in Washington but speaks to core Trump supporters. EPA Director Scott Pruitt reveled in the moment — jousting with reporters on Friday and arguing the U.S. had no apologies to make.
“We owe no apologies to other nations for our environmental stewardship,” Pruitt said.
Elsewhere in Trump’s orbit:
INFORMATION LOCKDOWN: In an unprecedented move, the Trump administration is advising agencies to ignore information requests unless they come from a committee chairman or subcommittee chairman in Congress — effectively locking Democrats out of information requests.
NET SPASIBO: President Trump’s advisors seem to finally be heeding lawyers’ advice and are clamming up about the Russia investigation.
NEW ‘PRINCE’: The New York Times reports that there’s a new head to the CIA’s Iran operations and that it signals a more muscular and aggressive approach under President Trump to the agency’s approach to the nation.
HE’S LONG CON: George Conway, a successful attorney and husband of presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, has withdrawn himself from consideration for a Justice Department post.
LACK OF PRIDE: The White House didn’t issue a statement in support of Pride month, and LGBTQ groups say they are disappointed — but not really surprised by the oversight.
And there you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. Happy Friday.