BRACK: Surprising developments recently out of Trump Administration

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |   Have you been surprised as I have at the manner of our president recently?

On three occasions, what I had expected to see from the Trump Administration did not take place, bringing questions to mind, and giving our nation more hope.

The first incident came nine days ago with the response of the Administration to a move by North Korea. Instead of a presidential tweet, here was Defense Secretary James Mattis giving his own reaction on the incident. That same day at the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley quietly read a restrained message about the situation.

Jump ahead a few days. This time, President Trump seemed to disavow a previous position about the “dreamers,” those affected about the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) proposal), saying that he might reconsider his earlier statement.  He was giving these immigrant students hope that they might not be deported, where previously all seemed lost to them.

And then a few days later, a real stunner.  Inviting the  congressional leadership to the White House, President Trump listened to ideas about solving the increase on the debt ceiling and financing the stopgap spending measure until mid-December. Included in the Oval Office  were the two Republican leaders, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan, and their Democratic counterparts, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

After hearing several of their ideas, the president interrupted his Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, and agreed with the Democrats.  The two Republicans sat silently, stunned that the president was jumping ship from the Republicans for the first time and relying on the Democrats to push this item forward.

Now here’s our take on how this came about. We think we see the hand of the president’s chief of staff,  Marine Gen John F. Kelly, in all three incidents.  Ever since the general has taken over as the president’s chief adviser, President Trump has been much more subdued. Something must account for the president’s much more restrained actions in the last few weeks. It makes sense to us that it is General Kelly who has set this new method for the Administration.

If so, more praise on the general.

And it may be that President Trump is recognizing that all his actions in the previous eight months have not gained him the success he yearns for.  Maybe he has come to the realization that taking matters in his own hands could stand some improvement.

The president perhaps confounded Republicans further by inviting, for the first time, a Democrat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, to join him aboard Air Force One on a trip to North Dakota. Can’t you see Republicans asking, “What’s that about?” It may show the president’s new approach to bipartisanship.

We understand that the general is also taking charge in making sure that the president isn’t routinely interrupted by many who want to get his attention. A subdued list of routine visitors to the Oval Office, monitored by the general, could be paying dividends.

Our nation has been puzzled at the lack of leadership that President Trump has shown so far. He seems to get in the way of solving problems with his own abrupt actions, words and tweets.  

He seems a much calmer president in recent days.

With the threat of North Korea, and now the troubles of the hurricanes, and many more problems facing our nation, our United States looks forward to a more pragmatic form of leadership from President Trump. We can only hope that we’ll see that.

Were you also surprised at the move by more reserved tactics of President Trump recently?