Donald Trump appeared as an agitator during the election campaign. Now, it is ruled by chaos.
The temporary suspension of the refugee shelter program – Trumps most important initiative in his first days as president of the United States – wreaked havoc on airports and provoked protests across the country.
The executive order signed by President Trump left its own government agencies in trouble, divided the Republican Party, and put its allies around the world in an awkward position. A federal judge issued an emergency order that momentarily blocks part of the measure, setting the stage for the legal battle ahead.
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Trump could have avoided at least some of those consequences.
“He could have consulted with the agencies responsible for executing the order. He could have offered a speech explaining his action and intentions in detail to the American people. His team could have prepared a contingency plan for travelers who could not enter the country but who were already traveling at the time of signing the decree”, said one official to CTN News.
Instead, Trump has demonstrated not only that he intends to fulfill his controversial electoral promises, but that he intends to do so in the spirit of the mandate his advisers believe he has: breaking into Washington and setting fire to the standards respected by his leaders.
It is not clear if the White House acted on Friday knowing the consequences that would pop up by the signing of the presidential decree. But on Saturday, as protesters filled US airports where legal residents were trapped in a bureaucratic limbo, the president said “he was satisfied with the results”.
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“It’s working very well,” Trump said.
Trump is known to stirrup considerable degree of instability in his nearest circles. His campaign was often improvised and unpredictable, sometimes driven by the candidate’s decisions. As chief executive of a private company, Trump barely had to deal with the complexity or scrutiny linked to the functioning of any federal government.
Even before the chaos unleashed by imposing restrictions on refugee entry, Trump had already sowed confusion in his early days at the Oval Office.
Announced, via Twitter, an investigation into alleged electoral fraud, but the signing of an executive order was canceled at the last moment. He faced Mexico, one of the most important international partners in the United States, for his plan to erect a wall on the border, prompting President Enrique Peña Nieto to cancel his visit to Washington. A spokesman raised the possibility of paying the wall with a 20% tax on all imports from Mexico, a proposal that was immediately withdrawn.
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As the weekend ended, Trump’s White House seemed to recognize the problems of governing by decree. Leading advisers were keen to explain the policy and offer guidance to those in charge of implementing it.
A statement from the president sought to clarify that he had no intention of vetoing the arrival of all Muslims. His advisers denied previous assertions that the veto would also apply to citizens of the seven designated countries with permanent legal residency, or “green card.” The White House, largely silent on the details of the restrictions after the signing of the presidential initiative, and hastily organized two briefings for journalists over the weekend.
However, Trump faces his second full week in power with a test that triumphs or fails presidencies: to sell a controversial and complicated policy to the population.
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Meanwhile, experts rebut Trump’s claim that this policy is necessary to keep Americans safe. The recent acts of extremist violence in the country were perpetrated either by US citizens or individuals whose families did not come from the designated nations.
Many of the president’s most loyal followers do not hesitate to support his actions and his decisive and urgent approach. As a candidate, Trump called for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, and then shifted his focus to the temporary suspension of arrivals from countries with terrorist links to give the government time to implement “extreme research” measures.
Representatives, Paul Ryan, who said that it is “time to reevaluate and strengthen the process of granting visas.”
But there are others who distance themselves from the president, even within his Own party. The White House did not spend too much time informing lawmakers about the decree before it was signed, leaving those who might be willing to back it up with little information to defend Trump’s stance.