Pres. Trump and his administration are on a mission to subdue the escalation of the Russian dilemma that is on the verge of eating his presidency alive. This is making the consideration of restructuring his senior staff and the inception of a “war room” to be located within the premises of the White House, according to aides in the White House and allies outside.
After Trump returned to Washington Saturday night from his nine-day foreign trip that effectively postponed the controversy on American soil, the White House has plans to increase the aggressiveness of their combat against the overflowing and coverings about contacts between Russia and Trump Associates, a list that includes the present federal law and senior advisor Jared Kushner. White House officials are working on efforts that would bring life back to Trump’s stalled policy agenda in Congress, and more importantly, improve the effectiveness in which the White House communicates with the public.
The improvement includes proposals for more campaign-style rallies held nationwide to gather his supporters and speak to them directly, as well as switch up the pace and nature that news briefings are delivered, most likely diminishing the role of Sean Spicer, the embattled White House press secretary.
The enhanced operation could also include a comeback by a few of Trump’s more aggressive campaign aides, which include transformer deputy campaign manager who earned his own reputation in politics with his two-decade-long investigation into the Clintons, David N. Bossie, and Trump’s former campaign manager that he fired almost a year ago, Corey Lewandowski. Both of these men have been involved in the talks and conversations discussing the method in which the war room will be built, with the mission being led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, has taken part in the discussions including prominent figures outside of Washington and those on Capitol Hill, and has made contact with individuals from Trump’s campaign network, requesting an increased involvement in the support of the president, as reported by three Republican consultants employed in the White House.
All the while, counsel to the White House, Donald McGahn, is in discussions about expanding his office, as an independent legal team headed by Marc E. Kasowitz is making preparations to have a meeting with the president and provide guidance, which would include advice on whether he should proceed with releasing messages on Twitter regarding the Russian investigation.
Kushner has been aggressively active in the restructuring of the communications team, overhaul the White House’s surrogate operation, and design an internal team that particularly addressed the uproar of negative reports and uncoverings related to the FBI’s Russian inquiry, according to an individual with intricate knowledge of the approaching changes.
“The bottom line is they need fresh legs; they need more legs,” said Barry Bennett, who served as a political adviser to Trump during the general-election campaign. “They’re in full-scale war, and they’re thinly staffed.”
At the same time that Trump was meeting with world leaders on his recent trip, Bannon, Kushner, Chief of Staff Staff Reince Priebus and other senior aides have been conducting meetings in the White House discussing the potential restructuring.
Kushner’s involvements have evolved into a particularly delicate topic of concern within the White House, as he has come under increasing scrutiny due to the FBI’s investigation into whether or not Russian metals into the most recent presidential election.
In a report published by the Washington Post Friday night, it was stated that the Russian ambassador to Washington and Kushner engaged in talks about developing a secret and secure channel of communication between Pres. Trump’s transition team and the Russian president, employing Russian diplomatic facilities and what appears to be an attempt to conceal their pre-election talks to them from being monitored.
Discrete conversations among White House aides have privately discussed the decrease in presence of Kushner, suggesting that he might even need to take a leave of absence in order to allow the Russian controversy to subside, but they have refrained from engaging in those talks about their position directly with customer, especially with Kushner’s alliances standing firmly behind him and support of his position and involvement.
It has been reported by those were close to Kushner that he has expressed no intentions on accepting a reduced role, even while those who have compensated with him say he acknowledges the ongoing frenzy surrounding him. Working out of a shared office in the West Wing as well as his space in the Eisenhower Executive Office building, Josh Raffel has been invited by the White House to oversee Kushner’s problematic portfolio.
Kushner and Priebus over lunch about how better to use foreign trip had concluded is that the process of outlining events to come in the weeks ahead. Prior to lunch, the two Mets and Kushner’s office to cover said about breaking stories concerning Kushner in Russia.
Lawyers representing the presidents have been adamant in requesting the president to fully refrain from posting adversarial messages on Twitter or making off-the-cuff statements concerning the Russian investigations, trying to get him to understand that those utterances can be detrimental to him if it is viewed that he is attempting to obstruct the inquiries.
President Trump has publicly and privately expressed his frustrations with his communication team and the entire concept of the approaching revamping. While nothing is definitive as of yet, one proposal that has been suggested is to remove Spice, who has been imitated play frequently on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, from his role of providing the daily briefings and reposition him to a role that is more behind-the-scenes.
To place Spicer, the deputy White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is on the short list of potential replacements. It has also been discussed by the White House that there should be a cast of staff that will rotate the position when briefing the media, a collection of individuals that could include H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor. Having multiple employees fulfill this task can help to alleviate the boredom or anger felt by Trump, whose attention span is notoriously short, against any singular or particular staff member.
This new approach has already been tested by the White House, sending another top staff member along with Spicer to brief the media about the needs of the day. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on budget issues, for instance, or McMaster on questions of national security.
While Pres. Trump was on his foreign tour, Spicer’s role was already visibly reduced down to one briefing in which he delivered an informal speech that was not content heavy while utilizing him more like an emcee who introduced other prominent speakers conduct more detailed briefings. On Saturday, Spicer introduced the National Economic Council Director, Gary Cohen and McMaster during the conclusion of the Group of Seven summit in Taormina, Italy, retiring to a corner of the room to watch as journalists pounded with questions. Cohen and McMaster.
The conference was a clear example of how difficult it is to push for Trump’s agenda, especially with the Russian investigation being so prominently discussed. The news briefing became filled with tension after questions involving Kushner’s activities were asked of McMaster, who very visibly deflected those questions.
The up-and-coming revamp of White House operations approaches a cloud of sagging job approval ratings for the president as he attempts to push toward on some of his campaign promises that headlined his candidacy, which include the repealing and replacing of the affordable care act and the restructuring of the IRS tax code, all things that Trump wants to get completed before Congress leaves for their August recess. In the attempt to add to the president’s list of accomplishments, the White House is considering focusing more on modest initiatives that could be easily passed through Congress.
White House aides, who speak on the condition of anonymity in order to provide more detail, have reportedly said that included in those initiatives could be one of Republican favored immigration measures and infrastructure focused initiatives. “They need accomplishments on issues that affect jobs,” one Trump adviser said. “If the White House and Congress have nothing in hand to tout by this summer, members of Congress are going to come back after their August recess freaking out.”
Aides close to Trump have said they were very satisfied with the substance and aesthetics of the president’s nine-day foreign trip. This was the first time that he as president has traveled abroad, and they are hopeful that the optics will invoke momentum for Trump’s agenda back home in America. There were other individuals not confident in that assertion.
“He was given the chance to look presidential and change the pictures on our television screens,” said Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University. “But it will be harder for him to manage news back at home than abroad. . . . The worries he had when he left have not gone away. They’ve only gotten worse.”