When Trump 2.0 emerged this week with a slew of more conventional Republican positions, a big question was: How long will it last? President Trump insiders promise this is more than a mood: It’s the result of President Trump’s instinctive desire to win, after a series of dropped balls. A West Wing confidant told:
“We are seeing the working out of his improvisational personality, based on new and immediate inputs.”
Those inputs include both the more moderate advisers who are ascendent, and the new understanding of the world that comes from the Situation Room. “Which is ‘United States First’: currency manipulation, or a bunch of missiles in California [from North Korea]?” a West Wing adviser said. “If I am going to be ‘ United States First,’ I need to be for security.”
President Trump is restless, and still asks friends for their opinions of his staff. He made it clear to a recent visitor that Steve Bannon on the cover of TIME 2 months ago still sticks in his craw. Friends say Bannon is stubborn and a survivor, and plans to fight to stay.
The rest of April and May is a critical stretch on Capitol Hill — a chance for Donald Trump’s team to resuscitate health reform, keep the government open, pass a budget, and get started on tax reform.
More insights from those close to Trump:
- A Trump friend said, “They’ve got to produce.”
- “When you pass a few things, then you have pivoted.” added the West Wing adviser.