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Trump defies every restraint – CNNPolitics

A profound question, when Trump entered the Oval Office, was whether his improperly improvised nature was framed for more than two centuries by his magnitude of his new responsibilities and codes of presidential behavior.

Or would Trump, a rambunctious, ego-driven outsider who does not follow the rules, change the office itself by creating precedents that his successors would ultimately use to justify their own flexing of presidential power?

It's too early to assess Trump's long-term impact on the office of the presidency, a judgment that will be shaped by how his rule ends after one or two terms and the final conclusions of the Russian investigation.

He has lived up to his promise to his voters to disrupt the Washington establishment and the Western global consensus. Trump's declaration of a national emergency to finance its border wall represents one of the most influential countries in the world. boldest grabs for presidential authority in generations and caps what is now a lengthening record of contempt for the regular political order.

His straining against the norms is not confined to his duels with the Congress.

Trump's verbal torching of the institutions of his own government like The Justice Department and the FBI seem to be becoming more intense as Robert Mueller's special counsel is probe grinds on.

One of Trump's most enduring strategies is his willingness to hold out easily undemanding positions, if they support his political goals – another way he is unencumbered by the constraints of many of his predecessors. In a new manifestation of his resistance to the objective fact, he is now openly trashing the data collected by his own agencies when he does not support his hunches what he claims is an "invasion" of undocumented migrants.

He's even insisting He is already building his border wall – reflecting the potential political price he can pay for failing to honor his top 2016 promise.

"I use many stats. I use many stats," Trump told a reporter who challenged him with an official government date on drug trafficking last week. "Let me tell you, you have stats that are far worse than the ones I use."

Awkward silence

Trump's assault on the international system – a step no President since the end of World War II would have dreamed of taking – is widening. He's undoing trade deals, nuclear pacts and pressing the estranged alliances that underpin decades of US power in pursuit of his "America First" creed. "

Europe's feelings were summed up by the stony, embarrassing silence when Vice President Mike Pence brought greetings from

In its jarring press conference on Friday, Trump blasted away at the institutions that mold a free society – including constitutional principles, the freedom of the press and the independent judiciary He has even publicly envied China's record on extra-judicial executions in an open rebuke of traditional US values.

And Trump has several times that we know about, appreciated the advice of the Russian President Vladimir Putin over that of his own spy chiefs
One Trump ally, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour Monday, that Dan Coats' National Intelligence Director may be in danger after contradicting Trump's national security policies in a recent congressional hearing.

"There is a feeling that maybe there needs to be a change in leadership in that position," Ruddy said.

If Trump sacks Coats for Insubordination, it will be a fresh example of how the President appears more united than personal , political and behavioral guardrails than any commander in chief in modern history.

Trump's coming second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un seems as much motivated by his personal desire for a political win – or a Nobel peace prize – as Any sign that their first meeting has made much progress towards denuclearization.

His administration, which has shed staff at a historic clip, is now looking more and more like a top-down, family business staffed by loyal retainers that characterized his real estate empire.

As his trampling of Republican anxiety about a

His emergency declaration is a self-expression of contempt for the power of Congress and is different from the previous emergency declarations, since he plans to spend money already

And Trump, who once said he knew more about ISIS than his generals, is not partial to military advice, which contradicts his own views – such as the Syria withdrawal plan that has alarmed top military commanders.

Trump: 'I want to go faster'

Trump's explanation for choosing a national emergency last week to build his wall might have undermined his legal case for passing the Congress in what might be a new effort by the courts – one of the few roadblocks to Trump during his first two years in office – to frustrate the president.

But His remark was revealing about a presidency rooted in so much personal gratitude and a desire to spark outrage as a long-term ideological program.

"I wanted to do it faster. I could do the wall over a longer period of time, I did not have to do this, but I would rather do it much more quickly, "President said.

Other presidents have declared national emergency. Some, such as Richard Nixon, have been erratic and incoherent in public. Franklin D. Roosevelt, seen as one of the history's best presidents, made ambitious power grabs. Barack Obama dodged Congress with his "pen-and-phone" strategy of executive orders. Theodore Roosevelt made Andrew Jackson harnessed the power of flaming populism and Trump has professed to admire Old Hickory.

But it's hard to find historical precedent for a chief commander as volatile, publicly egotistical and apparently oblivious to constitutional norms as Trump.

Now that most of the restraining influences – like James Mattis, former defense secretary, or Rex Tillerson, ex-secretary of state – have left the administration there There are few internal restrictions on Trump.

"Donald Trump does not have a containment vessel," said Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University. "It's a perfect storm for the presidency."

What the leader says says

For Trump's critics, America is heading a dangerous autocratic path: It is hardly likely that the president, with

Yet the fact that Trump, despite having never cracked a 50% approval rating in most polls, remains a viable political force and may have a route to re-

To Trump voters, the president is hacking away the political system and the governing structure they have come to believe does not represent them after long years of economic hardship and endless foreign wars.

His complaints that foreign nations are bleeding in the US dry are popular among voters tired of foreign engagements – a feeling that can be traced in the Democratic base as the campaign begins in 2020.

Trump's relentless Base-pleasing strategy has intimidated his fellow Republicans, further loosening checks on a presidency that until recently benefited from a pliant Congress dominated by the GOP.

Republicans, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seems to have concluded that the way to avoid a primary battle is to embrace Trump – a testimony to the power of the President with the base.

"When the leader says something to do, there's a tendency to become to do it, "former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, now a senior CNN political commentator, said "New Day" is on Monday.

"There has been more credibility to the leader than I am sort of used to," the Ohio Republican said. "When I was in Congress there were times when we just told the leadership," We do not agree with you, and we will do what we have to do. "

Still, it's likely that some Republicans will peel away from the President when a resolution to end his state of emergency comes up in both chambers, although few observers predict a veto-proof majority.

Relying exclusively on a vocal, if engaged, minority will cause complications for Trump's re-election hopes.

And at that moment, the Democrats running the House, Trump will not have things all on his own, especially as a new supervisory operation by the committee. chairs gears up

"We have got to keep in mind that not every institution has been Trumpified," said Naftali. "The American people went to polls in November, and they voted in the Democratic majority in the House. That's a big deal."

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