Donald Trump branded himself as the “law and order” candidate during the election, but his Presidency has so far been anything but.
Just 12 days into his term, chaos reigns supreme in the Trump administration, following public outcry and legal challenges to his unconstitutional immigration orders, the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates, the virtual wall between Trump and Republican Congressional leaders on policy drafting, and infighting between the Steve Bannon/Stephen Miller and Reince Priebus factions of the White House.
“This past weekend should have brought the warm afterglow of the inaugural, when the White House staff settles into new desks not yet burdened with hard problems,” noted the Arizona Republic Editorial Board. “Instead it turned into a crisis of mixed signals and angry marchers, worldwide condemnation and headlines that screamed ‘Global Chaos.’”
Further headlines threw buckets of cold water on Trump’s claim of order.
Mr. Trump — in office just a week — found himself accused of constitutional and legal overreach by two Iraqi immigrants, defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. Meanwhile, large crowds of protesters turned out at airports around the country to denounce Mr. Trump’s ban on the entry of refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
President Trump’s executive order temporarily prohibiting entry into the United States for migrants from seven mostly Muslim countries and refugees from around the world fueled confusion, angst and a wave of protests across the country Sunday.
Even as administration officials tried to clarify the reach of Trump’s action — “This is not a Muslim ban,” the president said in a statement — the exact limits of its scope and legal questions over its constitutionality remained unresolved. So did the question of whether the administration would comply with orders from federal judges to temporarily halt the travel ban.
In the chaotic first days after President Donald Trump closed the United States’ borders to refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, protests, legal uncertainty and panic gripped airports and minority communities.
Now critics are scrambling to fight the order they’ve dubbed a “Muslim ban” while supporters seek to defend and clarify the order, even as the government itself scrambles to understand and address the implications of the order.
Confusion continues to overwhelm the order. After green card holders were detained over the weekend amid the uncertainty, senior White House administration officials said green card holders from the seven affected countries wouldn’t be subject to the ban.
Speaking to reporters 48 hours after issuance of the order, which sparked protests across the U.S., protestations from overseas and criticism on Capitol Hill, senior Administration officials maintained that the implementation of the order was a “massive success story.”
But the reality Sunday appeared to be anything but, as a growing list of Republicans joined Democrats in calling for immediate changes to the order, which bans visas for nations from Muslim-majority countries Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Airlines and ports of entry complained of contradictory or unclear guidance from federal officials, which were left scrambling over the weekend to determine how to implement Trump’s order.
Confusion and chaos.
It’s not the imagery one might expect from a President who promised to bring private sector competency to governing.
But in temporarily halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspending the Syrian refugee program, President Donald Trump and his team acted more like he did as a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants candidate than an orderly CEO, giving little direction to those expected to interpret and carry out orders that have real world consequences.
Chaos ensued after Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday banning visa holders from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the United States for 90 days, as well as indefinitely putting an end to Syrian refugee migration to the US. Customs and Border Protection agents, without much instruction, began holding people in airports and at detainment facilities, and sending people back.
There are a couple layers of artistry here to appreciate:
According to Trump, chaos and confusion at airports across the country had nothing to do with his decision to sign a hastily-written executive order Friday afternoon banning thousands of people from entering the country without any warning, Department of Homeland Security consultation, or legal review. No, you see, things would have been totally calm and business-as-usual were it not for those protesters, Senator Chuck Schumer expressing human emotion, and Delta.
That Delta’s computer outage is the real culprit here, even though, as Bloomberg points out, the computer outage at Delta “occurred more than 48 hours after the president’s order and lasted only three hours.”
There is no honeymoon at the Trump White House, only real doubts about whether this administration can competently manage the country. Fears are growing that the United States is taking on the personality of a New York real-estate mogul known more for his dark moods than buoyant optimism.
A meeting with lawmakers vanished from the White House schedule. A ceremonial executive order signing was abruptly canceled. A statement about how a signature campaign promise will be paid for was walked back.
The first days of any new president’s term are disorderly, as a sprawling government bureaucracy and overwhelming global responsibilities are suddenly thrust upon an administration that is trying to hit the ground running and sometimes just to get the phones working.
By any measure, Thursday was a chaotic day in President Donald Trump’s White House.
President Donald Trump’s plan to fight terrorism by temporarily stopping citizens of seven nations from entering the country has gotten off to a chaotic start. Family reunions were blocked on Saturday, refugees from war-torn countries were turned away and border agents detained scores of unsuspecting travelers at airports.
By Saturday night, a federal judge in New York had issued an order blocking the government from deporting people with valid visas who arrived after Trump’s travel ban took effect. But confusion remained about who could stay and who will be kept out.