The Note: Trump moves to break governing deadlock, but can’t just go-it-alone

FAN Editor


The Trump presidency is no longer defined by paralysis.

However, this flurry of unilateral action does not mean President Trump can ride alone and expect to get results. This presidential phase may be one of disruptive action — with Trump blowing things up to force things along.

But the White House will also have to enter a cooperative phase if it wants to accomplish some key goals.

That’s especially true on the budget with all of its implications for the prospects for tax reform with action in the Senate this week.

It’s also going to be true for both health care and the Iran deal – two big areas where the president is depending on Congress to make the hardest choices.

How does that square with the incendiary rhetoric of Steve Bannon, who is warning GOP establishment lawmakers of “a season of war”? Or with a president who chose to prolong a fight with Sen. Bob Corker just a week ago?

Well, it doesn’t – and golf outings and the president’s meeting today with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prove that the president is still looking to work with, not against, key lawmakers.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week” that the president “went rogue” last week. That, though, is only a piece of the story from here.

The next chapter will test the ability of a dealmaker to make some actual deals.


And so it really begins.

A serious, high-profile candidate —Kevin de Leon, the California state Senate leader — has announced he will challenge one of the highest-ranking Democratic senators, Diane Feinstein of California, in her primary. No one ever thought Democrats would be immune to fracturing and infighting — especially not with Bernie Sanders so popular, deal-making with this White House so controversial, and the conversation about single-payer building in earnest.

Still, plenty on the left had hoped Steve Bannon’s war inside his own party would dominate those headlines a little longer.

Yes, Feinstein is well-positioned in Washington and a bit of an institution, but De Leon, 50, will likely be able to draw generational and ideological contrasts. He announced with the endorsement of a leading progressive grassroots group.

Plus, California has that jungle primary system where the top-two vote-getters advance to the general regardless of party. All of that makes for an unpredictable race. Feinstein is far from the moderate, furthest right Democratic senator up next year and so De Leon’s decision to enter the race has the potential to inspire others across the country, ABC News’ MaryAlice Parks notes.


President Donald Trump‘s Council of Economic Advisors is expected to release a study detailing the expected economic impact of his tax plan, a senior White House official tells ABC News. Trump has previously teased that the plan could put $4,000 in the pockets of a typical U.S. household. He will continue his tax reform push with a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday and is expected to discuss the details of the plan, ABC News’ Tara Palmeri notes.



“I checked. I’m fully intact.” –Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a surprised Jake Tapper about whether or not Trump’s tweets and comments “publically castrate” him on a world stage, as Sen. Bob Corker said last week.


President Trump pats himself on back after health insurance stocks take a dive and points to a fall in health insurance stocks as a sign of the success of his executive order.

Steve Bannon slams ‘establishment’ GOP senators, says conservative voters ‘are coming for you.’

Republican senator ‘very disappointed’ in Trump’s actions on health care. A key moderate Republican senator, GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said she is “very disappointed” in President Donald Trump’s ending health-care subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans under Obamacare Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Nancy Pelosi: President Trump ‘went rogue’ on Iran deal, health care. The Democratic leader of the House of Representatives said President Donald Trump this week “went rogue” with his decisions on ending Obamacare subsidies, changing birth-control coverage mandates and decertifying the Iran nuclear deal.

Golfing buddies: Trump hits the links with Lindsey Graham again. President Donald Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hit the links together Saturday, marking the second time they did so in a week.

Baldwin reprises Trump ‘SNL’ role: Eminem, Puerto Rico, Obama, Corker provide fodder. Alec Baldwin made an appearance once again as President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, taking the opportunity to mock the commander in chief on several fronts.

Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning. The New York Times

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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