April 14, 2017

LAUGHINGSTOCK:

For Trump, a Steep Learning Curve Leads to Policy Reversals (PETER BAKER, APRIL 13, 2017, NY Times)

For President Trump, the road to changing his mind on China included a discussion with corporate executives in the State Dining Room of the White House in February. When the conversation turned to China's currency, the executives had a simple message for the president: You're wrong.

Mr. Trump had long insisted that China was devaluing its currency and should be punished, but the executives pushed back and told him Beijing had actually stopped. And while Mr. Trump at first resisted -- as late as this month calling the Chinese "world champions" of currency manipulation -- after many talks like the one in February he reversed himself, declaring this week that "they're not currency manipulators" after all.

For any new occupant of the White House, the early months are like a graduate seminar in policy crammed into every half-hour meeting. What made sense on the campaign trail may have little bearing on reality in the Oval Office, and the education of a president can be rocky even for former governors or senators. For Mr. Trump, the first president in American history never to have served in government or the military, the learning curve is especially steep. [...]

So much of this is new to Mr. Trump that only after he publicly accused Mr. Obama of having wiretapped his telephones last year did he ask aides how the system of obtaining eavesdropping warrants from a special foreign intelligence court worked.

Posted by at April 14, 2017 7:13 PM

  

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