04/17/2017

Has Trump Gone Washington?

Niall Stanage, The Hill

President Trump is moving in a more conventional direction, winning plaudits from former critics in the process. But his shifts, in both policy and personnel, are disconcerting those who were once among his loudest boosters. 

The Trump diehards are queasy at the notion that a president who ran as a proud outsider might be co-opted by a Washington establishment they loathe.  

“Trump won by bringing out millions of people who hadn’t voted in decades, maybe ever,” the conservative commentator Ann Coulter told The Hill in an email. “They’re not on ABC’s ‘powerhouse roundtable,’ working on Wall Street or for the Koch brothers — where everyone is delighted with how Trump has ‘grown’ in office. 

“The base is terrified that Trump is being led down the primrose path with flattery from all the people who didn’t vote for him and never will.”

The charge that Trump is going to disappoint — or even sell out — the insurgent legions who supported him last November is not new. 

When the GOP’s internal fight over the attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was at its height at the start of April, conservative Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) lamented on Twitter that “Trump admin & Establishment have merged into #Trumpstablishment. Same old agenda.”

Even earlier, conservative media icon Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report tweeted, “The swamp drains you,” a clear jab at Trump, who promised during the campaign to "drain the swamp" in Washington. 

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