"There was no point": Trump's White House is puzzled about his bizarre series of interviews

Even by Trump-ian standards, his comments yesterday seemed quite bizarre, and his staffers know it

Published May 2, 2017 11:34AM (EDT)

 (Photo by Getty Images)
(Photo by Getty Images)

Monday was filled with commentary by President Donald Trump that, even by the standards established during his administration, managed to turn the political world on its head — from claiming that the Civil War may not have happened had Andrew Jackson been around to saying he'd be open to a gas tax and breaking up the big banks.

A new report now suggests that Trump's own staffers and fellow Republican officials are as confused as the rest of us.

There have been efforts by Trump's advisers to limit his exposure to the media due to concern that he'll undermine his own agenda, according to a report by Politico. One senior administration official told the site that Trump's comments on Monday at venues like Bloomberg, Face the Nation, and Sirius XM "were not helpful to us. There was no point to do all of them."

A Republican aide also told the site, "He just seemed to go crazy today."

This perspective wasn't limited to aides and advisers. Because congressional Republicans have been struggling to rally sufficient support behind an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, they were caught off guard by Trump telling Bloomberg that the bill was likely to change, with many in the GOP feeling unclear if he was referring to the bill they were working on at that moment or simply the fact that it would inevitably be altered when it reaches the Senate. Two senior officials within the administration told Politico that they are not planning any major changes in the version currently under consideration by the House of Representatives.

There was similar confusion over Trump's suggestion that he may meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, with advisers telling Politico that they were under the impression this would only happen if the despot changed his ways.

One Republican consultant summed up the sentiment best when he told Politico: "I have no idea what they view as a successful media hit."

Nor did the media hits stop after the end of the work day, as Trump took to Twitter to double-down on his Jackson love on Monday night.


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By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has also appeared in Mic, MSN, MSNBC, Yahoo, Quartz, The Good Men Project, The Daily Dot, Alter Net, Raw Story and elsewhere.

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Andrew Jackson Civil War Donald Trump Gas Tax White House