President Donald Trump is not generally considered to be a quiet kind of guy. When he has a plan or an agenda, he happily volunteers the information either to the press or via Twitter.
But on one or two occasions, the usually bombastic President Trump has snuck away from the White House, quietly boarding Marine One en route to a location sometimes only disclosed after he’s gone wheels up.Just after his inauguration, Trump disappeared in just that fashion, only to reappear a short time later at Andrews Air Force Base to greet the body of a fallen Navy SEAL.
He did it again Thursday afternoon, just 24 hours after a public press conference cheering the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and he only answered one question before he boarded Marine One:
White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired USMC general himself, joined the president on the trip to Walter Reed.
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The trip comes at a wildly inconvenient time for Trump’s White House staffers, who have been working around the clock for the past several weeks to put out astonishing-incompetence fire after obstruction-of-justice fire while hearing even some Republican start to use the I word t in public. At this point, getting on a plane full of fellow beleaguered West Wingers some of whom the president might fire soon and enduring a 14 hour flight to Riyadh sounds like an Eighth Amendment violation waiting to happen.After spending much of his first days in the Oval Office at a breakneck pace of meetings, briefings, and executive orders, many were surprised Wednesday afternoon when President Trump abruptly left the Oval Office with his daughter Ivanka to board a waiting Marine One helicopter.
The president and his daughter somberly made their way across the South Lawn to the waiting Marine One as reporters wondered where the president could be going.
Jared Kushner watched Marine One depart alongside Vice President Mike Pence and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
But a short time later, a second release came from the White House Press Office and this one not only revealed the president’s destination, but explained the need for secrecy:
The president is a part of every fallen service member’s memorial surviving relatives are handed a folded flag “on behalf of the President of the United States of America” but the family of fallen SEAL William Owens will receive their thanks in person this afternoon.The ceremony President Trump and First Daughter Ivanka will observe is known as “dignified transfer,” or the transfer of the fallen service-member’s remains from military custody to the mortuary that will handle their final arrangements.
The president’s first 100 days have been, by and large, a disaster.Reports of chaos, confusion, and infighting seem to leak out of the West Wing on a daily basis. The president is his own worst enemy, easily distracted, obsessed with minutiae, and uninterested in instilling much order in his administration. His staffers, many of them young, don’t really know the ropes, and it shows. The cluster of aides who arrived with the president from out of town irks official Washington, which, feeling shut out, views the executive-branch staff as bumbling provincial bumpkins and cheers on every failure. The media are more than happy to weave a narrative of chaos. Relations between press and president were strained during the campaign stories bubbled up about the candidate’s sexual indiscretions, and aides became convinced their boss was subject to a double standard and now reporters are out for blood. Even the president’s wife is subject to harsh attacks.