President Donald Trump never claimed to be a politician and is now proving it in spades. The Commander-in- Chief is a billionaire real estate mogul who is proficient at business deals. He never claimed to be anything other than that description.
Are there that many Washington Republicans now acting like they are surprised? Trump has never really gotten along with the Republican Party. Their lackadaisical support of him has been glaringly obvious. Not unlike the Democrats, many of them are part of the problem to him.
Trump was an outsider during his campaign, and he hasn’t been afraid to call out Republicans for not supporting his agenda. Not unlike their counterparts, many of them are part of the established Washington elite that have forgotten where they came from.
During his presidency, Trump and the Republicans have worked closely at times, but there have still been some conflicts between Trump and certain GOP senators. The operative word is “certain.”
If Trump has his way, many of them will not be around the nation’s capital much longer. His comrade-in-arms, Steve Bannon, who was his former White House Chief Strategist, is not far from the president’s ear.
Bannon is planning primary fights against a number of those primarily responsible for Trump’s slow start on many of his campaign promises. Those include the repeal of Obamacare and immigration reform.
Bannon is reportedly getting ready to challenge Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. Those five senators are major thorns in the president’s side.
The Trump administration has taken no official stance on primaries. But if his Twitter comments are any indicator of what is to come, Trump, the pragmatic businessman and street fighter, is ready and willing to take them on.
Bannon runs Breitbart and his organization backed a series of “insurgent” candidates who ran against sitting Republican senators in 2014. He doesn’t pull his punches on his distaste for these men and showed it publicly on CBS’s “Sixty Minutes” last week.
The staunch Trump supporter has said, “They’re going to be held accountable if they do not support the president of the United States. Right now, there’s no accountability. They do not support the president’s program. It’s an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in this city knows it.”
Making the situation more complicated, Trump the negotiator has made a deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; conservative’s arch enemies. It has angered a large number of Republicans in both houses of Congress.
The question now is whether the political trigger will be pulled. It largely depends on whether Congress can unite and actually pass key legislation the president supports. This could all be part of Trump’s way of back door negotiating through intimidation. The next few months will see if it is a big bluff.