Summer slip-ups: President Trump faces five tests this fall

The Trump administration has almost closed out its first summer in office, and it will be one that no one forgets.Trump’s disastrous summer of 2017 has almost come to a close, complete with Nazis, hurricanes and threats of a nuclear showdown. As Autumn approaches, Trump and his administration are looking for a steadier start to the critical new season: one filled with less firings and more tax reform. As White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders put it, it’s “going to be a busy September.” Here are five issues from President Trump’s summer of 2017 that further await their fate this fall. 

As Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas and Louisiana, Trump’s crisis skills were tested. According to the Associate Press, 43 people have died as a result of Harvey, and the cost of damages has towered at an estimated $180 billion. He directed federal aid toward expensive recovery efforts. In between his controversial pardoning of police chief Joe Arpaio, Trump responded to the disaster in his typical fashion: a thread of tweets. President Trump and his wife Melania visited the Houston area to visit those affected by the storm; however, many believe his efforts toward the hurricane have fallen flat, and that Trump continues to politicize the disaster rather than corral efforts to aid the areas in need. Trump has remained committed to the scheduling of tax reform rallies in between being informed of the nature of Harvey. While Trump attempted to use his rhetoric to promote tax cuts around the country, one particular part of the country continued to struggle and will continue to struggle throughout the fall as thousands begin to rebuild their lives and their cities.

This summer, North Korea made world headlines for its recent and quickened long range weapon initiative. The Asian country has fired 21 missiles during 14 launches since February of 2017, according to CNN, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM). North Korea claims that the IBM could reach anywhere in the world, sending many Americans into a panic. It is believed that the mad dash by the North to develop a missile capable of reaching the United States, along with a growing nuclear weapon initiative, is to prevent the United States from removing Kim Jong Un from office. President Trump responded with his typical macho rhetoric, including a threat of “fire and fury,” but a military solution to the crisis is still absent. Trump has also warned that “all options are on the table,” furthering many American’s panic and leaving many to wonder what exactly that means.

The release of high-profile figures and the internal war between Trump’s staffers has been anything but invisible throughout the summer. The casualties of the administration include former press secretary Sean Spicer, chief strategist Steve Bannon and communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Bannon’s mutual-resignation has been seen as a blow to the alt-right, while many Republicans have rallied around his release. Scaramucci, who was hired and fired in less than two weeks, seemed to lead Spicer to resign in protest after his appointment. Scaramucci was also not afraid to bash the administration to the media following his release. Bannon has resumed his post as executive chairman of the alt-right publication Breitbart, and many await the fate of the administration this fall and whether Trump’s current staff members will last longer than their predecessors.

Perhaps one of the most controversial events of the summer was the clash of the left and right taking place in Charlottesville, Va. The violent confrontation originated with alt-right opposition to the removal of confederate statues, and with both sides deeply devoted to their drastically different beliefs, ended with the death of one woman hit by a car driven by an alt-right member, and the injury of many on either side.  The president delivered various vague statements about the rally that drew bipartisan criticism for the absence of words against violent white supremacists, but many were unsatisfied with his remarks. “I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said, offering his view on racist efforts that have grown nationwide, their violence and the counter efforts to prevent them.

On July 26, Trump announced via Twitter a proposal that would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military in any position. The abrupt announcement reversed years of dedication to securing the rights of the LGBTQ community in the military and caused strife to many. However, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said that a panel will examine the president’s proposal to “provide advice and recommendations on the implementation of the president’s direction.” Many believe that Trump is denying transgender people equal opportunity, and the proposed ban has brought forth lawsuits from various advocates, most significantly being a group of active, transgender members of the military from California. With Mattis’ panel planning to review Trump’s plans for the issue, the fate of the ban is still unwritten.

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