Dramatic Fridays have become a hallmark of summer 2017 in the Trump administration. The hiring of Anthony Scaramucci and resignation of Sean Spicer happened on a Friday; Reince Priebus was pushed out the following Friday; and a few Fridays later, so was his old antagonist Steve Bannon.
It seems fitting, then, that the most overwhelming of them all would come at the very end of the summer. In a span of just a few hours on Friday, President Trump signed a directive barring transgender troops from the military, pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and bid farewell to Sebastian Gorka, one of his more flamboyant aides. Meanwhile, North Korea launched several ballistic missiles and the hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast was upgraded to a category 4 storm.
TGIF? Maybe not so much.
Given the broad range of what’s happened in the course of just a few hours—all significant news events in their own right, all breaking late on a Friday—it’s difficult for any observer to know where to focus, or how to interpret the importance of any one event. And, likewise, the frenetic developments represent an important test for a White House that has not shown especially sure footing in high-pressure situations.
What makes the series of events on Friday especially remarkable is that some of them are crises (or at least events) of Trump’s own making, while other are external crises. The transgender ban, the Arpaio pardon, and Gorka’s departure were all under White House control. But they occur amid an impending natural disaster in Texas, one of the biggest hurricanes to strike the mainland U.S. in years,…
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