Whether it's Russia, tax returns, conflicts of business interests, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, his sons, a lack of complete vetting for cabinet nominees or his use of Twitter, Donald Trump is approaching his presidency by pushing the boundries of laws, traditions and norms. We have a President-Elect who remains combative with a clear reluctance to let go of his campaign mode of operation. I won. Therefore I am.
President-Elect Trump will either rise to the occasion of assuming the presidential mantle, or he will sink. There seems to be little middle ground for a man who has come up in the world working hard to get his own way, although not always succeeding.
Interspersed with the glitter that's an integral part of his life, Donald Trump and his team have created a transition period filled with strategic chaos being felt around the world. Surrogates continue to be put out front explaining what Trump really meant to say to those who still might have any questions, knowing that a morning Tweet could undo anything previously said. A rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, no matter what your party, does not a smooth transition make, and the public appears to be feeling its affects.
The majority of Americans, according to the latest Pew Research survey, give President-Elect Trump "low marks for how he is handling the transition process". There continues to be "widespread concern" about potential conflicts of interest, and his tax returns remain a bigger issue than he lets on. While Trump still refuses to release the tax returns that would provide a factual accounting of his financial interests, 60% of Americans now believe that he has a responsibility to do so. This runs contrary to the President-Elect's repeated comments that the only people interested in his tax returns are the news media. He once again attacked reporter's questions on the subject at his news conference on January 11, 2017, dismissisng them outright. Both the reporters and their questions.
The level of Donald Trump's continued anger and disrespect for the news media and most anything he doesn't like that they report, sets a dangerous course going forward. A President doesn't have to agree with all that is written or said about him, but freedom of the press acts as a critical check and balance on our government. It stands as the First Amendment to our Constitution for a reason. Not since Richard Nixon have we had a man, soon to become President, continually attack the media with such vitriolic vehemence. It has the ability to signal red flags ahead.
President-Elect Donald Trump is a man showing intent to govern in a way that reflects a desire and nature to try and get away with as much as he can until he receives insurmountable push back. We have a strong responsiblity to our nation and ourselves to make sure all checks and balances, whether it's Congress or the media, are in strong working order and are held accountable. There's too much at stake.