President Donald Trump promised major deals, constant "winning" and a massive shift in Washington power upon his arrival at the White House because he, and he alone, knew how to get things done and drain the swamp.
But over the first 10 months, Trump’s self-touted leadership has proven to be a charade as many of his grand pronouncements have actually gone nowhere — mostly because for all his big talk, most agenda items still have to go through Congress, which has an approval rating even lower than his.
“Profound embarrassment over his performance in office and deepening concern over his level-headedness have to raise the biggest red flags," Quinnipiac University Poll assistant director Tim Malloy said in August in reference to a poll that found 71 percent believe Trump was not "level-headed."
Here are some examples of how Trump has talked a big game, but failed to put any points on the scoreboard:
Iran Nuclear Deal
Trump decried the multi-national deal that limited the Middle Eastern nation’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for a loosening of economic sanctions, calling it the “worst deal ever.”
On Friday, Trump “decertified” the deal, The New York Times reported. But the move is mostly bluster.
By choosing not to recertify, though, Trump just pushed the issue onto Congress, which will now have to decide whether to reinstate sanctions on Iran, a move that would undoubtedly lead Iran to pull out of the deal.
Congress has shown no urgency to tackle this issue.
Trump announced last month the end of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections for students and workers brought to this country illegally as kids, but then undercut his administration’s own announcement hours later.
Then, with Republicans unable to come to a deal, Trump turned to the Democrats and seemingly struck a deal that would beef up border protection but also provide protection to the so-called “Dreamers.”
Now Trump has set a deadline of March 5 for Congress to act.
With a GOP-controlled Congress, Trump was supposed to ram through a repeal-and-replace effort for Obamacare, promising coverage would be even better and everyone would be covered. In May, the House passed the measure and celebrations were held outside the White House. It has since failed in the Senate, with other versions put to the floor and failing.
Build the Wall
No single promise was as central to Trump's candidacy than his vow to build a wall along our Mexican border. He lambasted and accused Mexico of sending drug dealers and rapists across the border while insisting the wall would absolutely be built and Mexico would pay.
Trump decreed in an executive order five days into his term that a wall would be constructed, but, again, that only pushed the issue to Congress, which has not allocated the money to build it.
And Mexico also has not contributed.
When the Democrats quickly announced they had a deal with Trump on DACA, they insisted border wall funding was not part of the agreement and like the legislation to help dreamers the wall has stalled.
The Trump administration’s attempt to revamp the tax code, specifically scaling back the corporate tax rate, was supposed to be a signature deal to benefit the middle class.
Trump all but threatened Congress Wednesday night during a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to get the reform through.
“To all of our great congressmen, congresswomen ... all I can say, is, you better get it passed,” the president said.
Congressional Republicans, though, are having difficulty ironing out the measure’s main points, especially the corporate tax cut, according to The Los Angeles Times. The president wanted to reduce that rate to 15 percent from 35 percent but told the rally in Harrisburg he wanted it no more than 20 percent. Republicans are instead tinkering with 22 or 23 percent amid pushback from lobbyists and other lawmakers over estate tax repeals and state and local tax deductions, The Times report.
Once again, Trump faces a roadblock he was supposed to run over.
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