Trump looks for a reset with his address to Congress

White House officials say Tuesday's televised speech will highlight Trump's executive actions and pass the ball to Republicans on the Hill.


White House advisers reluctantly acknowledge they could use a reset — “I guess we could use that word,” one White House official said — and see President Donald Trump’s televised address next week before a joint session of Congress as a prime opportunity to start again.

Like Trump’s inaugural address, Tuesday’s speech will be written by aide Stephen Miller. But rather than echo the broad strokes of the Jan. 20 “American carnage” address, White House aides involved in planning say the president will be more detailed as he seeks to recast his tumultuous first month as a success, ticking through the promises he’s already kept and outlining the next ones on his agenda.

“One can expect the president to put forth a detailed and deliberative recitation of the many things he’s accomplished in the first 40 days,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said in an interview. “He’s his own best spokesperson and messenger in terms of [outlining] completely the list of achievements that are either largely ignored or unknown.”

White House officials said that after a first month driven almost entirely by policies they could enact unilaterally, the joint congressional address will focus on work the White House wants done on Capitol Hill during the rest of 2017.

The prime-time speech comes after a high-velocity month of legal fights, internal staff drama, revelations related to Russia, a shake-up of Trump’s national security team and the signings of numerous executive actions that have dramatically redirected the federal government.

“I think it’s important for the American people to know that he was an agent of change. He came here to get things done,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. “And he didn’t waste any time.”

Trump still has Cabinet members awaiting confirmation, and key positions throughout the government remain vacant as Trump and his advisers insist they are doing the best they can in the face of united Democratic opposition, particularly in the Senate.

Officials familiar with the speech planning said Trump is expected to tout companies such as Intel and Carrier that have announced since his election plans to either expand operations or keep more jobs domestically. It’s part of Trump’s recent message that “I inherited a mess” and an attempt to frame any jobs or stock market growth as his doing, after he described in his inaugural a deeply struggling nation even amid more positive broader economic indicators.

Spicer said on Monday of the speech: “The president is going to lay out I think two main things—where we’ve come and where we’re going.”

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  1. Trump is supposed to be a leader for all of the people. He has not said or done one thing that made me feel feel warmly towards him. Although I am a liberal , I have on plenty of occasions felt warmly towards Bush.


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