Donald Trump is backing down from his defense of the travel ban executive order. Except maybe he isn't backing down. So there!
President Trump vowed on Friday to order new security measures by next week intended to stop terrorists from entering the United States, even as aides debated whether to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate his original travel ban that has now been blocked by lower courts.
A day after a three-judge panel rebuffed him, Mr. Trump said he might sign “a brand new order” as early as Monday that would be aimed at accomplishing the same purpose but, presumably, with a stronger legal basis. While he vowed to keep fighting for the original order in court, he indicated that he would not wait for the process to play out to take action.
“We will win that battle,” he told reporters on Air Force One as he flew to Florida for a weekend golf outing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Yet noting that it most likely would not happen quickly, he also raised the possibility of “a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.”
I think I'm starting to understand why Trump has always had "multiple power centers" in his business and now in his White House: It's so he's never wrong, at least in his own mind. Consider what happened in this case. He wanted a bold step on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, so he turned it over to ... his bomb-throwing team of experts, led by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller. They kept their efforts secret even from others in the White House and generated a nasty piece of work that really rattled the cages of Trump's enemies. Trump's a genius! But the executive order was also a work of incompetence, so now that it's being rebuffed in court, Trump is thinking about following the advice of, presumably ... another group of expert subordinates, who are presumably telling him to give up on the original executive order and write another one. Having them around to counsel wisdom and due process shows (again) that Trump's a genius! And meanwhile he'll still defend the old executive order, or at least he's insisting he might, just in case you thought he wasn't a genius when he was listening to the experts whose work he's now planning to replace with the work of his other experts.
Trump just can't stand being wrong, even though he's wrong most of the time. He has to be right -- his delicate ego demands it. Being able to play one group of top aides against others guarantees that he can always point to somebody on his team of the "best people" who hasn't been definitively proved wrong. Brilliant!
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog