On Meet the Press, Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tried his best to deflect blame for the utter failure that has consumed the Trump presidency since Day 1. Rather than admit that they are in way over their heads and can't competently govern, the entire Trump team reliably shift the blame to (A) Obama; (B) Hillary; (C) the "Deep State;" (D) Obama holdovers; or (E) Democrats as a whole.
Today, Priebus chose option (E). Everything is the darn Democrats' fault! They obstruct everything good old Trumpy is trying to do. If it weren't for them, he would be so successful, you would be shocked! We'd all be rich. No more crime. Isis? Gone. Wall? Built. Trumpcare? We'd all be covered, for free and cancer would be gone and we would live until we are 150.
Ok, so maybe not all that...but he did blame the Democrats for a lot. And even Chuck Todd, who hasn't met a Republican alibi he didn't love, wasn't buying it.
TODD: He made these legislative promises in the first 100 days: tax reform, offshoring of jobs, infrastructure, school choice, health care, child care, immigration, ethics reform, more funding for the military, and dealing with crime and drugs.
All of them were supposed to be legislative action that was announced, not necessarily the expectation that it would be passed. But only one of those legislative priorities has even come close to a vote, health care. Why does he say it's a ridiculous standard, and yet promise all this action before Day 100?
PRIEBUS: All right, so let me try to unpack that, Chuck. First of all, if you look at the promises he made on immigration, you have border crossings down by 70%. You look at TPP, one of the first executive orders the president signed was getting out of TPP. You look at ethics, that was one of the bullet points you had. Every employee of the West Wing signed an ethics pledge that said you're not going to lobby for five years after you leave this place, and you're never going to lobby for a foreign country.
Look at Neil Gorsuch, first 100 days, a Supreme Court justice is sworn in, first time since 1881. And if you just give me one minute, and I won't drone on, but this idea about major legislation not being passed within the first 100 days, Barack Obama had a pre-baked stimulus package that started in October of the election year which was passed in February. It was pre-baked. George Bush didn't get any major legislation until June; Clinton, August 10th.
Bush 41, a year and a half later; Reagan, August 13th; Carter, 658 days after he took the office; Nixon, one year; Johnson 225 days. Here's the deal. The president signed over 28 bills already. Health care may happen next week. It may not.
We're hopeful it will. You said the military. We have right now in the CR negotiating one of the biggest increases in military spending in decades. So, he is fulfilling his promises and doing it at breakneck speed.
TODD: All right. But let me give you one standard that really is, I would think, potentially troubling. So far, for Senate confirmation, just filling the jobs, filling the empty positions in government, he's only nominated 45 people. Only 22 of them have been confirmed. Two have failed. At this same point in time, George W. Bush had 85 nominations; H.W. Bush, 95; Obama, 190; Clinton, 176. What is taking so long for you guys to just fill the political appointments? You are way down here.
PRIEBUS: Actually not. Let me clear this up. First of all, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have done something that even many Democrats and even Democrat leading pundits have said is inexcusable, which is to hold up one nominee after the next to fill secretary positions. Wait a second.
TODD: But, Reince, these are not nominated.
Wow, so Reince is literally saying that is the Dems' fault that Trump hasn't even hired deputy or administrative positions. How is that possible? Could it be that he just has no idea how these positions run, has no advisers that know either and doesn't have any more friends or family to put in these jobs? Maybe Jared can do a couple of dozen more jobs, right? He just has to make peace in the Middle East, solve the opioid epidemic and be our chief diplomat to Mexico and China, among other things. That takes, what? A day? Day and a half? He's got the time.
Enjoy watching Reince dance around (not) answering questions and Chuck Todd not having any of his excuses. Lovely.