April 29 is looming for President Donald Trump’s communications team as they try to find a way to pitch a successful image of his so far rocky presidency. The date marks the president’s 100th day in office, a milestone many use to judge the success of an administration.
Over 30 Trump staffers assembled last week to discuss how to depict Trump’s first 100 days in office to the media. Communications director Mike Dubke led discussions and stated the need for a “rebranding” of Trump, an attendee told Politico.
In particular, Dubke was concerned about how to portray the overarching theme of Trump’s foreign policy, saying there is no “Trump doctrine.”
Some of the staffers reacted negatively to Dubke’s comment because according to another official present at the meeting, Trump made his foreign policy doctrine clear on the campaign trail. “He was elected on a vision of America First. America First is the Trump doctrine,” the official said.
In addition to the lack of a coherent foreign policy to package and present, the communications team also has to figure out how to spin highly-publicized legislative failures, such as the unsuccessful repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act. They also have to lessen attention on staffing troubles, like the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn and growing suspicions of ties to Russia.
After the meeting, the communications team decided to divide the successes of the first 100 days into three categories: prosperity, accountability and safety/security. They will focus on the emergence of new manufacturing jobs, exiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, lobbying restrictions and the missile strike on Syria. The confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will likely also be included.
Altogether, Trump's team is feeling the pressure. “One hundred days is the marker, and we’ve got essentially two-and-a-half weeks to turn everything around,” said one White House official. "This is going to be a monumental task.”