Moments later, the President watches as both Clapper and Yates testify that they had reviewed intercepts containing the unmasked identities of Trump, his associates and members of Congress. This, to Trump, is yet another victory, the lead-lined proof of his still unproven claim that Obama surveilled him before he was sworn in. They surveilled me.
Among the many frustrations, none seems to burn quite as much as the disrespect he feels he has received from the press, which has steadily failed to reflect his version of reality. The story he wants told is not the one the nation reads and sees. In his view, the past months have included a steady string of successes, broken only by occasional missteps, which are invariably overplayed and misinterpreted.
After a rough start, an Obamacare replacement passed the House. A red line against the use of chemical weapons has been re-established in Syria. Political prisoners have been released from Egypt. American companies have been arm-twisted into staying in the country, while Trump has personally inserted himself into a handful of negotiations over weapons systems and trade agreements to try to get Americans a better deal.
But the turmoil of his presidency has so far dominated the headlines, pushing out much of what he considers to be the good news he thinks he deserves. The press has focused on the disruption; his false statements in office; the fear and dislocation in immigrant communities; the many campaign promises, from eliminating the export-import bank to declaring China a currency manipulator, on which Trump has equivocated.
Of the many firestorms he has had to fight, none has burned as brightly as the tweets he sent accusing Obama of wiretapping him at Trump Tower.
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The head of the FBI, Comey, whom he had discussed firing earlier that day, had testified that there is no evidence that this happened. So he has been arguing that the wiretapping he alleged could include routine surveillance, which was not directed by the White House, of legal surveillance targets who spoke with people in his campaign. He seeks vindication. To cope with this new reality, the President says he is trying a mindfulness trick: he has tried to tune out the bad news about himself.
Of course, as his public outbursts indicate, he does not always succeed, but he says he no longer feels a need to know everything said about him. The following day, the news of the Senate hearings will once again fail to comport with the meaning he derived from his TiVo. Flynn is now facing an investigation into foreign payments that officials say he failed to report.
But he can still tweet. So now he walks out of his dining room, followed by the same substantial entourage of senior aides. Back in the Oval Office, he checks in with his waiting staff.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. But there are even more pressing matters. Trump turns to McMaster, who was the subject of a column on Bloomberg earlier in the day, quoting anonymous sources saying the President was unhappy with his performance. The President thinks he knows where the leak is coming from, which provides some comfort. All Presidents must contain multitudes. But for Trump, the situation is, as usual, bigger, bolder and more complex. At core, he has always been a transactional person. That means he reacts, often in the moment, to the information and people around him.
He comes to office with no well-formed ideology and with an evolving understanding of history and government, and a clear goal of using his business acumen to help his most fervent supporters. He is extremely confident in his own judgment, often willing to act alone, to take risks, even when those around him plead caution. During the campaign, this proved to be an enormous asset, allowing him to dispatch more than a dozen opponents and remake the rules of presidential politics.
Life in the White House, he has found, is somewhat more restrictive, with far greater stakes. Escalating conflict, which works so well on the campaign trail, has not always yielded results now that he is governing. An elevator operator is waiting for him off the ground-floor hallway. Then he turns to his guests. As a matter of protocol, to ensure continuity of government, the two men do not share the same airplane or ride the same lift.
Trump has lived most of these first months alone in his upstairs palace, inhabiting 20, square feet of the residence by himself most weeknights, catered to by a household staff that totals nearly , including a couple of valets and a handful of butlers. During the Obama years, the second and third floors of the executive mansion were treated as private housing, not a governing space. The first time most staff ever got to see the place was the night Obamacare passed in March , when the Obamas decided to throw a party.
The space is far larger than it looks from outside, with a long great hall, appointed with freshly cut yellow flowers. Here is a room where we have a guest room. It is the Lincoln Bedroom, however, that for him holds the most symbolic value, with its display of the Gettysburg Address.
They say melancholy. But this is not something to dwell on. A few moments later he is back downstairs, gazing at the East Room. The real beauty of the White House. The President has been studying White House history as he puts his personal touch on the building.
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In about four weeks , Trump expects his wife and youngest son to join him in the mansion, and when they arrive, life is almost certain to change. As he settles down, they bring him a Diet Coke, while the rest of us are served water, with the Vice President sitting at one end of the table. With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy vinaigrette for his guests. When the chicken arrives, he is the only one given an extra dish of sauce. At the dessert course, he gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else.
The tastes of Pence are also tended to. Instead of the pie, he gets a fruit plate. Trump sees the dinner with TIME as a pitch meeting as much as anything else, with an audience that he does not entirely trust. He wants to go through his many accomplishments, regularly deflecting questions to keep on task. He talks of his plans to renegotiate any future military contracts to make sure they have fixed prices. He even brings up his efforts to ensure that an African leader, from a country he declines to name, can buy American military equipment despite decades-old human rights concerns.
The President often gives tours of the mansion to dinner guests. This is the part of the job that he has clearly come to enjoy, playing businessman for the American people. He even runs through the many ways he has revised the rules of engagement in the war on the Islamic State. Trump has shifted the authority for final approvals from the White House back to combatant commanders.
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Other Obama-era restrictions, like strict force-management levels in Syria, proscribing the number of troops or vehicles that can be used at any one time, have been relaxed. As a result, the reliance on foreign contractors to support U. He mentions the recent death of a high-ranking Islamic State fighter and promises more to come.
And the same is true about change and growth, authentic leadership, engaging sermons, energized worship. History is just repeating itself. My gifts it seems was taking tired, old and broken congregations and bringing them to growth and grace.
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A church in S. CA has decided. I also think that 8 is really important. If your staff has grown up in the church they understand how it works. Bible Study. Any program must be intentional, not random. Even this written article is irrelevant! I appreciate this forum Carey. I think its important to delineate between programs for program sake and creating transformational spaces for discipleship, healing, spiritual growth, etc. Gimmicks were not needed as we see Jesus ministering and the church after him because they were helped to experience the very presence of God, the real.
No-one had to tell them to go to others and share grace, because they experienced the love of the kingdom as Jesus touched them in that very personal place of need. Developing a leadership and a people that are learning how to connect with Christ, heal from their wounds, have healthy spiritual rhythms and ongoing relationships that encourage authenticity and transformation is the church focusing on making disciples which of course is the one thing Jesus told us to be about.
We need to have as part of our DNA that we reproduce ourselves. Meaning we need to invest time, care and spiritual coaching with at least one person.