- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 17, 2018

President Trump has been in office 514 days, give or take an hour or two. He’s rocked both sides of the aisle, added a whole new dimension to politics, bettered the economy, challenged the liberal media narrative and finessed an unprecedented and historic meeting with North Korea. Mr. Trump has honed several new skill sets on the job, while remaining unapologetically true to his inner mettle, entrepreneurial roots and billionaire status.

His ability to connect with voters, meanwhile, is sharper than ever. The reassuring combination he developed on the campaign trail three years ago still works like a charm. The Make America Great Again motto which was shortened to the beloved “MAGA” emblazoned on many a red hat, the patriotism, optimism and straightforward candor — all contribute to the Trump trademark, which has not been polished up into a heartless or manufactured political brand. It’s still the real deal, and it still works long after Mr. Trump announced his intention to seek the presidency on June 16, 2015, — vowing to make the nation “great again,” and much more.

Mr. Trump retains the “MAGA” magic touch.

Case in point. In the next 10 days, Mr. Trump will stage not one but two campaign-style rallies — the first on Wednesday in Duluth, Minnesota, and the second a week later in Fargo, North Dakota. These events are wildly popular and their style and format does not change. Attendees leave energized and optimistic, and the local host city bustles with activity, both pro and con.

No one ignores a “MAGA” rally.

As often happens, The Trump campaign moved the rally to a much larger Duluth arena “to accommodate more Minnesotans,” organizers say. Local “Blue Wave Rise and Resist” protesters will stage a march. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has offered to meet the president at the airport, calling his outreach “appropriate in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.

Then it’s on to Fargo.

“President Trump is looking forward to visiting states such as North Dakota that are critical to the GOP maintaining and expanding its majorities in the House and Senate in the midterm elections this fall,” says Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

“Following the president’s historic summit in Singapore and continued great news about our booming economy, this rally will be a high-energy experience for the patriots in the great state of North Dakota who will be there with us,” Mr. Glassner advises.

‘PRAISE FOR GETTING THIS FAR’

Following the North Korean summit, the persistent media narrative insists that not much came out the event — so noteworthy that there were 3,000 journalists in Singapore to weigh in on it. Both journalists and partisan critics insist that the meeting only served to improve North Korea’s global status and unnerve Japan and South Korea. Or words to that effect.

There are nuances, of course.

“Clearly anything President Trump does is terrible according to the Democrats — and the administration’s efforts to ease tensions with North Korea are just another shining example. And clearly, President Trump should be given credit for creating the conditions for a real diplomatic breakthrough with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. However, we do not have any evidence yet that the Kim regime really intends to ever give up its nuclear weapons, an atomic insurance policy that guarantees Pyongyang’s survival,” Harry J. Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest and executive editor of The National Interest Magazine, said in a statement to The Washington Times.

“With the administration likely working behind the scenes to see if Kim is truly serious, I would say within the next 30 days we should know Trump’s efforts will really pay off or not. But no matter what your political persuasion is, you have to admit, he deserves praise for getting this far,” Mr. Kazianis said.

KIM HAS A SAY

Kim Kardashian  West met with President Trump in the White House about women’s prison reform on June 5. Eleven days later she was asked if public service might be calling her.

“Would you ever run for office?” CNN host Van Jones asked the reality TV personality and devoted spouse of mega-rap star and entrepreneur Kanye West.

“Oh, I don’t think that’s even on my mind,” she replied.

“Trump’s president. It could happen,” Mr. Jones persisted.

“I know. That’s why Kanye loves him. It’s the idea that anything can happen. I guess never say never. But that’s not going to be like, Kim’s running. That’s not what I’m going for. I just want to help, starting one person at a time, and I think sometimes if more people would just put their personal feelings aside and talk about really important issues that have to be discussed, then so much more can get done.”

GOWDY EXPLAINS THINGS

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy described the complex Department of Justice special investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as a unique, “public counter intelligence investigation with political overtones,” and he has some advice for Robert Mueller, former FBI director and the man tasked with the investigation.

“Do the very best you can with the evidence and witnesses you have, but understand this investigation is being used by political enemies to hurt Donald Trump,” Mr. Gowdy offered to Mr. Mueller, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

He also referenced Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff of Connecticut and Nancy Pelosi of California, plus FBI agent Peter Strzok.

“Adam Schiff wants to be the chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee. Nancy Pelosi wants to be the speaker of the House. They want Bob Mueller to do what Peter Strzok and Hillary Clinton could not do — which is to beat Donald Trump. So just beware you are being used. That is my advice to Bob Mueller,” Mr. Gowdy said.

The South Carolina Republican also recommended the House use a “full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance,” as the investigation continues — including contempt of Congress.

“I don’t want the drama. I want the documents,” Mr. Gowdy told Fox News moderator Chris Wallace.

POLL DU JOUR

• 59 percent of U.S. voters think President Trump has a “good relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un; 66 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents, 50 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of conservatives, 57 percent of moderates and 51 percent of liberals agree.

• 24 percent of voters overall think Mr. Trump has a “bad relationship” with Mr. Kim; 17 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents, 33 percent of Democrats, 16 percent of conservatives, 30 percent of moderates and 34 percent of liberals agree.

• 24 percent of voters overall don’t know what kind of relationship the leaders have; 17 percent of Republicans, 14 percent of independents, 17 percent of Democrats, 16 percent of conservatives, 14 percent of moderates and 15 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Monmouth University poll of 711 registered U.S. voters conducted June 12-13.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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