The checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution are so far proving to be more powerful than President Donald Trump's autocratic style, which was suitable for running a family-owned empire, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
Trump vowed at his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention: "I alone can fix it." However, he is finding that even the most powerful job in the world has limits. This is due to the intentions of the Founding Fathers to make the other two branches of government powerful enough to constrain the executive.
After just two weeks of his presidency, Trump's immigration order was blocked by a federal judge, some Republicans in Congress are pushing back after not being consulted on key issues, and there are signs of a rebellion in the emboldened federal bureaucracy.
In addition, there is bickering among his own aides, who in their frustration are apparently providing leaks to the media.
Those elements of opposition to his rule are enhanced by the mistakes made by a White House with very few people with any government experience, The Post notes, such as his original order on the travel ban including some 500,000 legal American citizens who were born in seven Muslim-majority countries.
Adding to domestic critics who refuse to blindly follow his lead, Trump has also met resistance over the unyielding stands he has taken even with friendly governments such as Mexico and Australia.
"President Trump puts a lot of emphasis on American sovereignty and putting America first," Tamara Cofman Wittes, a former State Department official in the Obama administration, told the Post.
"That goes both ways. Every foreign leader is also a leader of a sovereign nation — many of them democratically elected, many of them elected by wider margins. They have their own base. The fact that he says he wants something does not necessarily move them along."
The main question now is if Trump will alter his style in the face of these realities or continue his brash manner.
Some key Republicans have criticized this style, such as when Trump ridiculed the "so-called judge" who halted his immigration order, a GOP nominee who was confirmed 99-0 in 2004.
"We all get disappointed from time to time at the outcome in courts on things that we care about," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN's "State of the Union."
"But I think it is best to avoid criticizing judges individually."
McConnell also pushed back against Trump's statement, in response to a question if Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer, that "there are a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent," which appeared to equate U.S. actions with those of Russia.
The Senate majority leader said "Putin is a former KGB agent. He's a thug… I don't think there is any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does."
However, House Speaker Paul Ryan appeared much more mild in his criticism of Trump.
When asked by NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the president had done enough to heal the nation's divisions, Ryan said: "I think he's going to feel his way through this. And look, what I'm excited about is that he wants to hit the ground running and he's very much a man of action."
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