As he nears his 100th day in office, President Trump’s efforts to appear decisive and unequivocal in his responses to fast-moving global crises have been undercut by confusing and conflicting messages from within his administration.
Over the past two weeks, policy pronouncements from senior Trump aides have often been at odds with one another — such as whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power as part of a negotiated resolution to end that nation’s civil war.
In other cases, formal White House written statements have conflicted with those from government agencies, even on the same day. For example, Monday brought disparate U.S. reactions — supportive from Trump, chiding from the State Department — to the Turkish referendum this week that strengthened President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian rule.
Even when there is unanimity in the messaging — such as Trump’s boast, based on Pentagon statements, that a U.S. Navy “armada” was headed toward the Korean Peninsula — the administration was forced into the embarrassing admission a few days later that the strike group was, in fact, sailing in the opposite direction.
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