Trump is facing an 'exceptionally difficult week': policy expert

“An Exceptionally Difficult Week Looms For” President Donald Trump, Horizon Investment Chief Global Strategist Greg Valliere wrote in a new note.

Citing the GOP’s fledgling health care reform, the administration’s nascent push for a tax bill, the expected loss of Trump-backed candidate Senator Luther Strange in Alabama’s GOP runoff, and North Korea tensions, Valliere asserts that “this is shaping up as a very difficult week for President Trump, with significant implications.”

President Donald Trump turns his back to the crowd during his speech at a rally for Senator Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S., September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

The new Graham-Cassidy health care bill, which may or may not see a vote by the Senate this week, is “shaping up as another embarrassment for a party that promised for eight years to kill Obamacare,” according to Valliere. Furthermore, another political loss on health care would not bode well for tax reform — which already has its own issues.

“The simple fact that House tax writers aren’t ready to unveil legislative language this week, just a summary,” Valliere notes. “And even a summary has divided the GOP – will the bill reject any tax breaks for the wealthy? How much will the bill cost? What about effective dates? These and dozens of smaller issues have not been resolved, which is why enactment of a tax bill is still months away.”

‘Perhaps Trump needed political cover’

On Friday night, speaking at an Alabama rally in support of Strange, Trump criticized NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture that began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired, he’s fired!’?” Trump told the crowd.

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally for Senator Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry

Trump then spent the weekend criticizing members of Congress and athletes  — both NFL players who kneel and NBA Star Steph Curry — in addition to tweeting support of Strange and more bellicose rhetoric directed at North Korea.

Valliere mused that Trump’s ire toward the NFL may be a way to keep people’s minds off of the various challenges his administration is facing.

“Perhaps Trump needed political cover, in light of looming losses this week, plus the disclosure of Jared Kushner’s private email account, and the abysmal response from Washington to a horrific humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.”

Soldiers of Puerto Rico’s national guard distribute relief items to people, after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

On Monday morning, Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis summarized Trump’s weekend on Twitter:

Also on Monday morning, amid more tweets addressed at NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, Trump indicated that he was aware of the looming policy work.

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