On the heels of his plea to stop talking about a Democrat Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, CNN Politics editor-at-large Chris Cillizza informed readers on Wednesday to not get their hopes up that President Trump’s fairly successful foreign trip will translate at home when he returns with the Russia investigation surging back (translation: the media will keep destroying him).
“Donald Trump's foreign trip is going smoothly. It won't last,” Cillizza’s headline read while his lede started off with the first sentence, admitting that his nine-day trip has been “defined thus far by its smoothness and general lack of controversy.”
Cillizza conceded that the media coverage of the trip “has been largely positive since he touched down in Saudi Arabia on Saturday” in addition to the broader point that “[i]t’s been the best six days of his presidency in quite some time.”
Here’s where Cillizza ripped the carpet out from under everyone, reminding them that CNN is a part of the opposition party:
Which, you might think, could provide not only momentum for Trump's off-track presidency but also offer up a blueprint for how Trump can succeed when he return stateside this weekend.
You'd think wrong.
Why? Because there are several factors present on this foreign trip that simply can't be replicated on a day-to-day basis when Trump is roaming the White House.
Knocking the meticulous planning of the trip on the basis of a Politico source stating that it was tightly planned that Trump didn’t have time to tweet, Cillizza used this to determine that “trips end” and then “that sort of tightly controlled environment with his family all around him is really hard to make happen back in Washington.”
With his family at his side and things to occupy him with on a near-constant basis, Cillizza predicted the tumult seen before the trip will return:
Yes, Ivanka lives in DC now. But she isn't by her dad's side at every second. Ditto Melania, who hasn't yet moved into the White House. Which means that Trump, when he returns to Washington, will also return to the isolation -- watching cable TV, tweeting, nursing grievances -- that have made his first 125-ish days in the White House so problematic.
Finally, what Trump is doing on this foreign trip is being, well, Trump. The dirty little secret of foreign trips is that the accomplishments and deals are all worked out in advance. What the President does in these settings is smile for the camera, shake a bunch of hands and give short speeches touting how important the relationship is between America and fill-in-the-blank country.
Speaking to readers and Trump as if they’re collectively kindergartners, Cillizza wrote that “[t]he duties of a president while in Washington are far more complicated” compared to foreign trips with all sorts of allies and adversaries.
Hinting at the Russia investigation and passing his agenda through Congress (both of which the media have meddled in), the former Washington Post writer concluded that a successful trip and moment overseas built by the President will be swiftly dismantled when he returns.
“To be clear: Trump's success (so far) on his foreign trip is worthy of praise. What it isn't, however, is a guaranteed sign of things to come. If Trump is going to turn his presidency around, it will be by figuring out how to effectively govern (and live) in Washington. And you can't learn that in Rome,” ruled Cillizza.