Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke
Chapter 27

Priebus calls a full staff meeting to discuss the issue of immigration. Stephen Miller makes a presentation on the various elements that may aid in dealing with immigration. After the presentation, Miller thinks that they should act on the popular issues (Woodward 187). This involves things that are bad for the Democrats. On the other hand, Kushner seems to disagree. He proposes that they focus on bipartisan and constructive things.

Woodward informs his audience that the President does not understand the importance of overseas allies (Woodward 187). Trump is committed to ending all free trade agreements by imposing quotas and tariffs. Mattis and Cohn have had several meetings to discuss the issue, and since they have no progress, Mattis suggests that they invite the President into the Tank, a secure room within the Pentagon (Woodward 188). They believe that changing the President’s environment and removing him from his comfort zone may help change his mind.

The meeting in the Tank starts with a presentation organized by Cohn and Mattis. After that, they get into the serious issues and Trump’s mind remains unchanged. He argues about the expenses the nation undergoes for the trades (Woodward 190). He also talks about the trade deficits and Cohn keeps on saying that they have economic benefits. Bannon stands and asks them any of the allies will support Trump’s sanctions (Woodward 191). No one seems to have an answer and that gives the President the invitation to leave the meeting having not changed his mind.


The issue of immigration seems sensitive and political. As the author indicates, there is a need for a solution, but the individuals involved seem to have lost the desire to find one. Woodward claims that most of the people present during Priebus’ meeting felt like the presentation was a shopping list. This indicates some sense of boredom and fatigue in solving the issue. The ideas presented by Kushner portray the desire to work for all Americans without restrictions or favors. It is for this reason that Kushner disagrees with the others, and in turn, they see him as a person experienced in real estate but nothing more, and certainly not politics.

On the other hand, Trump’s issue with trade agreements and deficits reflects his business-related nature. The president wants to take the US out of the deals since the government spends money on the deals with other nations benefiting without paying. This seems unfair to Trump thus making him act out. Mattis’ decision to change the meeting environment is well thought of and relevant. Trump may reconsider his decision on the deal. However, the meeting fails to work since Trump’s issues are extremely important to him, and he has to come through on delivering his promises to his people while benefiting the nation.

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