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

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Discussion Post

Chapter 39
Summary

Graham is praising Trump for all he has done for the nation. He thanks the president for making the tax reforms and rebuilding the military (Woodward 262). Trump seems to love the praise, but he demands 100% loyalty from Graham. In return, the senator tells him that Presidents need people that can tell them the truth as they see it (Woodward 262). Away from that, Trump decides to take a step into solving the immigrant issue. He tweets saying that there can be no DACA without the ‘desperately needed’ wall at the Southern Border and an end to the horrible Chain Migration (Woodward 263). After that, the President calls for a meeting to discuss the future of the ‘Dreamers’, immigrants who came to the US as children and have since attended the US school system. Trump also wants the content of the meeting to be televised. Graham is extremely happy about Trump’s capability to handle such a tough issue effectively. Trump also asks Graham if they can change several liberal laws and Graham gives a hard no accompanied by several reasons (Woodward 264).

Kelly is an immigration hard-liner. He believes that Trump does not understand DACA. Therefore, when Graham and Dick Durbin come to see the President, Kelly aligns several immigration hard-liners in the meeting to help discredit what Graham and Durbin will say (Woodward 264). Graham makes his presentation, but Trump simply retorts and uses offensive words saying that they do not need people from ‘shithole’ countries (Woodward 265). This aggravates Durbin who goes to the press and is subsequently backed up by Graham. Sometime later, Trump fires Tillerson and replaces him with the CIA Director Pompeo, with the President saying that he and Tillerson differed in their thinking.

Analysis

It is good to appreciate people whenever they do something good. Graham is an appreciative individual and he praises the accomplishments of the President effectively. Nonetheless, he is also an independent thinker and he cannot support poor behavior and decisions. In fact, he will point out any mistakes or wrongdoing and allow the person to make the judgment. On the other hand, Trump is demanding and insecure. Over his time as President, Trump continues to see Graham’s support, but he tries to ask for unwavering loyalty. This approach is not only unrealistic, but it also portrays his insecurities surrounding losing alliances.

Kelly’s behavior goes a long way in showing his rigid personality. Kelly wants to ensure that the President is aligned with his own thinking when it comes to the DACA issue, a line of thinking that is aimed at suppressing immigrants without any considerations. Tillerson losing his job also speaks volumes about Trump. In the very recent past, Trump saw Tillerson as the best man for the job and now he fires him, claiming that they had a different mindset. This decision shows how unreliable and changeable Trump can be.

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