Brooks: Trump Is ‘Governing Exactly As He Campaigned,’ Not Being ‘Swallowed Up’ by GOP or Washington

On Friday’s broadcast of “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks reacted to President-Elect Donald Trump’s naming of Reince Priebus Stephen K. Bannon, Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) by stating, “if you thought Donald Trump was going to be swallowed up by the conventional Republican Party, or by Washington, you were wrong. He’s governing, it seems, exactly as he campaigned.”

Brooks said, “Well, if you thought Donald Trump was going to be swallowed up by the conventional Republican Party, or by Washington, you were wrong. He’s governing, it seems, exactly as he campaigned. And the people he selected are very much in the spirit of the campaign, sometimes explicitly referencing the policies he took on the campaign.”

He added that these picks “are going to be very different. We’re going to have a very different administration from a normal Republican administration, let alone a Democratic administration.” He also said, “they have good resumes.” And “have Donald Trump’s charm, which is to say they are extremely sharp-elbowed individuals, to a person. And it’s like he’s taken all the hard bosses, or bad bosses in the world and so far he ‘ bringing them all together. And so, if they work as a team, maybe they’ll be a very tough team, but they could work on each other. And it could be hard to hire people under them, because these are people famous for being really hard on those around them.”

Brooks later said, “Bannon is the interesting case. He is — of course, I do not approve of his news organization or his judgments, but he is something out of a different — he is a pure populist, a pure anti-establishment. And so, for example, there was an article today, a rare interview that he gave, where he really talked about having a trillion-dollar infrastructure program. That would be a big shift in our national debate. And I think it might be a good idea, but it would get a lot of Democrats on board. And I do think the silver lining for those of us who do not approve of Donald Trump, is that there are a lot of policies in his canon that do mess with our categories, and that kind of big spending program would be one of them.”

Brooks later argued that Sessions’ position on race and criminal justice is a “significant worry.” And “I do think this will be a White House-run administration with a teeny-tiny group of people surrounding him, including his family maybe.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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