National Assoc. of Counties President: Trump Has ‘Opened the Door’ to Local Government More Than Any Other President

The National Association of Counties President Greg Cox praised President Donald Trump and his administration on Monday at its annual legislative conference in Washington, DC, for its work with local officials.

“No administration opened the door more for access for local government than the Trump administration has done,” Cox said at the start of his interview at the event with Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway.

In the first 18 months of his presidency, more than 35 forums have been held where representatives from the more than 3,000 counties in the United States and DC have met with Trump administration officials, cabinet members, and the president himself.

“It took me 50 years to get to my 50th state,” Conway said of her goal to visit every state in the country. “It took the White House about a year and a half to have all 50 states to come in and send a representative.”

Cox, who is a supervisor in San Diego County, California, said he and his delegation, which included Alaska and Hawaii, got to visit directly with Trump, who has made it a priority to work with local officials and to put in place policies — including deregulation policies — that give more control back to the state and local governments.

“We could not do what we do or be who we are in this administration literally without the input, the insights, the information, and really just the individual participation from our local elected officials and non-elected officials,” Conway said.

Conway also said that it is “very natural” for Trump after a lifetime as a chief executive and now as president of the United States to get all the relevant information he needs before making a decision, starting from the “grassroots” up.

“And let me make it very clear to you,” Conway said. “We will never substitute our judgment for yours.”

She said input from local officials has played a role in the legislative accomplishments under Trump, including addressing the opioid crisis and criminal justice reform.

Conway also pledged that “this very Congress, this year” will pass infrastructure legislation.

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