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The good, the bad and the bigly: Trump’s early presidency in photos

During a meeting about opioid and drug abuse March 29, Trump jokes with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. After praising him for his early endorsement, Trump quipped that Christie's support was less than wholehearted. He gave credit to the governor for being “an immediate endorser, once he got out of the race,” but then he cracked, “He liked himself more than he liked me, but other than that." “Still do, sir, but that’s all right,” Christie quipped in response.

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The Trump Doctrine is made of mixed messages

Here’s a quick primer for Washington-based foreign diplomats trying to explain the Trump administration’s global views to folks back home:

The United States isn’t seeking to overthrow the North Korean regime, but all options are on the table, and, for the record, there is a strong, looming possibility of a “major, major” conflict between the two countries.

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Ending Bashar Assad’s ruthless rule in Syria isn’t a priority for the United States. Except for when he makes it a priority , for example by deploying chemical weapons. But destroying the Islamic State is still the bigger priority .

The Trump administration is sticking by the Iran nuclear deal, and Iran is holding up its end, too. But the deal, struck by former President Barack Obama’s administration, is obviously a failure of epic proportions.

As President Donald Trump marks 100 days in office, his administration is still struggling to articulate its foreign policy vision in a clear and consistent way. Conflicting messages frequently emanate from various power centers in the administration, among them Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and the always-mercurial president himself. All of this has left foreign officials scratching their heads about what the new administration really believes.

“It’s challenging,” one European diplomat told POLITICO. “It makes me feel that I’m in front of an adolescent. It’s not a baby anymore. And we hope that it will grow up and become a responsible adult soon.”

Victoria Coates, a top National Security Council aide to Trump, said the president encourages Cabinet aides to speak publicly, even if their messages don’t fully align, because “it’s not like he wants to be the only voice.”

At the same time, Coates added, foreign leaders seeking clarity can always go directly to Trump. “The president has invested a significant amount of time in foreign leader outreach – at this point there are a large number of them who feel perfectly comfortable calling him,” Coates explained. “So the idea that we have a globe watching him in confusion is inaccurate.”

The Mexicans and Canadians might beg to differ.

For weeks, the two U.S. neighbors had been led to believe that Trump was willing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. But then word leaked Wednesday that Trump may pull out of the deal entirely, a step apparently pushed by nationalist-leaning factions in the White House. After talking to his Mexican and Canadian counterparts, Trump changed his mind about withdrawing, but he also managed to escalate tensions along the way.

“You plan, and you prepare, and then something like what happened yesterday happened, and then you have to take a step back and mobilize other actors to get back where you want to be,” an exasperated Mexican government official told POLITICO on Thursday. “We are trying to find out every day a delicate balance into moving forward as to what is important for us, and then dealing with the realities of what is happening in

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President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbersPresident Donald Trump's first 100 days in the White House have been marked by achievement, most notably the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but also legislative failure and near constant controversy. Here's a look at the numbers that have defined Trump's presidency through its first 100 days:

507

Tweets (+11 deleted)

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President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

The president’s avid Twitter use far predates his presidency, but since entering the political arena, Trump’s tweets – 507 of them as of Saturday morning – have taken on greater significance. He has used Twitter to float policy ideas, reassure his base and level allegations against political rivals.

(Trump twitter archive)

32

Trump interviews (13 with Fox shows)

Trump’s preferred morning show is “Fox & Friends.” But as much as he complains about unfair treatment from The New York Times, Trump has spoken on three occasions with its reporters on the record.

9

News conferences

His Feb. 16 solo news conference was, in a word, epic . Trump sparred with reporters for 80 minutes , claiming “I inherited a mess” from Obama, downgrading CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news,” and asking a black reporter to set up a White House meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. He’s also held bilateral news conferences with visiting foreign leaders.

31

Days he’s visited at least one Trump property

Trump has already hosted two foreign leaders , Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago. The president raised eyebrows when he and staff members were photographed by club members apparently reviewing materials related to a North Korean missile test on Mar-a-Lago’s dining terrace.

19

Golf days

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

Getty

“I always said about President Obama, it’s great to play golf, but play golf with heads of countries and people like yourself when you’re looking for votes,” Trump said in February. “Don’t play with your friends that you play with every week. Does that make sense?” The White House does not confirm when the president plays golf , so reporters determine his activities based on photos from the public.

(New York Times)

0

Foreign countries visited

Trump’s first trip abroad as president will come in May for the NATO summit in Brussels.

16

Foreign leaders hosted

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wasn’t invited to Obama’s White House , but Trump welcomed him earlier this month . Trump said the invitation played a role in the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been imprisoned for three years, as well as her husband and four other humanitarian workers.

22

Business leader meetings

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

Getty

At his last publicly announced meeting with CEOs on April 11, Trump overstated the number of jobs his administration had created by hundreds of thousands. “We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time,” he boasted, despite Labor Department data that indicated the figure is closer to 317,000 jobs.

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100-day contract promises met

Of the 10 legislative promises Trump made on his 100-day

...

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbersPresident Donald Trump's first 100 days in the White House have been marked by achievement, most notably the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but also legislative failure and near constant controversy. Here's a look at the numbers that have defined Trump's presidency through its first 100 days:

507

Tweets (+11 deleted)

Story Continued Below

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

The president’s avid Twitter use far predates his presidency, but since entering the political arena, Trump’s tweets – 507 of them as of Saturday morning – have taken on greater significance. He has used Twitter to float policy ideas, reassure his base and level allegations against political rivals.

(Trump twitter archive)

32

Trump interviews (13 with Fox shows)

Trump’s preferred morning show is “Fox & Friends.” But as much as he complains about unfair treatment from The New York Times, Trump has spoken on three occasions with its reporters on the record.

9

News conferences

His Feb. 16 solo news conference was, in a word, epic . Trump sparred with reporters for 80 minutes , claiming “I inherited a mess” from Obama, downgrading CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news,” and asking a black reporter to set up a White House meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. He’s also held bilateral news conferences with visiting foreign leaders.

31

Days he’s visited at least one Trump property

Trump has already hosted two foreign leaders , Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago. The president raised eyebrows when he and staff members were photographed by club members apparently reviewing materials related to a North Korean missile test on Mar-a-Lago’s dining terrace.

19

Golf days

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

Getty

“I always said about President Obama, it’s great to play golf, but play golf with heads of countries and people like yourself when you’re looking for votes,” Trump said in February. “Don’t play with your friends that you play with every week. Does that make sense?” The White House does not confirm when the president plays golf , so reporters determine his activities based on photos from the public.

(New York Times)

0

Foreign countries visited

Trump’s first trip abroad as president will come in May for the NATO summit in Brussels.

16

Foreign leaders hosted

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wasn’t invited to Obama’s White House , but Trump welcomed him earlier this month . Trump said the invitation played a role in the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been imprisoned for three years, as well as her husband and four other humanitarian workers.

22

Business leader meetings

President Trump’s first 100 days: By the numbers

Getty

At his last publicly announced meeting with CEOs on April 11, Trump overstated the number of jobs his administration had created by hundreds of thousands. “We’ve created over 600,000 jobs already in a very short period of time,” he boasted, despite Labor Department data that indicated the figure is closer to 317,000 jobs.

11 of 27

100-day contract promises met

Of the 10 legislative promises Trump made on his 100-day

...

Trump boycott puts spotlight on correspondents' chief

170427_jeff_mason_2_ap_1160.jpg

Even as Jeff Mason had to contend with crisis after confrontation in the White House briefing room, some free-speech advocates have singled him out for criticism. | AP Photo

Saturday dinner culminates a challenging year for Jeff Mason, the soft-spoken head of the White House Correspondents’ Association.

By Hadas Gold

04/29/17 07:16 AM EDT

On Saturday night, Donald Trump will be meeting with screaming supporters at a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania.

Back in Washington, the elites of the media world will be hobnobbing in black-tie with members of Congress and other well-heeled guests at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

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Trump, who is the first president to boycott the dinner since Jimmy Carter, will likely make hay over the contrast, celebrating his 100th day in office and declaring victory in his self-declared battle against a media he’s called a “danger to the country.”

On the other side of this battle of images on Saturday night will be Jeff Mason, the soft-spoken wire service reporter who heads the correspondents’ association and thus oversees the dinner.

Normally, this would be a night of triumph for the association’s president – a time to don a tuxedo and sit beside the most powerful man in the world as the president and the people who cover him exchange gentle barbs and affirm, in toasts, their commitment to the country and the principles of the First Amendment.

But that’s not what Mason is facing.

The 40-year-old Mason, who is known for his quiet diligence and straight-down-the-middle reporting as White House correspondent for Reuters, is hardly the portrait of the self-indulgent media elite that Trump seeks to lampoon. He’s preternaturally calm and soft-spoken. Even as he’s had to contend with crisis after confrontation in the White House briefing room, he’s kept such a low profile that some free-speech advocates have singled him out for criticism.

But his stewardship of the dinner will face inevitable scrutiny, from his decision to invite the Watergate duo of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to present the association’s awards to his choice of Muslim-American comic Hasan Minhaj as the evening’s entertainment.

Bash Trump too directly and play into his own narrative of war; fail to stand up for journalistic prerogatives and look like a feckless wimp.

"I didn’t anticipate that it would be the level of advocacy we’ve had to employ, at least three years ago when I was elected,” Mason acknowledged in his typically understated manner.

Indeed, when the 40-year-old Mason -- who has been at Reuters for 17 years, starting as an airline-industry reporter in Germany -- was elected to head the association, he knew he’d have a busier year than most: He would straddle the transition between Barack Obama’s White House to the next president's.

But then Trump shook the political universe and, in the process, threatened to upend the media world as well. Suddenly, Mason was called upon to defend the traditional media role and practices, from preserving the tradition of having pool reporters cover

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