Quick Takes: Trump’s Truly Bizarre Cabinet Meeting

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Over the course of the last couple of years, Donald Trump has done a lot of things to make people question his mental health. Today’s Cabinet meeting is right up there with the best of them. John Harwood explains:

Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump has displayed various reactions to the pressures of his job, from angry tweets to effusive exaggerations to self-defeating candor.

On Monday, Trump tried something new: bathing in praise from his Cabinet in front of TV cameras.

After a weekend dominated by discussion of whether he had committed obstruction of justice, the president called in reporters for what he billed as his first full Cabinet meeting. He began with an opening statement laced with the sort of wild, self-congratulatory boasts that are his trademark.

“Never has there been a president, with few exceptions … who has passed more legislation, done more things,” Trump declared, even though Congress, which is controlled by his party, hasn’t passed any major legislation.

The president then went around the room asking for a comment from each cabinet member. Here’s Harwood again:

In more than three decades of covering the White House, I’ve never seen such an extended public display of flattery for a president from his chosen subordinates. At moments it resembled the kind of fawning that some of the strongmen rulers Trump has praised — such as Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte — might receive from their deputies.

* Twitter reacted.

* It was so bizarre that even Chris Cillizza nailed it with an article titled, “Donald Trump just held the weirdest Cabinet meeting ever” and Chuck Schumer issued a parody.

* Trump’s travel ban took another blow today.

President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban executive order suffered another legal blow Monday as a second federal appeals court weighed in against the legality of the directive.

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel unanimously turned down an administration request to lift an injunction blocking key parts of Trump’s revised order from taking effect.

* A part of the ruling illustrates what many have been predicting about Trump’s tweets.

* Sarah Kliff says, “Obamacare is in real danger.”

The Affordable Care Act is in deep trouble — in Washington and large swaths of the country.

Senate Republicans began to coalesce around the framework of a plan to repeal and replace the law last week. Their plan would, like the bill the House passed in May, almost certainly cause millions of low-income Americans to lose coverage by ending the Medicaid expansion. It would help the young and healthy at the expense of the older and the sick.

Meanwhile, across the nation, health insurance plans are beginning to flee the Obamacare marketplace. They’ve cited the uncertainty around the health care law’s future, sown by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. The number of counties with zero health plans signed up to sell 2018 coverage keeps growing.

The possibility that Republicans will repeal Obamacare or drive it into collapse is an increasingly real one. That’s a reality where millions fewer have health insurance and lower-income Americans struggle to afford coverage.

* Finally, I am now in the middle of watching the third season of ABC’s American Crime after watching the first two on Netflix. I have to say that this is the kind of television I thought the networks had abandoned. It is gripping drama that takes huge risks with great acting. But this third (and apparently last) season is especially powerful in it’s focus on exploitation, including that of farmworkers in this country. If you haven’t watched it already, I highly recommend that you do so as soon as possible. This is the personal that should inform the political.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.