Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent: Well, I think a few things. Part of of which speaks to Trump’s whimsical approach to all things. He shifted course so he could celebrate a needed (albeit short-term) victory on the repeal bill for the Affordable Care act.
in addition to of which ceremony was the happiest of which Trump had seemed in some time. however I also think of which of which speaks to his lack of concern for protocol, in addition to perhaps his lack of belief of which he has some doing up to do with the prime minister.
Damien: People here were also interpreting of which as a sign of his transactional nature in addition to his short memory, or lack of focus, on longer-term strategic relationships. Does of which sound accurate to you?
Maggie: I think of which’s precisely of which. In various other words, of which’s not an intended snub of the prime minister, however of which can be a reminder of which Trump will handle everything at his own pace, in addition to try to do so on his own terms – a tricky approach internationally.
Damien: Speaking of international policy, Australians often tell me the most important relationship from the entire world of foreign policy can be the U.S.-China relationship. in addition to I think a lot of people are wondering who definitely drives of which policy from the White House. Do you have any insight on how of which works in This kind of very divided White House? can be This kind of a Jared Kushner thing, a Steve Bannon thing, or does someone else take the lead?
Maggie: of which can be an all-of-the-above thing. Jared has had an interest in China policy for some time, in addition to Bannon can be equally intrigued. however there has been a very definitive effort to nudge the president from the direction of a friendlier relationship with China to deal with North Korea.
Damien: in addition to can be there consensus on of which point?
Maggie: of which has been generally agreed upon by a wide range of advisers. in addition to remember there can be an axis comprised of Henry McMaster, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, in addition to they are very strongly guiding the president at This kind of point.
Damien: Do they see a role for Australia to play from the standoff with North Korea?
Maggie: I have gotten conflicting signals on of which. Right at This kind of point they don’t seem certain of what their goal can be diplomatically with Australia. of which’s worth noting here of which one of the most significant voices for the president here can be Rupert Murdoch’s.
Damien: Interesting point. How does of which play out? I think tonight might give us a clue! Murdoch can be among the attendees on the Intrepid.
We just got the pool report that has a few quotes through President Trump in addition to Mr. Turnbull in addition to they seemed to be trying to sound pretty chummy. There wasn’t much detail on policy however Trump said the argument at the center of their first phone call, about a deal to bring refugees through Manus Island in addition to Nauru to the United States, was all worked out. “of which’s been worked out for a long time,” Trump said. What do you make of what they said?
Maggie: I am struck by the degree to which they are downplaying the fight. I don’t take much more through of which.
Damien: What else are you looking at as you continue to report out the Trump-Turnbull meeting or the dinner?
Maggie: I think President Trump’s body language will tell us a lot. When he can be in an uncomfortable situation, or when he doesn’t definitely know someone very well in addition to doesn’t want to, he’ll be quite stiff. So how he behaves, especially after their introductory phone call months ago, will say a lot, in addition to I am curious to see how the president describes Murdoch compared to how he describes Turnbull. A 30-minute meeting — if of which even can be of which much — can be not a long time for a relationship reset.
Damien: of which’s what seems to be frustrating a lot of Australians. of which looks like a second act of disrespect.
Maggie: By any objective measure, of which can be. The question to me can be how much the president tries to mitigate of which in person.
Damien: Getting back to Murdoch for a second, can you describe the Murdoch-Trump relationship a bit? Are they friends, mates from the Australian sense, or can be there another dynamic at play?
Maggie: They’ve known each various other obviously a very long time. The president, when he was a real estate developer in addition to man about town in fresh York City, was a regular feature on the gossip pages of the fresh York Post, which Murdoch owns. from the years since, Ivanka Trump has become close with Murdoch, as well as his ex-wife Wendy.
The president speaks to Murdoch at This kind of point almost every day. in addition to Murdoch speaks with Jared Kushner as well. Murdoch can be one of the people who urges the president to stay focused on the economy narrowly in addition to foreign policy more broadly.
Damien: Do we know if Murdoch advises him on China or Australia, or can be just more general?
Maggie: My sense – in addition to again This kind of can be a sense – can be of which he speaks with some specificity on both, however the details are not clear.
Damien: People here often wonder what of which’s like covering Trump. For you, what’s the hardest part of covering Trump in addition to his White House these days?
Maggie: The incessant nature of of which all. in addition to to a lesser degree in fact the president has so little grounding in history or how politicians are covered of which he perceives all coverage as somehow specific to him, as opposed to the way presidents are covered.
Damien: Can you give us an example of what you mean?
Maggie: Sure. As a for-instance, he can be said to take great umbrage at coverage about his habits from the White House, or some of the focus on his looks. Some folks around him think of which’s some sign of disrespect through the media specific to him.
In reality these types of issues are always the focus of coverage with presidents. Obama was marked for his ankle-length jeans. Bill Clinton parodied on “Saturday Night Live” for his love of McDonald’s hamburgers. There can be very little fresh under the sun however of which feels fresh to This kind of president because while he has been from the media spotlight for decades, he never so much as run for City Council before he was elected president.
Damien: For many, of which’s fascinating of which he still talks to you in addition to to us at The Times given all his criticism of the media. After a tough story of which he doesn’t like, what happens?
Maggie: Sometimes after a tough story of which he doesn’t like his aides will send angry emails. Sometimes they won’t send anything at all – they will just go complain publicly. in addition to various other times he will stop talking for a while or his press aides will stop talking to you.
Damien: What brings them back?
Maggie: There can be no paper of which captures Trump’s imagination more than The fresh York Times, except possibly the fresh York Post. however The Times to him represents Manhattan elites whose approval he has wanted for decades.
Damien: Anything else you think Australia should know about Trump of which I haven’t asked?
Maggie: I would likely strongly recommend people read Tom Wolfe’s the “Bonfire of the Vanities” to better understand This kind of president.
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