The White House has put the spotlight on the new administration of President Donald Trump and the Trump administration as it gears up to take on a daunting task: defending the U.S. Constitution from the Trump agenda.
But the president’s first days in office have been marked by chaos and confusion.
As a candidate, Trump had pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices and to replace longtime Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and his nominees were greeted with skepticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
He also said he would be open to an impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton, and some lawmakers said he should be investigated for obstruction of justice and perjury.
In recent weeks, Trump has faced criticism for using executive orders and tweets to enact sweeping changes to federal agencies, while his critics have accused him of doing little to hold onto power.
“We are in a very dangerous time,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a White House briefing Thursday.
“We are dealing with an administration that is intent on dismantling the rule of law.”
While Trump has tried to keep his agenda on track, the president has struggled to put it into place as the first week of his presidency has seen a wave of deadly protests and a federal judge ruled that a Trump administration executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States was unconstitutional.
Trump has not been able to hold his first meeting of his administration, a Cabinet meeting with several Cabinet secretaries and even the White House Christmas party with family members and staff.
“The administration is in turmoil,” said Mark Holden, a former senior White House aide to Vice President Mike Pence who served under President George W. Bush and is now president of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“I don’t think we are seeing a stable administration.”
The president’s approval ratings are down to just 37 percent among registered voters, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The president has faced a barrage of negative news stories in recent weeks.
He has been criticized for being slow to address the Ebola outbreak and his travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries is being challenged in court by civil liberties groups.
Trump’s approval rating among independents has also been slipping.
More than 70 percent of registered voters disapprove of the job Trump is doing, according a new CNN poll.
And about half of Republicans believe the president is doing a good job as commander in chief, the poll showed.
And the president hasn’t been able, at this point, to put his agenda into place.
The new administration has struggled so far to put its agenda into practice.
In recent weeks the administration has tried putting the agenda into effect as the Trump-led Republican majorities in the House and Senate passed bills that would expand gun rights and expand the power of the military.
The legislation was stalled in the Senate.
And the president signed a new travel ban into law Thursday that would temporarily halt travel to the U.
“We are still working through the details of the executive order, and there are some important details to be worked out, but I think we’re moving in the right direction,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at Thursday’s briefing.
The president and his administration have faced the same problems throughout the Obama administration, including a lack of control over the bureaucracy, the Trump White House said Thursday.
Trump was criticized for not using the State Department to appoint ambassadors to foreign countries, and he has not kept the pace of appointments at the agencies he runs, according the administration.
Trump also has not done a full review of his budget.
And he has yet to address Trump’s request that Congress pass a $1.5 trillion aid package to help pay for his proposed border wall with Mexico, which some conservatives have decried as a threat to U.N. security.
The White Replty said Thursday that the president will not negotiate over the funding, which could make it impossible for Congress to pass the bill.
In addition, Trump’s administration has not yet released a budget or budget proposals, a requirement that Congress must approve bills before a president can spend taxpayer money.
The administration also has struggled with staffing.
The Senate has not approved any new hires, and the White Repllty said that the administration was looking to fill about 2,000 jobs in its first month.
The administration is currently hiring about 3,000 people a month, said spokesman Matt McLaughlin.