As the uproar about immigrant children being separated from their families at the border grew, Trump signed an executive order undoing the new policy.
The policy has only been in effect since May when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that they would enforce a zero tolerance policy which led to over 2,000 children being taken in the last two months. Children were sent to a variety of centers and ranged from ages 3 months to 17 years old.
The new executive order ended this and replaced the zero tolerance policy with a plan to detain families together. This will still face backlash given that the details of how long they can be detained has been a long standing area of debate.
The signing of the executive order was not required since it was a simple policy change, but the change was made nonetheless. It was already reported that Trumpis not overly fond of the policy, but he does not want to take all of the blame. The report said “He doesn’t like this policy, and he knows it’s not helping him. But he can’t get within him that this is a problem, and he needs to take ownership of it.”
Vanity Fair is also reporting that during all of this, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has avoided her press briefings because she did not agree with the policy to begin with.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders—already eyeing an exit, though not for months—did not hold an on-camera briefing with reporters. “She’s tired of taking on water for something she doesn’t believe in,” a friend of Sanders told me. “She continues to have a frustration that the policies are all over the map,” another person close to her said. “It’s not a good look for Sarah.” According to sources, if Sanders were to leave earlier than expected, Trump is high on former Fox & Friends anchor Heather Nauert, who’s currently the State Department spokesperson, to be his next press secretary. “Trump loves her,” one former administration official said. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.)
Trump still has some members in his corner, as the report also shared that Stephen Miller enjoys seeing the policy in action. A Trump adviser said “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border. He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”
With a divided White House and a frustrated Congress, the Trump administration is having a rough go of things as of late. The next steps they take may define their reputation for the long haul and it will definitely shape the staff morale as they face the next round of challenges.