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The Rushmore Report: The Next 100 Days Will Determine the Trump Legacy

Since the days of Harry Truman, presidents have been graded more by their first 100 days in office than their next 1,361 days – Donald Trump more than any other. But with the constant obstruction thrown up by Democrats and the president’s struggles to get firm footing, Trump’s first 100 days will pale in comparison to what is coming next. I am convinced that the next 100 days will determine the Trump legacy. Four key challenges, and the way the president responds to them, will set the trajectory for the 45th president.

1. North Korea

Presidents are largely judged by world events, over which they often have little influence. But make no mistake, North Korea – not Russia or Syria or Afghanistan – will mark the defining moment of the Trump legacy on the world stage. President Kim Jong-un will push this president as far as he can. Already, he has kidnapped Americans, returned one in a comatose state, and taken illegal steps to threaten Japan, South Korea, and the United States militarily. President Trump must know by now that he cannot count on help from China. North Korea will be his “Cuban Missile Crisis.” The strength of his response – and it must come quickly – will send a message to the world.

2. Tax Reform

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the man to make this happen. The U.S. continues to burden her companies with the highest corporate tax rate of any developed country. And it’s not even close. In Ryan’s tax speech Monday, he laid out his plans. For those who were able to stay awake and not drown in the detail, they seemed pleased. Certainly, the stock market has responded well, continuing to shatter unthinkable records previous administrations would have never dreamed we could reach. With the House set to bring this legislation forward in the next few months, this can be the crown jewel of the Trump presidency to date.

3. Repealing Obamacare

New Mexico just did what so many other states have already done. It became a one-carrier state, as insurance providers continue to pull their support of Obamacare. Insurance companies are coming to a universal conclusion – they cannot afford to stay in the current system. The Affordable Care Act is quickly dying under its own weight. But this may present the new president with his greatest challenge. The House barely passed their version of repeal & replace. Tomorrow, we get our first peek at the Senate’s version, and early reports make it clear that it will be nearly impossible for the Senate to craft a bill that is tolerable to both wings of the Republican caucus, represented by Cruz/Lee on one end and Collins/Murkowski on the other.

4. 2018 Budget

The Trump budget proposal received expected condemnation by Democrats. The fact that it had “Trump” written on it meant it had zero chance of support from the party of no. But the real challenge is getting the near-unanimous Republican support necessary to pass a conservative budget. The good news is that what will likely emerge from the Trump/Ryan compromise will be a plan that gets to a balanced budget, strengthens military spending, is pro-business, and is well-received by both Main Street and Wall Street. Again, one need look no further than the record Dow Jones Industrial Average to see how economists are judging what they see.

President Trump’s first 100 days were entertaining. In some respects, they were highly successful. In other ways, they were not. But by September 30 – 100 days from today – we will know a lot more about the Trump legacy. The trajectory he will find himself on in 100 days is the trajectory that will guide the next 3.5 years. And if he proves successful in these four areas, I predict his approval ratings will rise from 35-40 percent (pick your poll) to near 50 percent.

Will Donald Trump have a successful presidency? We’ll know in 100 days.

The Rushmore Report: Trump Did not Obstruct Justice

A dangerous argument is now being put forward by some Democratic ideologues namely that Donald Trump should be indicted for the crime of obstructing justice because he fired FBI Director James Comey. Whatever one may think of the president’s decision to fire Comey as a matter of policy, there is no legitimate basis for concluding that the president engaged in a crime by exercising his constitutional authority.

As Comey himself wrote in his letter to the FBI, no one should doubt the authority of the president to fire the director for any reason or no reason at all.

It should not be a crime for a public official whether the president or anyone else, to exercise his or her statutory and constitutional authority to hire or fire another public official. For something to be a crime there must be both an actus reus and mens rea – that is, a criminal act accompanied by a criminal state of mind.

Even assuming that Trump was improperly motivated in firing Comey, motive alone should never constitute a crime. There should have to be an unlawful act. And exercising constitutional and statutory power should not constitute a crime. Otherwise, the crime would place the defendant’s thoughts on trial, rather than his actions.

Civil libertarians, and all who care about due process and justice, should be concerned about the broad scope of the statute that criminalizes “obstruction of justice.” Some courts have wrongly interpreted this accordion-like law so broadly as to encompass a mixture of lawful and unlawful acts. It is dangerous and wrong to criminalize lawful behavior because it may have been motivated by evil thoughts. People who care about the rule of law, regardless of how they feel about Trump, should not be advocating a broadening of obstruction of justice to include the lawful presidential act of firing the FBI director. Such an open-ended precedent could be used in the future to curtail the liberties of all Americans.

So let’s put this nonsense behind us and not criminalize policy differences, as extremists in both parties have tried to do. Republican and Democratic partisans often resort to the criminal  law as a way of demonizing their political enemies. “Lock her up” was the cry of Republican partisans against Hillary Clinton regarding her misuse of her email server. Now “obstruction of justice” is the “lock her up” cry of partisan Democrats who disagree with Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

I opposed any criminalization of policy differences when Texas Governor Rick Perry, Congressman Tom Delay, and Senator Bob Menendez were indicted, and I strongly oppose the investigation now being conducted against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The criminal law should be used as the last resort against elected officials, not as the opening salvo in a political knife fight. There is no place in a democracy for elastic statutes that can be stretched to fit lawful conduct with which political opponents disagree. If they are allowed to be stretched today to cover your political enemies, they could be stretched tomorrow to go after your political friends.

The debate over the propriety of the president’s actions, about which I have opined repeatedly, should continue, but let’s take the allegations of criminal obstruction of justice out of this important debate. There is more than enough fodder for a debate over the merits and demands of the president’s actions without muddying the waters with politically motivated charges of criminality.

Partisanship seems to have no limits these days. Both parties are equally at fault, as are extremists among the public and within the media. It is getting harder and harder to have a nuanced debate about complex political issues. Everything is either evil or good. Nothing has elements of both. Actions either deserve criminal indictment or the Nobel Prize.

Nobody benefits from this kind of ideological shouting match. So let’s agree to disagree about important issues, but let’s not distort the debate with extremist slogans like “lock her up” or “obstruction of justice.”

We are better than that.

About the Author

Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and is the author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law and Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Electorate.

The Rushmore Report: Ivanka Trump on Comey – ‘Father Vindicated’

Ivanka Trump said on Monday that her father felt “very vindicated” by the testimony last week of James B. Comey, the ousted FBI director, who, under oath, accused President Trump of firing him for his handling of the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election. Ms. Trump, a senior adviser to the president, spoke out in an interview on Fox & Friends.

Her comments were the latest effort by a White House in crisis to discredit and play down the significance of the account Mr. Comey gave on Capitol Hill, in which he strongly suggested the president had tried to obstruct justice in imploring him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser’s contacts with Moscow and requesting the FBI director’s personal loyalty.

Mr. Trump said in a news conference on Friday that Mr. Comey had lied about those conversations, and he asserted that Comey’s account proved that there had been no collusion between the campaign and Russia, nor any attempt to obstruct an investigation. Over the weekend, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to suggest that Mr. Comey’s move to work through a friend to share with a reporter the contents of contemporaneous memos he kept of his exchanges with the president might have been illegal, and he called the act “cowardly.”

Ms. Trump insisted that her father had come away from Mr. Comey’s testimony “incredibly optimistic” and eager to pivot to a discussion of domestic policy initiatives, including infrastructure rebuilding and vocational education, which the White House plans to emphasize this week.

“With all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage and obviously what makes headlines, ultimately, we’re really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president,” Ms. Trump said.

She said she had been blindsided by the vitriol of Washington and was working to stay out of the fray.

“It is hard, and there is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting,” Ms. Trump said. “I was not expecting the intensity of this experience, but this isn’t supposed to be easy. My father and this administration intend to be transformative, and we want to do big, bold things.”

Ms. Trump sidestepped questions about whether her husband, Jared Kushner, who also serves as a senior adviser, has clashed internally with other senior members of Mr. Trump’s team.

“There is a 24-hour news cycle that gets fed by and is encouraged by lots of salacious details, but at the end of the day, we’re all focused on the work, and that’s very true for Jared,” Ivanka said. “He doesn’t get involved in all of that.”

Ms. Trump also heaped praise on her father’s first overseas trip last month, which included visits to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, the centers of three of the world’s major religions. Ms. Trump, who converted to Judaism to marry Mr. Kushner, mistakenly described Judaism as one of the world’s largest religions, leaving out Hinduism and Buddhism among others that count many more followers.

“To have covered the three largest world religions over the course of four days, it was deeply meaningful,” Ivanka said during the broadcast on Monday.

In a tweet during the visit to Israel last month, Ms. Trump also erroneously referred to the Western Wall in Jerusalem as “the holiest site of my faith.” The Temple Mount that lies just beyond the wall is considered the holiest site in Judaism.

About the Author

Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes for the Morning Briefing Newsletter.

The Rushmore Report: Donald Trump’s Speech to Evangelicals

If President Donald Trump was in any way concerned about what former FBI Director James Comey might be telling the Senate Intelligence Committee at the same time he gave his speech to the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” Conference last week, he certainly didn’t let it show. The president gave a powerful speech, and his audience responded with equal forcefulness.

“We’re under siege, you understand that,” he said during his opening remarks. “But we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever.”

Throughout the 35-minute speech the audience gave the president standing ovations as he discussed rolling back enforcement of the so-called Johnson Amendment, fighting for religious freedom, defending life, and fighting against terrorism. But the speech ended with the following statement.

“We understand that a nation is more than just geography. A nation is the sum of its citizens: their hopes, their dreams, their values, and their prayers. America is a land rich with history and culture, and filled with people of courage, kindness, and strength. Though we have many stories we all share at home, the one thing we do share is one beautiful destiny.

Whether we are black, or brown, or white, we all bleed the same red blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we are all made by the same Almighty God. We face many challenges, there are many hills and mountains to climb, but one by one we will scale those summits, and we will get the job done and get the job done correctly.

We will prove worthy of this very, very important moment in history. As long as we have pride in our beliefs, courage in our convictions, and faith in our God, then we will not fail. And, as long as our country remains true to its values, loyal to its citizens, and devoted to its Creator, then our best days are yet to come. Because we will make America great again!”

About the Author

Rob Eschliman writes for Charisma News.

The Rushmore Report: My Advice to President Trump

President Donald Trump has hit the 150-day mark of his administration. He has much to show for it – an acclaimed Supreme Court Justice, a record Dow Jones, a lower unemployment rate than was seen at any point of the Obama Administration. Still, many of his priorities are stalled – a budget and healthcare reform to just name two. So what does the president need to do to move the ball forward? What can he do to become truly successful? I offer a blueprint for success, proven to work by great presidents who preceded Mr. Trump. Mr. President, you should do seven things.

1. Stop tweeting.

Or at least, run your tweets past your communications team. Yes, your tweets connect you with the American people in an instant. But you have proven, Mr. President, that you cannot tweet without stepping on your own message. So far, you have been two presidents – the one who has taken decisive action to advance your agenda, and the one who tweets off-message on a daily basis. If you want your agenda to be heard, lose your Twitter account – now.

2. Put extreme vetting in place and move beyond the travel ban fiasco.

You said you wanted extreme vetting for a few designated countries. That made sense when you said it and it makes sense today. Unfortunately, your plan has been overturned by every court that has heard it. Now it is before the Supreme Court. But here’s the problem, Mr. President. You told us you needed 100 days to put procedures of extreme vetting in place. That was 150 days ago. Nothing has happened that kept you from doing this. If you had done in those 100 days what you said you needed 100 days to do, this would all go away. And every day extreme vetting and the travel ban are in the news is just another day your other initiatives will go nowhere.

3. Work with moderate Democrats.

Get to know Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He is the most right-leaning Democrat in the Senate. But he’s not alone. There are 12 Democratic senators from states you carried in 2016 who are up for re-election next year. Be their friend. Work with them. Many of them will support your budget ideas and much of your healthcare plan. After the last eight years, when President Obama did nothing to work with Republicans, any move toward unity you make will be magnified. And it makes for good politics.

4. Follow the Reagan blueprint.

In his article, Why Ronald Reagan’s Example Is Still Relevant for America Today, Ben T. Elliot reminds us that President Reagan did four things well. First, he united America. Second, he inspired America. Third, he emboldened America. And fourth, he protected America. What worked for President Reagan, Mr. Trump, will still work today.

5. Stay focused.

When you think of great presidents, you think of less, not more. Take Harry Truman, for example. One of the most unpopular presidents in American history – during his time in office – Truman did one thing really well. With laser focus, Truman was committed to ending – and winning – World War II. Similarly, Reagan won the Cold War, FDR ended the Depression, Lincoln reunified the nation, Jackson brought about major American expansion, and Wilson ended World War I and formed the League of Nations. Great presidents stay focused. They do a few things well.

6. Limit your personal attacks.

Mr. President, study Abe Lincoln on this one. He famously said, “The best way to beat your enemy is to make him your friend.” Following the heated election of 1860, Lincoln named his three top opponents to his cabinet. Consider JFK 100 years later. He named his bitter rival, Lyndon Johnson, as VP. Embrace your adversaries. If Ronald Reagan could work with Tip O’Neil and Bill Clinton could work with Newt Gingrich, you can work with Nancy Pelosi. Ok, that might be a stretch – but it’s worth the effort.

7. Own your administration’s mistakes and share your successes.

It’s a key principle of leadership. Own the mistake and share the credit. The classic example is that of President Reagan. He once followed the advice of Gen. Colin Powell, who served in his administration. That particular advice resulted in the loss of a dozen American soldiers. When asked why he took the action he took, the President glanced back at Gen. Powell, then said, “It was a horrible miscalculation, but it was my mistake alone. I take full responsibility for what happened.” Hearing the president own the blame, Powell turned to a man standing next to him and whispered, “I’ll die for that man,” pointing at Mr. Reagan.

Rarely have there been more trying times to be a president. And the Democrats and media certainly aren’t doing anything to help, Mr. Trump. But you still have the bully pulpit. You have nearly four more years to make a difference. And you have the power to make a wonderful, historic difference. So, with all the fake humility I can muster, Mr. President, I suggest my seven recommendations are right. Follow this blueprint and you will be successful.

More importantly, America will be successful. You can make America great again. But you need to hurry, because you have less time left in your presidency than ever. As Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s getting late early.”

You can do this, Mr. President. Ronald Reagan’s vision of America as the “shining city on a hill” can still come to fruition. America can be great again. But more than anyone else’s, it’s in your hands. We’re pulling for you.

The Rushmore Report: What to Expect from the Comey Hearing

Former FBI Director James Comey goes before Congress today. It is expected that he will be asked to provide specific details on whether or not President Trump pressured him to close the ongoing investigation into Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn. But what will Comey really say in the most watched Congressional hearings since the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings?

After Comey was fired, it was reported that he had penned at least one memo indicating that Trump had requested he shut down the investigation into Flynn, and prominent senators are looking to clarify some things. Trump’s supposed request that Comey give him a “pledge of loyalty” will also likely be on the table.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said, “I want to know what kind of pressure – appropriate, inappropriate – how many conversations he had with the president about this topic?”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) added, “The tone, the exact words that were spoken and the context are so important and that’s what we lack right now and we can only get that by talking to those directly involved.”

My guess is that Mr. Comey will intimate more than he actually says. He’s in a bit of a dilemma. If Comey says Trump put no pressure on him at all, he contradicts his reported memo and comments to other FBI personnel. But if he says Trump instructed him to pass on the Flynn investigation, he puts himself at legal risk, as this would have been a clear violation by the president – and as FBI Director, Comey would have had a responsibility to report it at the time, not several months later after he was fired.

Anything Comey says against the president after being fired, that he could have said before being fired, will sound like vindictive comments.

So here’s what you can expect.

1. Comey will say something, but not as much as either political side would like.

2. Comey will say Trump “suggested” he go easy on Flynn, stopping short of saying the president actually asked him to take action.

3. By tonight, Democrats will rush to the mics and scream: “We told you so! Comey has just confirmed everything we’ve been saying for months.”

4. By tonight, Republicans will rush to the mics and scream: “We told you so! Comey has just confirmed everything we’ve been saying for months.”

The Rushmore Report: Trump Prayed for Wisdom at Western Wall during Jerusalem Visit

President Donald Trump prayed to have God’s wisdom as he touched the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, the first American president to make such a visit. “I visited the Western Wall and marveled at the monument to God’s presence and man’s perseverance – I was humbled to place my hand upon the wall and to pray in that holy place for wisdom from God,” he said in a speech at the Israel Museum.

Prior to going to the Western Wall, Trump visited one of Christianity’s most sacred sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which some believe is the place where Jesus was crucified. The trip to Jerusalem was the second stop on Trump’s first international trip as president.

His flight to the Jewish state was also historic in that he flew directly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a flight pattern that never happens. In Saudi Arabia, he gave a speech to leaders of over 50 Muslim-majority countries, challenging them to drive terrorists out of their lands.

The speech struck some theological notes, particularly when he said that Muslim religious leaders must urge their followers to reject barbarism. “If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned,” he said.

The faith of the 45th president has been a subject of much speculation in American political life.

The thrice-married businessman originally from Queens spoke clumsily about religion during the election cycle, infamously joking about “Two Corinthians” and saying that he never asked God for forgiveness during the campaign. Yet the vast majority of white evangelical Christians, most of whom are staunch supporters of Israel, voted for him on Election Day and Trump has solicited the support and input of conservative evangelical leaders.

At the signing of an executive order protecting religious liberty earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence, who is known for his sincere faith, introduced Trump as a “believer” who “loves his family and loves his country with unshakable faith in God.”

His daughter, Ivanka Trump, has converted to orthodox Judaism. Her husband, Jared Kushner, is Jewish.

As The Christian Post reported May 5, CP Executive Editor and Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land, who dined at the White House with the president and his evangelical advisory board last month, said that the president is “comfortable around evangelicals; it’s obvious that he likes us and he’s fascinated by us. I don’t think he was around people like us much before he ran for president.”

Evangelist James Robison, president of LIFE Outreach International, told CP last November that several advisers were instructing Trump to avoid certain kinds of expressions of faith, especially excessive contrition for past sins, because it will be seen as manipulative and pandering.

About the Author

Brandon Showalter writes for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: Trump and JFK Are More Alike than We May Think

On the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth there are countless commentaries about the promise shown by our youngest elected president and the grief felt when high hopes were dashed in Dallas. Remembering JFK is worthwhile for many reasons, but one set of reasons is likely to be overlooked. Our nation’s youngest elected president might be able to tell us something about our oldest elected President – Donald Trump.

John F. Kennedy and Donald J. Trump have more in common than devotees for either would want to admit.

Both were second sons of successful and domineering fathers. Both grew up in wealth and privilege, though outside the highest levels of social status. Both were rebellious in school, reckless and cavalier in relations with women, and eventual inheritors of family dreams for wider acceptance.

As young men, they both took on challenging endeavors, but were hounded by critics who said they were more interested in publicity than in genuine accomplishment. They were unlikely presidential candidates who entered the White House after closely fought campaigns against controversial opponents who had been on the national political scene far longer.

They each led political parties with congressional majorities that were deeply divided and unlikely to approve new administration initiatives. They both raised establishment eyebrows by appointing family members to senior administration positions.

There is one more striking similarity. John Kennedy and Donald Trump were pioneers in political communication. Kennedy understood the importance of television sooner and more completely than his political peers. In appearance and demeanor, if not in substance, he outperformed Richard Nixon in their famous televised debates. After he entered the White House, he made press conference broadcasts live events that won a larger audience and gave him the opportunity to speak directly to the American public without newsroom editors selecting from among his remarks.

When Jackie Kennedy gave a televised tour of the redecorated White House in 1962, her shy sophistication came across the airways in a way that was compelling and appealing. After Jack was killed, Jackie exercised close control over the visual aspects of the funeral ceremonies. Both Kennedys knew how to use television.

Trump, for all his faults, is a master of the newest forms of political communication on cable news programs and in social media. Earlier presidential candidates – mostly Democrats from Howard Dean to Barack Obama to Bernie Sanders – showed how to use computer connections to effectively organize and energize supporters. But no one in recent presidential politics tapped into the raw power of the new instruments of political communication more often, or more effectively, than Donald Trump.

So what does it mean if you are a Kennedy, or a Trump, and a groundbreaking politician in the way you communicate with the American people?

As a presidential candidate, it means that you will be under-estimated by observers who apply old standards to new practices. As an elected president, it means that you could have problems interacting with Washington powerbrokers who are more traditional in how they think and act on the public stage. As a public figure, it means you can build a larger and more loyal following than would be expected given modest policy accomplishments.

Of course, there are huge differences between Kennedy and Trump.

Kennedy had real experience in public affairs before he ran for president. Trump had none. Kennedy was able to learn from his early presidential mistakes. Trump has yet to demonstrate such a capacity.

Near the end of his life, Kennedy advocated dramatic policy changes – civil rights legislation and substantive arms control with the Soviet Union – that his successors brought to fruition. It is too soon to tell whether the big things that Trump talks (and tweets) about will be accomplished by him or by others.

The commemoration of Trump’s 100th birthday will take place in the summer of 2046. Maybe by then we will know what to make of him as a man, a communicator, and a president.

About the Author

Robert Strong is the William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University and a contributor to Newsweek.

The Rushmore Report: Dem 2020 Presidential Hopeful Says Surprising Things about Impeaching Trump

Several Democratic lawmakers have begun to openly call for Congress to open impeachment hearings amid accusations that President Trump has attempted to obstruct an investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia. But one leading contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 has just spoken out. And while he has not hesitated to criticize President Trump, his comments are interesting.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) isn’t hoping to impeach President Donald Trump anytime soon, he revealed Sunday. In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, the senator said, “I’m not going to rush impeachment. I think we need to deal with this in a very sobered way. This can’t be relitigation of an election that is now past. This has to be about an objective assessment about the facts that are going on right now.”

Why is Booker pulling back on impeachment talk while others are heating up the discussions every day, with the aid of a complicit media? The reason is simple. By seriously pushing impeachment (which they can’t pursue against the will of the Republican majority anyway), Democrats would risk ostracizing voters they need to win seats in the midterm elections.

The only president impeached since the mid-1800s was Bill Clinton. And for those who say, “Yeah, but he didn’t really do anything wrong; it was a Republican majority that impeached him,” remember that his license to practice law was revoked. Clinton was guilty of unsavory actions with young women – in the White House. Then he lied about it to Congress. For that he was impeached.

And what happened to President Clinton’s approval ratings after his impeachment? They hit all-time highs.

Cory Booker gets it. Making a victim out of an opponent whose popularity is already low makes no sense. For Democrats, even if they were successful in seeing Trump removed from office, the result would be a very popular President Mike Pence. And for them that makes even less sense.

So whether you agree with Sen. Booker’s liberal policies or not, give him credit. He’s no dummy.

The Rushmore Report: The Triumph of the Trump Middle East Trip

President Donald Trump has embarked on his first foreign trip. While traveling to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and The Vatican, Trump has met with world leaders from Iran, Israel, and the Catholic Church. Trump’s trip has provided the most successful days of his presidency to date. Count Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Family Talk, among his biggest fans. He has released a statement praising the new president.

Dobson wrote, “By speaking truthfully about Iran, by naming terror what it is and by calling upon Islamic nations to do more than they have in the fight against extremism, President Trump has taken a bold and refreshing stance, one that lays the groundwork for something altogether new in the Middle East – a coalition of nations finally ready to take a stand for peace.”

Dr. David Jeremiah, a pastor and Bible teacher, agrees. The New York Times bestselling author said, “In Saudi Arabia and in Israel, President Trump has laid the groundwork for a broad and unified coalition throughout the Middle East.”

Add Franklin Graham as one of Trump’s supporters. “The president’s speech to leaders of the Muslim world earlier today was great,” he wrote. “It was extremely diplomatic yet strong, direct, and honest.” Graham went on to praise Trump for taking direct aim at Islamic extremism, concluding, “He was not timid in talking about confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.”

Typically, presidents take their first foreign trips to Mexico or Canada. But predictably, this president did it his way. And for this trip, at least, his way seems to be working.