White House aide Mercedes Schlapp gave an insider’s look at the Trump White House to Wichita conservatives Thursday, painting the president as an intelligent and engaged executive who demands results.
“He’s wonderful, he’s so charming, he is incredibly funny, he’s incredibly smart,” Schlapp said. “His instinct is right, he has this incredible amount of energy.”
But Schlapp said that conflicts with the pace of Washington politics.
“He wants results and he wants results now,” she said. “This is where Washington clashes with Trumpism, right?”
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The slow pace and the personalities in the Senate are especially frustrating, she said.
“President Trump’s like, ‘Get me a bill, get it now and I will sign it if it’s the right bill.’ This is pretty basic, people.”
Schlapp is married to Matt Schlapp, former Wichitan, former Bush Administration aide, and now the chairman of the American Conservative Union.
“Politics in America is very messy right now,” Matt Schlapp said. “The old ways of doing things and the conventions, it seems like those have been discarded. What’s going on with the Republican Party and conservatives and Americans is, they’re looking at their country and they don’t like everything they see. They see as they look over the last decade that the country has slid to a place that alarms them.”
He mostly blamed Democrats and the Obama Administration, but didn’t hold Republicans harmless either.
“We slid even sometimes with Republicans running Congress, because some of them … weren’t alarmed enough,” he said.
Mercedes Schlapp said President Trump is closely engaged on a daily basis in trying to fix the American economy.
“The president realizes it’s about the heartland of America, those communities and towns that supported him,” she said. “And he stays very focused on task, which is how are we going to bring American jobs back? How are we going to make sure that families have paycheck increases? How are we going to ensure that companies say OK, it’s now time to invest in America?”
Part of that is tax cuts for business, part of it is relaxing regulations, she said.
Another big part of it is controlling immigration, she said.
“I think that is one of the areas where the Trump Administration is trying to be innovative,” she said. “This is ensuring that we know No. 1, who comes to our country; second that we’re able to match those individuals that are of higher skills to come into America when and if there’s a need for it.
“What we first want is for the Americans who are here to get jobs first, and then take care of bringing in whatever that gap is and ensuring that those individuals who come in qualify to come in to take those jobs.”
The Schlapps were the focus of the ACU forum, held at Wichita State University’s Eugene Hughes Metropolitan Complex.
Gov. Sam Brownback was scheduled to speak at the event, but canceled at the last minute because of transportation issues.