The White House is scrambling to find a way to convince President Donald Trump that his new national security strategy isn’t going to make a dent in the nation’s national security challenges.
The president has repeatedly insisted that the strategy is the most important thing he’ll do in his second term, despite the fact that it has been criticized for having a weak, incremental approach to national security.
In a speech Thursday in Colorado Springs, Trump acknowledged that the new strategy is far from being implemented, saying that he still needs to work with Congress on it.
The White House said Friday that Trump will visit the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department this week to review the strategy.
Trump said that he’ll also meet with national security experts, including former national security adviser retired Gen. Michael Flynn.
But he didn’t say what the plan would be.
In his speech Thursday, Trump said the strategy’s key element is a plan to “get the American people to believe in the concept of our great, American ideals, of our American values, of the American way of life.”
He called for Americans to “wake up to the fact our country is a great nation and our way of living is not just about the military, but it is about the culture, the way of our country.”
“But I don’t think it’s going to be easy,” Trump said.
“The idea that we’re going to turn this around overnight is just not going to happen.
The people of this country have a tremendous amount of faith in us, and they’re not going take this lightly.
They’re going, ‘We’ll keep trying, and we’ll keep fighting, and eventually it’s gonna get done.'”
The Trump administration has struggled to find allies in Congress to implement the strategy, which has been championed by former GOP National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and retired Gen., Lt.
Gen. Keith Kellogg, both of whom are also White House advisers.
The Trump administration said Thursday that Kellogg will be visiting the Capitol to talk to lawmakers about the plan.
“We are still working out how best to work together with the Senate to get it implemented, but our focus right now is working with our allies to make sure it’s done,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday.
The Trump strategy, like other major security policy initiatives, has faced criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said that the Trump administration’s strategy lacks a “sense of urgency.”
“The president’s policy of national security is in disarray,” Cotton said.
He added, “It’s not as though we have a plan that we can implement.
It’s just as though there’s no one that knows what we’re doing and why.”
But former Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, told ABC News Friday that the administration’s failure to find an appetite among lawmakers for implementing the strategy has made it a “failure to live up to any expectations.”
“They can’t afford to be this ineffective, which is why they’re throwing around the phrase ‘MakeAmericaGreatAgain’ and calling it a ‘new strategic framework,'” Stockman said.
“It doesn’t do what they promised.
It doesn’t accomplish what they said it would do,” Stockman added.
Trump, who is traveling through South Carolina Friday, has been under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans alike for the strategy to not include a strategy for countering radical Islam and focusing on preventing domestic terrorism.
A New York Times report Friday said that Trump has repeatedly promised the strategy will address the country’s Islamic roots.
The White National Committee said Friday it has not received any calls from members of Congress about implementing the plan, though Trump has tweeted that the plan is in the “works.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
“Now is the time to show our nation what it is all about.”
Trump has also been accused of being slow to make significant policy changes in his first 100 days in office, but his administration has also had a rocky start in trying to find its footing after a year of turmoil that began with Trump’s departure from the hotel at the center of the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.