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Trump and the “Deep State”

The Government Strikes Back

Trump administration officials have lashed out against the so-called "deep state" for thwarwting their agenda.  Yuri Gripas / Reuters

One of the strangest aspects of the current era is that the president of the United States seems to have little interest in running the country’s government. A political novice with no fixed ideology or policy agenda, Donald Trump took office as if orchestrating a hostile corporate takeover. In his first six-plus months as president, he has followed his own counsel, displaying open contempt for much of the federal work force he now leads, slashing budgets, rescinding regulatory rules, and refusing to follow standard operating procedures. This has cost him allies in the executive branch, helped spur creative (and increasingly effective) bureaucratic opposition, and, thanks to that opposition, triggered multiple investigations that threaten to sap party and congressional support. 

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the “

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