President Donald Trump started the week painting himself as just another helpless bystander to Congress’ failure to act on frail immigration policy and the inhumane practice of separation of families detained at the border.
But by mid-day Wednesday, he decided he’d rather be the hero.
For close aides and people who have known Trump for decades, the President’s bizarre reversal on who could fix the crisis at the border came as no surprise, according to Politico. In just 24 hours, Trump went from blaming Democrats for his own administration’s family separation policy, to declaring that “I alone can fix it.”
“Don’t worry, the Republicans, and your President, will fix it!” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
As soon as reports surfaced that Trump planned to sign an executive order to end family separation, Trump’s allies started spinning the narrative in Trump’s favor. In an effort to depict Trump as the “liberator of detained children,” in Politico’s words, one former administration official told Politico that Trump was merely “doing the right thing.”
“It’s also him realizing that he certainly can’t rely on Congress,” the former official told Politico. “And so I think this is a big positive for him. He fixes yet another problem.”
By the time he signed the executive order — which allows the government to detain immigrant families together, rather than in separate facilities, while also seeking to roll back measures designed to protect immigrant children from excessive detention — Trump was counting the about-face as a personal triumph.
“I feel very strongly about it, I think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it,” he said at the signing.