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President Donald Trump pauses while speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, Jan. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Fact vs. Fiction: A Second Look Back at Two Years of Trump

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019

Back in the early months of Donald Trump’s presidency, I took a playful stab at imagining a retrospective “view from 2019” of his first two years in office. Given that it’s now 2019, it’s only fair that I compare my predictions with how things have actually turned out. Unsurprisingly, I was off on many of the details. On the broader themes, I was closer to the mark—with one major exception, where I was flat-out wrong.

To begin with the details my fictional narrative missed, I wrongly assumed that the so-called adults in the room, who were ascendant within the administration at the time, would not only stick around but also continue to normalize Trump’s presidency. The events of the past two years have made it clear that this was too optimistic. With the resignation in December of Defense Secretary James Mattis, the last of the adults—and the last of “Trump’s generals”—have parted company with their impulsive boss, a procession of exits that began with the unceremonious firing-by-Twitter of then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in March 2018, less than a year after my column appeared. ...

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