White House to Hold Theme Weeks to Help Take Our Minds Off Russia Scandal

A previous effort to highlight U.S. manufacturing that you probably don’t remember. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

In an effort to remind Americans why they elected Donald Trump student council president president of the United States, on Sunday the White House announced three new theme weeks. Monday will kick off “Made in America” week, followed by “American Heroes” week, then “American Dreams” week.

The attempt to put out more focused messages comes amid the battle over a Senate bill that could take health coverage from millions of people, and a flood of new reports about Trump officials’ meetings with Russians during the campaign. But the White House denied that the point is to distract from those matters — or at least one of them. “Every day and every week, in a sense, is a health care week,” a senior administration official told reporters. “It’s something that enormous White House and administration resources have been devoted to since Day One.”

“Made in America” week hit a snag before it even started. As the Washington Post reports, it features a number of events intended to promote U.S. manufacturing:

The week will begin Monday with a “Made in America product showcase” featuring crafts and other items created in each of the 50 states. The president plans to issue a declaration Wednesday and deliver remarks on the importance of making things in the United States. And Saturday, Trump will travel to Norfolk to attend the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first in the Navy’s new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

But so far the theme week has only drawn attention to a recent Post report on how Ivanka Trump’s products are made exclusively in foreign factories, and “her company lags behind many in the apparel industry when it comes to monitoring the treatment of the largely female workforce employed in factories around the world.”

And, of course, many products that bear the president’s name are made overseas, as famously illustrated in this David Letterman interview:

The other issue with the theme weeks (aside from the fact that July 23 to July 30 is Shark Week, not American Heroes week) is that the person who has the biggest problem staying on message is the president himself. Previous presidents have made similar efforts to highlight a particular topic, and last month the White House held an “infrastructure week” and a “workforce development week.” But as CNN notes, most Americans missed that thanks to the Russia scandal, and President Trump’s tweets:

During “infrastructure week,” for example, Trump visited the Department of Transportation, where he pledged to reform the permitting process for infrastructure projects, and hosted a summit at the White House on the subject of the day.

But the theme was quickly overshadowed by the President’s tweets criticizing London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of terrorist attacks in the city. The week ended with the national media consumed by the blockbuster testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey and how it might affect the federal probe into allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign in Russian efforts to influence last year’s election.

Maybe start with “scandal-free week” and build from there?

White House to Hold Theme Weeks to Help Us Forget Russia