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WASHINGTON (AP) — The impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump has thrust Washington into a political crisis. And Trump keeps adding to the chaos.
In the four weeks since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., launched the investigation, Trump has taken steps that have drawn more criticism, not less, repeatedly testing the loyalty of his stalwart Republican allies. His actions have both intensified the questions at the center of the inquiry and opened new areas of concern.
Trump angered GOP leaders and U.S. allies by clearing the way for Turkish attacks on Syrian Kurdish fighters, key American partners in the fight against the Islamic State group. He brazenly announced plans to hold next year’s Group of Seven summit at one of his own Florida properties, prompting an outcry from ethics experts and members of both parties. And Trump and his advisers have repeatedly muddied their defense on the Democratic-led impeachment, initially denying some of the central allegations against the president only to acknowledge them, out loud and on camera.
“It is his persona to surround himself with chaos,” said Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist who advised Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Chaos has indeed been a hallmark of Trump’s presidency. Each controversy bleeds into the next — often so fast that the public doesn’t have time to absorb the details of any one issue. Whether that is a deliberate Trump strategy or simply the consequence of Americans electing a highly unconventional, nonpolitician as commander in chief remains one of the fundamental questions of his presidency.
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