US President Donald Trump speaks at the presentation ceremony for the Commander-in-Chief trophy to the US Air Force Academy in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Mandel NGAN
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President Donald Trump has flipped that script.In the past week alone, Trump has suggested he's open to higher gas taxes, tweeted that a government shutdown could be a good thing and called North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a "smart cookie" whom he'd be honored to meet under the right conditions. Trump also invited Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte, with a troubling human rights record, to visit the White House and insisted the GOP health plan would provide coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions, even though an ironclad guarantee is not reflected in the latest version of the legislation.Such pronouncements sometimes force Trump's top policy advisers to try to adjust administration policy to sync with the president's remarks. Trump's interviews sometimes make news to his own team.Jillson allowed that sometimes Trump may appear to be winging it when his statements are planned, such as the president's phone conversation during the transition with the president of Taiwan.Jillson said that while administration officials may feel compelled to align the policies they're developing with Trump's latest statements, GOP members of Congress are becoming more discriminating about when they need to sync up with the president's pronouncements and when they can disregard them.
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