The White House’s self-proclaimed “infrastructure week” has generated a flurry of headlines on nearly everything else.
Part of the reason the initiative was overshadowed was ex-FBI Director James Comey’s gripping testimony on Capitol Hill, which commanded the attention of Washington and major cable news networks all week.
But much of the derailment on the infrastructure rollout has been of President Trump’s own making. He repeatedly veered off message in tweets and during infrastructure-themed speeches, flouting some of White House staffers’ carefully laid plans.
“They tried really hard, and certainly several people inside care deeply about this,” said Marcia Hale, president of Building America’s Future, who worked under the Clinton administration.
“But inside the White House, you have to have incredible discipline to stay on message, regardless of what else happens. Everyone inside has to be on the same page, and that just didn’t happen.”
The White House launched a weeklong infrastructure initiative designed to ramp up support for Trump’s $1 trillion rebuilding proposal, which has yet to be fully released but remains a top priority for the president.
The administration has been under increasing pressure to show progress on the package, especially as officials seek to move past Comey’s abrupt firing and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.