US President Donald Trump waves to the press as he walks out of St. John's Church in Washington, on Sunday, September 3, 2017. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump is entering a critical fall following an endless summer of crises, plagued by low approval ratings, growing tensions with Republican lawmakers, a nuclear standoff with North Korea and multiple investigations into whether Trump’s election campaign aides colluded with Russia.
Last month was a difficult month for Trump and even Republicans acknowledge the scale of the challenges Trump faces in September.
In August, Trump hit one of the low points of his presidency and tarnished his credibility and moral authority over his response to the white supremacist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I think it is fraught with peril, politically,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak said. “It’s not about getting victories, it’s about surviving and thinking about the rest of the fall,” Mackowiak added.
More than half of voters are convinced he is bent on tearing the country apart, according to one recent Fox News survey.
Some Republicans are distancing themselves from Trump already. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, has reportedly not spoken to Trump for several weeks.
Trump is expected to end a program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. He is threatening to terminate NAFTA and tear up a trade deal with South Korea. He also pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, despite his conviction for contempt in a case linked to racial profiling.
Such measures by the president have deepened the estrangement between Trump and senior Republican leaders in a way that could make it more difficult for him to pass key agenda items, including tax reform.
Late last month, Trump blamed the leadership of his own Republican Party for a legislative "mess" over raising the US debt ceiling.
In July, Trump suffered a humiliating blow as a small group of Republican lawmakers dealt him a stinging legislative defeat by voting against healthcare reform to replace Obamacare.
Trump has also been overwhelmed by turmoil in his own political inner circle in the White House.
His fiery rhetoric appears to be exacerbating the North Korean situation and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is showing he is not cowed by the US president.

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