Six months into his chaotic tenure, President Trump faces mounting cha…

Six months into his chaotic tenure, President Trump faces mounting challenges to his authority and influence, a downward slide that his allies hope newly installed Chief of Staff John F. Kelly can help to halt.

In recent weeks, Congress has moved on a number of fronts to curtail the president’s authority. Lawmakers passed legislation limiting his ability to lift sanctions on Russia and the Republican-controlled Senate will not formally adjourn this month to prevent Trump from making any recess appointments, a tactic usually employed when the president is from the opposite party. Amid increasing concerns about Trump’s attitude toward the federal investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation this week aimed at preventing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired.

Trump is also facing the reality that his words– or tweets– are often not having their desired impact. Three Republican senators defied him and congressional leadership in opposing efforts to move the Republican health-care bill forward. His entreaties to lawmakers to delay their summer break and stay in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act were summarily ignored.

His unexpected announcement on Twitter that he would ban transgender people from serving in the military has been denounced by members of Congress in both parties and largely ignored by the military– for now. And this week, Trump was publicly chided for apparently inventing congratulatory calls from the leader of the Boy Scouts of America and the president of Mexico that never occurred.

” What we’re seeing today is that system of checks and balances is now in total response to the Trump presidency and it’s coming from a lot of different directions– it’s coming from Congress, from people in the administration and others who are more openly rejecting what the president is doing,” said former defense secretary Leon Panetta, who was also White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. “The concern about that is that it weakens the power of the commander in chief as president.”

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