Balz: Judgment on Trump has been 'extremely harsh' from fellow Republicans

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics on "This Week."
10:36 | 08/20/17

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Transcript for Balz: Judgment on Trump has been 'extremely harsh' from fellow Republicans
and 6 is greater than 1. Flonase changes everything. And the powerhouse "Roundtable" is here. Dan balz, Kristen Soltis Anderson. Senior political wryer Har. Reporter: Bacon Jr., and Alex Castellanos. Not much to write about today. Let's start. Where would you rank this week in the trump presidency? He's had a lot of bad weeks. I think we can all stipulate to that. This may be the worst that he's had. Think the reason, the way you make the judgment is to look at what his fellow Republicans have been saying about him since Tuesday. And, whatever he thought he was doing Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, with his varying statements, the judgment on him has been extremely harsh from fellow Republicans. Think that really sums up the problem that he's had this week. What does that mean for him going forward? It doesn't mean the end of the trump presidency. It may mean the end of trump government. It will be impossible for him to attract good people for government. H hasn't filled out the positions he needs to appoint. He's appointed about half of what Obama and bush before him appointed at this point. It's going to be very hard to build his army to fight their army. Perry, a CBS poll shows a partisan divide. 82% of Democrats disapproved how he responded to charlottesville. 67% of Republicans approved. Yes, there was a lot of talk on the hill. A lot of talk around the city. A lot of talk everywhere. You look at those poll numbers, what to you see? First of all, you look at the polls. About 80% of rbs still approve of trump overall. Why is Paul Ryan not criticizing trump very strongly? That is the answer to the question. The polls this week, everyone opposes the the kkk and neo-nazis. You get into the polls in terms of confederate monuments. Should we take thm down. There are people with the view that trump has. The culture is changing too quickly. I think trump did speak to something in the base this week. 24% of those surveyed identified as Republicans. One thing you're seeing in the polls. The number of people saying Republicans go down. The numbers are going down between independents and -- people saying the Republican is going down. His base of support may be shrinking. And Kristen, after the press conference on Tuesday, you tweeted as well saying, I've stayed in the party because I figured staying and fighting for it was better than leaving. But the lord is testing me. So at the end of this wild week, where is your head? There was a humorous gif involved in that tweet, as well. I think what is frustrating for Republicans here in Washington it felt clear and obvious that what the president said was wrong. There were not very fine people at this rally. It was unambiguous what you would want to say in the moment. But when the RNC puts out a statement saying the president's statement was in the right. When president trump and his advisers defend what he had to say, that's where most Republicans are. And I think over the last couple of months, the leadership of Donald Trump has really sort of brought to life some views in the Republican party that may have always been there. Now have a leader putting voice to them. It's creatinging a lot of tension for Republicans in Washington who feel the need to say, this is wrong, and yet, their voters at home feel differently. Where does this go, Dan? You say it's the worst week if Washington for president trump. I think we have said that a lot. We have. Is it a turning point? I think what I'm going to say, we also said a lot. I don't think we know. I spent the week trying to reach various Republican lawmakers, strategists, leaders, et cetera. To get them to talk about that question. Where do you go from here? Not just what do you think about what the president said on Tuesday? I found very few people who wanted to talk under any condition. On the record, off the record, background. People are frustrated with Donald Trump. But they also recognize that they cannot go and blow up what I would call the trump GOP coalition because they're different. Their an amalgam. Resentful dependency. You have no choice. Gee, I gotta stake with the cable company. Boy, they treat me lousy. I'm frustrated and I hate it. Trump supporters have to stick with Donald Trump. Because Democrats have not changed. A limp Republican party that is indistinguishable from Democrats, trump is their only finger in the dike stopping Washington from flooding them and overpowering them. So they stick with their president. On a different level here, I think what a lot of trump supporters heard this week is is the Democrats are just painting us, trump supporters with a Nazi brush. We're all white supremacists. No, white working class America, death rates among white men are up, 20%. Gwen Ifill said, no wonder they're resentful. Democrats, up stead of looking in the mirror, saying the Washington establishment failed white America, they're painting us as Nazis. ? He's not the president of the Republican America. You unify the nation. Think about how Obama talked about Charleston. Dallas last year. This week, business leaders don't want to be around him. Kennedy center awards winner don't want to be near him. The family of someone who died this week does not want to take a his call. E vn jell call leader are hanging in there. But two of those three groups. America's CEOs, corporate T America, and a bunch of celebrities. If you are a trump supporter, you look T that and you say, well, okay, a bunch of celebrities don't want to hang out with trump. The media doesn't like him. Billionaires on Wall Street don't like trump, but that's okay. Trump's with me. He has unpopular enemies as well. By picking fights with the media, Democrats, he's able to get his supporters, even in moments like this where what he said was not the best. They say, he's still speaking up for people like me. This president is giving his supporters political Viagra every four hours. He's wearing them out. He's never giving them a rest. They can't remain this intense and aroused forever. He needs to give his supporters a break. They're having to defend him constantly. Eventually, they get frustrated. That resentment is building up. If -- and the pressure cooker. If there is ever an alternative, it could collapse like that. Is that really ever going to change? Steve Bannon leaving. Was saw this week. His firing changes everything and nothing. We saw John Kelly trying to rein him in. You saw the expression on John Kelly's face as he was giving the press conference. Changes nothing. Changes everything. What about inside the white house right now? Inside the white house will not change. Demonstrably because of Donald Trump. You know, general Kelly has made clear he's able to manage down. He's able to manage the staff in an effective way. He's setting boundaries. And I think Steve Bannon's departure is one big symbol of that. But managing up, which is the challenge of any white house chief of staff, is enormously difficult. He's been in there a few weeks. The tweets have not slowed down. The off -- message statements, this week, were, the biggest that he's had. So, that's the challenge for general Kelly. Certainly, Bannon's departure removes in a sense an irritant inside the white house. Because he is a grenade-thrower. He is a bomb-thrower. He has a world view that is didn't from most of the people that have still in there. Donald Trump holds many of those same views and held many of those long before he was tied closely to Steve Bannon. What about Steve Bannon on the outside at -- back at Breitbart? You have heard what he was talking about this morning. How do you see that playing out? Jt I think it depends on what Donald Trump does next. If trump moves to the center, no more wall. Not having a Muslim ban. If they move him, I think Breitbart and Ann Coulter are saying, we're going fight and stand up for the trump from the campaign. This could be another fight between the establishment in the white house and the people outside of it who used to be in the white house. I'm not sure Donald Trump is going to change very much. He's been saying the the same things for two decades on many of these issues. I think it depends on who specifically, and I mean individuals, the Bannon machine goes after. If the pannen machine turns its fire on congress, goes after Paul Ryan, Mitch Mcconnell, that will be entirely predickable. What they've been doing. If they do it more vigorously, it wouldn't surprise me. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been voices in his ear. The family, the generals, some Wall Street executives. If the Bannon machine goes after family, going after people like ivanka and Jared, that is when I think a trump-bright Bart war could happen and get ugly. Very quickly, Alex. Ten seconds. I think Bannon finds out it's much tougher to be on the outside. What is as powerful as the American presidency? Nothing. Certainly not Breitbart. I think he'll be diminished.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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