WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - Following a week of events intended to show he's delivering on his campaign promises to Americans, President Donald Trump plans to mark his 100th day in office with a rally in Pennsylvania's capital city.
Yet Trump's return to the key swing state - one that helped seal his upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November - stands in contrast to his slow progress in a divided Washington, low approval ratings, and battles he'll face in the coming days, including the possibility of a government shutdown starting on the day of his rally.
"Look forward to it!" Trump exclaimed in a Twitter message about what he called the "BIG" Harrisburg event on Saturday (April 29) to his 28 million followers. The rally is scheduled at 7.30pm Eastern time, going head-to-head with the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington that Trump is skipping.
The week leading to Trump's 100th day, a traditional milestone for early presidential accomplishments, is set to be packed with action - not all of it flattering to the young administration.
Most notable is the potential federal shutdown. The current spending bill expires after Friday, and lawmakers and the White House have yet to agree on a measure that would fund government agencies through the end of the fiscal year on Sept 30. An anti-Trump climate protest is also planned for April 29 in Washington and dozens of other US cities.
Despite the hurdles, Trump's schedule is meant to convey the message that he's making great progress, while reinforcing connections to his biggest red-state supporters. That includes the launch of an office focused on crimes committed by people who are in the US illegally, the signing of an executive order addressing protections for rural America, and the unveiling of a tax-reduction plan, according to the White House.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed that Trump has an approval rating of 42 per cent, the lowest at this point of any president in polls going back to 1945. Still, 94 per cent of those who supported him in November said they would do it again today, the poll found.
Members of Trump's cabinet will hit the road in the coming week for various events, and the White House said it will launch a web page full of graphics, videos and other shareable digital content touting the administration's achievements.
Covering the waterfront, Trump also plans to meet with ambassadors from United Nations Security Council countries, address the National Holocaust Memorial Museum's National Day of Remembrance, and speak to the National Rifle Association's Leadership Forum in Atlanta.
Trump's rally in Harrisburg is scheduled for the same time as the annual correspondents' banquet, a Washington tradition signifying comity between the president and the press. Trump will be the first sitting president to skip the annual dinner since 1981, when Ronald Reagan was recuperating from a gunshot wound.
Instead, the president plans a reception at the White House on Monday for members of conservative media.