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Where Trump’s Hands-Off Approach to Governing Does Not Apply
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment, while a White House spokesman said
that the president “is proud to promote a conservative agenda that has been far too long ignored by the Obama administration.”
Despite their bond, some religious conservatives have expressed disappointment in
Mr. Trump or faced pressure to distance themselves from controversial positions.
“All of the things you count on the Justice Department’s institutional bureaucracy for — thoughtful, deliberate attention to process, including all stakeholders — it seems to have been thrown out,” said Sharon McGowan, a former senior career official who joined the Justice Department in 2010
and worked in the civil rights division until departing a few weeks into the Trump administration.
And it is all across the government.”
Top White House officials have led the outreach, including Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s Orthodox Jewish son-in-law,
and Vice President Mike Pence, a staunch social and religious Christian conservative.
But these conservative groups voted for him in large numbers,
and as president, Mr. Trump has remained loyal: He appointed Neil Gorsuch, a favorite of social conservatives, to the Supreme Court, and he stocked his cabinet with others like Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The Army Corps case is among those identified by The Times — more than a dozen this year —
in which the Trump administration took a right turn on contentious social issues in court.