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President Trump's First 100 Days

In Their Own Words: Experts on Donald Trump’s Presidency

We talked to historians, activists, authors, and White House veterans on how President Donald Trump's first 100 days measure up against his predecessors. Here are some more of their takeaways.

His changing views

"He's almost unique in that he's a president who does not feel that because he made a statement six months ago that it has some degree of commitment" — Michael Beschloss, presidential historian and MSNBC contributor

Getting credit (or not)

"I actually think the president and the White House are doing significantly better than they're getting credit for. I have been there. There is always an impatience in the press" — John Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush

The honeymoon?

"In what's typically the honeymoon period, Democratic or Republican presidents will have the highest favorability numbers of their presidency. If this is his honeymoon period, my God" — Cornell Belcher, Democratic strategist

RELATED: Special Report on the Start of a Presidency

On social media

"The way that he has mastered social media to go around mainstream media and get his message to the American public is unique. It's something I imagine future presidents will continue to do" — Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots

Jobs

"He gets certain truths out by pitting Boeing against Lockheed or Ford against GM and Pfizer against Merck. He doesn't want some banal trade association pablum given to him" — Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Studies at Yale School of Management

RELATED: President Trump's First 100 Days: Full Coverage

Mixed messages

"It's unclear who actually represents the administration. You have the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the UN Ambassador and the White House spokesman all saying different things. Which one is operative?" — Heather Hurlburt, director of the New Models of Policy Change initiative at New America

On his tactics

"If you're a major corporation now and you want to open a plant in Mexico, someone will raise the issue 'Is that a good idea under this president?' He's put fear in their hearts and that's a good thing" — Chris Ruddy, Newsmax CEO and friend

A nation divided

"You listen to shows on the left and 'My gosh, it's chaos and craziness and nothing is happening,' and then you listen to shows on the right and it's 'This guy is getting Gorsuch through, we love the cabinet, he's doing executive orders'" — Tevi Troy, historian and former HHS official under President George W. Bush

An unexpected crisis

"Every president in the modern era comes in with an agenda, but what really tests the mettle of a president and what makes them go down in history is how they handle the crises that come their way that weren't part of their agenda." — Margaret O'Mara, history professor at University of Washington and former Clinton official

The attacks

"Almost every day he violates norms of behavior that have protected democracy for a long time, whether it's attacking the courts, or his predecessor, or the press in ways that go far beyond what modern presidents have done." — Jonathan Alter, MSNBC analyst and author of The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope

His (shifting) beliefs

"There's no ideological coherence that underpins his presidency, which is why when one thing falls apart, the White House can't turn to something else" — Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign