PALM BEACH, Florida — It seems Donald Trump is seeking to mend the fences of a tough campaign with the help of the Thanksgiving spirit.
"It’s my prayer that on this Thanksgiving we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country strengthened by shared purpose and very, very common resolve," the president-elect said in a taped address released by his transition team — yet another end-around run on the press corps.
Trump noted that this "long and bruising campaign" has still left emotions "raw" with slow-healing tensions, but urged that in order to spur change, "we must enlist the effort of our entire nation."
While his videotaped words seem to act as a rhetorical overture to those still smarting from the presidential result of 2016, the kumbaya tone stands in direct contrast to his more adversarial remarks and actions since winning his long-shot presidential bid.
Since becoming president-elect, Trump has used Twitter — a favorite of his during the campaign — to defend his business interests in the face of conflict of interest allegations, to attempt to spin coverage of a $25 million settlement in his Trump University fraud cases, to lash out at political foes, and even to turn his nose up at Saturday Night Live, which he himself hosted last November.
Additionally, Trump has incited feuds by way of tweet with news organizations, like the New York Times, and the cast of Broadway’s Hamilton after they lectured Vice President-elect Mike Pence when he attended a performance last week.
Trump and his team have also been slow to adopt a "protective pool," a tradition that spans decades and allows a small group of reporters representing an array of media access to the president-elect, keeping them near in the event of breaking news or national security.
That tradition was bucked most blatantly in the nascent days of Trump’s time as president-elect. He eschewed precedent and barred the pool from flying with him on his plane when he went to Washington to meet with President Obama, and left our nation’s capital without alerting the press to his movements.
Days later, he ditched the press for a family dinner, going to Manhattan’s 21 Club despite a spokeswoman for his campaign giving a “lid” to the reporters assigned to the pool. The lid should have signaled an end to the day’s activities for the president-elect.
In the time since then, Trump's team has signaled that they are open to a protective pool but the practice has yet to be set up on a permanent basis. The pool did travel to Florida with Trump for Thanksgiving, but did so on a separate plane, which is unusual for president-elects.
Separate planes were, however, par for the course for reporters following Trump on the campaign trail.
And Trump has been conciliatory in other respects. He backed off campaign trail red meat, de-prioritizing his popular — but likely illegal — promise to investigate and jail Hillary Clinton.
During an interview Tuesday with the New York Times — an outlet that hours before he had called "failing" — Trump would not say he was definitively taking the option of investigating his election opponent off the table, but offered that instead he wanted to focus on other things.
“I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back. And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways,” Trump said in the lunchtime interview Tuesday.