WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hit the road next week to ramp up his long-promised plan to overhaul the nation?s aging airports, roads and railways, a push aimed at energizing his supporters and distracting from political intrigue in Washington.
The infrastructure push – which will include a trip to Ohio and Kentucky – comes as the White House seeks to refocus attention on core promises to boost jobs and the economy made by Trump last year during his campaign for office.
Those pledges have been eclipsed by the political furor over Russia?s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. That drama will come to a head next week when former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, who was leading the Russia probe until Trump fired him, testifies before a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday.
Trump – who has denied any collusion between Russia and his campaign – has struggled to keep the spotlight on plans that could give him a political lift. Holding four events next week on infrastructure and jobs will give him the opportunity to provide some counter-programming to the drumbeat of Russia news.
It is a deft messaging move, said Chris Barron, a pro-Trump Republican strategist, who says the president is at his best when he is on the offensive.
?I think we need to see Trump out of DC. I think we need to see Trump out on the road. I think we need to see Trump engaging his base, firing up his base,? Barron told Reuters.