MONTICELLO, Iowa — The Table of Knowledge was delving into President-elect Donald J. Trump’s plans to upend government, and marveling at how he had forced his fellow Republicans in the House to reverse themselves on gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics.
“He’s getting responses; things are happening,” Jerry Retzlaff, a retiree, said. “He got Congress to turn themselves around with one tweet.”
“There’s no secret the press doesn’t like him, and neither does a lot of the leadership,” he added. “And that’s because he’s planning on making a lot of changes.”
The eight men around a rectangular table, sipping coffee from a hodgepodge of mugs donated by customers, meet daily for breakfasts of French toast, eggs and bacon at Darrell’s diner, all while solving the world’s problems, hence their gathering’s nickname.
Washington may be veering from one Trump pre-inaugural controversy to another: unproved reports of Russia’s holding embarrassing information against him, possible ethical conflicts, the donors and billionaires of his cabinet, his pushback against intelligence findings on Russian hacking in the election. But there does not seem to be much angst in Iowa among those who voted for Mr. Trump, including some Democrats and independents.