NYT: Trump White House is a hot mess

Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman had a blockbuster story in the New York Times yesterday looking at Donald Trump’s management style in these first two weeks of his presidency. Wow, just wow. The story is a must-read.

Let me walk you through a few of the key parts, and why they matter.

1. Trump didn’t read executive order putting Bannon on NSC

Glenn and Maggie report that Trump didn’t even read the executive order that remarkably put Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, while removing the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And Trump should be frustrated. He should be furious. Bannon simply put himself on the NSC without even asking Trump? And Bannon removed the nation’s top military officer, and the head intelligence, in lieu of a political operative? This is a window into Bannon’s and Trump’s soul. And it lends more credence to the “President Bannon” mantra.

2. Part of the reason Bannon is taking over is because Kushner is MIA

I’ve been wondering for a while where Jared Kushner and Ivanka have been. Kushner is a life-long Democrat, and Ivanka was always thought to be relatively liberal. But Trump’s entire administration is make up of right-wing animals, and his first two weeks of policy reflect that.

Now we have our answer. Kushner, who claimed to be coming to Washington to be Trump’s right-hand man, is busy taking care of the kids and taking in the DC political party scene.

3. Trump cares deeply about polls

I’ve been arguing this for a while, and it was confirmed again last night by the NYT. Trump cares DEEPLY about polls. He wants to be popular, and he wants the polls to reflect it. Trump flipped out on Twitter again this morning over the polls. And it’s not because, as he says, he thinks the polls are “fake news.” He freaks out because he thinks the polls are real, and a true reflection of his unpopularity. And narcissist that he is, Trump “must” be popular.

Here’s Twitter this morning:

And here’s the NYT last night:

4. Trump is unsettled and watching TV a lot.

This one shouldn’t surprise us much. Trump is apparently getting bored already and watching a lot of TV. Also interesting, that again we see Trump cares about what people are saying about him, in the public at large (the protests) and the media. Trump claims to care about neither, but he cares deeply about both. That’s why the protests matter, and should continue. And it’s why every time Trump criticizes the NYT, Washington Post and CNN he really means that he reads and watches those publications incessantly, and cares deeply about what they think of him.

5. Trump is still doing his own media strategy.

This was an interesting aside in the story. The reason that Trump is having White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer do double-duty as Communications Director as well is because Trump is used to handling his own media strategy.

This another “just wow” admission from Trump. The man is president of the United States, he shouldn’t be getting deeply involved in the details of media strategy — hell, he’s not just involved, he seems to have kinda sorta taken the job of communications director over by himself. Trump shouldn’t have time for this. But he does.

6. Trump has been spending a lot of time and energy redecorating the White House.

This obsession Trump has with interior design is bizarre. I’ve said it before, it’s kinda gay in a “Saudi King meets Liberace” sort of way. It’s been said that Trump is a poor man’s vision of a rich person. Well, Trump is also a straight man’s vision of a gay man. It’s all just a little weird.

7. How is all of this leaking already?

We’re only two weeks into this administration and the article notes that several dozen people talked to them for this story. Several dozen. This White House and administration overall has been leaking like a sieve. They’ve been happy to throw Trump and each other under the bus. I mean, that factoid above about him spending more time leafing through a book of window coverings than his policy memos. Ouch!

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11 Responses to “NYT: Trump White House is a hot mess”

  1. Sandra in Northern California says:

    For the record, I knew this would all happen under his leadership, and fought hard to prevent him from gaining the office of POTUS. And yes, we Americans DO have backbones, but the lesser-thans who blindly voted for him, will indeed regret it….and he can’t be removed soon enough for my taste!

  2. Nichomachus says:

    Why is anyone surprised at this. His inability to deal with anything more than a cursory discussion is not only well known, he brags about it in his book. He doesn’t like to get involved in details. He just listens to a few sentences and then makes a gut decision. He seems to be very proud of that.

  3. woodroad34 says:

    I agree with you. However, he’s started the meme of “fake news” that people (I would guess mainly made up of Trump supporters) will use as a shield, because they, too, need to be validated in their decision to have voted for him. If this all ends badly, which I’m hoping it will, that will be a double-sting for Republicans who can’t seem to find anyone who’s competent–first with Bush, the idiot drunk child and now Trump, the emotional idiot. Republicans cannot help but ruin the country.

  4. UncleBucky says:

    Apt, very apt!

    5 stars *****

  5. UncleBucky says:

    He’s nuts.

    And the more that all who can (Rather, Maddow, Muir, etc.), should carefully and accurately describe his actions in terms of what is normal and what is NOT.

    And we should all ask our reps in Congress and even in State houses to demand __PEACH PRESERVES for this feller.

  6. So Heard says:

    The siht will hit the fan even more than already happening. The sewage trump is creating is being carefully sifted through by media with a fine tooth comb and they are compiling evidence of gross mismanagement, corruption, negligence, hubris, apathy, incompetence and disregard (for the general public). Most administrations get worse over time, but few start in the sewer and go down.

  7. jimrussell says:

    Once again Trump, the consummate conman and gifted flimflam artist asks, you going to believe me or your lyin eye’s. Trumps like a dumb founded young turkey, gets hit on the head by a drop of rain, looks gaped mouthed up into the sky and drowns.

  8. viola says:

    I’m hoping to see the US have some backbone and get rid of this incompetent man, he has lowered the bar so much America will be left with little pride in itself. A dangerous place to be. I always hear how strong and Democratic the US is but is clearly crippled by the greatest con- a home grown terrorist. Whomever is in charge of beginning the impeachment process-giddyup.

  9. Niblet58 says:

    Not until they’ve gotten all they can out of him. Then they will toss him like a used condom.

  10. Demosthenes says:

    The Trump “administration”is utterly incompetent, venal, and harming America already. It’s been all of 3 weeks. Meanwhile, our allies are now wary, and foreign adversaries emboldened. When will the GOP Congress finally put country above party and get rid of him?

  11. Badgerite says:

    How many presidents sign an executive order without knowing about or being misinformed as to what is in it? Only in the Bannon administration is that possible. And in how many administrations would the person responsible for that suffer no repercussion whatsoever? It doesn’t matter that little trump gets angry at the Bannon.
    Whatever Putin knows about trump, whether personal or financial, it is a certainty that Bannon knows as well. So long as trump has the authority, Bannon will be where ever trump has the authority to put him. Regardless of what anyone else says or what is good for the country. That’s how “compromised” works.

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