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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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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