May 1, 2017


Trump starts dismantling his shadow Cabinet : Tensions have been rising between Cabinet officials and White House advisers embedded at their agencies. (MICHAEL GRUNWALD , ANDREW RESTUCCIA and JOSH DAWSEY, 05/01/17, Politico)

"These guys are being set up for failure," said one administration source. "They're not D.C. guys. They're campaign people. They have no idea how government works."

The White House began deploying the advisers throughout the bureaucracy in January, assigning them to report back on what was happening in their departments. But according to several sources, their meddling quickly began to irritate high-powered officials accustomed to running their own shops -- including Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, both former generals; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a successful financier; and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who had been a Cabinet secretary before.

Mnuchin assigned his minder to the Treasury basement, according to senior officials at the Treasury Department. Meanwhile, administration sources said Mattis blew up when his White House-assigned senior adviser insisted on reviewing one of his briefings. And EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's senior leadership team repeatedly clashed with its uninvited guest, Don Benton, and iced him out of meetings, according to people close to EPA officials. Eventually Trump shifted Benton to a new job leading the Selective Service System.

Some officials have also been mocking the regular meetings of the senior advisers at the White House to discuss what's going on at their agencies and how they can advance Trump's agenda, calling these meetings brainstorming sessions for suck-ups.

Posted by at May 1, 2017 6:27 PM