For many of us in the Resistance, just an average day in the Trump presidency can seem chaotic and unnerving, with a flurry of disturbing headlines describing this administration’s latest deranged policy move or one demented tweet that can upset the course of the stock market. We tend to think that these come off the top of his head, fueled by his overindulgence of Fox News when he wakes up each morning, but that’s not always necessarily the case, according to a recent story in The Atlantic.
The piece, which interviewed former White House officials, is consistent with the many media portrayals we’ve seen of Trump – irate and overly demanding – and reveals that his aides are often given unrealistic demands that they try to ignore or slow-walk, hoping that Donald Trump will eventually forget about them and spare them the embarrassment.
Policies as infamous as Trump’s 2017 transgender military ban started out this way, according to one former official. After consulting with his staff, Trump agreed that he would avoid making a decision until he spoke with Defense Department officials like former Defense Secretary James Mattis or former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. He was supposed to speak later that day, but then he tweeted his announcement.
This was hardly an isolated incident. On March 29, Trump announced he’d be cutting aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, a move that would likely worsen issues at the southern border, and which he was not authorized to do on his own. State Department officials were not notified of his decision and had to rush out a statement.
“Whether Trump even cares about this in six months, who knows. But we’re the ones that have to try and fix it,” said a senior official at the Senate Appropriations Committee, referencing the Central America decision. The takeaway is why this is coming to light now, particularly as Trump’s scandals are closing in. Perhaps it is because they fear revelations that may soon come to light about the Mueller probe and the way the administration handled it – or could we be seeing another significant unraveling of White House staff in the near future? Stay tuned.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making