Perspectives

White House Is Often in Turmoil but It Reflects the Style of President Trump


Posted on:

< < Back to

This White House is run differently than the West Wings of past Presidents. Those were based on fairly rigid protocols, roles, traditions and procedures. This White House is not the norm. It sometimes appears to be chaotic but it actually reflects the temperament, the personality and the style of its primary occupant – President Donald Trump.
“It’s not better or worse…it’s just what the President wants,” says TIME Washington Correspondent Philip Elliott.
Some traditional roles are quite different than with past Presidents. For example, the Chief of Staff position usually is a strong position and the Chief often has acted, in the past, as almost a surrogate President. Long-time Washington veteran Reince Priebus holds that position but most assuredly does not have the power of past Chiefs.
Instead, under President Trump, that power role is most often played by Vice President Mike Pence, according to Elliott. He says that Trump relies on Pence for traditional Washington power and procedure. The President feels some comfort with Pence around him. Pence allows Trump to be Trump – unpredictable and transparent.
Despite his ongoing battles with the news media, President Trump is one of the most transparent Presidents in modern times. He often says what he feels or uses Twitter to transmit it directly to millions of people, says Elliott.
He has a rotating group of people that he brings close to him, depending on his mood and the issue. He will be close to one person one day and another on the next day. It sometimes seems totally random, according to Elliott.
President Trump also is learning the relationship between branches of government especially between the executive and the legislative branches.
The Trump administration, for example, has sent a proposed budget to Congress that according to most observers is “dead on arrival.” According to most pundits, it has no chance of passing in anything close to its present form.
One senior Senate staffers called it nothing but “pixie dust”, according to Elliott.
Yet, Trump submitted this budget with its slashing provisions — because he said he would, says Elliott. If it doesn’t get passed, then Trump can shift all blame to Congress – regardless the fact that the Congress is predominantly Republican.
Unless there is a major legal problem with the Presidency, Elliott truly doesn’t see it changing much throughout the remainder of Trump’s term. In short, the Presidency is the way Trump wants it to be – unpredictable, volatile and powerful.