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Thu Dec 6, 2018, 08:04 AM

Trump's slow-motion staff 'shakeup' stunts 2019 planning


The president has left top officials in a state of limbo and top jobs without permanent occupants, creating 'a sense of chaos.'

By ELIANA JOHNSON and BURGESS EVERETT 12/06/2018 05:07 AM EST

President Donald Trump is still looking for a new United Nations ambassador. He has no deputy national security adviser. His attorney general and EPA administrator are serving in an acting capacity, and his constant badmouthing of his chief of staff and Secretary of Homeland Security has undermined their authority.

The president once openly signaled plans to revamp his cabinet and staff after the midterm elections, calling it a “very customary” act — and his aides acknowledged that big changes might be coming. But while he demanded the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions the day after last month’s midterm elections, the once-breathless anticipation of his next personnel move has stretched into a long and awkward waiting game.

The result is an administration in a holding pattern. Trump has offered almost nothing in the way of a legislative vision for 2019 beyond approval of a new trade deal and vague references to infrastructure. His only clear priority is enforcing border security. The White House has even sent mixed signals about its desire to fight for a criminal justice reform bill that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, played a key role in shaping.

While many presidents shake up their cabinets after their first two years, Trump has turned what might have been a natural transition point into a months-long ordeal that has left many advisers in limbo, inhibiting their ability to prepare for the next two years, according to senior Trump officials and experts on the presidency.

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https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/06/trumps-slow-motion-staff-shakeup-stunts-2019-planning-1046414

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