Politico reports: As White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus mused to associates that telling President Donald Trump no was usually not an effective strategy. Telling him “next week” was often the better idea.
Trump would impulsively want to fire someone like attorney general Jeff Sessions, create a new wide–ranging policy with far–flung implications like increasing tariffs on Chinese steel imports or end a decades–old deal like the North American Free Trade Agreement. Enraged with a TV segment or frustrated after a meandering meeting, the president would order it done immediately.
Delaying the decision would give Priebus and others a chance to change his mind or bring in advisers to speak with Trump – and in some cases, to ensure Trump would drop the idea altogether and move on.
Publicly, the White House has pushed back against Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggesting Trump must be managed like a toddler – he called the White House an “adult day care center” on Twitter Sunday. In a separate New York Times interview, Corker said aides are forced to spend their days trying to keep the president from going off the rails.
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But interviews with ten current and former administration officials, advisers, longtime business associates and others close to Trump describe a process where they try to install guardrails for a president who goes on gut feeling – and many days are spent managing the president, just as Corker said. [Continue reading…]