Tags: Barack Obama | Donald Trump | Trump | Transition | Slow

Obama Officials Surprised Trump Lagging in Low-Level Appointments

Image: Obama Officials Surprised Trump Lagging in Low-Level Appointments

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By    |   Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 12:12 PM

President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of high-profile cabinet picks, but he lags behind President Barack Obama in appointing lower-level officials in his upcoming administration.

"I've just been hearing all's quiet on the Western Front, that sort of thing," Bill Valdez, president of the Senior Executives Association, who represents high-level career employees tasked with helping to introduce Trump's people to their agencies, told Politico.

"One of my colleagues worked at Department of Labor, and they've seen one person there – very low-level staffer – who has basically just come in and said, 'Where are the keys to the men's room?' And then the rumor was that somebody at a higher level was going to come this week, but so far nobody's shown up."

At the Environmental Protection Agency, officials are ready and able to pass along information, but according to the agency's head, no members of Trump's transition team have been available.

"We're most anxious to have the transition team around," said Administrator Gina McCarthy to Politico. "We have had one individual who came the day before Thanksgiving and we have not heard from anybody since."

According to CNN, Trump has been seeking Obama's advice and opinion on his appointments, but with a focus on cabinet picks rather than White House officials. At this point in 2008, Obama had named all but one of the dozen most important roles in the White House. Trump has only appointed four people to those same positions.

"That's your decision-making structure," Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project and presidential historian, said of the West Wing staff to Politico. "There's so much information for policy, for appointments and even for your publicity -- there's a lot that you need to assemble."

And despite appointing three generals to his cabinet, Trump has neglected one area of the military: the Air Force.

There's been "one big meeting about Air Force issues" including "Air Force civilian and military leaders," Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Politico.

"I know one of the transition team members, so I have kind of had informal discussions," she said. "It is going as planned. That's my take. If anything, the indication I get is the desire to increase the topline of defense."

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President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of high-profile cabinet picks, but he lags behind President Barack Obama in appointing lower-level officials in his upcoming administration. "I've just been hearing all's quiet on the Western Front, that sort of thing,"...
Trump, Transition, Slow
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2016-12-08
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 12:12 PM
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