President Donald Trump's distrust of career agency officials who do the daily work of the federal government is so deep he insists on unusually extensive regular contact with key Cabinet ministers to avoid leaks, according to White House aides, Politico reported Monday.
Although past presidents have met frequently with certain Cabinet secretaries, those instances were usually when key issues arose pertaining to their departments.
And while others may consider it positive Trump consults with crucial members of his administration or makes sure his agenda is being carried out as he desires, others point to negatives in the pattern.
The main cause of concern, according to Politico, is the amount of time on a daily basis spent on meetings with Trump diverts the department heads from focusing on the day-to-day operations of their agencies and takes away crucial time from accomplishing their agendas.
One such example is CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who spends large chunks of time daily to travel to the White House and give Trump his national security briefing in person, a task usually performed for past presidents on a daily basis by CIA analysts skilled in briefing.
Other officials said it is a worrying sign Trump has not yet made political appointments for staff members under the secretaries of each department who would normally carry out the more extensive contacts with the president and other crucial work needed to run a department efficiently.
One senior agency official was completely dismissive of the importance of the frequent meetings between the president and Cabinet secretaries, telling Politico that "Everyone is in events all day long. Everything about this White House. It's a dog and pony show."
However, Taylor Millar, writing in HotAir, pointed out that without knowledge of what goes on in the extensive meetings between Trump and the Cabinet secretaries, it is unfair to be critical of such a pattern.
It would be something to criticize if the get-togethers are just an ego-stroking exercise for Trump. But if the meetings are actually used to thrash out long-term policies and strategies of a young administration and making sure the proper steps are being taken to carry out such plans, then the time is well spent.
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