Defenders of the Faith in Government

In Governing and the Cabinet, Uncategorized On
- Updated

Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce and a wealthy private businessman, was asked for his first impressions of government service. “I thought the quality of people in the government was not as high as it has turned out to be,” he said. “There are actually quite a lot of very good, very serious, very intelligent people wanting to do their best.”

He should tell his boss.

President Trump, ensconced in his scandal-plagued White House, hasn’t paid much attention to the two million federal employees who report to him, unless he’s cutting their numbers, slashing their budgets or wondering on television, “What do all these people do?”

Mr. Trump has barely set foot inside a federal agency since his appalling trip to the Central Intelligence Agency on Jan. 21, when he stood before a wall carved with the names of officers killed on duty, fabulizing about his inauguration crowds. He also visited the Department of Homeland Security in January. This month, after he fired James Comey, the F.B.I. director, the president scrapped a conciliatory visit to F.B.I. headquarters after learning that he would not be welcome. Mr. Trump has spent more time with members of Mar-a-Lago than with members of the federal work force.

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