President Trump’s Leaky, Chaotic and Intrigue-Ridden Ship of State

In Governing and the Cabinet On

A leaky White House is not the only consequence of Mr. Trump’s chaotic management style, and maybe not even the most important. Mr. Trump’s cabinet officers are having a terrible time getting their departments up and running — and building their own leadership teams — in part because they are having to deal with a small army of 500 Republican advisers, lobbyists and itinerant campaign workers appointed by the White House to oversee the transition from one administration to the other.

These loyalists, organized in “beachhead teams,” have evolved into a kind of shadow government, meddling in operations and carrying reports of disloyalty, real or imagined, back to their overseer in the White House, Rick Dearborn, a former Jeff Sessions aide who runs the transition and plays a big role in shaping policy, such as it is.

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