After just three weeks on the job, President Donald Trump has found that being president is harder than he thought and is growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive the U.S. government the way he manages his family-owned business, according to aides interviewed by Politico.
The website interviewed nearly two dozen people who have spent time with the former real estate developer and reality TV star since his inauguration — and they said Trump’s “mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing.”
“The interviews paint a picture of a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high,” Politico reported. “Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.”
Sources close to Trump said he’s infuriated by the profusion of leaks revealing his confrontational phone calls with world leaders and the chaotic inner workings of his White House, according to the report.
Now, the administration is considering limiting the number of aides with access to the calls or their transcripts, said one administration official, adding that the leaks — and Trump’s anger over them — had created a climate where people are “very careful who they talk to.”
Trump already wants to shake up his White House staff less than a month into the job but knows it’s too soon, the Politico reported, and aides joke that the president would like to spend even more time golfing at his Mar-A-Lago resort.
The sources told Politico that “a culture of fear and paranoia is developing, pitting the president and his allies against the National Security Council staff assigned from other agencies.
According to the report, the White House has launched an investigation of those leaks and NSC staffers have been instructed to cooperate with the inquiry.
The Trump circle believe those career bureaucrats are out to get them, while NSC staffers are concerned the president isn’t up to the job and resent the politicization of the agency by appointing Bannon to the council.
Staffers fear Kushner because he’s so close to the president, and they aren’t really sure of his official role in the White House.
Those sources also revealed that Trump has privately expressed disbelief that judges, bureaucrats, and lawmakers are able to halt him from filling government positions or implementing policies.
“He doesn’t like this sh*t,” a source told Politico, referring to the difficulties Trump faced in getting one of his top fundraisers, Anthony Scaramucci, appointed to a job in the West Wing.
However, sources said Trump appears to enjoy showing visitors around the Oval Office, where he spends most of his working hours, keeping tabs on how his staffers look on TV news.