President-elect Donald Trump plans to give his Cabinet secretaries and top aides significant latitude to run their federal agencies, marking a sharp departure from Barack Obama’s tightly controlled management style, according to people involved in and close to the transition.
Members of Congress, transition team officials, real estate lawyers, lobbyists and executives in New York who know Trump expect him to be a chairman-of-the-board style manager in the White House.
Trump, they say, doesn’t usually like getting into day-to-day minutiae or taking lengthy briefings on issues. He doesn’t have particularly strong feelings on the intricacies of some government issues and agencies, these people say, and would rather focus on high-profile issues, publicity and his brand.
And he’s expected to grant his Cabinet lots of autonomy — at least until he sees something as a problem or an issue involves significant publicity or money.
Trump is encouraging his top administration officials to make a splash in the first six months of his presidency, according to people involved in the transition and others who have spoken to them. “He wants them to totally shake these agencies up,” one person involved in the transition said. “He doesn’t want them to do business the same old way.”
People who have worked with Trump for decades say he often talks about big-picture strategy with his executives but then leaves details and execution to others.
“You’d go several days when you wouldn’t hear from him,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide. “Then, he’d ask you ‘Are we on this? What’s going on with this? What’s happening there?’ If there’s something he wants done, he doesn’t do well with you telling him it’s not done yet.”
Trump likes to tell several people to handle an issue, creating competition, and seems to enjoy the chaos of his top advisers and aides disagreeing, people close to him say. He often likes playing people off one another, current and former aides say.
He can become obsessed with seemingly unimportant details — like the color of a floor in a hotel, or the exact dollar amount of a check, these people say. But unless he becomes interested in a project or issue, or unless it involves large sums of money or publicity, he stays away. “He tends to micromanage the budget,” Nunberg said.
He doesn’t like to be presented with long manuals and has a short attention span, these people say.
Louise Sunshine, a former Trump Organization executive who worked with him directly for 15 years, said he rarely told her “exactly what to do.” Trump, she says, will be involved in overall strategy, giving some direction but letting “Pence and Reince take care of most of it.”
Trump might be mostly hands off in some cases, but might get involved in matters he deems important enough. This confirms to me that there might be conflicting goals and miscommunication, I can clearly see Trump leaving tasks up to his secretaries - one of them cause a controversy or results didn't happen quick enough and then Trump firing them. However, the reasoning of the failure is partially because of the how the administration is structured.