Donald Trump’s executive orders — especially his immigration ban on refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries — have dominated the past two weeks of news and have already affected hundreds of thousands of people. Would you be surprised to learn that the president may not be reading all of these orders before he signs them? That’s what a behind-the-scenes account from the New York Times more than implies, and this has reportedly caused great embarrassment within the White House.
The report details how Trump has been “frustrated” with all of the backlash on his travel ban. Yet he’s possibly even more upset about the executive order that names former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon (who was already acting as chief strategist) to a permanent position on the National Security Council. That order has infuriated many and caused folks to wonder who’s really in charge in Washington, D.C., maybe for more reasons than one.
Trump allegedly was not briefed on this order before signing — an oversight that has sent White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus scrambling to create a new “conventional” protocol before executive orders are deployed:
Mr. Priebus has created a 10-point checklist for the release of any new initiatives that includes signoff from the communications department and the White House staff secretary, Robert Porter, according to several aides familiar with the process.
Mr. Priebus bristles at the perception that he occupies a diminished perch in the West Wing pecking order compared with previous chiefs. But for the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.