Even though most of his Cabinet lacks a fully assembled team, President Trump has gotten a head start on monitoring all Cabinet agencies to ensure that all departments are reflecting the White House’s agenda, according to the Washington Post.
Political aides loyal to the Trump administration have been installed in at least 16 separate agencies, and their offices are located close to – and sometimes inside – the secretary’s suite.
On paper, these senior aides are in place to advise Trump’s secretaries on the White House’s take on policy matters. In reality, the primary relay runs in the other direction – the advisors report directly to the Office of Cabinet Affairs headed by the White House deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn.
John Mashburn leads a weekly conference call with the installed aides.
Although past presidents have used the strategic placement of aides to enforce control over specific departments, Trump’s blanket use of point persons is unprecedented. Opponents to this policy state that having two leaders – the secretary and Trump’s appointee – in place will create confusion and further inefficiency.