Donald Trump had 660 executive department appointments to make by noon today ... because at noon today, the 660 executive department managers who were Obama political appointees are out the door, no longer employed, paycheck ended. Some of the things they've been managing are highly sensitive and crucial for public safety -- disaster management, anyone? -- and Trump has made exactly 29 of those 660 appointments. America's wide ass is about to be hanging out there by noon today, and thank Gawd someone rational in the Trump organization realized they'd better be asking Obama appointees to stay on and continue to do their jobs, or crash the hell out on Day One. Last night, the Trump people begged 50 Obama appointees to stay on a while longer.
Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush got the inside scroop on why the Trump transition walks like a three-legged horse:
1. Turns Out ... Trump Is Superstitious
Trump didn't like the "bad Karma" of being too involved "in the minutiae of his transition." Whichever Trump insider Haberman and Thrush talked to told them that, "at one point, [Trump] wanted to halt the planning altogether, out of superstition."
Okay, didn't see that one coming.
2. Chris Christie Got Fired from the Transition
Haberman and Thrush document how meticulous Christie had been in laying out a rational and effective transition blueprint over six months ago. Son-in-law Jared Kushner got rid of Christie. No one was left capable of doing what Christie outlined.
Footnote on Donald Trump's inability to focus on but one shiny object at a time:
Still, there was thought put into the transition [after Christie's exit] and what would come next, including a draft of dozens of executive orders and recommendations for a communications plan to avoid “idle” time in the president-elect’s schedule that the news media would use to describe him as unfocused.
The Donald, unfocused? Say it's not so, Omarosa!
3. Trump (A Notorious Gossip) Has a New Phone
"A secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service with a new number that few people possess."
Haberman and Thrush talked to several aids who said they were relieved about the new phone, because they were tired of being "blindsided when a reporter, outside adviser or officeseeker dialed the president-elect directly" -- because Trump had given out his cell number freely and likes to yak. (He's obviously still tweeting too.)
But get this: Trump's closest aids "expect the new president to satisfy his compulsion for continuous communication by calling outsiders and by tramping from office to office in search of gossip and sounding boards."
Who's got Trump's new number? Putin?
4. Priebus to Whitehouse Staff: Don't Even Look at the Boss!
According to Haberman and Thrush, Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Preibus "informed midlevel aides that they should avoid interacting with Mr. Trump without his permission, that they were prohibited from talking to the news media, and that they should carefully restrict their social media posts, according to two people with knowledge of the call.
Trump's Law: "Do as I say, not as I do."
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