Monday 26 June 2017

'Trump adviser' is contradiction in terms amid chaos at the White House

White House Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway smiles with chief strategist Steve Bannon in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on January 23, 2017 Picture: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
White House Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway smiles with chief strategist Steve Bannon in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on January 23, 2017 Picture: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Timothy L O'Brien

Rex Tillerson, who ran Exxon Mobil for a decade before signing on as Donald Trump's secretary of state, is reportedly "baffled" that the White House didn't consult him on its controversial executive order restricting travel and immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries.

James Mattis, who retired as a four-star Marine Corps general and supervisor of the US Central Command before becoming Mr Trump's secretary of defence, is said by the Associated Press to be "particularly incensed" about exactly the same thing.

Both men - seasoned, thoughtful managers with bucketloads of experience and insight - probably thought Mr Trump recruited them to his cabinet to be trusted advisers. They may be in for more surprises, however, because there's a good chance that Mr Trump sees them merely as hood ornaments atop the little engine of state he's building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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