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Donald Trump 'surprised he cannot run the US government like his businesses', aides reveal

Mr Trump's bravado has reportedly turned into anger and frustration

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 10 February 2017 15:10 GMT
Mr Trump has been shocked by the challenge of the job he has taken on
Mr Trump has been shocked by the challenge of the job he has taken on (AP)

When you are used to getting your way in almost everything - property deals, military draft deferment, and even divorce settlements - it must be a shock to encounter something where you struggle.

But reports suggest the normally freewheeling Donald Trump is increasingly frustrated by the task of running the country. Pesky judges who don’t go along with him, the vast federal bureaucracy he has to oversee, and the whole issue of getting along with Republicans on Capitol Hill, are all getting to him.

Politico said that dozens of people who have spent time in his company in the three weeks since he was inaugurated, have said his mood has been a rollercoaster ride between anger and frustration.

The report said his frustrations stemmed from the slow realisation of the challenges of governing, to delays over his cabinet choices, and even the infighting between his senior officials. He is also said to be upset about the steady flow of negative leaks, one of which, perhaps apocryphally, told how officials were meeting in dark rooms because they could not locate the light switches.

Speaking after Mr Trump’s election victory, Barack Obama told reporters: “This office has a way of waking you up. Those aspects of his positions or his predispositions that don’t match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick because reality has a way of asserting itself.”

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But Politico suggested that Mr Trump was still reeling from the scale of the challenge he he taken on as America’s 45th president.

It said that Mr Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. When discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject “to seem in control at all times”, one senior government official said.

Frequently, he will direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or members of Congress to delay or stop him from filling positions and implementing policies, it said.

Christopher Ruddy, a friend of Mr Trump and the chief executive of the conservative Newsmax Media, said: “Running the federal government is something new for him, for sure.”

But, Mr Ruddy added, “I think if he's demonstrated anything in his life, he is a very fast learner and adapts very quickly. The man is not to be underestimated.”

Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University in New York, said Mr Trump was in essence salesman, not a businessman, and was used to having teams of minions work out the details of his deals. He had also never served in either public office, or in the military.

“He criticised Obama almost every day for not getting stuff done, without understanding what the job entails,” she told The Independent.

“But if you have not done public service, you don’t know how hard it is and how much compromise there is.”

She added: “He is the quintessential guy who stands up in class and gives a 15-minute book report and you know he has never read the book.”

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