Among the secrets of statecraft which Pres. Donald Trump and his governing team have yet to acquire is the location of light switches in the White House, apparently.
A New York Times story published Sunday night said that Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller and the rest of the Trump team are currently stumped as to how to turn on the lights in the White House cabinet room.
"Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room," wrote the Times' Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman. "Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack."
Among other revelations in the article are the fact that there is tension between Pres. Trump and top advisor Stephen K. Bannon. Trump is reportedly upset that "he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed" -- an order drafted largely by Bannon.
Also, the new chief executive ends his work day at 6:30 p.m. to watch TV in his bathrobe and opine on Twitter.
"Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter," said the Times. "When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home."
While the administration tries to exude confidence and sure-footedness in its opening weeks, it has made multiple embarrassing public stumbles.
"The bungled rollout of his executive order barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a flurry of other miscues and embarrassments, and an approval rating lower than that of any comparable first-term president in the history of polling have Mr. Trump and his top staff rethinking an improvisational approach to governing that mirrors his chaotic presidential campaign, administration officials and Trump insiders said," the Times reported.
Pres. Barack Obama was known for his long work days, breaking for dinner with his family around 6:30 p.m. each day, then studying policy papers, legislative plans and reading deep into the night.
Trump is reportedly frustrated with his low poll numbers and the amount of resistance to his policies and appointees have met with the public.
Newsmax.com CEO and Trump confidant Chris Ruddy told the Times, "I think, in his mind, the success of this is going to be the poll numbers. If they continue to be weak or go lower, then somebody’s going to have to bear some responsibility for that.”
“I personally think that they’re missing the big picture here,” Ruddy fretted with regards to Trump’s staff. “Now he’s so caught up, the administration is so caught up in turmoil, perceived chaos, that the Democrats smell blood, the protesters, the media smell blood.”
In response, the Trump team is assuring itself and the Times that the awkward, early days are over, they're "stressing cohesion" and trying to "jump-start" the administration's momentum.
Meanwhile, Trump eats his lunch every day monitoring the media on a recently-installed flat screen TV. At the end of the day, he confers with press secretary Sean Spicer to go over the day's newspaper clippings, "marking the ones he does not like with a big arrow in black Sharpie."
The president is reportedly "obsessed with the décor" of the Oval Office.
"(I)t is both a totem of a victory that validates him as a serious person and an image-burnishing backdrop," the Times said, "so he has told his staff to schedule as many televised events in the room as possible."
"To pass the time between meetings, Mr. Trump gives quick tours to visitors, highlighting little tweaks he has made after initially expecting he would have to pay for them himself," reported Thrush and Haberman. "He will linger on the opulence of the newly hung golden drapes, which he told a recent visitor were once used by Franklin D. Roosevelt but in fact were patterned for Bill Clinton. For a man who sometimes has trouble concentrating on policy memos, Mr. Trump was delighted to page through a book that offered him 17 window covering options."