Team of Vipers
Cliff Sims
Contributed by Shemika Thormahlen
Chapter 14

Working for Trump is very difficult for many reasons. In one instance, the President and his officers disagreed on the best approach to use in fighting drug use among Americans: “Over two million Americans were suffering from an addiction to opioids, which were now killing more people on an annual basis than car accidents. Trump had campaigned on doing something about this epidemic, which he had already declared a national health emergency.” Trump realises that drug use is a serious problem to the nation and, if not addressed adequately, would cause massive problems in the United States. When his officials advised him to create a website from where they will provide information to inform young people on the impacts of drugs, Trump responded: ““We need to scare kids so much that they will never touch a single drug in their entire life,” he began, leaning back and rocking slowly. “What about ads? Can’t we make ads? I want to make ads. Just give this to Cliff and let him make the most horrifying ads you’ve ever seen. Could you do that?”” While Sims and his colleague saw their initial proposal to be much better than what the President was proposing, they were confronted with a situation where they would have to implement a policy in which they do not have faith in.

The President is always involved in some form of controversy. He could be defending his actions or accusations, or firing salvos at his opponents. Sims narrates that “Everyone in the Trump White House had been buffeted by so many outrageous news stories and allegations—a fair number of them false or only partially true—that the temptation was to deny everything first and revise as needed. The President seemed to do that himself with some regularity. Also, since Porter was personally well-liked among most of the senior staff, they seemed to readily dismiss such awful allegations and to offer Rob their support without hesitation.” In some cases where the President faced far-reaching accusations over his past actions, he refused to let professionals handle the case; instead, he always made sure that he used his mechanisms to address the problems. While Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the Press Secretary who was tasked with the responsibility of making official communication from the White House, there were numerous times when her job was prevented from being executed. “Sarah’s entire approach to the job was different from Sean Spicer’s. The first half of every Press Secretary’s day revolves around preparation for the afternoon press briefing. Sean would have an upward of twenty-five staff arrayed around his office, throwing out topics and questions while he chewed and swallowed about thirty-five pieces of gum before lunch. These prep sessions were disorganized free-for-alls, frequently derailed by a combination of Sean’s lack of discipline and staffers spitballing random thoughts.” Thus, while Huckabee Sanders was a top professional who was exceedingly diligent in her work, she was — in many instances — prevented from executing her duties by the political machinations, and the unpredictability of her boss. Many professionals serving in the White House faced the same problem.

The Parklands shooting incident was one of the most devastating events in the presidency of Trump. In this case, he reacted like a true Commander-in-chief that was in charge of the country. In his address to the nation, the President showed genuine remorse to the victims and he wanted to fly there immediately, had it not been for the logistical problems that characterize such events: ““I’m going to Florida tomorrow,” he said emphatically. “I don’t care what they have to do. I’m going to Florida, okay? I want you to go right now, find Tony, and you tell him that I’m going to Florida. I’m sick of them telling me no. I want to go to Parkland. I want to see these people. And you go tell them right now that they better figure it out. Okay? That’s it.”” In this regard, it was evident that Trump was a leader who was genuinely concerned with the life of people. The shooting incident affected him emotionally and he wanted to do anything possible to help the families who had gone through the ordeal.


Working for Trump has proven to be exceedingly difficult. Although he has a lot of professionals by his side to advise him, he always took charge of the decision-making process because he always desired to have his way. Individuals such as Huckabee Sanders and Sims were employed on the account of their professionalism and they were required to act within the dictates of their training. Some of the poor decisions that Trump made were as a result of his failure to listen to his professionals. As a leader, it is advisable for him to create an opportunity for his advisors and other professionals to execute their mandate.

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