Politics

Trump Oval Office May Be Most Accessible Ever

| by John Freund

President Donald Trump may have the most open Oval Office in history.  

Trump affords "walk-in" access to more people than any other president, reports Politico. The list of people that can simply walk in to the Oval Office unannounced is extremely long, and includes chief strategist Steve Bannon; senior policy adviser Stephen Miller; chief of staff Reince Priebus; son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; counselor Kellyanne Conway; assistant to the president and director of communications for the office of public liaison, Omarosa Manigault; White House Counsel Don McGahn; senior communications aide Hope Hicks; and Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime private security aide who followed him to the White House. Trump’s new national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, is also expected to be added to the informal list.

That is a major break from previous administrations, where the White House chief of staff acted as a gatekeeper who controlled access to the president. In President Barack Obama’s administration, only his chief of staff and the first lady had walk-in rights.  

First lady Melania Trump, is currently living in New York with their son, Barron, but it is believed she has walk-in rights, should she visit the White House.  

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Reportedly, even lower-level staff can get access to the Oval Office without an appointment. Trump has famously said his team has no formal chain of command, and has been known in the past to work extremely loosely. He even said in his book, "Art of the Deal," that he doesn’t like to schedule meetings and tends to just show up to the office each day and see what develops.  

Conway, when discussing her walk-in privileges, said, “I try to bundle my items as one and present them all together. If he is running behind on schedule, I triage and talk later or table it for later. Time is his most precious resource. Respecting it means helping to reserve it by triaging and sensing and conferring with people like Reince and schedulers. Privileges should be seen as exactly that.”

Accessibility is not the only change Trump has made to the Oval Office. According to the New York Post, Trump redecorated slightly, changing out Obama’s crimson drapes for gold ones and moving some of the artwork around.

Sources: Politico, New York Post / Photo credit: The White House/Facebook

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