Instead of reading wordy, detailed policy reports, Trump likes pictures
President Donald Trump is still settling into the Oval Office, but he's rapidly changing White House life from the way things were during President Barack Obama's administration. Decor has been altered, White House staffers have been swapped out and, according to a new report from the New York Times, key briefing documents have been shortened and loaded up with visuals — because that's the way the president likes them.
According to the New York Times:
And while Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps.
Donald Trump is not a reader. During the presidential campaign, the Washington Post noted that Trump hadn't read any biographies of presidents, and wondered about his reading habits. "I never have" time to read, Trump said, according to the paper. "I'm always busy doing a lot. Now I'm more busy, I guess, than ever before."
There is, however, one subject area which he is happy to do extensive reading on: Donald Trump.
"Apparently somebody's job responsibility is to find all this stuff and to organize it for him to read," said former Apprentice winner Randal Pinkett in an interview with the Guardian in the summer of 2016. "I can only conclude that Donald loves reading about Donald." (The Washington Post reported the same thing.)
While "lots of graphics and maps" as a requirement for presidential attention might not, at first blush, seem like an encouraging data point for Trump's policy acumen, it's still an improvement. Reports during the presidential transitions said Trump was opting out of certain intelligence briefings altogether on the grounds that he's a "smart person." Baby steps, as they say.