FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2019, file photo President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington, with from left, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. William Barr’s confirmation as President Donald Trump’s second attorney general cut the roster of “acting” Cabinet secretaries and White House officials by one, but some say too many “actings” are still on the job, most visibly at the Defense Department. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump likes 'actings,' experts say permanent staff is better

March 03, 2019 - 8:32 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump opened 2019 with a Cabinet that had an outsize number of advisers with "acting" in their titles.

He doesn't seem to mind, and the temporary job status hasn't kept these officials from diving into their jobs. But government experts say installing permanent people is important for stability.

Trump still has an acting defense secretary, chief of staff, budget director and ambassador to the United Nations.

The Senate has confirmed Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to be its permanent leader, and Trump has nominated acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to lead that department.

Trump says the placeholder officials give him more "flexibility," but neither Trump nor the White House has fully explained what that means.

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