Trump’s Transition May Struggle as Officials Decline Request to Stay On

Many Positions Remain Unfilled, Pending Confirmation Votes

President-elect Donald Trump takes office in a matter of hours, and while his team is describing the transition as going smoothly so far, there is expectation that there will be some struggles as several departments operate short-handed.

On the one hand, Trump made much of wanting political appointees in places like the State Department to tender their resignations effective January 20, meaning he is responsible in those cases for losing potential interim personnel, several figures his team requested to stay on have also declined, worsening the problem.

Trump’s own appointees include a number of people who have not been confirmed by Congress yet, meaning there will be interim successors in a number of high–ranking positions barring any last second confirmation votes. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work will be acting Pentagon chief, for instance.

How long it will take to confirm the various figures and to hire up a whole new set of officials for the posts vacated by Obama loyalists remains to be seen, though the incoming administration says they remain confident they’ll keep things smooth.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of