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  • Donald Trump used to brag to his executives that he had never read a book the whole way through. “To govern a nation of 320 million people, Trump will have to absorb enormous amounts of information about issues he has never confronted and controversies that blow up in moments. His former executives say that's something he does well. ‘He is a quick study,’ said Barbara Res, who spent 18 years as Trump's top construction executive. ‘You don't have to give him a long story. He picks it right up.’ But the Washington bureaucracy and Congress will have to get accustomed to a president who can't stand long meetings and has little patience for complexity, according to Trump's aides through the years. ‘He'll have someone read the reports for him and give them to him orally, real short,’ Res said. ‘He brags that he's never read a book all the way through. He doesn't have the patience to sit in meetings. We always had a hard time keeping his attention during the prep for a deposition or something like that. The flip side is that he can scan something and get it quickly.’” (Washington Post, November 11, 2016)
  • Trump’s former executives have noted that his consistent lack of preparation makes him easy to manipulate, with employees seeking to convince him that their proposals were originally his own idea. “Trump, in contrast, ‘rarely followed a schedule and never prepared for meetings,’ Res said. ‘When you brought him an issue, you had to tell him how great he was and how his way was right. But if you could get him to think your idea was really his idea, then you could usually get what you wanted.’ Several of Trump's former executives said staffers knew that the last person to talk to the boss about an issue would usually get what he or she wanted. That trait was so reliable that at least one executive, who asked not to be named because he still advises Trump, said he would camp out in Trump's office in the final hours ahead of key deadlines, making certain that his would be the last word the boss heard before making his decision.” (Washington Post, November 11, 2016)