The Atlantic

Donald Trump Is an Impossible Boss

The president's unpredictability undermines his staff, depriving his counselors of the benefits of experience.
Source: Susan Walsh / AP

James Comey’s opening statement reads like the test answer you’re supposed to give at the end of the Human Resources training video. When your superior makes you uncomfortable should you a) explain your boundaries b) discuss the issue with your direct report c) make contemporaneous notes to lock in your recollection or d) all of the above.

Comey picked D.

The question of whether the president tried to impede the FBI investigation will go many rounds, but the former FBI director’s opening statement doesn’t just illuminate those issues. It is also a workplace document—a window into how the president operates. Along with other developments in the Trump administration this week, the Comey testimony offers a striking picture of boss and subordinate relations.

The issues raised are not just of obstruction of justice but obstruction of progress. How can Trump administration officials operate in such an unpredictable environment? The president

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