US. President Donald Trump speaks to the media when he leaves the White House in Washington, USA, for Camp David on January 6, 201
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was in no hurry to find a permanent replacement for a quarter of his cabinet, which is currently acting as a deputy, because it gives it "more flexibility".
"I'm in no hurry," Trump told reporters as he left for Camp David in the US for presidential retreat for part-time government meetings. About a quarter of the US government has been closed for more than two weeks, and about 800,000 government employees were either fired or working without pay.
"I like to play. That gives me more flexibility. Do you understand that? I like to play. So we have some who act. We have a great, great cabinet, "said Trump. He did not explain why they give him more flexibility.
There are 24 Cabinet-level positions, and currently six are staffed by individuals working in office following the retirement of members who are confirmed by the US Senate.
In addition to the White House Chief of Staff and the Vice President, Cabinet members must be confirmed by the Senate. Federal law allows presidents to temporarily fill vacancies by appointing deputy department heads who are already employees there.
Last month, Trump said he was in no hurry to name a new defense minister after Jim quit Mattis over political differences, and he praised acting secretary Patrick Shanahan.
David Bernhardt is Deputy Secretary of the Interior Division, while Matthew Whitaker is Attorney General. Andrew Wheeler is Deputy Chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, while Mick Mulvaney is the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Jonathan Cohen is United Nations Ambassador.
In the first two years of Trump's presidency, the turnover rate among senior advisers was 65 percent, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe