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Expand chart
Data: Partnership for Public Service: Center for Presidential Transition. Data for Trump includes departures over roughly two years and eight months. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Donald Trump has lost 41% of the Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries and under secretaries he appointed in his first year in office, new data from the Partnership for Public Service‘s Center for Presidential Transition shows.

Why it matters: This far outpaces the turnover rate for recent predecessors at the same stage of their presidencies — and underscores the challenges Trump may face in recruiting and retaining a new stable of top officials if he wins re-election.

Details: The center, which is launching its 2020 program Thursday, looked at historical turnover data for high-level positions requiring Senate confirmation from Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, each of whom was elected to a second term.

  • Each had lower turnover levels than Trump at this point in their tenure, measured across 15 Cabinet-level departments.
  • Each also saw a spike in resignations in Year 5, typical as first-term officials reach levels of exhaustion and incumbents seek fresh eyes and energy, the center's new director David Marchick told Axios.
  • On average, 43% of top officials serving near the end of the first term left within the first six months after the incumbent presidents’ re-elections.
  • But Trump’s turnover is already nearly that high, less than 3 years in.

Between the lines: How a president fills the roughly 4,000 politically appointed positions, more than 1,200 of which require Senate confirmation, is crucial to the administration's success. The 2020 Democratic challenger could face filling all of those appointments. And Trump could see another wave of departures if he’s re-elected, similar to past presidents.

  • "Unless you do all the prep work, you are going to wind up slow to start," Max Stier, president and CEO of the organization, told Axios. "You can't be an effective president if you're not ready."
  • The center has provided support to presidential hopefuls and incumbents as they prepare for a new or second-term administration.
  • Their 2020 kickoff event Thursday afternoon will feature a discussion with former Bush and Obama chiefs of staff Joshua Bolten and Denis McDonough.

Go deeper: Every high-profile Trump administration departure

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

5 hours ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary released Sunday.

Why it matters: The FBI drew on former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government, which led to former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

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