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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

40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.

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