Politics & History

Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?  

Louis Patterson
2.1k votes 143 voters 38 items

List Rules Vote up the political figures you think are (not so) secretly in control of the White House.

On August 13, 2018, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released a recording of President Trump reacting to her dismissal. The audio clip allegedly transpired the day after John Kelly, Trump's Chief of Staff, told Manigault Newman she had to leave, yet it sounds like Trump had no part in the decision to fire her. 

This incident has pushed many to wonder who's really making the decisions in the White House. If Trump is to be believed, someone else clearly decided Manigault Newman had to go, so how many other decisions are resolved by the people surrounding the president?

Given his proximity to the situation, Kelly is an obvious choice, as is Vice President Mike Pence, who has a considerably longer political history than Trump. Even some of the people Trump has fired, such as his old attorney Michael Cohen, could still be theoretically pulling a few strings here and there. 

However, it's possible no one in the White House has greater practical authority than President Trump himself. Perhaps his lack of knowledge regarding the Manigault Newman situation was an unfortunate, one-time lapse in communication (or maybe he just wanted her to blame someone else when they spoke in person).  

So what do you make of it all? Which political figures surrounding Trump's White House are actually making the tough calls? Vote up the individuals who seem to have an unusual amount of sway in the oval office

list ordered by
1
Jared Kushner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Senior Advisor to the President, husband to Ivanka Trump

Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American investor, real-estate developer, and newspaper publisher who is currently senior advisor to his father-in-law, Donald Trump, the ...more
2
Vladimir Putin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

President of Russia

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and ...more
3
Sean Hannity is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Fox News host

Sean Patrick Hannity is an American television host, author, and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show that airs ...more
4
Stephen Miller is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Senior Advisor to the President, White House Director of Speechwriting

Stephen Miller is an American far-right political activist who serves as a senior advisor for policy for President Donald Trump. He was previously the communications director for then-Senator ...more
5
Charles And David Koch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?
Charles And David Koch

Oil tycoons, notable Conservative benefactors

6
Mike Pence is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Vice President of the United States

Michael Richard Pence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the 48th and current Vice President of the United States, since January 20, 2017. He previously was the ...more
7
Mike Pompeo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

US Secretary of State

Michael Richard Pompeo (born December 30, 1963) is an American politician and intelligence officer serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency since January 23, 2017 after being ...more
8
Wayne LaPierre is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Chief Executive Officer of the NRA

Wayne Robert LaPierre, Jr. is an American author and advocate of the right to keep and bear arms. He is best known for his position as the executive vice president of the National Rifle ...more
9
Donald Trump, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

President Trump's eldest son

Donald "Don" John Trump Jr. is an American businessman. He is the first child of real estate developer Donald J. Trump and Czech model Ivana Trump. He currently works along with his ...more
10
Mitch McConnell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Senate Majority Leader

Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the Majority Leader of the Senate since January ...more
11
Rudy Giuliani is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Former Mayor of New York City, personal attorney for President Trump

Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani is an American lawyer, businessman, former politician, and public speaker from New York. Politically a Democrat and then an Independent in the ...more
12
Steven Mnuchin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

US Secretary of the Treasury

Steven Terner Mnuchin (born December 21, 1962) is an American former investment banker who is serving as the 77th and current United States Secretary of the Treasury as part of the cabinet of ...more
13
Alex Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Host of radio program The Alex Jones Show

Alexander Emerick "Alex" Jones is an American conspiracy theorist, radio show host, documentary filmmaker, and writer. His syndicated news/talk show The Alex Jones Show, based in ...more
14
David Duke is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives

David Ernest Duke is an American White nationalist, White separatist, Neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, conspiracy theorist, far-right politician, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and a ...more
15
John R. Bolton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

US National Security Advisor

John Robert Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican administrations. Bolton served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 until ...more
16
Ivanka Trump is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

American businesswoman, President Trump's daughter

Ivanka Marie Trump is an American businesswoman, writer, and former model. In her role as Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at The Trump Organization, Trump is involved ...more
17
Steve Bannon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Former White House Chief Strategist

Stephen Kevin Bannon (born November 27, 1953) is an American media executive, political figure, former investment banker, and the former executive chairman of Breitbart News. He served as White ...more
18
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

President of the United States

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is the 45th and current President of the United States, in office since January 20, 2017. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television ...more
19
John F. Kelly is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

White House Chief of Staff

John Francis Kelly is a retired United States Marine Corps general who is the current White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump, since July 31, 2017. He had previously served as ...more
20
Kellyanne Conway is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Counselor to the President, previously Trump's campaign manager

Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway is a Republican strategist and pollster. She is president and CEO of the polling company, inc./WomanTrend.
21
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

Supreme Leader of North Korea

Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He is the son of Kim Jong-il and the grandson of Kim Il-sung. He has held the titles of the First Secretary of the ...more
22
Melania Trump is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

First Lady of the United States

Melania Knauss-Trump is a Slovenian former model and the wife of American real estate magnate Donald Trump. They married on January 22, 2005.
23
Jim Mattis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

US Secretary of Defense

James Norman Mattis (born September 8, 1950) is a retired United States Marine Corps general who is the 26th and current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the Cabinet of Donald ...more
24
Wilbur Ross is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

 US Secretary of Commerce

Wilbur Louis Ross Jr. (born November 28, 1937) is an American investor and the current United States Secretary of Commerce. On November 30, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he ...more
25
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Who Do You Think Is Really Making Decisions In The White House?

White House Press Secretary

Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee Sanders (born August 13, 1982) is an American campaign manager and political advisor who was appointed White House Press Secretary to President Donald Trump in July ...more