Remember when Donald Trump, as a presidential candidate, vowed to surround himself “only with the best and most serious people” if elected? It was right around the time he promised via Facebook to “hire the best people.”Whether he’s kept that promise or not is a subjective matter, but given the volatility in the White House, it’s hard not to get the impression that Trump doesn’t believe he’s hired “the best people” – or he wouldn’t have gotten rid of so many of his top aides.
Revisiting a recent item, Trump World has been in office for almost seven months, and we’ve seen a startling number of departures among leading officials, including:
- Reince Priebus, chief of staff
- Katie Walsh, deputy chief of staff
- Michael Flynn, national security advisor
- Sean Spicer, press secretary
- Michael Short. assistant Press Secretary
- Mike Dubke, the first communications director
- Anthony Scaramucci, the second communications director
- K.T. McFarland, deputy national security advisor
- Monica Crowley, advisor to the National Security Council
- Ezra Cohen-Watnick, director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council
- Tera Dahl, deputy chief of staff at the National Security Council
- Rich Higgins, director of strategic planning at the National Security Council
- Josh Pitcock, chief of staff to the vice president
- Sally Yates, acting U.S. attorney general
- James Comey, director of the FBI
- Walter Shaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics
- Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist
- Dozens of U.S. Attorneys
This does not include the various shake-ups we’ve seen on Trump’s outside legal team.
It also doesn’t include a variety of people the president nominated for prominent administrative posts – including some cabinet positions – who ultimately withdrew in the face of assorted controversies.
This is in no way normal. One might expect to see this number of firings and resignations at the end of a president’s first term, not before Labor Day in a president’s first year.