The White House Is Being Reset Even Before It Started

By David A. Graham

The “usually” framework has become a staple of coverage of Donald Trump. As in: Usually, you have to hire a full compliment of staffers before you start pushing them out and reshuffling. But normal patterns, as is well known, do not apply to this White House.

Consider this. The president has already had to fire his national security adviser. A deputy White House chief of staff has been shipped out, and there are rumors swirling around another. The chief of staff has been the subject of rumors more or less since he started unpacking his boxes in the West Wing. A top communications official has been fired. The press secretary is widely viewed as ineffectual and endangered. And while the West Wing is not as empty as it once was—for example, President Trump finally hired a communications director in mid-February—the vast majority of essential executive-branch positions are not only unfilled but have no nominee.

Let’s survey the damage in a little more detail. The first casualty was National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign on February 13, after it became clear that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn has since revealed he lobbied for Turkey before taking the job, and has opened discussions about seeking immunity with several investigations.

On March 25, reports indicated that Boris Epshteyn, who was a frequent surrogate for the Trump campaign and was in charge of coordinating TV surrogates for the Trump White House, was leaving that job. The circumstances of the departure are a little unclear—he had reportedly clashed with TV bookers, but …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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