Since the beginning of this nightmare administration, we’ve been assured — via well-placed anonymous sources — that a few sober, trustworthy people in the White House were checking Donald Trump’s worst instincts and most erratic whims. A collection of generals, New York finance types and institution-minded Republicans were said to be nobly sacrificing their reputations and serving a disgraceful president for the good of the country. Through strategic leaks they presented themselves as guardians of American democracy rather than collaborators in its undoing.
.. Last August, after the president said there were “very fine people” among the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville, Va., senior officials rationalized their continued role in the administration to Mike Allen of Axios. “If they weren’t there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall,”
.. Since then, we’ve had a government shutdown over immigration, albeit a brief one. A trade war appears imminent. Arrests of undocumented immigrants — particularly those without criminal records — have continued to surge.
.. Over the past 14 months we’ve also seen monstrous levels of corruption and chaos, a plummeting of America’s standing in the world and the obliteration of a host of democratic norms. Yet things could always be worse; the economy is doing well and Trump has not yet started any real wars.
The former Deputy National Security Adviser
- Dina Powell left in January.
- Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, announced his resignation on March 6. Secretary of State
- Rex Tillerson was terminated by tweet on Tuesday. National Security Adviser
- H. R. McMaster will reportedly be among the next to go, and Trump may soon fire Attorney General
- Jeff Sessions, possibly as a prelude to shutting down the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Adding to the tumult, a parade of lesser officials have either quit or been fired, including the White House communications director
- Hope Hicks, staff secretary
- Rob Porter and Trump’s personal aide
- John McEntee.
The self-styled grown-ups are, for the most part, being replaced by lackeys and ideologues. Larry Kudlow, the CNBC pundit Trump has appointed to succeed Cohn, is known for the consistent wrongness of his predictions.
.. John Roberts of Fox News reported that McMaster could be replaced by uberhawk John Bolton, who last month wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First.” (Bolton has described proposed talks between Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea as an opportunity to deliver a harsh ultimatum.)
.. This new stage of unbound Trumpism might make the administration’s first year look stable in comparison. That would partly vindicate the adults’ claims that things would be even messier without them. But it would also mean that by protecting the country from the consequences of an unhinged president, they helped Trump consolidate his power while he learned how to transcend restraints.
Whatever their accomplishments, if from their privileged perches these people saw the president as a dangerous fool in need of babysitting, it’s now time for some of them to say so publicly... That logic, however, only holds for those who remain on decent terms with Trump. Which means that if there’s one person who has no excuse for not speaking out, it’s Tillerson, once one of the most powerful private citizens in America, now humbled and defiled by his time in Trump’s orbit... “Rex is never going to be back in a position where he can have any degree of influence or respect from this president,” my Republican source said. Because of that, the source continued, “Rex is under a moral mandate to do his best to burn it down.” That would mean telling the truth “about how concerned he is about the leadership in the Oval Office, and what underpins those concerns and what he’s seen.”.. patriotism and self-interest point in the same direction... If Tillerson came out and said that the president is unfit, and perhaps even that venal concerns for private gain have influenced his foreign policy, impeachment wouldn’t begin tomorrow, but Trump’s already narrow public support would shrink further... Republican members of Congress like Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, might be induced to rediscover their spines and perform proper oversight.
Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood Mr. Trump’s personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.
Her title belied the extent of her power within the West Wing — after John F. Kelly was appointed White House chief of staff, she had more access to the Oval Office than almost any other staff member. Her own office, which she inherited after the departure of another Trump confidant, Keith Schiller, was just next door.
.. Most significantly, Mr. Trump felt a more personal comfort with Ms. Hicks than he has established with almost any of his other, newer advisers since coming to Washington. And for a politician who relies so heavily on what is familiar to him, her absence could be jarring.
.. Ms. Hicks said that she had “no words” to express her gratitude to the president, who responded with his own statement.
.. But as the person who spent the most time with Mr. Trump, Ms. Hicks became enmeshed in a number of controversies over the past year, including key aspects of the investigations by Congress and the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
.. Her resignation came a day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that in her job, she had occasionally been required to tell white lies but had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
.. it was reported that she had dated Rob Porter,
.. Ms. Hicks’s departure will coincide with those of other people who have been close to the Trump family members in the White House.
- Reed Cordish, a policy adviser and friend of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, is leaving his role;
- Josh Raffel, a press aide whose initial portfolio was primarily focused on Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, is also leaving; and
- Dina Powell, who had been a deputy national security adviser who was close to Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, left weeks ago.
Their absence will deprive Mr. Trump and his daughter and son-in-law of many of the aides who served as crucial buffers and sounding boards as a turbulent and politically uncertain year begins.
.. Ms. Hicks had advised Mr. Trump, according to multiple White House officials, was to tone down some of his Twitter posts or stop sending them altogether, an effort that had mixed results. She also had the
- ability to stop Mr. Trump from focusing on an issue he was angry about, and sometimes
- shield other members of the staff from Mr. Trump’s anger.
.. those in the West Wing who did not like her approach feared her power, and worried about crossing her
.. Dan Scavino Jr., the White House digital director, is the only member of the president’s original campaign team still working directly for Mr. Trump.
.. Mercedes Schlapp — who Mr. Kelly brought in as a ballast against Ms. Hicks’s influence
.. She told colleagues that she had accomplished what she felt she could with a job that made her one of the most powerful people in Washington
National security adviser H.R. McMaster called Powell “one of the most talented and effective leaders with whom I have ever served.”
.. Powell, like her colleagues, faces the question of how much influence she ultimately had on the president and his approach to foreign policy.
.. Along with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the special representative for international negotiations, Powell has been an architect of Trump’s Middle East policy.
.. Powell, also a former Goldman Sachs executive, was to many Trump supporters the antithesis of what the administration should support, given her close ties to Wall Street and support of a traditional Republican view of international affairs.
.. Powell has been lumped into what former chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon dismissively calls the “globalists.”
.. One senior White House official described Powell’s relationship with President Trump as “really trusting” and said of his first year in office, “Without her, it would have been worse.”
.. She also worked on Capitol Hill as a House leadership staffer during the tenure of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
After Scarborough recently accused Trump of blackmailing him regarding a story in the National Enquirer about his relationship with now-fiancee Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough refused to release the text messages with Jared Kushner that he claimed to have.“I’m told by a person close to Scarborough he doesn’t want to show these text messages because he views these people as sources—anonymous sources—and he doesn’t want to burn them,” CNN’s Brian Stelter revealed at the time. “We’ll see if that changes. I think it will help to have some evidence.”
.. As Breitbart News noted at the time, “it has been established that Scarborough communicates with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Scarborough has also effusively praised H.R. McMaster, Trump’s establishment Republican national security adviser, and Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser who was a former Goldman Sachs executive.” Cohn also reportedly donated to Hillary Clinton and is a registered Democrat. Scarborough has also backed Dina Powell, and Brzezinski told the New York Times she was responsible for Powell being in the White House.
.. Scaramucci trashed White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to Lizza but strangely did not have anything bad to say about his friend Powell and Messrs. Kushner, Cohn, and McMaster.
If Scaramucci is concerned about damaging leaks coming from the West Wing, he could start by rooting out the White House’s Morning Joe leakers.
.. Trump brought Mooch in to get rid of Bannon & Priebus. You would literally have to be living in fantasy land not to see that. If Trump still wanted either of those men in The White House, he would never have allowed Mooch to go after them like he did.
.. Jared Kushner has been panhandling world leaders trying to get them to bail out 666 5th Ave. Ivanka has tried to profit off of her daddy’s job too.
.. Is Scaramucci even a republican? Why is a populist White House admin stocked with liberal NY globalists? No one has ever been able to answer that question satisfactorily.
.. The Mooch is an opportunist. Like Trump he has a singular ideology. Himself. He is neither populist nor democrat nor republican or conservative. He is for one thing..himself.
.. Well we disagree on currency but Trump already told us why he likes Goldman guys because they are rich. And not sure what any of this has to do with his comms director but ok.