Christie has maintained a cordial and clear-eyed relationship with the president. Though he carries some political baggage from his time as governor, he had credentials that few of the others considered for the chief of staff position could offer — skills that Trump likely will need in the year ahead. Among them were
- executive experience,
- political experience,
- communications skills,
- independent political relationships and, above all,
- legal experience as a former U.S. attorney.
.. Christie apparently concluded this was no time to go inside the Trump administration and to work for a president who rarely takes the advice of his advisers and whose volatility and unpredictability could prove to be even more detrimental in the months ahead.
.. The decisions by Ayers, Christie and others underscore the precariousness of Trump’s position. At a time when he will need all the strength, wisdom, firepower and support directly around him, Trump presides over a White House that is thinning out rather than beefing up.
.. The White House Counsel’s Office is understaffed heading into a year that could bring multiple requests for documents from congressional committees and the possibility of impeachment proceedings, if what special counsel Robert S. Mueller III ultimately reports rises to that level. So far that is an open question. Others already have moved out of the White House to jobs on the Trump 2020 campaign or the private sector. More could follow in the months ahead.
.. Some loyalists remain. Among them are
- Kellyanne Conway,
- Sarah Sanders, and the president’s daughter
- Ivanka Trump and son-in-law
- Jared Kushner.
But on the issue of fresh recruits, the question is: Who would want to come to work for a president at this moment, knowing that could result in sizable legal fees as a side benefit?
.. For Trump, a group of people he once counted as among his most trusted advisers has been turned into a weapon in the hands of prosecutors
.. Another person who once protected the president and is now on the other side is David Pecker, of American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer
.. Equally worrisome for Trump could be the role of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer and the person who must know as much as anyone about the inner financial workings of Trump’s empire. He has been granted immunity from prosecution in return for his cooperation.
.. People who have known both Weinsteins say they had a complicated relationship dating back to childhood that often involved Harvey belittling Bob, who frequently sought his older brother’s approval. As Bob’s Dimension unit became successful, he “became more confident and he’d stand up to Harvey more,” said a former Miramax executive.
.. Bob Weinstein was less likely than his brother to blow his top, people who worked with the pair said.
.. At the 2000 premiere of “Scary Movie,” a Dimension executive attempted to introduce his wife to his boss. Bob Weinstein stuck out his arm and shoved the woman back
.. As Weinstein Co. has fallen apart in the past two weeks, some former employees have sought to distance themselves from Bob as much as Harvey. Others say Bob Weinstein had a softer side that only people who worked closely with him got to know.
.. “Bob was a tough taskmaster and a challenging boss, but also humane, with a great sense of humor,
.. Bob and Harvey Weinstein feuded on-and-off for many years, said people who worked with them. During one period around 2003, the two communicated only through handwritten notes, which assistants passed between them, according to a former employee. “It was literally an equivalent of a father saying, ‘Please tell your mother to pass the salt’,” the former employee said.
.. Their offices, once next door to one another, moved farther apart—first to separate floors and then to different buildings in Weinstein Co.’s Manhattan headquarters. In recent years, their families have rarely gotten together for holidays or other occasions outside of work, said one person familiar with the matter.
.. In about 2011, after an argument over how to allocate the studio’s resources between their respective movies, Harvey Weinstein punched his brother in the face in front of about a dozen other Weinstein Co. executives, knocking him to the ground, said two people who were present. “I’ve been assaulted!” Bob yelled, according to those people. Bob, who was bloodied, wanted to press charges, but was talked out of it, according to a person familiar with the incident.
.. “He had the pulse of what Americans wanted at one time,” said a former Dimension executive. “Can you get that back?”