As ship of state lurches, Trump may re-arrange deck chairs
Chris Dann at New York Magazine’s “Daily Intelligencer” reports:
President Trump, frustrated and increasingly isolated, is considering a shakeup of his communications staff following the spectacular fallout over his stunning decision to abruptly fire FBI director James Comey on Tuesday. For their part, White House staff members don’t seem very happy, either. Unnamed administration sources, via comments to CNN, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press, have painted an unsurprisingly dour picture of how things have been going at the demoralized White House, where some Trump aides say they are eager for the president’s trip abroad next week. “We need to get the President outside the beltway,” someone close to the White House explained to CNN.
According to insiders who spoke with the Associated Press, the leak-obsessed president, distrustful of his staff, has shrunk his inner circle to his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as longtime aides like former spokesperson Hope Hicks and Trump’s personal bodyguard Keith Schiller. Three officials told the AP that Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been shut out of major decisions following conflicts with Kushner and didn’t even know Comey had been fired until he saw it on television.
Dann takes note that Trump places the blame on his communications team for the tsunami of outrage attending his firing of FBI chief James Comey. He writes:
This is not surprising, considering the president’s almost pathological inability to admit fault, as well as the reputation he earned for using his employees as human shields during his presidential campaign.
In addition, there are reports that Trump is “isolated in the White House and often nursing grievances about both the way he is being covered and the way in which his aides defend him.”
Given this chaos and Trump’s penchant for authoritarianism, now is not the time for one of those proverbial 3 a.m. phone calls.