U.S. President Donald Trump recently met in Singapore with the dictatorial leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, and although he spearheaded efforts to see that meeting through, according to most of what’s publicly apparent, it’s not as though he did it alone.
Now, though, as his administration continues to face a record high senior staff turnover rate and deeply embedded inexperience, the Trump White House is losing one of the top aides who helped plan that Singapore summit. Joe Hagin, the newly announced departure, served as deputy chief of staff for operations in three previous Republican presidential administrations, including those of both Bushes and Ronald Reagan before he took on the same role in the Trump administration.
Trump commented of Hagin’s departure:
‘Joe Hagin has been a huge asset to my administration. We will miss him in the office and even more on the road. I am thankful for his remarkable service to our great country.’
While working in the Trump administration, Hagin handled not just the president’s trip to meet with Kim Jong Un but also other instances of foreign travel on his part as well, and his oversight extended so far that he was even part of the process that led to the acquisition of a new aircraft to fill the role of Air Force One.
With Hagin on board, Trump has certainly made his mark overseas since taking office. His first overseas trip as president brought him on a tour of the Middle East, starting in Saudi Arabia, where he touted large U.S. defense deals with the country — despite the fact that past deals were stalled because of concerns about weapons being used on innocent civilians.
In the time since then, he has been in attendance at summits like the recent G7 gathering of world leaders in Canada, then he went straight to Singapore to meet with Kim Jong Un.
While in Canada — and shortly after his time in the country — he drove wedges in between us and our allies before going on to cultivate what he has called a “special bond” with North Korea’s Kim.
In other words, Trump’s overseas trips have been a sick comedy of errors and it’s not as though Hagin was personally keeping things in check. Things have been far out of line when it comes to the Trump administration’s foreign policy since the businessman took office. What effect Hagin’s departure has on operations in the Trump administration remains to be seen; the White House did not immediately announce a replacement.
Not only has the Trump administration been far off track when it comes to the substance of their foreign policy since Trump took office, but they’ve also had significant staffing issues. Director of the White House Transition Project Martha Joynt Kumar says that more than 60 percent of those who occupied senior advisory roles in the Trump administration during its opening stages no longer occupy those roles. Thus, Hagin’s departure isn’t the first sign of doom for the Trump administration’s human resources ability, just like it’s not the first sign of doom for the administration’s foreign policy. It’s all a part of the incompetent mess that is the Trump administration.
Featured Image via Yuri Gripas/ Bloomberg via Getty Images