Recent days in the White House have not been the brightest for staff members. The exits of a few high profile members of Trump’s team, most notably long-time Trump loyalist Hope Hicks, have left other staff looking for a quick way out. They’re having no luck landing a new job elsewhere, because it seems there’s little demand for workers with skills like lying on the fly and bungling policy.
‘A former White House official said he’s spoken with more aides inside the White House who are trying to leave the administration, but not necessarily getting the kinds of high-paying offers in the corporate world as former aides usually do.
‘”Things are still pretty bleak inside the White House,” the source said. “I’ve talked to several people in the last week trying to find a way out, but they can’t get out because no one is really hiring people with Trump White House experience. Not a fun time to say the least.”
Hicks’ departure came after an eight-hour session of testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, in which she avoided answering as many questions as possible, but eventually admitted that she’s been asked by members of Trump’s White House to tell “white lies” on their behalf. Other top aides to have left in recent days include Rob Porter, who was dating Hicks at the time, after it was revealed that his security clearance had been held up due to restraining orders and allegations by two ex-wives of domestic violence.
NEW: Hope Hicks has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal fees, @GabrielSherman reports. “She’s in immense personal jeopardy,” one Republican says. “This is a sign the Mueller investigation is a lot more serious than anyone of us thought.” https://t.co/iyQnxqnWAU
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 1, 2018
A “top adviser and communications official to Jared and Ivanka,” Josh Raffel, is also exiting. His departure means that the man who Trump’s daughter and son-in-law say they always called in “times of crisis,” a man who also served on the communications team, is leaving yet another void to fill.
Officials who are left are left to carry the burdens of their own scandals as well as the president’s. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has drawn increasing scrutiny over his own failure to gain security clearance and now faces even more backlash with the revelation that after meetings in the White House with officials from Citigroup and private equity firm Apollo, Kushner’s family received numerous loans to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Breaking News: One company lent the Kushners' business $184 million. Another put up $325 million. Both had held White House meetings with Jared Kushner. https://t.co/WczexQIZJw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 1, 2018
Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly called his own position in the White House a “punishment” on Thursday.
‘The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess.’
Speaking at DHS event, John Kelly says "The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess." pic.twitter.com/bmNuthTYS9
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) March 1, 2018
Trump himself is not exactly in the best place emotionally, either. As Mueller’s investigation into the alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian government operatives drops new bombshells daily, Trump appears desperate. Aides say he is “going rogue” and off-script more often than usual, this time in terms of policy.
Trump’s bipartisan meeting with members of Congress, for instance, went off the rails as Trump defied his own party’s position on gun law reform, calling on law enforcement to “take guns first” and offer “due process second,” which is not exactly the way the Second Amendment works.
Just so we are clear, these words have literally been the caricature of the NRA’s fundraising bogeyman “Democrat” for decades. (Democrats who support tougher gun laws believe in due process because, unlike Trump, they value democracy and rule of law). https://t.co/LJiEWwUxug
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 28, 2018
Rep. John Thune (R-SD) had no words after the televised meeting.
‘I don’t know. You saw it, right? It was wild. I just I think the president’s going to have to narrow his list of issues that he would like to see addressed and figure out…what’s realistic.’
Realism is not exactly Trump’s strongest suit, and it seems that keeping loyal staff around him isn’t, either.
Featured image via Getty/Win McNamee