The purges begin in the Trump White House

Last week, Sean Spicer Resigned as White House Press Secretary, after he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci, a New York financier, as his new communications director.

Spicer expressed his belief that Scaramucci’s hiring would add to the confusion and uncertainty already engulfing the White House.

Spicer’s concerns were prescient and proved accurate on Thursday. Mark Sumner at Daily Kos has a good summary of a most unusual day:

Overnight, White House communications director Tony “Mooch” Scaramucci threatened to sic the FBI on chief of staff Reince Priebus for supposedly stealing documents that turned out to be available in the public domain. That kind of royal screw up might be expected to produce a bit of contrition, but that would be back in the world where people still have some modicum of dignity or some scrap of humility.

Instead, when Scaramucci learned that Donald Trump’s dining arrangements had appeared on the internet, he went … insane seems too kind. As told by Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, Scaramucci called him up to demand the scalp of whoever leaked this vital information.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn’t give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over,” he said. … “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can’t help themselves,” he said. “You’re an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I’m asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

Again, the contents of this “major catastrophe” were the names of Trump’s dinner companions.

But Scaramucci wasn’t done. Not by a long shot.

“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said.

Scaramucci still wasn’t done. And his attack on Priebus came with Donald Trump’s approval.

Daily Beast: “White House officials and outside allies say the president is revelling in Scaramucci’s campaign against Priebus—undertaken through cable news appearances and a billow of tweets, some of which were subsequently deleted—and is thrilled to see a top staffer placing a publicly bombastic emphasis on White House leaks to the press, which consistently infuriate the president.”

Both Kellyanne Conway and Scaramucci have described Priebus as “gone” with Conway saying that both Priebus and everyone who came into the White House from the RNC are headed for the door.

* * *

But if the idea is to clear out the RNC riff-raff and bring things back to Team Trump, that doesn’t seem to offer any guarantee that the drama is going to diminish.

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)

There might be some who wondered about Donald Trump replacing Sean Spicer with Anthony Scaramucci. Those doubts have clearly lifted. No one—no one—could do a better job of channeling all the grace, restraint, and sheer class that is the Trump White House.

I have represented employers and employees in employment law cases for over 25 years. I guarantee you that the insane rants that Scaramucci went on yesterday will get you fired immediately by any employer. He should have been out the door by the end of the day (technically, he does not yet have the job as the sale of his business to Chinese investors has yet to be approved by a committee made up of cabinet officials; they could prevent his hiring by rejecting the sale, a decision which then could be overturned by the president).

But nooo … not in Trump world. Today Trump fired the other guy. Reince Priebus ousted as White House chief of staff:

President Trump on Friday ousted his White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and named his homeland security secretary, retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, to replace him in a major shake-up for a West Wing beset by chaos and infighting.

With his legislative agenda stalled six months into his presidency, Trump became convinced that Priebus was a “weak” leader and had been lobbied intensely by rival advisers to remove Priebus, an establishment-aligned Republican who has long had friction with Trump’s inner-circle loyalists, according to White House officials.

“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff,” Trump tweeted on Friday afternoon. “He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”

The president added, “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!”

Riiight, after Trump approved of Scaramucci’s insane rants against Priebus yesterday.

Allies to Priebus said he told them he had resigned on Thursday, concluding that the internal chaos would only escalate. One Priebus friend said the chief of staff had described the situation as “unsustainable,” saying he felt demeaned by the president’s treatment of him and was frustrated that he could not assert control over basic White House functions, such as policy development, communications and even White House announcements — which sometimes were made impulsively by the president, such as this week’s announcement to ban transgender people from serving in the military.

But some White House officials said the decision for Priebus to depart was made by Trump — a decision that had been a couple weeks in the making — and that the president forced him on Friday. These officials noted that Priebus presided over the morning senior staff meeting and accompanied Trump to a law enforcement event in New York.

Regardless, his final departure was a humiliating coda for what had been a largely demeaning tenure during which Priebus endured regular belittling and emasculation from rival advisers — and even, at times, the president himself.

* * *

Trump has long been drawn to military leaders — “my generals,” he calls them — and by appointing Kelly, the president hopes to bring military discipline to his often-unruly West Wing. Kelly is expected to be sworn into the job on Monday morning and convene a Cabinet meeting.

Kelly, who is widely admired by Trump family members and loyalists, has formed a bond with the president over recent months that was fortified when he aggressively defended the travel ban policy. Their relationship has only grown stronger since, with Trump telling aides that he sees Kelly as someone who dutifully follows through on his agenda — including a border security crackdown and sharp reduction in illegal immigration — and does not cause him problems.

* * *

Kelly has a warm rapport with White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who has worked closely with him on shaping the administration’s border enforcement policy. They have built a connection over their families’ military service. Bannon, a former Navy officer, has a daughter who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Kelly is also well liked by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who sees him as a stable presence with a low key personality. Kushner has described him to associates as the kind of figure he’d like to see have more say in the administration.

* * *

Rumors of Priebus’ firing have circulated for months now. As one senior White House official put it, there was a “phony death march for six months.” But the dynamic changed over the past 10 days or so.

“It reached a fever pitch of the president complaining about Reince to all of us,” said this official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “If we heard it once, we heard it 20 times in the last week — this erosion of confidence. The word was ‘weak’ — ‘weak,’ ‘weak,’ ‘weak.’ ‘Can’t get it done.’”

Trump’s own family had soured on Priebus at least several weeks prior. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had been telling associates he believed Priebus was doing a poor job and running the White House ineffectively — a view that both Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, and first lady Melania Trump also privately conveyed to the president.

Both Kushner and Ivanka Trump were supportive of Priebus’s departure Friday, but also expressed admiration for him, according to an administration official.

The madness of King Donald Trump and his fake-royal family are spinning out of control. We have a White House consumed by chaos.

23 Responses to The purges begin in the Trump White House

  1. For Sure Not Tom

    And the rats are packing up their cheese…

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/31/my-party-is-in-denial-about-donald-trump-215442

    There are also reports that Tillerson is bailing as well.

  2. John Huppenthal

    Ugly all around? Not even close. Quarterly GDP growth just hit 2.6%

    The stock market is forecasting that will rise to above 5%, a rate not seen since Reagan.

    And, Obama averaged 1.8%

    And, the economy is the best forecaster of election outcomes.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Sad day to be you. Obama topped 5% at one point, and went over 3 several times, and he started out with the Bush economy, the worst recession since the Great Depression.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/188185/percent-chance-from-preceding-period-in-real-gdp-in-the-us/

      You are not just parroting talking points, you seem to be very parrot-like, you can memorize words and regurgitate them but you don’t seem to understand the context.

      We’re still in the Obama economy, but it is not a normal stock market, Wall Street is counting on more profits not from a better economy, but from less taxes and regulation.

      That is not a predication of a booming economy. For my sake and my families, I hope we do prosper, but right now I don’t see it.

      But thanks for playing, here’s your cracker, HalcónNueve (that’s Spanish for Falcon9, just to mess with you).

      • John Huppenthal

        We’ll see. Obama closed at 1.6% and 1.8% for his last two years in office. He got the European economy he wanted.

        Now Trump gets his chance. Trump’s biggest attribute is that unlike Obama, he isn’t making things worse on a daily basis.

        • “…he (Trump) isn’t making things worse on a daily basis.” You’ve got to be kidding! I suggest you start paying attention.
          Chaos as cover.

          • ““…he (Trump) isn’t making things worse on a daily basis.” You’ve got to be kidding! I suggest you start paying attention.”

            Bill, except for the things in your imagination, what is actually worse? And please don’t cop out by telling me to look it up myself because I don’t see where anything is worse. Indeed, I see things seem to be better.

          • Steve,
            Here’s a few ways things are worse:
            Healthcare financing is a mess.
            Banks are again being allowed to create the circumstances that led to the Bush recession.
            Mountaintops are being stripped for coal with the runoff polluting the nearby streams.
            The image of the U.S. in most of the world is deteriorating.
            Transgender military personnel are being dissed.
            Developers are being allowed to destroy waterways.
            The President tells at least two lies a day.
            The President is encouraging police violence.

            I hope that’s enough for now.

          • Bill Astle Said: ”Here’s a few ways things are worse:”

            ”Healthcare financing is a mess.

            Healthcare financing is no more screwed up than it always been. Obamacare opened more opportunities for healthcare to people but it also created 50+ different state healthcare finance programs with multiples of programs within each state. Healthcare financing has been a bundle of confusion for a while now, now worse now than before.

            ”Banks are again being allowed to create the circumstances that led to the Bush recession.”

            This I don’t know about. It doesn’t make sense to me, but, for all I know, you could be right. However, I do recall that it was sub-prime loans tailored for minorities that otherwise couldn’t afford a home that created the crisis before. That was purely a democrat idea, so it is hard to imagine Republicans going down that same road. But, who knows?

            ”Mountaintops are being stripped for coal with the runoff polluting the nearby streams.

            This is specifically prohibited by Federal Law. Where is it occurring? The coal industry is pretty much down for the count with thousands of rules and regulations restricting everything it does, and more restrictions coming all the time. How would any coal company get away with stripping a mountain top for coal minimg?

            ”The image of the U.S. in most of the world is deteriorating.”

            This is something that is hard to argue, NOT because it is true but because it is so hard to quantify. Leftist here in the U.S. hate Trump so much they just assume everyone overseas does too. The media overseas, like the media here, leans heavily left, so they badmouth the U.S. on a regular basis, but they have done that for years. Unless someone gets into trouble and then the overseas media demands the U.S. come and help. A lot of polls indicate the people overseas seem rather upbeat about the U.S., and they seem to vote with their feet by trying get here by any means possible.

            ”Transgender military personnel are being dissed.”

            Oh, Please! Transgenders and their hurt feelings do not rise to the level of “things being worse”.

            ”Developers are being allowed to destroy waterways.

            Where? And by whose standards are the waterways being destroyed? Are you quoting the Environmental Defense Fund? Or are we talking government regulations? The perspective means everything. Such a blanket statement really has no meaning by itself.

            ”The President tells at least two lies a day.”

            This is taken as gospel by the leftists. Sometimes it is three lies a day, sometimes five lies a day. The quantity of lies doesn’t matter, nor does the legitimacy of the statement. What matters is that it must be repeated over and over. Trump will occasionally say something that isn’t true, but certainly not that frequently nor is it necessarily a lie at the time he states it. It is most often a matter of how you want to interpret it.

            ”The President is encouraging police violence.”

            Yeah, I saw that video and it was ill advised of Trump to say that. It hardly makes life worse for everyone, but I will give that to you as a negative.

            Overall, Bill, I would say if these are examples of what you think are “things getting worse” and making life less bearable in the U.S., then you have life pretty sweet. Life is hardly a Gulag under Trump despite the rhetoric of the left, and we are not teetering at the edge of doomsday. Sorry to put sunshine on your parade… ;o)

      • “We’re still in the Obama economy, but it is not a normal stock market, Wall Street is counting on more profits not from a better economy, but from less taxes and regulation.”

        You are an amazing piece of work, Tom. You not only base politics on wishful thinking, you base economics on the same wishing. Seven months into a new administration and you still want to give credit to Obama. The weed is befuddling your thinking, Tom. And as far as your analysis of what makes Wall Street work, I trust you do not manage your own portfolio because you are about as out to lunch on your analysis as it is possible to be. It took you a long to develop your gonzo theory on Wall Street, but it was wasted time. You need to go back to the drawing board, Tom…

      • John Huppenthal

        I guess I shorted Obama a couple of tenths.

        By comparison with Obama’s 2.0% and 1.8% annual growth in his last two years, Reagan closed out with 5.8% and 3.9% growth in his last two years.

        All the spewing, that simple comparison is the reason that Clinton didn’t get elected. People are convinced we can do better.

        I don’t think they bought her theory that higher taxes and more onerous regulation will produce more growth.

        Obama didn’t come close to a 5% annual growth in any year.

        16 16851.4 101.8%
        15 16547.6 102.0%
        14 16220.2 102.7%
        13 15793.9 102.7%
        12 15384.3 101.3%
        11 15190 101.7%
        10 14939 102.7%
        9 14541 99.8%
        8 14577

  3. For Sure Not Tom

    Well, who could’ve guessed it? The Mooch just resigned.

    Trump is such a sicko he can’t get good people, and even the slime he can attract don’t last.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      There is much joy in watching the Trump reality show meltdown, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t noticed they fired all the White House scientists, purged the EPA of anyone has carried an overcoat let alone mentioned climate change, they’re about to illegally remove transgender people from the armed services because they cost too much (they cost less in a year than a weekend of protection for the Trump klan to Mar A Lago), he’s encouraged police brutality, on and on.

      Or that Russia just kicked out 755 American diplomats, and we should presume “agents”, and Trump has said NOTHING. Not a tweet nor a peep from the fat orange creep.

      So let’s enjoy the schadenfreude but not lose sight of what a nightmare we’re living.

      Good luch, GOP!

      • “…they’re about to illegally remove transgender people from the armed services because they cost too much…

        “Illegal”? How is it illegal, Tom? It is an administrative matter decided entirely within the Executive Branch. Legality has nothing to with it.

        “…(they cost less in a year than a weekend of protection for the Trump klan to Mar A Lago)…”

        More of your freshly made up “facts”, eh-h-h, Tom. You haven’t got a clue if it’s true. And even if you were correct, it’s a false comparison. One has nothing whatsoever to do with the other. Just because you incur one expense does NOT mean you are obligated to incur the other. That is stupid in the extreme and hardly the way to run an business or the government.

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    Scaramucci and his wife had a baby the same day that Trump held that nightmare rally with the Boy Scouts.

    Scaramucci was not at the hospital with his wife, he was with Trump.

    He sent her a text congratulating her.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/31/anthony-scaramucci-was-with-trump-not-his-wife-when-she-gave-birth-to-son/

    His baby was born premature on a Monday, went into ICU, and the Mooch didn’t make it in to see his endangered child until Friday.

    So much for the party of “character matters”.

    The GOP is disgusting.

  5. Anybody have an ideas about where Vice President Pence fits into all this?

    • waiting in the wings same as mcsalley waiting on john mccain. the republican base doesn’t care. they are interested in immigration and jobs. cnn and msdnc so called opinion makers don’t make their opinion. the choir is preached to here ;but arizona voters could care less, they think liberal elitists are sanctimonious jackasses and trump is their court jester.

    • “Anybody have an ideas about where Vice President Pence fits into all this?”

      As censored said, he is just waiting in the wings. regardless of what happens he comes out of this okay. If your dreams come true and Trump in impeached or otherwise leaves office, Pence becomes President and then, I think, democrats, have a real proble. Pence has a certain gravitas that is Presidential. He does not have that “Looney Tune” quality you all love so much in Trump. He knows politics and he has the support of most of the GOP. He would be a much harder nut to crack for the democrats. The only shortcoming I think he has is his height (no pun intended) because American tend to like their Presidents over 6′ tall. Other than that, he will be a dominant figure in the political ring.

      • You are correct, I am worried about Pence becoming President. His extreme political and religious views would be very bad for the country. As I recall his top three priorities did not include the country. I do think he would be more stable than Trump which is a positive. My biggest concern is his total lack of integrity. He stands by and tolerates an unstable Trump as you say “waiting in the wings”.
        During the campaign we heard people say Pence would be the person to facilitate the legislative agenda. This conclusion seemed to be based on his experience in the House. If promoting the Trump agenda was indeed part of his portfolio he has been a miserable failure!

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Pence is deep in the Russia mud, he may not be a slam dunk.

          And if he is, he may end up the Jerry Ford of the new millennia.

          It’s ugly all the way around no matter what happens and the GOP owns it all.

          • deep in russia mud is a meaningless phrase meaning you have no evidence.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            755 US diplomats kicked out of Russia today and Trump says nothing. Please, share your thoughts….

            Why won’t President Pee Pee Tape say anything bad about Putin?

          • “Why won’t President Pee Pee Tape say anything bad about Putin?”

            I realize you are fascinated with the concept, Tom, but you must surely know that little rumor was debunked a couple of months ago, don’t you? I also realize you don’t let facts get in the way of a good story, but it must embarass you to be wrong so often when it comes to Trump.

          • my thoughts are these. too much time is spent by democrats on this. it has become a porno addiction to the detriment of the democrat party. the voters don’t care. we democrat must appeal to latino democrats and white working class independents. this collusion porno gets in the way. they don’t care that liberal elitists get off on this russian porno. we are just a year away from the arizona 2018 primary. how does this russian porno help are democratic candidates when their republican opponent points to them and yells gun controller do you really want them to reply ;but trump likes russia!