White House staff on edge — one more resignation could set off a mass exodus: report
With Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Mike Flynn, Anthony Scaramucci and other staffers all quitting or getting fired from President Donald Trump’s White House, staffers are nervously eyeing each other to see who will be the next to go, according to Vanity Fair‘s Isobel Thompson.
On Friday, President Donald Trump made it official that White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon no longer works for the administration as Bannon’s loyal supporters at Breitbart.com ramped a plan for “war” against the White House.
Meanwhile, inside the White House, shell-shocked aides and advisors are all wondering who will bolt for the exit next. Firings and resignations are coming at such a furious pace that one D.C. restaurant is offering discounted drinks on days that the president fires a White House official.
Trump has reportedly been jubilant in the wake of his combative press conference earlier this week in which he created a moral equivalency between neo-Nazi and white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, VA and the protesters who turned out to oppose them.
“Privately however, many staffers were queasy,” said Thompson. Aides have tried and tried to explain to Trump that he’s not helping himself but “He doesn’t care,” one White House adviser said.
“A number of people are on thin ice,” said another aide, who said the White House staff is “stunned and disheartened” after the weeks slew of failures, embarrassments and setbacks.
There is a sense, said Thompson, that “that the dominos could be about to fall.”
One aide told Axios.com, “The danger for Trump now is that one senior resignation will start a run on the bank.”
Rumors that Cohn — who is Jewish — might resign over Trump’s failure to disavow the KKK sent shockwaves through economic markets this week, although traders were jubilant on Friday when they heard that Bannon was fired.
Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly has struggled in vain this week to rein the president in and keep him from going off on emotional rants and outbursts. The newly-hired White House chief of staff is potentially finding out what attorneys who refuse to represent Trump already know, that the commander-in-chief is unable to exercise even the simplest forms of message discipline.
Meanwhile, said Thompson, public opinion and recent events are threatening to swamp an already storm-tossed administration and take down the Republican Party with it. As the stark “moral binary” becomes clear over whether to back an administration that has declared its common cause with white supremacists, history is watching.
“Some may be mulling altering the course of their careers,” she wrote, “rather than being tarnished in the process. History will likely not only look unkindly at Trump, but those staring steadfastly at the floor, too.”