According to the Washington Examiner, factions within the White House are battling to see their person installed as Trump’s new communication director following the abrupt resignation of longtime confidante Hope Hicks.
Hicks who announced she was bolting from the White House following giving testimony to House investigators — and admitting she told “white lies” for him — has been described alternately as the “Trump whisperer” due to her close proximity to the president and as his “security blanket” for her obsequiousness to him.
With Hicks moving on, jockeying for who will replace her and have Trump’s ear has grown fierce in a White House already roiled by departures and firings.
According to an anonymous senior White House official, finding Hicks’ successor is “important but not urgent” to the president, with his list narrowed to White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp, CNN commentator Steve Cortes, Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh, and National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton.
Understanding how much the media- obsessed president relies on his communications director, the competition has grown fierce and the knives are coming out, with insiders saying Sayegh or Schlapp are unpopular with White House staff for a variety of reason.
According to sources, Sayegh has a tendency to “delegate too much,” to boss and bully people around, and to manipulate others for his own benefit. Additionally he is accused of treating female staffers poorly.
“I think there is legitimate pushback,” explained one person, adding Sayegh “doesn’t shoot straight” and “pushes people around to get his way.”
“The staff exodus if it’s him would be shocking,” another told the Examiner.
While there was speculation that Schlapp would easily step into the position, now insiders are saying it might be time to bring in some new blood.
“What surprised me was the conventional wisdom that Mercy was going to get [communications director],” the source said. “What’s been interesting is the drumbeat of people internally who haven’t been a fan of the way that things have been done and want to look somewhere else.”
Sources complained that Schlapp, whose husband oversees CPAC, has been attempting to manipulate the president into bestowing the job on her.
One insider complained that her husband has “actively campaigned” for his wife during TV appearances, including a recent MSNBC interview where he boasted his wife would be “very open to anything the president wants her to do” and pledged their support for Trump.
You can read the whole report here.