‘Off the rails’: Former White House aides say infighting has reached unhinged daytime talk show levels
The turmoil and infighting inside the White House drew a comparison to a daytime talk show from a former aide to President Donald Trump.
Trump’s entire presidency frequently gets compared to a reality show, and the former TV star frequently deploys tactics he learned from hosting NBC’s “The Apprentice” or appearing at WWE professional wrestling events — but the internal chaos finally spilled out of the West Wing into public view, reported Politico.
“It’s like an episode of ‘Maury,’” one former Trump aide told the website. “The only thing that’s missing is a paternity test.”
The administration largely kept it together in the weeks ahead of the midterm elections, but aides and staffers are turning on one another as Trump seethes over Republican losses and a tense Paris trip.
Trump reportedly plans to finally dismiss Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has angered him over perceived weakness on immigration and border security, and her mentor John Kelly, the White House chief of staff.
The president reportedly wants to replace Kelly with Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vie President Mike Pence, but he could return home to Georgia and his three children — or wind up working for Trump’s re-election campaign.
Melania Trump openly called for the firing of Mira Ricardel, a deputy to national security adviser John Bolton, after they clashed over the first lady’s solo trip to Africa.
Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, attacked White House trade adviser Peter Navarro over his “freelancing” comments aimed at Wall Street and “global elitists” for interfering in China trade negotiations.
Aides and advisers admitted to Politico that the torrent of bad news — from the Russia probe to the Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives — is taking a toll on everyone in the White House.
“The Trump administration has been so consistently off the rails that days like (Wednesday) just blend into everything else,” said another former White House official. “That in and of itself may be the biggest indictment of all.”