According to a report in Politico, the constant turnover in Donald Trump's White House and Cabinet -- often the result of ugly squabbles between the president and his appointees -- has made it harder and harder for him to find replacements.
With the departure of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen after she reportedly battled Trump over the implementation of immigration policies that even she felt went too far, former Trump officials are coming forward and describing not just the working atmosphere -- but also the way they were dumped by the volatile president.
"Trump has taken pains to control the narrative around his constant high-level staff departures, always seeking — with mixed results — to dictate exits on his own terms," Politico reports. "Rarely does Trump allow a disgruntled senior official to jump before offering a public push first — or an after-the-fact kick."
"He’s always thinking optics. Everything, whether it’s policy or a staff move, he’s always thinking about it in terms of PR,” explained former White House staffer Cliff Sims, who wrote 'Team of Vipers' about his tenure. “And one of his favorite talking points is, ‘We’re going to hire the best and the brightest, everybody wants to work for me,’ and so any implication or public perception that someone abandoned him, someone left him, I think in his mind, undercuts that premise.”
Former White House Communications shop head Anthony Scaramucci admitted he didn't care for the way his departure was handled despite admitting he deserved to be fired after comments he made to a reporter that he thought were off-the-record.
“I would have preferred not to have been ejected like an Austin Powers villain,” Scaramucci told Politico. “I didn’t think I deserved that because I worked hard on the campaign and I had raised a lot of money for the candidate.”
According to departed Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, he was fired by Trump, despite the White House claiming he resigned in order to make it easier for the administration to replace him.
“I have no problem when a president wants to change a member of their Cabinet, I just want to make sure it's done in a way that people will continue to want to come in and serve,” Shulkin confessed.
Shulkin also admitted that he has been asked by potential Trump appointees whether they should take the leap.
“When people ask me if they should consider serving, I absolutely believe it’s essential that people want to do that,” Shulkin said. “But I also understand why people are asking me that question. People watch what happens and the way that people are treated, and they ask, ‘Is this something that I want to put myself and my family through?’”
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