Among staff members in the executive office of the president (not including Cabinet officials), the Trump administration has seen a turnover rate of 78 percent through Sept. 19, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Because each position on this so-called “A Team” is only counted once, the number would be even higher if it took into account positions that have been vacated multiple times, such as chief of staff (held by Reince Priebus, John Kelly and Mick Mulvaney) and communications director (a post held by Michael Dubke, Anthony Scaramucci, Hope Hicks, Bill Shine and Stephanie Grisham). Overall, 31 percent of Trump’s A Team positions have seen serial turnover during the same period.
“I call it serial turnover, and created a special chart dedicated to multiple occasions when there have been two or more departures within one specific office,” said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a nonresident senior fellow in governance studies at Brookings and creator of the study. “That’s sort historically unprecedented. I’ve never had to create a chart like that for other administrations because there have never been so many departures within certain offices.”
For historical context, Tenpas told Salon that Trump had reached that 78 percent turnover level within 32 months, while “Ronald Reagan was at 78 percent after four full years in office,” and the other five previous presidents were all below 78 percent for their full terms in office.
Tenpas noted that Trump was at a disadvantage when he began the hiring process because he had a relatively small national campaign staff from which to pull future hires. This was exacerbated by his tendency to rule out otherwise-qualified Republicans who had opposed him during the campaign, thereby further limiting his staffing options.
Trump also avoided hiring people who had worked for the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, which Tenpas said was striking: “If you go back historically, you’ll see that Presidents tend to draw pretty heavily from the prior administration” of the same party. In other words, she continued, “The next Democrat will probably hire a lot of former Obama individuals.”
Tenpas said the negative implications of Trump’s choices have included “a loss of institutional memory” and the fact that government officials haven’t been able to cultivate the personal relationships essential to effectively performing their duties. She added that the intense churn has impeded Trump’s ability to implement his agenda:
“If you don’t have the staff in place, there’s no way, as an individual president, you can accomplish everything given the vast array of responsibilities. You have to rely on staff. If the staff at the senior levels keep turning over, that makes it difficult to implement your campaign promises, your priorities, your agenda, what have you.”
Tenpas also described the apparent nepotism of Trump hiring his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as “undemocratic.” Although some previous presidents have hired relatives for high-ranking positions — for instance, John F. Kennedy famously appointed his brother Robert as attorney general — this seems different.
“The portfolio of Jared is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Tenpas said. “This is an individual with a finance and real estate background who got into the White House and is now negotiating Middle East peace.”
Giuliani’s new 20-year-old spokeswoman has a shady resume and links to Ukraine henchmen
President Donald Trump's allies are still trying to figure out why Rudy Giuliani hired a 20-year-old Instagram personality as his director of communications.
The president's personal attorney travels everywhere, including Ukraine, with Christianné Allen, a former teenage Trump campaign volunteer who has served since September as his media strategist and technology consultant, reported Politico.
“Nobody can figure out who the eff she is or how she got in there,” a friend of Giuliani told the website's Daniel Lippman.
Trump blasted by former White House ethics chief for attacking his own FBI director
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump lashed out at FBI director Christopher Wray on Twitter for endorsing DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report debunking the Republican claim that the FBI "spied" on Trump's 2016 campaign. "The current director," tweeted Trump, will "never be able to fix" the "badly broken" FBI.
Trump's remark, and possible threat to Wray's job, drew outrage from former White House ethics official Walter Shaub:
The history books will note that he fired not only an FBI Director but also an Attorney General for allowing an investigation of his campaign. Now he's attacking another FBI Director for not being supporting of conspiracy theories about that investigation. https://t.co/6pqjShuP8k
Fox News hosts blasted for ‘cherry-picking’ IG report to spin it as a win for Trump: ‘They owe us an apology’
On Tuesday morning, CNN host Alisyn Camerota dropped the hammer on Fox News for spinning the Justice Department inspector general report that absolved the department of any conspiracy against Donald Trump, instead saying that it was an indictment of the department.
Joined by CNN contributor, ex-Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and CNN host Brian Stelter, Camerota shared Fox clips from Monday night featuring hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and marveled at the obvious lies.
"Let's go back to reality-world instead of upside-down world right now," host Camerota smirked after rolling the clips, "which is what we just played a montage of. Charlie, when you hear, you know, the talking points from obviously the Trump cheerleaders as well as some of your former Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, do they -- when Hannity says everything we've been reporting for years has been dead on accurate, we were right every step of the way, and the report completely negates that, do they believe that? Why are they saying that?"