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Chaos at the White House as Trump’s ‘amateur hour’ staffers botch crisis after crisis: report

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Donald Trump AFP/File / MANDEL NGAN

According to a report from Politico, what could be the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency has turned into “amateur hour” because the president has surrounded himself with staffers and advisers who were hired more for their loyalty to the president than for competence.

That, in turn, has led to chaos, mixed messages and general disruption.

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As the president’s campaign advisers try to stem the loss of voters who have grown disenchanted with Trump due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 215,000 Americans  — with the death count growing each day and the subsequent collapse of the economy — some of Trump’s closest aides in the White House are only making matters worse.

According to John Harris and Daniel Lippman of Politico, “As his presidency lurches toward a climactic judgment on Nov. 3, the little things lately have rarely gone more pervasively or embarrassingly wrong — at a time when public confidence in Trump’s handling of the big things is hardly robust.”

Conceding that all four years of the Trump presidency have been turbulent with firings, ousters and abrupt departures, the authors point out that, at a time when the president needs all the help he can get, he lacks the political professionals he needs to keep his presidency afloat.

“That’s in part because, as his first term comes to a close, the professionals around Trump are not all that professional. It is now the exception in key staff and Cabinet posts to have people whose experience would be commensurate with that of people who have typically held those jobs in previous administrations of both parties,” the report states before listing some of the more recent gaffes that have dogged the administration.

“There have been prominent misspellings in official White House statements (the pharmaceutical company whose treatment Trump took is Regeneron, not Regeron). Trump bungled the name of a well-known Republican senator (that’s James Inhofe, not Imhofe) in a video message. Communications Director Alyssa Farah did much the same in a television interview, repeatedly mispronouncing the name of Trump’s physician (it’s Dr. Sean Conley, with two syllables, not Connelly with three),” Politico reports. “White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow on Wednesday contradicted each other in public remarks on whether a recuperating, but still possibly infectious Trump had been in the Oval Office the day before. (Kudlow thought he had, Meadows was apparently right that on that day Trump hadn’t.)”

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Add to that, the authors note that White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, whose job it is to clean up messes when addressing reporters, has lost all credibility and, as the authors note is “largely dismissed as mere entertainment by reporters, not a source of reliable information.”

“It’s easy to dismiss these flubs as minor communications errors, but communicating with the public is one of the most important things White Houses do,” the report states. “And this one has made such a hash of things that it has compounded the very real substantive problems confronting an administration that has more of its fair share of those as well.”

According to Carlos Gutierrez, who served as Secretary of Commerce in the George W. Bush administration, “Policy experience, knowledge, competence is not at the top of the list. At the top of the list is: who will be loyal to the president and [show] a blind loyalty?”

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According to Harris and Lippmann, “What’s been going on in recent days is not an anomaly, but does represent a new apogee in a trend that has been building for nearly four years. Trump has been waging an internal war within his administration since his first days in office. Often the targets have been people with independent judgment or significant records of achievement before joining the administration.”

“With few exceptions, Trump has won this war, and now has the team he wants. But it’s a Pyrrhic victory: He finds himself surrounded by people whose resumes typically would not land them into jobs at senior levels of the White House or Cabinet. Never mind the A Team. At this point, even the B Team would represent a significant upgrade,” they added.

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