Tag Archives: West Wing

No chaos in WH? Sure thing, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump denies what’s being reported by media that cover the White House, which is that the place is a den of chaos.

The president says he’s virtually the only person on the job in the West Wing. Everyone else is gone? Really? No (acting) chief of staff? No administrative help? No senior advisers? No national security guru to brief POTUS on existential threats and danger to the nation and the world?

Well, you and I know what’s real here. The White House is a loony bin. The president has acting an defense secretary, an acting attorney general, acting chief of staff, acting interior secretary, acting EPA administrator and no United Nations ambassador.

No chaos? Sure.

And then we have the government shutdown. Members of Congress in both legislative chambers have gone home. No negotiations are scheduled. Federal employees are not being paid while remaining on the job.

But there’s no chaos in the White House. Is that what POTUS is telling us? Of course he is to be believed, truthful and trustworthy fellow that he is.

We are witnessing chaos in action. You are seeing. I know I am seeing it. So is the president. He just cannot bring himself to admitting it, nor will he do anything to end it.

This is not how you make America great again.

Why the rapid turnover of ‘best people’?

Donald Trump made a plethora of promises while seeking the presidency. One of them was to surround himself with “the people best people” to run the executive branch of government.

How has that worked out? Not too well.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “leaving” the administration at the end of the month, according to the president. Trump hasn’t told us whether he was fired or whether he quit to “pursue other interests” — which in reality means the same thing as getting canned.

When the president nominated Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, he hailed the man he had never met as a brilliant business executive and the best dealmaker on Planet Earth. Then he fired him. Just the other day, Tillerson spoke out against Trump, criticizing his management style. The president’s response? Tillerson lacks “mental capacity” and is “dumb as a rock.”

Tillerson is just one of many individuals who have gone from hero to zero during their time working in the Trump administration.

He has burned through multiple chiefs of staff, communications directors, and various Cabinet officials . . . all in the span of less than two years! Just think, Trump has two more years to go to finish out his term in office!

Best people? They aren’t on board. His campaign promise was nothing but an empty platitude.

Trump hasn’t yet appointed a White House chief of staff, turning instead to an “acting” chief, Mick Mulvaney, who also has a full-time day job as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Think about that for a second: an “acting” White House chief of staff. Trump keeps telling us that applicants are lining up out the door and around the block to work in the White House. I would submit that the president is lying about that matter, too, just as he lies about everything continuously.

The “best people” aren’t going to be found inside the White House, let alone in the West Wing. They’re running like hell away from the madhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue.

White House chief of staff: no longer best job in the world

There once was a time when the White House chief of staff was considered the best job in Washington, D.C. The chief was closest to the president. The chief ran a staff of individuals who helped formulate public policy. It was a dream job.

Now it’s a nightmare post. Donald Trump has just pushed his second chief of staff in less than two years out the door. John Kelly is leaving at the end of the month. He couldn’t control the president. He couldn’t manage the staff. He couldn’t do what Trump promised he would do after he fired the first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

The heir apparent, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was thought to be a shoo-in for the White House chief job. Then he backed out. He doesn’t want the post and, I’ll presume, the intense aggravation that goes with it. He wants to move back to Georgia with his young family.

What has the president done to this formerly plum political post? He has wrecked it. He wrecks the reputation of those occupy that post. He continues to govern by the seat of his britches. The man is clueless, yet he wants to manage the White House staff all by himself, while he continues to “make America great again.”

So very sad. And weird. And bizarre.

Wishing the latest chief of staff well

I really and truly wanted John Kelly to succeed as White House chief of staff. I wanted the retired four-star general to bring some of his vaunted Marine Corps order and discipline to a White House that lives, breathes and operates in a chaotic atmosphere.

He didn’t cut it. However, I am not going to heap piles of blame on Kelly. It belongs to the guy who brought him into the White House: Donald John Trump Sr.

Kelly and Trump have all but ended their relationship. They reportedly are not talking to each other. Why do you suppose that’s the case? My guess — and that’s all it can be, for obvious reasons — is that the president no longer wanted to heed Kelly’s wise counsel.

Believe me when I say that I empathize with Kelly if that’s the case. A direct-report position requires constant communication between the boss and those who report directly to him or her. My own career ended not long after my relationship with my boss went from cordial to, well, non-existent.

Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff. Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands. The White House erupted into turf wars, battles among key advisers over who had the president’s ear; they stumbled into each other while entering the Oval Office seemingly all at once to have a word with The Man.

Kelly was brought in ostensibly to bring order to the place.

But as he learned, the way Priebus learned, there’s little if anything to be gained by trying to persuade the president to follow certain steps in order. Donald Trump cannot be reined in. Those who support him cheer him on — and it’s those cheers that Trump hears. He cannot hear anything of substance over the proverbial din.

Kelly supposedly “committed” to staying on the job until the 2020 election. So much for commitment.

I wish the general well, even as I remain a dedicated non-fan of the man who hired him.

Omarosa: One of the ‘best people’?

OK, I believe it’s fair to ask: Did a former White House aide intend to torpedo the president of the United States who vowed to surround himself with the “best people”?

Omarosa Manigault Newman reportedly was a recording dervish during her time as a White House special assistant in the Donald Trump administration.

Newman lost her job when White House chief of staff John Kelly fired her; she recorded the event. Now we hear she has a recording of a conversation she had the next day with the president, who seems to not have known that Kelly had fired her.

How many more recordings are out there? Hey, I want to know this stuff, given that we’re talking about a presidential administration.

The president took office after vowing to populate his administration with the “best people” and using the “best words.”

Omarosa Manigault Newman, who had no government experience when she entered the West Wing, only knew Trump because of her participation on the “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show that Trump hosted. Oh, well, she had as much government exposure as the guy who hired her in the first place … right?

Wow, man! Something tells me the hits will just keep on coming.

Get ready for Mattis vs. Bolton

Donald Trump’s national security team just cannot get its legs under it. It cannot function as a cohesive team that imparts advice to a president who is willing to (a) listen to it and (b) follow it.

With that we now have a new national security adviser, uber-super hawk John Bolton who quite likely will clash openly with Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

I’m going to pull for Mad Dog to win this fight, although Bolton now is the man of the hour, the guy who’s got the president’s ear.

Heaven help us if Bolton’s world view carries the day in the West Wing of the White House.

Bolton is known around the world as one with an itchy trigger finger. He favors pre-emptive military action against North Korea. Indeed, he has favored “putting boots on the ground” in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan … you name it, Bolton wants to flex U.S. military muscle.

He despises the nuclear arms deal worked out by the Obama administration that seeks to de-nuclearize Iran.

There’s Bolton’s profile in brief.

How about Mattis? He favors the Iran nuclear deal. He believes it is working and is worth retaining. And North Korea? Well, the retired Marine Corps general, a decorated combat veteran to boot, believes diplomacy should remain as Option No. 1 in our efforts to talk the reclusive Marxist regime out of striking at South Korea, or Japan — or the United States of America!

Mattis’s world view is forged by a career that has seen him serve up close in harm’s way. Bolton’s world view comes from a different perspective. He doesn’t have the kind of front-line military experience that Mattis does; Bolton served six years in the Maryland Army National Guard.

I want to bring this to your attention only to suggest that there might be yet another ideological storm brewing within the Trump White House.

As I have noted before, “Mad Dog” Mattis is one of the few grownups who have signed on to serve this president.

I do not believe John Bolton falls into that category of public servant.

What? A new national security adviser, too?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is gone. Fired! Canned! Kaput!

Now it’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the active-duty Army lieutenant general, who’s reportedly out. He, too, will be booted, according to multiple media reports.

In the span of one week — that’s just seven days — Donald Trump reportedly has dismantled two key components of his national security/foreign policy team.

Oh, and the timing of all this madness? Yep, the president is supposedly prepping for a summit with “Little Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

McMaster is the second national security adviser to work for Trump in the past 14 months. The first one, Michael Flynn, lasted all of 24 days before he got the boot.

And through all of this, Donald Trump would have us believe that all is well, all is good, all is working just as it is supposed to work within the White House.

I, um, think not.

Chaos is king in the West Wing.

Trump displays his delusion

Donald Trump is not at all shy about displaying his delusional traits whenever possible.

Such as today.

He told reporters that the best of the best are lining up, just anxious as the dickens to come to work in the White House, in the West Wing. Why, they’re falling over themselves to get hired by the Trump administration.

Except that he’s lying once again.

The best aren’t lining up. Indeed, the few grownups the president has brought aboard are bailing out right along with the nut jobs, ideologues and individuals under indictment for assorted criminal acts.

The latest actual adult to hit the road is Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser. Cohn quit over Trump’s fit of pique that resulted in his declaring his intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

Trump wants a trade war. He says it’ll be “easy” to win. Cohn disagrees. Indeed, Cohn was reportedly enraged at Trump’s response to the Charlottesville, Va., riot that killed a young counterprotester. You’ll recall how Trump said there were “fine people … on both sides” of a dispute that included KKK members, neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Who in the name of good government would want to work in an administration led by someone who would equate racist/hate group members with those who oppose them?

The president’s delusion won’t allow him to recognize what the rest of the world sees clearly. The Trump White House is nothing more than a chaotic clusterf***.

Sick.

Key aides disserve POTUS and the nation

Believe this or not, but I am going to give Donald J. Trump the benefit of the doubt on the latest tempest that is sweeping through the White House.

The president said he learned only recently of Rob Porter’s record of spousal abuse. I want to believe him. Indeed, I actually am inclined to do so. Porter quit his post as staff secretary to the president when it became known that he had beat up his two former wives and a former girlfriend.

The bad guys here appear to be two of Trump’s closest aides: chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahn.

We have seen considerable credible reporting that suggests Kelly and McGahn knew about Porter’s alleged wife- and girlfriend-beating a year ago, but kept it quiet. The FBI had received complaints and were holding up Porter’s top secret security clearance because of the probe it was conducting into the allegations. And yet, absent the security clearance he needed given the hyper-sensitive nature of the documents he handled, Porter got hired anyway.

Kelly says he know only recently about the “full details” of the allegations? McGahn, too? Please. These men appear to have kept vital information from the man who is supposed to know these things.

Kelly should depart the White House. I say that with regret. I had high hopes that the retired Marine Corps general would rub off on the mess he inherited when he moved from Homeland Security secretary to the West Wing. It hasn’t happened. Indeed, it seems he has taken on some of the president’s more unpleasant characteristics, such as dismissing accusations leveled by women against men.

As for McGahn, he recently received praise for reportedly threatening to quit if Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting his investigation into the “Russia thing.” Now it appears McGahn has joined the cabal of secret-keepers operating within the White House. He needs to hit the road, too.

As for the president, I remain committed to my extreme antipathy toward him on manner of issues and behavior.

On this matter, though, it looks to me as though he — and the nation — have been served badly by two men who should have spilled the beans on their colleague’s spouse-beating history.

What about the ex-wives, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump took time today to wish his former staff secretary all the best and made sure to say he has denied allegations that he beat up his two former wives.

The president was referring to Rob Porter, who quit this week after allegations surfaced of serial spousal abuse by the guy who was supposed to have a top-secret security clearance because of the sensitive nature of his West Wing job.

He wished Porter “well” and said he hopes he has a “great career ahead of him.”

But … the president neglected to mention either of the former wives or a former Porter girlfriend, who’s also made a serious allegation against the former close White House aide.

No mention of their pain. No mention of the seriousness of the allegations they have leveled. No mention of how he won’t tolerate any form of spousal abuse in his administration.

Yes. It’s, um, sad.