1. We are told that President Trump was thrilled with Anthony Scaramucci’s vile, obscene, threatening, vainglorious interview attacking his own colleagues and making Samuel L. Jackson’s movie rhetoric sound relatively refined. Incredible. An individual who represents the White House expresses himself in a published interview like a preening teenage gang member, breaches all existing standards of management and professionalism, throws red meat to the stalking news media writing the narrative that the President’s office is a den of narcissists, assassins, jerks and nut-jobs, and the President is applauding.
This is a level of irresponsible leadership not just unprecedented in U.S. history, but seldom equaled in the history of national leadership world wide. Incompetent and irresponsible don’t begin to describe it.
2. We are also told that the President was disgusted with Reince Priebus’s failure to “return fire” at the White House’s thuggish communications director. Wait, what? What kind of leader wants his staff to have public pissing matches? That’s a rhetorical question; the answer is obvious: a bad leader.
Yes, Priebus is a weenie: Ethics Alarms marked him so in 2015. Trump knows he is a weenie: if Priebus hadn’t been a weenie, he would have stopped Trump from getting the Republican nomination. He sold out instead.
Priebus is a professional however, who knows, as Scaramucci and Trump do not, that a warring staff at the highest levels of government makes the public nervous and that government look like a Three Stooges short. As I wrote in the post about the Mooch’s outburst, Priebus and Steve Bannon should have presented their letters of resignation unless Scaramucci was disciplined. If Priebus was a weenie, so was Bannon. “Returning fire,” however, would have been disruptive and destructive. The President is angry with Priebus for for being prudent, exercising restraint, being responsible, and being professional—in short, for conducting himself ethically.
3. Continuing his remarkable knack for firing subordinates for the wrong reasons and making them sympathetic, the President fired poor Reince. No matter how idiotically the firing came about, it was still the right thing to do. Priebus should not have been hired in the first place. He is a weak-willed, inadequately skilled political hack whom I believe sold his allegiance to candidate Trump to the detriment of his party and his country. Priebus was an inept chair of the Republican National Committee—a strong and competent one would have blocked Trump—and couldn’t possibly do his new job of keeping an impulsive, reckless, politically inexperienced and none-too-bright Chief Executive on a steady path. It was unethical of Priebus to accept the position of Chief of Staff when he knew or should have known that he couldn’t do it well or even passably.
4. There is good news, incredibly enough. Back in February, I wrote that
“President Trump lacks a top Chief of Staff who has a proven record running successful government operations on the state or national level….Currently, Trump doesn’t have an experienced Washington, D,.C. operator who can command respect and keep him out of trouble…This is a low-level, inexperienced, pathetic crew, and President Trump better realize it. I suspect he does…. [I] wonder if Trump has seen the writing on the wall and realizes that he needs an experienced leader and manager of substance and talent to save him from what are dangerously weak advisors, and a bumbling staff.”
And, I should have added, himself.
Well, while John F. Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security and retired four-star Marine general Trump announced would replace Priebus, was not on the long list of Chief of Staff candidates I suggested that “Trump should just go down…until someone says yes, which would be the ethical thing for any of them to do,” he certainly is the kind of individual I was recommending. Four star marine generals know who to run a staff, and they are decidedly not weenies. This is the most encouraging development in the Trump Presidency so far. He will either make the President and the White House shape up, or if he is not accorded the authority and respect he needs to do that, then he will quit.