As you probably gathered from Saturday Night Live’s Sean Spicer sketch, there are lots of rumors that Ol’ Spicey might be getting sh-tcanned soon. Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefed the press for much of last week, and it was widely rumored that Trump was “testing her out” as his new press secretary. Over the weekend, Axios reported that there are widespread rumors within the Trump White House that a major staff overhaul could be happening soon. Here are some of the rumors:
The huge reboot: At the urging of longtime friends and outside advisers, most of whom he consults after dark, President Trump is considering a “huge reboot” that could take out everyone from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, to counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sean Spicer, White House sources tell me. Trump is also irritated with several Cabinet members, the sources said. “He’s frustrated, and angry at everyone,” said one of the confidants.
Trump is mad about everything & he feels he has nothing to lose: “The advice he’s getting is to go big — that he has nothing to lose,” the confidant said. “The question now is how big and how bold. I’m not sure he knows the answer to that yet.”
Jared & Ivanka: If Trump follows through, his innermost White House circle would shrink from a loop to a straight line of mid-30s family members with scant governing experience: Jared and Ivanka. So while the fighting and leaking might ease, the problems may not because it’s the president, not the staff, calling the shots.
He’s pissed at his Cabinet too: The sources say Trump feels ill-served by not just his staff but also by several of his Cabinet officials. Trump has two complaints about Cabinet members: Either they’re tooting their own horns too much, or they’re insufficiently effusive in praising him as a brilliant diplomat, etc. Among the cross-currents: His friend Wilbur Ross at Commerce this week took what was perceived as a victory lap on a China trade announcement that does little new in actuality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a big announcement about increasing prison sentences, at the same time that Jared is working on criminal-justice reform.
Axios’ source insists that it’s possible that Trump is merely talking about firing people because he’s just venting, because that’s happened before and no one got fired. The source also says that Trump is wary of doing a staff overhaul because that would make it look like he was acknowledging that he’s anything less than perfect and bigly. While I would laugh if Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon all got sh-tcanned in one swoop, that would not come close to solving our problems. Let’s be real.
Photos courtesy of Getty.