34% staff turnover at White House

Working at the White House will always be high pressure and hard. This seems to be more so under Donald trump’s presidency, where there has been an unusually high staff turnover of 34%, and many positions remain vacant.

NY Times: A Whirlwind Envelops the White House, and the Revolving Door Spins

The doors at the White House have been swinging a lot lately. A deputy chief of staff moved on. A speechwriter resigned. The associate attorney general stepped down. The chief of staff offered to quit. And that was just Friday.

All of that came after the departure of Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary who cleared out his office last week amid accusations of spousal abuse. The White House had overlooked reported problems with his security clearance last year in part, officials said, because of a reluctance to lose yet another senior aide, particularly one seen as so professional and reliable.

An eventful week.

More than a year into his administration, President Trump is presiding over a staff in turmoil, one with a 34 percent turnover rate, higher than any White House in decades. He has struggled to fill openings, unwilling to hire Republicans he considers disloyal and unable to entice Republicans who consider him unstable. Those who do come to work for him often do not last long, burning out from a volatile, sometimes cutthroat environment exacerbated by tweets and subpoenas.

“We have vacancies on top of vacancies,” said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has studied White House turnover over the last six administrations. “You have initial vacancies, you have people who left in the first year and now you have people who are leaving in the second year.”

According to a report by Ms. Tenpas, Mr. Trump’s 34 percent turnover rate in his first year is more than three times as high as President Barack Obama’s in the same period and twice as high as President Ronald Reagan’s, which until now was the modern record-holder. Of 12 positions deemed most central to the president, only five are still filled by the same person as when Mr. Trump took office.

Mr. Trump is on his second press secretary, his second national security adviser and his third deputy national security adviser. Five different people have been named communications director or served in the job in an acting capacity. The president has parted ways with his chief strategist, health secretary, several deputy chiefs of staff and his original private legal team. He is on his second chief of staff — and some wonder whether a third may be in the offing soon.

Some administration officials privately spend much of their time trying to figure out how to leave without looking disloyal or provoking an easily angered president. Others, like Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, stubbornly resist what seem like clear signals that they are no longer welcome.

It is a mixture of staff wanting to leave, and Trump wanting staff to leave.

Grueling in the best of times, an administration job now seems even less appealing to many potential recruits. Republican operatives said they worry not only about the pressure-cooker, soap-opera atmosphere and the danger of being drawn into the special counsel investigation of Russia’s election interference but also about hurting their careers after the White House.

“There isn’t a huge appetite from many Republicans on the outside to explore job opportunities in this administration,” said Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee. “While there are a lot of vacancies and usually a position in the White House is one of the most prestigious jobs in Washington, that’s just not the feeling with this administration, given the turmoil and the chaos.”

The ‘You’re Fired!” reputation of Trump probably doesn’t help.

The staff churn will make a difficult job harder, for the President, and for the staff that remain working for him.

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11 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  February 14, 2018

    Im guessing the only ones who will ‘survive’ the Trump-era are those who either accept his rhetoric (Fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, tremendous, incredible, BEST event ever…) or just ‘YES Mr T.. whatever you say Mr T… let me get that for you Mr T’ & all the rest of his B-S :/ 😀

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 14, 2018

      Cynic ! 😀

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 14, 2018

        But I suspect that they call him Mr Trump in full, or possibly ‘Your Majesty.’

        Mr T could be anything-Mr Tit, Mr Twit, Mr Toerag, Mr Twaddle… On second thoughts, they may call him Mr T and have their own version of what it stands for.

        Reply
  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 14, 2018

    Next on the block: Chief of Staff John Kelly, “proudly ignorant, serial liar, shameless bully and demagogue” as the Intercept describes him

    Chief of Staff John Kelly’s White House enemies are ready to use FBI Director Chris Wray’s testimony as a weapon: “Wray’s FBI timeline makes one thing clear: the Kelly coverup is unraveling right before our eyes,” a White House official says.

    Kelly’s allies insist he knew nothing about the domestic violence until the Daily Mail story and that former White House aide Rob Porter misled Kelly to get the positive statement. (Porter denies this and tells associates he gave Kelly a full picture of what would be in the story, and denied the more serious accusations of physical abuse.)

    Kelly’s story — that he acted immediately and decisively “within 40 minutes” to terminate Porter last Tuesday night — is also undermined by what multiple White House officials told reporters in real time. They said on Wednesday that nobody asked Porter to resign and in fact several senior officials asked him to “stay and fight.”

    https://www.axios.com/kelly-porter-wray-testimony-timeline-1518542368-ecb9b72a-f272-4a20-a382-c865cb0ef8b2.html

    Kelly, personally, has become an unacceptable symbol of the worst tendencies of this White House … from his time as secretary of homeland security, when he aggressively stepped up immigration raids, including ones sweeping up non-criminals whom immigration enforcement agents weren’t even targeting, Kelly has aligned himself with the hardline anti-immigrant wing of the Trump administration. Not coincidentally, he has also repeatedly expressed extreme disrespect for Americans who are not white…

    Nor is it a coincidence, now, that Kelly appears to have repeatedly disregarded women and instead protected their abusers. He chose Rob Porter over the three women who accused him, and a Marine officer who admitted to harassing a female subordinate over that subordinate — who was also a fellow Marine, and much more worthy of Kelly’s loyalty, camaraderie, and brotherhood.

    The Trump administration recoils from accusations that it does not care about nonwhite Americans or women. Instead of getting defensive, this time it should try to prove its critics wrong by ejecting a man who has exemplified those tendencies, who has repeatedly disrespected black and Latino Americans and shown no concern for the physical safety of women. The absolute least it can do is force John Kelly to resign.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/9/16995272/john-kelly-must-resign-chief-of-staff-rob-porter-abuse

    Reply
  3. sorethumb

     /  February 14, 2018

    As most conservatives outside the beltway understand, and as President Trump’s voters surely understood in the 2016 election, progressives have successfully captured the vast majority of our nation’s institutions, distorting them to serve their own ends. Although many of these institutions — academia, the media, entertainment, legal and judicial — once stood above politics in serving all Americans, most have now surrendered to progressives’ relentless push to turn every area of civil society into a propaganda arm for their politics.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/05/trump-isnt-conservative-thats-good-thing/

    That’s why he’s popular

    Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 14, 2018

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 14, 2018

      Well, if there are allegations, he must be guilty. I don’t know why they don’t go all the way and send men to prison as soon as an allegation’s been made.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 14, 2018

        And close down all the women’s prisons, as we can’t possibly be guilty of anything, we’re victims.

        Reply

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