Trump says there’s no CHAOS in White House amid unprecedented staff upheaval
President Trump sought to push back Tuesday on news reports that “chaos” has enveloped his White House, saying staff turnover and infighting are part of the normal course of business.
He also warned that more dismissals may be on the way.
“People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision,” Trump said in a morning tweet, later adding: “There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
Amid real and rumored staff departures, Trump also said that “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection),” but he did not specify who he might be referring to.
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
Later in the day, during a joint news conference with the prime minister of Sweden, Trump again dismissed the idea of staff turmoil, and said he won’t have any trouble filling all the jobs that have opened up.
While some Republicans in Washington have questioned whether they would like to work in the Trump White House, the president said, “maybe people don’t want to work for Trump,” but “everybody wants to work in the White House.”
Not only does it look good on a resume, Trump said, but the White House is “just a great place to work; it’s got tremendous energy.”
While aides have fought, sometimes publicly, over issues ranging from trade to foreign policy, Trump told reporters that he likes “conflict” among his advisers.
“I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that,” Trump said. “And then I make a decision. But I like watching it. I like seeing it. And I think it’s the best way to go.”
Staff turbulence has been a regular feature of the Trump administration since he took office on Jan. 20, 2017.
Within a month, his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned over claims he had lied to the FBI about contacts with a Russian ambassador; within seven months, his chief staff, press secretary, and two communications directors left amid various disputes; Trump and much of his staff became embroiled in an investigation of Russia influence during the 2016 election.
In the past week, another communications director, long-time aide Hope Hicks, announced her resignation, while aides fought it out in the press over the timing and wisdom of Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
As aides fought, Trump himself tweeted that “trade wars” would be “good” and “easy to win,” further roiling markets already worried about the impacts of tariffs.
Trump is looking for his fifth communications director; he has had four if you count then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who did both jobs before his resignation in July.
Spicer left when Trump brought in Anthony Scaramucci to run communications; he lasted 11 days after getting caught after on tape trashing other White House officials.
After Trump’s denial of chaos, Scaramucci sent out a tweet quoting comedian Mel Brooks: “If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.”
“If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy and colorful and lively.”— Mel Brooks
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 6, 2018
H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, John McEntee, Gary Cohn, Andrew McCabe all resigned or were fired since this tweet.