Various media outlets have been reporting that President Trump is considering changing his chief of staff. It’s about time! This will be the fourth change in the chief of staff role in the Trump White House. First chief of staff was Reince Priebus, former GOP chair who lasted only 7 months of the Trump presidency. John Kelly was the second chief of staff under Trump and resigned his position after 18 months on the job in December 2018. Current chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, assumed the role after Kelly’s departure and has had a tenure filled with constant issues, not just the more recent ones. He is contributing to a lot of the issues that President Trump has experienced throughout his tenure.
By more recent, I refer to the most recent issues where Mulvaney admitted to a quid pro quo in relation to Ukraine. Mulvaney, in speaking with the press last week, told the media to get over it. He continued stating that there would always be political influence in foreign policy. He admitted that President Trump spoke regarding the DNC server corruption involving Ukraine. The next statement by Mulvaney was not very well thought out as he stated, “that’s why we held up the money.” There’s no issue with requesting an investigation into corruption. In fact, had the situation been handled the appropriate way this would not be an issue, but that’s another story. Mulvaney was not clear in his words, then attempted to walk back his statements later in the day. This made the situation look even worse.
Yes, this is simply the latest issue with Mulvaney. He has failed to have control of the White House for quite some time. It seems that we hear of a new leak from this White House nearly every day. Earlier this year, the Federation of American Scientists actually reported that leaks were coming in at an average of 100 per year under President Trump. This number is nearly triple the amount of leaks that were experienced under the Obama administration. Various administration officials have referred to the number of leaks commenting that it was staggering. This highlights the overall lack of control that Mulvaney has over the White House and the lack of respect from the staff that he has working for him. While I do not agree with the policy positions of Rahm Emmanuel, this would have not happened under his watch.
The leaks have continued well into the Mulvaney leadership and continue to be a problem. This is now two White House leaders that were unable to control the issues inside the Trump White House. The White House upgraded security measures in early 2018 in an effort to curb the leaks, yet the leaks persist. No one seems to be able to get control of the situation in the White House and it has left President Trump once again looking to make a change in leadership.
Reports are that Trump is considering replacing Mulvaney with Kellyanne Conway as chief of staff. Conway has been faithful to President Trump since his campaign and has maintained a position in the White House since. In fact, she’s one of the few members that have remained throughout with Trump. Will Conway solve the issues however? I’m not so sure. She has been accused of being one of the major leak points inside the Trump administration. She has often been outspoken against her colleagues inside the White House and previous reports indicated that many were not sure why she was still present in the administration. Yet, Trump continues to trust her and use her in various roles.
The solution to the chief of staff issue may seem easy to Trump in placing Kellyanne Conway into the role. While she has been faithful and has filled each role as asked, has she proved herself as trustworthy to her peers where the leaks will stop? Until someone gets control of the actions and narrative of the current White House, Trump will continue to be fighting on multiple fronts. It’s one thing to be fighting an enemy, it’s another thing to have to fight for survival inside your house.
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