Being associated with the Trump "shitshow" could doom job prospects for White House employees.
The Trump White House continues to be a poisonous place to work. Not only does the administration have a hard time attracting A-talent, but those who accept jobs find it difficult to land new roles after the White House because they’ve become so tainted by the dysfunctional West Wing.
Instead of being snatched up, some former Trump staffers may be waiting by the phone, according to headhunters in Washington, D.C.
“There have only been a few high-profile people that have gotten out while the getting’s good. A great deal more very well may have committed professional suicide, at least in the short term, by serving in this administration,” one source tells The Hill. “The net of it is, this administration, in general, was not able to attract the A-team. No one’s asking [for] anyone from the Trump administration.”
Despite promising to only hire “the best people,” Trump has instead surrounded himself with an inept team that regularly fails to deliver.
And potential employers aren’t impressed by stints at the Trump White House, which remains besieged by scandal and is known for its incompetence. Some actually see the Trump association as a minus.
When former White House press secretary Sean Spicer left his post, he found out that media outlets just weren’t interested in hiring someone who had spent months lying on behalf of the administration.
“Everyone is saying it’s a shitshow, that’s why they’re looking to leave early,” said one person who conducts executive searches. “Normally you would want to serve the first term at least or the first half of the term. What I’m trying to figure out is, how toxic are some of these people?”
Some Republicans saw this problem coming. Many turned down White House jobs specifically because they feared being associated with the Trump administration. They worried their reputations might “suffer permanent damage,” if they accepted jobs there, the Washington Post reported last year.
Meanwhile, White House employees continue to stream out of the building at a record pace.
In 2017, a stunning 36 percent of Trump’s top team left him, just months after landing prestigious jobs inside the White House. That’s “more than double the turnover in President Ronald Reagan’s first year and four times that in President Barack Obama’s,” noted Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who oversees the White House Transition Project at the Brookings Institute.
And history shows that that exit rate will almost certainly spike during the second year of a presidency. So many are queuing up to leave this year that chief of staff John Kelly reportedly tried to get a head count on how many were exiting so he could stagger the departures in hopes of making the exodus not look so bad.
For now, the clock is ticking for West Wing staffers looking to cash in with private sector jobs. Headhunters note that if Democrats win control of Congress in November, the value of a Trump White House job on the resume completely evaporates.