Trump's scandal-ridden first year in office was marked by an exodus of aides who fled the West Wing.
In its first year, Donald Trump’s White House has obliterated the modern day pace for top aides jumping ship and leaving the administration.
The running for the exits unfolds while Trump struggles to post any kind of legislative accomplishments in 2017. In fact, this year, Trump also established a record for legislative impotence.
To date, a stunning 34 percent (or 21 of 61) of senior officials have resigned, been fired, or reassigned. That’s according to Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who has been documenting the West Wing turnover rate for the last 40 years.
The previous jumping-ship record for a first year president was 17 percent under Ronald Reagan. Note that just 9 percent of aides left Barack Obama’s team in 2009.
Some of the high-profile exits and terminations from Trump’s team include former national security adviser Michael Flynn, White House strategist Steven Bannon, press secretary Sean Spicer, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland.
Just recently, national security adviser Dina Powell and deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn both announced they were leaving. And Trump adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman made news this month when she reportedly had to be “physically dragged and escorted” off the White House grounds when she was terminated.
Note that Communications Director Hope Hicks is already the fourth person to hold that title in the Trump White House.
The fact that the White House remains the focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping probe may be one reason so many White House staffers are heading for the doors. Fear of legal jeopardy will do that.
Also, are some aides leaving because Trump can’t get much of anything accomplished and because he’s a congenital liar? It’s certainly possible.
The full-time fabricator recently boasted about his bill-signing ability.
“We got a lot of legislation passed … I believe — and you would have to ask those folks who will know the real answer — we have more legislation passed, including the record … was Harry Truman, a long time ago. And we broke that record, so we got a lot done.”
But of course the complete opposite is true. “Trump has signed fewer bills into law than any other president in his first year in office since Dwight Eisenhower in 1953,” Slate reports.
It’s unlikely the Trump exodus will subside in 2018. In fact, it will probably accelerate as the departure rate often climbs in the second year of a new administration. Will the last person leaving Trump’s West Wing please turn out the lights.