Ahead of the firing of outgoing State Secretary Rex Tillerson, President Donald Trump denounced claims by the mainstream media that the high turnover rate for high-ranking White House officials is indicative of a chaotic work environment.
In a tweet, Trump stated that the wrong people will always come and go. He also stated that he wanted to set a healthy dialogue before making a decision. He continued to say that things will always change because he is always seeking perfection in his work.
He also stated that there were going to be more staff changes in the White House. Before Tillerson was given the pink slip, the most recent was by Gary Cohn, Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser. We also witnessed the exit of Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director who at one point was described as irreplaceable.
According to the Quartz’s calculation, the average stay of the Director of Communication has lasted for only 78.6 days, as compared to the 585.4 days during Former President Barack Obama’s administration. Of course, the revolving door seems to extend far beyond the president’s PR team.
There have also been some other high-profile defense officials who have left during Trump’s administration. Among them is the Deputy of the National Security Adviser Dine Powel. The Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Steve Bannon who was the White House strategists also left. Former chief of staff Reince Priebus and Rob Porter were also among the top officials who have left Trump’s administration. All these people have cited differences with the president on ideological grounds.
Trump’s next target may be the nation’s “top cop.”
In a recent tweet, President Trump accused current Attorney General Jeff Sessions of refusing to support the allegation that the federal government is undermining his administration. In response to the tweet, Sessions stated he would continue to serve the country with integrity and honor as long as he holds the office. After President Trump attacked the attorney general that night, the Sessions dined with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Solicitor General Noel Francisco as a way of showing solidarity.
Yet another official who might get the boot National Security adviser H.R. McMaster. MSNBC reported that the chief of staff and also the Secretary of Defense James Mattis might be looking for his replacement.
So, with this insanely high degree of turnover, what does this tell us about how the White Hosue works? More importantly, how does this seemingly constant revolving door of high-profile personnel affect President Trump’s stated agenda?
For one, this tells us that Trump is indeed implementing a top-down management approach — perhaps a leadership style anyone could expect from an individual who spent his entire adult life in the private sector. Now, while the turnover rate certainly isn’t good on the PR front, it is a sign that the president is placing competency over loyalty. President Trump doesn’t want to wait for his picks to become acclimated to the job — he wants results, and he wants them quickly.
This also tells us that, despite advancing some of the most conservative public policy in decades over the past few months (evidenced by the president’s moves on tax cuts and scrapping regulations), Trump remains fervently anti-ideology. The president is clearly more concerned with political strategy than he is with ideological consistency. This was on full display as the White House issued seemingly contradictory statements on guns.
Of course, the high turnover rate at the White House presents severe disadvantages. In the eyes of the public, Trump’s no-nonsense style of management may actually come off as weakness, seeing as the president’s top picks for various cabinet positions are often simply unwilling to stand behind his agenda.
While it may certainly be true that the Trump administration may netting more competent people as a result of the rapid job changes, it is imperative for Trump to stabilize the process.
~ Conservative Zone