President Donald Trump promised during the campaign to stock his White House with “the best people in the world” – but it’s turning out more like “the best people in the immediate circle of people who I directly know.”
How else can you explain that within the last month or so, we’ve heard reports that Trump wanted to install his personal pilot as head of the FAA (although that report has yet come true) and then this week he installed his doctor as head of the VA?
One of the things that helped Dr. Ronny Jackson get the job was that the President appreciated the way he defended Trump’s health during a White House press conference.
Loyalty is the key theme of Trump’s management style.
When his campaign needed some help back in 2016, he went to the Republican operative who lived nearest – literally in Trump Tower – to take things over: Paul Manafort.
His daughter and son-in-law both ended up as senior advisers in the White House.
His longtime bodyguard and head of security, Keith Schiller, got a key role, too, as deputy assistant to the President and director of Oval Office operations.
And so did his former golf caddy, Dan Scavino, who became social media director during the campaign and is now White House director of social media and assistant to the President.
It’s also how, at the ripe age of 26, Hope Hicks became White House communications director. She’d been with Trump throughout the campaign and, by all accounts, the President trusted her.
He had already blown through more seasoned people in the role. Mike Dubke, the longtime Republican operative, had left quietly after a few months on the job. Anthony Scaramucci left after a few days.
Hicks, already at the President’s side, ultimately got the big job.
The problem is that Trump seems to be running out of people close to him who he trusts. Schiller left for a bigger paycheck.
Hicks resigned after she admitted to House investigators that she’d told what were described as white lies on behalf of the President and also became embroiled in the controversy around the denied security clearance of Rob Porter, the former Trump staff secretary with whom she was romantically linked and who was accused of spousal abuse by two ex-wives. Porter has denied the allegations