None of these people should ever find work again.
Even in a West Wing that has already earned a reputation as a secretive, treacherous, Game of Thrones-esque place to work, the last few weeks have been a particularly trying time for the beleaguered members of President Trump’s senior staff. As rumors of a forthcoming shakeup persist and Republican operative types are pining anonymously (for now) for President Pence in conversations with journalists, staffers are already doing what every disgruntled and terrified employee of a sinking ship does: planning ahead.
Some White House staffers have turned to impeachment gallows humor.
Other mid-level aides have started contacting consultants, shopping
their résumés. And at least one senior staffer has begun privately
talking to friends about what a post-White House job would look like,
according to two people close to the staffer.
At least one senior staffer. In an entirely unrelated story, if you live in the D.C. area and were listening very carefully early this morning, perhaps you might have made out the faint sound of a frantic Jared Kushner calling up two of his buddies to angrily inform them that he never thought they were the snitching type.
And a third [source] said that others [in the White House] are sticking around purely for
self-interest, hoping to juice their future earning potential. This
Republican added that any savvy White House staffer should be keeping
At this point, for political appointee types, landing a lucrative post-tenure book deal or cable news gig has become so commonplace that it’s almost an implied part of the benefits package you’re offered when you sign on in the first place. CNN’s corporate bylaws actually require Jeff Zucker to throw a suitcase stuffed with unmarked, non-sequential bills at any ex-Trump type no more than 48 hours after their official association with the administration comes to a close. If you are a person with some salacious tales of an imploding White House to tell—and, critically, if you can expect to have some serious competition in that market—well, to the most scrupulous record-keeper go the spoils.
“The real question is, how long do you put up with it?” this
person said. “Every one of those people could get a better-paying job
and work less hours.”
The Post‘s source may be right, but if there is any justice in the world, I hope that they are dead wrong. Every single one of these people who are quietly sending out networking emails and carefully formatting their newly-updated résumés made a choice to align themselves with this rotten-to-the-core administration and to enable the embarrassingly unfit rube at its helm, and none of them should ever work in Washington again as a result. President Trump has done nothing during his tenure that should have come as a surprise to anyone who watched the news for the past 18 months, much less to the cadre of purportedly savvy political operatives weighing permanent jobs as the post-Election Day dust settled.
They were not always beyond redemption. But even today, as the president grapples with his disclosure of confidential information to a foreign adversary on one side and stares down the barrel of a special prosecutor investigation on the other, not one of the sycophants drawn in by the allure of a job in the West Wing—just like they saw on TV, but with fewer multisyllabic words and more off-the-cuff bigotry!—has resigned in protest or been fired for refusing to carry out some command that they could not execute in good conscience. These same people are now casually putting out feelers for what comes next, as if they truly believe that either they are not responsible the dangers in which their choices placed this country, or that their complicity does not matter. They are wrong, and they should pay a price for their cowardice.
Then again, Jeffrey Lord still has a job, so unfortunately, I wouldn’t count on it.
What Is Going on in Donald Trump’s Head?
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