These days nobody much bothers denying that the Trump administration is chaotic, aside that is from the Donald’s inner circle and a few hardcore loyalists who believe that the 45th president really is Making America Great Again. The Trumpists say that reports of strife and discord in the White House are elite media spin.
But what to make of the news that Sean Spicer has stood down as White House Press Secretary? Perhaps it’s not that significant – press secretaries come and go – but the briefing wars surrounding Spicer’s departure suggest once again that Team Trump may be tearing itself apart. Spicer, it’s said, has gone because he was unhappy at the arrival of Anthony Scaramucci, a big hedge funder who has previously hosted the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference.
The still-influential Steve Bannon is reportedly deeply opposed to the Scaramucci hire – presumably because Bannon believes Scaramucci to be precisely the sort of globalist financier type Trump was elected to disempower. He has reportedly said Scaramucci would be hired ‘over his dead body’. It will be interesting to see how Bannon, who continues to be the king of Trumpism in the White House, behaves in the next few days.
Spicer’s departure comes just two days after Trump suggested he wasn’t happy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ performance. Sessions has been a vital link between the GOP old guard and the Trumpists in the White House. Republican senators have been making their disapproval of Trump’s rudeness very clear. The weak threads that bind the Republicans to Trump are being stretched again.
It is hard to be sure of anything in the age of Trump – perhaps it’s all left-liberal delusion, perhaps it is just Trump the reality TV star trying to keep his leadership dramatic in the quiet summer months. For now, however, the Trump administration appears to be flailing badly.