‘I Wasn’t Naïve’: Getting Fired In The Trump Administration

National Security Adviser John Bolton left the Trump administration earlier this week.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“I think when you first get fired, and especially in my case where I saw it unfold on CNN and then got a call from the White House, it is rather shocking,” Goldstein said.

Replacing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin took two tries and 117 days. From that point on, filling Cabinet-level and top White House jobs has lagged. Two key jobs – chief of staff and OMB director – have had “acting” leaders for more than 270 days.

One reason, is that departures in the Trump administration are rarely planned events, especially recently. Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned suddenly over a policy disagreement, and then president Trump asked him to leave the post before a replacement could be identified.

“I can’t say that anybody’s reputation has been enhanced and I can point out a number of people who look a lot worse after having worked for President Trump,” said Tenpas of the Brookings Institution.

The national security adviser, White House chief of staff and communications director positions have all experienced serial turnover. But there’s also something in the way administration departures have happened at both the staff and cabinet level, suddenly, publicly, playing out with breaking news alerts on cable, often without a well vetted replacement ready to take the job.

Looking back through her data and studying other presidents, Tenpas reached the conclusion that “there’s never been so many highly visible departures or people fired under unfavorable circumstances and resigning under pressure.”

Article URL : https://www.npr.org/2019/09/12/759961914/i-wasn-t-na-ve-getting-fired-in-the-trump-administration

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