A year into his first term, President Trump is on his second White House chief of staff, second national security adviser, third deputy national security adviser, second press secretary, fifth communications director, and second HHS secretary, and that doesn't count all the vacancies. The White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, is also in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and John DeStefano oversees three White House offices: personnel, public liaison, and political affairs. This isn't normal, says Peter Baker at The New York Times.
"We have vacancies on top of vacancies," Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who has studied White House turnover at the Brookings Institution, tells the Times. In fact, more than a third of Trump's hires have left, and "some administration officials privately spend much of their time trying to figure out how to leave without looking disloyal or provoking an easily angered president," the Times reports:
According to a report by Ms. Tenpas, Mr. Trump's 34 percent turnover rate in his first year is more than three times as high as President Barack Obama's in the same period and twice as high as President Ronald Reagan's, which until now was the modern record-holder. Of 12 positions deemed most central to the president, only five are still filled by the same person as when Mr. Trump took office. [The New York Times]
The fear of losing yet another senior aide is one of the reasons the White House was reluctant to push out staff secretary Rob Porter, despite being informed he would not be granted security clearance due to domestic violence accusations, Baker reports. White House jobs are usually highly sought-after, he adds, but "Republican operatives said they worry not only about the pressure-cooker, soap-opera atmosphere and the danger of being drawn into the special counsel investigation of Russia's election interference but also about hurting their careers after the White House." You can read more at The New York Times. Peter Weber