According to a report in Axios published Friday, President Trump may be thinking about shaking things up in the White House. The site spoke to “aides and advisers” who said that Trump is unhappy about the constant infighting in the West Wing – a narrative we’ve seen reported by other news agencies, including Politico and the New York Times.
After White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council last week, several sites reported that the former Breitbart News chief was ready to leave Washington behind. Bannon is apparently butting heads with those he considers the “West Wing Democrats” – chiefly, Jared Kushner and his allies. Bannon dismissed those stories as “nonsense,” but others have reported that he only stayed in place because Republican donors begged him to remain.
According to Axios, though, Trump is thinking about not only replacing Bannon but White House chief of staff Reince Priebus as well.
A top aide to Trump said he’s contemplating major changes, but that the situation is very fluid and the timing uncertain: “Things are happening, but it’s very unclear the president’s willing to pull that trigger.”
The top aide — along with many other Trump officials, advisers and friends — told us that it seems to be more a question of “when” not “whether” change will come: “The tension, the exhaustion, the raw nerves have gotten much harder to disguise.”
According to the report, Trump is entertaining a number of options when it comes to a new chief of staff, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, former Bush staffer Wayne Berman, and key campaign associate David Urban.
Without further information, it’s hard to know exactly what to think about this potential shakeup. Trump is trying to find his footing in Washington, and he may feel as though the constant warring in the White House is preventing him from doing so. There’s also a feeling among insiders that Trump resents the widespread perception that Bannon is the one actually pulling the strings in the West Wing.
But if this is Trump giving all the power over to Kushner and Ivanka, it could spell trouble for his conservative supporters. Both of them are lifelong Democrats. And while they were uncompromising in their support of Trump as a candidate, it remains to be seen just how supportive they are of his promised agenda.
Trump deserves to surround himself with people he can trust, and he should take whatever steps necessary to ensure that’s the case.
We just hope he isn’t putting his faith in the wrong people.