A White House in disarray, again

The Trump White House is in turmoil — as the president insists he enjoys and benefits from the constant feuding

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 7, 2018 8:08AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Even as President Donald Trump's White House continued to reel from the impending departure of economic adviser Gary Cohn, the president himself has hinted that more exits are going to come — and that he savors the ongoing chaos.

While Trump bragged about the "great energy" coming from the White House and insisted that he encouraged "strong dialogue" between his staffers on key policy matters, a man widely considered to be one of the prevailing ideological moderates in Trump's administration announced that he planned on leaving.

Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) Gary Cohn announced his long-anticipated exit shortly after he failed to sway Trump from raising tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, according to Politico. Cohn had warned Chief of Staff John Kelly as recently as last week that if Trump decided to start a trade war, he would need to resign.

Now that threat has become a reality, leaving Trump in the position of needing to figure out who to choose as his new director for the National Economic Council. One frontrunner is former Reagan administration official Larry Kudlow, although Kudlow's recent criticisms of Trump on trade issues could hurt his chances for the job.

Another prospect is trade adviser Peter Navarro, although it is expected that staffers at the NEC would balk at the prospect of having to work for the staunch protectionist, according to Politico.

The internal White House chaos has not been limited to Cohn and trade issues. Trump has also refused to discourage his former communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, from publicly attacking Kelly, according to CNN. Scaramucci has attacked Kelly for the low morale which currently pervades the White House and for his handling of the departure of former staff secretary Rob Porter.

Trump has also been dissatisfied in general with the negative coverage of how his son-in-law Jared Kushner has struggled to obtain a full security clearance and how his longtime communications adviser Hope Hicks is leaving the White House.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anthony Scaramucci Donald Trump Gary Cohn Hope Hicks John Kelly Peter Navarro Rob Porter