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Per @jeffzeleny: Sr. admin official says Trump’s on-camera mting w/bipartisan grp of lawmkrs done to: “Seize the megaphone” in a substantive way, show the president is engaged in policy, while also trying to “put to rest the hyperventilation about him” re: mental stability
— Jeanne Sahadi (@jjsahadi) January 9, 2018
Yeah, *that* went well…
Watch President Trump and congressional leaders debate immigration policy pic.twitter.com/QSnhJmhfnF
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) January 9, 2018
Anyone who watched Trump agree with everyone in the room at his immigration meeting really think he couldn't be rolled by Putin?
— Schooley (@Rschooley) January 10, 2018
Not hardly gonna make the WH hiring department’s job any easier…
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 10, 2018
White House aides have been told to decide before the end of January whether they intend to leave the administration or stay through the November midterm elections, an official said, a deadline intended to help bring a sense of order to an anticipated staffing exodus.
President Donald Trump is finding it difficult to recruit staff to fill the vacancies, several people close to the West Wing say, as he faces the second year of his administration with daunting political odds and an ongoing Russia investigation.
In recent months, top advisers on foreign and domestic policy have announced their departures. Additional aides are expected to make their exit in the coming weeks. Chief of staff John Kelly has embarked upon an effort to fill the ranks by the end of January. But the absence of willing and qualified replacements, paired with a lengthy hiring process, make it unlikely he’ll reach that goal…
While a revolving door is common in any administration, people who work inside the White House with previous West Wing experience say the exhaustion is magnified remarkably under Trump. The unpredictability and chaos, along with a fear of costly legal fees in the wake of the Russia investigation, have added to the fatigue.
“It’s been a year, but doesn’t it feel like a decade?” a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive nature of the personnel shifts…
Gosh, you mean it’s not just us
normal people Democrats who feel that way?
… Grueling hours, cramped offices and political warfare take sizable tolls on aides’ personal and family lives. That reality has been exacerbated during Trump’s first year in office, which was marked by chaos, internal backbiting and the constant specter of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Unlike previous presidents, however, Trump has alienated large swaths of Republicans who might otherwise leap at the opportunity to work at the White House. Some of Trump’s allies, along with establishment Republicans, have voiced worry that a second wave of operatives and policy staffers does not appear to be waiting on the bench as aides announce their departures.
“There are still a lot of people who have said that they are unwilling to work in the White House and there are a lot of people that the White House is unwilling to have come in,” said longtime Republican operative Doug Heye…
Another factor giving potential hires pause is the ongoing Russia investigation, which has led to four indictments and could soon include an interview with Trump. Some of those who might otherwise work for Trump view a White House job as a potential “ticket to the grand jury,” one person familiar with the staffing challenges said….
The most gaping hole, according to multiple Trump allies inside and outside the White House, is that of a chief strategist who can channel Trump’s populist appeal while translating it into policy and political wins. Since the departure of Steve Bannon over the summer, that position has remained vacant, leading to grumbling from some of Trump’s allies at the state of his political operation…
Oh, that’s their problem — they need another Steve Bannon, but more personable!
WH source confirms CNN report but says that aides have been told to make a decision ASAP as some staffers are exiting the White House as early as President's Day weekend. https://t.co/dRnqV3p4aG
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) January 9, 2018
Mooch is standing outside with a boombox hoisted over his head. https://t.co/bXQs2OBRp6
— Schooley (@Rschooley) January 10, 2018