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Trump's very small (and shrinking) inner circle

President Donald Trump promised during the campaign to stock his White House with "the best people in the world" -- b...

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 10:23 AM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 10:23 AM

President Donald Trump promised during the campaign to stock his White House with "the best people in the world" -- but it's turning out more like "the best people in the immediate circle of people who I directly know."

How else can you explain that within the last month or so, we've heard reports that Trump wanted to install his personal pilot as head of the FAA (although that report has yet come true) and then this week he installed his doctor as head of the VA?

One of the things that helped Dr. Ronny Jackson get the job was that the President appreciated the way he defended Trump's health during a White House press conference.

Loyalty is the key theme of Trump's management style.

When his campaign needed some help back in 2016, he went to the Republican operative who lived nearest -- literally in Trump Tower -- to take things over: Paul Manafort.

His daughter and son-in-law both ended up as senior advisers in the White House.

His longtime bodyguard and head of security, Keith Schiller, got a key role, too, as deputy assistant to the President and director of Oval Office operations.

And so did his former golf caddy, Dan Scavino, who became social media director during the campaign and is now White House director of social media and assistant to the President.

It's also how, at the ripe age of 26, Hope Hicks became White House communications director. She'd been with Trump throughout the campaign and, by all accounts, the President trusted her.

He had already blown through more seasoned people in the role. Mike Dubke, the longtime Republican operative, had left quietly after a few months on the job. Anthony Scaramucci left after a few days.

Hicks, already at the President's side, ultimately got the big job.

The problem is that Trump seems to be running out of people close to him who he trusts. Schiller left for a bigger paycheck.

Hicks resigned after she admitted to House investigators that she'd told what were described as white lies on behalf of the President and also became embroiled in the controversy around the denied security clearance of Rob Porter, the former Trump staff secretary with whom she was romantically linked and who was accused of spousal abuse by two ex-wives. Porter has denied the allegations.

Hicks' last day was Thursday. Now CNN's Kevin Liptak reports the President is being told by some allies he doesn't even need a communications director. Or a chief of staff. His relationship with chief of staff John Kelly has been up and down, and Liptak reports he has been finding ways around Kelly on some key decisions recently.

Kelly took the job over after the previous chief of staff, Reince Priebus, left. Kelly was not a Trump insider, but first gained the President's trust as his first Secretary of Homeland Security.

By the way, Trump at first liked surrounding himself with generals, but had to fire the fiercely loyal Michael Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, eased H.R. McMaster out the door when the two didn't really get along, and has been said to have soured on Kelly.

That could leave Secretary of Defense James Mattis as the last general standing.

Much of Trump's problem stems from the fact that a lot of the top Republican talent simply does not want to work for him. He came to Washington promising to drain the same swamp that also is the natural habitat of top political talent.

The other thing to remember here is that few ever seem to really completely leave Trump's orbit once they've been caught in his tractor beam.

Two former aides, Corey Lewandowski and Steve Bannon, have publicly pushed the idea that he could go without a chief of staff.

And Trump has mused, according to reports, about bringing Porter -- with whom he is still said to talk -- back to the White House, though the President has has told advisers he realizes he probably could not do that after the allegations against him.

The Point: All of this is evidence that the President's circle is very small. And that can be problematic, when running the country is such a very big job.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 498560

Reported Deaths: 9939
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34150535
DeSoto31916399
Hinds31878624
Jackson24352379
Rankin21928388
Lee15450235
Madison14547279
Jones13789241
Forrest13428250
Lauderdale11944315
Lowndes10966185
Lamar10491135
Pearl River9454237
Lafayette8462138
Hancock7703126
Washington7371157
Oktibbeha7118130
Monroe6740174
Warren6656176
Pontotoc6620102
Neshoba6613206
Panola6466131
Marshall6398132
Bolivar6268146
Union596794
Pike5794152
Alcorn5646101
Lincoln5421134
George494979
Scott471198
Tippah466081
Prentiss464881
Leflore4631144
Itawamba4605105
Adams4577119
Tate4553109
Copiah445692
Simpson4423116
Yazoo440386
Wayne438572
Covington427894
Marion4222107
Sunflower4217104
Coahoma4127104
Leake407687
Newton381079
Grenada3700108
Stone358764
Tishomingo358091
Attala330589
Jasper328565
Winston313491
Clay306775
Chickasaw297867
Clarke290694
Calhoun278145
Holmes267287
Smith262450
Yalobusha232847
Tallahatchie225851
Walthall217763
Greene216048
Lawrence211440
Perry204855
Amite204055
Webster201845
Noxubee185940
Montgomery179356
Jefferson Davis170942
Carroll168238
Tunica159039
Benton147538
Kemper141341
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131637
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106328
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814363

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1141131910
Mobile722941323
Madison52048686
Shelby37315341
Baldwin37098540
Tuscaloosa34973599
Montgomery33996725
Lee23158240
Calhoun22168470
Morgan20675372
Etowah19770496
Marshall18258300
Houston17314405
St. Clair15924337
Cullman15333290
Limestone15239198
Elmore15095284
Lauderdale14163294
Talladega13728272
DeKalb12575259
Walker11096366
Blount10104174
Autauga9904146
Jackson9795180
Coffee9182189
Dale8866181
Colbert8794200
Tallapoosa7045195
Escambia6747127
Covington6688179
Chilton6595160
Russell626358
Franklin5936105
Chambers5562142
Marion4960126
Dallas4897199
Clarke473482
Pike4721105
Geneva4564126
Winston4478101
Lawrence4269117
Bibb421786
Barbour356075
Marengo334189
Monroe330662
Randolph327763
Butler324894
Pickens314082
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300557
Fayette291079
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240867
Macon230762
Lamar218146
Conecuh185752
Coosa179038
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167838
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Hi: 75° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 70°
Columbus
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 69°
Oxford
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Starkville
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Feels Like: 63°
We have had some nice and dry days for the last several days. We will change things just a bit over the next few days, as we will see some scattered showers and thunderstorms back into our weather forecast by later Wednesday and into Thursday.
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