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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.

Confirmed Cases: 14372

Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds92024
Lauderdale69957
Madison68721
Scott62310
Neshoba56534
Jones52519
Forrest51137
DeSoto4936
Leake39512
Rankin3736
Holmes37324
Jackson30013
Copiah2854
Attala27715
Monroe25324
Leflore25030
Lincoln25022
Newton2504
Harrison2457
Lamar2275
Yazoo2233
Pearl River20731
Pike20211
Adams19015
Lowndes1828
Noxubee1696
Washington1636
Warren1587
Oktibbeha15010
Bolivar14911
Wayne1480
Jasper1483
Covington1411
Clarke13517
Smith13311
Kemper13110
Chickasaw12812
Lafayette1254
Lee1175
Carroll11410
Coahoma1133
Marion1129
Winston1051
Clay1043
Lawrence991
Simpson930
Hancock8711
Yalobusha855
Wilkinson859
Itawamba857
Grenada823
Montgomery811
Sunflower783
Union785
Marshall763
Jefferson Davis752
Tippah7111
Tate691
Panola643
Claiborne642
Calhoun614
Webster591
Amite561
Humphreys537
Tunica523
Walthall510
Perry492
Prentiss413
Jefferson400
Choctaw352
Stone300
Pontotoc283
Franklin272
Tishomingo260
Quitman250
Tallahatchie251
George201
Benton140
Alcorn141
Greene111
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16310

Reported Deaths: 590
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2085112
Jefferson167397
Montgomery144634
Marshall6609
Tuscaloosa63212
Lee52632
Franklin4986
Shelby47019
Tallapoosa41063
Butler39113
Chambers34024
Madison3154
Elmore3007
Baldwin2829
Walker2821
DeKalb2403
Etowah24011
Dallas2323
Coffee2191
Lowndes21610
Morgan2111
Sumter2106
Autauga1923
Houston1854
Bullock1763
Pike1730
Colbert1612
Calhoun1523
Marengo1506
Choctaw1487
Russell1480
Lauderdale1452
Hale1416
Wilcox1327
Barbour1301
Clarke1282
Randolph1247
Marion11711
St. Clair1081
Pickens964
Dale960
Talladega963
Chilton931
Greene914
Cullman880
Limestone860
Winston770
Covington751
Jackson742
Bibb711
Henry702
Macon672
Crenshaw662
Washington656
Blount531
Escambia483
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Perry360
Conecuh351
Coosa341
Monroe342
Cherokee332
Clay272
Lamar210
Cleburne131
Fayette130
Unassigned00
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