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: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9953104
Hinds9892198
Harrison7045110
Jackson6270119
Rankin5462102
Lee501095
Madison4734106
Forrest380586
Jones354888
Lauderdale3425145
Lafayette321549
Washington3161107
Lamar289250
Oktibbeha244362
Bolivar240984
Lowndes234164
Panola219850
Neshoba2196118
Marshall213850
Leflore204790
Pontotoc199228
Monroe197377
Sunflower191655
Lincoln188765
Warren175357
Tate168051
Union166025
Copiah163040
Pike161658
Yazoo154239
Scott152129
Itawamba151534
Pearl River150867
Coahoma150143
Alcorn149628
Simpson146753
Prentiss144230
Adams141150
Grenada140645
Leake133543
Holmes129961
George124524
Tippah124530
Covington122238
Winston121624
Hancock120239
Wayne117223
Marion115846
Attala112234
Tishomingo108942
Chickasaw107132
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96827
Clay90327
Clarke89353
Jasper82022
Walthall76328
Stone76114
Calhoun73913
Montgomery73625
Carroll72115
Lawrence70814
Noxubee70617
Yalobusha70627
Smith70516
Perry66126
Tunica60619
Greene60022
Claiborne58316
Jefferson Davis56517
Amite53114
Humphreys53119
Benton49117
Quitman4897
Webster43414
Kemper42518
Wilkinson39422
Jefferson34811
Franklin3365
Choctaw3237
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1144
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 242874

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31944500
Mobile19687361
Madison13065148
Tuscaloosa12983154
Montgomery12286236
Shelby1020377
Baldwin860398
Lee773566
Morgan653850
Calhoun6240119
Marshall621355
Etowah621066
Houston523038
DeKalb481336
Cullman435442
Limestone420645
St. Clair415855
Elmore404564
Lauderdale400454
Walker3634111
Talladega349054
Jackson313423
Colbert309342
Blount288840
Autauga271642
Franklin251033
Coffee242615
Dale231854
Dallas225932
Chilton221938
Russell22143
Covington218534
Escambia197931
Chambers176550
Tallapoosa175791
Pike158314
Clarke158019
Marion137936
Winston132323
Lawrence127336
Pickens122318
Geneva12138
Marengo121024
Bibb117317
Barbour117110
Butler115341
Randolph102021
Cherokee101524
Hale96131
Clay91124
Washington90919
Fayette89816
Henry8526
Lowndes79529
Monroe78711
Cleburne77114
Macon73122
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69419
Conecuh68414
Perry6846
Lamar6718
Wilcox63218
Sumter57722
Greene42418
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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