White House still reeling from NYT op-ed

The White House is still reeling from the anonymous op-ed that described an administration in chaos and a resistance to President Trump's actions. CNN's Ryan Nobles reports.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 10:56 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2018 10:56 PM

Call it the "Omarosa Effect."

If you work in the White House, you now have to leave your phone in your office if you are going to a meeting in the Situation Room. That new policy comes on the heels of Manigault Newman releasing more secretly recorded audiotapes of conversations she had during the year she spent in the White House. It also comes amid an ongoing witch hunt -- to borrow a term -- over who wrote an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times that was scathingly critical of the President. And on the eve of the release of Bob Woodward's "Fear: Trump in the White House," which casts President Donald Trump as badly out of the loop and kept that way by a handful of senior staffers who are concerned about what he could do to the country.

Combine those three things, and you can see why working at the White House isn't a pleasant experience at the moment. Wrote CNN's Jeremy Diamond and Kate Sullivan late last week:

"The op-ed amplified the sense of paranoia inside the West Wing and resurrected the feeling that the White House is under assault from within, multiple sources told CNN.

"Trump administration officials, struggling to mount a defense to Woodward's tell-all book, were stunned when the op-ed was published Wednesday afternoon, left guessing and quietly pointing fingers at other officials as they tried to figure out who wrote it, even texting reporters possible guesses."

On Monday, the search was still on.

The op-ed and the Woodward book have "led to new levels of suspicion among his staff, many of whom were already at odds with each other," CNN's Kevin Liptak wrote. "Trump raised the specter of launching a criminal investigation into the matter last week, suggesting the Justice Department look into who wrote the unnamed editorial."

This sort of paranoia and backbiting is the direct result of Trump's management style. He's made no secret of the fact that he likes to watch his advisers fight it out over policy. He also purposely plays favorites and seems to change his views on people at the drop of a hat. John Kelly was going to bring order to the White House as chief of staff. Then Kelly was on the outs because he was limiting Trump's ability to be himself. Then Trump said Kelly had agreed to stay on as chief of staff for the entirety of his presidency. Then Kelly might be the person who wrote the op-ed. And on and on and on.

The truth is that this sort of snake-pit environment is what Trump knows best. In business, he often would play top aides off against one another under the belief, according to him, that it brought out the best in everyone involved. In his previous life as a reality TV producer/star, the snake pit was ratings gold. It's no mistake that Omarosa, who was willing to say or do anything to curry favor with Trump during her time on "The Apprentice," was turned into a star by the Trump organization. (It's also not surprising that Omarosa bit back at Trump.)

The problem is that being President isn't like being the star of a reality TV show. And it's not at all clear that Trump knows that there is a difference between the two.

Drama is a very good thing in reality TV. If every episode of "The Apprentice" was just a group of aspiring businesspeople going about a task assigned to them by Trump, it would have lasted for about five minutes. The fighting between the contestants, the attempts to ingratiate themselves to the boss -- that is what made the show go. And what drove ratings.

When trying to, you know, run the country, drama is a less-good thing. Drama distracts. Everyone. From doing their job.

Think about your own life. If you knew your boss was super pissed about something negative about the company leaking to the press and was on the hunt for who did it, would you feel comfortable and happy -- even if you KNEW you didn't do it? And would you -- or any of your co-workers -- be able to do their jobs to the best of their ability while trying to also avoid suspicion or blame? Of course not.

Knowing that, most presidents would seek to calm the roiling waters of their White House. Trump is not most presidents. No matter what the official White House line is on the op-ed or the Woodward book, everything we know about Trump suggests that he will not rest until he has a name or names to blame. It's who he is. And you don't change who you are suddenly at age 72 and as the President of the United States.

What that means is that this snake-pit environment isn't going to be getting any better anytime soon. And by "anytime soon" I mean "as long as Trump is President."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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