It should come as a surprise to no one that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was pushed out of his position in the White House. Speculation over Priebus’ tenure at the White House began the day the President took office. It has been reported that he told those close to him that he had hoped to make it one year.
The Unceremonious Firing
Of course, the announcement came from the President via Twitter. It was late Friday afternoon, after a trip to Long Island to speak about gang violence – a trip that included both Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci. As he waited to disembark Air Force One the President tweeted:
And then, as an afterthought:
It did not come as a shock that Priebus was pushed out. What was shocking, or at least disturbing, is the humiliation he was forced to endure throughout his time in the White House. His brief tenure culminated in a vicious and vulgar humiliation by Anthony Scaramucci – seemingly given with the blessing of the President.
Scaramucci’s profane phone call with Ryan Lizza that was published in the New Yorker was not punished. Instead, it seems to have been rewarded with this personnel move.
Trump’s Purge of Washington Insiders
When the President took office, he appointed a handful of Washington political insiders to serve on his staff. This was a move that eased some of the apprehension from Republicans on Capitol Hill about his ability to govern.
It remained unclear how the Washington insiders would mesh with and interact with Trump, his family, and the loyalists he brought in to surround himself. The firing of Reince Priebus was the final nail in the coffin for any attempt to merge Washington with New York and his family.
When Trump hired Priebus, it was as a peace offering to the Republican establishment. Priebus brought with him Katie Walsh and Sean Spicer, both of whom are also gone from the White House.
Kellyanne Conway, while considered a Washington insider, is more of an opportunist. She continues to play a small part in the administration, and her close relationship to Vice President Mike Pence may help insulate her from the purge. Those restraining forces, who represent Washington norms never had much sway in this administration, but now they are gone entirely.
Scaramucci made is clear that his goal is to be sure Trump is free to “express his full identity.” Surrounded by his family and people like “The Mooch” the public should expect more of Trump being Trump.