Another Week, Another Swamp Denizen, or Two, or Three, Drained

It’s time to Break It Down!

A week ago yesterday Donald Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser, Gary Cohn exited TrumpWorld. Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired-by-tweet. There are many reasons that could have prompted the President to unceremoniously terminate Tillerson’s employment, ranging from his alleged reference to his boss as an “effi’n (full spelling) moron,” (which he subsequently refused to deny), to his opposing opinion about the efficacy of proceeding with plans for Trump to meet directly with North Korea’s Kim Jung-un. In any event, while that was indeed the main event, there was both a bonus, and a double-bonus that were also pretty good; I suppose that’s why they’re called bonus and double bonus.

In addition to firing Tillerson, the administration also fired his top spokesman, Steve Goldstein. Shortly after Trump’s morning tweetocide of Tillerson, Goldstein noted that Tillerson had not spoken directly to the President about the move. He said:

“The Secretary had every intention of remaining because of the tangible progress made on critical national security issues. The Secretary did not speak with the President this morning and is unaware of the reason, but he is grateful for the opportunity to serve, and still believes strongly that public service is a noble calling and not to be regretted.”

Goldstein, it appears, did not get the memo. It’s true Donald Trump appreciates loyalty. However, the complete thought is, Donald Trump appreciates people who are loyal to him. Mr. Goldstein’s display of allegiance to Tillerson, who’d already been dismissed, was clearly a deeply misplaced gesture, from Trump’s perspective. Nevertheless, Goldstein took his own termination with high honor and nobility. He said in his lengthy post termination statement:

“I was proud to speak on behalf of the Secretary of State to the American people and allies throughout the world and this has been the honor of a lifetime.

It’s within the purview, you are appointed by the administration and you are appointed for the time being. That is what is listed on your commission and it is determined by the White House who they want in these roles.

I don’t have regret, other than you always want to try to do more, but I feel proud of what we achieved and I am so impressed by the Secretary of State. He is a truly great man.

I look forward to getting more rest and hopefully winning an indoor rowing competition.”

In yesterday’s final Trump firing – strike three as it were, Trump’s ‘body man’ John McEntee was fired abruptly, and escorted from the White House for security reasons, according to the Wall Street Journal. Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat – MD wrote about McEntee’s firing:

“This recent report about President Trump’s personal assistant is just the latest indication that the process for vetting White House employees for security issues is seriously flawed.”

Last week, Trump said there is no chaos in the White House, just lots of great energy. Inexplicably, his supporters agree. I do not. I cannot. Full stop!

As 2016 Donald Trump said repeatedly, “Drain the swamp.” That, of course, was the thrust of last week’s post, ( In a not so surprising way, it’s as though this week is a déjà vu all over again, a “Groundhog Day” the movie, kind of week. The thing is that has quickly become the legacy of TrumpWorld.

A great deal has been made of the tumult, turbulence, and turmoil that unfold on a regular basis, almost solely as a result of the fact that the current occupant of the White House…is the current occupant of the White House. He claims he is ‘Making America Great Again,” and that he is the only one who can. His supporters and spinners insist that he is unduly targeted and unfairly attacked because of his “unconventional” tactics and unfiltered comments. The other 60+% of Americans, including the more than three million more who voted for his opponent rather than him, argue that his rhetoric is crass, demeaning, and filled with hateful flourishes, while his policies are designed to segment and separate groups into competing, often near-warring factions.

George Orwell warned in his dystopian novel, “1984,” that authoritarianism begins with language. In that setting, “newspeak” was language twisted to deceive. From the very onset, Team Trump attempted to use news and language to deceive Americans. Trump’s first Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, alleged on his first day on the job, in his first instance behind the podium, that Trump’s Inauguration was the largest ever. That was a deception, a claim that if made by anyone not representing President Trump, would simply have been called a lie. The administration would go on to double down on this fanciful misrepresentation when Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, characterized Spicer’s depiction as “alternative facts. A rose by any other name, or in that case a lie euphemistically framed.

The President hired Spicer and Conway, so it is understandable that they shill for their guy. After all, they owe him their loyalty, which he unabashedly demands, and their jobs, from which he has been known to threaten to dismiss staffers. However, day before yesterday, the House Intelligence Committee opted summarily to end its Russia investigation. They declined to even consult with the Democrats on the committee before doing so. In explaining the rationale for their decision, spokesmen for the committee said they found no evidence of collusion by the Trump Campaign with the Russians, and that despite the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that the Russians endeavored to help Donald Trump’s campaign, while simultaneously working to undermine Clinton’s, the Committee concluded that the intelligence agencies were simply wrong on that singular point.

Unlike Trump’s appointees, the House members on this committee are elected, and have taken an oath to represent and take actions that reflect the will of the people who sent them to Washington. I suppose they either believe they were elected by the 38% (Trump supporters), and surely some of them were, or that they to are obligated to render fealty to Trump, just as his appointees seem to feel they must do. But, I digress. This brief edition is about the Tillerson imbroglio.

Remember last may when James Comey discovered he was fired from TV, while talking to a group of FBI Agents in Los Angeles? Well, Tillerson’s episode yesterday reflected the next phase, direct from Trump’s favorite social media platform…his Twitter Account. “Another Week, Another Swamp Denizen, or Two, or Three, Drained!”

I’m done; holla back!

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Draining The Swamp: One Former Trump Appointee at-a-Time

It’s time to Break It Down!

Yesterday Gary Cohn, Trump’s top Economic Adviser resigned. Cohn resigned after losing a political and ideological debate with the President. A disagreement which centered around the virtue, or lack thereof, regarding the steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump has insisted he will impose, even on our closest trading partners, Canada and Mexico. This was not Cohn’s first occasion finding himself at cross-purposes with Trump. Last year in August, when Trump found it excruciatingly difficult to condemn white supremacists and Nazis after their disruptive activity in Charlottesville, VA, some reports contended Cohn nearly resigned.

In an interview with the Financial Times, conducted Thursday after the Charlottesville incident, Cohn, a high profile Jewish member of the administration and former Goldman Sachs executive, said Trump’s handling of the violence and protests (Trump condemned violence “on many sides,” drawing immediate backlash) caused him “distress.” He added:

“The administration can and must do better to condemn hate groups.”

In some corners, folks are noting that at least in resigning now, Cohn established that he really does have a red line regarding the President’s actions. While it apparently was not the President’s failure to issue a full-throated disavowal of white nationalists and Nazis, infuriating America’s major trading partners was simply a bridge too far for the free trade advocate. That did the trick. In full disclosure, it is also worth noting that Cohn coveted, and was vying to become the next Federal Reserve Chairman. In as much as that ship sailed in January when Jerome Powell was confirmed as the new Fed Chair, if Cohn is once again mad as hell, there is now no residual need to take it anymore. So he didn’t!

In case this development seems like “just another chaotic day in TrumpWorld, and it clearly does, Mr. Cohn’s exit reminds me of a narrative I touched upon over 5 months ago, when I cited a least 30 individuals and two entire Councils that had been dismissed, or who had resigned from the Trump administration. That list follows:

  • General Michael Flynn – National Security Advisor (resigned) – 22 days
  • Sean Spicer – Press Secretary (resigned) – 182 days
  • Anthony Scaramucci – Director of Communications (fired) – 10 days
  • Reince Priebus – Chief of Staff (resigned) – 189 days
  • Steve Bannon (mutual agreement) – 210 days
  • Sebastian Gorka (unclear) – 217 days
  • Carl Ichan (resigned) – 210 days
  • White House Manufacturing Council (dissolved) – 201 days
  • White House Economic Council (dissolved) – 201 days
  • Denise Morrison – Advisory Council (resigned) – 201 days
  • Inge Thulin – Advisory Council (resigned) 201 days
  • Thea Lee – Advisory Council (resigned) 200 days
  • Scott Paul – Advisory Council (resigned) 200 days
  • Richard Trumka – Advisory Council (resigned) 200 days
  • Kenneth C. Frazier – Advisory Council (resigned) – 199 days
  • Kevin Plank – Advisory Council – (resigned) – 199 days
  • Brian Krzanich – Advisory Council (resigned) – 199 days
  • Derek Harvey National Security Council Advisor (fired) – 186 days
  • Michael Short Assistant Press Secretary (resigned) – 186 days
  • Walter Shaub Director Office of Government Ethics (resigned) – 180 days – (resigned)
  • Robert Iger – Advisory Council (resigned) – 133 days (resigned)
  • Elon Musk – Advisory Council (resigned) – 132 days
  • Mike Dubke – Director of Communications (resigned) – 85 days
  • McFarland – Deputy National Security Advisor (resigned) 117 days
  • James Comey – FBI Director (fired) – 109 days
  • Angela Reid – Chief Usher (fired) – 105 days
  • Katie Walsh – Deputy White House Chief of Staff (resigned) – 69 days
  • Craig Deare – National Security Council Senior Director (fired) – 26 days
  • Travis Kalanick – Advisory Council (resigned) – 13 days
  • Sally Yates – Acting Attorney General – fired – 10 days

As you might imagine, and rightfully so, the list has only grown since that August 30th Post ( I can no longer be held responsible for ensuring that the list is complete. It does change frequently. In an effort to hit the high points, here are some of the people who have seen the light, and escaped, been forced to resign, or in straight-up “Apprentice-fashion,” fired, since that Wednesday in August.

  • Tom Price Health & Human Services Secretary – Resigned in September (Travelgate)
  • Dina Powell Deputy National Security Adviser – Resigned in December (A former George W. Bush administration official, said to have left on good terms)
  • Omarosa Menigault Newman Communications Officer – Resigned in December (Said to have been forcibly escorted off the White House property; call it resigned if you like}
  • Brenda Fitzgerald CDC Director – Resigned in January (Tobaccogate)
  • Rob Porter Staff Secretary – Resigned (Technically; in reality, he was fired) in February (Spouse Beating Syndrome/which he denied)
  • Hope Hicks White House Communications Director – Resigned in February (Muellered)
  • Gary Cohn Economic Adviser – Resigned in March (Not Promoted)

Outside of Trump’s head, and the Fox News bubble, which I surmise has probably been arranged to portray a reasonable facsimile of the inside of Trump’s head, many observers and a host of news outlets have concluded the administration is immersed in chaos. Not surprisingly, Trump has dismissed this verifiably logical conclusion. He, in fact, insists that his White House is filled with positive energy. Yesterday at his news conference he argued he would have his pick of “ten top people” for the openings in his White House. “There is no chaos, only great energy!”

“Everybody wants to be there. And they love this White House because we have energy like rarely before. OK?”

While some Republicans have expressed reservations about whether they would like to work for the Trump White House, the President’s take on the matter is, “Maybe people don’t want to work for Trump, but everybody wants to work in the White House. Not only does it look good on a resume, but the White House is a great place to work; it’s got tremendous energy.”

Even among insiders at the Trump White House, there are those who see more chaos than that unlimited source of great energy the President claims. But that’s a conversation for another day. After contemplating the significance of the Trump Administration’s revolving staff door, I believe I’ve found an island of virtue in the midst of a sea of despair. The President has a jewel of a plan to keep his campaign promise. “Draining The Swamp: One Former Trump Appointee at a Time!”

I’m done, holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: Find a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribe, click on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.”Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post: