Trump Says The White House Isn't In Chaos. The Receipts Suggest It Is.

By: Kayla Pasacreta

Brace yourselves, another high-level White House shake-up, y'all. Gary Cohn, White House chief economic adviser, is stepping down just a week after Hope Hicks' departure. Cohn was responsible for Trump's appealing campaign-trail promise of tax cuts, but reports often said Cohn was unhappy about his position in the White House, often feeling that it was difficult to educate and steer Trump in the right direction,

I’ve got to tell you. I’m working at like 20 percent of my capacity.
— Gary Cohn, quote via West Wing Sources/Axios

Cohn reportedly has been thinking about leaving the White House for months. West Wing insiders said he was ready to call it quits after Trump's response to Charlottesville, when Trump said there were "very fine people" on "both sides". However, the tip of the iceberg for Cohn came when Trump said he would be imposing steel and aluminum tariffs, a direct slap-in-the-face to Cohn and his buddies on Wall Street. Trump's decision on tariffs, which has been met with resistance from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, clearly shows that the President will do whatever he wants when it comes to trade. With Cohn's departure, Trump is a step closer to having all "yes men"  in the White House, who will allow Trump to serve as his own most important adviser. The significance of Cohn's departure, as FiveThirtyEight puts it, is important: 

People with good jobs are leaving the White House, suggesting deep staff dissatisfaction — I assume that working with Trump is difficult. That said, there are some major perks. You might, as Hicks did, get to meet the Pope. Cohn played a key role in writing a major tax bill. Former President Barack Obama’s economic policy directors all remained for at least 23 months. Cohn is leaving this prestigious job after only about a year. That two fairly senior advisers are departing the Trump administration in a week’s time — whatever the circumstances — is telling. Both Cohh and Hicks appear to have decided that the upside of remaining in the White House is outweighed by the downside.
— FiveThirtyEight

Ironically, the same day as Cohn's departure, Trump bragged about the "high energy" of the White House.

Since Trump said there's no chaos in the White House, here's a list of things that happened in the White House (all on the same day):

  • Special Counsel finds White House counselor Kellyane Conway violated federal law on 2 occasions
  • White House chief economic adviser steps down
  • Porn star Stormy Daniels sues Trump for not actually signing their non-disclosure agreement 
  • Trump Administration sues California for "sanctuary city" policies that protect undocumented immigrants

Ehhhh. The White House just might actually be in chaos, Donny.

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Kayla PasacretaComment