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Trump staff turnover sets records


Donald Trump’s first year in the White House has been tumultuous for his staff, resulting in massive turnover.   Michael Flynn has put in a guilty plea. Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Anthony Scaramucci were pushed out. Sean Spicer is off working on a book. Omarosa Manigault, the former contestant on “The Apprentice”, was escorted out the door on Tuesday.

In addition, It has already been confirmed that Dina Powell, the deputy national-security adviser, will leave the White House early next year, and that Paul Winfree the deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and the director of budget policy, will head back to his old job at the Heritage Foundation after this week. Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, has signaled that he will leave the Administration once the fate of the Republican tax bill is decided.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose relationship with Trump has proved fraught, has long been rumored to be on the way out, with CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed as a likely replacement.

In fact, during the president’s time in office his administration saw a 34 percent turnover rate among senior aides.  The information comes from Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has spent years tracking White House turnover rates.  According to her analysis, 21 of the 61 senior officials tracked have either resigned, been fired or been reassigned.

The rate of staff turnover during Trump’s administration has shown to be higher than that during former presidents’ first years in office.  The turnover rate during former President Reagan’s first year in office — which was the second-highest first-year turnover rate in the last 40 years — was 17 percent in 1981.  “Not only is the percentage double, the seniority of people leaving is extraordinarily high,” Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas said.  President Obama experienced a 9 percent turnover after his first year.

“That’s unprecedented to me. The first year always seems to have some missteps on staffing, often because the skills that worked well running a campaign don’t always align with what it takes to run a government. In this case, it’s a president with no experience in government and people around him who also had no experience.”

So much for hiring the brightest and the best.


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