Looking to alleviate concerns about a large number of high-profile individuals leaving the White House, President Donald Trump decried the media's reporting in a tweet Tuesday morning and tried to explain that the turnover was completely normal.
“The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House,” Trump wrote. “Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision.”
Trump also suggested that more departures could be coming.
“I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection),” he added. “There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
Trump is partially correct in his assessment: There is a certain amount of turnover that’s normal for any presidential administration. But as usual, Trump is misleading the public in his statement; the amount of turnover taking place in his White House is more noticeable, not to mention more numerous, than in past years, and the media is absolutely right in reporting on it.
The New York Times points out that the number of individuals leaving the White House under Trump is three times higher than had left under his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, during the same time period. It’s also twice as high as the turnover rate that was seen under the administration of President Ronald Reagan.
In total, during Trump’s first year or so in office, one out of every three staff positions he’s appointed has been vacated. That’s a staggering amount of turnover, the highest seen in decades.
It’s not just small posts, either — the Times reports that out of the 12 most central appointments to the president, only five individuals who started out with the president remain in their positions.
One of those crucial appointments includes the recent departure of Communications Director Hope Hicks. Her departure came just after she had given testimony to a Congressional investigation on Russian meddling in the United States' elections during 2016’s presidential election.
So prevalent are departures from the White House that some people have created new measures to exemplify just how often they occur:
anthony scaramucci: 1 scaramucci— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) February 28, 2018
reince priebus: 13.3 scaramuccis
sean spicer: 18.2 scaramuccis
hope hicks: 40.4 scaramuccis
folks we have a new top scaramucci score
Despite the president’s attempts to say otherwise, the White House is in turmoil. The exodus of many top aides is just one sign — his documented outbursts against world leaders and inconsistent public remarks are further evidence that things are breaking down in the Trump administration.
America deserves better leadership than this — Trump simply isn’t up to the task of delivering it. And it’s likely that staffers leaving the White House are departing because they agree with this sentiment, jumping ship before more damage can be done to their reputations.