1st down:  Lt. Gen. Michael FlynnTrump’s pick for deputy commerce secretary, Todd Ricketts, withdrew last Wednesday. The son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, a major GOP donor, could not easily unload his share in some of the family’s holdings, such as the Chicago Cubs.

The president’s nominee for Navy secretary, venture capitalist Philip Bilden, also cited his inability to meet the OGE ethics agreement when he pulled out in February.

Trump’s first choice for Army secretary, billionaire high-frequency trader Vincent Viola, apparently dropped out for similar reasons. When his company was planning to go public in 2014, though, it disclosed that regulators were looking into it’s trading practices. 

Michael Flynn delivers his last statement during the daily briefing at the White House in February after being removed by Mike Pence whom he lied to about his Russian contacts.  The NSC was a hotbed of dysfunction until recently when Flynn’s replacement, H.R. McMaster, finally asserted himself fully. 

Puzder’s withdrawal never got much attention because it happened just two days after Trump fired Michael Flynn as his national security adviser over his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The longtime CEO of the company that owns Carl’s Jr. was bowing to the reality that he wouldn’t have the votes to get confirmed by the Senate. 

His past employment of an undocumented housekeeper and his support for more liberalized immigration policies ultimately did more to doom his hopes in the GOP-controlled chamber than his ex-wife’s past allegations, made during an appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show but later recanted, that he had abused and threatened her.

The vetting process became especially messy after Trump fired Chris Christie as head of the transition team just days after the election. The president was reportedly prodded by son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose father Christie had sent to jail as U.S. attorney in New Jersey. 

Katie Walsh left the White House in March for the private sector.  The deputy White House chief of staff didn’t even survive until the end of March. Katie Walsh, who had been Reince Priebus’s deputy at the Republican National Committee, abruptly left her West Wing post the week after the collapse of the president’s health-care plan in the House. 

Boris Epshteyn, who as a special assistant to the president was in charge of managing all TV appearances by White House officials, also didn’t make it until the end of the first quarter. t“Epshteyn also earned a reputation as someone who is combative and sometimes difficult to work with, even when he arrives at studios as a guest of a network. 

Gerrit Lansing gave up his job as the White House’s chief digital adviser after a month because he was unwilling to cut financial ties to a company in which he held an ownership stake, Politico reported last week:  The controversy put White House press secretary Sean Spicer in an awkward spot. As the RNC’s chief strategist, Spicer denied to Politico in mid-2016 that Lansing had any financial stake in Revv. ‘

Anthony Scaramucci was named as the head of the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, but three weeks later it was taken away from him. The problem reportedly was the sale of his firm, SkyBridge Capital, to a division of HNA Group, a politically connected Chinese conglomerate.

Jason Miller was supposed to be White House communications director until he suddenly announced on Christmas Eve that he wanted to focus on his family instead.  Miller instead took a job at Teneo Strategy, the firm founded by former Bill Clinton loyalists which Republicans used to frequently attack.

Monica Crowley was going to oversee communications in a senior job on Trump’s National Security Council, but she was felled by a plagiarism scandal the week before Trump took office. In March, she registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk.

Deputy national security adviser K. T. McFarland, who had been brought on by Flynn, is expected to leave her post soon to become U.S. ambassador to Singapore.  

McMaster also removed White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the principals committee as part of a shake-up.

Trump’s own pick to be the NSC’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Craig Deare was dismissed in mid-February after word got back to the White House that he’d trashed the president and Bannon during an off-the-record event hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center.   Deare had complained to a group of academics that senior national security aides did not have access to the president.

A senior adviser to Ben Carson was escorted out of the Housing and Urban Development department headquarters by security after someone completing his background check found a critical op-ed he wrote about Trump last fall for The Hill. Shermichael Singleton, one of Trump’s relatively few African American political appointees, had been planning a cross-country tour for Carson. 

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