7/21/2017 - RESIGNATION

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY  SEAN SPICER; Today he resigned and we wish him well.

Not truly fair being Donald Trumps front end press guy is like selling lemonade at a stand owned by the devil.  You sell it but won’t drink the stuff.  Being the excuser for the worlds loudest self-generating narcissistic liar is not an easy task. Sort of building the pyramids using toothpicks.

On January 21, 2017 the press corp had enough rope to hang him from the White House balcony.  Spicer’s first official statement as press secretary was criticized for providing what became called "alternative facts" regarding the inauguration's attendance numbers.

He quickly assumed the role of Donald’s explainer and did a horrible job of explaining horrible lies with more horrible lies.
In one statement, he also claimed that the inauguration was “ he most watched ever”  but subsequently stated that he was referring not only to live attendees at the ceremony or those watching on TV, but also viewers who watched the inauguration online and in the ensuing cartoon books. 

During the bizarre, shocking, and occasionally Constitution-bending initial fortnight of the Trump administration, few have appeared to suffer more, perhaps both publicly and privately, than Spicer himself. As a long-tenured creature of Washington, who has served in various capacities around Capitol Hill since the 90s, Spicer was a generally well-liked communications director at the Republican National Committee, with a quick wit and a sense of humor. 

One reporter who worked with Spicer described him as a  “very reasonable guy.” In the last two weeks, however, Spicer has been subject to a form of public torture. He has, in some ways, become Trump’s very own Baghdad Bob.

The day after Trump’s inauguration, Spicer baldly lied to the assembled press about the size of Trump's turnout, among other things, in a bombastic delivery that appeared part-Trump, part Sam Kinison—and decidedly unlike Spicer. He soon entered into a full-on feud with CNN’s Jim Acosta, trashing his behavior during a contentious press conference as “rude and disrespectful,” saying, to his face, “if you behave like that again, we will have you removed.”   Then came the news that Trump did not approve of Spicer’s wardrobe. 

Followed by the worst gaff in the history of the Press Spokesmen, his reference to Bashar Al-Assad as worse than Hitler. Im afraid its too sensitive an issue for me being Jewish and comparing the T-RUMP regime fairly close in parameters with a Fourth Reich, a pet theme of Bannon.



And then came Melissa McCarthy’s brilliant spoof on Saturday Night Live of Spicer as a man in the midst of an existential crisis—a performance that reportedly ruffled feathers in the White House. 

“Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” a source told Politico. But truth is “it’s almost like the new president is a stage mom off to the side, telling Sean what to say and how to say it.

McCarthy’s portrayal of Spicer, however, resonated with journalists who have watched Spicer transform into an adversarial, apoplectic caricature of the press secretary as superhero villain.   Press secretaries around the District also immediately felt a wave of sympathy for Spicer’s circumstances. “President Trump seems to have indicated that getting along and having good relations with the press is somehow disloyal,” 

On Tuesday evening, Acosta broke the story that Trump was disappointed in Spicer’s performance and the White House was looking to unburden him of his communications director role in order to facilitate an improvement in the briefing room. 

Acosta noted that the president blamed his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, for selecting Spicer for such a visible role. This being Trumpland, Acosta also quotes an anonymous senior official saying that Trump supported Spicer “100 percent.”

MARK CORALLO - Attorney Spokesman for the TRUMP Legal Defense Team
The chief spokesman for President Trump’s personal legal team, Mark Corallo, has resigned.  Corallo confirmed his resignation in an email to The Hill.  Politico reported Thursday that his resignation was due to growing frustration with operation and warring factions, as well as concerns over whether he was being told the truth.

Corallo, a veteran GOP operative, was working on the White House defense against special counsel Robert Meuller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  According to reports, Corallo had never met Trump or Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, before taking the job defending the president.

Last month, The New York Times reported that Corallo had previously used Twitter to criticize the president and his administration.  “Hey Mr. President, where's all the ‘winning?’” Corallo tweeted last month, appearing to reference former President Bill Clinton.  He also used Twitter to criticize Trump’s reliance on son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, calling Kushner part of the “swamp” Trump promised to drain.  Corallo’s message also split from that of many other Trump allies, who were critical of Mueller.  Days before he accepted the role as Kasowitz's spokesman, he praised Mueller for his integrity and honor.

In US Ethics Chief, Walter Shaub Jr. -   Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub Jr. is turning in his resignation on Thursday.  The move follows months of clashes with the White House over issues such as President Trump’s refusal to divest his businesses and the administration's delay in disclosing ethics waivers for appointees.  Shaub, an attorney, has accepted a job with the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization of election-law experts.  

Thursday morning, Shaub told NPR that “the current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is. At the Campaign Legal Center, I'll have more freedom to push for reform. I’ll also be broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government.He did not elaborate on what is so wrong with the “ Current situation," but Shaub has been sharply critical of Trump's approach to ethics compliance since the election.  The battle began in late November when the ethics office began issuing a series of tweets that mimicked Trump's style, exclaiming: "Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, good for America!”

The tweets were clearly intended as pointed satire, given that Trump had not promised total divestiture.
 And then on Jan. 11, shortly before Inauguration Day, Shaub spoke out at the Brookings Institution, causing a stir when he said Trump's plan for avoiding conflicts of interest "doesn't meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met."
Trump's plan involved moving his business interests into a trust run by his two oldest sons and a longtime business associate. Trump is the sole beneficiary of the trust.  Since the 1970s, presidents have moved their assets into blind trusts run by third parties.

Trump's trust is "not even halfway blind," Shaub said at Brookings. "His sons are still running the businesses, and, of course, he knows what he owns."
Since Trump began naming appointees following the November election, the ethics office has been racing to keep up with the workload. That involves reviewing appointees’ financial information to identify conflicts of interest and then negotiating with them to resolve or at least diminish any problems. 

For example, OGE might suggest a White House staffer sell off a business interest or move an asset into a blind trust.
But the small agency, with about 70 employees, can only advise on ethics — not enforce rules.
Many Americans have been calling the once-obscure office to report on, or demand action on, ethical issues involving the administration. That has caused a spike in OGE's workload, without an increase in staff.
The agency reports that during the six months between October 2008 and March 2009, as the Obama presidency was taking shape, it got 733 public contacts, such as calls, letters and emails. During the October 2016 to March 2017 period in the Trump era, it was swamped with 39,105 contacts — an increase of 5,235 percent.

FBI DIRECTOR - James Comey - 
 FBI director,  found out he had been fired as just like the rest of us: By watching it on television.  The move, announced late Tuesday via a letter sent from President Donald Trump to Comey, marked the most unpredictable moment of a presidency that through its first 100-plus days has been the least orthodox in memory. 

It also ramped up criticism of Trump’s judgments - Comey was tasked with leading the investigation into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 campaign and what, if any, collusion had occurred between Trump campaign operatives and Russian intelligence officials -- and left official Washington reeling over a move considered unthinkable as recently as this week. Lots more coming and a zillion dollar book deal in the works.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
 Trump’s pick for deputy commerce secretary.  Possible collusion and criminal charges.  Michael Flynn delivered 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. 

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.

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

Vincent Viola -  Trump’s first choice for Army secretary, billionaire high-frequency trader 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. 

Burger Meister 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.  Many in the White House felt his burgers sucked and so did he. One employee asked is he still wearing those bed sheets.

Chris Christie - (Secret Service code name - Leash Dog One)  The vetting process became especially messy after Trump named Christie as head of the transition team just days after the election. The president was reportedly prodded by son-in-law Jared Kushner, not to name him whose father Christie had sent to jail as US attorney in New Jersey. 

In the days following the election, Trump expressed deep frustration about how Christie was handling the transition. In particular, he vented about how the governor had loaded up the team with lobbyists, the very class of people Trump had campaigned against, with his calls to “drain the swamp” in Washington. The president-elect also noticed that Christie had stocked his team with old New Jersey friends and allies.

Chris Christie, once one of the Republican Party’s brightest stars, was virtually assured a position in a Donald Trump administration. As one of the first big-name politicians to endorse the Manhattan billionaire, the New Jersey governor had earned Trump’s gratitude.

Instead, just a few months after being denied the VP slot, Christie suffered another public humiliation – he was stripped of his leadership of Trump’s presidential transition. In a phone call last week, the president-elect told Christie that he had become a political liability.  Trump and his top aides were most concerned about two issues, according to nearly a dozen people briefed on the process: Christie’s mismanagement of the transition, and the lingering political fallout of the Bridgegate scandal.

On Friday, Nov. 11, the transition team announced that Vice President-elect Mike Pence would be taking over Christie’s duties. A purge of Christie loyalists soon followed, along with a promise to cleanse the transition of lobbyists the governor had brought in to steer the new administration.

To some degree, Christie’s problems weren’t entirely of his making. In Trump, he was dealing with a political newcomer who didn’t understand the importance of laying the groundwork for a future administration. By 

In the months to come, Kushner, a 35-year-old New York City real estate mogul who grew up in New Jersey, would become a bigger problem for Christie, arguing forcefully against Trump making the governor his running mate. Christie, a former U.S. attorney, became convinced that Kushner was retaliating over his 2004 prosecution of Kushner’s father, Charles.

Within Christie’s world, the question has turned to what’s next for the embattled governor – In recent days, Christie’s advisers have reached out to him to see how he’s holding up. 

"I know all of them have taken inordinate concern, just in the last 10 days or so, about my future. All of them have become, you know, employment counselors," he added. "I have every intention of serving out my full term as governor — I've said that from the beginning."

Christie’s advisers, meanwhile, speculate that the governor might exit politics entirely when his term expires in January 2018. Some of them suggest that Christie, an avid sports fan, could take a job as a sports radio host. He is an occasional guest caller to WFAN, the popular New York City-based sports talk station.

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.   Then TRUMP brought him back as his Communications Director.
Guaranteed more breaking news from this clown combo Code Named Riff and Raff.

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.

K. T. McFarland -  Deputy national security adviser 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.

Craig Deare - 
Trump’s own pick to be the NSC’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, 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.

Shermichael Singleton - 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. One of Trump’s relatively few African American political appointees, had been planning a cross-country tour for Carson. 

Preet Bharara - Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was known as one of Wall Street’s fiercest watchdogs and a widely respected prosecutor.  He first refused to resign along with 46 US attorneys across the country. Although it is common for incoming administrations to replace district attorneys when transitioning to power, Trump had previously assured Bharara that he'd keep his job.  Bharara felt blindsided by the request. He was fired after refusing to comply.

Deputy Attorney General Yates - Appointed by Obama, former had been running Trump’s Justice Department as Acting Attorney General while Trump’s nominee for the role, Sen. Jeff Sessions, awaited confirmation. She became a household name when Trump abruptly removed her from the temporary position.  Ostensibly for her refusal to implement the first iteration of Trump's ban on travelers from a number of Muslim-majority countries. 

As part of the probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump administration, then-acting Attorney General Yates met with White House counsel to inform them that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn wasn’t telling the truth about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and, as a result, represented a blackmail risk.

©  Copyright 07-2017