West Wing woes: Trump administration sees record high employee turnover

While the news cycle this week felt dominated by tariffs and North Korea talks it also brought us stories about President Donald Trump’s staff- specifically the announcement that one of Trump’s economic advisors, Gary Cohn, would soon be leaving the White House.

The Trump Administration has seen a higher turnover rate in the past 13 1/2 months than his four most recent predecessors had in two years. And while Trump is insisting that, “Believe me. Everybody wants to work in the White House,” we thought we’d take a little stroll down memory lane at all the people who have or are soon leaving the hallowed halls of the West Wing.

Gary Cohn: Jan. 20, 2017 – March 6, 2018 (announced)
Gary Cohn, director of the national economic council, announced his plans to leave resigned March 6, 2018, following Trump’s proposal to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cohn attempted to dissuade Trump from the planned tariff but was unsuccessful. A specific date has not yet been set for Cohn’s departure but Trump has said that he’s already looking for a replacement.

Hope Hicks: Aug. 16, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018 (announced) 
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks announced her resignation Feb. 28, 2018 – one day after she testified for eight hours before the House Intelligence Committee. In her testimony, Hicks said she had never lied about anything connected to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Hicks said she is leaving the White House to pursue other opportunities and reports say she insists that it is in no way connected to her Russia testimony.

Josh Raffel: April, 2017 – Feb. 27, 2018
White House Communications Aide Josh Raffel left the administration Feb. 27, 2018. Raffel was the primary spokesman for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Rachel Brand: May 22, 2017 – Feb. 20, 2018
Rachel Brand stepped down as U.S. associate attorney general Feb. 20, 2018. Brand resigned to take a position as executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary for Walmart.

Rob Porter: Jan. 20, 2017 – Feb. 7, 2018
Rob Porter resigned from his job as White House staff secretary Feb. 7, 2018, following public allegations of spousal abuse from his two ex-wives. Porter has denied the allegations and the White House staff faced harsh critcism for their handling of the scandal; first issuing a statement in support of Porter before reversing its stance.

Brenda Fitzgerald: July 7, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Brenda Fitzgerald resigned January 31, 2018. Fitzgerald’s departure came one day after POLITICO reported the director had acquired shares in the Japan Tobacco company one month prior.

 

Omarosa Manigault Newman: Jan. 20, 2017 – Dec. 13, 2017
Omarosa Manigault Newman, assistant to the president and director of communications for the office of public liaison, resigned Dec. 13, 2017, to “pursue other opportunities,” according to White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Rumors of a forceful removal from White House grounds were countered in a Secret Service statement which said, “The Secret Service was not involved in the termination process of Ms. Manigault Newman or the escort off of the complex.” Newman went on to star in the CBS reality show “Celebrity Big Brother.”

Dina Powell: March 15, 2017 – Dec. 8, 2017
The White House announced the resignation of Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Diana Powell Dec. 8, 2017. Powell left the administration in good standing and according to Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, she was an “invaluable member of President Trump’s team.”

Tom Price: Feb. 10, 2017 – Sept. 29, 2017
Tom Price, secretary of health and human services, resigned Sept. 29, 2017, after it was reported he used over $1 million of department funds for his travel on private jets and military aircraft.

Sebastian Gorka: Jan. 20, 2017 – Aug. 25, 2017
White House Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka resigned Aug. 25, 2017, because White House officials were undermining the Make American Great Again (MAGA) Platform, according to his resignation letter.

Steve Bannon: Jan. 20, 2017 – Aug. 18, 2017
Steve Bannon departed as White House chief strategist August 18, 2017. Bannon said he only intended to stay with the Trump administration for a year after joining the campaign; however, his resignation came shortly after criticisms of his alt-right connections.

Carl C. Icahn: January 20, 2017 – August 18, 2017
Special adviser to the President on Regulatory Reform Carl Icahn tenured his resignation Aug. 18, 2017, after probes into his possible conflict of interests. In a letter released on Icahn’s website, he says he never had any formal position with the Trump administration.

Anthony Scaramucci: July 21, 2017 – July 31, 2017
Anthony Scaramucci, or “The Mooch” was fired as White House communications director July 31, 2017, after the newly-appointed chief of staff, John Kelly, recommended the removal. The departure came days after Scaramucci went on an expletive-ridden rant to a New Yorker reporter. Scaramucci served in the position for 10 days.

Reince Priebus: Jan. 20, 2017 – July 31, 2017
White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, was forced to resign July 31, 2017, after a tweet from President Trump announced retired four-star general John F. Kelly would be replacing Priebus as chief of staff. Priebus said to CNN, “The president has a right to hit a reset button. I think it’s a good time to hit the reset button.”

Sean Spicer: Jan 20, 2017 – July 21, 2017
White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, handed in his resignation July 21, 2017, immediately after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director. Spicer did not approve of Scaramucci’s appointment; additionally, reports indicated that Trump had been dissatisfied with Spicer’s performance.

Walter Shaub: Jan. 9, 2013 – July 6, 2017
Walter Shaub, director of the office of government ethics, resigned July 19, 2017, after criticizing President Trump’s conflicts of interest earlier that year.

Mike Dubke: March 6, 2017 – May 18, 2017
White House communications director, Mike Dubke, submitted his resignation May 18, 2017. The resignation came at the beginning of what some speculated was a White House staff shakeup, but Duke said “the reasons for my departure are personal,” in a conversation with POLITICO.

 

Angella Reid Oct 4, 2011 – May 5, 2017
Angella Reid was fired from her position as White House chief usher May 5, 2017, and no specific reason for the departure was given.

Michael Flynn: Jan. 20, 2017 – Feb. 13, 2017
Michael Flynn was fired as national security advisor to the Trump administration Feb. 12, 2017, after lying to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI. According to Trump, Flynn was fired due to an “eroding level of trust” after a failure to disclose his connections with Russian officials.

Jan. 30, 2017 – Sally Yates
U.S. attorney general, Sally Yates, was dismissed for insubordination after refusing to defend President Trump’s travel ban. Yates said she was not convinced the executive order, which bans travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, is lawful and vowed the Department of Justice would not defend the order under her tenure.

With midterms quickly approaching and new legilsative agends on the horizon the West Wing is likley to see many more staff shake ups coming soon.