White House staffers should expect no loyalty from their boss in the Oval Office, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) charged Tuesday, predicting that the tensions between President Trump and his team are only beginning.
“If you want a job at the White House, know your blood type because you’re going to get thrown overboard at some point,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “New Day” program.
From The Hill
Pelosi suggested some staffers might reach a breaking point — “it will be interesting to see how he reacts to their reaction to him” — but quickly added that any pushback would have little effect on Trump’s management style.
“He doesn’t care, as long as we’re talking about him — good, bad or indifferent,” she said.
Disagreements between presidents and their staffs are hardly rare, but Trump’s tendency to take those fights public is highly unusual.
In the latest episode, Trump on Monday went after his own Justice Department over the administration’s proposal to bar foreign travelers from six predominately Muslim countries — a ban that’s been blocked by the courts. The proposal was revised after a tougher earlier version was similarly rejected. Trump signed off on both, but this week placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the DOJ, suggesting the agency has been too timid on the issue.
“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to [the Supreme Court],” he tweeted.
Trump’s emphasis on the “travel ban” language marks another shot at his own staff, which has rejected that blanket characterization and fought to frame the policy as a much more targeted effort to prevent would-be terrorists from entering the country — a notion Trump shattered on Monday.
“People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” he tweeted.
On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Trump was furious with Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the DOJ’s probe in Russia’s election meddling — an issue that already led the president to fire his FBI director, James Comey.
That followed numerous reports that Trump, frustrated that his communications team has failed to swing the public focus onto his policy agenda, is eying a staff shakeup.
Amid the turmoil, Michael Dubke, Trump’s communications director, resigned last week.
The turbulence inside the White House has increasingly frustrated Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are hoping this year to move an ambitious legislative agenda that includes sweeping tax reforms and an overhaul of the healthcare system.
Trump and GOP leaders are huddling in the White House Tuesday to hone their strategy. But Pelosi — who says she wants to shift the discussion to jobs, infrastructure and other legislative items — says major progress will be tough as long as the spotlight remains on Trump and his public venting.
“There’s so many things we should be doing, job creation and all the rest, let’s have that debate. … But he just keeps bringing attention to him,” she said.
“It’s a tactic.”