House of Cards: Trump’s Accumulating Worries

The White House is more and more looking like a house of cards. After 16 months the staff is demoralized, in disarray and divided, some prone to leak embarrassing news to the press. (Trump in January banned personal cell phones in the West Wing, indicating that he mistrusts everyone around him.) While Trump is reported to dislike firing people (in real life as opposed to his reality show The Apprentice), over 12 top officials have left so far, among them the secretary of state, who called him a moron. The high rate of staff turnover suggests that Trump lacks judgment; he picks people on the grounds and physical appearance, personal rapport, and expectations of loyalty winding up with a contentious cabinet that can’t act as a team. Trump in his narcissism demands to be the decision-maker. Having multiple views around him, he says, is good. Not that he necessarily listens to advice.

His son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner is in apparent legal troubles concerning his business dealings, and like Don Jr. is under investigation by the Mueller probe for Russia contacts during the campaign. His lawyer Michael Cohen has been indicted, and may well turn against the president if charged with crimes carrying lengthy prison terms. He has small children.

Scandals involving sexual harassment and assault have plagued this White House, while Trump has generally supported those on his staff or in his circle accused of such offenses. He has himself been accused of, and…

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