Up until now, Howard Hughes has been the most famous isolated, paranoid germophobe in history, but it looks like Donald Trump may be giving him a run for the title. Trump is afraid of a lot of things, but for some reason “the Bushies” fill Trump with trepidation. He’s been known to say that “being a Bushie is worse than being a Democrat,” and that was before Laura Bush put his insufferable immigration policy in its place. New York Times:
Mr. Trump has grown isolated within the West Wing, according to advisers, and is eager for human contact, even if that means jousting with the reporters whom he calls “fake news.” He often asks staff members about whether others are leaking, and he recently told one person that “the Bushies in the White House are out to get me,” according to someone with direct knowledge of the discussion.
Mr. [deputy chief of staff Joseph] Hagin said by email on Tuesday that “the Bush thing is overblown” and that his departure was unrelated and long planned. He said he had committed to stay just for a year and planned to leave at the start of 2018. “But Kelly pushed me to stay and I have great respect for him,” Mr. Hagin said, referring to John F. Kelly, the chief of staff. “Then the summit came up in the spring and I felt obligated to see that through.”
Mr. Hagin may be on the leading edge of a fresh wave of departures from a White House that has had record turnover. Among others who have been said to be considering leaving this year are Mr. Kelly; Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel; Marc Short, the legislative affairs director; Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary; Raj Shah, the top deputy press secretary; and Dan Scavino Jr., the social media director.
If Mr. Scavino departed, it would mark the end of an era for Mr. Trump, who has lost nearly all of the aides with whom he is most comfortable during the past year. Mr. Scavino was one of the campaign’s original small group of staff members, and he is the keeper of Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed when the president is not using it himself.
As to John Kelly, word is on the street that he’s already left for all intents and purposes. He has purportedly said that he doesn’t even care if Trump gets impeached. Politico:
But Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.
In recent months, his Secret Service detail has often been spotted standing outside the gym in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the middle of the day — and White House officials who pass it on the way to meetings view his late morning workouts as an indication of him having thrown in the towel on trying to have any control inside the West Wing.
It’s been said that hate is not the opposite of love, that indifference is. If that’s the case, perhaps Kelly really is fed up with Trump.