Many White House staffers are reportedly contacting job recruiters, headhunters and seemingly anyone who can get them out of the Trump administration.
West Wing staffers normally remain with an administration for at least a year or two, not only to adorn the top of their résumés but also to avoid the bad optics that leaving a job so quickly can have in almost any other sector. But Politico reports that staffers from the National Economic Council, the communications shop and even political appointees are trying to leave due to low morale from the Trump-Russia investigation and the heavy turnover at top positions in the White House.
“There will be an exodus from this administration in January,” a Republican lobbyist told the political website. “Everyone says, ‘I just need to stay for one year.’ If you leave before a year, it looks like you are acknowledging that you made a mistake.”
The mass exodus—by former chief political strategist Steven Bannon, former assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka, ex-chief of staff Reince Preibus and ex-press secretary Sean Spicer—has led to uncertainty among staffers who entered with some of the now-departed.
Several reports have indicated that Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn, who criticized the administration’s response to the violent upheaval in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, could be the next to go. Cohn even reportedly drafted a resignation letter but never signed it.
Gorka even predicted to Newsweek that “firings” will happen in the near future and that Trump will reassemble “the old team.”
The described departures could happen as early as January 2018, with staffers “laying the groundwork through networking, lunches, and resumes sent to D.C.-based executive recruiters,” according to the report.
“There is no joy in Trumpworld right now,” said an adviser who is often in contact with staffers. “Working in the White House is supposed to be the peak of your career, but everyone is unhappy, and everyone is fighting everyone else.”
Fighting among staff was common when Trump was in the real estate and business world. And that carried over into his campaign last year. Political director Rick Wiley left after only six weeks of work, after catching himself in between then–campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and future manager Paul Manafort, according to the Associated Press.
Lewandowski and Manafort, of course, didn't last until the election either.
Heavy turnover among any White House staff, especially at the top positions, is common. In the previous administration, President Barack Obama saw his first communications director leave after 92 days, compared to 134 days for Trump’s first, Michael Dubke.
But the Trump administration has set some records. Priebus wound up having the shortest chief of staff tenure in history, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned from his post after only 24 days.