National Security

The Trump Team Adjusts

“Trump is now going to bring in people he is comfortable with, and he will reach out to those he knows well.”

Sean Spicer is gone. No surprise, this has been telegraphed for quite some time. There is a shakeup going on in the White House, and it is most likely overdue. To no one’s surprise, there are changes in personnel being made, and I would not be surprised to see more in the coming weeks.

Here are the “brass tacks,” and to understand this, you must look at the comings and goings from a business standpoint. If someone doesn’t perform to the boss’s liking, or a person is put in a job that doesn’t work out, what happens? In the corporate world, those not living up to expectations find a new place to work.

The Trump White House is not like all those typical government or political organizations where if you screw up, you just get moved along or more frequently moved up, so that those persons are someone else’s problem. In the Trump White House, the buck stops squarely with performance. Screw up, and you are gone, not moved to another person’s area to contaminate the job there.

When the President took office, he populated his staff with people that had been in the RNC and others that were well versed in politics. Many of these people were not staunch Trump supporters, but still, they had the necessary skills and background. Some were recommended by the RNC and those the President would have to work with, so they were tagged for jobs in his administration.

Now, after six months on the job, we are starting to see a reshuffling of some of those positions. Considering the very bumpy start that has been had by this administration, mainly in the press, the shift in the communications sector was bound to happen. I recently watched the new communications director, Mr. Anthony Scaramucci, address the room of reporters. What was evident was the difference in his approach and demeanor when compared to Sean Spicer. Scaramucci was professional and smooth.

As for Sean Spicer, his tenure as the President’s press secretary has not been smooth, to say the least. His relationship with the press corps as well as the mixed and clouded messaging coming out of the administration on his watch only served to cause more problems for the President and his administration. He has now been replaced as press secretary by his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The next change will most likely be the Chief of Staff. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the former head of the RNC, has been unable to stop leaks or guide the message inside the White House. He also has not been as effective of a leader as he could have been, which has resulted in many reports of infighting within the White House staff. Scaramucci was hired over Priebus’s objections which further weakened his influence.

“This exposes Reince as neither a leader nor a manager,” one senior White House official said speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Trump is now going to bring in people he is comfortable with, and he will reach out to those he knows well. He will surround himself with those who know him and his style. He will look to people like himself, successful people that have been outside the beltway who make it a point to get things done.

Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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