Here’s a fun, West Wing-esque reminder that the people who work in the White House aren’t all that different from the average American: Donald Trump apparently hates them, too. That’s per a new Vanity Fair article tracking the latest leaks from the dented, boiling pressure cooker that is the Trump administration, a seething cauldron of resentments and slights that hopefully won’t take the rest of us with it when it blows.
Quoting a number of anonymous West Wing sources, the Vanity Fair piece is a wide-ranging look at a building full of people apparently living in fear of their erratic, nuclear arsenal-armed boss. The most noteworthy bit comes from a conversation Trump reportedly had with his security chief, Keith Schiller, in which he loudly declared, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” (The White House was later forced to deny that the president hates everybody.)
Much of that ire appears to be focused on people like John Kelly, the White House Chief Of Staff who’s spent the last few months attempting to keep Trump focused on his actual job, and not on the latest idea that some racist bluebird (or Fox News) has flittered into his office and whispered into his ear. (Even outside the Vanity Fair reports, there are plenty of sources claiming that Kelly is doing everything in his power to gate access to Trump, the better to control the bad ideas that wander into the presidential head.)
There’s also the looming specter of former White House adviser Steve Bannon, who apparently dropped some constitutional knowledge on his boss before he headed back to his haunted Breitbart castle to brood:
Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.
Which might explain Trump’s currently “unraveling” mood and all those demands for stuff like competitive IQ testing; there’s nothing like a little workplace paranoia to get everybody in that festive, “Oh god, he has the launch codes” point of view. (It doesn’t help that Trump’s apparently smarting over a perceived loss of control over his most rabid followers, in the wake of an Alabama election that saw the Trump-backed candidate lose.) Still, even the most hated White House staffers know what they need to do to get their boy back on track; the administration’s press staff recently pulled out of a potentially contentious 60 Minutes interview, substituting a combined wound-licking/bragging session with Sean Hannity tonight in its stead.