February 16, 2017


Priebus struggles to control fractious White House (ALEX ISENSTADT and JOSH DAWSEY, Feb. 16th, 2017, Politico)

For Priebus -- a Washington Republican who has long been close to mainstream party figures like Haley Barbour and Karl Rove -- the Trump wilderness has at times been hard to navigate. He has been trying to closely manage staffing across Cabinet agencies. Yet he often feels a need to be at Trump's side throughout the day to make sure the easy-to-distract president stays on track. During meetings, when his boss veers into a tangent, Priebus is often the one trying to get him in line.

"Trump is nothing like Reince has ever dealt with," said one person who knows Priebus well. "Would you want the job of trying to control him and getting him to focus?"

The president can be nearly impossible to staff. His whims, moods and insatiable appetite for TV can throw off plans. Priebus, along with others, often brief him extensively before meetings, telling him about the audience's makeup and offering guidance for what he should say. Yet Trump has veered off on tangents, like repeating his unsubstantiated claim during meetings with senators that voter fraud was committed in the election. It has often fallen upon Priebus to change the subject--sometimes with success, sometimes not.

Posted by at February 16, 2017 8:32 AM