February 16, 2017

EXCUSE US, MS CLINTON, CAN WE BORROW YOUR SERVER?:

Inside Donald Trump's White House Chaos (Phillip Elliot, 2/16/17, TIME)

Little takes place in the White House these days without a complication or contradiction. Take the dismissal of Flynn. As senior aides prepared to announce his departure as a resignation, counselor Kellyanne Conway, who often boasts of her direct access to Trump, went on television to declare that Flynn had "the full confidence of the President." Then as officials quickly tried to correct that statement, Priebus received notice on his phone that a release had misspelled the name of Colombia, a South American ally whom Trump had called earlier in the evening. At roughly the same time, others close to Trump were telling Breitbart News, the conservative website once run by Trump strategist Steve Bannon, that aides were drawing up a list of replacements for Priebus. (Bannon denounced the story. "This guy is doing an amazing job," he tells TIME of Priebus. "I'm proud to call him a partner.") The next day, Conway was on Twitter fending off reports of her own demise--"Uninformed chatter doesn't matter"--just hours before the Office of Government Ethics suggested that the White House discipline her for likely breaking government rules when she endorsed Ivanka Trump's fashion line on live television.

The result of all the melodrama is a sense of constant chaos for a watchful nation and a crippling anxiety for White House officials. Some aides now refuse to communicate by email, given that federal law requires such messages to be archived for historians and investigators. Many have taken to using encrypted apps to get around the investigations Trump has ordered to clamp down on leaks. 

Posted by at February 16, 2017 4:03 PM

  

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