Without a doubt, Donald Trump’s presidency was good for America. He secured the border, got our economy roaring, and even managed to broker a few “impossible” peace deals. His personal behavior, however, has increasingly become indefensible.
Make no mistake about it: if Trump is back in the White House in 2025, I’ll be thrilled. That said, I have lingering concerns about Trump’s ability to assemble a fully-functioning administration. Heck, even after he was elected he had problems filling positions, and worse yet, despite his campaign promises to surround himself with the “best and most serious people,” Trump’s choices didn’t always meet that criteria. One notable example was Omarosa Manigault Newman.
There were plenty of people Trump chose who were great choices, but Trump was quick to throw anyone under the bus for not doing exactly what he wanted 100% of the time. As such, the Trump administration was marked by a constantly revolving door of personnel. Instead of fostering strong alliances, he consistently alienated and antagonized those he selected for his team, burning bridges left and right. He doesn’t want the best and brightest; he wants the most unflinchingly loyal. Loyalty is certainly important, as Trump clearly had some people in his administration who deliberately undermined him. But even some of his most loyal and effective allies, like Mike Pence, Bill Barr, Jeff Sessions, James Mattis, and others, were eventually thrown under the bus for not being adequately committed in Trump’s eyes.
Trump’s recent attack on his former White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is the latest example of this. On Tuesday evening, he decided to attack McEnany, now a co-host of Fox News’ Outnumbered, after she reported on new polling data from Iowa indicating that Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is “closing the gap” with Trump after DeSantis officially announced his candidacy last week.
“Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ [sic] McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on Fox News. I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up. While 25 is great, it’s not 34. She knew the number was corrected upwards by the group that did the poll,” Trump wrote. “The RINOS & Globalists can have her. FoxNews should only use REAL Stars!!!”
While Trump’s criticisms of primary opponent Ron DeSantis may be off base, one could argue that it’s all part of presidential primary politics. Heck, even before Joe Biden officially entered the 2020 Democratic primary, Kamala Harris said she believed the women who had accused him of sexual misconduct. Additionally, during a primary debate, she strongly insinuated that Biden was racist because of his past collaboration with Democratic segregationists, specifically regarding the matter of school busing. Politics can be brutal at times. But attacking Kayleigh McEnany — the woman who so aggressively and effectively defended him behind the White House podium? Over what? Reporting on a poll he didn’t like? For not agreeing with everything he’s done since leaving the White House?
“Imagine being so immature as to attack your former press secretary, who was nothing if not loyal, for allegedly misquoting a poll number,” Fox News Chief Political Analyst Brit Hume tweeted Wednesday morning.
Unfortunately, I’m not confident Trump will change his ways. He is who he is. The question is, by the time the 2024 election comes around, will there be anyone left willing to serve in his new administration?