Jacob Heilbrunn

Reince Priebus’s departure shows Trump is tiring of the Republican establishment

Reince Priebus's departure shows Trump is tiring of the Republican establishment
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Poor Reince Priebus. Or maybe not so poor. A munificent book deal surely looms in which he can chronicle his serial humiliations at the hands of Donald Trump who, as is his wont, made the announcement on Twitter that retired general John Kelly, the director of the Homeland Security, will now become White House chief of staff. Given the leaking that has been taking place in the Trump administration, Kelly may discover that it was easier to track down illegal immigrants than to catch the leakers.

Trump himself waited until late Friday until he revealed the latest changes to his personnel, presumably to outwit the press corps. Anthony 'the Mooch' Scaramucci had already supplanted press secretary Sean Spicer, like Priebus an establishment figure. Trump is surrounding himself with figures who will let Trump be Trump, as the saying goes. Today in a speech before police officers in Long Island, he exhorted them to be 'rough' when arresting suspects – an exhortation that was greeted with delighted applause.

Trump, however, continues to sag in the polls – healthcare reform was a bust and Congress passed a sanctions bill targeting Russia that he is loath to sign. Meanwhile, the backstabbing continues apace. Will Kelly really be able to instil order out of the chaos that is engulfing the White House?