After a week of expressing anger toward leaks and leakers, punctuated by the resignation of Sean Spicer and a profane rant by new WH Director of Communications, it appears that the treasonous vote by Senator John McCain to keep Obamacare has led President Trump to declare all out war.
If that assessment is correct, the first victim of Trump’s war on the Republican establishment is Reince Priebus, his WH Chief of Staff.
There’s no agreement on whether embattled Priebus resigned or was fired. NBC News is reporting that he resigned, while other media outlets claim that President Trump fired him.
It appears that Priebus did indeed resign.
Update: As speculation abounds over social media over precisely when Reince was fired or quit, he has just released the following statement:
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve the President and our country. I want to thank the President for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the President’s agenda and policies. I can’t think of a better person that General John Kelly to succeed me and I him God’s blessings and great success.”
Trump made the announcement using his favorite medium, Twitter.
Also according to press reports the final straw for Reince Priebus was the overnight failure by Senate republicans to pass Obamacare repeal as a result of John McCain’s stunning decision to vote against the GOP.
Then again, NBC reports that it wasn’t Trump who fired Priebus, but Priebus who resigned on Thursday. And just to make things even more convoluted, Reuters also reports that Trump originally informed Priebus two weeks ago that he would be replacing him as White House chief of staff.
In any case, speaking to reporters, Trump called Priebus a “good man” but called Kelly a “star.”
“Reince is a good man,” he said at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C., after a trip to New York to talk about his push to end gang violence. “John Kelly will do a fantastic job. Gen. Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He’s a great American,” he said.
WaPo’s Robert Kosta tweets that “Kushner’s allies soured on Priebus b/c they saw the msg/strategy on Russia as off/weak…”
How Trump’s decision will be greeted by the more moderate part of his base remains to be seen, although with Trump siding against Priebus, it may mean that Bannon could be next on the chopping block, a move which would infuriate a core part of Trump’s electorate, a material gamble for a president with a precarious approval rating.
As for ret. Gen. John Kelly, the current low profile Homeland Security Secretary, a quick reminder who he is: he he was in the military for 45 years – a very long time, even for a general. He was once the head of US Southern Command, putting much of the US’ immediate vicinity under his purview – including the control of Guantanamo Bay.
Here Kosta adds that “Kushner and Bannon both really like Kelly, which made the decision easier. Someone who has appeal to the two main blocs in WH…”
What happens next is a great unknown for this rollercoaster administration, but with a military veteran now whispering in Trump’s ear every day, Kim Jong-Un’s days are now numbered.
Meanwhile, the message from today’s events seems to be that Trump has largely cut most – if not all – ties with the Republican party.
The Gateway Pundit is claiming that Priebus was the head leaker. If so, he should be prosecuted under whatever laws are applicable.
The general feeling among Trump supporters is that the President is taking the offensive in draining the swamp. There’s an expectation that big things are going to be happening over the next few weeks and months.