From the Left



Sean Spicer is the latest Trump casualty. He won't be the last.

Dana Milbank on

WASHINGTON -- Sean Spicer wasn't a Trump guy.

During the primaries, when he was chief strategist to the Republican National Committee, Spicer told friends that he was confident Donald Trump wouldn't win the nomination and that if Trump did, both Spicer and RNC chairman Reince Priebus would have to do some soul-searching about whether they could remain in their jobs.

Not only did Spicer and Priebus continue, but also they became fierce advocates for Trump during the general election and took senior roles in his White House. A cynic would say they saw Trump as their meal tickets. A more charitable interpretation is that they were hoping to tame Trump, to temper the crazy. Mike Pence, who had reservations about Trump but accepted the vice presidential nomination, made a similar calculation.

The choice wasn't irrational. I don't blame them for trying. But they were wrong: This beast will not be tamed.

Spicer, disgraced for the past six months because of his extravagant pugilism and lavish untruths on Trump's behalf, finally quit Friday.

Priebus, suffering the shame of being a chief of staff with neither power nor the president's ear, will likely follow soon, at least if he wishes to keep intact some dignity.

In business, Trump tended to destroy those around him, walking away from failure relatively unscathed while others -- lenders, partners, vendors -- paid the cost. Something similar is happening to those around Trump now, but this isn't a casino -- it's our country.

Nobody has been more slavishly loyal to Trump than Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of his earliest supporters in the Senate; now Trump is publicly savaging him. Trump is likewise disparaging Rod J. Rosenstein, the man he appointed to be the No. 2 at the Justice Department, as well as the special counsel that Rosenstein appointed. Trump has publicly contradicted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson twice (on Qatar and Russia sanctions) and has denied Tillerson even the dignity of staffing his own agency. Trump accepted Chris Christie's over-the-top support during the campaign then cast him aside.

He demands loyalty but offers little. Bodies, meritorious and otherwise, pile up: James Comey, Preet Bharara, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Carter Page, Mike Dubke, Monica Crowley, Mark Corallo, Marc Kasowitz and, now, Spicer.

In comes Trump pal Anthony Scaramucci, financier and Fox News chatterbox, named White House communications director Friday. He appeared before the cameras to praise Trump ("he's genuinely a wonderful human being"), to suspend disbelief ("I actually think the White House is on track and we're actually, I think, doing a really good job") and to say that "there is probably some level of truth" even to things Trump says that sound patently false. Asked if he'll be truthful, he replied, "I hope you can feel that from me just from my body language."


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