Trump denies 'chaos' in White House, then signals more staff upheaval

John T. Bennett, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed there is "no chaos" inside the White House, but also signaled he is poised to again shake up his West Wing staff.

On a morning when North Korea agreed to freeze nuclear arms and long-range missile tests ahead of coming talks with South Korea -- and possibly his administration -- Trump focused his morning social media posts on other matters. He again showed how much of his actions are based on how he feels the media is portraying his presidency.

"The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong!" he wrote. "People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision."

Yet, Trump appeared to again contradict himself and step on an intended message when he then put his entire staff on notice by vagule predicting additional staff changes -- initiated by him.

"I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!" Trump tweeted.

But the events of the last several weeks show evidence of a return to turbulence inside the West Wing.

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Last Wednesday, Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of the president's most-trusted aides and confidants, announced her resignation a day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia election meddling probe. That followed a freewheeling meeting among Trump and members of both parties on gun violence during which the president sided with Democratic lawmakers, frustrating Republicans.

Then on Friday, minutes after Trump departed for Billy Graham's funeral in Charlotte then his south Florida resort, the White House invited reporters to a chat with Chief of Staff John Kelly.

That meeting was supposed to be off-the-record, but Kelly allowed part of the conversation to be publishable; he only added more confusion to the Rob Porter domestic violence scandal by again altering the White House's official timeline surrounding his departure last month.

And that came a day after the chief of staff, who at times has reportedly been in Trump's sights to be fired, said during a public event that he was being punished for taking the job.


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