Culture Magazine

Working for 45

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
Jack Goldsmith has an interesting article at Lawfare: How Hard Is It to Work for President Trump? The problem arises, of course, because Trump spews forth an endless stream of lies, bull shit, and mere exaggerations. Goldsmith notes, "Most senior Executive branch officials see themselves to work for both the President and the nation (or the American people)." With a man like Trump, just how does that go?
Of Comey (FBI) and Rogers (NSA) Goldsmith notes:
...they are both non-political appointees who lead agencies with missions largely independent of the White House. They likely see their jobs as detached from the goings-on in the White House, except to the extent that the White House becomes caught up in the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the election. I also expect that Comey and Rogers believe it is important to stay in their jobs out of commitment to the agencies they serve, and in order to minimize our unconventional President’s damage to their agencies and to national security more generally.
Mattis (Defense) and Kelley (Homeland) are likely similar.
And then we have 45's staff, such as Priebus (Chief of Staff) and McGahn (WH Counsel):
... much of the work of these officials amounts to little more than enabling and protecting the President, personally and politically. That becomes a problem when the enabling and protecting comes in the service of mendacity or in a way inextricable from mendacity.
A good deal of the daily work by these officials in the White House, in other words, is a lower-key version of the work of Sean Spicer, who compromises himself daily in order to prop up the president’s lies and destructive actions. I imagine that these officials have the hardest time telling themselves (and others) a story about why their services are needed to minimize the damage Trump is causing, for these are the officials whose jobs are largely devoted to empowering the President...These jobs will likely grow harder and harder if the Trump presidency continues to accomplish so little, especially if the FBI investigations begin to absorb White House political and legal attention. And these are the jobs about which it will be harder to explain later why one continued in the job after it was clear that the President one worked so hard to support was so unworthy of his office.

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