REINCE AND REPEAT: Priebus Dumped As Chief Of Staff

Well, you leave to grab lunch for 10 minutes, you miss an entire news cycle.

On Friday, President Trump unceremoniously announced via Twitter that his embattled Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, had been ousted from his administration in favor of General John Kelly, the current Department of Homeland Security head. Trump tweeted:

Priebus had been rumored to be not long for Trumpworld for months; he was seen by many Trump insiders as an establishment lackey not loyal to Trump rather than the Republican infrastructure. His cadre inside the administration has been steadily pared away with the dismissal of figures from Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh to Director of Communications Sean Spicer. Early on, it appeared that his main rival within the administration would be White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon; by the end, Reince and Bannon were allies against the Jared/Ivanka wing.

Priebus, for his part, says that he wasn’t notified by tweet of his firing; he supposedly resigned yesterday. That would make sense considering that new Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci called Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” in an on-the-record interview and openly implied that Priebus was a leaker. The New York Times even reported that Trump enjoyed watching Scaramucci castrate Priebus publicly; the president enjoys some ritual humiliation along with his firings, as former FBI director James Comey learned.

But if Priebus resigned yesterday, why did he fly with Trump on Air Force One to Long Island, and then make his lonely way to a separate motorcade as he deplaned back in Washington, D.C.?

Oh, the drama.

Will Kelly really take charge? According to Jonathan Swan’s source at Axios, “[Kelly] was given full authority. Everyone goes through him.” So Scaramucci’s ambitions have been quashed, at least to a certain extent. For now.

But this could presage a significant move to the Left from Trump. He has now ousted or alienated many of his main Republican mainstays: Priebus, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and even Bannon. That leaves Trump with generals and Democrats in key positions throughout his administration.

The biggest question of all: who will Trump dismiss next week? And who, in the end will get the rose? And can any of us safely eat lunch ever again without incessantly refreshing Twitter?

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