Firing Offenses in the Age of Trump

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 May 11, 2017|
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The Trump White House is yet again rocked by controversial personnel changes. In typical Trump fashion (or so the media narrative goes), Trump suddenly—and coldly—fired a long-time government employee with a tersely written letter. Major news outlets have covered the firing as though it were a national scandal. The Left has been atwitter since the firing, accusing President Trump of the most egregious ethical violations imaginable.

I’m talking about the firing of White House Chief Usher Angella Reid. And, if you think this is a joke, you’d be wrong. The Left has become so obsessed with “resisting” Donald Trump, they are worried about who will be the next chief usher. It’s embarrassing.

Reid was the first female hired for the job, after long-time Chief Usher Admiral Stephen W. Rochon (the first African-American ever to hold that position) took a job in the Department of Homeland Security in 2011. Reid has a long history in the hospitality business, having been hired by the Obamas when she was working for the Ritz-Carlton hotel group. What’s more, she and the Obama Family became very close.

The chief usher is an interesting position that involves far more than just escorting people around, as the title “usher” suggests (one usually thinks of the jovial older folks who point out open seats to parishioners in church). The chief usher is responsible for the day-to-day management of White House operations and they usually have a strong connection with the First Family. Very often, the chief ushers are the unsung workhorses of the White House. Thus, they are highly valuable. In fact, they are so coveted that they have a low turnover rate. For instance, as the Washington Post notes, there have only been nine White House Chief Ushers since the start of the 20th century.

The Left has become so obsessed with “resisting” Donald Trump, they are worried about who will be the next chief usher. It’s embarrassing.

Nevertheless, the chief usher serves at the pleasure of the president. While most presidents try to keep the chief ushers on, ultimately, they must feel comfortable with those individuals. This is especially true, considering that these people are supposed to care for the needs and wants of the First Family. Trust is an integral component of their job. Not only must they be personally trustworthy, but their boss, the president, must have trust in their judgement.

In fact, trust is the most important thing in all jobs—especially in the public sector. You see, unlike the private sector, government employees are tasked with upholding the public good. What’s more, they are to conduct themselves in such a manner as to engender trust between their elected bosses—of either party—and themselves. If, for whatever reason, their elected bosses distrust these public servants, then it is essential for that public servant to be removed from their position.

In Angella Reid’s case, not only was she a close friend of the former First Family, but the Secret Service partly blames her for one of the worst security breaches in White House history. In 2014, Omar Gonzales, a deranged man, jumped the White House fence, and gained entry to the residence. He roamed the halls unimpeded for roughly 17 minutes. The crazed individual, armed with a knife, intended to do the First Family physical harm.

Gonzales had entered the White House simply by opening the door. The alarm that was meant to alert the Secret Service of a breach had been muted, per the chief usher’s request. When defending her decision to deactivate the alarm, Reid had claimed that the system never worked properly and constantly went off, upsetting both the White House staff and visitors. Despite Reid’s poor judgment, President Obama kept her on. When President Trump assumed office, he had neither the personal relationship nor the trust in Reid the Obamas had.

The Trumps have been under constant threat during the campaign and since his election. Death threats, a hostile press, and virulent political opponents have forced the president to reassess his willingness to keep strangers close to him. As Laura Bush’s former chief of staff, Anita McBride, told the Washington Post, “These are the people [the chief ushers] that have the most intimate details and knowledge of how you live your life.” Given everything that the Trumps have had to endure; with the persistent leaking of intimate details about the Trumps, as well as the fact that yet another person snuck into the White House recently, why would Trump keep Reid on?

If the President of the United States has reason to distrust civil servants in his employ, he has a moral duty and a constitutional obligation to fire them and replace them with more trustworthy, competent ones.

If the President of the United States has reason to distrust civil servants in his employ, he has a moral duty and a constitutional obligation to fire them and replace them with more trustworthy, competent ones. When looking at the spate of people Trump has fired (both during the campaign and since taking office), one sees a consistent pattern of well-reasoned judgment. By the way, the president is also entitled to hire people based on similar criteria.

But don’t tell that to the Left.

Each time the president fired members of his staff, he did so because he could no longer trust their judgment. This explains why Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort were both fired from the campaign. It also underscores why Trump had to fire his first national security advisor, Mike Flynn. More recently, a breach of trust is why Trump fired his quixotic FBI director, James Comey. It is within this context that the firing of Angella Reid rests. When trust is lacking between an employer and an employee, an organization is doomed.

The Democrats likely realize this also. It explains why the Left becomes so apoplectic any time that President Trump makes the most minor personnel changes. It also shows why the Left has been so vociferously opposed to virtually all of Trump’s hires. The Left wants to blunt Trump’s impact on national policy by forcing him to waste precious time and political capital on getting the people he most trusts into place rather than on implementing his America First agenda. While the Left drags its feet and places roadblocks before the president’s personnel choices, the president is forced to rely on those already within the federal bureaucracy for whom he is correct to harbor distrust. It is a pernicious strategy on the part of the Left for circumventing the will of the voters (and keeping themselves politically relevant). So far, it has worked.

By hiring competent people that he trusts, the president is ensuring that he can implement policies that most voters elected him to enact. Naturally, the Left opposes him in this endeavor.

The Left will use any means to deny legitimacy to the Trump presidency—even attacking him for replacing the White House’s chief usher. The Left is not interested in playing fairly; they want to neuter Trump’s presidency. Ultimately, they fantasize about being able to impeach him. Even if they cannot accomplish this, they need only prevent Trump from achieving significant legislative victories to give the Democratic Party more ammunition to use against President Trump in the 2020 presidential election. This is why the Democrats have both called for and then denounced the firing of James Comey. It’s not about fairness or the Truth; it’s about harming President Trump politically by casting public doubt on his judgement and trustworthiness.

Indeed, Trump has had his hands tied since before taking office. Not only have key Trump policies been stymied by the Left, but the president is being denied even his ability to implement personnel changes—a duty that is expressly granted to him by law. Whereas Trump is trying to restore trustworthiness as a virtue in the government, the Left seems intent on destroying that. Trust is a key component to moral governance. Such governance has been sorely lacking in Washington, D.C. for decades. By hiring competent people that he trusts, the president is ensuring that he can implement policies that most voters elected him to enact. Naturally, the Left opposes him in this endeavor. So long as civil servants represent themselves first, and the Left second, We, the People will continue to suffer.

These personnel changes are a part of “draining the swamp.” It’s why personnel changes involving everyone from the FBI director to the White House chief usher have been contentious. Draining the swamp won’t be quick either. It will take the duration of the Trump presidency and, likely, longer. Trump needs all the help he can get. We should ensure that he has it.

About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican Congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs The Weichert Report, www.theweichertreport.com, an online journal of geopolitics. He holds Master's degree in Statecraft & National Security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
  • jack dobson

    The whines of the media/Democrats have become white noise. I may be rare in this assessment, but the timing was good to sack the ethically challenged James Comey. There is no legitimate argument at this point that the purported Trump-Russia collusion is anything short of a psychotic delusion or an outright lie. When Trump came into office, it wasn’t so clear to those who tend to buy into conspiracy theories. Comey needed to go as director of the Keystone Gestapo, and his dismissal became easier once the public knew there was no there there to the fever swamp conspiracy theories peddled by the media, Democrats and Establishment Republicans.

    Trump sent a loud message. He is not afraid. The mandarins of the Imperial City of the Banana Empire would take note if they were smart, which they generally aren’t. Their subordinates likely got the message, though: this president intends to wreak havoc on the administrative state. Markers have been laid.

  • I called for the firing of Mr. Comey on April 22, 2015 in the Russian press for his ghastly statements blaming Poland and Poles for the Holocaust. I am happy to see that President Trump has fired him.

    https://pl.sputniknews.com/polska/20150422280470/

  • gunsmithkat

    I suppose that President Trump’s plan was to give Comey just enough rope to hang himself, and then when his stories became so convoluted he just pulled the trigger. Most sane people wanted to see Comey gone on Jan 21.

  • Big Picture

    The Fundamentalist PC religion will never stop their attacks on our Republic. As you say, the truth means nothing to them. The meme and the narrative are all they care about. The control the culture and the schools. Those who read history know how exceptional America is. We have had a peaceful transition of power every two years since 1789.

  • Cosmo

    Trump’s tough talk on illegal immigration and threat of building the wall has already affected immigration. His lighting off 60 cruise missiles in Syria has already changed the optics in the Middle East. And now this “You’re Fired!” incident will sober up a lot of people in Washington. The rest of them now know that if he will fire Comey, he will certainly fire them. ‘Bout damn time.