If Only This Were Just a Television Show

The news is rolling in so fast that I can hardly absorb it all. That’s why this tweet captured my attention:

Martin has already written about the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Because the initial statement from the State Department about that contradicted the message the White House preferred, the undersecretary of State was also fired.

In the midst of all that, here is what the Wall Street Journal is reporting today:

President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said. The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third White House official with knowledge of the situation…

Tuesday morning, the Trump presidential campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. McEntee will join the 2020 effort as a senior adviser for campaign operations.

We have since learned more about that “unspecified security issue.”

Meanwhile the San Francisco spokesman for ICE resigned today rather than play along with lies told by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan and the president.

ICE officials and Sessions — and at one point President Trump — criticized [San Francisco Mayor] Schaaf for tipping off immigrants about the raid, which netted 232 suspected undocumented immigrants.

Homan said in a statement that “864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision. Unlike the politicians who attempt to undermine ICE’s critical mission, our officers will continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect public safety.”

And just last week, in Sacramento, Sessions said, “Those are 800 wanted criminals that are now at large in that community — 800 wanted criminals that ICE will now have to pursue with more difficulty in more dangerous situations, all because of one mayor’s irresponsible action.”

Schwab, however, said that both the number of potential arrests and the blame heaped on Schaaf by officials was wrong.

The truth is that any one of these items would have been cause for an extended scandal-fest in any other administration. But the resignation of Trump’s communications director less than two weeks ago after testifying that she told “white lies” for the administration has already been forgotten.

If Maggie Haberman is to be believed, Trump is really happy with the way things are going and is just getting started.

Frankly, I’ve run out of words for what a train wreck this administration has become. People who lie are valued for their loyalty and staff who tell the truth are fired. If aides engage in financial misconduct or beat their wife, that’s cool as long as they can keep it under wraps. When that becomes impossible, they’re offered a job with the re-election campaign.

Given the one industry where Trump excelled, perhaps the best metaphor is television. But the characters in “The Americans” and “House of Cards” had way to much class for this crew. Even “The Apprentice” had more structure than we’re witnessing. It’s like having “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” running the White House.

I agree completely with Anne Applebaum: “After this is all over, I never, ever want to hear again about how businessmen would run the government better than politicians.”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .