The Costs of Trump’s Chaotic Reboot

This game of musical chairs has serious national consequences.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rex Tillerson was widely viewed a both an incompetent and unusually destructive secretary of state. Mike Pompeo was an unusually partisan CIA director who might be a better fit for the State position.


Strictly viewed as an isolated personnel move, President Donald Trump has upgraded his cabinet.

Of course, Tuesday's announcement was anything but an isolated personnel move. It came on the same day as the president's body man was fired over a security clearance issue, and an undersecretary of state was sent packing in the wake of his boss. Last week, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn decided to exit, as did Director of Communications Hope Hicks at the end of last month. 

With Maggie Haberman of the New York Times reporting even more major staffing changes on the way, it's hard to think of a historical comparison to this level of staff turmoil. Nor is there any reason to believe that the reboot will achieve any kind of stability. After all, two of those rumored to be in trouble, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, are already replacements for the original picks for those two positions.