Did Reince Priebus Resign? Trump May Have Done Him A Favor By Firing Him
Capping off a week of firings, catastrophic policy failure, discriminatory policies, and a remarkably profane insult in The New Yorker, Trump and Reince Priebus parted ways Friday. The president and his ex-chief of staff had been on chilly terms, in particular since Trump tired of Priebus' wait in appointing a new communications director and hired Priebus nemesis Anthony Scaramucci. Yet, when you consider the week the White House has had and the approval ratings Trump boasts at the moment, you could argue that Trump actually did Priebus a favor by allowing him to, you know, leave.
That's what journalist Jim Roberts stated on Twitter shortly after the president tweeted that he was replacing Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. "Trump does
@Reince a huge favor. Like getting kicked off the Titanic when it's still in the berth," he wrote.
Prior to his abrupt exit from the White House, Priebus had enjoyed a glittering career. He had chaired the Wisconsin's Republican Party and served as general counsel for the Republican National Party, and ultimately rose to chair the RNC. In spite of openly disagreeing with Trump more than once throughout Trump's haphazard 2016 campaign — in May, he demanded the then-candidate "change his tone" — Trump announced Priebus as his chief of staff shortly after his November win.
That said, the news makes Priebus the chief of staff to have served the least time of any chief of staff in American history.
Some observers, like Ted Cruz's ex-campaign manager Rick Tyler, have warned that Trump's presidency may be nearing its end. If that's the case, then Roberts' Titanic metaphor is apt: Priebus would be better off getting off the sinking ship of Trump's presidency than going down with it.
On the other hand, being embroiled in a high-profile battle with your communications director — Scaramucci infamously described Priebus as a "paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac" in a rambling call with The New Yorker, as reported Thursday — and then having the president visibly favor your rival over yourself can't be good for anybody's professional reputation.
Ultimately, your opinion regarding whether Trump did Reince a favor by allowing him to exit gracefully (for a member of Trump's administration, anyway) hinges on whether you think President Trump will last his four-year term, or even the year. In his final tweet about the firing Friday night (for now), Trump wrote: "I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!"