"Will Trump Fire Reince Priebus? The White House Chief Of Staff May Be On Shaky Ground
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Donald Trump might be considering firing Reince Priebus, his chief of staff. According to POLITICO, Trump has allegedly given Priebus a deadline of July 4 to get the White House in order or risk losing his job.
The White House has denied these allegations, telling POLITICO via press secretary Sean Spicer that Priebus does not have a July 4 deadline and that "Whoever is saying that is either a liar or out of the loop." (Bustle has also reached out to the White House for further comment.)
The Trump administration has faced substantial controversy over the last few weeks, particularly in regards to Trump's decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey over his handling of the FBI investigation into his campaign's alleged Russia ties. Trump has reportedly been frustrated by the fallout from the Comey firing and, according to POLITICO, has criticized Priebus for some of this fallout.
Multiple sources reportedly told POLITICO that during a meeting in the Oval Office that occurred shortly after Trump returned from his first foreign trip, the president allegedly "berated Priebus for dysfunction in the White House in front of Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and deputy campaign manager David Bossie." Trump also allegedly gave Priebus the July 4 deadline at that meeting.
According to Newsweek, at the time, Trump was reportedly considering bringing Lewandowski into his administration to lead a White House "war room" on messaging about his campaign's alleged ties to Russia. The president was also supposedly considering making Bossie deputy White House chief of staff. However, the president allegedly expressed to Priebus at the above-described meeting that he had concerns about bringing on new staff in the midst of dysfunction, allegedly saying:
I don't want them to come into this mess. If I'm going to clean house, they will come in as fresh blood. ... I'm giving you until July 4.
Despite Trump's alleged threats to Priebus' job, however, POLITICO reported that "those close to the President are not holding their breath," since there is supposedly "perpetual talk" regarding the potential ouster of senior staffers and Priebus, some of which has not come to fruition.
Furthermore, POLITICO also asked Sam Nunberg, Trump's former campaign advisor — who, ironically, was fired by Trump — about the possibility of the president firing his chief of staff. Nunberg seemed to believe that Trump would be hesitant to oust Priebus.
I don't think he likes to gratuitously fire people. ... The White House is different [than the Trump Organization]. You can't make quick changes; it's an institution. Once someone is gone from there, they're gone. ... With that said, I think Reince will be there for the long haul.
Only time will tell whether or not Priebus continues to have Trump's backing. It will be interesting to see what actions, if any, Priebus and Trump take in regards to White House staffing ahead of Independence Day.