The Trump administration could be poised to undergo another senior-level personnel shake-up after the midterm elections, according to Politico.
The media outlet is reporting, based on multiple inside sources, that as many as six Cabinet officials could be leaving which would add to an already high turnover rate.
A Republican source is quoted as saying: “The president is looking to get better performers – all of these decisions are being made in the context of the re-election campaign. Trump wants the strongest possible A-team going into 2020.”
One person who has already announced her departure is United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
Politico notes that others who could be nearing an exit are Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
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Even before this report, President Trump has been criticized for a staff turnover rate which has surpassed that of his predecessors from the previous 40 years.
Such disruptions have broadly been linked to reduced productivity and poor performance in organizations.
However, Trump has defended his leadership style, tweeting in early March: “The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
The new Fake News narrative is that there is CHAOS in the White House. Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
He also said at a press conference around that time: “Everybody wants to work in the White House. They all want a piece of that Oval Office. They want a piece of the West Wing. And not only in terms of, it looks great on their resume — it’s just a great place to work.”
Politics aside, research by the Brookings Institution suggests that post-mid-term election departures are relatively normal.
“Generally, with the five prior presidents, a fair number of staff leave after midterms and nearly 24 months on the job,” Kathryn Dunn Tenpas told PolitiFact in July. “It is a typical burnout point, so I expect a late fall exodus as well, which would drive up the turnover figure into uncharted territory at the end of year two.”