Rats, Ships, Etc.

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CBS News reports that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her top deputy, Raj Shah, are both preparing to leave the White House, although it looks like we’re going to get a farewell tour that’s way too goddamn long:

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are both heading for the exits, according to sources inside the White House and close to the administration. Sanders, who has become a confidante of President Trump since the departure of former communications director Hope Hicks, has told friends that she plans to leave the administration at the end of the year.

Shah is also considering his exit, but he has not yet settled on an exact date. Neither Sanders nor Shah immediately responded to repeated requests for comment.

Sanders, who became the White House press secretary in July 2017, would be the second press secretary to exit the administration in two years. Her predecessor, Sean Spicer, lasted less than six months and is now cashing in with a new consulting firm.

CBS News’ source, identified only as being “close to the administration,” says that Trump is weirdly having a lot of trouble bringing people on board this sinking ship. “Nobody wants to come in,” the source said. “So they’ve gone through two rounds and now they’re at third tier of people who are just lucking out—battlefield promotion ends up promoting people who aren’t qualified for the position.”


“There will be even more people leaving the White House sooner rather than later, laid off or just leaving out of exhaustion. And it is going to be harder to find good people to replace them,” the source added. “I do think they’re going to have a harder time getting the second wave of people in than the first, because those people were loyalists, and [new] folks will have to be recruited and encouraged and then survive the vetting process.” Vetting process? What vetting process?

Sanders and Shah are only the latest in a long line of Trump staffers who are fleeing the White House. According to Brookings Institute statistics, Trump’s turnover rate of top staffers is 51 percent so far, less than a year and a half into his presidency; that’s over double what Barack Obama’s was, 24 percent, through the first two years of Obama’s first term. Gotta wonder why everyone wants to leave!


We’ve reached out to the White House, and will update with any response we receive—or, more likely, whatever tweets about fake news and the bad media come from anyone mentioned in this story tonight.