Ever since Donald Trump occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a number of theories have emerged about who, exactly, steers his administration. Countless groups have come under scrutiny: Russians, Jews, bankers, even Californians.
Intriguing as these theories may be, let’s take an honest look at the people Trump has chosen to surround himself with since inauguration:
- John Kelly, chief of staff
- Kellyanne Conway (née Fitzpatrick), counselor to the president
- Donald McGahn, White House counsel
- H.R. McMaster, former national security adviser; fired in March 2018
- Steve Bannon, former senior adviser; fired in August 2017
- Michael Flynn, former national security adviser; fired in February 2017
- John Dowd, former personal attorney to Trump in the Russia investigation, resigned in March 2018
- Katie Walsh, former deputy chief of staff; resigned in March 2017
- Sean Spicer, former press secretary; resigned in July 2017
- Monica Crowley, appointed as senior director of strategic communications at the National Security Council; resigned in January 2017
- Rich Higgins, former National Security Council staffer who wrote an internal memo claiming a deep state conspiracy against Trump; fired in July 2017
- John McEntee, former bodyman; fired in March 2018
…and the politicians who have supported and enable his political agenda:
- Mike Pence, vice president
- Paul Ryan, speaker of the House
- Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader
…and the media personalities who reliably defend him and his allies and/or attack their adversaries:
- Sean Hannity, Fox News host who shared several lawyers with Trump
- Bill O’Reilly, former Fox News host and “longtime friend” of Trump
- Christopher Ruddy, Newsmax CEO and commonly quoted friend of Trump
- Britt McHenry, ESPN, Fox News, The Federalist
- James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas
- Matthew Boyle, Breitbart
…and other individuals who have swirled in and out of Trump’s orbit:
- Michael G. Flynn, son of Michael Flynn, Pizzagate conspiracy theorist, and subject of Robert Mueller’s investigation
- Joseph Flynn, brother of Michael Flynn, who has demanded that Trump pardon his sibling
- Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO of WWE, husband of Trump Cabinet member Linda McMahon; both Vince and Linda are close friends with and major donors to Trump
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback and “friend” of Trump
It all suggests that, if a specific cabal does control the White House, its members are not Jews, or Russians, or Wall Street bankers.
Instead, they are very, very Irish. (Or, possibly, Scots-Irish.) As an Irishman myself, I’m not sure whether to be impressed by my people’s shamelessness, or simply ashamed of the power they wield in Trumpland.
If we missed anyone, let us know in the comments.