Just before Donald Trump’s first (and some predict last) official overseas trip got underway, the media couldn’t stop buzzing about how everyone in the administration was clamoring to go on the trip with him, and no one was specifically sure why. But it turns out something has already gone wrong. Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is abandoning the trip and heading home early, sending up red flags.
Here’s the tweet from reporter Maggie Haberman that set off the alarms: “Priebus is said to be leaving the traveling White House caravan early, returning this week instead of staying the full foreign trip” (link). Okay, so maybe he’s got food poisoning or his cat has an appointment at the vet. But nope, because Haberman added a followup tweet revealing that Priebus isn’t the only one who’s likely to end up bailing on the trip early, though she didn’t reveal the identity of the next to go.
There are a number of possible explanations for this, all of them bad for Trump and his administration, that it’s tricky to quantify just how bad this is. This might sum it up, though: probably the best case scenario here is that Trump and his team are fighting with each other so badly, some of them are either being sent home or are abandoning the trip in a huff. And that’s the best case for them. Because if that’s not what this is, then it’s something far worse.
We’ve seen stories over the past days that Donald Trump’s White House is now researching the impeachment process in order to try to figure out how to survive it (link). We’ve got member of the House Judiciary Committee, where the impeachment process begins, tweeting photos of impeachment research (link). Is this why “adult in the room” Reince Priebus is coming home early, to help with the process? This sends up red flags indeed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report