It’s Friday, which in the Donald Trump era usually means that either a major bombshell about his Russia scandal will hit the newswires, or that a key member of the Trump administration will resign in controversy. It’s unclear why the bombshells keep arriving on Friday nights, but the Friday resignations are a clear attempt at burying the bad news in the Friday afternoon news dump. Today in particular, there are three top Trump people on resignation watch.
The first and most obvious is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was exposed this week as having called Trump a “moron” behind his back. Trump is reportedly furious and wants to fire Tillerson. On the other hand, Trump has to consider the fact that Tillerson is friends with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, and – perhaps most importantly in this warped administration – Russian President Vladimir Putin. In addition to Tillerson, two other people in the administration appear to have one foot out the door today.
As Palmer Report has been reporting for the past few days, there has been increasing buzz around the notion that Trump may be trying to force General John Kelly to resign (link). During the relatively brief time that Kelly has been Chief of Staff, he’s seemed to be singularly powerful and thus untouchable. But the same thing was believed about Anthony Scaramucci when he first came on board, and he only lasted eleven days. There is also another name to watch for today.
Rex Tillerson’s State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond may be in line to be scapegoated today, if Tillerson decides to try to keep his job. Hammond has ticked off Mike Pence (link), which is not a good move, as Tillerson and Pence had previously been allies. As we head into today’s Friday afternoon news dump, with so many people now exiting the Donald Trump administration, the question may be whether they’re limited to just one resignation per Friday.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report