Donald Trump just fired White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Or at least we think he did, because he just tweeted that he’s appointed someone else to the position while failing to even mention that Priebus exists. While that move was not unexpected, and even Trump’s bizarre method of making the change via tweet is par for the course, what’s shocking is whom Trump just put in charge of the White House: a military General.
Trump is slow-rolling his multi part announcement, so there may be more tweets coming, but his first two tweets are enough to give you an idea of what’s now transpiring: “I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration” (link). This leads to so many questions, it’s difficult to know where to start.
The one thing we do know is that, unless Trump in his deteriorating mental state has forgotten that Reince Priebus still exists, this means he’s just fired him. But does this mean that General Kelly is resigning his current position of Director of Homeland Security? Who will take his place? And most importantly: since when is the White House run by a military General, even a retired one?
Considering how events have been unfolding over the past week, it seems a given that Anthony Scaramucci is behind the decision to fire Priebus and to replace him with General John Kelly. Our best guess is that Scaramucci even ghost-wrote the Trump tweets announcing the changes. But this is surreal, even for Trumpamucci bizarro world. Update: now Trump has belatedly tweeted this about Reince: “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report