Can we compromise on this? We’ll have the debate over whether Trump is a better communicator than Lincoln, FDR, or Reagan. Just as soon as he hits 45 percent job approval.
Actually, maybe we should have the debate now, with Trump set to turn his communications team upside down:
President Trump may not be well-served by his primary spokespeople, but he is probably his own worst mouthpiece, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll . More Americans say that Donald Trump, press secretary Sean Spicer, and counselor Kellyanne Conway tend to hurt rather than help the administration’s cause when they step in front of the media. Reviews are mixed for deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Vice President Mike Pence is the only official tested in the poll who has a net positive impact when he speaks on behalf of the administration.
Fully 6-in-10 (61%) Americans say Trump does more to hurt his own cause when he speaks on behalf of the administration. Just 33% say he does more to help his administration when he speaks publicly.
The split on whether Sean Spicer does more to help or hurt the administration when he speaks was a robust 28/42 by comparison. Conclusion: Sean Spicer is the greatest communicator the White House has ever seen.
The key bit below comes at 2:55, when Lewandowski is asked about the now-vacant position of White House communications director. He’s coy but makes a point of saying that “When you have a president who is so active, who is so articulate, who is so good at communicating with the media, sometimes you’ve got staff who have to keep up with him, and it’s much easier, I think, if you ask people who had a preexisting relationship to understand how the president functions.” Anyone out there you can think of who’s between jobs right now and has a “preexisting relationship” with Trump?
White House staffers can. And they’re reportedly horrified at the thought of him being re-hired:
“It would be another trainwreck,” one White House official told The Daily Beast, bluntly. “I’m dreading that it could even happen…though [Corey will] probably be kept outside [the White House], it’s looking like.”…
“Word is he won’t be in the White House proper. More of a shadow adviser,” one official noted. “When, not if, he does something crazy, there’ll at least be a degree of separation.”…
“I gagged when I [first] heard that,” a senior Trump aide told The Daily Beast. “[Corey] will not be an asset in the West Wing. He would be a hothead in a [White House] that needs the opposite.”
Remember, Corey’s motto as campaign manager was “Let Trump be Trump,” which gives you a sense of what might happen to the White House’s already weak grasp on message discipline if he ended up in a position of power over the communications arm. Whether he joins the staff or lands in an outside group, though, this is further evidence that Trump is shifting away from the Kushnerites and towards the people who were with him early on, like David Bossie. The endless leaking has probably made him crave advisors whom he feels he can trust, whether or not they’d necessarily be good for his administration. Which is ironic in Corey’s case because, reportedly, one of the firing offenses he committed last year as campaign manager was getting caught trying to plant a negative story about Jared Kushner in the media, which pissed Ivanka Trump off. It seems ages ago now but around this time last year media outlets were filled with stories about the Corey wing and the Manafort wing of the Trump operation badmouthing each other to reporters as they battled behind the scenes for influence. Trump’s going to get more of that if Lewandowski comes aboard. It’s a terrible idea, but a dynamite content-generator for political media.