Yes, we’ve heard that Reince Priebus is thisclose to losing his job lots of times, but … hey, at some point it has to be true once, right? It took Anthony Scaramucci a few months longer than he expected to land a job in the White House. According to Politico, he might wind up with two of them. Three sources claim that Priebus might get pushed out in favor of the new White House communications director, even while the chief of staff works on a near-impossible task for Donald Trump:
One White House official and two outside advisers said that while Scaramucci was brought into the White House for the communications job, he’s considered an internal candidate to eventually succeed Priebus as chief of staff. There are also a handful of outside candidates.
The unexpected hire has raised questions of whether more shake-ups are coming, even as the White House has tried to downplay its internal discord. The instability has made it difficult for the administration to fend off questions about ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia and to move forward an embattled legislative agenda.
Despite frequent reports his position is in jeopardy, Priebus hopes to finish out his year, according to people close to him. He is eyeing another big hurdle this week of getting the health care bill to pass through the Senate, defenders said Sunday.
Mooch may not want the job. Both Scaramucci and Dan Scavino claim that they don’t report through the chief of staff, cutting Priebus from what is normally a key part of White House operations — communications. Priebus reportedly opposed bringing on Scaramucci in the first place, which if true would indicate that his position has become smaller. It won’t take long for people to figure out how to work around Priebus if he’s on the outs with Trump — if being the operative word, of course.
On the other hand, we’ve heard a lot of leaks coming out of the White House that had Priebus on the imminent edge of unemployment. So far they haven’t panned out, and likely won’t in this case either. Politico sets this up as a fade of the establishment within the Trump White House, but Trump still needs someone who can connect with Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. Which of the two will be more likely to persuade Mitch McConnell and especially Paul Ryan on policy issues? That’s what makes the health-care bill critical to Priebus. If he can pull that off and get Trump the tax-reform bill he wants passed in Congress, that will go a long way to bolstering Priebus. But those are also big ifs at the moment, too.
Trump plans on boosting the chances for an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace vote by holding an event at the White House today. He reiterated his demand for action on Twitter yesterday:
President Donald Trump is set to deliver a statement on health care at 3:15 p.m. ET on Monday, according to the White House.
Trump’s statement will follow him participating “in a greeting with victims of Obamacare,” the White House said in a news release.
Right now, Mooch has to show he can succeed at the job he finally did get before setting his sights on another. He told Chris Wallace yesterday on Fox News Sunday that he plans “dramatic action” to plug leaks at the White House. “What’s going on right now is a high level of unprofessionalism,” Scaramucci tells Wallace, “and it’s not helping the president.” It’s not helping Priebus either.