Republicans who spoke to BuzzFeed News say the angst is very real. (“A shitshow,” said one Republican operative with friends in the White House who, like others, requested anonymity to offer candid thoughts and details of their conversations.)
But, for various reasons, they don’t see a mass exodus — voluntary or involuntary — coming any time soon.
For one thing, many who joined Trump in the White House are true believers who worked on his campaign, which did not attract top-level GOP talent. (“It’s not like it’s the A-team over there,” a Republican strategist said.) The reputations of some prominent aides may already be so joined to the Trump administration that seeing it through is a better strategy. And, they said, junior-level staffers may be better off gritting it out and trying to learn from a daily course in crisis management rather than risk looking disloyal to future employers.
White House officials looking to make personnel changes have a problem too.
“Everyone just assumes everyone is going to be fired. So fire everyone, great. But who is going to replace them?” said one Republican operative, suggesting that, right now, an open job in the Trump administration isn’t all that appealing to anyone who would be qualified for it.