Trump sometimes refers to his 45-year-old chief of staff, Reince Priebus, as “Reince-y,” a diminutive nickname that some aides and outside rivals recount with gleeful relish. The president also frequently reminds Priebus that when “Access Hollywood’ tapes emerged during the campaign on which Trump could be heard boasting about groping women without their consent, Priebus urged him to drop out of the race.
The president has described House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), in theory one of his top allies on Capitol Hill, as a “Boy Scout” — a dig that the lawmaker joked he chose to take as a compliment even though “I’m not sure he meant it that way.”
And during the transition, Trump would make a point of noting that Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s crowds paled compared to his, teasing that even his daughter Ivanka and son Eric attracted more attention, said two people familiar with the comments, which they considered demeaning. (Pence offered a similar quip on the campaign trail.)
Even the president’s family is not immune. In a news conference at Trump Tower shortly after he won the White House, Trump announced that he would be putting his companies into a trust that his two older sons would run during his presidency.
“I hope at the end of eight years, I’ll come back and say, ‘Oh, you did a good job,’ ” Trump said, as his sons looked on. But he couldn’t resist a final tweak — half joke, half warning: “Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I’ll say, ‘You’re fired.’ ”