Trump doesn’t really want to be president. If he did, he’d nominate candidates to the 404 important but vacant administration jobs and get on with the job of governance. He doesn’t seem to want to be commander in chief of the armed forces, either, having outsourced Afghanistan troop-level decisions to Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Don’t burden him with foreign policy—which so daunts him that he’s postponed an official trip to Britain because (as some report) he fears the inevitable protests that will greet him. Nor is he much interested in upholding the oath he took on Inauguration Day, promising to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” He proves this lack of interest every day by ignoring the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause.
Instead, Trump lusts for the job of White House communications director, a position that has been open since mid-May, when Michael Dubke resigned. By not replacing Dubke, Trump has telegraphed his preference to be his own communicator-in-chief and amplified that preference by constantly second-guessing Sean Spicer, his hapless press secretary. Trump’s unhappiness with Spicer has been public knowledge since the opening weeks of his administration, as the president has routinely contradicted him and reportedly bad-mouthed him behind closed doors. In recent weeks, Trump has expressed his dark discontent with Spicer by replacing him with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the White House daily briefings—the way Casey Stengel used to platoon Moose Skowron and Joe Collins at first base.