Trump’s reluctance to fire anyone is one of the great mysteries of his presidency so far, but so too is the willingness of humiliated staffers to stick around. In the case of Priebus and Sessions, they might not see much upside beyond the velvet coffin of a TV-contributor gig. Sessions is 70, gave up a safe seat in the Senate to become attorney general, and is remaking the justice system along the lines he desires. Priebus is a mild-mannered longtime operative whose life’s ambition seemed to be making the Republican Party work better. He appeared successful, until Trump came along. On the one hand, the GOP now controls the Supreme Court, both houses of Congress, and the presidency. On the other hand, it can’t seem to get anything done and is saddled with, well, vulgar feuds involving Anthony Scaramucci, to say nothing of the looming special-counsel investigation of Trump.
So how long can this go on? The Trump presidency has seemed to be falling apart for at least two months now, and yet so much has happened since then: the appointment of the special counsel, the revelation of Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, the Scaramucci saga, and dozens more half-forgotten threads. One possibility is that Priebus or Sessions exit, leaving the president with no chief of staff, a vacant attorney general’s office, or both. Another is that either of them sticks around, guaranteeing continued dysfunction. Neither seems likely to improve the situation, at least in the short-to-medium term.