This is why I suspect that Trump is not wrong to detect Bolton’s hands in at least some of the recent leaks related to the Ukraine investigation. It seems likely that both he and Mattis will testify before the House at some point alongside at least nine other current or former administration officials. Meanwhile, a former speechwriter for Mattis is about to release what may very well be the most candid account yet of goings-on in Trump’s Pentagon. If the excerpts are any indication, there is no love lost between the general and his former commander-in-chief.
Sooner or later something like this was bound to happen. You can only fire so many important people in the most humiliating manner before one of them decides to respond with something more serious than gossip. But it is worth pointing out that this is not all Trump’s fault. It is one thing to be an outsider presidential candidate surrounded by a bizarre coterie of prophets, toadies, grifters, lepers, old pals, and random hangers-on. It is another thing to win and staff an actual White House. Almost by definition the sorts of people who are likely to be ideologically sympathetic toward such a candidate will lack the requisite experience for taking up Cabinet positions and other important posts. Those who have the necessary qualifications will likely be there to pursue their own agenda, the explicit rejection of which may have been one of the mainstays of your campaign. But most will refuse to take any part, which is why nine months after John Kelly’s departure we still have an acting chief of staff. It also explains why Trump has been forced to rely on unofficial fixers like the aging and amateurish Rudy Giuliani and why someone like William Taylor was even involved in business that should have been the purview of trusted political appointees.