Politics Riding an Untamed Horse: Priebus Opens Up on Serving Trump

00:52  15 february  2018
00:52  15 february  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

White House Official Called Trump ‘a Deplorable’

  White House Official Called Trump ‘a Deplorable’ Deputy press secretary Raj Shah also seemingly plotted against Trump during the primaries while working at the RNC.Shah is an increasingly visible part of the White House staff. In recent weeks, he’s regularly appeared on TV as a White House surrogate, a job usually performed by better-known officials. The communications obtained by New York provide a window into the complex drama of the Trump White House, where the operatives who serve at the pleasure of the outsider president have in the past expressed contempt for him — and sometimes still do.

Working for Mr. Trump , he added, was “like riding the strongest and most independent horse ” one could imagine. We are going to talk about this right now,’” Mr. Priebus continued. “So I dragged him back up to my office from the car.

Washington Post: White House counsel walks a fine line in serving Trump 's demands. + Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Raw Story. Taegan Goddard / Political Wire: Priebus Opens Up About His Time in the White House.

Reince Priebus wearing a suit and tie: Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff, at an event in the East Room last April. © Doug Mills/The New York Times Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff, at an event in the East Room last April.

WASHINGTON — The meeting, to say the least, had not gone well. Upset at a presidential dressing down, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had just left the White House vowing to resign. Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, raced out of the building, found him in his car, banged on the door and implored him to come back inside.

The dramatic episode, described by Mr. Priebus in a soon-to-be-released book, proved a turning point in the relationship between President Trump and his attorney general, one that has shaped the administration ever since. More than any president in modern times, Mr. Trump has engaged in a high stakes public conflict with the Justice Department with extensive potential consequences.

Omarosa: I wouldn't vote for Trump again "in a million years, never"

  Omarosa: I wouldn't vote for Trump again "I made choices, I just have to live with them," said the reality show star turned White House staffer turned reality show star"If we become friends, you'll see how loyal I am, like maybe to a fault," Newman said. Alluding to Mr. Trump, she added "it's just been so incredibly hard to shoulder what I shouldered for those two years because I was so loyal to a person. And I didn't realize that by being loyal to him, it was going mean I was going to lose 100 other friends.

Riding an Untamed Horse : Priebus Opens Up on Serving Trump . The New York Times. What the White House Knew About Rob Porter.

At a rally in Forth Worth, Texas in February, 2016, Trump told the crowd that if he were elected president he would “ open up ” libel laws so empty, antagonistic statements are all they have—but, for the record, for as long as it matters, Priebus and the administration he serves would like to limit

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

Mr. Priebus’s account comes in a new chapter included in the paperback edition of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” by Chris Whipple, to be published on March 6 by Broadway Books. In an interview with the author, Mr. Priebus gave the first extended description of his tumultuous six months as Mr. Trump’s top aide. Vanity Fair posted an excerpt from the new chapter on Wednesday.

Mr. Priebus described a roller-coaster experience trying to impose discipline on one of the most undisciplined figures in American politics, a period that led to his unhappy departure last summer when Mr. Trump unceremoniously announced his resignation on Twitter just before Mr. Priebus disembarked Air Force One in the rain.

Flu kills 10 more children, bringing toll to 63 kids as severe season continues

  Flu kills 10 more children, bringing toll to 63 kids as severe season continues In severe flu seasons like this one, the CDC estimates that up to 56,000 people, mostly older adults, die from complications. An additional 10 children have died of flu in the U.S., bringing the total to 63 in a harsh season that is still going strong, federal health officials said Friday. The flu was still widespread in 48 states and causing high levels of illness in 43 states in the week that ended Feb. 3, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scaramucci targets Priebus , Bannon in expletive- ridden call with reporter. Katie Walsh, who served as Priebus ' deputy chief of staff at the White House, left in March Trump aide: Some immigrants 'too lazy' to sign up for DACA. Senate on verge of spending deal ahead of possible 2nd shutdown.

Trump has openly told people he has lost faith in Priebus , the New York Times reported Thursday, and has spoken about wanting 'a general' as chief of staff. 'He has served the president and the American people capably and passionately.

From rushing out ill-prepared executive orders to arguing over the president’s Twitter fixation, Mr. Priebus struggled as none of his predecessors had before. However arduous his tenure looked from the outside, he said it was even more so on the inside. “Take everything you’ve heard and multiply it by 50,” he said. Working for Mr. Trump, he added, was “like riding the strongest and most independent horse” one could imagine.

The meeting that nearly led to Mr. Session’s resignation came last May shortly after the president fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director who was heading an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and any cooperation with Mr. Trump’s campaign. The dismissal of Mr. Comey, which Mr. Trump in an interview with NBC News linked to his unhappiness with the Russia investigation, triggered the appointment of a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to the ire of the president.

Talk centers on Mick Mulvaney if John Kelly leaves

  Talk centers on Mick Mulvaney if John Kelly leaves Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's chief budget officer, is in the spotlight this week as staffers consider what might happen if White House chief of staff John Kelly leaves in the wake of the Rob Porter scandal. Conversations have been going on all week long among White House staffers as to what a "post-Kelly world looks like," a source familiar with these discussions said. And "the conversation keeps coming back to Mulvaney." Trump also has been quizzing those around him about their opinion of Mulvaney in recent weeks, aides and associates tell CNN.

They have the privilege to serve the American people and to be in a position to share in some awesome experiences. Priebus and Trump were aboard Air Force One, flying over Wisconsin, when Priebus spotted his home down below and expressed his excitement.

Priebus has a close friendship with Ryan, both having come up the political ladder in Wisconsin. Some expected Trump to continue as a disruptor even in office. He picked Breitbart.com chief Stephen Bannon to serve as his chief political strategist.

Mr. Trump was furious with Mr. Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation and therefore losing control over it. Mr. Priebus’s account confirms and adds more detail to a New York Times report that the president berated Mr. Sessions in a meeting in the Oval Office, leading him to offer his resignation. Vice President Mike Pence and the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, were in the meeting, but Mr. Priebus was not.

“Don McGahn came in my office pretty hot, red, out of breath and said, ‘We’ve got a problem,’ ” Mr. Priebus recalled. “I responded, ‘What?’ And he said, ‘Well, we just got a special counsel and Sessions just resigned.’ I said, ‘What? What the hell are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘That can’t happen.’ ”

Mr. Priebus bolted down the back stairway of the West Wing and out the door to the parking lot and found Mr. Sessions in the back of a black sedan with the engine running and about to leave. “I knocked on the door of the car and Jeff was sitting there and I just jumped in and shut the door and I said, ‘Jeff, what’s going on?’ ” Mr. Priebus said. “And then he told me that he was going to resign.”

Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly

  Priebus: Trump didn't complain to me about Kelly <p>The former White House chief of staff denied a report this week that claimed President Trump phoned him to complain about his replacement.</p>In an interview with Hugh Hewitt broadcast on Saturday, Priebus said the conversation, in which Trump reportedly complained to Priebus about Kelly's handling of domestic abuse allegations against a White House aide, never happened.

Scaramucci Denies Reporting Priebus to FBI, Cites Joe Paterno, Vows to “Inject” Trump Into America. Sign In Sign Up . (He's reportedly on unpaid leave from that job while he serves in the White House.)

Priebus arrived in the White House after serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Trump set Priebus up for failure from the start. The country is stifling open discussion of war crimes—and jeopardizing its own standing on the world stage.

“I said, ‘You cannot resign. It’s not possible. We are going to talk about this right now,’” Mr. Priebus continued. “So I dragged him back up to my office from the car. Pence and Bannon came in,” he added, referring to Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, “and we started talking to him to the point where he decided that he would not resign right then and he would instead think about it.”

In the end, Mr. Sessions still drafted a resignation letter later that night and sent it to the White House. Mr. Priebus then went to work on Mr. Trump, arguing that he should not accept it. The president reluctantly agreed and Mr. Sessions stayed.

But that did not end the danger to the attorney general. A couple months later, Mr. Trump took his anger with Mr. Sessions public by telling The New York Times in an interview that he would not have appointed him attorney general had he known that he would recuse himself.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Trump once again demanded Mr. Sessions’s resignation. Citing a White House insider, Mr. Whipple’s book says the president told Mr. Priebus to act on his order. “Don’t try to slow me down like you always do,” Mr. Trump told him. “Get the resignation of Jeff Sessions.”

Mr. Priebus, however, did try to slow him down and argued that pushing out Mr. Sessions would result in the resignations of the second- and third-ranking Justice Department officials too. “If I get this resignation, you are in for a spiral of calamity that makes Comey look like a picnic,” Mr. Priebus warned him. Again, Mr. Trump backed down.

Trump laments that 'mere allegation' can destroy lives

  Trump laments that 'mere allegation' can destroy lives President Donald Trump on Saturday seemed to frame the downfall of a pivotal aide accused of abusing his wives as a character assassination and lamented that "a mere allegation" can ruin someone's life.Trump's Twitter venting appeared to take aim at the rising #MeToo movement about sexual abuse while also feeding the frenzy at the White House, where the resignations of two men accused of domestic violence have splintered the staff and perhaps imperiled John Kelly's job as chief of staff."Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," Trump wrote. "Some are true and some are false.

During his acceptance speech, Trump called Priebus to the microphone, saying he was a "superstar" with whom he never had a "bad second." In 2011, Priebus was elected chairman of the Republican Party and became the party's longest- serving chairman.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Monday thanked President Trump for the chance to serve in his administration and fight for his agenda. But during a meeting with them and Priebus , Trump said he would give Priebus a chance to change things, according to Politico.

But in other ways he did not. Mr. Priebus said he and other aides — including Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter; Jared Kushner, his son-in-law; and Hope Hicks, his communications director — regularly tried to convince Mr. Trump that his random, often incendiary Twitter messages were self-destructive.

“I told him, ‘Some of it’s not helpful, it causes distraction. We can get thrown off our message by tweeting things that aren’t the issues of the day,’ ” he said. But he did not get through. “Everybody tried at different times to cool down the Twitter habit — but no one could do it. Not me, Jared, Ivanka, Hope.”

Even the first lady weighed in when her husband addressed Congress. “After the joint session, we all talked to him and Melania said, ‘No tweeting,’ ” Mr. Priebus said. “And he said, ‘OK — for the next few days.’ We had many discussions involving this issue. We had meetings in the residence. I couldn’t stop it.”

The challenge was clear from the very start when Mr. Trump called him the morning after he was sworn in ranting about news coverage comparing the size of his inaugural crowd with that of his predecessor. Mr. Priebus tried to calm the new president, but ultimately had to go along. “Am I going to go to war over this with the president of the United States?” he asked himself.

Mr. Priebus’s inability to control Mr. Trump or even control who could wander in and out of the Oval Office caused consternation. Mr. Bannon told Mr. Whipple that John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, complained to him about it. “He said to me, ‘It really upsets me that I walk in the Oval Office and it’s like Grand Central Station,’ ” said Mr. Bannon.

Ultimately, Mr. Trump would pick Mr. Kelly to replace Mr. Priebus. But Mr. Kelly, who initially earned plaudits for imposing more order on the West Wing, lately has come under fire for his management of the White House, particularly his handling of spousal abuse allegations that resulted in the resignation of the staff secretary, Rob Porter.

Mr. Priebus said that Mr. Trump has spent his whole life resisting the sort of organization that others would like to impose on him. “The idea that he was suddenly going to accept an immediate and elaborate staff structure regulating every minute of his life was never in the cards,” Mr. Priebus said. “At least not on Day One.”

Follow Peter Baker on Twitter: @peterbakernyt.

World's last remaining wild horses aren't really wild after all .
<p>It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses.</p>It may come as a disappointment to equine enthusiasts, but a new genetic study has found that no truly wild horses still exist and that a population inhabiting Mongolian grasslands actually is a feral descendant of the earliest-known domesticated horses.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!