It’s official: Trump’s White House is completely falling apart, and the President has completely lost control of his cabinet members, appointees, and staff. While many suspected this to be the case given the nonsensical and often-conflicting messages coming out of the West Wing in recent months, these suspicions were confirmed when Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned early Friday morning.
While it’s impossible to say exactly what caused Spicer to finally jump ship, there are a number of plausible theories. The most obvious of these would be the reason stated by Spicer himself, which is that he disagrees with the President’s recent decision to appoint Anthony Scaramucci as his communications director. This appointment would have put Scaramucci in a position over Spicer’s, and Spicer reportedly refused to continue working in a position where he’d have to report to Mr. Scaramucci given his complete and total disapproval for him.
This seems plausible: Scaramucci was a terrible choice, and it’s understandable why Spicer would refuse to work with him. Scaramucci is exactly the type of appointee Trump promised not to include in his White House: an incredibly wealthy New York finance mogul with no public service experience, and a loyal sycophant who has appeared on television scores of times to defend Trump. As usual, the President’s incredibly childish and fragile ego makes itself apparent as he elevates yet another person who showers him with compliments.
It’s quite possible, however, that the reasons for Spicer’s resignation go deeper than Mr. Scaramucci’s appointment. After all, there have been rumors floating around Washington for months now about the possibility that Spicer would soon be leaving the White House. The stress of his job had clearly been getting to him as Trump’s policies became harder and harder to defend to the national media organizations. Spicer responded to this pressure by giving conflicting statements, drawing ire from the White House for going “off message”.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) July 21, 2017
What constituted the last straw for many news representatives, however, was the cessation of televised press conferences. It’s unlikely that this was Spicer’s idea, but rather something he was forced to do by Trump in order to prevent his incredibly embarrassing conflicts with the news media from going public. Whether or not it was Spicer’s idea, however, he suffered the brunt of the media’s anger, having to field questions from reporters as to why he was suddenly shutting down this incredibly important aspect of free press in America.
In the end, it is likely a combination of both factors: Spicer hated Scaramucci’s appointment, and couldn’t handle the job of having to defend such an indefensible president. Regardless, his problematic and embarrassing tenure as Press Secretary are over, and America must remain attentive as Trump considers who to appoint next. After all, a hallmark of authoritarian leaders like Joseph Stalin was their tendency to rapidly fire and replace high-ranking officials to maintain a sense of fear in their governments, and Trump needs to know that the American people are watching his every move during this critical transitional period.