Trump Staffers Too Toxic to Hire
White House service is usually a ticket to high-paying jobs in Washington. Not so for the current administration.
BuzzFeed (“Trapped In The White House: Many Trump Aides Are Too ]Toxic’ To Get Jobs“):
Trump administration officials looking to escape to the private sector are getting a rude awakening: No one wants to hire them.
Companies and firms who used to recruit from presidential administrations and brag when they were successful in poaching an aide are making the calculation that the risks of bringing on a Trump administration official outweigh the rewards, according to interviews with 10 current and former administration officials, top recruiters, and lobbyists who did not want to be named to talk candidly. BuzzFeed News reached out to them after previously reporting during an especially chaotic stretch for the Trump White House that some officials were trying to leave but finding their job prospects to be “pretty bleak.” That’s especially pronounced for more junior staff.
The leadership at a prominent, bipartisan Washington public affairs firm went as far as to make an active decision not to hire from the Trump White House because of the “reputational risk” associated with it, a former White House official was recently told. The official asked BuzzFeed News not to disclose the name of the firm.
In another case, a White House official said he was rejected out of the blue for a job after being given indications he would be hired and was explicitly told his affiliation with the Trump White House had been a problem for some at the company.
The realities of the grim job prospects have also become clear to two associates who worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign but never went into the administration. They told BuzzFeed News they’ve been offering some of their former colleagues who now work at the White House regular advice in recent months on how to land job opportunities, but so far those colleagues have been unsuccessful. Both also said they were glad they ultimately chose not to join the administration after seeing their friends struggle.
Although the Trump administration has already seen unprecedented turnover, many of the departures have been firings or resignations. Some who have left on their own accord have just gone back to their previous jobs and not exited for lucrative outside offers.
Several sources said it has been especially hard for mid- and lower-level aides to find new jobs, but even some senior-level staffers are struggling — particularly those who either got their jobs after working for the campaign and were new to government work or those who have gotten dragged into the Russia investigation.
The dark cloud of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe hanging over the administration has made those in the private sector wary of doing any hiring from Trump world.
“There’s a legal risk there,” said another leading Washington consultant who specializes in placing government officials in the private sector. “There’s a certain level of uncertainness around the toxicity. Generally, there aren’t a ton of jobs waiting for those people.”
Keeping their future career prospects in mind is also one of the reasons why Republicans are turning down opportunities to work in the administration. Middle-aged Republicans who would typically jump at the chance to work in a GOP administration are foregoing the opportunity in part because they don’t want to jeopardize their future career options.
“I have another 15-20 years of working in town,” said one prominent GOP lobbyist. “The risk is just not worth it.”
Granting that there is little in the way of data here, this rings true. We haven’t had a presidency this toxic since Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.
In the national security space, at least, there were a huge number of Republicans who would have been shoe-ins for service in any other GOP administration who decided they could not work for Trump. Presumably, that was true in other sectors as well. As a result, Trump was mostly getting second- and third-tier talent or relying on retired (and in the case of H.R. McMaster, serving) generals and admirals to fill posts. Once those guys crashed and burned, it was even harder to find their replacements—and, in some cases, their replacements’ replacements.
Fair or not, then, those who have worked for Trump are tainted as either not particularly high caliber or somehow responsible for the mess that is this White House. The reputational hit to a firm hiring them, then, is huge and not likely to be offset by access to a president famously disloyal to his people.
Add in the various ongoing legal investigations and the risk that the new hire might be implicated, and it’s simply not worth it.
Perhaps the best example of this so far is Sean Spicer. Ordinarily, one of the news networks would jump all over themselves trying to get a former White House Press Secretary into their stable of regular pundits that appear on their various shows on Sunday and during the week. Spicer ended up on Fox News Channel mostly because, according to reports I’ve seen, CNN, NBC, and ABC all declined to meet with him.
“Welcome to the Trump Administration, you’re gonna need a lawyer.”
At the very least they are lacking in judgement. It has long been obvious that trump is an ongoing criminal enterprise, joining this admin is aiding and abetting the commission of crimes.
Nice celebration of the political weaponizing of prosecution and “law” enforcement. Well, the guerrilla war against America via the law needs to come to a head. Of course, once acknowledged, the best way to clear it up is to burn it all and rebuild. Just so happens Donald Trump knows a bit about revitalizing blighted urban corpses.
Consider this. What might be the result of having an administration filled with people who have no reason to preserve the standing corrupt revolving doors in DC?
This comment is practically the OED example of the buffoonish lack of self awareness in your typical Trump supporter. To this day Trump holds rallies that consist of his deliriously rage driven low information supporters chanting “Lock Her Up”.
“Lock her up!” Benghazi. Uranium One.
Going back in time, Whitewater. It’s a time-honored tradition JKB.
@JKB: I suggest you think exactly about Whitewater and how much of a “political weaponisation” of the process that was. I also suggest you learn exactly how the legal system works in this country. What you are complaining about is the fact that the process works.
@JKB: Projection, always projection. You stamp your little feet and whine when your side can’t successfully do it to your enemies, then when your side obviously and blatantly engages in illegal activity you claim that it is being done to you.
You need a straight jacket and some really good drugs because you are beyond fixing.
ETA forgot a word
There is the added consideration that with the various Michael Cohen issues, this administration could be reaching its end game, so jobs in this administration might have an early sell-by date.
Title of the piece:
I think the last week has marked a sea change in this Presidency, not a good time to be one of the last rats boarding the ship.
This has been going on for a while. A couple months back–I wish I could remember where–I saw a quote from a former Trump admin employee who was finding subsequent employment difficult. He put it as succinctly as it could be: “The stink just doesn’t wash off.”
We can only hope the stink Trump has created around America will fade once he’s gone.
Two words here: Corey. Lewandowski.
Has more to do with the outside and the toxic hate they hold for opponents of their leftist agendas.
It was very hard for Trump team members to find schools that would take their children.
We have seen this hate atmosphere grow to extreme during the last eight years.
When they call Trump and his supporters haters, they are projecting. It is the left that are doing the hating, who are intolerant, who silence opposition and reject diversity. It’s a decades old pattern.
Bet you won’t print this comment.
Here are the closing two paragraphs of the New Yorker piece by Adam Davidson:
@charon: I read that Davidson piece last night, and I tried to play devil’s advocate as an excercise, like “What if all the Cohen raid stuff is just unrelated to Trump and winds up irrelevant to the administration?” and I couldn’t see how to do it.
Unlike Trump and Fox, the other networks would want someone who can at least appear to be trustworthy. Spicer’s first official act was a lie so transparent, birds would attempt to fly through it as if it weren’t’ there.
Another factor, I suspect, is what I term the “You Dated Newman” factor. It basically goes like this: “Trump found you acceptable. Ok, what’s wrong with you?”
@Sibyl: Your willing blindness in service to your self inflicted martyrdom is duly noted.
@teve tory: Cohen has just one employer, he does gigs on the side for spare money.
@OzarkHillbilly: Sibyl should have warned us to turn off our Whine-o-meters. Mine blew a fuse.
I am going to go with mostly, if not entirely, fair. From an administrative POV, this administration has been a mess. If some other enterprise (a company, a non-profit, a university, etc.) were run this poorly, those who left that enterprise would have a hard time getting jobs–especially prestige jobs (which is really what we are talking about here, as I don’t think former administration officials are going utterly jobless).
And to those who are complaining in this thread as if this is The Left out to get Republicans, look to history: the GWB administration took a ton of criticism and yet we did not see a similar phenomenon with Bush administration officials. This administration has been historically bad to date in terms of basic organizational and administrative functioning. One piece of evidence to note: there are more Trump admin officials looking for jobs in the first year-plus of the administration than is usually the case. This speaks to, at a minimum, the train-wreck that this WH has been.
At some point, Republican identifying citizens need to differentiate between the policy differences that drive some criticisms of the Trump administration (e.g., taxes) and those criticisms that are more profound, which include the fact that the administration clearly does not know how to govern (among other problems that go beyond policy issues). Those who fail to ever make that distinction will find themselves on the wrong side of history (or, at least, like many Nixon voters–not admitting to voting for Trump 10 years, or less, from now).
By building luxury condominium towers and exclusive country club golf courses?
Seriously and on-topic:
Trump eventually diminishes nearly everyone in his business and personal life. What should be an honor – working in the White House, in and for ANY administration – is turning out to be a low point in the careers of many of these people. I’m sure that most of them had no idea that Trump was as impulsive, mendacious and unthoughtful as he has turned out to be. This is what happens when you elect a person who has no respect for the office of the presidency, not for any of the departments that comprise the government he ostensibly heads.
You appear to be correct. And kudos on the Seinfeld reference.
@Sibyl: Hey – I ain’t whining. It’s your projection acting up again. Your big time crooks, the real toxic ones, who politicized and weaponized every agency of government and abused every office, are going down, down, down.
@Sibyl:..Bet you won’t print this comment.
YOU LOSE! Pay up Cookie!
Is this that QAnon gibberish where you believe everyone except trump is corrupt and he’s secretly arresting hundreds of pedophile evildoers, and it’ll all be revealed soon? Is that what you’re talking about?
I smell sockpuppetry
@Sibyl: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… gasp…. wheeze…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….
10,000 unemployed comedians and here you are giving it away for free.
@HarvardLaw92: Sadly, Poe’s Law applies:
so it’s always a guessing game.
@Sibyl:..going down, down, down!
You have already demonstrated that you can not predict the future:
(Bet you won’t print this comment.)
So you are a failed prophetess.
No need to pay attention to you.
I am always right, except on such occasions when I’m not 🙂
That’ll do for a really obscure reference.
The Adam Davidson piece is devastating, but not to many of us who have known about Trump for years. This paragraph alone illustrates what Michael Reynolds and others have been saying for over two years:
The actual article has many links to the specific alleged crimes.
Trump now has some top prosecutors looking at his financial world, via Michael Cohen.
Someone is going to jail.
@Sibyl: Sibyl, you backed a stupid two bit phony, someone who makes his living selling tacky crap to gullible chumps. Most of his supporters backed this pathetic loser because he was willing to say nasty things to people they resented. Trump’s campaign consisted entirely of sliming and insulting every individual who opposed him as well as entire groups who collectively make up 4/5 of the worlds population as rapists, terrorists, thugs, cheaters and liars. His fans cheered on every bigoted and racist word he uttered, cheered him on when he mocked people with disabilities and families that lost their child. The more thuggish in the audience intimidated, threatened and even physically assaulted people who opposed Trump and like the wannabe fascist that he is he revved them up and offered to pay their legal bills if they punched someone out on his behalf. That was yet another promise that Trump had no intention of keeping, as his dazed and witless sychophants realized to their confusion after they were led off in handcuffs. In short, you and the rest of your Trumpoid friends knew what a nasty piece of human trash he was when you voted for him. So you should man up and have enough self respect to not come around whining about how Trump’s opponents are just so mean to him.
A series of unfortunate coincidences. 😛
That will never not amaze me. We have high-definition video footage of trump physically mocking a disabled guy, and 62 million dumb cretins still voted for him.
No, they did not know. People have filters, they see what they want to see, disregard what they do not.
Trump showed us at the start of his campaign with Little Marco, Low Energy Jeb, ugly Carly Fiorina, Lyin Ted Cruz etc. People just interpreted that bullying crap and need to humiliate people differently than they should have done, that’s all.
Along with the fake charity events where he pocketed the money or tried to, it was all out there, people just had prejudices that kept them from seeing it.
Motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, whatever you care to call it.
Motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, whatever you care to call it.
All in with the Ku Klux Klan and american Nazis.
All of them.
And a huge chunk of those millions believe him when he says he didn’t do it.
Thanks for the props, my friend.
I’ve long been interested in the effect on our moral standards of DNA research, as well as psychological research. The question of an individual’s agency is very much open, philosophically.
But, as a practical matter, I don’t see how society functions without an assumption of individual agency and responsibility. It may be an increasingly threadbare worldview but the effective replacement is not yet on the horizon. And we may not like it much when it gets here, because if we begin to medicalize what has for many decades if not centuries* been a matter of personal responsibility, the possible solutions will be medical as well. Pretty soon we’re Robert Duvall wandering around a big white room.**
*In earlier times, and in different civilizations, agency was often passed along to supernatural beings. We still blamed (and punished) the individual but explained it as coming from a devil or a whimsical god who lured or tricked people into behaving badly.
** Rare THX 1138 reference.
Everyone from Charmin’ Billy Clinton’s ……right down to janitors…..got hired. A few from 43’s admin….but of course, most all for Fox.
As I don’t watch the msm any more, don’t know if a lot of the Messiah’s regime got “their due.”
Trumpster? Nobody that’s left worked their long enough to be considered “high value.” Trump hires/appoints people to basically perform particular duties for a short term…..do to their special capabilities…..after “shooting their bolt,” they get replaced by a new person with different talents for a different task.
Media like to hire George Streptococcus types…..had a long run with Billy ‘n the old bag…….plus you don’t have to teach him to be a marxist…..it’s in his tainted genes already.
This is the story line? And you actually believe it? And you’re so effing dumb you actually write about it in a public place? Do you get off on being ridiculed, is that it?
I don’t think it is being stressed enough here that it is largely fellow Republicans and conservatives who do not want to hire these people. If you worked for an oil company, then worked for Pruitt’s EPA (just an example here), you weren’t going to go leave and work for Greenpeace or go so research somewhere. You were hoping for a lobbyist job or a job higher up in management at an oil company. Yet, those people, who would overwhelmingly be Republicans, see former Trump staff as tainted or at least not very useful. Go through and pick your area of government and you will see the same thing. Of course, part of the problem is also, I think, that not very many high quality people wanted to work for Trump to begin with. (Of course, he had much more choice in the finance sector.)
Zandar has posted most of the Davidson piece on his blog …
If you are an oil company, you want people who can work within the system applying EPA and OSHA rules not sabotaging them, which is not actually a useful skill.
(As a retired engineer I am describing what I used to do for a living).
We have a streptococcus type in the White House.
Certain basic grammar errors are dead giveaways.
@Charon: Disagree. For far too many of them IOKFMS (It’s OK For My Side)
The only “talent” I have seen displayed by this bunch is a talent for destruction in service of corruption. No wonder nobody wants to hire them.
So you think it’s human nature to see oneself as rotten?
People just thought Little Marco etc. was funny, did not think through the implications of a leader who gets off on humiliating people.
Although as I recall he did get a wee bit of blowback when he called Carly Fiorina ugly, perhaps nowadays with#MeToo he might get a bit more.
What happened to BP shares after the Deepwater Horizon thing shows that there is a downside to the Pruitt approach to environmental and safety procedures.
While I see the and agree with the point that you want to make, I don’t think this sort of denial constitutes ignorance of reality, but rather, simple denial. They know but just don’t care.
No, quite the contrary, I think when they see their “guy” do it they think it’s all good and necessary in defense of them and theirs. They really think the ends justify the means. Just look at everything that has happened the past couple years. All those years they complained about Obama’s stretching of the constraints of the office, and now that trump blows right thru them, they cheer.
And for the record, there are those on the left who do the same but they are far fewer in number compared to those on the right just now.
Say it ain’t so! I don’t want Scaramucci to be unemployed.
There are countless right wing organizations where his presence would be a benefit to all of society.
I think you are being way to generous here. His supporters did know Trump was a thuggish bully. But they believed he would only behave that way to people they felt deserved it. That’s why they rally round him.
I have more sympathy for people who believed Trump was an actual businessman and not just a two bit con artist. But it’s like the woman I know of who married a guy she thought was going to be so successful because he talked so pretty. She ignored the people all around town who told her stories of bad checks and down payments taken but then no work done and a mother that would no longer let him in the house. When he took out credit cards in her name and ran up insane amounts of debt, yeah, I have some sympathy for her. But to be honest, I think she’ll fall for the next one just like she did this one.
@Sibyl: Of coure the comment won’t be printed. It’s a blog. Electronic.
That is an excellent point. You’re absolutely right. It’s not like a Brown University Deanship was on offer. It’s corporate America that won’t touch them.
It will affect even the Trumpaloons. If any of these people ever get to one of the coasts they’ll need to hide the association. No Nazis, no Commies, no Trumpaloons need apply.
Charon- Sure. If you are BP or Enron, you want to hire someone who worked at the EPA who left on good terms and will be able to get you access to people who stayed there. You want someone who understands the rules inside and out so you either take advantage of them or avoid them. If you were brought in just to help destroy the place, then you aren’t much use after you leave. You probably aren’t leaving on good terms with career staff. You don’t need to understand stuff you are destroying. Finally, you may get called away to testify about the sketchy things going on in the office. An employer doesn’t want someone who may have to run off to court to be a witness.
Companies that are outright crooked like Enron are not the norm, at least outside the financial sector where the vulture capitalists, mortgage loan sharks etc. do their thing. (I suppose companies are like Willie Sutton, they go where the money is).
BP was an example of inadequate management oversight and paid a big price.
Yeah many industries have bad actors, some industries, like the eastern coal companies more than others. But I think the actual amount of this is less than what popular imagination would have it.
Most times it’s not “bad actors” so much as it is people will shave a corner here, a corner there when enough pressure is put on them. Pretty soon they are shaving corners on a regular basis and then… BOOM! It catches up with them.
Sometimes people aren’t even aware of the pressure that is being put on them (if they were they might push back) or aware that they are cutting corners. The sinking of the *El Faro* may be one such case.
** a long read, based on recordings of bridge conversations from the recovered black box, but well worth the time invested