The opening weeks of the Trump administration have been described as tumultuous by many, potentially leaving White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’ head on the chopping block.
Chris Ruddy, founder of Newsmax Media and one of President Trump’s friends, said Sunday on CNN that the “White House is showing not the amount of order that we need to see. I think there’s a lot of weakness coming out of the chief of staff.”
After his comments on CNN, Ruddy told The Washington Post, “I’ve gotten three text messages from sitting Cabinet members praising my appearance. They realize this whole government depends on this chief of staff.” The significance of Ruddy’s comments are compounded by his tweet that he spoke at length with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night.
“It’s my view that Reince is the problem. I think on paper Reince looked good as the chief of staff — and Donald trusted him — but it’s pretty clear the guy is in way over his head,” Ruddy told The Post. “He’s not knowledgeable of how federal agencies work, how the communications operations work. He botched this whole immigration rollout. This should’ve been a win for Donald, not two or three weeks of negative publicity.”
The Newsmax founder and Trump confidante subsequently seemed to back off his harsh criticism of Priebus and tweeted, “Reince just briefed me on new WH plans. Impressive! CNN today my personal view.”
A potential replacement for Priebus is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was one of the the first key Republicans to back Trump and previously headed the president’s transition team before being forced out by Jared Kushner. Like Ruddy, the New Jersey governor has called the roll out of Trump’s travel ban botched and placed blame on the president’s staff.
Christie appeared on CNN Sunday and wouldn’t deny that he recently spoke to Trump on the phone. The New Jersey governor said that he would be open to joining the Trump administration, although he “intends” to join the private sector in a year after his term is over.
Roger Stone, a Trump confidante, told The Daily Caller that he doesn’t think Christie will replace Priebus as chief of staff. Christie is reportedly scheduled to have lunch with Trump at the White House Tuesday.