Heads will roll, but before we do the rundown of whose head will roll next, let’s bask in the irony of Michael Flynn’s Republican National Convention speech for a moment.
WATCH EVERY SECOND OF THIS. DON'T MISS A THING. IF THE PHONE RINGS, START IT OVER. WATCH IT THREE TIMES. pic.twitter.com/HTNiaQWF9b— Yashar (@yashar) February 14, 2017
Sweet, sweet karma.
That’s one down, but who is next? With this administration, a surprise is always likely, but here are the four frontrunners, although I’m willing to wager that if Trump survives the year, none of these four will.
White House Counsel Don McGahn
McGahn is responsible for advising the President on legal matters, and helping him and the staff avoid ethical conflicts. He’s not doing a very good job. He’s done little to nothing to separate Donald Trump’s business interests from his Presidency; he apparently did not advise Kellyanne Conway not to endorse Ivanka’s clothing line on television; and he should have been responsible for ensuring that Trump’s Muslim ban would pass Constitutional muster.
More pressing, however, is the fact that then acting Attorney General Sally Yates told Don McGahn about Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russia, and let him know that the Russians could have blackmailed Flynn. Undoubtedly, McGahn relayed this information to Donald Trump and Mike Pence. But I expect that Trump is going to make the case that the information was never passed on to him; if that’s the case, it’s McGahn’s “fault,” and he’s likely to be made the next scapegoat.
Donald Trump never really cared for Sean Spicer as the White House Press Secretary in the first place (he wanted Kellyanne Conway). Spicer is an establishment figure, and not part of the Trump inner circle. Trump has also been highly critical of Spicer’s press conferences, nitpicking the tiniest of details. Rumors were circling after Spicer’s very first press conference that his head was on the chopping block, and he’s not done himself any favors by repeatedly lying to the press. The Melissa McCarthy depiction further enraged Donald Trump, and over the weekend, there were even rumors Carl Higbie was being interviewed for the position. The one thing in Spicer’s favor, however, is that he gets good ratings (his press conferences regularly beat The Bold and the Beautiful).
Over the weekend, Chris Ruddy — a friend of Trump’s and the CEO of Newsmax — had a half hour conversation with Trump and came away with the impression that Priebus was way in over his head. Ruddy blamed Priebus for the botched rollout of Trump’s Muslim ban and told CNN’s Reliable Sources that Priebus’ firing may be necessary. According to a Politico story just yesterday, campaign aides were already drafting a list of replacements.
The Office of Government Ethics is currently coming up with a recommendation for disciplining Kellyanne Conway for an ethical violation after she endorsed Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Rumor has it that Ivanka Trump was also pissed about this, and had words with Conway, asking her to keep her name out of her mouth. This is really just the latest problem for Conway. After a number of lies and inaccuracies — including making up the Bowling Green Massacre — she has completely lost credibility with the media. CNN at one point wouldn’t book her, and other networks have suggested they may think twice before booking her, as well. This is not good for someone serving as Counselor to the President. SNL hasn’t done her any favors, either, and Kushner apparently is not a fan. It’s also telling that Conway told the media yesterday, hours before Flynn was forced to resign, that Flynn enjoyed “the full confidence of the President,” suggesting that she was out of the loop. Matt Lauer hammered her on this on the Today show this morning, and Conway’s heart simply wasn’t in the denials. However, she basically won Trump the election, and she’s been incredibly loyal to Trump (to her detriment), so she may have more leeway than the others.