Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

The dumpster fire still burns. We learned Friday that Reince Priebus was replaced by General John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security, as White House Chief of Staff. President Trump tweeted out the news Friday afternoon.

A part of me wondered if this is how Priebus discovered he was out as President Trump has a knack for announcing things on Twitter. Priebus insisted he resigned privately the day before, but that’s hard to believe considering what transpired on Friday.

Benny Johnson at Independent Journal Review reports:

The firing occurred upon the president’s return from Long Island after giving a speech about gang violence.

As Air Force One was taxiing on the runway at Joint Base Andrews, Trump sent the initial tweets announcing the shake-up.

The situation was an awkward one because of the fact that Priebus had traveled with the president that day.

According to the White House pool report, Priebus spent his final moments as White House chief of staff with other administration officials, in the pouring rain, sitting in a van.

Once the tweet was public, those White House staffers still employed left van, and Reince was all alone.

Priebus then watched the presidential motorcade zip off to the White House without him.

If he resigned I don’t see him traveling with the President the next day so again, I have to wonder if he did learn about this via Twitter. Not that it took a rocket scientist to see this coming.

While I think to abandon Priebus at an airfield and being summoning him into the Oval Office to kill a fly was in bad taste. I can’t bring myself to feel sorry about Priebus’ firing, ahem, resignation for three reasons.

1. He was complicit to shut down the grassroots in 2012.

Anybody remember the debacle in Tampa Bay? I sure do. Certainly, Mitt Romney deserves blame, but Priebus was complicit as well. It appears the shenanigans continued in 2016.

2. He shut down all attempts to defeat Trump at the Republican National Convention.

Here is where the rules passed in 2012 played a significant role in 2016. It gave the party lots of authority over the delegates. There was another rules battle, and Trump opponents were virtually silenced. This effort was one last chance to derail Trump and Priebus helped put a stop to it.

It probably would have still failed, but he could have let the attempt run its course and not game the convention to ensure failure.

He called Trump a role model kissing the ring of the person who made him the most irrelevant White House Chief of Staff in recent memory.

Priebus was certainly no friend to the grassroots.

And even after the humiliation he just suffered he is still singing Trump’s praises.

3. He caves to pressure. 

It has been reported that President Trump referred to Priebus as weak. I would have to agree. Here’s a personal example. After an ill-advised social media post I made when managing the Republican Party of Iowa’s Facebook page when viral (and not in a good way), my contract was terminated.

I’m not going to defend the post (Brian Myers came to my defense later on) because honestly had I gone back to review it after it was scheduled I probably would have taken it down. I was encouraged to push the envelope by RPI’s executive director for posts to get more likes and shares. I suggested candidate profiles, etc., but that wasn’t what he wanted. I say that not as an excuse, but just for context, I’m the one who made the post and I’m the one who is responsible for the consequences.

Needless to say, I could possibly have survived this (I’ve seen operatives do far, far worse and keep their jobs) if the state party was willing to ride out the media cycle, but I learned later that Reince Priebus encouraged RPI leadership to throw me under the bus. This was done mainly because of two liberal media outlets in the Beltway (MSNBC’s website and The Daily Beast). So I lost the contract, had my reputation smeared, and who knows how big a hit I took with future business because Priebus could not handle some media pressure at the time.

I’ll emphasize again that the consequences were not undeserved and they definitely were not unexpected, but it was disappointing nonetheless. I would have appreciated the choice to quietly resign without being thrown to the wolves.

I’ve since moved on. I only share this story because I find it ironic that Priebus has defended someone afterward that does far more outrageous things on an almost daily basis. And yet he still finds himself unemployed today.

So I’m not heartbroken to see him drummed out of the White House I never could understand what qualified him to be in the position in the first place.

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