Trump administration sees record first-year staff turnover: report

Greg Nash

The Trump administration in its first year has seen a record level of staff turnover, according to The Wall Street Journal.

During the president’s time in office, his administration saw a 34 percent turnover rate among senior aides, the newspaper reported, citing a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has tracked White House turnover rates over three decades.

According to the analysis, 21 of the 61 senior officials tracked have either resigned, been fired or been reassigned.

The rate of staff turnover during Trump’s administration has shown to be higher than that during former presidents’ first years in office.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the turnover rate during former President Reagan’s first year in office — which was the next-highest first-year turnover rate in the last 40 years — was 17 percent in 1981.

“Not only is the percentage double, the seniority of people leaving is extraordinarily high,” Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said.

“That’s unprecedented to me. The first year always seems to have some missteps on staffing, often because the skills that worked well running a campaign don’t always align with what it takes to run a government. In this case, it’s a president with no experience in government and people around him who also had no experience.”

She noted this makes it not that surprising that the rate is higher than normal.

“But it’s still surprising it’s this high,” she told the newspaper.

Thus far, a number of senior aides have left the Trump White House, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon. 

The first-year turnover rate of former President Obama was 9 percent, according to the analysis.

A senior Trump administration official last week said the White House has a good team.

“Is it a mistake to have to fire people? You’re asking, did he make a mistake in hiring them in the first place? You have to be more specific about people,” the senior administration official told reporters.

“I know we love to learn the more generic points of palace intrigue than the finer points of policy sometimes, but we have a really good team here. And we have a team that is very well managed by the chief of staff.”

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci served in his role for just more than a week before leaving. The former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned earlier this year and former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland stepped down from that role. Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer also resigned this year.

Tags Anthony Scaramucci Presidency of Donald Trump Reince Priebus Sean Spicer Staff turnover White House

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