White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders allegedly plans to leave the White House by the end of 2018. Her deputy, Raj Shah, is leaving, too.
That's according to several unnamed White House sources, as reported by multiple media outlets. Neither Sanders nor Shah confirmed their departures. Sanders said on Twitter that she was attending an event at her daughter's kindergarten and is "honored to work for @POTUS."
Assuming the reporting is true, this would represent yet another significant defection from the Trump White House, according to CBS:
Over the course of the Trump administration, the White House has consolidated its workforce, eliminating jobs and assigning multiple portfolios of responsibility to individual staffers. Some positions have never been filled. Despite the smaller number of positions, the record-setting turnover rate has not slowed. Less than halfway through Mr. Trump's term, the turnover rate stands at 51 percent, according to the Brookings Institution. Turnover during Mr. Trump's first year in office was 34 percent—nearly four times higher than turnover during the first year of the Obama administration.
"There will be even more people leaving the White House sooner rather than later, laid off or just leaving out of exhaustion. And it is going to be harder to find good people to replace them," a source close to the administration told CBS News. "I do think they're going to have a harder time getting the second wave of people in than the first, because those people were loyalists, and [new] folks will have to be recruited and encouraged and then survive the vetting process. In addition to all of that, the president prefers to have a small communications staff."
It's not immediately clear who would succeed Sanders. She never enjoyed a particularly good relationship with the press, but neither did her predecessors, Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci (though Scaramucci barely lasted a week). Defending the president's frequent misstatements can't be easy; even so, Sanders has a habit of dodging virtually all uncomfortable questions, dubiously claiming that Trump's position on the given issue is already clear.
Two campus conservative groups are preparing for war. Young America's Foundation (YAF) circulated an internal memo warning staffers about the pernicious influence of Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of Turning Point USA (TPUSA). YAF, a 50-year-old organization, is the grandaddy of conservative student organizations, whereas TPUSA appeared on the scene just five years ago, capturing much of the energy and enthusiasm on the college right.
YAF's griping isn't just sour grapes. There are serious tactical and philosophical differences between the two groups. Kirk and his second-in-command, Candace Owens, have been credibly accused of working harder to advance their own cults of personality than their underlying ideological agenda. On any given day Kirk's Twitter feed mostly consists of Trump worship, while Owens courts controversy but can't handle criticism.
"[Kirk's] focus has always been on building his own brand, not strengthening the conservative movement," said the memo, which was obtained by The Washington Examiner's Philip Wegmann.
London Breed won a special election to become the next mayor of San Francisco. Breed, a Democrat, will be the city's first black female mayor. She's also seen as an ally of the "Yes In My Backyard" (YIMBY) movement, which supports the construction of new housing developments in crowded urban environments.
That's good news, because San Francisco is in the midst of a massive housing crisis. There simply aren't enough homes for the people who want to move there for work. Repressive government zoning regulations—supported by existing residents who bristle at the idea of noisy, ugly construction—often make it very difficult for developers to meet the demands of would-be occupants.
"We are in a housing crisis and need to be producing more affordable housing at a range of income levels," Breed told a pro-growth activist group. "We should be removing barriers to constructing these desperately needed affordable housing projects to ensure they are not subject to endless appeals and delay, which too often result in these projects becoming more expensive to build, downsized or denied. We've already seen some people fighting to stop or make infeasible a 100% affordable housing project at Haight and Stanyan, which will replace a blighted McDonalds. I look forward to supporting this measure in June."
- I'm no fan of Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.), but I don't think he should have to apologize for calling Kim Jong-un a weirdo.
- Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should resign. Pruitt is accused of a litany of misdeeds, including trying to get his wife a government job.
- Republican Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie are co-sponsoring Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan's note of extreme caution regarding future U.S. military involvement in Yemen, which "could threaten 250,000 lives and force millions more to starve to death."
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 13, 2018
- Meanwhile, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel (formerly Ronna Romney McDaniel, until that association became toxic for her), tweeted out a bizarre call for everyone to unite behind Trump or be crushed underfoot.
Complacency is our enemy. Anyone that does not embrace the @realDonaldTrump agenda of making America great again will be making a mistake.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) June 14, 2018
- For Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland, it gets worse.