- President Donald Trump on Tuesday refuted widespread rumours of internal White House chaos, saying he likes “conflict” and listening to opposing viewpoints.
- Trump added that he believes “everybody wants to work in the White House” due to its “tremendous energy,” even as top aides have recently resigned and staff morale is reportedly low.
- Trump’s remarks came just days after one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, resigned and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, was stripped of his top-secret security clearance.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed back on reports that the White House is beset with chaos and that top administration officials may soon resign or be forced out, declaring that “everybody wants to work in the White House.”
“They all want a piece of that Oval Office, they want a piece of the West Wing,” Trump said. “It’s tough. I like conflict, I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that. And then I make a decision. But I like watching it, I like seeing it, and I think it’s the best way to go.”
Trump’s remarks came after his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, was rumoured to be eyeing an exit after Trump abruptly announced major steel and aluminium tariffs last week that many fear could launch a trade war and tank the US economy.
Cohn has mainly been battling with two top Trump officials with a protectionist stance on trade – adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross – and had reportedly threatened to resign if Trump sided with them on the tariffs.
The White House has also undergone turnover and staffing changes in recent days, after one of his top aides and closest confidants, Hope Hicks, resigned and his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, was stripped of his top-secret security clearance.
Trump has also been going after Attorney General Jeff Sessions in recent days, tweeting that Sessions’ handling of the Justice Department’s investigation into alleged FBI surveillance abuses was “disgraceful.”
But Trump said Tuesday during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that people love working in the White House because it’s got “tremendous energy,” though some people “change.”
“Yeah, there’ll be people – I’m not going to be specific – but there’ll be people that change. They always change,” he said. “Sometimes they want to go out and do something else, but they all want to be in the White House. So many people want to come and I have a choice of anybody.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump tweeted that reports of internal chaos were “Fake News.”
“Wrong! People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision. I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection),” he wrote. “There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”