- White House staffers have described an anxious mood in the West Wing, with one calling it a “toxic working environment,” Axios reported.
- Concerns have grown since officials were seen being escorted out of the building.
- The recent wave of resignations and firings of White House officials has done little to calm the mood.
White House staffers are describing an anxious mood there amid rumours of another wave of firings, with one official calling it “the most toxic working environment on the planet,” the news website Axios reported Wednesday.
“Usually tough times bring people together,” the official told Axios. “But right now this atmosphere is ripping people apart.
“There’s no leadership, no trust, no direction, and at this point there’s very little hope,” the official continued. “Would you want to go to work every day not knowing whether your future career was going to be destroyed without explanation?”
Following the abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week, officials have been vague when asked about the fate of senior White House officials who have drawn the ire of President Donald Trump, Axios reported, including the chief of staff, John Kelly, and the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster.
Though there had long been reports of Trump’s discontent with Tillerson, the president’s approach to firing him – through a tweet – caught staffers by surprise, Axios said.
Earlier this month, Gary Cohn resigned as Trump’s top economic adviser after expressing concerns about his decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium.
Asked by a reporter from One America News Network on Tuesday whether there were any updates on his position in the White House, McMaster said, “Hey, I’m still around.”
Axios said the anxiety in the White House had been exacerbated by the recent removal of several officials due to security-clearance issues, including John McEntee, Trump’s longtime personal assistant, and an aide to the first lady.
Kelly, who is also said to be on Trump’s radar, imposed stricter measures for security clearances following a scandal involving Rob Porter, a former aide. Soon after, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had his top-secret clearance downgraded.