By Morak Babajide-Alabi
There has been no time as now that the Presidency of the United States of America has been the largest generator of news and content for media and comedy sketches around the world. There is actually nothing strange in America leading the news pack considering her position as the most powerful country, so naturally a large percentage of world news and commentaries should come from her leaders’ actions and inactions. The disturbing development in recent times, however, is that most of what emanates from the seat of power in the country are not as encouraging as they should be.
Monday last week was the last day in the month of July. It was a day of change of musical chairs in the White House. The week was no different from every other since the inception of the administration of the business tycoon, property magnate, and television celebrity-turned-politician, Donald Trump. Events at the seat of power had been of box office quality, with no shortage of dramas. As the administration grapple with removing one clog from the wheel of progress many self-inflicted damages surface.
Events of the last two weeks had been very frenetic that it would take a lot of concentration by casual observers to keep up. It all started with the resignation of the then Chief Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, which was partially blamed on the appointment of a sleek businessman and great financier of the Trump campaign, Anthony Scaramucci, as the Communications Director. For political observers, this was not a surprise, as they argued that Spicer’s reign as Trump’s spokesman had unceremoniously come to an end when he was replaced in the daily briefings by his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It was obvious Spicer was struggling defending some policies of the President. This is understandable, as I believe Trump would have personally struggled defending some of his policies too.
At the height of the confusion and miscommunication, Trump seemed convinced that bringing Scaramucci in was the solution to his running battle against the media. Scaramucci seized the opportunity of his first press conference to lay the rules down that he was there to serve only the President and he set the media guys in their right places. Unfortunately, it was not to work out for this Wall Street smooth talker. He did not take into consideration the business negotiating skills of Donald Trump. He probably had overlooked the fact that the President is noted as a “deals man”. He might have made the appointment of Scaramucci in good faith in the first instance; he did not flinch when it came to sacrificing him to get further stronghold of the presidency. In a twinkle of an eye, Scaramucci became the trading commodity for this.
It was becoming problematic by the day assisting the President out of his travails, as every new week throws in new troubles. The situation Trump has found himself since he was sworn in has not been helped by the numerous scandals that have continued to haunt his administration. Officials were pointing accusing fingers at each other for the leak of vital information to the “fake media”.
These all came to a head when Scaramucci took over and in a unique way decided to take matters in his hands and deal with. He was to voice his dismay at the backstabbing going on in Washington – “One of the things I can’t stand about this town is the back-stabbing. Where I grew up we’re front-stabbers.” It didn’t take such a long time before Scaramucci picked his first fight, and it was with the chief of staff, Reince Priebus, whom he indirectly accused of leaking vital information to the media. Reince did not wait to be pushed, as he resigned his appointment making way for the appointment of the most “respected individual” in the Trump administration, General John Kelly, as the new chief of staff.
Trump could not hide his excitement on this appointment. He tweeted: “I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House chief of staff. He is a great American … and a great leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my administration.” Unfortunately, this appointment also ended the career of the rising star – Anthony Scaramucci. He was eased out of the White House in the most dramatic manner in recent history.
There is no other word to describe what is happening in the American seat of power than pandemonium. If there is any, the consensus is that the country has indeed taken a new turn since the election of Trump. Right from the campaign days, he has been working tirelessly in his own unique way to change the way politics is played in the supposedly land of the free. We can still remember the riotous and divisive campaign he ran in his bid to get into office. He did not hide his plans to do things differently. The base of his supporters was achieved on the simple fact that he would drain the swamp in the political capital of the country. He promised that politics would never be the same again. It has not been the same.
I am not only fascinated by the actions of this president, but by the fact that his supporters have not lost an iota of faith in his abilities to make America Great. By now one would have thought they’d turned against him, regretting ever voting him into office. The opposite has been the case, as polls have continually suggested that Trump is still as popular among his electorates as he was when he took over. Rather than jeers and boos from his supporters’ camp, there has been increased fanatical support for the President.
It is unfortunate that the reality of events at the White House right from day one of Trump assuming office has suggested that the tenure will be tumultuous and events filled. The controversies started a day after the inauguration when the then newly appointed Spicer disputed the number of people who witnessed the swearing in of the President with what the media were projecting.
Till date it’s been one week, one trouble for the Trump administration. The most dogged of all these troubles has been Russia. It is one that has refused to go away. It is ironic that Trump had once called upon Russia to help America trace the Clinton emails during the campaigns last year. Though not definitive, but looking more like Russia may be the noose around the neck of his administration. Relations have now degenerated between the two countries, with newly imposed sanctions and the order for the US to cut the number of diplomatic staff in the former USSR country.
As characteristic of Trump, he has found a way around this – blame the congress. He tweeted recently: “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low. You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us Hcare!”
An imminent end to the troubles in the White House is a tall dream. It may come but it will take the full cycle.