Trump Keeps White House Aides Guessing With Series Of Surprise Moves

President Trump kept White House aides on edge this week with a series of surprise moves that openly contradicted things his staff had said days or even just hours earlier.

The result was an escalation of the sense of chaos that has increasingly enveloped the West Wing amid staff departures, haphazard policy rollouts and highly sensitive leaks to the press.

A week that began with Trump’s direct attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller and ended with his staff’s scramble to organize a “news conference” he had announced via Twitter moments prior left White House allies and Republicans on Capitol Hill struggling to understand where the president was headed on any given issue.

“If you look at all of this, it’s frustration with the way things are playing out and the pace at which things are moving,” Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said of what has driven Trump’s unpredictable streak.

One of the president’s latest surprise moves came Thursday evening, when he announced he had replaced national security adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, a former Bush administration official and Fox News pundit. Trump unveiled his decision to part ways with McMaster just days after dispatching press secretary Sarah Sanders to deny reports that he had considered replacing his national security adviser.

Read more from Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy