More high-level departures from senior staff at the White House are being talked about internally.
This time it’s Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (already President Trump’s second) and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah.
CBS News put out the breaking report saying it had reliable sources from within the White House’s walls that said both of them were “heading for the exits.”
Shortly after CBS made the announcement, Sanders immediately denied it on Twitter, but failed to explain why she didn’t respond to “repeated requests for comment” before the story was published.
Here was her comment on the CBS story:
Does CBSNews know something I don’t about my plans and my future? I was at my daughter’s year-end Kindergarten event and they ran a story about my “plans to leave the WH” without even talking to me. I love my job and am honored to work for POTUS.”
We would like to believe Sanders and condemn CBS for publishing the story, but this administration has repeatedly denied staff exits only for them to happen several weeks later.
Additionally – things right now are tough on the communications department. Several lower-level positions still remain vacant. A former official said that more departures, aside from Sanders and Shah are expected in the coming weeks, too.
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.”
Here’s a list of staffers that have left the White House in the last several months already:
Hope Hicks; Jared Kushner’s top communications aide, Josh Raffel; homeland security adviser Tom Bossert; National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton; Trump personal aide John McEntee; director of White House message strategy Cliff Simms; communications aide Steven Cheung; congressional communications director Kaelan Dorr; assistant press secretary Natalie Strom; and deputy director of media affairs Tyler Ross.
As you can see, it’s a pretty long list.