by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With John Bolton’s resignation, President Trump is now looking for his fourth national-security adviser in less than three years — fifth, if you count Keith Kellogg filling in for a week in between Michael Flynn and H. R. McMaster. Yes, all cabinet offices serve at the pleasure of the president, and when the president and his top national-security official disagree so strongly, the president is entitled to ask the adviser to leave.
But anyone with two eyes can see that the temperamental, erratic Trump keeps getting fed up with staff who tell him things he doesn’t want to hear, particularly in the realm of national security. In 31 months, this president has had two secretaries of defense, two acting secretaries of defense, two secretaries of homeland security, two acting secretaries of homeland security, two secretaries of state, one acting secretary of state, two CIA directors, and three chiefs of staff.
The curt tone of James Mattis’ resignation letter and not-so-subtle allusions to what makes a good leader in his new book indicates that the former secretary of defense departed the job with great frustration about Trump’s worldview and how he treated U.S. allies.
Many who go to work for Trump seem to leave their jobs exasperated and angry. Many of the president’s fans will insist upon interpreting this as just a bad series of cabinet picks who turned out to be insubordinate, lazy, bad at their jobs, or secretly opposed to the president’s agenda. Do you think everybody Trump chose for all of these positions turned out that way?