PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Author Joshua Green discussed his new book, Devil’s Bargain, and the political infighting going on among Donald Trump’s White House staff and advisers, telling Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, that Trump actively seeks out conflict and upheaval.
“Trump just thrives amid chaos. He just does. It’s the opposite of what you expect from a traditional politician. I live in and have covered Washington for fifteen years and the things that Trump likes to do are the opposite of what ordinary mainstream politicians want to do. They want everything calm and organized and they want to follow their talking points and Trump…just bridles at it. That’s not who he is. He likes chaos. He likes people fighting. It’s kind of a cliché at this point, but I think it’s true, that he really does think of it almost like a reality tv competition, that you pit these different groups, these different people against each other, and the best ideas and the best people will rise to the top.”
He says that we’ve reached a peak era of political infighting inside the West Wing.
“It’s total ‘Game of Thrones’ and these guys are all such a vicious knife fighters, climbing over each other’s back, leaking to reporters. If you’re in my profession, these are like boom times. This is like Wall Street in the 80’s for political journalists. It was going nuts and the funny thing is, they’ll call up reporters to find out who’s leaking on whoever. There aren’t just rivalries, there are shifting rivalries.”
Green believes last week’s changes, Anthony Scaramucci joining Trump’s staff as Communications Director and Sean Spicer exciting as Press Secretary, adds a level of intrigue to an already explosive situation.
“Now, with Scaramucci coming in, I think that undercuts the stature that Bannon had regained since he fell into Trump’s dog house back in March and April. Priebus and Bannon both didn’t want Scaramucci in there. I think Bannon secretly likes ‘The Mooch’ because they’re both kind of ‘chip on your shoulder’ or blue collar outsider type of guys. But, Scaramucci represented a threat to the power alliance that Bannon has brokered with Reince Priebus and, if all of a sudden, you have Scaramucci coming in and he’s not working under Priebus like Priebus wanted him to, Trump just smacked that idea aside and said, no you report directly to me, well then you just layered a new guy and put him on top of the existing power structure and all that means is more fighting, more rivalries, more exciting stuff.”