Donald Trump Is the First President to Lose a Third of His Staff in Year 1

Unless Donald Trump suddenly decides to fire the entire Oval Office—and you never know, do you?—he’ll end his first year with a turnover rate among senior staff of 34 percent. That’s really high!

The red bars are from Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies presidential transitions. The shaded bars are also from Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas—sort of. I took the numbers from this paper, and then reduced them by a third so they matched up for both Reagan and Clinton, the only two presidents in both datasets. Is this kosher? Of course not. Nobody tell her I did this. But it probably provides a rough historical lens to view this through.

Anyway, there are no surprises here. Trump has been firing and otherwise losing his senior staff at an astounding clip: about 3-4 times the rate of his predecessors, and double the rate of the previous record holder, Ronald Reagan. I guess he didn’t know how to hire the best people after all.

It’s also worth noting how Trump has been refilling the swamp. His initial staff was top-heavy with outsiders who were raring to turn Washington DC inside-out. But nearly all of them are gone, replaced by standard-issue Republican swamp dwellers. Gaze into the swamp too long, and it turns out the swamp stares back.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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