September 12, 2019

John Bolton and President Trump had many differences, but his acrimonious exit as national security adviser Tuesday seemed inevitable after he broke "the president's sometimes Kafkaesque management style — an unusual set of demands and expectations he sets for those in his direct employ," The Washington Post reports. Trump, for example, "tolerates a modicum of dissent, so long as it remains private; expects advisers to fall in line and defend his decisions; and demands absolute fealty at all times."

There's only one person who can survive in Trump's orbit, and it's Trump, former advisers tell the Post. "You're there more as an annoyance to him because he has to fill some of these jobs, but you're not there to do anything other than be backlighting," said former communications director Anthony Scaramucci. "There's one spotlight on the stage, it's shining on Trump, and you're a prop in the back with dim lights." A Republican in close touch with Trump agreed: "He really doesn't believe in advisers. ... John [Bolton] saw his role as advisory, but Trump thinks he's his own adviser, and I don't think people fully appreciate this."

"There is no person that is part of the daily Trump decision-making process that can survive long-term," a former senior administration official told the Post. "The president doesn't like people to get good press. He doesn't like people to get bad press. Yet he expects everyone to be relevant and important and supportive at all times. Even if a person could do all those things, the president would grow tired of anyone in his immediate orbit."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blamed the ousted aides. "Anybody who thinks they're smart enough to manipulate Trump, they're very foolish," he said. "People mistake a willingness to eat cheeseburgers and drink Coke with being a buffoon, and he's not a buffoon." Read more Trump rules, plus the four categories of doomed Trump advisers, at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

March 6, 2017

The Trump International Hotel, housed in the Washington, D.C., landmark the Old Post Office building, has become a gathering place for Republicans and specifically those connected to or seeking connection with President Trump, who has apparently handed off the management of his hotel and branding business to his sons but still retains a financial stake. Trump ate a well-done steak (with ketchup) there in his one dinner out in D.C. during his presidency, but other members of his circle — and administration — are regular customers, The Associated Press reports.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for example, lives at the hotel during the week. After Trump's speech to Congress last week, "with his tiny terrier tucked under an arm, Mnuchin stepped into an elevator with reality TV star and hotel guest Dog the Bounty Hunter" to return to his new home. Other Trump administration officials who live there during the week include White House economic adviser Gary Cohn and Linda McMahon, the WWE veteran who heads the Small Business Administration. They and other administration officials "have been personally paying a fair market rate" for their accommodations, said White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

Rooms are currently going for about $500 a night, or higher. Phil Ruffin, a billionaire Trump donor who partnered with Trump to build a Las Vegas residential tower, tells AP he spent $18,000 a night when he was in town for Trump's inauguration — despite having given $1 million to Trump's inauguration committee. Ruffin said he half-jokingly complained to Trump about not receiving a discount, and Trump told him, "Well, I'm kind of out of it." But his name isn't, and his financial stake in a hotel in a government-owned building has prompted lawsuits over his lease and constitutional mechanisms to prevent foreign corruption. In the meantime, the Trump set knows where to meet. "I've never come through this lobby and not seen someone I know," Doug Deason, a Dallas-based fundraiser for Trump's election campaign, tells AP. Peter Weber

March 1, 2016

Before he took the stage at a campaign event at Georgia's Valdosta State University on Monday afternoon, Donald Trump ordered his Secret Service detail to remove about 30 black students standing quietly on bleachers in the back of the gym, Secret Service agents told USA Today. The students, some of whom were crying or visibly upset after they were escorted outside, said they had no plans to protest Trump. "We didn’t plan to do anything," student Tahjila Davis, 19, told USA Today. "They said, 'This is Trump's property; it's a private event.' But I paid my tuition to be here."

Earlier Monday, Secret Service agents had escorted some Black Lives Matter protesters from a Trump rally in Radford, Virginia — and some kind of Trump security agent choked and threw a Time photographer to the ground as he took pictures. Late Monday, the Trump campaign denied that the Valdosta students were thrown out "at the request of the candidate," according to a statement from campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks. "There is no truth to this whatsoever." Davis, the student, said that she didn't "understand why they would do something like that.... I have not experienced any racism on this campus until now." Peter Weber

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