McMaster makes his pick to replace Powell on the NSC

The White House has settled on a new deputy national security adviser to succeed Dina Powell, the inner-circle adviser who left the building last week — but while the title will match Powell’s, the role is expected to change.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has chosen Nadia Schadlow, a current member of the National Security Council and the lead author of the administration’s National Security Strategy, for the role of deputy national security adviser for strategy, according to multiple White House officials. But her new role has yet to be announced by the White House.

In plucking Schadlow to succeed Powell, McMaster is making a switch that brings a longtime colleague with a rare academic background into President Donald Trump’s West Wing. Schadlow holds a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The last West Wing aide who went by “Dr.” was former adviser Continue reading “McMaster makes his pick to replace Powell on the NSC”

The Democrat Trumpworld fears most

In early December, as President Donald Trump’s approval rating reached a new low of 32 percent, the commander-in-chief was rating the 2020 Democratic field from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who had recently bested Trump in a poll that tested the two septuagenarians in a head-to-head match-up — wasn’t a serious threat and would be easy to beat, Trump told a Republican with close ties to the White House who was in the room.

It wasn’t the lefty politics of the self-described socialist that Trump thought were a losing proposition. Instead, according to the person in the room, Trump was hung up on Sanders’ age, arguing that Sanders, now 76, wouldn’t have the energy to run another national campaign.

Sanders wasn’t the only potential presidential candidate that Trump, 71, brushed off as a non-threat. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the woman he has Continue reading “The Democrat Trumpworld fears most”

Where was Oprah in 2016? Another what-if for Hillary alumni

Oprah Winfrey’s viral Golden Globes speech sounded, to many viewers, like a soaring convention speech – if not her own, then certainly the spotlight-stealing speech delivered as a surrogate for someone else.

Which led to a wistful question, posed by Hillary Clinton fans watching the Oprah 2020 frenzy play out this week: where the heck was Winfrey in 2016?

Busy with her own business interests that made a full-throated Clinton endorsement too much of a conflict, is part of the answer, according to former campaign aides. And she was simply not as personally invested in Clinton’s candidacy as she was in the historic run made by her personal friend and fellow Chicago native eight years earlier — when some economists credited her with helping Barack Obama secure 1 million votes in the Democratic primary alone.

But it wasn’t for lack of trying from Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters.

In June of 2016, Continue reading “Where was Oprah in 2016? Another what-if for Hillary alumni”

Ivanka tries to have it both ways: Trump’s daughter and #MeToo supporter

Days after her father’s inauguration last January, new-to-Washington Ivanka Trump tweeted a picture of herself clad in a $5,000 silver Carolina Herrera gown, en route to a black-tie dinner.

After she was widely criticized for her let-them-eat-cake moment – President Donald Trump’s daughter looked terrifyingly tone deaf vamping for the camera while thousands of travelers sat stranded at airports because of her father’s sloppily imposed travel ban – Ivanka Trump admitted to friends she had made a clumsy P.R. mistake.

Almost a year into her transformation from striving Manhattan lifestyle guru to Washington power player, Ivanka Trump on Monday night proved what many of her colleagues acknowledge privately about the player behind the controlled façade: she is still prone to rookie political mistakes. And she seems blind to her circumscribed position as a self-professed champion of women who is simultaneously an unquestioning aide to a president who’s been accused Continue reading “Ivanka tries to have it both ways: Trump’s daughter and #MeToo supporter”

Bannon finds his regrets aren’t good enough for Trump

Steve Bannon, like his onetime brother-in-arms President Donald Trump, is known as someone whose instinct is to double down, not kiss up.

That made his belated attempt on Sunday to de-escalate mounting tension with the commander-in-chief — who has been publicly and privately raging about his former chief strategist all week — notable to many of his allies, one of whom called it a “huge step for Steve, one of the most stubborn people on Earth.”

But inside the White House, Bannon’s 297-word statement of contrition about comments he made in Michael Wolff’s "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" was seen as too little, too late for an operative unaware of the self-inflicted damage his hubris could cause.

It did nothing to quell Trump’s rage at his former chief strategist or the anger of Bannon’s former West Wing colleagues, according to multiple administration officials, who said the Continue reading “Bannon finds his regrets aren’t good enough for Trump”

The Mooch’s gift to Trump staff: A taxpayer-funded stylist

She may be the most lasting legacy of Anthony Scaramucci’s 11-day stint in the White House.

Professional stylist Katie Price, who has previously worked as a hair and makeup artist for Russia Today and CNN, is now a full-time White House official with a desk in the press office and the title of “production assistant,” which includes her daily duties getting press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, counselor Kellyanne Conway, and other White House staffers coiffed and camera-ready.

That position was created for her last fall thanks, in part, to public praise from “The Mooch” for Price’s briefing room stylings, which include loose curls and dark eye shadow on the women and what appear to be heavy layers of pancake makeup heaped on the men.

In his brief moment in the spotlight, the smooth-talking Long Island financier went on CNN last July to give Price’s work his seal of Continue reading “The Mooch’s gift to Trump staff: A taxpayer-funded stylist”

Washington’s growing obsession: The 25th Amendment

Lawmakers concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state summoned Yale University psychiatry professor Dr. Bandy X. Lee to Capitol Hill last month for two days of briefings about his recent behavior.

In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers – all Democrats except for one Republican senator, who Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

In an interview, she pointed to Trump “going back to conspiracy theories, denying things he has admitted before, his being drawn to violent videos.” Lee also warned, “We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency.”

Lee, editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Continue reading “Washington’s growing obsession: The 25th Amendment”