White House staff quitting as scapegoat search gets under way

President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One

White House staff quitting as scapegoat search gets under way

Trump faces fierce criticism over his sharing of sensitive national security information with Russian officials and his firing last week of FBI Director James Comey. "We have to deal with whatever we have to", said one key official at the center of the preparations for the visit. He said the White House should cancel briefings - an idea Trump himself has floated - and refuse to respond to damaging stories, which he labeled "garbage". "White House Press Secretary" would be an exceptionally impressive title for virtually anyone else in the game; but maybe not so much for someone who was once a powerful decision-maker with a still-strong national profile.

His political woes will add to Trump's challenges as he tries to bolster ties overseas.

The briefings have become one of the most dreaded parts of the president's day, and Trump has told allies and aides he doesn't want Spicer, who has developed a belligerent persona from behind the lectern, publicly defending and explaining the message anymore, officials added.

There's precedent for this: In 2016 when President Obama traveled overseas, he was asked repeatedly - nearly exclusively it seemed - about the presidential campaign and then-candidate Donald Trump.

"I will strengthen old friendships and seek new partners, but partners who also help us, not partners who take, and take, and take", Trump said in his commencement address.

Lewandowski would bring in two qualities that Trump needs in a person to fill a job such as that, said Huckabee: he's loyal and he knows how to keep his mouth shut. "I think it's a very hard challenge and I hope he's going to talk to a lot of smart people".

To prepare for his trip, Trump has been meeting with briefers including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The first lady's office did not release a detailed schedule of events, but it did say Melania Trump would participate in "spousal programs" surrounding the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 summits the president is attending.

He likes single-page memos and visual aids like maps, charts, graphs and photos. Gingrich has been one of Trump's most stalwart supporters.

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Trump likes to look at a map of the country involved when he learns about a topic.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the administration will unveil a broad sketch of the plan before the end of the month, but a more detailed legislative package won't be released until later this summer. He generally prefers his own bed to hotel rooms.

It's also expected to include incentives to help encourage more private-sector investment - a chief priority in Trump's infrastructure proposal.

"I think there is, first of all, concern about the damage that was specifically done to Israeli assets as a result of this leak", Chemi Shalev, a columnist for the Israeli paper Haaretz, said in NPR's Up First podcast Wednesday, "secondly, concern about the safety of information that is moved to the United States and angry, then, at the fact that this relationship would be put in such jeopardy". The comment was seen as naive.

The trip will begin with stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican.

The trip could be a chance for the president to counter critics who accuse him of being anti-Muslim because of the order he issued, now blocked by USA courts, temporarily banning entry into the United States by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. Officials say the message is "unity".

"It can backfire, I mean it can seriously backfire", the official said. If the press has to sit through half-hour digressions about moon bases and Lean Six Sigma every day, well, that's arguably harsher punishment than barring them from the White House would be There's no doubt Trump would be thrilled with Gingrich's performance too.

"The meaning and importance of his first trip overseas will be exaggerated, but it gives him a chance to get bipartisan accolades, or a chance to fail badly and have the failure exaggerated", Fleischer said.

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