For a White House defined by chaos and instability, things within the administration seem to be declining quickly. In recent reporting from Vanity Fair, Gabriel Sherman describes increasing concerns among administration officials allies over the President’s ability to serve.
People close to the President have described him as “losing a step,” “unstable,” and “unraveling.” Top aides are reportedly increasingly serving to manage and reign in the Commander in Chief. Reports that General Kelly is miserable, and continuing as Chief of Staff simply out of duty to help prevent the President from making devastating mistakes are circulating around the nations Capitol.
The President reportedly told his longtime security chief Keith Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House! There are a few exceptions, but I hate them!” Schiller resigned his position after he was told by General Kelly that he would not have unfettered access to the President and needed to provide written reports after any conversations with the Commander in Chief.
Amidst the chaos, former Chief Strategist to the President Steve Bannon reportedly calls the President’s chances at serving out his entire term at 30%. Bannon was fired from the White House in August — but has remained a supporter of the President.
Bannon reportedly raised his concerns to the President in a meeting over the summer. He told the President that the most significant threat his Presidency faces is not congressional impeachment, but the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
The 25th Amendment provides a system by which a President can be replaced in the case of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation. Bannon reportedly told the President that his cabinet could vote to remove him from office asserting the 25th Amendment.
The President’s response when told he could be removed from office if the Cabinet asserts the 25th amendment? He asked, “what’s that?” The President of the United States did not know what the 25th amendment was. #sad
The shocking thing about that response is that in light of this administration, it isn’t at all surprising. If the Vice President “and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” write a “written declaration that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the vice president shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as acting president.”
The White House responded saying, “The President’s mood is good, and his outlook on the agenda is very positive.”