Jan. 19 (UPI) — White House staffing turnover during President Donald Trump’s first year in office was at least twice as high as any of his five predecessors, an analysis by the Brookings Institution indicated Friday.
Thirty-four percent of high-level White House aides were either fired, resigned or moved into other positions under Trump. The next highest first-year turnover was President Ronald Reagan at 17 percent. President Bill Clinton had 11 percent, President Barack Obama had 9 percent, President George H.W. Bush had 7 percent and President George W. Bush had 6 percent.
Turnover at Trump’s White House began Feb. 13, less than a month after the president’s inauguration. Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser for having discussions with Russia’s ambassador and then misleading Vice President Mike Pence about it.
There was a spate of turnovers over the summer, starting with press secretary Sean Spicer on July 21, chief of staff Reince Priebus on July 28, and Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci on July 31.
Other departures included Katie Walsh as deputy chief of staff, Mike Duke as communications director, Keith Schiller as director of Oval Office operations, Steve Bannon as chief strategist and Omarosa Manigault Newman as communications director at the White House Office of Public Liaison.
“While some turnover is expected and possibly beneficial, excessive turnover portends problems,” said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. “[President Trump] has valued loyalty over qualifications and suffered from a White House that has functioned in a chaotic manner. Both features have made it difficult to retain staff and have contributed to the governance difficulties he has encountered.”
The data indicate the largest amount of turnover in a presidency happens in the fourth year, in most cases, to begin the start of a second term. Other than Obama, all other presidents had higher turnover in their second year than their first.