Michael Gerson, a former aide to President George W. Bush and opinion writer for the Washington Post, wrote Friday morning “Republicans, it’s time to panic,” referring to President Trump’s fitness for office.
Deputy assistant and director of speechwriting in the Bush administration, Gerson wrote that Trump’s feuds with his advisors, aides and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers should be concerning.
“It is no longer possible to safely ignore the leaked cries for help coming from within the administration. They reveal a president raging against enemies, obsessed by slights, deeply uninformed and incurious, unable to focus, and subject to destructive whims. A main task of the chief of staff seems to be to shield him from dinner guests and telephone calls that might set him off on a foolish or dangerous tangent. Much of the White House senior staff seems bound, not by loyalty to the president, but by a duty to protect the nation from the president. Trump, in turn, is reported to have said: ‘I hate everyone in the White House.’ And also, presumably, in the State Department, headed by a secretary of state who apparently regards his boss as a ‘moron.’”
Trump’s conflict with Republican Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee has gotten coverage in the news, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “f-cking moron,” it seemed chief of staff John Kelly wanted to walk away and the president “hates everyone in the White House.”
“Unless things change, I’m not quitting, I’m not getting fired, and I don’t think I’ll fire anyone tomorrow,” Kelly told reporters on Thursday.
Kelly replaced Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, after a tumultuous first six months in office and sought to bring order to an often chaotic operation at the White House.
Under his watch, Trump parted ways with chief strategist Steve Bannon and other top officials, while new restrictions were set to streamline meetings and material for the president.
Disarray within the executive branch has concerned officials outside the administration. Corker has said Kelly is one of three officials including Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Tillerson as “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”
He later told the New York Times that Trump risked setting the nation “on the path to World War Three.”
Critics of the president say his frequent use of Twitter has contributed to a sense of chaos.
Gerson blames the GOP for not stepping up as Corker has, calling out Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for “bland complacency” as leader of the Republican party.
“The time for whispered criticisms and quiet snickering is over,” Gerson wrote. “The time for panic and decision is upon us.”
Reuters contributed to this report.