Did Katie Walsh Jump? Or Was She Pushed? And Is She the Last?

Yesterday White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh announced her resignation after two months on the job:

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh, a top aide to President Donald Trump, is leaving his administration to work for an outside group supporting the president’s agenda.

She is joining the pro-Trump “America First Policies,” an outside group led by Brad Parscale, who was the Trump campaign’s digital director; and Marty Obst and Nick Ayers, both of whom worked as strategists for Mike Pence during his time as Indiana governor and as a candidate for vice president, according to two Republicans familiar with the decision.


Priebus is floating the story that Walsh is being sent out into the hinterlands to fix a lackadaisical support system:

Top White House officials sought to cast some blame regarding the health-care failure on the outside group, America First Policies, which did not buy TV ads or target recalcitrant Republican lawmakers.

“It was abundantly clear we didn’t have air cover,” Priebus said. “No one can fix this problem better than Katie Walsh.”

(This sort of statement always reminds me of “no one can do this job better than Katie, so we hired no one.”)

The story is a lot murkier than that. It is approaching canon status that the Trump White House is divided into warring camps. This may or may not be true. There is no reason to disbelieve it, though, if we consider how Trump ran his campaign. Walsh was a close ally of Reince Priebus. It has been rumored that a major White House shake-up is brewing in the aftermath of the healthcare fiasco (or the healthcare bullet we dodged, depending upon your point of view) and Trump is holding Priebus and his camp accountable for that failure.

Like anything else dealing with this White House, there have to be rumors, there have to be dark plots, and there has to be Twitter. Walsh’s departure is a nexus of all three.

Back in February, Walsh was fingered by several websites with close ties to the Bannon side of the White House as being the person responsible for leaking to the press stories that made the Bannon-ites look bad. I’m not providing links, if you are interested they aren’t hard to find. Again, if we go back to the model of a White House built of warring factions, this makes a lot of sense. Fingering Walsh as a leaker, justly or no, can be viewed as a shot at Priebus.


Fox Business News/Fox News contributor and radio host John Cardillo, who can safely be said to be allied with (and by allied I mean cuddled up with) the Bannon faction, tells a different story:

Of course, none of this is verified but we are living in an age where things don’t have to be verified to be believed so long as they reflect negatively upon Trump or his administration. So this story is every bit as credible a lot of other stories that are taken to be true.

It doesn’t really matter if Walsh was clapped in irons and escorted from the premises — though announcing such a resignation mid-week rather than on Friday afternoon given the White-House-in-disarray-story that it feeds into is suspicious. What does matter, though, is that it is obvious that Priebus is the stuckee for the healthcare failure. It seems that the war between the Bannon faction and the Priebus faction is just as active as it ever was despite their professed bromance. I would predict a regular churn in Priebus’s shop that coincides with legislative setbacks.

What I doubt very much to be true is that Priebus is going to be forced out. Bannon needs Priebus. If Priebus weren’t there, he’d need someone like Priebus because if his faction grabs the Chief of Staff position then he owns the outcomes of Trump’s policies. He’s a smart enough guy to not want that job because if he has that job then failures will start to be entered in his ledger. That is not a great evolutionary strategy. By having a designated piñata to blame for failures, Bannon’s position is not only secure but comfortable while Priebus works off some the time he would otherwise have to eventually spend in Purgatory.



Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos