GOP Sources Close To White House Worry Trump Is Unprepared For ‘All-Out Warfare’ After Democratic Blue Wave
At least five Republican sources close to the White House, most of them speaking anonymously, expressed concern for how unprepared President Donald Trump’s administration will be in the aftermath of a potential “blue wave” election that favors Democrats’ chances in the fall.
If the Democrats are able to win even just one of the houses of Congress, these aides warn, they’d be able to subpoena records from the White House on myriad issues, including taxpayer dollars being spent at Trump Organization properties, the administration’s slow response to Hurricane Maria, the background and events leading up to four soldiers’ deaths in Africa, and countless other controversies that have plagued this presidency.
Past administrations have had to deal with such tumult before, including in 2006 when Democrats won control of Congress during the George W. Bush administration. The possible legal wranglings and dealing with subpoenas makes everything much more difficult in the executive branch, warned one former Bush official, according to reporting from McClatchy.
“You have [to] take it seriously. It’s going to be all-out warfare. It grinds the administration to a halt,” said Scott Jennings, a political affairs aide to Bush.
That’s the situation under normal circumstances — but sources close to Trump’s White House say that the administration is likely to be even worse off, as their typical legal resources are busy dealing with other controversies, like responding to the Russia investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
If Democrats win the House of Representatives in November, which they’re projected to do according to recent reporting from the Hill, administration officials and agencies will want to retain their own legal representation to prepare for the numerous subpoenas that will likely be on their way. But it doesn’t appear as though the administration is making such preparations.
Trump’s own mouth may have something to do with it.
“They are having trouble getting lawyers in because Trump shoots his mouth off and expects personal loyalty,” former Bush official Richard Painter, who is now a Democrat, said. “He’s an impossible client.”
Even the White House communications team seems to be underwater at the moment, these anonymous Republicans said, because they’re already having to deal with fact-checking and justifying their own boss whenever Trump sends out a tweet or makes a blatantly errant statement. The resources in that department are strained enough, but will be doubly so if Democrats win big this fall.
“From a communications perspective, the White House is completely unprepared for the onslaught it will face if the House flips,” one former Trump official explained, adding that there’s “no rapid response operation — nothing” in the administration to prepare for a new Congress.
Another official added that the administration only seems able to “focus on one thing at a time” — which could prove to be problematic for this president, who will likely have to deal with a multitude of questions from Democrats on a wide variety of subjects involving his White House.