Presidential historian Douglas Wead told “Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade that the staff changes in the White House are par for the course.
Kilmeade introduced the subject by saying that two more White House cabinet members, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, have been rumored to be on their way out.
When asked his opinion on the matter, Wead told Kilmeade that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the number of positional changes in the White House staff.
“When I went to work on White House senior staff back in 1989 … they told me the average length of stay on White House senior staff was 1.5 years,” he said.
Wead recounted the number of times various offices have been changed by presidents over the past 30 plus years.
“Reagan had four chiefs of staff, so did Bill Clinton,” Wead said. “Barack Obama had five. George W. Bush had five secretaries of the treasury.
“And Jimmy Carter, who was only in office for four years, had six acting secretaries of state,” he added.
“This is very common. You change the staff depending on what new things need to be accomplished in the White House, which is constantly changing.”
Kilmeade said that President Donald Trump had the same number of turnovers for the first two years in office as former President Bill Clinton.
These changes in the White House have been described by the media as a sign of instability, however, the Fox News anchor pointed out that some of Trump’s rotations have been promotions.
Wead added, “It’s not necessarily that the person leaving did a bad job at all. It’s because there’s new things (Trump) wants to accomplish and new people with skills who have them to do.”
Earlier in the week, first lady Melania Trump criticized the deputy national security adviser, Mira Ricardel, even going so far as to ask for her to be fired because of Ricardel’s treatment of the first lady and her staff.
“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. Ricardel has since left the White House.
Wead considered Melania Trump’s move a smart one despite the criticism she received for weighing in on the West Wing staff.
“I will say this — Melania Trump, very healthy, her comments and speaking up for herself.
“You may know all about the world and be the smartest person on Earth about the world — if you’re not smart enough to figure out you need to treat the president’s wife and her staff, the president’s daughter and son-in-law and their staff, with respect, you’re not smart enough to work in the White House,” Wead said.
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