Donald Trump Is the First President to Lose a Third of His Staff in Year 1

Unless Donald Trump suddenly decides to fire the entire Oval Office—and you never know, do you?—he’ll end his first year with a turnover rate among senior staff of 34 percent. That’s really high!

The red bars are from Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies presidential transitions. The shaded bars are also from Kathryn Dunn-Tenpas—sort of. I took the numbers from this paper, and then reduced them by a third so they matched up for both Reagan and Clinton, the only two presidents in both datasets. Is this kosher? Of course not. Nobody tell her I did this. But it probably provides a rough historical lens to view this through.

Anyway, there are no surprises here. Trump has been firing and otherwise losing his senior staff at an astounding clip: about 3-4 times the rate of his predecessors, and double the rate of the previous record holder, Ronald Reagan. I guess he didn’t know how to hire the best people after all.

It’s also worth noting how Trump has been refilling the swamp. His initial staff was top-heavy with outsiders who were raring to turn Washington DC inside-out. But nearly all of them are gone, replaced by standard-issue Republican swamp dwellers. Gaze into the swamp too long, and it turns out the swamp stares back.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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