The White House has devolved over the last six months into a hotbed of intrigue, innuendo and boulder-sized rumors seemingly more appropriate for tabloid newspapers than the rich annals of history.
With various administration officials publicly attacking each other, President Donald Trump and his team have seen their dirty laundry thrown around Washington and the world, with few policy accomplishments to show for all their drama.
From alleged divorces and mistresses, to backroom and overt backstabbing in newspapers, here are just some of the scandals that have plagued the White House and made their way to the headlines in recent months.
In & Out
The most recent feud involves now former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Priebus, who was replaced by John Kelly Friday, had been blocking Scaramucci from coming on to the staff for months. But with the administration struggling to form a cohesive message and failing to spin any of the president’s tweets, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who came over from the Republican National Committee and is close with Priebus, resigned after Trump decided Scaramucci is what the press office needed.
In one week, Scaramucci went from claiming he and Priebus were like “brothers” to outright bludgeoning him in the press. The former hedge fund manager told The New Yorker last week that Priebus was a paranoid schizophrenic and a “paranoiac.” He added that Trump’s chief political strategist Steve Bannon liked to perform fellatio on himself. A report later surfaced in the Huff Post that alleged Priebus had warned Trump not to bring on Scaramucci because of his financial links to China.
That led to a friend of Scaramucci’s, Arthur Schwartz, accusing Priebus of leaking the story to Huff Post and threatening to reveal information about Priebus’ alleged mistress. He later walked back his threat and apologized.
An unverified story also surfaced in Page Six last week that Scaramucci’s wife had filed for divorce, citing her frustrations over his “naked ambition” to get close to Trump’s White House.
The White House senior adviser and president’s son-in-law has perhaps had too much of the spotlight on him for months. Last week, he appeared before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to discuss his links to Russia during the campaign. Before that, it was revealed Kushner had personally guaranteed a $285 million loan a month before Election Day last year from Deutsche Bank, the same one that Trump has outstanding loans with and that paid hefty fines for participating in a scheme that funneled Russian money.
Kushner is also at the heart of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump and Russia for heading up the data analytics team that many credited for Trump’s victory in November. According to a McClatchy DC report earlier this month, investigators doubt Russia could have the sophistication and knowledge to so precisely target voting districts with a “fake news” campaign, and allege Kushner’s team could have helped.
Then there’s, of course, the 35-page dossier that stroked Trump’s perceived hatred toward negative press coverage. Sometimes called the “Golden Shower Gate” dossier, the political opposition report detailing the president’s alleged close relationship to Russia again ade it into the news this month when the president told The New York Times that he believed former FBI Director James Comey made him aware of it as a means of leverage.