For all his emphasis on loyalty, President-elect Trump’s decision to exclude from the next administration three of his most dedicated supporters — Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and Gov. Chris Christie — suggests Trump might have sensed flaws in his friends that ultimately drove him toward candidates outside his inner circle.
Each was likely cast aside under different circumstances. Giuliani withdrew his own name from contention for the secretary of state position, but not before rumors hinted at Trump’s displeasure with the way the former New York City mayor had publicly angled for the job. Gingrich has said he never asked to be considered for a Cabinet post, even though he had unsuccessfully gunned for the vice presidency this summer. And Christie’s leadership role in the transition process was significantly diluted in November on the heels of a courtroom drama that dredged up details from the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal.
Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center who served in the last three Republican administrations, noted that while each snub occurred for unique reasons, the omission of all three loyalists offered “more generalized lessons” about Trump’s decision-making.
“I imagine that Trump, he views himself as the alpha male, so he’s going to want to control and dominate every relationship that he has,” Wehner said. “There’s nobody that he’s named to the Cabinet that strikes me as uncontrollable and unpredictable.”
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