The White House has its own final four, this one a list to replace outgoing communications director Hope Hicks, and one name on it is roiling tensions among staffers, the Washington Examiner reports.
Hicks’ successor will be one of the following, the Examiner reports:
- National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton
- CNN commentator Steve Cortes
- Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh
- White House director of strategic communications Mercedes Schlapp
If the choice is Sayegh, that decision could spur a mass exodus among communications staffers, the Examiner reports.
“The staff exodus if it’s him would be shocking,” a senior administration official told the Examiner.
The reason: Sayegh’s reputation as a “terrible bully,” another told the Examiner.
Yet others call that bunk, saying rumors about Sayegh are being spread because everybody has their own preferences about who they want to be their new boss, the Examiner reports.
“Tony is in it for the president and a complete team player,” a Treasury source official told the Examiner, adding that Sayegh is “the kind of guy you want and need in your foxhole.”
Schlapp, the wife of American Conservative Union chief Matt Schlapp, seemed to be the most logical choice to replace Hicks, already ensconced within the communications groups. Plus, she is well-liked by chief of staff John Kelly, the Examiner reports.
But her ambiguous role combined with her penchant of lobbying for the gig has turned off many in the communications department, the Examiner reports.
“What surprised me was the conventional wisdom that Mercy was going to get [communications director],” an official told the Examiner. “What’s been interesting is the drumbeat of people internally who haven’t been a fan of the way that things have been done and want to look somewhere else.”