May 12, 2017 - Politics & Policy

The buck stops there: Trump faults junior staff

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Numerous White House officials tell us Trump has been dumping on his press shop for a sluggish defense of the Comey canning. He has raised replacing Sean Spicer in several conversations with insiders and outsiders.

Full disclosure: Spicer and I haven't always seen eye to eye. But it was not Spicer or his team that decided when and how to fire Comey, or to mislead the public by saying it driven by the recommendation of the deputy A.G. That was all Trump.

Oval Office visitors tell me Trump often watches Spicer's briefing while he eats lunch in his private dining room. He shushes his visitor and turns up the volume when the briefing starts, and critiques the exchanges like it's "SportsCenter."

The obsession might be too much for anyone to bear. Imagine the pressure. And imagine knowing how easily your boss can be moved to throw you under the bus.

A key tenet of the Axios management principles:

"When shit happens, shine. It's easy to manage and lead in good times. But it takes exceptional strength and character when things go south. In turbulent times, be calm, show grace, think deeply and then act decisively, even when it hurts."

The reason for this is simple: it's not only the right thing to do — it's the only thing to do if you want to attract and keep good talent.

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