Scoop: Why the White House can’t get its political act together

Illustration: Sam Jayne / Axios

The Trump White House stands at the doorstep of the 2018 midterm elections with no serious political operation. It's been a slow-moving train wreck, from the botched health care effort to the handling of Roy Moore's candidacy. And the man in charge of the political office, Bill Stepien, is seen by administration officials and conservative leaders as a non-entity — a situation senior Republicans blamed on Jared Kushner, who put him there.

Why it matters: White House officials say there shouldn't be too much focus on Stepien, and that this White House shouldn't be judged by the standards of more conventional ones. But the 2018 midterms will have a huge, definitional impact on the future of Donald Trump's presidency. If Republicans lose the House or their grip on the Senate, Trump will not only run into a legislative logjam — he could face an impeachment drive led by Democrats.