Late Thursday, the New York Times published a report that examines the toxic, chaotic environment inside of the Oval Office, as an increasingly erratic Trump — which is really saying something — is keeping aides and advisors on their toes with his unpredictability from one day to the next. Compounding this is the departure of Trump’s closest aide Hope Hicks, as well as his increased tensions with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who the president reportedly lashes out at in private “with a vitriol that stuns members of his staff.”
Meanwhile, things are continuing to escalate between Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly and his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — who just this week had his security clearance downgraded. Ms. Trump and Kushner reportedly see Kelly as an obstacle to the president, who is now starting to view his son-in-law as a liability. The kicker of the piece seems to all but spell doom for the couple’s tenure in the White House.
Privately, some aides have expressed frustration that Mr. Kushner and his wife, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, have remained at the White House, despite Mr. Trump at times saying they never should have come to the White House and should leave. Yet aides also noted that Mr. Trump has told the couple that they should keep serving in their roles, even as he has privately asked Mr. Kelly for his help in moving them out.
On top of all this, CNN reported Thursday that FBI counterintelligence officials are looking into negotiations and financing in one of Ivanka Trump’s business deals involving a Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, featuring a trademarked Ivanka Trump spa.
It’s not entirely clear why the deal is being investigated other than the timing, as it opened in February of 2017, just one month after Trump was inaugurated and is one of the few Trump-branded properties to have opened since he took office. CNN points out that “The flow of foreign money, either from the developer or international condo buyers, could also be sparking scrutiny.”