Why Trump advisers stay, even when he flouts their advice

Jul 25, 2018 by

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 Why We Wrote This

Today is the 18-month mark of the Trump presidency, and for those in place from the start, it’s a natural time to think about leaving. But many stay on out of a sense of duty to the country.

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Why do senior Trump advisers stay, even when the president clearly flouts their advice? The Trump administration has broken records for turnover among senior advisers. But there are many who have stayed even after clearly being left out of the loop or ignored, including after this week’s controversial summit in Helsinki, Finland. History shows that presidents and advisers disagree on policy all the time; aides present their best advice, and presidents call the shots. But under President Trump, conflict with and among advisers has risen to an art form. Some advisers stay out of a sense of duty to country, even when the president doesn’t listen to them, says former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. But at what point does staying enable potentially unwise behavior and damage the personal reputation of those who serve the president? “That really is an issue that is up to each individual to decide,” says Mr. Panetta, who left the Obama administration in 2013 and criticized the president in his memoir. “Where is that line that should not be crossed regarding your service to the president?”

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