Kasich: WH staff churn hampering Trump agenda

Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at a news conference at the Ohio State Fair, in Columbus, Ohio. AP Photo, Jay LaPrete.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to stop the staff chaos at the White House and "settle it down."

Strategist Steve Bannon last week became the latest top White House official to be shown the door. In seven months in office, Trump has dismissed a national security adviser, a chief of staff, two communications directors and a press secretary, among others.

Kasich is among those who fear the staff churn is hampering Trump's ability to notch a major legislative victory. He voiced his concerns on CNN's "State of the Union."

"You can't keep putting new people in the lineup and think you're going to win a world championship," said Kasich, who challenged Trump for the GOP presidential nomination and refused to endorse him in the general election.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Bannon and chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine general, had agreed that Friday would be Bannon's last day. David Bossie, a former deputy campaign manager in Trump's successful bid for the presidency, said Bannon wanted to "give the general an opportunity to have a clean slate."

Bannon repeatedly clashed with other top advisers, most notably Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. But Bossie dismissed concerns that divisions within the White House staff were hurting Trump's ability to get his priorities passed.

"In every presidency there are factions. There's no difference here," Bossie said on "Fox News Sunday."

Instead, Bossie pinned the lack of a health care victory on GOP leaders in Congress. He said he agrees that House and Senate leadership have not bought into the president's agenda, and he claimed that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell owe their positions to the "issues President Trump won on."

"No one is saying the president is not leading. There's a lack of leadership on one side of Pennsylvania Avenue," Bossie said.

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill made themselves scarce on Sunday's news talk shows. Back in their home states and districts for the August recess, they skipped the opportunity to weigh in more on the president's comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as Bannon's exit from the White House.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., was an exception, urging Trump on CBS's "Face the Nation" to spend time with people who have lived through the nation's difficult racial past.

Scott said earlier in the week that Trump had compromised his moral authority with his comments that appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with those who came out to oppose them in Charlottesville. Trump said there were "very fine people, on both sides" of the clashes.

Scott said the nation is in a "very critical and sensitive time." He said the president's actions would speak louder than his words.

"If the president wants to have a better understanding and appreciation for what he should do next, he needs to hear something from folks who have gone through this painful history," Scott said. "Without that personal connection to the painful past, it will be hard for him to regain that moral authority, from my perspective."


The Gayly - 8/20/2017 12:20 p.m. CST