Battle tested

Women appear the victors amid West Wing staffing chaos

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

As chaos continues to swirl around the White House, the few women in Trump’s administration are not only managing to survive, but to thrive. While high-profile male Trump acolytes such as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn have all either resigned or been fired from the White House, women, by contrast, have largely been left untouched by the near-constant drama surrounding the 45th U.S. president.

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, the first woman to manage a GOP presidential campaign and first woman in history to win a U.S. presidential campaign, has been carefully keeping a low profile since her widely derided remarks about a “Bowling Green massacre” that never happened. Conway’s West Wing compatriot Dina Powell, a former Goldman Sachs partner, has actually moved up the ranks to become deputy national security advisor. Hours before Priebus’ firing last Friday, Powell was selected alongside U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who spoke at the Women in the World Summit in April, to ride with Trump from the White House to Andrews Air Force Base.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, meanwhile, benefitted from Spicer’s departure and now holds the position of press secretary. And while press aide Michael Short was forced out alongside Priebus, another Priebus hire, Lindsay Walters, managed to weather the storm. Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr. are growing increasingly mired in the Russia investigation, but Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and arguably the most powerful woman in the White House, appears to have escaped the controversy untarnished.

As to why women appear to be enjoying more stable tenures in Trump’s West Wing, explanations and opinions have varied. Some have suggested that women may be better at managing Trump’s “egomania,” but perhaps the most convincing reason is also the simplest — very few women in Trump’s administration have enough authority to be at risk of becoming political casualties. Of 22 Trump staffers who make $179,700 or more a year, only five are women.

Read the full story at Politico.


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