President Donald Trump spent much of his Sunday firing back at reports he believed to be misleading — or downright wrong.
At the top of the list were rumors that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar is on the chopping block — rumors that Trump summarily dismissed. According to Fox News, Trump announced in a tweet that reports alleging Azar will be fired are “Fake News.”
“Doing an excellent job”
The media loves to portray the White House in chaos every chance it gets, regardless of whether the facts are straight or not. Case in point: Politico recently published an article, citing “four people familiar with the discussions” who were unwilling to go on record, alleging that Azar is just waiting to be ousted, Fox reported.
According to Politico, Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere issued a statement in response, saying: “The Department of Health and Human Services, under the leadership of Secretary Azar, continues to lead on a number of the President’s priorities. Any speculation about personnel is irresponsible and a distraction from our whole-of-government response to COVID-19.”
On Sunday, Trump addressed the issue himself.
Reports that H.H.S. Secretary @AlexAzar is going to be “fired” by me are Fake News. The Lamestream Media knows this, but they are desperate to create the perception of chaos & havoc in the minds of the public. They never even called to ask. Alex is doing an excellent job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2020
Should Azar be replaced?
If Trump does decide to let Azar go at some point, the firing will be easily justified. For starters, it is widely believed that the White House was misled regarding the dismissal of vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright.
According to the Politico report, the White House was under the impression Dr. Bright was being promoted, not sent off to another assignment in disgrace.
Azar and Trump have also not seen eye-to-eye on some key issues during the coronavirus pandemic, and aides have been reportedly complaining about their interactions with Azar.
Now, however, it appears that even if Trump was going to let Azar go, he would rather dig in and get through this crisis with Azar in place simply to prove Politico wrong.
Over and above that story, it remains baffling how this administration has so many leaks and so many people willing to talk to the press in a way that just creates more turmoil for President Trump.
This administration could dial down the drama and chaos significantly just by plugging these leaks and making it quite clear that anyone speaking out of school will be terminated, period. Let’s see how much water cooler gossip makes its way to the papers when jobs are actually on the line.