It’s been a busy week in America’s foreign policy and economic establishment. Last time we talked with The Atlantic’s Yoni Appelbaum in July, it looked like Rex Tillerson was about to resign. This past week, he was still going strong on a five-country tour of Africa. But before he even stepped off the plane, Trump fired Tillerson via Twitter. That set into motion a staff domino effect at the White House.
CIA head Mike Pompeo, whose congressional record reflects a strong anti-Muslim bias and no patience for dissent, will replace Tillerson as America’s top diplomat. The next domino set to replace Pompeo is Gina Haspel, who has been accused of overseeing torture at CIA black sites in Thailand. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is also out of the White House. After steadfast Republican free-marketer Gary Cohn resigned last week over Trump’s decision to levy tariffs against Chinese aluminum and steel, Trump appointed TV pundit Larry Kudlow as his economic adviser.
It’s one of the biggest staff turnover rates in White House history. Worldview unpacks it all, and what it means for America’s place in the world.
Yoni Appelbaum, senior politics editor at The Atlantic