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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue's unemployment line keeps on growing.
The exit of recently ordained White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of the latest in a string of exits from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, sent shockwaves through Washington Thursday. Hick's resignation underscores a new normal for the administration: staff, voluntarily or not, continue to walk out the door.
Staffers are leaving the Trump administration in record numbers; since inauguration day 36 individuals (so far) have resigned or been fired from the administration, causing the president's inner circle to reset with each departure.
Here's a quick running list of who left:
Sally Yates, Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General: Sally Yates was fired on Jan. 30, 2017 after she publicly refused to defend President Donald Trump’s executive order enacting the infamous Muslim immigration ban. She was replaced with Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser: Resigned on Feb. 13 after only 24 days into his tenure. No one in the 64-year history of the role had a shorter tenure than his. The average tenure is about 2.6 years.
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York: Fired on March 11 after being asked to resign.
Katie Walsh, White House Deputy Chief of Staff: Resigned on March 30 only three months into the administration to take a position as a senior adviser to America First Policies.
James Comey, FBI Director: Fired in a brief letter sent by President Trump on May 9. Trump said he did not believe Comey could “effectively lead” the bureau any longer. The firing followed several months of controversy over the handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and the investigation of Michael Flynn’s connection to Russian officials.
Trump’s letter firing Comey reads, in part:
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
Michael Dubke, White House Communications Director: Resigned due to “personal" reasons on May 18.
Walter Shaub Jr., Office of Government Ethics Director: Resigned July 6. His final date in office was July 19 and he later went to work for the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C.
K.T. McFarland, Deputy National Security Advisor: Asked to step down for her role on April 9, after less than three months in the role, to take a position as the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. She withdrew her nomination on Feb. 2, saying she came to the decision “reluctantly.”
Mark Corallo, Former Trump Legal Team Spokesman: Resigned July 20, after only two months on the job.
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary: Resigned on July 21 after 53 days in the role.
Michael Short, White House Assistant Press Secretary: Resigned July 25 after Politico reported he was to be fired by Scaramucci.
Derek Harvey, Head of Middle East Affairs on the National Security Council: Fired on July 25. No explanation was given for his departure, but it was reported that he was at odds with National Security Advisor General McMaster on Middle East policy.
Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff: Resigned on July 28 after it was announced that President Trump would replace him with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. He served for 189 days, making him the shortest-serving chief of staff in history.
Rich Higgins, Director of Strategic Planning at the National Security Council (NSC): Following a string of firings at the National Security Council, Higgins was let go on July 21 after suggesting in an internal memo that President Trump was under “attack” from forces within and outside of the government.
Anthony Scaramucci, White House Communications Director: Resigned on July 31, 2017, only 11 days into his tenure after former-New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza leaked an explosive phone conversation between the two.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Senior Director for Intelligence, NSC: An appointee of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Cohen-Watnick left the National Security Council on August 2, 2017. Cohen-Watnick was the second official ousted under chief of staff John Kelly.
Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist: On August 19, divisive White House figure Steve Bannon was ousted. While several sources claim that Bannon was edged out of the administration, press secretary Sarah Sanders maintains his exit was on good terms. Bannon soon returned to his position as executive chairman of Breitbart News before stepping down mid-January.
Sebastian Gorka, White House Adviser: Outspoken advisor Sebastian Gorka was forced out of his position at the White House by August 25, administration officials told the New York Times. A leaked resignation letter quoted Gorka as saying the best way for him to support the president was from the outside.
George Sifakis, Director of the Office of Public Liaison: Former aide to George W. Bush and OPL director Sifakis offered his resignation at the beginning of August. According to Politico, Sifakis was a longtime ally of former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Carl Icahn, Adviser to the President: Joining into the flurry of late summer departures, long time Trump pal and adviser Carl Ichan left the White House mid-August. “I chose to end this arrangement (with your blessing) because I did not want partisan bickering about my role to in any way cloud your administration,” Icahn wrote in his released resignation letter.
Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services: After eliciting major outrage over the cost of air travel, Price offered his resignation toward the end of September. Politico reported that Price used over $1 million in taxpayer money to jet off to Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Dina Powell, Deputy National Security Advisor: On December 8, administration figure Dina Powell offered her resignation to the White House. Powell, a key force behind much of the White Houses' Middle East policy, left her office on good terms sources told the Washington Post.
Omarosa Manigault-Newman, Office of the Public Liason: Longtime Trump ally and White House aide Manigault-Newman allegedly left the White House kicking and screaming mid-December after months disagreements bubbled over. Soon after her departure, the “Apprentice” star joined the cast of “Celebrity Big Brother.”
Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff: On December 23, news broke that Deputy. Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn was leaving the White House to pursue a job in the private sector.
Jeremy Katz, White House National Economic Council Deputy Director: Katz, a major player in the administration's re-write of the tax code, left the White House in January on good terms. According to the Washington Post, Katz only planned on staying on Pennsylvania Avenue for one year.
Paul Winfree, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Director of Budget Policy: Winfree reportedly left the White House by the beginning of the new year in order to return to conservative think tank The Hertigate Foundation and spend more time with his growing family, Axios reported.
Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy Director: Andrew McCabe, a longtime target of Trump, stepped down abruptly in January. Sanders subsequently told reporters that the president was not involved in McCabe's decision to leave the bureau, though sources suggest otherwise to CNN.
Rob Porter, White House Aide: Porter, a well-beloved aide within the administration, resigned in mid-February after two former partners accused Porter of domestic abuse.
David Sorensen, Speechwriter: The domestic abuse allegations didn't end there. Shortly after Porter left, Sorensen resigned over his own abuse allegations. Sorensen's ex-wife told the Washington Post that he “ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall and grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine's coast.”
Josh Raffel, Communications Aide: Josh Raffel, a communications aide for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, is reported to be leaving the White House in the next few months. Sources tell CNN that Raffel will be returning to the private sector and his family in New York.
Hope Hicks, Communications Director: On Feb. 28, Hicks became the latest to announce her departure from the Trump administration. Hicks is Trump's longest-serving aide having worked with him before he announced his candidacy, through the campaign and into his second year as president. Her exact departure is to be determined, according to the White House.
Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council: March 6 was Gary Cohn's fated resgination day. Cohn threw in the towel amid conteroversary surrounding the Trump adminsitraiton's proposed tarriff on Chinese aluminum and steel.
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State: Just a few days later on March 13, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suffered a similar fate. Tillerson was fired by Trump via Twitter earlier that morning, after rumors that he and the president's thinking on key international security matters had split.
H.R. McMaster, National Security Adviser: McMaster tendered his resgination on March 23; both the White House and McMcaster maintain the split was amicable.
David Shulkin, Veterans Affairs Secretary: After weeks of “will they, won't they” speculation Trump fired VA Secretary Shulkin via Twitter. Though Trump added that he still appreciates “the work of Dr. David Shulkin and the many great things we did together at Veterans Affairs” and is "grateful for his service.”
Tom Bossert, Homeland Security Advisor: And finally, the latest resignation was that of Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert, who turned in his letter on April 10. Administration officials have yet to explain the reasoning for Bossert's sudden departure.
But are staff turnarounds anything new? Well, no.
However, the breakneck rate at which members are leaving this particular administration is record-setting. According to a study from the Brookings Institue, Trump's first-year turnover — which clocks in at a chart-topping 34 percent — was more than triple former President Obama's and double President Ronald Reagan's.
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, nonresident senior fellow of governance and author of the Brookings report, credited most of the departures to Trump's fervent insistence on loyalty.
“[President Trump] has valued loyalty over qualifications and suffered from a White House that has functioned in a chaotic manner,” wrote Tenpas. “Both features have made it difficult to retain staff and have contributed to the governance difficulties he has encountered.”
One senior GOP aide told Independent Journal Review that the constant Trump administration turnover is “reminiscent of a soap opera.”
However, some senior advisers shuck the chaotic, reality show narrative. During a December interview with Fox News, Chief of Staff John Kelly defended the recent exits.
“Campaigning is very, very different than governing,” he said. “It's really, really hard work to govern at this level, and some people that were perhaps involved in the campaign didn't make that transition.”
IJR's Kelcey Caulder contributed to this report.