After White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned yesterday (Feb. 7) following reports of domestic abuse accusations, an old Reuters photo of White House personnel reminds us how suddenly those in Donald Trump’s close orbit can leave it.
The image, taken while Trump and his aides travelled to Ohio, less than a year ago in July 2017, is like an artifact from another era. Of the five people pictured in it, none are still formally associated with Trump or the White House.
In the very back of the image is a blur of Rob Porter, the last to depart the administration.
To Porter’s left is Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to the president, who was reported to have ties to far-right groups in Hungary and removed from his position in August.
Striding in front of him is Omarosa Manigault, a onetime contestant on Trump’s reality show The Apprentice. She also worked on Trump’s campaign and landed a role at the White House’s office of public engagement, though what she actually did was a mystery to many. Her exit in December seemed to revive the reality show drama that made her famous.
To the right of Omarosa is Anthony Scaramucci. The bombastic New York financier lasted just ten profanity filled days as White House communications director.
Leading the pack is Corey Lewandowski, who never even had a job in the White House to begin with. He served at Trump’s campaign manager in the earliest days of the Republican primaries. By the spring of 2016, he had been replaced by Paul Manafort (who turned out to be under investigation from the FBI and would himself step down as campaign manager by the summer). Despite his official exile, Lewandowksi remained an informal advisor to the president and was traveling with the team to an Ohio rally, at the time this photo was taken.
Back in July, a photo from the earliest days of the Trump administration showed a completely different set of now-departed staffers, with only Trump and vice president Mike Pence remaining.