Trump Called Priebus to Oval Office Just to Kill a Fly

Anecdote highlights Priebus' 'humiliating' tenure as chief of staff
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2017 1:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump once called Reince Priebus into the Oval Office solely to kill a fly that's buzzing was distracting him during a meeting, the Washington Post reports. The anecdote is representative of Priebus' "humiliating"—and now ended—time as Trump's chief of staff. “He doesn’t get much respect ... because we know he doesn't have power in the White House,” a senior GOP Senate aide tells Politico. Sources say Trump would subtly—and not so subtly—try to embarrass Priebus, calling him "Reince-y," saying he would make a good car salesman, and mocking him for being excited to see his house from Air Force One. Priebus would be forced to "literally sprint" to the Oval Office to attend meetings he wasn't invited to.

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Officials say Trump was hoping Priebus would take the hint and leave the job on his own. It didn't happen, and Trump essentially fired Priebus by tweet on Friday. By that point, the firing made sense. "Trump had reduced the poor fellow to a nerve-wracked White House prowler," Vanity Fair states. In recent weeks, Trump repeatedly called Priebus "weak" and openly mused about possible replacements. Allies to Priebus say the chief of staff felt demeaned by his treatment at the hands of the president and his aides. And on Friday, Priebus' time in the White House ended with one final embarrassment: Left behind, alone on the tarmac, by the presidential motorcade as Trump's tweet announcing John Kelly as chief of staff made headlines. (Read more Reince Priebus stories.)

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