It's become almost routine. There are rumors of discord in the White House staff, President Donald Trump barks “you're fired!” and the latest staffer to be eliminated slumps dejectedly out of the West Wing to the sound of Trump's tiny fingers tapping away at a tweet about how great they were. While former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has seen more than one of these departures, on Aug. 18 it was his turn. And Trump's tweet after firing Steve Bannon is more than a little familiar.
Early on the morning after Bannon departed the White House, Trump, as is his wont, tweeted about it. “I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton - it was great! Thanks S,” it read.
Bannon departed the White House on Friday, after a social media campaign to remove him emerged following violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia which left one person dead. Bannon, the former editor of alt-right website Breitbart (to which he has reportedly since returned, according to NBC News) drew fire for his close associations with white supremacy and the alt-right movement as a central member of the White House staff.
Trump tweeting favorably about someone he just fired isn't exactly surprising.
Trump did it for both former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, both of whom left the White House less than a month ago. After Spicer's departure on July 21, Trump tweeted that Spicer was “a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the Fake News Media - but his future is bright!”
And of Priebus, who it was rumored Trump had been considering firing for months, Trump was even more effusive. “I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country. We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!” he wrote.
It almost seems like President Trump, who is known for his Twitter tirades against enemies, allies, and underlings alike depending on the day and his mood, is only able to say something nice about someone once he's fired them.
Also unsurprising? Trump, yet again, bringing up Hillary Clinton.
Ten months after the election concluded, Trump still regularly tweets about his former presidential campaign opponent, referring to her as "Crooked Hillary" and using her email scandal to try to deflect attention from investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia.
Could the controversial tweeter-in-chief be falling into a predictability, with a social media rut? God, we can only hope so. At least then we'll know what to expect.