News & Politics

5 Ways to Lose Your Job in the Trump Administration

The Trump Administration is starting to look a lot like Office Space.

Don't forget your stapler on the way out. Screenshot via Twentieth Century Fox.

Politico reported Thursday that an apparent civil war is tearing through the Trump Administration as former campaign staffers get pushed aside by establishment GOP types with actual governing experience. One startling revelation is that some Trump “originals” now regularly call the White House Office of Presidential Personnel—which places political hires throughout the government—to see if they’ve been fired. 

It’s a bit reminiscent of Office Space‘s Milton Waddams, the dejected drone who toils for years without realizing he’s been let go. If you’re worried that you’ve become your agency’s Waadams, the guide below will help you tell if your job is safe. 

  1. Have you promoted a conspiracy theory that a local pizza shop is running a child-trafficking ring?
  2. Did you mislead the Vice President about what you said to the Russian ambassador?
  3. Did you criticize the President in private, and also make a remark about Ivanka Trump’s appearance?
    • Former official: Craig Deare 
    • Outcome: Deare, the National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere division chief, was let go after saying in a private talk that he was frustrated by being cut out of decision making. Allegedly making “awkward” comments about Ivanka Trump’s attractiveness probably didn’t help either. 
  4. Were you elevated to heroic status after defying the President in front of the entire world?
    • Former official: Sally Yates.
    • Outcome: After being fired for refusing to enforce the President’s travel ban, Yates, an Obama Administration holdover who served briefly as acting attorney general, may make a comeback testifying before the House Intelligence committee about the resignation of Michael Flynn Sr.
  5. Has your Twitter account included pejoratives like “Muslim piece of shit,” or unfounded allegations that former President Barack Obama is related to Islamist radicals?
    • Former official: Sid Bowdidge
    • Outcome: Bowdidge, who worked on Trump’s campaign in New Hampshire, was forced to resign from the Department of Energy, where he hoped to promote small modular nuclear reactors—the logical next career step for someone who before the election was advertising his full-body massage services on
Editorial fellow

Noah Lanard is an editorial fellow. Before Washingtonian, he freelanced for the Guardian, Fusion, and Vice in Mexico City. He was born in DC, grew up in New Jersey, and went to college in Montreal.