Trump Officials 'Perpetually on Deathwatch' and Waiting for Their 'Assassination Tweet,' Senior White House Staffer Claims

Officials in President Donald Trump's administration are living in a perpetual state of fear—according to a new book written by an anonymous White House insider—as they attempt to navigate the whims of one of the most unpredictable presidencies in history.

According to A Warning by Anonymous, published on Tuesday, the rapid staff turnover within the Trump administration has left staffers scared of the president suddenly turning on them.

The book is written by the same unnamed staffer who wrote a New York Times column in September 2018 claiming to be part of an effort by White House officials to restrain Trump and shield the country from his worst political instincts.

Anonymous claimed: "Officials are perpetually on 'deathwatch,' as it is known inside the administration, waiting for that assassination tweet to come. Every week there is a new potential victim."

The notoriously fickle president reportedly ran his campaign and now runs the White House as he did the Trump Organization—playing employees off against one another and forcing them to compete for his favor.

Trump, also widely accused of being a thin-skinned politician unwilling to brook criticism or disagreement, has dismissed several senior administration officials for frustrating or speaking out against some of his more controversial policies.

The tense environment, Anonymous wrote, is designed to keep staffers on edge and compliant. "For a president known for demanding loyalty pledges, this is a pernicious way of making sure staff do what he wants, by reminding them that the ax could come down at any time," they wrote.

Staff turnover within Trump's administration has been high. The president is currently on his third permanent or acting chief of staff, third permanent or acting secretary of defense, second secretary of state, second attorney general, third national security advisor and third press secretary.

Some of the most prominent casualties were fired unceremoniously via tweets, including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Another passage in the book suggested that White House officials keep draft resignation letters on hand in case the president made particularly inappropriate or concerning political decisions.

"I know that's a question many of you are asking: Why didn't anyone leave? God knows it would've been easy," Anonymous wrote. "We all have draft resignation letters in our desks or on our laptops."

The White House has dismissed the claims in the new book as fabrications, while White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has branded the unnamed author a "coward."

Donald Trump, Anonymous, deathwatch, aides, Twitter, assassination
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 2019. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images/Getty
Trump Officials 'Perpetually on Deathwatch' and Waiting for Their 'Assassination Tweet,' Senior White House Staffer Claims | Politics