A common refrain on Team Trump: The real power is outside the White House

The circumstances of Sebastian Gorka’s departure from the White House are in dispute (anonymously sourced reports say he was fired; he says he resigned), but this much is clear: Gorka wasn’t getting much done on the inside.

“It is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House,” he wrote Friday in a letter to President Trump. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

That final sentiment — it is possible to accomplish more by not working in the administration — has become a common refrain among members of Team Trump.

When White House rapid-response director Andy Hemming left one day before Gorka, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico that Hemming and the White House had reached a “mutual decision that he could best help promote the president’s agenda on the outside.”

Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Trump, left the administration on Aug. 25. (Sarah Parnass,Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

A week earlier, outgoing White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon told the Weekly Standard that he was now “free.”

“I can fight better on the outside,” he said. “I can’t fight too many Democrats on the inside like I can on the outside.”

Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, consistently pops up in news reports as a possible addition to the administration, yet he has remained in the private sector.

“I can be very, very helpful from the outside — maybe much more so than even on the inside,” Lewandowski explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson in May.

Another campaign fixture, spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, initially accepted a role in the president’s press shop but backed out before his inauguration.


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