Skip to content
Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

Presidents Hire ‘Yes Men’ at Their Peril

Trump wanted a sycophant as chief of staff, an impulse all occupants of the Oval Office should resist.

Dissent unwelcome.

Dissent unwelcome.

Photographer: Doug Mills/Getty Images

Even before Donald Trump disclosed that the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, the day brought new revelations about his presidency, ranging from more evidence of his casual disregard for the law — toilet edition — to the military’s efforts to try to fight back against his moves to overthrow the election to his admiration for what he mistakenly believed was Hitler’s relationship with his generals.

The latter two items are from an excerpt of a forthcoming book by journalists Susan B. Glasser and Peter Baker that also contains the detail I found most fascinating. It’s what Trump told General Mark Milley when the general advised him against hiring a “yes man” as his third White House chief of staff. Trump’s reply: