White House exodus begins even as Trump continues to claim groundless...

Numerous sources inside and outside the White House cited various reasons for the exodus already underway, ranging from the urgent need for jobs to palpable disgust at ’s unfortunate electoral challenges.

A source familiar with the situation said Trump’s refusal to accept defeat has baffled some staff who fear the president will tarnish his own legacy and, more critically, erode voter confidence in the U.S. election. Others said they understood there was a good chance they would need to find a new job soon, and they prepared to make career changes regardless of the president’s reaction to the defeat. .

Another senior administration official described a “toxic” work environment among the dwindling number of West Wing staff. While Trump’s White House was never the model for a functioning workplace, the lack of leadership and sense of defeat during Trump’s lame duck period sharpened divisions among employees facing the prospect of potential unemployment.

“I think people are leaving because they have families or livelihoods to support,” the official said.

“That, and the place is getting more and more toxic day by day… people are turning on each other, trying to settle scores while they can,” the official added.

The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah, a close ally of Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, announced Thursday that she would step down. His departure was seen by people close to the White House as a signal that leaving the administration is no longer seen as a betrayal of the president.

“A great person who did a fantastic job. Thanks, Alyssa! Trump tweeted on Friday.

A White House adviser, who is interviewing some departing administration staff, said there was growing recognition that there would be no second Trump administration, at least not from January 20, 2021.

“Some are advancing,” said the White House adviser. ” It’s time. ”

The adviser said it was understandable for aides to be angered by Trump’s stubbornness. But the adviser noted that they were committed to working for Trump.

“Nobody expects him to concede. No one! Said the advisor.

Mass exits of government personnel occur at the end of each presidency, whether after two terms or at the end of a term interrupted by electoral defeat. But Trump’s refusal to concede the race and recognize the change to come has forced the best of the staff – some of them long-time loyalists – into a deeply uncomfortable position weeks away from the end of their checks. payroll.

After John McEntee, head of the White House’s Office of Presidential Personnel, warned administration staff that any prisoner seeking employment could be fired – a warning that was leaked to the press and was widely reported last month – with many political aides across the federal government, they continued to look for their next move without hesitation.

But some younger and younger appointees were indeed frightened by the warning – a situation some more experienced assistants found unfortunate given the additional difficulty these staff members may have in finding work.

A senior administration official described the Capitol Hill jobs rush among Trump administration aides as a game of “musical chairs,” noting that the “music” will essentially stop in January and many assistants will find themselves without a “chair” after the limited number. vacant positions are filled before the new Congress. Republicans won 13 House seats but overturned only one Senate seat; they lost two places in the GOP Senate and could lose two more depending on the outcome of the second round in Georgia.

Beyond Capitol Hill, some assistants are considering jobs in the private sector or in think tanks – in some cases, competing with their colleagues for the same positions.

While many White House and administration officials quietly began their job search in the days after the election without sharing their plans in the office, many openly discuss their prospects now and leave when they land. somewhere – even though Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the impending end of his presidency remains unchanged since early November.

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