Donald Trump-era White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin on Monday expressed concern regarding the former president’s plan to expand the presidential powers if he were to win the 2024 election.
Griffin served as Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence then as a Press Secretary for the Department of Defense. She had a brief stint as the White House Director of Strategic Communication where Griffin ended up resigning a month after the 2020 election.
Griffin, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, said she could “confirm everything” published in a recent New York Times article that said Trump and his allies would try to increase presidential authority if the former president gets another term.
Trump and his associates have a broader objective to shift the power dynamics by augmenting the president’s control over every facet of the federal government that currently operates with some degree of independence from political influence by the White House, whether through legal frameworks or established traditions, the Times reported citing a review of his campaign policy proposals and interviews with people close to him.
“Most of it was stuff that the former president wanted to do in his first term but aides, like myself and others, talked him out of it,” said Griffin.
However, Trump didn’t proceed after his aides at the time argued that it would be “too unpopular with the public” and said the former president needed to focus on his reelection campaign.
According to Griffin, the part that raised “alarm bells” was Trump’s intention “to basically make it so much easier to fire career-subject matter experts.”
“That is an effort to make government purely partisan and staffed with loyalists who are going to carry out his agenda,” she said.
“Having been in the Trump White House during COVID, I can’t really express how dangerous that would be,” said Griffin, adding, “Had we not had experts there.”
During the pandemic, President Trump frequently disregarded the guidance of public health experts, including the controversial suggestion of using disinfectant as a potential cure. Despite privately acknowledging the dangers of the coronavirus, his public statements often contradicted expert advice.
Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who also served under Trump, also gave a warning about Trump second term that would result in “non-stop gunfight’ in Congress.
“It would be chaotic,” Kelly said. “It just simply would be chaotic, because he’d continually be trying to exceed his authority, but the sycophants would go along with it. It would be a nonstop gunfight with the Congress and the courts.”
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