Loop of Endless Nonsense

The lifecycle of an average White House scandal

Illustrator: Katie Heywood

Illustrator: Katie Heywood

Everyday it seems like there’s a new scandal rocking the Trump administration, and they are starting to feel familiar. No, it’s not that they involve Russia, even if that is common in most of the recent scandals. It is that they all seem to go through the same life cycle.

There can’t possibly be a basic template that all of these scandals follow, right? Well, it definitely seems that way, and keep an eye out for it the next time a scandal happens.

1) An established media outlet such as the New York Times or Washington Post breaks a story that President Trump and/or his administration has done something outrageous. For example, that the president may have obstructed justice after asking former FBI director James Comey to close the investigation on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

2) Cable news can’t stop talking about the story by the established outlet.

3) White House press briefing. Sean Spicer or Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the story printed is not news. It is not explained why the story is wrong.

4) A newer news outlet confirms the story of the more established outlet, adding more details.

5) The White House continues to argue that the story is simply not true. Kellyanne Conway makes an appearance on CNN. More White House aides make their way onto TV or give out some brief statements to do more damage control.

6) It’s the next morning and President Trump tweets about the story. He’s mostly trying to pin this on the Democrats.

7) Now Trump contradicts what his surrogates and other White House aides said, undoing all of the damage control they worked so hard to do.

8) A Republican senator talks to media saying that the whole scandal is “devastating” and “deeply disturbing.”

9) Paul Ryan won’t comment on the story. He claims he’s busy governing or working on important legislation.

10) Mitch McConnell breaks his silence. He says he hopes that there will be “less drama from the White House” so that Republicans can focus more on their agenda.

11) A poll then comes out and the president’s approval rating hasn’t really been affected. Overall, it’s low, but still high among Republicans.

12) An established media outlet breaks a new story on a new scandal, thus restarting the cycle.