US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. Picture: REUTERS
US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. Picture: REUTERS

Open feuding, unbridled presidential tweets and public shaming are creating the impression of a White House in disarray.

Here is a look at some members of US President Donald Trump’s cabinet and inner circle and the latest drama surrounding his administration: Anthony Scaramucci, 53, launched a searing attack on two of his senior White House colleagues — chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon — just days after being named Trump’s communications director.

The brash Wall Street financier, in an interview with a New Yorker reporter, described Priebus as a "paranoid schizophrenic" and said Bannon was in the White House just to "build (his) own brand." Scaramucci, nicknamed "the Mooch," predicted Priebus would resign soon and also threatened to fire the entire White House communications staff in a bid to eliminate damaging leaks to the press.

Neither Priebus nor Bannon had any comment on Scaramucci’s remarks.

Priebus, 45, is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and was brought onboard by Trump to serve as his chief of staff despite not initially being a member of his inner circle.

Bannon, 63, is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker and executive chairman of the right-wing online news outlet Breitbart News. Bannon joined the Trump election campaign less than three months before the November 2016 vote and is credited with playing a major role in his upset victory.

Sessions, one of Trump’s earliest supporters, has been the target of an extraordinary barrage of public criticism from the president over the past week.

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said he would not have named Sessions attorney general if he knew the former senator from Alabama would recuse himself from investigations into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. "It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president," Trump said.

Trump kept up the attack in a series of tweets over several days including one lambasting Sessions as "VERY weak" for failing to open a criminal probe into alleged "crimes" by defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump, however, is yet to roll out his catchphrase "You’re fired!" and Sessions said that while the president’s comments were "kind of hurtful," he would continue to serve.

Sessions, 70, a staunch conservative, was the first member of the US Senate to back Trump’s longshot presidential bid.

Tillerson, the silver-haired former ExxonMobil CEO, is learning how to steer US diplomacy at a time when policy can be undercut without warning by a tweet from the Oval Office.

The 65-year-old Texan is finding it challenging, according to numerous accounts.

In one recent instance, Tillerson found himself seemingly at odds with the White House over the US approach to a dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. While the secretary of state sought to quell tensions, Trump came out with a tweet that essentially sided with the Saudis.

Tillerson this week denied reports that he planned to resign because of friction with the White House, where Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who serves as a senior adviser, has taken on a prominent foreign policy role.

"I’m not going anywhere," the State Department chief said, adding that his relationship with Trump was "good" and he would stay on the job "as long as the president lets me." Mattis, the retired Marine general nicknamed "Mad Dog," was on vacation when Trump announced a major policy change on Twitter — that transgender individuals would no longer be allowed to serve in the US military in any capacity.

According to The New York Times, the Pentagon chief was "blindsided" by the move and given only one day’s notice before the surprise announcement.

The newspaper quoted "people close to the defense secretary" as saying Mattis was "appalled" that Trump had revealed such a decision on Twitter.

It has also fallen to Mattis, 66, to help smooth relations with NATO countries following repeated criticism by Trump of members of the Atlantic alliance.

Spicer’s tenure as press secretary got off to a rocky start when he was sent out by Trump on his first day in office to defend the patently false claim that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was the biggest ever.

Trump was reportedly not impressed with Spicer’s debut performance and what he perceived as a continuing drumbeat of unfavorable coverage.

Spicer, a 45-year-old former Republican Party spokesman, quit last week after Trump named Scaramucci as the new White House communications director.

AFP

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