In May, all West Wing staff were briefly ordered to wear masks at work. To this day, many continue to do so by choice, for their safety and health, with one senior Trump official telling The Daily Beast that they wear one because “I’m not a moron.” So you’d think the first high-ranking official to put one on might get some credit from his colleagues.
But this is the Trump White House, where logic isn’t always king and petty personal beefs can easily turn national policy on its head. A select group of officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger—for putting on a mask shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.
Months later, these senior officials still trash Pottinger behind closed doors for his decision to wear a mask at a time when their boss, President Donald Trump, and other senior administration officials chose to avoid wearing face coverings, according to three senior officials and one former official. Some of those close to Trump viewed Pottinger’s mask-wearing as an indication that the deputy national security adviser was publicly challenging the president, one of those senior officials said.
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