As the 2020 campaign rapidly approaches, Trump is surrounded by ex-officials and former friends eager, willing, or motivated to air dirty laundry. The list includes jilted advisers, former senior officials, ex-Cabinet members, once-loyal lawyers, and chiefs of staff. Some have already spoken out against the president, others have signaled their plans to do so, and even more are regarded as potential trouble down the road.
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Those who have worked with Trump say he understands the dangers of having so many disgruntled ex-employees—including former corporate titans and revered military figures—speaking out during the re-election. And yet, they also recognize that the president is largely unwilling, or incapable, of doing the main thing to prevent such a situation from happening: not humiliate members of his team before (or in some cases after) their banishment.