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Suddenly former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus just had a very awkward airplane trip

(Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In an abrupt political turn—one that suggests the chilling possibility that Anthony Scaramucci might have the ability to wish people into the cornfield, Twilight Zone-style—White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was fired today, with Donald Trump literally pink-slipping him at 5 p.m. on a Friday (ya know, so as not to make a scene).


Per Trump’s Twitter, Priebus—the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who was sometimes seen as a more traditional limiting factor on the excessively “Trumpian” aspects of the current administration—is being replaced by John Kelly, former head of Homeland Security. That suggests a pretty radical shift even deeper into Donald Trump’s id—as currently personified by new communications director Scaramucci, who was actively angling for Priebus to be fired—but we’re distracting ourselves from that upcoming horror story with a detail mentioned in Deadline’s write-up of the staffing change, which revealed that Priebus and Kelly were both on Air Force One when Trump tweeted out the news.

And while there are reports that Priebus actually offered his resignation yesterday (right around the time Scaramucci’s comments that he was a “paranoid schizophrenic” were going public), there’s still something weirdly poignant about imagining him sitting on the plane, watching Kelly go talk to his former boss while he gets left behind. It’s the political equivalent of getting fired by your boss while you’re car-pooling together, or breaking up with someone when you’re still stuck with four hours left next to them on a long-ass car trip.

Not that we need to waste much energy feeling bad for Priebus, an active and willing participant in Trump’s ongoing schemes to smash apart Obamacare and destroy the national news media. After all, there are now plenty of fellow former Trump staffers out in the world to take him in; we can’t wait to see his doubles cha-cha with fellow Scaramucci victim Sean Spicer on Dancing With The Stars.

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