Of course Piers Morgan has several quasi-plausible reasons President Trump should select him as his new chief of staff, but the first winner of “Celebrity Apprentice” concedes the top reason just might be simple presidential-level desperation:
“Nobody else is exactly storming the ramparts of the White House demanding you hire them for the toughest job in world politics,” the British television host wrote in the Daily Mail.
In the space of a week, Trump announced the departure of his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and was turned down by his top pick to replace him, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers.
As The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa wrote, three other Trump administration members have signaled that they’re not interested in the job, either, and there is no clear front-runner.
That leaves the president with no one to fill a soon-to-be vacant position that has been called the most punishing in Washington.
So Morgan, who is the host of “Good Morning Britain,” has suggested that Trump avoid looking in the swamp altogether and consider peering across the pond.
“When you made me your first Celebrity Apprentice a decade ago, you told me in the live NBC finale: ‘Piers, you’re a vicious guy,' ” Morgan wrote. “I’ve seen it. You’re tough. You’re smart. You’re probably brilliant, I’m not sure. You’re certainly not diplomatic. But you did an amazing job, and you beat the hell out of everybody — you’re my Celebrity Apprentice.’”
“Let’s be honest, what more could you possibly want from your Chief of Staff?” Morgan added. “You could have been talking about yourself!”
Morgan’s public campaign, if you can call it that, continued on “Good Morning Britain” on Wednesday, when he talked about why he should get the job.
Among his selling points: He’d forgo the salary.
"You'd do it for free?" co-host Susanna Reid asked.
"Yeah," Morgan said.
“Why don’t you need the salary?” she said. “How much are we paying you?”
Morgan went on to explain that he’d make a fortune on his White House diaries after working for Trump.
Morgan then noted that the show had gotten a statement from the White House about his public application.
"The White House is aware of Mr. Morgan's interest in the job," the statement said.
His colleagues laughed.
“I am sorry, but I’m encouraged by that,” he said.
Still, the column was not — as many “open letters” to the president have been — a piece full of subtle asides and covert condemnation.
Morgan was the only British journalist granted an interview by Trump during his four-day European tour. And ITV’s director of television, essentially Morgan’s boss, told the Hollywood Reporter that Trump and Morgan have “this bizarre bromance that is just weird.”
Morgan said the president needs someone with the courage to tell him the truth, “because I know it’s a myth you can’t handle the truth.” One of those truths, Morgan said, was for Trump to “stop your silly war with CNN.” He said the president should get rid of sycophants and surround himself with “straight-talking loyalists.” He also encouraged Trump to listen to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as much as possible.
Morgan admitted that his reasons for wanting the gig weren’t entirely pure. “I love a scrap,” he said, later adding that he couldn’t think of “a better ride than being chief of staff at this perilous stage of the Trump presidency.”
And, Morgan added, he wouldn’t be miffed when the roller coaster ride inevitably came to an end.
“You need someone whose reputation won’t be remotely tarnished by working with you and who won’t mind in the slightest if you suddenly fire him,” Morgan wrote. “So don’t worry about finally doing what you never did in 2008 and telling me: ‘Piers, you’re fired.’ ”