Trump knows the best People but where are they?


Garret Graff in his analysis of crucial  vacancies in the Trump administration pointed out how  Trump’s failures in filling government positions went well beyond leaving critical vacancies where leadership was urgently required. Trump also made disastrous appointments, notwithstanding his boastful claims that “I know the best people.” Well he might know them but he did not appoint them. One of the more glaringly dysfunctional appointments was John Bolton as the National Security Advisor, often considered one of the most important security positions since Henry Kissinger held the position. He scooped John Bolton probably because he liked his punditry on Fox News. This is what happened:

“Over the course of his administration, Trump effectively has done away with the role of homeland security adviser; when John Bolton took over as national security adviser, one of his first acts was to fire Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert and downgrade the role in rank. Ever since, the Trump NSC has sidelined the officials who filled the role. In February, as Covid-19 loomed domestically, Trump actually even shuffled the Coast Guard official then filling the post out to a new job, overseeing Puerto Rico’s disaster recovery.”


Trump’s failure to provide for good government has led to serious weaknesses in the American preparedness for a pandemic. This went well beyond his egregious dismantling of the National Security Council’s pandemic unit, though that may have been his worst decision. As Graff pointed out in his reporting:

“Further afield from the Homeland Security roles, the empty holes in federal organization charts will continue to slow and hamper the government’s ability to respond at the speed and scale necessary to address a crisis of unprecedented complexity.”

Two of the Trump’s cabinet appointments have been particularly weak. These were Ben Carson in HUD and Steven Mnuchin at Treasury. Treasury has of course been vitally important in the economic crisis. Once again, America has paid a big price for this lacklustre appointment from among “the best people” that Trump promised. This is how Graff explained Mnuchin ‘s performance:

“At the Treasury Department, Secretary Steven Mnuchin began confronting the crisis without a chief of staff or legislative director. As Bloomberg reported, “Of 20 Senate confirmed roles reporting to the secretary, seven aren’t filled, and four are occupied by acting officials. The domestic finance unit, which should be handling the brunt of the work related to the coronavirus outbreak, is particularly empty. It has no top boss and is missing three assistant secretaries, who are the next level down.”

Another sensational  failure occurred at the Pentagon where the Navy faced a Covid-19 crisis on its carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt without a Navy Secretary having been approved by the Senate. The last Secretary left under a cloud when the controversy arose over Trump’s pardoning of a Navy Seal accused of war crimes. The replacement for the Secretary that left has also now resigned amid that fiasco. Apparently the undersecretary of the Army will fill the position of acting Secretary of the Navy as well. Graff summed all of this up this way:

To say that it’s less-than-ideal for all of those roles—which serve as each military service’s chief management officer—to be vacant in the midst of an unprecedented, global crisis is an understatement.


I would say that itself is an understatement. According to Graff, “Across the building, roughly a third of the Pentagon’s top jobs are vacant or filled with acting officials—an administration high.”

Only someone with complete disdain for government would make such poor appointments and leave so many important jobs unfilled. And that is the problem. the leader of the government has nothing but disdain for government. He wanted to drain the swamp. I wish he would remove the leader.

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