One Day of Trump Administration Corruption
How corrupt is the Trump Administration? To answer that, one could start by digging into a topic such as foreign emoluments or regulatory capture. Or one could just follow the news of the day. For example, let's take the news of just yesterday, March 13, 2018:
CIA Director nominee oversaw, covered-up torture.
Today President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, moved CIA Director Mike Pompeo to secretary of state, and bumped up Deputy Director Gina Haspel to CIA director. On Haspel's resume is the overseeing of torture during interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand, and destroying the video evidence of it.
Trump assistant under investigation for financial crimes.
In another firing today, Trump ousted his personal assistant, John McEntee. Because he is under investigation for financial crimes, McEntee cannot get a full security clearance.
VA chief hands ethics ammo to department foes.
Trump is considering yet another firing, that of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. The only holdover from the Obama Administration, Shulkin thought he had weathered an ouster attempt by administration officials, who were unhappy with his lack of enthusiasm for privatizing the VA. But Trump, at a signing ceremony of a VA-related bill in June, may have given Shulkin the "kiss of death." The New York Times reported:
Mr. Trump said his secretary did not have to worry about hearing the president’s old reality-show catchphrase, “You’re fired.”
“We’ll never have to use those words on our David,” Mr. Trump said, pointing his finger at the secretary like a pistol. “We will never use those words on you, that’s for sure.”
But Skulkin has given foes an excuse for firing him, by apparently taking a nice sightseeing trip with his wife to Wimbledon and Denmark, and passing it off as VA business. The department's Inspector General found "serious derelictions" with that trip.
ICE spokesman, under pressure to support officials' false statements, resigns.
"I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that," said ICE spokesman James Schwab. After Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf caught wind of a planned ICE sweep through California and warned the public, administration officials exaggerated the impact of that warning. The exaggerations, by ICE Director Thomas Homan, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and President Trump, were widely reported. Said Schwab:
We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100 percent are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.
He also said:
It’s the job of a public affairs officer to offer transparency for the agency you work for. I felt like we weren’t doing that. I’ve never been in a situation when I’ve been asked to ignore the facts because it was more convenient. It was my first time being asked to do that.
All of the above news items were taken from the March 13 issue of the "What The Fuck Just Happened Today" blog by Matt Kiser. He started out to chronicle the Trump Administration's first 100 days, but is now at Day #418, and working at it full time. So, he has credited Trump with creating one new job.
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