Alex Acosta today, perhaps Dan Coats soon to follow. The exit door from the Trump administration is well worn. The Washington Post reports “…fully three-quarters of the top positions are no longer held by the person who was there at the start.” Here is their latest (partial) list from an opinion piece by Paul Waldman:
- Michael Flynn, national security adviser (pleaded guilty to crimes)
- Sean Spicer, press secretary (terrible liar, became object of universal ridicule)
- Anthony Scaramucci, communications director (lasted 10 days)
- Steve Bannon, chief strategist (fired in White House shakeup)
- Tom Price, secretary of health and human services (had taste for private jets)
- Rex Tillerson, secretary of state (called Trump a “f—ing moron”)
- Brenda Fitzgerald, CDC director (bought and sold tobacco stocks while leading one of America’s chief health agencies)
- Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator (too many scandals to detail)
- Ryan Zinke, secretary of the interior (multiple mini-scandals)
- Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of homeland security (combination of malice and incompetence)
- Patrick Shanahan, acting secretary of defense (bizarre domestic violence story)
- David Shulkin, secretary of veterans affairs (had government pay for European vacation)
- Rob Porter, White House staff secretary (accused of domestic abuse by both his ex-wives)
- David Sorenson, speechwriter (accused of domestic abuse by ex-wife)
- John McEntee, president’s body man (lost security clearance because of gambling problem)
Take a look at the Pentagon, for example. The Associated Press reports:
“When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Jim Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time.
“Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense chief even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That’s the longest such stretch in Pentagon history.“
Meanwhile, with Acosta’s resignation today, the Trump administration will have four acting secretaries, none have been confirmed by the Senate. Remember the Trump campaign mantra of “only hiring the best people?”
Trump’s long ago speech from the Republican National Convention where he said “I alone can fix it” may fortuitously come true, but only because he is truly alone.
This post contains opinion and analysis.