Trump Has the Best People(?)

President Trump making a face

The Trumpy Bunch: Pictures of President Trump and eight of his administration members, arranged in a grid like the opening for The Brady Bunch
Whether you like Donald Trump or not, you have to admit that the man loves to brag. He bragged about having the biggest electoral college victory (it wasn’t). He bragged about having a larger inauguration crowd than Barack Obama (it wasn’t). He bragged about being the toughest president on Russia (sorry, but that honor goes to Ronald Reagan). And, earlier this month he bragged about being the most popular president in history, even more so than honest Abe Lincoln. And while most of Trump’s boasts are about himself, he has, on occasion, directed them at other people.

Early into his presidency, Trump bragged that he had “the best people” working in his administration. He also bragged that his cabinet secretaries had the highest IQ of any presidential cabinet in history. I would have to argue that George Washington’s pick for Secretary of State is proof that Trump’s boast is unfounded, after all, Thomas Jefferson is widely regarded as one of our most brilliant political leaders. In fact, while speaking to a group of Nobel Prize winners in 1962, JFK remarked, “This is the most extraordinary collection of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

So, is it true that Trump hires “the best people”? Here’s a run-down on a few of his appointees.

Michael Flynn: (National Security Adviser), was fired after he lied to Vice President Pence (and others) about his meetings with Russian officials during the transition. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

Rob Porter: (White House Staff Secretary), was fired after both of his ex-wives publicly accused him of physical abuse. President Trump initially defended Porter based on information given him by his communications director Hope Hicks.

Hope Hicks,: (White House Director of Communications), whose previous experience consisted of promoting Ivanka’s clothing line, was perhaps Trump’s most trusted adviser. She was always by his side, often slipped him ad lib notes, and wrote some official statements for him to read, including one that supported Rob Porter. Hicks resigned after it was revealed that she was in a romantic relationship with Porter.

Kelly Sadler: (White House Aide), was fired for making fun of Senator John McCain’s terminal cancer, saying, “He’s going to die anyway.”

Dr. Ronny Jackson: (White House Physician), once told the press that Trump passed a psychological test with flying colors, and that he was the healthiest president in history. It was later learned that Trump wrote portions of his own medical report. Trump nominated Dr. Jackson to head the V.A., but his name was withdrawn when charges surfaced that Jackson had been intoxicated on duty, and had over-prescribed meds to White House staff.

Anthony Scaramucci: (White House Director of Communications) was fired after less than ten days on the job because he had publicly excoriated members of the White House staff in an expletive-filled interview with The New Yorker.

Sean Spicer: (White House Press Secretary) resigned six months into Trump’s presidency after taking constant heat for making misstatements to the White House press corps.

Scott Pruitt: (EPA Secretary) resigned just a month ago after a series of bizarre incidents, ranging from ordering his staff to go to Trump Tower and get him a mattress, to purchasing a $43,000 sound-proof security booth for his office, and two desks that cost a total of $70,000.

Rick Perry: (Secretary of Energy) is still on the job, but we’re not sure he knows what that job entails. Perry, who during a presidential debate said there were three agencies he wanted to abolish, but he could only remember two of them. The one he forgot was the Department of Energy. After being nominated to Trump’s cabinet, Perry admitted to the press that he wasn’t aware that DOE was in charge of our nuclear arsenal.

Dr. Ben Carson: (Secretary of Housing) is famous for his off-the-wall statements. He said being gay is a choice because prisoners who are raped come out gay. He also said that Jews could have prevented the Holocaust if they had guns. He must be qualified, though, because hanging in his home is a portrait of himself in which he is seated next to Jesus.

Tom Price: (Secretary of Health & Human Services) resigned following public disclosure that he had expended over one million dollars in DHHS funds for personal travel.

Betsy DeVos: (Secretary of Education) has remained in her job despite not having a grasp on the issues confronting public education. During her confirmation hearings, she was unable to answer a series of questions about such things as accountability, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. My favorite DeVos response is when she said we need guns in schools to protect students from bears.

Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet was comprised of a so-called “Team of Rivals”. These were brilliant men who had often criticized and disagreed with the President, but whose counsel proved invaluable during the most perilous time in our nation’s history. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has assembled a revolving-door team of misfits. Even worse, the President doesn’t seem to heed the advice of the few team members he has who are highly qualified to serve in their capacities. Every president deserves to be surrounded by the best people, but just saying they are the best, doesn’t make them so.


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