In the midst of his Monday morning Twitter rant, Donald Trump paused for the daily direct-to-Trump ego-stroking that is Fox and Friends. There, hosts eager to get away from watching Trump dump a boatload of poison into his own Supreme Court case by insisting that the actions of people of unknown origin was proof of the need for his totally-not-a-Muslim-ban (and perhaps take half a step back from the Muslim interment camps suggested by two of their guests) hustled to come up with a new topic. It was a topic that Trump then dutifully inserted into his rant.
The issue with this issue, is that the bottleneck isn’t with Democrats who—Trump might recall—don’t control either end of Congress. The problem is squarely at the start of the pipeline.
Four months into his presidency, Donald Trump has filled only five of the 53 top jobs at the Pentagon – the slowest pace for nominations and confirmations in over half a century.
The slow spot in the Trump regime is Trump—and that’s not even in question. Of 559 key positions that need to be confirmed by the Senate, 442 don’t even have a nominee. And why is that?
There are two reasons. One: Trump is demanding a loyalty test that discards anyone who ever said anything about Trump, which excludes most everyone, Republicans included. Two: people are simply scared to work for Trump.
The escalating investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials is also scaring off people who’d been on the fence about joining the administration.
It’s a recipe for never filling crucial roles.
“With, frankly, the chaos that is happening, people who might have been open to it are asking themselves ‘Do I want to join this administration? How much of an impact will I have? Will I have to get a lawyer?’ ” Wormuth said.
The answers are no, little, and yes. And enough people understand the situation that even when Trump finds the rare someone who can pass the test of having not publicly rolled their eyes at Trump’s antics during the campaign, they still face a loyalty oath before getting their time in a Senate hot seat.
The gaps in Trump’s regime include many national security posts, and the void in the Pentagon represents a threat to national security that’s much more serious than Trump’s ludicrous travel ban.
The problem isn’t that the Senate isn’t confirming Trump’s picks, but that dozens of national security posts still don’t have nominees. In the meantime, a skeleton crew of holdovers from the Obama administration and career civil servants are doing the day-to-day work at the Defense Department.
Why is the Defense Department in particular so sparsely occupied with Trump nominees? Well …
Dozens of the most senior Republican national security officials in the country signed a public letter last August saying they would not vote for Trump. ...
Between them and the more than 120 national security leaders that had signed another letter a few months earlier, there are roughly 150 top Republican national security and defense officials that the Trump administration won’t consider.
Donald Trump refuses to consider anyone who ever said something bad about Donald Trump. Which pretty well explains what is taking so long. They’re flipping over rocks as fast as they can.