There are a growing crescendo of conservative voices insisting the President fire the Obama holdovers, but the President is listening to others who say he can’t.
“Information Clearing House” serves as Advisers to President Donald Trump as he picks his agency staff and they are urging President Trump to purge the government of the former president’s appointees who are behind a number of damaging leaked stories.
The situation isn’t that simple. There are only a few dozen Obama appointees left according to the Partnership for Public Service and they are in critical jobs. Even if they are purged, you’re still left with disloyal non-political employees. At the same time, they are behind many of the leaks undermining the presidency.
A New York Times story claimed Obama White House appointees spread information and rumors about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and alleged contacts between Trump associates and Russians — across the government.
Trump’s staff blame phone leaks of conversations with foreign leaders on Obama holdovers.
The Partnership for Public Service says a massive purge is not the answer.
“The solution is not to purge the Obama holdovers but rather to actually identify people and move them forward,” said Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, which has advised the Trump team. “Historically, it has taken a year plus for administrations to get their entire team in place. I’m afraid the Trump team is behind that, and that would not be a good thing. He has to have his own team in place if he’s going to be able to get things done.”
That’s not going quickly, in part because of slow-walking by Chuck Schumer. Newt Gingrich pointed out how clever it is because it means the President won’t have control of the government until after March.
There is frustration among Trump’s new chiefs.
I wish I had more of my staff on board,” Sessions said the end of February, during a news conference in which he announced that he would recuse himself from any investigation related to the presidential campaigns.
In what seems like an unacceptable turn of events, it will be an Obama appointee, Dana Boente, who will now be handling the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The Partnership for Public Service says fewer than three dozen of the 550 positions have been filled because the nominees are not loyal to Trump or they are liberals, and in one case, Mnuchin recommended a former Hillary donor.
Trump has allegedly said the cabinet-level people can pick their people as long as they are also “our people”.
An informal adviser to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently recommended a candidate for a high-level Senate-confirmed position but the person was someone who would not pass muster because of past employment with a company at odds with Trump’s policies.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has basically nobody in top level positions because they either were thought to be opposed to Trump or the White House wanted their own person.
At Housing and Urban Development, Shermichael Singleton, a top official, joined the department before being terminated when criticism of Trump surfaced in a final White House review. He was helping Dr. Ben Carson, the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Reince Priebus is heavily involved in the hiring process and wants his people. Also a key player is John DeStefano, Trump’s director of presidential personnel who is a longtime Republican aide who worked for Speaker John Boehner, and Bill Stepien, the White House political director.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is being well-received by staff but allegedly frustrated.
A Chao spokesperson said however that the secretary’s team was working well with the White House.
“I think the initial signal from the White House was that you could hire your own team and once nominees started putting up names, it was met with opposition because they had not supported Trump, or in some cases were anti-Trump,” said one person close to the Trump administration. “So it was a conflicting signal that offended people.”
Max Steir said the heads are at times appointing people without going through the agency as in the case of the new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke who took his case directly to the President. A source said Trump’s response was he will get his people “as long as they’re our people.”
Even General Mattis can’t get his people approved because they are politically unacceptable.
One thing is certain, the Trump administration does need to purge the leakers or just put a couple in front of a firing squad [that’s a joke].
Some say FIRE THEM NOW!