A common refrain from President Donald Trump is that Democrats are such effective obstructionists, he can’t fill all the open top-level positions in his administration. This is not true, mostly because those he appoints have ethics conflicts or delay doing their paperwork. However a new report suggests that amid the president’s fury over investigations, people simply don’t want to work for this chaotic White House.
From The Washington Post:
Republicans say they are turning down job offers to work for a chief executive whose volatile temperament makes them nervous. They are asking head-hunters if their reputations could suffer permanent damage, according to 27 people The Washington Post interviewed to assess what is becoming a debilitating factor in recruiting political appointees.
Republicans have become so alarmed by the personnel shortfall that in the past week a coalition of conservatives complained to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. “We remain very concerned over the lack of secondary and tertiary executive-level appointments,” they said in a letter signed by 25 prominent conservatives called the Coalitions for America, describing their concern that the leadership vacuum will create “mischief and malfeasance” by civil servants loyal to Obama.
Naturally, the White House disputes this, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer telling the newspaper that he has “people knocking down my door” to get a post in the administration. He cites the vetting by the FBI and the Office of Government Ethics as the reason for the apparent delay in filling key positions. Lower-level staffing and positions that aren’t Senate confirmable have also been filled at a higher rate than senior positions, but even that is taking longer than it usually does.
Since April, when the Trump administration had nominated only 59 people to senior posts, the White House as nominated some 43 more people to these open positions. There are 43 officials who’ve been confirmed by the Senate, much less than the 130+ Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had confirmed at this point in their first terms.
Still those who spoke to The Post–both on-the-record and on background–say that it’s the president’s toxic behavior and self-harming comments related to the Russia investigations that leave them wanting to be far away from this administration. Others noted that the president’s steep budget cuts to federal agencies, such as his 30 percent reduction of the State Department, drive those who would work for those agencies even further away.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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