Tag Archives: Ivanka Trump

Security clearance plot thickens

So now the plot continues to thicken inside the White House.

A longtime White House staffer who works on issuing security clearances for key administration personnel has told congressional investigators that the Trump administration has issued top-secret clearances to individuals who had been denied them for a variety of reasons.

Tricia Newbold has worked under four administrations, Democrat and Republican, dating back to 2000. She said the Trump White House has been amazingly lax in its security-clearance procedures. Imagine that, will ya? Who knew?

As the New York Times has reported:

Described as both “no nonsense” and “intense” by people who have interacted with her during the clearance process, Ms. Newbold has served under four presidential administrations, beginning with the Clinton White House in 2000. Eventually she worked her way up to adjudications manager, a job that required her to help make determinations about the security clearances of administration employees. Her office is filled with holdovers from other administrations, and it is meant to be nonpartisan.

Yet in the Trump administration the office was filled with people who had little experience in vetting employees in the interest of national security, Ms. Newbold said in a nine-hour deposition with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week.

I keep thinking of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, garnering clearances even though neither of them had a lick of national security experience prior to Daddy Trump becoming president of the United States.

The president denied running interference for either of them. Others have reported, though, that he most certainly did.

Again, from the NY Times:

John F. Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, wrote in a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kusher the top-secret clearance. In her interviews with the House committee, Ms. Newbold said that Mr. Kelly and Joe Hagin, the former deputy chief of staff, had been attentive to the national security issues she had tried to raise.

Gosh, do you think there might be a national security risk being presented inside the White House’s West Wing?

I do. It frightens me.

Ivanka and Jared privileged? No-o-o-o!

I have sought to keep quiet about Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president of the United States. I guess it’s time to speak about her.

It’s not that I relish taking shots at a president’s daughter. Ivanka Trump, though, isn’t your run-of-the-mill presidential “child.” She is a senior policy adviser to her father, as is her husband, Jared Kushner.

The pair now have become subjects of a book that details how they parlayed their kinship to the president to acquire enormous power within the West Wing of the White House and how they attained that power with no discernible credentials — other than Ivanka’s father is the president.

Kushner Inc.

The book is titled “Kushner, Inc.” and chronicles how both of them were the children of domineering fathers who greased their entry into the business world. The book, though, does say that Donald Trump was a “disengaged” father during Ivanka’s coming of age years.

Vicky Ward wrote the book and it is sure to bring out the Trump critics who will note that Ivanka and Jared are given tasks for which they have no qualifications. Ivanka supposedly works on job creation for women; Jared is in charge of forging a Middle East peace.

The way I see it, Jared Kushner is the one who is farther out of his league. He has zero credentials negotiating a diplomatic solution to centuries of warfare among people with historic hatred for each other.

Yep. They’re grifters. Their benefactor, the president, has said that qualified individuals are banging on the door seeking to work within his administration. He calls them the “best people.”

Ivanka and Jared do not qualify by any measure to be of the quality required for the access they have to the nation’s most sensitive secrets.

Ivanka Trump said what? No one wants a free ride? Wow!

Robert Reich, the outspoken critic of the Donald Trump administration, posted an item on Facebook that needs to be shared here.

In an interview, Ivanka Trump claimed that most Americans “in their hearts” don’t want to be given something for free, criticizing proposals for a federal jobs guarantee.

Excuse me? Ivanka and her siblings stand to inherit a fortune. And, if Mitch McConnell gets his ways and eliminates the estate tax, they won’t pay a dime on their inheritance. An estimated 60 percent of wealth in America is now inherited.

Ivanka, the American people want fairness, not handouts and nepotism — something you’re quite familiar with.

My jaw just hit the deck when I saw what the First Daughter said.

Americans “in their hearts” don’t want a free ride . . . she said.

Let me think for a moment: Her father was staked by his wealthy dad, Ivanka’s grandpa, hundreds of millions of dollars to start a business. Donald Trump built a business, albeit with some failures along the way.

Then he produced Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric with his first wife. Tiffany came along during Dad’s second marriage. Donald’s third marriage produced Barron, who remains off limits for criticism.

Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric have been “given” all the comforts of an opulent lifestyle. They haven’t worked for any of the wealth into which they were born.

For Ivanka to presume to speak for the rest of us who have struggled at times to provide for our families, to be candid, is laughable on its face.

Ivanka: not your run-of-the-mill presidential kin

I know this doesn’t really need to be said, but I’ll offer it anyway.

Ivanka Trump is not your run-of-the-mill presidential family member who is “off limits” from intense media scrutiny. Ivanka is a key member of the president’s team of advisers. He’s a “senior” adviser, in fact, although I don’t know what in the world qualifies her as “senior” anything.

Donald Trump no doubt sees any media inquiry, for example, into her use of a personal e-mail account to conduct government business as an intrusion into a “private matter.” It’s far from it.

Ivanka Trump needs to steel herself for an intense look by Democrats who will run the House of Representatives. So should her dad, the president. So should her brothers, Eric and Don Jr.

So should we all.

Indeed, the only children of Donald Trump who should be exempt from media scrutiny are Tiffany, his daughter with his second wife, Marla Maples, and young Barron, who lives in the White House with the president and first lady Melania Trump.

Daddy Trump says there’s no comparison between what Ivanka has done and what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did when she used her personal e-mail account while she ran the State Department.

But . . . what Ivanka Trump has allegedly done is worth a careful look by Congress. She should be called to testify before, say, the House Oversight Committee and forced to answer questions under oath about what she put out there for all the world to see.

She’s not just a “first daughter” who deserves to be left alone. She’s part of the president’s inner circle, a cog in Donald Trump’s “fine-tuned machine.”

Hypocrisy is flourishing in the White House!

Let’s just call him the Hypocrite in Chief.

Donald J. Trump has been caught in yet another example of bald-faced, categorical and unqualified hypocrisy.

His daughter Ivanka has been caught using her personal e-mail account to transmit messages pertaining to government business. Was any of it classified? Was she able to send messages that compromised our national security? Oh, probably not.

But the point is this: Daddy Trump spent two whole years telling the world that in his view Hillary Clinton committed “several felonies” while using her personal e-mail while she was secretary of state. He led chants of “Lock her up!” at campaign rallies.

Now his older daughter is caught doing essentially the same thing. His response? Pfftt! Not parallel, he says.

Moreover, he called Clinton “stupid” for not knowing the rules. Was all of that lost on Ivanka, who now says she didn’t know the rules about e-mail use when she took her post as a senior adviser to her father?

Remember, too, how he criticized President Obama for playing too much golf? How he — Trump — wouldn’t have time to play golf, that he’ll be too busy “making America great again”?

He’s turned Obama into a weekend duffer. This president, the guy who ridiculed his predecessor unjustly, has lapped the field — and then some! — with his golf outings.

I do not begrudge the golf per se. I’ve said all along that presidents are never off the clock; they remain in constant contact with their key aides, advisers and national security team.

I do begrudge the golf only because of Trump’s hypocrisy on that matter — and on so many others.

Simply astonishing.

No chants to ‘Lock her up,’ please

Ivanka Trump has been busted for, that’s right, using her personal e-mail account to convey government policy matters.

Sound familiar? Sure it does. Republican officials and politicians led chants from faithful audiences to “Lock her up!” when the subject was Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state who also ran as the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

I am not going to join in any kind of payback as it regards the president’s daughter, who doubles as a senior policy adviser in the Trump administration. Doing so would expose any of those who bristled at the chants aimed at Clinton to charges of rank hypocrisy.

However, I do expect the new Democrat-controlled House to launch hearings next year into what Ivanka Trump disseminated via her personal e-mail account.

That, I submit, is fair treatment. What mattered for Hillary ought to matter as well for Ivanka.

No, Mr. POTUS, ‘everyone’ not behind Ivanka for UN post

Dear Mr. President … You’re at it again. You’re putting words in the mouths of millions of Americans.

You’re tweeting goofy messages about whether you’re considering your daughter Ivanka to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

That Twitter message that declares “everyone wants Ivanka Trump to be the new United Nations ambassador.” You add that she would be “incredible” but that you’re already hearing “chants of “Nepotism!”

Well, duh! Do ya think?

First of all, you haven’t called me. Nor have you asked any one of my friends, acquaintances, social media contacts — probably not even those of whom support you and your presidency — about this idiotic notion.

Thus, you purport to speak for Americans about whom you know nothing.

I feel the need to remind you, Mr. President, that more Americans voted against your presidential campaign than supported it. Yes, you were elected with an Electoral College majority and I accept the result.

But, c’mon, will ya? Stop this baloney about “everyone” wanting Ivanka to join the corps of international diplomats. She isn’t qualified.

I mean, haven’t you said that thousands — maybe millions — of Americans are lining up to work in your administration? Doesn’t that imply, Mr. President, that you have the pick of a large field of potential applicants?

If that’s the case — and I find it a dubious assertion at best — then you wouldn’t need to keep floating Ivanka’s name as a possible U.N. ambassador.

Nikki Haley’s resignation as U.N. envoy surprised a lot of us, Mr. President. I actually applaud the manner in which you were able to keep that a secret.

I want to applaud your choice of a successor to the tough-talking former South Carolina governor. Nominating your unqualified daughter to do this difficult job — made even more difficult because of your foreign policy pronouncements — won’t produce any applause from me.

And for the umpteenth time, I implore you to stop putting words in my mouth.

Ivanka won’t seek UN job. Fine, but who would want it?

Ivanka Trump says she won’t be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

She wrote this on Twitter: It is an honor to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the President will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley. That replacement will not be me.

That’s good to hear. Why? Well, for starters, Ivanka Trump is nowhere close to being qualified for the job that Nikki Haley is leaving at the end of the year. Her only credential is that she is a product of the president’s loins. Period. End of story.

She wouldn’t acknowledge, of course, that any such appointment would be totally inappropriate and that it would hand this highly critical diplomatic post to someone who has no business serving in any official adviser capacity in the White House.

Yet the president, Daddy Trump, has said she would be terrific. She’s up to the job. She’s the tops … he says.

I now will quote fictional Col. Sherman T. Potter: Buffalo bagels.

The task now for the president is to find someone who can work within an administration that suffers from maximum chaos and confusion. What’s more, the president is now being served by a national security adviser, John Bolton, who once said of the UN that you could “lose the top 10 floors” of the UN building and not lose a thing. Oh, and that quip came from a guy, Bolton, who served as ambassador to the United Nations.

The next UN ambassador will have to work with Bolton. And with a president who still has to exhibit any understanding at any level of the nuances of international diplomacy.

Who will Trump nominate for this job? That remains the latest parlor game to occupy idle minds in Washington, D.C. He’ll boast about being able to select from an enormous pool of applicants. Of course, we have no way to know about the size of that pool.

Trump will tell us his applicant pool is h-u-u-u-uge and many Americans will believe him. I won’t.

As for Ivanka’s decision to take herself out of running, man, I hope she can tell her father privately in no uncertain terms that she really and truly means it.

She won’t replace Nikki Haley.

Haley is out as UN envoy; let’s wait for the rush to replace her

Nikki Haley’s resignation as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations opens up a whole new round of speculation about who should succeed her.

I want to stipulate that I am unhappy to see Haley leave this critical post. She is a pro and she comported herself well as the nation’s top UN diplomat. I like the way she stood up to White House chief of staff John Kelly after he said she had gotten “confused” in announcing White House sanctions against Russia; her response: “I don’t get confused.”

Nikki Haley is a grownup in an administration populated by too many sycophants.

But here’s what I am waiting to hear. I am waiting to hear the president tell us of the dozens, maybe hundreds, of qualified applicants pounding on his door wanting to succeed Haley as the UN envoy. You see, he has this maddening habit of embellishing the reputation he and his administration have among career government employees.

The search begins

I have no doubt that Donald Trump will seek to oversell his administration’s standing as he seeks to find someone to replace Haley, who will leave her post at the end of the year.

I am chuckling at the chatter that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is among those who might succeed Haley. Even more ridiculous is that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, might get the nod.

If the president’s need to beat back the horde of applicants is true, then he should be able to find a top-tier, high-quality nominee to succeed Haley at the UN. If he settles on yet another sycophant — say, someone like Kushner or — God forbid — Ivanka, then we’ll know he is lying about that as well.

I’ll lament the pending departure of Nikki Haley in the meantime and wish her well as she takes “time off” and considers her next calling. A former two-term South Carolina governor who stood up to the Confederate flag proponents in her state and performed well on the international stage likely has a bright future.

Trump makes uneven demand over use of foul slur

I don’t want there to be a hint of acceptance for what has been said recently about Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the president of the United States.

Comic Samantha Bee used a hideous, profane slur regarding Ivanka Trump. She should be condemned for using that kind of language against her. Bee has apologized for calling her the “c-word.” No word on whether Trump accepts the apology.

That said, Daddy Trump’s demand that Bee should be punished by the TV network that hired her is hideously hypocritical. Then again, hypocrisy is part of the president’s modus operandi.

Ted Nugent, the guitarist/NRA activist/Trump supporter used the same word when referring to former first lady/secretary of state/U.S. senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Trump’s reaction to the Motor City Madman’s foul mouth? He invited him to the White House to pose for pictures with him, along with Sarah Palin and Kid Rock.

My point is that Trump’s selective outrage is so very transparent — while being so astonishingly phony at the same time.

Samantha Bee said something she clearly should not have said about Ivanka Trump. To be honest, I know little about Bee — far less about her than most of us know, or think we know, about the president’s daughter. I’m not likely to take a single thing Bee says in the future with any degree of seriousness.

However, Ivanka’s father needs to calm down and reflect — although I doubt he is capable of serious self-reflection — about how he has treated other public figures’ use of that identical derogatory term.

Furthermore, the president himself has exhibited his own brand of rhetorical callousness.

Oh, I almost forgot: Donald Trump is “telling it like it is.”