Tag Archives: West Wing

‘Stable genius,’ or unstable imbecile?

Oh, my, Mr. President.

You call yourself a “stable genius,” but your latest Twitter tirade/rant suggests to me that your actions are more like those of an unstable imbecile.

What in the name of 21st-century telecommunication are you trying to say here?

I heard about your latest barrage of tweets where you challenge the “fake news media” and suggest that they’ll wither and die once you leave office. And what is this about your assertion about whether you would have been elected without social media?

Mr. President, I have refrained from offering armchair medical diagnoses, unlike other critics out here. Too many folks think they can parse through your babble and make declarations about the state of your mental health.

This latest bombardment, though, seems to lend credence to what the peanut gallery docs keep suggesting, that you’re off your rocker. That you’ve lost (what passes for) your mind. That the pressure is getting to you. That … oh, crap, I don’t know, that you’ve gone around the bend.

I won’t buy in completely with all of that, but these tweets of yours are troublesome in the extreme. They are absolute nonsense.

You are the commander in chief, the leader of the Free World, the man who occupies arguably the most revered office on Earth — with the exception of the Holy Father, of course.

What in the world is going on inside the West Wing?

I am now forced to ask those who still cling to your pronouncements: Are you still proud of the man you installed as president of the United States of America?

As for you, Mr. President … these moronic tweets give many millions of us cause for serious alarm about your stability.

Honest to God in heaven. They do!

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.

No chaos in WH? Sure thing, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump denies what’s being reported by media that cover the White House, which is that the place is a den of chaos.

The president says he’s virtually the only person on the job in the West Wing. Everyone else is gone? Really? No (acting) chief of staff? No administrative help? No senior advisers? No national security guru to brief POTUS on existential threats and danger to the nation and the world?

Well, you and I know what’s real here. The White House is a loony bin. The president has acting an defense secretary, an acting attorney general, acting chief of staff, acting interior secretary, acting EPA administrator and no United Nations ambassador.

No chaos? Sure.

And then we have the government shutdown. Members of Congress in both legislative chambers have gone home. No negotiations are scheduled. Federal employees are not being paid while remaining on the job.

But there’s no chaos in the White House. Is that what POTUS is telling us? Of course he is to be believed, truthful and trustworthy fellow that he is.

We are witnessing chaos in action. You are seeing. I know I am seeing it. So is the president. He just cannot bring himself to admitting it, nor will he do anything to end it.

This is not how you make America great again.

Why the rapid turnover of ‘best people’?

Donald Trump made a plethora of promises while seeking the presidency. One of them was to surround himself with “the people best people” to run the executive branch of government.

How has that worked out? Not too well.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is “leaving” the administration at the end of the month, according to the president. Trump hasn’t told us whether he was fired or whether he quit to “pursue other interests” — which in reality means the same thing as getting canned.

When the president nominated Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, he hailed the man he had never met as a brilliant business executive and the best dealmaker on Planet Earth. Then he fired him. Just the other day, Tillerson spoke out against Trump, criticizing his management style. The president’s response? Tillerson lacks “mental capacity” and is “dumb as a rock.”

Tillerson is just one of many individuals who have gone from hero to zero during their time working in the Trump administration.

He has burned through multiple chiefs of staff, communications directors, and various Cabinet officials . . . all in the span of less than two years! Just think, Trump has two more years to go to finish out his term in office!

Best people? They aren’t on board. His campaign promise was nothing but an empty platitude.

Trump hasn’t yet appointed a White House chief of staff, turning instead to an “acting” chief, Mick Mulvaney, who also has a full-time day job as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Think about that for a second: an “acting” White House chief of staff. Trump keeps telling us that applicants are lining up out the door and around the block to work in the White House. I would submit that the president is lying about that matter, too, just as he lies about everything continuously.

The “best people” aren’t going to be found inside the White House, let alone in the West Wing. They’re running like hell away from the madhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue.

White House chief of staff: no longer best job in the world

There once was a time when the White House chief of staff was considered the best job in Washington, D.C. The chief was closest to the president. The chief ran a staff of individuals who helped formulate public policy. It was a dream job.

Now it’s a nightmare post. Donald Trump has just pushed his second chief of staff in less than two years out the door. John Kelly is leaving at the end of the month. He couldn’t control the president. He couldn’t manage the staff. He couldn’t do what Trump promised he would do after he fired the first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

The heir apparent, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was thought to be a shoo-in for the White House chief job. Then he backed out. He doesn’t want the post and, I’ll presume, the intense aggravation that goes with it. He wants to move back to Georgia with his young family.

What has the president done to this formerly plum political post? He has wrecked it. He wrecks the reputation of those occupy that post. He continues to govern by the seat of his britches. The man is clueless, yet he wants to manage the White House staff all by himself, while he continues to “make America great again.”

So very sad. And weird. And bizarre.

Wishing the latest chief of staff well

I really and truly wanted John Kelly to succeed as White House chief of staff. I wanted the retired four-star general to bring some of his vaunted Marine Corps order and discipline to a White House that lives, breathes and operates in a chaotic atmosphere.

He didn’t cut it. However, I am not going to heap piles of blame on Kelly. It belongs to the guy who brought him into the White House: Donald John Trump Sr.

Kelly and Trump have all but ended their relationship. They reportedly are not talking to each other. Why do you suppose that’s the case? My guess — and that’s all it can be, for obvious reasons — is that the president no longer wanted to heed Kelly’s wise counsel.

Believe me when I say that I empathize with Kelly if that’s the case. A direct-report position requires constant communication between the boss and those who report directly to him or her. My own career ended not long after my relationship with my boss went from cordial to, well, non-existent.

Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff. Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, couldn’t hit his rear end with both hands. The White House erupted into turf wars, battles among key advisers over who had the president’s ear; they stumbled into each other while entering the Oval Office seemingly all at once to have a word with The Man.

Kelly was brought in ostensibly to bring order to the place.

But as he learned, the way Priebus learned, there’s little if anything to be gained by trying to persuade the president to follow certain steps in order. Donald Trump cannot be reined in. Those who support him cheer him on — and it’s those cheers that Trump hears. He cannot hear anything of substance over the proverbial din.

Kelly supposedly “committed” to staying on the job until the 2020 election. So much for commitment.

I wish the general well, even as I remain a dedicated non-fan of the man who hired him.

Omarosa: One of the ‘best people’?

OK, I believe it’s fair to ask: Did a former White House aide intend to torpedo the president of the United States who vowed to surround himself with the “best people”?

Omarosa Manigault Newman reportedly was a recording dervish during her time as a White House special assistant in the Donald Trump administration.

Newman lost her job when White House chief of staff John Kelly fired her; she recorded the event. Now we hear she has a recording of a conversation she had the next day with the president, who seems to not have known that Kelly had fired her.

How many more recordings are out there? Hey, I want to know this stuff, given that we’re talking about a presidential administration.

The president took office after vowing to populate his administration with the “best people” and using the “best words.”

Omarosa Manigault Newman, who had no government experience when she entered the West Wing, only knew Trump because of her participation on the “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show that Trump hosted. Oh, well, she had as much government exposure as the guy who hired her in the first place … right?

Wow, man! Something tells me the hits will just keep on coming.

Get ready for Mattis vs. Bolton

Donald Trump’s national security team just cannot get its legs under it. It cannot function as a cohesive team that imparts advice to a president who is willing to (a) listen to it and (b) follow it.

With that we now have a new national security adviser, uber-super hawk John Bolton who quite likely will clash openly with Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

I’m going to pull for Mad Dog to win this fight, although Bolton now is the man of the hour, the guy who’s got the president’s ear.

Heaven help us if Bolton’s world view carries the day in the West Wing of the White House.

Bolton is known around the world as one with an itchy trigger finger. He favors pre-emptive military action against North Korea. Indeed, he has favored “putting boots on the ground” in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan … you name it, Bolton wants to flex U.S. military muscle.

He despises the nuclear arms deal worked out by the Obama administration that seeks to de-nuclearize Iran.

There’s Bolton’s profile in brief.

How about Mattis? He favors the Iran nuclear deal. He believes it is working and is worth retaining. And North Korea? Well, the retired Marine Corps general, a decorated combat veteran to boot, believes diplomacy should remain as Option No. 1 in our efforts to talk the reclusive Marxist regime out of striking at South Korea, or Japan — or the United States of America!

Mattis’s world view is forged by a career that has seen him serve up close in harm’s way. Bolton’s world view comes from a different perspective. He doesn’t have the kind of front-line military experience that Mattis does; Bolton served six years in the Maryland Army National Guard.

I want to bring this to your attention only to suggest that there might be yet another ideological storm brewing within the Trump White House.

As I have noted before, “Mad Dog” Mattis is one of the few grownups who have signed on to serve this president.

I do not believe John Bolton falls into that category of public servant.

What? A new national security adviser, too?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is gone. Fired! Canned! Kaput!

Now it’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster, the active-duty Army lieutenant general, who’s reportedly out. He, too, will be booted, according to multiple media reports.

In the span of one week — that’s just seven days — Donald Trump reportedly has dismantled two key components of his national security/foreign policy team.

Oh, and the timing of all this madness? Yep, the president is supposedly prepping for a summit with “Little Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

McMaster is the second national security adviser to work for Trump in the past 14 months. The first one, Michael Flynn, lasted all of 24 days before he got the boot.

And through all of this, Donald Trump would have us believe that all is well, all is good, all is working just as it is supposed to work within the White House.

I, um, think not.

Chaos is king in the West Wing.

Trump displays his delusion

Donald Trump is not at all shy about displaying his delusional traits whenever possible.

Such as today.

He told reporters that the best of the best are lining up, just anxious as the dickens to come to work in the White House, in the West Wing. Why, they’re falling over themselves to get hired by the Trump administration.

Except that he’s lying once again.

The best aren’t lining up. Indeed, the few grownups the president has brought aboard are bailing out right along with the nut jobs, ideologues and individuals under indictment for assorted criminal acts.

The latest actual adult to hit the road is Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser. Cohn quit over Trump’s fit of pique that resulted in his declaring his intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

Trump wants a trade war. He says it’ll be “easy” to win. Cohn disagrees. Indeed, Cohn was reportedly enraged at Trump’s response to the Charlottesville, Va., riot that killed a young counterprotester. You’ll recall how Trump said there were “fine people … on both sides” of a dispute that included KKK members, neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Who in the name of good government would want to work in an administration led by someone who would equate racist/hate group members with those who oppose them?

The president’s delusion won’t allow him to recognize what the rest of the world sees clearly. The Trump White House is nothing more than a chaotic clusterf***.

Sick.