The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

President Donald Trump promised he’d always hire the “best people” during his presidential campaign, but not only has that turned out to be false, he’s had more turnover than any president in modern history, if not ever.

The president is fond of playing “whack-a-mole” with his personnel problems, by shuffling the players around instead of actually looking for, as he put it, the “best people.”

For example, Mick Mulvaney joined the Trump administration after serving as a U.S Republican Congressman. He served as Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, then added to his resume the title of Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mulvaney then became Trump’s Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing embattled and disgraced John Kelly – while giving up his CFPB job but still retaining the role of Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Fast forward to Friday evening.

President Trump has just announced his latest nominee to become Ambassador to the United Nations, after his earlier nominee, who would have replaced Nikki Haley, was forced to withdraw her nomination after illegally hiring as a nanny an immigrant unauthorized to work in the U.S.

“I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current Ambassador to Canada, is being nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” Trump announced via tweet. No formal White House announcement has been made yet. “Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!”

Trump neglected to mention that Knight Craft is Trump’s current Ambassador to Canada, so he’s just shuffling the players around again.

Knight Craft is perhaps best known for her science-denying remarks, saying she believes in “both sides” of climate change. (There are not two sides.)

Meanwhile, the President also neglected to mention Knight Craft, along with her billionaire coal baron husband, donated millions of dollars to Trump’s presidential campaign.

Ambassador to the United Nations is not the same as Ambassador to Canada. There are few national security issues America’s Ambassador to Canada would be relied upon to keep Americans safe.

But the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations holds a key national security role. They sit on the UN Security Council and represent the U.S. to the rest of the world.

There is no indication Knight Craft is qualified for the role.

Knight Craft does hail from Kentucky, where she has also been a major GOP donor, or, as one Canadian news publication described it, “Knight Craft is well known among Republicans, to whom she has donated piles of money.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky, reportedly recommended her for the role of UN Ambassador.

McConnell is not the only member of his family greasing the wheels. This week Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who happens to be married to the Senate Majority Leader, was embroiled in scandal.

Secretary Chao “has met at least 10 times with Kentucky business leaders or politicians after email requests made by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY),” The Daily Beast reports.

“A cache of more than 800 emails—obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog group American Oversight—shows that some of those meetings led to McConnell’s associates being granted their wishes by the powerful Transportation Secretary—from infrastructure grants to highway project funding. In at least one example, the lobbyist had donated to McConnell’s re-election campaign.”


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Stewart Rhodes

Ten of the eleven members of the white supremacist militia group Oath Keepers who have been charged with seditious conspiracy, including founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes, pleaded not guilty in a virtual hearing on Tuesday. The eleventh person charged was not present, and did not enter a plea.

The judge in this case is U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, the same judge who earlier dealt with, and dismissed, claims that Trump has “absolute immunity.” Judge Mehta also forced Trump’s attorney’s to backtrack over claims that Trump had tried to calm down the situation on January 6, 2021.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}