Why is a lame duck so busy replacing national security and military leaders with Trump loyalists?

first_imgIf the nation is divided on Wednesday morning, it’s because Republicans want it divided. As The Washington Post reports, even Trump’s closest advisors realize there’s no evidence to support the plethora of lawsuits Trump has launched on the pretense of voter fraud. That seems pretty obvious considering that Team Trump is now zero for twelve in their attempts to defend this suits in court.But, as The Washington Post also reports, Republicans at every level continue to echo Trump’s baseless claims, even though they are fully aware there are baseless. That includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” and Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt saying Trump, “may not have been defeated at all.” Blunt, by the way, is co-chair of the body in charge of inaugural ceremonies.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “They all know he lost, and they are lying about it to protect his little feelings. It’s insane,” said Republican strategist Tim Miller.There’s no doubt that Trump’s ego needs a tummy rub, because it always does. But over a week after the election handed the post of president-elect to Joe Biden, we’re at the point where Trump weakening the nation through narcissistic obstinance is the good outcome. What’s making the situation worse is the increasing evidence that Trump not only intends to never make that phone call to Biden, but is making moves that keep bringing up the word “coup.” As of Tuesday, Trump has disposed of the heads of three agencies after the election, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Trump has turned over a top Pentagon slot to a retired general turned right-wing commentator who was mostly known for his insistence that Barack Obama was a Kenyan who turned the American government over to Muslim extremists.  And that’s far from all.- Advertisement – That isn’t making anyone feel secure. As The New York Times reports, Devin Nunes’ former assistant Michael Ellis was named the top lawyer at the National Security Council on Tuesday. Ellis was chiefly known for his involvement in the scheme to advance claims that the Trump campaign had been the subject of illegal surveillance, and for helping Nunes craft a report that supposedly exonerated Trump. Appointing Ellis to the role meant bypassing acting general counsel Teisha Anthony. It’s not unusual for appointees to bow out at the end of a term, as four years in government service can seem like a long time—especially for those who are being tempted by much higher salaries elsewhere. It’s also not unusual for workers in an administration that’s coming to an end to start seeking the exits. After all, no one wants to wait for “graduation day” before looking for a new job.But it’s highly unusual for someone who supposedly has just 70 days remaining in office to be actively throwing out the heads of departments—and seeking to remove still more—while replacing them with loyalists. There’s also the fact that if Trump was just doing this to reward loyalists, he might just as well pick spots at the EPA, or Interior Department, or Department of Energy, all of which might look fine on a resume. Instead Trump is shuffling the leadership of the Pentagon and NSA, tossing out decades of experience to replace it with only those who have been blindly loyal to him personally.- Advertisement –last_img

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