Well, people. I don’t even know what to say anymore.
The New York Times published a very alarming report on the Trump administration. The President Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, of the talking to Russia about sanctions while Obama was still President infamy, did not know how to call the National Guard for an emergency.
“Several staff members said that Mr. Flynn, who was a career Army officer, was not familiar with how to call up the National Guard in an emergency — for, say, a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina or the detonation of a dirty bomb in an American city.”
Not knowing how to call the National Guard up during an emergency even for a few minutes literally endangered all Americans. It is something every administration should know before they walk in the door. Regular administrations do know this.
It’s something incoming administrations are briefed on during the transition. But the Trump administration blew many of those transition briefings off.
Trump himself said he didn’t need to attend intelligence briefings because, “You know, I’m, like, a smart person.”
The National Guard “provides protection of life and property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency-relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counter-drug operations. The National Guard’s federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies.”
We have a National Security Adviser who didn’t know how to call the National Guard in an emergency. It is not clear that he knows how to do this now, either, since the wording is, “Several staff members said that Mr. Flynn… was not familiar with how to call up the National Guard in an emergency.”
That is not the comforting “had not been familiar with how to call up the national guard.” It is they said he was not. That could mean he is still not.
Flynn was also surprised to learn that President Trump couldn’t just order up some foreign arms sales all by himself. And it seems there was no one around who could explain this to him.
“Two people with direct access to the White House leadership said Mr. Flynn was surprised to learn that the State Department and Congress play a pivotal role in foreign arms sales and technology transfers. So it was a rude discovery that Mr. Trump could not simply order the Pentagon to send more weapons to Saudi Arabia — which is clamoring to have an Obama administration ban on the sale of cluster bombs and precision-guided weapons lifted — or to deliver bigger weapons packages to the United Arab Emirates.”
While this is less of a “everyone knows that” incidence, it boggles the mind how unprepared these people are, how incompetent they are, how much power they think is Trump’s alone, and how unwilling to learn from past administrations they are.
There is no excuse, ever, for not knowing how to call the National Guard the moment he stepped into his position as NSA.
Trump said he would surround himself with the best people. He did not.
The Trump administration is full of stunningly incompetent people. They already, in their first three weeks, bungled the Yemen raid and got a Navy SEAL killed due to their lack of preparation and frightening incompetence. Now it comes out that Flynn did not even know how to call up the National Guard during an emergency.
This is the stuff of nightmares and horror movies.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.