In the wake of Donald Trump’s botched release of the highly anticipated and previously unreleased JFK documents, Rachel Maddow asked the question that has been on America’s mind for months: Is there anything the Trump administration can competently achieve?
The MSNBC host slammed the administration for not doing the necessary work required so that these documents – all of them – were released in a timely way that complied with a federal law passed over two decades ago.
Rachel #Maddow Says Botched JFK File Release Is Proof That Trump Can Screw Up Anything #JFKFiles #JFKDocuments pic.twitter.com/4myeFiVVMA
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) October 27, 2017
Maddow blasted the White House for focusing on the PR aspect of the release, but not doing any of the hard work required to make it happen:
By that law that was passed in 1992, they are supposed to release – completely – every word. Now, what if there’s information in those files that’s too sensitive for the public to see, even more than a half-century down the road? … Well, that’s part of the gig of managing the release of these documents from the federal government. … Part of the work of dealing with this release of documents is that the administration has to account for that. They have to arrange for the redactions to happen before the release date. Remember, the release date is mandated by law. … This is not an abstract concept about the law here. This is actually a job, which requires people to do it. It takes time and effort, takes reading comprehension skills, probably takes some office supplies. I mean, it’s actual work that real humans need to do by a deadline. And, of course, as we all know, work is hard, and the Trump administration apparently forgot about the work part of their responsibilities here and they just didn’t do it.
While the JFK file release isn’t the most pressing issue facing the country, the failure of Trump to accomplish even that is a microcosm of this White House as a whole.
First, it’s indicative of how this president has treated every other issue he’s faced since taking office. He’s just not a man who’s interested in putting in the time or effort to do a job that demands a whole lot of both.
Instead, Trump loves the reality show-style hype the surrounds his job more than anything else. Heck, on the eve of the supposed release of these files, Trump landed in Dallas, essentially pretending to be JFK. He even teased the release in a tweet yesterday, as if he was plugging an episode of ‘The Apprentice’.
But when it actually came time for his administration to show that they put in the work to release all of these documents, as required by law, he flopped. Now there is a new deadline: April 2018.
Ultimately, Thursday’s display of incompetence from this administration was pretty stunning given that their only job was to review and release files to the public, but I have a feeling no one is surprised by how horribly it went.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.