The reason President Trump’s nominations get held up is that he apparently does zero vetting.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has delayed confirmation of Trump’s nomination of his presidential physician, Ronny Jackson, to head the VA because of “new information” it had received.
The committee is examining allegations that Jackson oversaw a hostile work environment as White House physician and allowed the overprescribing of drugs, according to unnamed congressional officials in the New York Times.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters he wanted to support Jackson but he supported the committee’s work to vet him. You know, because the Trump White House did not.
Here’s how this White House conducts important business, edited bits from the Times:
“The White House did little or no vetting of his background before announcing his nomination on Twitter… The Senate only received paperwork from the Trump administration formalizing Dr. Jackson’s nomination last week. “It has been really careless, maybe even negligent about the vetting in a number of these nominations,” Mr. Blumenthal said.
“We will continue looking into these serious allegations and have requested additional information from the White House to enable the committee to conduct a full review,” Republican Johnny Isakson, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Democrat Jon Tester, the panel’s ranking member, said in a joint statement.
So, that’s no vetting on Jackson, who let us not forget, is meant to replace David Shulkin, who claims he was forced out because Trump wants to privatize the VA and Shulkin would not. Shulkin’s chief of staff was accused of making false statements so Shulkin’s wife could travel on the taxpayers’ dollar, however.
Jackson, a Navy rear admiral, was already getting side-eyed over his lack of experience heading a large agency. But the Trump administration does not concern itself with things like knowledge, competency, and even basic background checks, as they proved with Mike Flynn, who had to be fired again because the Trump White House seemed to not have done a basic 2 second Google search on the man – OR they actually wanted someone whose take on reality is dubious at best.
When you’re looking for a job from the mob boss, he looks for you to be isolated and needy so he can exploit you and bond you to him so you will do the dangerous, unethical and often illegal things he will need you to do.
And that is the psychology that Trump brings to his “all of the best people” picks. They aren’t good at their jobs, but he doesn’t care about that. They are often not even grounded in reality. They are often as greedy, incompetent and unethical as Trump himself, and that is exactly how he likes them. Because those people won’t tell him no. Those people, he wrongly thinks, won’t turn on him, because they have a stake in the con. Trump picked Jackson because he “liked” him.
Trump’s base likes this about him, they like the idea that he just breaks the laws and does what they think they want him to do. He is their personal hero who is going to fix everything. America loves mob bosses.
One problem with Donald Trump as mob boss is that he is not good at it on the big stage. Trump was only good at playing mob boss when he was a big fish in a little pond. He can’t play under scrutiny, where his thug-stupid tactics do not work and only serve to get him busted.
The other problem with Donald Trump as mob boss for the Right is that he actually doesn’t give a crap about his base, and has screwed over the farmers with his whim tariffs and failed to deliver on his promises to the coal industry, as he scoops up their cash and gilds his presidential toilet brushes.
Trump gets richer, while giving his base nothing. That is not how effective mob bosses operate. And there is only so much propaganda Fox, Sinclair and Christian broadcasting can do to sell Trump.
(Additional reporting by Reuters’ Steve Holland and Susan Cornwell)
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
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 is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.