Saturday, December 15, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He forced out one of the "best people."

Today, Trump announced the resignation of Ryan Zinke, his Secretary of the Interior. Zinke had accumulated at least 17 investigations into his misuse of taxpayer funds, violations of the Hatch Act, and other forms of official misconduct. Among other things, Zinke was known or thought to have
  • created a conflict of interest by engaging in private business with Halliburton, an energy company under his jurisdiction
  • violated department travel rules by having his wife's unofficial travel paid for, and then used further department resources to try to find ways to skirt those rules
  • censored a National Parks Service report that mentioned climate change after testifying before Congress that he would not do such a thing
Zinke, who was hand-picked for the job over more likely candidates by Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., was forced out before he could face real Congressional scrutiny from the incoming Democratic majority on the House Committee on Natural Resources. Trump reportedly wanted Zinke out sooner, but he insisted on staying in office long enough to host his office's Christmas party. 

Trump has repeatedly bragged that he can and does get only "the best people" to serve in his administration.

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents are responsible for the corrupt, illegal, or unethical acts of their appointees.
  • Someone who only cares about bad things when they're likely to be discovered doesn't care about bad things at all.