So It’s Normal…
We’ve worked for people like Trump before. And in our experience, it’s actually incredibly hard to get fired as long as you are perceived by your boss as unflinchingly and effectively executing their singular agenda. Nothing else disqualifies you: not being a jerk, not being a poor manager, not lying, not even being “handsy”. Oh, and every once in a while, you had to remember to say things like “I’m proud to call you my boss”.
Trump does go through a lot of staff, but nobody in a Cabinet position was ever really let go for doing anything other than what the President considered sub-par work. What about Tom Price and David Shulkin? Trump cut both of them loose after they inappropriately used government funds. But that’s just the excuse. Price had failed miserably and repeatedly in Trump’s quest to kill Obamacare, and Shulkin wasn’t moving fast enough on what’s become a pet project for Trump (that seems to be fueled by someone from “Fox and Friends” he talks to a lot) of privatizing the Veterans Administration to give vets more “choice” (something we went into detail on last week).
And as far as the President is concerned, EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is doing a bang-up job. (So is Ryan Zinke over at the Interior Department). Both are deeply embroiled in ethical scandals, yet appear untouchable.
A lot of that clearly has to do with the fact that Pruitt may be the most successful of Trump’s “viruses” meant to eat away at various Cabinet Departments and Agencies from the inside. He’s rolling back all kinds of regulations, got environmentalists stretched thin, and tied up in court. And he isn’t even really pretending (like the President is), to be in favor of “crystal clear water“.
So when Pruitt does an end-run around, and uses a provision allowing for the hiring of experts on clean water (of all things) to give raises to young staff members he brought with him from Oklahoma after the White House had said “no” to the same pay raises, it’s only the latest of what’s become an ethical mud bath for the EPA Director. Of course right wingers are blaming it on the “deep state” out to get Pruitt. If that’s true, he’s making it easy. Here’s the eely Pruitt trying to explain away the latest scandal on Fox (he really doesn’t talk to anyone else, and in this case, they were tough on him on this issue). Click on the photo to watch:
Earlier this week when Pruitt called a news conference to announce he was reversing auto efficiency standards, according to CNN, he only initially told Fox about it, and it was Fox that told the rest of the TV folks.
So we weren’t surprised when the President apparently called Pruitt and told him “chin up”. And when the Daily Beast reports that White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly dressed down Pruitt, and demanded to know if there were any more surprises forthcoming of the unethical nature, that didn’t really seem like anything too threatening. In fact, it seemed to us the gentlest of all possible conversations for someone in this situation. Because the conversation one would expect would be more like: “OK jackass, you’re done. Get your things together. Security’s on its way up to escort you out of the building”.
…And You Make Other People Look Like Liars And Cheats Too
When Trump announced he’s mobilizing the National Guard and sending them down to the U.S./Mexico border, we remembered and dug up this clip from Chief of Staff John Kelly, back when he was Secretary of Homeland Security. It’s from a visit to Mexico a little more than a year ago. In it, he browbeats the media for continuing to suggest Trump might make use of the military in immigration matters. Click on the photo to play:
Here’s Kelly’s quote: “So again I repeat, there will be no use of military forces in immigration. At least half of you try to get that right, because it continually comes up in the reporting“.