the national interest

Trump: I Nominate People Without Vetting, and Pass the Savings on to You

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Today John Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination as director of national intelligence after news reports exposed his lack of relevant experience and pattern of exaggerating his thin résumé. “It kind of shows that this whole thing was slapped together from Trump watching TV,” a Republican aide tells Politico.

Slapping together a nomination while watching television, without doing basic vetting beforehand, only to have the nomination collapse in humiliation — the process that occurred for Andrew Puzder, Stephen Moore, Herman Cain, Ronny Jackson, and many others — is most people’s idea of a bad process. It has happened to Trump repeatedly. President Trump defended it to reporters as a wise money-saving trick. Let the Fake News media do your vetting for you!

Trump, who has doubled the deficit, is not known for his frugal stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Skipping the step of checking to see if his nominees for extremely powerful government jobs have basic qualifications seems like an odd place for him to look for budget savings.

In the same interview, Trump proceeded to insist that Ratcliffe “was being treated very harshly and very unfairly.” This is the same line Trump has made for nearly all his failed nominees. (Cain? “I think it’s a very unfair situation.” Jackson? “He was treated unfairly.” Etc.)

So the Trump method of nominations is to save taxpayer money by skipping vetting and subjecting his most loyal supporters to smears and unfair treatment, by Trump’s own definition. That’s how you hire the best people.

Trump: I Skip Vetting Nominees, Pass the Savings on to You