When it comes to controversial, scandalous, and humiliating personnel moves, Donald Trump and his White House have never had what you could call a good week. But the past week has been particularly bad for Trump in the personnel department, even by his rock bottom standards. Now he just lost yet another controversial nominee who never should have been appointed in the first place.
Trump tried appointing Thomas Brunell, a guy whose specialty is gerrymandering districts on behalf of the Republican Party, as the head of the Census Bureau. He was obviously going to misuse the census to skew things even further in the GOP’s direction. But according to a new Mother Jones report (link), Brunell has withdrawn his name after a huge amount of controversy and pushback.
The past week has been brutal for Trump when it comes to personnel. First he lost Rachel Brand, the No. 3 at the Department of Justice, one of his relatively few competent people, presumably because she’d simply had enough of his circus. Then White House aide Rob Porter resigned amid reports that two ex-wives had accused him of domestic violence. Chief of Staff John Kelly then nearly lost his job after he was caught trying to cover up the Porter scandal. Kelly’s Deputy, Jim Carroll, did end up resigning over the matter.
Somewhere in there, Trump White House speechwriter David Sorensen also resigned amid domestic abuse accusations against him. Trump was also forced to withdraw his nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, KT McFarland, for the second time after her role in the Russia scandal became even more controversial. McFarland was previously Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser before she resigned from that position. Her former supervisor, ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, resigned after his own role in the Russia scandal was exposed.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report