Donald Trump’s own collapse as his Russia scandal closes in has been so full of controversy and bloviation, it’s been easy to overlook the fact that Trump’s administration has been in its own kind of freefall. There are no adults in the room, there’s no one minding the store, and missteps are nearly constant. In fact Trump’s White House just had to withdraw yet another nominee amid a cloud of controversy.
Trump nominated Kathleen Hartnett White to head the Council on Environmental Quality, and as per usual with his nominations, she was the worst possible person for the job. Not only did she have no qualifications for the job, she didn’t even believe in climate change (link). In the past, the Trump administration would have rammed a nomination like this through no matter how controversial it was. In a sign that it’s losing what little is left of its political muscle by the day, the administration is now withdrawing the nomination under pressure. It’s not even the first such withdrawal this week.
Earlier in the week the Trump administration was forced to withdraw its nomination of KT McFarland as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. This was the second time in which the Trump White House had nominated McFarland for this position, and the second it’s subsequently withdrawn her name. As we’ve pointed out, her appointment appeared to be a consolation prize after Trump dumped her from the National Security Council but wanted to keep her quiet about the Russia scandal. Her second withdrawal appears to be a signal that she’s cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Donald Trump’s presidency hasn’t merely been the most criminally corrupt and treasonously illegitimate in the history of the United States; it’s also been the most incompetent and unstable. In just a year, Trump has lost dozens of his own handpicked people. He’s now on his second Chief of Staff, his second Press Secretary, his third Communications Director, his second National Security Adviser, and there have been reports that he wants to fire everyone from the FBI Director to the Attorney General to the Secretary of State.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report