Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who has pushed for stricter gun regulation since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in his state, asked President-elect Donald Trump’s education secretary pick Betsy DeVos during the hearing if she supported guns in schools. Her response; “I think that is best left to locales and states to decide. If the underlying question is…”. Senator Murphy interrupted her by asking, “You can’t say definitively today that guns shouldn’t be in schools?” Ms. Devos responded “Well, well I would refer back to Senator Enzi and the school he was referring to in Wapiti, Wyoming, and that there is probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.” All I can say is wow.
Meanwhile, four of the President-elects (we can only say that for one more day) cabinet picks have come under fire for ethical issues, potentially jeopardizing their nominations but not really since there is a Republican majority. First, the health and human services nominee, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, knowingly benefited from investments he made in healthcare firms based on legislation he was pushing in Congress. Yup, buy low, sell high.
Second, Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Trump’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, acknowledged during his confirmation process that he failed to pay more than $15,000 in state and federal employment taxes for a household employee. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it has been enough to derail many a cabinet nominee in the past.
Third, Trump’s pick to head the Commerce Department, Wilbur Ross, revealed that one of his “dozen or so” housekeepers (really, he has a dozen or so housekeepers) was undocumented, which he said he only discovered recently. The employee has since been fired. Oh, Mr. Ross’s net worth $2.5 billion and three wives, sound familiar?
Fourth, Trump’s nominee to lead the Treasury Department, former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin (remember the Goldman Sachs guys?), initially failed to disclose his interests in a Cayman Island corporation as well as more than $100 million in personal assets. I don’t know about you but I would have a difficult time “forgetting” that I had $100 million of assets. More than likely I would be living or driving in one of them. Draining the swamp baby!
These are the first layers of leadership in the Trump administration. Below them, another 4,000 jobs, which, according to several media outlets, little to no progress has been made in filling. These are important positions filled by people who actually do the work of running this country. Trump and his teams apparent lack of preparation for the job at hand, including vetting his cabinet picks, is almost like they weren’t ready or prepared for him to win. I guess they were just as surprised as many of us were.