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March 22, 2018

Hasty sackings by Donald Trump


March 22, 2018

USA administration used to be considered as one of the most stable administration and with protection of the constitutional posts and some duly ratified by the Congress.

There are so many Congress committees, which overseas various ministries including the working of CIA and FBI which are considered to be the most powerful agencies in the world. The CIA is known to even destabilise the countries and involved in making and breaking the non-compliant foreign governments.

Both FBI and CIA agents are present in the American embassies throughout the world under different capacities with specific assignments from their headquarters. CIA agents are controlled by a senior agent called as Station Chief. Basically, both these agencies are the real eyes and ears of the US Administration. These agencies also get assistance from diplomatic service, which is part of State Department, in the respective country. Basically the success of secretary of State and director CIA depend on their teams both at home and abroad.

President Donald Trump over a span of a year has fired a number of most senior advisers including FBI Director James Comey, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and most recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. President Trump sacked some, such as Rex and Comey, while others resigned for a variety of reasons.

The Acting Attorney General Sally Yates from the Obama administration was the first to get dismissed on Jan 30 2017 after she refused to defend the first iteration of Trump's travel ban on Muslim countries. Feb. 13:

The national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned on 13th Feb, shortly after a controversy surfaced that he had misled officials, including Vice President Pence, about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Normally, the chief ushers in US administrations hold their positions for several years and over a number of administrations and so the reasons for Angella Ried’s dismissal on 5th May are unclear yet.

James Comey, the FBI director, according to the White House, was fired on the basis of Justice Department's recommendation, over his handling of the Clinton email probe on May 9.

Mike Dubke, Trump’s first communication director resigned right after 3 months on the job. He said he didn’t know Trump before getting hired and so he didn’t want to work on his campaign.

The director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub handed his resignation on 6th July as he had repeated clashes with the president.

After the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as Trump’s communications director without the advice of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, he announced his resignation on July 21, 2017. White House assistant press secretary Michael Short resigned on July 25, 2017 right after Scaramucci said he was intending to fire him while talking to the press.

Reince Priebus within a period of six months of his job as chief of staff handed his resignation on 28th July 2017, as he was often a target of Trump’s loyalists over his performance.

Anthony Scaramucci couldn’t work for more than just 11 days and was removed on the request of newly appointed Chief of Staff John Kelly on 31st July.

Steve Bannon was removed from his position as White House chief strategist on Aug. 18, 2017 after immense pressure was imposed to remove him. After John Kelly appointment, he was being increasingly isolated inside White House being a hardcore populist.

The White House on 25th August 2017 announced that Sebastian Gorka was no longer a part of Trump’s administration as counterterrorism adviser whereas he insisted that he had resigned. After his dismissal he said Trump's populist campaign agenda had been hijacked by establishment figures.

The Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on 29th Sept. 2017 after a major criticism came upon his use of $400,00 private flights while traveling on official business. Dina Powell, Trump's deputy national security adviser, who was a driving force behind the president's Middle East policy, departed herself from the administration on 8th Dec 2017.

A former “Apprentice” star, Omarosa Manigault Newman who joined the Trump administration as the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison was fired on 13th Dec 2017 as she came under fire for bringing her 39-person bridal party to the White House for a photo shoot in 2017.

Rob Porter offered his resignation as the White House staff secretary on 7th Feb upon allegations of domestic abuse and physical violence against ex-wives. Yet another person, White House speechwriter David Sorensen resigned on Feb. 9 over domestic abuse allegations. White House communications director Hope Hicks would be resigning in the coming days as she announced it on Feb. 28. She has been the longest serving aide of Trump’s administration and the announcement came a day after Hicks confessed to a House intelligence panel that she has occasionally told "white lies" for Trump but denied lying about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was recently fired on March 16. He was fired just two days before he was to retire. He said that his firing is a part of the Trump administration's "war on the FBI" he was removed because of the "role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey."

Trump's longtime personal aide John McEntee was put aside from the White House and was moved to Trump's 2020 campaign, where he will serve as a senior adviser for campaign operations on March 13.

Rex Tillerson the secretary of the State served as the nation’s top diplomat since February 2017. Rumors of his departure had circulated for months, especially after he reportedly called Trump a “moron” in front of other Cabinet officials in July 2017. CIA Director Mike Pompeo would replace him.

If you look at the profiles of these advisers you would find that they were the close aids of President Donald Trump before landing in the White House and had spoken good words about the ability by praising each adviser.

The world is wondering was there something wrong with Donald Trump or in reality these advisers were incompetent and could not come to the expectations of the president. When compared we would find the administration under president Bush and president Obama had been significantly stable with continuity of the US policies.

Secretaries of State like Condoleezza Rice, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton almost completed their tenures. I had my personal working experience with the above three secretaries and found them most professional and competent. We can say that the three secretaries survived because of their competence. The recently fired Secretary Tillerson had the same administrative, intelligence and diplomatic tools but he failed to perform to the expectations of President Trump. Obviously President Trump cannot get himself absolved of the incompetency of the sacked or resigned top advisers unless he justifies his actions to the Americans, which has created a history for the Americans. The American public has the right to question the ability of the president for making wrong choices on the most sensitive official positions, which matter a lot, both for the Americans and the world, being a superpower.

Let us see as to how President Donald Trump was being seen to be working. Majority of his actions were not as per the book but significantly through personal wishes. Against all norms as set by the USA state procedure, he adopted a new way of communication to run the affairs of the government. The people of USA often hear his policy statements through Twitter rather than through official communication channels, which brought embracement to USA many times.

His twitters messages and threats to various States were unbecoming of a president of a superpower. The threats to Pakistan via twitter and later on to the president of North Korea were nothing but reflected on his perplexed emotions. I am sure if he has taken the expert advice as per the State rules then he would have not given such undesirable tweets. The American administration despite having many constitutional protections, in fact, has failed to block the hasty actions of President Donald Trump and I remember the famous TV show “Yes Minister”. The official functionaries followed “yes minister” phrase and it now looks that it is perhaps looking that Mr. president is “Mr. President “ who wants see NO to anything.

The unstable and hasty decisions by President Trump or his teams are not only going to detrimental for USA but also for the world. Will President Trump continue to treat State of USA as his personal empire or he will start working with capable advisers, as any mistake by him can cost heavy for USA.

Some of the loose statements mentioned hereunder will show his instability and lack of appreciation of international principles of governance:

• He said he would force the military to commit war crimes.

• He said about women, “You have to treat ’em like shit”

• He proposed to create a database system to track Muslims in the US and advocated shutting down mosques as well. He even called for a ban on Muslims entering the US after holding the prime office.

• He being racist said a US-born judge couldn't be impartial because of his “Mexican heritage”. He also called Mexican immigrants rapists.

• He advocated assassinating terrorists’ families.

• He advocated waterboarding as punishment even if it doesn’t help gain information, because “they deserve it anyway.”

• He said women should be punished for having abortions.

• He publically made fun of a reporter’s physical disability.

• He responded to the murder of 49 people at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub with “appreciate the congrats for being right on Islamic terrorism”.

• He being a white supremacistre-tweeted bogus crime statistics that wildly inflated the rate at which blacks kill whites.

• He conspiringly claimed he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

• He doesn’t pay his bills and also has refused to show his tax returns database.

• He once said he didn’t know how many articles were there in the constitution as well as he didn’t know the meaning of the term “Brexit” less than a month before the UK referendum on leaving the EU showing the height of ignorance being the President of US.

• He even gave weird remarks about his daughter saying, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her”.

Look at all the remarks and his official action as president then it is not difficult to make out that president is least bothered as to what he has to state as president and where to hold. If it continues then day is not for that he brings some irreversible national loss and embarrassment to USA. Every adviser out of these 22-sacked advisors will have their side of the stories and the world will get to over dozen of books out of these advisers.

All these hasty actions entail to a vital question that if President Donald Trump was utilising the services of his elite agencies namely CIA and FBI like his predecessors or not. It is also worth questioning if these two agencies are actually supporting Donald Trump or not as the changes in the CIA and FBI suggests a kind of mutual mistrust between the agencies and White House. A world power who used to make & break the other governments globally with powerful CIA is now going through its own internal crises. Will the world ever witness a non-interfering policy of USA? Now world is waiting to see the final report of former director FBI Mr Muller on Russian scandal and one has to see if he would be able to get away with the allegations or get into deeper trouble. The history will prove if these continued sackings of advisers were competency or incompetency of President Trump.

The writer is chairman of think tank "global eye" & former interior minister of Pakistan.  

@Email: [email protected], Twitter @Senrehmanmalik, @GlobalEye_GSA, WhatsApp +923325559393

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