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Finally, Trump Cuts 70 Obama Holdovers from the National Security Council

Finally, Trump Cuts 70 Obama Holdovers from the National Security Council

“The NSC, which is the president’s personal staff, was rocked when a ‘whistleblower’ leveled charges that led to Trump’s impeachment.”

Last week, to the great dismay of Democrats and the media, Trump sent Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman packing. This was the beginning of a trend because Trump just gave walking papers to 70 Obama holdovers in the National Security Council.

Better late than never. It’s a shame Trump didn’t do this three years ago. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble.

Paul Bedard reports at the Washington Examiner:

Bigger than Vindman: Trump scrubs 70 Obama holdovers from NSC

President Trump is making good on his promises to “drain the swamp” and cut Obama-era holdovers from his staffs, especially the critical and recently controversial National Security Council.

Officials confirmed that Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien have cut 70 positions inherited from former President Barack Obama, who had fattened the staff to 200.

Many were loaners from other agencies and have been sent back. Others left government work.

The NSC, which is the president’s personal staff, was rocked when a “whistleblower” leveled charges that led to Trump’s impeachment.

Trump hasn’t shied away from this topic on Twitter:

Predictably, liberals in media are clutching their pearls over this.

Summer Concepcion writes at the progressive site Talking Points Memo:

NSC Expected To Purge More Staffers As Soon As Next Week

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s Friday ouster was just the beginning.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien is set to overhaul the NSC staff as early as next week, according to a CNN report Saturday.

Two sources familiar with the matter told CNN that O’Brien was expected to oust around a dozen officials as part of an effort to streamline the NSC.

Although O’Brien has already been downsizing the NSC by attrition and transferring staffers detailed from other departments to return to their home agencies earlier than planned, a source told CNN that the final phase will include more direct firings and cuts.

Ace of Spades has written an outstanding analysis of the double standard on display here, which I feel compelled to share here:

Remember when Clinton fired all the currently serving US Attorneys, who’d been appointed by Bush the Elder? Probably not, because it wasn’t reported on. And it wasn’t reported on because of course an incoming president of the opposite party fires all the political appointees of the old regime.

But then the younger Bush fires all of Clinton’s US attorneys, and the press screams it’s unconstitutional and an attempt to establish a “unitary executive.” Which is supposed to sound ominous, but it’s not — the Constitution establishes a “unitary executive.” All lesser executive officials only exercise those powers devolved to them by the elected Chief Executive.

But during Republican administrations, the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) start insisting that executive power is not vested in an elected Chief Executive, but resides chiefly with permanent or political bureaucrats, most of whom are Democratic operatives or strongly aligned with liberal policy positions, and that it’s an illegal abuse of office for the President to appoint people he trusts to those positions, or fire people he doesn’t.

Oh, and of course when Obama fired all of Bush the Younger’s US Attorneys — crickets from the media again.

Trump needs to have people around him who are trustworthy and won’t run to the media with leaks for a pat on the back from the institutional left.

He would be wise to get rid of all the Obama holdovers. Fire them all.

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Day one you’re supposed to clean house. Political appointees have loyalties to policies of the people who appointed them.

    My only question is “What took him so long?”

    He fires his own appointees like he changes his socks.

      Tom Servo in reply to Andy. | February 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      It is the problem of hiring an Outsider to be President. As President, Trump needed an NSC; but from his career as a real estate mogul/entertainment tycoon, he had no group of people who had expertise in classified national security operations. So, he was stuck with the staff he inherited. Plus, as Prince Reibus and Paul Ryan demonstrated, people affiliated with the GOP-e were just as traitorous to him as the Democrats were.

        In addition, all the non-democrats with experience and security clearances were, with very few exceptions, Bush people from Bush I and Bush II. They were almost all acting butt hurt because Trump had been a “meanie” to liddle Jebby, and they refused to work with the Trump administration. Persons from the Reagan administration were mostly dead or too old to accept an appointment to something. That left President Trump with very little choice about his staff appointments at first.

        You also have to consider that as an outsider, a true outsider, Trump was not completely aware of just what a bunch of anti-constitutional disloyal liars he was dealing with among not just congress (democrats and GOPe) but also the military, state department, CIA, NSC, and FBI.

        Given the circumstances as we now know them, only a very strong person of immense character and fortitude, built from many years of surviving against vultures in New York real estate and the ups and downs of real estate economics over the decades, could have survived and remained president. Much less survive while still being a very effective president.

        President Trump is truly one of a kind.

        good post, but why does he need to replace the ones he fired, the NSC has become very bloated.

          Milhouse in reply to ronk. | February 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm

          He’s not replacing them.

          Andy in reply to ronk. | February 12, 2020 at 12:13 pm

          Couldn’t reply to Millhouse… so then lets get on with firing more people who don’t need to be replaced. How many Czars did Obama have?

          Reagan fired all the ATC in the face of “the world will end”… he did and it didn’t. As he wrote in his diaries, it turns out we didn’t need that many ATCs anyway.

      Paul In Sweden in reply to Andy. | February 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      My Bad, I intended an up vote. Wish we could change those…

    These weren’t political appointees. They were career civil servants who were seconded to the NSC. They haven’t been fired, or even lost any rank or pay, they’ve just been sent back to where they were working before the NSC borrowed them.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | February 12, 2020 at 2:36 am

      The NSC is the President’s personal staff.

      They are all advisers to the President.

      So, yes, they are indeed political appointees and they can be removed at any time.

      Many, however, are on loan from other jobs within the bureaucracy – to which they return after their time in the NSC is over, for whatever reason. Removing them from those other jobs is, as with all bureaucrat positions, extremely difficult.

      As usual, Milhouse hasn’t got the first clue what he is talking about.

        Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | February 14, 2020 at 12:36 am

        As usual, what I write is exactly right, and you trip over yourself to be wrong. They were not political appointments. When the president (or rather the National Security Advisor or someone lower down the chain) calls some agency and says send over a few people to work on the NSC, that is not a political appointment. They remain career civil servants, whose current assignment happens to be to advise the president. Therefore there’s generally no reason a new administration should replace them. Nor that their replacements would be any more trustworthy.

    This should have been Trump’s first move as president — and not only the NSC. The upper levels of the military, State Dept., DOJ, IRS, intelligence services, and every other nook and cranny of the bureaucracy are packed with Trump’s political enemies.

    His first directive to his political appointees should have been to purge these people from their agencies and reverse the policies they’ve put in place. Instead, the great majority of them are still there thwarting his policy and providing much of the information (or disinformation) that he has to have to make decisions.

The Swamp and the Deep Staters have done a pretty good job of blocking Trump from doing what he needed to do–pull the old silver handle and replace all the Obama political appointees.

Better late than never. I also think that this “rightsizing” of a bloated staff with access to the White House (and with direct leaks to the NYT and WaPo) is a generally good idea. Government everywhere is bloated and in need of Jennie Craig style diet.

How stupid would one have to be to continue to employ someone who was a participant in a coup d’etat?
Yes, they really DO believe not only that Trump is that stupid, but also that We the People are that stupid!

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to farmermom. | February 11, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    But think of all the “data” and evidence President Trump and his team has now assembled on them.

    President Trump states he needs only 4 hours of sleep a night, and that he reads voraciously. From what I’ve seen he notices EVERYTHING – no matter how subtle, even in a massive Trump Rally……

    Remember he had his detectives investigate the Kenyan President Barrack. I’m sure they found out exactly what that “alien” thing is……….

Morning Sunshine | February 11, 2020 at 11:41 am

If you plan to kill the king, make sure you succeed,

DJT couldn’t do this until the impeachment farce had run its course, or he’d be accused of attempting to sabotage it, a la Nixon and Archibald Cox.

He could have done it preemptively, before Mueller et al began their depredations, but that could have been tough if he didn’t yet have a list of people available to replace them.

Let’s see another 70 per day, for the next year. Next stop, the State Department.

The outrage police were hilarious that thought Trump would just keep Vindman. The guy had proven to be a plant.

I hope he fired Ciaramella, so they can take outrage at someone they can’t even say why they are outraged about it.

The left didn’t have any concerns when Bill Clinton fired all 93 U S Attorneys, at the same time, without cause.

    Clinton had cause. 1 of those 93 US Attorneys was investigating Clinton in Arkansas. If he just fired that US Attorney, it would have been too obvious. So he fired all 93 (something that hadn’t been done much in the past) so he could remove that 1 in Arkansas and claim it didn’t have anything to do with the investigations into Clinton. That Arkansas US Attorney’s Clinton appointment replacement dropped all the Clinton investigations right after his appointment.

How the eff did this guy get so far? It’s tough when you can’t trust enough people in such a high profile position like POTUS.

They should just start feeding him fake stuff to make him and Dems look stupid. Set them up with a hoax.

    Tom Servo in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 11, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Want to know something that will really make you mad? The Vindmann twins were NOT Obama holdovers. Vindmann wasn’t part of the NSC until John Bolton put him there.

    sheds a bit more light on why Bolton got dumped.

Fortunately, the press no longer has any credibility, so no one outside of the bubble really gives a fig what they say.

I am especially glad Vindman is gone. What a joke. All during his testimony, it was Trump this and Trump that, then had the audacity to demand Senator Nunes address him as LtCol. Born in the former Soviet Union into a Russian speaking family, the jolly little rancher said with a smirk ten times bigger than the Catholic Covington boy, “I speak Russian, Ukrainian a little bit of English. “Oh how the Democrats loved him, and they shouted out with glee, Vindman the Red nosed Traitor, you’ll go down in history.”

    DaveGinOly in reply to UserP. | February 11, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Nunes should have told him, “If you want to be addressed by your military rank, fine. I can do that for you. But I will remind you that every citizen with the title of ‘Mr.’ is, in this country, superior to every military rank. But you can have it your way, lieutenant colonel.”

Advice: They should look very carefully into reasigning/removing *any* NSC (or other White House official) who had been moved there in the last eight months of the previous administration. In addition, anybody who had been transferred there after the first of the fiscal year (October 1 – Jan 22) should be moved immediately.

These would have been the ‘Setup’ people put in place to get ready for the Hillary administration, or the ‘Spike’ people dropped in like land mines to wreck any Trump process from behind the scenes.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 11, 2020 at 1:01 pm

RE: “Better late than never. It’s a shame Trump didn’t do this three years ago. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble…..”

I understand the sentiment, however I also understand how much President Trump and his team have now “discovered” and uncovered about these vile, evil traitors!!!!!!

1. You would have thought that Trump would have learned this lesson with Sally Yates in winter of 2017.

2. If Vindman had any honor he would have resigned from the NSC but no, he has no honor, he was going to force Trump to fire him. Tells you more about Vindman than Trump.

JackinSilverSpring | February 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Joe DeGenova reports that Anonymous has been uncovered and will be leaving also. Wonder who Anonymous is?

I hope that he fired the whistle blower!

I don’t understand why he didn’t clean house Day 1. Political appointees from the opposite party aren’t going be your friends…

Along with the optics n accusations of cleaning house before the fake proceedings had run their course — one payoff of the processes was exactly that freezing operatives in place — The Orange Crush needed battlespace prep.

Every thing he did early was uniquely, distinctively, personally just a Trump thing. How dare he appoint his own cabinet? Name his own advisors? Etc.

The D-party PR machine, elected operatives, and the press (but I repeat myself) discredited themselves with the several coup attempts. They over- and mis-stated their case so many times, now nobody believes them. Worse, some prior partisans, and many prior independents will now at least hear out the administration.

Yeah, Bad and Wrong(tm) to remove that ambassidor to the EU. Except, ambassidors serve at the pleasure of the president, the president has sole authority for foreign policy, and *this* president’s notion of the EU and the US relationship with it is … um … somewhat different than prior. So, of course time for that ambassidor to go.

The Screaming D’s have made this president and his administration look measured. Who’d have thought that possible?

The Screaming D’s have no idea what they’ve done. “Sober” analyhsis form their advocates about the president “going against” US foreign policy is way, way differently persuasive than a bunch of folks in tricorn hats protesting that maybe the feebs are too big, n might better be accountable to an election or three.

The Screaming D’s have demonstrated, and called out exactly what (part of what) the Tea Party was on about; going after it in a naive way. Like elections matter, and raising an issue will get it attention.

Having ignored, slimed, and stifled the Tea Party activities, the people behind that will find other political levers. The former Tea Party folks are getting it. They’ve learned.

“So, you bar them from lobbying on VA lobbying day, erect fences, n spew all the provocation you can, and they’ll show up, party down outside the fences, and note that you’re still ignoring them. So, who’s your constituency, Governor Blackface?”

Meanwhile Bloomie is buying presidential-level astroturf organizations to get himself elected, or barring that be kingmaker — exactly what he’s been doing with his anti-people agenda for a decade or two.

Once everybody knows it’s astroturf, it doesn’t work nearly as well. While Bloomie (and the rest, actually) really wants to be emperor, take a look at China right now. Even that much power and control doesn’t work so well any more.

What’s the good of setting the agenda with The Daily Show if there’s an interweb?

Long overdue, too many hold overs in agencies throughout Government.

Also, way off topic: “Summer Concepcion writes at the progressive site”. Is her birthday in March?

Lessons that I believe the Trump experience will have on future Presidents.

1. Immediately upon taking the oath of office demand undated resignation letters from the heads of the FBI, NSA, CIA, including their top political subordinates.

2. Immediately request undated resignation letters from all US Attorneys, the Attorney General and all cabinet level appointees, including their top political subordinates.

3. As soon as possible accept those resignation letters and get appointees lined up, nominated, and in the confirmation process.

From the Trump experience you can’t assume that an appointee from a prior administration from your own political party will be a loyal servant in your new administration. Too risky to let anybody from any party remain at FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, cabinet positions, including their top political appointees. Fire them all immediately.

    Aarradin in reply to garybritt. | February 11, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    Too complicated.

    Just dismiss them all.

    “Thank you for your service to your country, your are dismissed effective immediately”.

    Then put your replacements in place.

    These are POLITICAL appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President. No cause is needed whatsoever to remove them. Simply preferring someone else is more than sufficient. POTUS doesn’t even have to give even that as a reason.

There are more cockroaches still. Heep sprayimg.

Should have done this on day 1.

Still hasn’t done it for EVERY other dept.

Personnel is policy. The President is just one guy. Its the bureaucracy that does the heavy lifting, and when all of the bureaucrats are holdovers from the previous administration guess whose policies they are going to continue to enact?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Aarradin. | February 12, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    I was with you until you said the bureaucrats do the heavy lifting.

    They move papers from one side of their desk to the other.

About time! Bush 1 was the traitor that signed us up for Agenda21/2030. The Clinton Global Foundation picked up the torch of removing the US as an obstacle to Bush 1s New World Order. Bush 2 Gave us the Patriot Act to strangle and control Americans here at home. Obama moved the ball further down the America loathing road.

Big Don needs to reshape the government as a lean commercial organization focused on sound money, national defense, and keeping the states from fighting with one another. Give the entitlements to the states and tell em to sink or swim!

He should have done it the first week he took office, what took him so long to get off the pot.and how much of his administrations problem has it caused.