Continuing revelations about the illegal activity, “playing around” and inability to achieve security clearances clearly haunts the troubled administration of Donald John Trump, the president who lies continuously, skirts the law when he can and brags openly about a flamboyant lifestyle that includes sexual attacks, loose women and widespread corruption.
A third administration official could not get a necessary security clearance and quit his position as Trump’s appointment as White House climate advisor this week.
George David Banks, special assistant to the president for international energy and environmental policy, walked after his admission of marijuana use cost him a security clearance. Rob Porter, staff assistant to Chief of Staff John Kelly, failed a FBI investigation for his clearance because of spousal abuse of two wives, and a clearance for Trump son-in-law Jared is in limbo because of questionable dealings in his real estate operations and other matters.
Portman’s departure has Kelly under fire because of changing stories about what he, as the staff boss, did or did not know about Portman’s past. New “interim clearances,” use freely by the Trump White House have been stopped came to a stop this week and that leaves Kushner’s future inside the administration in doubt along with several other appointees whose clearances have run into trouble.
Other questions arise about the frequent use first class on planes by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The Trump appointee often cites “security concerns” for needed to travel in the far more expensive front cabin but provides no other details on those “concerns.”
Revelations of questionable White House behavior include Communications Director Hope Hicks, who began an affair with staff assistant Porter while he was divorcing his second wife. White House aides say talk of “affairs” and “casual hookups” have popped up in the West Wing along with claims that Trump often seems to admire aides who are known to “play around.”
Social media speculation of a claimed hookup between Trump and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley lit up the Internet in January. The rumor came out of a single sentence in Michael Woolf’s book, Fire and Fury, which said “The president had been spending a notable amount of private time with Haley on Air Force One and was seen to be grooming her for a national political future.”
“It is absolutely not true,” Haley told Politico. “I have literally been on Air Force One once and there were several other people in the room when I was there. “I’ve never talked once to the president about my future and I am never alone with him.”
Details came this week from longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen on his payment of $130,000 just before the 2016 Presidential election to porn star Stephanie Clifford — better known as “Stormy Daniels — to buy her silence about a claimed affair with Trump.
Clifford now feels that Cohen going public now means she can tell her story as well.
Trump’s questionable management style and sullied reputation have led him to bypass top qualified applicants and settle for those with questionable backgrounds. Many good appointee prospects said “no way” early on.
“I would never serve in a Trump administration,” said James Capretta, a top Office of Management and Budget official under George W. Bush, long before Trump took office early last year. “The person at the top is unfit for the presidency.”
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