Hard to drain the swamp by hiring swamp creatures

The 45th US President won the election, in part, because of his commitment to drain the swamp in Washington. It should have given us pause when he hired more wealthy people than ever before to be members of his cabinet. As we continue to witness, it is hard to drain the swamp when you hire swamp creatures.

A few weeks ago, Scott Pruitt, the Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned. Pruiit was under significant scrutiny over a series of unehtical and extremely poor leadership decisions around spending, travel, favoritism, and influence. Staff who tried to cry foul were let go or reassigned.

Last year, we saw Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services leave. A report came out last week that detailed his significant use of charter flights at taxpayer expense. A similar criticism over questionable trips and sporting tickets led to the resignation of David Shulkin, the Director of Veteran Affairs.

Now, Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, is under fire for not divesting himself from several investments in companies. This astute business owner and investor claims these were oversights. But, documented reporting reveals he has numerous meetings on his calendar with CEOs of companies with whom he remained invested. That does not sound like an oversight to me.

Then, there is Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law who has no real title and only recently was fully vetted by the FBI for security clearance. It has been reported other global leaders speak openly about how they could use Kushner since he was soliciting money to pay off a $1.2 billion debt payment next year. He did get his funding, but my guess is that this is being investigated.

This should not be a total surprise as organizations take on the personality of its leader. With a leader who did not adequately divest or shelter his businesses from his ability to benefit, who does benefit from investment, hotel stays, etc. as patrons try to court influence, who significantly travels at taxpayer expense, it is not a stretch to witness his cabinet’s desire for perquisites and questionable practices in their favor.

To be frank, President Obama was vilified by conservative news outlet for his vacations to golf. Yet, these same news outlets condone with their silence the current incumbent’s conflicts of interests and sojourns. His travels far exceed that of other Presidents at this point.

It seems pretty swampy to me. Maybe more swamp creatures need to leave the lagoon.

14 thoughts on “Hard to drain the swamp by hiring swamp creatures

  1. There are HUGE crocodiles, alligators and who knows what other critters swimming in the swamp today, my friend. They are the largest ever seen in the northern hemisphere. Be afraid … be very afraid.

    Good post, Keith.

    • Jill, I wrote a similar post a few months back and mentioned Ben Carson and Steve Mnuchin and their spending habits as well. There are definitely more swamp critters. Keith

      • It would be simpler to name those in the administration that are NOT swamp critters, don’t you think? I could probably count them on my two hands … maybe even just one hand!

      • Jill, what is sad these folks give a bad name to those who do their job the right way. It was announced yesterday, that the state of New York is investigating the Trump Foundation. The President is fuming, but it has been accurately reported Trump used his Foundation as a personal piggy bank. Keith

  2. “It’s hard, when your up to your arms in alligators, to remember that you came here to drain the swamp.”- Ronald Reagan. Let’s not forget the First Daughter, Ivanka. This swamp-serpent speaks with a forked tongue! Never doubt that there are probably many more lurking in the depths, waiting to surface and replace any creatures that must be sacrificed…for the greater good of Trump’s survival. Thank-you!

  3. Note to Readers: There are many examples in the President’s past that define his swampiness. Five biographers have each said he has a hard time with the truth. But, the one that sticks out is how many hard working contractors and small businesses he has put out of business or severely hurt by refusing to pay them. An attorney who worked for Trump would quite often use the ploy of claiming bad service. The attorney said using that ploy once or twice is not uncommon, but doing it so frequently revealed a cold hearted man. This is the man his followers believe will look after their interests. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: I have written before how I have encountered some imperialistic CEOs in my consulting days. Mind you, I have met some very egalitarian CEOs and some who benevolent autocrats, but there are a top of mind few who are simply greedy SOBs. They viewed their companies and organizations (some were nonprofit leaders) as their personal piggy banks. The same can be said for some governmental executives.

    Things to watch for include padding expenses, office decorating budgets, non-job related perquisites, etc. Looking at Pruitt, Carson, Mnuchin, Price and Shulkin, you intuitively knew there would be other lucrative expenditures. As for Ross, he is a lot like Trump – rules do not apply. Oh, but they do.

  5. Dear Keith,

    Jill is right. It would be easier to list who is not a swamp creature operating out of the White House. I have noticed that the non-swamp personnel are the ones more likely to speak truth to power because they are not primarily motivated by greed but by doing what is right for the this great country that DJT is doing his best to split apart.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, how nice it would be if we had a boring, competent President. One who knew how to get things done and did not say whatever comes to mind. One where his staff was not constantly apologizing for. Keith

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