It’s taken President Trump three long years but he finally appears ready to clean out the swamp, as he promised he’d do during his 2016 campaign.
Stung repeatedly by deep state careerists who have worked to undermine him and his agenda, as well as be a part of the ongoing effort to depose him from office, the president this week — emboldened by an impeachment acquittal in the Senate — finally made a bold move to rid himself of treasonous actors.
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 of those on the NSC were simply on loan from other agencies and have now been sent back to where they came from, while others left government employ altogether.
The “Ukrainegate” affair which House Democrats used as the impetus to impeach President Trump originated within the NSC, created after World War II via the National Security Act just as the Cold War with Russia was getting ready to begin.
One of the more high-profile names to have been dismissed is Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who Trump had moved back to the Pentagon. In addition, the president got rid of his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, an Army lawyer who was detailed to the NSC as well.
Trump was angered — and rightfully so — by Vindman’s testimony as a witness for House Democrats conducting the impeachment inquiry. The basis for Vindman’s testimony was, simply, he didn’t like the manner in which Trump was conducting foreign policy with an ally.
As The National Sentinel reported, that kind of critique wasn’t within Vindman’s wheelhouse:
He, a mere light colonel, is in no position to decide what is and is not “appropriate” foreign policy. The conduct of U.S. foreign policy is, in fact, so far above his pay grade that it isn’t even close; the president decides such matters, not an Army staff officer.
What’s more, the site noted, if Vindman really never thought he was actually putting his career on the line by challenging the commander-in-chief over a difference of opinion regarding policy, then he’s not the sharp guy Democrats have made him out to be. Rather, he’s just their ‘guy of the moment’ because he ‘stood up to’ Trump.
Before he took office, there was no way Trump could have known the fury that awaited him — the pitfalls, the deal-making, the back room plotting, the insubordination, and, yes, the treason. But he’s had plenty of time to learn on the job and he’s done that.
As the Washington Examiner noted, Trump operates with smaller staffs than have previous presidents. It’s likely that Trump has pared down his staffs because as a billionaire businessman, he knows what excess staffing looks like. He knows that having too many voices can often be a bad thing when it comes to policy development.
But he no doubt also found out that a lot of people on administration staffs are just along for the ride. They’re not really contributing much; they’re just there because that’s where the action is.
Finally, Trump has figured out that the only way to get a tighter rein on what’s happening around him is to populate his various staffs with people he can trust or, at worst, people recommended by people he trusts.
It all looks as though the president is in for the long haul — that he’s prepping a team for the next four years. After all, if he didn’t think he was going to be around much after November, why would he bother?