WTF Community

Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration



National Security Council - new to admin and expert on Russia, Andrew Peek departed on Friday.

(Not quite back to posting…but almost :slight_smile:)

(David Bythewood) #587

It would seem that "left’ might not be an accurate description:

White House national security official on leave pending investigation


:eyes: one rumor, two truths

(David Bythewood) #589

I remembered talk of another honey-trapped official a bit ago.

Went looking, and I found it… and I wasn’t the only one to remember it:


From PBS reporter - Yamiche Alcindor

Jennifer Williams, State Dept employee in VP Pence’s office requesting early departure (before March 2020)


Cross-posting :raised_hands:

  • Veterans Affairs Department Deputy Secretary James Byrne was fired Monday, amid controversy over the department’s handling of a sexual assault allegation by a House staffer visiting a VA facility.

  • VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said, “Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties.”

  • Byrne, a former Marine infantry officer, Naval Academy graduate, and executive with Lockheed Martin, was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 81-11.

Veterans Affairs Department Deputy Secretary James Byrne was fired Monday, amid controversy over the department’s handling of a sexual assault allegation by a House staffer visiting a VA facility.

“Today, I dismissed VA Deputy Secretary James Byrne due to loss of confidence in Mr. Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a statement.

“This decision is effective immediately,” said Wilkie, whose move came just five months after Byrne was confirmed by the Senate.

Wilkie did not give any details of why he fired Byrne, a Naval Academy graduate who worked at the VA in senior positions for more than two years.

Axios first reported Monday that Byrne had been fired.

Byrne’s termination came as the VA continued to be criticized for how it treated an allegation that a House committee advisor had been sexually harassed and assaulted by a man last fall when she was in the cafeteria in the VA Medical Center in Washington.

The House advisor who alleged the assault, Navy veteran Andrea Goldstein, on Monday published an article on criticizing Wilkie for “implying that I was a liar” in his recent letter to House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, D-Calif., in which Wilkie called Goldstein’s allegations “unsubstantiated claims.”

“We believe that V.A. is a safe place for all veterans to enter and receive care and services, but the unsubstantiated claims raised by you and your staff could deter our veterans from seeking the care they need and deserve,” Wilkie wrote in his letter to Takano about Goldstein’s account.

Goldstein, in the Jezebel article posted online shortly before Byrne’s ouster became publicly known, wrote, “Secretary Wilkie’s continued refusal to take ownership of the hostility and sexual violence at VA further perpetuated this hostile culture by both revictimizing a veteran in public and denying the culture of harassment and assault whose existence is well documented.”

:mans_shoe: :door:


This guy sounds like a real piece of work. Good riddance.

Ryan Jackson has immediately gone to work for a pro-coal lobbying group. That makes it pretty obvious where his allegiance really was while he was supposedly protecting our environment. And remember that Ethics Pledge Trump crowed about? The one where members of his administration pledged not to get jobs as lobbyists when they left the government? – of course, that was just another lie and a joke, really (see the ProPublica article below).

Ryan Jackson, chief of staff to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, will be a lobbyist for the National Mining Association, according to reporting from Bloomberg and other outlets late Thursday.

The move drew criticism from environmental groups that have long argued the Trump administration EPA has been a revolving door as high-level employees go back and forth between the agency and the industries it regulates.

“Same job, higher paycheck,” the Sierra Club tweeted of the move Friday morning.

"Considering that he already works for a top coal lobbyist — EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, who’s gone from lobbying in the private sector to helping President Trump roll back clean-air regulations — the on-boarding process at his new employer should be a breeze,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement.

"But long-term job growth opportunities might be grim working for an industry in a death spiral.”

The EPA did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The Trump administration has issued several rules that benefit the coal mining industry, chief of which is the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which lifts restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

Jackson was under investigation by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) for his suspected involvement in the destruction of important documents related to a number of issues that should have been retained. Another investigation centered around whether Jackson interfered with testimony another EPA employee was set to give Congress.

The investigation concluded in December, with OIG concluding that EPA’s ethics training “does not address interfering with or intimidating individuals who communicate with or testify before Congress.”

Jackson had refused to answer some questions or sit down for an additional interview with investigators.

“Will I say where I got it from? No," he said in an Oct. 3 interview, referring to an advanced copy of testimony designated for lawmakers that he had obtained.

In an email a few weeks later reviewing his refusal to sit down again with investigators, he wrote, “I am not going to involve others or point fingers.”

The acrimonious nature of that investigation spilled into the public after the OIG sent a letter to Congress to alert lawmakers they were being stonewalled by Jackson.

“Mr. Jackson’s cooperation has been patiently sought multiple times over protracted periods by OIG auditors and investigators. Auditors asked of him merely a brief email reply. Investigators requested to interview him. Both matters, after Mr. Jackson’s repeated delays and refusals, were elevated, in writing, to you and/or other senior agency leaders in a final hope for cooperation,” then-OIG head Charles Sheehan wrote to Wheeler in a letter that outlined attempts to contact both Jackson and the administrator himself.

Sheehan informed Congress just two weeks ago that OIG now considered the matter resolved after Jackson agreed to an interview, dropping his earlier request that he be accompanied by agency counsel and receive the questions in advance.

’We have no need for an additional interview and now consider the [chief of staff’s] cooperation with regard to the investigation to be complete–though far from fulfilling the [Inspector General] Act’s requirement of “timely” cooperation," Sheehan wrote to lawmakers on January 16.

He was under investigation and agreed to an interview with OIG – now that he has quit, the interview has been cancelled so it looks like he’ll never be held accountable. Pruitt did the same thing – see the CNN article below.

And this from May about how Trump’s Ethics Pledge is a nothing but another one of his cons:

The EPA has been a cesspool under Trump. Here’s a list of the 15 investigations into Trump’s first head of the agency, Scott Pruitt:

And he evaded prosecution by resigning. That’s the new game plan for corrupt Trump appointees. While you’re in power, pervert the system to benefit yourself. At the same time, use your connections to prepare a golden parachute position in the private sector. Then when the OIG and Congress start closing in on your corrupt schemes, simply pull the rip cord on that golden parachute – you bail on the investigations and land in your cushy new job.

And Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Secretary of Interior, followed the same playbook. While in power he grabbed everything he could lay his hands on – that led to 17 ethics investigations. Then he simply resigned to avoid accountability.

👑 Portrait of a President
(David Bythewood) #594

Fallout from Eddie Gallagher’s shameful exoneration continues.

The commander of the Navy SEALs who found himself at odds with President Donald Trump over disciplining a notorious member of his force has informed the Navy that he will step down a year early, according to three people familiar with the decision.

SEAL Commander Who Clashed With Trump to Leave Early


White House Weighs Ouster of Aide Who Testified Against Trump

The White House is weighing a plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council after he testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, preparing to position the move as part of a broader effort to shrink the foreign policy bureaucracy, two people familiar with the matter said.

Any moves would come after the Senate on Wednesday acquitted Trump on a near party-line vote at the conclusion of the two-week impeachment trial. The White House intends to portray any house-cleaning as part of a downsizing of the NSC staff, not retaliation, according to the people.

(David Bythewood) #596

Trump just re-tweeted the post below a little bit ago, showing his intention to punish Lt. Col. Vindman and his belief that nobody is allowed to question him.


Story to come


NYT confirms

The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump


Key impeachment witness Vindman fired from White House job

His twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney, was also fired and walked off the White House grounds alongside him.

Both of the Vindman twins were fired today. :flushed:


OMG. Can you imagine Mark Meadows as chief of staff? It’s just mind boggling!


It does get him out of office, tho. :smirk: I say he should go for it, let him watch the Trump sausage being made. That has to be the worst job in the world. Good luck to him. :rofl:


Trump Fires Gordon Sondland Hours After Dismissing Impeachment Witness Alexander Vindman

“I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Mr. Sondland said in a statement just hours after Colonel Vindman’s dismissal. He expressed gratitude to Mr. Trump “for having given me the opportunity to serve.”


I hope Sondland donates heavily to 45’s opponents if any party. And I hope his rich friends follow suit.

(David Bythewood) #605

Given Trump just screwed over the Global Entry status of many of them…