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Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration



The top U.S. diplomat for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, will leave his post at the end of the year, a current and a former U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.

Taylor, who questioned the White House’s decision to withhold an Oval Office meeting with the Ukrainian president and military aid for Kyiv, was a key witness in the congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Under the Vacancies Act, he could have remained as the acting ambassador until Jan. 8, a person familiar with Taylor’s plans told NBC News. Instead, Taylor will turn over the position to the current Deputy Chief of Mission to Ukraine, Kristina Kvien, on Jan. 1 and will leave the country on Jan. 2.


Wishing Taylor well. If there were more people like him with the courage to stand up to Trump and publicly testify to his misdeeds, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today – Trump would have been impeached within his first year in office. :medal_military:


The Defense Department’s senior adviser for international cooperation earlier this week left the Pentagon, marking the fifth top official in seven days to leave or announce their departure.

Amb. Tina Kaidanow, a long-time State Department official who began working in her Pentagon role in September 2018, resigned on Dec. 16, the Pentagon confirmed. Defense News first reported her departure.

Kaidanow’s resignation follows four other announced departures within a week.

Those include the December 12th notification that top Asia policy official Randall Schriver would leave after two years on the job; the December 13th announcement that top official in charge of personnel and readiness Jimmy Stewart had resigned after taking the role in October 2018; the Tuesday report that Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency leader Steven Walker will leave in January; and the news earlier on Wednesday that Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Kari Bingen submitted her resignation on December 5th and will leave January 10th.

The Pentagon won’t say why she is leaving. The churn continues – weakening our institutions with each departure.


Mulvaney has not actually announced he’s departing so this is more of a “watch this space” post.

Mulvaney has always appeared to be a temporary appointee since Trump never deemed to remove the qualifier “acting” from his title – and he now has been sidelined to the point where he already seems halfway out the door. In paraphrasing this article, Maddow said “it’s like he’s at the kids’ table.”

This is just my own speculation, but I wonder if he’s being kept on as a way of holding him on a short leash during the impeachment trial, considering that he is a first hand witness.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is widely expected to leave his current position once the Senate wraps up its impeachment trial and the intense scrutiny of the West Wing settles down, according to five aides and confidants to President Donald Trump.

Trump allies and White House aides, who have been nudging the president in recent weeks to find a new leader for the team as it delves into a crucial reelection campaign, have been circulating lists of potential replacements for weeks.

Mulvaney no longer wields much control over White House staff. Lately, he has been left out of major personnel and policy decisions, and he is not driving the strategy on impeachment even though he occupies what is historically the most powerful job in the West Wing. …

The article suggests that the reason Rep. Mark Meadows recently announced he’s retiring from Congress may be so that he would be available to fill the role.




And can we assume she’s smart enough to understand she’ll also be leaving the White House if her father is not re-elected? :man_shrugging:

(David Bythewood) #580

I wouldn’t give her too much credit.


U.S. Official Central to Hawkish Iran Policies Departs NSC

Richard Goldberg, the U.S. National Security Council official who clashed with other members of the administration over his push for a more hawkish stance toward Iran, is leaving the job after one year for personal reasons, a person familiar with the matter said.

Goldberg’s departure comes just as tensions with Iran have soared following a U.S. strike in Baghdad that killed Qassem Soleimani, a key Iranian general the administration said was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” against American diplomats and military personnel.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton created Goldberg’s job – director for countering Iran’s weapons of mass destruction – explicitly for him. The goal was to counter what Bolton saw as a desire at the departments of State and Treasury to weaken the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.


Defense secretary’s chief of staff to step down

Eric Chewning, chief of staff to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, is stepping down at the end of the month, the latest in a series of high-profile civilians to leave the Pentagon.

He’ll be replaced by Jen Stewart, the top Republican staffer on the House Armed Services Committee and a former top adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, according to a statement from Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah.


Chewning was featured in a recently released trove of unredacted emails that show Pentagon officials’ concerns with the legality of White House moves this summer to hold up military assistance to Ukraine, an issue at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

In the emails reported by Just Security, Chewning in late August relayed to acting Pentagon comptroller Elaine McCusker questions from defense contractor L3Harris Technologies about the status of the Ukraine funding. McCusker criticized the Office of Management and Budget for saying the freeze wouldn’t prevent the aid from being fully spent.

Chewning later wrote that a memo to OMB, which warned that the Ukraine aid was in danger of not being fully spent by the end of the fiscal year, will have to wait until after a September meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Poland.

"We expect the issue to get resolved then," he wrote to McCusker. "If not, I think we need to send the letter."

His departure comes after a string of senior officials left the Pentagon last month or announced they were stepping down, including the director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness, the principal deputy undersecretary for intelligence, and the assistant secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs.


(David Bythewood) #583

After the departure of 5 Pentagon officials in a 7 day span ending about two weeks before the Soleimani Assassination, this news feels very related.


US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass steps down

The American ambassador to Afghanistan is stepping down from his position on Monday after serving in the war-weary country’s capital since December 2017, according to an official at the U.S. Department of State.

The official said that John Bass’s departure was long-planned and part of the normal rotation cycle, with American ambassadors typically serving in Kabul for only two years.

The State Department has named Ross Wilson as chargé d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul until a new ambassador is confirmed. Wilson is expected to arrive in Kabul soon, according to the official.

(David Bythewood) #585

Time for a special edition…

Kids are being kidnapped for use as sex slaves… by a Trump adviser. George Nader was 1st charged in June 2019 with transporting & possessing pornographic images of children including some featuring toddler-age boys, baby goats & other farm animals.

A month later in July, prosecutors added a sex-trafficking charge, saying Nader had arranged the transport to his Washington home of a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic in February 2000.

Nader, a Mueller probe witness, stole the child’s passport after flying him through Dulles International. Once at his residence, he assaulted him nightly & silenced him by threatening him & his mother with imprisonment should they try to report him.

George Nader: Trump Associate, Mueller Investigation Witness, Liar, Sex Trafficker, Kidnapper, Rapist.


Trump Campaign Adviser Pleads Guilty to Child Porn, Sex Trafficking


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