President Trump appointed numerous individuals to top positions in his administration despite research from his own allies which indicated that they had numerous ‘red flags,’ according to a bombshell report.
The news site Axios late Sunday obtained nearly 100 internal documents from the Trump transition team which showed that the president ignored warnings about certain appointees who would eventually leave their positions in disgrace.
These documents, which the president-elect reportedly looked over personally, were aimed at vetting candidates who were under consideration for Cabinet-level positions in the future Trump administration.
A close look at the documents shows that Trump appointed a number of people to sensitive positions in his administration even though he knew they posed a risk.
Scott Pruitt, who was picked to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was flagged as someone dogged by ‘allegations of coziness with big energy companies.’
Then-President-elect Donald Trump is seen above at Trump Tower in New York on December 14, 2016. New documents show that his transition team hired aides to key posts in his administration despite vetting documents showing that they had ‘red flags’ next to their names
Tom Price was picked by Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services despite the fact that vetting documents noted he was plagued by ‘criticisms of management ability’ and that his tenure as head of the House Budget Committee was marred by ‘dysfunction and division.’ Price is seen above in March 2015
Scott Pruitt, who was picked to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was flagged as someone dogged by ‘allegations of coziness with big energy companies.’ In July 2018, Pruitt (seen above in May 2018) resigned in disgrace after several ethical lapses related to his tenure at EPA
In July 2018, Pruitt resigned in disgrace after several ethical lapses related to his tenure at EPA.
Tom Price was picked by Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services despite the fact that vetting documents noted he was plagued by ‘criticisms of management ability’ and that his tenure as head of the House Budget Committee was marred by ‘dysfunction and division.’
Price eventually resigned from HHS in September 2017 after it was revealed that he amassed at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights.
The leak of documents also reveals
The documents also highlight the concern over Rudy Giuliani, who was being considered at the time for the position of secretary of state.
RNC researchers compiled a 25-page dossier on the former New York City mayor, who piqued the concern of Trump transition officials because of his ‘foreign entanglements.’
After Giuliani left office as mayor, he formed a security consulting firm which provided services to foreign clients, according to The Washington Post.
Rudy Giuliani (left), who was thought to be in line for the position of secretary of state, was a cause for concern because of ‘foreign entanglements,’ according to the documents. Rex Tillerson (right), who was named secretary of state, was flagged for ‘deep ties to Russia’
The documents also revealed that the Trump transition, which was considering Fox News host Laura Ingraham for the position of White House press secretary, flagged her for saying that ‘people should wear diapers instead of sharing bathrooms with transgender people’
Giuliani was not named to a Cabinet position. Instead, he was hired by Trump to be his attorney to help with legal efforts during the Mueller investigation.
The man who eventually was nominated as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was also vetted during the Trump transition.
‘Tillerson’s Russia ties go deep,’ read the document devoted to the former Exxon CEO.
Trump, nonetheless, appointed Tillerson, only to remove him in March of last year after he publicly clashed with the president.
The documents were compiled by researchers with the Republican National Committee in the weeks after Trump shocked the world by defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections.
They also reveal that the Trump transition team was considering Fox News host Laura Ingraham for the position of White House press secretary.
But RNC researchers found one particular red flag: ‘Ingraham said people should wear diapers instead of sharing bathrooms with transgender people.’
The documents show Trump hired those who insulted him in the past. Nikki Haley (left) was picked to be UN ambassador despite her saying that Trump was everything ‘we teach our kids not to do in kindergarten.’ Mick Mulvaney (right) was hired by the White House even after it was known he said that the president was ‘not a very good person’
Trump eventually hired Sean Spicer to be his White House press secretary.
Vetters also noted that Kris Kobach, who was given consideration for the position of homeland security secretary, was vulnerable to charges that he was sympathetic to ‘white supremacy.’
The documents also reveal how Trump was willing to overlook personal insults that were said about him by individuals whom he eventually hired.
Nikki Haley, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations for the first two years of his administration, was reported in the documents to have said that the president was everything ‘we teach our kids not to do in kindergarten.’
Trump appointed Ryan Zinke to become interior secretary despite the fact that the former Montana lawmaker once said that Trump was ‘un-defendable.’
Mick Mulvaney, the current acting White House chief of staff who was initially hired to be Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, once said that the president ‘is not a very good person.’
General David Petraeus, who was considered for either secretary of state or national security adviser, was ‘red flagged’ because he was ‘opposed to torture.’
Petraeus was also found to have another major vulnerability – his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Petraeus, an ex-four-star general, pleaded guilty in 2015 to sharing classified information with her.
He was sentenced in April 2015 to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 for sharing classified information with Broadwell.
General David Petraeus, who was considered for either secretary of state or national security adviser, was ‘red flagged’ because he was ‘opposed to torture.’ Petraeus was also found to have another major vulnerability – his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell (seen right with Petraeus in this undated file photo)
Petraeus also resigned as director of the CIA in the aftermath.
Broadwell and Petraeus’ affair began in 2011, shortly after he retired from the Army and began his new job at the CIA, and ended in 2012, a friend of the former general said when the affair first came to light.
The pair had met in 2006, when Petraeus came to speak at Harvard, where Broadwell, who is also a West Point graduate, was studying. She wrote her PhD dissertation about Petraeus’ leadership skills and later penned a biography of the Army man, titled ‘All In: The Education of General David Petraeus’.
Another noteworthy document leaked to Axios was the one focused on Chris Christie, the then-governor of New Jersey who was fired as head of the transition two days after the election.
Christie was then being considered for a senior position in the administration.
According to the vetting document, a ‘red flag’ for Christie was whether he would be able to work in the same administration as Jared Kushner.
Kushner was reported to have held a grudge against Christie because of his role as United States attorney in New Jersey who prosecuted his father, real estate tycoon Charles Kushner.
Christie told Axios that he believed Kushner had him removed as head of the transition two days after the election ‘because that’s what Steve Bannon told me.’
Another noteworthy document leaked to Axios was the one focused on Chris Christie, the then-governor of New Jersey who was fired as head of the transition two days after the election. Christie is seen above being confronted with his own vetting document
Christie said that he did extensive work for the Trump campaign in researching potential Cabinet aides – work that was discarded when he was fired as head of the transition.
Christie said the documents obtained by Axios shows that the president staffed his administration with people who are less qualified than those who were passed over.
The former governor told Axios: ‘Oh it’s fascinating, and by the way the interesting part of this, which shows you how disorganized they were, was that they had an entire vice presidential vetting file on me.
‘Had all of my tax returns, had all of the stuff from the U.S. attorney years and my years as governor.
‘That’s what makes this even funnier, that they would go through this.’
The RNC put together vetting documents for dozens of current and former aides, including Ben Carson, Dan Coats, Betsy DeVos, Gary Cohn, Don McGahn, Elaine Chao, John Kelly, James Mattis, John Bolton, Rick Perry, Robert Lighthizer, and others.
When asked to respond, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said: ‘President Trump has assembled an incredible team throughout the federal government who — in spite of 93% negative news coverage — has accomplished undeniable successes like tax cuts, record employment levels, a booming economy…rebuilding the military and crushing ISIS.
‘President Trump has done more to improve the lives of the American people in two years – than past presidents have done in eight – and no disgruntled, establishment, D.C. swamp creature’s cowardly leaks can change that.’