DomesticPOLITICSTrump’s Not Done Firing People

Trump was famous pretty much since birth, but even with zingers like “Grab her by the [mom might read this]” and “Lock Her Up,” “You’re Fired” is still his most popular catch phrase thanks to his primetime television show The Apprentice, one of the many qualifying jobs he had before assuming the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.  In addition to taking the drama of a reality TV show to the White...
Gary Flick1 year ago52417 min
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Trump was famous pretty much since birth, but even with zingers like “Grab her by the [mom might read this]” and “Lock Her Up,” “You’re Fired” is still his most popular catch phrase thanks to his primetime television show The Apprentice, one of the many qualifying jobs he had before assuming the presidency of the most powerful country in the world. 

In addition to taking the drama of a reality TV show to the White House, Trump also took his catch phrase that has created a revolving door of cabinet members and appointed officials since assuming the Presidency. The two most recent Trump aides to get the axe were Chris Krebs and Mark Esper, The Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Secretary of Defense, respectively. 

With only weeks left in his presidency, one would think these dismissals were strange, but even three weeks after the election results, it doesn’t sound like Trump is ready to leave office quietly quite yet, so in his head he probably fired them thinking their replacements would have four years to fail and get fired like pretty much everyone else. Here’s why he gave those two men one-way tickets out the door. 

Chris Krebs

Like most people who read beyond memes, Krebs publicly stated that there “is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Trump doesn’t like it when people say things that aren’t in tune with his conspiracies, so he took to the Tweet machine and wrote “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election [not sure why he capitalized that] was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud… therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the CISA.”

Krebs learned of his dismissal just like everyone else did… via that Tweet. Getting fired on national TV on The Apprentice is one thing, but at least those people were in the same room as Trump. The Twitter axe has to hurt a little worse, but Krebs said he had a feeling he would get fired when telling the truth, and replied on Twitter with “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow.” (The weird capitalization thing must stem from some internal memos.)

People from all sides of the aisle chimed in. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (a Democrat, indeed) said of the decision, “It’s pathetic, but sadly predictable.” Some Trump appointees tried to dance around the line of “being moral, but not making Orange Daddy mad,” one instance being the Trump-appointed Chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission calling Krebs “a great director [who] showed a lot of leadership, particularly in the election space.”

Independent Senator Angus King took a more optimistic stance and praised Krebs for his service and called on the incoming Biden administration to “recognize his contributions and consult with him” which would certainly be a welcomed sight after four years of little-to-no White House consultation with anyone wearing a blue tie in D.C.

Though many Democratic voters pointed to the popular vote in 2016 and had a similar level of whining when Trump beat Hilary Clinton, those actually in the White House (remember the Obamas?) accepted the defeat and prepared for a passing of the baton. The difference maker there was: people complaining about Hilary getting gipped were wrong, and the White House told them they were wrong. Now, people complaining that Trump got gipped look to the White House and see waves of their own bullshit being tossed back and forth to them, igniting a very large group of people (Trump didn’t lose by much, y’all) to truly believe that 250 years of democracy have been thwarted by a man they deemed “Sleepy Joe” who they repeatedly called dumb and unable to achieve anything.

Trump designated Executive Director Brandon Wales to take Krebs’ place at CISA. 

Mark Esper

Esper was the Secretary of Defense since James Mattis left the position in 2018 due to disagreements with Trump and moments of Truth that didn’t make the president look like a glowing gift from the heavens being softly carried through the streets of D.C. on the wings of angels. “Mad Dog” Mattis was one of the few people with enough clout to keep his job after disagreeing with the president, but could only take so much and stepped down amidst disagreements over Syria. 

Esper assumed the position, and did a pretty good job at playing the “yes, Daddy” game with Trump for the last year and a half. Then Trump decided he wanted to use military force on his own citizens who were assembling to protest police brutality, and Esper found himself on that line of service to country vs. service to Trump. 

My biased and sarcastic take on how I think the conversation went (all speculative):

Esper: Mr. president, the Constitution protects the right to assemble 

Trump: These savages are burning their own streets to the ground

Esper: Well they are doing so because they believe police are too militant and have too much of a license to kill. Shouldn’t it be part of my job as the Homeland Security director to also help curb issues of violence within the police force?

Trump: Fox News said my hair looked great today

Esper: It does, sir, but I still don’t think sending in a military to combat citizens who are protesting a militant police force makes much sense nor shows much sympathy to those citizens who are peacefully protesting

Trump: Every protestor is lighting things on fire

Esper: I don’t believe that is true, sir

Trump: I just tweeted, want to see it?

Esper: Sure

Trump: [shows tweet]

Esper: It says you fired me, sir.

Trump: [Puts on Ariana Grande’s “Thank You, Next” and presses secret button sending Esper to a dungeon below the Oval Office]

Those close to Esper said that he was pretty sure he was going to get fired after the election loss, and even thought about resigning, but Trump beat him to the dismissal to add to the laughably long list of people he dismissed during his short tenure (only 5 presidents have managed to lose re-election bids) in the Oval Office. 

When asked about who he thought would replace him, Esper simply said, “if [my replacement] is a real yes man… God help us all.”  That’s pretty terrifying to hear from someone who was the Secretary of Defense, right after a lost election that a very powerful president has yet to accept, but let’s be hopeful that it was just another dramatic episode in the real-life version of House of Cards that is going down on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

His replacement was Christopher Miller, a former Special Forces officer in the Army who has been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and seems like a pretty qualified fit, both for the job, and because he has shown much loyalty to Trump. 

The List of the Dismissed 

According to an article by Time magazine, as of July of 2019, Trump had already fired more people in his appointed circle than the five previous administrations, combined, all of which were 8-year terms except for George H.W. Bush. 

Some of the more prominent dismissals were:

  • Kellyanne Conway, who did leave on her own terms, but only after a viral tweet from her daughter saying that her mother’s job had ruined her life. That’s just great stuff for fans of karma.
  • Brad Parscale, his campaign manager for 2020, got the boot after a rally in Oklahoma where he told the president 1 million people would be, wound up only having 6,000 attendees. Apparently there was a movement overseas to have people sign up for the rally who were not planning on attending, and that, too, is just hilarious. 
  • Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, was fired after testifying against Trump in the impeachment proceedings. What a fun spot to be in… lie under oath, or get canned. This was a place many found themselves in during the impeachment process.
  • Richard Spencer, the Secretary of the Navy, was fired after he punished a sailor for posing with a corpse and posting the photo online. Believe it or not, that is very much against the U.S. military code of conduct. Trump reinstated the sailor with full rank after Spencer refused to do so saying, “I cannot, in good conscience, obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took.” Don’t be a good person in the Trump circle if you want to keep your job, you morally sound, war-hero doofus!

This list could legitimately go on for about 40 more pages, but you get the picture. Trump likes firing people and he won’t be stopping until he leaves office. Let’s hope that happens peacefully. 

 

Gary Flick

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