Dank Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: “Vetting” for What They Considered Important

Axios got their hands on a bunch of the Trump transition team’s “vetting” documents, which they decided to report on a summer Sunday evening because LOL nothing matters — and besides, who can tell what hot topic will be breaking by Monday morning?

Nearly 100 internal Trump transition vetting documents leaked to “Axios on HBO” identify a host of “red flags” about officials who went on to get some of the most powerful jobs in the U.S. government.

Why it matters: The massive trove, and the story behind it, sheds light on the slap-dash way President Trump filled his cabinet and administration, and foreshadowed future scandals that beset his government…

Behind the scenes: In the chaotic weeks after Trump’s surprise election victory, Trump fired Chris Christie as the head of his transition. The team that took over — which V.P. Mike Pence helmed — outsourced the political vetting of would-be top officials to the Republican National Committee…

– President-elect Trump reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them.

– Traditionally, any would-be top official faces three types of vetting: an FBI background check, a scrub for financial conflicts of interest from the Office of Government Ethics, and a deep dive from the president-elect’s political team, which veteran Washington lawyers often handle…

– The documents show what Trump’s vetting shop worried about in assessing candidates for the most important jobs in government…






13 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Well, this is what happens when you elect an ignoramus. I’m not sure if this is shocking at this point. Unfortunately Trump is so horrible that we expect him to be incompetent so of course picking people for his administration was a mess.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Ed Wood had a better track record with casting.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Wonder if these leaks are on purpose to distract from concentration camps? It’s not really news that everything they do is incompetent.

  4. 4

    I just finished reading, for the second and by no means the last time, an interview published yesterday with the French black metal band Deathspell Omega. For those unfamiliar, they were associated with metaphysical Satanism and a deeply nihilistic, often outright cruel philosophical stance for much of their career. Their latest album, however, is a scathing satire of totalitarianism that was misinterpreted as a sincere endorsement of the same, despite being suffused with irony in nearly every song. As a result, they’ve broken a lengthy silence with their first interview in fifteen years, and it turns out they have a forcefully, clearly articulated moral stance about oppression, authoritarianism, capitalism, and man’s despoilment of the natural environment (again, none of this will surprise people who actually read the lyrics carefully, but a surprising number of people didn’t). They think “good” and “evil” are often used as oversimplifications of complex issues – and as it happens, I agree with them on this and much else – and they’re also, it turns out, firmly opposed to what I presume nearly everyone who reads this blog will recognise as evil. The interview was a wonderful surprise from a band whose work I’ve greatly enjoyed for, as it turns out… fifteen years.

    These are the times we live in now. Satanists have become moralists and a general refusing to engage in war crimes is considered disqualifying conduct by the president* of the United States. Deathspell Omega themselves quoted the alleged Chinese curse of living in interesting times in yesterday’s interview, and I guess no one will accuse them of being boring. I sure would like to have fewer worries keeping me up late at night though.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    This cracked me up:

    – President-elect Trump reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them.

    Safe to say they weren’t presented as graphic novels so they couldn’t hold his attention for anything more than the briefest glance.

  6. 6
    plato says:

    Aaand the shitshow goes on.

  7. 7
    SRW1 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Trump’s grand vision: Oogleing and eyeballing.

  8. 8
    debbie says:

    @NotMax:

    Cuter sweaters, too.

  9. 9
    Ken says:

    The documents show what Trump’s vetting shop worried about in assessing candidates for the most important jobs in government…

    “Does he already have his own line of grift that might siphon off money that should be flowing to me?”

  10. 10
    Immanentize says:

    Good morning, All.
    I really think I would have preferred Monday morning cat pictures….

  11. 11
    Keith P. says:

    How is Jeff Guckert not Comms Director?

  12. 12
    Hob says:

    The one about John Bolton (being considered not for NSC but for Secretary of State, dear Lord), besides all the expected evidence of how Bolton is a madman and a fool and also has disrespected Trump, had a list of open-ended questions to ask Bolton, which included this little gem:

    ISIS
    Background: The President-elect has been intentionally vague in his plan to address ISIS and as a result the SOS role may have an extremely important public facing role in the conflict.
    * As Secretary of State, what role do you see yourself having in facilitating international cooperation to combat ISIS globally?
    * What do you see as the areas of highest risk of being a threat to ISIS, and how would you work with international partners to secure these areas?

    Is it just me or is that basically saying, “We have no fucking clue what our policy should be. Would you please make one up for us? Preferably right now and for free.”

  13. 13
    karen marie says:

    @Hob:

    What do you see as the areas of highest risk of being a threat to ISIS

    lolwut?

    What fucking moron was writing these questions? They not only had nothing remotely like policy for dealing with ISIS (or anything else) but the way the question is phrased could lead one to believe they wanted to avoid doing anything that would be a threat to ISIS.

    I wake up every day hoping that the morning news is going to carry the report that the fuckwit-in-chief has been carried off by a heart attack or he’s disappeared and taken the silverware from the State Dining Room with him.

    Here’s something to cheer you up – Michele O’s redecoration of the Old Family Dining Room. Well, the linky button seems to be broken, so … https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2015/02/10/old-family-dining-room-made-new-again

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