Emerging triumphant from the yugest week of winning in his political career to date, US President Donald Trump has wasted no time doing what he has repeatedly promised: “Drain the Swamp”.
“The Swamp” has been used as a metaphor for Washington’s cronyism and power-hungry bureaucracies since at least the days of Reagan. Trump and his supporters have broadened that, to include the so-called “Deep State”. This refers to an unelected cabals of secretive government agencies and bureaucrats allegedly trying to run the United States as their personal fiefdom, free from control or oversight by voters. According to this narrative, the Deep State has been attempting to prevent or overturn the Trump election, from his earliest days as a candidate.
Freshly vindicated by the House in his impeachment trial, Trump is wasting no time in hitting back.
The Trump administration on Friday removed Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from his position as the White House’s top Ukraine expert after he provided damaging testimony about President Donald Trump during the impeachment process, Vindman’s lawyer said.
Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he had worked on the National Security Council, lawyer David Pressman said in a statement, adding that the move was retribution for Vindman’s testimony.
This is almost certainly true – but so what? Vindman only holds his position at the pleasure of the president. When he so openly undermined and betrayed the president, why on earth would Trump keep him in place? There is evidence to suggest that Vindman was the still-unidentified leaker behind the impeachment proceedings. In his testimony, Vindman came across as arrogant and vainglorious – qualities he shares with Trump, to be sure, but with a key difference: Trump is the boss; Vindman isn’t.
Trump gets to call the shots, and it is well known that Trump puts loyalty at a premium. There is absolutely no reason for him to suffer Vindman remaining in place.
A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Vindman would be reassigned to the Defense Department.
Vindman’s two-year stint at the White House was due to end in July.
Contrary to the shrill headlines of the legacy media swamp monsters, Vindman still has a job: his commission in the Army. What he just doesn’t have is a plum role in the White House. Well, tough luck.
Trump is also getting rid of other bad pennies in the White House.
Another senior white House aide who testified over impeachment, Jennifer Williams, left this week for a post at the U.S. military’s Central Command, according to Bloomberg News.pluralist.com/alexander-vindman-fired
And another is being shown the door:
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, said on Friday that Trump intends to recall him from his post.
“I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement…
Separately, two Trump aides brought in to the White House to help with the impeachment proceedings, Tony Sayegh and Pam Bondi, were leaving following the Senate’s acquittal on Wednesday.pluralist.com/gordon-sondland-fired/
If the past few years of Trump Derangement Syndrome have achieved nothing else (and the memes alone have been gloriously worth it), they’ve shown, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the Deep State is real. It’s all on the public record now: Obama weaponising the IRS and DOJ to harass opponents, to former CIA director James Clapper lying under oath about gargantuan, illegal domestic spying, to James Comey’s FBI illegally spying on the Trump campaign, the constant torrent of leaks from hostile public servants in the White House and, ultimately, the farcical impeachment proceedings.
It’s beyond obvious now that the Deep State is real and it’s implacably hostile to the democratically-elected governments who don’t conform to its political prejudices. It regards democracy as a perpetual irritant to its pursuit of unbridled power.
Yes, Trump is getting revenge on his opponents by dismissing them from their cosy sinecures, but he’s also doing democracy a favour by throwing the first handfuls of chlorine into the Swamp.
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