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Donald Trump

The biggest threat to the US is not Russia or Iran, it’s Trump’s choice of aides

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2018, 11:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2018, 12:46am

As a cheap political slogan, I detest “drain the swamp”. Like so much of what US President Donald Trump promotes, the term is dehumanising and inflammatory. But, since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has surrounded himself with people who are either incompetent, immoral or both.

As a result, the list of those who have been forced to leave the White House under ethical scrutiny continues to mount: Steve Bannon, Scott Pruitt, Michael Flynn, Rob Porter, Tom Price, David Shulkin, John McEntree, David Sorensen, Brenda Fitzgerald and Carl Higbie are just a select few.

Paul Manafort’s trial for tax evasion and fraud exposes yet another example of Trump’s poor judgment of character. The president maintains that Manafort has nothing to do with him, but how can that be true when he joined his presidential campaign team in March 2016, and was campaign chairman from mid-May to August 2016? Candidate Trump had ample time to properly vet Manafort and still went ahead and gave him a substantial position of authority on his team. To this day, he takes zero blame for his choice.

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Here’s the bottom line: if Trump really wants to “drain the swamp”, why does he continuously bring into his inner circle liars, thieves, grafters, xenophobes, domestic abusers and people with no special knowledge about their departments, such as Ben Carson and Betsy DeVos? Moreover, why does he seek the advice of hardliners such as Steven Miller and Sebastian Gorka?

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If Michael Cohen is so untrustworthy and deceptive, why did Trump employ him for a decade? If Omarosa Manigault Newman is such a “low life,” why did Trump appoint her as a senior White House aide?

Why did he say that there are good people on both sides of the Charlottesville protest? Why do his biggest supporters keep getting busted for crimes ranging from embezzlement and insider trading to fraud and abuse of power? New York Congressman Chris Collins is the latest to fit that bill.

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Why do so many of the people Trump appoints end up mired in controversy over racist comments, conflicts of interest, abuse accusations, misuse of public tax dollars and other integrity issues?

Never mind Russia, North Korea and Iran. Simply put: the most severe crisis facing our nation is Trump’s inability to judge the moral character of the people that he associates with and invests power in.

George Cassidy Payne, Rochester, New York