One of the most important articles about the Trump administration’s vision of the government dropped yesterday on ProPublica. The non-profit journalism outlet obtained a list of names that Trump officials have hired for positions within the federal government, despite having a severe backlog on positions that need Senate confirmation.
The details are disturbing. Hired at HHS were lots of pharmaceutical lobbyists, including individuals who directly lobbied HHS and represented industry trade groups and large insurance companies. Campaign nepotism was a strong factor in the hiring process as well. Granted, this is a bipartisan issue and there are many excellent campaign operatives who are also qualified for government roles based on past experience. But a 2015 high school graduate Danny Tiso was hired for a Department of Labor position. Curtis Ellis, wrote an article for conspiracy-site WorldNetDaily titled “Hillary And Obama Want Ethnic Cleansing Of White Working People” and is a fellow DOL employee.
Meanwhile, Rex Tillerson has been acting in a way that is consistent with Trump’s level of ethical standards. A report from BuzzFeed indicates that Tillerson may still own lots of stock in ExxonMobile, stock that might have benefitted from a Trump announcement that was lifted from a company press release, resembling something straight out of a dystopian novel. He will be making his first trip to Asia without the press amidst a regional crisis with North Korea and a decidedly militaristic attitude toward China.
Trump may not be investing much time into governing, but we need more information and transparency on the individuals who are doing his dirty work.