Trump’s Sinking Ship: More Resignations and Rejections

10 members of the presidential Asian and Pacific Islander advisory panel resign as Trump's pick for new National Security Advisor turns him down.

[Editor’s note: I said it before he became president and am still saying it now – Trump is going to start a war, but where I expected an actual shooting war (and that is still very much on the cards) it turns out  the first Trump war is between his administration and the US intelligence community and the US media.

Trump has still not been able to form a cabinet, many positions remain unfilled, largely because he is finding it difficult to get some of his selected unsavoury characters passed by Congress. In the case of the National Security Advisor post, it looks like no-one really wants the job, probably viewing it as a poisoned chalice that would ruin their career. Ian]

Trump’s Sinking Ship: More Resignations and Rejections

On Wednesday 10 members of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders submitted their resignation in an open letter citing President Trump’s policy aims are “diametrically opposite” to the goals of the commission.

The very next day reports emerged that Trump’s pick to replace National Security Advisor Mike Flynn — forced to resign after a scandal involving illegal conversations with Russian officials — has turned down the offer of a cabinet post.

The fact that these most recent resignations and rejections come from decidedly different ends of the political spectrum suggests that Trump’s toxic brand is increasingly unpalatable for even many committed insiders.

Several members of the advisory commission stated that they had intended to stay on as members of the panel — first created by President Clinton and renewed under Presidents Bush and Obama with the goal of serving as a bridge between the federal government and AAPI communities— in the hopes that “a seat at the table” would allow them to continue to advocate for their communities.

However, Commissioner Maulik Pancholy said that Trump’s “rhetoric of hate” made that impossible.

“February 19, 2017, will be the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Protecting civil rights and fighting against bullying were pillars of our Commission’s work. We cannot serve under an administration that seeks to exclude members of our society or take away their rights, especially the Muslim community, which is very much part of our AAPI community,” wrote Pancholy.

“AAPIs cannot participate in this,” commission chair Tung Thanh Nguyen told NBC. “Even if the actions [of the Trump administration] may not be specifically directed at one AAPI group or another, we have suffered this kind of discriminatory, exclusionary actions, and we do not want to support any of that.”

Six other members of the commission resigned on the day of Trump’s inauguration, leaving only four remaining members of the 20 member panel which reports to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Earlier this week President Trump reportedly offered retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, currently working for U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin, a spot in his cabinet as National Security Adviser.

However just hours after Trump referred to Harward in his Thursday press conference as “somebody that I think will be outstanding,” a White House spokesperson told reporters that Harward had turned down the post, citing family reasons.

Reuters reported that sources familiar with Harward’s decision say he turned down the job over concerns about being able to hire his own team.

Harward joins two other Trump cabinet picks — Vincent Viola and Andrew Puzder — who withdrew their names for consideration in the last two weeks.

Earlier this month Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from Trump’s business advisory council after he came under massive pressure for allowing Uber drivers to break a wildcat strike by New York City taxi drivers over Trump’s Muslim ban executive order.

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9 Responses to "Trump’s Sinking Ship: More Resignations and Rejections"

  1. Jann Itor  February 18, 2017 at 6:12 am

    @Ian: In re. Flynn “…scandal involving illegal conversations with Russian officials..”?? Illegal conversations? Really? That is NOT why his resignation was accepted! Using the words ‘illegal conversations’ is ridiculous! You write with an extreme bias.
    President Trump told everyone months ago, that he would be swimming into a swamp filled with trash and filth. You, and any others here thinking that he was going to be readily able to find decent people in that vile swamp are mistaken! He would have been better off telling everyone that he was going to have to act solo, for the first 6 mos. or so, until the garbage was removed to the point where good people could be found and placed in offices.
    You abided an illegal alien, closet muslim for 8 years… and probably supported one of the biggest criminals to ever be nominated for public office… I suggest you ratchet down the hard left lean and give our President time to show you how it’s done!

  2. JohnZ  February 18, 2017 at 5:18 am

    The ship is sinking before it is even leaving port.
    Something’s very wrong going on inside the White House of course. However, it is a further reflection on the state of affairs inside Washington. So one wonders just what or who’s causing this situation.
    Bannon maybe? Spicer?
    A major blow up may be in the offing so hunker down in a fox hole and wait until the shock wave passes over, go out and inspect the damage.

  3. davor  February 17, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Usually the Deep state like to put someone being a dispensable showman in the focus when the heat is too big on them and all aspects of foreign policy are failing the economy and US exceptionalism. They are quite good at it (remember Reagan), just like they are good at downing random civilian aircrafts, while they are completely blind for noticing thousands of terrorists pick-up trucks or military planes. But this time probably not even this strategy will work, because as in wars or economic hitmen “peace” all the concerned nations and parties are able to see through this veil of deception and have become wary of dangers coming from accepting the US administration decisions for granted, allies or no allies.

  4. kaho  February 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    «Trump’s Sinking Ship:»

    Ships with leaks do tend to sink:

    With small leaks they sink slowly, with big leaks they sink fast.

    • JohnZ  February 18, 2017 at 5:13 am

      …There’s a leak, there’s a leak in the boiler room
      The poor, the lame, the blind
      Who are the ones we kept in charge?
      Killers, thieves and lawyers
      God’s away, God’s away
      God’s away on business….
      Tom Waits/God’s Away On Business

  5. tonto  February 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    It is obvious that the Elites are bickering betwixt themselves. Here’s hoping it continues…

  6. Donald Moore  February 17, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    First I would say that I bet a few other candidates have turned down other presidents for a post that is why you don’t say out loud who you are asking and they should ask first if they might be interested in the job (Vice Admiral Robert Harward) not all right ask them out right. Next on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, I believe they are Obama’s left overs not Trumps and it is better to lose them then to keep them like in the Security Service that leaks to the media everything. I hope that the man that takes that job will go after the leakers and actually fires them then move them to another post.

    • Jann Itor  February 18, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Good observation! One of the best, non-biased comments here, using reason.
      That “commission” was hardly more than a lobby group “to advocate for their communities,” as they stated above! These are foreign countries with subsidized lobby structure! We are better off with them gone! I would recommend that the entire structure be investigated and seek a winding up and dissolution! The four members that stayed on may be vetted for Ambassadorships in the regions. Draining the swamp while meeting the needs of OUR People!

  7. Trakkath  February 17, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I hope this inner war will go on for a long time so the world can breath peace and prosperity.

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