Turned down by top talent, Trump's administration-in-waiting is trying to find someone to operate relevant agencies tasked with stopping hackers and terrorists. “>
President-elect Donald Trump is scrambling to line up senior officials to run the governmental forces sprawling intelligence and homeland security bureaucracy.
Team Trump is struggling to fill numerous key slots or even attract many candidates because hundreds have either sworn theyd never work in a Trump administration or have directly turned down requests to join, multiple current and former U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the transition efforts told The Daily Beast.
Team Trump didnt expect to win until the campaigns internal polling a month before the election signaled a possible victory. Thats when senior Trump officers went into overdrive, trying to build a bench of experienced national security nominees with top secret clearances willing to work for a Trump presidencyand they met resistance across the landscape of experienced GOP national security professionals.
One person who gratified last month with Trumps national security and homeland security transition squad leader said that she was recognized that many candidates had flatly repudiated attempts to recruit them, expressed his belief that Trump was unfit to hold the office of commander in chief.
She said that it was going to be very difficult to fill positions in that space because everybody that had experience was a never-Trumper, this person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
She wasnt even sure that she was going to be able to fill a transition squad, much less find people to serve in government stances, this person said.
In theory, 20 people are supposed to parachute into the Department of Homeland Security[ during the transition between administrations ]. And I dont think they have anybody to do it.
A second person, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed this persons account that there are a large number of vacancies to fill without a clear scheme of how that will happen. Since Trumps improbable win, Team Trump has been aggressively reaching out to possible nominees with a flurry of meetings in New York and Washington , D.C.
Two career U.S. officials, currently serving in the governmental forces, also said they were unsure whether they would continue in their positions, which are slated to last into the next administration.
On Monday morning, a group of officers working on a range of national security issues including the resettlement of refugees and methods for countering terrorists violent rhetoric met to discuss their progress. But it wasnt at all clear whether a President Trump would even continue those initiatives, one participant said. Trump has promised to ban Muslims from certain countries from entering the United States and has claimed he knows better how to combat terrorists than military generals and intelligence officials.
But before he can take the axe to Obama-era programs, Trump has to staff up his own administration. It wont be easy.
It was clear the Trump team would have trouble staffing their national security bench nine months ago, when more than 100 Republican national security leaders signed an open letter vowing not to support him as the GOP nominee and working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.
Everybody who has signed a never-Trump letter or indicated an anti-Trump posture is not going to get a job. And thats most of the Republican foreign policy, national security, intelligence, homeland security, and Department of Justice experience, Paul Rosenzweig, who held a senior stance at the Department of Homeland Security in the George W. Bush administration, told The Daily Beast.( Bush told reporters on Tuesday that neither he nor his wife, Laura, cast a vote for chairperson .)
Rosenzweig predicted that Trump would be able to fill positions at the Cabinet level, the secretaries and administrators who result agencies and departments. But the people below them, from the deputy level on down, are the ones who actually run the government day-to-day, and there are few takers for those jobs, he said.
The problem is going to be determining the deputy secretary, and the head of customs, and the general counsel, which are the jobs that fundamentally matter, Rosenzweig said.