We are already seeing what a Donald Trump Presidency is gong to look and act like. All you need do is look at his transition team, or rather the way it is being shattered to see that the old saying of payback is a bitch is the motto of the Trump camp.
Let me explain. There was a man named Charles Kushner. He was a billionaire real estate developer in New Jersey. He was also known as a philanthropist who was willing to give money to a lot of great charities.
He was also involved in political contributions. In the early 2000s New Jersey had a Governor named James McGreevey. Kushner gave money to his campaign, but apparently that was not all.
In 2004, McGreevey resigned from being Governor after he “confessed” to being gay. He said he had had an affair with another man and that broke his marriage vows. It was this justification that he gave for his resignation. He seemed to be trying to take the “integrity” high road and resigned because of this extramarital affair with a man while married to a woman.
But the wheels started coming off the track before his announcement. Just one week before this resignation, Charles Kushner was arrested for tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign donations.
Kushner eventually pleaded guilty to 18 counts and was sentenced to 24 months in prison under the plea agreement. But, the prosecutor didn’t let it all rest there either. He made sure that all of the “dirt” about the case was made public.
The witness tampering charge stemmed from Kushner doing something quite remarkable, in my mind. The witness was his brother-in-law who was married to his sister. Kushner paid a prostitute to “seduce” his brother-in-law. Then he had the secret video tapes of the encounter sent to his sister.
The man who McGreevey was said to have had his affair with was an Israeli. It was Kushner who helped this man to get his proper work visas and papers. They were so good, McGreevey was able to appoint the man to a top terrorism post.
After the plea deal and the sentencing the District Attorney said: “It shows that no matter how rich and powerful you are in this state you will be prosecuted and punished for crimes you commit. This sends a strong message that when you commit the vile and heinous acts that he has committed you will be caught and punished.”
Which brings us back to today. You may remember that Ivanka Trump’s husband is named Jared Kushner. Yep, he is the son of Charles Kushner. The District Attorney who publicly tried Charles Kushner and sent him to prison was non other than Chris Christie.
Hmmm, the plot thickens. It was reported that it was Jared Kushner who was the one most vehemently against Donald Trump from naming Christie to be his running mate. That supposedly led to Trump picking Pence.
Then back in May, Christie was named as the head of Trump’s transition team. Naturally, he brought in many people he trusted and were allies of his to help him get the job done correctly.
Suddenly on Friday, just three days after the election, Pence was named to replace Christie as the head of the transition team. Christie was placed in a minor role and has basically fallen out of sight.
Since then, the firings have continued. Over the weekend more people from the transition team were cut loose. All of them had ties to Christie. One person inside said it looked like a ‘Stalanesque purge”. Another said it was like a “knife fight” going on.
Oh, the media and even Trump are hinting that Christie’s demotion was due to his top people being convicted in the Bridgegate scandal. Don’t believe it. It was “payback” for Christie sending Jared Kushner’s father to prison.
All of this is more important than actually getting a government set up. Because of all of these side-shows inside Team Trump, the transition is going badly. Small agencies of the government have said they haven’t even heard from Trump’s transition team. Small agencies like the CIA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.
Then there is the problem that Team Trump needs to hire about 4,000 people to fill various positions in every department and agency of the government. Additionally, Team Trump is having trouble finding serious-minded Republican experts to fill these positions.
It has even been reported, not confirmed by me, that Team Trump has even asked Democrats now serving in the government if they could recommend a Republican to take their place. If that is true, that is astounding.
National Security and Intelligence are the two most critical areas we need good people. Trump can’t seem to find anyone to fill these positions. One reason is because all of the real Security and Intelligence professionals disagree with Trump on his policies. The other is reportedly Retired Lt.Gen. Michael Flynn.
Trump is reportedly looking to name Flynn to a top national security post, which one isn’t known for sure, and that is causing problems. According to an insider “It’s a major problem. No one wants to work for him or around him because of the time he was running the DIA,” or Defense Intelligence Agency.
When you think about how Trump wants to run the country and who he is looking at for important positions, that is not so far-fetched. It was reported yesterday, that Flynn has a consulting company. That company is being paid by the Government of Turkey. Can you say “conflict of interest”?
Then there is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach is one of Trump’s immigration advisors. Kobach was the person who wrote the “papers please” law for Arizona and other states. All of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Now he is working on a “registry” for all Muslims in the country. You may remember that was one of the Donald’s talking points during the campaign. It would appear that wasn’t just talk.
I believe that Team Trump, led by Jared Kushner has been more interested in beginning “payback” than they have been in actually transitioning into power. That has left the actual transition in flux at best. So far, we have two people who have formally been announced. Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Not great starting points.
If all of this plays out the way it has started, Richard Nixon is going to look like an altar boy by the time it is all over. By the way, don’t you find it coincidental that one day after Putin spoke to Trump on the phone, Russia began another bombing round against the rebel positions, not ISIS, in Aleppo?
One week after the election the paybacks have started. Christie and his allies are only the beginning.