The Corner

National Security & Defense

Staffers Can’t Save the President from His Own Bad Decisions

From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Staffers Can’t Save the President from His Own Bad Decisions

Come on now, Trump fans. Imagine you’re an incoming president. You’ve got a guy who you like and trust who you would like to be your national security adviser. But then he tells your transition team that he’s “under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.”

Are you still interested in having him serve as your national security adviser? Aren’t you a little irked that he was working as a paid lobbyist for a foreign entity during the campaign? Don’t you feel like he should have tried to avoid this kind of financial entanglement with a foreign entity if he wanted to return to government service? Don’t you feel like he should have told you this during the campaign?

Some of this blame for this mess can be put on Flynn; he should have had the good judgment to say, “Mr. President-elect, it’s an honor to be considered for the position, but I can’t be your national security adviser at this time. I’m under investigation and would be a distraction or liability for your team.” Failing that, someone around the president needed to say, “Mr. President-elect, you cannot hire this man. He will always carry the stigma of a conflict of interest because he was paid $600,000 over 90 days to promote the viewpoint of the Turkish government. The perception is already that the Turks bought influence on the campaign; bringing Flynn in as an official adviser makes it look like the Turks bought influence in your administration.”

Finally, looking at Trump the way his fans do… isn’t this the sort of problem that a street-wise, shrewd businessman would see coming a mile away and avoid?