Trump: Transition Going “So Smoothly”

President-elect Donald Trump's Twitter profile image.

President-elect Donald Trump’s Twitter profile image.

Despite statements to the contrary, President-elect Donald Trump continues to utilize the Twitter universe to respond to and comment on news stories concerning his administration as he proceeds with his transition to the presidency.

Most recently, articles from the news media has reported on what is being called a “shakeup” in the ranks of the Trump transition team, with the ouster of Chris Christie as head of the transition team, and the purge of Christie’s followers.

Calling the New York Times, “failing,” Trump tweeted:

In reality, the transition is going less smoothly than Trump is leading the public to believe in his tweets.

At the center of the turmoil in the transition team, is Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. While some believe that Christie was nudged from the inner circle, and replaced by vice President-elect Mike Pence, as the head of Trump’s transition team, many believe that Christie’s fall from grace was instrumented by Kushner in retaliation for the 2004 – 2005 conviction of his father, Charles Kushner.

The elder Kushner was fined $508,900 by the Federal Election Commission for mishandling campaign contributions. The following year, an investigation by the New Jersey US attorney’s office would lead to convictions of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering, and was sentenced to two years in prison. As a result of that conviction Kushner was suspended and disbarred from practicing law in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. He would spend one year in jail. At that time, Chris Christie, was the US attorney for the district of New Jersey.

While Charles Kushner was a major contributor to the Democratic Party prior to 2016, he changed his allegiance to the Republican Party for this year’s election.

Former Congressman Mike Rogers, who followed Christie into the Trump campaign, commented on the situation taking place on the team after he was notified on Monday that he was out, saying to Anderson Cooper of CNN, “Sometimes in politics … there are people who are in and people who are out. And the people who have been asked to move on have some relationship with Chris Christie.”

As the media nationwide surmises Trump’s eventual picks for cabinet positions, Trump would again take to Twitter, and sounding like a reality show host, tweet:

Also, while it is been reported that a member of the White House is leaked that someone on Trump’s transition team has requested security clearance for members of Trump’s family Trump used Twitter to deny those allegations, tweeting:

The alleged request is of some concern to many in Washington and nation-wide.

In a letter to the incoming Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, Representative Elijah Cummings (D_Maryland) wrote, “There is a process by which a position within the executive branch may be designated as a national security position if its responsibilities and assignments require eligibility for access to classified information. It does not appear that Mr. Trump intends to hire his children into such positions. If he does, however, that would raise significant concerns given their direct involvement in his business interests.”

“The President-elect’s request of top secret security clearances for his children must be reconsidered,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement. “Granting security clearances to people whose part-time interest in our federal government is rooted in nepotism and the numerous conflicts of interest created by their continuing to run private corporations could chill information sharing with private industry and international partners is not in the best interest of our nation. Our nation’s top secrets should not be carelessly or casually shared with those without a national security need-to-know.”

It is highly unlikely that any family member would be granted a formal position in the Trump administration because of nepotism laws. While history shows that previous administrations had appointed family members to positions, the last being Bobby Kennedy, during the Kennedy administration, a law was enacted by the Johnson administration making it illegal to appoint a family member. Thus, the 1967 law would bar Trump from appointing any of his family to any official spot.