President Donald Trump does not seem to think the unfilled positions in the State Department are much of an issue — because the only seat that actually matters is the one he occupies.
Although Trump has been in office for more than 10 months now, a number of significant positions in the State Department and other agencies, including officials overseeing Southeast Asia and arms control, remain vacant.
According to the Political Appointee Tracker, created by The Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service, Trump has nominated far fewer people than his four predecessors, which has raised concerns about the administration’s working and its impact on the foreign policy
“We don't need all the people that they want,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham when she pressed him on the matter. “Don't forget, I'm a business person and I tell my people, well you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them. But we have some people that I'm not happy with there.”
He then bragged about his own importance.
“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me, I'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it that's what the policy is going to be. You've seen that, you've seen it strongly,” the president continued. "I want my vision, but my vision is my vision anyway. It's called cost-saving. There's nothing wrong with cost-saving.”
In his typical fashion, Trump also blamed the Democrats for not approving his nominations.
“We're filling up roles. And, don't forget, Schumer and the Democrats are just obstructing,” Trump said. “You can't get anything through. We have almost about half the number of people coming through as Obama had. They are obstructing.”
That’s not it.
When Ingraham asked Trump if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “would be with you for the duration,” the commander-in-chief’s response was a little vague.
“We’ll see. I don’t know who’s going to be [here for the] duration,” he replied, before adding Tillerson was “working hard” and “is doing his best.”
Watch the complete interview in the video above.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Yuri Gripas