President Donald Trump spent a major part of his presidential campaign vowing to “drain the swamp” once he got to the White House. However, all he has done since winning the election is appoint his ultra-rich and corrupt loyalists to top cabinet positions, granting them a ridiculous amount of power despite their obvious conflicts of interest.
From the appointment of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the head of Department of Energy, an agency he once proposed to eliminate, to the selection of climate-change denier Scott Pruitt as the administrator of Environmental Protection Agency, the entire Trump administration is filled with people who lack the qualifications and expertise required to lead the country.
Former Trump Organization lawyer Jason Greenblatt is one of those people.
On campaign trail, Greenblatt served as a top adviser on U.S.-Israeli relations. After his election victory, Trump named the pro-Israel activist as White House special representative for international negotiations.
His job description is to assist the president “with international negotiations of all types, and trade deals around the world.”
If it is not apparent already, the president’s point man on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and United States-Cuban relations has no diplomatic experience, yet he is acting as an adviser on two of the most politically charged conflicts in the world.
What is even more disturbing is that Greenblatt appears to be getting his information on Middle East through the daily email alerts from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the biggest Israeli lobbies working in the United States.
“There’s just a tremendous amount of literature out there, emails and all that, so I read all of those as often as I can,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
He also believes that after working as Trump’s chief legal officer for so many years, he has come to know him very well.
“Our sense is that the Trump White House views the foreign policy establishment as pretty feckless. They seem to think that applying a business approach can work better,” Martin S. Indyk, the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution who served as President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, told The New York Times. “Not to have experience or knowledge of the issues in dispute, nor any relationship with the Palestinians, will be a challenge.”
Moreover, he does not appear to answer to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson like other advisers. Instead, he reports to Trump’s son-in-law and top White House aide Jared Kushner, the biggest and most significant silent player in the Trump administration.
It is all very alarming, to say the least.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque