From the Left



Trump isn't hiring enough friends and family

Dana Milbank on

WASHINGTON -- Once again, the dishonest haters in the fake news media are dishonestly and fakely hating on President Trump, this time by falsely claiming that nepotism and cronyism are bad.

They say the president should not name his personal pilot, John Dunkin, to run the $16 billion, 47,000-person Federal Aviation Administration. And they are offended because Ivanka Trump, asked whether she believed her father's denials of sexual misconduct, called this an "inappropriate question to ask a daughter."

So unfair!

Dunkin has the requisite qualifications to run the FAA, namely that he is, in the president's view, "a smart guy and knows what's going on." And neither Ivanka nor anybody else should be asked about Trump's alleged misconduct, because it didn't happen. We know this because Trump denied it, strongly.

But I will grant that there is a problem with nepotism and cronyism in the Trump administration: He isn't hiring enough friends and family.

Because he has been hiring too few people related by blood, marriage or friendship, he has wound up with unreliable "professionals." A study by Kathryn Dunn Tenpas of the Brookings Institution found that first-year turnover of senior Trump administration officials was 34 percent, much higher than under any other president in nearly 40 years.

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The obvious solution: more use of the friends-and-family plan. A family-based system may not work for immigration, but it works perfectly for staffing a presidency. I have this from an independent authority: Eric Trump. He said last year that nepotism is "a beautiful thing."

And it is working beautifully. Beyond the formal roles in the White House for Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner (responsible for everything from Middle East peace to reinventing government), and the informal roles played by Donald Jr. and Eric (responsible for antagonizing the special counsel), Trump's friends-and-family plan has served him brilliantly. Members include:

Dan Scavino, Trump's onetime golf caddie, now White House director of social media.

Hope Hicks, a former model who helped with Ivanka's fashion line, now the White House communications director.


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