Trump has a Cabinet-by-default, many of whose members were simply the last man — or woman — standing after others pulled out of the running, declined the president’s job offers or couldn’t get through their nomination hearings....If there’s a thread running through them all, it’s a president with a penchant for choosing many top appointees based on instinct — and without regard to prior government experience — plus a White House whose vetting operation is far from thorough and a thin Republican Senate majority with little room for error. The result is that the Trump administration’s senior ranks are comprised largely of individuals who were not, in many cases, the president’s first or even second choice to fill the post, but instead became the only logical choice after the competition evaporated....Add to these woes an administration with abnormally high turnover, as well as the usual churn in Washington, and Trump is presiding over a government run in many cases by acting officials from the Cabinet level on down.
The newly appointed leader of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, sent an email to staffers Tuesday in which he appeared to push asylum officers to stop allowing some people seeking refuge in the country passage at an initial screening at the border.“Under our abused immigration system if an alien comes to the United States and claims a fear of return the alien is entitled to a credible fear screening by USCIS and a hearing by an immigration judge,” Cuccinelli wrote to USCIS staffers....One official at the Department of Homeland Security — of which USCIS is a part — said the email was “insane,” while former officials said the email was clearly a threat.“I read this only in one way — a threat. A threat that asylum officers will be blamed by their new boss for the repeated failures of the Trump administration,” Ur Jaddou, a former chief counsel at USCIS, told BuzzFeed News. “This is an unbelievable threat and not something a director would normally ever send.”