Bolton, Trump tweeted Thursday morning, is a “wacko” who had irritated North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I asked him, 'what the hell were you thinking?,'" Trump claims. “He had no answer and just apologized. That was early on, I should have fired him right then & there!"
If only he could have! But Bolton came to the White House through some unclear process, even despite the concerns Trump now insists he had.
“A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war,” Trump said of Bolton in another tweet. “Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!"
Bolton came to the White House despite being “a washed-up guy,” Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity during a friendly conversation Wednesday night. Bolton “was one of the big guns for ‘let’s go into Iraq.’ And that didn’t work out too well,” Trump added. Once in place, he was “holding me back.”
Bolton, of course, isn’t the only awful employee forced onto Trump. There’s also Jim Mattis, who was Trump’s defense secretary for two years. For some reason, Trump disparaged Mattis this month, as well.
Mattis was “our Country's most overrated General,” Trump tweeted. “He talked a lot, but never 'brought home the bacon.' He was terrible!” Mattis only came to the White House, Trump claimed in 2018, because he was being given “a second chance."
Trump was similarly forced to work with former attorney general Jeff Sessions, despite how clearly unfit for the position Trump believed him to be.
Hiring Sessions “was a mistake, a big mistake,” Trump said during a televised chat with his former press secretary Sean Spicer this month. Sessions, the president said, was a “disaster” as attorney general, who was “played like a drum” and “didn’t have a clue.”
Trump “didn’t want to make him attorney general,” he told Fox News last month, but somehow — it’s not clear how — Sessions ended up with the position anyway.
Daniel Coats, who was Trump’s director of national intelligence for two years, also was a “mistake” as a hire, the president said last month. “He sat there,” Trump said of Coats. “He didn’t do anything.”
The problematic hires reached far into the upper tier of the White House. One of Trump’s top aides when he got to the White House was Stephen K. Bannon, who “leaked more than the Titanic,” according to the president. Bannon, Trump says, was “sloppy."
One of the communications directors Trump was made to employ was Anthony Scaramucci. He lasted for 11 days.
Scaramucci was hired despite being “totally incapable of handling” the job, Trump said in August for some reason. He’s “a highly unstable ‘nut job’” who displayed “gross incompetence” and “made a fool of himself” in his position, according to Trump. Most alarmingly, Scaramucci was hired not only at the White House but “unfortunately” even worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“He just wanted to be on TV,” Trump said of the guy who somehow ended up running the president’s communications.
He also suggested he barely knew Scaramucci, a claim he also made about Gordon Sondland, whom he had appointed as ambassador to the European Union. Trump hardly knew Sondland, he said on Fox News in November for some reason, but would “see him hanging around.”
It's not just top-tier staffers who are hired despite being unfit for their positions. Omarosa Manigault Newman, who became a national celebrity after appearing on a mid-aughts reality television program, was given a position at the White House, too.
“People in the White House hated her,” Trump said of her tenure. “She was vicious, but not smart.” Manigault Newman “never made it, never will."
Then, of course, there’s former secretary of state Rex Tillerson. The former ExxonMobil CEO came to the White House through some unknown process despite being “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell,” according to Trump. The president “couldn’t get rid of him fast enough” but was hindered from ousting him for reasons clearly out of his control. Tillerson, Trump has said, simply “didn’t have the mental capacity needed” to do the job and was “totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State.”
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised that the people who served in his administration would be nothing but top-tier.
“We’re going to use people that are so much more talented than there are anywhere in the world,” Trump pledged during an event in February 2016. “I have the best people in the world,” he promised his friends Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski the same month.
Yet somehow, all of these people Trump sees as obviously unfit wind up in his administration. Someone, somewhere, should identify the individual or individuals responsible for hiring all of them and hold them to account. I’m sure no one would want to see that happen more than Trump himself.