Conservatives have long suspected that careerist “deep state” bureaucrats and Obama-era holdovers in the National Security Council (NSC) were undermining President Donald Trump’s agenda via policy positions and unauthorized leaks.
Now, in line with his vow to “drain the swamp,” it looks like Trump is taking action to clean house. At least 70 Obama-era staff positions have been cut, the Washington Examiner‘s Paul Bedard reported on Monday.
The reported cuts come just days after the removal of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who played an integral role in the Ukraine controversy and testified against the president during the impeachment inquiry — and his twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, from the NSC.
The Examiner noted that O’Brien has been upfront in the past about his intention to reduce the size of the NSC — which had swelled to around 200 members during the Obama administration — back to what it had been during the administration of President George W. Bush, around 100 members or less.
O’Brien told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last week: “So it’s bloated. We’re going to bring it back to a size that’s manageable and efficient. And look, the folks who are there, they really need to want to serve the President. What I said when I came to the NSC is that I would drastically downsize it.”
That would appear to be in line with President Trump’s known preference for a streamlined staff. The NSC he inherited from Obama, full of partisan holdovers, careerist bureaucrats and duplicate positions, was anything but small, to be sure.
While many staffers are being reassigned or returned to other departments, an unspecified number of those cut reportedly have now left the federal government altogether, Bedard reported.
Dems and media freak out — as usual
Of course, Democrats and the media — who oddly seem to think it is the unelected career bureaucrats who should get to determine an administration’s policies, and not the actual president — are losing what little is left of their minds over this downsizing, particularly with regard to the reassignment of the Vindman brothers, Breitbart reported.
There were countless outraged cries from the left that Trump was retaliating against Vindman for his role in the impeachment inquiry against him, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calling the transfer “brazen” and “shameful.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) fired off a letter to all 74 inspectors general across the federal government demanding investigations into any other potential “instances of retaliation” against so-called “whistleblowers” and others who’ve opposed the president.
Meanwhile, Breitbart also noted that rumors are circulating that the Trump administration has finally identified and is set to remove the so-called “anonymous” administration official that wrote a highly publicized op-ed for the New York Times that was harshly critical of the president. Democrats and the media will undoubtedly freak out whenever that occurs, as well.
In reality, though, the removal of the Vindman brothers and others from the NSC is perfectly within the president’s purview as head of the executive branch. It’s some long-overdue internal housecleaning that probably should have been handled shortly after Trump took office.