The Republican mogul’s revenge is no secret: Trump is used to purging after his defeats. The next two months will be turbulent.
Donald Trump is furious and thirsty for revenge for his loss to Democrat Joe Biden, and his retaliation did not take long. On Friday, the Republican administration fired Bonnie Glick, deputy administrator of the US Agency for International Development, without any justification.
Her firing is because Glick was about to become the interim administrator from her time as deputy administrator, and the president did not want that. Trump loved John Barsa, who is closer to his positions and loyal to his circle, and also asked not to cooperate with Biden’s transition team. Everything goes along that line. From now on the president will make life miserable for his successor.
The tycoon will take advantage of the two months that he has left in the White House to put key chips inside to maintain his legacy for longer in government and get rid of the pieces that he considers to be “traitors.” It is a game of thrones.
Another one fell on Monday: Defense Secretary Mark Esper was notified of his dismissal through a call from Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, just minutes before the president announced the deposition on his Twitter account. Esper’s dismissal was not surprising, since the now former defense secretary never had a good relationship with the Republican. In fact, a rumor circulated on Friday that Esper had prepared his resignation letter to present before Trump fired him. This in order to show distancing from his administration.
But that was not the end of their roll: instead of leaving the undersecretary of defense, David Norquist, as secretary in charge, Trump put Christopher Miller, director of the National Center against Terrorism, in front during these months. This, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, indicates that he could accelerate the withdrawal from Afghanistan in his last days of rule to show that as his legacy.
The president’s revenge list is long, and Republicans also want to see heads roll. Georgia Senate candidate David Perdue, who will have to run a second round in January after failing to exceed the 50% threshold in the general election, called for the resignation of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for his “embarrassing” management in these elections.
According to Perdue, Raffensperger “failed the people” by allowing alleged illegal votes to be counted. “The lack of transparency is unacceptable … you must resign immediately,” says Senator Perdue. But he has no evidence, like Trump, of vote counting irregularities. They are being bad losers. Kelly Loeffler, the other Georgia senator due to run for the second round in January, joined the demands.
Importantly, Georgia’s two seats are up for grabs, and if Democrats win them in January they will dominate the Legislature. What Perdue and Loeffler do is approach the president and his speech about an alleged fraud to keep their voters facing the elections because their last hope is at stake.
The other firings that Trump has discussed are those of FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel, because he believes they have not been “loyal enough.” And this is because the president expected them to lead a smear campaign against Biden, but none accompanied him in that plan.
The president also wants to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and one of the heads in the fight against coronavirus. The two have never gotten along because of the former’s refusal to the recommendations of scientists and experts. However, Trump could not fire Fauci because he has an apolitical, public service appointment.
There is another Trump ally who could face punishment: Fox News. The president’s favorite channel caused his fury when he conceded Biden’s victory in Arizona and later in Pennsylvania. The president’s circle made desperate calls to reverse that news: Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, called Fox owner Ruper Murduch himself, and Hope Hicks, Trump’s adviser, wrote to the channel’s internal staff to advise them how to change the story. They were not heard.
But the honeymoon between Trump and Fox was over before long: The president asked Fox for a discount on the advertising fee for his campaign, and when the channel refused, the relationship turned sour. This is why his language towards Fox became so hostile.
Now Trump wants to make his own channel due to the “betrayal” of his friends at Fox. It would not be easy to compete with them or build his media emporium, a wish that has always been on his list, since Trump is in debt.
In fact, Matthew Knott, a US correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald, found a key point: One of the reasons for Trump not acknowledging his defeat is financial. His campaign is asking his supporters for donations to court battles seeking to challenge the results, but he warns them in fine print that that money could also be used to pay off campaign debts. We checked the emails and indeed there is the warning.
This is not Trump’s first purge. The president is used to revenge. At the beginning of the year, when he faced impeachment, there was a purge. He looked for those he considered “disloyal” and withdrew them. Several heads rolled. In 2018, harassed by the investigations of “the Russian plot”, there was a purge. In 2019, motivated by pushing his national security reforms, the same.
The one now is much more alarming, of course, and it is because Trump sought to shield it to carry it out. In October, the president signed an executive order called the “Schedule F Order on Exceptional Service,” which, simply put, removes protections from career officials and gives you the power to purge federal workers and replace them. with close and loyal chips without experience. Why? To paralyze the incoming administration and ruin his first months in office. This order will protect Trump’s appointees from being fired on the grounds of “political affiliation.” Biden will have a hard time removing these people associated with Trump. As it did? According to the administration, it seeks to “get rid of the bad results.” But this is an excuse.
“Certainly there is room to reform the cumbersome process required to eliminate those who do not meet the standards. But this president’s criteria for determining satisfactory performance begin and end with personal loyalty, ”wrote the editorial committee of The Washington Post in October.
And all this without talking about the list of people to whom Trump owes a presidential pardon to rid them of trouble with justice. But another whole chapter has to be devoted to this.
Four years ago, Barack Obama invited Trump to discuss the transfer of power. They met for the first time on November 10, 2016. The transfer was peaceful. We won’t see that now. The next few weeks will be more than turbulent.