Impeached president Donald Trump has replaced the former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire with another acting truly atrocious selection who will also only be in the job as an acting DNI. That’s because he is so bad and so unqualified for the job that he couldn’t be confirmed even by Mitch McConnell’s Republicans. That and Trump just likes to have unqualified temps who are loyal only to him running things.
A Washington Post analysis highlights the churn in Trump’s administration, and the fact that there hasn’t been a permanent DNI in more than six months. According to the Post, “Trump has kept acting officials in charge of top agencies and departments so much that they’ve accounted for 1 out of every 9 days in those positions.” That means that in the 22 cabinet-level jobs there have been so many acting officials that they’ve served a combined 2,736 days, which amounts to seven years. That means that in three years’ time, Trump “has had acting officials serve more than three times as much as did [President] Obama” did in eight years.
That’s without counting the Obama officials that held the jobs on a temporary basis at the beginning of Trump’s term for the sake of continuity. There have been three acting directors of Homeland Security, for a combined 440 days. Trump hasn’t designated a permanent nominee. At the Small Business Administration, there’s been an acting director for 277 days. At the Environmental Protection Agency, 234 days. At the Department of Defense, there has been an acting director for 203 days. The DNI has been acting now for 188 days, and will continue in that capacity under the odious Richard Grenell for the foreseeable future.
In previous administrations, acting directors have just been in place while a confirmation process for a permanent administrator was completed, and people generally left office because of personal and professional reasons. Not because a would-be dictator declared “off with their heads.” Trump has said “I like acting because I can move so quickly,. […] It gives me more flexibility.” More like it keeps things chaotic, and it keeps the people working for him freaked out and, in his warped mind, loyal.