Letter to the Editor

And we elected him president?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A pardon by the president was promised if the newly appointed acting Secretary of Homeland Security Keven McAleenan was charged with breaking the law by following President Donald Trump’s orders on border security. This followed the dismissal of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen because Trump felt she was not tough enough and disagreed with the family separation policy. Trump further stated that he was considering sending thousands of undocumented immigrants to “sanctuary cities” to teach them a lesson for opposing his policies. To Trump’s surprise, the mayors replied — Fine, send them here. We will welcome them with dignity and respect.

During the two years of Trump’s presidency an unprecedented number (dozens) of officials have left due to criminal indictment, resignation or dismissal by Trump. Trump has appointed replacements as an “acting” position which requires no congressional confirmation. Trump states — This gives me flexibility. An obvious ploy to avoid congressional oversight while appointing people with scarce ability to capably perform the duties of the position.

Now into the third year of Trump’s administration a quarter of his cabinet is filled by acting department heads. On top of that 40% of the key leadership positions that require Senate confirmation are vacant due to lack of the president's appointments. Is the press of the president’s job making it difficult to find the time to perform this important task? Trump has often commented on the excessive number of trips to the golf course by former President Barack Obama. Presidential record keepers have noted that Trump was on the links an average of once every 4.2 days. This is over double the average of the times Obama was.

Then there are the trips to Mar-a-Lago, each costing U.S. taxpayers $3.4 million and just happens to significantly increase bookings at the Trump owned resort and provides additional income to the president.

Finally, the president’s all-out effort to keep his tax information from being released. So far, the audit excuse has been debunked and even his staunch supporters cannot think of a legitimate reason to withhold this. One has to wonder — what is he hiding?

— Robert Sneitzer, Spirit Lake