Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin said Monday that former President Trump’s plans to expand presidential power over federal agencies would lead to “purely partisan” government workers.
Griffin spoke on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” about a New York Times report that laid out Trump’s plans to consolidate executive power, including making it easier to replace government employees seen as opposed to his agenda.
“And I’ve warned about this,” Griffin said. “I can confirm everything that’s in that New York Times piece, because most of it was stuff that the former president wanted to do in his first term. The aides, like myself and others, talked him out of, and at the time, the argument was, ‘This is too unpopular with the public, you need to focus on your reelection.'”
“But one that stands out to me, and I’ve kind of been raising alarm bells about, is this effort to basically eliminate the civil service, or basically make it so it’s so much easier to fire career subject matter experts,” she added. “That is an effort to make the government purely partisan and staffed with loyalists who are going to carry out his agenda.”
She also pointed to New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser’s comparison of Trump to a dinosaur in the “Jurassic Park” movie franchise who learned to open a door, saying Trump “could be more dangerous in a second term because he understands how the machines of government actually work.”
The Times report, citing interviews with those close to Trump and a review of his campaign promises, said the former president plans to move independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission further under the White House’s jurisdiction.
Trump also wants to restart the process of “impounding” funds, meaning he can refuse to use money allocated by Congress for programs that he does not like.
The Times noted that Trump also wants to overhaul the intelligence agencies, the State Department and the defense agencies.
Former Trump chief of staff John Kelly said in the Times piece that a second term for the ex-president would result in a “nonstop gunfight” with Congress.
“It would be chaotic,” Kelly said. “It just simply would be chaotic, because he’d continually be trying to exceed his authority but the sycophants would go along with it. It would be a nonstop gunfight with the Congress and the courts.”
Source: The Hill