NEW YORK — Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, blamed the Washington bureaucracy Thursday for holding up key Trump administration appointees.
Conway delivered remarks to the New York Conservative Party at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan.
When asked why the White House was having problems staffing agency posts, Conway replied, “The political left believes one of the greatest accomplishments for them so far — and they haven’t had many — is the lack of confirmable appointees already in place. And they believe that no appointee is better than a Trump appointee. So, for lots of reasons, that included, we need to get staffed up.”
Conway went on to say, “There are a couple of things going on now. The people who — I’m told a handful of exceptions still that could be asked to leave have left. … It’s these commissions, it’s these commissioners, it’s these appointments that span the presidencies, and there’s nothing we can do until the commission fires [them]. In addition, we’ve also been held up by the Office of Government Ethics.”
The Trump White House has announced 117 nominees so far for the 559 posts that require a Senate confirmation vote.
Conway explained, “I know some good people who have submitted their FBI forms and don’t have a confirmation date yet and don’t have a hearing date yet. We’re dis-incentivizing great men and women from serving because they don’t know if they should move their families to Washington — if they have to give up their businesses and divest. And so, there’s already so many disincentives built into the system for so many patriotic men and women not to serve. But now we’re adding to that.”
The deputy posts at the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency are all still unfilled, as well as many other of senior jobs in other federal agencies, Politico reports. The Russian investigations on Capitol Hill and at the FBI have also scared away prospective candidates.